Thursday 28 July 2016

Romance Shorts by Sourabh Mukherjee: a review

A breather from everything in life, even though romance may be done to death, it is the only thing that can bring you to a world of dreams and you will end up liking every bit of time that you spend with any book that has romance in it. As I came across the title of Sourabh Mukherjee’s anthology, I was intrigued and wanted to read the book. Romance Shorts, as it is titled. The cover of the book, done in pink and shades of it adds to the soothing effect that the title had given. So, it was time that I read the blurb of the book.

According to the back cover- What does destiny have in store for a teenager unable to express his feelings for the girl of his dreams as their paths keep crossing through the years? Sid turns to work and alcohol to get over the pain of losing Sheetal till she walks back into his arms in the after party of a corporate awards function. Is she back for good? What does an advertisement on a billboard try to tell a man who has lost his memory and his wife in a near fatal accident? As Ria nurses her broken heart, she meets a stranger on the internet and finds herself irresistibly drawn to him. Will she find love again? ‘Romance Shorts’ is a collection of four contemporary romantic stories. A brisk read with a lasting impact, it paints love in its various hues that make it the only emotion worth dying for. A slice of life in true sense, Romance Shorts takes us on a soulful journey as we relive loves lost or found or nurtured unprofessed in the deepest recesses of our hearts.

I would start with mentioning the fact that the book has only four stories. Very unusual for a short story collection, the fact that it has only four stories both helps and acts as a con for the collection. Now, the presentation. Given the fact that it is a self published book, there was more that I, as a reader expected out of it. The stories though, make up for the flaw in the presentation of the book. To speak about the stories I have to say that each story has its own essence and still a very invisible thread somehow, to me, binds all the stories together. I would go for every story one by one.

The first story in the book is Nargis through the summers. As you might’ve already read in the back cover of the book, the gist of the story is about a teenager who is unable to express his feelings for the girl of his dreams as their paths keep crossing through the years. But is this story just that? I would suggest that do not be misled through the gist in the blurb because the story has a deeper story into it and you would miss it if you don’t read it. All the questions that might arise when you are reading the story will be answered by the end of it. A wonderful and touching story to say the least.

Mine forever is the second story in the book. Again, the gist of the story is given very well in the book blurb and I would say that personally this is my favorite story of the whole book. I loved the way the emotions have been dealt with in this story. It touches the heart and the concept of the story was totally on point.

The third story on the list is Memories. As the gist on the back cover blurb says, the story is about a man who has lost his memory and his wife in a near fatal incident and there is a billboard which he encounters every day to and from work that reminds him of something which he is unable to remember. Just like all the other stories of the book, this story is also not what it shows itself to be. You will surely be engrossed in the story and in knowing what is to happen next in the story.

The last story of the book is titled Love came calling again. This story is my second favorite in the list. The story of Ria might seem fictional but it does happen in real life and what if I say that it has happened to a very close friend of mine? What happened to Ria, if you ask, then I have to say that you need to get hold of the book as soon as possible and know.

All the four stories make for a delightful read of the whole book. Coming to the cons of the book, the book doesn’t have any such con apart from two major things which I, personally, did not like. The first, as I have already mentioned is the presentation and the second is the fact that there are only four stories in the book. If there were more stories then this book would’ve garnered more stars from me. 

A compact book, I would still say that the author has set up high expectations for himself and so I felt that a few parts of a few stories could’ve been smoothed a bit. For me, looking forward to reading more from the author, this book is 3.75 out of 5. A delightful attempt and a must read book.

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