Friday, August 22, 2014

#BookReview: The Turning Point edited by Nikita Singh

On the jacket:


The Turning Point features stories by some of the best young Indian writers, each contributing a distinct tang to this interesting cocktail. The collection explores multiple emotions, ranging from nostalgia to obsession, the feeling of first love to that of delusion, from doubt to self-belief and from resignation to hope.  Eight stories, eight spirited young writers--and a must-read book that doesn't just make you smile and think at the same time, but also brings you closer to the joy of reading and the craft of writing.

Review:

An anthology of stories by some of the authors I have loved reading before and a few I haven't read earlier, put together and edited by Nikita Singh, The Turning Point has a pot pouri of good stories. The stories are by  Nikita Singh, Meenakshi Reddy Madhavan, Durjoy Datta , Judy Balan, Harsh Snehanshu, Shoma Narayanan, Parinda Joshi, and Atulya Mahajan.

The book starts with Raghavan's Insert A Carrot. I have read reviews of this story where it has been trashed. I fail to understand why. In my opinion, this is a brilliant piece of work. One needs to be patient the first 2-3 pages and witness the story fulfill but can you imagine a story being written out of only, I repeat, only a conversation between two friends. Only dialogues, no explanations. Two best friends, Anushka and Maya, start talking when Anushka realises there is a spelling mistake in Maya's tattoo. From here, the conversation travels across time, topics and emotions all in the span of probably an hour, at the most. A brilliant story to start reading an anthology with.

Dutta's The English Teacher is a story about a teenage school boy and his obsession with his English teacher, which crosses all limits. The story has been construed in a smooth manner, events unfolding one by one, revealing the plot yet not revealing it altogether. I had imagined the end in the first few pages, but then got fooled into believing otherwise, only to have the climax thrown at me as a surprise. Loved it.

I've always been Balan's fan, be it her books or be it her blog. I read her with relish. The Return Of The (Original) Vampire is a bit different from her usual tales but her style of writing is so fine, she does a commendable job here as well. Shoma Narayanan's The X-Boss and Parida Joshi's The Unlikely Accomplice were nice reads. Harsh Snehanshu's Summer Showers is a different sort of love story, though it didn't appeal to me much. If you are a sucker for young love stories, this would be your story. Atulya Mahajan's The U-Turn was probably a page out of the lives of a lot of young couples, trying to balance the career graph and their families. A fine story. 

A well-edited book, Nikita Singh did a good job with her story A Whispered Prayer too. Heart touching and sensitive, the plot is very well spun and a story made out of what is truly happening to many women across India. Only if every such girl found a partner as caring as Anjali did.

Rating: ****/5

[This review is for Wisdom Tree India. The opinions are strictly my own and not been written under any obligation.]

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