This year. I have been slow in reading books. I have been focusing my energies and devoting time to two yet to be finished project.
I picked up ‘CURTAIN CALL’- Compiled and edited by Rafaa Dalvi and published under ‘Half-Baked beans’ featuring stories by 20 storytellers, on request of one of the authors ( Sanhita Barua – story ‘Ablaze Within’ i).
I don’t think; I would have picked the book otherwise.
The blurb at the back seemed mundane and too simple. It read “We live our lives like the ceaseless flow of a river, but we remember it only in pieces, pieces we like to call memories, memories that are shared in the form of stories. What is life if not a number of stories tied together like an anthology? ….. these stories will make you cry, laugh, love and, most importantly, live’. But then a book should never be judged by the cover.
I like it when the an anthology does not confines itself to a theme, track and genre. I like the odd story that jolts you and one that leaves you thinking. Unfortunately, in a compilation it is tough to maintain standards and expecting every story to tickle your taste buds is just foolish. This is also an advantage, as each one of us can relate to few of the stories, and that is all that you were anyway looking for.
‘Curtain Call’ will bring alive a range of genres for you.
Thriller and Mystry by Dr. Ketaki Patwardhan, Rahul Biswas, Sharath Komarraju And Shawn Pereira. Inspirational stories by Kartik and Mehek Bassi. Fiction by Rafaa Dalvi, Sanhita Baruah, Siddhesh Kalbe. Horror and a bit of supernatural by Aniesha Brahma, Bruce Memblatt and Dr Vivek Banerjee. Fantasy by Diptee Raut. Romance by Amrit Sinha, Bhavya Kaushik, Deepa Duraisamy and Ekta Khetan. And to top it all humor by Renu Sethi, Dr Roshan Radhakrishnan, and Suresh C.
Now here are my favourites.
‘The Princess Bride’ by Ekta Khetan. The crinkles into a royal wedding affair.‘Reminiscence’ by Mehek Bassi. What memories can do with life. ‘Ablaze Within’ by Sanhita Baruah. It’s not something great but for the poetic last line ‘No by Not everyone who is sad, has a sad story’ said by a prostitute !
Here is the best of the lot.
‘Office Games’ by Suresh C. The politics within the office. The scheming colleague who knows a secret. It is now the time to play. ‘Ookleeboo’ by Diptee Raut. Ookleeboo is not human. This is pure fantasy. This is life treated with lens that I personally like. Add to this short list, the erotic supernaturalism in ‘Mahua ‘by Dr Vivek Banerjee. A different experience awaits in Chattisgarh project. Won’t you visit it again!
Should you pick this? Maybe, if you really like short stories and can appreciate the efforts that it takes to pack so much of the world in so little words. DON’T RUSH IN FOR GREEDY PLEASURE. HOLD ON. READ ONE STORY AT A TIME. And if you want to get a copy, then go to Amazon. The kindle version is free.
- Curtain Call - Edited by Rafaa Dalvi