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.


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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