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Saturday, June 14, 2014

Obsession. Eternal stories of Life and Death

Title: Obsession- Eternal stories of Life and Death
Authors: Gurpartap Khairah, Bishwa Sigdel, Stormy Hazarika and Suraj Sinha.
Category: Short Stories
Publisher: Tara Press
Date: 2014
Price: Rs. 299
Pages: 259

Snapshot: Each one of us, in one way or another, is obsessed whether by the intricacies of life or the finality of death. We are plagued by our thirst for control, driven by our hunger for love and addicted to the demons that ultimately consume us. A sensitive portrayal of one’s deepest emotions, this collection of stories explores the psyche of an individual their most vivid desires, most profound fears and the ultimate revelation of their darkest secrets.
Obsession brings together love and lust, betrayal and hurt, grief, life and longing. They are stories that strip the human spirit of all pretense, exposing shame and sorrow, desire and desperation. Woven around characters that could well be you and I, these are modern day chronicles of everyday heroes, fallen or exalted. Stories that thrust us towards introspection and self-realization, these are narratives that force us to explore the hidden us and the truths that we often refuse to see.
Obsession is one man’s quest to create the perfect wife, a widow’s desperate attempts to remove the shackles of greed or anther's mans perspective of love. Obsession runs the gamut of human experience and endeavor and expression, creating a tempestuous display of heat and ice and launching the reader into a familiar yet somber world.
Review: Obsession is a collection of subtle, sensitive and highly profound short stories contemplating about the niceties of imperceptible gamut of emotions of those ordinary folks you may or may not come across in your life. The characters in the stories are presented in all their heartbreaking vulnerability and complexity. By that I mean that the authors had blatantly pushed the buttons to create a palpable sense of crisp and contemporary baked protagonists. The writing style is extremely smooth, flowing and powerful. The common notion of these stories centers on obsession and the authors have successfully portrayed the depth of each emotion driving in the minds of their protagonist. It rises to the epitome and then pricks with the self realization towards the end. Some stories are twisty, crispy yet sincere with an open ending and I appreciate it as a reader. Few stories to specifically mention are Ripe Mangoes, The Making of a Married Woman, Inglorious Love, My Husband’s Best Friend and The Last Card that took my heart away with its sober soulfulness and precision. However, stories like Voices in the Dark, The Home breaker, A knife’s Fate and Yellow Tears are quite deep and thought provoking. They plunge into the weaknesses of mainstay personalities and hold with them till the very end. 
Overall, the stories are heartfelt, solemn and sturdy enough to etch on reader’s mind.

Positives: Thumbs up for the writing style as it was lucid and poignant. The stories are an assortment of an insightful disclosure of guilt, desire, desperation, lust and self fruition.

Negatives: I didn't find the stories in the second half very appealing and interesting at the same time. They finely projected the purpose and desire but somehow were extra abstract, sordid and strange in its own.

Verdict:  The book had strong characters in well written stories that will take you to a familiar yet dismal world as the book claims on its blurb. You can pick this book if you want to invest your heart and mind into experiencing the myriad shades of human nature and bundle of emotions. I would go with 3 stars.

About the Authors:

Gurpartap Khairah believes a writer should be politically incorrect and while writing, makes every effort to say the worst in the best possible manner. Gurpartap teaches English literature in Hindu college, Amritsar. He loves his job because it keeps him in constant touch with the youth and the current ‘modern’ lingo.

Bishwa Sigdel grew up in the dusty lanes of Banepa, in Nepal. An early passion for the Classics finally led him to writing. An ardent fan of Marquez and Neruda, Bishwa likes nothing better than hunting for books in dusty libraries or old city bookstalls.
Stormy Hazarika grew up in the lush tea estates of Assam. An aspiring poet, Hazarika’s passions are writing, reading and more reading! She feels her head is constantly buzzing with plots, characters and loose ends and MS Word is the only release for this pressure.
Suraj Sinha is an aeronautical engineer turned banker. Born in Bihar, he grew up listening to folk stories. An avid reader of Magic Realism, fantasy, history and satire, he spends quality time reading the likes of Marquez, Rushdie, Faulkner, Tolkien and Joseph Heller. Inspired by everyday life and his little son, he loves the process of writing more than anything else. "

Grab a Copy Here:

This book has been reviewed by Shaily Bhargava who is an avid reader, freelance writer, amateur photographer and a trait curious soul addicted to tea and coffee. Some of her short stories are published in online literary magazines of repute.

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