Labyrinth is a collection of short stories by various writers published under the umbrella of litizen.com. An anthology of short stories by lesser kno...moreLabyrinth is a collection of short stories by various writers published under the umbrella of litizen.com. An anthology of short stories by lesser known Indian writers sounded very exciting, but I was also skeptical about how the stories will be. I feel short stories are difficult to get right than novels because you have fewer words to convey your message to the reader. Thankfully, many of the authors manage to do just that.
The book opens with Mainak Dhar’s The Martyr which starts off like any other short story about Islam and Jehad, but takes an ironic twist in the end which just leaves you sad. Aditi Chincholi’s Puppet Show, one of the best stories in the book, sets an eery, creepy tone that makes you have goosebumps. The plot, the tone, the climax – everything about this story is just right. I will definitely look forward to reading more stories from the same author.
Some stories lack the same hold on the plot, like Rishabh Chaturvedi’s Bagheera Log Huts, which I felt was a bit too long for what the story wanted to convey. Shawn Periera’s I’ll Be Back is just the opposite: it is so short, it ends before you even get into the story. The idea of this story is interesting and the author could have developed it more.
With Sym – World, Aditi Chincholia proves she can handle a different genre with the same confidence. She weaves a story of virtual reality where the thin line between reality and virtual world fades and the worlds merge into one. I enjoyed this story thoroughly and was wondering how the author would end this. I was a bit disappointed with the climax, but after hindsight, the story could not have had a better ending. Jeevan Verma’s Mortified provides a comic twist to what could have been a tragic end and gets a chuckle out of you. Richard Fernandes’ Crashing Impacts tugs at your heart and makes you think and question about moral issues and guilty conscience.
Rishabh Chaturvedi’s The Night of the Wokambee sets the eerie tone back and takes us into an edge-of-the-seat ride only to give a neat twist to the story. Niharika Puri’s Mists of Time deals with adultery and moral issues with an emotional punch. Rohit Das Candies is a nice, little story which could have been developed better. Rishabh Chaturvedi’s Travel Through the Night gives us a taste of the supernatural world and has a nice twist in the end.
Shawn Periera’s Russkaya Rulyetka takes you on a roller coaster ride full of emotions: morose, anger, hatred, frustration and more. A well written story which leave a huge impact on the reader. Sushant Dharwadkar’s Farming on Facebook paints an ironic picture of the great divide that exists in India between the haves and the have-nots.
Abhishes Dwivedi’s A Day of Battle and Risabh Chaturvedi’s The Labyrinth take us into the world of mythology, the former Indian and the latter Greek. Both these stories were new to me, so I particularly enjoyed both of them.
If you are looking for some refreshing writing from the local authors along with you daily cup of tea, pick up this book and you won’t be disappointed. There are some very promising writers featured here and I can’t wait for the next anthology to be released.(less)
How I Braved Anu Aunty and Co-Founded A Million Dollar Company (that takes the award for the longest title) is an autobiographical novel of Varun Agar...moreHow I Braved Anu Aunty and Co-Founded A Million Dollar Company (that takes the award for the longest title) is an autobiographical novel of Varun Agarwal and how he become a hero from a zero. Varun graduated from engineering, only to find himself in the usual mess of what career path to choose. Anu Aunty and his mother shedding tears Bollywood style were of little help in Varun taking the right decision. While his mother and the Aunty clan pestered him to take up a 9-to-5 job, Varun refused to budge and established himself as a successful entrepreneur.
The first thing I noticed about the book is its unusual style of writing. Varun doesn’t patronize or dole out gyan at the drop of a hat, but speaks to the reader like a buddy and carries on with his stories and struggles in this informal, chatty voice which instantly makes you feel at home. Varun gives us the whole story of how the idea of starting his own company came about, how he struggled and survived and of course there is a serving of Anu Aunty and the gang on the sides.There is the usual episodes of crushes, flirting, making out which typically happen in a boy’s life.
For a Bangalorean, this book is like a trip down the memory lane. With familiar phrases, hang outs and places, every Bangalorean will relive his/her college days through this book. Others do not despair because Varun helpfully explains the phrases and places so that non-Bangaloreans don’t feel left out.
The usual rules of writing style, character development do not apply to this book at all. This book is like reading someone’s diary and getting a glimpse into their life. While Varun narrates the story of how his company was born, he also makes it a point to give out some advice when he feels like. I particularly liked the one on website designing. As someone who sits on the other side of the table, I find Varun’s advice spot on: talk to the designer only when you have a clear idea of what you want.
This book is not a self-help book if you are planning to start your company. It’s like chatting with your friend over coffee and asking him to share how things went with his own firm. If you are expecting intellectual insights into becoming an entrepreneur, this book is not for you. If you are looking for an easy, relaxed read over a lazy afternoon, read this book and you won’t be disappointed.(less)