Quillr

Quillr, The World’s coziest home for Short Books, has some amazing short stories put up. Quillr is the place to go to if you want to find a fabulous short read with great content and language. I read seven of them.  And as usual, Quillr didn’t disappoint.

I read seven short stories and here are the reviews for each of them. I have written my review followed by the blurb and a little note about the author. Although I enjoyed all the stories I read, I must add that Murakami in the Woods is my favourite of the lot. The Singhurd Saga comes a close second.

I decided to keep all the reviews in one post because I didn’t want to give too much away (it being a short story already) and also because some of these stories have to be read and savoured – the kind that a review doesn’t do any justice to.

I hope you do read these and enjoy!

Denial by Akhil Kakkar

A short story by Akhil Kakkar, Denial is an absorbing read.

Denial is about a man and a woman. A construction worker and a banker. He, a Punjabi, who falls in love with a sophisticated classy lady. She, a senior investment banker, whose world came down around her ears.

How does one deal with loss? The loss of a high-paying job or the loss of the love of one’s life. The answer varies from person to person. And that is what Akhil Kakkar shows us in this tale. Denial exposes the raw emotions that course through our veins. Impulsiveness, desperation, hope, despair… all of it are featured.

Brilliantly written, Denial goes from an impulsive romance and descends into the dark depths of despair and hopelessness. And all that in just a few paragraphs.

Denial is a well-written piece of fiction that lingers in your mind with its pace, good writing and exacting detail.

I love her curly hair, the kind of curly hair that gets straightened periodically at the hairdressers. The intentionally-messed-up-hair look. She is in expensive attire: a business suit with a very short skirt and an unbuttoned shirt. She is in the queue next to the one I’m in at the McDonald’s in Uxbridge High Street. We reach the parallel order-counters in synchronisation. She smells of expensive perfume…
Akhil Kakkar is a Mumbai-based writer and content marketer. He has an M.A. in Creative Writing from Brunel University, London, where his dissertation tutor was Booker-longlisted author Matt Thorne. He has also attended the ‘Time to Write’ course at the University of Cambridge twice, and has been mentored by renowned Indian author Anita Nair. His work has been published in Bangalore Mirror, Scroll, The Criterion, Voices From The Attic, Open Road Review and The Madras Mag.

 

The Singhurd Saga by  Leif Indisksen

I enjoyed reading The Singhurd Saga a lot. It began as a great fun read, and then threw a twist that I didn’t see coming. Fabulous!

The Singhurd Saga is a tale of a man – sometimes he is all of us. The routine of life and those instances where we imagine ourselves in our superhero/princess/diva avatars are reflected in the tale. Then again, maybe The Singhurd Saga is a bit more intense than all that.

A fabulously written story that captures the chaos, the majesty and the triviality that is life.

“He begins to say his name to himself, an exercise to help him differentiate from the Viking he was in some other life, and the Viking he is in this day and age, in urban India. But how does it help when one is named Sigurd? “
Leif Indisksen is a writer and editor with a masters degree in English Literature.

 

Once Upon a Love Story by Vedanarayanan Vedantham

Stranger things have happened. Once upon a Love Story is a romance that also becomes a paranormal thriller.

The language is crisp, and the story itself is short and sweet. But perhaps, we knew the end that was coming.

“The Mumbai killer snake strikes again. This time the victim is a primary school teacher from the Little Angels school in Worli. This is the seventh victim in the last twelve months. There are curious fang marks on the necks of each of the victims and the police are clueless…”

About the Author: Vedanarayanan, aka Veda moonlights as a creative writer who specializes in fictional short stories based in India’s metros. His alter ego is that of a marketing leadership professional. A Karate brown belt, he has a passion for martial arts and physical fitness. He also happens to be a more than average singer and a less than average player of the flute.

 

When it rains by Sruti Sagaram

Beautiful! There is love, loss, friendship and finally calm. When it rains is fast paced and carries you along with it. Delightful read.

When it Rains is the story of Shyam and how life has shaped him. Going through life’s struggles even as a young boy, he is hardened. Love and friendship make him look forward to life, only to shatter his happiness once again. But, there is always something that is capable of cracking the walls that one builds around the heart.

Shyam has always been a cynic, and life has always reinforced his opinions. Will he ever have a chance at happiness?
Sruti Sagaram
A technical writer who dreams about fantasy fiction, Sruti dabbled with poetry and now writes about love and other things she doesn’t understand. She was a part of the 4th season of Anita’s Attic.

 

Running by Anitha Murthy

Running is a poignant tale. An insight into the world that many of us know exists, yet ignore. A day in the life of a boy; a day that, perhaps, sets the tone forever.

Running is the tale of Krishna, and how his world is around him. Krishna’s choices show us that ultimately it is us and our beliefs that pave the path ahead for us.

Krishna’s story is brilliantly framed in clear and concise writing that showcases his life to its best.

I have ambiguous feelings about Manja that I’ve been careful to hide, but he has no qualms about proclaiming that we are the best of friends to anyone who cares to listen. It’s true, we’ve been together ever since I can remember. From heading off every morning together to the railway track to shit to scrounging around rubbish for some plastic we could sell and buy ourselves hot omelettes, from diving and splashing in the scummy pond during monsoons to filching a couple of beedis from the corner shop – we’ve been through it all.
‘Running’, by Anitha Murthy, is the story of a boy, Krishna, and what he knows best.

 

The Letter by Shreya Dasgupta

There is joy in writing love letters; there is even greater joy in reading a love letter. And then there is that ecstasy of going back and reading these letters again and again. They are like old wine that gets better with age. The author has captured that emotion very well and has given us a marvellous read.

Even when it is your granddaughter reading yours. Frayed and yellowed with age, with a life of its own spreading the joy with every read.

Rohini finally manages to read the secret love letter. But is it really a secret?
Shreya writes on science and the environment. She has previously published articles in BBC Earth, Smithsonian and New Scientist among other publications.

 

Murakami in the woods by Harshad Karmalkar

I  wish I could write all that I want to about Murakami in the Woods. But I shan’t. Murakami in the Woods is by far my favourite of this lot of short stories, and you should definitely give it a read.

In that instant, you are not just smoking a cigarette, you are smoking a tiny piece of universe along with it. I had quit smoking countless times before, but every year I went back to it in June. It was my annual ritual to quit in March, when Murakami had her birthday, a gift of sorts…
Harshad is a comic book creator and author based out of Bengaluru.
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