I do not think I have ever met a person who doesn’t love short stories. They are the perfect kind of entertainment for everyone. Those who love to read lap these up like the moviegoer does popcorn. The occasional reader wanders along and falls head first into this abyss. It is perfect for the non-reader as well for they can be with it for the shortest time possible. Short stories are necessary to develop a good reading habit.
Once upon a time, I too fell in love with a short story. I was already an avid reader and short stories had their charm. Then I encountered Kamala Das‘s Neypayasam. Let me just say I cried and cried like there was no end to my heartbreak. I did read the original Malayalam version and later when I read the English translation, I was perhaps not as moved. Translations are a double-edged sword that way. It is nothing short of a miracle when it comes to retaining the original story with all its emotions and feelings intact. Neelesh Misra‘s Storywallah has somehow managed to accomplish it.
Storywallah is a collection of short stories. Twenty little tales packed into one book. This book is the translated version of stories by those involved with Mandali. (Mandali is a great initiative, you can read about it here). I am not going to get into each story since there are too many. But it is very difficult to pick a favourite. Storywallah ensures that its pages have hope and despair, love and heartbreak, lighthearted humour and absolutely bleak sadness. Again, I must mention how the translation into English has not taken away the depth of these emotions.
Love, for all its complexities, is a really simple emotion. It comes in different shapes and sizes, it sometimes crushes us or becomes the driving force. There is one version of love in every story in Storywallah. Be it a distraught father looking for his long-lost daughter, or a mother-in-law trying to bond with her son’s wife. And somehow all of the authors manage to make the reader fall in love with their tales in those few pages. I had, at one point turned a page and was frustrated because the story had come to an end. Good stories do that you.
Storywallah is a book that is an absolute delight to read, with great little stories from talented writers. I would definitely recommend it.
You can find a copy of Storywallah here – Amazon, Flipkart, Kobo
My rating: 4 of 5 stars