Urban Shots, a compilation of 29 stories written by 21 writers. The writers are varied, a mix of popular writers such as Paritosh Uttam, R. Chandrashekar, Malathi Jaikumar, Ahmed Faiyaz and a number of popular bloggers and debutante writers.
Please don’t plunge in to the book right away. Read the foreword. It’s important because, in that Naman Saraiya tells us to give breathing space in between stories. It is important because each story makes you think and it is important to grasp in fully before you move on to the next intriguing one. Each story leaves you wondering, some of them ends abruptly. Some of the stories might need another read.
My top five picks out of the 21 stories would be
- Father of my son – Roshan Radhakrishnan
- Amul – Arvind Chandrasekhar
- The Pig in a Poke – Mydhili Varma
- Jo Dikhta Hai, Who Bikta Hai – Sneh Thakur
- Hot Pants – Arefa Tehsin
Most of the stories make for a breezy and fun read. All the stories has characters that you meet in everyday life, urban settings that you cope up with every day, situations that you might yourself have been in at times.
The book has an easy narrative, but the plot of each story is different with a dose of surprise which makes it a delight to read.
Read it story by story, line by line. Take in the characters, story and the end.
Amul, the first story in the book leaves you misty eyed. Amul is a story about a mathematics loving kid who has lost her mother. She narrates her everyday life and the climax is sure to make you feel depressed.
Silk is a wonderful story of a con man who buys expensive gifts for married women. The story ends by asking the reader ‘Have you ever felt like Silk?’ Now try answering that.
Across the Seas is a lovely story of a loving mother who misses her son working abroad.
Albama to Wyoming, written by Paritosh Uttam makes you feel dejected. The story is about a Indian Kid who can name every American City and in Alphabetical Order.
Double Mixed is a story about extra marital affairs with a rather amusing finish.
Good Morning Nikhil is the story that makes you go awwww.
Maami Menace is a cute story in its way. It’s about a maami who has the cure for every ailment on earth.
The Peacock Cut is about a sportsman with a peacock cut. There is not much you can take away from this one. I read it twice (because I could not make anything of it) and didn’t quite enjoy it.
Father of my Son is easily the best story. The timing of the humor in the story is perfect and leaves you laughing loud.
The Bengal Tigress is a rather dull story and seems like filler.
P.K. Koshy’s Daily Routine is an amazing story about a retiree. This one both makes you laugh and sad.
Mr. Perriera is that story that you would have happened in your neighborhood. The characterization is brilliant and deserves a mention.
The Wall is a story about a banker undergoing mid life crisis. It basically asks you if you ve hit the wall!
Jo Dikhta Hai who Bikta hai has that kind of a setting that could have happened to you. Lovely story with a lot of hope.
Then interview is a Bollywood story and offers very little. Paisley Printed Memories is a beautiful story on someone suffering from Alzheimer’s disease and Heaven and Hell is about a philosophical Mehendiwalla who brings you to reality. Cats and Sponges is an out and out corporate story, one which you will thoroughly enjoy reading.
You Eternal Beauty is set in Kolkata and delves deep in to the richness of the city. The Window Seat is our everyday story, a situation that you may come across when you take a bus, cab, train, flight.
It’s all good is again in a corporate setting and makes you wonder about how unpredictable life really is.
The Pig In a Poke is a cute email exchange between a teenage kid and a conman. Ready, Jet Set Go is a story on a to be publisher and puts a smile on your face. Things that could happen in a park is well about things that could happen in a park.
Hot Masala is surreal. Set in a park and the story really gives you an insight on how people behave in different circumstances. The Rain Coat makes you feel sad but there is hope at the end of it. The weeping girl is about how a girl steals phones! Hot Pants is that thing which could happen when you walk home from the station, late in the night. But this one makes you laugh!