Thursday, 1 March 2012

Book Review: Urban Shots - CrossRoads

What you see every day, what you hear every day - at your home, city, office, train and your irresistibly flowing personal thoughts and feelings. Those mundane, yet notable events that systematically or illogically carry your day-to-day life are beautifully captured and sketched in the form of short stories, to captivate you. The first look of the book fascinates you with its classy black cover and not surprisingly, what appeals to the eyes unfailingly appeals to the mind. And that is Urban Shots – Crossroads, an anthology of thirty urban short stories, edited by bestselling author Ahmed Faiyaz.

I would wish that the readers themselves become immersed in the book as they flip the pages and get the complete feel of it. To just give a glimpse of the book, I shall express my thoughts over few of the stories I very much liked. The first in the list, ‘Everyone has a story’ is beyond doubt loveable. Ever pondered over the fact that every individual you meet in life has his/her own story? The author has well formulated her story providing an implicit insight on how at times we tend to think that everyone else’s lives are so smooth though somewhere deep inside us we know that crests and troughs prevail in the life of every creature in the world.

Next comes the story of ‘Hako’, to thrill you while portraying the tiniest of adventures, desires, expectations and thought patterns of cute little kids. In ‘Priorities’, a self-imposed landlord’s mindset of treating the life-threatening medical problems of his maid’s son as banal is clearly depicted, which will make you think over how every human is preoccupied with his own concerns. ‘The Crow’s Feast’ and ‘The Song of the Summer Bird’ take you to your childhood days, loading your heart with memories.

A few of the stories remind you of the plus and minus of family life, especially the plight of divorce, separation and single parenthood. ‘The PowerCut’ and ‘The Gap’ nudge you to mentally rewind and visualize those experiences that you have personally had or heard. The feel of insecurity of a protective single mother and how the iceberg between her and her adolescent daughter is broken as she mulls over her estranged husband are very well instigated in the latter. ‘Look How Far We Have Come’ is another story of separated parents having true concern over their son and how the generation of today learns so quickly to accept the reality.

Pity’ is an amazing story which I would rate top. The stream of sentiments as a man who had been in love observes a much-in-love youth pair is excellently brought up and in addition to that, the story ends funnily. A sense of loneliness and the instability that hits an old man, a widower who had been loyal to his wife all along his life and how he tries to come out of them are well illustrated in ‘Pasta Lane’. As you finish this story, you have the twisty ‘Mind Games’, more of a cinematic one. ‘Virtual Reality’ typically illustrates the difficulties of a working woman struggling to safeguard her daughter from the social networking pressures that have been continually mounting.

And the list goes on... The choice of intricate vocabulary by various authors and the different styles of writing and of course, the stories as such keep you completely engaged and enthralled, never letting you drop the book down until you finish it. Go ahead and read it for a new reading experience. In short, give Urban Shots, a shot!

[This review is a part of the Book Reviews Program at Participate now to get free books!]

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