These days it’s tough for an anthology or the book with short stories to match with the count of audience that a full-fledged novel is able to attract. But if an anthology is good, it gets taker as much as a bestselling novel gets. I just completed reading the 3rd book written by Anuradha Prasad named “Rain Drops and Caterpillars” which is a compilation of six short stories. The first 2 books were full-fledged stories by the authoress but this time she chose to showcase her skills in writing strong and powerful short stories and let me tell you, she manages to impress her readers as much as she did it with her one-story books.
Author has kept name of each story on an action or emotion dealt by a human being and every story justifies its respective title. Each story even after being short of around 30-50 pages each makes you feel that you have read a complete book in the end of every story. The characters are developed very neatly as you can relate with most of them even when author had less time to talk about their background and make them familiar to you. The best part is that along with the movement of the story, the characters are developed which doesn’t stretch the story for this reason as many authors end up developing characters only for some time before introducing us to the theme of the story.
Author has talked about so many things through her stories that even after having quite social topics in few of them, you won’t find them preachy even for once. The topic varies from parents supporting a deaf child with all the possible love – to - a homosexual person searching and finding acceptance for himself in the society – to - a housewife facing physical abuse in one marriage to verbal abuse in second - to - the relationship between human beings and dogs – to - a widow of an Army officer trying to move on the same steps - to - a man fighting the trauma of realizing that he has been fooled by someone in love and left alone to fight with his loneliness in a lone country.
Author has tried very well to put up the compilation of the stories such that you don’t find any two stories sound or based on the similar concept or background. The way author narrates each story in a slow pace makes you raise your brows initially as to how will the story bring twists and turns within the span of 30-40 pages but still, author manages to bring varieties in each story. The end of every story is appropriate except the one which is based on verbal abuse as it ends suddenly without the masala climax that the reader was expecting throughout. My personal favourite has been the last story as its emotions are too intense and passionate. The way the story ends also gives the book a befitting ending.
Talking about the drawbacks, I felt author ended up describing few places in the story so much that you want to skip those segments and move to the next paragraph. The conversations that are handled between characters are not exactly how people communicate which makes some parts look artificial. The stories could have been edited well with more twists and turns rather than over description of emotions – the way it has been done with the chapter on human-animal love. Overall, the book is a nice light read which you can read while traveling or before sleeping or gift to your loved ones on special occasions as the cover page of the book is also very beautiful and attractive. Just as I scored the author 3.75* out of 5 each for her last two books, this one also gets the same rating. After Novoneel Chakraborty, Anuradha Prasad is the only author whom I have found consistent with each book. I am again waiting for Anuradha’s full-fledged novel again.
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