Review: When Indus Publishers announces a short story competition, it affects the lives of a jaded journalist, a bored housewife, a starry-eyed ambitious girl, an army colonel, an impoverished divorcee. They all enter the competition for pressing reasons of their own. They emerge with only slightly deeper pockets than they had but far richer in experience. How the lives of all these influence the stories they choose to write forms one part of the story and the other part is the stories these characters write. The contestants hail from Kerala to Goa and all other states of India. The fine distinction among the all these people from different parts of the country are brought out well by the author. I liked it very much that the book is packed with love letters, Whatsapp messages and flash fiction entangled with the main story. The language is simple and easy to understand yet sufficient with the flow of the story. Different fonts, sizes and italics created the difference between fictional stories and the real life stories. Few of the flash fiction stories such as Sepoy Govind were hard hitting, emotionally gripping and haunting. Equinox reads more as a slices-of-life rather than a story. As I read through I found nothing new, it all had similarities with earlier books I read and there was nothing to learn or make a point of. I read the first 50 pages very quickly and after that I had to slow down to remember the characters. It doesn’t have anything preachy; this is what I always look forward to. I don’t mind if the story line sounds familiar but all I don’t want is preachy stories. I would definitely recommend this book as a one time read.
I write a lot, which keeps me off the streets and out of trouble. There is always something to write about, always a new story to craft. Not writing, for me, is like trying to hold back a sneeze. Learning to write was the most powerful influence in my life. I can still remember the awe I felt when I realized I could put real words onto paper and tell out a story. From that first ‘a-ha’ moment I knew I wanted to write.
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