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Saturday, March 25, 2017

VSS 007 - Dirty Colors


Dirty Colors
 
Very Short Story (VSS) 007

 

 

Holi - festival of colors, laughter and playfulness.

Every year, I went out and painted the town in all possible colors. I sprinkled color on all my friends, neighbors, people from my society, friends at school and then later on, even at work.

Till the day, I was painted in the dirty color of bare lust by a random guy. He felt that Holi gave him privileged permission to grope women and rape them taking advantage of his own color smeared face.

Scarred for life, I haven’t played Holi since then.

And yes, he died that day. Deserved it.

 
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Quick Note: Very Short Stories are approx./max. 99 word stories that i am going to write through the year. These very short stories are part of my writing resolutions of 2017. My target is to write at least 50 VSS this year. Currently I am behind target :-| 
 

Thursday, March 23, 2017

VSS 006: Jump


Jump

Very Short Story (VSS) 06

  

Jump. Don’t hesitate now. Just end it.

My heart is beating fast. Faster than even the time when I first saw her.

Love filled my heart when I saw her but I knew she could never be mine.

But then we got to know each other and she was so nice to me. I am so sure she loves me. I definitely love her.

But then I told her and things changed. She left. Never again did i see her.

If only I could jump. Wheel chair bound for life - I can't even jump.

Sigh …




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Quick Note: Very Short Stories are approx./max. 99 word stories that i am going to write through the year. These very short stories are part of my writing resolutions of 2017. My target is to write at least 50 VSS this year. Currently I am behind target :-| 

Thursday, March 16, 2017

VSS 005: The Odd Couple


The Odd Couple
 

Very Short Story (VSS) 05

 

Yes. We are the odd couple.

 

I have known her since early college days and knew that she was the one for me. But I was the shy one and she was the extrovert bubbling with joy and energy. I could never even talk to her during college life.

 

Last year, during a business trip, I met her and she recognized me from college days. We had dinner together followed by drinks and then we talked through the night. Very next week, I met her parents.

 

She simply told her dad, “I love her” and we are together now.

 
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Quick Note: Very Short Stories are approx./max. 99 word stories that i am going to write through the year. These very short stories are part of my writing resolutions of 2017. My target is to write at least 50 VSS this year. Currently I am behind target :-|  

Friday, March 10, 2017

Book Review: All That Glitters by Liza Treviño





Book Title: All That Glitters - A Tale of Sex, Drugs and Hollywood Dreams

Author: Liza Treviño

Genre: Women’s Contemporary Fiction
Publisher: Koehler Books
Published Date: March 1, 2017



There are many books out there where the lure of Hollywood pulls a girl to the ultimate glamour destination where she arrives with dreams which are systematically shattered by the ugly truth. The girl may or may not get to taste success but she uncovers and lives the compromises while she becomes an actress. Sex, Lies, Drugs and a fake façade for a personality is what becomes of the character.

‘All That Glitters: A tale of Sex, Drugs and Hollywood Dreams’ promises all that directly through the title and doesn’t disappoint. Alex, our protagonist, along with Elly, her friend, encounter plenty of sex in the story. And that includes plenty of partners. Drugs are a part of story but they are just part of the scenery, hardly playing a role unlike sex which seems to drive the story forward in many places. And yes, our protagonist is not in for the glamour business to become an actress. Her dreams are behind the camera.

I lost count of how many men Alex has sex with. Sometimes out of attraction, sometimes just randomly for a one-night stand or to spite someone else. Personally, I found that very disturbing.

Alex comes out as a very strong character from the very start of the story. Incidentally, I was half way through the book on women’s day (8th March) and could relate to the strength of the character (but definitely not with her sex life).  But as the story moved into the last 25%, Alex seemed to have lost it. She becomes a sex slave to an obnoxious guy (whom she has earlier rejected … establishing her strength of character). She then becomes very successful.

At the end, I was wondering if the guy used the protagonist as his sex slave OR did she use him to become successful; compromising with his demands and becoming his sex slave willingly out of necessity rather than choice. The story does seem to show it as her choice which she questions herself.

There is no black or white or gold or yellow in the story. It is all a gray mess. It is extremely complicated. The characters are complicated (but pretty much real) and so are their thoughts and responses to situations. There is also a mess and mesh of relationships between the different characters and you have a tough time imagining how the other person would react.

It is a well written book. Easy to read, with a gentle flow albeit with a few surprises and climactic points.

But a book that is definitely difficult to rate. I don’t know whether I like the story or not. I don’t know whether I like Alex or not. I don’t know whether to sympathize with her or to hate/dislike her. All because I don’t understand Alex.

And that my friend is what is the absolute truth about Life.

People are not predictable. Not simple. They are complicated and they respond and behave in unpredictable ways. You prefer and like the predictable. The unpredictable can be fun but is not sustainable. You cant live with or like the unpredictability for long.

Liza Trevino has done a splendid job of capturing some sense of this unpredictability in her story.

I will leave a rating of 3/5 to this story – not because it is average. But because, I am not able to digest the character of Alex.

Book Review Courtesy: b00k r3vi3w Tours  Website * Facebook * Twitter

Monday, March 06, 2017

Book Review: The Measure of a Man: Stories of 2017 - February Edition by Sharath Komarraju



The Measure of a Man: Stories of 2017 - February Edition by Sharath Komarraju

An interesting set of stories with the core theme of Love … since it was the valentine Month 

What Sharath has accomplished in these 5 stories is bring out love in not only different ways but very untraditional ways. The stories are very different from the love stories you would normally read. Maybe this is the ‘new age love’ genre.

The first story - ‘A Coffee Date’ - is a very interesting ‘love’ story ... but is it really a love story? There is no love 'yet between the 2 characters – just an interest. They do not 'date' in the story (but the title stll holds). And surely there is no romance 'yet' – there is no ‘I love you’ proclamation or even feeling. This short story begins and ends ... before the love story has begun ... yet, this one is a sweet love story. Good One

The second story - ‘The Measure of Man’ - is a sweet love story where ‘all’s well that ends well’. Remember the old Bollywood movies where the rich girl’s father would mock the poor hero and he would go about earning riches and come back to claim his girl. This story takes on a different route. The father helps the guy become rich and the girl falls out of love. Sounds strange … right? But Sharath has woven a narrative that is believable and plausible. A nice little love story with a twist in the middle rather than at the end.

The third story - ‘Happy For You’ - is a ‘relationship’ story ... Yes, there is love and it is between the only 2 characters in the story but it is definitely not your usual love story. In some ways, it is not a story, it is not fiction. It sounds/seems very real. The exchanges are realistic. We live in an age where relationships have become complicated in the sense that you can’t describe or explain them. And they have become simple in the sense that they are not bound by rules and stereotypes and one can choose to move on as well as be bound at the same time (well .. that does make it complicated again haha). Especially, a very nice format to experiment with and a very relevant style since whatsapp / chat interactions have 'replaced' human interaction (in-person as well as direct-phone-conversation) to a significant extent. heck, people don’t even call to wish happy birthday now.

The fourth story – The other Man - is several things in a story. The way today’s youngster would look at a crush-story and the way it would be seen by their parents and grand-parents ... generation gap one may call it, getting real might call others. The story isn't really about the crush ... it’s about grandma's reality ... the reality that is locked and put on hold in time in the picture from ages ago. That’s her reality and she wouldn't want to change it. The story is about a man and his perception of his Dad ... and what happens when his perceptions are shattered or changed by a realistic reliable credible source like his Mom. How easy / difficult / complex it is to digest the change. Different Love it is.

The fifth story – Rendezvous - is a funny little story that is all about sex. But the story has no sex although there is sex in practically every page of the story, maybe even in every paragraph. Also, the story once again seems very very real. Maybe, somewhere along the story title, the author could have added 'True Story' or 'Based on True Events' :)

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

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