Friday, February 24, 2012

Down the Road - Book Review

Down the Road, a collection of 28 stories by 16 authors is a candid shot of campus trials & tribulations meant to evoke nostalgic moments. Does it manage to do that- yes, many stories had me sporting a bevy of expressions and transported me back to the good ol' school/college days. The stories cover a gamut of emotions ranging from the first crush to first kiss, making friends, spinning trouble & getting caught , falling in love, teacher/professor worship, bunking classes, ragging, bidding adieu and is sure to touch more than a chord or two !

The book has both seasoned as well as first-time writers exploring their choice of topic with innate sensitivity & subtle sense of humour.Edited by Ahmed Faiyaz & Rohini Kejriwal, the book divided in to 5 sections. Attendance is compulsoryFestivals, Elections & placements, Lights Out,Looking Back , Essays are the broad section heads under which the various facets of campus is essayed.

The editors have contributed 8 & 2 stories respectively and the other authors who have graced the pages with 2 stories each are Ira Trivedi,Paritosh Uttam,Sneh Thakur & Malathi Jaikumar. The remaining 10 are contributed by Aashish Mehrotra, Naman Sariya,Vibha Batra,Sahil Khan,Sonia Sarfi,Aseem Rastogi,Prateek Gupta,Ranjani Iyer,Chinmayi Bali, & Kunal Dhabalia.

While a few stories were quick & easy reads with a not-so compelling take on it, a many of them definitely made me to stop, think & chew - the review will not be complete without listing my favorites:-
  • Soroicide by Paritosh Uttam - Delving deep in to human nature, the story stayed with me for a long time.
  • The Music Room by Ira Trivedi - With heart tugging emotions, the tale is all about the bitter love story between a student & his music teacher.
  • Learning and Unlearning by Rohini Kejriwal  - Written with spot on sensitivity & tenderness, the story is a cherished read 
  • Bellow Yellow by Chinmayi Bali -  The story handles dark emotions with a surprising delicateness 
  • An Accidental Start by Kunal Dhabalia  - Loved the subtle humour & the fine writing by the author.
  • Setting by Ahmed Faiyaz - Nice read; made me wonder how the protagonist will behave hence forth
The final segment of essays has Sonia Sarfi & Aseem Rastogi commenting on the Indian writer's new found love for their take on campus life as well as the depiction of the same by the Mumbai film industry over the years.

A quick note on the authors- an eclectic bunch, the tale-spinners have woven a multitude of emotions in a variety of narrating techniques. Kudos to all !

Final Word :- The book published by Grey Oak & priced at INR 195/-  is refreshing, warm & exciting. A good addition to my ever-expanding book-shelf.

This review is part of the Book Review Program at  Blogadda. Participate now to get free books!

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