Sunday, 30 November 2014

Her Story - Is not always a story...

  • Book: Her Story - Is not always a story...
  • Author(s): Neelam Saxena Chandra, Ayan Pal, Nehali Lalwani, Siddhartha Yadav, Bhavya Kaushik, Shruti Fatehpuria, Warishree Pant, Rochak Bhatnagar, Renuka Vishwanathan, Ruchi Chopra, Megha Sumant Sharma, Vivek Banerjee, Paulami Duttagupta, Rafaa Dalvi, Khushi Gupta, Priyanshu Saxena, Snigdha Gharami, Ruchhita Kazaria, Smriti Mahale, Subhasis Das, Amrit Sinha and Surbhi Thukral. 
  • Publication House: Petals Publishers.
  • Category: Fiction/Short Stories.
  • Rating: 4/5.
In my view:

1)A) A Daunting Journey Indeed by Neelam Saxena Chandra.
People with cheap and conservative mind-set think that widowers are objects to be used. But females aren’t weak to bear the nonsense. This story is about a brave woman who boldly deals with a corrupt official. The concept is good but the conclusion is fragile. A bit of extension could have made it a perfect one. 

B) We Shall Overcome Someday by Neelam Saxena Chandra.
Male chauvinists love to trample females and degrade them, despite their skills and talents. The modern day women are strong, determined and competitive; but some males cannot stop themselves from thinking about something really stupid.  This story is about a female worker and her terrible boss. It is a perfectly written tale which successfully holds attention. 

C) The Feeble Voice by Neelam Saxena Chandra.
A married woman has lots and lots of responsibilities. And if the woman simultaneously works, then the responsibilities get multiplied. Even women are human beings and need assistance from the other family members. Pushing responsibilities over to women is easy but one needs to take care of their health too. This one brings to picture a story of a married woman and highlights the manner in which she deals everything – eventually making her family members realize their roles in the family. It’s a hooking tale with wonderful narration. 

D) The Solitude of Life’s Eve by Neelam Saxena Chandra.
Not every man is the same. At a time when there are chauvinists and misogynists, there are also those who genuinely care and respect females. This story brings to light the struggling life of a woman and the helpful role that a known man plays during the distressful phase of her life. It’s a fascinating story indeed. 

E) The Chain of Love by Neelam Saxena Chandra.
Life is indeed funny and we often fail to understand it. While experiencing different phases of life, we get to learn so many things, and most importantly – we come across so many caring people who occupy a vital position in our life. The protagonist of this story is from Kanpur and gets a bank posting in Mumbai. Its a stimulating tale with slight humour instilled in it. 

2) The Beginning by Vivek Banerjee.
Women today are capable of dissolving the increasing fear and handling any different situation with utmost intelligence. This one is a really sweet and lovely story of a Junior Resident Doctor’s first experience of a difficult case. An absolutely intriguing story that it is, it will amaze and win hearts of readers quickly. 

Note: The Third and Fourth chapter could not be read and reviewed as there are some problems in page arrangement and one page is missing. 

5) Is Anybody Listening by Ruchhita Kazaria.
Women in corporate world face several hardships. They still try to adjust with the busy and highly standardized schedules set-up by their companies. This story too, is of a woman in a metropolitan city, trying to accustom with the corporate world. A dull story that it is, it fails to entertain readers by delivering nothing new. 

6) Hand that Rocks the Cradle by Paulami Duttagupta.
Women can make supreme sacrifices. They can easily sense emotions and know how to handle situations. The protagonist of this story does a lot for the kids of her employer. She tunes in with them so much that when their mother leaves them, she take up their responsibility. The story is really different from the others and is wonderfully penned. It touches heart directly and charms readers! Wonderful story, Paulami! 

7) Parallel World by Megha Sumant Sharma.
The joy of becoming a mother is difficult to express. The emotions of a mother, on getting the news of her pregnancy, are difficult to be articulated. This one is a story of joy and emotions of a one such to-be-mother. The story begins interestingly and proceeds well. But the charm begins to deteriorate towards the end, and eventually it concludes unsuitably. 

8) Predators by Renuka Vishwanathan.
We’ve heard about harassment of females at workplace. Even today there exist some offices which do not have a cell to deal with the cases of harassment. The protagonist of this story faces something similar at her workplace. But will she be able to get justice? What will be her next course of action? This is what you need to find out from the book. The narration of the story is fascinating. Also, the manner in which the author has dealt with the story is brilliant. 

9) Endgame by Rafaa Dalvi.
Some think that it is easy to trick and use women, as and when they wish to. But little do they know the consequences of such imprudent demands. The story conveys the same. An enthralling story that it is, it completely holds attention till the end. The author’s writing style is captivating! 

10) Arundhati by Ayan Pal.
For every mother, happiness of her child stands before anything else. The mother-child relationship is such that a mother is able to make out exactly what her child thinks, wants and aspires. The story that Ayan Pal has written has truly, truly won my heart. For an already well-narrated story, the concept and message proves to be a cherry on the cake. 

11) What!!! By Subhasis Das.
Teaching someone gives immense pleasure. Our maids play a vital role in our families. They do all the household tasks assigned to them. How if we extend a helping hand to them in a way or another? Through this story, the author gives out a good message to his readers. But the narration is extremely lackadaisical and I think the author could have framed the story in a better manner. Also, it deserved a better title. 

12) A Letter to the world by Khushi Gupta.
A girl child, in a conservative family, is always traumatized and treated low. They are often not considered as a part of the family. Machos want to get rid of them. This one is a crestfallen tale of a girl who gets a terrible gift on her 11th birthday. The story begins and ends flawlessly. Moreover it holds readers attention perfectly. 

13) Barren Oasis by Smriti Mahale.
A child’s entry into the world brings happiness on the faces of parents, relatives and doctors (who conduct the child birth). This is the tale of a known gynaecologist who is not able to conceive. It’s the tale of the happiness that embraces her after every child birth. It’s a beautiful and lovable tale!

14) Trigonometry of Codes by Snigdha Gharami.
A sister is as fond of her brother, as a mother is of her son. The brother-sister and mother-son relation is momentous. The trauma of losing any one is completely terrific. Snigdha Gharami’s story signifies the same. The title of the story sets high expectations which the story unfortunately, fails to deliver. To be frank, this is the calamitous story in the book. So many grammatical errors and apathetic storyline makes it all the more boring. 

15) Her Mistake by Surbhi Thukral.
Husbands, because of their hectic working schedules, are frequently unable to shell out quality time for their wives. Wives on the other hand feel lonely at home. This is a story of a lady who thinks of working, to spare away from loneliness. Mind you, this isn’t like any other story. The concept is unique and the narrating style is pretty amazing.

16) Let her die by Priyanshu Saxena.
This is another extraordinary story. Miles away from others, this one targets an important topic. The story is based on a real incident and references have been taken from real cases. The narrative as well as narration is interesting. 

17) Beyond the Shadow Realm by Warishree Pant.
Today’s women are capable for precisely and perfectly handling everything. Then let it be household chores, or office tasks. And those who never think of them apart from their pretty faces get a firm answer some time or the other. Warishree Pant’s story indicates the same. It suggests men to not consider women as incapable of anything. Its a fantastic and motivating story! 

18) Au Revoir by Amrit Sinha.
There are a few atrocious incidents which get noticed while many others are not. There are many crucial stories, which are important to be highlighted, but are put up in tiny spaces. Amrit Sinha, through this story, makes effort to narrate a one such incident. He has well narrated the narrative which has enough capability to hold readers attention. 

19) Griha Lakshami by Nehali Lalwani and Siddarth Yadav.
We have many educated men who force their wives for an abortion because the baby is a girl. This story is about an educated person who asks his wife for an abortion, just because his mother demands so. Ironically, the man is a doctor. Although the story contains a message for protection of girl children, I personally did not like the comparison made between abortion and dismantling things in the doctors life. The comparison is a bit conservative though the message is really good. 

20) Her Story by Ruchi Chopra.
The anthology comes to a conclusion with this title story of a girl who faces the patriarchal society. The story highlights the manner in which she is treated differently than boys. And despite having grown in such a reserved family, it is wonderful to know that her thoughts are so modern and developed. This story brings a pleasing conclusion to the anthology. 

Over years, females have been treated to injustice by misogynists, chauvinists and machos. Dispite of strengthened laws and awareness drives things have not changed completely. But for sure, the scenario is changing slowly. At a time when women empowerment and equality is given so much importance, such anthologies play a vital role in highlighting crucial things and bringing them into picture. Her Story is thus a magnificent attempt with some really first class stories. 

The cover of the book will certainly drag eyeballs. The title is amazing. Further in, the foreword of the book is written by two great and highly respected ladies – Anandiben Patel, the Gujarat CM and Social Activist Sairah Shah Halim. Some stories in the book are worth complementing. Stories like 1stB, 1stC, 1stE, 2nd, 6th, 8th, 10th, 13th, 17th and 20th really deserve applauds for their brilliance and perfectness. 

On the other hand stories such as 5th, 7th, 11th, and especially 14th, need thorough deliberation. Besides, there are many grammatical errors in the book. I wonder whether the book was edited and proofread. If these flaws were corrected then the book would have been extremely wonderful. 

Nonetheless, it really has some valuable stories, which I feel readers must go through, and hence I am asking my readers to give it a shot. 

Concluding the review and considering everything, I am rating the book with 4/5. Congratulations and good luck to every author who has contributed to this anthology. I hope each and every one continues writing and bringing us amazing tales. :-)

NOTE: A review copy of the book was provided by Ms. Nehali Lalwani.


Rafaa Dalvi said...

Thank you for taking the time out of your schedule to write such a detailed review. Appreciate it :)

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