Book Review – Desert Plant: Micro Stories By Abhijit Ray
Title: Desert Plant: Micro Stories
Pages: 34 in PDF format
Download Link: Desert Plant: Micro Stories
Synopsis: Desert Plant is an extremely sturdy plant. Despite growing in a resource scant environment, this plant not only grows but also stays green. On top of that, anyone trying to chew a desert plant gets a bloody mouth.
Three characters in this book Desert Plant have seen harsh conditions in life and grown. Micro stories in this book deal with life events of Samsher, Shalini and O P Khurana.
Pros: This book is a collection of short stories that reflect human nature in all its vicissitudes. The chief characters in the stories are Samsher, Shalini and O P Khurana. Most of the stories are appealing and make very good reading. I really fell in love with two of the stories. These are ‘The Man Who Watched Trains’ and ‘The Wise Man’
I would like to quote this paragraph from ‘The Man Who Watched Trains’ that I really loved. Here it is.
“It is like watching life flowing by. Some fast trains move around like a busybody off to an important assignment. They whistle shrilly to announce that they are passing by. Almost expecting everyone to stand up and take a bow. Then there are other trains that are slow coaches.
Like a village vagabond, they stop at every station. As if to say hello, shake hands and exchange pleasantries. Sitting on my bench, I stare at faces of travelers. Happy faces of a couple going on a holiday, sad face of a kid going to boarding school, anxious face of a new bride leaving her home.”
The analogy between trains and life in general illustrates the author’s vivid and colorful imagination. The Wise Man is another story that appealed to me deeply. The author has demonstrated the human mind’s inability to cut the chains and go past its comfort zone in a very skillful manner in this story. Many of the other stories also grab the reader’s attention and make the book an interesting read.
Cons: There are a few points I would like to mention. The sentence construction is slightly off the mark in several places and needs to be addressed. Sometimes conjunctions are missing in the sentences. Some of the stories are a bit flat and need their edges sharpened a bit. The antagonism of characters between each other has to be brought out more subtly. For example when Khurana speaks to Samsher he starts of with ‘Ah! Sam, My junior trainee…’.
There may be people in real life who would be so blunt, but in a book it is better to show people’s antagonism more subtly. The story ‘The Village Idiot’ is very confusing and it is difficult to understand the climax. Another thing I would like to point out is, it would be better if the author steers clear of phrases like ‘Sheep move in a herd; lion hunts alone’. This is the kind of dialog one would hear in a Rajnikanth movie. At least in my opinion such dialogs are too trite to be made a part of a good book. Maybe the author feels differently. Another thing is, a more imaginative tale for demonstrating the eagle eye of a detective is in order.
Conclusion: I would definitely recommend this book. Though there is a need for some change it is definitely a very good read. I finished the book in one sitting today as I am alone at home.
Rating: I am going with a 4/5 for this book. Please do read it. It is very entertaining and will keep your interest alive throughout.
4 Very Good
This review has been written as part of the Blogchatter Book Review Program.