When different styles of writing come together in an anthology of short stories, the overall impression left on the reader varies. Some might impress more than others, probably. First Brush on the Canvas is an anthology that goes one step further and brings three genres as well as short stories in each genre.
From the five stories that are make up this genre in the book, the two that stand out for me are Sujata Parashar’s Watermelon: Cut and Dried, and Uttiya Roy’s An Adoption. The former brings kind of a banter between a (soon-to-be) couple, brought together by an arranged marriage proposal when the two can’t seem to stand each other. The latter takes a new direction and brings forward the love of a gay couple trying to adopt a child without much success, and how they’re helped in that cause by someone totally unexpected.
From the three in this category, I’d pick Godliness by Abhishek Mukherjee as the standout. The character in this story kind of reminded me of Monica from FRIENDS but with a higher level of OCD. Writer’s Block by Avishek Mallick was also nice, in a poetic justice kind of way.
Tina, by Diptee Raut, stands out as memorable from this section. The story about how a promise is taken literally and everything done to keep that and the memories of the promise too, it made the story interesting. Another which stands out for a different reason is The Murder, by Arunav Choudhary, which brings the characters from the Mahabharata into modern times and plays on that. The curiosity to know what happens made the pages turn. And the ending was a surprise.
All the stories are interesting, but I am not quite sure whether the categorization works. Not all the stories in the romance section were romantic. They had aspects of romance, or a possible romance, but I wouldn’t classify them as a romance story. Similarly, with comedy, there is a factor that brings a laugh, but it isn’t laced through the stories. And the thriller stories don’t hold keep me engaged from start to end with the tone of narration. Had there not been classification into genres, perhaps that might not have been noticed.
I liked the cover, though I wish it popped out more, to grab the attention of the readers. The editing of the stories is quite nicely done, and if there are typos, it doesn’t hamper the read. A one-time read that may be good company for a short journey.
|Title: First Brush on the Canvas|
|Editor: Priyanka Roy Banerjee||Genre: Anthology|
|ISBN/ASIN: 9789384315061||Publisher: Half Baked Beans|
(© 25th December 2015)