In a time when the call for women’s empowerment is finding a real voice, the written word doesn’t seem to want to fall behind. I am someone who believes a story can make a difference if it is written well and aimed correctly to tell what is much needed. This book, Her Story, is an anthology of short stories that aim to make that difference. Stories related to matters that actually happen, like gender bias or backstabbing, objectification etc. written by different authors selected from an all-India contest. It sounded interesting. I like it when a book appeals to my muse immediately. It is a positive vibe and most of the time, that brings a wonderful book into my collection. I liked each story and the intent behind the collection as a whole, so am not pointing out least favorite stories, but three of the stories which appealed most to me.
1. A Daunting Journey Indeed, by Neelam Saxena Chandra: What I liked in this story is that the protagonist doesn’t bend to the will of the “babu” no matter what. And does what she can to take him to task too. Even when that possibly becomes a hurdle to her good life, she is determined. I liked that strength. What I would have loved to see was something like an epilogue. What happens to her a few years later, how she’s doing well where she is. That’d have been even more inspiring.
2. A Letter to the World, by Khushi Gupta: This story needs to be read to see that even a situation from which there seems no escape does have one if you believe. And it feels real. I don’t want to believe that it can be real, but even these days, it is. The daring escape of the protagonist and her belief felt nice. What could have made the story even better is a little more length into the mindset of the protagonist. I know that that is not an easy thing to write, but here, it felt hurried through.
3. The Beginning, by Vivek Banerjee: I liked this because it isn’t about a protagonist rising up from a sad state to reclaim her life. Rather, it’s about the nervousness that the protagonist, a doctor, goes through when handling the situation on her own for the first time, and how she comes out on top. And how the next time it happens, she’s surer of herself than before. Perhaps, this is my favorite story from the lot.
I would also like to mention the poems in the title story, which were nice. And the cover design which felt like one trying to break the shackles that bind them to darkness.
Some stories could have been edited better, I feel. The grammar/language felt odd in places. Also, in the hope that a second edition of this book will come out, I would also suggest that Neelam Saxena Chandra’s stories could be spread through the book than put at one go. That way, the styles, which differ with each story, can be seen more prominently. The author profiles could be put at the end of the book to aid this change.
These are, in my humble opinion, stories that need to see the light. So I hope the book does well.
|Title: Her Story|
Neelam Saxena Chandra
|ISBN/ASIN: 9788192982700||Publisher: Petals Publishers|
|No. of Pages: 272||Price: 195|
(© 16th April 2015)