Giving words to lives
Rita S Mathur has a knack for putting relationships under a magnifying glass. Be it between two hostel mates (‘The Angelus At Dusk’), five roomies in the capital (‘Delhi Girls’), a woman and her relatives-in-law (‘Anita’s Wedding’) or between a man and his wife (‘Night in Kullu’).
The 16 stories in this collection lend voices to young women from different parts of the country and Canada (where the author’s settled), who at times reminisce and think aloud. Should make for a refreshing read on a long journey.
The adventure begins
If till now you swore by JK Rowling, Daniel Handler, CS Lewis and JRR Tolkein, it’s time to add John Stephens to the list. In his debut attempt, and in the first part of the trilogy, Stephens narrates the story of three young siblings who, while hopping between orphanages, stumble upon a ‘magic’ book that changes their lives for good.
They fight demons, time travel and even bump into hidden realms. The crisp-as-a-potato-chip writing style helps it to surpass the ‘children’s book’ genre. And we’re not complaining.
A guide that misguides
Do not be fooled by its ambitious title. An Indian in Cowboy Country is no rollicking adventure. It is rather a blow-by-blow account of how protagonist Satish Sharma, an IIT graduate and a staunch devotee of Shirdi’s Sai Baba, lands up in Houston, Texas, and tackles challenges in his personal and professional life.
Dealing with the two essential components of the Indian middle class dream — IIT and the US — this is more valuable as a well-written guide rather than fiction.