GENRE: Fiction – Short Stories
Reading a book is always a life altering experience. Some books have this capability to end up changing the way you process your thoughts. This book was one such experience for me.
The book has 12 short stories based on incidents of acts against humanity. Each story typically has a map pointing the geographical location where which the story is set. These are probably place that we can’t really identify. Each story is also accompanied by a short note which has links about the actual incident that it is based on. These incidents have simply faded out over the period of time lost or lost as noise that is telecasted or printed in the name of “news”. How many of us can really even recollect listening or reading about the atrocious Rwandan genocide or Srebrenica Massacre? Even if we do read toned down reports of such inhumane acts, do we imagine what it really would be like to be caught in total turmoil? But by imagining or reading about inhumane acts like genocide or Bachha Baazi or prostitution, can lost lives and live hood be regained? Or can lost innocence be recovered? This book answers these questions in a very subtle but effective manner.
The book has been very aptly titled and cover of the book justifies the story. Though the incidents are different the stories ultimately conveyed just one emotion – pain. Pain of separation due to death, pain of losing your home, pain of losing your innocence – it’s just pain all the way. This made the stories a tad predictable. Though the writer employed parallel narration, it sort of ended up being a bit ineffective thanks to the totally predictable outcome. The writer isn’t obviously to be blamed for predictable outcomes, it’s just us humans who have become predictable with violence.
MY SAY: An intense read. Not for the weak hearted.
BOREDOM QUOTIENT: 2/10 (Lower the better)
OVERALL RATING: 10/10
NOTE: The overall rating for this book is in conflict with the average rating that I normally use. This is totally justified as the stories made me realize I’m more than lucky to have a roof over my head and constant supply of meals three times a day. The Kite Runner made me realize I’m lucky for what I am today, this book reinforced it.