Aerogrammes And Other Stories

16 10 2012

Aerogrammes And Other Stories


Tania James

(Review by Karthik Keramalu)

Lion and Panther in London: The plot is of two brothers struggling to find wrestlers in London. And when they do find the right opponents, harsh tongues do the wagging. Honesty is degraded and deflated. Imam and Gama’s innocence is juiced by Mr. Benjamin.

What to Do with Henry:  Lyrics swallowing the unusual friendship between Neneh and Henry. Animals surrender to your love than to your cane. Pearl, a white woman adopts the chimp. He likes to be with blondes. Unfortunately, things take a wrong turn and Henry lands up in a zoo. The bereft chimp, Henry, goes berserk on her ‘sister’ Neneh after failing to recognise her, many years later.

The unfamiliarity breathes through the pores of the warm family in The Gulf. The stupor views playing between the mother and the father of the daughter are benevolent. The daughter’s inquisitiveness in wanting to listen to her father play the violin is a smooth rendition by Tania James.

The Scriptological Review: A Last Letter from the Editor:  Vijay’s undaunting flair for seeping into the heads of people is rimless and enchanting. The strokes and slants present in the writing reveals the person’s cavity. It is a hazy form imprinted by the protagonist Vijay in this letter.

Lament souls peering into the rudderless space is Aerogrammes. Mr. Panicker and May segregate the lost and found in bliss and nobody tries to sabotage the thin flicker of hope dangling obtrusively. Insanity cannot be defended by the sane; it can be regarded as a wheelchair of unreal and anarchic strength. Tania James envelopes the characters and wades them through a picture-less frame.

The bended and filtered glances that only an old man and a woman with a daughter can exchange is charming. The frayed lantern the young and old carry with poise is hard to miss. The little girl in the story flaps between being a young adult and a kid. Ethnic Ken demystifies the notion of an elderly swagging in a house that can’t be your home.

The broken bridge that can never be repaired but still can be used is what Light and Luminous is about. Minal Auntie’s light is hidden in her chest, far beyond recognition. She mirrors her thoughts and wails but shows no discomfort. In Light and Luminous, Minal Auntie falls prey to her own words. She is that woman who loses and regains confidence.

A brother is a good friend. He won’t let you down even when there is too much haggling dripping in an issue. In Escape Key, Amit and Neel, the brothers go back and forth and like fork and noodles remain good friends.

Girl Marries Ghost: A surreal and silent dream lingering all day. It is pure magic that vanishes and abandons the reader in the end. Gina and Hank’s companionship is misty and follows no routine.

A fine example of Tania James’ prose would be from The Gulf where the kid says “I was the dented suitcase he had left behind, the one with no wheels.” In this collection Tania James ensures the reader has his / her beak bent to the water through the narrow opening.



16 10 2012



Namita Devidayal

(Review by Karthik Keramalu)

Namita Devidayal’s Aftertaste is a scrumptious and opaque illusion of a family tangled in the sweets business. The novel is not centred on one character. The story reflects a clan’s histrionics. It is this ‘sweet displeasure’ burnt in ghee and served for 300 pages.

The novel absorbs the attitudes of different generations and provides a platter of stained relationships. Aftertaste is deftly succinct with the characters neither overshadowing nor subduing. It’s a chart of a family growing, glowing, showing and finally blowing. The author is ravenous for depicting the Marwari family’s dominance in business dealings. Their misconception that the property has to go to son’s son and other grand children are to be just loved is a gene passed on from the unenlightened times.

Kulbhushan Todarmal is bankrupt. His mind’s a burst balloon with no ideas filling up. His wife Bimmo comes up with a classic idea. It is this meat that the readers grab at. Bimmo di Barfi is all set to become one of the best sweet shops in Bombay. The Todarmals’ rise in popularity and bank accounts and the subsequent blood brothers foolishly behaving for the upper hand is heart drenching. The morose, sympathetic lining upholds the narration.

Mummyji’s battling for her life. Her once little children are battling for her property that is to be divided between the siblings. And the jewels being the bone of contention is a seat reserved for none. Namita Devidayal has awakened the sentiments and emotions running in a joint family. Siblings are pitted against each other for what they do and for what they miss to do. Rajan, Suman, Saroj and Sunny want their mother to breathe her last in spite of wanting her by their side.

Blood is thicker than water but you need water too to survive. Rajni, the maid, is a metaphor for the maids who blindly salute their owners. She is the real gem in the novel. A prolonged family feud ends in a tight hug and the novel ceases with a sweet tooth.

How About A Sin Tonight?

12 10 2012

How About A Sin Tonight?


Novoneel Chakraborty

(Review by Karthik Keramalu)

The myriad of characters floating in the novel persistently meet, greet and embrace shame. Novoneel Chakraborty’s novel is a jigsaw puzzle, pieces all strewn, only to emerge in the latter part of the book.

The book opens with a scene to be shot. Actually, it’s a scene that requires the actors to shed their inhibitions and clothes. Then goes decades back to pronounce the arrival of the legend Shahraan Ali Bakshi. Shahraan’s story is of every man’s; who has achieved stardom through work and luck and goodness charm of his love interest Mehfil. Mehfil, a prostitute inspires Shahraan to excel ‘himself’ in bollywood. And he does so with Mehfil’s memories as she dies of cancer.

Extras in the novel prepare themselves as side dishes. Reva Gupta, Neev Dixit, Nishani and Kaash. Relationships are used tissues. Hearts melted with hot iron. And lastly revenge that fails to succeed – that’s ‘How About A Sin Tonight?’

The extras have a connection with Shahraan Ali Bahski. He’s the highway and the rest of the characters intersect and interject hatred, kinship and sullen moths of diversion.

A producer agrees to cast Nishani in a television serial after consulting with god about infidelity. A blowjob is a diwali cracker where as sex is an atomic bomb. He toys with the diwali cracker and Nishani is the next big diva on the little screen. Nishani’s mind is driven to oiling Shahraan’s pole of success. She barely finished her mission when the weapon she was to deal with wounded her. Reva and Kash, Reva and Neev, Kash and Nishani – they are dust particles residing on Shahraan’s status.

‘How About A Sin Tonight?’ offers sinless insights into the world of stardom.

Circle of Three

11 10 2012

Circle of Three


Rohit Gore

(Review by Karthik Keramalu)

Rohit Gore’s Circle of Three defines the relationship between a human and another human. Aryan Khosla, Ria Marathe and Rana Rathod – they form the circle. How their lives fall into the same category and how each inspires the other is the story.

Mr. Gore’s novel is for every person who has lost hope in finding hope. The book lifts the unnatural situation and turns it into a simpler one where all three become known from the unknown atmosphere.

Aryan Khosla is not an orphan yet he doesn’t find his parents when he returns from school. Ria Marathe plans her suicide so well that it coincides with her birthday and Rana Rathod, the once famous author lives a terrible life. The characters meet and exchange their worries and inherit solace. Mr. Gore deals with a subject that is often taken for granted, that is, human tendency to growl and make things worse. Forgiving is one end of the rope and when a person pulls it, he’s the ultimate champ. The characters forgive and become their happy selves again. The burden is buried and they move on with the memories of their loved ones.

There’s divinity in every human – only man can provide solutions to a man’s problems. Age has nothing to do with knowledge. A bullied thirteen year old Aryan Khosla settles the unsettled mind of Rana Rathod who is almost five times his age.

Ria Marathe, a writer finds soul in forgiving the woman who had an affair with her husband who died in a car crash with her only son.

Life is all about how you decorate the table of contents in your mind. And Mr. Gore has decorated the table in a way everybody can understand.