Saturday, December 26, 2015

Decorate Yourself

An excerpt from Big Magic...
.... I have a neighbour who gets tattoos all the time.
Her name is Eileen. She acquires new tattoos the way I might acquire a new pair of cheap earrings - just for the heck of it, just on a whim. She wakes up some mornings in a funk and announces, "I think I'll go get a new tattoo today." If you ask Eileen what kind of tattoo she's planning on getting, she'll say, "Oh, I dunno. I'll figure it out when I get to the tattoo shop. Or I'll let the artist surprise me."
Now, this woman is not a teenager with impulse-control issues. She's a grown woman, with adult children, who runs a successful business. She's also very cool, uniquely gorgeous, and one of the most free spirits I've ever met. When I asked her once how she could allow her body to be marked up so casually with permanent ink, she said, "Oh, but you misunderstood! It's not permanent. It's just temporary."
Confused, I asked, "you mean, all your tattoos are temporary?"
She smiled and said, "No, Liz. My tattoos are permanent; it's just my body that's temporary. So is yours. we're only here on earth for a short while, so I decided a long time ago that I wanted to decorate myself as playfully as I can, while I still have time."........
.....And so goes the book. 

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Look around! You may see the sting nearby

It is contemporary chic as it is time-tested drama. Eerie and cold as it is cute and soul searching. An inherently vibrant mosaic layered in 21 bleak and blithe textures held together with a sting. 

That’s in a nutshell the anthology by Wrimo India group – ‘Vengeance – A sting in every tale’!

Stories unfold in your neighbhourhood… like Obama’s visit to New Delhi; a bus ride in Ahmedabad or an indulgent grandpa fighting for a TV remote in the living room… you can easily identify with the characters. There’s ambition, pretense and love in abundance, too, as is expected of an avenging series.

Some of the patterns are wonderfully crafted… they let you unpeel them layer after layer and you are engrossed in placing the seeming neat and colourful thread on to your lap, until you look down to see a garbled knot staring back at you! I loved the one where I believed the husband was out to get at his ‘cheating’ wife only to realise at the very end that the couple was hand-in-glove targeting a common enemy.

The tug-of-emotions that play within us mortals resulting in inadvertent heinous ends will leave the readers pondering which among the characters are right. What do you do when you are witness to an abuse happening before you? Do you interfere? Do you raise an alarm? And what if the abuser is dangerous? Do you risk your life? These are questions that are sure to shake-up readers of this anthology, especially in the current context when rape and women’s empowerment are receiving unprecedented attention in our country. Oh! yes, what’s your take on prostitution as a means of livelihood?

Fret not. It’s not all women and abuse. There’s glamour and stardom for the wide-eyed, karma for the spiritual seekers, drama that reminds you of our very own ‘Bandit Queen’ Phoolan Devi and plots that reminiscence the Sherlock Holmes era.

You might want to tighten the loom when those odd typos tangle at your nails as you might want to claw at the loose shreds that find their way to spoil the fun. A couple of eager-beaver writers either gave the plot away in the first paragraph or announced they are gonna take revenge. Now, that’s kiddish! Similarly, few of them are overtly descriptive. When it is suspense, the crisper the sentences, the mightier the effect.

However, the beauty of this anthology lies in the fact that our everyday mundaneness has been turned into gripping plots. And that’s no mean task. Kudos to all 21 writers!

Best wishes to all of you!