Review: Kaleidoscope

BY IN A, Anthology 6 COMMENTS

Anthology. Grade: A 

The kaleidoscope fascinated me when I was a kid. Looking through one of the ends, with an eye closed, and the other trying to decipher the secrets that lay hidden in the dark tunnel, the fragments of colors mesmerized me often. As I rotated the cylinder, the colors changed, providing that unique wave of excitement we feel while discovering something new.

Springtide, in association with Parlance Publishers, presents Kaleidoscope – an anthology of twenty five short stories. What’s in a name? No, don’t say that. I picked up this book purely based on its name, which had been an object of my childhood smiles and laughter, and ecstatically ruffled through the pages. ‘Different Strokes for Different Folks’ – goes the tagline. Interesting! And thus started my mission to travel across the twenty five different terrains that this book had to offer.


Kaleidoscope is a collection of 25 award winning short stories, selected out of numerous stories received in the online contest organized by SpringTide.

These stories will make you laugh out loud,  scare you out of your mind, make you fall in love all over again, redefine relationships, make you rethink about the social conventions and provoke you to think some more.

This book is going to keep you engaged as you move on reading from one spellbinding story to another, not wanting to keep the book down. Do not miss this chance to read some of the finest short stories by amazing new writers!


About The Author

Kaleidoscope is an initiative of SpringTide, which is an online youth magazine, to provide a platform to young writers and encourage them to write and read. SpringTide was launched in November 2011 and enjoyed a readership of over 3000 readers with its hard hitting and entertaining monthly issues. With Kaleidoscope, SpringTide takes forward the task of motivating Indian youth to read and write and express themselves openly. You can find out about SpringTide at

The first story in the collection is Vivek Banerjee’s ‘The Hunter,’ and oh man, I am glad the publishers decided to start the book with this tale. You know what is happening, and predict the end well in advance, but my friend, you get it all wrong. The writer does a great job of providing a climax so unexpected, and yet totally justified, that you silently clap for him. Vivek is the winner of the Best Writer award among all the stories in this collection, and now I know why.

With my expectation soaring high, I turned the pages to Deboshree Bhattacharjee’s ‘The House.’ The story started in a simple tone, but gradually it managed to cling to my emotions. As a reader I wish I could have done something to help the protagonist with his misfortune, but alas, readers can only experience the lives of the characters, they cannot alter them. The story ends with a real breathtaking line (sorry, but I am not going to divulge it here and be a spoiler). Yes, the second story in the book carries forward the momentum.

Tale of the Knitting Yarn’ by Nabanita Dhar is a story of loss and love. What I loved here was the scenes the writer created with her words, realistic and visualizing, and the sentences flowed fluently. Nabanita has good command over language, exactly what was needed to pen a story of this category. This is a soft, subtle love story, calm and serene, but it voices out the longing of the protagonists, and somewhere, somehow, you feel their tears.

Renuka Vishwanathan’s ‘Voice Male’ is a type of story I have never ever read, something so different and straight out of the box. At the onset, you believe it is another one of those love story, boy meets girl, falls in love, and all; but hey no, do not get mistaken. It is nothing of that sort, as it throws all conventions out of the window. A brilliant plot, and equally well executed. I loved it.

The Domino Effect’ is one of those plots, which if not woven properly, can go horribly wrong. This is a story of interconnected events, and talks about how one action can lead to another, thus influencing lives of various people, who are seemingly not even remotely connected. Deepa Duraisamy does full justice to the plot, and smartly handles the different characters and events in this piece. This is a feel good story, and once it gets over, there is a satisfying smile on your face as you proceed to the next tale.

Prasanna Rao’s ‘The Hike to the Temple’ belongs to the horror genre. The story starts on a grave note and as it progresses, things get darker. The dawn of evil concludes the story, justifying the genre. However, somewhere I found that it lacked the scare quotient. Perhaps, if a bit of background regarding the evil had been provided, the story would have turned out to be scarier.

Food’ by Vaibhav Mukim provides an interesting plot that revolves around the science fiction category. Devising a science fiction tale requires a lot of imagination, which should merge well with the present reality, making the plot believable, and the writer clearly displays that skill in his repertoire. The story is chilling in parts, and as a reader I could only wish that something like this doesn’t happen in the near future. A great attempt.

Happy Puppet’ by Bhavya Kaushik is a tale of helplessness and misfortune. We often curse life, and blame for the things we do not have. However, we ignore the privileges that have been provided to us by life, and take happiness for granted. We forget to smile. However, there are some who take out a smile from their tears, accepting life the way it has been handed over to them. Read this story, and live life happily. We are blessed and fortunate. This is another brilliant piece in this collection.

The White Dress’ by Garima Nowal is another of my favorites. The story starts in a usual manner, with a girl meeting a guy, and then harboring soft feelings for him. However, never in my wild imagination could I have expected a twist so amazing. If I could alter the Oxford Dictionary, I would surely modify the existing meaning of ‘twist’ with the new meaning ‘The White Dress by Garima Nowal.’ Great work, Garima.

Rafaa Dalvi’s ‘Karma is a Bitch’ talks of fate, and how your deeds can lead you to your destiny. Bad actions can never escape from the clutches of Karma, and that’s the plot of this story. The climax has been intelligently devised, which makes the plot all the more powerful.

Redemption’ by Harihar Adarsh is a fictional piece that can be categorized as a mythological story. The will to conquer, and the hunger of power, have often seen downfall of several greats in history. This is reiterated in the form of this story. Writing a fictional mythological story is no easy task, but the writer has executed it to perfection. Superb!

Sarvana Kumar Murugan’s ‘The Last Date’ is a story of love, trust and faith. Dedication towards your love and the will to achieve it at all costs form the backdrop of this story. Owing to unfortunate events, the protagonists find themselves in the dark alleys of life with not many choices left. The author conveys the feeling of love, and being loved, beautifully.

“Wow” was the word that escaped my lips as I finished reading ‘I Love You Too’ by Khushi Gupta. This is another love story in this collection, and quite pleasingly, leaves a smile on your face once you read it. This is a tale of sweet romance, and the belief that miracles happen, only if you wish to. Good work Khushi, eager to read more love stories from you.

I am not going to divulge the genre of Nehali Lalwani’s ‘Alive Inside’, as that would hamper all the fun. My suggestion would be to just read the words as they come, and enjoy the story with its share of unfolding excitement. Yes, this is one of those stories where you are not able to differentiate between the normal and the unusual till you reach the last few lines in this piece. Another interesting tale in this collection.

Theory of Evolution’ by Balganesh Pitchai is a science fiction story that questions the very foundation of human existence, as well as of the earth. The concept is refreshingly new, and that’s the charm of science fiction tales. They usher ideas that you never thought existed, but once you confront them, your mind starts believing that they may turn out to be true.

Smriti Mahale’s ‘I Operated’ is a sweet short take of that first flush of excitement we feel when we see someone divinely attractive. Though the entire story takes place in the hospital, the mood is light and fun. The one-liners are filled with humor, and provide you with several moments of amusement. This story, again, is a useful addition to this collection.

Parul Tyagi shines bright with ‘The Star that Shines on Me …’ There is something about this story that makes you believe that you are one of the characters in this piece, perhaps a neighbor of the protagonist Subeeha. As you live the moments with her, the intricacies of life evolve enigmatically, and you learn to find hope in despair, and comfort in loss.

Anurag Bhatt scores high on the emotional quotient with ‘The Boy Who Sold Books,’ a beautiful tale of camaraderie and friendship between two unlikely participants who bond together easily and beautifully. The characters, again, seem real and you can easily relate to them. This is one story that will leave you numb; human relations explored in a very mature manner. Short, but definitely sweet.

For action loving people, next comes Rahul Biswas with his story ‘Chaos.’ Yes, there is chaos in the mind of the characters, as they find themselves in a challenging situation. There is chaos in the mind of the readers, as their loyalty shifts from one character to other. But mark my word, there is no chaos in the way the writer conveyed his thoughts and penned down the story. A great action thriller!

Sanhita Baruah’s ‘Secret of the Murderous Woods’ makes you shift uncomfortably in your chair. Yes, it is scary, especially what happens towards the end. The best thing about this story is that you are kept guessing about the outcome, but what transpires eventually is something you couldn’t have imagined. Mark my word; don’t dare assume how this story will end, as eventually you would be proved wrong. Another brilliant piece in this Kaleidoscope.

I would rate ‘First Contact’ by Aman Mathur as one of the best science-fiction stories that I have ever come across. Technology growth for one can become a menace to others. What a brilliant way to press forth this fact through a story of a human being meeting aliens on their spaceship. Sometimes, we become insensitive to the needs of others, our actions resulting in misunderstandings and eventually leading to a lot of unneeded chaos. This tale talks about science, but it also has a lot of heart.

Shishir Dhingra’s sweet love story ‘The Journey of My Life’ is a happy tale of finding love in a memorable journey. We never know when we would fall in love, and whether the person is the right one or not. However, once in love, we experience the pleasant aroma associated with it, and we run that extra mile to achieve the preciousness of love. Go, read this story, and fall in love, all over again.

The Unknown Destination’ by Aniruddh Naik travels back in history and promises to bring out a fiction that we would all love to read. We all love historical stories of kings and brave noblemen, and this one scores high in that regard. However, I would request the writer to try and convert this short story into a full length novel; this plot has a lot of potential.

Prabhat Singh surprises quite pleasantly with ‘Crazy Scarf,’ as you realize that the protagonist isn’t what you have been thinking him to be. Confused? Read the story as I am not going to say anything more regarding the plot. This is unconventional, different and unique in style and approach. Yes. You will enjoy reading this.

The last story in the book, ‘When Love Oozed Out Blood’ by Ayush Agarwal, provides a fitting climax to this anthology. This story can not be categorized into any particular genre; rather it is an amalgamation of love, action and thrill. This is a tale of love and betrayal, understanding and dejection, and questions the societal norms that we have learnt to accept.

What I loved about this anthology was that it deals with different emotions of life, riding through varied genres and finally amalgamating as a conglomerate of multi-colored flavors. All the stories are good, some can even be considered to be excellent; however, the editing part did let me down at some places, with a few grammatical errors here and there. Even when you have a great story, these minute details can really spoil the show

The book provides the right dose of fun and entertainment to the readers. The stories are short and crisp, and not weighed down by lengthy subplots, which keeps the attention of the readers glued to the pages. All in all, this turns out to be a wonderful read, a perfect kaleidoscope.

  • cat

    Have to check that out … in the mean time I’ll look into my little kaleidoscope spot of my world and enjoy the colours of summer … June 22 already … first night frosts come in August here in Alberta … I have been hooping a lot (see blog post … never mind the bitter poem, eh?) … do they do hooping in India as well? Love you, Mr.G, always, cat.

  • Vivek Banerjee

    Thanks for the encouraging review VOB and Amrit. We do hope that our readers enjoy reading the stories as much as we enjoyed writing them.

  • Ritesh Agarwal

    thanks a lot….

  • Someone is Special

    Thank you so much for a wonderful review. I am happy to reach your encouraging words!!!!

    Someone is Special

  • Sunbeam Sandhu

    Amrit your words will surely go long way in motivating these upcoming writers… &

    Khushi Gupta i am used to, to “The wowwwsss” u keep on getting. Surely your story ‘I Love You Too’ would be your best write till date, looking forward to read it.

  • Pawas Jain

    Thanks a lot @Amrit for the great review… your words are absolutely encouraging and truly motivating for the upcoming writers.. thanks for appreciating the effort…

    we are happy to launch the kindle version of the book as well for our international enthusiasts..

    sincerely hope that the book is loved by one and all..