By Vinit K. Bansal. Grade B+.
General Press brings forth ‘Uff Ye Emotions-2’, the second venture in the Uff Ye Emotions anthology series, and needless to say, I was super-excited to read it. Why? Because it’s an anthology, and though I love reading novels, my reading heart always had a soft corner for short stories. It’s difficult to design the story and the plot, and make the characters speak up to you, in only a few thousand words, and thus I am intrigued by this form of fiction.
‘Uff Ye Emotions-2’ impresses you straightway with the front cover, painted in tinges of blue and cream, with a blazing fiery ‘2’ marking the passion with which the book has been conceptualized and prepared. And I love that, when you work for something with zeal and passion, it makes you all the more eager to experience what has been nurtured and developed.
Like the lyrics of an old song which keeps repeating themselves in our mind or a fever dormant in the blood or an importunate lover impossible to get rid of, the memories of love or love itself keeps returning in our lives again and again at the oddest of times and the strangest of places. Randomly, beautifully, haphazardly or passionately, love lives up again for it has been waiting for you, waiting for this union, waiting to merge with you at last.
So, keeping the trend alive and after the roaring success of our novice, Uff Ye Emotions, we are back once
again with Uff Ye Emotions 2. With Love, comes many emotions some of them being pain, betrayal, hatred, hope and friendship. We fall in and out of love time and again, but we can never be tired of it because it is one of the only few aspects of life we can’t keep ourselves away from, isn’t it?
The first story in the book, ‘The Client’ is written by the editor himself, Vinit K. Bansal. It is based on a true account, and beautifully portrays the budding relationship between a prostitute and her client. I loved the way the story progressed, and how the writer used time and situation as vital characters in the plot.
Kunal Marathe’s Moksha is a tale of crime, that’s what you feel when you start reading it. But no, you are oh-so-wrong. Behind the layer of the so-called-crime lies a sense of deep trust and love for that special someone in your life. Moksha means salvation, and it beautifully conveys the essence of this word.
Mahi Singla strikes with ‘When Destiny Strikes’, and I still find it tough to believe that it was just a short story. Several events take place amidst a few pages, and you get a glimpse of the complete picture revolving around the friendship between two women. A nicely woven piece, a complete story, and you feel good after reading it.
‘The Woman Who Waited’ by Shalini Katyal comes packed with a punch that I could have never fathomed. A brilliant twist, and you have a story that touches your heartstrings in ways more than one. The story is strengthened by poetic verses in numerous places, and they bring out the underlying emotions welled deep inside Madhumita, the protagonist.
I loved Siddhartha Yadav’s ‘The Pale Pigeon’. The way the writer describes the love of a parent towards his child, and how he portrays the turn of events, is a brilliant flashback to the society where we live in. Duties and responsibilities are so often neglected, and people get busy with their own lives, ignoring the sacrifices and the persons who helped them reach their goals. Beautifully written story.
Next comes ‘Hickey’ by Heema Shirvaikar, one of my favourite stories in the book. It’s based on how women have to suffer in today’s society in name of fake love and lust, and hits you hard and compels you to think beyond what’s written. This is one story that will stay with you for a very long time. The writing is sharp and crisp, and conveys the message clearly and precisely. Hats off to this tale.
You will totally fall in love with ‘NCERT of Love’ like I did. A sweet romantic tale, revolving around two students of the 8th Standard. Yes, 8th, and that’s what makes it all the more sweeter, ‘cause the plot revolves around the innocence and the thrill of first love that accompanies this age. The story is written by Himanshu Chhabra and Udita Pal, and honestly, after reading this piece, I would love to read more from them. This is a total ‘leave-you-with-smile-and-laugh’ sort of story, and yes, it does reminds you of your innocent love escapades, when you too were probably in the 8th standard.
Ishani Malhotra pens down ‘I’ll be there’, a love story that revolves around Sheena and Sahil. The conflicts revolving around Ishani’s mind, of whether to fall in love and promise her commitments to the man who had swept her off her feet, are brilliantly highlighted. The tale has a perfect start, and a beautiful end, and you, as readers, feel happy for the two lovers.
Tarang Sinha’s ‘Dilemma’ introduces Ashima, a strong willed woman and a character, to whom, responsibility and duties mean a lot. The story has its own twists and turns, which again keeps you intrigued till the very end. You pray for the character’s happiness, and hope she makes the correct decision. The author makes her protagonist come alive. The subject of divorce, re-marriage and child adoption are very beautifully explored in this piece.
Saravana Kumar Murugan’s ‘120 Minutes’ recounts how the protagonist faces a fierce storm on his way home, and how he is stranded in the midst with other strangers, while his wife waits for him with anxiety and nervousness. The subject matter is challenging, and the author carves the situations around the storm quite well. However, I felt that addition of a few inter-related events could have made the story more vibrant.
‘Love and Sacrifices’ by Meghant Parmar and Heena Ahuja is well, as the name suggests, a story of love and sacrifices. This is like a high action drama, where the characters take every step possible to ensure the safety of their love. The writers tried to keep the pace racy and quick, which again is a good thing as it keeps you engaged. However, I felt that the plot had turned predictable in the middle, and a twist or two could have worked in its favour.
I loved the way the stories were edited. There weren’t any grammatical glitches that we get to see so often nowadays, and that ensured a smooth reading. It’s a quick read, and one can finish it within a day. The book focusses on several genres, and that’s a good point as you won’t be bogged down by one particular theme. However, barring a few, I missed the thrills and twists that characterizes short stories, and I found the book lagging in that respect. Then again, anthologies cater to the tastes of varied readers, and each one has his or her own favourites.
If you are a short story love, do grab a copy of ‘Uff Ye Emotions-2’. You may not like all the stories, but you will surely come out with a few picks of your own.