Navarasa by Lotus, by an author Rajiv

When I began to read this quirky collection of short stories, I was apprehensive as I don’t usually read short stories.   Well, I was pleasantly surprised. The collection is made up of nine short stories which are interlinked in plot and character in a sequence of events. The characters are diverse and there are many surprises along the way.

To write a review for a book such as this, I must talk about all nine as without, the review wouldn’t be much of a review.

SEED, is the first story which is about an Indian superstar who is known for his anger, good looks and carismatic personality. The story begins with Rajan (the star) in a fight with an inmate. What happens after is a series of flashbacks. What came to be a surprise was the ending which was totally unexpected!

RAT, the second in line, tones down to three friends who talk about life, smoking, drinking and Rajan the star. What begins as a casual conversation turns defensive. However, the first part and the last part are interlinked and I am glad to see a semi happy ending.

MUTINY. This one failed me. I didn’t relate to it at all. The story is about mosquitos and of thier livelyhood as blood seekers. Their host is one of the three friends we see in RAT. Intriguing as it may be, I failed to see the meaning of the story and skipped to the end to find it. Was there a meaning?

T20. This was one of the my favourites. It is based on a relationship between Teja and Manoj, which is on the rocks. Through Teja’s turmoil and love for Manoj, we see their ‘relationship’ from beginning to the present. Desperately wanting to amend their relationship which we see spiralling down, Teja thinks of how that may be possible. The end of the story doesn’t being us a happy ending but it does make us think ‘what if’.

LOOP. The reader will definitly be in a loop here! If you have seen Groundhog Day (1993), you will understand this short. LOOP is cleverly written, involving a girl called Lucky who thinks she is going mad as events seem to be repeating themselves over several days or weeks? She seeks the help of Dr. Guna who is a phyciatrist. But how was he to know he was in the loop too? These bizarre twists can only be broken by facing the problem!

WISH. Little Chintu is being bullied by his sister, from his classmates as well as the cruel teacher. Chintu is sad and can’t understand why everyone is cruel to him. Then he meets Rajan, the superstar and in a stroke of luck, he see’s a way to gain respect and revenge. We see two mini stories here – one is Chintu’s and one is Rajan’s. We now understand why Rajan was taken to jail and how Chintu gets his revenge.

OFFICE. Rajiv joins a new company in the hope to get his ex-girlfriend back. He realises that everyone is calm in this new office. There are no arguements or fights. He also feels changed as he has stopped smoking, drinking and leering/flirting at other women. Rajiv learns of a strange interference and confronts his boss. Does Rajiv get his girl back? Does he find out what is happening in this place? Yes and no, for in this short, a time machine is involved…

N.H. This is a continuation of OFFICE. I won’t say what happens here for it is wonderful and very entertaining. I, for one, wished I could see more of N.H.

REDEMPTION. Anand is in remorse for what he has done and he wants to show how sorry he is to the parents of the victim. This short summaries all the other eight short stories in one. We understand now and see perhaps, redemption?   So, here we have it. A collection that all readers will enjoy. It will leave you thinking about the stories and their characters long after you have finished reading. It will make you question the motives, the ‘what if’s’ and more.

A good read!

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