To begin with, let me share that I am more inclined towards novels than short stories. I like to spend time with a book, read it leisurely, soak it all in and get transported to the world of the characters. Short stories for me are like this really sinful chocolate fudge served to you in a shot glass, I keep wondering what happens to the characters after the story is over. In fact the only collection of short stories that I have read is that of O’Henry. That is until I had to finish a reading challenge last year and I did not have the luxury of long, laid-back vacation with my novels. That’s when I picked up a lot of short story collections and what can I say, I am hooked. In the last 6 months barring a novel or two, I have only been reading short stories.
To a great extent, the credit for the same goes to the book that I am writing about today ‘Bound in Love’. A collection of 11 short stories by Neil D’Silva. Like the title says, these are love stories but not necessarily between lovers. You see; love can have varied forms, it can be unrequited, jealous, deceptive, selfish or as selfless as a mother’s love for her child.
The author explores various facets of love in these stories and just when you think you know where a story is headed, he surprises you with a twist. That, in fact, I feel is the greatest USP of the book. After you have read a couple of stories, you start cooking up all kinds of endings and mostly you are wrong, at least I was.
My top stories from this collection are:
No Chocolate for you
The world might not be able to see what you see and you may not be able to prove it to the world. But when your loved ones are involved maybe it’s best to trust your gut instincts, because you never know what lurks behind that seemingly harmless smile, or that seemingly harmless touch.
No Greater Charm
Set at the Hooting Tooting Circus, the author creates an enigmatic world of trapeze artists, Knife throwers, Lion tamers and the dazzling and beautiful fortune teller, Marya. She falls in love with a man who comes to her to know his future, a future which is doomed.
The Other face of love
This story about a mother and son left me emotional, a story truly reflective of today’s times. I am sure you would want to give your mother a tight hug, once you read it
But the story which was the biggest surprise of all was The Makeover. This is one story where you can never guess the ending. A very sensitive story on something which, to a great extent, is still spoken about in hushed tones.
I like the language and the simplicity of the writing. The stories are taut and well executed, so go ahead give this a read.
Statutory Warning: You might be highly tempted to read the last page mid-way through the story. DON’T 😉