Recently we got a chance to go through a book named “India Unlimited – Stories from a Nation Caught between Hype and Hope” by author Kulpreet Yadav. What made us to go through the book is definitely its title. We are curious to know the stories from a nation which has the oldest historical references available. The country which was/is/will be center of attraction for a large number of rulers, historians, travelers, academics and other people. So open the book with high expectation to see either the great tales from this land, or may be having some not so great but realistic tales from this large democratic country.
Well, we must say first that, this book is a short story collection and each of them have its ups and downs. We like some attributes in some of the tales. Also with the progressive read, you can find changes in the language of writing. For example the second and third tales have more linguistic attributes of English than the first one. The explanation of surrounding etc. is good at various places.
The author have served as the editor of “Open-Road Review” and it seems that he have penned some of the tales he heard, experienced or came to know by some mean, on paper. This short story collection doesn’t follow a single genre but various kinds of stories are found under a hood. The only factor which remains common is – the background of the story – India. Here we take a glance at some of those 31 stories found in the book with the care to not to spill the beans, which may affect your reading experience.
The story about terrorist, starting with the news of Osama Bin Laden raises high expectations from the author in the first 1/3 segment of the story. The story then follows the conventional path and ends with something unexpected.
The story where a person travels from city to a village to find his childhood love also starts fine. We see the qualities of love, affection and humanity in the village. Though the man meets with something unexpected and when he was coming back to the city, he was both sad and happy. The story doesn’t have ideal ending but in real life how often we see the story with ideal end?
The one which shine is a gold? Well, not always. And vice versa. The story about a familiar stranger reiterates the fact with the character of a beggar. One of the nice stories found in this book.
City of mirrors is an adult story with some – not for children – material. The story seems to go nowhere till its 2/3 part is over. But the end of the same justifies reading of the same. A story set in the crime areas of a city where killing someone is just a job for a few. The end the killer meets is really nice.
The Spy Tuesday – story gives you nothing if you don’t pay attention to the last couple of paragraphs of the same. If you realize the punch you may realize that the corporate competitions are also running like this.
The Blind Date – story proves its title. Reminding you Hindi Movie – Hate Story, at some extent. It is about a how a lady uses her charm to get her work done (like Charlie’s angels!? – well, upto a certain extent).
The red woman – the last two paragraphs of this story contains a satirical punch. A nice one to read. You may need to read it more than once to understand it thoroughly.
You can avoid the story – The Rum Base.
The Delhi Thug – story starts with nice lines. Then it shows some hard stuff about the cheating business and how people can be made emotionally fool. The way to earn money here is different than what can be thought, but factual. The story have some abusive words too.
As said earlier several explanations of surroundings and scene are fantastic as the positive point of the book which failed to impress readers otherwise. Also there are quite a few proof-reading mistakes (eg. “There are no widows” – on page #20 – which should be “There are no wiNdows”). The author/publisher should have cared for the same.
Overall, a time-pass read. The stories of the book are actually belongs to various genre so it is possible that you like a part of the same. But it is strictly for the masala movie audience who don’t mind go through some adult stuff.