When I was handed over the book and asked to write a review on it, at first I thought, this would be another of those many low priced books by Indian Authors that flood the bookstores! Many of them are just tediously monotonous and lack variety. You would prefer not to read them even if you had nothing else to do. I wasn’t really looking forward to read one more such book, let alone write a review on it. I started off hesitantly only to realize URBAN SHOTS was pleasantly different and few minutes into it, I was thoroughly enjoying it. Before long, I had read through the entire book, not in my urgency to complete the review but because it was indeed a very pleasurable read.
The book is an anthology of short stories by modern Indian authors and it
touches upon the different aspects of Urban Life. It surprised me no end that the publishers could manage such a beautiful collage of stories by different authors who have different takes on life. Yet these stories are very modern, very urban! The stories are all very close to real life situations and it is very easy for the suave urban reader to relate to, because most of them delve into the psyche of the urban mind.
The stories are very carefully picked and strike the right balance between the different emotions of love, friendship, relationships, anger and infidelity to name a few sentiments that the readers can relate to.
There is coming to terms with life after a miscarriage, with the help of a tiny puppy in “Hope comes in small packages” or the stark contradiction of ideals in a judge regarding what he preaches and what he practices, in “The right thing to do”, or the story of a committed girl falling in love with her committed colleague in “Love…in a fast lane”. There are many more like “Just Average” where a woman who had been accustomed to an average life without any ambition, lets off her guard to eventually rise above her average self. There are many such touching stories that take the readers through a plethora of emotions. The beauty of the book is that every story is different in its essence and conveys different sets of emotions altogether. However, some stories do seem a tad predictable at times or a little abrupt in their ending but that is no deterrence to read this lovely miscellany of stories.
The authors, Kainaz Motivala, Paritosh Uttam, Ahmed Faiyaz, Prateek Gupta and all the others have captured the urban space very well. It is very evident from their writing that they are all urban people and know the urban psyche too well. Very simple incidents of every day life have been captured well, and this is what makes the book so realistic and touches a chord.
Another important factor is that the stories are not loaded with philosophies, and even the people who do not read much, will find them enjoyable. The writing is lucid and has a natural flow for most of the stories. They are just ideal for light reading. Many of them are bound to take the readers for a walk down the memory lane, or evoke the feelings of déjà vu. Just turn the pages and travel into a world of urban drama and fine story telling.