“Navarasa by Lotus” is Rajiv’s first book. It is a collection of inter-linked stories exploring different genres, and each story is a dedication of sorts to the rasa: humour, love, disgust, heroism, wonder, fury, horror, peace and compassion.
The stories are vivid and can be related to at some level. There is a fading movie star, who wants it all even though the idea of fading away is at hand, then there is a youth who takes the form of a masked vigilante, there is a mosquito (yes you read that correct) who is determined to fight human domination, the unmarried couple on the verge of a break-up, a woman, Lucky, enigmatic and elusive, who is terrified of her dream (interesting a lot has been written on it which is enough to pull the reader in), a school kid trying very hard to vent his anger, and the fate and aftermath of society post 2012 make these stories something else – sometimes a delight to read and sometimes as a reader, I thought more could be done with them.
The characters in these stories recur and so do the situations at times. The biting surprise at the end of every story is what keeps the reader engaged and that is where the writing style matters the most. There were times when I thought that the prose was getting a bit verbose but having said that, I enjoyed this collection. The collection is consistent and sticks to emotions as promised.
The writing is brusque and specific at times. Some stories stand out more so than the others, even though there is a link and recurrence of people. Navarasa by Lotus is a good effort to connect stories to the rasa (which I loved), honest and just the way stories are meant to be written.