Tag Archives: 365 short stories

365 Stories: Day 11: The Story of an Hour by Kate Chopin

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Today’s story is funny, will warm your heart and at the same time will leave you with your jaw dropped at the end of it. Kate Chopin’s The Awakening, to me is one of the first feminist novels ever.

“The Story of an Hour” is about a woman who has just chanced on independence, only to have it been taken away from her. Read the story. It is about three pages long, so I cannot really give away more while talking about it. But what I can say is that, it is a story that is funny (read: wry humour depicting how the society was then – the story is set in early 1990s), tragic and ironic.

365 Stories: Day 7: Sandalwood by Tejaswini Apte-Rahm

these-circuses-that-sweep-through-the-landscape-by-tejaswini-apte-rahm

Sometimes a story just does nothing for you. Sometimes it does so much that you cannot handle it. Tejaswini Apte-Rahm’s story “Sandalwood” falls in the latter category. An unnamed narrator, a lady is told by her husband that he is homosexual after 17 years of their marriage. They have two teenage kids. He has decided that she cannot live with them anymore and that his partner Chandan (Hindi for Sandalwood) is moving in with them. The children also want to live with their father. Thus begins the story. There are no spoilers. So don’t you worry.

Apte-Rahm’s writing is brilliant. It doesn’t cut corners. It says what it has to and is stark and clean – like a knife after being cleaned. I loved the narrator. I wish there was more from her perspective – sure it seemed enough, considering it is a short story but more could have been said. Inner lives and thoughts are well-handled by the author and I love that in a good story.

365 Stories: Day 6: The Black Dog by Ruskin Bond

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Ruskin Bond’s stories warm and fuzzy. They are the kind of stories that are meant to snuggle you in bed and put you to sleep – once again dreaming of them. He is a master of his craft and every time I think I need to go back to the familiar, I can depend on his stories.

“The Black Dog” was a story I read yesterday as part of my 365 stories of 2017 and I thoroughly enjoyed it. It is about Bond and his experience with a black dog as he travels one night to attend a party in the 70s in Mussoorie where he resides. The story is scenic (as it should be) and you will not get bored even once. It is short and to the point and will leave you wanting more. The story is from the collection “Death under the Deodars”. I still have to read the others and will soon get to them.

365 Stories: Day 5: The TV and Winston Churchill by Ben Loory

stories-for-nighttime-and-some-for-the-day Today’s story is bizarre. It is about a TV who has a mind of its own and only wants to show the family it’s with, opera and shows/news about Winston Churchill. The TV loves Churchill and opera and nothing else. What happens later is the rest of the story, which I won’t discuss here and spoil it for you.

Ben Loory’s writing is eerie, dark and ironic. It is essentially plots such as these that work for him in his stories and he is the kind of a writer who will never fail to surprise or shock you. “The TV and Winston Churchill” is also a reflection of the times we live in and what we consume. Read this story to find out.

365 Stories: Day 4: Jelly by Sadat Hasan Manto

bitter-fruit-by-sadat-hasan-manto Today’s story, the 4th of January 2017 that is, was “Jelly” by Manto. No short story challenge or reading project will be complete without Manto and that’s the truth. Every short story of Manto makes you see a new facet of his personality and how his stories defined an entire generation and continue to do so. His stories perhaps will always be relevant, given the times we live in.

“Jelly” is about an ice-cream man and what happens to him when he is attacked and what happens after. It is a very short story but very fulfilling and vintage Manto is there on every word and sentence. I think the sense of loss and yet told with such candour is what makes his stories so different and readable. Read Manto now if you’ve never read him.