Price: 190 INR
Kulpreet Yadav’s ‘India Unlimited’ is a collection of 31 short stories set around the contours of a modern and typical India. For a book claiming to venture the unlimited, it portrays inhibited characters chalked out in a predictable fashion picked out from the common din of daily troubles. As for the stories – they are not quite as colourful as the flashy paperback.
The book bodes well for light reading, as a prelude to heavier text- an appetizer to the main course. It however lacks the strength to fill your appetite on its own. A few stories in the collection do stand out from the rest in terms of good plots or smooth narratives while certain others have good plots but bad treatment. ‘Not the only peanut seller who hasn’t heard of Osama Bin Laden’ tells the story of innocence wronged by ignorance and the helpless acceptance of the same. The story was adjudged the winner of special commendation by Fleeting Magazine in 2011. ‘Particle Don and the desert’, another such story, is a fantasy tale of the unusual workings of the universe. ‘Beautiful people’, ‘The pickle seller’ and ‘The fish and my wedding’ were the other stories that I found interesting.
The presence of characters adopted from the common Indian postcard may gel well with certain readers in giving them a sense of familiarity but severely inhibits exploration of the unexhausted. A lot of the stories adopt a present continuous narrative which, as a reader I found rather disconcerting and interruptive. Kulpreet Yadav has put forth something quite digestible- a commendable effort fit for quick reading but not a collection worth heavy thought.
Overall Rating: 5.5/10
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