Book Review: ‘Obsession: The Eternal Stories of Life and Death’ by Various Authorsby Chaarvi Badani on May 30, 2014 • 11:08 AM No Comments
Publisher: Tara India Research Press
Price: INR 299
Obsession as, “(n.) the domination of one’s thoughts or feelings by a persistent idea, image, desire etc.”
We infer it to be a strong emotion, that can lead a person to do many things that are away from their normal nature. Playing on this exact idea, the four authors of the book, namely Gurpartap Khairah, Bishwa Sigdel, Stormy Hazarika and Suraj Sinha present eighteen different stories. The dominant part of each story is an obsession, as the title suggest. The stories are diverse as is their quality. Here, I will elucidate on a few stories that really caught my attention.
The first story, ‘Ripe Mangoes’ is an excellent beginning to a book. It talks about an old widow, Koyeli Devi in Benaras, living a life as all widows do. She has come there to give up all her burdens and responsibilities, let go of all worldly pleasures and materialistic tendencies and to die. She is expected to do so, but unfortunately, human nature cannot let go of desires. Koyeli is desirous of the ripe mangoes that are found in Benaras at that time, and cannot help herself when she gets a little extra money. But then, conscious plays its part well and the ending has lovely philosophical undertones.
‘Letting Go’ is a beautifully written story, about coping with loss. Here, the parents have to cope with the loss of their only son and of course, it is in no way an easy task. But the author shows different ways of dealing with loss and how at such times, it is crucial to not get lost in a swarm of emotions and forget the ones nearest to you. A well written, simply yet effective tale.
Another story I found cute was ‘My Husband’s Best Friend’. It talks about a couple and the woman’s jealousy at the man’s best friend. It narrates how the wife is sick of how close her husband and his gay best friend are, and how she often feels neglected. But then, the book talks about time that is needed to cultivate marriage, as no marriage can be the strongest in just a few days. It takes years for a couple to develop their own language, jokes and stories. And the most crucial thing for this is trust.
‘The Home-Breaker’ is interesting simply because of the final twist, an ending you’d never really imagine. It talks about a woman who hates her job as she believes she is the strong cause of families breaking. The final part is whimsical, but yet leaves you chuckling at everything you though while reading the story and how true it may be.
The other stories deal with subjects such as drug abuse, a crazed man who reads hours to his wife who he murdered, a man obsessed with lizards, the sacrifices a woman must make to save her husband from jail and so on. The stories have various themes, each different. But overall, there are few stories that really stay on in your mind and leave you thinking. A few seem like clichés and some just leave you wondering, “Whaaaaat..?” (not in a good way).
Overall, I would suggest giving this book a miss.
If you find the book interesting, buy from Amazon or Flipkart here: