Tuesday, April 3, 2018

Book Review: Stories from Saratchandra (Innocence and Reality)

Okay, so I've read Saratchandra after so many years! Thanks to Rupa Publications! Saratchandra's name brings smile and memories as I've read many novels/novellas/short stories by Saratchandra.

Also, I'm not fond of translated works, but then the books/stories by Saratchandra that I have read (and loved) were in Hindi, so of course they were translated. Anindita Mukhopadhyay, as a Translator, has done a really good job! She has managed to keep the essence, innocence & 'the Bengali feel' of the stories.

I loved the cover that seems to be inspired by the second last story, 'Abhaagi's Heaven' where a so called unfortunate woman is left alone to raise her only child.

I love Saratchandra, but I honestly believe that his novels/novellas are better than his short stories.

Stories from Saratchandra: Innocence and Reality has 12 stories, divided in two parts. You can categorize these two sections as innocence & reality (the subtitle) respectively as the first section carries light, innocent stories while the stories in the second section deal with several social issues, like superstitions, caste system, poverty.

I clearly remember the story, 'Childhood Memories'. I like this story. It's touching. There are some stories that I faintly remember. I liked Lalu stories --- full of childhood mischief, carelessness and thoughtfulness. I do not remember reading these. 

It's a good collection, but what I missed in these short stories is --- 'striking end'. They are very casual like someone is narrating his life, sometimes random, incidents.

There are so many better short stories/novellas by Saratchandra that could've been included in this collection. For example --- Ram Ki Sumati (beautiful!!), Swami (my favourite!!), Kashinath, Path-Nirdesh, Shesh Prashn etc.).

For me, reading this book was a refreshing experience. If you like Saratchandra, you should read this. If you haven't read Saratchandra (you haven't!?), then you should definitely read this! :)

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