Book Review: Panorama
A collection of short stories make for interesting reading. I find that it helps when I am stuck in a reading rut, and want to break the shackles. Panorama: A Collection of Short Stories, written by Shilpi Chaklanobis offered such a chance. I had seen the cover of the book earlier, shared by one of my friends on social media, and admired it. That made me eager to pick the book to read as well. The blurb indicated stories from different walks of life. It indicated a story that focused on a mother-daughter relationship. It promised stories that explored emotions like desperation.
The blurb promised stories that might change the way we see the world around us. I feel that it lived up to that. I read each story and contemplated them for a minute after. At times, the intent of the story struck me much later. It made me return to that story to re-read. The emotions woven into the story are subtle at times. Looking at them in retrospect, I wonder if such emotions are possible. They could be, of course.
The language is clear and to the point. It works for some stories. For a few, I felt that it did not. It felt like a conversation between the protagonist and the reader. The collection could have been edited better as well, but even so, each story is engaging. The setting of the stories ensured they had my attention. The characters in these stories are those who may be around us. We do not always observe. They do not always share their tales either. The author has done a good job in developing some of these characters in the short span of each story.
My Favorite Stories:
The collection begins with a story titled ‘Wok’ which narrates the story of lives affected by change. It’s easier for some to understand it. It isn’t as easy to explain that change to a child. The portrayal of the mother-daughter relationship here was something I liked.
‘Selective Secularism‘ is one of the shorter stories in the collection. It is a story that I could relate to, in a way. The generation gap portrayed in there is very real. I feel that many others will be able to relate to it too.
‘Mirage’ is perhaps my favorite story from the collection. It is another mother-daughter story but one that made sense, yet didn’t in places. What I liked best about the story is the way it ends… the jackpot Khushi realizes she has won.
‘The Meeting’ is a story that shows the definition of happiness, and puts several things into perspective. It’s something I think I can relate to, but in truth, I don’t want to. I like Payal’s character in this story.
This is a collection of stories I loved reading, a debut I would be happy to devour once again soon.
Title: Panorama – A Collection of Short Stories
Author: Shilpi Chaklanobis
Publisher/ Imprint: Notion Press
Genre/ Sub-Genre: Fiction/ Short Stories
Rating: 4.00 of 5.00
Reviewed for: Author
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