Stories Of Hope by Kirthi Jayakumar

Stories of HopeStories of Hope by Kirthi Jayakumar
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

What a brilliant bunch of stories! I have become a huge fan of this young  author whose writing is just plain unadulterated ‘awesomeness’. Kirthi’s language flows beautifully, serenading us into the exquisitely  worlds she paints for us with every single story.I don’t normally read short stories, but I was excited to read this book when Kirthi asked me if I’d be interested in reviewing it. The prose is lush, poignant and  breathtakingly beautiful. I loved the range of stories Kirthi has presented in this collection. The stories paint myriad shades of human emotions, often sad and gut-wrenching, yet always compelling.

My favourite was the story Flowers from Andromanque which was spooky and fun at the same time. My second favourite was The Watchmaker , which is a heart-wrenching story of a beautiful relationship between a boy and a watch-maker. Kirthi goes futuristic with her story ‘Remorse’, which was also an interesting premise. Many stories have been narrated in the first person , which makes reading them all the more compelling. But more than the language ,I think what comes across clearly is Kirthi’s  understanding of human emotions and her compassion towards people in less-fortunate circumstances. Most stories end with their protagonists finding new ways to tackle their demons. Most accept their predicament , some don’t , but almost all the protagonists move on in one way or the other.

Overall an awesome book that will leave you yearning for more. Full length novel, please:)  

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Review of BPO Sutra by Sudhindra Mokhasi

A compendium of real life BPO stories compiled and edited by Sudhindra Mokhasi. 150 accounts that gives us insights into lives of people working in the industry touted as one of the Sunrise industries in India.Sudhindra himself has worked in various BPOs for almost a decade and some of the stories are drawn from his own experiences.

The stories are mostly one-two pagers and make for a light time pass read.No deep insights or wit here.The stories mostly revolve around abusive clients,dumb clients,the shady happenings in a call center,the affairs and sexual harassment cases,insensitive bosses and the works.Nothing jumps out at you out of the pages and sustains your attention for more than 20 minutes. To be very fair, i did like a few stories in there..There was story where a supervisor goes out of the way to help out an old lady who is unable to use her credit card.The old lady asks for the Supervisor’s address,to which the supervisor just gives here name of company and says that it was in India.A week later the supervisor is surprised to see a package for her in the mail.She opens the package to find a box of chocolates and a cute letter from the old lady.The old lady had taken the pains to figure out where the supervisor worked and had sent her the chocolates !.. sweet woman,no??

Several stories revolved around BPO drivers and adventures of Agents while onsite.There are lots of sleazy stories as well.For someone who isn’t accustomed to such stories,this book might have seemed new and different.I didn’t find anything new as the Hubby regales me with such tales almost everyday.Yeah,he works for a BPO.No,he doesnt take calls ;-)!.

BPO sutra also happens to be an online portal(Bposutra.com).There are forums for people in the industry to interact with each other.There are also mentorship programs,job postings and gyan articles about how to get it on in the industry. The second volume is in the pipeline and the author is looking for more stories.Do check the site for details.

Overall,a lacklustre book.Good for reading in short bursts.Ideal for local travel!.

My rating : 2.5/5
Publisher: RUPA
Price: Rs. 95

100 shots of Short Challenge ..

I got to know about the 100 shots of shot challenge from Priya‘s blog and have decided to take it up.I am a huge fan of short stories,but haven’t been able to read many these days as novels take up too much of my reading bandwidth.

The Challenge is a simple one – no time limit, no specific titles, just the goal of reading 100 self-picked short stories as and when possible.

I kicked off the challenge with 3 distinctly different short stories..

SHOT 1: The Gift of Maggi by O henry

I was introduced to this lovely story and author by my english teacher in my 8th standard..I have read this story several times in the past and each time the story warms my heart. It’s a beautiful Christmas time story about gifting..Beautiful story,told in O Henry’s inimitable style.Do read it !!

Catch this story at – The gift of Magi

SHOT 2: A telephone call by Dorothy Parker

I had never read anything by Dorothy Parker and was curious about the story after i read the review on Priya‘s blog.I wouldn’t exactly call it a story ,but a short piece on the emotions a young lady goes through waiting for a phone call.I thought the story was very average and that the wafer thin plot was stretched beyond it’s permissible elasticity.However,certain parts of the “story” were relatable!.

Catch this story at- The telephone call

SHOT 3 : How the camel got his hump by Rudyard Kipling

I have never actually read anything by Kipling on my own.I have read a few stories when i was much younger(part of school curriculum) and havent been really hooked on his writing..I really wonder how i missed out on lovely stories this author has to offer.As is evident from the title,this is a story about how the camel got it’s hump.. It is soo adorable that you cant stop saying “Soo Cute !!”.The story ends with a wacky poem.I am sure to read more of Kipling in the coming days .. !!

Catch this story at – How the Camel got his hump

Next update in couple of days !!! .. Happy reading!!