Title: My Lawfully Wedded Husband and Other Stories
Author: Madhulika Liddle
Genre : Fiction
Price: Rs. 250
Publisher: Westland Limited (2012)
I have a limited attention span and that might be one of the reasons that I absolutely dote on a collection of short stories. The cover was a captivating one with the red and black in sync to the darkly humorous stories written onto its pages.
The titles intrigued my mind as well, some like St.George and the Dragon and the Howling Waves of Tranquebar and even Sum Total itch your curiosity and might serve as the perfect Bollywood scripts for alternative cinema I am so in love with . Others like the Silent Fear and Night Train weren't monologues of mystery and were predictable and I guess even dragged, although since these were very very short, I was hooked on till the end. Without giving up on my patience.
Sum Total was a story of delusions and fears, crammed inside the head of a woman who wanted to seek revenge against the people, trying to get even with her. Ofttimes because of the fallacies of other humans hate and anger mushrooms inside us. When selfishness pulls the wool over others eyes and they try to make us a scapegoat for their covetous calling, does deceit disguise into fallacy. Veera's day dreams were a product of that kind of a parsimony.
Geeti, a not so smart girl had a lot to lose in the end, when she decided to trust the most reliable girl in school. And the poor soul couldn't have imagined that the girl she looked upto for succor was the main protagonist of the cliff hanger staged in front of her.
Feet of Clay read more like a fairy tale straight from a castle of dreams. It takes a closer look at one of the most cowardly crimes existing in the Indian society which is usually brushed under the carpet for the fear of social stigmatization.
My Lawfully Wedded Husband takes a dig into the modern day marriages feeding on adultery. The twist in the end baffled the wits out of me. Read out to find more.
Number 63 is a creepy tale straight out of an old deserted grave that no one bothers to dig into, the loneliness of the ageing adults in India. Again a spine chilling conclusion.
On the Night Train is the simple tale of ghostly eeriness that the human soul dreads very often. This story read more like a diary entry or travelogue.
Hourie is the chronicle of a dark underbelly called the red light area, shown commonly in movies as a place full of red lipped girls sequined and glittering to sell themselves as mannequins for a night. It is the story of an innocent girl who had no inkling of how she would be conned by two people she trusted with her life.
Silent Fear is a serious take on harmless jokes which can sometimes cause irreparable damage to a persons psyche.
St George and the Dragon was the story of the good and evil and how good prevails over evil in the end. It can make for an amazingly interesting Bollywood script as it takes a closer look at most of the issues in a developing country like India and its consequences on the society. Also it talks of the few crusaders who are willing to do their bit for a change.
The ending of the story Crusader was black humour and lived upto its name of amusing me.
The Howling Waves of Tranquebar is another of the winners that can make for a movie script. I also enjoyed the travelogue running parallel to this story of deceit and deception. The beer mug being the winner here.
Madhulika Liddle wins hands down with her prowess of weaving stories around objects and people with simplicity and elegance although at some places I felt the itsy bitsy grammar errors could have been revised, even though I am no grammar nazi myself. But in the midst of an engaging read, at times trivial grammar errors can play the spoilt sport.
Now I quickly want to grab her other books and get a few more goosebumps.
My rating 3.5/5, half a point goes for the weeny grammatical mistakes I pointed and 1 point goes for the two stories On the Night Train and Silent Fear, that did not ring a bell in my head.