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January 26, 2013

Notes on Blue : The Tranquebar Book of Erotic Stories from Sri Lanka

Edited By : Ameena Hussain
Publisher : Tranquebar Press

Rating : 2/5

Blue - The Tranquebar Book of Erotic Stories From Sri Lanka is a book that questions the existing sexual stereotypes in the island country through it’s collection of erotic and titillating stories. The 17 stories and poems compiled in the book portray situations and excerpts from the lives of their protagonists, where they all encounter their sexuality. These stories deliver a delicious array of situations where it seems like anything can happen – and often does but alas, it does not turn out to be very engaging.

The book's name is a tribute to the days of blue films, which most of us have watched one time or the other in our life. It will not appeal to diverse range of readers as most of the stories are written by debut or pseudonym authors. The editor attempts to assemble different genres together like teens exploring their sexuality, frustrated housewives, two strangers together in a cinema hall, the love of a convent student for her female teacher, the men bored in marriage and finding solace in phone calls and the unwitting involvement of a young girl in molestation etc. The book has made an effort to represent the various aspects and kinds of sexual relations but has been unable to do anything original with them. The poems are amateurish in the true sense and does not really fit into the anthology spirit. 

Blue is reprinted in India a year after its original Sri Lankan publication by Perera Hussein Publishing House. Its first edition had been supplemented by black and white photography in lieu of story dividers – a gratuity which was dropped in this market, something which might have just taken away some subtlety from the book. It is cinematic equivalent of watching a B-grade Porn. Read it if you must!

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