Looking for Love?

February 6, 2013

Notes on 'Down the Road'

Editors : Ahmed Faiyaz and Rohini Kejriwal
Rating : 2.5/5

The book is divided into four sections with 28 stories by 16 authors, which brings to a personal reservation - Why only 16 authors and 28 stories when 9 stories from 1 author (some of them below average) has clearly been squeezed in the anthology. Surely a publishing house wanting to give opportunities to young writers should have taken care of this. On top of this, one short story - 'Between friends' from Urban Shots has been repeated in this anthology and two short stories has been put in as a novel extract purely as a marketing gimmick. The two essays in the end are poorly researched, catering to the 'nepotism' masses instead of really getting into the details of social repercussion of the college romance in fiction books or cinema.

The individual authors have explored many different facets of campus life including elections, politics, ragging, teachers, passions, lessons, crushes, and placements. Most stories end up adopting gimmicks or by surrendering to clich├ęs, boldly presuming that by adding college lingo, the characters would become representative of campus life. They merely touch upon themes which works well in short story format, but ultimately leaves you hanging with amateurish finish off style.

Some of the stories, however make a strong impression. Bellow Yellow by Chinmayi Bali has a dark, yet tender detailing about the well being of a student. The cafe with No Name by Sneh Thakur explores a heart warming relationship between its owner and one of the students from the college. An Accidental Start by Kunal Dhabalia bring alive a layered, beautiful relationship between student and teacher. Stranger in Strange Places by Abhijit Bhaduri could have been longer, but  the makes an impact with its freshness during the stay. Rishi & Me by Ira Trivdei throws in a dark emotional punch while Sororicide by Paritosh Uttam once again shows the versatility of the writer.

Overall, you will feel disappointed with most of the stories and will give you a feel of been there, read that. Read if you are looking for a light read or desperately want to take that nostalgia trip down the memory lane.

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