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February 18, 2013

Notes on 'Urban Shots - Crossroads'

Edited by : Ahmed Faiyaz
Publisher : Grey Oak / Westland

Rating: 2.5/5

Urban Shots – Crossroads, is a collection of 30 urban stories by 26 authors. Edited by Ahmed Faiyaz, it delves into the commotion, conflict and upheaval in the lives of interesting and colourful characters in urban India. The book boldly reveals the good, the bad and the ugly that exist in our society. Though it’s a work of fiction, the stories expose the realistic world of urban lives and talk about different aspects like relationships, love, depression, friendship, infidelity and longing.

All of the characters and situations used in the stories are almost extracts out of the everyday. The circumstances are real so that you tend to live the story rather than just read it. A matter of shame however is how a majority of the tales start out beautifully; build up to a point of thrilling engagement but fall flat towards the end.The style is heavily cinema inspired and immaturely believes that heavy descriptions and an incessant use of adjectives somehow translates to a better, more poignant read.

Premanand’s Yoga Class by Paritosh Uttam is about a mild mannered doctor whose love for yoga makes him infamous on TV and the writer also takes a dig at the mob psychology and yellow journalism. The Pink Slip is a
 succinct tale of a project manager, whose job is to fire programmers from work during recession, is faced with a similar predicament. Plummet by Avani Rajesh and Pranav Mukul is a terrifyingly beautiful mix of innocence, boldness and naivety. Song of the Summer Bird by Anita Satyajit  is the tale of a delightful little 8-year old whose love for books leads her on to explore new territories. Mind Games by Manisha Dhingra has a terrific twist in the end and is difficult to second guess. Jump Didi by Sharath Komarraju has a social cause hidden which requires immediate introspection.

Overall, there are very few stories that will leave you inspired, most of them are dull and drab and leaves you with a feeling of disappointment. 

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