Authors : Faraaz Kazi and Vivek Banerjee
Publisher : Mahaveer Publishers
Rating : 3/5
The other side...dare to visit alone? explore stories based on paranormal activities. It's a pity that there are very few books devoted to this genre in India even though our folk culture is resplendent with numerous tales waiting to be written into short stories/novels. In that respect, the book in itself is a brave attempt to break the cliches associated with this genre. Since there is no distinction in stories by the two authors, it is difficult to comment on individual author's style but almost all stories succeed in bringing an eerie atmospherics which is crucial in setting up each of them.
The authors experiment with genre by bringing in some fresh instrument - Ouija board in 'The long weekend' or unqiue backdrop - Roopkund Lake in 'The mystery lake' . There is an undercurrent of romance, love and lust flowing through all the stories which bind the narrative and ultimately push them to thrilling climaxes. Even though in some of the stories, you can guess the end by a mile, they still keep you engrossed through taut writing.
My favourite story in the book is the last one - Dream Girl where a deranged man collects women body parts to unite himself in death. There are other notable mentions in 'The muse comes calling' where an author is fascinated and captured by his own imagination and 'A Mother's love' which intelligently interweaves a folk story with some genuine scary moments.
'Possession' dealing with exorcism and 'Unfulfilled desires' in reincarnation respectively drag the book down. These are cliche stories seen/read in numerous novels and movies. These portions stood out like sore thumb because not only they are longest stories in the book but far too predictable and hardly offer anything new.
The other side break the stereotypes usually associated with the horror genre in fiction but does not avoid them completely to bring an entirely unique experience. Nevertheless, it is an attempt worth checking out for short stories in the horror genre. I hope there is sequel written to this one!