Title: These Circuses that sweep through the Landscape
Author: Tejaswini Apte Rahm
Publisher: Aleph Book Company
Price: 299 INR
‘These Circuses that sweep through the Landscape’ is a collection of 10 short stories of varied themes. The stories that we have in this debut collection of Tejaswini Apte Rahm are richly colored. Though the stories have been written exquisitely, not every other reader can appreciate their beauty.
About the Author
Tejaswini Apte- Rahm is from Mumbai. She studied in Singapore and UK. Having worked as an environmentalist researcher for ten years, Tejaswini has been to Serbia, Israel, Cambodia, Thailand, Myanmar and Bangladesh. She was a journalist in Mumbai and has written for Screen, Hindustan Times, the Times of India and Asian Age. Now she lives in London and is a full time writer.
Let us step into the Circus Ground…
From my own inference, the title These Circuses that sweep through the Landscape refers to the odd and peculiar plots of the stories that we have in the collection. The circuses here refer to the personal circuses that take place in our own lives. These are the circuses in which we are the Ring Master at one time and the Joker at some other time. And these personal circuses, according to me, are more astounding.
But sadly, reading about these circuses wasn’t as pleasing as watching an actual circus. We cannot strike a chord with some of the protagonists of the stories. Can you relate yourself with someone made of Cotton? Or can you imagine yourself lost in a Mall for months? Well, I couldn’t. In stories having such odd plots, I hope for a nice climax. But I wasn’t treated in that way.
Some stories become irritating at times, while some disappointed me at the end. One thing that I feel strongly is that these stories have the power to mentally disturb the readers. As a result, I had to shift to some other book to distract my mind.
I feel the stories have been arranged in a wrong way. The first 5 stories are the ones that not only I but most people (as I have read some reviews) didn’t like. One may think of not to proceed with next stories. But by moving ahead, we take the right decision. Because those are the pages where the real treasure lies buried. My favorite stories from the collection are: Sandalwood, Mili and the title story These Circuses that sweep through the Landscape.
I liked Sandalwood for the intriguing story line wherein a man, after 17 years of his marriage, discovers that he is a gay and cannot stay anymore with his wife. Mili is about the meeting of two ex- lovers after a long time, which I read with great interest. The title story is the one that I enjoyed reading the most. The reason being the point of view that keeps shifting.
The other performers in this Circus show includes a fanatic beetle-collector, a girl who loves a singer long dead, a small girl who escapes from reality by turning to TV. We have 4 friends (2 couples) who discover new dimensions of their friendship,one day when they meet for Drinks at Seven.
Although a debut collection, the stories have been written vividly. Two stories from the collection, Homo Coleptera and Sandalwood, have already appeared in some magazines.
Though we cannot relate with most of the stories, the authoress has done a commendable job when it comes to writing. I feel an Introduction to the collection would have made it easier for average readers to comprehend the stories. I personally feel a book without intro is incomplete.
This collection, I feel, is not meant for everyone. But if one wants to experience the beauty of Tejaswini’s writing then this book is great. The cover of the book needs a special mention. It is the most beautiful amongst the ones that I own. It is illustrated by Priya Kuriyan. As far as the authoress and her upcoming works are concerned, I’m definitely looking forward to what comes next from the authoress.
My Rating: ***(3/5)
What do you think about it? Can you relate with the character in any way? I would love to hear from you people. Thanks.
I requested a review copy from Aleph Book Company and was very kindly given one. Views expressed are entirely personal.