Author: Ameya Bondre
Publisher: Blue Rose Publishers
Genre: Short Stories
First Publication: 2019
Book Summary: Afsaane by Ameya Bondre
A sky-blue paper bird glued to a mirror. A handmade book on music to be gifted. A pair of mud-brown tea cups without handles. A shelf to hoard dying memories. A little home tucked away in a remote village. A haunting voice after boarding an empty bus…
The images on the cover belong to people whose stories are packed in this book: A man who meets his lost friend in a new world. A seeker who resists everyone to reach an unwanted place. Lovers that separate, only to find some hope. A failed artist who finds another voice. A new entrant in a home who creates turmoil. A cheated girl who makes a desperate call. A shattered man who pegs on a sudden dreamy trip.
“It had killed us… this one moment of weakness. The moment when I lost all my faith in her, my control on my impulse, and my grip on the knife.” – ‘Not in the Dark’ from Afsaane
With eleven stories of unrequited love, hope, acceptance, heart breaks or just needs, ‘Afsaane’ will tug at your heartstrings and open windows to people that experience unusual situations in far too usual lives.
Book Review: Afsaane by Ameya Bondre
Strange and real, Afsaane by Ameya Bondre provokes thought and amazement at every turn. Across eleven tales, a wide cast of characters, mostly unusual and of color, navigate through reality full of hope, love, loss, memory and desire.
The stories in Afsaane are magical in that they each contain something not-quite-of-this world. And Ameya uses it to elevate the questions he’s grappling with here: what we make of memory, and what it makes of us, the nature of love and longing, of connection, between human beings. This is an amazing, beautiful book.
“The viciously crooked Raag challenged her, note by note, but she held it firmly. There she leaned at the window, just before the driver’s seat, soaking in the breeze that freed her to sing, or so I thought.” -‘Dreams’ from Afsaane
The settings are very localized, very Indian. The situations and their plots seem easily transferable to other places: they present an individual dealing with whatever life has put on their tray. Without much ado, these stories pay homage to the arbitrariness we have to deal with, daily.
Without being overtly philosophical I must say that Ameya knows the crisis of life and the battles fought each day. He shows how the greatest of our conflicts are not without, but within and all the regrets and desires that consume us, gradually but definitely. Afsaane by Ameya Bondre has all the intricacies of life and its simple pleasures, the bliss of a happy marriage and the pain of unrequited love. This book has everything we call “LIFE”, nothing is missing and nothing forgotten.
“She could deflect my remarks – she could play with the spoon and the rice slipping in and out of it, or reposition her plate. She could tuck away an errant lock of hair behind her ear… or divert the conversation to an earlier remark, which she did.” – ‘Long Lost’ from Afsaane
Ameya’s writing is achingly beautiful, at every level. He chooses the perfect words, crafts sentences that make your heart feel too big for your chest, and repeatedly surprises–repeatedly offers up the thing that’s both unexpected and exactly right. Ameya is strong on characterization and descriptions of places. His tight writing paradoxically evokes whole worlds of culture, time, history, and real, breathing characters.
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