Title: Stories of Us
Author: Bobby Sachdeva
Publisher: Pan Macmillan India
Genre: Short Stories
First Publication: 2019
Book Summary: Stories of Us by Bobby Sachdeva
Does saving your family’s honour trump personal happiness?
Will the god be appeased if you overfeed him and not help the needy?
Will the law protect the stray dog that tears an eight-year-old into shreds?
Is a deceased manual scavenger just another statistic who risks his life for a cleaner future?
In the voice of the common man, Bobby Sachdeva questions our everyday practices in an unorthodox manner in Stories of Us. From Rishi to Parth or Lata to Rajnath, the hard-hitting and honest narratives are sure to inspire the common person to rethink the values long etched in our belief system.
Book Review: Stories of Us by Bobby Sachdeva
The stories in ‘Stories of Us by Bobby Sachdeva’ are twisted, sparse, clipped, dark, doomy, funny, dramatic, angry, death-haunted, maniacal, bizarre, possibly racist, apparently desperate, fatalistic, existential, dreary, frenzied, morbid, stern, prepossessing, unforgiving, unrelenting, anti-everything, aged, “retro”, haunting, parabolic, anecdotal, moral, redemptive, sublime, reasoned, feverish, dreamlike, unsparing, sparse, seductive, craftsman like, worried, extremely well conceived, taut, brooding, polarizing, scary, and powerful.
Author Bobby Sachdeva has a way of connecting all his stories by setting them in a landscape that refuses to leave you. The stories and the unease stay with you as you finish each fantastic piece, building up layer upon layer of despair until you thirst for an almost religious release from it all.
Stories of Us by Bobby Sachdeva is peopled with the religious, the good and the moral — grappling and trying to come to terms with an inhuman world and crueller selves — the continuous tensions between religiousness, morality and reality is played out in small, significant dramas that affect everybody and everything, and continues to fray the fabric of the world.
And in the end, each mini-drama also raises many mega-questions — Have we become so class-conscious that we judge people only by their appearance? Are we aware of the change in our relationships with others constantly? How can people retain their identities yet be tolerant towards others in multicultural situations? Do humans obsess over the creator so much that they forget they’re exploiting his creation? How much wealth does it take to be happy and content?
These are essentially weighty tales — mixing morality and religion without any restraints — where the characters face the ultimate questions of life and make the best choices they can, which are almost always reasonable in the eyes of the observer.
While the stories are deeply meaningful and derive their grotesqueness and tension from society, In each story, the reader will be exposed to the reality of the cold and essentially lonely society presented to the protagonists. The readers will instantly find themselves at home in this cruel, fantastically real world of Bobby Sachdeva. It is only the world outside your window, and inside yourself.
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