Seasoned poet comes up with stories

Seasoned poet comes up with stories
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Seasoned poet comes up with stories

Highlights

Keki N Daruwalla is a gifted well-known and award-winning poet and author writing in English.

Keki N Daruwalla is a gifted well-known and award-winning poet and author writing in English. Though he has a few collections of short fiction to his credit, poetry is his forte and first love. Therefore it is a small wonder that even his short stories are often permeated with the fine aroma of his poetry. His latest anthology of short stories titled, "Going" with the subtitle 'Stories of Kinship' is no exception to this practice. In all, it has seven stories and the first three ones make a novella and bear the common title, "The Brahmaputra Trilogy". Vikram, 'the Brahmaputra', born on the wrong side of the blanket to a married Indian woman and to a British officer, comes back years later to kill his English father. This sets the right tone for the theme of the anthology- kinships.

In the story, "Bird Island" we find an aged couple pining for their only son who left home long years ago.One day when they are on an outing with their rich, royal friend,the couple get the shock of their life.

In the title story, "Going" you find Daruwalla at his best, poetically. He paints a beautiful picture of an endearing and lovely bond between a grandmother and her lone grand-daughter.

"Daughter" is the longest story in this collection, running into 32 pages. The story meanders through a maze of details about clashes and confrontations between various communities here reeled out by the aged protagonist. At the end, like all parents, the protagonist and his wife feel ditched and disillusioned when their only daughter runs away to marry a person from a different community.

In narrating the stories, Daruwalla has deftly avoided melodrama and sensationalism. All human relations are financial relations, said a famous Marxist thinker. In our street two men have gone to the US and have made lots of fortune, but alas haven't come to Hyderabad to see their aged and ailing father for a decade. Pity when the father had died last year, the sons made a video call to their sister here and told her that they might come a few months later for performing family rituals! It is a hard fact and a reality in these IT times and globe- trotting days when most people migrate to greener pastures for money and luxury. Daruwalla should have included a few more stories, presenting our life from that angle and making his new anthology thematically complete and pertinent to our times. However this collection, published in April 2022, makes a great read.

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