Urban Shots is a collaborative effort, pulled together from writers of diverse backgrounds, who live in different parts of the country. It is an anthology of 30 urban short stories written by 26 Indian authors and what a lovely anthology at it .
The stories revolve around relationships, in urban cities (metros), as they exist today. Relationships not just amongst youngsters but relationships shared by married couples, an old father his son, friends, daughter in-laws and mother in-laws and people in general.
The stories talk about friendship, love, infidelity, hope, liberation, serendipity, angst, longing and a hoard of feelings that we sometimes don’t take time to notice. As the cliché goes, “there’s hardly a dull moment” in this book. It is a good break from the run-of-the-mill fiction we get to read nowadays. Sensitive, bold and urbane, the book mirrors the day-to-day life of a city dweller. Whether it is a single mothers struggle or an old library watchmen, everyone who enters the city brings with him a hopeful heart and dreamy eyes , “Everyone has a story” in fact that’s the title of the first story in this book.
Love, hatred, betrayal and trust in short stories may sound cliché, and it is no less than a challenge to engage readers, circling around familiar emotions. However, the writers have pulled-off the formula with aplomb. Vivid yet subtle, sensitive and balanced, the stories have a soul to them The collection as a whole does look good. The editor has done a good job in mixing things up . His books teem with realities disguised by a veil of fiction that is sheer enough to highlight, rather than obscure, the similarities between the factual and the fictional
And the best part is that you can read this book as per your convenience and not worry about dropping it mid-way to attend to other things. So if you are travelling or waiting at the bus stop or sipping coffee alone or on a train – this book guarantees to be your best companion.
My favorite stories from the book were : Hako, Priorities and The Gap
Any urban city consists of a sky dark with pollution, like a premature dusk; streets, parks, buses, and sidewalks jammed with people–holy men, beggars, cripples, cricket players, hawkers of every conceivable item of food or clothing; shantytown huts packed together in unimaginable denseness; the weird smell in the air , rotting fruit, diesel exhaust, sweat, perfume; the layer of oily dust that rapidly covered every object, even indoors. And is sometimes numbing, paralyzing and impossible to take in but there are stories behind all this . Stories of you and me , stories of them and stories of us. This is captured well in urban shots .Well written short stories with differences in writing from different authors and their own flavors yet bound into a perfect book.
Might the book have set new standards for short fiction story writing in India? That gives us something to think about.
I enjoyed the book so much that I signed up to read Urban shots – bright lights 🙂