Tuesday, May 1, 2018

The One-eyed Chick and Other StoriesThe One-eyed Chick and Other Stories by Basanta Kumar Satpathy

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

There is no mistaking the intimacy of the author with the experiences around which the stories are woven. Be it a tenant and his children getting used to the surroundings of a freshly rented house, or a reflective commuter recounting the conversation and experiences his daily grind brings forth.

Most of the stories veer around a forlorn widower trying to come to grips with his loneliness and fulfilling the responsibilities of raising a brood of motherless children. The stories cover a range of emotions of widowhood, from those evoked by immediate and sorrowful parting of his wife to those evoked by nostalgia and reminiscence. 'That Boy' is a poignant tale of a grief for a departed son.

But take heart, the collection is not all about heartbreaking flashes from the past: Satpathy knows how to wriggle out of his painful remembrances. The story teller brings up a few laughs even when the proceedings are heavy. Then, there are a few stories which are plain hilarious.

The description of pandemonium that ensues at the Lit Fest where the author has been invited as the Chief Guest has all the signs of a masterstroke. By the time the author's turn comes to address the chaotic audience as the Chief Guest, the Chairperson of the festival has already been shooed away and the latter "had suffered a heart attack". Good sense prevails on the author as he quickly dumps his staid topic and focuses on a poem his 13-year old grandson had written. This makes his day as a modern poet and brings great ovation.

View all my reviews