Friday, January 25, 2013

Book Review: Alchemy (II) edited by Sheba Karim

The sheer excitement of reading a well written Erotica is always high but given the fact that it was my first experience of reading an Indian Erotica, my excitement was doused with amusement as well as apprehensions. Alchemy, is an anthology of erotic short stories written by writers of South Asian descent and edited by Sheba Karim who goes with the belief that “I would much rather want that someone first learns about sex from a well written Erotica story than some unrealistic, badly made, male-centric porn on the internet.” While internationally an Erotica has been accepted as a genre capable of literary merit, it is still a long way to go for in a country like ours. And thus such well written and edited Erotica novels and anthologies are highly welcomed and accepted by readers like me.

However, as I finished story after story of this Erotica anthology, I was not much impressed by it. May be because my expectations were quite high and was not in any mood to read an account of a postmodern man’s attraction towards his maid and such similar stories. I wanted to read something that would evoke my senses and would let me contemplate it long after I have finished reading the book.

Read below for individual brief review of all the thirteen stories.

The Farmer’s Daughter by Rabi Thapa:

Well much to my dissapointment, the first story of the book is a unapologetic account of a postmodern man’s sexual attraction towards his maid. Based in Nepal, the protagonist secretly desires for a sexual endeavor with his maid but never gets the nerve to approach her even after befriending her and getting quite a number of chances that destiny throws at him.

And no, I did not like the story at all as I was no way in mood to read an account of a man's lust towards his maid. This is an age-old plot and thus it left me in bad taste.

Clay by Gudiya:

I started reading it without much expectation. The beginning was tad-bit unimpressive but very soon I was amazed to realize how well written the story is. Settled on a modern day platform, for me, it dealt with many modern day aspects of our lives. How sexual relationships with no emotional connect are on the rise. How women too are concerned and focused about their own sexual gratification. How sex could just be an act of pleasure and nothing more and how at the same time those li’l moments when you connect to your partner emotionally while in the middle of it, you transcend to a whole new level of gratification. On the other hand it also deals with social aspect of today’s world where there is almost no connection in between the family members. How children are exposed to such activities at such an young age. How an elderly is not taken care of. So much so that you don't even notice the demise of one. 

Last but not the least it also emphasis on the naked truth that love, crush, lust, fantasies, and desires can be towards anyone. Feelings are par beyond the societal norms and status.

By far this is my favorite story out of all even though more than an erotica it is a well written sensitive story dealing with layers of human emotions. This story has a heart of its own which surely touched a chord of mine.

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Of You and Me and Delhi Winters.

Lost memories found their way.
Back to me.
On a misty morning.
In a lonesome tea-stall.
At some long forgotten corners.

Crossroads are still crossroads.

--- © Preetilata Sarkar

~आते जाते खूबसूरत आवारा सड़को पे कभी कभी इत्तेफ़ाक से कितने अन्जान लोग मिल जाते है... उनमे से कुछ लोग भूल जाते है कुछ याद रह जाते है. 

P.S: The lines in Hindi are from a song of a Hindi Feature Film.