There are the books which we read for the first time and become a fan of those… whispering tacitly to the author to write more like this. Recently, I have come across such a book called Monsoon Minds. This is a book of short stories. The collection offers to the readers a total of eighteen short stories which are mostly based on the wide experience that the author Ravi Nambiar seems to have accumulated in his life journey. The stories tell of death; the stories celebrate life; the stories mourn lost love and move ahead; the stories ask tough questions to the society… the stories, in short, are fully animated and moving.
The book begins with the story of Sugadamma whose only wish is to be in the obituary section of the newspaper once she dies. She is a village woman, a typical one, who is very close to the narrator. Another story, the story of a tree Elangi, tells the story of a girl who had to commit suicide to escape from the social stigma that she had to face once she became pregnant before marriage. Another one tells of the life which keeps moving even after we lose our beloved ones…
The narration chosen for this book by the author is very simple. Ravi keeps you busy only with the story and does not like beating around the bush. He is straightforward and sometimes uses figures of speech as well… There is also a kind of break free from the boredom of city life that we are used to reading in the popular fiction culture of the day. We read only city love affairs, city scandals, city politics, and everything high profile. It is the high time and the author has fully acknowledged the need of shifting the goalposts and relocating the narrative in a village – the village that he chooses is called Bhavli.
Monsoon Minds is a fair collection of short stories which offers something for every reader who reads it. The book is so interesting and enchanting that I had to finish it in one go… just anticipating what the author might bring in the next story. As the author himself seems lost in the nostalgia of the past days, he also transports the readers to the same destination. A reader will feel with the characters as they feel with the progress of the narrative. There is a unique kind of bonding (like we see in the story between a cow and a woman) between the text and the reader, what I felt after reading this book. I will advise all the serious readers to read this beautiful collection of short stories and enjoy the creation of a serious author.
by – Ravi Kumar