Monday, August 11, 2014

Review: Emotions Unplugged by Vishal Anand

Short stories have gained an uncanny popularity in the past one year and it continues to revive the trend by giving it a concrete term "anthology". Solo efforts and collaborative collections have paved way to the market to capture the eager eyes of the readers. Author Vishal Anand in his debut attempt "Emotions Unplugged" tries to gather his experiences and deliver an anthology of his own. So does it works for him? Let's find out. 

The fifteen stories in Emotions Unplugged tell of ordinary people finding themselves in new situations – coping with divorce, financial ruin, realizing the importance of your grandparents, and falling love with a complete stranger. The author also deals with social issues, such as divorces and remarriage, deterioration of politics, vulnerability to commit crimes, and the caste system prevalent in India.This book is an autobiography of sorts in which the stories reflect the author’s personal experiences. The book comprises of stories, such as The Veiled Girl, in which Vinit, the protagonist, falls in love with a veiled girl while travelling in Delhi metro to reach his office every day. In A Day before My Divorce, Diksha travels through the streets of Mumbai a day before her divorce. Emotions Unplugged comprises of poignant and heart-warming stories which will make for an ideal read.

First look at the title and the cover and it gives your expectations wings. The unique idea of the cover images gels well with the title and gives it a gentle touch. The blurb giving slight glimpses from some stories in the book and leaving rest for the readers to read and decipher. 

Story No. 1:

The story of a young couple who have hit a rough patch and it all comes down to a circle when they try to make it work. It's a nice story with a touch of realism and the insensitivity and growing frustrations among people. It starts on a bright note but doesn't manages to pull off anything out of the blues.

Story No. 2:

The story revolves around an old man and some etiquettes which one need to learn about. The story is pretty simple in narration and opens up to teach a lesson. It's a nice flower plucked out of a bunch. 

Story No. 3:

It's a story of young girl, her miseries and the acts of selflessness and fear which sometimes leads you to good or either bad. The story turns out to be heart warming and then slowly nudges along towards a better finish but fails to inspire a neat end. The story with lot of emotions. 

Story No. 4: 

The story is about a bond and the commitment towards it. The story touches hearts in a simple manner and manages to capture the best of a relationship with good command. It's a subtle change that binds it together till the end. 

Story No. 5: 

The past can never be left out and it always comes back to reminds us about our fond and faded memories. The story starts and ends on a positive note with a lot of hope. But the entire sequence of event doesn't manages to pull off anything extraordinary out of the bag. An average narration.

Story No. 6: 

It's not your good deeds that speak for you but the sins you committed make you suffer. The story is about one such suffering. The story starts off well, chugs off fine, gives a nice revelation and then fades away in the end which looks pale and abrupt. 

Story No. 7:

An eye opener is always necessary when it concerns your knowledge. This is where your self belief and experience comes handy. It's a travelogue story and manages to highlight the disparity between the people of our country. It captures the problematic side of the story but it doesn't gives a polished look with too little to savour about other characters in the story. 

Story No. 8: 

Chivalry is not dead and it never will be. There will be always that one man in your life who will showcase the traits of a man. The story starts and ends on a high and keeps the humanity alive and the past differences aside. A good narrative. 

Story No. 9:

Revenge is strange and it comes from the unexpected quarters. The story runs on the revenge lines but with copious amount of suspense and then delivers the right punch at the right time. It's a good story.

Story No. 10: 

Humanity is a trait which comes naturally to a person. The story revolves on the lines of humanity and does manages to cover a fair distance in removing the divide of religion from the minds of the people. The story comes out with a good message for the readers. 

Story No. 11: 

For there is hate, there is love too. For there is filth, there is some cleanliness too. The story comes in phases of past, present and an uncertain future and manages to reveal the dark side of a soul. It does shines later and captures hearts with the act of selflessness. 

Story No. 12: 

All it takes wings and a flight upwards to reach your goal and achieve your dreams. Equality has always been a major issue in our society and this stigma still prevails in few parts. But the story clears out some air and gives wings to the dreams and hopes to the hopeless and the support which one needs from their near and dear ones. It's a very good narrative. 

Story No. 13:

Sometimes in life some unsaid words can create misunderstandings and in turn cause you a grief of a lifetime. The story captures the essence of friendship and stalemates and makes it look like an everyday affair with positivity and hope to go along. It's not a sparkling story but it's not bad either.

Story No. 14: 

There are few in the world who do care about women and their existence on the face of this earth. It's a sham there are many who still snub the idea. But this story keeps that womanhood alive and leaves a grave mark on the mind of the readers. It keeps the hopes alive for a girl who becomes a saviour for another girl and creates a world of love and care. It's the best story of the lot. 

Story No. 15: 

For what you do wrong to people it always comes back to haunt you some or the other time in life. The story turns out to be one such revenge seekers and covering the journey from rich to the pauper. It's a good old story but there's not much to ponder or striking about it. 

15 stories and most of them picked up from the everyday occurrences of life. The language has been kept simple and the narration has a see saw tempo which suits the flaring tempers or the calm minds of the readers. The book does manages to unplug many emotions and captures vivid colours of life with it's extensive coverage on various subjects. From the darker recesses to light of hope there's a story for everyone to read and enjoy. Special mentions for stories 11, 12 and 14 which turn around the tide for the book in the second half and keeps the spirit alive. 

The downside of the book is it's pale first half where the stories turn out to be party spoiler. A few of them with abrupt endings not giving a befitting end and bereaving the book of it's charm. Grammatical mistakes too occupy the book, not in large numbers but still could have been avoided. The spark fading in the veils of simplicity at times also adds to lacklustre deliverance of few narratives. 

All in all the book tries to bring out the best for readers of all kinds. The forefront being the wide variety of emotions displayed by the living souls towards one another. On one hand it keeps the spirit of humanism alive and on the other it gives preferences to humanity. The duller approach sometimes not working in few of them and making it pale. It's a nice anthology which adopts and strives hard to capture it all in one go. 


3 OUT OF 5

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