By Kevin Mallik
Kaleidoscope by Ranjit Kulkarni is a very interesting book with a diverse backdrop. The book offers a collection of short to medium-length stories of mixed ambience and situations. The prominent theme in the book is to explore various shades of life through a long cast of characters. All the stories are credible, sounds real, relatable, and ironic in the end.
The tone in the book is persistent, satirical and witty. The book offers 18 stories. Ranjit is a regular writer, with some of the prominent novels to his name with interesting characters like Swami and Jignesh Bhai. Those who are familiar with his books may find this collection another gem to his list. He has distinctly maintained his consistent writing style, kept it simple and lucid.
Stories are good to read and one can offer some refreshment to oneself. The stories have unexpected twists and turns, and most importantly have morale message for all of us. He threw light on many topics that are either dormant in our society or are kept ignored since ages. For instance, in the Coma story, he has brought forward feelings of a patient. She listens to all but cannot reply back.
Prognosis is another good story that depicts the egoistic approach of a pessimistic doctor. However, things change when someone close to him gets healed by positive attitude. He repents for killing many and blames his ill judgment.
From India-Pakistan partition to pandemic to Malaysian missing flight, there are stories from all spheres of life. Some are purely built on imagination while some have their sources linked to things that are grappling the world.
It doesn’t matter whether the issues looked real or made up, but his author has secretly tied up every story with some amazing irony in the end. The expanse of the stories is far-reaching and some of the stories from the collection may linger for a longer time with the readers.
Discussing themes, on a broader term, the book portrays tales of destiny, hope, fate, grim reality of our societies, and love. The collection is contemporary and covers mostly issues that are prevalent in our societies. Readers will be moved by stories based on a patient in Coma, those who lost life in MH Flight 370, Covid-19, etc. In fact, other stories are also brilliant and grand in their essence. The author has done justice to its characters by assigning them some flawed traits and frail human values.
Our View on the Cover:
The colourful and intermingling backdrop of the cover is outstanding. The cover page looks simple with shades of colours but it’s suggesting its title: Kaleidoscope. Probably, the author wanted to show readers that the book is going to tell about many shades or colours of life. Overall, the cover is meaningful and highly attractive. Those who judge the book by cover may miss its value.
Since it is a collection of short stories set amid various backdrop, it is likely that there is no protagonist in the book. On the other side, there are 18 plus characters but sadly they live for short time. It will be tough to track record of all characters but readers will eventually find the one most astounding and tall in its stature.
Lucid narration with captivating storytelling! The sense of wit and humour is never lost. It is the USP of Ranjit. The stories are told in a simple and straight forward manner, without putting readers in any loop of hassle. The author has made use of simple writing technique as it helped in defining the characters in full capacity and built the ambience for storytelling with much gusto. Due to simple and decent writing style, the readability of this book is quite high.
Who Can Read:
We recommend this book to all readers looking for simple and clean stories built around many themes that matter most in our lives. Some may find the collection a little embarrassing but the truth has its own veracity, isn’t it? It will be better to read the collection over and again in order to get an immersive experience.
Our Final Verdict:
This is an easy to read book with 18 short to medium length stories. Readers from all genres can easily read this book. The author’s writing style is lucid and the development of characters from different perspectives throws light at his know-how about his ambience. A wonderful collection depicting the traverse of life that is never at peace with its essence.
|The Asian Review Rating||8 out of 10|