Paranormal is an enticing proposition for someone that doesn’t want to get inside the scary horror stories, which most of the time involve bloodthirsty killers, sanguinary revenges, blood-curling events, and horrifying experiences. Paranormal is interesting, looked well when served cold. There is difference between horror and ghost stories and on one side paranormal. Reading Amitav Ganguly back to back made me realized that my genuine interest lies in paranormal stories over horror and ghost ones.
I have read first ‘Twelve Paranormal Tales’, and since then expecting another miraculous work from the author. He came right on time with ‘Forever She’: Tales of Otherworldly Love & Passion. I read all seven stories with great interest. On a personal note, it was better than the previous book. ‘Forever She’ is etched with great female protagonists, the title is apt and revelatory.
In Twelve Paranormal Tales, some of the stories were predictable. However, in Forever She, the game is different. Nothing is fixed or predictable. I was amazed to see the building of backdrop and inclusion of elements that cast shadow and impression of superstitions gone wrong, time travel, apparition, intervention from otherworld i.e. after death.
Like the previous book, this collection too rolls hard on love and bonding. Since female characters are at the forefront, love like feeling was imminent. The book opens up with a story of a tribal woman gone missing. The narrator finds a strange unusualness in his sojourn at the forest rest house, where he was guided by her benign soul to capture the rapist and murderer. Brumal evening, forested village, eerie silence, lonely roads, and a few characters – nonetheless the story was perfect with its backdrop. It didn’t give me a chance to pounce upon its end result, rather I had my own interpretations, and I chugged ahead with the story like a naïve listener.
Supernatural elements of this book aren’t meant to scare you, rather it insists on reconciliation and fructification of love and bonding. For example, in the last story, a woman finally gets to know about the death of her grandma through someone else. But here nobody was scared to a heavy extent, the experience they went through was different and queer but not exactly bone-chilling horror. There is subtleness in each story, no forced conclusion. The pace of the stories was perfectly captured.
Forever She: Tales of Otherworldly Love & Passion by Amitav Ganguly is a great book in its genre, for anytime, any day. I had a fascinating experience with this book, though in the radio watch story I was predicting the end, so does it happened, but the course of the story was amazing. With short stories, you cannot delve deep with their summaries. It is up to readers what they interpret and what they get. The cover page of the book was simple, yet effective in its influence. It was designed keeping its title in the mind.
|The Asian Review Rating||9 out of 10|