Women’s Web is a website I have been following, since its inception. When I got a chance to review their latest offering, Kunti’s Confessions and Other Short Stories, I was more than happy to do so.
The book is really unique in itself. It is a collection of short stories which have been written inspired by specific lines from interesting lines from books of famous women authors. Every month, Women’s Web ran a monthly writing contest, in 2016, called Muse of the Month, in which they would pick up a line/cue from the book of a contemporary Indian woman writer and then readers were invited send in their stories. From these stories, 15 of the best stories were picked up to create the book.
All of the 15 stories are really special. But some of them really stand out. Kunti’s confessions is inspired from Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni’s “The Palace of Illusions”. Deepa Arun creates a beautiful story around Kunti and her feelings giving us a glimpse on what a mother and a woman really felt about the Mahabharata war. The second story which I really liked a lot for its simplicity talks about an aging actress and her protege. Deepa Arun also writes an extremely interesting story ‘A Tree Tale’ which I actually modified a bit and told my 8 year old and she loved it! Such a lovely way to teach kids about the environment and the its importance! Another story which stood out for me is the story of Rupa who is a working woman, who manages work and household. But when her husband wants her to move abroad with him, she wonders, what about her career?
A lovely lovely story of Zarine is something which got a smile on my face. I love reading about stories of people who find their love, and this one leaves you so happy! The story of the modern day Kunti and Draupadi is a pleasure to read, while that of a woman trying to come to terms with her marriage and family brought a lump in my throat.
I could go on and on…Each story is unique, each story deals with a different circumstance and each story leaves you with a message. Editors Aparna and Sandhya have done an amazing job picking up stories which are so different and yet seem to have a common thread in them – that about being women who react to circumstances to the best of their abilities.
I finished the book in one sitting. The stories are short and extremely interesting. Its fascinating to see the human mind work so differently in each situation and I loved the fact that there is a mix of each emotion which comes out in the stories as you read them.
Definitely worth a read!