Monday, 15 August 2016

Book Review - Panorama - A collection of short stories

Author – Shilpi Chaklanobis
Publisher – Notion Press
Pages – 134
Price -  Rs. 150

First Impressions

I am a big fan of short stories, so the plain cover that revealed nothing about the book could hold my attention for few seconds only. Like a child, I was eager to dive into the world of stories, when these words on the back cover caught my attention...

"Often laced with an element of introspection, the stories are sure to change the way you see the world around you..."

My View
There is something magical about short stories collection that entice the reader in me. Whether I am in a mood to read or not, a short story collection is something that is bound to lift my spirits on a dull day. It was on such a dull, rainy day that Panorama arrived to uplift my mood. 

The stories even though poles apart are weaved with a common thread of emotions. Touching different aspects and emotions of life, each story strikes a chord with the reader's heart. Wok  is a story that speaks of innocence, sacrifice and love. The powerful story of a single mother, her challenges, sacrifices and love for her little one got my eyes moist. If you ever had a pet and you loved "Marley & Me", the story "Peanut" is for you. The devotion towards his master is more important for a pet than his own life, and  this tragic story proves this. "The Thirst" tells the story of a daughter whose thirst for her mother's love blinds her of her own interests. Whether she finally gets the love she's been looking is for you to find out. Sometimes, all it takes is an incident to change our perspective and wash away the mind blocks society has built up and "Selective Secularism" narrates one such incident. "Bribe" introduces  us to the mental tug of war between a father and a husband. The father wants to be his daughter's favourite. But, does the demanding husband understand the silent sacrifices made by his wife? "Forever" is the story of ambitions, love, compromises and revelations. Life doesn't always give us a second chance, especially when it comes to relationships. "The Wait" shakes us with its powerful narrative; a dutiful wife's endless search and hope for the deceitful husband who abandoned her. Her innocence charms and her dutiful nature surprises the readers. A story of devotion, diligence and deceit that shakes our conscience. When a natural calamity strikes, all we do is extend our sympathies and perhaps some donations. However, little do we know the harsh reality of children who have been orphaned in such calamities. "The second Tsunami" is such a heart warming tale of tragedy, hunger, love and survival. Does hunger come above a sister's love for her brother? "The Example" forces us to reconsider the definition of success and achievements. Is real success all about accolades or about making a difference in someone's life? "The Meeting" is a wonderful story that explains the changing dynamics of friendship when money crawls in between. On the land of Sudama and Krishna, will Payal get the same love and recognition from her rich friend Ria as she used to when they both shared the middle class status? Children often fail to notice the sacrifices of their mother, especially when she is a working mother. "Mirage" tells about such a relationship between a mother and daughter. Selfish, busy and a bad wife is all that Khushi thinks of her mother, a single parent, until one day an old cupboard reveals a shocking secret. "Destiny" is a chilling story of beliefs, destiny and the unexplained powers of the universe. Fortune tellers can tell our future but can we change our destiny if we know the impending risk in advance? "The Untimely Death" is a story set in the unforgettable year "1984" when Indira Gandhi's assassination changed the lives of many families overnight. Unaware of the political dynamics that govern the fate of cities, an innocent school girl discovers the world around her totally changed in the wake of 1984 riots. Often, we sacrifice our personal space to feed our ambitions.  In the story, "Before It's Too Late" Arnab discovers the importance of family time after reaching the pinnacle of his career. However, to his surprise, the same family who earlier craved for his presence had conveniently filled the void with materialistic comforts and friends. While money can buy almost everything, can it buy back the precious moments that could have been spent with family? The last story "The Sealed Wish" is a story of love, tragedy and coincidences that challenge a mother who has lost her husband and daughter. 

Powerful and thought provoking, these are the stories of people around us, of their hopes, feelings and circumstances. Each story is refreshingly different from the other, and hints at important lessons life teaches us. 

A brilliant work from a debut author! A perfect book to give you company on a rainy afternoon with a hot cup of chai. 

Hope to see the book made into a motion picture someday....

Thumbs Up

Powerful narrative. Each story strikes an instant connection with the reader.
Versatility of stories.
Writing style that lives up to the standards of a perfect short story.

My Rating - 

About The Author
Shilpi Chaklanobis hails from the beautiful city of Kanpur and has spent the majority of her adult life in Delhi. She currently heads  the Digital Marketing division at an MNC. The amalgamation of her years spent amongst the quiet, calm streets of a small city and the hustle and bustle of a metropolitan like Delhi has lent her a unique perspective towards life. She aims to translate her experience and understanding of human relationships into stories that not only move people but also resonate with them. She believes that the beauty of a story lies within its ability to be interpreted by the reader in the way they desire as is evident from her writing. Apart from writing, she spends her time time devouring books by the dozen. This is her first endeavour as a writer and her writing not only shows promise, but also has a sense of sensitivity that compels you to think about the lives you touch every day.

I received the book from the author for an honest review. You can buy "Panorama" from Flipkart and Amazon


  1. Wow....I really liked the way you picked up each story to tell us what the themes of the book are...I personally like short stories too...

  2. A wonderful review. I am currently reading this book and enjoying it :)

  3. Short stories are quick reads and hence make a quick way from 'to be read' to 'read' category ..This one seems interesting.


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