- Paperback: 148 pages
- Publisher: Authorspress (2014)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 8172738919
- ISBN-13: 978-8172738914
- Package Dimensions: 21.6 x 14 x 0.8 cm
- Average Customer Review: 4 customer reviews
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #2,51,185 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
Skylines Paperback – 2014
About the Book
A woman is like a palette of colours. Just like the colours, she too displays a different tint and shade at different points of time. The colours you perceive are the ones you make her show. If you love her, she will adore you; if you give her wings she will soar but if you hurt her, she may take time but will one day bounce back in retaliation.
'Skylines' is a collection of fourteen different stories which revolve around women - the buoyant teens, the chirpy youth or the matured ladies. Different encounters and circumstances in life make them either very tender, fragile or reactionaries and bigots. Do read on to understand these colours of life...
About the Author
Neelam Saxena Chandra is an engineer by profession and works with Indian Railways. She has two novels, one novella, four poetry books, one short story collection and four children's story books to her credit, besides more than six hundred published stories/poems.
Neelam has been awarded for her works by Gulzarji in a Poetry Contest organized by American Society, by Children Book Trust in 2009, and by Ministry of Railways (Premchand Puraskar). She also received the Rabindranath Tagore International award for poetry. She was the lyricist for the song which won the Popular Choice Award in Folk Fusion category in Radio City Freedom Award.
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Top customer reviews
The stories per se are not innovative or exceptional. In fact, many are clichéd and predictable. The only stories that I could bring myself to like were Time’s Wounds and Acts of Despicability. Lessons in Prudence could have been better written to bring out the pathos of the mother. Facets of Love, The Bolted Fortitude and The Shimmering Sun also have potential for pathos that has been missed because of the story being crammed with action rather than add a bit of description and pathos. Many of the stories weren’t coherent in the time-space: for example, Love Knows No Bounds went so abruptly from past to present to past to present that I couldn’t follow the narrative until almost the end.
The writing is riddled with Indianisms in language – my pet peeve in this book being the use of “expired” for dead: a word I think is highly inappropriate considering that a person is not a batch of medicine to reach expiry date. Another one is “stated” for said (or another flowery synonym): this is too press-release-y and formal to flow with the content.
The stories are action-driven rather than narration-driven. The narration moves from action to action, helping the story move forward, but this prevents us from sympathising with the characters or situations. I could not identify with or invest in any character because of this.
The author also tends to wind up stories with explanations or preaching – as in the first story The Three Men in Her Life – instead of leaving it to the reader to understand.
The dialogues are stilted and don’t flow smoothly. Overall, a certain archaicness in the language mars complete enjoyment of the stories. If the author can rid herself of the influence of the vernacular and introduce a little bit of poignancy into her narrative, she can produce great results.
Any of the girls in the story could be your neighbor, relative or friend and you see the beauty these stories celebrate. From ordinary people come actions that change the path of a life. A husband who is a better father or a friend who unlocks the path of life and love; a friend who forgets her friendship and a mother who stands up silently, all this and more are a part of these stories.
Love Locks, The Shimmering Sun, The Conquest and Acts of Despicability were thought provoking reads. The Hiatus brought tears to my eyes; such love and longing. Facets of Love was an enlightening read; sometimes one’s own garden is greener indeed! Few of the stories like Horizons of Hope and Lessons in Prudence made feel the desperation, pain and sadness faced Aradhana and Neha.
The language is simple and fluent everyday language. It will find favor with readers, no jargon or superfluous words. The one thing that I did not like was that a couple of the stories were a bit predictable and obvious, one odd story was a bit long winding and I could see them finishing a page of two sooner. With simple, clear writing the author gets her message across as she champions for the abused, hurt, ignored, silent woman.
Neelam is the author of more than 30 books and it shows in her works. She has the pulse of the reader and right from the first story I wanted to read the next and the next. Pity it only has 14 stories, I am sure a few more could be added.
This is the perfect example of the resilience, faith, hope and strength of a woman. Pick this book to feel good, smile and remind you that hope is the strongest feeling in the world.
(© I received a copy of the book from the author; the review is my own honest opinion.)
She being a grounded and self-made personality is the perfect crafter of the words and the fabricator of different shades of a woman. You all might be thinking, as to since time immemorial, the feminine gender has been given various and numerous introductions and countless names so what is so unusual about this kind of introduction to womanhood? Well, it is about the craft of storytelling technique. No powerful script is effective enough unless and until it is presented in an acceptable and impactful manner and Neelam Mam is one such undisputed craftsperson.
I found the cover going to some other frequencies, other than the theme of the book but the stories are just perfect. She picks up women from around you, around me and around her, they are someone whom we spot in our daily lives, sometimes in our neighborhoods and sometimes within us and weaves thoughtful stories around them. They might be fictional or inspired from real life incidents but are not very much far from reality. The stark veracity of the situation is that she is ‘strong’ and ‘action-oriented’. She doesn’t waits for someone to come and change her fate rather she writes her own destiny and influences those who are connected with hers!