5.0 out of 5 starsBrilliant Book. Liked that each story was unique and ...
27 January 2017
Brilliant Book. Liked that each story was unique and held its own! Loved that each story had an underlying quirky strain! This is a commendable fiction debut for the author. An absolute must-buy for your bookshelf!
‘These Circuses that sweep through the Landscape’ is a collection of 10 short stories of varied themes. The stories that we have in this debut collection of Tejaswini Apte Rahman are richly colored. Though the stories have been written exquisitely, not every other reader can appreciate their beauty.
*About the Author
Tejaswini Apte- Rahm is from Mumbai. She studied in Singapore and the UK. Having worked as an environmentalist researcher for ten years, Tejaswini has been to Serbia, Israel, Cambodia, Thailand, Myanmar and Bangladesh. She was a journalist in Mumbai and has written for Screen, Hindustan Times, the Times of India and Asian Age. Now she lives in London and is a full time writer.
*Let us step into the Circus Ground…
From my own inference, the title These Circuses that sweep through the Landscape refers to the odd and peculiar plots of the stories that we have in the collection. The circuses here refer to the personal circuses that take place in our own lives. These are the circuses in which we are the Ring Master at one time and the Joker at some other time. And these personal circuses, according to me, are more astounding.
But sadly, reading about these circuses wasn’t as pleasing as watching an actual circus. We cannot strike a chord with some of the protagonists of the stories. Can you relate yourself with someone made of Cotton? Or can you imagine yourself lost in a Mall for months? Well, I couldn’t. In stories having such odd plots, I hope for a nice climax. But I wasn’t treated in that way.
Some stories become irritating at times, while some disappointed me at the end. One thing that I feel strongly is that these stories have the power to mentally disturb the readers. As a result, I had to shift to some other book to distract my mind.
I feel the stories have been arranged in a wrong way. The first 5 stories are the ones that not only I but most people (as I have read some reviews) didn’t like. One may think of not to proceed with next stories. But by moving ahead, we take the right decision. Because those are the pages where the real treasure lies buried. My favorite stories from the collection are: Sandalwood, Mili and the title story These Circuses that sweep through the Landscape.
I liked Sandalwood for the intriguing story line wherein a man, after 17 years of his marriage, discovers that he is a gay and cannot stay anymore with his wife. Mili is about the meeting of two ex- lovers after a long time, which I read with great interest. The title story is the one that I enjoyed reading the most. The reason being the point of view that keeps shifting.
The other performers in this Circus show includes a fanatic beetle-collector, a girl who loves a singer long dead, a small girl who escapes from reality by turning to TV. We have 4 friends (2 couples) who discover new dimensions of their friendship,one day when they meet for Drinks at Seven.
Although a debut collection, the stories have been written vividly. Two stories from the collection, Homo Coleptera and Sandalwood, have already appeared in some magazines.
Though we cannot relate with most of the stories, the authoress has done a commendable job when it comes to writing. I feel an Introduction to the collection would have made it easier for average readers to comprehend the stories. I personally feel a book without intro is incomplete.
This collection, I feel, is not meant for everyone. But if one wants to experience the beauty of Tejaswini’s writing then this book is great. The cover of the book needs a special mention. It is the most beautiful amongst the ones that I own. It is illustrated by Priya Kuriyan. As far as the authoress and her upcoming works are concerned, I’m definitely looking forward to what comes next from the authoress.
These Circuses That Sweep Through the Landscape is a collection of stories by Teajswini Apte-Rahim. The author must be given full marks for the variety of topics around which she weaves her stories. Human conflict, both external as well as internal, is a predominant theme all the stories in this collection.
Homo Coleoptera is a story about an aging man and his wife who refuses to age. This makes the man insecure. The story ends with his tragic death.
Thank God for Star Trek tells the story of a troubled mother and her young daughter, from the daughter's perspective. The story shows how TV diffuses tensions at least for some time.
The Mall works very well as an experimental story. It depicts the depression, insecurities and feeling of being lost among a urban-goer very well.
The protagonist of the story Cotton is the cotton itself. In the story Drinks at Seven the issue of how suspicion as to infidelity crops up in a marriage is dealt with. Sandalwood is the story of a woman who after almost two decades of marriage is thrown out of the house because her husband wants to live with another man. Her existence is only for cooking the food which her children like.
These Circuses that Sweep Through the Landscape shows insecurities, rivarly and idiosyncrasies of aging men.
Having praised the author for dealing with a variety of topics and bringing the conflict very well, I must warn the readers that these stories are too prosiac and are difficult to comprehend. I was unable to understand the end of most of the stories. I feel the stories or for that matter any literary work must be perspicuous that the readers are able to understand it. The author utterly fails to make the meaning clear. Also a veil of gloom covers all the stories. You feel disturbed after reading these stories. This may be termed as success of the author, but it wont appeal to most of the readers.
Rating: 3.5/5 These Circuses That Sweep Through the Landscape is a collection of short stories written by Tejaswini Apte- Rahm. She is a writer from Mumbai who has lived in Serbia, Israel, Cambodia, Thailand, Myanmar & Bangladesh. She studied in Singapore & the UK and worked as an environmental researcher for 10 years. She was a journalist in Mumbai & has written for Screen, Hindustan Times, the Times of India & Asian Age. She currently lives in London & is a full time writer.
This anthology consists of 10 short stories, each of different kind. Starting with Homo Coleoptera is a story of a man who loves to collect beetles & his wife and how insecurity & suspicion ends a relationship. The second story is Thank God for Star Trek which is narrated from the view point of a small girl about her life which includes her relationship with her single mother & her school life. The third story’s title is The Mall which is about a shopaholic & how she survives in a mall when she finds out she can’t leave that place. The Girl Who Loved Dean Martin is the story about a girl who loves songs & voice of a deceased singer Dean Martin so much that she denies true love when she finds it. Cotton is the fifth story & one of the most intriguing story, its about the life of a woman which takes an unexpected turn at her 40th Birthday when she finds out she isn’t a human being at all. The next story is The House on the Hill is a bit downer for me after reading Cotton, its about the ignorance of a person about several things in the world. Drinks at 7 is the story of 4 friends & their realization about the hidden truth as they meet one day for drinks. Eight story Sandalwood is about the life of the protagonist & how her life took wild turn as her husband comes to terms that he is gay & decides to divorce her, another great read. Mili is the ninth story & is quite a normal story amidst all the other stories, its about what we all have went through once in our lives that is first love interest & the loss. The last story’s title is same as the book’s , These Circuses That Sweep Through the Landscape has been kept at last for obvious reasons because its amazing but the problem is that though as a whole the story is very good but the first half is quite boring.
The author has covered a wide range of topics in her book & that’s what makes it unique. The stories are written very well & will appear as roller coaster ride with lows & highs. Though one thing which seems odd to me is that many of the stories are quite difficult to grasp for average readers, though its commendable that the author has penned down quality stories but it should’ve been done in a more inclusive way so that average readers won’t feel lost. The language used, the title & the cover are to the point.