Anthologies are like our own Goa beaches with scantily clad tourists walking lazily across your vision, the sudden delight of a shore fisherman having caught a reasonably large fish, gulls swooping in for its quota of sea food, chatter, pitter-patter, and the sun forcing itself in even through the thatched roof of the shack you’re in. Yes, anthologies are like beaches with hearts that are yearning, chilling, killing, relaxing, hurrying, or simply doing what they do best, beat in a rhythm. Anthologies like the one that is in my hands right now, beckon readers with seductive words like: Come over here and taste me!
The anthology that I’m talking about is the slim and trim ‘Social Potpourri – An Anthology II’ which is a rather passive title for the really charming collection of stories and poems by authors who need to be read to become known. Well, the list of authors does include a few who have already got acclaim for the way they handle words… and some are widely known in the blogging circles too. I’m sure the way some stories went about their task, these authors aren’t the sort who will remain ‘unnoticed’ for long. The anthology has stuff that is like the opening lines of the limerick that Utsav writes in ‘Utsav sells his first idea’ a short story written by me:
Like leaves with smiling tones of green
Or merging hues of all that’s been
…and there are insights that come over to awaken you as a reader. I really think the publishers of the anthology were too modest when they wrote: ‘…this anthology is inspirational and humorous anecdotes with soulful and thought provoking poetry.’ As I read I realised I was in a position similar to the protagonist in Priscilla’s story who felt that ‘hunger made his stomach rumble at unplanned intervals’ and this was because of the simply wide horizon of social experiences that the stories in the anthology cover.
The anthology has stories that go on from transcendental meditation experiences to train journeys, a small child convincing his grandfather to buy a computer is as compelling as the poem by Dayeeta that insists that ‘there is a keyboard and you just have to type’ and that ‘life has options, you can chat or you can skype’… and the saga of a young father by my friend who I know as the blackberry blogger, is one really short one that compels rather big thoughts and makes you sit down to restructure a few conclusions existing in your mind.
Sulekha Rawat writes in her review that the stories and the poems in the anthology ‘are about the interesting journey of life, perseverance and inner strength, traditions kept alive and old ways of life, the monotony of falling prey to destinies… and many other things.’ I agree. In fact, I’d go to the extent of saying that the stories and poems in the anthology are like seductive whispers coming from people who have experienced life and if you happen to follow the trail left by these whispers, you just might discover lost definitions and transform muddled conversations into pithy observations! The power of an anthology is great and I say this with a lot of conviction because collections have the combined power of a multitude of talents. When there are many creative people coming together, their outpourings can be anything but mundane. This collection may appear small and petite but does have the strength of seventeen Davids… and you know what they can do to the Goliaths of ignorance that exist in our minds.This anthology with a small built is almost like the beginning of the poem that Nupur Govila wrote:
For a cold winter’s day
When you’re, maybe, all sad and forlorn,
Here’s a tale,
Which, to many, may not be known.
Title: Social Potpourri – An anthology II
Edited by: Sulekha rawat & Kriti Mukherjee
Published by: Social Potpourri
Price: Rs 260 (in 2015)
Book review published in ‘The Education Post’ dated 23 February 2015:
On Flipkart: Buy Social Potpourri An Anthology II
On Amazon: Social Potpourri – An Anthology II
23 February 2015