A compilation of fourteen short stories , Skyline by Neelam Saxena Chandra , brings you an array of emotions from our every day life . Few of the stories create some kind of awe & respect in the hearts of the readers . They live , breath & feel the story as its so real .
I will start with my favorites !
‘ The Other Woman’. I immensely enjoyed the courage ,Muskan the female protagonist of the story has shown . Often women with kids are shown as weak individual going up to extreme stage sof comprise to salavage their marital life . On the contrary Muskan comes across as one such women who known her value , who knows that there is a life even without a ‘Husband’. She refuse to bow down to the hardships of life instead decides to hold the bull by the horns & fight her own fight . I was so engrossed in her story that I wanted to walk upto her & pet her back . We definitely need more women like Muskan in real world .
‘ Horizons Of Hope’ , love marriage & its after effects . Birth of two female children , Trisha & Tanishka , had brought wrath of inlaws & ignorance of her husband onto Aradhana . The indecisive husband , unable to stand for his wife ,asked her to leave the house . That makes me question our social set up. Does a woman ever get to call a house her home ? Or she is simply born & die homeless ? Why she has to bear the burnt of all social prejudice ? This & many other questions storm in my mind . Thankfully Aradhana was not portrait as a helpless woman . She took up a long forgotten hobby & excelled in it. She made her life worthy & didn’t succumb to pressure
Another Gem from the book is ‘ The Bolted Fortitude‘ . Bindiya testified against her husband & helped a hapless girl to get justice. Is that possible in the real world ? We are too tangled in our own webs that justice , truth etc just become words used in literature. Reading such inspiring stories does rise a hope for a better world .
And some more …
‘The Reverberations ‘ gives a strong message of social acceptance of rape victims without creating much drama . The culprits were hanged to death for the gruesome crime unlike in real world where they enjoy a guilt free run . This isn’t the whole story , by the way , you got t o read the book for it . I am not going to play the spoil sport :)
‘ Lessons In Prudence ‘ discusses the domestic violence against women .
‘ The Shimmering Sun’ is such a heart felt story of a woman whose life takes a complete turn owing to an unfortunate accident . The true faces of people around her are exposed including the person whom is trust the most , her husband . This inspiring tale gives account of how she take back the reign of her life & shine !
‘Love Knows No Boundary’ HIV aids victim accepted by his lover . Till date the treatment meted out to AIDS patients is so inhumane . We need to be considerate & sensitive towards them .
‘Acts of Despicability ‘ is a kaleidoscope of emotions .
‘ The Conquest’ is a love triangle with interesting turn of events .
‘ Time’s Wounds’ highlights the ill practice of dowry & social stigmas attached to it . The story shows how difficult it is for a person to break the social mold & stand out alone .
‘ The Hiatus’ discuss the horrible crime of Racial Discrimination . How we humans create boundaries based on religion , region & most annoyingly on the basis of skin color .
Although most of the stories does give you a sense of empowerment & hope yet there were few others that are run-of -the mill. I wish they had more layers of emotions instead of a straight narration.
‘ The three men in her life ‘ with a teenage protagonist could been an interesting read but it lacked the twist & turns .
‘Love Locks ‘ revolves around two people from different social strata & their personal struggles .
‘ Facets Of Love ‘ is a simple love story where the girl meet her ex after a period of time who has now become an alcoholic . The story goes back & forth creating bit of confusion . Had it been a novella the concept & the story line would have been clearer .
In the time when the market if flooded with love stories & self help books ,Skyline stands out because of its content . Its difficult to keep interest level high if you want to send across a socially relevant message . However the author , Neelam Saxena Chandra , has beautifully incorporated the two . Her narrative is so simple yet the message lingers on long after you finish reading the book .Skyline is a meaningful entertainer ranging from light heart stories to socially relevant ones . Strongly recommended .
Rating – 4 /5
( * Views expressed here are my own . The Book review is commissioned by the author . )