A slice of life | Book Review: In Turmoil by Sushil Chadha

An anthology of stories about simple, everyday happenings

Chadha unlatches his treasure trove of wisdom and what emerge are 14 tales with complexities of human emotions and relations.
Chadha unlatches his treasure trove of wisdom and what emerge are 14 tales with complexities of human emotions and relations.

By Reya Mehrotra

They say life is short but living each day, surviving situations and making choices that may or may not lead to a happy conclusion makes life one long journey and a constant turmoil. Author Sushil Chadha captures this churning turmoil in an anthology of short stories — In Turmoil published by Unicorn Books. Chadha unlatches his treasure trove of wisdom and what emerge are 14 tales with complexities of human emotions and relations.

The first story titled Plunder finds a man reminiscing about his time with a couple alienated by their own children who nearly adopted him and became his foster parents. Ties and Spin in the Rain explore the complications of marital relationship, lost love and longing. Diamonds talks about the importance of trust in a relationship and the importance of familial support. Broken Pieces talks about a weak man who has never stood up for himself and seeks constant approval and the cost he pays for it. “Though born under the powerful Leo sign, I have never taken any decision in life. Others decide for me,” writes Chadha for the protagonist, as would a children’s writer write for his/ her young reader to make things obvious.

The story Verdict channels a self-absorbed judge who derives pleasure out of ridiculing and dominating his distant cousin Ramdin, treating him as his ‘servant’, as Ramdin, faithful, fragile and subservient, is ready to lay down his life for his ‘master’. Waiting, as the name suggests, spells the wait to the ultimate escape—death. An old couple, deserted by their children, and done with the responsibilities of life, with nothing to talk to each other having spent decades together, sickly fall into their routine of nothingness. A spark of light shines as a young girl moves in but the ‘wait’ continues when she too leaves.

The author does a beautiful job with Swing that talks about how the swing gave wings to Sheila who loved flying high with it as a child. When her time comes, having lived a rich and fulfilling life as one of the country’s most successful women, she sits on her swing one last time.

The anthology comes with a strong storyline that unravels complications of relationships. However, the overtly simple approach and an uncomplicated writing style make it an easy read. The author neatly packs life stories and emotions into an anthology and presents it to the readers to see life play out in words.

In Turmoil
Sushil Chadha
Unicorn Books
Pp 192, Rs 250

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