Shadows of the Past and Other stories: A slice of life! This collection of short stories explores human relationships and raw emotions

By: |
October 27, 2020 1:33 PM

Blending in a dash of humour and an air of mystery, she lets the reader probe the hidden truth that lies at the crux of every story as she wraps it up deftly.

You can't rush powerful stories, and that is exactly what Jeena R Papaadi has delivered in 'Shadows of the Past and Other stories'.

Love to curl up with a book of short stories that touches upon human curiosity spanning a range of subjects like astrology, the existence of aliens, ghosts, black magic, witchcraft? You can’t rush powerful stories, and that is exactly what Jeena R Papaadi has delivered in ‘Shadows of the Past and Other stories’.

Spanning 15 candid short stories that probe the nuances of the Malayali identity, the author captures the finest nuances that are often missed or stereotyped when crafting English fiction. Not only has she mastered the art of the short story narrative most skillfully but the protagonists seem to stay with you long after you complete traversing their worlds.

Striking a sensitive balance on controversial subjects related to faith, astrology, temple traditions, practices linked with the prevalence of witchcraft and the much debated possibility of alien life, it is astonishing how broadly Jeena R Papaadi’s collection of short stories touch upon the diverse spectrum of human thought and raw emotions. Notably, Jeena’s previously published books include Temple of Time, Tales from the Garden City and Lonely Journeys.

Blending in a dash of humour and an air of mystery, she lets the reader probe the hidden truth that lies at the crux of every story as she wraps it up deftly.

In ‘Awaiting August’, she probes a woman’s blind faith in astrology and the words of her ‘acharya’ yet the end is so unexpected that it takes you by complete surprise.

‘Rosa’ is a delightful and heartwarming portrait of a husband’s newfound passion in cooking and what happens thereafter is something that is all about confronting one’s choices from which there is no turning back at all. In this collection of short stories, ‘Rosa’ has been my favourite.

‘Ghost under the Bed’ comes across as a surprise and a clear departure from the conventional style of navigating a paranormal narrative. The way it takes off on a realistic note is what strikes you as you navigate each sentence capturing the next at the speed of thought and boom! Unexpectedly, you crash to the realization that it is a little breathtaking when it ends and it is one that will urge you to look over your shoulder with a chill traveling up your spine.

‘Onions’ is another heartwarming short story where the characters speak sparklingly and are easy to visualize in our day-to-day lives.

Some short stories such as ‘Kalki’ and ‘Among us’ are highly experimental in tackling topics such as the presence of aliens in our midst.

READ: Madurai – Why this ancient temple town is known as India’s Jasmine City

In ‘The Idol’ and ‘Shadows of the Past’, a reader gets a fleeting glimpse of a highly experimental writer who is fearless, sensitive in her portrayal of the Malayali identity and of subjects that can be highly controversial. Miraculously, nothing stops Jeena R Papaadi’s writing from tackling those sensitive spaces and marking it as her own territory through her protagonists who speak, think and act completely different from her own perspective.

A natural storyteller with precision, Bengaluru-based author Jeena R Papaadi introduces us to people’s real lives and emotions, not as strangers looking from afar, but as close friends. Published by BecomeShakespeare.com, ‘Shadows of the Past and Other Stories’ is a collection of short stories that capture a real slice of life.

How does a writer write so deftly from the outside about the inside journeys of people and their raw emotions?

This gifted writer clearly shows us how in ‘Shadows of the Past.’

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