Author of three National Bestsellers, Amit Shanker is a narrative soul who has written Cafe Latte with the most unusual stories that speak of incidents with the intent of evoking a effective mood.
Amit has penned Short, sweet, interesting and inspiring stories. Easy read – any place any time and its a page turner wih stories of people and events, happennings and twists n turns in lives. Some of the conclusions in the short stories were abrupt but nevertheless lets one brood of the events of life which have a story to say. My favorites were The Jazz Player, The Lion, The Leopard and The Hyena, A Rose for her, A Highway Called Life, The Chosen One, Home Sweet Home, The Other Side, The Guardian Angel, Every Mouse ain’t a Mickey Mouse, Smart TV, True Lies and Writer’s Block. Probably, I have not missed out reading randomly flipping pages which I feel, is the best way to get into reading short stories.
In fact. what appealed to me was the way the Author has written the Book. Choosing the theme of short read which is so appropriate in an age of Technology, the rising age of the use of Social networking and gadgets. When time is limit, quick read is definitely the right choice. Amit Shanker has used his words crafted with ease, detailing the incident in a very petite form of narration. His work is creative and expressive in the way he reflects his thoughts in the book. Specifically to mention, Home Sweet Home which gives a feeling that Home is where the heart is. The 50 year old distressed man get things packing to shift to a new home, His memories of his late wife who suffered from Cancer filled in spaces of his mind. He realizes that the Builder of the Apartment, had stalled the Project. Also, the false hopes and not returning the money show the inner turmoil of the man. This is when his admiration of the pigeon’s nest and not letting them face the trauma of change of home, made him think of his home sweet home. Maybe, the message around is ageing gracefully and accepting change practically.
A Rose for her got me too engrossed in the story with an end that brought a smile on my face when I realized that Raj’s Mother was dead quite long ago. The narration is a flow of words penned in a style of writing that involves the reader and feel a romantic tinge – the red roses that Raj got from Sati and to thank her, he gave a chocolate on his birthday for the lovely flowers for she gave for his mother. As you read this short narrative tale, it spins you romantically when she goes to his house when he is sick and finally, told to go away by the servant who informed her that Raj’s mother is dead. This is what shocked me and I hoped that still, Raj would meet her. This story gives a feeling that there is no room for the difference between the rich and the poor. Emotions are from within and maybe the idea of Raj was the feelings of making the life beautiful of a poor girl who sold roses. This tale also reminds you of Chicken Soup series stories of others and edited to find space.
The Chosen One is just simply hilarious in the sense to feel how awkward and emotional Deepak felt of the profession he had to involve with his father. Saundarya, the business of selling undergarments is damn a choice for a young man who chases his dreams and finds himself in a position where he felt lost and dejected. When he failed to get a descent job, he adjusted to situations and got involved selling what he shouldn’t. The best part was the end part of the story where the Author touch the e commerce selling of Lingerie by La Care, the largest store in Europe as described in the book. And, purchasing with higher price to send to a local vendor who would examine and make such pieces with half prizes. That’s called Business which Deepak realizes and the message is clear that no business is big or small, good or bad as long as it’s minting money and one need to have the brains to do so.
The Other Side is the story of nympho maniac who craves for sex. Maya who logs on to Facebook, who carry on daily chores, yet longing for something amiss. Living her addiction as narrated in last part of the story rather bit long, reveals the other side of a woman which did not give a nice feeling. However, these things do happen and one cannot deny it.
The Jazz Player is an amazing story which I thoroughly enjoyed reading. The narration was with dramatic tough, character, plot, complicated, critical and a climax that leaves you baffled and lost as to why did he have to die in a hit and run case ! Starting to play Saxophone at an early age of 15 years and influenced by Miles Davis in his youth, Julias wanted to be a Jazz Musician. Prolonged playing and excessive smoking got him into bad shape with conditions of larynx which inflamed the vocal chords. He had to cut down his pleasure of life – smoking and playing saxophone. Further, read the story as it has sequences to narrate when the Jazz Player accepts to play in
One story I particularly loved was the story of a Bengali girl ‘Piyasi’ who loses her hearing. This is a touching tale of her journey of life and her hopes and expectations. Her love for her father and how she gets her education and finally, her profession of photography which not only made her popular but earned her a living. Simply engaging story. It is also an eye opener to take care of children. And, also how physically challenged can stand on their own feet and choose their own professions.
Amit’s stories are good for radio adaptations and some short documentary can serve the purpose too.
Nicely compiled, engrossing and expressive. Caffe Latte by Amit Shanker is published by Vitasta Publishing House. A simply superb attractive cover catches your attention. Quite natural, stories like these can be well read with a cup of tea and I just did that with random reads. Like the blurb says, “We are brought up listening to and reading stories, which makes us form a clinched frramwork of expectations and concepts about life….” Indeed, Life is all about experiences and a mystery, exploring with twists and turns.
The other Books of the Author are Flight of the Hilsa, Chapter 11 and Love is Vodka-A shot ain’t enough.
Amit Shanker launches Café Latte at Crosswords in Ahmedabad on 5th October, 11.30 a.m. – The Launch is in association to Vitasta Publishers and Ahmedabad Book Club Co-founded by Priyanshi Patel.
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