Author: Kulpreet Yadav
Publication: LiFi Publications Pvt. Ltd.
Kulpreet’s writings always give that realistic appeal to things without becoming cynical. In fact, having read his work before, I could detect the same cozy feel that the author brings to his characters. Here, despite the fact that this book of stories has innumerable characters, the readers are able to slip into the skin of most of them. Due credit must be given to the language, narration and observation skills of the author.
“The outside is as alive as it could be on this typical summer day in June. I watch lives that pass by in the narrow lane: a buffalo, a rickshaw, a woman in a burqa who walks like a man and I have no way of knowing if there indeed is a man in it, two giggling teenage girls followed by a teenage boy on a 100cc motorcycle, a pig with about a dozen piglets in tow. I know I can’t risk being less interested in the shopping we are here for, so I quickly return my attention back to the sarees.”
Tales like ‘Not The Only Peanut Seller Who Hasn’t Heard Of Osama Bin Laden’ and ‘A Familiar Stranger’ are narrated simply and you know that yes, you have seen people like these in your life too. ‘The Beautiful People’ and ‘Bringing Sunset Home’ are some other stories that are moving and touch the heart within. In between, nature and the environment are described aptly and beautifully.
“The sun looks tired, hanging dopily over the tiny village precariously perched on a mountain slope.”
How often we have seen the sun like that but it takes a Kulpreet to describe it so!
“Water invaded everyone’s lives. Schools were shut down, giving children a chance to splash collected rain water by jumping in the puddles. Traffic crawled on the roads like depressed insects queuing in their long pursuit to their destinations where perhaps food waited, a stinking odour swam around everywhere from the rotting garbage islands like pheromones seeking more garbage. Frogs, centipedes and millipedes and sometimes even snakes began appearing in houses like unwanted guests. And my favourite leather belt and shoe began to grow fungus on it.”
This description of the monsoon season is just so apt. All of what Kulpreet has mentioned we all must have experienced some time or the other in our lives. That’s what makes the connection with the stories in India Unlimited all the more intimate.
Abstract images, natural human fears, poverty, sloth, deceit, desire – all figure in the stories that seem to have been taken from the lives of people all over the country. India Unlimited is a beautiful read. It is representative of the lives of the ‘aam aadmi.’
Don’t miss the book!
Kulpreet Yadav is the founder-editor of Open Road Review, a journal of short fiction, creative nonfiction, poetry and artwork. He also edits Under the Banyan Tree (UTBT), an online forum of short, true stories. He writes novels and short stories too. Kulpreet is also the founding member of Asia Pacific Writers and Translators Association . He is also the author of the novel, A Waiting Wave.