The book couldn’t have been more appropriately named. It is about us, mostly! A compilation of 11 short stories, the book by Laila Bhaidani is a simple yet clear mirror to human emotions.
It is about those little things that matter the most, but are often underrated — unsaid feelings. Doing justice to the synopsis of her book, which says that it is about ordinary people like you and me, Bhaidani picks up small instances and puts life into them, with her simple language and conversational writing.
While most of the author’s stories are women-oriented, she has also explored a niche area with the Armourless Knight where she narrates the tale of a transgender/intersex individual. Bhaidani has resorted to a style of writing that generates a certain amount of suspense in the reader’s mind which is aptly rewarded with a twist in most stories. Some, however, look like a forced attempt.
All the stories in the 157-page book are based in the Indian setting without mentioning the location of the events.
The first two stories in the book — Mutton Biryani and May Be — strike a chord with the reader the most. Another one, Unplucked is a simple narration of a few minutes of conversation between a couple, but makes a crucial observation on the Indian society, the position of women in it vis-a-vis men and the relationship between the two genders. “Women are like beautiful roses in a garden. They thrive best in love, respect and adulation. I won’t make the mistake of plucking you,” says the male character in the story to his love.
Her stories are devoid of judgements. Most of them delve into the grey of human life and take the reader away from the heavily stereotypical society we live in to connect with our dreams, desires, heartbreaks and everything in between that is seldom expressed and acknowledged. The book is a good attempt by Bhaidani, who has ventured into fiction for the first time.Name: Us...mostly
Author: Laila Bhaidani
Publisher: Leadstart Publishing
Price: Rs 150
You can contact the author on Twitter @vinaya_patil