4 out of 4 stars
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Rachita Ramya Singh has dedicated Radical Politics of Indian Love “to stories of love that have not been told.” Her writing is clear, unambiguous, and a pleasure to read. The stories deliver many unexpected turns and surprises.
The author writes about unconditional love in “Treesome” (my favorite) and patriotism in “No Man’s Refuge.” In 2091, displaced people lived a simple life on an island called No Man’s Refuge. Developers ravage the island for diamonds, and the destruction caused by machinery causes the island to start flooding. Country A and Country B undertake repatriation of the islanders, but Banu, an orphan, can show no allegiance to either country. What happens to Banu?
Rachita Ramya Singh writes about role models in “The Royal Bengal Tigress,” where a courageous governess saves the princess and the children from a deranged man. Does the princess appreciate her courageous governess? Similarly, she writes about courage and heroism in “The Bollywood Hero.” Niyati, a screenwriter, is awed by a handsome actor, but later finds out who the real hero is?
The author crams so much into these seven short stories, but they do not seem rushed in the telling. They are relaxing to read. Each tale is altogether singular: a different pace, diverse characters, and a different outcome. But they also contain familiar emotions we all may have experienced and so the stories, even in an Indian setting, seem familiar.
The author effortlessly invokes emotion, and we take to the protagonists in each story. Who has not felt unrequited love at some time, as in “The writer, the lover and the doctor”? In just a few pages, we understand Veer loves Amber, Amber likes Veer as a friend, but should she have waited until he was out of the hospital to make him understand this? Amber loves Dr. Hami, who is Veer's doctor. Veer develops headaches, and so do we as we try to sort out these complex relationships.
There are two more stories, “Modern Indian Widow” and Two Strange(rs), which reflect typical, human dilemmas of grief and the effect of mental illness on a relationship. Each story will hold you in its grip and stay with you.
I rate Radical Politics of Indian Love 4 out of 4 stars for the diversity of well-told stories about human relationships. I do not rate it 3 out of 4 stars because it was a pleasure to read. I found no errors, minor profanity, and nothing to dislike. I believe it to be professionally edited.
I recommend this book to people who enjoy reading about the human psyche, good plots and well-told stories, characters that stay with you, and an East Indian flavor.
Radical Politics of Indian Love
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