Urban Shots X Crossroads ~ Review

Urban Shots X Crossroads has 30 stories written by 26 authors, all the stories are wonderfully written and many have a twist that would make for breezy reading.

I have organised my review based on My favorites in this book.

Mervin: Ahmed Faiyaz

A wonderful “Tit for Tat” story, this is one among my favorites in the book, story is simple but both the main characters have a shade of grey and liked the way they use it to their advantage against the other.

Gautam Gargoyle: Shailaditya Chakraborty

A mind-blowing story set in the midst of a call centre, gossip mongers, corporate life, etc. The ugly Gautam (but hard-working), beautiful and young Malini (Gautam’s boss) and the relationship they share. But how their relationship is perceived by the gossip mongers and how this leads to a tragic end.

Baba Premananda’s Yoga Class: Paritosh Uttam

This story could be a reality, in the world TRP’s, news channels each a day touch new lows by broadcasting filthy and useless news (which many times are sleazy in nature).  Paritosh has written a wonderful story how this mindless news channel which many times don’t check reality might hurt the life innocents. Dr. Basu a Obestetrician, is affected when a lady misunderstands his gestures provocative, when actually he was practising yogaasana’s by Baba Premananda.

Hako: Chandrima Pal

Hako is a story of kids in a neighborhood, their joy, games, friendship and how one day their life gets affected by the acts of adults. This story reminded me of my childhood, my friends in a vatara (neighborhood) and how things changed with years flying by.

Plummet: Avnee Rajesh & Pranav Mukul

Story of a soul who has lost in the rat race, and is constantly hurt by the expectations and disappoints of his parents.

Tainted Love: Rohan Swamy

A story of a prostitute, I think this is enough for a right-minded person to understand the difficulties and situations which led a woman to the red light zone. But this story also depicts the inefficiency of the authorities and people in stopping a child from entering the flesh business.

This story has a bright side to it as well in the form of the children of Chanda, who are away from her professional obligations and the kind of friendship that grows between the writer and Chanda.

Hunch: Karthik K

A suspense thriller, one is not clear whether the Hafeeze is a protagonist or an antagonist till the last section of this short story. A racy narration style is similar to that of in a movie (Not a typical crappy bollywood movie)

Rajasthan Summer: Ayesha Heble

Again a suspense thriller, one expects but actually gets something else. This story has everything in it to give one goosebumps.

Priorities: For Deepalaya

A touching story on how we try to look away from the sufferings of people without even trying to do a smallest of help, because we have our own priorities and wouldn’t dare to look beyond it.

This is a story of Sameer a bachelor student and Sakku bai a  maid at Sameer’s house. Story turns up in a beautiful way and I liked the ending, and shows how we always try to put up our own priorities before others.

Getting off a Virar fast at Borivali: Vinod Geroge Joseph

A humorous take on the sweaty and crunchy life inside a Mumbai local. Although I am not a mumbaikar, but I definitely know how it would be when stuck in between sweating meat balls.

The Crow’s Feast: Sanchari Sur

Thoughts of an innocent boy has been wonderfully captured in this “Baba & Disciple” Story. The “Lokgyani –  one who knows all” couldn’t understand what the innocent child thinks of him and couldn’t make a simple wish come true.

Song of the Summer Bird: Anita Satyajit

Friendship doesn’t look at age difference, this is a story of girl named “Diya” and an old watchman “Bhau”. This story tells us how far we (Cityfolk) are from nature and How our greyheads could teach the young about the balance of nature.

The Power Cut: Maryann Taylor

The introspection of a broken relationship is shown via 10 year child. How we, adults are unable to get over with the troublesome relationship without hurting the innocent mind.

Footsteps in the Dark: Mini Menon

A well written story with a fantastic ending, it’s a story of Alice, a small town girl and how gets accustomed to challenges in big city. But, will she be able to overcome the new challenge, a flirtatious boss.

She Got Off Easy: Sanchari Sur

A beautifully penned story of Aalo and how she moved away from the hardships that was clinged on since her childhood.

The Gap: Saritha Rao

The most common topic in any house with a teenager is “Age Gap”. This is a story of a single mother Nita and her teenage daughter Zia. Writting by Saritha Rao is breezy and touches ones heart.

Pity: Paritosh Uttam

A story of an old man, staring at a young couple on a beach front. The old man tries to analyze the couple. This story was humorous.

Pasta Lane: Siddhartha Bhaskar

Holaram, a widower 58-year-old, a retired professor comes face to face with the night life of Mumbai. How he tries to keep himself away from any affairs during his younger days, will he keep his conscious clean or not is the story.

Mindgames: Manish Dhingra

What a twist to the tale!! these were my thoughts when I finished reading this story. This is a story of a couple while one is suffering from psychological condition. Story is nicely written and plot has been developed quite well.

Look How Far We’ve Come: Shreya Maheshwari

Story of Rishab, a teenager whose life is much greener, although his parents are divorced. He is happy that he doesn’t have Waring parents in his life. But are his parents happy after their divorce, is a question that pops up in this story.

Paradise: Anitha Murthy

Thoughts of a maid, who is happy to be part of a household which is very dynamic and affluent, but she has a plan which might make her rich, will she do it or what is that plan? is the crux of this story.

Crossroads: Ahmed Faiyaz

This a story of two neighbour households, one is of a writer and corporate wife and other is of an actress and a much-married businessman. Stories in their household is different, but they do converge, but how does it converge is the core of the story.

Virtual Relity: Vrinda Baliga

A fantastic story and has loads of morals in this new age world of internet. How it is more important for parents to monitor their children and keep away from harms, whether in real or virtual world.

Jump, Didi: Sharath Komraju

This is the story of a girl who isn’t happy with herself and gives out one of the reasons why she is unhappy with herself. Narrative is excellent.

Categories: Rohini Kejriwal

A Good read, quite different from all other stories in the book, it’s a surprise package.

The Last Week: Venkataraghavan Srinivasan

A story which makes the protagonist to ponder for a while, whether  he is going in the right path or not.

The Pink Slip: Malcolm Carvalho

The reality in the world hit with recession and cost cutting, which only affects the lower rung of employees and management is always safe and makes more money in the name of cost cutting. This is a story of a project manager who hates giving out the pink slip, but he has no other choice because the top managements wants him to do the dirty job.

Wrong Strokes: For Deepalaya

Here is a story of a cricket star who has forgotten or neglecting his routes by following the path of money or selfish.

Everyone has a Story: Gayatri Hingorani

A wonderful look into the life of a bai, and how her work, however small has a role to play in the lives of other people. Meenakshi aka Minu Bai, a maid who works at 3 different houses Parekh’s, Priya madam & Soneji’s, narrates how each and every household is different from one another and have their own stories.

Childish Love: Reeti Gadekar

I have one question to writer, what’s the connection with the Title and the story. Most part of the story was about a traveller / nomad trying to reach pakistan and the ways he tries to keep himself busy in the foggy nights of Delhi.

Overall Rating of this books : ***1/2

To Buy this book / Know more go to Greyoak

This is my first book review and thanks to Books Review Program at Blogadda.com, get registered and start reviewing books.

I was supposed to finish this review earlier(first week of March), but thanks to Professional Couriers for their unprofessionalism that I received the book two and half weeks late (my holidays were over by that time). And my mind churning work schedule didn’t give much time to complete my read, but I am happy that mission is accomplished.

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The Last Lock

How should I how?, I was wondering looking around a bunch of my classmates who were shouting and making a merry in the class room. Being two months late to join the class is a huge problem and being a newest kid in the class is the most difficult experience. I was limping and entered the class and everyone in the class turned towards me and were staring at me as though they had seen a ghost enter their class room. I was saved from more probe, as a Teacher followed me right behind, class room fell silent.

“Good Morning Sir”, all the kids announced in chorus.

“Good Morning, sit down” A stern looking teacher replied. He turned his gaze towards me. I was a lot uncomfortable by the attention I was drawing from everyone. I put my hands in my pocket and brought out a slip and gave it him, he looked down at me and received the slip.

This is how I looked at the teacher (This pic is from Lifeu Ishtene, an amazing kannada Movie)

He read the contents from the slip, Which was a certified letter from the Doctor and also contained the approval from the school principal.

“Ok, you are the missing boy” He smiled.

He looked at the entire class and said

“He is GP, and had met with an accident 4 month ago and would be joining us from today, lets help him with whatever you have learnt in past months”. He looked around the class room to accommodate me in midst of 80+ students. A place was vacant in the 3rd row, he looked at me and said.”You can sit there” he showed me to the vacant place.

I was struggling to walk with a school bag on my back and a lunch bag in my hands, I tried to observe my class room. It was big, and had  25 desks enough to accommodate four in each desk; arranged in three rows. My class room was located on the 4th floor (our school had lift facility, only for faculty but I was the only privileged student to use it for almost 4 months), bright with sunshine and cool breeze would blow from time to time. Our class room walls were very pictorial and had all kinds of caricatures; simple to funny, beautiful to disgusting (All the guys who studied in Boys High School will definitely know this fact, hehehe).

Che! my class room walls were not so clean, but this picture is of a brand new one, it wouldn't be the same after few weeks.

It took sometime to gel with others, as I was the lone person in the class to skip physical activities and wasn’t going out of class room during lunch break. Things started to change after the Dussera – Diwali vacations, I was much more enthusiastic and became a part of one of the groups.

Travelling in a bus was another adventure, frequency of buses were not much and buses would be over crowded. Our school timing was odd, it started at 11:30 and closing bell was at 5:00 and by the time I reached home via bus, time would be half past six (Due to peak hour timings it was difficult to land a foot inside the buses). I would leave home at 9:00 in the morning to play cricket or leg cricket (ball will be rolled on the ground and we used our legs as bat to score runs). During lunch break we were playing cricket or gossiping or complete our homework, this became our routine.

One day we were bored by the same routine and during lunch break we had picked a spot in the park, situated opposite to our school. It was a man-made rocky slope and was the most peaceful spot, away from the cricket ground, auditorium and hawk eyes of our teachers. We saw certain eagles which were nested / resting on the trees adjacent trees, for fun we threw some stones (I know this is cruel, but then we were not aware), one of the eagles came diving down to catch it. We stood there open-mouthed at seeing its acrobatic maneuver to catch the stone, next time when we threw, it was a small piece of chapati (a kind of bread). As it was a group of more than a dozen one or the other would bring chapati each day and one or two were reserved for these flying beasts, it was fun for us see a bunch of eagles diving down to catch these tiny pieces. 

Just about to catch you baby!!

Everyone would have played outdoor game “Lock & Key“, but the difference in our game was that it was upto the last standing person to free all other locked / tagged persons. We started off with chasing one another and later it got developed into “The Last Lock”, this was a game for daredevils.

This is just an illustration, but Our play area was rocky and height was about 8 - 10 feet.

It was fun and dangerous as well, It was a group of Dare Devils, who Dare to jump from the height of 8-10 feet to escape from the chaser. We were very close to the nature, we were one with mud and dust, with bruises, injuries, pain, torn uniform, etc but it never crossed our mind that we had to stop. With us clearing our High school, we were destined to be separated from one another and pursue different paths. It was the coolest thing that I ever did (without spending money to experience adrenaline rush), but its one among the best moments in my life and would like to cherish in my life.

But things have changed in today’s world I don’t see kids playing in the ground as much as we did nor do I see enthusiasm to play outdoor games (Except Cricket). My nephews are more enthusiastic to play video and computer games, rather than playing outside. One day I would take my nephews to the place where we were playing and would let them meet my pals all of whom were daredevils.

 *This post is written exclusively for The Kissan 100% real blogger contest.

You can write your 100% real story of growing up at Indiblogger

PS: Some of the pictures are courtesy Google Images