Family Crossword: Quirky characters, Unexpected endings by Vibha Batra is a collection of 41 short stories.
Peppered with quirky characters, myriad emptions, poignant situations, and unexpected endings, it effortlessly captures a slice of every day Indian life. From starry encounters to brushes with the supernatural, from bored housewives to busy social butterflies, from difficult bosses to daring college students, the charming and light narratives showcase them in all their glory.
So you have an intrepid college goer whose thirst for other-worldly encounters reaches a hair raising conclusion; an enterprising young oman who sets out to win the heart of her disapproving mother-in-law; a valiant senior citizen who chooses to defy social norms; a spoilt young man who realizes the error of his ways and sets things right; and many many more. Read on and be charmed.
There is one story of a young girl, who loves playing marbles, who is married to a man thrice her age, who is forced to commit sati. One story is about how something which we see all of a sudden brings backs memories of our childhood, one about two best friends who cannot think of staying away from each other, one about how a husband plans for his wife’s life after he is no more and one about how good friends are better than bad debts. There is a story about a lucky t-shirt, one about a little boy who stages a satyagraha to prevent his sister from getting married when minutes ago he was the happiest because he would never have to share anything with his sister again and one about a boy who does not want a little brother.
There is a story about a girl who loves shopping but will not compromise, about a husband who finds a unique way to advice his wife, about how a lady lets go of her sorrows to see her family happy and one about how our names are important. There is one story about a grandmother and her granddaughter and one about a grandfather and his grandson. There is one story about a town where no words are used and one in which a college student helps a film star overcome her problems. There a story about a prince and a small scruffy boy. There is a story about a boy who collects butterflies and one about a boy who makes a pact with his grandmother in return for gurudakshina.
There is one story about a choosy mother when it comes to her daughter-in-law, one about a boy who learns a whole lot about life when he is posted in an old age home as a punishment, and one about two brothers who come up with a plan to outwit the local mafia. There is a story which talks about a letter between a grandfather and his granddaughter and one about a kleptomaniac. There is one story about a ghost, one about a boy who does not want to go to a hostel, and one about a spirit. There is a story about a boy who hates school and one about a boy who hates milk.
The name of the book is different and so is the cover. The stories have been written in simple English with the optimum number of words. Each story is unique and has a different flavor. The characters are relatable and I am sure, all of us have met such people in our everyday lives. The stories cover almost all emotions from romance to sibling rivalry to paternal love. There is jealousy, friendship, old age, childhood. The stories are set in various parts of the country. Some made me happy and some made me sad. Some were good and not one were bad. The endings are surprising.
Overall, an interesting light read, that can be read anytime, anywhere.