Wednesday, September 11, 2013

12 Hours - Book Review


12 Hours
By Mahi Singla & Rohit Sharma
Review By Ila Garg

The anthology comprising of 12 remarkably beautiful short stories, 12 Hours, has been published by Mahaveer Publishers. All the twelve stories are quite engrossing and deal with the various nuances of human emotions like Love, Pain, Joy, Sorrow, Trust, Deceit, Excitement, Repentance, Respect, Humiliation, Loneliness, and Anger. Though there is a high contrast in all the different feelings mentioned above, still both Mahi Singla and Rohit Sharma have brilliantly carved out the stories depicting all shades of life.

Let’s start with the cover. One word - Cute! :D Well, yes the cover of the anthology, 12 Hours, is amazing, creative, unique, and therefore interesting. It has a mesmerising aura that compels the readers to hold the book and smile and turn the page to read on.

Next we come to the small little blurbs (ahead of each story). The small introductions are well written, precise, and create the necessary background in the reader’s mind. The idea of giving a wonderful sketch with every story is also highly appreciable. It provides a glimpse of what is to be followed.
Next, let’s talk about the 12 well-knit stories one by one. As I personally feel that without talking about each story individually, the review wouldn’t be complete and it wouldn’t be a justified review of this particular anthology. 

1. A Terrible Mistake: This is a story of Karan and Samaira who had an arranged marriage. Both of them were perfect for each other. The story moves at a good pace. Both of them were rich, good-looking and had everything they desired for. Though the unexpected ending both shocked and surprised me. I smirked at Karan’s situation and felt sad for him. But I could not stop myself from smiling at the end. I liked this story because of the style in which it is written. I bet you can never guess the end till you reach the climax! Well-crafted story.

2. My Share of Ice-cream: Ah! Perhaps this was the cutest story in ’12 Hours’ and I really enjoyed every bite of this ice-cream. While reading this story I actually felt I am a part of it. Reading the story imagining myself as Anjali was fun! Love is the most wonderful thing that can happen in our life. Vinay falls in love with Anjali when he was least expecting it. Two words summarise this one for me - Cute and Romantic! I wish I can repeat this on my wedding day too! :D Lol..

3. The Reason is You: This story was a painful narration of Heena, the way she was forced for everything by her Abba, was really sad. I could actually feel her pain. In a way, it was a very sensitising story. We crib for what we don’t have, but there are people who don’t even have a free voice unlike us. Is being a girl, a crime, after all? When will our Indian society raise its standards? This makes me feel sorry. I had tears feeling Heena’s pain as I continued reading this. The end will leave you with tears in your eyes and smile on your lips. A story written with a deep emotional touch.

4. A Selfless Love: This story is essentially about the father-daughter duo, the relation they share and how strong is their bond. Being a single parent is tough, even tougher being a father of a daughter. You have to nurture your child properly, giving her enough space and at the same time ensuring that she grows up to be a good natured and down to earth person. Too much love can spoil her just like Koyal ends up being a brat. Though by the climax she realises her father’s selfless love and comes on the right track from which she had deviated earlier. Ashish finally proves to be a good father. 

5. He lost himself that day: This left me in utter shock. I was tongue - tied and out rightly appalled. I felt really ashamed of the society in which we are living these days. Highly sensitive story line! Brutal reality of our society has been brought to the fore by this story. Gang rapes, forced sex, etc. have become so common in India that the discussion which was earlier taboo, is becoming a common place scenario now. Meeting men like Yuvraj and Sidharth who drink, go wild, indulge in carnal pleasures to satisfy their youth is not rare. I had goose bumps by the time I reached the end. A well written story.

6. An Accidental Marriage: A sweet romantic comedy. Two best friends, who earlier fought like Tom & Jerry, gradually fell in love. Rahul and Prachi; both are sketch well by the Author. A story that will leave you in ripples of laughter with its comic elements. A small unintended prank leading to their marriage is all so sweet. The way Rahul defended himself for not being the reason behind Prachi’s pregnancy and claimed that he didn’t touch her ever is just so well thought of. The dialogues are nice and funny. A really enjoyable story.

7. Forgive me if you can: Tahir… a young man among us whose only crime was that he took a path without realising its consequences. He did a mistake which could not be undone. The story chooses a dark side of life in a hope to see light for his family but he seldom realised that he was hoping in vain. The way religions have been talked about in this story clearly tells that the Authors have researched well. Islam, Jihad, and even Hinduism have been talked about in this story. I will be honest, when I say that there was one thing in the story that I didn’t have a clue about earlier. Tahir questions, “Why young children are buried in Hinduism while adults are cremated?” This has been answered very well and added to my knowledge too. A must read!

8. A Lesson Learnt Finally: A story of two best friends, Tanya and Annie. It is based on, “If you have done something wrong with someone, you will never be able to sleep at night. The thought of wrong doing will keep haunting you.” The story infuses in the readers some mixed emotions. The element of fear lingers throughout in the story giving out a very important message to all the readers. Nice, and crisp story.

9. You are not letting me go: One of my favourites. A heart-touching tale of Rohan and Aarti which left me spell bound. It strengthens your believe in the existence of true love. It also made me a little sad. I was overwhelmed with emotions as I reached the end where the harsh revelation took place. Love stays alive whatever the case maybe! A must read for people who don’t believe in love and those who do should read it to live the extremities of love.

10. I am leaving You: Every heart is precious and not a toy! So one should never play with it. Divya in her entire life kept playing with the feelings of men, seldom caring about them. And when it returned to her, she ended up in the Mental Asylum. The psycho character of Sagar is well defined and is chosen well to bring out a nice story. Though it was a painful story, horrifying, yet it was an eye-opener! Incidents from past can sometimes end up ruining your present state of mind, followed by a dark future. So feeling should not be treated casually. A nice story.

11. A Picture Perfect Family: A surprising end. A picture perfect family can sometimes just be an illusion. Tabuja and Pradeep were the present reality but, a reality from past can take things to a different horizon and leave you hollow. It was an interesting story and left me feeling sad for Tanuja.

12. Beg me, To Get Me Back: A very relatable story for me. If you make someone feel small, a day will come when you yourself will face the similar wrath. It’s a story of a struggling writer Maithali, who like everyone had a difficult path to be successful at last. It also brings us face to face with the fact that every successful person was once a commoner. Don’t underestimate the power of a common man. ;) Nice read for sure.

I have read a lot of anthologies before this, but somehow this one just stands out! Very very impressive work by Mahi and Rohit. The stories expose a wide horizon of themes leaving the readers glued to it. The book is promoted well. Since it marks Mahi’s debut, I congratulate her and best wishes to Rohit for future. 

This book is recommended for to those who want to feel the depth of all sorts of human emotions and bonds, the ups and downs of life, etc. 

Rating: 4/5

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