Book Review Treat: Panorama by Shilpi Chaklanobis


If you are looking for a delightful read as well as an enlightening one, then Panorama is your best bet. In current times where contemporary authors are obsessed with chick lit themes, Shilpi brings a fresh approach and writes about themes in this anthology which incorporate different strata of society. Move over the glossy world and you have more relatable and realistic stories to read.

‘Wok’ is a commentary on hardships faced by people due to unequal distributions of wealth and how untainted innocence of kids brought up in such hardships reflect like a lotus against mud.

Family isn’t about only blood relations. It’s about connection of heart that can blossom between anyone who’s willing to share that kind of bond. ‘Peanut’ is a story just about that which will easily melt your heart.

‘The Thirst’ is about a story of prickling greed and ambition corroding the bond even with the most unexpected people. Would a mother poison her own daughter for the sake of her career? Would the daughter accept the poison laden tea despite knowing the betrayal simply because it’s the only gesture of her mother’s love in her entire life? Read this story to find out.

‘Selective Secularism’ is a story of the everyday society which is so bounded by the illusionary limitations of religious identity. But do these barriers extend to when you’re so vulnerable that you can’t even look up to see if the extended hand of help is of a Muslim or a Hindu?

Patriarchy plagues society enough already and the rising crime rates are a testimony to that. But can this virus which plagues mindless heads corrupt the sweet, selfless services of an noble human with a small bribe? ‘Bribe’ will answer this question for you.

‘Forever’ is a heartbreaking story of two lovers who separated due to the limitations of time and situations. But though they move on with their lives, do they move on actually? Does distance really separate two hearts who’ve committed to each other their souls?

These are just some of the myriad stories in this collection which mirror the extraordinary lives of ordinary people. If only we are willing to see beyond the seas of everyday faces, can we uncover the musings of their hearts.

Talking about complex human relations is not an easy task. But this book deals with it so delicately and leaves so much room for the reader to introspect, that these stories really give you a food for thought.
My favorite story in this entire collection was ‘Bribe’. It stands as a testimony that how much we take for granted insurmountable devotion we receive from our loved ones. Unconditional love need not happen only in Titanic. The courage to keep loving even when there is no acknowledgement shows the true strength of the person.

The writing style was simple and engaging. However the only flaw that this book has is that some of its stories is very similar to Premchand and other author’s writings. Take for eg. ‘Wok’ where even the  18th century setting was similar to the original version of Premchand’s story.
Voracious readers who have read the likes of R.K Narayan and Premchand will be quick to find these similarities with their original stories. This is the only disappointing feature of this book.

So lastly I would say that though the author (Shilpi Chaklanobis) has good storytelling capabilities as compared to many (young) contemporary authors, she needs to work more on originality.

Book Name: Panorama: A Collection Of Short Stories
Author’s Name: Shilpi Chaklanobis

© 2016 Mind Pickles