Starting A New Business? 7 Key Points To Keep In Mind.
Annie Zaidi’s Love Stories #1 To 14 is an exploration of love, that looks beyond the superficialities of fairytale romances.
Annie Zaidi's Love Stories #1 To 14
Review By Anjana Basu
Love is not a matter of two hearts beating in unison and lovers walking hand in hand into the sunset to live happily ever after. Most often, it is about heartbreak and misunderstandings, different takes on that wise old slogan, ‘There is one who loves and one who allows himself/herself to be loved.’
Annie Zaidi’s set of stories are a set of interior monologues – dramatic monologues we would call them, if we were considering them from a Robert Browning viewpoint; a person looking at life and sometimes stumbling on an attraction without being aware of it in different ways. A lonely woman, for example, falling in love with the voice of an announcer in a railway station and making train journey after train journey just to hear the voice. That is actually the opening story and is used to signal to the reader that Zaidi’s romances do not start with a ‘once upon a time’ in the accepted fashion.
Her narrators are sensitive people, not all women, some of them are artists and many of them are estranged from the world around them, especially from that one particular person who may or may not be a lover. Zaidi’s skill of observation is used to effect when one of her narrators looks at a baby gecko trying to swim in a bucket and thinks of the man she might or might not love – love after all is a complicated word. It implies being attached to someone with no room for external distractions.
Very often people are more in love with love than with the lover. In the 14 stories, Zaidi explores every aspect of this ‘not so brief’ madness through situations that could belong to any part of the country. All the stories are characterized by a deep sense of compassion, though their titles – hashtags, aka and all – offset the compassion with a modern quirkiness.
Most of the action is internal, because on the surface very little moves. There are walks in the park, stolen mufflers, geckos on the walls and in the bucket, or a hunt for medical reports. The stories are very much about mind over matter. Nor is sex a part of it, the emphasis being on the undercurrent of chemistry that if strong enough can be visible to an entire roomful of people.
The collection does credit to a writer who wants to be taken seriously. Annie Zaidi takes us on a voyage through the nature of love in modern, urban India. Occasionally one wonders how the protagonists are so omniscient that they can understand the thoughts going through people’s heads in the flash of an eye – and not necessarily the ‘two hearts beating as one’ kind of understanding. A man realizes his wife has returned because she is worried about her finances if she divorces him, a woman understands a retired army officer’s marital history perfectly without ever having been married or deeply involved herself. One could perhaps say that love was responsible for this percipient wisdom, but lovers are seldom that wise, as some of the stories themselves can testify.
Publishers: Harper Collins India.
If you’re planning to purchase Annie Zaidi’s Love Stories #1 To 14 do consider buying it through this Women’s Web affiliate link at Flipkart. We get a small share of the proceeds – every little bit will help us continue bringing you the content you like!
Readers outside India can purchase Love Stories #1 To 14 through our affiliate link at Amazon.
Women's Web is a vibrant community for Indian women, an authentic space for us to be ourselves and talk about all things that matter to us. Follow us via the read more...
Stay updated with our Weekly Newsletter or Daily Summary - or both!
If a woman insists on her prospective groom earning enough to keep her comfortable, she is not being “lazy”. She is just being practical, just like men!
When an actress described women as “lazy” because they choose not to have careers and insist on only considering prospective grooms who earn a lot, many jumped to her defence.
Many men (and women) shared stories about how “choosy” women have now become.
One wrote in a now-deleted post that when they were looking for a bride for her brother, the eligible women all laid down impossible conditions – they wanted the groom to be not more than 3 years older than them, to earn at least 50k per month, and to agree to live in an independent flat.
Ms. Kulkarni, please don’t apologise ‘IF’ you think you hurt women. Apologise because you got your facts wrong. Apologise for making sexual harassment a casual joke.
If Sonali Kulkarni’s speech on most modern Indian women being lazy left me shocked and enraged, her apology post left me deeply saddened.
I’d shared my thoughts on her problematic speech in an earlier article. So, I’ll share why I felt Kulkarni’s apology post was more damaging than her speech.
If her speech made her an overnight hero among MRAs, sexists, and people who were awed by her dramatic words, then her apology post made her a legendary saint.
Please enter your email address