“Metro Diaries 2” by Namrata is a collection of 20 life stories, that is, stories portraying different shades of life; of love and betrayal, joy and sorrow, expectation and disillusionment. The book blurb says:
“Give life another chance. Laugh a little longer. Let go of your past. Hold onto what you love. In short LIVE rather than just exist! Some told, some untold, some heard and some unheard – this collection of stories will make you look at life in a different light and make you ponder over its definition of it till now.”
The first story,“Charlatan” tells the tale of a woman who fights against all odds in order to punish her philandering husband. This story fascinated me and, it is one of the best stories the book has to offer.
The story “Stain of Love” has a nice theme and, the moment when I was thinking it’s going to be an Indian version of Maupassant’s “Necklace” , the story takes an unexpected turn proving me wrong.
Though the protagonists in most of the stories are women but Namrata has tried to see life from different perspectives and has succeeded in making most of the stories interesting. The dire condition of women in our country has been woven into somewhat dark tales in stories like “The Cursed Existence” and “The Last Kiss” .
Apart from the very first story, I also liked “The Filch” – which speaks of humankind’s greed and immorality and, that friendship often fails to overpower these primaeval feelings. It also shows that the worst betrayal comes from the person we confide in most, often blindly. “The Epoch” and “The Keepsake” are other likeable pieces from the collection as far as my choice is concerned.
The language is simple, flows effortlessly and does help to produce the intended image in the mind of the reader. However, there are a few stories, for example, “Magpie of Memories” which, I think, could have been given more space to build up the characters and to make the plot plausible enough. Moreover, there are repetitive themes. Grammatical/typographical errors at places have marred the joy of reading making me stumble abruptly often. I hope the author would rectify them in the next edition.
“Metro Diaries 2” is like a box of assorted chocolates; some flavours you like, a few you relish, and some are tad bland.