Heart Touching Tales – Shiv Sethi


Title: The Fourth Woman (and other stories)

Author: Debaprasad Mukherjee

Publication: BluRose Publishers

Pages: 148 ; 

Price: Rs 169

The Fourth Woman (and other stories) by Debaprasad Mukherjee takes the readers on a ride of gamut of moods, through his consummately  woven stories comprising the flesh and blood  characters. This anthology is a treat for those who have profound predilection and insatiable appetite for the category of tales that    reflect on the society in its unadulterated version. Each story has a distinct premise, characters and underneath the plot lays a lesson. But mind it! The book does not contain didactic and preachy overtones.The perfectly related title story ‘The Fourth Woman’ renders a gripping beginning  to the book. The  life of the chief protagonist is encompassed by the prominent presence of three women, who keep reminding him of his incapabilities  and insecurities. His boss, wife and the school teacher are the women, who with their constant judgement and preconceived notions  decimate his inner equanimity and add chronic suffocation to his life. Some strange occurrences lead to his death and the readers are in for a mystery. ‘The Car Lover’ is another tale leavened with a humane touch.  Often we tend to react to a situation in haste and  resultantly end in a fiasco. Stereotypes blindsight us to the reality and cloud our perceptions about others. This story sends out a message and thereby  realisation dawns upon the readers  that they need to introspect and ruminate instead of jumping the gun. The three characters, Avinash, Ranjit Dixit, and Ravi are connected by an incident which comes to a pass umpteen years ago. Thus, the story lays bare subtle human emotions and leaves the readers with some philosophical pondering. As the readers move forward with the following  story, ‘Next Prime Minister’, they experience  a spurt of  positivity and hope in Saila. The struggle of Saila from her slum dwellings to the corridors  of politics restores the faith in persistent perseverance. Here, we are aptly reminded of Nepolian Bonaparte who avers that victory belongs to the most persevering.  The author chooses to depict the premise of the story realistically and nowhere goes overboard with the success of his protagonist. Continuing with the undercurrent of social message in his subsequent  tale, ‘ Happy New Year’, the writer raises some significant questions about fundamental happiness. The conversation between Prashant and Dr. Mithilesh Kulkarni makes the readers understand ‘happiness’ as a relative concept. In order to bring a twist in the flavour of the tales, a smidgen of light-hearted humour is also sprinkled, a sort of the literary device of  “comic relief”  to which Shakespeare would often take recourse after a poignant episode. Readers feel relieved of the baggage of pathos in the humours tale “The Major and his Beer’. The narrator is an ex-army officer, who presents  a rib tickling  account of Beer sessions with Major D.S Rathi. The steely bond  between the Major and his wife cements our conviction  in the sanctity of conjugal allegiance. Love cannot always be roses and hearts, but compatibility and acceptance too play a pivotal role is the home take . As the readers begin to beam with bubbly smiles after the Major’s story, they are introduced to a somber tale of a less celebrated, wannabe famed  footballer. The versatility of the author with which he skilfully deals  with a medley  moods astonishes all. The next story, ‘Old Ten Rupee Note’ delves deep into the human tendency of  getting carried away with even a smattering of success and the consequent lose of humility that brings the man from prosperity to adversity as Aristotle alludes to Greek Hubris or Hamartia in his magnum opus “Poetics”  A tale of friendship, struggle, humiliation, and success is sketched with a deeply valid  message that humility is a virtue which should be cherished at any cost.‘The Manuscript’ another tale gives the readers the feel of a lump in  throat. Biprodas Banerjee, an old man who has got a new lease of life after surgery, finds his reason and passion to live with reinvigorated spirits. With immense support from his wife, he comes up with his autobiography. His lessons of life, enshrined  in his memoirs gush directly  out of his heart with a remarkable spontaneity . What follows is a struggle of a writer to make his work see the light of the day. The author  gives credence to the belief that lofty dreams and deep dedication  can push a person up to the tallest of a summit . The stories like  ‘Kidney’, ‘Bragger’, ‘Thank You Dad’ and ‘Bamboo Thief’ have been woven around delicate  human emotions and relationships. The author has a knack of delineating  the mayhem raging inside the minds of his characters. He  has meticulously packed the  stories of melange of flavours with utmost lucidity and simplicity in this literary parcel . His narration flows smoothly without any hiccups. The langue is refreshing and lucid with no ambiguities. The ostentation and floridness in style like those of Augustan age writers Alexander Pope, John Dryden and Samuel Johnson has been painstakingly kept at bay. It is thus a delectable buffet to the book buffs.  A parcel of literary pleasure waiting to be delivered at your door step.

About the contributor: Prof Shiv Sethi,Head Department of English Language and IMG_4048Linguistics, Dev Samaj Postgraduate College For Women, Ferozepur, india  is an internationally  acclaimed columnist, Literary Critic and Book Reviewer.With more than 300 Columns to his credit,  he has reviewed the works of the most famous authors like Khushwant Singh, Khadija Mastur,Phidalia Toi, Greta Rana, Melisa Harrison,Farouk Gulsara, TCA Srinivasa Raghvan, Khalil Gibran, Albert Camus, Kafka, Satre and so on from all across the world. His columns regularly appear in the top most Newspapers, Magazines and Literary  Journals of India and many foreign countries. He is invited by the most prestigious universities, colleges and other institutes of higher education to participate and preside over the international seminars/ conferences and brainstorming sessions. He interacts with the famed literary wits in many international literary festivals all across the globe.  The Author  is these days busy in reviewing the lates book “My Seditious Heart” by Arundhati Roy.

One comment

  1. […] Disparate Souls – Melodie Corrigall Lb Just Passed – Frederick G. Guggenheim Runaways – Mileva Anastasiadou Three Aspects in Life – Dirk Sandarupa What the Sun Tells Me – Len Kuntz Three Photographs – Zararia Yul Two Poems – Henry Bladon Life As It Ends – Ali Akbar Abedi Flight of Dreams – Dr.Alok Kumar Ray Defense – Eliza Segiet Roland and Lady – Mark Tulin Unplugged – Rp Verlaine One More Day – Charlotte Hamrick The Beastly Lobotomy – Muhammad Shahab Benny Hertz a Little – Todd Mercer It Came in the Open – Clifford Brooks Three Tanka – Karen O’Leary Destiny – Panna Paul O You Now See, Etna, How Seasons Communicate? – Alisa Velaj The Nature of Oppositeness – Michaeleen Kelly Departure – Wayne Russell Three Photographs – Keith Moul Heart Touching Tales – Shiv Sethi […]


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