Thursday, October 10, 2019

Book Review: Of Swans and Songs by Rohini Paranjpe Sathe

Title: Of Swans and Songs

Author: Rohini Paranjpe Sathe

Publisher: Notion Press

Rohini Paranjpe Sathe’s Of Swans and Songs is a collection of seven short stories made up of a myriad of emotions and situations. Though rooted in India, the stories have a universal appeal. These are relatable tales of simplicity, bittersweet memories, loneliness, and understanding. Each short story holds up a mirror to our society and to the extraordinary lives of ordinary people. Told in simple yet fluid language the stories seep into one’s psyche only to resurface long after the book has been laid aside.
The stories are eclectic in taste, each resplendent in its own way. 

When the Girl Died shows us the harsh reality of our society and how each person reacts to it differently. The story is about the turmoil in the life of the Mathur family when confronted with the news of a rape. The story, though, ends on a positive note and assures readers of the still-persisting humanity at the face of cruelty.

The Messenger speaks of how we feel even months or years later after we’ve lost a loved one. We continue to feel them around us—watching us, looking out for us. We keep holding on to unrealistic yet hopeful scenarios with wishful thinking.

The third story in the collection, Anuja Grows Up, is the story of family secrets. We each come from different backgrounds and yet it is safe to say that even while dealing with our circumstances in various ways, the underlying emotions are universal.

Amma celebrates the life of renowned classical singer and her relationship with her prodigy. There’s a poignancy that is laced throughout the story that tugs at the heart. The author's love for music shines through in this story.

Finding Shobha is a tale of a teacher’s tryst with the changes in her life. The story tells of how she deals with her fluctuating mood and comes to term with it.

Of Swans and Songs is a story of an extramarital affair that breaks up a surgeon’s family. It takes one through the chaos that ensues after an affair and the efforts thereafter to establish peace and harmony.

A Happy Diwali takes one down the memory lanes of Diwali celebrations and makes one long with nostalgia. It’s another good read dipped in emotions.

A collection of thought-provoking stories—captivating and uplifting.

Rohini Paranjpe Sathe studied and trained to be an economist but returned to her first and enduring love, the pursuit of Indian classical music (vocal). She sings and composes, the words and their melody coming to her spontaneously.

Writing since the past six years, she has published a series of articles comprising her reflections and memories on the website, Talking Cranes. Later, gravitating towards fiction, she started writing stories, both short and long, imagining and embellishing characters while delving essentially into their emotional flux.

This collection of stories is her first publication as a fiction writer.

I'd like to thank the author for letting me review the book. I do hope you end up liking the book when you read it. Thank you so much for stopping by, and happy reading!

* I received a review copy from the author in exchange for an honest review.

** Picture courtesy:, Google

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