Book Review #44: Kanhu & Other Stories

Name: Kanhu & Other Stories
Author: Various (Translated from Odiya by Saroj Mishra)
No. of Pages: 109
Genre: Fiction/Short Stories
Publisher: Platinum Press (An Imprint of Leadstart Publishing)
Price: Rs. 149/-
Published in: 2015

How did I get it? From the publisher.

The blurb of the book says:
This book contains eleven short stories in Odiya translated into English. The original authors are all well-known writers, some of them winners of the Kendriya Sahitya Akademi awards and others honoured with several state-level awards.

The stories in this anthology reflect the rich and divergent cultural heritage of Odisha and the current thinking in Odiya society – varying from focus on the plight of the underprivileged to the struggles of different sections of society in dealing with moral dilemmas. The stories have been selected carefully to promote the Odiya language, with its colourful idiom, the heritage and the social ambience of Odisha, to a wider audience so that the readers can learn about its rich literature and the glorious history of Odisha.  

I took up this exercise of translating into English short stories written by popular authors in Odiya, so as to bring them to a wider sphere, where it could be read by those who love stories. These stories depict the lifestyle and culture of people native to the great state of Odisha. I hope this will be appreciated by readers. This book is dedicated to my mother, Smt. Urbashi Mishra, who taught me moral values and love of humanity. 
The book consists of ten short stories written by popular authors in Odiya. The stories are off-beat and give a glimpse of Odiya lives. The only story which was not in line with the spirit of the other nine stories was written by the translator himself.
  1. Kanhu’s Home: Kanhu is made to leave his home and oversee the construction of a house.
  2. Mystery of the Closed Iron Chest: An old man zealously guards his iron chest making his family curious.
  3. Last opportunity: An old couple staying separately with their children, see each other afters five years.
  4. Inauguration of the Electric Crematorium: A corpse is needed for the inaugural function of an electric crematorium.
  5. The Wound: A selfless village couple who takes in orphans come into the limelight after an TV interview. And their lives are changed forever.
  6. Mission Heart: A wife engages a young man to win her husband back.
  7. Gagan Majhi and His Kin: An exposed case of corruption makes the wife of an police officer paranoid.
  8. Drowning: A man’s daylong infatuation turns into a mystery.
  9. Travel and Shoes: Tales from the lives of daily commuters.
  10. The Goalkeeper: An honest and loyal goalkeeper faces a moral dilemma.
Some stories like “The Last Opportunity” and “The Wound” seemed like incomplete. I enjoyed “Kanhu’s Home”,  “Mystery of the Closed Iron Chest” and “Inauguration of the Electric Crematorium”.
I give “Kanhu & Other Stories” 3 stars on a scale of 5.

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