KISMETWALI And Other Stories
Author: Reetika Khanna Nijhawan
Publisher: Om Books International
(Pp 313, ISBN 978-93-85031-72-4, Rs 295)
KISMETWALI And Other Stories are told from the perspectives of people often left unheard. The characters are real to life and easily identifiable. The collection is of Indian underclass, born and reared into the service of others. These socially eclipsed characters are the true protagonists in every story.
Each story in the collection from the beginning, to the rising action to the end embraces the character’s development and reflects its possessed depth. The stories, eight in number, offer a rare glimpse into the parallel lives of the fortunate and impecunious, converging on those astonishing moments when free will intercepts fate and the rigid divide between social classes is rendered insignificant.
“Set against the backdrop of modern-day India, the book places the reader amidst circumstances and transcend place, purse and prestige. Each story showcases walas and walis of the working class – the common yet essential purveyors of goods and providers of service – as empowered individuals who take center stage.” Reetika Khanna Nijhawan tries successfully to portray that we know nothing of the deprivations or the dreams of those indigent men, women and children who serve, but across those artificial lines we all share the same joys, sorrows, hopes and fears. The stories stimulate a new respect for these skillful people who come into our lives to help us deal with these daily chores.
– GS Jolly