This is a mixed bag of short stories by writer Nihar Pradhan, an IT professional, and I guess that’s why he named it as, ‘Makeup and Breakup Stories, Contemporary Classics for Digital Natives’. More than the book, I was intrigued by the title. As a professional whose life moved as much in the digital space as the author himself, I was really hooked by the title. I always thought the term, ‘contemporary classic’ is an oxymoron, and couldn’t wait to read to see if the stories explain the title or not.
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So did the stories live up to my expectations? Well, let me tell you, that I found Nihar to be a wonderful person, who had sent me an author-signed copy to review. I was thrilled. Reviewing books is my hobby, and I am not a professional critic, so to speak. So whenever someone extends this courtesy towards me, I am always impressed.
Coming back to the book, well, like I said, it’s a mixed bag. Some are good, and others are some I didn’t enjoy as much as my favorite ones. The ones I loved are the story of the Missing File, for very rarely people write stories of the lives of the defense people (except for Bollywood of course, but then those are glamorized versions with no relations to truth whatsoever), so it was a pleasure. ‘Fleeting Romance’ and ‘Whats in a Name’ are good too. And there’s even a ‘Makeup and Breakup’ story too, which is essentially a conversation between Marriage and Divorce (yes, they are personified).
So what’s my opinion on this book? Well, let’s put it this way: that I may live in a contemporary world, but classics are where my literary interest lies. And since this is more of a contemporary set of stories, rather than classical ones, well, these may not be exactly what I will pick up on a rainy Sunday afternoon. I guess I am not too fond of phrases like, ‘brushing my teeth with anti-germ Pepsodent’ or ‘I just sipped the Nestle Fruit Juice’ in my books that take up most of my waking hours. Corporate branding in stories too? I guess we are moving to a different era of publishing now.
But hey, don’t that let you stop from reading this book. You may find some hidden gems here. Let me know when you do, I will re-read them to understand your preference. Reading is all about experimenting with different genres, trying out new authors. And in that note, I am glad I read this one. Thank you, Nihar for sending me this one. Wish you luck.