Thursday, May 5, 2016

Book Review : Encounters by Sumana Khan

I had done the Cover Reveal of Encounters earlier.I have heard that Sumana Khan writes superbly.So ,I was delighted to review ,this  book, by Sumana Khan ! And needless to add, I was spellbound ! And not only because , the tales are about the supernatural.Her writing & narration leave the reader thirsting for more !

There are five short stories.One is about a forensic scientist, who feels snug & secure with a strange tourist ,who keeps changing forms .Or is it, that it is her own imagination, gone wild ? Then ,there is an accountant ,who has retired .He rediscovers himself & thereby rekindles the life of his wife, whom he loves very much & how ! There is a incense stick salesman, who wanders off & comes back with a tale of a town, that has disappeared .And he wants to do something to recall, that lost community.What does he do ? Does he succeed ? And most important of all ,did that community ever exist ? And why did he, only imagine all that ? And there is a psychiatrist, who has to examine a girl .And as he starts investigating , he knows that, there is  something very bizarre .And he realises, that he is getting personally involved with his patient, which should never ever happen.Is he able to bring back his patient to normalcy ? And what happens to him ? What is the strangeness about the case, that he is handling ?

It is laced with humour ," Upma is like heavy on the stomach." And in another ," S.P B wept while singing some words backwards " as " this cassette is damaged " .Yet another one ...." I don't even know how we are related ,but he's always there in all the functions..... ."

And she  pays tribute to  our mothers & grandmothers and perhaps, to  majority of the women ,as she writes," with many women , when there are no options at all,they make the best of whatever situation , they are thrust in .They create a a new world ; they generate their own happiness .Generate ,mind you,not find.Their mental imprisonment is the greatest tragedy of our society .Instead of correcting it, we glorify it. That is the second tragedy." Many lumps rose in my throat as I read & reread this.

And to end, her stories made me realise that some casual meetings may change us forever & perhaps for the better !

Someone's Always Waiting
Sumana Khan

ENCOUNTERS is a potpourri of five sumptuous stories involving a motley crew of protagonists. Skating along the borders of fantasy and paranormal themes, the stories track incredible and poignant journeys of self-discovery, tracing the cathartic aftermath of fleeting encounters.

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You can get this book directly from the Publisher


Sumana was born and raised in Bengaluru, Karnataka, where she went on to graduate with a BSc in Electronics, much to the surprise of her teachers, and relief of her parents. In what can only be described as a quirk of fate, she ended up as an IT consultant - a role she essayed for more than a decade. She then moved to the UK where she quit her job and pursued academic and literary interests. The result of this pursuit has been two Masters, one published book, quite a few manuscript drafts, and above all, being stone-broke perpetually.

She currently lives in the UK with her husband and several books.  

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Moonbeam said...

Thank you for a lovely write-up Vasudha. I'm glad the characters connected with you :)

Vasudha Rao said...

The pleasure is mine,Sumana ! I loved your book !

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