Book review: Monsoon Minds by Ravi Nambiar

Author: Ravi Nambiar

Number of pages: 151

Published by: Partridge India

Published on: 16th November 2016

My rating: ★★★★/5

I received this book as a review copy from the author himself, through an Instagram giveaway contest. 

The book has 18 short stories indulging in the beautiful portrayal of various kinds of relationships, be it between humans or between a man and an inanimate object or be it between a woman and an animal. All the stories have been set in a fictional village called 'Bhavli' situated along the 'Bhavli' river in Southern India. 


The story 'A Rural Desire' is about an old and ailing woman and her secret desire to get her picture printed in the obituary column of the daily newspaper after her death. 'The Death of a Tree', 'Maayi', 'The Young Flower Vendor', 'A Family Affair' and 'The Confined Mind' are stories which display unanswerable relationships between people who are not family, separated by a huge difference in age, yet are bonded deeply. 'An Old Love Story' and 'By The Waves' are both simple stories about unrequited love. 'An Old Soul of Bhavli' and 'An Astral Journey' is about homecoming and nostalgia and finding where your roots are seated. While the author pens down about family relationships in the stories 'The Dream' and 'The Last Pilgrimage'; the author also describes a beautiful and trust-worthy relationship between a woman and her cow and how this relationship goes through the test of times when the village of Bhavli is flooded in the story 'A Divine Bonding'. In the story 'The God of a Mason', a mason realizes who his true God is and in 'An Unbearable Retirement' a soon-to-be retired teacher finds it difficult to separate from his beloved school. 

 Writing Style:

Ravi Nambiar writes his stories in the most simple way possible. He describes his character's background as well as the context in which his characters are presented. The intricate relationships between his characters make sure that they get etched in your memory. Although, I must say that I found his narration a bit repetitive; and also the sentences are rather short. For instance, in 'An Old Love Story', a paragraph consists of just one sentence: 'Brother looked unhappy'. It would have been better if the author added a bit more about the context of brother's unhappiness. 

Overall, it was a good and refreshing read, different from the long novels. This book gives you an insight about various relationships and also the ways of the villagers in Southern India. The cover of the book totally justifies the beautiful fictional village and river, both named 'Bhavli'. 


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