I feel the promos/teasers triggered for the Chutney now seem to be much ado as the book tries to be a damp squib. Stories are not tasteful besides being soaked in rank mediocrity. Out of the 27 short fictions, only a few pieces make the grade; others have fallen in midway and failed in the race. I see the bulk of the stories has platitudes for plots. Authors of such unreadable stories – true, they’re a bunch of greenhorns – seem to be having no familiarity with the traditional formulae of how to write a short story and, pitifully, they lack the gift of writing flawless English. While some of the writers could not avoid maiming the Queen’s language, a handful of others crucified it rather unknowingly or, shall I say, with a know-all air. That’s the reason why the Chutney is spoilt and littered with much extraneous stuff like grammatical goofs and typographical errors.
Apart from ‘The Creation of Love’, the book takes in many interesting stories having appreciable interiors and exteriors. The fact that only such of those stories give the Mango Chutney its worth and make it stand out in the world of books need to be acknowledged. Ms. Menon weaves her story – The Creation of Love – with a distinctive plot and makes it a splendid read with her amazing writing skills – her style unique and the language breezy.
A budding playwright is the protagonist of this tale. He visualizes a perfect love story of an artist and a poor girl of exquisite beauty. He roams about in search of such a girl in real life. He, soon, meets one living in squalor. He quenches her hunger, makes her live decently and pampers her with gifts. When he finally decides to take her into his life, he finds a widening, inexplicable chasm between him and her.
A well-penned story, it adheres to the established principles of the craft. It has a distinct beginning, a buildup and a dramatic end – characteristics of a well-crafted short story. Budding writers may find this story more inspiring as it has a remarkable plot and displays how it can be flawlessly presented.
I like the following lines just because of their literary beauty:
‘His breath came in a whistle, as he willed the chill to clear the cobwebs in his mind’
‘Would he have to throw away his passion to nurture this little, fluttering flame?’
‘He walked, a new spring in his step’.
‘She stood up, looked at him with her heart in his eyes’.
[I would shortly write about my other favorite stories]