The stories in ‘A String of Broken Dreams – Fifty Short Stories’, authored by Lucknow-based writer Syed Rizwan are as concise as they could possibly be. These are straight to the point, not complicated but easy to absorb and read. Words and phrases and sentences flow along…rather too effortlessly. Letting nothing really come in between, neither the passage of time nor the expanse of days and months and years. A book review by Humra Quraishi
The very first and foremost aspect that hit me about this recently launched book, is the fact that these fifty short stories have been written in 30 days! Also, they are as concise as they could possibly be. Some contained in a page whilst several others extending somewhat, to a couple of pages.
And what prompted the Lucknow-based writer Syed Rizwan to come up with these short stories. Not to overlook the fact that his earlier books are primarily non-fictions. To mention the titles of some of his earlier published books –Survivors of a Mutiny 1 &11, Regarding Lucknow,The Taming of Islamophobia.
Why these short stories and that too fifty of them, written as briskly as possible? And this is what Rizwan details in the Preface to this book, “About a month back, I wrote a short story that fit within a page. That pleased me. So I sat down to write a bunch of such stories. In the process, I learnt short stories bring out the specialness of common things using the minimum of words…these stories are of common people for the common people written by a common man.” He also adds, “The good thing about short stories is they are not strenuous; they end before the weather or the mood changes. Having said that, they can change the mood from sombre to sonorous and solemn to scintillating.”
And as I read these fifty short stories, the diversity in terms of the characters and locales and settings and themes did impress. Together with that, these stories are straight to the point. Nah, not complicated but easy to absorb and read. Words and phrases and sentences flow along…rather too effortlessly. Letting nothing really come in between, neither the passage of time nor the expanse of days and months and years.
In fact, when I was writing the foreword to this book, nostalgia tightened its hold. Taking me back to the Jhansi of the 1960s, when Rizwan’s father was posted as the district magistrate of Jhansi and my father was also posted there as one of the engineers supervising the construction of the upcoming dams in and around Jhansi. Our families were close and met rather regularly but then things changed with their passing away. Death of our parents relayed an end of an era…of those good old days when simplicity and sincerity held sway.
Title of the book- A String of Broken Dreams – Fifty Short Stories
Author – Syed Rizwan
Publisher –Petrichor Publications
Pages – 138
Price – Rs 275