Sundarrajk's Weblog

Khushwant Singh Selects Best Indian Short Stories Part II

Posted on: December 3, 2015

Khushwant Singh Selects Best Indian Short Stories.Khushwant Singh Selects Best Indian Short Stories. by Khushwant Singh
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

An eclectic collection of short stories from various parts of India. Some of them very good and some not so great.

The ones that appealed to me were as follows:

In “Confessions of a Dustbin” by Karunanidhi the author describes the life from the perspective of a dustbin into which people keep discarding unwanted stuff and it being cleared by the municipality truck. The author shows his atheism and his scoff for religion by speaking about the sexual escapades that the dustbin learns about the Indian Gods from an old book about puranas that somebody has thrown into its belly.

“The Accident” by R. K. Laxman. In this story the author illustrates how a person running away from crime almost crashes into a tree because the papers that he had carelessly thrown in the back seat are stirred up by the air circulating through the car and covers his face preventing him from seeing where he is headed. He uses this trick later to get rid of the goon who has come after him for the spoils.

In “The Palace Orders” by Manohar Malgaonkar speaks about how two people exploit the similarity of a country bumpkin being similar to that of a royalty with a great influence in the country. They use the person to extort money from various people. In the end the country bumpkin tries to double cross them and tries to run away with the extorted money to satisfy his grandfather’s dream of flying from his hometown to Delhi by airplane.

In “A Slice of the Melon” by Manohar Malgaonkar describes how unscrupulous persons skim the money that pours into the political party’s coffers during the election time. A small time help who sees this happen sets up a front to try and skim some of this money and he almost succeeds.

“Temple Mouse” by Manohar Malgaonkar speaks about how hollow the people are. He describes how a person close to a “spiritual” guru milks his position to make money for himself while another person who is the right hand man of a famous actor does the same.

Both the stories of Sadat Hasan Manto, selected by Khuswant Singh have the element of sexuality in them and this is not surprising given the proclivity of Khushwant Singh for writing stories with at least a tinge sex in them. Did not enjoy either of them, not because of the sex content, but because of the lack of depth.

The author has three stories of his own all obviously reflecting his beliefs and topics close to his heart, that of Agnosticism, bottom pinching and Kama Sutra. The Bottom Pincher and The Agnostic are an OK read, the third is not at all good.

All in all OK read.

View all my reviews

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