Book Review: ‘Saturday Stories’ by Rashmi Bansal

Simple, genuine and elegant stories

Book Title: Saturday Stories
Author: Rashmi Bansal
Publisher: HarperCollins India
Number of Pages: 176
ISBN: 978-9356993075
Date Published: Sept. 14, 2023
Price: INR 183

Saturday Stories by Rashmi Bansal Book Cover

Book Review

Sometimes, you find yourself drifting into your thoughts, envisioning picturesque scenarios. Occasionally, you delve deeply into the individuals you encounter in your daily existence, pondering what experiences they might be undergoing or what has shaped them into who they are.

In her latest book, “Saturday Stories,” Rashmi Bansal guides readers through short tales that delve into the intricate fabric of human emotions and experiences. With her engaging and approachable writing style, Bansal explores various themes that mirror the essence of our contemporary era.

The book’s strength lies in its simplicity. Though deceptively straightforward, the narratives offer unique glimpses into the lives of diverse characters. Rashmi Bansal’s talent for creating relatable characters and situations is evident throughout the book, making it effortless for readers to form personal connections with the stories.

However, one element of “Saturday Stories” that may give readers pause is the inclusion of stories related to the COVID-19 pandemic. While these narratives undoubtedly reflect the times we are living in, for some readers, they may not offer the escapist experience typically sought in fiction. The COVID-19 pandemic has been a shared global experience, and revisiting it in fiction might not provide the desired break from reality. These lockdown-inspired stories go into many parts of COVID-19, from vaccination hesitation to real-life lockdown challenges, such as economic downturns and migrant worker hardships. This book’s capacity to cover a wide range of genres in one volume makes it unique.

The stories, which range from love romances to thought-provoking scenarios about racism and opulent Indian weddings, keep readers interested in their concise and direct manner. Some stories are extremely emotional, while others are superficial. The novel cleverly includes the Indian setting, including features such as MNREGA jobs and current trends such as vegetarianism and intermittent fasting. It also emphasizes the continuance of superstitions in Indian society, emphasizing solutions over conflicts, as Dr. Tanu’s approach demonstrates.

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One noteworthy aspect of “Saturday Stories” is the occasional infusion of dark humor into the narratives. This subtle touch of wit adds depth to the stories, frequently surprising readers with unexpected twists and turns. It is a testament to Bansal’s storytelling prowess that she can seamlessly blend humor with profound insights into the human condition.

In conclusion, “Saturday Stories” by Rashmi Bansal is worthwhile. It showcases the author’s ability to weave stories that evoke many emotions, from inspiration to introspection. While some stories may be less engaging due to their connection to the pandemic, the overall collection provides a glimpse into the distinct spirit of our times. Readers who appreciate short stories that capture the intricacies of human nature will find “Saturday Stories” to be a valuable addition to their reading repertoire.

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