Short Story Book Review: Bhumi by Tina Sequeira
Bhumi by Tina Sequeira consists of 26 short stories, and is 121 pages long. The first story, ‘Amma,’ is character driver rather than plot driven. Although the male protagonist has a stereotypical perspective of his wife, at least he appreciates her. The poignant end is good. Read on for my complete short story book review.
Next is the title story, ‘Bhumi.’ The author’s note at the end helped me understand the sub text. Perhaps by adding touches about that throughout the story, the note would not have been needed.
The third story is ‘Crazy Courage.’ The protagonist is a strong woman. I like the way she took charge of her life. More showing rather than telling would have been more engaging though, and this is true for most of the stories in the collection.
‘Dried Roses’ is next. Arranged marriages- the dinosaur style of dating made me LOL. I identified more with this story- it is from a younger woman’s perspective. The letters were touching.
I liked ‘Ending’ too, since I have a soft spot for theatre. It serves as a fitting backdrop for a love story. The dashing protagonists are exciting too.
‘Fat Chance’- like the name suggests, is about body shaming. That’s something that resonated with all of us. The way the protagonist takes charge of her life and happiness is empowering.
‘Grey’ will remind us of the strong older women in our lives and how like us, they too lived it up in their heyday.
‘Hush’ covers a topic that is still taboo but fortunately is losing stigma attached to it nowadays.
‘Instant Gratification’ has a magic realist touch to it.
‘Juxtaposition’ has a wolf in sheep’s clothing and brings home the reality of patriarchy’s link with power well.
‘Karma’ is heartening, where the children support their mother. I hadn’t come across Frost’s poem ‘Fire and Ice’- I liked the extract from it.
Here’s another great line from one of the stories- ‘There is an ugly frog in every Prince Charming and a Prince Charming in every frog.’
Tina personifies many issues in her stories, like the plight of Parsi women who marry outside their community and are ostracized by the community, a raped child, a bold journalist. The physically challenged get a voice too.
Women are not always shown in a positive light, presenting a rounded picture. Circumstances sometimes make them the bad guy, but there is always a note of hope at the end.
There are lots of wo-mances here- friends, mother-in-law and daughter-in-law, mother and daughter and so on. Tina has a wide range when it comes to settings- from Kerala, to America and whatnot. She has strong research skills. Women will enjoy this collection of stories, but more action rather than narration will make this a stronger work. Download it for free now. Here’s another short story book review.