Paper boats. The little vehicles we use to drown in our childhood fantasies. The inexpensive mode of travel which can take us to many places, yet bring us back home in time for dinner.
I equate “Paper Boats In Puddles” by Priya Velayudhan to a paper boat. One short story will take you down a memory lane, or should I say ‘river’, of your past. Another will take you into your supposed sea of the future. Maybe another will take you from narrow stream to big ocean and widen your perspective about things you didn’t seem to care for before. Or maybe, a story will caress your heart and make you want more, just like the waves hit the sea shore.
“Paper Boats in Puddles” by Priya Velayudhan is a debut collection of 33 short stories. And I must say, I am quite impressed with the depth and thought that each of these stories have.
Each story in this book will invite you to sit down, relax your mind, take up one word at a time and enjoy the serenity. Each story will teach you something you didn’t know, experience feelings you never thought you’d feel again and help you stay more connected to the people who matter.
Let me list down 5 stories from this book that I absolutely loved.
Birds of Many Feathers: I loved this story, because it portrays a very big lesson in such an uncomplicated way. A lesson about caring for one another, irrespective of their religion.
Jingle Bells: I loved the imagery in this story, and of course, the reference to Christmas!
Potluck: This one is a bittersweet story indeed. It showcases the struggles of being a single parent, and how children are sometimes the saviours for their parent.
Detours to the Altar: This story will open your eyes, and help you see the financial injustice around you.
Love a Girl Who Cooks: This story is going to make all you lazybones wake up and enrol yourself for cooking classes, I bet you!
Some other short stories I would like to highlight:
Sanctuary or Asylum: This one may have mixed reactions from different readers, but I appreciated the honesty in this story.
Thank You: This poem is the perfect ending to the rollercoaster of emotional short stories. A poem that will make you thankful, sad, happy, restless at the same time.
There were some short stories that weren’t quite as dazzling as the others. I felt that the author had a good idea to execute, but somehow erred while executing them. And hence, I am willing to overlook these few stories which weren’t upto the mark, and invite you to do so too. In my earnest opinion, I feel that this author has a great potential to write many more books, and we readers should encourage her to write more by patronising her work.
So, if you love reading short stories which make you stop and think for a really long time, this is one book you should pick up.
I give this book a 4/5 star rating, and wish Priya all the luck and good wishes for pursuing her writer career further!
Note: I received a free paperback copy of this book, in exchange for an honest review.