Sunday, June 12, 2016

After the floods - An anthology on the Chennai floods by the Chennai Bloggers Club

This is a special post; it is special because this is about a compilation of short stories. It is also special because I have also written one of the 21 stories in the compilation. Without much ado I will jump right in and focus on the other stories that are in the book.

I will refrain from focusing on the individual stories because they span various genres, styles and timelines. They are tied together by a few threads; the first being they are set in Chennai, this book was spurred by the Chennai floods and each of the authors had been affected by the flood in one way or the other, the majority of the authors are amateur bloggers and this is possibly their maiden published piece.

Let me first get the good things out of the way:
-          The compilation merited a publisher and this shows that the book has touched people even before it hit the stands
-          The beautiful foreword by RJ Balaji who has accepted the Award for The Indian of the year on behalf of the people of Chennai for the same floods. Enough has been said on Balaji and Chennai Micro so this is a boost to the book and the effort at large
-          The editor has done a decent job and it is no mean effort to get so many disparate woks together in one complete whole
-          The compilation work by Mahesh Lakshmanan who juggled so much to see the book come out
-          The admins of CBC who believed in the concept and worked tirelessly to get the book out
-          The authors who have all given their perspectives of the floods which takes the reader through a variety of emotions but ensure that there is a lump in the throat when the memories of the floods come back
-          The wonderful art work, cover design and the design in the book which makes the book stand out.
-          The stories: some stood out, some breezed past, and some tugged at the heart. Some of the stories brought smiles, some trepidation, some even memories of the losses that were suffered, most of them brought pride in the spirit of Chennai, the spirit we gloriously celebrated when the city rose as one from the deluge to reach out to the other.

Now let me come to the not so good things:
-          The typos, there were quite a few and at times mar the reading. I am sure that we will get a second print with these removed
-          The mismatch in the index page
-          The fluctuating genres and quality  tend to take the reader on a roller coaster and may throw off a few

What did I miss?
-          I really missed a group photo of the CBC that is the reason for this book. Maybe the names of the authors could have been sacrificed on the back cover for a great group photo?

Should you get the book?
Most definitely yes and here are some reasons why:
-          At 150 Rupees it is light on the pocket and at the book fair it is only 135
-          It is a compilation of 21 different authors with 21 different views
-          It tells the world what a wonderful city we live in
-          The stories may be fiction but they are from the heart
-          It is a debut for many of the story tellers so your support will be much appreciated
-          Part of the proceeds of this book are earmarked for the flood rehabilitation, there are some parts of the city that are still rebuilding and this little bit will be a drop in the pool

P.S. Words cannot be enough to express the gratitude and appreciation that is due to the admins of CBC, Mahesh Lakshmanan, Sindhu JP and Bragadeesh Prasanna for getting the book out and the entire support team of CBC that backed them.

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