The Wall by Saurabh Katiyal is an evocatively written description of ennui that strikes a young corporate executive of 31. The same corporate sales environment is covered in the next, mildly diverting story Jo Dikhta Hai Woh Bikta Hai by Sneh Thakur which is a portrait of a sales based FMCG company where rookie salespeople are being inducted.
The Interview by Manisha Lakhe shows two faces of a famous and legendary film star, the accidental knowledge of which shakes the beliefs of an adoring reporter covering him for a profile. Paisley Printed Memories by Sneh Thakur describes a happy wedding in the memories of the bride, ending with a wrench that forces one to question how reliable or transient those memories are. Heaven & Hell by Shachi Mail shows how a short encounter with a mehendiwalla causes a woman to reevaluate her entire existence.
Cats & Sponges by Meena Bhatnagar is an interesting little amorality tale of interpersonal intrigues set in a hotel, while You Eternal Beauty by Naman Saraiya is a story that begins with promise but loses itself in a litany of Calcutta cliches. Wrong Bangla to boot - "Amar ke jete hobe", anyone?
The Window Seat by Salil Chaturvedi is perhaps among the best of the lot. Deals with a chance meeting between a laid off, divorced pilot and a girl who has just broken off a relationship with a married man, and how they help each other. The fourth Ahmed Faiyaz story in the collection, It's All Good does nothing to redeem his impression on me, being a silly little morality tale on spending beyond your limit set in a sales dept in an organization.
The Pig in a Poke by Mydhili Verma is based on the Nigerian scams, and starts off promisingly when a teenager responds to the con email in a funny manner, but disappointingly loses steam when we realize the response was not being sarcastic! Bummer! Ready, Jet, Set, Go - another one by Uttam's favourite writer Ahmed Faiyaz. There seems to be a clear pattern here. Ahmed seems to have a chip in his shoulder about new India. This time he takes on chick lit and Indian bestsellers and the kind of gauche people who publish and read them. Another trite storyis the next one, called Things That Can Happen In A Park by Gagan Narula. A pointless vignette of an interaction between a young research scientist and an old geezer in the park.