Shades of Life: The Anthology’s Colors (Part 3)

It has been a dream to have a story or a poem of mine published in print. That dream came true when last year, I was selected to be part of an anthology titled Shades of Life. The book, which also features 37 other selections in fiction and poetry, was released in March of this year. While I am not going to review my own story, or rate the book, I thought I’d share my thoughts on the other stories and poems. This is the third of five posts.

Index of Posts: Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 | Part 4 | Part 5



  • A Handful Bliss, by Satyanand Sarangi:
  • A poem that speaks of life, and takes the reader into its depth. I liked that the poem showed the transition we go through, from the highs to the lows, the lack of surety in the future because of the past, etc. And it had hope as well. I did wonder, though, if I missed the colors in it.

  • Guidance from the Waves, by Nisha Raju:
  • A vivid description of the colors of the sea, the beach and the people around make the poem quite visual. However, what I liked best in the poem was that observations filled with wisdom and the rhyme. Perhaps, if the whole poem had retained the rhythm of the early verses, it might have turned out even better.

  • The Colors Within, by Garima Behal:
  • I mentioned that an earlier story from this book felt like art within an art. This poem feels that way too, for it paints a beautiful love story between two characters, artists both, who have forgotten the colors within, and find it in each other’s presence. Simple yet deep, my favorite poem so far from the book.


  • The Unanswered Letters, by Cifar:
  • What I liked in this story is the color of love, that the strength of the protagonist’s love was very strong, and that his character had faced and conquered adversities. The language is simple as well. I didn’t think it was an unpredictable shade, though, once the ‘NGO’ part came. And that might be a reason the end of the story happened as it did, a twist to the read.

  • See You Soon, by Pamela Bose:
  • The color of motherhood for a childless woman, and as it rightly says in the story itself, motherhood doesn’t mean you have to give birth to a child. The relationship between the woman and the child here was quite wonderful to see, and the ending left it hopeful as well. If anything lets it down, it’s that the narration feels plain. A more emotional narration would have brought the relationship between the characters to life, and lifted the story much more.

  • Ameenah: A Tale of Myriad Colors Filled with Grieves and Glees, by Sulaiman Sait:
  • A tale of myriad colors filled with grieves and glees, the author says. And yes, I suppose that it does. The storyline is one that feels too familiar, but the character of Ameenah, her struggles to ‘remain part of her family’, the injustice… I think the author brings that out quite well. It is saddening to see the state of society through the story. The grieves are more than the glee, but the character of Kavita, and the ending of the story was something I liked. The length of the title, I felt, was a bit too much.

  • The Last Dream, by Jasmit Singh:
  • It is devastating to lose a loved one, but the story doesn’t show the color of death. Rather, it shows the color of determination and love that goes far beyond the grave. The character of the protagonist was one that I loved because of this reason. The end of the story is another aspect I liked. But I wanted to read more. The single father’s struggle with raising his daughter could have added another beautiful shade to the story if it was developed rather than the skipping of sixteen years.

  • He Who Loved Her, by Maliny Mohan:
  • I’ve admired the writing of this author for a while now, and this story just adds to that. A love story that seems so plain and usual, something most of us might relate to, gets turned upside down right toward the end by a brilliant twist I just did not expect. And what the story had become was something I could still relate to as well. Even with many stories still to read, I feel this will remain my favorite from the book.

  • The Gulmohar, by Rashmi Kurup:
  • Hats off to the author for a story that stands out from the rest, that shares the observations of a Gulmohar through a beautiful personification. Often, if not always, we observe life with clouded eyes. But from the viewpoint of a Gulmohar planted and nurtured by Savitri, the story feels as unbiased an observation as any. Though I did wonder how the Gulmohar came to know of certain things it didn’t see, I don’t think it takes away from the uniqueness of the story, especially in the point of view.

    Index of Posts: Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 | Part 4 | Part 5

    (© 2nd June 2016)


    Poetry & writing are to me, a breath of fresh air in a life that is sometimes covered by the smoke of sorrow or self doubt. They also become the sweets I share to celebrate when life offers me a reason to. But most of all, they are to me, my life. For each word I write is a piece of my heart, a thought that just had to find its way into the world.

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