Shades of Life: The Anthology’s Colors (Part 5)

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 last of five posts.

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



  • Humours of the Nemeses, by Vishal Bagaria:
  • Whereas most of the stories have taken the color of family relationships, this story stands out from the set because it is a different genre, and is done in a different way, in almost parallel timelines and flashbacks. It was quite interesting reading, but I felt the story was tied up in a knot quite abruptly, and left one question too many open for the reader to answer, which is surprising given that the story is the biggest one in the collection.

  • Dark Pages of my Diary, by Elora Rath:
  • The author brings about the life of a girl who has had it hard because of the adversities thrown in her way. Recollecting the memories of those adversities is not easy, and the story does it in an almost unemotional tone. It leaves the reader thinking, brings out the element of fear or helplessness rather than anger, which I thought would be present.

  • Colors of a Winged Soul, by Monisha Vishwanath:
  • The last story in the collection also happens to be one that stands out because of the genre, which has fantastical elements that make me smile. And yes, the colors do shine. The story mixes poetry and fiction, but I felt a little less of poetry would have made the story an easier read.

    Two Guest Authors:

    The book has a poem and a story that were written by guest authors and not part of the contest held to decide the contributors to the anthology.

  • Colors, by Neelam Saxena Chandra (Poem):
  • The poet paints a familiar scene with her poem, one that I related to. Thoughts are but colors, and the poem shows the colors merging to form the subject of the poet’s work or painting before changing so quickly into another thought. The refrain in the poem felt like a double-edged sword. At times it worked, at times it felt like the artist was wishing the colors went away. I liked it.

  • Black and White, by Namrata Madhira (Fiction):
  • The story shows the struggle of a girl who has had the colors taken away from her life by people who she trusted, and the nightmares as a result breaking her resolve till someone genuinely tries to help her overcome the fear so omnipresent in her life. I liked the transition from black and white to colors, even though black and white are colors. It showed that there is always hope to change the colors in our life.

    Overall Thoughts:

    Most, if not all, of the stories/poems in this anthology are quite simple ones that paint in life’s colors. We may even be able to relate to these in our own lives. That being said, I feel the volume of the book brings the anthology down a little. Though the stories are different, some do paint in similar colors.

    Editing, which is quite important, still needs to improve, as I could see many typos, words joined together, words used that imply something else, etc. While some readers may just ignore these and understand what the author wanted to say, most readers would feel them out of place. I felt smaller author profiles at the beginning of each poem/fiction would have been better than placing them at the end of the story, which leads to confusion, and also the content page should have shown the authors of the work as well.

    It’s a book that has some stories and poems worth reading, but because of the volume of the book, I feel reading them in parts would be better. Reading them at one go would feel boring. Wishing the team behind the anthology – editors, authors, poets etc. – good luck for better works in the future.

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

    (© 4th 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.

    4 thoughts on “Shades of Life: The Anthology’s Colors (Part 5)”

    1. Hi vinay! I’m more than overwhelmed by your review on the story and I’m glad that you chalked out a slice of your time to read it. I’ve tried my best in making every second of yours worthwhile. But if I have somewhere faltered, please let me know. Please do ask me the questions you want answered about my story, Humours of the Nemeses, so that we can indulge in a discussion. Thanks!

      • It mostly was, Vishal. 🙂 I liked that you chose a different genre. We’ll discuss about the Nemeses for sure. Not in the comments here, lest we give spoilers.

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