A very old n popular saying goes, " Never judge a book by it's cover." I would like to add here that, nor should one judge a book based on online reviews too.
I was on an online site browsing through books, when I saw this book. The cover of the book was interesting enough but what sealed the deal for me was the reason Pandit gave in the prelude for writing this book. When Pandit was writing this book a well-meaning friend of his, asked him, "But why women?" And the answer which Pandit gave compelled me to place an order for the book. He had replied, " Women are less corrupt."
This is the second book by the author. His first being, By Mistake. Here, he writes stories where women play the central character. It talks about the hope, aspirations, dreams, courage, strength, creativity, temerity, sacrifice and all those things that define a woman, even with her gray shades. This book has two sections. The first section is a compilation of 21 short stories by the author himself and the second section is very special and unique. Special because here we have 23 amazing 'closet' writers whose stories on women are nothing short of brilliance.
The stories in the first section are a mixed bag. Barring a couple of them, I found the rest to be very abrupt, as if I was left hanging. On the other hand there are some stories which were terrific. The story of two friends and their unspoken understanding and communication in The Nook or the chance meeting between two women at the departure lounge of the airport where they discuss about the author of a book in Thrice Lucky. After reading Suite No 308, my reaction was 'Atta girl, way to go!' I could not stop laughing after reading Talking to Alka and was wondering what I would have done in a similar situation.
I loved all the 23 contributions made by the rookie writers. Naina Katoch's contribution is a beautiful verse titled Memsahib which has an excellent end. Contradictions Within by Kavita is another gem. A Mumbai Night by Vandana Nair is very unique. Unique because it talks about how even the bleakest time can bring hope in people's lives. Nostalgic Silence by Shweta Dasgupta, I feel is the best contribution as it is about the unselfish and an encompassing love of a mother for her children. I was deeply moved and in tears by the end of this story.