इंडियन आवाज़     05 Dec 2023 06:39:48      انڈین آواز

‘Heart Alone – A Collection of Short Stories’

By Andalib Akhtar  –

heart11Do tragedies and tales of heart breaks have memories? The refrain often is : a New tale of heart-breaks would drive out the Old one.
Now, for those who love literature and are fond of agonies of broken hearts, Nirendra Dev brings a collection of tales of hearts. Aptly called, ‘Heart Alone: Whispers in Relations’ is an e-book, and is a collection of 12 racy short stories.

It’s also pocket friendly – being priced at 4.99 US$ coming to over Rs 310.

But all the stories are not romantic tales even as in the words of the author Dev himself, “protagonists (in this book)
essentially find themselves dictated by HEART rather than the powerful modern tool called the mind”.

One of the stories involve a former army official, who hung up his boots as the force he was serving had indulged in gross violation of human rights and abusing of their power in Nagaland. This is so frequent but how many officials have given up their jobs to register such protest?
The characters thus often look far off from reality. But fiction talks about ‘truth’ which looks stranger than truth.
But the twist in the tale is somewhere else. Here lies the test of a good fiction writer Nirendra Dev has tried to be
— taking mid-night off from the world of Journalism and his love for politics.

The retired army officer in ‘Arms of Comfort’ longs to meet his old friend, a female compatriot but shies away at the last moment and dissociates himself from the woman’s shame. And the woman’s response too is moving and both ultimately combine to present a copy book case of ‘dehumanization’ of an individual. It’s an interesting end.

Another moving story is ‘Agony of a father’. It’s based on match-fixing trauma of a cricketer’s family and his aging father.
The father knows his folly. If his cricketer son is corrupt and greedy, the father knows he himself was not clean. But Dev handles the plot well in quite a new style as the father is presented as a ‘coward’ man – only lamenting about his corruption in safe cocoons of his bed room.

“Fatherhood remains a dominant factor in my life,” says Nirendra Dev in the Preface but as some of us know, Dev’s two-decade old journalism too remains a major factor and many a times, he only tries to be a humble reporter. This, as a reviewer, I must say, is both a strength and weakness of the book.
The author, however, appears confused on certain issues of life, love and family matters. Is he batting for a joint family system or getting guided by his middle class inhibitions, one is not sure? Similarly, one is not sure on whether he wants the characters to be free birds and ‘rebels’ – not influenced and cowed down by the pressures of family members. Thus the stories often differ a lot from each other. So we have ‘A Rebel Son’, where the protagonist wants to be the master of his decisions; at the same time, in ‘Axiom of a girl friend’, the author runs down a woman who ill-treats her in-laws.
Well, if Dev is confused, so is also perhaps everyone else who listens to his or her ‘HEART’.

Therefore, ‘Heart Alone’ is probably worth downloading on mobile and read quickly.

About the e-book: ‘Heart Alone – A Collection of Short Stories’
Pages – 95

Written by – Nirendra Dev

Priced: 4.99 US $

Visit web: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00YMU1I6O

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