Six tales seek to portray contemporary India, covering a variant strata of society reflecting tension and turmoil pertaining to the gaping class contrast but with a tint of humour. Renee Ranchan’s “To Each With Love: A Satiric Rendition” is a play of human nature on a vibrant canvas portraying a diverse range of characters – some similar, still quite apart.
The stories in the book by Stellar Publishers are an expression of the experiential reality of contemporary Indian infrastructure and present a fascinating study of the relational script of people belonging to a varied social milieu.
The narrative in many a story brings to fore human nature at its ultimate perfection, playing games by subterfuge and subversion.
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The events are replete with surprises and shocks. Humour and acerbic wit lend light-heartedness, creating comic effect in the midst of overwrought situations.
The author seeks to look into the human psyche amid distraught situations, with an inimitable light-heartedness.
Be it the portrayal of a stereotype bahu Vimla Jain awaiting the birth of a son to salvage her marital status; a country bumpkin Chander metamorphosing into a street savvy domestic aide; a frustrated spinster school teacher Lulla fighting demons of her singlehood; a sophisticated memsaab Andrea bringing to fore the gaping class contrast and its inherent conflict; a Rebecca grappling with the vagaries of family inheritance; or a Kashmiri Mataji with honey and peach complexion ruing her youthful days as she passes away.
Ranchan calls these memory strips.
“On these whiffs, have I woven together six long and short tales,” she says.
In his foreword, writer Reginald Massey terms two of the stories – “The Fiefdom!” and “From the Attic” are minor masterpieces.
“In the former, for the first time, I have read the traumas and tribulations of professional Indians living in a third-class feudal society based on caste and class,” he writes.