Tag Archives: short stories

Book Reviews: Urban Shots Love Collection

Book Reviews: Urban Shots Love Collection. Click on the links to read more :

http://crispingcanary.blogspot.in/2012/03/urban-shots-book-review.html “I enjoyed Kailash Srinivasan’s ‘High Time’ because of the dialogues primarily. Natural, funny and effortless…”

http://aspoonfullofworld.blogspot.in/2012/03/urban-shots-book-review.html – “Kailash Srinivasan’s a little off beat ‘High Time‘ humored me especially because of its South Indian stereotypes…”

http://flashnewstoday.com/index.php/urban-shots-the-love-collection/ – “High Time – hilarious play of words and expressions that turn the tables…”

http://prats.co.in/urban-shots-the-love-collection/ – “High Time (Kailash Srinivasan) – A beautiful story which will leave you in the fits of laughter”

http://dfuse.in/reviews-all/book-reviews/review-urban-shots-love-collection/ “High Time, Kailash Srinivasan, for its use of humour and sarcasm”

http://momofrs.wordpress.com/2012/03/25/book-review-urban-shots-the-love-collection/ “High Time brings its giggles and smiles.

http://twinklingtinawrites.blogspot.in/2012/03/book-review-urban-shots-love-collection.html   “Some other stories worth commenting are ‘High Time’ by Kailash Srinivasan”

http://www.bookchums.com/book/urban-shots-the-love-collection/9789381626474/MzE0MjA=.html# – “Kailash Srinivasan’s ‘High Time’ is a pleasant humorous take on the prelude to arranged marriage.”




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Book Launch of Urban Shots: Love Collection

It’s just a book launch, I told myself. That was a lie. It was a BOOK LAUNCH. But then I thought, Ah, well I have been to a few before, poof! Why should this be any different? Well for starters, I was usually on this side of the panel. This side, meaning, the audience side. And I’d still feel nervous about putting forth a question to them Gods with answers to everything in their books. What if the question came out wrong? What if I spoke so fast, and gibberish, not words, spewed from my mouth? I am not one of those who could simply say, “Oops, what am I saying? This is what I meant.” I would just barge through the conversation, like an Army Tanker through a field of Tulips.

So now they tell me I am going to be on the other side of the panel. Yikesabee!! I calmed myself down by saying, Well, there will be other authors there so I’d be safe in their collective presence. The night before, I exchanged a few texts with another author friend who was going to be there also. She was going bananas and was close to the point of not turning up at all. She was thinking of excuses. “I’d say I am an Agoraphobic and that I can’t be anywhere near public places,” she said. Seeing her in that state, something changed within me. Her fear made me swallow mine. Suddenly, I felt brave and putting on a swaggering display of courage, I said, “Nothing doing. Don’t be stupid. I’ll see you there at six.”

The day of the launch was upon me. I was heading there after work. There had already been three date changes from the publisher’s end before they settled on Feb 22. In my head, there was still a tiny chance that they would postpone things again. Part of the reason was there seemed to be no publicity. I texted my friend again.

“Not happening it seems,” I said. “There’s no dope on the event.”

“Oh. Shoot. Well, let me know in case you hear anything.”

I shot a few emails to the organizers who said it was most certainly happening today.

“It’s on,” I said to my friend.

“Oh shit,” she said.

At work, my boss gauging my mood, said, “Why are you pacing around like a pregnant cat?”

“Sorry, I just have this small thing in the evening.”

“What small thing?”

“Nothing, just a small book launch. Very small, actually. I don’t even know why I am going.”

“Oh, man up, Nancy. You’ve done this before.”

On the way to the bookstore, I kept thinking about all the things that could possibly go wrong: What if I got the date wrong? or maybe they are going to call me right now and say: There’s been a slight mistake. Your story was never part of the book. To make matters worse I followed a colleagues advice and took the shortcut he’d suggested. “It will cut your travel time by 30 mins,” he announced proudly. It did cut my traveling time, but it also made me even more nervous. I didn’t want to be that first guy on stage at an audition. Everyone is aware, everyone is alert. But you don’t want to be the last guy either. People are bored and eager to know when they can leave.

Upon reaching there I realized I was famished. It was better, I thought, to be ten minutes late than reach on time and sit through the entire evening with strange sounds emanating from my stomach. So I grabbed a falafel roll, which distressingly, turned out to be stale. I chomped it down anyway, tossing half of it in the bin. I paid the guy hurriedly and rushed back to the store.

Fortunately, I wasn’t the first one. Phew! I met my friend by the Gondola, where our books were stacked in the shape of a spiraling staircase, glistening like a snake under white lights. She thumbed through the book and held open for my benefit, the page that announced my story and my name. Writers should be like misers, I think. Just like every single penny makes them happy, every single, published story should make us swoon with pride. She squealed. I squealed. She leafed through to her story and started reading it like she was some third person, as if she had only just come across it.

Soon it was time to take our seats. Breathe.Breathe. My friend sat next to me and kept mumbling, “God, this is so embarrassing. Look at all these people looking at us. I don’t know why I even came,” while I just tried to keep a low profile by sinking lower than needed in my chair. After the initial introduction, and reading of passages, the book’s editor questioned every author on the panel, seven in all, about the story behind writing their respective stories. Later, the audiences were allowed to ask a few questions of their own, and there in the back row, I saw my parents proudly sitting through the proceedings.

As the evening progressed I realized I was fretting over nothing. This wasn’t so bad after all. I could get used to this. I was high on happiness. One, I was on the other side of the panel and two, there were people in the audience who had come to listen to us speak and get their books signed. It was a proud moment. Cameras were flashing, people were applauding, and then they came up to talk to us, shake our hands.

Another friend joined us for the evening as we wrapped up a great night with a delicious platter of succulent kebabs and humongous mugs of chilled goodness — Beer.

I wrote the story, High Time, as part of a short story writing competition organized by GreyOak publishers and Landmark bookstores. i was chuffed when the results were announced. High Time was also a Bookchums pick.

About the Publishers

GreyOak are relatively new in the field of publishing and have published a dozen titles. One of the distinct things about them is that they have a strong focus on writing and stories about India and/ or by Indian writers. Below is an excerpt from my story for the aforementioned anthology.

High Time is a story about a young Iyer bloke who is pestered by his parents to get hitched. Since he won’t agree otherwise, they trick him into meeting this girl. However, things don’t go as planned.


Muralikrishnan Iyer– or Krish to his friends – had turned thirty this morning. He had only just opened his eyes when his mother waltzed into his room with the biggest smile on her face.

‘Kanna,’ she cooed – an endearment she reserved for moments when there was a favour to be asked, or a touchy subject to be trod upon. ‘The good lord should save you from all evil eyes. Happy birthday, Kanna,’ she said and cupped his face in her hands, while Krish squirmed uncomfortably. ‘What, huh? What? So now that you’re thirty, your mother isn’t allowed to show any affection?’

‘Amma, please, can you just…’

‘What? Leave you alone? Okay, fine. Get ready. We’re going to Sushila Maami’s house.’

‘I am not going anywhere. I have plans.’

‘Nothing doing. You’re coming with us. I have already given my word to Sushila Maami. And Aunty has been phoning me day in, day out asking whether I’ll bring you along. Also, she wants you to sing for her some of your Sai bhajans when we’re there.’

‘What nonsense? But how can you promise someone on my behalf? I get one day from work, one day, and I have to do all this socialising with people I don’t even care about?’ Krish flung the sheets aside and stormed out of the room.

She followed him to the washbasin and spoke as he brushed. ‘Well, you might not care about her, but she loves you like her own son.’

‘Dad. Dad!’ Krish called and went to where his father was reading the newspaper. ‘Did you listen to what she just said? Tell her this is not done.’

‘What do you do for this house? Do you do dusting? Wash clothes? Buy vegetables? I mean, what do you actually do for this house?’ his father said, his tone unusually dramatic, like that of the characters from those Tamil serials he watched on Sun TV.

‘What? Wait, where’s this coming from? I’m saying something else and you are talking about something entirely different.’

‘We ask you to do one thing and you are creating such a scene. I don’t understand why.’

‘I… I…What? Never mind.’

‘Wear your kurta pyjama, that blue one. Dress decently for once.’

Krish threw up his arms. ‘Are you both even listening to what I’m saying? I don’t want to go. Period.’ He went into his room and slammed the door shut, wondering whether he’d ever have his own place and the much needed privacy.


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What Happened to That Love Review

by Adeena Jamal Ahmad on Jul 8, 2011

what happened love Review: What Happened to That Love? by Kailash Srinivasan
Price: Rs 125
Publication: Pustak Mahal

Verdict: Srinivasan’s understanding of love has many shades and they’re evident in his debut collection of 12 short stories.

Rating: 3/5

Kailash Srinivasan, with his debut novel, has surely created ripples with a collection of twelve stories that pertain to Love. The preconceived notion about the book could be how it will probably deal with cheesy romantic sagas. But no, the book has interpreted a different meaning of love altogether. Srinivasan has seen the several aspects of the word love that has many shades to woo you.

The language of the book is light. No flamboyant writing to show off. Simple words that perhaps express the true meaning of emotions. The beauty of the book is that every short story has touched a different aspect of love. There is no deep psychology that one has to interpret. It just highlights little felt emotions that one feels everyday but doesn’t really realize. Srinivasan has taken a sarcastic look at certain situations, interpreting the irony in many of them.

The only point that might not appeal to a reader is the cover of the book. Keeping in sync with the emotions it deals, the cover could be a little more appealing. However, the page quality and print is fine.

The set up of the book is based alternatively in India and Australia. The stories are breezy. The USP of the book is that it is an easy read. There is no unnecessary stretching. Precise is the operative word.

For a debutant writer, Kailash Srinivasan has hit the bull’s eye. His brief stories have delivered the right emotion. It is a relief from the recent genre of books that fail to click with readers. This quick read will not disappoint you.

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Twelve Yarn Read

Indian writers who write in English have grown by leaps and bound. Added to this list is Pune-based Kailash Srinivasan who has come out with his first debut novel titled What Happened to that Love, a collection of 12 short stories which cover almost a range of human emotions and issues.

Set in India and Australia, the novel is a difficult genre, in Srinivasan’s words. A communications manager at an automotive design school, Srinivasan has completed his Masters in Creative Writing from Macquarie University, Sydney.

•   What made you write this book and how would you define it?

I have wanted to be a writer ever since I can remember. I tried to get over it, but the urge kept getting stronger with every passing year.

Finally, I went to Macquarie University, Sydney, to do a Masters in Creative Writing. I wrote a lot during this period, which in more ways than one, helped in shaping me as a writer. This short story collection was my thesis. I would describe the book as a collection of stories that explores life, death, love, ache, greed, hope, destiny, alienation, fallacies, and the nature of rural and urban life, and the changes that come to us all.

•   Is it fiction or partly based on your experiences?

Inspiration for most of the stories in the novel, just happened to come from the most unlikeliest sources. For example, there is a piece, Anytime Now, about an old couple. The story gives the readers a little glimpse into their life.

I happened to go for a stroll in Eastwood (where I was staying at the time), when from across the street I see an old man slumped on the ground. He was struggling to get to his feet. His wife was backing her car. She was about to hit him and I could see him panic a little bit. I bolted down the road and helped the man. The inspiration for Ganga, which deals with poverty came from a song I was listening to.

That line just struck a chord with me. Similarly, I was quite disturbed with reports of  farmers committing suicides. Giver of Feasts is about zamindari system. Then, at the time the media was rife with reports on attacks on Indian students Down Under. Brownies sprung out of that. So not much of a personal experience, but rather a moving encounter or a strong image or something I heard on a train or a bus that has been the origin for most of the stories in this book.

•   Any particular story which you have connected the most with.

I have enjoyed writing every piece in this book, but if I have to pick one, it would have to be Anytime Now.

•   What makes writing special for you?

Writing for me is therapeutic. It is liberating. I can be what I can’t be in real life. At times, I find things about myself through my writing.

•   Your take on the current breed of Indian writers in English…

There are some great books that are being written and then there are some atrocious ones. Some are selling millions of copies with absolutely no substance in their books and claim to be the voice of India. But in a way I don’t blame the so called “writers”, I blame those who buy such sub-standard, mediocre literature and read it.

•   What sort of responses are you expecting for your debut book?

I expect my work to engage people emotionally, intellectually.

•   Your favourite authors…

An incomplete list would be Junot Diaz, Raymond Carver, Chekhov, VS Naipaul, Salman Rushdie.



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First-time author Kailash Srinivasan talks about first book and his creative inspirations

with his first book

“THE only reason why I chose the jobs I work for is because they involve writing, which I feel is essential to my being.” Born in Delhi, but now based in Pune, 30year old author Kailash Srinivasan was in school when he started writing essays, letters and poems. But he became serious in 2006. “I felt the need to study creative writing, but there was no such university course being offered in India. Thus, I went to Macquarie University, Sydney, but I seriously started considering myself as an author when I won a Cambridge University Press prize in fiction,” he says. His collection of short stories called What Happened to that Love? was released recently in the city.

Writing is a hobby for Srinivasan. He works primarily as a communications manager in a city-based firm and doubles up as a freelance ad-man. His book has 12 short stories which are all, except for a couple that deal with an Australian context, based in India. They all also bear a similar theme, but Srinivasan denies it is by design. “When I started writing these stories, I was not looking at any particular issue. But as I went on, I discovered that I had written on what I felt needs to be addressed in human society. My stories deal with superstition, witch hunts, the zamindari system and racism. One of the tales, with an Australian backdrop, deals with the anguish an elderly couple faces when they are neglected by their children. I feel strongly that the independence enjoyed by the children in the Western world actually works against them in many ways,” he says.

As a newcomer on the literary scene, Srinivasan quotes a bias in favour Indian authors based in the West. “We tend to not appreciate our own authors as much, till we get a Western stamp of approval. There is a lot of talent in the country, but unfortunately it is only those based outside India who are considered good authors in English,” opines Srinivas. He attributes this attitude to a need to categorise. “When one or two fail to deliver from the country, a generalisation seeps in that creates a bias in the minds of publishers.”

Now working on a still-unnamed second book, Srinivasan, who cites Raymond Carver, Anton Chekhov and Ernest Hemingway as his inspirations, says that other forms of art help him remain creative. “I’m very passionate about music and acting; I sometimes act in plays in the city and am a trained vocalist. Being immersed in these arts helps me explore new themes as an author, and keeps my creative instincts ticking,” he smiles.

SOURCE: http://epaper.indianexpress.com/IE/IEH/2011/02/19/ArticleHtmls/19_02_2011_586_030.shtml?Mode=1


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Praise for “What Happened to That Love”


Review by Seema

Saw glimpses of mine in ‘My hand’. ‘My black and blue birthday’ brought tears to my eyes. Jake and Jim (in What happened to that love) really makes one think about human relationships and filled me with sadness. ‘Gilligilli-jillijilli’ and ‘The giver of  feasts’ sent a chill up my spine..eerie. ‘Gratitude’ was a bit melodramatic subject.. Gopal in ‘What do I do’ was a very good portrait, complete with minute observations and humor.

All in all i liked the stories. All the best for your next release.



Review by Pierre Beaudoin

I was pleased to read your book, in one single sitting. I found you have an active, succinct and direct style which helps move on the narrative (isn’t this what short stories are all about?) and is a perfect match to the short story form.
There is definitely quite a lot of material to draw from in the Indian culture, especially it facing modernization and the contradictions, and I am certain that Western readers would be thrilled to read more of your stories.

Best of Luck.


Review by ajay
the cover: brilliantly dark and intriguing.
the stories: deliciously dark. I am still smacking my lips. The synopsis and the cover is what got my attention. I am so, so glad I picked this up. Can’t wait to read your second book.

Wow. what beautiful writing.
Review by kala
I cried my eyes out after I read the first piece, Anytime Now. So moving, so nicely written. I love the way you write. Can’t wait to read the other stories in the collection. ; )


Review by swarita
engrossing…kept me hooked for as many dayz as it took to finish it..each story amazingly different n unpredictable. d only grumble- its a lil stark..a lil bleak. more happy endings plz!


An excellent read!

Review by Gopi
A fantastic effort. Surprised to see a first time author display such maturity in handling complex themes. A must read and a must have for every short story aficionado.

Go buy your copy today

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What Happened To That Love? by Kailash Srinivasan, ISBN: 9788122311617 | Pustak Mahal

What Happened To That Love? by Kailash Srinivasan, ISBN: 9788122311617 | Pustak Mahal.

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