Review of Ardh-Satya, The Half Truth & Other Stories penned by Ananya Mukherjee
‘This is a book of short stories that will stay long with you for each tale has its own charm and each character has something different to offer’
As the author has said that Ardh-Satya and other stories is a collection of fragile moments where she has allowed a pause to intervene into her roller coaster corporate life and questioned some of life’s senses and sensitivities. Through these anecdotes, personal and loaned experiences she has learnt a few new words, discovered some buried emotions, refined the meanings of some songs, revisited happy memories, reaffirmed her faith in life and positivity and almost always lost and found herself.
The book actually does the same magic when you begin to read it. The first story Ardh-Satya itself is the true mirror of an unapologetic world where reality can have a complete different face. With an unpredictable ending the first story will keep your mouth agape of what happens in the end and something that you won’t be able to guess till the end. And the first story itself becomes reason enough to read the book further. But I enjoyed each story in my leisure and let them sink in slowly because each had a dissimilar and unique treatment altogether.
Now, to be precise the book has been divided into four segments, ‘The Equation’, ‘God must be a Mother’, ‘Between Divine and Mortal’ and the last segment ‘Life Positive’. Though I was soaked into most of the stories of all the parts but my most preferred parts are the first three ones because each story in them are inimitable and written with unpredictable endings. And this is what I like about storytelling, a good narration and story should be such that keeps one hooked and curious about what happens in the end and then the end comes with a total surprise.
Most of the collection by Ananya has the attention grabbing factor and utterly enjoyable. Placed in varied backdrops, places, from India to abroad to even some remote places the book actually tells that the writer is well aware about the places and she has done her research well. All the stories have been given good justice from the point of view of theme, plot, characters, narration and lastly the writing style. Her weaving of words is straight, lucid, simple and flowing and most of all engaging.
Some of the stories that kept lingering within me even after I have long finished the book and still are is the first story itself which is also the title of the book, ‘Ardh Satya, then I liked reading ‘To Daddy Long legs, with Love, Nephesh, ‘Children of a Lesser God’, and I can go on and on by choosing perhaps all of them but these particular stories have really made me ponder deep into the psyche of the writer and finding that the titles are actually chosen carefully and made justice to with her creating the whole body of the story, that is wisely writing it from the beginning, making an intriguing middle part with great climax and the end of each story finally enlightens the writer about why the particular title has been chosen.
The first story has already been adapted for a play and some of the stories are soon going to be, it can be said that Ananya’s book is a well written one that is finding its place in good hands because of its great narrations. This book is truly a labor of love for it took her a long time to compile which I feel should be taken as a lesson by millennial writers who mostly seem in a rush to bring out their books. Perseverance and patience surely pays you back and keeping in mind that writing has to be more refined one must polish their work to the core and Ananya has certainly given time and brewed her stories before turning them into reality into the outside breathing world.
Chrysanthemum Chronicles' Verdict: The book ‘Ardh-Satya’ The Half Truth & Other Stories is a well written and thoughtful book with each story taking you to another world of half reality somewhere and somewhere to a lot more resonating truthful situation in fiction. Apt for all age group, this book is a great read even at the comfort of your home or even can work wonder as a travel companion. But in both ways I can assure one thing that it will not let your attention fall out of it. Thus I would like to give this book a 5 star rating and would love to wish the writer huge success with her collection.
Ananya Mukherjee is a former business journalist and an acclaimed writer with more than 1000 publications to her credit. Before moving to Singapore as the editor of HRM Asia, she had amassed years of experience in the Indian print and television media. Her journalistic acumen covers a whole gamut of subjects including politics, lifestyle and business. Ardh-Satya & Other Stories, Ananya’s first book, a collection of 20 short stories was published in 2016 and has received raving reviews from Indian and the international media.
She is currently working on her second book. Ardh-Satya, an adaptation from the title story was recently staged at Dastak, a Hindi Theatre Festival in Singapore and at the prestigious Kala Ghoda festival in Mumbai, India. Ananya also writes poetry in Hindi and six of her poems were recently published in a literary magazine called Nazariya in India. She is a known figure in the cultural and literary circles in Singapore and India. Ananya also wears a Corporate leadership hat and leads Corporate Affairs in Asia & Europe for a US based multinational company.