Humans are social animals. And, society forms the fabric of their being. Society dictates their evolution, their actions and even their thinking. Is it not so?
Then why is it that they live an isolated existence? Why is it that even amid folk of their ilk, they are unable to feel a part of a whole? They function as islands, separated by apathy and closeted in their own thinking. Why is it that they become prisoners of their own introverted selves?
Meha Sharma explores these questions and the closeted mindsets through her book ‘Rainbow Housing Society’.
The book is a compilation of 26 short stories. And, when I say short, they are indeed short (just 1-2 minute read for each). And, the best part is that even though the stories are individual tales, they all tie together like a bouquet of fragrant life experiences. Yes, I did say fragrant because the stories are doused with a depth of human emotion that we while living in housing societies, often overlook.
These sundry stories are of people from mundane walks of life, living in the Rainbow Housing Society, just another apartment complex in a busting metropolis. The characters are taken from life itself. And, that is why they are so relatable. They are people who we may know but miss in the hubbub of life – our relatives, our neighbours, our acquaintances, etc.
How often is it now days that we stop to get to know our neighbours? How often is it that we partake in their joys and sorrows? Do we even know what is going on in their lives? Heck, do we even know them? I believe that being neighbourly is an art that is fast vanishing from society. Meha’s book makes you pause and take note.
The narration in animal POV works because it gives a reader an unemotional purview of the situation and leaves them to form their own opinions. And, indeed, at the end of each story Meha does ask pertinent questions which force a reader to both think and re-evaluate their actions. The questions are hard-hitting. They poke and they jibe at our conscience. They force us to think – are we really like this? Is this what we have reduced ourselves to?
Sigh! I wish the answers were easy.
But sadly, the answers post self-evaluation is harder than Meha’s questions and that is why this book leaves you with a lasting impression.
Coming to technical aspects – The print quality is superb and so is the font size. Thankfully, I did not have to peer at the text! The narrative style is easy to follow and it is easy to make out that in Meha resides a poet’s heart for the book is sprinkled with metaphors and analogies that leave you to sigh. The language is also simple but punctuated with some superb vocabulary which makes this book a good read for both teenagers and adults.
My recommendation – If you are looking for a light read and yet a read which leaves you contemplating the vagaries of human nature, then pick this book up. Delving into the intricacies of human nature are beyond the bound of words, I feel. However, this book attempts to make you pause and reflect. And, for now, I think that is enough. It is a start!
Buy the book here-