BR #103 | Temple Classroom & Other Stories | Puja Roy | Rubric Publishing | ★★★★★

Book - Temple Classroom & Other Stories
Author - Puja Roy
Publisher - Rubric Publishing
Rating - ★★★★

Author Bio: (from book) A born story teller, Puja was raised in a family of academicians. With both her parents being school teachers, Puja grew up in the quaint Hydel Power town of Maithon, in the state of Jharkhand. Santiniketan, Tagore's abode of peace is Puja's paternal home, where from an early age she was exposed to a household ambience that buzzed with variant cultural activities including Rabindra-sangeet, recitation, drama and other art forms. Right from her childhood, Puja had a flair for writing that started with penning an imaginative letter to her neighbour at the age of four during her summer vacation. Thereon, her imagination developed more wings and took many flights.

Her short and simple stories are snippets extracted from the contours of our daily life making the characters' tangible, enduring and alive. Her forte has been writing research based academic articles on various subjects, where the mix of lucid language with the vivid description of events has caught the attention of her readers.

A Comparative Literature graduate from Jadavpur University and a Diploma in Film Studies, Puja is also the founder of the digital book club - 'The Book Buzz'. She hold's a Master's degree in Advertising and Public Relations and is currently employed with an education foundation that works for children from the underpriviledged sections of the society. An avid reader and a translator, Puja loves to research on history, cinema, art and culture.

Book Review: "Temple Classroom & Other Stories" by Puja Roy is a collection of sixteen short and very short stories that are full of faith, hope, trust, and belief. There are a host of different characters who face a variety of situations struggling daily in their own way. However, there is a sense of belonging in every story as the author has penned articulate emotions through careful observations from her experience.

While most stories are optimistic, some are inspirational and yet others are eye-openers to the world around us. An interesting feature of this book etches in the underlying portrayal of male and female characters in equal light. 'Temple Classroom', 'The Last Promise', 'Silver Anklets', 'The Tea Story' and 'Rashi's Birthday' will surely force readers to contemplate. A salient feature of the chapters seems to be the variety of emotions that the author has touched upon. Ranging from illusion to reality, vault to openness and struggle to freedom, there are a host of beautiful abstract issues touched in this book. Themes such as women empowerment, lost love, faith in humanity, social stigma, and realizing dreams are but a few of many.

This book will appeal to short story lovers who love to read a classic Jhumpa Lahiri or Anita Desai type short read. One can easily find rural and urban flavors intertwined between the pages in appropriate proportions. The short stories are a manifestation from some of the author's own personal experiences in life and therefore the themes delve deeper than ordinary into delivering a universal message of faith, compassion, and perseverance. It is a collection of various facets from our everyday lives compiled into a book of mixed emotions.

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