Winter Evenings -A Review

Winter evenings, much like the title goes is a collection of slow paced short stories. Although I’d to finish the book in a week to come up with this review, I’d recommend it be read over a span of time to totally enjoy it. The short stories aren’t all filled with thrills & twist and turn, as is the genre these days. These are rather anecdotes and sometimes you’d feel as if you are reading someone’s diary. Navtej Sarna has brought together in this book, a collection of people’s memories that one can read and enjoy on lazy winter evenings.

There are 19 short stories in all of which I’d like to talk about a few that I enjoyed. The first story from which the book get’s its title, is about an evening that saw two men, forced to spend time together. Its an ordinary story, something many of us have felt at some point in life-the need to be with someone than being alone often drives us to compromise in life. And even if we do break the routine, we get drawn back to it again.

My favourite was Madam Kitty. In a few words without much ado, Sarna has revealed how weak the human mind is & how often we judge not by actions but by societal standards; that unwritten rule of the society that dictates how a person should be & the laws that state the punishment should a person dare break the rules.

Stories like Raya, Sunrise at Mashobra & The Masterpiece are some I genuinely enjoyed.  All three speak of love in different ways. Raya is about the eternal nature of a woman’s love. Sunrise at Mashobra sees a wife’s attempt to break free of her husband’s obsession with following a certain path to happiness. The Masterpiece is about an artist who starts painting to win the approval of someone. His love of painting is overshadowed by this other feeling, will he overcome it?

However some stories like Rumki failed to impress me. Such stories seemed half baked & I was rather disappointed to turn the page and realize that was the ending. But then I can’t blame Sarna for he has also penned A Golden Twilight which I think was a perfect closure for the collection. It speaks of finding your call, and the fact that it can happen at any unexpected moment. Age hardly has any effect on the mind.

Winter Evenings is a good collection of stories but not something that I’d recommend to the O. Henry or the contemporary Grisham and Dan Brown readers. I’d give it a 2.5/5 but then I’ve always liked thrillers and fiction. So I’d say read the book & maybe you’d end up liking it more than I did, because Winter evenings has a story for everyone. 

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