Split Wide Open

Seance on a Sunday Afternoon is collection of short stories about emotions, situations and circumstances that reflect the little nuances of life. By Deeya Nayar-Nambiar

Set in the modern society of sex and the city, hard-pressed for time, every character is self-indulgent. Shinie Antony pens her stories mysteriously and mischievously like the contemporary artist who paints with bold brush strokes to bring out the symbolism and meaningfulness.

Giving the reader a slice of urban society with its confluence of the dos and don’ts, Seance on a Sunday Afternoon is a collection of short stories that reflect the little nuances of the lives, of human emotions, people in queer situations and circumstances. The stories are a trail of words and word play, poetic at times and prose otherwise.

Shinie lives through the characters, springing them to life to tell their tales as if in flesh and blood. Her bold writing style is not only her freedom of expression but also an expression of bold and sensuous themes on a lighter note. If one sentence provokes laughter, the other moves you to tears.

Even the harsh realities of life as a breast cancer patient, L finds a new meaning to her lost beauty. Elsewhere, a widow re-marries but still cannot come to terms with her first husband’s death. Everything is handled delicately.

Stories like ‘The Sofa’ and the ‘Seance On A Sunday Afternoon’ bring out the feelings of old people and the young, their memories, loneliness, detachments and attachments. In the process of writing, Shinie brings to life inanimate objects such as the sofa, fan and cancer.

Shinie’s tryst with writing is not new. As a journalist she polished her skills in imaginative and intuitive writing and has not looked back since her ‘Somewhere in Gujarat’ and ‘A Dog’s Death’ bagged the first prize in the Commonwealth Short Story Competition in 2001 and 2002.

Fascinated by the dark side of life, and an interest to keep pace with the Net savvy world, Shinie has also attempted to write like a blogger, uses sms language and similies, to explore the mind of a housewife who wants to connect with others in the cyber space.

Indeed, to understand the hidden facts of relationships and life in a city, the reader as a “common man” should sharpen his intellect to decipher or interpret the wit and the beauty of the language and idiom of Seance on a Sunday Afternoon.

Séance On A Sunday Afternoon

Shinie Antony

Rupa & Co, Rs 195

Published in June 2008, btw of Chitralekha Group

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