Book Review: Snippets of Life Music
I took up the book review of ‘Snippets of Life Music’ by Ramesh Chandra Tiwari amid tough times. The break that I had taken had put me on a different track, far away from the smooth gliding track that I normally read and write. So this effort is special because of the weights of lead that hang on my mind and fingers.
When I opened the Snippets… it slowly started making sense. It was a unique read, as my mind toggled between reading a journal, fiction, and non-fiction at the same time. There is ample storytelling, but the book is much more than that. Let us explore this unique book.
Cover and Title
The cover amply reflects what is inside. The cyan base of the cover evokes the same feeling as the one between green and blue — the colors of freshness and abundance.
The picture on the front is a tell-all. The dancing couple reflects the emotions of the human element — romance, art, happiness, blissful love, and bonding. Emotions are after all the prime theme of the book. The dark tree, the grey mountain, and the prominent moon, while the sun at the horizon indicate the layers of narrative that are laid out in each story, and each story is a beautiful painting combining the elements of humanity and nature.
This is one of the best cover designs I have seen.
The title is again befitting to the contents inside. Short stories are a dash of imagination dipped in introspective paint. In the musical form, these short stories are pieces of the music of life, aptly called ‘Snippets’.
Inside the Cover
The stories are painted with a brush I have never seen before. Remember, the reader is the beholder, and the writer is the artist. The short stories carry a moral strain, leaning on principles that eventually hold the ending. The endings don’t surprise us, but instead, leave us with a matter-of-fact taste. They does not push us to judge but understand.
The author’s style is varied but leans on the characters from the Hindi Heartland. The stories are contemporary snippets dipped in the rustic air. One can breathe in the largesse of scenes, visualizing the hot sun and the village scenery. The elaborate opening and middle part set the story up, and the characters grow in the minds of the reader.
The author’s command of language is vivid and fluid. The editing is flawless and makes for good reading.
There is a dazzle of romance in ‘Walls of Hesitation’ and ‘The Girl’. The quest for social and anthropological genre ends in ‘Clean India’, ‘Real Culprits Wallow in Luxury Chamber’, ‘The Justice of the Supreme Being’, ‘The Bus Ticket’, ‘God is Even Handed’.
Family situations are galore in ‘Pseudo-ostentation’, ‘The Poverty Trap’, ‘You dilly-dally?’ and ‘Relations’.
Corporate and daily lives get their illustrations in ‘Leave’, ‘Impossible customer’, while spirituality is explored in the stories ‘Our Inspirations are the Will of God’, ‘Hari-ki-Pauri’, ‘A Quest for God’. There is even a fable from the yore in ‘The Hermit and His Disciples’.
There are other stories that cut across genres. The characters are from our daily lives, that we can relate to and remember. Some characters, situations, and stories become us. That is the beauty of Ramesh Tiwari’s storytelling.
The stories spread over two decades, and reflect the evolution of the author’s writings. Somewhere, hidden behind the stories, is the autobiography of the author ( My personal musings of course).
I wonder why the stories end a tad fast. There is a lot of elaboration in the narrative, setting, and dialogues at the start and middle of the story, but towards the ending, there is a hurry that I felt while reading each story.
The endings are simple, like the characters. Somewhere, as I traversed through the book, I started realizing that the obvious is the core of relatability. In that relatability lie the messages of morality. That is the core of Ramesh Tiwari’s writings. I smiled at myself once I discovered this.
The Life Music
‘Snippets of Life Music’ is a potpourri of stories covering multiple genres of short stories and narratives. A narrative-led storytelling style with quick endings reflects the lives of its protagonists and pervades the reader’s mind. One can smell the soil and feel the dusty heat of the Northern plains and the foothills of the Himalayas.
The structure of the book is itself unique, carrying snippets of short stories and micro ( short-short) stories at the end.
“Reality is merely an illusion, albeit a very persistent one.”
― Albert Einstein
This book is persistent in bringing out the reality of lives so often that we take it for granted. The author has created a unique product of contemporary fiction, that will leave the reader closer to the contemporary lives in North India.