Book Review – The Different Souls – TheliteraturetodayApril 23, 2020
Everyone in the world has their own experiences and different incidents to share. Every story with everyone has something different about it and for all those who have not been a part of it have a tendency to stick through and hear it know life more closely and in a better way. Since every person goes through different experiences in their lifetime, the wisdom and the knowledge they have on the basis of that is different from the other. The attempt to capture these closely has been done candidly by Harsh Arya in his collection of short stories, “The Different Souls” published by Evincepub Publishing (www.evincepub.com). The subtitle says all about the 9 stories, “Stories Happening Around You”. Arya through his stories tries to bring to the reader the different aspects of life and diverse colors of experiences that people go through in their lives.
The title in itself is more than enough to tell that these stories are first, not just of one person but of many and secondly, the stories that are to follow in the book are not just of ordinary kinds. Every individual can relate to or identify themselves with one or the other story.
The subtitle is also an important thing to note. “Stories Happening Around You” means that the incidents that the stories cover are the ones that happen in any home or any neighborhood. The psychological or social relevance of them cannot be overlooked.
Every story is a distinct entity in itself representing people from different backgrounds and stories to share. It seems like folklore being imparted which will continue to be applicable all the time and among all people. Every character in each story comes out as a strong, distinct entity and interesting fact is that short stories do not leave much scope for character development yet, Arya has managed to give the characters a complete life and identity of their own. they do not seem to be struggling to come out of the clutches of the author rather they seem to be completely free and moving about on their own.
The cover of the book seems to be an attempt to bring the reader closer to nature and closer to the natural self, the natural being. There is a tree that is in the dark shade which may imply the time of sunset. Also, there is a vehicle parked beneath t. This perhaps means that in this journey of life, everyone must for once take a break and relax to listen to the sounds of nature and feel the serenity by looking at the animals who are also visible on the cover. Apart from this, on the top corners, there is the face of a man and a woman observing from a distance. Perhaps this means that in the race to get better, man has come far away from nature and should for once, consider going back to his roots.
The language of the book is fairly friendly to the knowledge of an average reader also. The fact that the characters can represent any group of people widens the appeal of the book largely. Whether it is the protagonist of “A Girl Before Her Marriage.” or “The Separated Daughter” or “An Eloped Girl”, there are strong characters for female readers to identify themselves with. At the same time, male characters like in “An Amazing Aunt” also appear to be strong and have their individuality. This wide range exploration of characters from both the genders highlights the potential of the author to try his hand at prose texts like a novella or a novel. It shows his ability to do justice to the characters of both genders.
The plot construction of the stories is also finely done. They are neither too hasty nor lagging behind. The reader stays glued to each story and at the same time unconsciously begins to trace the same characteristics or see himself in the same situations as the characters and at the same time, also wonders what he would do or how he would react to them. All this adds on and makes the collection a must-read for all readers no matter who they are and what they do. It can be a perfect weekend read or even a read in installments since they are not related and the reader can read them on breaks too. Young or old, the book has something or the other to offer to all groups of readers.