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Book Review

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TELUGU

Short stories

P.V.L.N. RAO

AASARAA: Varanasi Nagalakshmi; Varanasi Publications, 303, Edaikode Towers, Srinagar Colony, Hyderabad-500073. Price: Rs.120.

THIS IS a collection of 16 short stories with the message that life without love and affection is a wasteland.

The title story highlights the dilemma of the innocent young men and women trapped and sometimes victimised in an internet-driven work atmosphere. It emphasises that what they need is not just sympathy but ‘Aasaraa' (support) that would erase any thought of suicide from their minds.

‘Amritaani saadhinchu' (acquire the nectar), which won first prize in Ugadi contests, depicts the turmoil that awaits a boy from a lower caste who marries a girl from an upper caste. It drives home the point that understanding alone will ensure a smooth living for the couple who marry defying caste barriers.

‘Repati Prasna' or tomorrow's question is about female infanticide, and it asks, quite pertinently, if the society itself is corroded by disease, who will give the treatment?

In ‘Sandhya raagam' (tune of the twilight), the story is told of a college student who pulls back her room-mate, a victim of abuse by a scoundrel, from the brink of suicide, inspires confidence, hope, and courage in her, and, what more, helps her find a true friend.

‘Oka Premalekha' is about a love letter with a difference. While Saroja is fed up with her routine life, the news of her mother-in-law's impending visit depresses her all the more. But she is bowled over so much by her mother-in-law's involvement and participation in running the family that, after the visit, Saroja writes a letter asking her to come again, saying the family misses her.

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