Book: Happy Endings
Author: Suchita Agarwal
Genre: Short story collection
In this short story collection, the author crafts five short stories with entirely different but equally delightful protagonists. Each of them grapples with life’s curve balls and comes out a winner.
The book opens with Sameera’s story, a young cancer survivor, who not only beats back the Big C but also gets more than a few life learnings.
In the next story, we meet Mayank. A small divergence from routine one day, threatens to drive him over the edge. But then with some help, he manages to turn his life around making it richer and fuller.
Then comes my absolute favourite story of Avantika. This one is a book-lover’s dream and, I suspect, it had more than a little bit of the author in it. Avantika runs a charming little library in a small mountain town while also acting as the resident agony aunt of sorts. Sounds perfect, right? But even a perfect-sounding life comes with an opportunity cost and sometimes one cannot help but get lost in the what-ifs.
Then there is Urmila’s intriguing tale – a story of siblings driven apart until tragedy strikes.
Lastly, there’s Pranjal – a young boy so lost in his fantasy world that he’s gradually losing touch with reality.
One of the things I love about Suchita’s writing is the meticulous care she takes while creating her settings. Realistic descriptions and attention to detail place one right in a cancer ward or on a beach or inside a library. Her protagonists are believable people in regular everyday situations and that makes her stories real and relatable. The light dash of humour is a definite plus.
These simple stories reaffirm one’s belief in happy endings. They cement the idea that with the right attitude or, sometimes, with a nudge from friends and family one can find happiness no matter what course life takes. That, to me, is a powerful belief.
Like Dumbledore so wisely said, “Happiness can be found, even in the darkest of times, if one only remembers to turn on the light”. These stories show us how one can do just that.
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again I’m a sucker, an absolute sucker, for happy endings. This proved to be a satisfying read.