Fiction with a message
VELUGU VAKITLOKI Anthology of Short Stories: Sriraj; Pub. by Vahini Book Trust, 1-9-286/3,Vidyanagar, Hyderabad-500044. Rs. 60.
THIS BOOK is a collection of 22 short stories by Sriraj, an expert in fiction writing. The stories make us read and reflect. We meet a person who repents for his misdeeds and acts only after it was too late. The youngster commits suicide because of failure in love in the first story "Oka Kshan" (A Second).
The title story "Velugu Vakitloki" (On to Enlightenment) is about an officer, mindful only of his personal achievements, highly corrupt and equally immoral, who was ultimately "blinded" by his own staffers after they named him "another demon". The narrative is interspersed with reminiscences of his life, presently in second person singular, advocating a moral conduct for others. The technique adopted is highly commendable.
The last piece named "The Last Case" deals with a criminal lawyer who unwittingly argues to get a rapist and murderer go scot free. On learning that the victim was no other than his own daughter, the lawyer gives up his profession. Social and human values are highlighted and upheld in the story.
N. C. RAMANUJACHARY
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