Drizzle of Yesteryears

Published By: Frog Books

Book Category: Fiction, Short Stories

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Reviewed by Yuka Mizushima

If you have ever been the newcomer or felt like an outsider, this is a book for you! The short stories in this book focus on identity, belonging and memories (both good and bad).

The book is divided into two parts: At Home and In Exile.

In At Home, the theme is belonging. The characters are people living in Pambunkavu, a fictional twenty-first century village in the Malabar region of Kerala. The stories include a sleepwalking priest, a reunion of old friends, as well as learning that it is never too late to reclaim the artist within oneself.

In Exile, the themes are travel and immigration. As one character reminds us, most of us are displaced at one time or another. The characters are learning to adjust to foreign cultures and homesickness. These stories include connecting through cyber space, finding out what happened to an old boyfriend, plus there is an institute for the mentally ill. One of my favorite stories from this section is Departures which shows the lasting love parents have for their children.

Ajay previously wrote poetry and his short stories are filled with vivid imagery. I could smell the hibiscus flower and almost taste the ripe mangoes. This book also has wonderful storytelling. In a few short pages, there is a lot about character, plot and setting. Many stories have a twist at the end and although the stories are short, you will find yourself thinking about the meaning long after you've finished the book.

His stories reflect his observations of human relationships and how we interact with each other. The characters we meet are quietly eccentric; everyone has something extraordinary about them. These stories remind us to take notice and delight in every-day surprises.

I highly recommend this book that transports the reader to different worlds and cultures, and I look forward to reading more from this author!

Armchair Interviews says a question posed to one of the characters is: to be or to have? Read this book to see what different characters discover.

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