Book Review : The Cockatiel Confessions And Other Collected Works
I was in a bit of a quandary, how to review Lavanya Srinivasan's eBook THE COCKATIEL CONFESSIONS AND OTHER COLLECTED WORKS. I did not want my review to be long and elaborate. I am not a professional book reviewer but this book has a number of tales, quiet a few of which struck a deep chord in me. I finally decided to go with a rather elaborate review because I felt I could not do full justice to the book as a reviewer without being detailed. I decided to rate some of the tales individually, and then come up with an overall rating. Professional book reviewers, please do forgive me if this is a totally incorrect way to review a book. I am rating the tales out of five. So here goes.
The tales I simply loved:
CONFESSIONS OF A COCKATIEL: This is a simply masterly read. I loved every word of it. It is a tale told by a Cockatiel in the first person when it is sold to a couple of human beings. The owners of the Cockatiel are named chirp and chirp-chirp, such funny names, but perfectly sensible from the point of view of a bird that is sold to humans. The Cockatiel refers to a laptop as 'Lahhhhuppptop'. The tale is really humorous and shows what a remarkable imagination the author has. There is even a fight with a crow included. I go with a 6/5 (yes, that is right, a six out of five - remember the old days when we used to get 102/100 in Maths) for this story.
THE SWITCH – HE AS SHE AND SHE AS HE: This is a good tale. Though the theme of a husband and wife exchanging roles to understand each others difficulties in life is nothing new, the author does a good job of keeping the reader engaged. I have come across this theme in several short stories and a movie, but Lavanya still managed to keep me engaged through out the tale. Rating - 4/5
GANPATI BAPPA MORYA! - This tale is about the Ganesh Chaturthi festival in Mumbai. I have seen the grand Ganesh Chathurthi festival only in movies. I have never been part of that exciting crowd nor seen the picturesque idols of Ganpati in real life. As I read this short tale I was reminded of appu (an elephant, somewhat like Ganesha) which was the mascot for the 1982 Asiad held in India. I was going through pleasant memories and was feeling extremely happy when suddenly everything blew up on my face when I read the last line. And I guess that was exactly the effect the author had sought to create. Rating - 5/5.
THE CHOICE: A splendid tale of how to teach a young child good values and worldly wisdom. Told beautifully and in a very interesting way. Brings out the fact that we have to teach our children the correct way of doing things in life at an early age. And it is always better to do it by demonstration. Rating - 5/5
The other tales I really enjoyed but I am not giving a rating here are 'THE DARKEST HOUR OF THE NIGHT COMES JUST BEFORE DAWN' and 'HULOHOT'
The tales that were not up my street:
THE BLUE MOON: I am not saying I do not like this tale. All I am saying is it is not up my street because by and large I am not a great science-fiction buff and I really could not relate to this tale. Rating - 3/5
ORIENT EXPRESS: This I felt was a bit of a sad tale. Again not a question of not liking it. It simply was not up my street. Rating - 3/5
SUNRISE AND SHADOWS: I am afraid I did not like this one. It has a certain element of harshness that did not go down too well with me. Rating - 2/5
There were several other tales included but I am not rating all of them here. All in all, I loved almost all the tales except a few.
Lavanya has also included excerpts from her books. Of the two that she has included I liked the excerpt from 'THE AWAKENING (MAYA & THE MIND MYSTICS)'. I intend to place an order for it soon.
Overall Rating: 4/5
The book is an excellent read. If you are fond of short stories you can spend a happy afternoon on a Sunday cuddled up with this book. The book can be freely downloaded here.