Wherever there are people, there is greed and sacrifice; ingratitude and indebtedness; hatred and love as well as humor and poignancy. Woven around these emotions are seven short stories set in contemporary India from Prem Rao. They feature a cross section of society including property developers, Government servants and Indian Army officers. They are young, they are old and they are real.
Let's meet some of them......
For Lokesh the property developer, the driving force is the desire to get ahead, at any cost. He sees an easy prey in Satish, a lower rung Government official whose property he is determined to acquire for a fraction of its real value. Lokesh does not know that Satish carries the guilt of having cheated his family to get the property transferred to his name. Both though have one desire in common. They want the blessings of God.
When Bhoopathy is stricken with cancer shortly after his retirement, there seems to be no way he would be able to raise the huge amount required for his treatment. Until unexpectedly, someone steps in from the past.
Falling in love is by itself not usually fraught with danger. However, if you are Capt. Mohit Kapoor, an Indian Army officer and the girl in question is a beautiful local girl in the Kashmir Valley, you could soon find yourself in an explosive situation.
Nataraj's inability to be assertive results in his brother virtually dumping their old parents onto him. This results in friction within his own family especially since he has not consulted his wife. He is one of the many who have not learnt that in life: “Not saying ‘No’ means saying ‘Yes’.”
Her youthful vibrancy makes Gowri, the trekker, take risks to race ahead and reach the mountain top before her friends. When she gets lost in the jungles following a thunderstorm, she stumbles upon three half-drunk thugs who pursue her full of lust. The rains which she cursed so much for making her get lost in the first instance now come to her rescue.
A man is struck by a sudden and wholly unexpected heart attack. His first. Several events help him get specialist treatment in that critical period known as the "Golden Hour". To know what it means for him to get a fresh lease of life, you would need to read the story.
- Prem Rao, September 2011
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