Piyusha Vir´s ´Just Another Day´ is deceptive and I´ll tell you why later in this review. Don´t go by the cheery orange coverage which I love by the way. The book reads well on the whole – clever book cover design, pleasing colour schemes, readable font, layout and even the intriguing story titles.
I am no stranger to Piyusha´s writings. But, I have only read her non-fiction articles till date which I hugely admire. I may or may not agree with her viewpoint but she puts across her stand so rationally and convincingly on the table that one willingly nods their head in agreement. There is truth in all perspectives. As much as I love her non-fiction articles, I realize now how I typecast her in a box unfairly. Reading her non-fiction works till date, I somehow underestimated her ability to be infinitely imaginative and creative. Her fictional works are even better than her non-fictional ones.
´Just Another Day´displays Piyusha Vir´s creative elasticity like no other. This book with a sunny cover page is deceptive as it has an underlying dark theme heavily coated with humour and lightheartedness. The shades range from mild to intense dark.
The first story ´Writer´s Circle´ is a quirky, funny story with a ´Whodunnit´ murder plot. There are many characters stuck in an incredulous situation. This one has an interesting plot and I think it would make a fantastic theatre play. It makes a perfect starter to this anthology.
The second story ´Happy Birthday´Saisha´ is the only story in this anthology which makes no bones about the morbidity that exists in the real-life world. It´s a dark melancholic thriller which shook my inner cores to the point of making my stomach churn in remorse helplessness. This is by far the best short story that I have read by any young contemporary Indian author till date. The raging anger is well-placed at the start and it all makes perfect sense by the time you come to the conclusion. Simply genius!
The third story ´Elevator Tales´ is strategically placed at the end after the emotionally draining second story. This story is a true representation of the book´s cheery cover page. Clever, funny and light hearted! Now, that´s where it is deceptive again. Humour is the trickiest genre in my opinion. Because what´s funny for one, might not be another. In fact, it could get worse – be offensive for some! The goofy humour in ´Elevator Tales´ will work for some while it may go unappreciated by others who seek more sombre depths. In my opinion though, it makes a nice finish like a tangy citrusy dessert after a heavy main-course.
One can tell a lot about the author from their writings. Piyusha Vir throws a googly with three short stories that ably portrays her vast potential as a credible and much respected author. After having read both her fictional and non-fictional writings, I can confidently say this on record – Piyusha Vir is one of the very few versatile Indian writers that we have today who can do complete justice to any genre and style of writing.
It makes me very proud to highly recommend this book to everyone – bibliophiles and non-bibliophiles alike. It´s a great choice and an unforgettable reading experience.
You can pick your copy of ´Just Another Day´by Piyusha Vir at Amazon: https://www.amazon.in/Just-Another-Day-Piyusha-Vir-ebook/dp/B079S3NG3M
Rating: ***** (5/5)