Mumbai: A book on Our World: A Symphony of Drabbles by Three Generations is a compilation of eighty-six drabbles from a family of three generations – the grandfather, the mother and the daughter. A live chat on Facebook on Utsaah #SpreadingHapiness a channel promoted by Durga Jasraj, Founder of Art and Artistes was conducted on January 19, 2021, along with Arnab Banerjee.
The initiative was to promote the concept of drabble – a work of fiction, a story written in exactly a hundred words, not a word more, not a word less. This is a relatively new form of writing, not yet very popular in India. The concept of drabbles is said to have originated in the 1980’s in the UK.
The live programme evoked encouraging responses with viewers curious to explore the world of drabble, and discovering that composing drabble is a unique experience. It is both challenging and fun. Not only does the author have to be careful with the form – rendered in exactly 100 words – but also endeavour to tell an interesting and meaningful story, a story which has a beginning, a middle and an end.
This book is a fascinating potpourri of fiction, covering a plethora of interesting stories, spanning across several genres. Some stories are funny and entertaining, some are quixotic, others skirt around tales of soft sci-fi and adventure, while others evoke feelings of nostalgia and empathy. While 15-year-old Ishika indulges in fantasy, thriller and sci-fi adventures, the mothers’ writings largely stem from her observation of people and their idiosyncrasies.
Each drabble brings out an interesting facet of the human predicament, sometimes ending with a twist, which is bound to leave the reader bemused. The drabbles are gripping and will transport the reader into the world of the characters.
Reading a drabble is a pleasure because it is ideal for when one is in the mood for a light and quick read. For instance, while commuting, while waiting at the railway station, bus stop, at the airport or while taking a break from serious work.
This book of drabbles can be read by anyone, anytime, anywhere. Any person who loves reading will find the drabbles interesting. It will particularly be a good way to encourage children to develop the habit of reading.
In an era of instant communication where technology has taken over the habit of book reading, this book may be an answer to the frustrated parents trying hard to pull away their children from getting hooked to computers and digital games. As this is a collection of 100-word stories, each story can be read in less than a minute.
In the words of Bharat Ratna Sachin Tendulkar, “This book has stories from three generations and something on offer for readers across ages.” To conclude and quote the legendary Ruskin Bond, “This is an entertaining collection of tiny tales for tired COVID-19 survivors. A drabble a day should keep the doctors away!”
The Hindu in its review of the book has said that, “A short story is not short enough when there is a drabble competing to win at brevity. The beauty of a drabble lies in its short length.”
Ruchi Ranjan holds a doctorate in child psychology from the University of Delhi and is a trained counsellor as well. She has taught Psychology in Delhi University and in the Government Degree College, Hyderabad. She has published numerous research papers in reputed journals. At present, she works with marginalised children in select schools of Hyderabad.
Ishika Ranjan is a student of Grade 11 in Hyderabad. Her favourite subjects at school include English literature and mathematics. An avid reader, she has a penchant for writing. Her creativity is channelised through photography, experimenting with new recipes, sketching and music.
Bishan Sahai is a retired business manager, who has held board – level positions in leading Indian corporates. He also writes on management-related subjects. A science graduate, he has studied Business Management from Delhi University. He lives in Gurgaon.