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Bridges and Crossings: Meeting to Part and Parting to Meet — by Meera Sundararajan

Publisher: Notion Press

Pages: 108

Price: Rs. 180 INR(Paperback), Rs. 0 INR (Kindle Edition)

ISBN: 978–1646508846

Buy here: https://amzn.to/368F7ZN

Life, they say, is like a journey that takes us through different phases. But sometimes, a journey by itself can translate into experiences that remain with us for life. Each one of us can remember at least one experience from a train journey.We run into people-faces — from the past whom we may want to avoid, new faces, strangers that seem attractive, unknown hands reaching out to help and unbelievable relationships that start to unfold. This book carries eleven such stories about people like you and me. Lives that are brought together on rails by the Indian Railways; the past, present and future converging like the tracks that intersect and diverge, moving towards different destinations, keeping that journey called life unbroken.

About the author:

The quintessential traveler, Meera, has spent a large part of her childhood on trains, travelling across the length and breadth of India with her family. Almost every journey had her sitting by the window with her face pressed against it, the wind in her hair and thoughts chugging through her head in rhythm with the chugging train.

 A dreamer and a doer, Meera—the adult, has been working with the non-profit sector in India for over three decades, trying to bring about social and economic change. Much of her work involves travelling across the country to villages and obscure towns and interacting with different communities. An observer of people, their interactions and social dynamics, she began writing about her reflections on her blog Chronicles of an Unknown Indian (http://meerareflections.blogspot.com) in 2009 and later moved on to writing fiction in a second blog, Kaleidoscope (http://meeratales.wordpress.com).

This is her first publication where she has put together some of the stories from her fiction blog in the form of a book.

An avid reader and a music lover, Meera is a middle-aged mom with a ‘teenager’s heart’. She lives in Chennai with her husband, daughter and her cat.

My take on the book:

Bridges and Crossings, as the caption suggests, is a collection of stories about individuals meeting to part and parting to meet. As illustrated in the book cover and the central theme of the stories, rail tracks keep meeting and diverging as is their inherent quality. Synonymously, the characters in these stories meet and part on a train, in a railway station or a railway platform. Those who have travelled even once on a train would agree that the railways stations and the rail compartments are a complete life experience in themselves. The author has picked the backdrop of railways to depict a multitude of emotions and the theme itself helps majorly to achieve this diversity.

There are a total of eleven stories – each starts with an impressive quote by a famous personality and its significance can be understood at the end of each story. One is about a mother waiting at the platform eagerly for her son who did not return home for years, one is about lovers who got separated in college due to forced circumstances, another is about online friends meeting accidentally on a journey, another is about girl pals forgiving each other for past blunders.

My personal favorite is Careless Whispers for the touching backdrop, depicting the unexpected twists that life can throw at us and we might end up judging people on the surface rather than knowing what they are going through. Each story is filled with umpteen human emotions; the stories are real and practical and very close to real life incidents, some of them even have potential to be developed into full length novel. Easy choice of words, well narrated, Bridges and crossings is a must read for those readers who love reading short stories filled with emotions and interesting twists.

My rating: