16 June, 2020

The Grandmaster & Other Short Stories by Chinmaya Desai - [Book Review]

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Book Details:

Title : The Grandmaster & Other Short Stories
Author: Chinmaya Desai
Genre : Short story collection, Fiction
Print Length : 134 pages
Source : A Kindle copy


Never judge a book by its cover…you will be surprised by what lies within!

A Chess Grandmaster is accused of losing a World Championship game intentionally… A middle-class sexagenarian from Nagpur receives a surprise visit from an old friend… A lady will go to any extent to get an ingredient for her recipe… A Mayan explorer in 498 AD encounters a storm and drifts to ancient India… A Brigadier plans to surprise a civilian with a war memento… A politician wants to save the beautiful Seria Valley from an unscrupulous builder… A jet-setting banker gets into a verbal duel with a woman during a plane journey…

Debutant author Chinmaya Desai delves into the lives of “ordinary” people and answers some extraordinary questions. Through his lucid and captivating writing, he brings to the fore how there is always something more than what meets the eye.

The Grandmaster & other short stories is a selection of fictional tales that provide a glimpse of life’s different facets and oddities. It is these experiences that make our journey interesting, colorful, and ends where you least expected it to. Explore these fast-paced tales, with a twist that will keep you turning pages till you reach the end…

Purchase Link:


My Review:

This is a beautiful collection of 17 short stories. The good thing about this book is the selection of stories. I felt, each story to be unique and simple to understand.

The Grandmaster

I loved this title story of the book. Simple with a twist and good characters.

These lines of analogy between an organization and chess are awesome.

"He likened chess to an organization, the eight pawns or soldiers like factory workers – toiling day and night; the two bishops or camels like the sales force, crisscrossing the country to hard-sell products; the two rooks or elephants like audit, accounting and finance – moving only straight, but firm in their dealing; the knights or horses like innovators – jumping two and half steps at a time with new ideas; the king like a Chairman – slow, steady and surefooted and finally, the queen like the CEO – aggressive, but in control of each and every one!"

The carrots

I loved this story for its simplicity. I agree that faith heals.
The quotes below each story are very good.

Professor Parimal

Another good story with emotions. I agree with how we judge people without knowing them.

The hounds of Bhaskar villas

The funny narrative brings a smile. Also, it makes us understand the everyday tidbits of the upper-middle-class lives in the city.

The Inspiration

It's a beautiful story though a fiction. It is really an inspiration to know about the people who protect our country against all odds. When compared to their efforts, everything else looks simple and easy to achieve.

The Mathematician

This is a work of imagination but well implemented. It shows the importance of Indians discovering zero in the number system.

The politician

A good story with unexpected turns.

Husband's guilt

I loved these lines and it is exactly how marriages are set in India. I didn't enjoy the story though.

"Stars, planets, almanacs, caste, sub-caste, age, height, weight, complexion, educational qualifications, salary (boy), cooking skills (girl), family history, references, wavelengths and many other variables had been matched in an attempt to ensure a happy and a bright future for the couple."
This is super fun to read. Check these lines 😃

"They started dining out almost every weekend and planned small weekend trips at least once in three months; each experience meticulously entered into the vast online realms of Facebook with the diligence of an Immigration official."
"Their savings, like the Mumbai flamingos, migrated south and their waistlines, like the Arctic penguins, migrated north."

Mother's love

This story didn't click with me, but these lines are fun and great at the end of the story about plagiarism.

“I wrote several letters to my sweetheart. I forgot to sign them. She has now married the postman.”

Taskmaster G 

This is a story that proves something good might happen when you least expect it.

The woman in the yellow saree

This is a casual story with food for thought. I agree that the biggest problem women face is getting respect from their own family members and society.

Female foeticide, rape, and eve-teasing continue to hurt women still in places like Rajasthan. 

What might have been better?

There are some spelling mistakes in the book which I thought might have been avoided by editing. I didn't like a few stories but it completely depends on individual taste.

My Rating: 4/5

Until next time,

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1 comment:

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