Saturday, November 29, 2014

The Blaft Anthology of Tamil Pulp Fiction Vol 1

Rating :  3.5/5
Date On which finished: 28th November 2014 


Edition Details:
Page Count : 412
Format : Paperback
Publishers: Blaft Publications
Editor: Rakesh Khanna
Translator: Pritham K Chakravarthy

The Blaft Anthology of Tamil Pulp Fiction is a collection of stories by the pioneers of the thriving pulp fiction industry. The book contains stories and the stories are separated by the author's name.
The stories are selected by Pritham K Chakravarthy  and are edited by Rakesh Khanna.
As it's a short story collection so i will rate each story separately .


Subhu

'Subhu' actually is a pen name of two authors: Suresh and Balakrishnan.

1) Hurrican Vaij 3.5/5

First Sentence:

The automatic doors closed behind Narendran as he entered the airport lounge.

Narendran and Vaijaiyanti run eagle eye investigations. When an anonymous caller calls him at the airport as he want's to discuss a case with him, little did Narendran knew that he'll be embroiled in a political issue.

It was an entertaining story. It kept me reading. The talks between Narendra and Vaijya were full of sexual innuendos which keeps the atmosphere light.



Rajesh Kumar

This collection has 5 stories by this author. He's one of the most prolific writer with 1250 novels and over 2000 stories under his name.

2) Idhaya 2020 2.5/5

First Sentence:

Several balding scientists reclined on fiber glass chairs facing a digital screen.

This is sci-fi story. It's set in 2020. Robotics expert and designer Pranesh is delivering a presentations of the robots created by him among the panel of scietist and buyers. They have been impressed by his creations but are yet to see his masterpiece Idhaya 2020. What is it? And how will it end for Pranesh??Will he able to amass the riches that he had dreamed of??

It was an okay story. Although it's a sci-fi it deals with the issue of domestic abuse. Read it.


3) Matchstick Number One 4.5/5

First sentence:

"Good Morning,Daddy"

Saravna Perumal is a high court judge who's a honest officer in front of his famiy. He's to deliver justice in a case involving rape and murder of an eighteen year old girl by some youths coming from very powerful families. When after taking a bribe, he sets them free, Saravna starts getting life threats from a group that identify themselves as Matchstick number one. What is this group? And will Saravna be able to save himself and his family from these people? Meanwhile, this same group seems to have kidnapped the accused whom Saravna had accquited. Will police be able to find them?

Well, i liked the story very much. It was entertaining and kept me reading till the end. It deals with the issue of how law has become a servant to the rich and powerful and how they can manipulate it according to their will.

Kishore your fears for the future are baseless. It's been years since our country became independent. In those sixty years, has even one politician or minister has been imprisoned for corruption? Never! Why? Because the law is afraid to lay even a finger on them. All over India you have politicians who take bribes, possess wealth beyond their official income, employ goons to knock of their enemies, shift party allegiance to mandate. Not one of them has ever been apprehended by the law. Because the law is just a pet dog for them.


4) Silicon Hearts  2.5/5

First Sentence:

A crowd of media reporters thronged around scientist Roger Stewart outside the control room at NASA, asking a flood of questions.

Flora and Johnson are space astronauts. They have decided to participate in an experiment in which they will be required to live in an sky house outside the earth and concieve a baby there. They seem pretty excited by the idea. Will the experiment be successful and if yes, how the differen the baby would be from the normal babies.

It was a really short story. I thought it would be having a bizarre ending like an episode of 'The Twilight Zone' but it was not so. It was short and sweet.



5) The Rainbow 2.5/5

First Sentence:

"You're sure to win the first prize this time. Come on, take a ticket!"

Kanniappan is crazy about lotteries. He has a family to feed and a sister to get married but the only thing that he cares about is winning a lottery. He thinks after winning a lottery he'll wipe out all the miseries of his family. Will he ever be responsible?

It was an okay story.

6) The FLR 3.5/5

First Sentence:

Professor Vinayak looked up from the internet to refresh himself with a revital pill.

I liked the story. Tiwari and his son Sanjay have come to Prof. Vinayak, who has developed a machine FLR(Fate language Reporter) which could predict anyone's future. Tiwari's want to market this machine. Would the Prof agree to it?
I didn't saw that the story would end like this. It was a cool ending and that's why one star more.


Vidya Subramaniam

Vidya Subramanium has been writing for the past twenty years. She is the only author in this collection who has been before translated to English. Her female characters are usually more self-reliant and independent than many in Tamil popular fiction.

8) Me 2/5

First Sentence:

"Stop right there."

The story is about a daughter who's been sacrificing for the sake of her mother and her younger sisters. But now after years for sacrifice she wants some thing for herself.


9) Ripples 2.5/5

First Sentence:

Manonmani had just sat down for her dinner when she noticed the state of the house.

Manonmani and Ravi have been happily married. They have children and life is going on well for them. A few months back Ravi had told Manonmani about a woman who seemed to like him and asked her how he should act. At that time Manonmani had asked him to act according to his wishes. Now, she has found that the woman is still making advances towards her husband which he's not reciprocating. But she's distressed, because Ravi didn't tell her about the letter. What will she do? Will she confront her husband or the woman?

It was also an okay story. It deals with the trust and mutual understanding among the married couples. There is a saying the if you love them set them free. If they return to you they loved you else it was not meant to be. This adage looks good on the paper but in life is very hard to follow. This seems to be the crux of the story.

Indra Soundar Rajan

Indra Soundar Rajan has written more than 500 short novels along with scripts for various tamil serials. He's is something of an expert on Hindu traditions and mythological lore. He generally writes about supernatural occurrences and divine interventions , often inspired by true stories reported in various locales in South India.

10) The Rebirth of Jeeva  3/5

First Sentence:

The laws of Karma require death and rebirth of man.


Uma is thrilled to go on an educational trip with her classmates. They are going to Velamangalam Shenbaga Devi temple. But when Uma reaches there weird things start to happen to her. She thinks she's familiar with the place although she hasn't been there. People seem to recognise Uma and addressing her with a different name. What's the  mystery? Why is Uma experiencing such things? Read the story to find out.

It is one of the most entertaining story of the collection. It has everything: a villain, a wronged woman who has broken the veil of time and has returned for vengeance. But i think the weakest point of the story is the death of the antagonist. I think the story deserved a better ending or i must say the antagonist deserved a more dramatic death.

Ramanichandran

 Ramanichandran describes herself primarily as a housewife who writes for hobby. She writes 100% soft romance.

11) The Rich woman 1.5/5

First Sentence:

"He's too lucky, that guy!"

Pandayan and Tamiz Arasi have been married for quite some time. Tamiz is a wonderful wife but she comes from a poor household. Pandyan keeps ragging her about her poor family and the lesser dowry that she brought and keeps ignoring her virtues. Pandayn was to be married to a rich woman Nalini but his mother instead choose Tamiz. And this thing keeps rattling him. One day Pandayan meets Gopal and the reality that strikes him makes him see his wife in a different light.

I didn't like the story. Pandayan is an asshole & i don't think potraying a rich woman in a negative light was a strong thing. If Nalini would have been a good life partner then Pandyan would have been jealous and would have started harassing Tamiz more. I think Tamiz deserved better and so did the story. Opening Pandayan's eyes to the virtues of Tamiz was a good thing but the way it was done i didn't feel it was up to the mark.

12) Dim lights, Blazing Hearts 2/5

First Sentence:

Aruna arrived at the office at nine in the morning, as usual, and was surprised to find several of her colleagues already in their seats and working. 

Aruna is secretary to the chairman of the construction firm. The story is a run of the mill romance where the boss's son is a debonair guy and whole office's girls are crazy for him. But he gets attracted to Aruna. Then some misunderstandings occur happen between them. What happens next forms the story. It was an okay story for me. I'm not into mushy romances and so i didn't like it that much. I didn't hate it though.

Pattukkotai Prabakar

Pattukkotai Prabakar is a prolific writer who is famous for writing twelve hours a day. He writes not only short stories , novels but scripts of film and television.

13) Sweetheart, Please Die 3.5/5

First sentence:

Once upon a time Lady Moon went to Inspector Sky with a complaint.

The story starts with a bang and in a unique way.Madhumita has been a sweet child to her parents but they don't know she leads a dual life. When Madhumita disappears for four days her father Sundaresan goes to Bharat and Susheela of Moonlight agencies to help him in finding his daughter. Will Baharat and Susheela be able to find the missing girl? Read the story to find out.
Bharat and Susheela are the Pattukkotai Prabakar's famous detective duo. The story was great. Baharat appears as a lecherous guy which was similar to Narendran of Eagle Eye detective Agencies. In the story Hurricane Vaij we come across a remark about the famous slogan bearing t shirts of Susheela and we come face to face with slogans here. The slogan's range from 'Swellingly yours' to 'Please search on the other side'. Sometimes i felt the conversations were put there to titillate the readers because they didn't felt required. It may be that since i'm reading only one story that's why i'm feeling like this. But anyhow the story was entertaining and it kept me hooked.

Pushpa Thangadorai

Pushpa Thanadorai is the nom de plume of Srivenugopal.

14) My Name is Kamala(excerpt) with illustrations by Jayraj 3/5

First Sentence:

Remember i told you about the two girls who were kept locked in the room downstairs?

This is part of the novel that Puspha had written and i wished i could read the whole novel. The story is based in a brothel of Delhi. Kamla has been in the brothel for quite sometime and now seems to have resigned to her fate. But the desire to be free of this life still burns in one corner of her heart. Will she succeed in her attempt? Read the story to find out.
The story gives the details of the women involved in sex trade. It shows the life of girls who come willingly into the business and of those girls who are force into the trade. There are various methods that the madam of the brothels use to make the girls do as the madam's wish and these methods aren't pretty. The book held my interest. I really felt for Kamala and wanted her to be free. Sex trade is a blight on our society and this story sheds light on that dark reality of most of us are oblivious.

Tamilvanan

15) Tokyo Rose 3/5

First Sentence:

Tokyo capital of Japan! The cars seemed to outnumber the people.

Shankarlal is the most famous character of Tamilvanan. Shankarlal was is Tokyo enjoying his vaccation when he gets a call from a woman who then is found shot to death. Soon after that Mudikondan husband of famous film actress Neelavalli comes to him for rescuing his wife from the hands of kidnappers. Will Shankarlal be able to save the actress? Read the story to find out.

I liked the story. It was the first story of Shankarlal that i've read and it has made me want to read his other adventures.

Prajanand V.K

The three monthly publications Great Novel, Best Novel and Everest novel usually carry Rajesh Kumar Novels or sometimes novels by Indra Soundar Rajan. These novels have a fixed page length 144 and if the novels by above mentioned writers fall short of the pages , the publisher uses short stories of Prajanand V K to fill them up. Prajanand V K is an ardent fan of Rajesh kumar and used to send his stories in envelope and without any return address. He writes simple crime fiction featuring two police detectives Sasivaran and Sabapathy.

16) A murder and a few mysteries 2/5

First Sentence:

It was morning.

Dr Hemanth Kumar's wife Uma has been found murdered in her room. Who killed her? The only suspects are Dr Kumar,Uma's friend Miss Malathi, Uma's brother Ganesh and their servant Nallamuthu. Will Sasivaran be able to catch the murderer? Read the story to find out.

It was an okay story. I liked it but i didn't like one point in it. During the story Sasivaran tells Sabapathy that an Indian wouldn't smoke and that thing surely cracked me up. If any other reason would have been given for writing of Malthi's  name  i'd have  accepted it. Anyhow it was an okay readable story.

17) Revenge 2/5

First Sentence:

The open ground was bordered by huge cardboard poster cutouts of Minister Jagatratshagan, shown smiling with his palms folded together.


Jagatratshagan has been assassinated during a speech. Sasivaran has been asked to take the case and find out about the assassin. Will he be found? Why was politician killed?
It was also an so so story. I mean didn't hate it but i didn't like it either. Sasivaran didn't have to do anything to solve the mystery. The criminal himself approached him. Although we get to see that Sasivaran give more value to morality than to the law. It can be read a single time.

Resakee

R M Kumaravel(1961-2010) is the publisher of Great Novel, Best Novel and Everest Novel. When there needed a story to fill few pages of the editions, sometimes he used to write a story for that month and print it under name of Resakee.

18) Glory be to the love that kills! 2.5/5

First Sentence:

It was sunday, so the crowd was huge.

Sasi and Raghu are colleagues who have fallen in love with each other. When they approach Sasi's father to give them blessings he emotionally blackmails them to break up and force Sasi to get married to Satya. But the duo are not so easy to break, they have hatched a plan to kill Satya and then get married. Will they succeed in their evil designs? Read the story to find out.

According to the writer, this story is inspired from a real life accident in which a newly wedded wife and her lover had killed her husband after 16 days of marriage. It was an entertaining story. I liked it.

At the end i would like to say that i really liked the collection. I have already ordered the second volume in this series and hope many more are there to come. If you'd like to read the anthology you can order it from the following links:

Amazon

If you have read the book, you can give your comments in the comment box and if you want to recommend something like this book i would really like that.

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