Of the elementary 80s

Alisha Shinde
Saturday, 18 May 2019

Author: Adithi Rao
Publisher: Harper Collins
Price: Rs 399
Pages: 315

What was the most striking characteristic of the 80's? Back then people had the kind of problems that they can now look back and laugh at together with their families. And that exactly is the essence of Adithi Rao’s Left From The Nameless Shop Stories. Reminiscent of Malgudi Days, her debut book of short stories has tales of people living in the small town of Rudrapura in Karnataka.

Rao takes us on a narrative that has a sense of nostalgia, about a simple and gentler way of life with a sense of humour. The stories from the book give us some regular characters with extremely interesting lives. In one such story, a boy communes with the gods by talking to a pillar which comes to the aid of his school principal, and in another, the Hibiscus Girl has her head in the clouds and feet gently planted in her husband’s home. But from the humourous narrative, Rao has successfully captured the energy that a close-knit community has in small towns and this is highlighted with the simple language that is used throughout the short stories. This is discovered in the story where the proprietor of the ‘nameless shop’ hits on a sound business plan, and another amazing tale where the residents of Rudrapura discover rainwater harvesting and implement it in the town. 

Even though there are so many short-stories which are all interconnected, the plots are not complex. Readers can easily follow what is happening with whom, even with some drama in the background. 

Left from the Nameless Shop is a collection of stories from our ordinary lives, or let's say the lives of our grandparents, that will let you relive the good old times before the internet happened-— a time when you had to meet up with friends in person instead of virtually waving at them through various social media sites.

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