Review by Shwetha H S
The Departing Point is a book of short stories that claims to be about how love is lost when one of the two people in a relationship change. But the way these short stories are narrated, they make the readers feel that the man in each story thinks the woman he likes or loves is his property and is in objectifying mode.
The first short story, My Last Letter, is about a man mourning the loss of his love, a woman who chose to chase her dreams instead of settling down with him at an early age. This man says that he was quite lenient in letting her have her ways to fulfil her aspirations with a hope to marry her someday. When I read this, I was like “Dude, you have no rights on her as she is not your possession and you were no one to decide whether or not let her should go ahead with her aspirations.” This idea in his mind is what screwed up his thoughts, irrespective of what she says before dying.
The second short story, Derailed Salem Express, is about a college going boy who is confused between two girls with whom he claims to be in love. This is not a story about love, but only about the boy’s physical needs. The story is dragged without any reason.
The third short story, Julie Loves Me, starts in a college in Vizag and ends in Australia. Here, love is actually lost due to twist and turns in the lives of two people in a relationship. The woman in question decides to abandon the man when he is denied visa due to his terminal illness and chooses to move on in life with someone else.
The fourth short story, Checklist Love, is about a boy who refers to his checklist of love whenever he comes across any pretty girl to verify if he can love her or not. When I read this story, I was like “what the hell? Why is this story even included here? This is not a story of love lost. There is no love to start with. This boy is not in love, but is just happy to find someone who fulfils all the criteria he has in his list. Then why is he cribbing about the girl’s behaviour?”
The fifth short story, My Cinderella, ends before starting, with the differences and misunderstandings between the families of girl and boy. When they you cannot fight for your love, then why love at all?
The sixth short story, Open and Closed Love, is about a fickle minded girl who exploits the feelings of a loving boy who leaves her when he realizes what she is doing. While reading this, I was like why in the world is this boy not understanding that she is playing with him on to find some comfort for herself?
The seventh short story, Na Paki Na Gulab Nadir Ko Baksh Do Janab, is more of a comedy than story of lost love. Paki realizes her mistake and apologizes to Nadir, who by then would have found Gulab, but decides not go with either of them and moves on with his singlehood.
These stories will leave you in the “meh” feeling. Read them at your own risk.