Sunday, July 27, 2008

Two Mixed Reviews

Hi Folks
This week saw two reviews of the recently-launched Urban Voice 3. Nothing much to talk home about, but I thought I will share them with you, patrons, as criticism is what makes one grow, not just bouquets.
So here they go:

Bombay book
This fortnight's addition to our shelves.
Frog Books' Urban Voice 3 features new writing from Mumbai. The opening piece, by Monideepa Sahu, is about an auto ride and there are pieces about riding the train, buying a train ticket and about the pedestrian subway outside Churchgate railway station. The series' editor Sunil K Poolani says it aims to be a "platform for thinkers to capture 'next-in-line' trends and go beyond."
(Frog Books; Rs 195)
-- Time Out Mumbai, 25 July 2008

Urban voice 3: Bombay (Frog, Rs 195) brings together “writings from and on Bombay”. There are short stories, poems and even the odd interview, but they have nothing new to offer, save clich├ęd themes depicting this bustling metropolis. Thus, we encounter (again!) tales about Bombay’s resilience after the bomb blasts, the warmth of its people, Bollywood, and so on. Vimla Patil’s “Magical memories”, surprisingly, touches a chord, with its earnest longing for a world made of tile-roofed houses, old temples and curative herbs that is now lost forever.
-- The Telegraph, 25 July 2008


Anonymous said...

Hi Sunil,
I wouldn't worry too much about the reviews. I've noticed that many reviewers love to pull down unknown authors. Basically, criticism is welcome, but I feel it makes no sense to make a sweeping blanket statement and say EVERYTHING is cliched. If they had taken the trouble to read through the issue (I wonder if they really did), they would surely have pointed out a couple of specific instances of both positive and negative feedback. Take care and keep up the good work.
Monideepa Sahu (

Anonymous said...

Why Bong writers dude??? Why do bong writers feel the need to comment about everything??? And why do they need to write about mumbai???? All they know about mumbai is it is a city they need to come to and beg for jobs, that's all. If there's an urban voices on cal, ask them to write. But please, for a book on Mumbai, why can't you ask Mumbai writers (like Murzban, the only decent writer in the book) to contribute instead??? God knows they understand the english language better than ANY bong ever will. They've been trying to write a good novel since the 1800s, and all they've got is mediocre Jhumpa, for Chrissakes.

Nabina Das said...

Hi Sunil,
These reviews are only a nudge for more work, more publication, and therefore, one better not take them too hard. Your conceptualisation of an "urban" theme for the journal is something to applaud and the very fact that you have accorded space to some new writers, speaks volumes about your seriousness about Indian lit journal publishing... So, kudos! And hey, (not because I'm being included in the book 'urban poetry by Indian women writers') I think that project is also a very good one. BTW, my work will be in Kritya, September. Will send you the link then. Keep well! --Nabina Das, Ithaca, NY

Abhinav Maurya said...

Well, Monideepa says it all! After reading the reviews, I read the stories once again to see if there was any basis for such criticism. On the contrary, I found something to cheer about in each and every story. The anthology boasts of a really immense diversity of substance and style, covering almost every major motif that one can associate with Bombay.

P.S.: The second comment is quite amusing. Whoever has taken the time to write that one shall make a good reviewer. ;-)