Nilakshi Borgohain is a versatile genius who writes short stories, poems, travel articles and features to reputed magazines like Namaskar, Jetwings and India Perspective. She is a senior reporter and columnist whose first collection of short stories Streets of Fear was published from Minarva Press UK and the present collection Rhythms of Life is her second venture in the realm of Indian English short fiction.
Actually, Indian English critics have the world wide tendency of considering short story as the step-child of literature. It is also true that ‘this form is the most suitable to record the variety and nuance of Indian experience’ and unlike Indian Novel in English it has not to dealt with limited themes like ‘National Movement of Indian independence, The Contrary influences of Tradition and Westernization on individual and the place of faith in Indian life.’ But it has recorded wider experiences and multitudinous sensibilities in it self and has revealed India more than Indian English novels and plays.
It is also lamentable that despite its wider possibilities, this genre has been neglected by the critics and they have not encouraged the short story writers to their satisfaction. And yet, in the past few years, the emergence of short story writers in as well as the hearty welcome of the critics and readers has enfeebled this fact. Nilakshi Borgohain’s second collection Rhythms of Life is a compilation of short stories written between 2003-2006 and this collection should also be welcomed as it asserts:
The music may not always remain flawless, but as long as we have firm conviction that our uniqueness is a blessing, the blissful melody of life continues. (Blurb)
These ten short stories should also be taken in notice as they ‘reaffirm our faith that the greatest joy in life still spring from the sprit of being true to our selves’ and they ‘effectively emphasize that the significance of being is appreciating our place in the cosmos for the every situation is an occasion worth celebrating life.’ In this collection, the title of each story is subtitled with a quotation or wise thought like the first story ‘The Garden of Abundance’ with subtitled ‘Life is Beautiful If Lived Possitibly’ or the second story ‘A Local’ has the subtitle ‘Universal Brotherhood could result from the Universal understanding of all culture’ or ‘For Passion’ has the subtitle ‘falling in Love is Most Sublime’. In nutshell, each story is adorned with a message of universal love, peace and brotherhood. The optimistic vision of the short story writer has empowered her to relay a universal message to one and all.
Thus these stories need a close perusal and meditation as they not only wider our horizons of thought but also create a deep insight in us. I personally thank and welcome the author in the arena of Indian English Short fiction as well as expect more tales from her.