ALMOST DARK (A collection of four stories)
Chandradip Paitandi

Mysterious and thrilling, this novel includes not only drama but engages you till the end as well. As by the title, this book is a composition of four short stories complete enough to be read as a light read. It’s suitable for reading at the airport or on the beach and I’d suggest that you take it as a light read. The author has shown his great imaginative skills while he moves forward with every story. The stories are further divided into short chapters that describe the characters eminently. The way how the stories ended was unexpected as one is bound by the question, Who did it?

The first two stories ‘Yeti’ and ‘Animal Instinct’ are connected a bit to Indian history but in a fictional manner. Where Yeti is about the secrets hidden in the snow of the Himalayas and how those secrets are unveiled by Dr. Basu preceded by his grandson in the following part of the story. This story involves the twists and turns of how the quest of the evasive mythical creature –Yeti is ended. However, Animal Instinct is about the fears, a couple faces in their otherwise peaceful lives. The incidents which take place, happen after they visit the Temple of Rats in Rajasthan, why and how? Well, that’s fun to read.

The third story or ‘The Last Portrait’ is about a mysterious portrait which is seen in the dreams of a famous painter Sumanta Sen. However, the portrait completes itself by the end and the conclusion comes out to be shocking. The story revolves around the questions of why and how Niladri Roy connects with the dead people through his paintings. The mystery unveils itself by the end. The last story of the book ‘The Creep’ is yet another interesting story that revolves around an alienated girl- Esha, who was crippled from the waist down. She possessed some extraordinary powers which were not only god’s gift but a miracle. She had three people close to her and a dog and the story revolves around only these four to five characters. This story shows how love and affection are most powerful than anything.

All in all, the book is an interesting one to read. One might not take too long to finish this but will truly experience the spooky and the Almost Dark parts of the book. The stories are engaging and mysterious, the reader is kept curious through which is like a cherry on the top of the cake.