Dr. Sutanuka Ghosh Roy reviews The Window Sill by Nishi Pulugurtha and calls it a whiff of fresh air.
- ISBN: 978-81-952401-4-2 Paperback Edition: (2021)
- Published by Hawakal Publishers, India.
- Pages: 114
- Price: INR 250/ USD 14.99
Indian short stories have come along a long way establishing their preeminence as a distinct genre. The contemporary short story captures the Indian ethos making it a palpable entity. Nishi Pulugurtha’s The Window Sill is a collection of twenty short stories. Pulugurtha is an academic and creative writer. She writes, travelogues, short stories, essays, poems, and on Alzheimer’s disease. She’s published widely and is the author of a monograph on Derozio (2010), a collection of travel essays, Out in the Open (2019), an edited volume of travel essays, Across and Beyond (2020), and a book of poems The Real and the Unreal.
The opening story “Hide and Seek” is among the most inspired in recent times, with Pulugurtha displaying mastery over her craft and a nuanced grasp of the theme of hide and seek–a popular children’s game in which two or three players conceal themselves in a set environment, to be found by one or more seekers. In the story, the game is played by a bunch of youngsters –Chini, Rishika, Monika, Baby, Sanyukta, Monideepa.“One of our playmates was Biba. She did not play regularly with us. If she was in a good mood, she joined us at times. And on days she did, we had to play games she would decide upon, rules she would decide on” (14). She was not liked by her playmates as she was bossy and dictated the terms of the play.
One day when Biba goes missing the entire neighbourhood becomes tensed only to be relieved in the evening when Biba ends the game of hiding. In the game of ‘Hide and seek,’ the player found last is the winner. Biba as the seeker keeps counting at “home base”—“I was sitting behind the water tank on our rooftop”, she says–she remained hidden all through the day nobody could find her or touch her or tag her. She proves her supremacy in the game “I saw everything”, she said composed. “I wanted to teach them a lesson. I came down when I saw the police van drive-in”, she continued. “Moreover, I am hungry”. Biba loves to call her shots.