Review: The Arithmetic of Breasts and Other Stories by Rochelle Potkar

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This cluster of 7½ literary short stories presents to you the romantic-sexual facets of:
Narain who lusts for Munika, hypnotized by her bosom in The Arithmetic of Breasts, and old Jaganlal who wants a favour from young Dia in The Room with a Sea-view.

Jackie who is in love with Nic in Sky Park, and the surgeon in Dr. Love who is changing much more than Sneha’s hairline, nose, lip and chin.

Shonali and Neel who are realizing that infidelity might not be such an easy thing in The Scent of a Conscience, and a woman who walks the tight rope between tradition and sexual exploitation in A place they call Scary.
And,
Sunil who meets the woman of his desires in What Men Want through an adult dating site.

Through these stories, Rochelle Potkar explores the intensely personal ‘unrelationship’ that exists alongside its conventional and socially articulate twin, the relationship.

Review

I was provided with a physical copy of this book via the author in exchange for an honest review.

It’s very difficult to critique a book of short stories. But I am going to do my best to do so without any spoilers (Ya’ll hate spoilers, right? :P)

The underlying theme for all the stories is sexuality or lust or the wonders of infidelity.

This is a very short book. I went through it within one sitting and as I closed the book, I still did not understand the effect this book had on me. But I did know, to actually write a book with sex as it’s basis in the current scenario as it is in India is one hell of job and that I know is commendable.

While there are 7 1/2 (yes 7 and a half!) stories, not all of them have a HEA, because I believe that these short stories weren’t written with the thought of giving closure. They are real life stories, with real people – not that this actually based on reality – but what could happen in real life, because let’s face it, not all of us get happy endings, not all of us get to spend forever with the love of our lives, and we definitely do not always get loyal and faithful partners.

Ms. Potkar has taken reality of our everyday lives and spinned tales that will not only stay with long after your are done with book, but parts of them will recounted when you face something similar.

And while I loved every story in this book, I still wish that Ms. Potkar had used a much simpler language – because while it is understandable to use imagery in stories, I do believe she would have gotten her point across better with a simpler language style.

Rating

⭐ ⭐ ⭐ .5

Recommendation

This is a book that I actually liked. So if you are interested in the Indian societal culture at it’s basis, then this book is definitely for you.

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