In a short period of time, Grey Oak Publishers have created quite a name for themselves in encouraging young authors, bloggers and giving a chance to debutante writers. Multi – story anthologies with works from a variety of authors maybe the best thing for first time writers. And this is where the anthologies like ‘Urban Shots: Bright Lights’ come in. This one has 29 stories from 21 writers across varied backgrounds.

The blurb goes like this –

Edited by bestselling author, Paritosh Uttam, this anthology offers snapshots of interesting characters in Urban India. The ten – year – old mathematics loving girl, haunted by memories of her dead mother. The man who buys expensive gifts for married women; an India who can name every American state in alphabetical order; a boy who knows more about the extra – marital affairs of his parents; a baby with secrets of his own; the pesky Maami in the neighbourhood, with a cure for every ailment.

The beefy sportsman with a peacock hairstyle; the seven-year-old who wants to get married; a retiree on his last day in a dead end job; the salesman who fails to meet his targets; the grouchy physics teacher with a love for literature; the chatty cab driver who was once a film maker; the philosophical mehendiwala on the sidewalk; a struggling artist in love with his fabled city; the retired pilot with life advice in the window seat and a lot more.

Racy, compelling and heart rending stories of urban lives and characters by popular writers such as Paritosh Uttam, R. Chandrasekar, Malathi Jaikumar, Ahmed Faiyaz and a number of popular bloggers and debutante writers.

If we consider the number of stories alone, there are bound to be some good and some bad ones. The best thing about an anthology is the fact that one can read the stories depending on the interest and time. It doesn’t demand reading all of them in one single sitting.

And so I have made a list of my top 10 stories (Not in any order) of this ‘Urban Shots’ collection. They have heart and soul. Some make you nostalgic while others make you appreciate the simple pleasures in life. Most of them make you go through them again and again.

1. Amul by Arvind Chandrashekhar

2. Across the Seas by Ahmed Faiyaz

3. Maami Menace by Pradeep D. Raj

4. Father of my Son by Roshan Radhakrishnan

5. The Bengal Tigress by Malathi Jaikumar

6. PK Koshy’s Daily Routine by John Mathew

7. Paisley Printed Memories by Sneh Thakur

8. You Eternal Beauty by Naman Saraiya

9. Hot Masala by Jhangir Kerawala

10. The Raincoat by Rashmi Sahi

If short stories are your thing, ‘Urban Shots: Bright Lights’ would be an interesting addition to your reading library.

Rating – 3/5