Book: Alchemy, The Tranquebar of Erotic Stories -2
Author : Various (edited by Sheba Karim)
Price: Rs. 295
This was a first for me. Even though 50 Shades of Grey climbed up the charts, I didn’t have the nerve to pick up that genre and actually read a whole book about it. But when I received “Alchemy, The Tranquebar of Erotic Stories” for review, I had but no option. Like an artist, a reader should be versatile too, right? And with that thought, I sat down to read the book.
As I was done reading the first story of the book, the first thing that struck me was that a book like this cannot be read in a single go. Or may be even two-three stories at a time. It is so overwhelming at times, that I just had to put the book down and get some fresh air. It’s too descriptive, and if it’s your first time reading erotica, you are going to find it disturbing like I did. But then, I have to add that it’s not cheap or vulgar in any which way. Every story is unique, has a strong undercurrent to it and mostly it leaves you thinking. About societal issues, sexual fallacies, human emotions and a writer’s unlimited imagination.
Here’s a summary of the book:
So many elements of ourselves come together in the act of sex: skin and bodily fluids, desire, fear, greed, joy, stigma, pride, affection, guilt, often in the hopes of creating something more beautiful, our personal elixirs of life, however temporary, however permanent.
In Alchemy, Tranquebar’s second anthology of erotic short stories, editor Sheba Karim has brought together thirteen diverse works about the pains and pleasures of sex including an unapologetic account of a postmodern man’s attraction to his maid, a futuristic tale of a four gendered orgy, a poignant narrative of a boy’s sexual awakening in a cinema bathroom, and a lyrical meditation on a mysterious woman’s carnal lessons to an imprisoned monk. The anthology’s vivid, well-crafted stories move across genres, orientations, continents and genders, taking the reader on an intimate journey through the complex alchemies of sex, desire and love.
Abandon by Shrimoyee Nandini: The story revolves around a couple, in a no-strings-attached relationship, who go around searching for half built unattended construction sites around the city, and make out in them in the dead of the night. And then one night, something strange happens. Its written so well, description so vivid, you can almost feel it playing in front of your eyes.
Mouth by M.Svairini is a story beyond the reaches of my imagination. Its plot, characters and description is again, way more vivid that you would like. I read the story in multiple sittings for my own comfort as I couldn’t bring myself to imagine the kind of world that would be, as thought of by the author. But again, you have to give it to the author for the sheer brilliance of it.
The Marrying Kind by Mary Anne Mohanraj is quite the story of today’s times. Although Jared is a perfect man, who wants to marry Leilani, she doesn’t concede until he breaks down all his barriers to satisfy her.