MELANCHOLIC MADNESS by ALARKA SHIVA
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
A thought provoking read. Shiva's short stories dive into the inner consciousness of man. There is an element of self-awareness for the characters, a knowledge that their ideas can lead them to self-destruction or inevitable heartache. For me, I felt the stories were deeply philosophical. The reader can gain a lot into the character's mind, whether it is their dependency to alcohol, cigarettes or sex, all of them stem from a deeper problem which lies in the character's subconscious mind.
In each story there are memorable quotes, a few lines that make me stop and deeply contemplate over the melancholic muses that storm the mind of the brooding character's. I think my favourite story by far is "Four o'clock," because the story is highly relatable. It deals with an unyielding obsession with a woman that the main character has loved and lost. Her sudden departure has dogged him all his life, ruining his relationship with his wife and disrupting his job. All of that time he is fixated on that person he fell in love with when he was younger, and when he finally see's her once more it just stops- the dream dies and then he comes to the sudden epiphany that he lost almost ten years waiting for someone that is not the same girl he first met at a bar all those years ago. It is stories like these that make the reader contemplate about their own life. It also makes me consider whether I am guilty of making the same mistakes, if I let my obsessions from the past effect my future.
I will leave two memorable quotes down below just to show the brilliancy of Shiva's writing:
"Sometimes good and sometimes bad, but the craving is compulsory. Sometimes I feel the mind is a monster who just needs to get fed, irrespective of good and bad. Maybe it's trying to hug the temporary hoax to forget reality, but the soul will be like "No, you can't do this. This can destroy you."
"Human nature is so nomadic and human feelings are unstable. But there are many who, in spite of all this, are loved and get loved till they die."
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