There’s something about books by first-time authors. It is always accompanied by a certain eagerness – to see how the writing has been crafted and how the whole story has finally shaped up. I must admit there is also the tendency to analyze whether the book really does justice or it’s just a flight of fancy. In the case of The Peacock Feather, few other things added to the curiosity. The title for one; I was quick to attribute it to various shades and wasn’t wrong. (Later I realized it’s the opening story too). The fact that it is authored by twin brothers sparked my interest a little more and the fact that both Sunil and Sudhir Kapoor are seasoned Finance professionals. That did it!
The book contains set of eleven short stories each one belonging to a different genre. Most of these are inspired by real life incidents to which the author duo allowed themselves some liberty and creative exaggerations.
The title story where the central character is a peacock feather as much as two young people is a flashback tale of first love with an ending that does not fail to surprise the reader. Another tale close to this sentiment is Train to Wagah. Of losing a loved one during partition and the longing even after many years. Deceitful Paramour and The Suicide Note are the ones that completely give in to the ‘unexpected twists.’ The Accomplisher is a tale of passion and selflessness and arguably one of the stories that would have involved quite a bit of research too. King Cobra is the only story relatively modern and uses the theme of start-ups and aspirations. The Wambesi Throne has an unusual take and along with Nightmare in London and A Misplaced Throne follows a simple narrative. Gutka King, a rags-to-riches story that gives a predictable feel at times, keeps you engrossed till the end. This is due to the strong narrative, the detailing and a good flow.
In fact, I must add all the stories are bound by these elements and that is what steers them successfully out of the predictability trap. I did detect in few places a certain voyeuristic tendency in the writing, but the plot and style have it all intact.
For that matter, there aren’t any overlaps between the stories. It’s like placing a variety of ice cream flavors in front of you and not tired of having them scoop after scoop.
You see, the flavors work the magic here, despite the same recipe – for each of them creates a different mood and delectable quality.
Recommended, if you like a nice story to help you unwind after a hard day’s work.
Author(s): Sudhir Kapoor & Sunil Kapoor
Publisher: Rupa Publications
Release: December 2016
Genre: Fiction / Anthology
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