By Keshav Singh Gurjar
“If writing novels is like planting a forest, then writing short stories is more like planting a garden.” ~ Haruki Murakami
Or one can see it in this way too; Short story is like small brother to novel. It provides the same message in lesser number of words. Stephen King put it it as a kiss from stranger in the dark.
Jaipur Book Lovers (JBL) had organized its last meetup on Short Stories and Folk tales which turned out to be a fruitful session for all.
The first thing discussed was what makes short stories different from novel and how to differentiate between two? Short story as the name suggests is short, crisp and in 2 to 20 pages. These are like T20 cricket. It still carries the nuances of storytelling, ebb and flow of novel but in short. It reflects a moment of time in comparison to novel.
The other thing discussed was how were we introduced to these works? We are introduced through our curriculum. Those were the nurturing days when these seminal works got imprinted in our minds for forever. The fanatic fans have such a taste that they remember every word of a short story they read and liked. Such is the impact of short stories and the discussion makes us to look back at school days with profound joy.
The other mediums for these stories are newspapers. People like me only look for those things in newspaper. Back in childhood, it was the first thing I looked for in the newspaper. This joy was shared by others also.
Short stories leave us dumbfounded with their narration or leave in tatters or tears somewhat akin to novels. Some also shock us by the end like the works of O. Henry. This art provide a glimpse of society traditions, work place, human relations, intricacies of mind and longings of ached heart.
Folk tales or fables are works which carry a moral message. Every country has got more than one of its own. If we alter names of characters and places, then these all look same whether these are from India or Japan or Russia.
Folk tales are imbibed in the folklore and mostly these are carried forward orally. Most of us have experiences of listening to Grandma’s tales. Those stories were woven to attract children, who listened with immense concentration and glee and still have the charm.
The contagious topic here was how to get the new generation back to these tales, who seems to have lost in digital era.The conclusion came with the narration of Tees Mar Khan, not the bollywood one, but the real one, upon whom luck smiles every time.And for homework, the works are
- Short stories by William Somerset Maugham
- Short stories by Guy De Maupassant
- Short stories of O. Henry
- To cut a long story short by Jeffery archer
- Unaccustomed Earth by Jhumpa Lahiri
- Gora and Sona by Mahadevi Verma
- Dhuaan By Gulzar
- Dabbuji Works by Aabid Surthi
- Let’s Go Home by Kewlian Sio
- Short stories collection of Oscar Wilde
- Short stories by Haruki Murakami
- Usne Kaha Tha by Chandra Dhar ‘Guleri’
- Folk tales of Japan – Yen Kathayein
- Russian folk tales
- Blogs Morning short and 21Fools.com