Friday, February 07, 2014

Stories of Hope - Review

Stories of Hope is a collection of short stories. Each tale narrates the journey of a thin red line of hope that fights through adversity. Right from the heart of Nazi Germany in the thick of the holocaust to the collapse of the regime in Egypt in 2011, from the story of hunger in the core of Africa to the tale of Palestine's recognition as a state, there are stories that celebrate the resilience of the Human Spirit. From stories of a mother turned out of her house by her son, to a mother who loses her newborn, to the young wife who must face a baffling truth, and the little girls who face adversities tied to their identity, these are stories that can be anyone's narrative. Stories of Hope is a celebration of Hope and a celebration of the undying human spirit of resilience.

About the Author
Kirthi is a legal researcher and lawyer. A Peace and Conflict studies enthusiast, Kirthi is a volunteer with the UN. She is presently a Senior Commissioning Editor with e-IR, an online International Relations portal, the Logistics and Constituents Head at The Channel Initiative, working for post-conflict reconstruction in the DR Congo, specifically targeting women. Kirthi works with DeltaWomen, as the Head of Digital Campaigns and Social Media, and as a writer. She also holds a position with CAAGLOP, as the Editor-in-Chief of the eJournals, and as a writer on African Policy. Recently, Kirthi was part of the UNICEF-UN Women Global Thematic Consultation on Addressing Inequalities through her paper titled The Rule of Law to combat Sexual Violence in a Conflict Environment. Kirthi dabbles with Intelligence and Security Analysis with Open Briefing, as an Associate Researcher, at the Asia-Pacific Desk, and runs an International Law Consultancy and Academic Journal called A38. Kirthi has written ad-hoc features for forums that include Insight on Conflict, TransConflict, WorldPulse and PeaceXPeace and is a member of the TrustLaw Network. Her interest and experience over all lie in Peace and Conflict, Public International Law, Gender issues, International Humanitarian Law, and in terms of a regional focus, in Afghanistan, the Middle East, DR Congo and South-Asia. ‘Stories of Hope’ is her first book.

There are books that serve as a one-time read, a good time-pass, but nothing more than that. Then, there are books that you would prefer to read again, probably ‘cause you enjoyed the first time, and want to repeat that fun.

And then, comes the third category, books that you wouldn't only like to read, but also, live, again and again. Kirthi Jayakumar’s ‘Stories of Hope’ certainly finds a place of prominence in this category.

‘Stories of Hope’ is a collection of numerous short stories, each dealing with different situations, highlighting the hardships faced by the characters, and how, a thin string of hope guides them through, in success as well as in failure. It’s this hope that navigates swiftly through the stories, like a soothing breeze that silently whispers in your ears tales that you would relish and remember forever. ‘Stories of Hope’ plays that part perfectly well.

The plots are absolutely different from each other, the genres varied, and that makes this book such a pleasant read. On one hand you have stories related to violence towards women, and on the other hand there are tales where people are lost in time and place, owing to diseases and mental illness. There are stories of war, peace, love and hatred. In short, there are stories for everyone, and for everybody. And there is one common factor that binds all these stories. Yes, that’s hope.

Kirthi Jayakumar proves to be a wonderful story-teller, her lucid narration warming your heart. Often, in a short story collection, one might not like a few stories depending on one’s preferences. However, ‘Stories of Hope’ is one such rare occasion where one would easily fall in love with all the stories. Though, a reader might have a few favorites out of the lot, he/she would definitely enjoy all other stories with equal fervor.

Talking about the author, and umm, I don’t know where to start. Kirthi is one versatile personality. She is a legal researcher, a lawyer, a volunteer with the United Nations, a Senior Commissioning Editor with e-IR, working with DeltaWomen, and the list goes on and on. Naturally, her immense knowledge and reservoir of skills find way into this book, resulting in a completely unputdownable read.

However, I do have a serious request to the author, though. This book is a quick read, and once you start reading it, you will be so intoxicated with the flavor that you wouldn't like to leave it until it’s finished. What happens when it’s over? A hunger for more. Kirthi, it’s my sincere request to you, please write more and more, more and more, and more and more, ‘cause this world needs writers like you, who can make us smile in adversity, and paint pictures of a beautiful, hopeful and more pleasant life that promises to dawn with the rising sun. Kirthi, you have written not just a book, rather, you have perfectly prepared a concoction, a fusion of myriad of colors of life, a teaching, and a learning for all of us.

‘Stories of Hope’ is one of the best short story collections I have ever read, and I eagerly look forward to Kirthi’s next writing venture.

And till the time that happens, I will gladly re-read the book all over again, and again, and again.

Title: Stories of Hope
Authors: Kirthi Jayakumar
Publisher: Maitreya
Publication Year: 2013
Language: English
Binding: Paperback
Genre: Fiction
No. of Pages: 140
Price: Rs 200
My Rating: 5/5 (Wish I could give it more than 5)


  1. Wow, nothing life stories of hope for a boost in real life. Your review sounds promising, I shall pick up this book for sure. Thanks! :)

  2. Hope guides us in life.Your review unveils the required details of that book.

  3. nice...i like the premise of this...even in the darkest of times there is that thread of hope....