The Book Club Pune

The Book Club Pune met on August 16th, Sunday to discuss a series of shirt stories by Rohini Paranjpe titled Of Swans and Songs.

A regular and dedicated member of the club, Kusum Gokarn has been kind enough to review the presentation and the session. Read on to know more!

Of Swans and Songs by Rohini Paranjpe Sathe

A Review by Kusum Gokarn

I thoroughly enjoyed today's Zoom session organised by The Book Club Pune  with Rohini Paranjpe Sathe, the author of a book of short stories titled Of Swans and Songs which was published last year. 

Ms. Paranjape Sathe was very assertive while presenting the themes of some of her stories.

I noticed that all her stories revolved around familiar current problems in our society. As she said, she writes about ordinary people around us.  For example, the trauma of a rape victim, ageing problems related to seniors whose children live far away, the controversial issue of a couple’s live-in relationship, three characters' dilemma in a romantic triangle, the children's reluctant acceptance of their step-mother. 

As the title of her book Of Swans and Songs suggests, Ms. Paranjpe Sathe touched upon Kumar Gandharv's philosophical song album Udja Hans (Swan) Akela. I suppose that is her final take off from the mundane physical reality towards a philosophical and metaphysical level of comprehending it. I wish she could have thrown more light on this thematic base of the book. But perhaps the time limit on the Zoom session was not sufficient for that. Clearly, music has been an important source of inspiration for her.

Mohini’s interview with Ms. Paranjape Sathe was very absorbing and eloquent in evaluating the book of stories. Mohini appreciated the author's empathetic attitude towards her fictional characters. 

Reading of excerpts from some of the stories by Sunita and Chetan Shetty and Satish and Mohini Khot made for interesting listening. It showcased  Ms. Paranjpe Sathe's fluent flow of narration and gave us an idea of her style. 

Satish and some others participants posed good questions to the author. This helped us in understanding the motive and the purpose behind the author’s writing. 

In conclusion, Ms. Paranjpe Sathe's stories present the drama of the life of ordinary people. To quote a line from the blurb on the internet, her characters reflect “the strength they find to overcome life's road blocks and re-discover the happy equilibrium that was once theirs”. 

 Ms. Paranjpe Sathe herself remarked that, while writing her stories, she felt as though she was living so many lives of her characters in her own imagination. Thus she found her own writing very enjoyable and rewarding.  And so did we, the listeners.

 I wish Ms. Paranjpe Sathe every success in publishing more fiction in the days to come. I am sure they will reach out to a growing circle of readers.