It gave me a great pleasure to hold my copy of the Anthology Unmasked in my hands. And before I say anything else, I would like to thank the Team Pepperscript for the justice they have done to Ruby. The Cover, the detailing and the compiling; every tiny thing reflects the efforts that have gone into the making of Ruby. I thank all the co-authors for sharing the journey of Ruby as they see her.
Ruby is not a woman from a particular decade, she is not a woman from a particular religion either, nor is she a woman from a particular background.
What makes her special is her character; which changes as Ruby traverses from the mind of one author to another. Her challenges, her blessings, her curses, her profession, her strengths and her weaknesses are not always the same. She keeps changing forms as she hovers around in the planes of imagination of different authors.
And this transition is what makes her special. Ruby is the celebration of the variations of the women.
As I started reading, Ruby was truly Unmasked in one story after another and I learnt many things about her. Here, I am posting a very short review of each story.
The First Rains of 1947 by Darshan Pania
Love has no business with age, the story gave me hope; What I loved the most about the story is the setting and the maturity of the plot.
If I Ever Knew! By Sreelatha Chakravarty
The writing style left me inspired. The Story itself seemed like a piece of an abstract art that I absolutely adored.
Unravelling Mystery by Dhriti Mehta
It was a bold portrayal of Ruby; sometimes, it is in the weaker, vulnerable moments when one meets one’s bolder self. The story also shows how life can be so harsh to some. So, what? What if Ruby dares to make a choice, not many could?
The Serenity Prayer by Brinda Lakshmi
As Ruby listened to the stories of the people, I experience the effect it must be having on her.
The Second Phase by Elsa Siby Jose
Never underestimate the power of a woman. Loved this line “Strong woman is like a phoenix, she might fall, but she will rise from her ashes.”
Spring through the Mill by Ana Drobot
Some of the lines, I had to read twice or thrice, to establish a connection with the flow of the story. Quite a philosophical piece!
Rue of the Night by H.Fatima
The story makes you said thinking that the plight of Ruby might actually be the plight of several in the darker part of this world.
Untold Story by Manisha Mahalingam
I really loved the narrative in this one. “Because I am allowed to” Ruby said. I wish every woman would have the liberty and courage to say this “Because I am allowed to”
Ruby bans Maggie by Shankar Raman Athmaraman
As I read this story, it felt like I am actually watching a motion picture. It could even make an excellent short screenplay; loved the visual kind of narrative.
He left me in his story by Mannem Surendra
This one kept me anticipating till the end. It turned out as a cute story to me eventually.
Ruby on Rails by Raghvendra Singh Dixit
Ruby becomes a victim of a heinous act. But more heinous is the hypocrisy of the society. It makes me wonder, is the mindset of the society any less savage than the savage actions of the beastly people?
My favorite Dress by Shriya Das
The story left me wondering that how the story would have ended if its ending would have been just its beginning. It left me with a question in the end, which I would be asking myself.
Niyati – The Destiny by Deepshikha and Shivani Parishat
The story is yet another version of Ruby who has lost her sight.
The Call by Rishav Gupta
The story is excellently told which showcases the gross and ugly realities. It is appalling that such things do happen in reality as well. The story upset me but I admired the storyteller for his story telling skills.
A Cursed Beauty by Madhura Ubale
Does Ruby really qualify for a cursed beauty? Or is it the ruthlessness of our society which has deemed this beauty as cursed? The story talks about the mindset prevalent in the society. And as the story ended, I was forced to ask myself; why sometimes the love gets trampled under the weight of so called social pressures?
Silver Lining by Anoli Shah
This was to me a sweet little story of hope, optimism and will power.
Punished by Esha Chakraborty
A moving story told in an engaging way. The ending of the story made me want to shout out loud at the society that women have the power to make choices. It is not their choices which make them the victims to the misshapen incidents; it is rather the unbridled desires of perverts. Stop labeling women and stop judging them. If this society cannot be understanding or supporting, it could atleast be indifferent leaving the victims to their silent plight.
Crumpled by Umesh Luthria
The story shows a different picture of Ruby who is unattached and unloved. Crumpled like the title of the story. I liked the way the details of the story were painted.
Murder She Wrote by Keenjal M
A pleasant surprise in the end made me smile. The flow of the story and the narration style inspired me.
I thoroughly enjoyed reading the stories and along the way, I learnt quite a few things from the other writers. I would surely try to incorporate the learning in my future writing. Meanwhile, I would love to have feedback for my story “First Love”; so that I can improve in future.