A fanatical collector of beetles finds out too late where his passion has led him. A woman out on a shopping spree in a glitzy mall finds she can’t go home again. A servant girl experiences a cruel loss of innocence when she eats something that wasn’t meant for her. In the sweltering heat of Bombay, a schoolgirl finds the ground slipping beneath her feet except when she’s watching Star Trek. Four friends meet for drinks one evening, only to find that their friendship is not what it seems. And, in the extraordinary title story, a student who has worshipped his teacher for decades comes to a terrible realization about him. Meanwhile, his old mentor is planning a cunning legacy of his own.
In this funny, dark, richly layered & emotionally complex debut collection of stories, Tejaswini Apte- Rahm explores with great flair & originality the shadowy boundary that separates everyday lives from unexpected, even terrifying, realities.
These Circuses That Sweep Through the Landscape is a collection of short stories written by Tejaswini Apte- Rahm. She is a writer from Mumbai who has lived in Serbia, Israel, Cambodia, Thailand, Myanmar & Bangladesh. She studied in Singapore & the UK and worked as an environmental researcher for 10 years. She was a journalist in Mumbai & has written for Screen, Hindustan Times, the Times of India & Asian Age. She currently lives in London & is a full time writer.
This anthology consists of 10 short stories, each of different kind. Starting with Homo Coleoptera is a story of a man who loves to collect beetles & his wife and how insecurity & suspicion ends a relationship. The second story is Thank God for Star Trek which is narrated from the view point of a small girl about her life which includes her relationship with her single mother & her school life. The third story’s title is The Mall which is about a shopaholic & how she survives in a mall when she finds out she can’t leave that place. The Girl Who Loved Dean Martin is the story about a girl who loves songs & voice of a deceased singer Dean Martin so much that she denies true love when she finds it. Cotton is the fifth story & one of the most intriguing story, its about the life of a woman which takes an unexpected turn at her 40th Birthday when she finds out she isn’t a human being at all. The next story is The House on the Hill is a bit downer for me after reading Cotton, its about the ignorance of a person about several things in the world. Drinks at 7 is the story of 4 friends & their realization about the hidden truth as they meet one day for drinks. Eight story Sandalwood is about the life of the protagonist & how her life took wild turn as her husband comes to terms that he is gay & decides to divorce her, another great read. Mili is the ninth story & is quite a normal story amidst all the other stories, its about what we all have went through once in our lives that is first love interest & the loss. The last story’s title is same as the book’s , These Circuses That Sweep Through the Landscape has been kept at last for obvious reasons because its amazing but the problem is that though as a whole the story is very good but the first half is quite boring. Get the book here,
The author has covered a wide range of topics in her book & that’s what makes it unique. The stories are written very well & will appear as roller coaster ride with lows & highs. Though one thing which seems odd to me is that many of the stories are quite difficult to grasp for average readers, though its commendable that the author has penned down quality stories but it should’ve been done in a more inclusive way so that average readers won’t feel lost. The language used, the title & the cover are to the point. Definitely a collection of stories which shouldn’t be missed.