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The Eye Opener – Indrajit Garai

22 Jan

In this collection, meet:
Franck, who has to align his desires with his needs; Nathan, who has to adjust to his constantly changing turf; and, Cedric, who has to open his eyes to reconstruct himself.

After reading volume one of Indrajit Garai’s short stories entitled Sacrifices – which I enjoyed a lot –  volume two was much-anticipated by this reader.  It was a pleasant surprise then, to recently find an email sat in my inbox, offering the second book up for review.

In this round of stories, there is a more international feel, instead of focusing solely on France. The demanding circumstances and struggles of the characters remain the same, however and retain the emotional impact of everyday struggles and problems.  All walks of life depicted here, meaning plenty of variety in the works on offer.

Garai’s strength lie in humanising his characters, making the reader feel invested in the characters, sympathising with their trials and the things they do in order to survive; allowing us to examine ourselves through the protagonists.  The important things in life can be so often forgotten, as these stories show so without spoiling anything I will succinctly give a brief outline of each story.

The Alignment takes the odious subject of hoarded riches and how it is moved around to the detriment of the workers who need the security. As well as the perception of social status regarding money and the people who have it. The sheer waste of money is highlighted along with legal but morally shady big business practises used everyday.   Also there is the persona aspect of how easy it is to blinded by the gaining of wealth, instead of caring for those around us; which is the true richness of life.

The second story, The Changing Turf, is about contact with a different culture, the contrasts and fitting in.  This story didn’t entirely convince me, although I sympathised with Nathan, I didn’t really like his character, he became a little annoying in some of his ways after a time.  The ending a little obvious to me as well, and I felt this to be the weakest story of both of Garai’s books to date.

The final story, the titular The Eye Opener, which is the longest story takes up almost 40% of the book, (you can tell I am reading on the Kindle app with a statistic like that, and it clear that it is never going to be my first choice of reading) and deals with society’s views, rehabilitation and the state of some neighbourhoods. It’s up-to-date and pretty topical with talk about Brexit amongst other things, in case you haven’t had enough of hearing about that. Cedric is, for me, the most interesting of the characters on offer in the book with the most compelling story, although the ending didn’t have the emotional impact intended it was, nevertheless, a very rewarding read with a pleasing amount of social commentary.

The theme of money runs through each story and all highlight the struggles and disparity between those with and without means and asks the questions, has society lost its focus on people? Does it now only look out for its own short-term ambitions, to the detriment of those that the various systems have failed or at the very best hamstrung into poverty or is there a better way?

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10 Comments

Posted by on 22/01/2018 in Fiction

 

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10 responses to “The Eye Opener – Indrajit Garai

  1. shadowoperator

    22/01/2018 at 22:01

    Hi, Ste J. Your comment about the author’s writing about French situations made me curious: what’s his background? I think the name Indrajit is Indian or Pakistani, but with the reference to France, I suppose he may well be a French citizen. And about how old is he, do you know? I’m interested now.

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    • Ste J

      23/01/2018 at 07:56

      Being diligent and all that, I shall copy and paste the biography from GoodReads as I am too lazy to summarise in my own words:

      “Indrajit Garai, an American citizen now, was born in India in 1965. After his Bachelors degree from Indian Institute of Technology and Masters from Harvard, he worked as a corporate strategy consultant and as an investment banker in America, Spain, and England, while studying parallelly Ayurveda (ancient medicine of India) for stress management. In 2001, after the birth of his daughter, he moved to Paris, opened his private practice of stress management, and then authored six books in this field (five in French and one in English).

      Authoring these books on stress management gave him a deep love for writing. Since 2015, he has devoted himself full-time to creating literature.”

      You will find some nods to the author’s life in his works, your thoughts were pretty much on the money too.

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      • shadowoperator

        23/01/2018 at 22:29

        You ARE “diligent and all that.” I was the one who was being lazy, I suppose, putting you to the effort of adding this info to your blog. He sounds like a very cool guy. I know I could use some stress management in my life, but I’ve tried yoga before, and have so little patience with it. Tai chi is my next hope; I’m going to try to get back to that discipline soon, and hope it doesn’t bore me as much as yoga does. In the meantime, maybe I should read the one book Garai has written in English on the subject of stress management.

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        • Ste J

          24/01/2018 at 16:14

          I am all for sharing the book love. if you get bored of Tai Chi at least you can power through it in about ten minutes and feel like you have accomplished more in a day haha!

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  2. Liz Dexter

    23/01/2018 at 16:11

    Interesting stuff. At least you have the Kindle and can get hold of books from all over the place still, if access to books in print form is more difficult now.

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    • Ste J

      24/01/2018 at 14:53

      I think its more my reticence to begin collecting again. I will be content to borrow these days I think. I do like the collection of books that arrive for me via email though!

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  3. Clare Pooley

    24/01/2018 at 08:41

    Thanks for the review Ste J. Sounds interesting and I remember your earlier review of his first collection of stories. I dislike reading on my Kindle app too – it’s just not the same experience.

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    • Ste J

      24/01/2018 at 14:51

      I suppose it would be easier on an e-reader device but the laptop will do as I am tight with money. A third collection is also being written which is good to know.

      Liked by 1 person

       
  4. Resa

    26/01/2018 at 02:09

    Good review, Ste J, and I’m sure there is a better way. to answer the final question.

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    • Ste J

      26/01/2018 at 08:24

      Sadly people not wanting to part with money that they can never possibly spend in their lifetime is still the mindset. Poor some of that back, get people working and education up, not to mention health services and clean water and people will help themselves.

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