Many people in the world follow the path of Buddha and change the way of their lives following his wise teachings. Chatterjee’s The Buddha Convergence is a collection of twenty-five short stories. He has used the quotes of Buddha prudently at the onset of each story, which reveals the theme of the story in a nutshell. The collection begins with the story “Hell”, a shocking revelation of the prisons of the earth and also of the “Hell” of our imaginations. The experience of hell is always inhumane, brutal and an ideal place for torture. The next story is “Masked”. Can our ‘masked’ appearance during Covid bring any change? “The Inn” is a typical roadside tea stall with a difference in the mentality of the owner. And it’s a talk-show business even across the borders of death in ‘Gateway’. ‘Nargis’ is a girl growing up in a street, having hopes and aspirations in her life but no one really cares for her. And an old man comes and takes rest in “The Park” for a while becoming nostalgic. “The Hawk” is a poetic rendering of the prose, to illustrate our present situation of the earth.
“Osteoporosis” is a story of a wife having certain diseases but it’s also about her understanding to live in a better way. And a young man thinks hard about the pros and cons of his life at midnight in the “Thoughts at Midnight”. In the following story, a modern fable unfolds itself in “The Tortoise Man”. “The Will” is a story of transferring and utilizing property judiciously. “The Axis” is the four-point crossing in any road. It also depicts the road of life of a person, his dreams, and his mistakes. “The Brute” is a true situation in the Covid hospitals and how a group of people takes a strong standpoint to survive among odds. “The Camels” are at work for loading and unloading the wares everywhere across the globe. It requires a lot more thinking to revamp their life in the Covid situation. “The Waves” create ripples everywhere in our existence, from the football grounds to the balcony of a lady where tiny plants sway in the breeze. “The Ghost of Toronto” is a rare piece of the story perhaps, in the form of a dialogue giving an insight into the present world. The next one is about a girl seeking a job and getting one. Is she satisfied? Again a great story in “The Wild Rose”.
“The Adelaide Affair” is again a rare story of the unfound love of a couple. The animal activists would shout to show their concern for animals. And something should be done to save animals from brutal torture. And ‘Bulls” in Spain or Katwa face similar situations. “ The Weight Machine” is a story of a fight between two girls to save their mom in the Covid situation, a really touching story. And “Detachment” tells about a king getting detached from worldly activities leaving a moral in the end. The next one, “The Girl Story”, is about a girl who had little interest in her studies starts learning in a new way. “Old friends” is a very nostalgic story of two school friends meeting after a long, long time. “Drumsticks” is about a struggling group of an orchestra who performs in a New Years Day celebration. And lastly, The Buddha Convergence, tells about the detective Mr. Dutta revealing yet another mystery after Timothy’s Garden with his assistant Kajal.
None of these stories can be summarised in a single sentence. It has to be read at least twice to gather the real beauty of this fantastic collection.
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