Sneha Jaiswal’s Love, Loss, Lockdown is a compilation of ten short stories set mostly in India highlighting how the lives of different people were affected by the nationwide lockdown due to the coronavirus pandemic. While reading you get a sense of both worlds-a world that is most affected by the pandemic and the other that gave a writer space to pen down the situations and compile a book. Both worlds are somehow interlinked and yet so different. Jaiswal’s compilation will touch your heart, and make you smile and cry at the same time.
Table of Contents
The author has tied all the stories to a common thread of the coronavirus pandemic. While situations are different in all the stories, we can relate to all the bits and pieces as we are battling the pandemic. It is rare to read calming stories set in the present situation of chaos. The first story Job in the Big City touches upon the misery of the migrant workers while the ninth one Neighbors talks about the need for love during a pandemic. The title of the book does full justice to all the stories as the central idea of love, loss, and lockdown is played in all of them.
What possibly can one think of in a pandemic? The situation of the Corona warriors, mental health, family affairs, loss, and maybe a bit about the history of the other pandemics, right? Seems like the author sat back and thought of all the possibilities before compiling the stories. While the book is a work of fiction but since it is set in a non-fiction situation, we can relate to the stories from tip to toe.
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The narrative of some stories is linear while other stories have a narrative that runs back and forth between the memories of the past and the present. The writing style is simple and relatable, done to target Indian audiences. Whenever there is talk of certain locations in the book, the author has keenly set the situations to make the reader get the essence of being in that place. Whether it is Ladakh in Guns & Men or Delhi in Job in the Big City. The stories are written in a style that the readers get imagery of the world battling the pandemic. The lockdown has made us consume a lot of content that has severely pained our hearts, but Love, Loss, Lockdown is a book that one must pick up as a remedy to the pain.
The stories we absolutely adored
A Little Goodbye is sprinkled with raw emotions, and deals with the sensitive topic of bias with some family members over others. The narrator shares a close relationship with her Nanu (grandfather). The news of his death makes her travel home with the burden of not being able to meet him for the last time and the memories of their bond flashing throughout the journey back home. While she was very much emotionally attached to her grandfather, her relationship with her father was far from being close. The pandemic induces situations such that she has to live with her family for more time and here she lands in a dilemma of a love-hate relationship with the family.
With some members, we are relatively closer than the others. With some members, we never open up as much as we must. But family is family, after all, and the pandemic becomes a lesson of self-realization for her. The journey to the home town with a heavy heart has been beautifully portrayed by the author. When we lose someone, there are mixed emotions of remembering them for the memories of the past and the helplessness of not being able to meet them again. Jaiswal has kept both in mind while writing.
Loss Laid Bare is a tale of love and loss and one of the best pieces of Jaiswal’s work towards the end. The story makes us fall in love at one point and gives us a reality check of the fact that nothing in life is permanent. The story is written in a full-circle i.e. it ends on a note where it starts from. The feelings of love and loss are portrayed in the writing such that we can visualize the scenario in real-time and the story touches your heart while breaking it a bit.
We fell in love with all the short stories as you rarely find something soothing to read, just at the moment you are going through it. Jaiswal has hit a six at the right time, we must say.
The pandemic has made us realize the importance of self-dependence. However, we are peeping into our privileged lives. Jaiswal has envisaged various situations and how different people are dealing with the pandemic. Lucky Loveleen is another story in the book that shows how a person has been through various pandemics since 1947 and is scared to die due to the coronavirus pandemic. We could have missed such stories in our everyday lives but with the reading of this book, we get a reality check of how we are together in the pandemic and yet dealing with it differently. Kudos to the author for providing a sense of peace and love amid the TV coverage of all the loss and destruction.
Where to Buy Love, Loss, Lockdown?
About the Author
Sneha Jaiswal started her career as a journalist in Mumbai and has over six years of experience in the media industry. Her first book Death & Darker Realms is a collection of 40 poems and was published in 2019.
Visit Jaiswal’s Twitter– @Miss_Jaiswal
Visit Jaiswal’s Instagram- @Writer_Jaiswal
Buy Death & Darker Realms by Sneha Jaiswal
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