Mildly entertaining, these stories provide a sense of popular literature that attempted to convey nationalist messages to the Tamil reading public. Twelve Modern Stories By The Legendary Wordsmiths Of Modern Tamil His Collection Brings Together The Best Of Kalki S Short Stories, Which Contain Some Of His Most Colourful And Enduring Characters And Themes Of Tamil Popular Fiction Of The Nineteen Thirties And Forties There Is In These Stories The Heady Urgency Of The Freedom Struggle, The Piquant Humour Of The Parodied Tamil Gothic And Devastating Social Satire In Her Sensitive Translations, Gowri Ramnarayan Has Succeeded In Capturing The Nuances Of The Gently Mordant Wit That Made Kalki S Stories The Highlight Of The Magazines They Were Originally Published In, Creating For Themselves A Dedicated Following That Flourishes Undiminished To This DayCoinciding With The Centenary Of Kalki S Birth, This Volume Is A Well Deserved Tribute To A Writer Whose Breadth Of Vision And Genius Imagined And Served A New India Though Tamil is my mother tongue and I can read, write, and speak it, I have not read too many literary works in the language I picked this up because the name of Kalki is quite familiar from my mother s and grandmother s stories, and I wanted to get a glimpse of the world as they knew it.And on that count, this collection certainly did not disappoint However, in terms of literary merit, I wouldn t give this too high a rating In the book s preface and on other forums, I have seen Kalki being compared to O Henry, but the latter is far superior in the way he keeps his story endings taut and striking The biggest problem with this collection was that Kalki told the story when he should have showed it Many of the tales had a surprise ending which sort of fell flat sometimes because the author just explained everything instead of keeping it subtle and letting the readers figure things out.The themes dealt with were certainly ahead of the times and I can see how these would have gripped the imagination of a nation torn by confusion and uncertainty. Interesting plots and characters reflective of the issues at the time these stories were written.Some stories are not so short, but engaging nonetheless. All his stories were surely ahead of its time the first one in the book is by far the best Last year, my friend bought tons of books on my credit card when she was in India sigh books that I muttered I would not ever read But as my bookshelf needs space, I glanced at some of those books, thinking that I really need to clear my shelf, and picked up Kalki s selected short stories Having had no idea really of the writer apart from my friend s gushing praise last year, the stories came to me like tender wisps of dandelions, blown away on the monsoonal wind of Bangalore, each story inventive and evolved in its own way To truly understand these stories, I would need to understand of Kalki s work, but the stories were still easy to read through, except towards the end when I struggled with the introduction of some fantastical or magic realism elements in the stories. After going through an interminably long book slump where at least 4 to 5 books have been abandoned, half read ashamed face , it was Kalki that finally revived the joy of reading Deeply cultural and resonating with ideals and beliefs unusual for the time, these stories, written between 1925 and 1950, are a delight to read The translation is not really smooth but the beauty of the stories overcomes this hurdle This is my first encounter with Kalki and I can t wait to read of his works.