Innocence Lost Crumpled Voices 2 is an anthology of stories relating to child abuse. It opens with a poem by Naisargi Bhat. Pang of history a story by Pramit Sarkar is about the pressure to study imposed by the parents on their wards. The flash back which comes in periods mentioned like One hundred and fifty-nine days ago, comes as an obstruction and simply doesn’t work. Moreover parents asking their children to study can by no stretch of imagination be called child abuse.
The lost and found self-respect, a story by Aditi Sahu is about a mother who has been a victim of child abuse. As a result of her abuse, she is overprotective about her daughter. The lines like “And that is why you should be not be kept away from even the worst aspects of my life” are grammatically incorrect. Also the use of & is a grammatical mistake.
The White Lilly is a nicely articulated story by Supriya Parulekar. It is about an orphan girl - Melody, who is brought up by her aunt. The way she incorporates another victim Kali in her story is absolutely brilliant. At one place the writer says that James had a gap in his teeth. Which means he had teeth. At another place she says he sported a toothless grin. Where did his teeth disappear Supriya?
I doubt if A Cry – Help Me by Sunanda Bhadra can be called a story at all. Lines like “The main occupation of the people in our village is agriculture as two groups of people live there – the land owners who are the farmers, and the land labourers.” make the so called cryptic story unreadable.
The Lost Dreams by Swathi Shenoy depicts the plight of girls from rural, orthodox families who want to pursue sports. Live like a fairy by Nikita Nepali is a piece which depicts the writer’s poor knowledge of English language. Here are few of the lines from her story. “She must have told you about what happened. She was not the one who would cry after someone who actually did wrong with her. It is better all this happened now. How will I face myself if something wrong will be done by him? She was brave and honest and may be that was the reason why she couldn’t handle dishonesty in Rihaan and the relationship. He talked with Radhika in personal. She was mature but her age was not.”
The shadow by Dr. Sunil Kaushal is a predictable story where a woman who was abused as a child takes her revenge when the culprit tries to repeat the act with her daughter. The story the Guinea Pig by Piyush Kaviraj is about experiments carried out on children.
The Unheard Cry by Brinda Tailor is about parents forcing their children to take up engineering. Again errors like “I brought thee blade closer to my hips,” mar the narrative. The Loud Silence by Shreya Ganguly is about a girl who climbs up the prostitution ladder to become an escort. The story is about her plight after she turns 19. So that doesn’t qualify for the theme of child abuse.
Tales from a pit deep down by Vaisakh E Hari is incomprehensible in most of its parts. A Tryst with Naaz is a story written by Leena Ratti who is described as “She also like to listen to songs of Kishor Da and Lata ji.’
I felt lucky while reading Just a lucky day ..or not? by Shikha Kaul for it is a nice story with a good twist in this otherwise banal compilation. Lesson learned by Dr. Lopamudra Maitra is about a girl who is eighteen, so not about child abuse.
Left to be Enstranged by Ummul Fazal Fatima Khan has its share of errors too. Phrases like “little kids” lines like “What did you heard?”, “Children exceeds the limits where they couldn’t cope with it.” and “She is a human child.” make reading the story a punishment.
That shade of vermillion... by Tanya Shrivastava has complex lines with mistakes like “No, we were no kings but the ancestors of the biggest “zamindars”(landlords) in the entire town. What I inherited from my forefathers were – the right to consider ourselves as the sarkaar (government) of the town – we used to make and break the laws; right to possess whatever you want to – living or dead, both; the right to possess whatever you want to – living or dead, both; the right to possess the poor and the needy so that they could never raise their head against you; the right to extreme patriarchy where women were considered not more than means to an end and the right to practice all the social evils.”
To conclude, Crumpled Voices 2 stands true to its name. It has stories which are crumpled with errors of grammar, punctuation and spelling.