A collection of captivating short stories reveals the secrets of Assam.

The new anthology Retracing Assam is a collection of short stories that takes the reader on a journey of discovery, revealing the diverse cultural tapestry of Assam and its rich history. This anthology is a collection captivating narratives that each give a unique insight into the Assamese lives. From the tea-growing region of Jorhat up to the Brahmaputra, these stories cover the whole state. They illuminate the vibrant landscapes of Assam and its multifaceted people.

The anthology provides a fresh perspective on Assam, by presenting it in different ways and shedding more light on some of its lesser known aspects. The anthology introduces the reader to the folklore, myths and legends which have shaped the culture of the region. The stories also explore the complex socio-political issues of Assam by exploring such topics as identity, immigration, and the struggle to achieve autonomy. This anthology entertains and invites reflection on Assam’s history and challenges. Retracing Assam paints an enchanting picture of the state, and gives readers a deeper appreciation of its rich and varied heritage.

Jethima’s most vivid memories are those of her uninhibited, but self-sacrificing love, her delicious, farm-fresh, ethnic food, and her almost obsession with putting others’ needs before her own. Overworked, self-love, self-development, and family happiness become her primary focus.

Many stories like these are never told. And countless dreams and aspirations die in silence, among the folded laundry, the mugs of tea being constantly prepared for family members, distant relatives, neighbors, farmers, labourers, postmen, and other household workers. “duties” The cacophony and the guests who are so used to her simplicity and efficiency that they feel entitled. Some people visit to reconnect to the past, others visit because they love you, and some offer to help with the cooking or wash your dishes. You should cherish these people. 

Two women have curated and edited stories about the women we know, including our mothers, aunts, grandmothers, bous, and jethimas. Assam Anthology of 10 short stories by Indian contemporary writers, including original writers.Saudade – Tales of love, longing and loss.”

The book is curated by Jahnavi and Jyoti. Jahnavi is an Indo-Canadian poet and writer of children’s literature. She has published two books series, Be Good, Do Good, by Macaw Books India, Dar-El-Rateb, Lebanon-based publishing houses, as well as a poetry collection, Things I Told Me, available on Amazon. “If this isn’t love…” This won her first place at the Chandigarh Literary Society’s annual poetry contest in 2022. 

Jyoti is an Associate Professor of English in an Engineering College, West Bengal. She is also a poet, a life skills coach, and a trainer for managers and executives in different sectors. Her clients include tea garden workers and executives in Kolkata, Numaligarh Refinery Ltd Jorhat and IOCL Haldia, as well as the Kolkata Port Trust in Haldia. Her main focus is the impact of communication on people and situations. 

The book contains ten short stories that are unputdownable. My first impression was that the book was not only a good, easy read, but also informative and engaging to people who live in Assam or have roots there. 

This book will also appeal to those who are interested in the northeast and plan an itinerary over months for a glimpse at Assam’s culture, society and scenery. These stories are like portals to Guwahati, Assam, and other Indian cities in different eras. They come alive when you read them.