Many-Splendoured Love/Foreword

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A Different Colour in English

If I were to say that languages have kept me happy through all these years in America, I would be totally truthful. Making a career, somehow, did not interest me here. Instead, I became intensely involved in the world as a Traveller, and my childhood writing-activity flourished here as well. I have been writing in my mother-tongue Gujarati, in Hindi and in English. Besides, I learnt new languages here, like Bengali, Spanish, Japanese. I find the sound of a language, and its visual appearance, quite fascinating. The period of settlement in another place, another country was also a period of creative hibernation. Slowly words did come to my aid. Again I started writing poems and essays based on my travels. From getting published in magazines and newspaprers, these writings morphed in many books, got awards and recognition, and sustained me with Joy and Satisfaction. Over time, I wrote in other genres, like literary essays, translations from Bengali, short stories, as well as novels. I did have five books in English, including a book of photographs of India, and one collection of poems is in four languages (Gujarati, Hindi, English, Urdu), but the bulk of my writing has been in Gujarati. Finally I started thinking of translating some short stories in English, especially on coaxing by non-Gujarati, non-Indian friends. At this time, I also got encouraged by Shree Atul Raval of Ekatra Publishing. An idea formed about doing an E-Book for my short stories in English, and this is the outcome. The title comes from one short story, and it also suggests that this E-Book is certainly a dream that has been given a shape; a colour, in a poetic sense, and perhaps even flavour, if one were to be even more imaginative. Only one story is almost entirely based on happenings that I witnessed, and that one is called “Disconnections”. There are four main characters in it, and I did meet all of them as they passed through these situations. And a part of “Assistance” is taken from my experience with the main characters in it. Surely fictional details are added to both the themes. All other stories appeared entirely from imagination. I decided not to present the stories in an alphabetical order, mainly because “Assistance” is the longest story here; it is a story within a story, and might test the readers’ patience right at the beginning. So I start with “Blessings”, for good omen. May that this book finds many readers who would enjoy the short stories in it.

------- Eagerly, Preety Shah-Sengupta