Squeezed in the middle by Saptarshi Bhattacharyya

The life in a city is far from easy for Amit and Jaya. The couple and their little boy Rohan bump into one trouble after another, while labouring through the modern Indian urban grind. From the distress while trying to buy an apartment, to the miseries that accompany the furniture purchased from the local mall, they seem to court calamity in almost everything they do. The book threads fifteen such beads of funny stories to form a garland that can easily show some shades of similarities with the experiences of many who happen to live in an Indian metropolis―however, resemblance to any actual characters or incidents is entirely coincidental.

Life is full of smiles if only you have the appropriate sense of humor or the art of laughing at yourself. "Squeezed in middle" is a collection of many such moments from life of a middle class couple Amit & Jaya. With their son Rohan , this couple who lives in a rented flat in a city represents any number of families who go through the grind of daily life pursuing their dreams.

The author has picked a few such situations that turn amusing for either the couple or for the reader who would relate to the turn of events. Ranging from fighting with each other to fighting together for their son's admission or to get things done , the characters manage to seem relatable and believable right from the beginning. It is not just their life that is brought to focus but with that, the author throws light on some of the society's thoughts and biases too. There are things we have become so accustomed to seeing around that we have forgotten how unfair it is for so many people.

While some chapters are much engaging and made me chuckle , most of the chapters evoke enough smiles but not enough laughs. Blame it on my expectations perhaps though there are two stories I loved a lot. The one that involves deciding whether to go to Jaya's parents for vacation is my favorite. quite innovative way Amit chose for that. Another one I liked was when Jaya has to buy a wedding anniversary present for herself.

Overall an enjoyable collection.

My rating : 3/5

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