Anton Chekhov, master-storyteller and dramatist, keen observer of human behaviour, and professional physician, has left an enormous number of short stories which seem ageless.
Many of them have no point to make; they are descriptions of mundane things that happen to ordinary people, without any dramatic element, or surprising revelation at the end. Others like Ward No. 6 have the plot lines of a novel. The inversion of fortunes at the end makes one wonder how easily a person may be passed off as insane.
Arundhaty reads from Chekhov's play 'The Three Sisters'
As numerous, however, are the carefully plotted gems, such as A Work of Art. Humour, surprise, the small deceits of human beings, and sense of fate coming full circle, contribute to its masterly hold on the reader.
Priya ponders a point
Salman Rushdie hid his identity during the fatwa period under a name composed of two of his favourite authors, the first being Anton Chekhov. The surprisingly graceful translations available in the public domain do great credit to Chekhov.
Gopa learns Kindle e-reader techniques from Priya, as Thommo and KumKum watch
Here are the readers assembled before the reading:
Talitha, Priya, Thommo, Gopa, KumKum, Mathew, Sunil, & Joe
Zakia & Arundhaty came later