Mirror in the Hall

This collection of fifteen short stories by Prakash Bal Joshi explores contemporary themes revolving around strained relationships, changing values and women empowerment among middle-class people in both rural and urban settings. What makes these narratives remarkably distinct is the sensitive, at times disturbing yet humane, portrayal of the characters, each going through his/her unique set of trials and tribulations in life without any value judgement by the author, leaving the readers to contemplate and draw their own interpretations. Each story has a sketch by the author which depicts his visualization – restless, illusionary, incomprehensible – lending a rather mysterious touch to his narratives.

All through his career spanning four decades, Joshi has donned multiple hats of being a poet, writer, painter, social worker, while primarily being a journalist, columnist and political reviewer. 

Originally written in Marathi, these stories capture in English translation the struggles and conflicts in our ever-changing society with a fluidity that resonates in the hearts of its audience long after they have experienced it. 

Having read Joshi’s haunting and memorable fiction, felicitously translated from the original Marathi by Smita Karandikar, we return to our homes, our cityscapes and our rural landscapes with a fresh, if productively unnerved, sense of recognition.
RANJIT HOSKOTE, Poet and Critic

The first thing that struck me was that they read like a painting fusing between abstraction and Impressionism. They become lucid and blurred interchangeably but eventually attain a remarkable cohesion as one whole . . . they capture atmospherics with the dexterity of a writer who has observed life in an unhurried fashion.
South Asia Daily (blog)

With his strong observations, he wants to express himself either through words or colour. His contribution to Marathi literature is remarkable with his continuous efforts to experiment with language and sensitive handling of contemporary issues.

Prakash Bal Joshi explores contemporary themes revolving around strained relationships, changing values and women empowerment among middle-class people in both rural and urban settings.
The Afternoon Despatch & Courier

Readers of all hues will find Joshi’s stories right up their streets. Swaddled in contemporaneous set-ups, aspirations and dreams, his stories instantaneously strike a rapport with the readers and they think for a moment, isn’t this character very much known to us, nay like us? And here lies this book’s success and readability quotient.
Free Press Journal


PRAKASH BAL JOSHI is a multifaceted personality with four decades in journalism, creative writing and international recognition as an artist. He has four books to his credit: Prakash Bal Joshi Yanchya Katha (Prakash Bal Joshi’s Stories) and Maitrinichi Goshta (Story of a Friend) – both collections of short stories, while Gateway explores the complexities and contradictions of urban life in Mumbai, accompanied by sketches, and Poll Book 2000

He has held several solo and group shows of his paintings: oil on canvas, in India as well as in Bressuire in France, Chicago, Las Vegas and Minneapolis in the USA, Basel (Switzerland), Lisbon (Portugal), Moscow (USSR), Osijek (Croatia) and other centres in Europe, Izmir (Turkey), and Thimphu (Bhutan). His art installation, ‘God’s Particle’, at the India Art Festival, Mumbai 2012, received international appreciation as scientists working on this experiment got the Nobel Prize in 2013. He was selected as ethics adviser by World Citizen Artists, an international artists’ group. He was appointed a jury member for an international art competition organized in London at Belgravia Art Gallery in Mayfair, an international art hub. 

A veteran Mumbai-based journalist, Prakash has worked with several national publications including The Times of India. He was chairman of the Mumbai Union of Journalists.
(website: www.prakashbaljoshi.com)


SMITA KARANDIKAR is a lecturer of English in a junior college; this is her first work of translation.

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