Strive and Survive #SKYLINES by Neelam Saxena Chandra

 Skylines is a collection of fourteen stories, all dedicated to women, all talking about the extraordinary in the mundane. On the first glance these are stories about the routine lives of women but when you read a few of them one sees the thread that binds the tales. Women who face the odds and strive, women who fall or face hurt yet they survive, sometimes through a life time.

Any of the girls in the story could be your neighbor, relative or friend and you see the beauty these stories celebrate. From ordinary people come actions that change the path of a life. A husband who is a better father or a friend who unlocks the path of life and love; a friend who forgets her friendship and a mother who stands up silently, all this and more are a part of these stories. 

Love Locks, The Shimmering Sun, The Conquest  and  Acts of Despicability were thought provoking reads. The Hiatusbrought tears to my eyes; such love and longing. Facets of Love was an enlightening read; sometimes one’s own garden is greener indeed! Few of the stories like Horizons of Hope and  Lessons in Prudence made feel the desperation, pain and sadness faced Aradhana and Neha.

The language is simple and fluent everyday language. It will find favor with readers, no jargon or superfluous words. The one thing that I did not like was that a couple of the stories were a bit predictable and obvious, one odd story was a bit long winding and I could see them finishing a page of two sooner. With simple, clear writing the author gets her message across as she champions for the abused, hurt, ignored, silent woman.

Neelam is the author of more than 30 books and it shows in her works. She has the pulse of the reader and right from the first story I wanted to read the next and the next. Pity it only has 14 stories, I am sure a few more could be added.

This is the perfect example of the resilience, faith, hope and strength of a woman. Pick this book to feel good, smile and remind you that hope is the strongest feeling in the world.
(© I received a copy of the book from the author; the review is my own honest opinion.)


A woman is like a palette of colours. Just like the colours, she too displays a different tint and shade at different points of time. The colours you perceive are the ones you make her show. If you love her, she will adore you; if you give her wings she will soar but if you hurt her, she may take time but will one day bounce back in retaliation.

‘Skylines’ is a collection of fourteen different stories which revolve around women – the buoyant teens, the chirpy youth or the matured ladies. Different encounters and circumstances in life make them either very tender, fragile or reactionaries and bigots. Do read on to understand these colours of life…

Neelam Saxena Chandra completed her Engineering in Electronics & Power Engineering from V.N.I.T., Nagpur and went on to finish PG Dip in I.M & HRD and PG Dip in Finance Mgmt. She is working as Joint Secretary with UPSC. She shares from an incurable passion of writing poetry and fiction. Around seven hundred of her stories/poems have been published in various leading Indian as well as international magazines, anthologies and journals. Many of her stories/poems have been transmitted by Akashwani (Radio) also. Neelam was recently nominated in the list of 78 most well-known authors in India by Forbes for the year 2014 

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