Minister of State for Human Resource Development Shashi Tharoor on Thursday launched The Fly on the Wall and Other Stories by Shubha Sarma, IAS, in the presence of the Minister of Culture, Chandresh Kumari Katoch.A collection of thirteen short stories, the book Fly on the wall and Other Stories tells some realistic tales which are rooted deep in the Indian soil and appeal to the Indian sensitivities and sensibilities. Inspired by the great storytellers such as Munshi Premchand and Sharat Chandra Chattyopadhyay, the young author tries to revive the old world charm through her fiction. Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’Gracing the book release ceremony, Chandresh Kumari Katoch said, ‘Fly on the Wall and Other Stories is a bold and candid piece of work written in a refreshingly simple, straightforward way which reveals the unnoticed facets deeply rooted in our society.’Presently serving the Ministry of Culture, Government of India, Sarma believes in simplicity of life which reflects in her writing as well. ‘Fly on the Wall and Other Stories’ is the first book by Sarma, who is a 1999 batch IAS officer of the Odisha cadre. Also Read – Leslie doing new comedy special with NetflixSpeaking on the occasion, Shashi Tharoor praised the debut book and said, ‘A compelling read, overflowing with acutely-observed and cleverly-plotted stories that hold your attention from the first to the last, Fly on the Wall marks a remarkable debut by a gifted storyteller of undoubted promise. I look forward to more from her pen.’The book release function saw the presence of renowned names of the Indian literary world such as Namita Gokhle and Professor K Satchidanandan along with other prominent faces from all walks of life. The evening saw a well conducted ceremony with the presence of the various luminaries from the bureaucracy and cultural sphere. Commenting on the book, Professor K Satchidanandan said, ‘Sarma’s subtle ways of critiquing the society’s cant, the hidden greed and violence in human beings, the nuanced condemnation of patriarchy in its various crippling incarnations, has created a publication crafted with an ingenuous sense of structural balance.’Author and civil servant, Shubha Sarma’s Fly on the Wall and Other Stories is a rarity in today’s times- well written, concise stories with subjects set in diverse settings and places, ranging from up-market, urban milieu to the depths of rural Orissa and areas of civil strife and deep social unrest. The locales vary from deep forests of Odisha to the lush greenery of Assam and the fast-paced life in Delhi and Lucknow. The narrative strings together anxious house-wives, over-imaginative teenagers and men and women in the sunset of their lives. The characters are deeply etched and delineated. They are people one encounters everyday on the bus, the metro and the mirror. Each story is different, and each has characters etched lucidly as on ivory, situations that look so real in their contexts and strategies that enhance the fascination of the unfolding narratives. As a whole, this assortment of tales with a twist brings to life the realities and contradictions of India and makes it an enchanting collection of highly readable short stories.Author and civil servant, Sarma was born and brought up in Lucknow, and is an alumnus of Lady Shri Ram College and Jawaharlal Nehru University. Fond of dogs, she enjoys tending to her bonsai collection in her spare moments. After joining the IAS, she served for more than a decade in the tribal districts of Odisha where she endeavoured to catalyze social change, empower women and address complex issues concerning left-wing extremism. A yoga practitioner, Sarma enjoys travelling, cycling and swimming. She lives with her husband and two sons in Delhi.