Title: The Vigil and Other Stories
Author: Gita V. Reddy
Category: Fiction (Short Stories)
Publisher: Frog Books
Price: Rs. 125
Snapshot: This is a collection of short stories with characters comprising of people living amongst us. It in the most simple manner highlights, questions and puts for the the ways of the world, the structure of society, its laws and the resultant fate of all of it.
The Review: Authors writing fiction often paint the sky brighter than it is to deliver the story, the thought more emphatically. But, can something be said in a simple yet a strong manner? Indeed, and Gita V. Reddy has mastered the art with her simple story telling. As I always say that short story collection is the biggest challenge as one has to 'not' repeat even the curve or the bend one has once taken. The anthology is loved only with zero repetitions, along with the challenge of serving good stories and that is an extremely difficult job. In this book it seems the story, the different topics though connected came off naturally to the author, she felt strongly about them and she therefore traced each line,, pondering on thought so carefully that they never got mixed.
The book is mostly centred around the ways of the society, the stature of women in them, love , loss and spicing it up is an ingredient "simplicity" which delivers it so immensely that point is made with a strike.
There are no repetitions at all in any of the stories though some of them dance around common grounds at some point. It would also be unfair to have personal favourites since each one found its place in my heart and on each point made by them, I shall ponder post writing this review, it is certain that the book will give you a story for a life time. For me the stories that made the greatest impact are:
The Gift: The story of unrequited love has never been so simple yet so brutal and painful. It made me cry for hours and it has made a mark for a life time on my heart.
Open Court and Sita's Lives: In both this stories the author questions the society "Why is the woman always wrong?"
A Life Time: What do we get by making laws that kills love?
Reflection: This has a lesson for everyone, turn your life around when you can, and you must as its your life and you have to take a stand for what you wish to achieve.
At the end of it all I just wanted the book to be thicker to read more stories from the authors pen.
Positives:The Vigil is a story that will leave you with a smile and is aptly the title of the book. As mentioned above the stories are different and presents the results of the laws of the society in front of us, questioning simply "why" and pondering one to think how to be the change. A well edited, crisp and beautiful short story collection.
Negatives: The climax of a few stories trouble me. Time and Space for example could have had a few more lines before the abrupt end. Two stories I wished ended differently : Life and Death of Shiva and A Dangerous Bend, but then that's purely perspective which can differ between two people.
The Verdict: A must read 4 stars on 5.
Gita V.Reddy, 49, is a postgraduate in Mathematics from Hyderabad Central University. She joined State Bank of Hyderabad as a Probationary Officer in 1985. After twenty-six years of serving the bank in various managerial positions, she left the bank in 2011 to pursue full time writing.Married to a Physics Professor since 1986, Ms.Gita V.Reddy has a son and lives in Hyderabad.
Grab a copy here: http://www.flipkart.com/vigil-other-stories/p/itmdun2wakguqcgd?pid=9789382473343&otracker=from-search&srno=t_1&query=the+vigil+and+other+stories&ref=7e7a9581-8afc-4467-ac89-b9ad935e1b8d
I thank the author for a review copy of the book.