Monday, April 21, 2014

#BookReview : The Vigil and Other Stories by Gita V. Reddy

On the jacket:

The Vigil and Other Stories 

'Delusions' has Rohit, an actor par excellence, slipping into different characters even when he is not supposed to be acting. Devika, his fiercely loving wife, finds an unorthodox way to draw him out of his delusions. 

In 'The Square', three successful painters hold an impromptu contest with their friend, who is unknown and a recluse. The result is expected or is it? 

'The Vigil' is about Naina, a young expectant mother, who is also a very busy professional. She makes all arrangements for the birth of her child but finds she has missed out on something very vital. Is it too late to make amends? 

'A Lifetime' is about the choices Tara makes when she falls in love under the ominous shadow of honour killing. Can she live with her choice? 

Fifteen stories, myriad emotions, diverse characters, milieus, situations make The Vigil and other stories a compelling read.


If you have been following my book reviews, you would already know that I love short stories. I believe it's very difficult to write a story in a few pages and if it has been done successfully, it is more commendable than writing sagas, in my opinion. Luckily, I am yet to encounter a book of short stories which made me rethink this opinion. The Vigil and Other Stories by Gita V Reddy is yet another book with some amazing short stories. 

Fifteen stories with different themes and storylines, all set in different timezones, this book makes for a collection of stories which takes you to one lifetime, brings you back and takes you to a totally new one in the next story. 

I read parts of this book during a road trip. At one point, while we were driving over some ghats, my husband quized, "Isn't it amazing how monkeys are always seen wherever there is a Hanuman temple?" And from here, we idly went on to talk about the Ramayana and the conversation rested on Rama's injustice towards Sita. The same night, I read Sita's Lives. This story was an echo of my own mind, and was also so significant in today's time and situation. My favourite story, it tore my heart and I had keep the book aside, to pick it up the next morning again. 

I loved Reddy's style of writing. So effortless, so smooth. And every plot is so earthy, so honest. Every story isn't the best, but the good thing is that they are evenly placed in sequence. This isn't the kind of book you would take to bed and have a nice time with. This is a book of which snippets and incidents will stay in your mind and make you think, haunt you. 

Rating: ****/5

[This book review is a part of The Readers Cosmos Book Review Program. To get free books log on to]


  1. Sounds like a very interesting anthology.

  2. I chose totally different stories for my book for this very reason: if the reader gets upset with 'Sitas' Lives'(like you did) or with 'A Lifetime', he should find laughter with 'Mr.Krishnan' and feel good with 'Delusions'.

    Glad you liked the book.


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