Review by Shwetha H S
I must applaud Gita V Reddy for writing the Vigil and Other Stories. Except three, almost all the short stories are about women, no doubt about that. No, not about successful or famous women like in Almost Famous Women by Megan Mayhew Bergman. The Vigil and Other Stories talk about the daily plight of women who seem to be normal and lead regular life, not for themselves but for the sake of others. If the Vigil is about a pregnant woman who is getting used to behave like one and stay away from her promising career, then the Gift is about the power of love of an innocent woman. Time and Space is about an old woman who has been taken for granted by her family. This way, there are fifteen stories that tell you what a woman goes through every day. The stories talk about caste system and domestic violence too. My personal favourite is Sita’s Lives. Here, the author has interpreted the sorrow and the thoughts in Sita after she was exiled by her Ram when she was pregnant. I have not seen any television show or read any book that has described this phase of Sita from her point of view. This interpretation will slowly gnaw and eat you up as you read the story. So powerful are the thoughts, they will make you see the whole Ramayan in a different light.
“When you banish me, you who are maryadapurushottham will be writing a law which will render innocent women of coming generations homeless and destitute.” – Sita in her thoughts for Ram
A must read. Don’t miss out on this wonderful anthology.