Vignettes: A Slice of Life is a collection of 12 short stories by Chandrika R Krishnan. Though it is the author’s first book, the stories are clearly the works of a seasoned writer. With her flawless narration and exquisite language, the author has presented a beautiful anthology; a collection which leaves one with a lingering satisfaction.
There’s a subtle message in all the stories, and Chandrika has conveyed them without sounding preachy. Be it battling loneliness or disease, choosing oneself, or reaching out to help others; the stories touch upon various emotions. And yet, all the stories are heart-warming, fulfilling and meaningful.
Love at first sight–the first story warmed the cockles of my heart. It is the story of a married couple in their golden years. Life takes a surprising turn when the husband falls in love. An extremely well narrated story.
I felt a range of emotions when I read Time to Move on. I chuckled at the opening lines, cringed at the parts where society’s unreal expectations were revealed, and heaved a sigh of relief when the protagonist finally ‘moved on.’
The Die was Cast makes one realize how powerless humans are, and we have no control over the situations.
The pandemic wreaked havoc with countless lives, especially affected were the migrant workers, small businesses, and senior citizens living alone. The contagion showed us the good and ugly side of human nature. Paths do Cross and Stepping into the Giant Shoe are pandemic centered inspirational stories; brimming with hope, positivity, and kindness.
Unsighted among the Sighted–in a society where disability is seen as a curse, and the act of helping others seen as heroic. We sometimes go out of the way to ‘help’ the disabled. But do we seek their consent? Or is it assumed their disability makes them weak, and desirous of seeking help? Narrated simply, it’s an eye opener.
The Full Circle is eerily similar to a real-life incident involving a high-profile Bollywood actor. But that’s where the similarity ends; for the closure is farfetched from the current scenario. This is the only story which felt rushed and ended abruptly, leaving me craving for a closure.
Where Angels Tread takes places in a crowded bus. Not the perfect setting for angels to reside in, right? But on reading the story of 17-year-old Andrew, and the magical effect his words have on a distraught co-passenger, I couldn’t help but agree more with the author; angels are everywhere!
The Mother of Politics is a satirical take narrated from an interesting POV. “As an aside, if you are determined to have more of me, why not have some variety when you commission the sculptors?”
Another really well-written story I loved, and would treasure is The climb that costs Dear. It’s not just a story; it’s a reminder; and a much-needed lesson. A reminder to remember our blessings, appreciate others in our journey, reach out to help others, and most of all to remember and be grateful for the sacrifices of our loved ones.
Stagnate in a Flux shows the mindset of certain sections of the society. In a simple and beautiful manner, the author has reflected on the archaic and rigid beliefs of people. These deeply ingrained beliefs don’t allow them to shed the blinding cover of patriarchy. Not seeing reason, they continue to lead sorry lives blind to the changing times.
The Elixir, true to its title, is a magical potion. A story with a beautiful message!
A Vignette is a small illustration or portrait photograph which fades into its background without a definite border; and that’s exactly how this book feels. The words fade away, but the emotions are sure to stay with the reader for long.
This short collection is for all those looking for beautiful, inspiring, well-written stories.
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