Book title – Demigods Are Alive, Long & Short Stories
Publisher – Chrysanthemum Chronicles Pages – 146 pages Language – English
Author – Monalisa Joshi
Available on – Amazon.in
‘Demigods are Alive’ is a collection of 6 short stories by Monalisa Joshi. The book has been published under Monalisa’s own publication company – Chrysanthemum Chronicles and is edited by Nandita De nee Chatterjee. This is a book about strong women seeking love in their lives. Each story in the book revolves around a woman protagonist who has endured hardship or has fought the tide of time but not broken. This is a book about their deepest desires, their dreams and their wants.
Mohua yearns for love. She is the infidel muse. Trapped in a loveless marriage, she seeks love outside the bounds of her home. Is that wrong? Is she a sinner? Or, is she just a desperately unhappy woman, trying to find a smidgen of happiness in her drab world.
Chitra battles unusual circumstances and then sacrifices her life, her freedom and her wishes in order to raise her sister’s children. She is confined by her responsibilities. Is it wrong for her to seek her happiness once the children grow up? They may view her as a surrogate mother but she isn’t their mother, is she? She is first and foremost a woman who had to fulfil the responsibility that fate thrust her way. So, once that responsibility is fulfilled, is it wrong for her to want more in her life? Is it wrong for her to seek love?
What connects Devi to Abigail? And, what is their relationship to the intriguing title of the third story – Calcutta Pudding! This is a story about forgiveness, tenderness and finding closure. It weaves in and out of the past and the present to bring out a sensitive, mellow tale.
Oops, it happened in my nightgown is a story about the collision between dream and reality. If your life were to become a nightmare, how would you cope? Would you fight or would you try to escape? The protagonist of this story tries to escape but via her dreams.
Demigods are alive; the titular story is the story of Ulma, a woman with a mysterious past. This is a story about lust, envy and hatred. This is a story with suspense and an intriguing sense of expectation.
The last story – mirror, mirror on the wall – is the story of Neelima and Monjunath who return to their roots to start a life again. This is a story of fresh starts and new memories.
All in all, this is a book written by a woman and for all the women out there. Monalisa through the deft play of her words brings out the one character defining trait that all women possess but often forget – strength.