When I was invited by Chandrika to weave a foreword for her upcoming book, I first jumped and pinched myself to confirm if it’s real. Ask me why? It’s because of the fact that I have always wondered how she quills and glues the words beautifully to make a story and even if she made a collage out of these words, you will not be surprised to notice that she has played with the idioms with ease.
There are few illustrations or paintings that either merge with the background or just fades in their own beautiful way without even leaving a boundary line, and that’s the uniqueness of Vignettes.
Few stories, even in the shortest forms will speak a story in itself, and a passage with even few words has this ability to transport and leave us dissolved in an illustration of stories and connecting the dots of unsaid stories.
That’s how I relate to all the twelve stories in this beautiful collection, Vignettes, A Slice of life, by Chandrika R Krishnan. What we see in our life is an illustration of stories, every second there’s something that is happening in our lives, and when we gather it in the form of memories and experiences, it’s a Vignette standing tall in front of our eyes, leaving reflecting drops on our cheeks. I wish to say that, that’s exactly what I felt when I read the stories written by Chandrika.
Also, we will get to see that these are the day-to-day conversations or few situations, which we might have come across during our visit to a shop, or while taking a stroll in a park, or during our window seat journey in a bus or a train. Well, the list can go on. One common element in all these situations is the Reflection bubble that keeps bursting the memories and experiences in front of our eyes as a faded story.
Be it the story of Raghu in, “Love at first sight.” If you are wondering, it’s a love story between a boy and a girl, well it’s a No!
It isn’t, here it’s a love story with a simple act of kindness.
We speak about moving on, but we keep waiting for that, ‘right time and situation,’ to take few decisions in life. The delay can be attributed to various reasons. I would like to mention that, you come across a similar situation in, “Time to move on.”
“There is society, where none intrudes,
By the deep ocean…, and music in its …….roar”
These lines, when I read, it cocooned me back into my mothers’ womb. I felt like staying in that warm dark space when I read ‘The Die was Cast.’ What happens when the words elude and the neurons in the brain get plagued? That’s the story about Sophia.
Expect the unexpected or let’s say that Unexpected is the only constant element that would continue surviving in all the situations. Covid and the lockdown was one such. Here’s a story about Vimala and her WhatsApp group, and how she embraced the uncertainty into an opportunity. Another story revolving at the same time, where Gopal pays a tribute to his Master. These two stories to me were like two sides of a coin.
What happens when we never asked for help, would you say a Thanks or say nothing? And what was Ken actually looking for?
“Unsighted among the sighted,” a different take and so much happens in few lines.
What happened to those six people? What made Shivraj Patel introspect? What happens next? Well, this is a simple story we might have come across but Chandrika shows us a picture through a collage of words.
“Today is the day,” as I say this, how would you perceive it? Also am curious to know, what words would you play with to complete the sentence. What happens to Latha and Andrew? That’s a wonderful story “Where Angels Tread,” all about.
In our country, we celebrate every festival or birthdays in an elaborate manner. Maybe that’s the day, few statues on the crossroads or near the beach get a water wash after waiting for almost a year.
What if the statue starts speaking? Chandrika heard the story and here we have it in, “The Mother of Politics.”
“The climb that cost Dear,” is a story about each of us here. Some stories have been traveling blindfolded and we have been journeying not knowing when we might fall down.
“Stagnate in a Flux,” a beautiful story about marriage-proposal, preconditioned mindset, the boy, the mental attitude to lead than being a partner, and how the parents wrap the scene.
“The Elixir,” a magical potion, well how it turns out to be one, with Nita, is an interesting story. This is a story I presuppose most of us would relate with when we want to have that extra sweet dish.
As you have reached here, how about grabbing a copy to read.
The book is written by Chandrika R Krishnan.
Book cover illustration by Rithika Radhakrishnan
A wordsmith, Chandrika R Krishnan’s more than two hundred articles, poems and fictions are experiential. Bangalore based, her stories are featured in anthologies: Penmancy in collaboration with halfbakedbeans. in ‘a fallen leaf’, The Thinking Pen’s “Mother’s Day – A Collection of Stories & Poems dedicated to Mom” , Story Mirror’s ‘Book of Love’ and Story Artisan’s ‘Desi Modern Love’. She was adjudged first in Wordweavers Drabble contest 2020. She has been recognized in short story challenges conducted by Penmancy.com, Tell-a-tale.com, Pratilipi.com, Momspresso.com, Women’s web, Hive, and Asian Literary society. She has been shortlisted thrice in Strand’s international flash fiction.