REVIEW: “Ganga’s Choice and Other Stories” by Vaasanthi

Reading Time: 2 minutes


How free are women to make their own choices in the circumstances in which they find themselves? How do ordinary citizens become caught in communal divisions and migrant labourers cope with despair during the pandemic? These are some of the queries posed by the poignant and thought-provoking tales in this book.

Set in various parts of India and abroad, “Ganga’s Choice and Other Stories” (Niyogi Books), this collection of 15 stories by Vaasanthi, one of India’s well-known writers and translated from the Tamil original, powerfully captures slices of life to showcase the courage and strength of ordinary people.

A young woman derided as a freak chooses to live her life on her own terms; women from different backgrounds struggle against gender roles that are defined by rigid and oppressive social conventions; two migrant workers – rendered jobless during a lockdown – try to return to their village and maintain a bond of solidarity, despite different religious identities; a Sikh farmer living near the Line of Control loses his family to cross-border shelling but looks after the orphaned son of his neighbour from a different community.

Ganga’s Choice and Other Stories reflects the range and depth of Vaasanthi’s writing and unveils how humanity redeems the individual and provides hope, even in the midst of adversity.

“The stories are about lived experience and real characters that I have met – most importantly women, who have inspired me and moved me to speak about them, how they deal with injustices within their social circumstances in most unique ways,” Vaasanthi says.

The stories, renowned author K. Satchidanandan says, “surprise and enchant the reader with their thematic diversity and the vividness and vivacity of her characters drawn from different backgrounds. These 15 short stories are apt to give even a reader unacquainted with her many worlds a clear idea of her narrative skill and her deep insight into human situations and the transformations in attitudes and world-views that mark generational changes in the subcontinent. It is a sheer joy to read Vaasanthi’s stories in this representative collection”.

Vaasanthi is a leading writer, journalist, and columnist in Tamil and English. She has published 30 novels, 6 short story collections, 4 volumes of journalistic articles, and 4 travelogues in Tamil in the last 40 years.

She was the Editor of the Tamil edition of India Today for 10 years. Her articles have appeared in leading Indian newspapers and magazines. Her works have been translated in Malayalam, Hindi, Telugu, Kannada, English, Norwegian, Czech, and Dutch.

Two of her novels have been made into Malayalam films. She is the recipient of several awards in Tamil Nadu including the Best Short Story Writer award, Best Novel award for “Ammani”. She has received the UP Sahitya Sansthan award and Punjab Sahitya Akademi award for her novels translated in Hindi and English respectively. Now a freelance writer and journalist, she lives in Delhi.


READ ALSO: ‘The Eastern Gate’ critical to understanding politics behind conflicts in northeast

- Advertisement -

Related Articles


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

- Advertisement -
- Advertisement -


Let’s Talk Boosters: Indian Link podcast

  In LET'S TALK BOOSTERS, a new podcast series by Indian Link, host Ekta Sharma quizzes Dr Kritman Dhamoon of Blacktown Hospital Sydney about booster...
Frontline worker Parita Patel (inset). Image supplied

‘Serving the community’: COVID testing in remote NSW

  The past two years have been a rollercoaster of COVID-19 related turmoil; from isolating lockdowns, closed borders, to trying to help Indians in the...

Ep 9: What do young Indians want from love?

  Growing up in Indian culture, most of us know that love has never been as popular as marriage. Even in the movies, the main...
- Advertisement -

Latest News

gurpreet singh

#MyWork: Prison officer Gurpreet Singh

  Sydney’s GURPREET SINGH tells RAJNI ANAND LUTHRA about his work with Corrective Services NSW. My job title Deputy Superintendent Classifications and Placement, at the Silverwater Correctional...
Bhaukaal 2

Review: Bhaukaal season 2 (MX Player)

  There is no pre-defined meaning to the title, 'Bhaukaal', but colloquially in the local North Indian lingo, it egoistically means "in one's own style,...

Auntyji on the ethics of cross-racial surrogacy

  Dear Auntyji I don’t know if you have watched a Hindi film on surrogacy on Netflix called Mimi, but I have a question for you...
book review rashida tayabali

BOOK REVIEW: Life after Ali by Rashida Tayabali

  The story begins with Tasneem, a mother of two adolescent children, attending her husband Ali’s funeral at a mosque in Sydney. Ali’s sudden and untimely...

 REVIEW: Mission Frontline season 2 (Discovery+)

  The series is like a documentary. It introduces the audience to the armed forces, close and upfront, with the help of celebrities. AT A GLANCE ...