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Demigods Are Alive is a collection of six women centric short stories, penned by Monalisa Joshi and published by Chrysanthemum Chronicles.

What sets this apart is that, none of the female protagonists adhere to societal  conventions, they are not the ever Sanskari lot. They are common women, like all of us; flawed but proud.

Mahua, in Infidel Muse, is feeling neglected in a once rosy marriage. Her husband doesn’t make time for her, is it wrong of her to crave for love?

Or Chitra in Confines. A dead woman’s sister is instantly labeled her husband’s wife and kid’s mother. But what if she doesn’t love the man back, should she be forcibly bound to an unwanted relationship?

Calcutta Pudding, oh what a story. Devi breaking the shackles of patriarchy, as early as the pre independence times and chooses to move to England with Abigail. Her story unravels gradually, she gives herself more priority than her family’s traditional restrains.

Oops! It all happened in my Nightgown, is beautifully mysterious. It walks you through a dream filled with fantasy, love and kindness. Is it wrong of a woman to fantasize?

Ulma from the titular story Demigods Are Alive, is a victim of envy and suspicion. She’s honest and sincere, but her beauty, charm and intellect play against her. Why? Because she’s a woman?

Neelima’s story, Mirror Mirror on the Wall is like a suspense thriller, it unfolds gently, into the pressures of wifehood and motherhood.

Demigods Are Alive, efficiently portrays the likes and desires of women like us all, who are comfortable in their beauty, who wish to break away from the age old conventions laid down by society. The language is ornate and poetic. Monalisa’s writing style is lucid, it keeps you hooked on, wanting to delve deeper into the womens’ tales.

 Once you pick this book up, you just can’t keep it down. I completed it in one go.

It’s a Must Read, Great job Monalisa Joshi.

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