A collection of sixteen Stories
“The Flute” is the first story in this collection.
The girl is sitting before her books to prepare for the mid summer exams. Suddenly she hears the Unnatural music like a cool wind to soothe the humidity of extreme heat and sleeplessness. Who is that? There is no such person to sing in this poor village, where people have entirely forgotten how to enjoy music or any other entertainments. A person comes to her thoughts, a rare case for she had no time to think of a singer. He has come back from where ever he had gone, she did not know. In any case the young man had been away for a long time. She was studying in the high school. And the house maid brought news of Madhavan. He had gone away from this unfriendly village. She could not imagine a reason for the same. At least he has come back. Good of him. He has started again on the flute, like life itself not to stand still. It circles round and round without minding you. She heard the sweet and cool music on the flute, for she had never heard the like of it in her short life. On the first day of the examination, there he was, in the same bus, she has climbed up with a small bundle under his arm and sure the flute was covered inside, she thought. At a bus stop he alighted and with shock, she knew he was going away to the asylum, where he had been all these years. She hesitated for moment and got down to follow.
This story is like a poem written in few words but rich in emotion.
The ever green vitality of Vatsala’s stories is seen in this latest story collection. The difference and progress of her writing is revealed between the time span of two stories, from “Olor Mangoes”