Dr. Usha Bande reviews Vineetha Mokkil’s A Happy Place and Other Stories (New Delhi: HarperCollins India, 2014. Pp. 202. Rs. 275)

A Happy PlaceTwo things about Vineetha Mokkil’s book under review attracted me at the outset: the title, A Happy Place and the cover design – a rich and pleasant mix of browns and yellows and grayish-blue. Both are evocative. The cover has a faint facsimile of a car on the move, the street is deserted and the high-rising buildings are upside down, may be reflecting the mood of the era or just symbolic of the life that is lived in them. The title A Happy Place exudes joie de vivre but then, the stories are about life and life does not offer happiness on a platter. Mokkil is a careful artist who would not diminish the value of her literary work by presenting self-improvement book-like facile solutions. The stories have plots and sub-plots, convincing characters and denouements that are twisted but not dismal.  Each story offers a kind of release and hope. And herein lies the success of the writer, a novice in the field, as she likes to call herself.