Review in Desi Lekh

Most societies appreciate conformity, which is woven through the socialisation process since early childhood through various societal norms. Standing out, being an exception or simply put being ‘the other’ is rarely perceived as a winning quality. Have you ever wanted to find out this ‘other’s’ story? It could be an immigrant in a foreign land, being the other in one’s own marriage or even personifying an object as the other. ‘the Other’ is a well crafted anthology of short stories that helps voice the often ignored experience of the other in our lives.

The 33 short stories are expertly edited by Abha Iyengar and Mona Verma and are very diverse in their interpretation of the term other. Some stories are well structured with a definite beginning, main body and end whilst some others are abstract in their content leaving the reader to give it shape and meaning. A couple of the stories really stood out because of the quality of writing as well as the unexpected twist(s) in the end. I am a huge fan of O’Henry’s work and a few stories reminded me of his writing style. One story will stay with me for a long time to come as it cleverly uncovered my  own biases and pointed out how wrong I was in my assumptions of the characters. I am not going to name the stories as I feel this would only serve to create a bias in the mind of the reader and that has never been the objective of my reviews.

The stories made me think and question my own beliefs and I believe such writing is the best as it moves you, it rattles you and pushes you out of your comfort zone. It helps you develop a sense of empathy by transporting you into someone else’s shoes and makes you realise that your perception of the world is not the only perception. It reminds you to be less judgemental and more accepting, it reinforces in you that there is always another side to the same story despite you being blatantly blind to it. 

I enjoyed reading ‘the Other’ and savoured each story for its unique presentation of the underlying theme. I am happy to recommend this book as i think everyone should read these varied perspectives rather than living life with blinkers of adherence and blind conformity. 

Here’s the link to the source:



Manmeet has posted this on Facebook on 7th May 2018. Please click on the link she’s given to read the lovely story: Murli Melwani

“The Patriot picks up my story ‘The Veil’ from the anthology The Other and features it under its column ‘The Love Letters’.

The happiness in sharing this piece of news is immense because I realize we would never outgrow love and letters dipped in love.

Abha Iyengarand Mona Vermayour labour of love is bearing fruits.

Extract from ‘The Veil’, a short story from the collection The Other “They decided to meet on a no moon night. Each had a reason. She wanted to lose her shadow in the dark so that the world may not see. And for him, he wanted to see his shadow in…
Being on the other side of The Other