The Perfect Groom : Novella Review

The Perfect Groom is a short and simple story set in a Tamil household and the situations described in it are daily happenings in most of the middle-class households in most parts of India. It’s the story of the various struggles of women in various roles, that of a wife, a daughter, a sister, a childhood friend etc., and their sacrifices just to keep their family happy and appease the ‘charitable’ relatives.

source : goodreads.com

source : goodreads.com

Nithya, her mother and her small sister live with her uncle and aunt since her father passed away leaving behind nothing for them. Her uncle and aunt were cunning, selfish and cruel to the three but always maintained that they were a family in front of the society and world. The uncle and aunt never did anything for them without desiring a return favor/gift and always ruled over their lives and never allowing them to grow and be independent.

One fine day, they bring a  NRI proposal for Nithya and her mother is over the moon with happiness that finally her brother and sister-in-law have had a change of heart. Although Nithya refuses to get married so soon, her mother forces her to get married lest she upset the ‘kind’ uncle and aunt. Of course, there is a catch. What is it? Why are they suddenly so ‘kind’ towards her? Read the novella to find out.

Sumeetha Manikandan has a knack of observation and she has so easily incorporated situations and conversations from real life into the novella that it gnaws at your heart and instantly makes you feel for Nithya. The character of Nithya is a strong one who is optimistic, looking forward to a bright future even when her present is nothing short of hell, she adjusts to her surroundings without complaining and is willing to undergo the torture for a few more years just so that her sister doesn’t face any problems in getting a match. A divorcee in the family is not only a bad name, but it also becomes difficult for the siblings to get matches even today in most parts of India.

Sometimes you hate Nithya and some other characters like her mother and sister for being quiet for so long and being martyrs instead of fighting back. But then, given the story, you do understand that they had no other option but bear everything that their uncle and aunt made them to bear.

Her childhood friend Vasu who happens to meet her accidentally in US and then their encounters that follow are the only parts that are really feel good and make you smile. But once their relationship goes to the next level, he acts like a big a**hole which seemed unreal and so uncharacteristic of him.

Nithya’s uncle-aunt and her MIL-DIL are the real antagonists of the novella and they try everything that they can to make her life difficult but she bears everything silently.
Nithya’s husband is another abusive rascal who abuses her and his own parents for no reason.
The only good person in her life in US is a restaurant owner who becomes her employer and also a good friend.

The Perfect Groom is a read that will leave you sad for most part but make you feel good with the perfect happy ending.

Connect with the author here : Sumeetha Manikandan

The novella is published by Toronto-based publishing house Indireads, which exclusively publishes e-books and was started with the aim to revolutionizing the popular fiction genre in South Asia.

Posted in books, fiction, Indireads, novella, reviews, Sumeetha Manikandan, The Perfect Groom | 2 Comments

The Tornado Giveaway!



Welcome to The Book Club’s very first Giveaway

Tornado Giveaway

We’re extremely excited about it. You will be toowhen you hear the details. Get ready to be blown away by Tornado Giveaway! 

A tornado of books is coming your way. We love our Authors. They give us hours of entertainment; they fill our lives with love and passion. Today, we want to do exactly that. Fill your life with love. This is a Romance Giveaway with a smattering of crime thrillers and a heartwarming family saga – to spice up your life.

Starting on the 1st of July we will introduce each of the twenty-three participating Authors on our Book Club page. Some you already know; some are new.  But all promise to keep you entertained with their words.

Believe it or not, we have 200 books to give away.  Didn’t we say, a Tornado is coming your way!  And there will be not one… not two … but 17 Winners who will get 17 books each and 6 Mega winners will get a chance to grab 22 books each.

How do you participate in this Giveaway? It’s simple… just follow the Rafflecopter(scroll down) and win all the books. 

So what are you waiting for?  Join us here as we introduce each author daily and get a sneak peek into their writing. Get ready to be swept away! 

The Rules….

Love Books of course 🙂

In the Rafflecopter follow the rules….

1. Like the Author Facebook Page – Mandatory – 1 point
2. Follow the author on Twitter -Mandatory- 2 points
3. Tweet on the dates mentioned in the Rafflecopter about the Author – Optional – 3 points
4. Like the Harlequin India Facebook Page – Mandatory – 5 points
5. Like the Indireads Facebook Page -Mandatory – 5 points 
6. Like The Book Club Facebook Page -Mandatory –  5 points

23AUTHORS; 23 NOVELS; 17 WINNERS6 MEGA WINNERS 




Participating Authors

Name of the Book Name of the Author Date of Post
Scarlet Revenge Ann McGinnis 1st July
Saving Justice Tasman Gibb 2nd July
The Perfect Groom Sumeetha Manikandan 3rd July
Wilde Riders Savannah Young 4th July
Scorched by His Fire Reet Singh 5th July
When I see your Face Devika Fernando 6th July
The Malhotra Bride Sundari Venkatraman 7th July
Butterfly Season Natasha Ahmed 8th July
The Indian Tycoon’s Marriage Deal Adite Banerjie 9th July
Bootie and the Beast Falguni Kothari 10th July
Full Circle Yamini Vijendran 11th July
Bollywood Fiance For a Day Ruchi Vasudeva 12th July
The Truth About De Campo Jennifer Hayward 13th July
Twelve Hours of Temptation Shoma Narayanan 14th July
Monsoon Memories Renita D’Silva 15th July
His Captive Indian Princess Tanu Jain 16th July
The Return of the Rebel Jennifer Faye 17th July
Rapid Fall Adiana Ray 18th July
Kingdom Come Aarti V Raman 19th July
Crossing the line Nicola Marsh 20th July
India was one An Indian 21st July
Lily’s Leap Téa Cooper 22nd July
Love’s Labour Andy Paula 23rd July



All the Best Dear Readers…

a Rafflecopter giveaway





RESULTS WILL BE ANNOUNCED ON 30TH JULY



Participating Blogs



Bloggers/Writers Blogging @
Aarti V Raman Rt_Writes
Adiana Ray Rayyyydays
Adite Banerjie AditeBanerjie
An Indian India Was One
Ann McGinnis Ann McGinnis
Arti Metroreader Arti Metroreader
Bhavya NK Ishithaa
Devika Fernando Devika Fernando
Dola Basu Singh Shiuli
Falguni Kothari Falguni Kothari
Inderpreet Kaur Uppal Eloquent Articulation
Janaki Nagaraj Memoirs of A Homemaker
Jennifer Faye Jennifer Faye
Jennifer Hayward Jennifer Hayward
Jigar Doshi Jigar Doshi
Parichita Singh Parichita
Natasha Ahmed Dear Rumi
Nicola Marsh Nicola Marsh
Nikita Soni Njkinny’s World of Books & Stuff
Pooja Abhay Thoughtless Ramifications
Reet Singh Reet Singh
Renita D’Silva Renita D’Silva
Rubina Ramesh The Book Club
Ruchi Vasudeva Ruchi Vasudeva
Savannah Young Savannah Young
Shoma Narayanan Shoma Narayanan
Sonia Rao soniaraowrites
Sumeetha Manikandan Books Reviews by Sumi
Sundari Venkatraman Flaming Sun
Tanu Jain tanurja’s Blog
Tasman Gibb Tasman Gibb
Téa Cooper Tea Cooper
Usha Narayanan Usha Narayanan
Yamini Vijendran Straight from the heart
Andy Paula Andy Paula




This Giveaway is hosted by The Book Club. A group of Writers and Bloggers who have come together to spread the works of different authors from around the globe. 


Logo design by Natasha Ahmed

A special thanks  to Adite Banerjie, Sundari Venkatraman and Dola Basu Singh. Without you this Giveaway was not possible. 


Posted in Giveaway, novellas, romance, The Book Club | 3 Comments

The Contract : Novella Review

The Contract is a novella penned by a Pakistani author, Zeenat Mahal. I have read many authors outside of India, but seldom something interesting had come my way across the border except ‘The Reluctant Fundamentalist’ a long time ago. And I didn’t know this was penned by a Pakistani author until Lahore was mentioned in the novella and I was genuinely surprised. Yes, I had started reading the novella without going through the author bio.

source : goodreads.com

source : goodreads.com

Natasha lives with her grand-mother, Aunt Salma, as her mother Rutaba has passed away and her father Hussain is busy conquering corporate battles in a distant foreign land. Shahira is a divorcee, has a 7 years old son and is a teacher to Natasha. Aunt Salma plays cupid and wants Shahira and Hussain to get married. Both have had bad marriages and weren’t ready to get into a relationship but both understand the situation and enter into a contract that is mutually benefiting.

More than marriage, it is an employment for her where she gets paid to take care of the daughter and ailing mother and he never comes to visit them. She finds it outrageous and ridiculous when he first makes the offer, but later acquiesces. So, they get married over telephone and things are going smooth until Aunt Salma forces Hussain to visit home once and when he does, he no longer wishes to abide by the contract.

Rest of the novella is all about their battle of wits, how they go from being hostile towards each-other to finally becoming friends and ultimately falling in love.

The writing is wonderful. All the characters are strong and instantly lovable. You begin to identify with both the protagonists and their aversion to new relationships because of their tragic past. The relationships between Shahira and Aunt Salma is nothing like a normal MIL-DIL, but is all lovey-dovey. Shahira is intelligent, adorable, sweet, understanding, caring yet vulnerable, scared and immensely lovable. Hussain is charming, witty, slightly arrogant but is caring and understanding. Their chemistry is perfect.

The best part of the novella was the battle of wits and that fight to put each other in their place even before they actually met. Once they meet, the fight only gets even more funnier, wittier, hilarious and the replies, especially Shahira’s, even more scathingly sharper. Ultimately, their brickbats turn to normal talks and finally into love. It is a feel-good novella and you’ll find smiling more-so-often and it’ll leave you yearning for more.

A must-read for all romance fanatics.

Connect with the author here : Zeenat Mahal

The novella is published by Toronto-based publishing house Indireads, which exclusively publishes e-books and was started with the aim to revolutionizing the popular fiction genre in South Asia.

Posted in books, fiction, Indireads, novella, reviews, The Contract, Zeenat Mahal | Leave a comment
humshakals

source : santabanta.com

First of all, let me clarify, I am no Sajid Khan fan. And I am not writing this review of Humshakals to defend him or the movie or anything, I am writing the review just because I enjoyed it and I felt, I need to write about it, more so because everybody was thrashing the movie left and right without even watching it. Just because it was a Sajid Khan movie, a man whom everybody loves to hate.

Ashok (Saif Ali Khan) is the billionaire heir of the Singhania empire that K.A.N.S Mamaji (Ram Kapoor) wants to steal. Kumar (Riteish Deshmukh) is Ashok’s best-friend and always supports him. Mamaji hatches a plan that sends the duo to a mental asylum that already has an another set of duo, two lookalikes or Humshakals of Ashok and Kumar with the same names. The rest of the story is not hard to guess. The lookalikes get out and the real ones are trapped inside the asylum. Rest of the story is about how the real ones get out and all the confusion that unfolds, before stopping Mamaji in his evil plans.

Among the female leads, the movie features the Tamannaah Bhatia as Shanaya, a reality show host and Ashok’s love interest., Bipasha Basu as Mishti, estate manager of Ashok and Kumar’s love interest., and Esha Gupta as Dr. Shivani Gupta, a doctor at the mental asylum. The girls don’t have much to do except look glamorous, sing and dance.

There are 3 pairs of Ashok, Kumar and Mamaji and one of the pairs is of drag where Saif romances Riteish, Riteish romances Saif and Ram romances his own female version. While it is hard to digest, it is fun and laughter-evoking. The drag seems dragged after a bit, but it is hilarious nevertheless.

Satish Shah, Darshan Jariwala and Chunky Pandey are the other characters in the movie. Even Prince Charles makes his Bollywood debut and gets to speak a few words of Marathi and Hindi, which I think was really funny.

In the drag and gay versions, Riteish is the boss as he has already played them before in his career. Saif is great as the rich billionaire, but falls short in all other characters. Saif can do witty comedy perfectly, but he is not the one for gay or drag kind of comedy. Ram Kapoor is wonderful as the evil mamaji, maniac OCD patient who gets mad when someone sneezes around him and gets calm only when someone offers him a lollipop, but is really scary in the drag version. [I know I’m being mean here :P]

The movie is mad, senseless, mindless, illogical and stupid. Yes, it is. Some portions are exaggerated, irritating and annoying, as well. But the movie is nothing close to painful or torturous or a work of sadism or an insult to audience, as most critics made it out to be. It is funny and hilarious and entertaining.

There were many scenes that were cringe-worthy as well, dialogues made of SMS forwards, some bad emulation of yesteryear greats from Bollywood, but all the negatives put aside, over-all the movie was enjoyable.

If you keep your prejudices against Sajid Khan and his arrogance aside, don’t go by the scathing reviews by the critics, and watch the movie, I think you’d enjoy it as well.

P.S : I didn’t find anything ‘disturbing’ about the movie. I am not really sure why Bipasha felt sore about the movie after doing it that she didn’t want to promote it.

Ah, that role tweet explains everything.

Posted on by Jigar Doshi | Leave a comment

A Newlywed’s Adventures In Married Land : Novella Review

Shweta Ganesh Kumar is the bestselling author of two novels on the Indian Broadcast news industry, titled ‘Coming Up On The Show’ and ‘Between The Headlines’. In the past, she has been a news trainee, desk editor, TV news correspondent with CNN-IBN and a communications officer at Greenpeace India. And now this talented multi-tasker’s penned A Newlywed’s Adventures In Married Land.

source : goodreads.com

source : goodreads.com

Mythili, a crime reporter was in a long distance relationship with Siddharth, a call center employee in Manila, Philippines, for over 5 years before they take their relationship to the next level and decide to get married. She leaves everything for him and shifts to Manila with him and the first few months of being unemployed/jobless/dependent were very frustrating and infuriating for the workaholic that she was.

Siddharth takes her to the Desi Gang, the group of Indians living there and who would meet regularly in the pretext of tea parties and dinners. Mythili finds them shallow, mean and selfish. They were the ones living off their husbands’ and always complained and bi*ched about MsIL, expensive groceries and vegetables.

The rest of the story is about how initially she rants and rants and how it gets difficult for both Siddharth and her and how eventually things fall in place when she lands a job and things change. 

The author has based this novella on Alice In Wonderland and every chapter starts with an anecdote from the novel which resonates with the story that is building in the novella. The story in the novella follows Mythili (author’s Alice) in her adventures in the married land (wonderland).

The writing is simple and the adventure is worth taking. But the initial few chapters were a pain for me, as a guy to go through, as they dealt with all the frustrations of a newly married unemployed workaholic woman. Although it was enlightening to see things from a woman’s perspective, I often agreed with Siddharth’s POV when he felt, “So what if she doesn’t have a job? Why can’t she just enjoy her time by reading books, watching movies/sitcoms and shopping?”

Another good thing about the novella is that, although it was Mythili’s story, often, Siddharth’s POV was also discussed and how the husband interprets a wife’s rants was aptly shown. That how when she’s ranting, she’s just relieving herself of the stress but he considers it that she’s unhappy with him and he has to do something to make her happy.

More than the story, most of the novella is happening in the protagonist’s head. This could be a hindrance for some as many like more conversation and less narrative. But the narrative is enlightening mixed with a slight humor.

Not entertaining exactly, but makes for a nice read.

The novella is published by Toronto-based publishing house Indireads, which exclusively publishes e-books and was started with the aim to revolutionizing the popular fiction genre in South Asia.

Connect with the author here : Shweta Ganesh Kumar

Posted in A Newlywed's Adventure In Married Land, books, fiction, Indireads, novella, reviews, Shweta Ganesh Kumar | Leave a comment

Love’s Labor : Novella Review

Love’s Labor by Andy Paula is the third novella that I’ve read. Published by Toronto-based publishing house Indireads, which exclusively publishes e-books and was started with the aim to revolutionizing the popular fiction genre in South Asia.

source : goodreads.com

source : goodreads.com

Piali, a fierce, independent and confident teacher from small-town Jamshedpur, falls in love with Sathya Nair, son of the chairman of the school, on a workshop at the hill-station Panchagani. But, both face the hurdle of convincing their parents to agree for the marriage.

Lots of efforts later parents of Sathya give in and agree for the marriage, but Piali’s father, a traditional middle-class Bengali is against inter-caste marriages and staunchly objects. When he doesn’t budge in spite of repeated attempts, Piali quietly moves to Mussorie stating that she won’t go against her father but she wouldn’t marry anybody else either.

Rest of the story is about how Sathya reacts to her disappearance and whether her parents agree for the marriage or not.

The best part of the novella is its simple writing. We can identify with the characters instantly, the strong bond of relationships between Piali and her father and between Piali and Sathya and their various struggles in the journey of their love-life are portrayed in a nice way.

Piali is the protagonist of the novella, who is confident, fiery, intelligent, leader and strong-headed. Her transformation into a meek and a weak lady in love who is torn between the love of her father and the love of her life is also nicely portrayed.

The author has nicely shown the differences in 2 generations where a daughter is in a strong position while her mother only lingers in the background meekly following everything her husband says. She also shows how most middle-class families are against inter-caste marriages even in the 21st century and how ‘name’ and ‘image’ in the society is more important than the love of their wards. Another good aspect of Love’s Labor is that although she is head-over-heels in love with Sathya and she cannot live without him, she doesn’t elope and hurt her parents when they don’t initially agree. She goes into a self-exile and thus the name, Love’s Labor.

The novella is short, simple, entertaining and lovely. A must-read.

Connect with the author here : Andy Paula

Posted in Andy Paula, fiction, Indireads, Love's Labor, novella, reviews | Leave a comment

Awaken The Leader In You : Book Review

When I was first approached to review the book, “Awaken The Leader In You” penned by Mitesh and Indu Khatri, I was a bit wary as it was a self-help book based on leadership. Now, the Indian market is really flooded with these and technically, most books on leadership are, more or less, the same. They give you examples of a few successful leaders, show how the successful people are determined, work hard, have a vision and are fearless. I’m glad I didn’t give in to that initial thought and accepted to read the book instead.

source : goodreads.com

source : goodreads.com

I haven’t read many books on leadership but this was very different from the ones I’ve read so far. The first thing about the book that takes you in is it’s simple language and easy-to-relate anecdotes. Basically, the authors don’t tell us anything new, which isn’t already told before, but what they do is that they tell us in a different and easy-to-implement way.

The book has 11 different chapters, each dealing with a different topic and trying to inspire us to change the way we live and awaken the leader within us. The authors state that each one of us are born leaders and that we all have immense potential to achieve all that we desire and aim for. The only difference is that some of us are committed till the end while the rest of us give it up mid-way when we encounter hurdles and that we aren’t determined to follow it till the end.

In Awaken The Leader In You, the authors first tell us the difference between the employee-mindset and entrepreneur-mindset in both employed professionals and self-employed individuals; and how this ‘thinking’ and ‘mindset’ is the one major difference that make the leaders stand apart in a crowd and achieve great successes.

They then talk about how leaders are always self-motivated; have high amounts of energy all the time; enjoy pressures and how they don’t succumb to pressures but live up to all the expectations from them. In fact, often, leaders perform way better when under pressure than otherwise. About how leaders derive this power and unceasing energy, about how they lead from the front and don’t fear to take 100% responsibility to the situations and then try and change them according to their will and desires. Also, emotional intelligence is required to deal with crisis situations and that one should have a control over one’s emotions and feelings and should not let them take over us.

While most leadership books talk about having strong values in the very beginning chapters, this book doesn’t talk about them until mid-way. It is so because, the authors explain, that people first need to be taught about inner potential, the need for vision and belief and how to go about building a vision and having belief in ourselves. So, after explaining about energy, power, belief, pressure, mind-set and importance of emotional intelligence, then they go about talking about values.

Finally, they talk about time management, how leaders get more work done in less time, importance of communication, the real definition of it, the need and how to go about having proper meaningful communication, building trust among the team members and how we can’t do everything alone and that we need to build a  great team and continually motivate them to keep working efficiently.
They also talk about how we, humans, associate with pain, feelings and trust and how they have made people walk on fire in their workshops and how initial fear and resistance changed to acceptance and excitement in just one hour of pep talk.

There are so many anecdotes, examples, quotes that can be highlighted and referred to again and again to derive inspiration or an idea about how to go about solving it while facing a difficult hurdle. Most of them are easy to relate to and easy to implement as well. Also, the authors don’t ask you to move mountains to become a leader, they give you simple tips and suggestions and show you a  the simple path to awaken the leader within you.

The best part of the book is that it doesn’t seem like a monologue as is the case with most books on leadership. There are various examples of the lives of successful people and also examples from the seminars and sessions conducted by the authors for various MNCs and organizations. There are also tests or questions for you to answer and compare the results to know what you want, where you stand and what changes you need to make.

It is a book that everyone must read and unlike fiction, it isn’t to be rushed through, but savored every day little by little. Also, to gain maximum from the book, everybody should certainly put the book aside and answer all the questions whenever asked.

Kudos to Mitesh and Indu Khatri for summing up years of research, teachings, experiences and so much more in a small book.
Read it for sure to Awaken The Leader In You 🙂

Connect with the author : Mitesh Khatri

Posted in Awaken The Leader In You, Jaico Books, leadership, Mitesh and Indu Khatri, reviews, self-help | Leave a comment

Love is cute – 8

She – (sweetly) “Hey.. I love you..”

He – (indifferent) “Eh??”

She – (saddened) “Don’t you love me anymore?”

He – “I do.. But what do you mean by ‘anymore’?”

She – (puppy face) “Then why don’t you tell it to me?”

He – “You don’t exactly make me feel like telling it to you right now..”

She – “Please.. Please, forgive me..”

He – “That’s okay.. Let it be..”

She – (pleading) “Look, I know I’ve been stupid before and yesterday night I was again being stupid, but please don’t be angry on me. Talk to me.”

He – “I am not avoiding you, right now, am I? I am talking to you.”

She – “Not like this. Talk properly.. Please..”

He – (expressionless) “I am talking properly only..”

She – “Please.. How much more do you want me to plead?”

He – (flustered) “I didn’t ask you to plead and I am fine. You don’t need to plead or anything.”

She – “Look, I know you’re still angry for yesterday. Please forget yesterday’s fight. I love you…”

He – “Isn’t it easy to say, ‘Forget it’ when you are the one who was on the wrong side? And you don’t need to repeat the fake “I love you”s to please me. Don’t use it as a weapon.”

She – “I am not using it as any weapon. I really love you and I am simply expressing it. I love you..”

He – “Yeah, right. Some moron told me that, “telling ‘ I love you’ repeatedly diminishes its value and has no meaning. It should be told only on special occasions.”

She – “Forget what that moron said. I love you..”

He – “Okay.. good.”

She – “What?”

He – “What, what?”

She – “Come on..”

He – “Excuse me?”

She – “Huh?!”

He – “Eh?”

She – (slightly irritated)”Come on, ya.. Let it go, na.. Why don’t you forget it? I know it was my mistake and I am sorry for it. Now don’t be like this, please!”

He – “Oh yeah? 5 minutes and you couldn’t bear and remember how you stay exactly like this for hours together. And always it is you who is on the wrong side, not I. And I never repeatedly say “Sorry” and “I love you” or ask you to ‘become fine’. I make you smile when you are angry, which is always for a stupid reason. Always in a different way.”

She – “Yes, I know you always make me smile when I get angry for a stupid reason and you always use a different technique to do so. And I appreciate it. Really.”

He – “Oh, please.. Let it be..”

She – “I really do. I know I am the luckiest woman to have you in my life. Anybody else in your place and he would have left me long ago.”

He – “Yeah, right.”

She – “Please don’t be this moody and silent. Please talk to me.”

He – “Then make me smile.”

She – (angered) “I want to.. And I’m trying.. But if you are so adamant to not smile and not let go, I can’t do anything.”

He – (sarcastically) “Funny how you’re mistaken and still you’re the one getting angry and making demands. Wow.”

She – “Look, I can’t be like you. I don’t know how to make someone smile when they are angry because I have never done it before. I tried, but if you don’t want to let it go, then fine. Be like this only. Don’t talk to me.”

He – “I don’t have a PhD in pleasing others either. You know very well that I’ve never ever done it before either. When you really love someone, you just somehow find a way to make them smile. You can’t say ‘Sorry’, ‘Forget it’ and ‘I love you’ a few times and expect someone to become normal if they were really hurt by your harsh words.”

She – (exasperated) “Yeah, right. I don’t really love you and that is the reason that I am not able to make you smile and that is why I said all those harsh words yesterday night.”

He – “Fine.”

She – (angered) “Fine.”

He – “Anything else?”

She – “What do you mean?”

He – “Is there anything left to say?”

She – (surprised) “What if not?”

He – (straight-faced) “Then I’d better leave because there is nothing else to talk about.”

She – (wide-eyed) “You mean you want to leave?”

He – “No, I don’t want to leave. But, given our situation, it is better that I leave.”

She – (teary-eyed) “Don’t leave me like this, please..”

He – “I am not breaking up with you. It’s just that it’s better if we don’t talk for a few hours and then we can gather our thoughts.”

She – (tears rolling down) “Shut up. I’ve gathered all my thoughts already. I am really sorry for what happened yesterday and I promise that I won’t repeat it ever again. Please forgive me and please don’t leave me for a silly fight.”

He – “It wasn’t a ‘silly’ fight.”

She – (crying vehemently) “Please.. Please don’t leave me.. I love you.. I really really love you and I can’t live without you..”

He – (hugging her) “Shh, shhh, shhhhh… Stop crying now.. I am not going anywhere..”

She – (hugging him tightly) “Then why do you always talk of going away and hurt me?”

He – “Because I feel like my presence hurts you more, just like you said yesterday..”

She – (hugging him even more tightly) “Your presence can never hurt me. I was angry then and said all kinds of stupid things to you. I didn’t mean any of those. I am an idiot to even think of saying them..”

He – (slightly smiling) “Yet, you said them.. And as they say, when one is angry, one’s deepest feelings are vent out in the form of anger and frustration..”

She – (bawling) “Please don’t make me feel even more guilty.. I am really sorry for what I said last night.. You don’t make my life difficult, like I said yesterday, but you make it so wonderful.. You’re the one who always makes me happy and puts up with my tantrums even when it is my mistake or I am being unreasonable.. You don’t put any impositions on me, you aren’t insecure and you don’t bicker or complain about anything I do.. You support me like no other and I can count on you at any given time. I am really lucky to have you in my life and these are my deepest and truest feelings, not what I said yesterday in anger, trust me..”

He – (smiling widely) “Exactly.. Something like this is what makes one smile when one is angry.. Not the repeated ‘Sorry’ or ‘I love you’s..”

She – “Please never talk of leaving me again.. I can’t live without you..”

He – “I would never leave you, sweet-heart.. You brought colors into my otherwise black & white life and you are the one reason why I am in the best of my spirits.. I spend most of my time thinking about you and us and about how we can be together.. You bring out the best in me and without you, I would never be able to live happily, just exist.”

She – (still hugging) “I wish I could stay like this in your arms forever..”

He – “I wish we could stay like this forever, a couple of happy souls so immensely in love with each-other that they could live happily forever in the company of each-other..”

She – “I love you… and mind you, this is no weapon.”

He – “Haha.. I know.. I love you too..”

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Spotlight for The Revenge Of Kaivalya


The Revenge of Kaivalya by Sumana Khan


 

The Blurb
 
Deep within the womb-like forests of the Western Ghats, an entity manifests itself at the malevolent moment when the ocean rises to devour hundreds of thousands. Kencha, an unwitting witness to Its birth, is soon found dead – his body branded with a strange message written in HaLegannada, an ancient version of modern Kannada. Even as Dhruv Kaveriappa, Chief Conservator of Forests – Hassan division investigates Kencha’s death, he senses an unseen danger in the forests of Kukke, Bisle and Sakleshpura. Animals drop dead; plants wither away and just as he feared, the forest claims its first victim. Shivaranjini, on vacation in Sakleshpura, suffers a devastating tonic-clonic seizure moments after she returns from a visit to the forest. Soon, she begins to exhibit a bizarre personality disorder. Perhaps there is an outbreak of an unknown rabies-like disease? Or, as ridiculous as it seems, could it be a case of tantric witchcraft? 
 
The truth unfolds in a dizzying maelstrom of events – a truth far too terrifying to comprehend
 
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Meet the author
 
 
The Author’s Thoughts
 
In the early stages of my manuscript, I knew the title of my novel had to be the name of the principal character. And it could not be just any name. It had to fit into the storyline – from a time perspective, as well as setting the atmosphere. It had to sound ancient and also define the character. Tall order!
As I read up on the history of Vijayanagara, I hoped to come across a good, strong name…but history, largely, is about men and their wars and conquests. I hoped to select a name from our puranas. But nothing clicked. What about our stotras? Maybe the lalitha sahasranama? Or ashtalakshmi stotra? One evening I sat mulling on ‘Kausalya’…thanks to the most famous line ‘Kausalya supraja Rama purva sandhya pravarthathe’ from the Suprabhata 🙂 I went to bed with that line in my head.
The next morning, somehow, ‘Kausalya’ had transformed to ‘Kaivalya’. I did not remember coming across the name in any of my previous research. Curious, I looked up what ‘Kaivalya’ stood for. And was fascinated.   Read More ……..
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I feel guilty about it…!

“And I feel guilty about it!” She exclaimed.

Damn, just when I was feeling happy that I had had a nice time, you had to do this! Again!
“Fine. Let’s just say today is the last day I ever touch you. I won’t touch you from now!” He reiterated.

“You just don’t understand..” She said mellowing down a little.

“Yeah, right!” he said, exasperated and tired.

“Fine.”

“Fine!”

“Don’t shout. I need your support right now, not your anger,” she pleaded.

“You are making it really hard for me to not get angry,” he replied.

“Okay, I’m sorry, but please try and understand my situation. I had never…”

“Yeah, as if I had it some hundreds of times with so many women!” He cut her short.

“Look, please be calm. And I’m a woman and you’re a man, so it’s different.” She said.

“How ironic. Everywhere you women say, we girls/women are equivalent to boys/men and when it is a troublesome situation, you women want an easier way out. That’s just not fair.”

“It’s hard to win with you through words.” She humphed.

“I just think practically..” he replied staring hard at her.

“Look, I know what you’re going through and I don’t want to trouble you either. But, please, please try and support me,” she pleaded.

“It’s not like we are having this conversation for the first time. We have had this same very conversation many a times before.”

“Please…”

“Okay, tell me..” he said completely mellowing down.

“I feel guilty about what we did today,” she said.

“Why?” he asked.

“Because it is wrong. We are not married yet.” She replied.

You too wanted it as much as I wanted it, he wanted to scream. But, he knew that it wouldn’t work and make her feel even more guilty. He had a better plan.

“Did I force you to?”

“No, but…”

“Just yes or no, please,” he said with a smile. “Did you say no to it?”

“No..”

“Did I tell you that I’d stop the moment you feel uncomfortable or not feel like it?”

“Yes..”

“Are we both consenting adults?”

“Yes..”

“Did you like it?”

“Yes..”

“Did you like to be in my arms?”

“Yes, I loved it.”

“Do you think what we have for each-other is lust?”

“No.”

Triumphantly. “Then, what is it?”

“Love.”

“So, did we do any wrong?”

“No. And yes.”

Damn! Wrong question.

“Is it not right if we both wanted it?”

“It is.”

“Then?”

“But, I still feel guilty about it….”

“You mean to say you are not feeling bad that we had it, but you’re feeling bad that we had it before marriage?”

“Yes, exactly.. Finally you understood me!” She exclaimed happily.

I actually deserve a pat for this! And a kick, of course.

“So, what do you want now?” he asked feeling lost.

“What do you mean?”

“I mean if it disturbs you so much, it is better that we stop it. Rather, I stop touching you,” he said, talking to himself.

“It doesn’t disturb me, baby,” she said blushing. “I love to be in your arms. Your touch gives me goosebumps and a shiver goes down my spine. In fact, to be frank, I feel like am in heaven and I don’t want you to stop at all. I also think that it brings us even more closer to each-other and not just physically,” she said, her cheeks turning pink.

‘Then wtf is wrong with you?!’ He wanted to scream, but, didn’t.

“Oh, I didn’t know that. You have never been vocal about how exactly you felt about it. Although, how you got lost in the moment made it obvious that you didn’t want me to stop, but I never really thought that you loved it as much as I did. :)”

“I love it. More than you do. But, I often feel guilty about it later..”

“So…don’t feel guilty..” He said because he didn’t have anything better to tell.

“So that you can have it even more? ;)” She said trying to cheer herself up.

“So that we can make love even more, sweet heart :)”

“I love you, boy.. I just do..”

“I love you too,” he said hugging her.

Getting out of that long embrace. “Listen, please don’t get angry. But it’s just that I feel that we are doing some wrong because the society would never approve of it. I am afraid that we would be punished for the mistakes that we do. I don’t want to lose you..”

Hugs her even more tighter.

Funny right? When they want to say something but they are afraid of your reaction and so they go about speaking it meekly and you’re falling in love with them every single second and your anger evaporates into thin air and you want to engulf them in your love.

“Okay, frankly, I believe that society wouldn’t approve of many things. We cannot live our lives based on their principles. For me, my conscience is the thing that holds more importance. And my conscience says that as long as we are both consenting adults and we are not hurting others in any way, we are not doing anything wrong. We love each-other, we want to do it and we both enjoy it, then there’s no wrong that we are doing, this is what I believe.”

“I just wish I had such simple thinking too..”

“You will.. When you stop over-thinking about something.. :)”

“I can’t help it.. I am always afraid that something bad will happen.. I always am worried..”

“I know.. :)”

“By the way, when I say, ‘I’m feeling guilty about it,’ I don’t want to stop and am not asking you to stop either. I am just asking you to make me feel better and re-instill the confidence in me that we are not doing anything wrong. But you stupid, you’ll get angry and say all stupid things..”

If only you explained this so clearly earlier.. He thought to himself.

Smiling naughtily. “Alright, let’s make you feel guilty again and then see how I make you feel guilty-less.”

“Haha! You’ll always be looking for a chance,” she said punching him.

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