Because Love is not always Blind



The light in her bedroom went off. Praveen continued staring at that window, as he had for the past thirty years, every night, religiously and ritually. Even though her house was a block down the street, and admittedly, his abysmal housekeeping skills ensured a layer of perennial dust on his own window, Praveen could describe each inch of the window he had longed for opening. It might seem to be a feat, given his current age, but well, staring at a window that was slightly dented towards the upward-left corner since the past thirteen years, three months and eleven days, does that to you. He stubbed his cigarette as he reached the filter, and exhaled. Another night of a struggle before he could sleep. He almost smiled at the prospect. Almost. The thin lines of his mouth, ever night, cracked towards an upward curve, but always stopped midway. You see, the brain is an organ with an absolutely cruel sense of humour. For reasons known best by itself, every moment brings its cost, and every love struck human, always has the pang of sadness weighing down every chance of happiness. It was the same memory, always. The day when he first met Meera.
He was sixteen, and had just moved to the neighbourhood. His father, a district administrator, was already at his office, and his mother, a home administrator, was readying hers. As she unloaded, unpacked and arranged the seemingly infinite number of boxes into the maze of drawers and cupboards in the kitchen, she realised that she had run out of ammunition for the afternoon luncheon with their neighbours, and that is how Praveen ended up at the supermarket at ten past eleven, on a sunny afternoon in Mid-April, in the row for household spices, searching for chillies, and lost all semblance of flavour, as nothing quite tasted the same since that day. It was an innocent tap on his shoulder, and an extended arm that a small packet on the uppermost shelf which her hands couldn’t quite reach. He grabbed it with ease, a natural height advantage that he took for granted by now, and turned. That’s the first time he saw Meera Joshi. Even today, as he sees her come back home every night at 9.45 PM, she steps out of her car, waves at him with a smile, and goes back in, yet his reaction, as though frozen in the space-time continuum remains the same. A smile plastered across his face that simply refuses to leave. He had handed her the packet and she left without a thank you, and that was it. He was in love, and he never would have guessed the curve his life had taken.
Praveen, as every night, lay in bed and thought about the same thing he had thought about ever since that night, with alarming consistency. He thought about the curves of life. About its adventure, about its uncertainibility. Strange isn’t it? What if he had decided to leave home a mere few minutes later that day? What if his mother had not run out of chillies? What if he had entered the other supermarket further down the lane? The small things of life somehow influenced you and shaped you in ways you never realise until you have reached a time when you can look back and connect the dots. For thirty years now, Praveen had spent every night waiting for Meera to come to her window, and for thirty years now, Meera had not shown. He had fallen for her slowly, and at once. He fell for her, bit by bit, and for her being her, all at once. He couldn’t quite blame her for though. He had never spoken to her. The hundred feet journey had remained so, and he never had crossed it. He loved her from afar, too scared of the consequence, to scared of her reaction. Well that’s not true. He had spoken to her once, and she hadn’t replied. He had spent his entire life waiting for that reply.
It was a bustling day in the market, years ago. Sometime back in early January. He was nudging his way through to the bookstore, and suddenly he felt his breath leave his body. It was Meera, but not her sight, but rather her elbow-in-his-rib-cage as she tried to make her way through the crowd. She looked so beautiful, he thought, the slight nervousness of being in a crowd, of being a tiny person in a crowd full of humongous human beings. Recovering, he grabbed her arm, and she turned, with a look of surprise on her face, but the emotion disappeared as she saw his face, and turned into the smile that has haunted him ever since. “ An apology wouldn’t have hurt” he said with a laugh, but it apparently fell on deaf ears as she seemingly ignored it. Praveen found in him, a confidence, which he never knew he ever had, as he pulled her closer, leant in, and whispered into her ear, “ I love you”. It was as if he dispelled his courage with those words, as if they broke him. He suddenly felt empty, and he could hear his heart pounding, and his mouth went dry. As suddenly as he had gripped her arm, he let it go, and started walking away. She stood there, to his astonishment, with a confused look on her face, but not the kind he was expecting, not the kind one faces when one is expressed with the emotion of love. He halted, turned and shouted, “ I’ll wait for your answer”, and ran. Meera stood there staring after him, not realising what had just happened.
Praveen sighed as the memory of something that changed his life over two decades ago, flashed with clarity quite peculiar to beloved memories. He had held his word. He waited for her response, and still was waiting. He had never tried to ask her again, or approach her again. Love, was not something, in his ideal, that could be forced. He never understood the idea of making people fall in love with someone. How could it be love if it needed external stimuli? He never believed in love that made “sense” because in his books, it never did. He stepped out of his apartment and went down to the mailbox. It was an odd ritual this, the absurd checking of his mail everyday after his nightly smile and wave of heart-breaking love. But, he couldn’t help but feel that there was something down there, waiting for him. He went about the ritual daily, and he was disappointed daily, but he still did it, daily. Funny, how the most absurd of things are the things you can’t explain, and the things you can’t explain, are the ones that pull the strings of your four chambered monster.
No mail again. This time he smiled completely, more out of self-pity, and went back to his home and jumped into bed, and lay there thinking, and dreaming, and eventually drifting off to sleep, but at every moment, loving the word that ran through his blood. Meera.
The next day
Meera Joshi had passed away in the quiet of the night, which was strange. She had passed away in her sleep, a cardiac arrest, sudden, quiet, and deadly. Meera had no family, and had been living alone since the death of her father fifteen years ago. The usual crowd had gathered, neighbours, and friends, and of course, the relatives Meera never knew existed, except for her Aunt who lived a couple of miles away, and was reminded of her love for Meera every year only on Diwali. Praveen ran to her house the moment he overheard the milkman gossip about it to Mrs.Dey, the old widow who was the only other occupant on the floor, with the other apartment, 113, being vacant ever since Praveen could remember. Praveen couldn’t place his emotions. He had loved this woman from afar for thirty years, and suddenly she was gone. Dead. Praveen fell to his knees when he saw her body, covered with a white cloth, and cotton stuffed in her nose. He had loved her, and “why” was not a question he could answer, or even thought about really. She was his drug, his addiction, his habit, his life. It was the strangest thing, giving someone a place on a pedestal in your life, when your interaction with the person had never crossed the puny limit of ten words, and of course, the million of thoughts that raced through his mind when he saw her every night.
Musing mentally, Praveen quietly stood up and strode over to a corner. He didn’t want to talk to people, or couldn’t rather. No one should see his tears, for he didn’t know how to explain them. He slightly turned away his face, and the tears continued coming. He couldn’t particularly place a finger on his emotions. If logic had taught him anything, all that happened was that he lost a daily waving partner. He tried to stop the tears. He really did. He wiped his eyes with the back of his sleeve, tried crunching his face, tried thinking about happy thoughts, but all of it failed, especially the last one. Each happy memory reminded him that he couldn’t share it with her, and now, he never will.
“Excuse me?”, a voice interrupted him, and he turned to see Ravalli, Meera’s friend, he assumed of course, as he had often seen them together. “I’m sorry, but are you a relative of Meera’s?”, she asked with what sounded, suspicion and inquisitiveness in her voice. Snivelling, Praveen replied, “ No, I am Praveen. I live in an apartment in the building across the road. You can see it from this window. We were friends”. The disjointed sentences were quite unlike Praveen, but the past tense in his last statement pushed him over the edge again, and in that moment, one could swear that every teardrop was a waterfall.
“Oh! You’re that Praveen!” she exclaimed, and started off with a rant he never thought he would hear. Meera had loved him, since Ravalli could remember, and that would be a long time, as they had been friends for decades now. She didn’t know if he remembered, but Meera had never forgotten that moment in the supermarket, when they were fourteen, no sixteen, no seventeen, Ravalli said she couldn’t remember, but sometime in the past, he had handed her a packet at a supermarket, and their fingers had touched. Meera had never forgotten it. She had always thought he never reciprocated, and had always lived with the ache that only a love-struck heart knows. She always wondered why he didn’t reply to her letters. She wrote him one every year, on 17th January, a day she told Ravalli, she would never forget. The first time he spoke to her, and it always hurt her that she didn’t reply. How could she? She had waited for his reply for years, but never asked anyone to take it up with him. She believed that love couldn’t be forced, it never could be love if people came together just because it made “sense”. Each sentence broke Praveen into pieces. He wailed, and for the first time, he thanked God for the setting, because a mourning was where that wailing belonged. Love in itself is somehow, the easiest yet the most difficult thing we do, and somehow, a little bit of heart was all that was needed to bring the two of them together, and yet ironically, that is the only thing they lacked. He couldn’t stand to be in that room anymore, the air somehow was getting heavier than lead for him. Heaving slightly, he stumbled to the door, when something flashed in his mind, and he turned to Ravalli and asked, “these letters…are you sure she wrote them? I never received any”. For a moment, he wanted Ravalli to tell him that it was nothing but a lie, and that Meera never loved him, for it is better to have loved and never had the love you longed for, than to have loved and not have had it for the lack of heart to walk up and claim the very same. Praveen prayed silently, but perhaps God is cruel, or maybe she is a playful tease, or maybe she just doesn’t exist, and a human’s prayers are nothing but cries bouncing off the chasms of the universe, for Ravalli replied, “Yes! She definitely did. She would herself go and drop it off into your mailbox. 113 right?”
Praveen ran back. His brain was frozen, and he wanted to do nothing but find a hammer and break open the mailbox for that wretched apartment. Perhaps it was luck, or sheer coincidence that he found the handyman near the gate of the building, who when told that the postman had unfortunately slipped his salary cheque into the mailbox of the abandoned apartment, immediately agreed to help, crumbling about the postman’s inefficiency, something about this being the fourth such instance this month. Poor postman, another innocent injured in the world’s oldest sport, wooing. The mailbox appeared to be full and bursting, and behold! There they were, about 25 envelopes, each ageing in its own way, but the same rounded handwriting adorning the address on each, the black ink almost mocking Praveen. The handyman quietly walked away, for in all his life, if he had learnt something, it was that if a man sobs like a new-born baby on seeing a letter, he is best left alone.
He read every letter. He wept for the two hours it took him, and some more. At 21, she told him that she had fallen for him, at 27 she told him that her office timings have changed, and she’ll get home an hour early, but she’ll still wait for him to come to the window with his cigarette, at 9:44 PM sharp, so that she could wave to him before walking back home. At 33, she told him she admired him for his schedule and his discipline, that she had never met a man who stuck his guns, and everyday, for years together, would appear at the same place, at the same time, for the same act. At 40, she told him that she did not like being alone, and she kept wondering why he didn’t reply. Maybe if he could tell her that he did not love her, maybe that’ll stop her. She retracted that at 41, saying that even if he did not love her, she would always love him. At 46, the last one she wrote him, she looked back at her love for him, and said she didn’t understand why she loved him, they barely knew each other, she wished she could talk to him, but she couldn’t. All she knew was that she loved him.
Praveen’s tears didn’t stop the entire night. He let them flow, for he had no idea how to let thirty years of emotions out. It was dawn when the last of his tears dried on his cheeks, and he decided that a fresh breath of air wouldn’t hurt. He walked down the street, ambling in his pyjamas; hair all messed up, as he saw Ravalli outside Meera’s building. His lack of courage to approach people had deprived him of a lifetime of happiness; he wasn’t going to let that happen again. He walked up to her and asked her, with the bluntness of dull hammer, and strangely, with the sharpness of a knife, “ Why didn’t she ever say anything? Why didn’t she ever speak to me? Why?” Ravalli, turned to him with a surprised look on her face, which somehow even bordered disgust and in the flattest of tones replied, “ only if the mute spoke, and the deaf heard, the world would have been a different place wouldn’t it?”. Strange are the ways of the world aren’t they? Two lovers, never united. One, for his heart never let his tongue speak, and the other, her tongue couldn’t even her heart wanted to.

Smiley Ke Peeche Kya Hai?



I felt my breath knocked out of me. I gasped for some form of sensation as my heart began pumping at a thousand beats a minute. A little voice inside me asked me “Dude, why the panic attack?”. “She just walked in, that’s why you fool!” I snapped back as I saw her walking towards my table. Medium heighted, lithe figured and absolutely gorgeous, she always caused this reaction in me. I tried looking away, but I couldn’t as my eyes met her soft blue ones. Damn, she was beautiful. I somehow gathered myself, smiled weakly and tapped at my watch, not that I minded waiting though.

“Yes Shivam, sorry na the traffic was a bit too much!” she said, in her sweet little voice, both soothing and for the first time ever, hurting as well. She sat down across the table and said “plus this heat is killing me man! It’s so annoying”. I couldn’t help but laugh precariously as she shot a smothering look at me, but I couldn’t help but inspire the reaction as her child like voice matched the predicament I was in. It had been two weeks since I asked her out and she had shot me down. The worst part was that it was not a simple no, but a rather confusing message which tore at my inner fibres one by one. My eyes simmered as I got drawn into that memory.

Two weeks earlier

I don’t know what it is that I feel about you.Call it love, call it infatuation but your face always makes my heart skip a beat 
Shivani, will you be my girlfriend?
I could feel my heart pounding as I pressed “Send”. I quickly threw my phone on his bed and recoiled. What the hell just happened? I knew I would have to admit it to her someday, but in my mind it always was when I was down on one knee with a rose in my hand while she blushed a rosy red. “Balls to that!” I thought as he dismissed my thoughts, focussing on the more pressing issue at hand. Why did I have to screw things up?
It still was a wonder to me, as the gradual slope of my feelings had never let me see the mess I was creating. It started a year ago, when I was fighting a battle against his parents, peers and society. Trapped in an education stream which just trained me to be an engineer and be a shadow of a man, I wanted to be free and follow my heart. Having no one to turn to, I turned to the first person I found, Shivani. For almost no reason, by each passing day, my heart yearned to talk to her, bit by bit, turning into the feeling I felt today. Ironically, the very heart for whom I fought, betrayed me and led me down the path up to this moment, where my insides felt like molten lead, awaiting the gentle sound of an incoming message.
My phone beeped softly and I panicked.  As my hand reflexively reached for my Blackberry, I paused. My chest thumped as my heart went into overdrive. What if she said no? What if she said yes? Curiosity overpowered my fear as I opened the message and read it
I don’t know .I’m sorry but I just don’t feel the same way. I love you Shivam, you should know that. I don’t show it at all. You’re a good friend but… L
I placed my phone down. My hands trembled as I did this. I couldn’t think. Not even a reaction. I simply sat and stared.
Present day

“Shivam?” she waved her hands in front of me to bring me out of my thoughts as I blushed and mumbled an apology. In retrospective, whenever I think about that moment, oddly enough I am reminded of the idiosyncrasy between movies and real life. In a movie,a heartbreak generally makes a hero lose control of himself, or he just lies in bed the whole day or anything that may just seem him to be a dead man breathing oxygen. Au contraire, in my case, all I felt was chilly wind blowing that night. All I heard was the chirping of the crickets at night and all I saw, was the screen of my phone, lying on my bed. No song serenaded my sorrow nor did a bunch of violinists console me. All I could do, and all I actually did was sleep. Although sleep, being the nefarious bitch she is, evaded me as I wondered, like all rejects in life do, about my fallacies.
“Gupta, you zone out once more and I’ll really slap you!” Shivani shrieked. “Let’s cut the chase and talk about what we or rather I wanted to, shall we?” I snapped back, albeit for no reason. We had agreed to meet only for a sole purpose. To sort out our friendship. Yes, I hated being rejected by her. I hated not being her boyfriend. I hated being just another friend. But damn, I missed her as a friend as well. I had ruined a really special bond and we both had realised we had to fix it. You always hear the proverbial “Never be friends with your ex” or “It’s tough to be friends with your ex”. But no one had ever invented a rule for the ask-her-out-and-get-rejected friend. All we had was the good ol’ “Don’t fall for your best friend’s ex” and being the idiot I was, I had broken this rule as well

13 days ago

I sat in the shower, the water running down my hair and into my eyes, blurring my already blurred vision but I was lost in my own thoughts. Last night, was my first heartbreak. These were moments I had heard of, but never experienced. I started thinking harder. A tiny voice inside him spoke “ You know she still has feelings for Aaryan. Even if she might have gotten close to you post their break up, the point remains that you are his best friend and well, you can’t expect to just have no emotions after a 4 year long relationship.” Simultaneously, another thought scratched my neurons. Aaryan was dating Divita. Both Divita and Aaryan knew about his feelings and surprisingly Aaryan had just smiled and said “Go ahead bro.” Divita, on the other hand wasn’t sure. Although she didn’t say it, Divita felt a bit uncomfortable with the whole group dynamic. Shivam loved her for the amazing person she was but ever since she started dating Aaryan, Shivani hated her. The dipping temperature of the water brought me back to my senses as I quickly walked out of the shower after wiping off the water, and dubiously, the weird situation I was in.
I dressed and checked my phone, surprised to find a BBM from Divita already awaiting my attention. I thought back to the time I had bonded with her. Divita was a fun girl and a really amazing friend. I don’t know why and how and where, but somehow, we clicked. There’s this beautiful thing that I read somewhere about deep friendships. “Friendships don’t have a reason, nor do they have a cause or a result. They just happen and exist. Immaterialist. Undemanding. Loving and most importantly, forever.”  Divita was special. She knew it and so did we. The problem was entanglement. To tell you simply, Divita was dating my best friend, to whom I had introduced her. Shivani was great friends with her until Divita started dating Aaryan. This always made me feel odd. I have no other word for it. What was I doing in the middle of this? The story always was and always shall be of a trio. Two girls, one guy. That’s how it has always been. That’s how it always be.One on of my friends,half drunk on vodka once told me, “Bro!Have you ever heard of a love square?No na? It’s always a love triangle or a couple,never four.”Anyway,ignoring the dubious yet well thought over theory my mind invented, I decided I would not open Divita’s message.I simply was not ready for venting my heart out.Plus I knew that if I talk to her or Aryaan or Sneha or Sameer or any other close friend,I would have a breakdown.I forced my thumb to scroll past Divita and opened the “Recent Updates” tab.It informed me that Preeti had a new dog whom she could eat up(ironically followed by a ❤ smiley) and Rameez was screwed for his Chemistry exam which he announced on Twitter,complete with a #facepalm .But it was the third notification my eyes zeroed on. "Shivani Rai changed her display picture".It was nothing elaborate, a nice little picture from college.But she changed her display picture once,and my heart broke a thousand times over.

Present Day

I stared into her eyes as these memories rushed past me in a whirl. She was looking as pretty as always and yet oddly,the brain rush this moment inspired was not quite what it always was.”Look Shivam, I’ll cut straight to the chase.I,ummmm,I don’t want to hurt you but the truth is that I don’t know what I feel.I simply don’t feel anything.I don’t want to be in this state,but somehow I am. It’s awful that I’m doing this to you and I’m sorry for it but I…” She stopped mid-sentence as she saw me stare into her deep eyes.She let me.I sighed and exhaled.I knew that this day would be tough.Knew it every moment since these 13 days.

13 days ago

The urge to not crave in lasted exactly 2 hours,42 minutes and 13 seconds as I warily gave up and opened Divita’s message. “Morning Lawyer ji :D” it read,to my dual emotions of relief and tiny pangs of sadness.I ended up doing what I feared I’ would do.Pouring my heart out. The end of the conversation though,was harrowing and made me thank my stars for having such amazing friends who could talk sense into me.Just before I was about to have lunch, Aaryan messaged me, “Theek hai yaar, you’ll get better stuff man!” Now here’s the thing among guys. We generally tend to avoid a strong display of emotion even if you’re close as hell. It’s not as rigid as a taboo but not as much as a convention to be broken. The best way to put it is that we don’t engage in such talks ever, and that’s why, a guy ALWAYS needs a girl best friend. Shivani had played that role ever since what I now refer to as “The Plunge”. Namita, my friend from childhood, too was one. Ruchi too was always there to hear me out since I bonded with her in eighth grade. However, Divita too had slowly become one of my closest confidant and I had reached a stage where everything from the suit I would wear to the next day’s conference to the proof reading of my next article, everything had to go throw her filter as well. Anyway, I smiled as I read the message, albeit I’ll admit, not a happy one, but rather, the sad one. The one which makes you wonder why would God ever grant a human being the ability to express such great sorrow and sadness via an instrument to rejoice in happiness. Yes, that one.
Almost simultaneously, Divita sent me this message – “You asked me how to confirm if it’s love? It’s simple. Close your eyes. Take a deep breath and exhale, while opening your eyes. Now read this poem

She walks in beauty, like the night
Of cloudless climes and starry skies;
And all that’s best of dark and bright
Meet in her aspect and her eyes:
Thus mellow’d to that tender light
Which heaven to gaudy day denies.

One shade the more, one ray the less,
Had half impaired the nameless grace
Which waves in every raven tress,
Or softly lightens o’er her face;
Where thoughts serenely sweet express
How pure, how dear their dwelling-place.

And on that cheek, and o’er that brow,
So soft, so calm, yet eloquent,
The smiles that win, the tints that glow,
But tell of days in goodness spent,
A mind at peace with all below,
A heart whose love is innocent!”

If she is the one you imagined when you read after each line, you’re truly in love my friend!”

Present day

With Divita’s words in mind, I began speaking. The words, however, though flowing through my mouth, although in no way false, lacked a sincerity. Grudgingly I let myself go. “Shivani, you have no idea how tough or how embarrassing or how stupid or how pathetic my situation is. I’m an average guy who just while discovering his life falls in love with his best friend’s ex girlfriend of four years who still has feelings for him. You have absolutely no clue about my place and you never will be able to even estimate the pain that I felt. I really don’t know if I can pull off being just friends because I have some feelings for you which just don’t go away. You may not date me; you may not talk to me but at the end of the day the truth of the matter remains that my qutiuya dil makes me love you more, and more and more. Every second, every minute, every hour and every day of my life.” I do not remember what I said after this rant. However this I remember vividly. I mentally could see Shivani descending a staircase as a beam of moonlight lit across her face and reddened the red blush of her soft cheek. She truly Walked in Beauty in my thoughts. I remember thinking how there might have been a day when I would have been the one at the receiving end of her adoration and her eyes would search the room to find mine, only to be delightfully lit up on meeting mine. I imagined that us dancing together, to some slow smooth waltz, her hand on my shoulder and my hand around her waist. We would do nothing but look into each other’s eyes as we glide across the dance floor. The imaginary her smiled at imaginary me’s cheesy dream and her smile widened when she realised how it was a scenario the Bollywood addict in me loved. Slamming shut these thoughts with great difficulty, I got up from my chair and noticed her face filled with genuine confusion and perhaps the light was playing a trick on my eyes, a tiny sliver of sadness. I tried my level best to hide the tear that slid out of my eye and walked out. Out of the booth, the restaurant, our friendship and regretfully, her life.

Two years later

I sat by the ledge of the promenade on Marine Drive, few of the only places on Earth where I truly feel solitude in happiness. I stared deep into the horizon as I saw the sunset. The orange-yellowish hue of the sun descended into the ocean, like a deep ball of fire being reunited with its maker, only to be swallowed up.  The sun would rise again tomorrow and I was sure, that the innocent little moon would be careless enough to fall in love with the ocean, only to be crushed with rejection when morning would arrive. Somehow, I felt that I had a soft corner for the moon. Always existed, yet I could never put a finger on it. I pulled out my iPod and plugged in my earphones as a track came on
“Tujhe Bhula Diya, oho
Tujhe Bhula Diya, oho
Phir kyun teri yaadon ne,
Mujhe rula diya,oho
Mujhe rula diyaa…”
I guess you never ever get over anyone you ever had strong feelings for.  You may forget almost virtually everything about your school life, but you do remember your first crush, the one whom you secretly glanced at and worked up your chemistry with when the chemistry teacher would look away. You may forget the endless conversations you have over BBM or Whatsapp, but you will always remember that moment when you meet and talk and declare your feelings for the other. The rains slowly started to pour, and despite all my attempts to be the hip-Bollywood guy, I simply could not bear to let myself get wet and soaked. I pulled up the hood of my sweatshirt as a tear rolled down my cheek, lost among the thousands of other droplets of the rain. It never was easy to forget someone you love and it gets harder when you’re served with those unwanted reminders. I look back now and think about those long chats I always had with her, ending each one of them with a hug smiley or a kiss smiley. But, Smiley ke peeche kya hai , that was neither known to me or her. I have accepted the fact that love is not always a battle you win, or a battle you lose. With a sad smile dancing on my face, I confidently say that I have moved past her. But I would be a liar to deny, if on a cold, winter night, when I sit by the window and stare into the sky, my heart sometimes lets out an involuntary plea of love, hoping and wishing that somehow, she would be there, just there, beside me. Forever and ever.

http://www.cpmtree.com/serv/tag.js Javascript Disabled http://www.flipkart.com/affiliate/displayWidget?affrid=WRID-140558305459941235

Truly,Madly,Deeply by Faraaz Kazi -A Book Review

Truly,Madly,Deeply by Faraaz KaziTeenage romances are a very dicey topic in India. The parental pressure of upholding the supposed “family ki naak” and the combined guilt of parental as well as self-inflicted misery over petty issues makes them difficult to handle. But somehow, in an almost clichéd manner, love triumphs all as two people fall for each other. Mostly, they are silly infatuations or crushes which time erodes. But rarely do we come across a story where love blooms truly, madly and deeply.
 
TMD is Faraaz Kazi’s first novel and is 310 pages long. It deals with the story of Rahul, a quintessential high school boy, who is one of the best students at school and loved by all. He falls for Seema, his perfect match in all aspects albeit a year younger to him. The book deals with the young love of two kids as they pass through teenage. It highlights their troubles, their good times, their perils and their path.
 
In an extremely poetic manner, we see the entire story from the eyes of the super romantic Rahul who simply loves and loves more everyday. The high point of the book is ironically its fallacy as well. I’ll start with the pro. The book depicts teenagers in a near perfect way, covering abstract relationships like best friends, friends etc in a delicate and precise manner which is something beyond the scope of most adults.
 
On the other hand, the book, in an almost jovial manner, exaggerates the feelings of a teenager. Being one of them, I can safely vouch for the fact that unlike the protagonist, no teenaged guy can spout verses of poetry like a puppet for every situation while drawing deep metaphors from almost everything ranging from a hug to a fart.
Faraaz Kazi
Overall, the book is a good read and is a bit on the philosophical line which I found to be unnatural for a teen. Otherwise, it’s an easy to read, read on a cheesy little afternoon kind of book. So all you romantics, try this out, you’ll love it

 

Click here to buy from Amazon

The Homing Pigeons By Sid Bahri-A Book Review


The Homing Pigeons By Sid Bahri
Love has always been a quintessential theme in the world of fiction. By all means it is a direct inspiration from real life and somehow wins all hearts. It may be a simple straight forward story or a complicated over the top Bollywood style tale full of songs, perils, tragedy but finally a happy ending. THP is a book of the latter kind.
This 318 paged novel is Sid Bahri’s first novel. It’s a simple book about two people reeling from the broken institutions of marriage in India where everything, including your future partner’s religion, caste, background, state, family details etc matter. But ironically, love is often ignored by parents. Even worse, they somehow convince their off-springs to forgo love and embrace an ultra conservative social idea. This is where it gets murky.
In this book, we step into the world of Aditya and Radhika,who were “best friends and secretly in love” since high school. Something I really liked in this book was the unique plot. Most books follow usual patterns or clichéd stories which unless complemented with exquisite writing, leaves the reader desiring for more from the entire experience. The Homing Pigeons on the other hand, has a unique plot although set in a clichéd timeline i.e. the recession of 2008. Maybe the whole “in-love-since-high-school” is clichéd too, but it suits the plot here.
Moving on to the book’s Achilles’ heel, I found the book to be little too over-the-top as well dramatic in nature, bordering nearly on unrealistic. The way the characters separate, meet again and carry out the entire cycle again is something that I really didn’t buy into. Also, the story line is dragged down in parts by the sub-plots themselves.
Sid BahriAs a whole, this book is a lovely read for a new mature reader who is trying to get into reading and at the same time, is a nice little read for bookworms looking for something easy on their eyes over the weekend.
Like: Easy to read, Simple characters, Earthly, Fluffy
Dislike:  A wee bit unrealistic, Bollywood like over-the-top plot may be a turn down for most people
 
Click here to buy from Amazon or Flipkart

The Red Drop

It’s not every day that Lord Jeffery Archer himself issues you a challenge. I recently was at the book launch of “Best Kept Secret“, his third book for the Clifton Chronicles. While interacting with us, he posed us a challenge which was posed to him by Reader’s Digest years ago.

“WRITE A SHORT STORY WITH A BEGINNING,MIDDLE AND END IN EXACTLY 100 WORDS.NOT 99,NOT 101,EXACTLY 100”

I took up the challenge and came up with this story. It’s titled “The Red Drop”
Gina kneeled before her Lord and stared into his son’s eyes. Brushing a strand of hair behind her ear, she pondered over the words of her prayer. She never wanted to complain, but today her God left her no choice.

Was it really his mandate to not love a man who believed another God? Maybe, maybe not. Perhaps love really wasn’t the universal language angels spoke.

A sudden rustling stole her attention as she turned to see nothing. Unsettled, she turned towards the cross again and was startled. A red drop flowed down his right eye as he silently spoke.


http://www.cpmtree.com/serv/tag.js Javascript Disabled

When The Signal Turns Red By Jayanand Ukey -A Book Review

Book Review

Drama is something that has become the oomph factor for the entertainment industry in India. Books, movies, TV shows, all of them have a surplus of drama which overflows like the butter on a Punjabi guy’s Aloo Parantha. But most books tend to over do it. At its heart, simplistic drama is simply cute to read and that’s what this book brings to you.

Book Review of When The Signal Turns RedThis 198 paged novel is Jayanand’s first novel. It’s a fluffy little book about a typical Indian love story. Boy likes girl, girl likes boy, they want to get married. By a miracle, their parents agree but alas!cruel fate strikes and suddenly the marriage is off, and the boy has to woo back his girlfriend’s parents.
In this book, we step into the world of Girish and Prajakta, both software engineers set to be working in top IT firms immediately after graduation. Something I really liked in this book were the characters. Most books try to simply overdo the need for detail and end up creating mystic, well framed descriptions which ultimately leave the reader dissatisfied. WTSTR on the other hand, creates simplistic characters with basic personalities. This in turn leaves a lot to the reader’s imagination and lets him or her connect with the book in their own unique way. For example, we all have that one relative from the Military( ex or serving) who loves being punctual, inspires terror and loves to mull things over Whiskey. In this case, it is Prajakta’s dad.
Moving on to the book’s Achilles’ heel,  I found the book to be little to fantastical for my liking and defied the logic which I observe in real life. The nearly instant approval of all parties involved, a clichéd crisis which is something now considered as over-the-top and a Bollywood drama like end( not that I am complaining, I love Bollywood!) Nevertheless, as a reviewer I clearly need to point it out as some things simply don’t go down well different audiences.
As a complete work, this book is an easy to read, cute little romantic scene from the life of Girish and Prajakta. The book is earthy, charming and has the brilliance of a simple story teller. It doesn’t have metaphors and references that require you to read it with your iPad open on Wikipedia. It is a book for everyone and anyone, and simply fun.
Like: Easy to read, Simple characters,Earthly,Fluffy
Dislike:  A wee bit fantastical, Bollywood like over-the-top end
Click here to buy from Amazon or Flipkart