Amidst all the stigmas, bigotries, and rights and wrongs, love manages to thrive. An evergreen subject of constant debate, love has conspired to shape devotion, conservation, art, poetry, wars, and even politics. Love Stories For New Adults is an anthology of ten contemporary love stories by ten present-day authors belonging to different backgrounds, age groups, and perceptions. Likewise, all the stories in this book are distinctively unique.
Dating apps have redefined the rules of love. As much as this helps to bring a few hearts closer, it also acts as a downright medium for the opportunists. Pankaj Dubey’s ‘The Right Swipe’ is a story of love-starved girl Suparna resorting to the modern ways to find love. ‘Blue Sky’ by Kheda Baidya is a humble story about a dutiful wife and mother, reminiscing some of the chapters of her life, and trying to write the new ones. S. Arun Kumar has picked rather a simply complex subject ‘Love Letter’. The story revolves around identifying the secret admirer and the confusion it brings along. Kathakali Mukherjee, on the other hand, in her story ‘In Search of a Love Story’, has beautifully captured the story of two women who left behind their usual life for an unusual one, for the sake of nothing but love.
“I met her partner, a sewing machine teacher in a school, in the evening. Her sight shocked me – the dark, extremely thin, tall lady with an unfriendly face and rude penetrating eyes was quite a contrast to my fat jolly grandma not only in looks but also in behavior”
Pradyuman Mishra’s ‘Mission Accomplished’ is yet another story of complex emotions, about finding the right partner for someone you love. The fast-paced story with a sudden turns of events towards the end leaves you contemplating about the protagonist’s choice. ‘Love, Longing & Beyond’ written by Afshen Khan is a heart-touching story of two lovers separated years ago, meeting at an altogether different stage of their lives.
“Their eyes met after forty years.’Mr. Dasgupta, you can sit in the lawn with Mithali Ji. She will tell you about the renovation plan for our old age home. You can handover the cheque to her’ the caretaker interrupted.”
And then there is Devang Desai’s ‘Behind the Scenes’, the story of Sajjan, Madhu, and Kalpana, and the discovery of their true love. The author has written some gripping dialogues, and narration, that holding the reader’s attention all the while.
“Love was her religion; her joy was in many seductions and not in the pursuit of seeking an anchor. I had only you in mind and there would never be another to waste time on. I made her see that in you. I had to make those secret pacts and drills that made her attached and bound.”
‘Rising Above the Blue’ by Nazneen Kachwala, is a story of passionate love finding means to survive in the middle of the strangest circumstantial build-ups. The story dramatically goes back and forth in time depicting the relationship of a father and daughter besides those of two inseparable lovers.
“As the evening set in, the game went on to become more exciting for the duo. They could not take their eyes off each other. There was the obvious playful touch that kept turning intimate with every passing moment. He held her waist as she bent for a strike. She held his hand close to her bosom. One thing led to another. In no time they found themselves in each other’s arms, kissing.”
Shunu Mashi’s loving character in Purnesh Bhattacharya’s ‘A Less Imagined LOVE STORY’ steals all the charm; however, the storyline firmly narrates the aspirations of 41-year-old Jatin seeking a perfect partner. The complexities of Jatin’s character are flawlessly described. The last story of the book, ‘Myself Adnanji’ by Sufi House is ten folds different. The sweetness in the title is in itself quite alluring. Setup in Lahore’s oldest red-light district, the story has almost all the elements of love, drama, and tint of action making it a superb read. This is a soulful story of Adnan, a simple young local shopkeeper’s boy and Jamala, a prostitute.
“I was a young boy as you know Ji, at this age, hormones do play havoc in one’s body. My first brush with the voluptuous Jamala was at this very place. She had walked in, red lipstick and all, and asked for three kilos of rice. As I went about doing my thing, I managed to steal a few glances at her. She was a pretty woman, very pretty, and I wondered what it would be like to hold her pretty face in my hands Ji”
The book holds intricate life situations, numerous characters, and stories that stay with you for a very long time. All the authors have demonstrated remarkable storytelling skills, my favorites being Kathakali Mukerjee’s ‘In Search of a Love Story’ and Sufi House’s ‘Myself Adnanji’. This book is not only for love story fans but it is for all those who look forward to exploring some level of emotional and intellectual depth in their reads.
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Review by: Nazneen Kachwala