The genre of love/romance fiction is the most popular in India, I feel. The number of books that come out each year from Indian authors in the genre are proof of that. Another one to join that number recently is an anthology of love stories, the second of its series, Uff Ye Emotions 2. The book brings out 11 stories, one from a popular Indian author, who is the editor of the book, and the remaining ten from new authors selected from entries received as part of a contest.
I reviewed the first book here last year. I was hoping this book would be better than the first edition when I was approached by one of the authors in the book for giving a review. When something works, it’s logical to go with the same I guess. The cover design of this book is very similar to Uff Ye Emotions 1, except for the flaming numeral 2 to signify the second edition. Appealing design it is, to say the least.
I’ll try to delve a little into the stories without giving too much away. I’m going in the order I read the stories, and not the indexed order.
1. 120 Minutes (author: Saravana Kumar Murugan) shares the simple love story of a couple. The guy leaves early from work to avoid bad weather, only to get caught in it. Little things that usually don’t matter in such a situation still matter to him, and those things delay his return home to his wife. Knowing the author, I feel he could have made it better by showing the perspective of the wife as well. That said, there is a touch of his style in the work. No twists here, just a simple straightforward story that I quite liked.
2. Love and Sacrifices (authors: Heena Ahuja & Meghant Parmar) is written in flashback style. The character we are first introduced to, Kent, is an author who is writing a story, the true love story of his parents, how they met, fell in love, and decided to get married. His mother is Indian, and father is Scottish, so you can imagine the furore it would have created. I won’t get into more details. The story is quite nice, and I enjoyed reading it. Some parts aren’t very believable, and perhaps a change here and there would have sufficed to correct that. The story had a nice pace, and quite liked the poems in it too.
3. The Pale Pigeon (author: Siddhartha Yadav) is a bittersweet read. It is a love story, but brings out more than just a love story. It felt like it could have happened. It’s a family story of sorts, with the focus on the life of Richa and Mohit, an elderly couple. The thing I liked here was the realism touch, and that the couple stood through thick and thin. Nice ending as well. I’d have loved to read more about the couple and their love story, but more focus has been given to the family angle, which takes away just a little from it overall.
4. The Client (author: Vinit Bansal) is based on a real incident. I felt like I’d read a similar themed one somewhere before, not sure where. This is the story of Riva, a prostitute and her client, Chandrakant Malhotra. I can frankly say that this was much better than his story from Uff1. I liked it because it was different, and the love was quite clear at the end. The ending for Riva was bittersweet. But the prologue like ending for the story could have been done better.
5. Dilemma (author: Tarang Sinha) is one of my favorite stories in the anthology, for the reason that it explores a different kind of love altogether. The plot of the story is simple, and the ending isn’t unpredictable once the crucial incident happens, but the exploration of that dilemma and bringing out that love was something the author did nicely, which made the simplicity appealing, and that I loved to read. It made Ashima’s life alive through words, and I wanted to know more about her life after her final decision.
6. Moksha (author: Kunal Marathe) is different because the story starts with a court hearing. The character, Arshdeep Verma, has been charged with murdering his wife. At the court, he shares the love story as he tries to explain his actions. What I liked was the strong-willed character Arshdeep, and his interaction with his mother before the marriage. It was done right, with emotional blackmail and such. What I didn’t like was that the turning point comes too soon into the story. The love shown is of a strong one, and the ending is what matters, but the turning point still felt hurried.
7. NCERT of LOVE (authors: Udita Pal & Himanshu Chhabra) is the sweet love story of two kids studying in the 8th standard. A love story told through letters, and that focuses on first love and its innocence. A nice story which leaves me with a smile.
8. Hickey (author: Heema Shirvaikar) explores love and the ideas of it, first from the eyes of young Maya, and then her understanding as it grows. When her elder sister returns home for the first time after marriage, Maya finds bruises on her sister. But her sister shrugs them off as marks, stories of love that her husband gifts her, with a sweet pain. The story explores such fake ideas of love that are told to keep domestic abuse a secret, and sends a message out that it is wrong. A story to savor.
9. I’ll Be There (author: Ishani Malhotra) is the story of an unexpected love story that happens when Sheena and Sahil meet each other at a resort. It’s nice to read, with the girl playing hard-to-get, because she had just ended a relationship and didn’t want to jump into another one though the guy was handsome and charming. Oh, and the girl is a story writer as well. A nice read.
10. The Woman Who Waited (author: Shalini Katyal) is the story of Madhumita and Ashish, whose love blossomed from a deep friendship, till the latter suddenly broke it off and went away. The girl, refusing to believe the reason, still waited for him to return. I liked the story, but it felt eerily familiar. The poems are quite nice to read and the emotions were brought out well as well.
11. When Destiny Strikes (author: Mahi Singla) was a story I liked for the ending, a story about friendship as much as love. The events happen quickly, and are narrated well. I liked the character of Gunjan too.
I think, overall, this set of stories were better than those in the first book (which had just 2 or 3 memorable ones). The editing overall is also better in comparison to the first book, but still can be much better. One thing I didn’t like at all was calling it India’s most loved story book. It’s a good anthology, but not something that would replace beloved books like Chandamama, or Panchatantra or Tinkle etc. The stories explore different kinds of love, but are more straightforward in their approach. I think it’d be good for a journey, because the stories have enough oomph in them to keep you entertained throughout.
In A Gist:
Positives: Cover design, variety of stories, few memorable ones with takeaways as well.
Negatives: Mostly simple and straightforward stories; overall editing and grammar.
Title: Uff Ye Emotions 2
Series: Uff Ye Emotions Anthology #2
Author: Vinit Bansal (editor), Multiple Authors
Genre: Anthology, Love Stories
Publisher: General Press
Price: INR. 140
(24th January, 2014)