When many authors come together in an anthology, they bring their own style to it. And some are better to read than others. The common thread that ties these together is important. In this book, that thread is Love.
Twenty four authors come together in this anthology compiled and edited by four people. The cover is one that I liked, and felt draws the reader in. I’m reviewing the stories in random order.
1. I’m All Yours
The story by Saravana Kumar Murugan and Simran Kaur is a sweet story of teenage love. I liked how the story develops through poetry. The teenage emotions are also nicely dealt with. I don’t mind predictability with such short stories, but I felt this story was a bit too easy for me to predict the ending. Still, am happy for the happily ever after.
2. The Eternal Spring
Sometimes I forget that love needn’t be just romantic love. It can be the love a son has for his parents too. Though the main story stays romantic, Udit’s love for his parents is what I liked best in this tale by Karan Sampat. The way he celebrates the love his parents have for him, and for each other, I feel is beautiful.
3. New Year’s Eve
Aathira Jim weaves business and pleasure together with a love story that felt deeper than what I initially thought. Lovely descriptive writing at times, and enjoyed the build up to the end. Love triumphing over differences. It was nice;made me wonder if that love will last if business superseded pleasure.
4. The Eternal Wait
A love that transcends time, that’s what Namrata a.k.a. Privy Trifles brings to the book with this story. I like the hope that was woven through the story till almost the very end. It made me hopeful of a happy ending that didn’t come in the end.
5. Love Comes Softly
How often we yearn to know the story of our parents! How they met, how their bond became strong, all that! When (or if) they tell us, it feels right out of a book. Miranda Grey shares the love story of a couple, told by the mother to her daughter at the latter’s insistence. In this story, I liked the attention to details, like the anxiety of the bride, the childhood memories etc. It made me smile.
6. The Recap
Memories and trinkets from a love story are priceless to the stars of that story. The letters that they sent to each other bring back the memories associated with it for Dhruv and Akkriti, the stars of this story by Shravya Gunipudi. I liked reading the letters, which added to the characters too, aspects like innocence and possessiveness, and the sweet way they celebrate their anniversary.
7. Love and Hatred in Kerela
Saranya Iyer tells the tale of Ravi and Prema, their love not accepted because they were from different castes. The determination to make their love succeed is what I liked most about the story, as well as the character of the grandmother Pushpalaxmi. What didn’t work for me was the timelines, which felt confusing and made the story feel hurried as well.
It’s nice when friendship turns to love. And it is pursued across countries. Tina Basu brings such a story for our reading pleasure. I like the way she has developed the events, but I could know the direction it was headed from early on in the narration itself. Still, am happy for the happily ever after.
9. About Time
Ruchita Mahimkar brings not one, but two love stories with this tale. A chance meeting between Taksh and Rhea at the bar leads to an online talk on Twitter. They meet again, and their lives begin to change, but so do the lives of Rohini and Arun, their grandparents. I liked the happy ending, and the memories of the grandparents. The story reminded me of a movie in Malayalam too.
10. I Wanna Grow Old With You
Love is, at times, more powerful than we realize. And it survives the obstacles which otherwise bring it down – distance, family, time. Anmol Rawat’s story is about such a love. I loved the way the timelines intertwine, yet make sense. I love the way Shaurya’s love is portrayed. And the ending (or was it the beginning?)
11. Magic of Mask
I liked this story by Niranjan Navalgud for it was different from the usual. Falling in love with a magician who wears a mask, that’s not something I’ve read before. I kind of liked the ending too. But the ‘illness’ part, for me, was clichéd. It took some quality away from what was, till then, a beautiful love story.
12. Timeless Love
Shashank Tiwari weaves a story with the recollections of a woman as told to a writer, the woman’s idea of love and how it touches the writer. The simple love story appealed to me as a reader too. I’d have loved to know more of that love story, but once the chain of memories is broken and the conversation between woman and writer starts, it feels hurried.
13. My Red Knight
I like the setting – the 18th century. Not many love stories would have even been entertained by that generation, so it was a delight to read that, and read a happy ending too. I had hoped the character of the father would be different, but turned out not to be. It made it realistic, though. I enjoyed the story, except for the first couple of pages, which I felt were slow. Well written, Preethi Venugopala.
14. The Proposal
Prasanth Sreevalsam takes the ‘moment of nervousness to ask out the dream girl’ and makes that into a story. I liked the contrast of the confident Arjun and the nervous one, and when I realized what made the confidence, I laughed. It was relatable. I didn’t quite follow the ending though. It left me confused.
15. Love Through Ages
Arvind Sampath takes the reader to 1919, to a love story that began on one of the most catastrophic days for India – the Jallianwalabagh Massacre. What I liked in the story was the determination of the boy to save the girl and the girl to save the boy, which felt the perfect way to begin. But after that, the narration felt rushed, and almost very ‘to-the-point’, and didn’t engage me as a reader.
16. Beyond Eternity
It is wonderful to know that love can happen at any time. Such a love is the cynosure of this story by Vinodini Iyer. I smiled the moment I read the character names – Radha & Krishna. I liked how the same moment in time was shown from two different angles. But to be honest, the best part of the story is the conclusion.
17. Perhaps We Could Have Been
Some love stories don’t happen, but the love continues to be beyond that. This story by Sreesha Divakaran is one such. The title is apt, for there perhaps could have been a love story, but the ending makes me wonder if there still might be. As many stories in this collection have shown, love could happen at any age after all. I wished there were few more moments of their ‘almost’ love story shown to us.
18. Que Sera Sera
This is a story co-authored by Rafaa Dalvi and Aleifiya Bagasrawala. Love is, at times, taken for granted. Does it survive that? Does it wait for other dreams to happen in life? The story of Zaheer and Aliya takes us down that road. I liked the way Zaheer’s thoughts are portrayed – the hope that their love will survive shines through. But I wondered about the ending line. Could it have been different, yet not changed the love story?
19. When You Are By My Side
What I liked in this story by Datta Ghosh was the way the characters interacted, how the love was there, though the story of the characters went in different ways, and how it ended. Honestly, I didn’t quite understand the story at first. The “he-she” usage without revealing the names of the characters right to the end might have been the reason, but I liked it overall.
Some relationships are held together by a deeper stitch than what is visible to the world. One such is the relationship between the parents of Prerna, the character in Soumya Prasad’s story. I liked that depth. It made sense. I wondered why they had to break up.
21. A Journey of Choice
Love can change our character when it is true. Garima Behal shares the story of such a love with this one. It is the story of Atif and Adah, how they met, how she accepted who he was, but wanted him to change, and how he does change. I loved that positivity overall, though I wish their love story had had a happy ending. It felt unfair, but looking at it from another point of view, it made it realistic too.
22. Love’s Destiny
Prasanna Rao takes us time traveling through a journal and shares with us a story of friendship and love in a time of turmoil. The love ‘angle’ was something quite unexpected. It made me smile, as did the conclusion to the father-son relationship. I’d have loved to know what happened to Noor though. That thread felt unfinished.
23. The Partition of Love
Soumyaa Verma narrates a love story as observed by someone who helps to try and make that love story come true. What I loved was the way that love is expressed not only in the letters of the lovers, but also in the anxiety of the woman, Sharmila, and her hope, which gives even the writer of her letters hope in life. It made me hopeful of their love story getting a happy ending too.
24. The Veil of Silent Love
Deepti Menon shares the story of Anand and Meghna, from the time they first meet, to their married life, and to the conclusion. I liked the characters, be it the ‘talkative’ Anand & Mukta or the ‘silent’ Meghna and Shana. But I liked the strength of their love most of all. I did wish that the story had shared more of their happier times.
The stories kept me engaged as a reader. On the whole, I was quite happy with the editing, though I must say there are few places where the language and the editing could have been better. Though it’s not a big drawback, what I missed in the paperback was a contents page. The cover design, as I mentioned earlier was quite appealing for me. My final rating is 8 on 10 (4 stars on 5).
|Title: A Little Chorus of Love|
Preethi Venugopala, Anmol Rawat,
Tina Basu and Soumyaa Verma
|ISBN/ASIN: 9789385137211||Publisher: Authors Ink|
(© 26th February 2016)