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. Continue reading “Book Review: Uff Ye Emotions 2, Anthology Edited By Vinit K Bansal”
About the editor:
Vinit K Bansal is the author of the book “I am heartless: A real confession” which is already among the bestseller charts in India. That book has already been translated to Hindi and released as “Who Chali Gayi”. He is a voracious reader, and continues to nurture the dream of writing.
The book in a nutshell:
“Uff ye Emotions” (meaning Oh! These Emotions) is an anthology of twelve love stories written by thirteen authors. It is the culmination of the contest in the same name held by the publication house and selected by the editor from many other entries vying to get into the collection.
The book brings out the different hues of emotions associated with love… adoration, affection, friendship, lust, desire etc. It blends into a time in the Indian writing scene when love stories are becoming the most sought genre.
Delving into the stories:
When the book has stories from different authors, a summary of the positives and negatives might not give an overall picture. Since the number of stories in the book is less, I give you my thoughts on each story quickly.
#1: Love @ Platform by Vinit Bansal: Quite frankly, I like the idea. Sacrifice and understanding are quite essential in love, and the story revolves around that. But I’ll be damned if I understand why the story ended the way it did. The gal sacrifices a lot for the guy she loves; she gets him a sponsorship for his biggest materialistic dream; that’s all peachy, but why not stay in his life? Or tell him she’s sure he’ll make it big and that she’ll wait for him? Sacrificing the relationship for the betterment of the guy felt odd to me. It’s an emotional scene, but at that point, it felt like I was being bribed to get the tears out rather than let the emotions spill it.
#2: Soulmate by Anjit Sharma: I found it creepy. Very “One Night @ Call Center”ish beginning, and a tad unbelievable, even for a fiction. I’m no relationship expert, but at late night hours, in a bus stand, I don’t think any gal would just jump into a conversation with a guy she’s never met before. Perhaps the twist that comes out later in the story was meant to justify that, but it felt odd to me. The reports of Zara’s rape brings the recent events of Nirbhaya and Delhi back to mind, and it does make it sad.
#3: A Date with the Fate by Abhilash Ruhela: I like this story a tad more than the previous two, mostly because of the flashback that is inserted into it. It got a change to the pattern, which felt refreshing. I’m assuming the title was meant to be “A Date with Fate” rather than what it is, and it got changed along with umpteen other reading errors I picked up in the story. Maybe even “A Date with Destiny” would sound better. The thing I don’t quite like in the story is there are some details that don’t quite matter to the destiny of the plot, like getting ready for the first day “gettogether” party and such. Overall, it’s a good attempt.
#4: Reminiscences by Priyanka Dey: It felt strangely familiar. Again, the sacrifice part comes out, but in this case, the sacrifice on the part of the heroine is quite needed for the guy to progress, move on. But once again, I’m not quite happy with how it ended. Like the first story, it felt like the ending twist was just for pushing the tears out, than getting the emotions to take over. It was abrupt, and from this authoress, I expected something more than that.
#5: A Path of Thorns by Suresh: One of the best in the book, in my opinion. The title grabs the attention of the reader, and justifies itself with the story. The reluctance of the heroine to delve deeper because of her past, the frustration of the hero, the flashback and the resolution, were all quite well done. If anything holds it back, I think the abrupt, on the spot dialogue of the characters at one time might have been better put.
#6: Love in the Times of Turbulence by Saurabh Arya: Good that people need support when they are just inches away from giving up on a dream, and that the person who loves them understands that. The story was slow to develop, but the ending once again undid the story.
#7: Love Undefined by Pankaj Mittal & Rachna Sheth: The simple, yet moving love story of a couple. I liked the direct dialogue that still showed the love and affection between the couple. The change factor came out all of a sudden. One moment all is fine, the next moment… BOOM. A bomb comes into the picture and their love is tested. The different definition of love afterward was a nice change to see though.
#8: Happily ever after by Sanhita Baruah: This was the second story in the anthology that held my attention throughout. The twist in the middle seemed to make sense, and I could anticipate it to a certain extent as well. The ending seemed a little hurried perhaps, but nothing that holds it back. To me, the best in the collection.
#9: The Intercity Express by Stephen Anthony: A good story, but it didn’t hold my attention. It felt more about the job of the protagonist than love. The dialogues at times were confusing.
#10: I love you too, I love you too by Himanshu Chhabra: A sweet love story, with some poems as well. The author writes a story from college, and he’s a student too. So it was expected. I’d have liked the girl to let the guy read the slam book, but like the author says, relationships don’t need tags.
#11: And then, I fell in love by Drishti Dasgupta: This was a nice story, one of the better ones in the book I feel. Nothing very detracting, except maybe for the Labradors part which was funny, but still… I think the ending was the right way to end not only the story, but also the book.
Firstly, my congratulations to the cover designer Sunil Kaushik. I think this book has one of the nicest covers I’ve seen recently. Coming to the content, in an anthology, the stories must blend together in some way, yet be different too. I think they were mostly similar, in the aspect that quite a few of them had the protagonist on a train or a bus at one point in time. It makes me wonder if love can’t happen elsewhere you know? Why must it be so “vehicular”? Another thing that makes sort of sad is that some of the stories, the turning point, or the twist is so sudden. Yeah, life is sudden, but not THAT sudden. I like happy endings, but understand also that there are sad endings, but some in this book are incomplete endings. But what I found the most detracting throughout the book was the absence of editing, even in the contents page. I agree that a novel might have one or two mistakes in editing somewhehere, so many of them in each story of an anthology is to me a big no-no. The stories bring the sense of love and its emotions as promised, and there are 3 or 4 that make you smile as well. Overall, a decent read, but I expected much more than this.
Book title: Uff Ye Emotions
Author: Multiple authors
Editor: Vinit K Bansal
Genre: Anthology / Love Stories
Price: INR 139
(March 9th, 2013)