An anthology that holds within its pages a rainbow in the form of seven short novellas ‘Something Old, Something New’ sees seven authors known for their different styles of writing and totally different creative bend of the mind get together to explore a theme that’s dear to many a romantic at heart – second chances. While love is divine, deceit is damaging. While all love stories may not end in happily ever after, all failures in love need not be written off completely. ‘Something Old, Something New’ sees hearts battling against ego, fear, and guilt. Passions run high, and at times one can actually feel the heat of their anger, their ire. Will the protagonists in each of these seven novellas give love a second chance or will they turn their face away is a question only the authors and their stories can answer.
No Other Love by Aarti V Raman
When ego and jealousy overcrowd the mind, relationships turn sour and love takes a beating. To compound an already shaky relationship if you have overbearing parents too, then God alone can save you. ‘No Other Love’ by Aarti V Raman sees two souls born and brought up in two entirely different worlds see their relationship hit rock bottom and end up in a divorce. Will they be able to salvage their marriage or will they go their separate ways is a question that only a reading of this short and sweet novella can answer.
Peppered with emotions like fun, frolic, passion, and despair in right measures, ‘No Other Love’ also saw my eyes go moist at one place. Though the story is all about giving love a second chance, it also sees the author address the issue of the delicate balance that needs to be maintained by every member of a family to see relationships survive and thrive albeit indirectly. A fine example of the adage opposites attract ‘No Other Love’ is riveting.
Never Stopped Loving You by Ruchi Singh
True to her nature author Ruchi Singh takes her readers on a ride on the crest of romance combined with suspense. She strikes right where it matters most the heart and the brain, a deadly combination when you consider that sometimes when the two get together they are liable to wreak havoc in the lives of the innocent and unsuspecting.
When the handsome and suave Arjun Singh Tomar and his ex-wife Radhika come face-to-face at a restaurant in Mumbai little do they foresee the upheaval the same is going to cause in their already complicated lives. The meeting an unsavory one that sees Radhika throw a glass of wine right into Arjun’s face, culminates in the opening of the proverbial Pandora’s Box. Truths both savory and unsavory tumble out of the box. Love seeks another chance, but will the deceit of the past allow it to succeed? Will ego give way to humility, and will the scars of the wronged one be ready to forgive and forget?………Only a reading of this intense and racy romantic thriller will reveal the truth.
My Warmest Sorrow by Preethi Venugopala
Religion and social status have always played spoilsport where matters of the heart are concerned. ‘My Warmest Sorrow’ by Preethi Venugopala sees the beautiful and petite Diana and the young and handsome Ajay Menon hit it off right from the day they meet. However, by the time they realize that they are made for each other fate intervenes. Diana ditches Ajay for another. Does Ajay go the Devadas way or does he strike back with vengeance? Will Diana ever forgive herself or will she forget and move on in life?……. ‘My Warmest Sorrow’ alone has the answers.
An absorbing read, ‘My Warmest Sorrow’ shows how one wrong move can wreck lives, and how one right move can spread light. Along with dealing with societal evils ruled by religious fanaticism and false notions about status standings, the story emphasizes the need for family support to overcome the dark phase in one’s life arising out of anxiety and depression albeit indirectly. It also addresses the need to talk and sort out things instead of making assumptions and arriving at conclusions that are likely to aggravate situations and make matters worse.
Coming Home by Andaleeb Wajid
Ditched by his love, Jahangir turns out to be an embittered man. Years later when fate intervenes in the form of his aunt’s illness Jahangir sees a closed chapter of his life open up once again. How will Jahangir react when he comes face to face with Meesha his ex-lover? Will bitterness overshadow good sense? Will Meesha still have the power to ignite the flame of love within him?……. Coming Home holds the answers.
Written in lucid language ‘Coming Home’ is a story of childhood love crushed before time due to parental pressure. It is also the story of a single mother’s struggle to keep not only the home and hearth warm, but also provide psychological support to her son who finds it difficult to come to terms with the fact that his father has abandoned him forever. It is the story of broken hearts and a broken home. Replete with emotions like love and regret, ‘Coming Home’ is a breezy read with a little bit of twist in the form of Natasha. Now, who is Natasha?……..Find out for yourself ;).
My Heart’s Regret by Shilpa Suraj
When Chief Officer Raghav Cherukuri returns home after years of self- banishment, he has no intention to cause an upheaval in the feisty Samaira Reddy’s life. He just wants to ensure that his parents lead the rest of their life in peace and for that he plans to take them away from the Hyderabad to Chennai. But fate has other plans both for him and his parents. Misunderstandings cleared, old flames are rekindled, but the path ahead is a rough one full of thorns. Family honour plays spoilsport and sees ex- lover’s partway once again. Will a day come when they will re- unite or will they pine for each other throughout their lives is a question that only a reading of the novella can answer.
A cleverly crafted story ‘My Heart’s Regret’ sees humiliation give way to fury, and misunderstanding lead the way to loss.
Paper Hearts and Promises by Devika Fernando
Broken hearts and broken promises lead to bitterness that’s not easy to forget. ‘Paper Hearts and Promises’ sees an embittered Luke accidentally come across his ex-flame. What follows is a story vivid with imagery that is sure to keep the reader hooked. The how, what, and why of Luke and Taara’s relationship is delivered by the author in lucid language that sees each little expression be it the twitch of a muscle or a grimace delivered flawlessly, making it easy for the reader to relate with the feelings of the characters, their situations, and their dilemma with ease.
If one were to ask me what is unique about this story, and what sets it apart from the rest six then I’d say that the characters drawn from two different continents with diverse cultures makes it unique, and it is the imagery and style of narration that sets it apart from the other novellas in the anthology.
Blood Red Love by Neil D’Silva
A unique take on second chances, ‘Blood Red Love’ by Neil D’Silva stands out in that it has a Pakshin as its protagonist and is a combination of romance, horror, and fantasy.
When the determined Vimal Kapoor falls for Yamini little does he realize that he is playing with fire, a fire that has the power to annihilate him. However, a determined Vimal is bent on making her his. So once he learns about the secret that Yamini is desperate to hide from the world, he makes it his mission to help her out. Success comes knocking on his door in the form of Tapish, a quiet young one, but the price he pays for the services he enrolls him for, is something he has not reckoned with.
A story of love, loss and the supernatural ‘Blood Red Love’ has the power to send a chill down the spine and is laced with a twist that turns out to be the icing in the cake (read story).