The Notebook of Romance…By Gargi Sarkhel Bagchi & Harshita Srivastava

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Title: The Notebook of Romance…By Gargi Sarkhel Bagchi & Harshita Srivastava

Publisher : Gargi Publishers

Cover Ratings: 4/5

Preview:    Love, an endless topic to talk about. Maybe a word in the dictionary which has numerous meanings each suiting to a person or a condition or a scenario. There is a lot to be talked and tamed about it, there are positives and negatives and that creates a spread out version of it. Have put together people from different walks of life and express themselves on this one single most talked about yet eluding topic. So how have they fared? Let’s find out.

Love is a magic that touches ones soul, it’s a myth that treats one with oblivious emotions. Seldom distant and always within. Author Gargi Sarkhel and Harshita Srivastava in their book “The Notebook of Romance” a series of heart touching and soul felt short stories of the form less love.

As a reader this was my journey from being distant from love to one gradually accepting the intensity of the emotion. So I take you through my journey just as I did.

The cover is a dreamy with a breezy pinkish romantic image. Which gives you an obvious hint of the genre of the book. When I saw the book at first I thought it must be a like a representation of a personal story or jots of a peak into a romantic story of the Author. But no…this one is a treasure box of 25 romantic, beautifully knitted stories of people who belong to different walks of life.

Review:      My Journey began with a mug of coffee by the side of my room’s window in one of those dusty Delhi morning. As I already told you am not much of a believer in love and its stands as a myth to me. I somehow was inquisitive to learn what different perception of love these stories have to share.

My 1st station, where I hit to aboard a journey to understand love started with ‘The Goodbye’ by Harshita Srivastava.

The tale is spin off in between two people who are married yet not in love, given the punctured past of the husband and how gradually he realizes that love happens second time and happens to stay.  The image that the author creates when she eludes the dialogue between the two at the end is so pure and beautiful. I start to believe that perhaps it not bad to let this love comes along with me to this journey.

2nd Station, Deaf and dumb Love by SabiShaik.

Having read Sabi’sVia Delhi – A Twisted Tale of Love, I was pretty sure he will be pretty fluidic with this one. The title sounds kinda catchy. It goes to tell one that love can be imperfect, it’s not always a Bollywood film. The tale is quite a hold given the depiction of multitudes of emotion. However to me the Author is way better with a full-fledged novel than an anthology, owing to the eye he has for details. Such cannot be wrapped in a short story.

3rd Station, Letters from Ladakh by Shraddha Sahi

This tale is a pretty much character oriented and seems sort of a bi-logue. The idea of conversing via letters is an age old practice, but telling a story trough it is unique and quite a challenge to avoid monotony. This one was sober but spicing it up a little and toning down the emotional narration would have helped.  And I appreciate the subtle humor in the story.

4th Station, The Pristine Love by Akash Rumade

The story revolves around a uprooted dream. The initial buildup of the tale is beautiful and raises your bar of expectations, however the end really doesn’t catch up the expectations. I was not really hooked to it but was definitely disheartened with the climax. The tone is very mainstream but the time-play in the tale gave a bit of anchor top the story. A little above average one.

5thStation, Love inspire by Nikita Jitendra Nepali

A story involved in a very emotional twirl. Driven by a subject always questionable and sorted by an emotion always stronger. A beautiful story of how love can overcome any odd. This is tale took me to a different emotional level. The narration indeed has a very bold approach and beautifully blends with the reality of today. So far my favorite.

6th Station, Seven days and I am in a relationship by Pavitra Singh. 

Short crisp and very peculiar kind of tale. Seems like an innocent attempt to be romantic. This tale too is a main stream romance. Somehow seems like a very genuine attempt by the Author.  Wrapped up in a 7 days story is a light on emotion and feelings but gives a subtle break to the intense emotional journey of love. I liked it.

7th Station, Who wants to marry a mama’s boy? By Manjula Pal.

The thing about the story is the catchy and kind of drawing title. The title gave me flash of thoughts which was unlike the story ahead. Throughout my read I kept expecting there to be some change, but it remained monotonous.  The story revolves around the reality of life and the expectations post marriage. The end created a vacuum in the tale and seems inconsistent and abrupt. Not a very satisfactory read.

8th Station, The Bride by Kumar Vikrant

This story stands a little apart from the lot. The tale is like a journey to find and unearth the lost love. The reader’s urge to reach the climax keep us gripped to the tale till the end. Needless to say this has been the Author’s USP whatever given genre. The narration is very thoughtful and simply connects to the reader. However the story line remains very predictable.

9th Station, The second chance by Priyanaka Bose

Live I moment, follow your heart, take unexpected decision and follow your heart. This story starts a little off beat but catches the reader’s attention midway and ends with a beautiful affair. Very simplistic and thoughtful tale by the Author. Makes one think and rethink

10th Station, SMS Wars by Ruch Chopra

I genuinely liked this one. I could connect quite a lot with the essence of this story. If all you know is what love is worth for. How much one can sacrifice. How tolerant can one be to bare pain, betrayal to withstand for ones love. I could feel every inch of love and emotions. This Author was indeed successful to touch the string of my heart.

11th Station, Something Unsaid by Ranjit Nimbalkar

This tale seems like an attempt to bandage a torn heart. Once you lose hopes, you give up on a second chance but when one does the heart becomes very speculative and scared. The story is set off in a very serious tone yet is very positive. Good for those who are into the shell of closed love.

12th Station, Desired Sin by Shital Dutta

It’s a tale is a swirl of blooming love and the sceptic notion in the corner of the emotion. The story displays multiple emotions, love, tragedy, hopelessness and melodrama. Although theend left a lacuna, I drawn within the tale.

13th Station, Always and forever by Rakshita Girish

Love at first site..Never loses the charm. So did this tale. The conventional love story old romance and the love..Sweet and simple. Not much efforts put in by the author, yet is a subtle peek in romance. The author could have put in a little more spice to make it more involving. But I found it a sober read.

14th Station, The red rose by Aakash Raghavendra

This one is an unexpected tale. The Author builds up a deceptive image in the tale, un till the climax. You sort of don’t like how harsh love can be but gradually u end up with a subtle smile. I liked how playfully the author has conveyed the angle of this emotion.

15th Station, Campus Crush by Neha Garg

The plot is interesting and could have been intriguing. However somewhere the Auhor lost the trend in the narration. The story starts with a wonderful curtain raiser but the steeps to an uncertain and abrupt ending gradually. However I appreciate the thought behind the plot!!!

16th Station, The three men of my life by Jayanth Mjety

It’s a stranger world and even stranger are its ways to teach us a lesson. The story tries it’s hand at imparting a lesson or two, but alas the old romance catches up once again with no particular bright spot in the story. It certainly could have been a better offering but rather turns out to be a very dull affair.

17th Station, How I fell in Love by Khushboo Gulrajani

Falling in love by  chance of fate, has always been the essence of love story and shall remain. The Author has very safely retained the age old theory of love.  The plot isn’t very inviting yet has some good narrative that will let the reader breeze through this tale.The climax is very predictable hence little turn off.

18th Station, Love is blind by Kedar Vitekar

Pace building and gripping love story. Every moment is a surprise and as the event unfurls itself love unleashes its strength.  Love is blind and this tale goes beyond itself to prove it. The most amazing and wonderfully articulated climax. Yet again in my favs..

19th Station, Subconsciously, waiting for him by Ummul Fazal Fatima Khan.

 Before anything, this title held me for a while, the reason I haven’t trusted in love was somehow what the tale has in itself to convey. So true so untainted. It’s a ride from the best of summers to the trying times. Beautifully knit and intertwined two parallel lives balanced and served in a platter of love, faith and hope. It had it all, drama, emotions, love, humor, loss and faith. A wonderful  read.

20th Station, Love story by Khyati Jha

This story lacked narrative skill. The end seemed abrupt to me. It sounded more like a monotone iteration of oneself of a peek into one’s life. There was enough scope of spicing up the tale. The Author could have chosen to add a little spice and drama to stretch the tale. A very average read.

21st  Station, A tale of a silent kiss by Rishikesh Pande

A soft, subtle and light weighted love story breaking through the intense ride.  Every reader will very well connect to the tale. Faith and hope carried the world. Love only survives if hope holds your hand. The Author has ensured that the sanctity of the emotion is preserved and touched throughout the tale. The balance of language is sober. However high alert on spell check!

22nd Station, A Leap Of Faith by Shruti Narayanan

This story is a complete reality check. Harsh to gulp down the throat but so true that it hurts. The Author has put in phenomenal efforts to come up with a plot which is contemporary yet traditional. It’s a breathless read and will leave an image in the minds of the readers, Great job.

23rd  Station,  The Magical Door by Aashi Dahiya.

Sharpening a memory to cherish for life. The Author has touched every layer of emotion in her tale. The story is impactful and  marks a wonder image in mind. It encompasses love , hope, hopelessness, defeat, crushed emotions, dilemma and  romance.  A handcrafted tale for those who are looking for a tale with a checklist of emotions. One of the few in my hit list!

24th Station, The Red Fountain by Enakshi Johri

A twisty tale I would say.. this is an unexpected journey. The reader flows with the rhythm set for you. You build a thought and a climax in your mind expecting a main stream end..but the table turns over and get answers to all your question. This tale has the potential to be a full fledged novel. Give it a thought. So engrossing and involving that the reader would find oneself as the character in the tale. I lived the story while I read it. Beauty in writing style and conveying skills.

Finally the last Station 25, my quest to know love ends with Love in the Air by Gargi Sarkhel Bagchi

When it comes to love, it talks about compatibility, it hold society in its arms, it runs around expectation and it twirls around the urge to bond. This tale is simple and crystal clear, a tale of finding love and joining the dots. Understanding and bonding being the adhesive to mould and mend the cracks in any relationship. An interknitted balance in contemporary and traditional definition of love.

What I loved about it?    Each of these 25 stories were similar yet different. Every tale hasdits own message to convey.

I like the fact that every story comes from people from different facets of life, a kid a housewife, college going students, post grads. Somehow it proves that fact love remains and live to stay forever in every face . some stories really made it to my heart. I shed tears I smiled, I walked the lane of memory and I fell in love again.

What could have been better?    The downside of the book is the fact that given the theme of the anthology, the tone became monotonous in some stories.  Although there were beautiful spray of different other emotions the theme remained the inspiration. But that’s what the theme demanded.

All in all:   I enjoyed rediscovering love with every tale I turned into. A good read for every age. And a sincere suggestion for those who wish to regain trust in love.

Overall rating: 3.5/ 5

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