Authors: The Fictitious Five: Anuj Kumar , Tanima Kedar,Maliny Mohan , Ishan Dafaria, Akash Deep Gupta

Love and Other Enchantments

Book Blurb:

Short stories are magical. They take you on a walk through the liveliest of alleys, a few resplendent, while others torn between the subdued shades of white and black, to finally melt away, leaving your mind smeared with the most vibrant of hues, like a richly flavoured delicacy dissolving into the hidden recesses of one’s senses, all in a matter of few minutes. The beauty is enhanced further if the theme reflected upon is love, for no feeling has conquered human minds like love in its multifarious forms.

Here we, a group of five writers, knit together by the bond of creativity and a passion for writing, present before you ‘Love And Other Enchantments’ a short story anthology, showcasing fifteen stories that depict, with much ardour, the depth and sheer poignancy of unrequited love.

My Review:

This book is an anthology on Love. It is written by 5 authors, each have written three stories each. The first three stories are from Tanima Kedar.

  • Till Death Do Us Part: I liked this story. The thing that attracted me to this story is how the author manages to convey the love has various unexplained aspects. Sometimes you feel a pull towards someone and you cannot even explain why. This is a story of an intern who reads to a terminally ill patient.
  • Together Forever: This is a story of two star crossed lovers. This story changed tenses in the middle, which changed the tone of the entire story, it also needed some editing as there were quite a few errors. The story line was not that unique.
  • The Diary: This is a story of a newly wed couple whose lives get destroyed when police land up on their door with an arrest warrant. A girl killed herself and has blamed him. Can the wife trust him? Will she be able to get him out of the Jail? This is basically the crux of the story.

The next three stories are by Ishan Dafaria. He writes:

  • Closure: This is a story of a man who longs for a closure after his crush dies. This story had too much descriptions, in terms of narration, that it actually diverted from the story line. A bit more crisp writing could have made this story bit better.
  • Different Things: This story again focused too much on narration. I felt the same thing was repeated multiple times. The crux of the story did not warrant such a lengthy prose.
  • Hatred, Crime and Love: This is a story of a criminal who falls in love with the classic ‘good girl’ trope. The same story of a bad boy who sleeps around with ‘hot’ girls but fall for the ‘good one’. This story could have been better.

The next set of stories are by Akash Deep:

  • The Poem: The story of a couple’s bantering which lead to the development of their relationship. I, personally, found this story’s pace quite slow.
  • Charm of Those Eyes: This story had mystery shrouded in romance. I loved how the author managed to keep the attention of the reader. Every word I read was a revelation that wanted me to know what exactly was going on!
  • The Lake of Love: This is another story, again shroud in mystery, where a young boy is kept awake due to songs sung by a strange man. The boy is so intrigued by this man that he decides to get to know him. This story needed a bit of trimming and had few grammatical errors.

The next set of stories were from Maliny Mohan:

  • At the Bus Stop: This was quite deep and a different story. I liked how the author chose to narrate this story as the reader felt all the emotions of the protagonist.
  • The Revival: While this story was not altogether unique, the narration helped create a sense of camaraderie with what was going on. I especially liked how the author ended this story.
  • He Loves Me Not: This was definitely one of the better stories of this book. Again, the ending was so unexpected, the way the story had started, I had no idea that this would end in the way that it did.

The last set of stories are by Anuj Kumar:

  • So Mad In Love: The story had two different layers. I quite liked how the author had weaved in what we currently see in news out those ‘spiritual gurus’ and their sex scandals vis a vis the feels of those who really believe in God.
  • It’s Not Soothing Everytime: Woa! This story was DARK. One sided love is always written off as something that many feel and you just cannot do anything about it. But what if these one sided love become dangerous? This story had a  dark feel to it even in the initial starting of the story you could feel something was amiss. Great command over the story.
  • Known Unknown: Another story of a one sided love. But this one was on the brighter side. Personally I liked the second one better. In this one the author has merged poems with story line and I liked the idea of using poetry to further your story.

All in all a fast read about shades of Love that you usually do not see or read about.