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Love or lust?

In The Lovers of Rampore, Ashok Chopra delves into the many mysterious forms of love thus introducing a mystic quality to the everyday lives of his characters. From the thrills of lust to the joys and fears of genuine commitment, to the exploration of desire and dispassion that exist in all relationships, this is the story of love in all its different manifestations.

Ashok Chopra weaves a contemporary Bayeux tapestry of richly detailed stories which are mature, slow-burning and strum with a quiet passion that cuts across class, gender, and age, fundamentally altering the way we perceive love. In doing so, he also challenges society’s archaic understanding of the bonding between people.

Here’s a peek into this book that boasts all the glory of a royal romance in a modern day setting that hits much closer to home.

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The Lovers of Rampore||Ashok Chopra

From the day after her birthday, Tina waited for Vikram to contact her. To ring her up or at least message her, not that he had ever done that before. As each day went by, with no call from him, her desire to meet him, to be with him, increased. She toyed with the idea of calling him. Should she think of some excuse or the other and send him a text message? She couldn’t think of any. Should she land up at his home again? No, she dare not repeat that trick, as she had no excuse to do so this time. And even if she had one, he may realize that the first time, too, was a ploy.

Why did she want to be with him so much? Shouldn’t she, first of all, try and make up with Neeraj? She tried to honestly answer that question, but she couldn’t. Then one night she found it in her sleep. She dreamt that Vikram had come to her room. Quickly, without a preamble, he took off his clothes and came to where she sat. His body, in the nude, was exquisite. She felt the excitement throbbing in her temples and her face became flushed. He helped her undo her nightdress and then together,  naked on the bed, they made love. It was pure rapture. Absolute bliss. She thought that she would die of ecstasy. But she wouldn’t mind dying in his arms. In bed, he was a fabulous lover, so much better than Neeraj had ever been.

In the morning, she reviewed the entire sequence of her lovemaking with Vikram, without any feeling of guilt or embarrassment. She finally admitted to herself that she found him very attractive—with a fine, sensitive, well-chiselled face, the dimple in the chin and the lithe and perfectly balanced body, which exuded strength and power. All this, and much more, had often filled her with the yearning to be close to him, to reach out and touch him, to hold him close. Her dream merely reaffirmed this feeling. She knew that she desired him, that she really enjoyed making love to him. But, though also important, there was more to her feelings for Vikram than a mere sexual attraction. What it was she could not put her finger on.

The last of the roses that he had brought for her birthday languished, but she did not want to throw them away. Finally, she had to because they were all dead and the water had become contaminated. As she poured the water from the vase into the sink, she knew she had to see him, come what may. Damn the reasons and analyses, she told herself. She was desperate to see him, to be with him, to see his face, hear his voice and to put her lips on his.

As luck would have it, she got a call from Mahtab amma.

5 Quotes from Akhil Sharma’s ‘A Life of Adventure and Delight’ Which Make His Book a Must-Read

Stories are, after all, nothing more than accounts of the workings of the human heart and mind in relation to the world. And the mark of a successful storyteller, as we all know, is nothing more than the ability to get under the reader’s skin and tug at their heartstrings. Akhil Sharma’s new collection of short stories — A Life of Adventure and Delight, consolidates his reputation of a master storyteller with eight stories of the fragile human heart, told in a way that’s “as hypnotic as those found in the pages of Dostoyevsky”.
Here are 5 instances from Sharma’s new anthology to convince you to pick up a copy right now.
A retired divorcé, in search of love and companionship, decides to relearn how to impress a woman by reading women’s magazines. But how does his search end?
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A young boy explores his relationship with the divine and negotiates with God to get what he wants.
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A young boy observes his older cousin grow up to break norms and lead a life that often leaves him in a state of shock.
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What happens when you wake up and fall in love with your husband, only for a day?
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An ordinary man’s life takes some exceptional turns during a few extraordinary moments. Does his life change forever?
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Grab your copy of Akhil Sharma’s fascinating new collection of stories here now!
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6 Quotes from Nadeem Aslam’s Searing New Book that will Leave You in Awe

Against a background of violence and fear, two outsiders in Pakistan try to find an island of calm in which their love can grow. In his characteristically  enchanting prose, Nadeem Aslam reflects Pakistan’s past and present in a single mirror—a story of corruption, resilience, and the hope that only love and the human spirit can offer.
Here are six quotes from his  new novel – The Golden Legend.
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Struck by the searing instances above?
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A timeless love saga – Meghadutam by Kalidasa

Indian literature is an ocean replete with brilliant pearls. All it takes is a swim in its depths to explore the gifts that Indian writers have left for us. One such gift is Kalidasa’s Meghadutam – The Cloud Message.
Kalidasa explored new boundaries of literary stylistics – and his poem, Meghadutam stands true to his legacy.
It is perhaps the most translated text in all of Indian literature and can be found all over the world in different languages, formats and styles. A beautifully scripted poem, it chronicles the story of a banished yaksha who petitions a cloud to send a message to his distant lover. It’s a captivating story that transcends through ages and enthrals its readers.
Here we have picked some verses from Meghadutam’s latest translation by Srinivas Reddy.
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Fascinating, isn’t it?
You can get your copy of Meghadutam here.

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