Novoneel Chakraborty is the bestselling author of nine romance thrillers and he is back with another beguiling dark romance thriller. The first of a two-part series, Forever Is a Lie is about an eighteen year old girl who falls in love with a man, almost double her age. But what she doesn’t know is that whoever the man loves, dies.
Here is an excerpt from the book.
This was her profile information on Facebook. Ditto on Tinder, a dating app. With moist eyes, she checked the about me section on the app, which she had just filled up:
I’m here to hook up for a night. Anyone who wants anything that goes beyond a night, please swipe left.
Prisha forced herself not to think as she started browsing through men’s profiles on the app. Tinder was recommended to her by Zinnia, her roommate. Two years her senior in college, Zinnia was from the same neighbourhood as Prisha in Faridabad. She had shifted to Bengaluru to pursue media management from Cross University.
Prisha had followed in her footsteps and shifted to Bengaluru a month ago and had taken admission at the same university. She had enrolled herself as a BA student, with a major in mass communication. Zinnia and Prisha stayed together in a rented apartment on BTM Layout.
It was Zinnia who had first described Tinder as a saviour of singles in the city. But Prisha hadn’t made an account on the dating site because she was single, but because she had been feeling emotionally violated for a few months now.
Anyone remotely good-looking and Prisha would swipe right. In fact, looks didn’t matter at all for what she had in mind. She had heard about Tinder earlier from a number of friends but had never imagined using it one day. Why would she? She had been in a committed relationship since she had turned thirteen—until two months ago when she had stepped into her penultimate teenage year. In all these years there had been only one boy she was doggedly, single-mindedly and with utmost sincerity committed to.
Utkarsh Arora had wooed her for an entire summer vacation before she had finally said yes. She was in Class VII and he was in Class X. (Love, then, was an alien feeling. It slowly turned real as they gave it time). And just when Prisha had started believing that there could be no one better than Utkarsh, he let her down.
She had invited him to a family function. It was a dream to see her boyfriend enjoy with her family and cousins; everyone had approved of him. Three weeks later, she had noticed that Utkarsh’s Facebook relationship status had changed from: in a relationship with Prisha Srivastav to in a relationship with Shelly Srivastav. Shelly was her cousin and two years older than her. Prisha demanded an explanation but all Utkarsh said was that he was now in love with Shelly. Now? Is love a prisoner of time? Not only did Utkarsh not give her any plausible explanation, but he repeatedly dodged her calls and then blocked her on social media and on his phone. When she turned to Shelly for an answer, she simply said, ‘He loves me, not you.’
At eighteen, when one’s world collapses, it also brings down with it the beliefs one has grown up on. You stop trusting in truths altogether. You start believing that a truth is nothing but an illusion. Some call it the loss of innocence. It is then that people start giving in to the collective lies that makes everyone sorted adults. Prisha’s attempt at creating a Tinder profile was proof enough that she had given in to it as well.
Love, Prisha concluded within a month of her break-up, was a fallacy. Lust was real; the body was real. And henceforth, she would get real too. Even if it meant living a life she didn’t believe in.
Seven hours after she had made her Tinder profile, there were thirteen matches. When Zinnia came back from college, Prisha gave the phone to her.
‘I think this dude looks cute. What do you think?’ Zinnia said, looking at the fifth match. Prisha couldn’t care less. Zinnia chatted with the guy on Prisha’s behalf and in no time fixed a date later in the night at Harry’s in Koramangala. Zinnia knew Prisha’s story, but she wasn’t the one who had given her the idea of a one-night stand. It was something Prisha had inquired herself when Zinnia kept ranting about some guy who went by the name the ‘Mean Monster’ in the Bangalore party circuit. Mean because he was infamous for his edging technique—a method by which orgasm could be delayed, pushing the body to feel pleasure like never before. And monster because what he carried between his legs was two inches more than that of an average Indian’s. Zinnia was more than excited when she was finally able to trace the elusive guy and pin him down for a date, coincidentally on the same night that Prisha was supposed to meet her Tinder date.
‘You’ll have to come with me, Zin,’ Prisha said as soon as Zinnia had fixed the place for her to meet the Tinder guy.
‘Of course! But I too have a date, sweets,’ she said. Prisha noticed that Zinnia was blushing slightly, which was very unlike her.
‘What?’ Prisha asked, surprised.
‘Finally I’m going to meet him tonight.’
‘The Mean Monster.’