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How infidelity unravels

Sometimes when you’re desperate to leave the past behind, the past is eager to catch up!

Anuradha leaves Gurgaon when Dhruv chooses his family over her. She thinks that chapter of her life has ended, and starts afresh in Mumbai. But strangely, it seems her past is trying to catch up. Dhruv suddenly comes back into her life. Even as they try to figure out their relationship, horrible things start happening to people they know. Together, Anuradha and Dhruv need to find out who it is that cannot bear to see them together. Who is carrying out these shocking crimes? Are they really soulmates cursed to stay apart, or is there some karmic debt they have to repay?


Read on for a look at the psychological aftermath  of an extra-marital affair


Only The Good Die Young | Akash Verma

Mumbai has unnerved me every single time I’ve set foot here in the last few months. It wasn’t like this before. It used to be like any other city. Just that I frequented it more as my advertising agency, C&M, is headquartered here. But now, since you have been here for about a year, coming to this city has never been the same. Work still brings me here—a couple of times a month at least—for a sales review or a client meeting. But every time I am here, I feel like running to you first, clasping you to my chest and not letting you go. Yes, that’s what I still feel, Anuradha, after pushing you so far away from my life. The first few months after you left were tough—to come to work each day with you not being in office; to live without you in Gurgaon; not hearing your voice; and not feeling your touch. Despite having Shalini and the kids back in my life, there was this one large gash in my heart. However hard I tried, it refused to heal. It stayed there, untended and bleeding. My head feels heavy with the weight of a sack inside it.. ‘“Don’t do it!” didn’t we warn you?’ the pebbles inside the sack which rests in my head scream in unison. ‘You can’t love two people at the same time.’ ‘I didn’t do it knowingly. It wasn’t in my control,’ I protest. ‘Oh, come on! Liar, liar, pants on fire!’ squeals one. ‘You had a rock-solid marriage, a lovely family. Didn’t you know what you were getting into?’ ‘I know. All my fault. I thought I could handle it. I loved them both, you know. I just couldn’t stop.’ One of the pebbles has a throaty voice. It’s smaller than the rest. ‘Look where this “love” has led you to. No one’s happy. Neither Shalini, nor you and I guess not even Anuradha.’ ‘Well, who knows?’ I say. ‘Maybe she has found someone. Why “maybe”? I am sure she has someone in her life by now. She is young, beautiful, successful . . . she can easily be happy. Don’t you think so?’ The pebble glances at me, scrutinizing me. ‘Yes . . . maybe. Will you be happy if she has found someone?’ I clear my throat, ‘Why not? Yes.’ ‘Sure?’ I nod. ‘Yes. I will be happy as long as she is.’ ‘Do you want to meet her?’ the pebbles chorus. ‘No. It’s over, isn’t it? Why would I want that?’ ‘Ah, come on,’ one of them says. ‘It’s what you want the most. To meet her. Isn’t it?’ I fumble for an appropriate answer. Unsuccessful. I go quiet, then. The plane has landed. I get out of the airport and spot the driver holding a placard with my name on it. I purse my lips and force a smile; a familiar weakness sweeps over me. He signals to me to wait and hurries off to get the car when I nod. I glance at the passengers leaving the airport, people gathered around the arrival gate, greeting incoming passengers: relatives and friends. I wish you too were here, waiting for me, Anuradha . . .Such feelings seem even more unreal after the way our relationship ended. But then how is one supposed to conceal one’s true feelings from oneself? How can I hide that I love you? Even after you lied to me. Even after I promised my wife, Shalini, that our affair happened in the heat of the moment and was well over. How can my feelings for you ever cease to exist? Maybe I really am the asshole that the people I love think me to be. Shalini and you. Maybe I don’t deserve love from either of you. My relationship with my wife will never go back to what it was. I have done enough to scar it and I don’t know if those scars will ever fully disappear. ‘We have struck a compromise for our children, Dhruv,’ was what Shalini told me at the dinner table one day when the kids were asleep. ‘It can never be the same again,’ she had said. Shalini is a headstrong, self-made woman who sticks to her word in her personal life as much as she does when treating her patients.

Author Akash Verma on writing "Urban Thrillers"

By Akash Verma
My idea of writing an urban thriller is creating a story that is believable, riveting and strongly impassioned. I have read some nerve wracking murder mysteries, stories about outstanding secret agents, adventure thrillers from across the world; yet to be absolutely honest, it is tough to recreate one such story. My writing can’t be simply borrowed from other books of a similar genre. It needs to be personal, influenced by stories I have lived, seen or heard.  This personal touch triggers what I would call a unique idea, which if compelling enough, becomes my next big story.  
After the unique idea comes the task of looking out for characters. In my recent book You Never Know, developing Sid’s character wasn’t the plan and it happened gradually. I fleshed him by visualising someone I knew from before. This book otherwise had only two voices earlier, Dhruv and Anuradha, but by adding the third voice, I thought the narrative became much stronger. Drawing from such insights, here are the six definite formulas that work when I am writing an urban thriller:    
Be to the point – No lengthy descriptions or history of characters or explaining why someone did what they did. I expect the story and characters to evolve on its own and the readers to deduce the hidden nuances themselves. Having written love stories earlier, thriller is a different ball game altogether. A writer gets abundant time in building the characters in love stories through its various sub-plots; encountering love – falling in love – being in love – a happy love story/a tragedy. A thriller doesn’t allow you that luxury. If not cautious, your verbose narrative can soon take away the promise of a crackling whodunit and leave the reader disappointed. So I keep a strong leash and never let the story wander.
People are never all black or all white – The reason why I choose my characters to be grey is because that’s who we all are if we choose to look deep within. My characters defy normal sensibilities, change colours like a chameleon or do things that can never be expected of them. It is a daring task to create such characters, but then as a writer you need to start walking the road of fearlessness. The farther you walk, the better your writing becomes. You might end up creating disturbing characters, that might intimidate some of your readers and draw flak, but in the long run it’s a small price to pay.  
Story always comes firstThis is definitely a mantra I swear by. Thrills, chills, all your twists and turns, and the right amount of suspense; all these add up to make a story better but these can never be more important than the storyline. So before I begin writing, I place the storyline firmly in my head or rather jot it down in the form of chapters somewhere. It’s never a descriptive version but just how the plot would unfold bit by bit. The twists are added later as I progress further. I may make changes in the sequence of chapters, and tweak them a bit but the basic storyline always remains the same.  
Keeping the narration simple and lucidI admit of not having a gargantuan vocabulary and I believe most of my readers don’t have it either. So I stick to my limitations with no desire to floor my readers with heavy handed words but rather with my story-telling skills. The usage of too many words as frills is a big NO! I would rather say ‘She looked at him angrily’ than ‘She looked at him as if a raging fire burnt inside her.’ I have seen the latter working for many authors fabulously, but this just isn’t my style. To me, if a writer can tell a great story in simple words it is by no means a lesser achievement.             
Editing a book is as important as writing itI have started believing this to be a gospel truth over the years. For me a really kick-ass book can turn out to be average if not edited well while an average book can become good with some solid editing. I prefer reading my entire manuscript multiple times, editing, and re-editing before sending it to a professional editor. It’s only after so many checks, that I send my work to a publisher. For all first-time authors this should be a golden rule. To write a good thriller, you need a sharpened pair of scissors that you should hold first, ready to chop off dispassionately all those words, lines, paragraphs and pages that you think shouldn’t be there. Just trade places with your reader and it will be so much easier. Trust me, it’s the best thing you will do to your book.
The first and the last chapters should do the magic – Though there isn’t a set formula to it, but getting the reader hooked from the first chapter works better than doing it later. If you can grab his/her attention right from the start lesser chances that he or she will leave it midway. The climax on the other hand can be fashioned in multiple ways, either it can be sudden and nerve wracking or it unfolds calmly, but the ending should be nothing less than fantastic. It should leave the reader thinking about the book long after they have read it. If you are able to gather this response from your reader then as a writer you have done an excellent job.   

About the Author
Akash Verma is the bestselling author of four books. Apart from being a writer, he is the co-founder of two start-ups in the fashion and food sectors. Prior to being a writer, he has tackled various roles in the corporate sector. Akash’s latest novel, You Never Know: Sometimes Love Can Drag You Through Hell…, is a romance thriller which will keep you hooked till the last page.

10 Things You Should Know About Akash Verma

Akash Verma is a man of many talents. Not only is he a bestselling author but also an established entrepreneur. His profile lists him as the co-founder of two start-up companies before which he had also dabbled various roles in major corporations like Coca-Cola, Big FM and Red FM.
Akash is back with his fourth novel, You Never Know: Sometimes Love Can Drag You Through Hell…, a romance thriller which will keep you at the edge of your seat till the last page.
Here are a few things facts about the bestselling author.
Early beginnings!
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Master of many talents
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It’s all in the genes.
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Quite a quirk that is…
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The next time you want some gossip about the tinsel town, you know whom to turn to.
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How many of these facts did you already know about the author?
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