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Spice Up Your Valentine’s Day with These Romantic Reads!

Love is in the air, and our curated collection of romance books is ready to steal your heart this Valentine’s Day! From sizzling meet-cutes to soul-stirring tales of love lost and found, these books are bursting with passion, drama, and everything in between. Get ready to fall head over heels into a world of romance like never before!


Fool Me Twice
Fool Me Twice || Nona Uppal

Set in New Delhi, Fool Me Twice is an unconventional story that will stump readers expecting a good, old romance trope. We meet and fall in love with a young couple planning their futures together when life rudely hijacks the steering wheel. Exploring the ways a twenty-year-old navigates grief and life after a loss that shatters most fifty-year-olds, Fool Me Twice looks at the complexity of falling in love ‘again’ at an age where most are falling for the first time, and what it feels like to move on from mourning one great love to make room for another.


All That Sizzles
All That Sizzles || Sakshama Puri Dhaliwal

A spicy meet-cute that will delight your rom-com palate!

Wedding planner Tanvi Bedi is all fired up about her latest project, the $100 million wedding of a media heiress. The only hitch is her high-profile client’s wishlist chef, Nik Shankar. Weddings are a complete no-no for Nik, but there must be something—or someone—he can’t resist.

Nik Shankar’s lifelong dream of inheriting his ancestral home is in jeopardy due to his estranged grandfather’s absurd caveat—Nik must get married to claim the property. When Tanvi storms into his office, an inconceivable solution presents itself: Nik will craft the wedding if Tanvi pretends to be his fiancée.

What starts as a recipe for disaster whips up into a delectable feast of simmering chemistry and fiery passion. But as the line between fake and real blurs, Tanvi and Nik must confront their inner demons before their charade goes up in smoke.

Could love be the secret ingredient they need?


All He Left Me Was a Recipe
All He Left Me Was a Recipe || Shenaz Treasury

Part fact, part fiction, All He Left Me Was a Recipe is a never-ending pursuit of love, a quest for the ever-elusive ‘Mr Right,’ all while kissing the ‘Mr Maybes’. It’s a rollercoaster ride through the fabulous and often hilariously complicated world of modern dating where love, lust and culinary metaphors are on the menu.
From ‘a-ha’ moments to giggles and even some epic heartbreaks with a fair share of tear-shedding, this book is a VIP pass to Shenaz Treasury’s heart in all its shapes and forms over the years. Every story wraps up with
a recipe—a memento from each of these unforgettable encounters—along with some timeless life lessons.
So, pour a glass of wine, get comfy and dive into a world that’ll make you laugh, shed a tear or two, and who knows, you might just find yourself along the way.



The Henna Start-up
The Henna Start-Up || Andaleeb Wajid

Abir Maqsood is angry.

She has things to do: a career to carve, money to earn, and, in the small stuff, a dining table to fix. But there are many obstacles in the way: lack of money, her parents’ over-protective attitude, and a most annoying distraction in class called Arsalan.

When her mother is not paid her dues for her henna service, Abir resolves to help her by creating a henna app. Her college is also running a programme for student start-ups so things look most fortuitous. But the path to getting funding is littered with more thorns than roses.

As Abir navigates through college, friendships and social pressures with determination, will she find the freedom that she is truly looking for?



Zen || Shabnam Minwala

In this deeply addictive, sweeping book about the life and times of the two Zainabs, is captured a short history of Mumbai, and of India. Of what we were and what we have become.

Zipping between the past and the present, between midnight’s children and millennials and getting both right, Shabnam Minwalla has crafted a page-turner whose heart is open, inclusive and populated by a host of memorable characters. -Jerry Pinto


Terminal 3
Terminal 3 || Debasmita Dasgupta

It’s August 2019 and Khwab Nazir is waiting to board the plane at Terminal 3 of New Delhi International Airport. Set to represent India at an international jiu-jitsu tournament, Khwab nervously looks towards her unknown future. She also reflects on her complicated past-of growing up against the insurmountable difficulties
of life in Kashmir.

Between happiness and emptiness, desire and grief, penance and peace-Khwab has endured. She has a dream that life will be a paradise, one day. Breathing against the backdrop of conflict, Terminal 3, is the story of the everyday people striving to live their dreams in the Valley.


The Girl Who Kept Falling in Love
The Girl Who Kept Falling in Love || Rheea Mukherjee

Told through the lens of urban myths, accounts of past lovers, bared confessions and half-truths that make up Kaya’s world, The Girl Who Kept Falling in Love dives deep into the futilities of being attached to global aspiration and fighting institutionalized hate while chasing a universal need for love and acceptance.


It was Always You
It was Always You || Sudeep Nagarkar

Have you ever regretted a lost love?
Karan and Shruti are a happily married couple. Until Karan’s ex resurfaces into his life one day. Soon Karan finds himself getting nostalgic over matters of the heart and thinking fondly of his first romance. Will he put his steady and seemingly perfect marriage at stake for his ex-girlfriend?
Meanwhile his best friend Aditya finds his own relationship with his wife Jasmine going through an emotional turmoil. Will both friends work towards keeping their marriage afloat, or make a decision they would later regret?

The Perfect Us
The Perfect Us || Durjoy Datta

Love is not having to hold back . . . but will she ever truly let him in?
Avantika is an investment banker, an ambitious go-getter and the exact opposite of Deb-a corporate professional turned failed writer, turned scripter of saas-bahu serials.
They’ve been together for ten years, surviving everything from college to rave parties to annoying best friends, including Shrey, who has no respect for personal boundaries, and Vernita and Tanmay-the annoying yet enviable ‘it’ couple who seem to have it all.
Now Avantika wants to take the next step. But will Deb be able to catch up? Or will it rip them apart? No matter how hard he tries, Deb can’t convince Avantika that he’s the one for her. Not as long as she is broken and her past looms in the background-pushing her, troubling her, goading her to question if their love is enough.
Will Deb be able to find their perfect place?
The Perfect Us is love’s struggle to find a happily ever after. . .


Heart Tantrums
Heart Tantrums || Aisha Sarwari

In order to be able to survive, Aisha Sarwari was told, love and devoted acts of service will always light the way. These however, become the very reason of her complete unravelling.

In this large and messy voice of a memoir, Heart Tantrums artfully describes the scatter of catastrophic losses-the loss of her father in early adolescence; leaving behind her family home in East Africa; and trying to fit into a completely different culture in Lahore after marriage. In 2017, when Aisha first held her husband Yasser Latif Hamdani’s brain MRI against the light, she began to also lose the man she loved to a personality-altering brain tumour.



I Too Had a Love Story
I Too Had a Love Story || Ravinder Singh

Do love stories ever die?. . . How would you react when a beautiful person comes into your life, and then goes away from you . . . forever?Not all love stories are meant to have a perfect ending. I Too Had a Love Story is one such saga. It is the tender and heartfelt tale of Ravin and Khushi-two people who found each other on a matrimonial site and fell in love . . . until life put their love to the ultimate test.Romantic, emotional and sincere, this heartbreaking true life story has already touched a million hearts. This bestselling novel is a must-read for anyone who believes in the magic of love . . .


Something I Never Told You
Something I Never Told You || Shravya Bhinder

When in love, you tend to take each other for granted, and sometimes, that can cost you a lifetime of togetherness . . .
Ronnie knew that his first crush was way out of his league, and yet he pursued and wooed Adira. Shyly and from a distance in the beginning, and more persuasively later. He couldn’t believe it when the beautiful Adira actually began to reciprocate, falling in love with him for his simplicity and honesty.

Slowly, as they get close and comfortable with each other, life takes on another hue. From truly magical it becomes routine. There are fights and then making-up sessions-a clash of egos and doubts.

Things begin to change for the worst.

It is too late.
Ronnie and Adira will probably never find their forever after . .


Something I'm Waiting to Tell You
Something I’m Waiting to Tell You || Shravya Bhinder

‘Letting go of her was not easy but winning her back was harder than anything I could have ever imagined’

After nearly losing the love of his life to a terrible accident, Ronnie realizes how much he loves Adira and what an idiot he had been to hurt her. What’s more, her overprotective mother now takes care of her, and does not like Ronnie being anywhere near her daughter.
He’s going through hell-unable to go back in time and fix things, unable to say what he missed saying to her, ‘I love you . . .’
All he wants now is a second chance, to trace his steps back into a loving relationship and win Adira over. It will not be easy because life is tough; love, even tougher.
Something I’m Waiting to Tell You is the sweet, intense conclusion of a story that started with Something I Never Told You, a book that will teach you a thing or two about soulmates.


Make A Move
Make A Move || Stuti Changle

Join rising YouTube star Alara, struggling but hopeful stand-up comedian Aarav, and zany but zen beach shack owner Ricky on a quest for the truth in You Live Only Once.
Discover yourself with Myra, Kabir and Sandy, three individuals who refuse to give up on themselves as they make life-changing decisions, in On the Open Road.
Embark on the adventure of growing up with Iti, Nishit and Shelly in Where the Sun Never Sets.
Bestselling author Stuti Changle’s trio of novels are life-changing stories of human relationships, of introspection, and of having the courage to follow your dreams.
Now together in this boxset, they promise to entertain, inspire and, of course, compel you to Make a Move.


World's Best Girlfriend
World’s Best Girlfriend || Durjoy Datta

When he turns, I see his eyes. There’s a sense of surety in them, a sense of danger, a sense of entitlement and definitely, arrogance.’

Daksh and Aanchal meet under improbable circumstances in the most unlikely of places-a posh resort in the Andamans. While Aanchal is fighting hard to escape the shackles of a lower middle-class existence, Daksh is aimless and unsure of what his future holds. Strangely, they are drawn to each other.

‘My gaze drifts to her exposed back, and the tiny knot that secures her shimmering choli in place. Emotions of anger mix with a strange desire in me.’

Four years later, when they meet again, Daksh’s world has crumbled around him. The burden of caring for his sick father and six-year-old sister has left him with little time for anything else. Yet, despite their diverging paths, Daksh and Aanchal find themselves reconnecting in unexpected ways. Their mutual attraction deepens.

Till now, fate has been pushing them together, but what will happen when they decide to take matters into their own hands? Will life be as they’ve imagined, or will destiny take even that away from them?


World's Best Boyfriend
World’s Best Boyfriend || Durjoy Datta

Hate, is a four letter word.
So is love.
And sometimes, people can’t tell the difference…

Dhurv and Aranya spend a good part of their lives trying to figure out why they want to destroy each other, why they hurt each other so deeply. And, why they can’t stay away from each other.
The answer is just as difficult each time because all they’ve wanted is to do the worst, most miserable things to one another.
Yet there is something that tells them: THIS IS NOT IT.
If you want to know the answer to it all, read the book.

8 Romance Audiobooks to Remind You How Single You Are!

Get ready to swoon, sigh, and maybe shed a tear or two as you dive into these 8 irresistible romance audiobooks that promise to tug at your heartstrings and remind you of the beauty (and occasional agony) of love. From chance encounters to shattered hearts and second chances, this handpicked collection has got it all.
So grab your headphones, cozy up, and prepare to be swept away into Durjoy Datta’s world of romance, where love reigns supreme, even if you’re flying solo this Valentine’s Day!


World's Best Girlfriend
World’s Best Girlfriend || Durjoy Datta

‘When he turns, I see his eyes. There’s a sense of surety in them, a sense of danger, a sense of entitlement and definitely, arrogance.’

Daksh and Aanchal meet under improbable circumstances in the most unlikely of places—a posh resort in the Andamans. While Aanchal is fighting hard to escape the shackles of a lower middle-class existence, Daksh is aimless and unsure of what his future holds. Strangely, they are drawn to each other.

‘My gaze drifts to her exposed back, and the tiny knot that secures her shimmering choli in place. Emotions of anger mix with a strange desire in me.’

Four years later, when they meet again, Daksh’s world has crumbled around him. The burden of caring for his sick father and six-year-old sister has left him with little time for anything else. Yet, despite their diverging paths, Daksh and Aanchal find themselves reconnecting in unexpected ways. Their mutual attraction deepens.

Till now, fate has been pushing them together, but what will happen when they decide to take matters into their own hands? Will life be as they’ve imagined, or will destiny take even that away from them?


Wish I Could Tell You
Wish I Could Tell You || Durjoy Datta

Can you find yourself after you have lost that special someone? A disillusioned and heartbroken Anusha finds herself in the small world of WeD. Struggling to cope with her feelings and the job of raising money for charity, she reluctantly searches for a worthwhile cause to support.

For Ananth, who has been on the opposite side, no life is less worthy, no cause too small to support. Behind them are teams for whom going to extraordinary lengths to save lives is more than a full-time occupation. In front of them is the virtual world of social media—watching, interacting, judging, making choices, and sometimes, saving lives. From the virtual to the real, their lives and that of their families, entangle in a way that moving together is the only solution. They can’t escape each other. In this world of complicated relationships, should love be such a difficult ride?


A Touch of Eternity
A Touch of Eternity || Durjoy Datta

Born on the same day and at the same time, Druvan and Anvesha know they are soulmates in every sense of the word. Their parents, however, refuse to accept their “togetherness” at first and try to tear them apart. Druvan and Anvesha try their best to explain why that cannot happen.

In the same timeline, the world has made huge progress in science and some of the first experiments to combine the body and the soul have begun. This is an opportunity for them to prove their love and tell the world that it is love that can make the impossible, possible.

Druvan and Anvesha participate in the experiment as if their life depends on it, because it does. The only thing that remains to be seen is, will the dream of a man to control love and life come true? And when the time comes, can one stay true to their soulmate?


If It's Not Forever It's Not Love
If It’s Not Forever It’s Not Love || Durjoy Datta, Nikita Singh

When Deb, an author and publisher, survives the bomb blasts at Chandni Chowk, he knows his life is nothing short of a miracle. Though he escapes with minor injuries, he is haunted by the images and voices he heard on that unfortunate day.

Even as he recovers, his feet take him to where the blasts took place. From the burnt remains, he discovers a diary. It seems to belong to a dead man who was deeply in love with a girl. As he reads the heartbreaking narrative, he knows this story must never be left incomplete. Thus begins Deb’s journey with his girlfriend, Avantika, and his best friend, Shrey, to hand over the diary to the man’s beloved.

Highly engrossing and powerfully told, If It’s Not Forever tells an unforgettable tale of love and life.


The Girl of My Dreams
The Girl of My Dreams || Durjoy Datta

We are in the car. She’s looking at me. I can see the love in her eyes for me. Then a huge crash. She’s flung out of the window. I’m thrown out too. A pool of blood. Her eyes are still on me…but now it’s a death stare.

I am Daman, and I wake up to this nightmare. Every. Single. Day.

Waking up from a long coma, Daman learns that he was in a massive car crash with a girl who vanished soon after the accident, leaving him for dead.

Strangely, all he remembers is a hazy face, her hypnotic eyes, and her name – Shreyasi.

To come to terms with his memory lapse, he starts piecing together stories about himself and Shreyasi from his dreams, which he then turns into a hugely popular blog.

When he’s offered a lucrative publishing deal to convert his blog pieces into a novel, he signs up immediately. However, he gives in to editorial pressure and agrees to corrupt the original edgy character of Shreyasi.

Big mistake.

From then on, Daman is stalked and threatened by a terrifying beauty who claims to be Shreyasi and who will stop at nothing to make him pay for being a sell-out.

Before Daman fights back, he needs to know: Is she really who she claims to be? What does she want from him now? What if he doesn’t do what she wants him to?

The Girl of My Dreams is definitely not your usual love story.


The Boy with a Broken Heart
The Boy with a Broken Heart || Durjoy Datta

You’re asking me to hold your hand. And now you’re turning away from me. You are saying something, but I can’t hear you. It’s too windy. You’re crying now. Now you’re smiling. I’m done. I love you….

It’s been two years since Raghu left his first love, Brahmi, on the edge of the roof one fateful night. He couldn’t save her; he couldn’t be with her. Having lost everything, Raghu now wants to stay hidden from the world.

However, the annoyingly persistent Advaita finds his elusiveness very attractive. And the more he ignores her, the more she’s drawn to him till she bulldozes her way into an unlikely friendship.

What attracts at first, begins to grate. Advaita can’t help but want to know what Raghu has left behind, what he’s hiding, and who broke his heart. She wants to love him back to life, but for that she needs to know what wrecked him in the first place.

After all, the antidote to heartache is love.


She Broke Up, I Didn't
She Broke Up, I Didn’t! || Durjoy Datta

Deb is absolutely crazily in love with the stunning Avantika. He can’t believe she is his. Their relationship is going great except for the one time when Deb faltered by breaching her trust. After he apologized, Avantika grudgingly accepted him back. However, his insecurity about her seems to be pushing him into infidelity again. The trust he had worked so hard to build is lost once again. Will Avantika take him back this time, or will she move on?

In She Broke Up, I Didn’t!, Durjoy Datta explores the themes of fidelity, love, and lust through a roller coaster of misunderstandings and mistakes that are so common in relationships today.


World's Best Boyfriend
World’s Best Boyfriend || Durjoy Datta

Dhurv and Aranya spend a good part of their lives trying to figure out why they want to destroy each other, why they hurt each other so deeply. And, why they can’t stay away from each other.
The answer is just as difficult each time because all they’ve wanted is to do the worst, most miserable things to one another.
Yet there is something that tells them: THIS IS NOT IT.
If you want to know the answer to it all, read the book.

Tea and Tender Moments from Vivek Shanbhag’s Sakina’s Kiss

Step into the colorful streets of Kodai, where a bright red cotton sari sets the scene for an intimate journey in  Sakina’s Kiss by Vivek Shanbhag and translated by Srinath Perur. A casual conversation over tea unveils stories, secrets, and a budding connection between two souls.

Read this exclusive excerpt that beautifully captures the essence of human connection and the power of shared moments in an ever-changing world.


Sakina's Kiss
Sakina’s Kiss || Vivek Shanbhag


That evening we aimlessly roamed the streets of Kodai. Viji was wearing a bright red cotton sari with a green border. As we went up and down the inclines, I told her how, the year I joined work, I went to Mumbai for a week-long management course. A man named Tiwari was one of the speakers, and some of us had gathered around him in the tea-break after his lecture. When I learnt his talk had been based on a book called Another World, I asked him, stupidly, where the book was available. I don’t know what he thought, but he drew a copy of the book from his bag, placed it in my hands, said ‘good luck’ and left.


I started reading it that very evening. The other world of the book was the office, and it felt like every workplace problem described in it was taken from my own office. For someone like me, who came from a village, the office had become a place of silent dread. There were foreign clients to deal with, MBAs who held everything from the west as sacred. I felt suffocated without being able to say why. This book, and then others like it, helped me. With their pages as my wings, it felt like I could fly over everything that troubled me at work. As I immersed myself in book after book, I found that the things I read in them came back to me when I found myself in those situations. Not just that, I actually heard these parts in Tiwari’s voice. ‘You know,’ I said to Viji. ‘His voice is deep and serious, perfect for a guru.’


I explained to Viji that Tiwari had entered my life at a time when I was struggling even to talk to my colleagues. On the few occasions I worked up the courage to tell them I was feeling out of place, they looked at me kindly and brushed it off saying, ‘Don’t take these things so seriously.’ There was nothing in common between me and those who had grown up in the city. If they brought up the music of their youth and mentioned Metallica or Judas Priest, I would simply go quiet. ‘Oh, you poor thing!’ Viji said. ‘You didn’t know those bands They’re not bad. But then, why should you have heard of them…’


I felt a little uneasy that she knew about that kind of music. But I also noticed that Viji paid attention to the smallest details when I told her about my life and ended up taking my side. I was overcome with affection. I yearned to unburden all my secrets to her. When I sensed Viji was willing to let me into her world, I asked, ‘Which was your first book?’


‘It was called Talk to Me. It’s about having conversations with oneself. But it will take me a long time to tell my story. It begins in childhood.’


‘What’s the rush? You can go on all day and all night if you want. I am here to listen.’


When Viji started, we were standing below a tree at a roadside teashop, her face dappled by the evening sun. Her hair was in a loose bun, held in place by a large clip. Her brown lips and the marks left by long-ago acne stood out in this light. Her nose was enticingly rounded at its tip. And how sexy a slight overbite is! She only had to part her lips a fraction to look desirable. I watched mesmerized every time she took a sip of tea and her lips moved to meet the rim of the cup. The ardour of a new marriage magnifies everything. I saw her upper lip rest on the cup’s rim, test the tea’s temperature, and then advance with a gentle quiver to take a sip. Unable to help myself, I said, ‘Hand me your cup for a second.’


‘Why?’ she asked, puzzled.


‘I’ll tell you, give it to me.’


I placed my half-empty cup on the shop’s counter, took her cup in my right hand, turned it round to where her lips had touched the cup’s rim, took a lingering sip and said, ‘Ah! So good!’


She had caught on by now. She said, teasingly, ‘What are you doing?’


I rolled my eyes coyly, said, ‘Nothing at all,’ and handed her back the cup.


Viji plunged into her story with enthusiasm. ‘You won’t believe it,’ she said. ‘But I used to talk to my self all the time as a child.’ She told me how she used to come home from school at four in the afternoon and have the house to herself until her mother returned from work at five. During this hour she stood in front of her mother’s dressing table mirror and talked to herself, complete with gestures and expressions. She would make faces, roar with laughter, abuse classmates she did not get along with. ‘You know, one day I tried to imitate the dances I had seen in films. I even took my clothes off and tossed them here and there,’ she said, laughing.



Get your copy of Sakina’s Kiss by Vivek Shanbhag wherever books are sold.

Worlds apart but together with love

‘We are full of stories’, writes Ravinder Singh as he opens up his collection of love stories from vastly different lives. Stories create empathy, they open up the seams of our capacity for wonder and compassion, and broaden our understanding of the vagaries of human lives. In You Are All I Need, twenty-five authors share their stories and their worlds with us. Today, we bring you a few of those:


‘Something in the Rain’ by Kaustubhi Singh

I take a little walk in my cubicle for one last time because I’ll be given a clearance today. I sit on the brown wooden chair I used to kick when I was so miserable that the doctors had to tie my hands up. Alcohol was my escape. The idea of alcohol was not pleasure but an escape, because when that warm liquor burns your throat, it starts dissolving the hurt stuck down there and slowly numbs you so you don’t feel the hurt. Heartbreak isn’t beautiful; it isn’t some literature; it’s not listening to sad songs or something like that. It’s feeling okay for a minute and then starting to feel their ghost around you, their touch on your skin. You miss them, you miss them so much that you choke on your memories with them.

Dr Mayank Sharma, my shrink, almost my age, tells me that it will always hurt, and it will make one cry and scream till one’s nose is blocked and eyes puffy; that hurt is inevitable but it will hurt less, and I will see and understand why someone did what they did. And I think I understand. When I look back to the day Robbie left me for another woman, he said he had grown out of love and I stood there thinking: Where did I go wrong? But thinking about it now makes me realize I did everything to truly belong to Robbie. I changed myself for him, I changed my ways and choices for him when I should have let him love me for who I was, because that’s what love is, that’s what love is supposed to be—loving someone for who they are.


‘A Tender Ray of Love’ by Nandita Warrier

She was six; he was eight. He found her irritating and called her a ‘complaint box’; she found him obnoxious and called him a ‘monster’. They fought in every get-together.

…She was twelve; he was fourteen. He secretly detested her scholarly attitude; she was swept by his charm and wrote about him in her secret diary.

…She was eighteen; he was twenty. She aspired to be a doctor; he was determined to be one of the ‘Men in Blue’.

Their paths were growing apart, just like their personalities. They rarely met, and when they did, she was more awkward than before. He didn’t seem interested in her and she was torn whether or not to share her feelings with him.

And then something happened. He did something terrible—unforgivable! She had held him in such high regard all along, loved him with all her heart, but he had treated her like trash. She was shattered.

…She was twenty-seven; he was twenty-nine. She was a bright, young surgeon winning people over; he was a lost and bitter soul, spewing venom at everyone.

She was twenty-eight; he was thirty. She was full of dreams; he was broken.

Front cover of You Are All I Need
You Are All I Need||Ravinder Singh

That night, she slept early because she had a morning duty in the ICU. That night, he slept late after emptying a bottle of sleeping pills.

Just as Ramya reached the hospital, she was summoned to the OT for an emergency procedure. ‘Suicide attempt,’ someone whispered. Dr Iyer was instructing the team when Ramya joined them in her OT scrubs. She threw a casual look at the patient and immediately recoiled. It was Rohan! Oh no, how could this be? Memories from her childhood, locked away in some corner, defiantly barged in, making her want to sob.

He looked so pale and pitiable—a mere shadow of the handsome young man she remembered from their last meeting years back! Rohan had had everything going for him—what could have possibly gone so wrong? Sensing her discomfort, Dr Iyer enquired, ‘You know him?’

‘Family friend,’ she uttered nonchalantly, hiding the wave of sadness sweeping over her.


‘Love in the Times of Marriage’ by Aparajita Shishoo

When Adil saw her across the room, his heart skipped a beat. He couldn’t take his eyes off Meera’s radiant face. He decided to walk up to her.

‘Hi,’ Adil said.

Meera was standing alone, enjoying the party her friend, Kanika, had thrown. Meera turned to look at Adil and smiled back at him with a soft ‘hi’.

Adil continued, ‘You seem to be the arty-farty type. What are you doing at a filmy party?’

Meera was a bit tipsy by that time, so she retorted, ‘I am definitely farty, but with some arty. What about you?’

Adil laughed out loud at her candour and asked her again what she was doing at such a party.

‘I am fishing for some juicy stories for my publication. You?’

‘I am trying to make some juicy stories!’ Adil winked at Meera.

Meera laughed and asked, ‘Are you flirting with me?’ ‘Are you noticing?’ Adil said.
Meera shot back, ‘I am ignoring . . . I don’t flirt with boys who have just entered puberty.’
‘Oh! That hurt . . . really hurt!’ Adil said, imitating a heartbreak. ‘By the way, I am twenty-five, well beyond my puberty years.’

Meera laughed again at Adil’s dramatics, and they continued their conversation.

Adil was a cinematographer in the Hindi film industry and the camera was his first love, but right now his own lenses were fixed on Meera’s face. ‘So what brings you to Mumbai?’

‘Change,’ said Meera, after a pause.

…At the other end of the room, Kanika noticed the chemistry between the two and was happy that her friend was finally enjoying flirting and chatting up guys.


Lose yourself in stories that will stay with you for a long, long time. 

9 Things You Didn’t Know About Anurag Garg

Anurag Garg studied to be an engineer but was destined to be a writer. He found his forte in writing by putting random thoughts in the form of a heartfelt story. The bestselling author of A Half-Baked Love Story and Love . . . Not for Sale, he is back with another enigmatic tale of friendship and redeeming power of love called Love Will Find A Way.
Here are 9 things you probably didn’t know about the bestselling author:
Mountains calling!
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Aren’t we all?
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The Storyteller
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Next time the Indian cricket team qualifies for a final, you know where to be.
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How many of these facts did you know about the Anurag Garg?

7 Quotes by Novoneel That Will Leave a Chill Down Your Spine

Novoneel Chakraborty is a master when it comes to romance thrillers. His books A Thing beyond Forever and That Kiss in the Rain have been appreciated by thousands all over the country. They have also appeared in numerous bestsellers’ lists at different points in time since their releases.
Novoneel is back with another beguiling tale of dark romance and thrill, Forever is a Lie.
Here are seven quotes from the book that will send a chill down your spine.
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Intrigued? Get your copy of Novoneel Chakraborty’s Forever is a Lie right now!

The Unbearable Embarrassment of Being a Romance Writer

By Sakshama Puri Dhariwal
‘Did you know Dadi loved reading Mills and Boons?’ Nidhi asked. When he shook his head, she continued, ‘She used to wrap the books in old newspaper and when I asked her why, she said it was because of the “sex scenes” on the cover. The year I turned thirteen, I couldn’t resist any more, so I stole one of her books and peeled back the newspaper. The cover had an illustration of a bare-chested man and a well-endowed woman. And do you know what they were doing?’
Enamoured by her infectious enthusiasm, Vikram gave her a curious smile. ‘What?’
‘The man was kissing the woman’s neck. So, for the longest time, I thought necking is how babies are born,’ she admitted with an embarrassed laugh.
This scene from Man of Her Match was inspired by real life. My grandmother did conceal her love for romance novels behind old newspapers. My mother loved them too, but conditionally – Barbara Cartland and Nora Roberts always found a surreptitious spot behind Erich Segal and Arthur Hailey. A voracious reader, her love for books transcends genre – she enjoys the classics and literary fiction just as much as her monthly copy of Filmfare and Vogue. So, while I inherited her love of reading, I unfortunately also imbibed the belief that romance was ‘less than’ science fiction or adventure, or even, sadly, recipe books.
In Delhi University, a classmate told me that she loved Judith McNaught. Instead of admitting to my own collection of the bestselling author’s books, I feigned disinterest and promptly turned away to join a different conversation about Murakami. In business school, while my batch mates were devouring biographies of Jack Welch and Warren Buffet, I was skipping lunch to finish the latest Sophie Kinsella novel.
When I discovered digital readers, I started reading a few books a week. And while I left alone the ‘acceptable’ books in my reading history, I deleted the romance novels – lest someone pick up the device and judge. It was, I realize now, the digital equivalent of covering books in newspaper. Because admitting to enjoying such books made you less of an intellectual and worse, less of a feminist. How strange these self-imposed rules are: reading Jane Austen is okay because her books are classics, but a historical romance – even one featuring a suffragette or scientist – is automatically dismissed as ‘trash’ or sometimes euphemistically, ‘guilty pleasure’.
When I tell people I’m a writer of romantic comedies, most of them express admiration. But every once in a while, someone will scoff, “Chick lit, you mean!” or wiggle their eyebrows and ask if there are any good sex scenes in the book. Laughing off such comments would make me a traitor to my profession. And to my gender.
Though people can deride the genre all they want, they cannot dispute the reading revolution that romance authors have brought about. In India, a bestselling book would need to sell 7,000 copies in the first few months, whereas the New York Times bestseller list features books that have sold 9,000 copies in the first week. And yet the first print run for many Indian romance writers is in lakhs. In a country where English is the second language for many people (and a foreign language for most), writers of this genre have done what others failed at: encouraging the reading habit in a land of non-readers. Ironically, the very first English novel read by young people is romantic fiction and instead of hiding these books behind newspaper, readers are flaunting them on their Facebook profiles.
What is it about these books (and movies) that makes them palatable to the Indian reader? Surely the relatively uncomplicated plots and simple language play a role. But another very important element is the persistent presence of the HEA (happily ever after) phenomenon. Historically speaking, HEAs sell. And the reason these feel-good stories sell is just that: they feel good. But while the last century saw several romantic films win Best Picture Oscars (It Happened One Night, Gone With the Wind, Casablanca, The Apartment, West Side Story, My Fair Lady, Annie Hall), the most recent film to receive that honour was Shakespeare in Love – almost 20 years ago!
Clearly, a large proportion of content consumers today prefers more realistic storytelling and more relatable characters. Take the Netflix show Black Mirror: it is a bleak but believable British science fiction series that warns the viewer about the degree of human perversion and decrepitude in light of changing technology. Or the Hulu show Casual: a dark comedy that navigates the world of casual dating, teenage angst, and the modern definition of sex and sexuality. Both shows are very successful even though both don’t walk the HEA line.
But in a world like the one we live in today, are readers and viewers truly ready to forgo HEAs? Breaking Bad may be touted as the best TV show ever made, but does that stop us from watching reruns of Friends? You could be counting the minutes to the new Game of Thrones season, but can you honestly say that you don’t hold your breath during the DDLJ climax even today, hoping that Bauji will let Simran go to Raj? On a rainy day, with chai and pakoras, the book I like to re-read isn’t 1984, it’s Pride and Prejudice.
Happy endings are much like comfort food – on a bad day, it’s the only thing that can make you feel better. Happiness, even vicarious happiness, offers us an escape from these troubled times. Which is why, even though I grew up embarrassed of reading romance novels, I am proud to write them.
Sakshama Puri Dhariwal is the author of the bestselling novel The Wedding Photographer. Man of her Match is her second novel. 
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