We love love. After all, what is more uplifting, more exalting and more inspiring than this wonderful emotion? But love comes to us in myriad forms, and there exist innumerable love stories that come with a twist. It exists in ways that do not fit the boxes we have created for it. It is sometimes accepted, sometimes forbidden, it is sometimes reciprocated, sometimes unrequited, sometimes the blessing, sometimes the curse.
And all of it is true, and right, and powerful and shapes our lives in ways we cannot fathom. So for this day of love, we bring to you stories that reveal the hidden facets of love.
Cobalt Blue is the story of a brother and sister who fall in love with the same man. Set in a middle class Marathi family, Cobalt Blue presents a modern take on relationships in a contemporary world and is the perfect read if you are looking for a love story with a twist. Narrated from the perspectives of both, the brother and the sister, after they have been jilted by their lover, this is a poignant tale of love, loss and longing – the holy trinity of romance.
It is starkly realistic in its portrayal of love as well as the grief that follows when love goes unrequited or unfulfilled. The dual personal narratives give readers a sense of intimacy as we are able to see first hand the trials and tribulations both Anuja and Tanay go through. You can read a review of the book here.
Poison of Love might very well be described as an antidote to all the sweet romantic notions of love that we are accustomed to. This story is love in one of its darker forms, destructive and all consuming. When Tulsi falls for Madhav, she is willing to give up everything – her family and her career – for him. But when Madhav’s dalliances do not stop after their marriage, it does not take long for the sweetness of love to turn into the bitterness of poison which engulfs both Tulsi and Madhav and brings a lot of devastation in its wake. By the time the novella ends, the poison of love has claimed many victims. Read this book only if you are ready to travel into the dark lanes of the human psyche.
Chemmeen is the story of a fisherman’s daughter Karuthamma’s love for the fish trader Pareekutty whom she cannot marry because she is a Hindu while he is a Muslim. She is then married to an orphan fisherman Palani, but despite her best efforts to forget the past and be a “good wife” to Palani, tragedy strikes the trio when love comes calling and Pareekutty makes a re-appearance. The three are then caught up in the waves of love, duty and tradition which, like the rough sea, threaten to leave them all bereft. At once a story of forbidden love as well as a social commentary, Chemmeen is also unique in its beautiful narration of the lives of the fisherman community, and their myths, both of which which play a central role in this roller coaster journey of three.
Don’t Run, My Love, follows the story of the mother-daughter duo, Visenuo and Atuonuo, whose lives are turned upside down when Kavi, a young and handsome hunter, enters their lives. He falls in love with Atuonuo and proposes marriage to her. But when he is turned down by the young girl, his love takes a form that threatens to engulf the lives of the two women. With its folktale and parable-like elements, Kire gives her readers a story that blends the mythical and the magical with the day to day life of the village of the Angamis, a Naga tribe. Using magical elements, the novella raises pertinent questions of consent in a relationship, making it a tale for our times.
Another Man’s Wife is a collection of stories that deal with the themes of desire and love in its myriad forms, not all socially sanctioned or acceptable. All the stories in this collection are set in different parts of the country and add to the flavour of the entire collection. Their protagonists vary hugely – from a lovelorn young kathak dancer in a marriage of convenience to a young honeymooning couple on a houseboat in Kashmir to a Nepali servant to a contractor who falls in love with a tribal woman – but it is all tied together by the emotion that rules us all – love.