30 November, 2018

Quotable Quotes from John Green



Young Adult literature for the most part has been criticized and looked down upon. Teen romances have been dubbed as YA Literature, and for diehard fans of the same it has been a difficult journey. For one thing, YA is a reading age and not a genre! YA include a variety of genres in itself such as drama, comedy, tragedy, dragedy, sci-fi, supernatural etc.

Authors like John Green, therefore, with their works of fiction make a world of difference to everyone's perception of YA Literature.

It was in 2012 with the release of his sixth novel, The Fault in Our Stars, that John Green came into the limelight. He had written novels before - all YA Literature - but none of them spread quite like the wildfire that was TFIOS. That book was made into a movie within the next year.

John Green's first book was Looking for Alaska, (which as irony would have it, is currently in its movie production stage.)

And even though it was Hazel and Gus' story that put John Green on the map, he had been sharing profound quotes with his readers for years. His latest novel, Turtles All The Way Down, have quite a few of them too.

Here's looking at some of the deepest quotes courtesy of one of most popular and well beloved authors of Young Adult Literature:

“We need never be hopeless because we can never be irreparably broken.”Looking for Alaska

"The thing about a spiral is, if you follow it inward, it never actually ends. It just keeps tightening, infinitely." Turtles All The Way Down

My thoughts are stars I can’t fathom into constellations. The Fault in Our Stars


It is so hard to leave – until you leave. And it is the easiest goddamned thing in the world. – Paper Towns

“Books are the ultimate Dumpees: put them down and they’ll wait for you forever; pay attention to them and they always love you back.” An Abundance of Katherines

"And the thing is, when you lose someone, you realize you'll eventually lose everyone." – Turtles All The Way Down

“Those awful things are survivable because we are as indestructible as we believe ourselves to be.” Looking for Alaska


“What a treacherous thing to believe that a person is more than a person.” — Paper Towns

“I mean, anyone can look at you. It’s quite rare to find someone who sees the same world you see.” Turtles All The Way Down

“You like someone who can't like you back because unrequited love can be survived in a way that once-requited love cannot.” Will Grayson, Will Grayson


And we keep turning to these wise words for comfort, until John Green shuts himself in a room and writes another story for us! Do let me know if your favourite John Green quote made the list or did I miss it out in the comments section below.



28 November, 2018

Want to learn how to write? Sign up for Fiction Writing for Beginners



An online writing course from author Kelli A. Wilkins
                             
                        
Hi everyone!

When people learn that I’m a writer, they often tell me: “I want to write a book, but…” and then they go into longwinded explanations about why they can’t write it. Usually they don’t know where (or how) to start, or they say they don’t have the time. 

Well, I’ve got a solution for all that. 

My online writing course, Fiction Writing for Beginners, is perfect for anyone who is interested in writing and needs practical advice on how to get started, PLUS motivation and encouragement to keep writing. 

Thirteen easy-to-follow classes cover the writing process from start to finish. You’ll learn where writers get ideas, how to create characters, get expert tips on writing your story, and find out how to submit it for publication. Everything you need to know to start writing is wrapped up in this comprehensive and fun course.

Each class is self-contained and self-directed. This way, you can learn about a specific topic at your own pace, and not worry about completing the class by a certain deadline. Short writing exercises at the end of each class highlight the subject matter and get you writing.

Why did I write this course? Because once upon a time I didn’t think I could write anything. I knew I wanted to write, so I enrolled in writing classes at a local community college. Without those classes, I never would have been educated, inspired, and encouraged to pursue my writing dreams.

I created Fiction Writing for Beginners to pass my knowledge along to people who want to write, but don’t know how to start. This course was a fun way to share my writing tips, advice, and first-hand practical experience. Anyone who has ever dreamed about writing fiction (in any genre) whether for publication or just for a hobby, will benefit from this course.



The classes are grouped into four sections, and each section focuses on a writing theme. Here’s the breakdown:

Section 1: Getting Started
Class 1: The 5 Ws of Writing
Class 2: Getting in the Writing Zone & Staying Motivated
Class 3: Where Do Writers Get Their Ideas? (Part 1)
Class 4: Where Do Writers Get Their Ideas? (Part 2)

Section 2: Creating Your Characters
Class 5: Creating Characters
Class 6: Developing Heroes, Villains & Secondary Characters

Section 3: Get Writing!
Class 7: Plotting Your Story
Class 8: Scenes, Sequels & GMC
Class 9: Point-of-view & Dialogue
Class 10: Setting, Details & Research

Section 4: Revising, Submitting & Promoting Your Story
Class 11: Revising Your Story
Class 12: Getting Feedback on Your Story
Class 13: Submitting & Promoting Your Story

Here’s a short excerpt from Class 1:

What do you want to write?
Now that you know why you want to write, what do you want to write? Do you have a specific story in mind or a genre of fiction that interests you? Fiction can take many forms, from historical romance novels to science fiction short stories, and everything in between.
One way to figure out what you want to write is to consider the type of fiction you read. If you love curling up with a cozy mystery novel, you may want to write your own mysteries. Love being scared? Consider horror fiction. Can’t wait to be swept away to the 1700s Scottish Highlands? Historical romance is for you.
Here’s a hint: If you don’t enjoy reading a particular genre, you probably shouldn’t try writing in that genre. After all, you’ll be living with your short story or novel every day, and you won’t be motivated to write it if you’re not excited about it.
Forcing yourself to write something you’re not interested in is not fun and the story will certainly suffer. (That is, if you even finish writing the story.) It’s better to write the type of short stories (or novels) that you like to read. Your love of the genre will shine through in your voice, characters, and plot.
Should you write a novel or a short story? That’s entirely up to you. If you only read short fiction because you find novels “too long” to sit through, then the answer should be obvious. But if you love losing yourself in a 300-page novel filled with interesting characters and plot twists, try writing a novel of your own.
Only you know what type of story you would like to write—and there’s no rule that says you can “only” write short fiction or “only” write novels. In fact, many authors write both. (I do.) And where I write might surprise you…
***

If you’ve always wanted to write, Fiction Writing for Beginners will get you started. Visit the course page and enroll here: https://kelliwilkins.teachable.com/

I hope you’ll check it out.

Happy Reading… and Writing!

Kelli A. Wilkins



About the Author:

Kelli A. Wilkins is an award-winning author who has published more than 100 short stories, 19 romance novels, and 5 non-fiction books. Her romances span many genres and heat levels, and she’s also been known to scare readers with her horror stories. 
In October 2018, Kelli published Cupid’s Schemes, a collection of sweet mini-romances. 
She also released her first online writing course, Fiction Writing for Beginners, through Teachable. This course is perfect for anyone who wants to learn how to write. Visit: https://kelliwilkins.teachable.com/ for more details.
Kelli’s historical romance, Redemption from a Dark Past, was published in 2018. This full-length Gothic novel is set in the kingdom of Hungary in 1723 and blends a sensual romance with mystery and suspense.
If you like horror fiction, don’t miss her latest novella, Nightmare in the North.
Kelli posts on her Facebook author page: https://www.facebook.com/AuthorKelliWilkins and Twitter: www.Twitter.com/KWilkinsauthor


Visit her website www.KelliWilkins.com and blog http://kelliwilkinsauthor.blogspot.com/  to learn more about all of her writings.

26 November, 2018

Books with beautiful writing!



As a self-confessed bookworm, my reading taste varies based on my mood and the trends in the book world. Only a very few series and authors have captured me to the extent where I have to read all the books under the banner the moment they are released, and sometimes wait and pre-order. But basically, I classify the books I read and loved into two broad categories – those I loved for the story, and those I loved for the writing.

There is a very subtle difference. Some books have extraordinary story lines while the writing would leave something to be desired – making me feel that the book would have attained another level if the writing had been better. Some other books make an ordinary story into an extraordinary and memorable tale with their engrossing and wonderful narrative.

In this post I am curating a list of my recent favourite books that won me over with their writing, and the way they made ordinary stories into something wonderful. For the purpose of clarity and coherence I have tried to limit it to those written by Indian Writers in English instead of classifying by genre because that is a bigger sea of vagueness.

Without ado, and in this order, the books that captured me with their writing.

The Silent Raga by Ameen Merchant

This book came highly recommended by many friends before I took the plunge – for all I checked, it was by a first-time author and had only five star reviews, a fact I had grown wary of recently. But when a favourite bibliophile insisted, I picked it up and that was the proverbial ‘there was no looking back’ point for me.
The story was about Janaki Asgar (née Venkatakrishnan) who grows up in a middle class Tamil household, as a young girl denied her education, and who then goes on to chase her dreams and go to Bombay after marrying the famous actor Asgar. The book begins with a suspense. The runaway Janaki reaches out to her sister Mallika (who is, incidentally, left to ‘handle the shame and problems’ that follow Janaki’s elopement and has grown into a bitter woman) after two decades.
Narrated in two voices, that of Janaki and Mallika, the book captured my attention and I had to read it thrice back to back to get enough of it and move onto another book. To me, this book was a good representation of things I could know and relate with in my home state.




Queen of Dreams by Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni


Yet another book I hesitated to pick up for multiple reasons but eventually fell in love with. Was, thankfully, my own choice.
What with the Bollywood references, and the inherent philosophy, coupled with an element of mystique – I loved everything about this book. If I had looked for a particular type of story, I would have perhaps found the book wanting in that regard. But like life usually does, there was a wide variety of stories that were woven onto one huge canvas. Half of them made sense, and the other half was left to the readers’ interpretation.
Wonderfully written, with more than its share of memorable lines, this book is an all-time favourite. Special mention to the other books by this author, ‘Palace of Illusions’, and ‘Before We Visit The Goddess’.






Songs of the Cauvery by Kalyanram Durgadas


This book came to me as a recommendation from a dear friend, and I am thankful I read it immediately. This book helped me in my journey as a writer and reader, enriching me with different writing styles.
At the turn of the twentieth century, a lot of things happen with respect to the freedom movements in India. The nation had awoken and unified their voice. How does this national situation affect the little known hamlet somewhere in the Southern part of Tamil Nadu? As waves of people are swept by the passion of the fight for freedom, a small family from the village also gives up its only son to the nation.
The writing won me over because of the analogies and descriptive detailing sprinkled over the novel. This is a classic example of an ordinary storyline made extraordinary by the narrative.






The Poison of Love by K R Meera



A brilliant find from a memorable Facebook share. I bought this book on a whim and read it in one sitting.
The story touched on the widows of Brindavan, and the despicable state of a woman who was scorned. The book was short but the writing was powerful, making it very memorable. This is one book that won solely because of the writing, because the story was not my favourite, and I did not like the ending / conclusion / climax that the book had. But it still finds a place in my list of must read books because the narrative hooked me enough to keep me reading a story I did not particularly like.
This book gave me lessons in writing, and descriptions.







The Honest Season by Kota Neelima


Incidentally, this book came to me for review, and I am thankful to this day that I picked it up. At the beginning the book seemed too long, and the pace slackened in many places. But about halfway in, the story began to grasp me and then pulled me in. The genre was different, the story even more so, and this book made me look differently at journalists and politicians, even giving my idle mind a few conspiracy theories to chew on.
The long book was interesting in many ways, be it in the descriptions or the characterisations or the twists in the plot. One of the really unexpected favourites that gave me brilliant dialogues to ponder over.
These are the books that stayed with me and those I revisit occasionally to help me tide over my reading slump that happens often these days.





A Guest Post by:

23 November, 2018

#Interview with Patrick Canning, #Author of The Colonel and the Bee

About the Author:

Patrick spends as much time as possible turning coffee into collections of words that look like books, shorts, and screenplays. Most of his stories attempt to look for the meaning of life in an
adventurous way, and often employ humor, important since the search usually doesn’t turn up much.




Contact the Author:
Website * Instagram * Goodreads

Interview:

Are there some stories tucked away in some drawer that was written before and never saw the light of the day?
Definitely. I’d say the majority of ideas and even stories never see the light of day. While it’s never fun to hit one of these dead ends, the good news is you can steal from yourself. Bits of dialogue or characters or anything really from old projects can always be transplanted into something current (if it fits of course), which lessens the sting a little when a project dies.

Tell us about your writing process.
Assemble ideas for a long time, mold into an outline, first draft, revise, beta readers, revise a lot, work with an editor, revise a lot more.

What is your favorite scene in the book? Why?
I’d say the ending is my favorite. Without spoiling too much, I’ll say things go from a grand scale involving sword fights above volcanoes before focusing down into an intimate dinner party. It’s been a little divisive with readers so far, but I like that underneath all the action and comedy, it’s the simple relationships, expressed by the characters in an unadorned way, that matter most.

What is the best piece of advice you have received, as a writer, till date?
I can’t remember where I heard/read this but something about ‘exploding a moment’. Basically identifying particular events in your story where you can really dig into the senses. You can’t do it all the time or the book would never end, but in just the right spots, it’s fun to really flex the descriptive muscle and give every angle of what’s happening.

How do you spend your free time? Do you have a favorite place to go and unwind?
I’m a big fan of playing volleyball though I’m not that great at it. I habitually re-watch The Office (US), but it holds up even after the forty thousandth viewing.

Can you share with us something off your bucket list?
Learn to play blues harmonica. Also, own a beehive.

Tell us three fun facts about yourself.
I’m left handed, I think mashed potatoes are the greatest food of all time, I’d like to go to Norway someday.

What do you have in store next for your readers?
A suburban murder mystery involving a dead goat and a cyberpunk novel that deals with propaganda.

About the Book:
Beatrix, a spirited but abused acrobat in a traveling circus, seeks more than her prison like employment offers. More than anything, she wants to know her place in the world of the halcyon 19th century, a time when the last dark corners of the map were being sketched out and travel still possessed a kind of magic.
One night in Switzerland, the mysterious Colonel James Bacchus attends Beatrix’s show.This larger-than-life English gentleman, reputed to have a voracious appetite for female conquests, is most notable for traveling the world in a four-story hot air balloon called The Oxford Starladder.
Beatrix flees that night to join the Colonel and the two of them make a narrow escape— Beatrix from her abusive ringleader, the Colonel from a freshly made cuckold. Beatrix, feeling the Colonel may have the answers to her problems, pledges to help him catch the criminal he seeks in exchange for passage on his magnificent balloon. 
The criminal seeks a precious figurine, The Blue Star Sphinx, but he’s not alone. The Sphinx’s immense value has also drawn the attention of the world’s most deadly treasure hunters. A murder in Antwerp begins a path of mystery that leads all the way to the most isolated island on earth.


Book Links:

21 November, 2018

#Interview with Mohini Durgampudi, #Author of Sweet Neem

About the Author:


Mohini Durgampudi is an entrepreneur, food safety instructor and assists at a culinary incubator. She started her career in the IT sector but took a very happy and eager detour into the food industry. An avowed bookworm, her writings have so far been anonymous contributions to travel and food blogs and crowd sourced websites. Sweet Neem is her first book and it brings together her love of food, travel, family, history and culture.




Get in Touch:
Website * Facebook

Interview:

When did you first realize that you wanted to be a writer/ a storyteller?
No particular light bulb moment or revelation really. I read a lot, so it was a natural progression. When my kids were little we would play a game where one of us would start a story and after a few sentences would pass it on. Kids imagination has no bounds and some of those stories were incredible. I found myself  thinking of those stores and extending them and making them into coherent plots long after they were asleep. Maybe that was when I consciously decided to give it a shot.

How did you come up with the idea for your current story?
I love food but there are so many amazing cookbooks, bloggers and youtubers out there already. I am a History buff, like to travel and learn about different cultures. I wanted to show how much the urban food scene in India has changed. The Indian palate has expanded so much in the last few decades. I chose a location that was familiar to me and decided to put it all together and the result is Sweet Neem.

Tell us about your writing process.
I do not have any formal training as a writer and this is what works for me. I write, or type really, in a frenzy when the mood strikes… in disjointed paragraphs and chapters. And then I spend hours weaving it together and editing. 

What is your favorite scene in the book? Why?
Oh wow… hard to come up with just one. I like all the kitchen banter and chatter peppered throughout the book. Because it talks about my most favorite topic - food! There is something I like in each chapter, and that is what I named the chapters after - they are all names of a dish, ingredient, cooking technique or food industry lingo.

Did any of your characters inherit some of your own quirks?
Not mine, but a lot of my friends and family. I even mention that in the preface. I thank all of them for all the anecdotal stories, tidbits and family lore they told me. Hopefully, nobody will get mad when they see a bit of themselves in there!

Do you read? Who are your favourite authors and how have they influenced your writing style?
Absolutely, I read. A lot! There are so many favorites, and I have favorite books rather than favorite authors. I like to think I have my own voice, especially with Sweet Neem. My next one is historic fiction, so for that I will look to established masters in the genre to find a style.

What is the best piece of advice you have received, as a writer, till date?
“Just start writing. Everything will fall into place.” 
What is the best piece of advice you would give to someone that wants to get into writing?
Don’t let writer’s block kill your spirit. Everybody gets it, and it will pass. Give yourself plenty of time. Find your rhythm, some people write every morning, some will go without writing for weeks. Some will build it in their heads and put it on paper while others will dream and sleep with a notepad by the pillow to jot down their dreams. Find what works for you.

If you were to be stranded on the famous deserted island, what three things would you carry?
A strong metal cooking pan, a big sharp knife and something to make a fire. Oh, yes… I am practical AND think about food all the time :-)

How do you spend your free time? Do you have a favorite place to go and unwind?
Free time? What’s that?! The kitchen is my favorite place and I bake to forget about everything else.

What do you have in store next for your readers?
I am working on a historical fiction. Also about food but set around 200 years ago. We tend to think outside influences on Indian cuisine is recent. But, in the late 1700s South India had the Portuguese, Dutch, English and French jockeying for power. Large numbers of traders from China, Egypt and the Americas were around. The ruling class had transplants from the Middle East. Mercenaries from smaller European kingdoms and slaves from Africa also roamed the streets. It was a volatile dangerous period but also a very heady and happening time. And all these people brought their foods with them!

About the Book:
The groom died in a celebratory gunfire after the wedding. What to do with the big fat Indian wedding feast already prepared for the hundreds of guests?! Sri and Mia have to hit the ground running when they move to India to take over the struggling family business, Restaurant Annapurna.

Set in Hyderabad, also known as the City of Pearls, this is a story of three generations coming together in the span of a year across cultural, social and generational divides. The family deals with life and death and grapple with love and loss. They celebrate the many festivals of India, a wedding and their grand reopening. The younger ones are awed by the ancient City with it’s ultra modern trappings while the elders witness the magic and power of digital revolution and  social media.

They also sample their way through Hyderabadi cuisine, an intoxicating mix of Mughalai, Turkish and Arabic influences on Andhra, Telangana and Marathwada foods; street food at midnight, a mango feast at the Taj, Anglo Indian at an old friend’s, eclectic gastro-pub fare, Indian Chinese, fusion desserts at the latest bakery, cheeseburgers in a tropical tree house… but, what about Annapurna? And why Sweet Neem?

Book Links:




19 November, 2018

#Spotlight :: Cupid’s Schemes: A Collection of Sweet Romances


New Romance Release - Cupid’s Schemes: A Collection of Sweet Romances
By Kelli A. Wilkins

Hi everyone,

I’m pleased to announce the release of my contemporary romance anthology, Cupid’s Schemes. In these 16 flash fiction vignettes, Cupid’s arrow hits the mark and ignites a spark between two strangers—whether or not they’re looking for romance. Their unusual meetings lead to new beginnings and new chances at love.
Sweet stories of couples falling under Cupid’s spell include:
* a Medieval knight courting a pretty lady
* two neighbors discover that romance can happen when you least expect it
* a dehydrated mermaid rescued by a handsome stranger
These lighthearted mini-romances are perfect reads for a quick lunchtime escape or an after-work indulgence.

Here’s an excerpt from Skating Sweethearts, the first story in this collection:

Skating Sweethearts


“Turn! No, Jules! Not that way,” Cheryl cried out.
Julie yelped as she whisked along on the ice, barreling out of control and barely keeping her balance. Her ice skates seemed to have a mind of their own.
What should she do? If she tried to stop, she might trip and go flying head over heels. If she turned, she’d probably fall onto her side. Either way, she was doomed. God only knew what she’d break if she landed on the cold, unforgiving ice.
This was a bad idea. A very bad idea. Why did she let Cheryl talk her into coming here today? How is this supposed to be fun? She zoomed along, praying she wouldn’t crash into anyone. Thankfully, the outdoor rink wasn’t very crowded.
“Watch out,” she warned as she skidded past a teenaged couple holding hands. All of a sudden she spotted a man in a red ski coat right in front of her. Uh-oh.
Before she could stop herself, she plowed into the back of the tall man. To her surprise, he whirled around, caught her, and twirled them in a circle.
She closed her eyes as the world spun. Then, everything stopped.
“I’ve got you. Are you okay?” the man asked.
Julie relaxed in his grip. It took a second to realize that his strong arm was coiled around her midsection. Her gloved hand rested on his shoulder. Strong, stable, nice.
A blast of cold air blew a lock of blonde curls in front of her face and she brushed it away. She glanced up to see who this powerhouse was. She gazed into her rescuer’s cocoa-brown eyes. “I’m sorry I crashed into you.”
“You’re not hurt are you?”
“No, but my pride is wounded. I made a complete fool of myself in front of everyone. I have no idea what I’m doing.”
She licked her lips and realized the handsome guy still held her around the waist. He seemed to be in no hurry to let her go—and that was fine with her.
Julie studied his high cheekbones, Roman nose, and stubbled jawline. Dark hair peeked out from under his red knit cap. He appeared to be in his early thirties, like her.
She inhaled deep as the wind blew a whiff of his musky cologne in her direction. Whoever this guy was, he smelled wonderful.
“Thanks for rescuing me. I’m Julie.”
“Allan.” He gave her a gentle squeeze. “Feel free to need rescuing anytime.” He winked. “Let me guess, this is your first time skating?”
“It shows, doesn’t it?” She looked back over her shoulder. Cheryl stood at the far end of the rink, waving. “My sister gave me a push in this direction and… Oh.”
Now she understood exactly what Cheryl had done—sent her skating right into this hunk on ice. Cheryl had an annoying habit of always trying to hook her up with strangers. It was a nice idea, and she meant well, but how many times had she flirted like crazy only to discover the man wasn’t interested—or worse—have his wife or significant other appear out of nowhere? It was embarrassing.
***




Order your copy here:





***
I hope you’ll check out this collection of sweet romances. Each one is a unique look at fun first meets. Look for Volume 2 coming in 2019!
Happy Reading,
Kelli A. Wilkins

About the Author:

Kelli A. Wilkins is an award-winning author who has published more than 100 short stories, 19 romance novels, and 5 non-fiction books. Her romances span many genres and heat levels, and she’s also been known to scare readers with her horror stories. 
In October 2018, Kelli published Cupid’s Schemes, a collection of sweet mini-romances. 
She also released her first online writing course, Fiction Writing for Beginners, through Teachable. This course is perfect for anyone who wants to learn how to write. Visit: https://kelliwilkins.teachable.com/ for more details.
Kelli’s historical romance, Redemption from a Dark Past, was published in 2018. This full-length Gothic novel is set in the kingdom of Hungary in 1723 and blends a sensual romance with mystery and suspense.
If you like horror fiction, don’t miss her latest novella, Nightmare in the North.
Kelli posts on her Facebook author page: https://www.facebook.com/AuthorKelliWilkins and Twitter: www.Twitter.com/KWilkinsauthor
Visit her website www.KelliWilkins.com and blog http://kelliwilkinsauthor.blogspot.com/  to learn more about all of her writings.

16 November, 2018

#BookBlitz :: When Our Worlds Meet Again by Aniesha Brahma

~ Book Blitz ~
When Our Worlds Meet Again by Aniesha Brahma
16th November 2018


About the Book:





Two years after the events of 'When Our Worlds Collide', Zayn and Akriti are now leading extremely different lives. Akriti has come back from her stint at the business school and running her mother's café. Zayn has run into trouble in his PhD program and has come home for a break. While he thinks that things are just as he’d left them two years ago, that is far from the truth. In a last ditch attempt to make Akriti remember the connection they had once shared, Zayn tries to recreate all their memories. But things are never the same when collided worlds meet again. 







Book Links:

Goodreads * Amazon

Read an Excerpt:



Prologue
2015.
Akriti was sitting at the cash counter of her mother’s little café going over the expenses for the day. Her headphones were plugged into her ears as she listened to songs on her phone. Her laptop was propelled open in front of her as she made notes on what else needed to be done the next day.
In the two years that she had been gone, the café had not changed at all. Her mother had kept all the renovations that Akriti and her colleagues had done two years ago. The only difference was that now there was a bulletin board next to the chalkboard menu that had been installed just a few weeks ago. On the bulletin board hung a poster that announced that next week’s Poetry Slam would start at 6PM sharp, and Suzanna needed to be contacted for early registration.
Akriti finished her work and shut down her laptop. She looked around the café in grim satisfaction and let out a happy little sigh. The music from her phone suddenly stopped playing. Glancing down she saw that her phone had started buzzing, flashing a number she had not seen on her phone in quite a while.
Debating for a minute, she received the call.
“Hi, Zayn.”

Airports have seen more sincere kisses than weddings it is said. As Zayn Banerjee waited to catch his flight back home, he witnessed one too many couples bidding each other teary eyed goodbyes. It was watching these strangers that he remembered how it had felt two years ago when he had left his home behind in pursuit of higher studies. How he had come to this alien land which had eventually led him to a lot of heartache and misery!
But there had been something good about those two years. There had been someone who had seen past all his imperfections and focused only on the good that was in him. Who had been his friend against all odds and yet, they had fallen out of touch with each other over the course of two years. He wondered if she was still using the same number. He wondered if she still had his number saved.
On an impulse, he pulled out his phone and dialed her number. She answered it on the third ring.
“Hi, Zayn.”
“Akriti.”
He was pleased as punch that she remembered him.
“Did you want something?”
“I am just calling to let you know that I’d be home soon.”
“Oh.”
“Oh? Honestly, I was hoping for a reaction better than oh.”
“Zayn, it’s really late here. Let’s talk when you’re in town?”
“I’ll do you one better. I’ll come see you.”
“Great. Safe flight.”
Then the line went dead. Zayn stared at the phone, wondering if their friendship was lost over the course of time. This wasn’t like the Akriti he remembered.
This wasn’t his Akriti at all.

Akriti hung up the phone feeling utterly drained. Once upon a time this was a source of her happiness but tonight he was a cause of her stress. The last thing she needed was for Zayn to come barging into her life once more.
She remembered all the memories that they had made together two years ago. The time when she’d finally felt okay to let her guard down and just be herself. It seemed to her like it was a lifetime ago. But he’d left. Like everyone else in her life and she had found herself consumed by her loneliness. Going off to business school had only made Akriti revert back to her old self.
That’s a lie they tell you, Akriti thought bitterly to herself, as she put her headphones back on and started listening to music again, time doesn’t heal a damn thing. It just burns the memories into your mind.

About the Author:


Aniesha Brahma knew she wanted to be a writer since she was six years old. She was schooled in Dolna Day School and went on to pursue B.A., M.A., and M.Phil in Comparative Literature from Jadavpur Univeristy. She currently lives in Kolkata, with her family and five pet cats. She is the author of All Signs Lead Back to You, When Our Worlds Collide, The Guitar Girl and The Secret Proposal. She compiled and edited the 10 volumes series, 'Children's Classic Stories' with love and great efforts.

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