Book Review: Love Minuets melts like chocolate

Book Review:

Love Minuets-An Anthology of tiny Love Stories

Preethi Venugopala

Release: November 2015

Rating: Four stars

Love Minuets

Love Minuets

A tiny little bible of love and romance narrating tales from the victorian age to re-incarnation, widow remarriage and fairy tales. Author Preethi Venugopala has the gift of churning love tales that not touches the core of your soul but strikes a chord with your sensitive mind in an aesthetic manner, melting like choco that swirls in the tongue.


Is there another emotion that can compete with love? When you fall in love, it is the most magical feeling that you experience. The person, who stirred this emotion in your heart all of a sudden acquires the power to make you his/her slave and you become ready to do anything to win his /her affections.
Nothing matters anymore other than your lover. It is as if this magician called love has put you in a trance, all you hear are his commands, and you become a helpless puppet in his arms. Every thought like a homing pigeon returns to your lover and every moment you invent a reason to be near him/her. It is like a powerful potion, which has been absorbed by each and every cell of your body.

By Preethi Venugopala on Amazon


The book starts with a Duchess love story, sweetly told in a light and breezy atmosphere, capturing the complexity and nuances of falling in love. What I love the most in The Duke’s Muse is the continuation that finds echo in Forgotten Memories where the character is gently showed the way to revive love in the journey of self discovery and past life. It’s one of the most poignant story coupled with a twinge of philosophy. The quotes are powerfully sketched: “There is always a lesson to be learned from every life..Find your inner strength. We need to discover that if we have to succeed in life…The people that you meet in any life time are part of a larger soul group and they incarnate together.

In Wings of Love, the author brings a fairy tale story about an angel sent to earth and a man gone astray who finally finds love . Don’t we all need our guarding angel? She beautifully taps the human side of emotions of angels who has  a heart to love and be sensitive to humans. An endearing story that reaffirm our faith in the power of magic and positive feeling. Never lose trust in the kindness offered by life after we face a blow. Fairy is another sensitive tale, rekindling our childhood emotions and it’s all about the belief in everything extraordinary. At times, delightful and wondrous, it’s a beautiful and powerful lesson: “When a child says that she doesn’t believe in fairies, there is a fairy somewhere that falls down dead.” Can it get more powerful than that?

There are other beautiful stories, about hero worship where the romantic angle between a star and it’s crazy fan has been tapped with simplicity and emotions running high. Simple, short but effective. Or, in Catharsis which is the tale of a TV star, Sukanya, the strong character where the actress finds herself in a catch 22 situation but life throws her in this situation to remind her about the situation of her fans in a village. It’s the biggest lesson she learns on how her on-screen character made a difference to their lives. Sometimes, we need to look ahead in life no matter how much our situation are drastically altered and we are pulled down by treachery. In The Hated Pronoun, the subject of widow remarriage, prejudice, blind belief and the place of woman is society is sketched in such a powerful manner that it moves our soul. An endearing love story with a woman finally gathering strength and inner calling with true cum unblemished love.

What’s Not!

Love Minuets is an anthology and the stories are distinct from each other which makes it unfair to point at loopholes. In Thinking Straight, for instance, perhaps the subject could have been explored further or the fact that few stories bears a strikingly similar end to each other. Having said that, Love Minuets is an original work by Preethi Venugopala, stories that are heart warming, relatable and engrossing.

Final Words:

Love Minuets-An Anthology of tiny Love Stories is a gem of a book and is a must read. It will touch your heart and make an ever-lasting impact to whittle your boring days. Preethi has touched my heart with her sensitive narration and one can feel the stories so close to reality. It makes a difference through her simply and down-to-earth language that brings alive the emotion called love. It’s a must have and must gift for the festive season.

Buy the book on: Amazon

With Love



Posted by on November 29, 2015 in uncategorized


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Cover Reveal: Sumana Khan’s Encounters

Today, I host author Sumana Khan’s Encounters. It’s the cover reveal where all the documents has been provided by The Book Club. Stay tune and book your copy. Best to Sumana.



Sumana Khan 


Someone Is Always Waiting 


Watch It 




I stare at the cement bench covered in pigeon shit and spot the dim outline of the granite slab embedded in the backrest. Years ago, when the bench was new, the granite slab was a shiny black mirror inscribed with the words ‘Dedicated to the courageous people of Thirukadal’. Four cyclones and many pigeons later, the words have disappeared. The place is so choked with weeds that the bench appears to rest on the thorny plants. Behind me, beyond a muddy track, the Bay of Bengal hisses and sighs in a treacherous language.

I look up at the sky, as if to decode the time. My watch says it is half past seven in the morning, but the sky, clotted with grey clouds, remains secretive. It could be evening as far as the heavens are concerned. A depressing form of rain is assured; the kind that only occurs in this eastern coast of South India—skies that sob continuously for forty-eight hours, increasing humidity, mosquitoes and the stench of choked drains, damp walls and wet clothes. I wonder if the sky had been just as morose on the morning of 26 December, 2004.

I tie a handkerchief around my face, covering my nose and mouth, and hack away at the weeds. Swarms of mosquitoes and flies rise in a static buzz and hover over my head like a satanic dark halo. It takes me an hour to clear a small area around the bench. The sky starts its weeping just as I scrub the bench with a coconut husk and Vim detergent powder.

After half an hour, the granite slab gleams into existence once again. I’ve got my memorial ritual paraphernalia in a Food World plastic bag. I bring out a strand of jasmine that I loop around the granite slab, its fragrance weak in the rain. I crouch under my umbrella that won’t open fully and light a couple of incense sticks. I’ve forgotten to bring the incense holder, so I stick the smouldering incense into a banana that was to be my breakfast. I place it on the bench in front of the granite slab and hold the umbrella over it. I close my eyes in an attempt to pray. All I can think of is the angry allergic rash that’s spreading on my legs and hands thanks to the weeds and that the incense smells like a cheap aftershave.

I give up and sit on the bench, still holding the umbrella over the incense. The rain stings my skin like the rash. The hard, wet seat numbs my thighs instantly and a dull arthritic pain blooms in my knees and lower back. I squirm, shifting my weight from one butt cheek to the other. I wait, just as I’ve waited in vain for the last seven years, for the storyteller to show up. The incense is all ash now. I may as well eat the banana and tell you the story of how I met this mysterious man.

About The Author 

Sumana Khan was born and raised in Bangalore and currently lives in the UK. She is a blogger and a student. Her debut novel was The Revenge of Kaivalya.

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Goodreads Book Giveaway

Encounters - Someone's Always Waiting by Sumana Khan

Encounters – Someone’s Always Waiting

by Sumana Khan

Giveaway ends December 11, 2015.


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Posted by on November 27, 2015 in uncategorized


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26/11 Mumbai: Hum nahin bhulenge

Hey folks,

This poem in Hindi is written as a tribute to 26/11 in Mumbai and it’s been 8 years now. I am linking the poem to Hindi Baaten hosted by Sharmistha Basu.

Lachar mat bano tum,

kyon ki woh gussa abhi tak hai hamare zehan mein.

Hum nahin bhulenge kaise Mumbai aur Hindustan mein jeewan rukh gaya tha.

Aaj saat saal hogaya jab Mumbai aatankwadi ka shikar ban gaye the.

Kaise bhool sakte hai hum log,

ke hamara shehar jo duniya sab se tez bolte hai,

rukh gaya tha.

Hamare sainik, police aur aam insaan ka balidan,

jo shehar ko aatank ke qaid se mukt kiya

aur woh Karma yogi ne jaan gawai.

Kuch aise zakham hai jo bhar nahin sakta

aur Mumbai 26/11 hum nahin bhool sakte.

Logon ki cheekh, woh bache jo yateem ho gaye aur pran jo berahmi se maut ke ghaat utara gaya.

Jo log maare gaya, karmayogi ki balidan ke yaad mein.

Ab shayad woh Mumbai nahin raha jo 26/11 se pehle tha,

phir bhi Mumbai hai.

Ek aise sheher jo koi nahin hara sakta hai,

Mumbaikar ke saahas aur aatma vishwas,


wohi hamara ekta aur taakat ka saboot hai.

Mumbai ko koi nahin gira saakta hai.



Posted by on November 26, 2015 in uncategorized



A chat with Dr Madhu Vajpayee on ‘Seeking Redemption

Dr Madhu Vajpayee is the author of Seeking Redemption where a young medical student is caught in an entangled web and adversity makes her vanquish her fears cum conquering life. The author who is based in Australia speaks about her life there, horde of Doctors becoming successful authors and how observation in hospital as well as childhood shaped her writing.


Dr.Madhu Vajpayee- the writer was born somewhere in those hospital corridors where she has spent the last two decades of her life. Witnessing life at such close quarters pushed her to capture its enigma in her words and slowly it became her passion. After writing several scientific papers and chapters in books, this book is her first step in literary world.  

Having done her graduation, MBBS from King Georges Medical University (KGMU), Lucknow she went ahead to pursue her post-graduation, MD from AIIMS, New Delhi. She was a consultant at All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), New Delhi having been associated with management of patients living with HIV/AIDS. She is now settled in Melbourne, Australia with her family, where she is devoting most of her time to writing, the passion that she couldn’t pursue earlier because of the demands of medical profession and commitment it requires.

When not creating stories, Madhu enjoys reading and travelling.

How do a Doctor gets into creative writing and does observation in hospital corridors means the perfect getaway from routine?

Let me tell you doctors are one of the most sensitive people around! And, I feel one of the main qualification for an author is to be able to feel the pleasure and pain of another person. Although not everyone becomes an author but lot of them have the potential to do so if they have time and are willing to pen down their experiences in any form. In fact I must tell you that there are several doctors around the world who have emerged as very successful authors.

I won’t say a perfect getaway because as a doctor you can never detach yourself from the routine but yes, penning down the observation as fiction or non-fiction is definitely a kind of release. A release from something that is not letting you at peace. Once those observation or experiences are worded, as an author you find a strange kind of serenity.

Tell us about your life back in Delhi and how you decided to spread your wings in foreign shores?

I worked as a consultant at All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), New Delhi and was associated with management of patients living with HIV/AIDS.  Life was good in Delhi. I was enjoying my work. However there are few moments in life where you have to choose between two best options and it’s one of the most difficult thing to do. My choice of moving to Australia was one such decision. The circumstances at my work place as well as at my family front forced me to choose foreign shores. As the saying goes, something in life is destined.

Has writing always intrigued you and were you weaving stories during your childhood?

Yes, that’s true! I was always fascinated by the written words, words that have power to transcend you to completely different universes altogether. From early childhood, the wonderful habit of reading that was inculcated by my father gradually turned into writing expeditions. What I couldn’t say in words or express myself in its wholeness would find its way to paper and thus began my journey as a writer from an early age.

Madhu 2

Your book, ‘Seeking Redemption’ is the tale of a medical graduate that get caught into corruption and caste politics. Here, I can see a recent reality in India where medical seats were traded. Has the book been inspired by the recent events?

In a sense, yes. Besides that there were series of events related to corruption and caste politics that either I was witness to or was aware of. All those things did inspire me to write the fiction that had imprints of real life situations.

Was it an easy decision to leave your practice as a Doctor to pursue full time writing and were you able to find time during your professional stint to write?

I have not left my profession all together. But, working part time has definitely given me more time and space for my writing work which was earlier almost impossible.

How do you see the way writing has evolved during the past decade in India and do you think characters are more global where the East meets the West? Is there any common ground that you can see between both continents?

Writing has taken a quantum jump in India, particularly the English language writing. Besides love stories that will always remain the favorites, writers are experimenting with different genre and succeeding. Yes, characters are becoming more global with increase in globalization, migration and authors from East residing in Western countries or vice versa. I feel common ground will always be there for human nature, thoughts, emotions and feelings are similar across the world. There might be difference in geographical, social, language and lifestyle but underneath these difference is one common human spirit.

The cover of ‘Seeking Redemption’ is intriguing where the female character seems to be caught in an entangled web. What’s the mystery behind Meera’s story?

The entangled web symbolizes her dilemmas and an invisible wall of doubts that threatens to destroy everything she stands for. Every time she tries to detangle it, a new web of uncertainties engulf her and she again loses her way. But,, eventually she wins against her own demons and instead of getting caught in the web, make a way for herself amidst the ruins of her past.

Tell us a bit about your family life in Australia and the feedback they offer on your journey as a writer?

Well, compared to India, life in Australia is very easy going. This country has a very relaxed lifestyle. And it helps that I am not working full time. Unfortunately in India we have so many things in daily life that needs our regular attention and those things take lot of our time. In this country, you don’t need to worry about everyday life. Although one could never stop missing one’s own country but my family life is definitely much unhurried and tranquil here. This gives me lot of time to read, introspect, contemplate and write something. My family participate quite actively in my writing ventures. Besides giving me honest, at times brutal feedback, they do give me an unconditional support in this journey.


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Posted by on November 25, 2015 in uncategorized


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The deactivating button

The deactivating button

Staring on the blank screen on the laptop, drowsy eyes on Saturday mulls, Should I or shouldn’t I? It’s not like I am proposing marriage to someone or announcing a temporary break up. I’ve done it for two years and why not now.
A voice hits me on the head, ‘Dude! Just do it…How long you will keep announcing on your status and stroll around.’ Yes! Yes! There is no looking back. I deactivate the Facebook button. Temporarily, of course.
It’s a break that I have been taking for the past three years and this year, I was thinking of going for the kill much earlier but things were cropping up where I need to be on social media. Every time, I was planning to be off Facebook, something or the other cropped up whether professionally, book reviews or anything that matters. Finally, on Saturday, I just hit on the deactivate button and it’s been three and a half days.
How am I faring? No! I am not missing Facebook. Honestly speaking, I feel at peace with myself for not ranting and hitting on nonsensical stuffs I do. I wouldn’t call it detox, like I normally do. But, I needed to be away from everything, be it status update, links or what’s happening in other people’s lives. You just need to disconnect yourself with everything that the lal batti makes you run agog with excitement. Aren’t we all VIP on Facebook with this red signal on our notification?!
Stuffs like Facebooking eat our time and trust me, it can be quite unproductive, just sitting and lying idle. Guilty of that!! Sitting on FB and not doing any writing stuffs, ending to while away time. What an awesome feeling to wake up in the morning and end up not logging on to Facebook, commenting, sharing stuffs or hitting at politicians or racist slant? I’m quite a social activist on Facebook. At some point, such things do get to your brain and you may end up being a wreck.
I did it for myself and need this mental peace, to be faraway from Facebook. As an online friend jokingly told me about taking Sanyasi, yeps, it’s true. We can be narcissists on social networking and it was high time for this self introspection moments. Facebook can be quite addictive and it is, a lethal drug and poison, for me.
Consume it at your own risk. I do that. Most of the time it’s a sweet and lethal one but you do reach a saturation point. There is always the aspect of losing on the happenings and by that I mean, in terms of opportunities to connect and make things work professionally at a time I am looking to explore new avenue. But, the BIG but is that I wanted to be with myself, far from the maddening crowd. Time of the year to reclaim my own personal space where I can’t be bothered what the whole world is watching, wearing, eating or dating the who who!! I know that there are risks of being in the de-friended zone. No problem with that. I am perfectly alright and everyone has a life of their own. I am beyond this phase, now.
Till then, folks enjoy and shall see you in a month or so at Facebook. Don’t miss me coz I ain’t going anywhere or leaving the world.

This post is written as part o #MondayMusings on Write Tribe hosted by bloggers, Richa Singh and Vidya Sury.


Posted by on November 24, 2015 in uncategorized


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Book Blitz: Kiran Manral’s Karmic Kids

Today’s Spotlight is on Kiran Manral’s Karmic Kids. Kiran is one of a hell fabulous lady and she is considered to be one of the most influential women on social media. I had the honor of doing two interviews of her on the blog in 2014 and 2015. A thorough professional, Kiran is always a delight to speak to. The document for the Book Blitz on Kiran’s Karmic Kids has been provided by The Book Club. Hope you will hop on and buy Kiran’s latest effort.



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Karmic Kids 

The Story of Parenting Nobody Told You !


Kiran Manral 



Move aside Tiger Mom and forget Helicopter Parenting, Karmickids is the view from the other side of the fence – of laid back parenting, of giving in to food jags, of making unstructured play time mandatory and of not bursting a blood vessel when your child’s grades are not something you might want to discuss in public.

A roller coaster ride of love, laughter, and a few tears, Manral takes you through the beautiful chaos of the early years of parenthood. Written in a gently humorous style, this home grown, hit-the-ground-running account of the chaos of day-to-day parenting is peppered with anecdotes, reminiscences, a little practical advice and is a non-preachy, hilarious take on raising a spirited child while retaining one’s good spirits through it all.

Grab your Copy 

What others say about Kiran Manral 

“I enjoy reading Kiran’s books. The genre of easy reading and happy reading with inevitable style, she keeps you hooked on the book from the first page to the last.”– Tisca Chopra, actor

“This quick paced, fun new book had me enthralled.”–Tara Sharma Saluja, Actress and Co-producer and host of The Tara Sharma Show

“Kiran’s writing style is witty, humorous and makes you think. She has a penchant for making even the most mundane, interesting because of the razor sharp observations, served with a dollop of dead-pan humour.” —Preeti Shenoy, bestselling author

“Kiran’s writing is that rarity in today’s world – the ability to be really good without taking itself too seriously. This is writing that is effortless in its humour and also its fluidity. It asks not for heavy literary criticism but for a certain laid-back enjoyment.” —Parul Sharma, bestselling author

“Kiran’s stories are fun, engaging and always fresh – and her droll style, of course, inimitable!”– Yashodhara Lal, bestselling author

“Kiran’s writing is delightful, her wit inimitable and her sense of romance untarnished by cynicism that is so typical of our times.”— Shunali Khullar Shroff,  bestselling author

“Kiran Manral’s sparkling sense of humour leaps off the page, every page. Her blog posts, books and columns have given me great joy over the years. She has a distinct original voice that brought a breath of fresh air in the world of Indian Writing in English.” – Devapriya Roy, Bestselling author  

About the Author 

Kiran Manral worked as a journalist with The Asian Age and The Times of India before she quit full time work to be a full time mommy. One of the leading bloggers in India, her blogs were listed in Labnol’s list of <b>India’s top blogs</b>, and her parenting blog, Karmickids, was ranked among the top five parenting blogs in India by Blogadda. She was also a Tehelka blogger columnist on gender issues.<br />

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She was listed among the <b>10 non-celebrity ‘social media stars’ on twitter</b> by the TOI and IBN Live named her as among the <b>30 most interesting Indian women</b> to follow on twitter and among the top <b>10 Indian moms to follow on twitter</b> in 2013. Fashion <a href=”; target=”_blank”> </a>named her as amongst the <b>most stylish authors in India</b>. listed her as <b>one of the 20 women authors from India</b> to be followed on twitter.<br />

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Post the 26/11 terrorist attack in Mumbai, <b>she founded India Helps, a volunteer network to help disaster victims post 26/11 and has worked on long term rehabilitation of 26/11 Mumbai terror attack victims and 13/7 Mumbai bomb blast victims</b>, amongst others. She was part of core founding team behind <b>Child Sexual Abuse Awareness Month</b> (<a href=””></a&gt;) and <b>Violence Against Women Awareness Month</b> (<a href=””></a&gt;), two very well received social media awareness initiatives.<br />

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Her debut novel, <b>The Reluctant Detective</b>, was published by Westland and her second novel <b>Once Upon A Crush</b>, was published by Leadstart a couple of years later. Her third book <b>All Aboard</b>! was published by Penguin Random House in August 2015. <b>Karmic Kids</b> is her fourth book and first nonfiction book. She has one more book due for release in 2015.<br />

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She is on the planning board of the Kumaon Literary Festival, an advisor on the Board of Literature Studio, Delhi, an Author Mentor at<a href=”; target=”_blank”></a> and a columnist at She was awarded the Women Achievers award by Young Environmentalists Group in 2013.<br />

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She currently blogs at <a href=””></a&gt; and is on twitter @kiranmanral.<br />

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Posted by on November 22, 2015 in uncategorized


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Eyes sparkling pure love

Eyes sparkle thousand words.
A sizzling chemistry.
Intensity and passion spoke to each other.
It was love at first sight.
Silence has its own charm and magnified beauty.
Drawn to each other, they spoke the language of the heart.
Love has its own distinct language and bearing the heart out may not always be expressive.
Deep inside, their silence had its own pure beauty, devoid of agony and frustration.
Who says silence kills?
The love for each other is felt through the eyes conveying million feeling that words couldn’t do.
It was the season of love and winter passion.
They longed for each other in the mammoth crowd, gaze looking for that face that would make their hearts beat faster.
One day, they vanished.
Far from the eyes but not far from the heart.
They eyes didn’t crave for the physical presence but a love that was felt within, beyond the physical tonality.
With Love

Posted by on November 20, 2015 in uncategorized


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