Book Review: Matches Made in Heaven (MMIH)
Author: Sundari Venkatraman
Publisher: Flaming Sun
Rating: Four stars
A collection of short stories are tales of narrative prose and rhyme where glimpses of life are captured to depict innocence, bliss, tragedy, love, sadness at a microscopic level yet it makes a life time memory. Author Sundari Venkatraman brings to the forth a new genre of love, capturing imagination and winning hearts, bearing her trademark in MMIH. She offers sensitive tale of love, touches burning topics and prejudice as well as suspense, making it a smart read.
Sundari Venkatraman kicks tarts in style with ‘Groomnapped’, a tale of love and kidnapping, a clever plan etched by two lovers which goes topsy-turvy in this offer of mistaken identity. The story has pace, move swiftly and crisply narrated. Set in Bihar, the story draws on real life stories of lovers abdicated to marry each other and Sundari lends to the story her own interpretation that makes it a smart read. The second one, Beauty is But Skin Deep is the story of Simran, the lesser loved child in the family that is sneered by her father because of her dusky features but, at the end, she wins hearts. It’s a tale that makes us ponder on our ingrained prejudices and is an intelligent take on the fair and lovely classic case. A powerful and poignant story scripted. An Arranged Marriage is a light breezy story between Ritu and Yash where romance, love meets one night stand. Sundari Venkatraman seals this mushy love in story in style where she injects suspense that happy ending is made of. It’s beautiful and romantic that will put a smile on your face.
How can romance and cinema be left behind when we speak of love. The story ‘Chahti Hoon Tumhe’ is the perfect ode to glamor, stars and business where Jahnavi a film star finds love in Rehaan. It has drama when Jahnavi-ex plays the villain hell bent to destroy everything perfect in her life. The end will take you by storm since Sundari Venkatraman not only redefines romance but gives it a mind-blowing touch without the heavy duty drama. The story ends with a twist that makes romance beautiful, stylish and refreshing.
One story that blew my mind is the story of ‘Soulmates’ where the author makes a strong statement on the tragedy of human prejudice and family honor against love beyond the border of caste. Sundari Venkatraman delves deeply on the foes of love and sheds light on the place of the daughter in a family eschewing the role of patriarchy where the women in the house has no say. It’s a statement against hypocrisy, false ideologies fed over the years that it has become tradition now.
1. “Will your father’s hunters do to a feeble old man like me? You my dear, don’t quite know what you are refusing.”
….The old man had her in a vice like grip while his gnarled hand pressed her head to his chest. Did Valli really want to get out of the hold. It felt so good to be in his arms.”
2.”Amma!” said Soumya equally softly, “..You and Appa must be planning to marry me off to someone. Then why not to someone I love instead of a stranger?”
Komal calmed down lulled by her mother-in-law’s stroking and loving words. While it was still too tough to swallow, she could see a light at the end of the dark tunnel, the light of love. She was sure that the morning would only bring cheer.
3. Rehaan swooped down to claim another kiss from her red lips before going down on his left knee. He removed a ring from his pocket and taking Jhanavi’s left hand, placed the opal ring on her third finger. “I love you too Honey! Will you be mine?”
It’s a complex task to find faults when such beautiful collection of romance stories are explored, that makes it truly ‘Matches Made in Heaven.’ The stories such as ‘Pappa’s girl’ could have been explored further and treated better, ‘Shweta ka Syamvar’ sounds a bit cliche owing to the reality shows and can’t help think of my most hated face on TV, Rakhi Sawant and The Reluctant Bride, though it has its moments, fails to a certain extent on the account of being too simplistic.
‘Matches Made in Heaven’ comes as a gush of fresh air that will accompany you to taste the delightful nectar in a world scripted by the author and your taste bud will ask more. You cannot afford to put this one down. Sundari Venkatraman has built a strong reputation in romance and every time, she pushes the envelope higher and higher, fulfilling the promises made.
You can purchase the book, ‘Matches Made in Heaven’ here. The author can be contacted on http://sundarivenkatraman.blogspot.com/ or https://www.facebook.com/AuthorSundariVenkatraman or firstname.lastname@example.org