None of us have any doubt that ‘love’ as an emotion has a vast canvas and vignettes that is tough to understand. My picking of this book is a result of being a sucker for short stories. I picked it from Mumbai Airport, when one of the flights, I was destined to take was delayed beyond the usual.
Love has been a strong emotion throughout creative expressions in plays, poems, films and stories, Seeing the intriguing simple cover ‘Shades of love’ with that beautifully designed heart, made me pick it up.
I was looking at some real twists and turns; some heightened emotions and definitely some shade of love; I have missed.
I was sure that the book will cover a vignette from Mushy-mushy love, forbidden love, treacherous love, paranormal love, incestuous love, friendly love, macabre love, infidelity, celebrated love to psychopath addicted love, Love full of lust, denied love and even love for the sake of love. The book does not fail in creating the expected vignette through twenty-five short stories.
It is a curious mix of known authors with few books under their belt and new authors. This leads not to a balance but to a see-saw ride in the quality of involvement, engagement and exploitation of the situational love buried within the pages. It majestically fails in delivering something new.
You do not really find a good compilation of short LOVE stories. And for that Ankit Mittal as the editor and Grapevine Publishers cannot escape responsibility. It really took me time to read the compilation.
In the last anthology ‘CURTAIN CALL’ I reviewed, I had my favourites, but this time; it was tough to pick the best. Not because it was all quality, but because there were very few that touched me as a reader. There is something about twist in the tale and everyone tried to catch you unaware; that is when the plot was lost.
If I was forced to suggest, I will pick these two.‘The Early Bird and the Milkman,” yes, this was a definite story that touches the right chords and ticks the right boxes. Right boxes as per my pallet of reading. The other one is ‘The English Teacher’, and it sounds so good.
Pick SHADES OF LOVE only if you are a lovoholic. Yes, it will present the vignette. It remains true to the title but maybe could have been better written, chosen and sequenced. Many even fail to create the images so essential in a story.
SHADES OF LOVE, Edited by Ankit Mittal. Published by GRAPEVINE PUBLISHERS. A compilation of twenty-five short stories by Aarush Deora , Aastha Atray Banan, Akanksha Bhatia Anvita Budhraja, Ashish Dommety, Avneet Singh, Durjoy Datta, Junaid A. Tagala, Jyoti Mittal, Manisha Bhandari, Monika Pant, Naman Kapur, Nikita Singh, P.G. Rao, Pallavi Tiwari, Pernasi Malhotra, Pooja Wanpal, Pujita Krishna Jyoti, Rohit Gore, Tushar Rai, Sachin Garg, Shubham Choudhary, Shwetha Ganesh Kumar, Sreeju Sudhakaran, Vivek Banerjee