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Title: Moonlit Matinee

ISBN: 978-81-9269-264-7 | Pages: 230 | Price: Rs. 195/-

Publishers: Moments Publishers

Book Review:

Moonlit Matinee is a collection of fourteen fascinating love stories. To those who are learning about this title for the very first time, this is an initiative from Mr. Moonlit MatineePulkit Guptaauthor of ‘Life and Promises’ and contributor at ‘You, Me and Zindagi.

He brought together young blood from different professions with a common trait of love for writing to compile this exclusive anthology. I term it to be an exclusive one because for the first time he has included a mention of Ballad and Sonnet – needless to say, beautiful forms of writing and expression. This was my first experience to enjoy these forms and was an exciting one! The fourteen stories are presented like fourteen flavours of the dish called – ‘Love’. Every single story is dipped in romance promising you different flavours such as passion, heartbreak, attraction, respect and much more.

1. Bon Voyage by Harshita Srivastava

This story is about the protagonist Aakash Saxena, a resident of Bhopal who meets his past love – Khushi, during his journey to Delhi. The narrative describes the pain and agony that he feels on meeting her after a long gap and as he recollects their past. He loves her until today. Does he manage to express his love to her? Of course, you need to read the story to know.

All I can share with you is this is a sweet, short and crisp write-up about a boy
accusing himself of breaking up with a true love of his life. This is indeed a
beautiful description of a male’s psyche and emotions after a break up without
any heavyhearted sobs and wordy wars. Moreover, how did the girl react is the catch here.

Harshita, the author is a full-time writer and author of ‘One in a Million’.

2.  Emptiness by Pulkit Gupta

This story is about Rachit and Radhika, both searching for love and peace in their lives. Rachit, a practising CA by profession visits Manali and bumps into Radhika. He watched Radhika every day, as she visited the sunset point and returned without talking to anybody there. Rachit could feel emptiness in her eyes, which he felt had a lot to talk. One day, he gathered the courage and decided to talk to her. How romantic! This is a fast-paced and a breezy romantic story about how he manages to learn more about her.

What do you think – did they both fall in love with each other like any other romantic story? Or Did they end up finding the beauty of love in their friendship? How did he actually manage to fill in the emptiness in her eyes? Again, I am not going to disclose – you need to enjoy the deep sea of words that the author makes you dive into as he describes his emotions and her beauty. Trust me; it is worth a read.

Pulkit is CA, CS and law student by profession and a writer by passion with best sellers such as ‘Life and Promises’ and ‘You, Me and Zindigi’ added to his credits.

3. Rasgulla by Abhishek      ‘Atul’

‘How much does a rasgulla cost’? Rhea turned back and asked Aniket.

‘Around Rs. 15 I guess, but why?’ Aniket was confused.

‘A rasgulla costed me my life’ she whispered.

Intrigued? I am confident you must be. This is an account shared by Aniket, who meets Rhea – her first love, at California airport.

The story left me amazed and shocked at the same time, all due to the aura created by the wordily magic of authors’. It turned out to be an emotional story as I learnt how costly – ‘a Rasgulla might cost to somebody, all immersed in a sugary coat called – Love!

Abhishek ‘Atul’ is a serving Senior Associate Business Analyst at Igate Patni and residing in Minneapolis (US). He loves reading and writing is more of a passion for him.

4. Wish You Were Here by Ila Garg

This is a sweet, timid and a little vulnerable ‘Aakash-Vaani’ relationship. It is as soft and subtle as it could be. It explains how a love dove feels in the absence of other, the peculiar feeling of longing the partner that makes the heart heavier and a deep courage required to keep the relationship alive in heart and in mind as well.

This is a lyrical, encouraging and a hope-binding story that urges the partner to ‘Live for me’. The transition from scene to another and flow with which the story flows is so smooth that I could hardly realize that the next page is another story. A small poem towards the end was enough to raise the emotional turmoil.

 Ila Garg, a student of Masters – English and Communication studies is an avid reader, writer, reviewer, an editor and an active blogger as well. She has a bouquet of books added to her kitty in her name, including ‘Life and Promises’ and ‘Cheer Up! The worst is yet to come’. She has contributed in ‘Minds at Work 2’ ‘A Night in Paradise’ and ‘You Me ‘n’ Zindagi’.

5. The Rosemary Letters by Ashish Sharma

This was my first experience with ballad in writing. Although, I do not have any in-depth knowledge about poetic writings but the basic knowledge acquired helped to understand the story behind the lines.

Ashish Sharma, a soul of verses loves to call himself a healer of pages and rhyming. He is pursuing B.Tech from ‘The Institute of Engineers’. His forthcoming debut ballad novel is titled – ‘The Wind of a Poet’.

6. All I want is You by Sonia  Kundra Singh

The story is about a teacher – Devyani Bedi and his love-at-first-sight crush, an army man – Abhimanyu Bhel. They both bump into each other while proactively averting a mis-happening with a small kid – Rishab. Abhimanyu introduces Rishab to Devyani as his son, which she later finds out to be false.

The story develops as she learns what truth lies behind and how both of them realize that they love each other, all they want is each other and the rest of the story is a secondary matter.

I liked the sense of responsibility seeped in both characters and how they respect each other’s feelings and decide to live together as a complete family.

Sonia is a former IELTS trainer and a writer at present. She has authored two books – ‘Love Me in the End’ and ‘A Soldier’s Love Story’. In addition to this, she has also contributed to famous children magazine, ChandaMama.

7. The Love Story by Harpreet Makkar

This story is about the struggle of two lovers who were totally contrasting with each other. Harpreet, an average person, always out with friends, missing classes most of the time and much more while his better half, Shreya was studious and living in her own world. The story starts as their car comes to a halt in front of their dream house. Shreya looks at the house amazed. Why is she staring at house like this? The story progresses further as they enter the house and face the questions from his son – Rohan.

Why is that she is not informed about him? Why do not the two recognize each other? Where the twist lies in the story? The mystery unfolds as Harpreet starts answering questions put forward by him and Shreya takes it later on. I particularly liked how smartly the two changed the orientation of the story for answering Rohan’s inquisitiveness.

There was love, there was hatred and there were sacrifices in this timeless and ageless love saga. For further details, you should check it out for yourself.

Harpreet was a Senior Design Engineer till the moment he decided to quit in order to devote time to his family and pursuing his passion of writing.

8. The Gifts by Ishita Bhown

This story is about Jia whom his boyfriend – Raj, proposed to marry. Before accepting the proposal, she had requested for two gifts from him. She expected answer from him but he left without answering and she was broken from inside.

What she had asked for? What was it that he could accept? Why was it hard for him to answer? Why did not he turn back? Why is the acceptance so important for her? Why in the first place, she has asked for gifts in exchange of marriage? Do gifts matter at all to prove your love to your beloved? Was she herself justified in her own act?

There are several questions, which you can find answers to, only after reading. Nobody stops you to do so. Please proceed as you grab your own copy to find answers. This is my second favourite pick from the collection.

Ishita is a writer by passion and a software engineer by profession.

9. Bollywood Affairs by Ayaan Basu

This story is about a one-night affair of a call girl Farzin with a debutant scriptwriter in Bollywood – Nishant Roy. They both met for the first time at the Page 3 – party thrown for announcing Roy’s film.

The story brings forth the pain rather say, the struggle of the countless struggling actresses landing in Bollywood-  the land of dreams, everyday. Is raises a million dollar question – ‘Is the shameful act that such girls (have to or are made to) land into, rightly termed as struggle’? What has Roy to do with this? Is he into some honey-trap or he benefits himself with her?

The author gives a truthful message that love can cross your way at anytime and in any face. You should have eyes and instinct to catch it at right time.

Ayaan is an engineering graduate who breathes some fresh air by being an author and an avid blogger.

10. Flavoured Smoke by Pratham Devang

This story is about the duo – Aviral and Aisha. They both accidently meet at metro station after five long years, actually five years, eight months and fourteen days, to be precise. As his eyes met her, he was happy to see her again but was taken aback as soon as he spotted a ring in her finger. He got confused if it was an engagement ring or not? As he was about to clear his doubt she left.

He recollected all the memories of the past standing there itself on the station. His life was on fire with flavoured smoke (flavoured with the sweetness of love) and tasting its vapours by himself. How did the smoke tasted? Did Aviral like it at all or not? Did Aisha turn back to see if Aviral was still there, lost in her memories? Was he alone who was burning in this smoke or someone else was also there? You need to burn yourself and get your copy to check that.

Pratham is an Engineering graduate from Annamalai University. His scholastic interests helped him to a greater extent in trying new creative style of writing.

11. Lyrics of Lavish Rani by Rachna Sheth

Again, I do not think I have proper understanding of this style of writing and hence no comments.

Rachna is a dramatic Sonnetist and a romantic Balladist with books like ‘Love, the Ecstasy’; ‘Uff ye emotions’ and ‘Life and Promises’ to her name.

12. Cupid’s Arrow and Bull’s-eye  by Siddhartha Yadav

This story is about Asmita, his husband Naman and his boos – Mohit. The story starts as she wakes up naked with Mohit to his side. She was shattered and so was I, as I learnt the developments of the story. I did not comply with how her character was portrayed, as the author introduced her to readers as a strong woman and how she actually reacted to circumstances when the time was against her.

With all respect to author and his idea to develop the story, this one, I did not approve his definition of ‘sacrifice’ at all. With such a strong character, he could have landed her in some other situation with some other fixes, may be.

Why did she felt so helpless that she had to look up to Mohit for help? Why there was no intervention or involvement from Naman’s family? Why couldn’t she herself come out with wise decision? In my opinion, this story could have been shaped much stronger and the poor woman maintained her morals, high up. Nevertheless, I understand, the author has to decide what he wishes from his characters, therefore, no hard feelings.

Siddhartha is a banker by profession, manager by choice, a writer by circumstances and an IITian.

13. Ehsaas – The Feeling by Pulkit Gupta

This story is the second one from the author in this anthology. This story is about an orphan couple – Mayank and Anushka, who land up in an old-age home one day to own parents. They did and started leading a family life until an accident took place and Mayank’s feelings towards to old adopted parents changed.

The story takes a U-turn as Anushka introduces Mayank with the reality and he realises his mistake, feels sorry for his bad behaviour and apologises to them.

This is a beautiful heart-touching story explaining love with parents. Pulkit was successful to make me cry and break into tears. The third favourite of mine from the bunch.

14. An Ode to relationship by Nandini Garg

One more time, I admit my incompetence to understand the poetic style of writing.

Nandini is a software engineer by profession and her inborn interest in literature brings her to the world of creative writing.

My Recommendation

A highly recommended read for the ones who understand the language of love and who want to understand the language of love. An anthology, which is as ‘pious’ and as ‘eternal’ as the ‘LOVE’, itself.  At last, I conclude with the starting words, as mentioned on the first page:

When a relationship is new….if and buts are few’