Wednesday, 11 February 2015




Love can make you do things which you have never ever imagined that you would do. It is the feeling which will make you go weak onto your knees and confess your love for the apple of your eye and heart. Likewise love and its melodious sound can also make your partner to do things or rather 'force' to do things for you. 

But before coming to that let me tell you from where it started.

It was the day when we had taken that seven vows, looking exquisite in those traditional wear and were officially turned into a married couple but two years hence. Yes, it was our second anniversary and it all started with cute love notes placed 'strategically' in all most every part of our home, some easy to find, some hard to locate, with each one of them having some message, altogether forming a sentence of sort. But there were many such notes to be found which I realized later but chose to go with the flow and enjoy all those cheeky and naughty messages that he had written for me, for us. 

I had all the day's time as unfortunately he didn't get a leave from his work. Or rather I should now safely conclude that he purposefully left me with the notes to be found. And in the evening, sharp at 6, the door-bell rang and I welcomed him with yet another bouquet in his hands. Ahh... going back into the memory lane is all nostalgic, isn't it? Pardon me going into those sweet memories as I forgot to tell that apart from those notes, I also received a bouquet of red roses in heart shape, sharp at midnight, an all tulips bouquet received in the morning along with a hand written letter and now the third one.

A delighted squeal left out of him as he saw me all ready, dressed immaculately decoding the message left in the love notes and off were we to a place untold to me. Blindfolded and left to hear the favourite music as he maneuvered the car through the evening traffic to finally halt at some place. There were some chattering and noises heard which gave some upmarket kind of a feel as he handhold-ed me out to a different place through some backdoor exit which I realized later on.

And very very teasingly he removed the blindfold, giving me shivers of a lifetime. For once, I knew it was a public place and to think of him doing something so passionately and teasingly with me left me in a state of a pleasant shock. And there I was standing in front of a beach where laid a table and two chairs with a bottle of champagne placed upon it. And just then the lights came to life hanging mid-air with a message 'I Love You'. Flushed and totally awestruck by his gesture I had decided to return the favour but in my style.

Wait! You must be thinking that I am going overboard but no, sometimes there are special privileges on a personal request that is what I found out to be.



Now coming to my part, we were holidaying amongst the hilly and chilly climate of Manali. Me being the boldest in our family had decided to do some dare devilry in the form of river rafting. And he being the descendant of the 'Stay away from risk family' was adamant of not allowing as well as joining me for the adventure. But when a lady decides to do something no matter what, she will eventually do it, by hook or by crook and that involves some sensuous teasing and flirting. Of course with him.

And so it started with me giving some suggestive hints, light hearted playful teasing over and over again for the entire day but being careful of not getting too close to him. As the day passed, he knew what I was about to as he nodded his head with a sly smile on his face and murmured coming dangerously close to me, his heart beating like a drum, 'you wicked girl' and I knew I had won.

The next morning we were rafting along the river, me being merry and he 'as if he has seen a crocodile' face with terror written all over it. But somehow he managed to smile every time my eyes met his. I was happy that I was shredding all his fears and inhibitions about small, fun adventures in life which can turn out to be an experience of a lifetime. 

And as the ride concluded, I hugged him as tight as I could and muttered an almost mute, barely heard 'Thank you' and sealed it with a peck on his cheeks.

'Anything for you baby' is what he replied and started gushing about how scared he was initially before the ride and how it has liberated him from his fears and inhibitions that gave a sense of relief as he got his heart beating out of his chest and eventually we surrendered to the ever crazy thumping sound of love.

"Love is not only measured by what you do to keep it afloat and unique but it is also measured by what you do to bring down the fears and inhibitions, pushing the boundaries of your loved ones and helping them evolve as a better person."

“I am participating in the #SoundOfLove activity atBlogAdda in association with Bluestone”.





Matches Made In Heaven 
by 
Sundari Venkatraman




Review: With the boom of anthologies and short stories here comes another one, a collection of 13 romantic short stories. But for me this collection has come with a difference. Most of the collection or anthologies that I have read have a feel of love but somewhere that overwhelming effect is missing. For me it comes as 'trying hard' to let out an emotion as simple and complicated at the same time that as Love. But Sundari Venkatraman's 'Matches Made in Heaven' is class apart from these collections and anthologies. Simple yet striking stories with a tinge of honey and creamy layer of Love, these stories are sure to keep you happy and smile as you read them. 

Moreover when you have a foreword by Milan Vohra, India's first M&B author, it surely adds to the credibility of the book and I must say I was not left disappointed. In fact I am completely in awe of her writing. Each story, each character and the situations kept me entertained without going overboard at once. Thus conveying a message in a subtle yet striking manner and also weaving a magic of love which for me as a reader and as a writer is highly commendable. 

The simple narrative and excellent editing also adds to the aura of love is this collection of short stories. 

Out of all the stories, I liked 'Beauty Is Skin Deep', 'An Arranged Match' and 'Red Rose Dating Agency' the most. But somewhere I wished few of the stories to be a bit longer than it is. 

Overall: A good and highly entertaining read in this season of love. I recommend this book for all the romance lovers. Do grab it right now!!

Rating: 3.5/5*




Sneak Peek

A collection of 13 romantic short stories based in India; a culture rich country steeped in tradition. Inspiration struck me from newspaper articles, TV shows and hearing people talk. The short stories are based on that fact that arranged marriages thrive right alongside love matches in India.

1. Groomnapped is Ameya-Surekha’s story as a light romantic take on the serious issue of groom kidnappings. 
2. Dark skin on a woman puts off men in general or so says the society. Beauty Is But Skin Deep is Nitin-Simran’s story that proves it wrong!
3. Ritu is twenty-five and wants to wait for her Prince Charming but her parents are desperate to arrange her wedding. Does she find her prince in An Arranged Match?
4. Dating Agencies are doing their best to get young people together to tie the knot. My friend Diti runs an informal one; inspiring the Red Rose Dating Agency. 
5. A guy’s complaint about his fiancée of a few years dumping him after becoming successful in her film career felt like a rant to me. Chahti Hoon Tumhe is an ode to the successful actress. 
6. Soumya actually lives life like Soul Mates but how many have the guts to? This, incidentally, is the first short story that I ever wrote.
7. Does Madeinheaven.com help bring Menka & Jeetu together with technology driven Matchmaking website? 
8. I originally wrote Rahat Mili for an anthology; Rahat means ‘relief’ and is a name too. Read the story with the word in mind and it will fall in place.  
9.  Reema’s Matchmakers brings Arjun and Prisha together at a get-together through a matchmaking network. But will they get married?
10. Nikita wants Krish for a friend and not her husband. As The Reluctant Bride she manages to have her cake and eat it too.
11. Shweta Ka Swayamvar is inspired by the practice of Swayamwar in ancient India of choosing a husband, from among a list of suitors, by a girl of marriageable age. 
12. Pappa’s Girl is about daughters of Industrialists taking over fathers’ businesses.  
13.  Mythology romances intrigue me; Love Match For Velan is my take on Lord Murugan falling in love with his consort Valli. 


Buy @



The Story Told In Visual 




Meet the Author



Sundari Venkatraman has authored four novels and a short story anthology till now, Matches Made In Heaven (anthology) being the latest. The Malhotra Bride; Meghna; The Runaway Bridegroom; Flaming Sun Collection 1: Happily Ever Afters From India (Box Set) and Matches Made In Heaven have all been self-published on Amazon under the banner of Flaming Sun. The three novels are regularly seen on Amazon’s Top 100 Bestsellers’ Contemporary Romances list. The Box Set and Anthology are bound to catch up soon. 

A great fan of Mills & Boon romances over the past four decades, Sundari has always believed in ‘Happily Ever Afters’ and all her books promise happy endings. 

Matches Made In Heaven is a compilation of thirteen short stories – all romantic – based on many situations anyone can come upon in their day-to-day lives. The stories revolve around the different ways a couple can get to meet and tie the knot in a culture rich country like India. Those reading the stories will definitely be able to connect realising that one of the situations has definitely been a part of their lives. 


You can stalk her @

                          

         


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Friday, 6 February 2015



He leafed through the stack of pages with an eye of intent on them, standing across the balcony early morning. Just then his eyes fell on a pot that had been hanging from one of the walls of the balcony. 

For a moment he felt a tinge of sparkle gleaming on one of the leaves of the plant as a soft breeze made the leaves to shiver and wave a quick 'good morning' to him. 'Must be early morning dew', he thought and smiled in reply.

Moving closer, he looked at the plant with a bit more intent and felt that they had a strong desire for some sunshine after some extreme chilly and windy days as well as nights. It was winters. 

Just then his insides churned as he realized that he had been holding the torn pages for quite some time. He lay his eyes upon them and kept it fixated upon it, shuffling from one page to another. After a while, with a bit of stoic expression on his face, he took the pot in his hands and ran outside in search of some sunshine. Luckily, he did find some place where the early morning sun-rays were warming the earth and immediately placed the plant below.

"I'll not let you wilt", he said with teary eyes unable to control his emotions as he sought joy through pain.

"Just as you left your relationship to wilt", accused the love letters with an air of disdain evident in their ink, that he had held all the while in his hands. 


This post is written for Three Word Wednesday

Tuesday, 3 February 2015




Author: Shuchi Singh Kalra
Publisher: Indireads (e-book)
Genre: Chick lit / Rom-com
ISBN: 978-1-927826-32-4
Price: INR 100


Blurb: Travel journo Kairavi Krishna (Kay) has had it with men. After a series of disasters she is all too tempted to walk out on the prospect of ever finding love. Accompanied by her best friend and flat mate she sets off to Goa, hoping to get away from her miserable love life and vowing to stay clear from male species. Goa, however has host of surprises in store for her, especially on the new year's eve and since then. What happens when she meets the charming Dr. Vivian D'Mello and when her ex turns up around her is to be found.

Review: There are some book covers which make you feel 'I want to read this book' and 'Done With Men' is one such book for me. And when you have a very interesting story line it is all the more worth a read. 

Done With Men is a light, zippy and a delightful read with a tinge of humor which made me chuckle every now and then. One almost feels as if you are the main character and go through all the whirlwind of emotions that Kay goes through. The author has held together the plot with a simple and feel good yet somewhat realistic story which every person at some particular point in his life go through. It is a quirky tale of an easy going character who lambasts men in a funny way after a disastrous relationships with them and probably who is jinxed in love life. It is a perfect Sunday afternoon read.

The narration is witty with tongue-in-cheek dialogues ensure that there is no dull moment in this mushy and rom-com novella. One can easily relate to the 'Thought Bubble' that has been categorically mentioned and can also be described as one of the characters in the book, if I may say so. 

The characters are beautifully etched especially the two central characters of Kay & Dr. Vivian. The striking chemistry between Kay and her BFF Baani who are poles apart in almost everything is something that makes the story all the more interesting to read.

Overall: Done With Men is a perfect light read on a breezy Sunday afternoon which will keep you hooked from the word go. 

Ratings: 4/5*

I have received this book as a part of the Indireads Book Review Programme.

Sunday, 1 February 2015

Off late e-commerce has been booming with new ventures coming up almost regularly. And to try their luck came a website called Quikr.com  which is an online classified website. To much surprise it has over 10 categories to buy and sell products from, ranging from real estate to jobs to electronics and matrimony. Yes, you name it and then have it. Thus making buying and selling a bit easier where you post your requirements and within no time you have a list of people willing to inquire about your ad.

And in the constant process of giving its user a better experience Quikr has come out with a much better messenger service which will keep you away from incessant calls inquiring about your ad. Thus living it up to its tag line - No Fikar, Chat Quikr and is also being touted as the next big thing in online buying and selling.





So what has this update has actually done? Well for starters, it has taken away those calls which had the probability of being missed due to the busy schedules or for any other reason, thus missing out on a prospective buyer or a seller and sealing the deal. 

With this update a buyer or a seller doesn't need to keep calling every now and then. All they need to do is have a chat with the concerned buyer or a seller without giving away your contact number or email address to any one with your user id. 

Surely for any online buyer or a seller this service is definitely going to be a boon both for them and will go a long way in how the online classified buying and selling takes place over years.

So, Quikr NXT is definitely a huge thumbs up for me as it makes communicating easier and much more safe and reliable while conversing with unknown people and also for the following reasons:

1) A basic thing while conversing over the phone is that we have to remember what we have said. And when we are talking with lots of potential buyers and sellers, imagine the critical points, figures, amount etc which needs to be remembered. And this might vary from person to person irrespective of whether he is a buyer or a seller. Thus, the above problem gets sorted while chatting through Quikr NXT as we can have detailed idea of the conversation that have taken place over days before finalizing and closing on the deal as we can always check with the history of all the messages that have been exchanged. Also, it provides much needed transparency in the deal. And moreover as I said above we don't need to exchange our contact numbers and email ids, thus giving a feel of privacy. 

2) We can exchange photos and other details as per over convenience. Also, if the buyer or a seller requests for a picture from a particular angle or of a particular side of any product that can also been shared with ease. Thus, allowing a more prompt and detailed decision making. 

3) The most important advantage of this feature is that it is both non-invasive as well as in real time. Non-invasive as we do need to share our details and real time means by just a click you can send the details of the product along with the photograph with ease of not logging in to your emails and sending the mail. You can be at any place, any time and you can easily chat with multiple buyers or sellers at one time and can strike a deal as you don't always sit in front of your computer thus saving your time.

So what do you think? Buying and selling things all through chatting.

This post is for Happy Hour with Indiblogger and Quikr.

Tuesday, 27 January 2015


"Hmm... this seems good on me."

After a minute or so, looking into the mirror, with moving her face in almost all degrees and eyeing her look especially her long and newly straightened hair falling over her right shoulder uptill her midriff, she left a smile. A smile that was bordering on certainty and predictability. 

"Just before the d-day she had heard one of her relatives say, "It is predictable that this time also the answer will be 'no'.

Few days back one of her neighbors, a relatively middle aged woman passed a comment in their daily gossip meetings at evening which she overheard while passing through the corridor. "I'm sure even a rookie betting on this match-making meetings of *raises her brow, indicating a person residing in the opposite house* will win hands down."

Yet she was hopeful that the things will soon fall in place and eventually someone will see her as the apple of his eye.

"Beta are you ready?" inquired her mom knocking on the closed door.

How ironic it is that in our society, at one end you call your daughter a 'Beta' and at other end expect that beta to marry soon to eventually get rid of the burden. A burden of an unmarried daughter sitting at her home and not at her in-law's. 

She thought for a second and replied, "Coming in two minutes, mom."

"They must be coming any time now. Please come out quickly. You also need to take the blessings of the God", ordered and stated her mom for the nth time. 

"Mom you speak a lot. You should definitely give a shot at politics", hissed Anagha as she came out of the room and kept staring at her. A smiled curled on their lips as her mom hugged her. "You are looking so beautiful. Hope this time everything goes fine." 

Anagha got the hidden message in her statement. The warmness of the hug got crushed under the weight of the hidden message but she maintained herself although her eyes started getting moist. 

Her heart was at crossroads. She was unable to believe that inspite of coming from an educated family the thinking was still that of an uneducated and fixed to the rigid thought process of yesteryears. She was beginning to feel heartbroken and on the verge of falling into depression unless this meeting turns fruitful and culminates into her marriage.

After all those customary greetings, handshakes, talks about all and sundry and after two full days, it turned out that the imaginary bookie of the aunty residing next door had won. Yet again.

She felt suicidal as big 30 was looming large in front of her and with ever increasing jibes from family and relatives made her difficult to breathe. But she was not the one to be bogged down. She was a fighter.

And one day she had decided to turn the tables. And in she brought her namesake boyfriend with good physique and next-door, good boy mannerisms to floor her parents which he did with ease. And in the meantime bought herself a breathing space. 

But little did she knew that over time, the so called boyfriend had found his apple of her eye in the form of Anagha whereas she was still dreaming, looking into the mirror and awaiting for someone who will see her as the apple of his eye.

For - The Book Club Writing Prompt

Saturday, 24 January 2015




It is easy to develop feelings or crush for someone. It is even more easy to feel strongly about the same. But when you have to present those feelings and emotions in a gift wrapped and sugar coated magical words with an air of extreme sincerity in your eyes, trust me it is the hardest thing to do on this planet.

There are times when you had everything prepared in your mind and suddenly all your 'Ten times prepared in front of mirror words' has a stomach ache and excuses for a visit to the loo and locks till the end of the day. And all you do is simply stare in the person's eyes and say nothing.

But when you have 14th February approaching soon then you definitely have to plan something big and make sure you eventually let your feelings be known. And that is what I would exactly plan to do but not before making sure that the girl also has the same feelings towards me and reciprocates my affection and emotions for her. Else it would be nothing more and fierce than an emotional catastrophe. So to prevent this and an embarrassment I would first make sure that she is equally head over heels in love with me at least a week before Valentine's day.

Having done and satisfied myself it would be time to rack my creative brain and come out with something unique. So here is how I have planned. 

In today's technology driven world it would make more sense to use the technology in place in the efforts and plans to propose someone. Hence I would first set up a lovy-dovy website which would consists of our photos together capturing some wonderful time spent together along with pictures of romantic places from around the world. And in that there will be small romantic couplets explaining how feelings started developing for her.

After that I would start sending some feelers to her in a rise up to the big day. It would be a photo-quote sent twice a day, once in morning and once at night just before hitting the bed which contains romantic quotes with a background image of some iconic and scenic locations resembling love and romance.

And when the day eventually arrives, this time being on a Saturday, it would be only apt to go on a short yet romantic drive towards a beach and spend the early hours of the sunrise sitting on top of the bonnet and gazing at the sun rising from the sea and surrender to the nature's calm and soothing environment and get lost in each other. 

After that as the sun sets straight over the head, it would be time to visit a mall and purchase her a dress of her choice and ask her to wear that and head straight to a restaurant for a lavish lunch. Post which a movie outing with corner seats booked to have some secret moments.

And then in the eve I would drop her to her home like a good guy and zoom off without saying anything probably leaving her in a bit of shock and allow some Cupid Games to be played at the back of her mind.

But then I would secretly follow her to her home where both set of parents will be present giving her a surprise of the day with the entire house decorated with balloons and candles with dim lights and setting highly romantic. Yes, I will take both set of  parents into confidence as I believe that you propose someone with whom you would love to spend your entire life with and that in our culture and tradition is best done with the blessings of the elders. Also, a large screen will be showing the website that I had made especially for her which will be turned like chapters of a romantic novel as her eyes falls on what's being written on them for her.

As the webpage reaches 'a to be continued page', all lights will go on. And at that very moment I will twirl her around, hold her hand, pull her a bit closer and go down on one knee and propose, "Will you like to spend your entire life with me?" amidst all the cheering and clapping, thus making it a truly grand day filled with lovely memories.

You can also visit http://cupidgames.closeup.in/ for more daring moves.