It was 1:00 AM and a WhatsApp message chimed.
That usual tinge of delight crept it. Maybe, He is up for some sexting? Oh! No, “We’ve to talk!” read the text. “Yeah! Tell me.”
It goes up to 3:45 AM and your eyes are burning. Yes, I know, not just your eyes, your soul-heart-mind and what not?
It’s over. All done. The last ‘Goodbye,’ reached your screen. Your final egoistic “Thank you!” was sent, and you saw the blue tick. His last seen is 3:46 AM and you turn away leaving the mobile aside.
You get up in the morning. You’ve had nightmares. You check your mobile just to know that it is not what it is, but, IT STILL IS.
You text your friends. Screenshots are sent. She asks if she should come over, The other asks you if you’re okay? And you are glad that you have a few who cares.
You lie down again. You can hear your heartbeat; there’s a lump in your throat and chest. It hurts. Your mind ensures that you think of the first meet, the first date, the first kiss, the first and the middle and the last and every single thing that brought you two closer.
You want to vent. Your hands tremble when you’re trying to check his WhatsApp status or Facebook profile – you’re afraid if he’d blocked you by now. His status and the image is the same – your heart just sinks. You re-read the WhatsApp texts again for the umpteenth time and try to read between the lines. You screenshot the page where he hurt you the most. You want that reminder to stop you from getting back to him.
Facebook, Whatsapp, Twitter and Instagram – you scroll and throw the mobile away. You have a long face, but, you act that you’re fine. But, that cold stare from your mom that says “I know something is wrong with you,” hurts.
You switch on the TV and cry along. You see Ross-Rachel breaking up, yet, it reminds you that Rachel missed the flight for him. It fucking tears your soul apart. It does, yeah!
“All is well, It’s okay!” you convince yourself.
“The sooner, the better, at least this is earlier than we thought,” you say to yourself.
“Maybe! It is not meant to be,” assurance.
What if I send a “Hi” – will he reply? Will he block me? Will he ignore? – The what ifs crowd your mind. You stop yourself.
What if I call him? – Not a good idea! Never.
The battle within. You sleep more than usual. You lost interest to do anything today. You don’t know what’s about to happen. You feel empty. You feel weak. You sense void! It is. It is.
This is not your first break-up, not his either. You’re not even reminded of your ex anyway, because, you’ve moved on. You’re convincing yourself that you’re better off and you survived the worst before. Still, this pains. It kills you on the inside. There’s a heavy baggage loaded on your chest and tears just slip from your eyes.
The good memories haunt you. You don’t want that reminder. You don’t know how to shut the reminiscences, and to instruct your mind to think of something else. You just can’t.
But, you’re still surviving it. You will definitely survive this. You drown today! The pain will drain tomorrow. May you have a better tomorrow! 🙂
I’d like to start the review with a few lines from the book:
Page 108: “For hours she would write, and rewrite every word, polishing it till it shone, pruning and recreating, and when the last word was penned down, she felt a deep sense of satisfaction that none of her articles had ever given her.”
That precisely describes what the author – Deepti Menon does.
Shadow in the mirror, a thriller – For about 200 pages, the author keeps your mind busy! A book that’s worth your time and money.
The novel is about Nita – a pregnant woman who falls from the balcony and dies. Soon, Vinny – the journalist receives a hint that it is not a suicide but murder. What happens next? How the find the murderer and the reason is the story. The story spans from the 1950s to 1990s, and the chapters are leafed in a nonlinear fashion.
The novel starts with the suicide/murder and takes off introducing other characters and how they are involved in the life of Nita and the death.
Characters – Nita, Vinny, Krish, Kavita, Roma and a few others. Each character is different; each character has a motivation. Down the line, when I was immersed in other characters, slightly I was confused, though.
The plot and conflict — An excellent plot that’s written well. I loved the way the author handled the plot and the conflicts planned.
The pacing is surprising slow but still keeps you hooked throughout.
The setting and the world building goes way back to 1950s and my mind created a big old bungalow with antique sets. I was teleported!
The best part is the dialogues, very crisp and snappy. Very intriguing. The one-page poems here and there were placed so right.
The craft – The author has done a fabulous job. I loved reading the novel, for an Indian writer who is looking at opportunities to read good books to improve oneself – this book is such a treat. Every single sentence is crafted with acute care, each and every word is included to make sense. The author and the editor have done a good job. I would suggest this book to upcoming writers; lot’s to learn from Deepti.
Overall – I loved reading this book. The plot and the way the author has written the book are commendable. I’m looking forward to reading more from the author.
Friends who love what I write and personally comment
A few who genuinely appreciate
A group of Grammar Nazis ( A few who care to correct, and many who would love to grammar shame the other/ who think it gives them a crown)
A few readers who don’t read but love to buy/borrow/take books and post pictures of the book online calling it bookstagram
A few who claim that reading is like breathing, they can’t live without books, etc..
One category that pisses me off — the wannabe writers/authors!
According to me, a writer should first give REASONS to buy their book, not JUST gift cards or money.
I read because I seek information, it takes me off from the real-life troubles; I like to improve my skills and vocabulary, it improves my imagination/creativity, etc..
I don’t buy a book because it is free of cost, or because I know the author (sometimes, yes, if I am aware that he/she is a good writer)
I don’t want to read or rather, I don’t want anyone to read a bad book or a poorly written book. I don’t want a book that would drag my knowledge down. A few wannabe writers only want fame, they write some bad college-hookup story, a boy meet girl – girl meet boy story with poor words and bad grammar.
I focus on being a trusted writer. I write micro-tales, short stories, thoughts, blog posts, etc.. eventually, even if people don’t read my book per se, they at least get to know and trust me as an author.
Let me give a sample messenger ping from an author I know — “Grab a copy of my book that’s on Amazon, the book is only 225 INR, and you know what? Am giving you a gift voucher worth 200 INR, you’re spending only 25 INR. Buy Now!” — I find this crazy, how can I buy a book just because it is just 25 INR? I’d be spending at least 3-4 hours reading it, is my time worth just 25 INR? No!
How about writing a good book, interacting with the writers/authors/readers with the genre, plot line, a few quotes from the book and asking them to politely choose the book if they are interested? Why don’t you hook me as a reader with what the book has in store for me?
I find it funny when the authors post their Amazon link and say “Grab a copy,” “Irresistible offer,” “Just buy now!” etc.. It sounds like a person who wants to get married yelling “Am good at sex, marry me!” , “Am an excellent lover, fix the marriage date,” — Insane, I tell you!
No offense my wannabe authors – but, please, focus on becoming a good writer than a famous author. Focus on genuine reviews and interacting with readers than paying 500 INR for each fake review, the minute you say 400+ 5 star reviews on Goodreads – we know it all! Be an author who has a story to tell and not someone who has 20,000 INR to get fake reviews. Be genuine, you’re not fooling the readers, you’re fooling yourself. Give gift vouchers, market your book as much as you can, bring the word out, etc.. but be genuine. Give your readers a reason to read, then provide them with a gift card, will you?
Writers/Authors — Work on your skills, improve your grammar, read more books, learn new words and how to use them, interact with readers, write a good story — the book will sell well. It will take time, years together. But, as I always say, the view from the summit is damn worth it!
P.S – Sorry that I used this title and image. I would like this post to be read by many wannabe writers, authors, readers, book reviewers, etc.. to change their notion a bit.
“I want to marry a wealthy guy,” says no woman ever. But, only, explicitly. Though many instances in my life made me think about this subject, the one that gave me enough thrust to start penning this blog post is the image below.
To share a few real life incidents:
I told to one of my friends that I would like to travel all over India and a few countries if possible and immediately she said “marry a guy who is in the US,” you can travel all over the world. It hurt me because, according to me, I should go around the world with my money.
Judge me if you want, I’ve survived two break-ups. One was intense that even families knew and approved. It was a long distance relationship, and so, once he presented me an iPhone. After a few months, when the relationship didn’t work, and when I wanted to call it quits – he emotionally threatened me that he loves me so much that he presented an iPhone. Not just him, his family and even my family said the same again and again. It threw me aback that everybody equated love to an iPhone. (I threw em, and the one I use now is my own)
I had this habit of posting my restaurant trials at a Facebook group called “Where Chennai Eats,” that’s how my Ex got caught, though. His sister stalked my profile and found that we frequently meet. He casually told me that his sister warned him not to spend a lot on food. We usually go Dutch – we share the bill, but, he didn’t inform that to his sister. We fought on this, and he said it is an insult to tell that he is not spending on me
My friend’s sister did like a guy – tall and handsome, smart and witty, and what not? When we probed why she rejected him, she said his bank balance is low, and he is still in a rented house and owns no piece of land
I observe a lot, introspect, and retrospect, I find that most guys spend a lot for their girlfriends, they love doing that. They think it is man enough and pick the bill every single time. But, when there are issues and if they break up, the guy easily says “She was with me for the money,” to pacify himself. This crept in, and now, most guys use this phrase.
For, almost all my college mates are married, most of them are in US, UK, Australia and the likes. Maybe, yes! But, it is not just her choice but also her family’s that they want a well-settled guy. (Well-settled meaning – who owns a bungalow or at least a piece of land, a luxurious car, salary package that’s more than sufficient for 2, etc..) just worldly pleasures.
It’s been long that I heard someone saying “I want to marry a guy who will keep me happy,” or “I want to marry a man who struggles in life to give my support and help him achieve his endeavors,” or “I want to marry the one who loves me,” etc..
Am 27 year old now and though I don’t want to get married – in the worst case, I always wanted a matured guy who can handle what I am. Because, there were alliances that rejected me stating my social media profile has 2500 friends, a few said that a writer would mostly talk a lot of rules and laws, and a few, of course, said am fat, etc..
I got a friend recently, and we found that we share common interests and, we spend more time these days. Once he blurted that he is not committed yet because he is afraid that a girl might love him for his money.
I am extremely nervous about it; I am always conscious to repay or share the expenses equally so that no guy that I know would ever say that I am with him for his money. It is more of an obsession these days!
There are movies that subtly show a rich bald guy marrying an utterly beautiful girl. The equation of rich & ugly man marrying a pretty girl is strengthening day by day. A covalent bond!
I wouldn’t blame anyone. I am not concluding this article with any specific pointers. While I write my micro-mini HeMeStory tales – I ensure that I hurt none. I want men, women, and transgenders who read my micro stories to smile and feel glad. But, many guys in list bash women – they write about a woman being gold diggers. Many women writers in my list bash men, stating they would do anything to get laid.
Taking sides would give us hashtags like Feminist, Feminazis, Menist, etc..
I don’t want to be any!
Can we all just ditch the worldly pleasure and focus on co-existing? To just live happily? To just ensure that we all born to learn something and to teach the same to someone else before we leave?
I’d better write three novels than a synopsis, because, it is THAT difficult. For my next flick Dirty Martini – My editors and I re-wrote the synopsis for almost 50 times though we are convinced now, we also know how challenging and painstaking it is. Agents ask for synopsis along with your query letter most of the times.
I thought this post would be of some use to the newbies and also, for the authors to use this as a checklist.
Quintessential a synopsis:
1-2 pages in length
All the essential details of your novel should be summarized
It must be interesting enough to be picked
Yes, Challenging indeed.
Protagonist, the conflict, and setting
As I usually say, all the stories are about pushing the protagonist in a situation and helping him/her to come out of it. Make sure it is fresh, new and exciting. Ensure that your elements in your story don’t reflect or imitate any other.
Major plot turns/twists
Explain the motivation of your protagonist, emotions of the characters involved during these plot turns should be recorded
How the major plot is resolved
The ending, the surprise factors, etc.. should be listed
Points to remember/ Checklist:
Give a clear picture – the roadmap of your novel (the complete skeleton) the reader/agent should not feel confused. Focus on clarity
Don’t cram too many characters – just your protagonist, antagonist, and one or two major supporting characters
No descriptions – No unnecessary details
No to jargons
Don’t refer other novels
No adverbs and No cliches
A good opening line is a good brownie point
Use active voice
Avoid the character’s backstory in the synopsis
Don’t split your synopsis into sections/don’t use labels as you do while brainstorming
If you have more points to add, please feel free to comment