Book: Moonlit Matinee
Genre: Love (Anthology)
Compiled By: Pulkit Gupta
Edited By: Harshita Srivastava
Publisher: Moments House

Anthologies, anthologies, and more anthologies – that is what is the latest trend in the Indian literature market. While some anthologies specify a genre and others’ keep a general theme, I don’t think one can deny the need or maybe I should say the ‘advantage’ it provides to new authors, who want their stories to be told, or their writing skills to be displayed.

Moonlit matinee is also one such anthology which gave chance to various people with superfluous linguistic skills to show their talents, but with one exception. The exception may be the introduction of Sonnet and Ballad in an anthology which in many ways highlights the book to be one of its kinds.

What’s in the case? Welcome this ‘Season of love’ with never before effort by thirteen resplendent writers to pen most fascinating love scripts. Cheer the feeling of love with ‘Moonlit Matinee’ and love takes over. It is an unparalleled concept and the blend of anecdotes, sonnets, lyric and ballad. This curbs the tale of lust, hatred, sacrifice, and revenge in relationships but finally its love which ultimately overshadows everything.

And the stories? A collection of fourteen scintillating stories powered by the genre of Love, and intended to glorify the different means of love. Hence, before giving my final verdict on the book, let’s have a take on each story confined in it.

Bon Voyage by Harshita Srivastava- This was the first story I read and well, knowing that it was written by someone like Harshita whose novel I had loved, this story already had a high regard in my mind. As for the story, I loved the theme as it very precisely goes with the real life incidents. They say we never realize the value of moments till we own them, but only after are they gone do we realize what value they hold. And this very fact has been stupendously penned down by the author. It’s a story about love, hope, regret and emotions that a person feels when he broods over something lost, long, long ago.

Emptiness by Pulkit Gupta- We all have heard about rapes, but do we have any idea about what happens after a rape? What trauma does a girl go through? Or maybe what happens to her confidence level after such a dreadful incident? Or about the trust which shatters in that one moment? No, right. Everyone talks about sympathy but no one thinks about giving the lost respect to the girl and that’s what the theme of the story is. This story underlines an emotional and a mesmerizing tale of love which arises with two strangers, but ends with a touch of sadness, the bitter reality and well the harsh road leading to togetherness.

Rasgulla by Abhishek ‘Atul’- A story about male dominance in the society, a story about peer pressure, a tale about the circumstances that a girl faces when it comes to marriage, or most importantly love marriage, a story about love and the unending sacrifices, a story about obstacles in the path of love created by an ‘unimportant’ thing, yet given tonnes of importance called caste is a beautiful plot so penned down by the author. Though the title gave a bad remark to the story, as it could have been better keeping in view the plot, the simple language used added a plus remark to it.

Wish you were here by Ila Garg- A story about the two most important things in the world – life and death.  It is an intriguing tale about how two people meet when destiny is all set to separate them. It intends to display the depth of love that one person can contain in oneself for another even though the love may prove shallow in the light of life that is to follow. Overall, it’s a well-crafted story, with a surprising end that leaves every reader with a smile.

The Rosemary Letters by Ashish Sharma- A story written in the form of ballad proves to be the highlight of the entire book. The unique style of writing, the perfect blend of verses, the coaxing rhythm are some of the characteristics, which I hope would do justice to this keenly adapted script that a devotee holds for her Lord.  The poetic story unfolds itself with each word, as the perfect narration skills of the author induce a sense of clarity and purity in the minds of the reader.

All I want is you by Sonia Kundra Singh- The story is about an Army man and his crush at first sight and revolves around the sense of love, the touch of realization, a hint of veneration and the dash of responsibility that overpowers the sensitivity of relationships. An impressive story, a perfect title, amusing narration and a cheery romantic tale - that leaves you wanting for more.

The Love Story by Harpreet Makkar- This is a love story of two long lost couples who separate due to certain society norms, and its rules and regulations. This movie reminded of some flop Bollywood movie as I found there were too many questions hidden in it, but the answers were too difficult to guess. Although there were some beautiful lines in the story penned by the author, but the story could have been better, much better.

The Gifts by Ishita Bhown- This story reminded me of that daily soap called Jodaa Akbar, where the girl askes for two wishes before marrying. LOL. Okay, Jokes apart, this is an unusual love story that describes how friendship seizes into love, how difficult can it for a girl to trust someone before marrying, and much more. The presence of mind that the female protagonist used for the gifts (as titled) is worth mentioning. One of the best story ever read, with a beautiful style of narration, a wonderful plot and an endless level of desires that keep the readers glued. 

Bollywood Affair’s by Ayaan Basu- They say every coin has two sides – The heads and the tails, and so is stardom - if you want to live in a glamorous, clean and full of light life, you have to cross its muddy and dark path to reach the final destination. This story tries to depict the dark side of the glamorous world of Bollywood with the help of a call girl, who wants to be a big name someday, with the path of realization, ambitions, struggles and the destination of love. Good job by the author, though the narration could have been better.

Flavoured Smoke by Pratham Devang- 'Another interesting plot' - That's what my mouth uttered the moment I was done with this intriguing tale of mis-happenings and misfortunes that come in Aviral's life. They meet in a busy street and depart at the garage, again meet at a cafe but this time depart away to never meet, but then meet again and this time to be with each other. Yes, that's what the story is about; as the writer tries to acknowledge what fate and destiny can lead their life into. They say couples are made in heaven and no matter what happens, if you're destined to be together, you'll be; out of all issues, all problems and all things that matter or may be not matter. Good narration; good story and an even better title.

Lyrics of a Lavish Rain by Rachna Seth- A beautiful sonnet that will leave no stone unturned to make you fall in love with it. It keeps your eyes glued, as you keep reading trying to get into the feel and submerge yourself in the deep flow of emotions that follows thereafter. ‘Stupendous, perfect, and a brilliant piece of art’ – I hope I am able to do justice to this exquisite composition by the author in my words.

Cupid’s Arrow, Bull’s Eye by Siddhartha Yadav- This story is not exactly about love, but about the sacrifices in love, and has the quotient of revenge. It tries to bring in light the mishaps of being a one sided lover where not only does the love is at stake, but also the self-esteem is targeted. Not to forget that the story had a good plot, but it ended bluntly. The author could have spiced up the end and made it just a bit less predictable, maybe.

Ehsaas – The feeling by Pulkit Gupta- ‘A story with a purpose’ would what I think can best describe this story. This has been one of the most beautiful story that I have read in the recent times and maybe the huge flow of emotions that filled my heart was worth it taking in consideration the wonderful storyline.   Working as an eye opener, and a catalyst in the present modern world, I would give a thumbs-up to the author for expressing this hidden form of love on the basis of a story, and well the title deserves another salute as it never fails to give the required level of comfort.

An Ode to Relationship by Nandini Garg- A spectacular narration describing the different forms of the most commonly used four-letter word called Love. It makes you fall in love with itself, as the perfect narration goes on with a steady flow of words that sways you away yet keeps you grounded to the emotions so well portrayed.

The pros’ and the cons’- First things first, a book is always judged by the cover. Hence all I can say is the compiler has definitely worked hard on the cover as it attempts to add a sense of grace to the book. Any person, ranging from a reviewer like me to a common reader may have a tendency to pick up the book with such an attractive cover as this. Another plus point may be the tagline of the book, “and love takes over” which adds to the title of the book.
            Making an addition in the anthology market, the book tends to score high as compared to many others’ in the same market owing to some of the stories which did wonders with their narration and the style of writing. Again, the ballad and the sonnet included tries to add another plus effect to the book. The editor herself has worked hard as I couldn’t find many errors in the book, which makes the book in itself to try to stand out amongst others’, which are very poorly edited. Being an avid reader and an editor myself, I was not left disappointed by the effort put in by the girl.

            Now the cons; some stories lacked the original feel of a love write-up, some were not narrated well while the plot of some failed to create the magic so required to be put in. May be hard work on the part of such authors is required. Another fact may be that that some stories tried to rush to its end. Writing a short story isn’t easy, being a writer myself I can say this, as you have to try and make note of what you should include and what not, to keep the reader surprised at all levels and keep on anticipating more, and more.  

Verdict- In a nutshell, this book has a good blend of emotions stirred up with the perfect spices of love, hatred, revenge, sacrifices and more and I would give this book at 3.5 stars out of 5 for the effort put in. And anyone who wants to read the book can well purchase it from here.


Pulkit Gupta said...

Very well written review :)

Harshita Srivastava said...

Thanks so much for the lovely review Radhika :)

radhika_harlalka said...

Thank you so much :)

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