When Grapevine announced that they are releasing an anthology of short stories “The Shades of Love” in their facebook page, I wondered when I would be able to lay my hands on it. And soon enough, an email came requesting to review the book.  I jumped into the opportunity.

About the Book:

Shades of Love is of 25 short stories, love being the theme of all these 25 stories. It was true that I was a bit skeptical about reading 25 stories about love and love alone, but the first story of the book itself gave me a feel that this is not going to be a regular love story anthology.

To be frank, in each story, the authors kept surprising me. There were so many shades of love. Unrequited, Untold, Not seen, Lost etc., The way the authors had told a compelling story out of each situation shows there are so many Indian talents available with crisp language and gripping story telling only if we encourage them.

The first story starts with two people making out and we are made clear in the first paragraph, that they both dont know each other. The story then unfolds to a different ending. And yes, its about love. (Conscience Woes)

The Second story “Of Flowers and Bangles” slightly reminded me of Ruskin Bond’s village and the his single platform railway station and the strange girl he met there. This one had a beautiful narration which will literally take you to the scenes in the short story. Very well done and yes, you can’t guess the ending.

“The Early Bird and the Milkman” this one really stood out. I think I was able to relate more to it, because I think I was in the other end of the story. You have to read it to know what it is about. A truly innocent love or should I call infatuated story. Great work by Shweta Ganesh Kumar.

“Audi and The Apocalypse” by Aarush Deora is a very sweet love story. I loved the starting sentences of each episode and the way he related chemistry to chemistry ;-). Absolute yes for “A walk to remember” type of guys.

And then there is Rohit Gore. He can write gripping short stories too it seems. “A Hero greater than Shah Rukh Khan” I remember reading his interview once where he said, he liked to pose a problem to his characters and see how they get out of it. He followed the same theme here too.

And there are lot of other shades in Shades of Love. Apparently, there is a love story between the South Indian Masala dosa man and Punjabi Chenna Paratha woman, which ends in Mauritius. Then there is this, a short rendezvous of a guy with a girl on a rainy morning which ends with unexpected twist.

There were lot of good moments in lot of stories. I believe the reader will relate themselves to one of the stories or characters or a particular situation in one of the stories. Its like watching a long series where you will laugh or moved at one particular episode and remember it. May be you will watch it again, when you want to.

And I cant imagine the plight of the editor. He must have read so many stories to select what should be in the book and in what order. Ankit Mittal had done a great job, I would say.

This is one love anthology that is worth buying. If you come across this book in a winter evening, wanting spend time by the window with a hot cup of coffee, This is definitely for you. Go grab it

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