Have you felt how social media has influenced your reading choices.? It has, on a great extent influenced me. On one hand I found real some good books and on the other hand I had developed a sub conscious thought of scaling up the types of books and genre I’d read. I moved away from fiction and crime to self help, travelogues , memoirs, war fiction, history and a whole bunch of serious stuff. Some were thought provoking, while some were really hard to sail through and drained me emotionally (especially during this pandemic lockdown). I had my own share of reading slumps.The lock down days and my choice of books pushed me yet another time through a slump. I struggled hard reading, at the same time fought hard to stick to the leveled up genres ,to only misserably fail.
A few weeks back I chanced upon this book An unmatch made by the stars- by Mahalakshmi , during one of the book club reviews and the it sounded very light and feel-good types like what I used to read a few years back. I reached out to the author and she was generous enough to gift me a kindle copy of her first book – An (un)match made by the stars.
Author : Mahalakshmi Gopishankar
Published By :24by7 Publishing
Format: kindle e-book
Kindleandkompass Rating: 4/5
Is it a love marriage or arranged marriage? The story is a human centric play of emotions with no judgement of good and bad, rounded by different perspectives, depicting love at multiple dimensions. Ruhan and Saesha’s marriage was arranged by families and the acquaintance slowly bloomed into a young love in the courtship period. Due to a strong telling of Astrology and the verdict that bequeaths, the marriage gets broken mid-way. Do they succeed in their decision? Or succumb to social pressures? Did the families approve unison of two hearts? The story is all about the journey they both take, the hurdles they overcome, the people who protect them, the emotions they go through and the perspective of life.
My take on the book
Reading this book was like being carried away by the wind , back to the 90s where A.R Rahman’s ‘Alaipayuthae’ took me back to the humble life of Saesha & Ruhan. The book was all about the emotions between two people who are in their courtship period , but the details to the places, lifestyle , focusing on friends, cousins and next door neighbors gave me the connection to the story and the actions. And being a 90’s kid, this book took me down my memory lane of making phone calls from coin telephone booths and heavily prices incoming calls to the cell phones.
With a simple prose that doesn’t run into pages, this book is simple and full of life. But, it a story where a promise given is valued and takes the protagonist beyond rules to keep up his word.Laced with emotions that are deep and beautiful the story vividly reminds us that it is not the stars or the planets that decides our lives, but it is we who decide and our friends and family are the first ones who would stand with us,neither the society nor its norms.
I liked the book for how breezy it was and eased my Monday evening. With a bunch of characters, Ruhan and Saesha would be a respite when you are stressed or taking life too serious.
Overall, a refreshing read! We also had a chance to interact with the author , trying to understand what it is like to have the first book published.
- So tell us Maha, What started you on the path of writing?
Stories came to very early through my sister and brother. My father was in Railways and we used to have these large grounds to play. Every night dinner used to be in these grounds with my sister reciting and transporting me to beautiful landscapes. I guess subconsciously that is when the interest got seeded in me. My brother introduced me to the world of personalities and vivid imagination. Vacation meant visits to book fairs, Higginbotham and Connemara.
- And how did you break into the world of publishing?
God had been kind. It would not have been possible but for the mentorship of people associated with publishing industry and friends who had made a mark in the publishing domain. I had a patient wait since November 2019 and had sent the manuscript to at least 12 publishers. In April this year got associated with 24by7 Publishing and from then on, they have been a partner in launching the book.
- Okay,now that your first book is out, you would be able to talk about the upsides and downsides of being an author. Tell us about it.
For me, literary success means an opportunity to reach out to readers and letting them decipher new meanings to my writing, or just the privilege to hear the joyous moments of the read. It is also about how I can learn and unlearn, taking in feedback and able to focus on the next write. According to my limited experience, every interaction and moment as an author is a upside. I do not see any downside to it.
- Okay some fun question now. Say your book is made into a movie, whom would you pick to play the lead roles?
Ah ! This is the first time someone made me think about the possibility of this impossibility. I do not have any favorites, but I guess anyone who can carry the role, talk the part and depict the girl/boy next door attitude should work.
- Any nuggets of wisdom for aspiring writers before we wrap ?I am as new as them to the publishing world and I have realized the millennia is very aware and knowledgeable than I was when I started. But in my experience last year during the entire process has taught me patience is key. There could be a wait time of six months to one year. Another key take home I learnt is not to lose hope and give up on writing assuming it is not worthy.