Saturday, April 18, 2015

Metro Diaries by Namrata : Spotlight and Review!

          Love is one of the most amazing feelings on this earth, one that makes you the most powerful person or the most helpless person in a split second. These stories capture those feelings of despair, longing, love, lust, desire, want, dejection and admiration to create deja vu. Hold onto your hearts as you flip through these pages and take a walk down the memory lane as "Metro Diaries" will revive your innermost feelings and imbibe in you the magic of love. Touching, amusing and deeply moving, Metro Diaries - Love Classics are tales that will hold you from start till end.

          (Read these before you read the book.)
1.    All the stories in the book are real. Name of places and people have been changed to maintain confidentiality.

2.    Metro Diaries is a segment on my blog which consists of stories across genres though this book has only got the romance collection.

3.    One of the characters in the book is me and NO I am not telling you which one ;) If you think you have the right answer do write to me and I will let you know how close or far you are.

4.    All the stories in the book have not been "ended”, they have been brought to conclusion in a manner that there can always be a next part to it and the story can go on with the same characters.

5.    If observed closely you will notice the stories are not technically love stories where boy meets girl and they fall in love to live happily ever after for I believe love stories are also about what doesn't happen between the lovers.

          Metro Diaries – a collection of short stories that I am going to review with a twist. Instead of the usual long drawn professional review that gave in depth comments about the plotline, I am going to give my comments about each story in a line or two.
Once in a Lifetime:
          The best part was Ansh's proposal - the beauty of those words can be described in just one word - magical.
          The story had powerful dialogues. For a story filled with bits of conversation and metaphors, with scenes flashing like memories, the completeness is amazing.
Then, Now and Forever:
          That Verse before the story - amazing!
          The first word of the story - the character's name - for Harry Potter fans, this quickly brings a smile upon their faces. The potter fandom sees references everywhere. If we don’t understand this, then there is something seriously Ron with us!
          The letter from Ron's grandfather is moving – it is a well written, thoughtful piece.
Love Thy Dreams:
          Love the dreams you have - let your memories aid you. And achieve those dreams - even if it means the dream is a person! Okay, enough ambiguity!
The Wait:
          The whole story changes with one word - or rather, one phrase. It is amazing how the human mind perceives things with omission and inclusion. Thoughts are the most easily manipulated feature of humans. Go on and read this more than once to understand what is wrong or right here.
A Secret Revealed:
          A story with a powerful theme. It takes a bit of in depth reading to understand the crux of the story. If you do understand the references, this story might garner good marks.
A Promise of a Lifetime:
          A commercial, happy ending story which makes the ordinary into extraordinary and makes the dialogues speak where the crux doesn't.
Will You?:
          A dialogue style story that quickly turns into the most essentially simple check list of lovers. If you find yourself making mental notes to check this with your love interest, you are well on your way to a lifetime supply of… No, no… That was not what I was about to say. Love. Yeah, that’s it.
Love Beyond Words:
          How much emotion could you put into a diary entry? What about the truly physical explanation of love? Beyond words - speechless. This story owns the lovelorn readers starting from the first sentence. Cynics, give this a skip.
Imperfectly Perfect:
          Had to go through this one twice to grasp the real plot of the story. Good try. Parallel worlds in a single short story (both existing in the same physical world) are usually difficult to bring about. Kudos to the author for trying this.
A Thing Called Love:
          A bittersweet tale with too many references of famous lines. A clichéd, repetitive tale but the prose is well-written.
The Sole Soul Mate:
          A story of realization and finally coming to terms with what was already evident to the subconscious mind. Filled with mind numbingly powerful dialogues.
The Yellowed Diary:
          A sadly penned diary entry that speaks of memories and of unrequited love – yet again.
You, Me and Love:
          The definition of soul mates at the end in this first person narrative stands out… That is the only thing that is memorable.
          Friends with Benefits? Abridged.
          Love lost? Photos remain the same as memories even when the people in them change or move away? Okay, I will stop with the clichés and picture quotes right now.
A Message of Love:
          A reflective story that ends in abrupt sweetness. Thank god I didn’t substitute the ‘e’ with an ‘a’ in the title – typos can be really awkward especially when they alter the meanings of phrases.
          For the love of God! Totally unexpected last paragraph. Well written! Yes, that is a sincere compliment. I was actually beaming after the ending of the story. I personally related to this story and this is my pick from the lot!
Love Revisited:
          A story about second chances in life. Well phrased dialogues and strong concept. Much needed.
The Last Letter:
          The story that describes the saying that 'the people who really love us never leave us'. Clean writing.
You & I:
A cheeky, beautiful story. A bit more emphasis on dialogue (like in the rest of the book) would have done wonders. The dialogues were good, but considering the setting of the story, a more speechless approach was what the author has aimed for and absolutely achieved. A fitting end to this anthology.
          The stories are short, and to the point. The power of each story lies in the dialogues and the emphasis is lesser on the plotline. (Fun Fact about the reviewer: I did NOT have access to the ‘facts’ – included at the start of this review – before I began this book. But now things are clearer. The reason these stories lack a conclusion is revealed in a few short sentences. I had to rewrite my whole review considering I had commented on the lack of effective conclusions in every story – but it was worth it to know that there was logic behind this.)
          The language (save a few obvious typos) is fairly pleasant to read and the elaborate discussions between characters in each story must have taken a lot of work – because the most difficult job of all authors is to bring out human emotions in proper words. Thankfully, Namrata has concentrated upon it very well, even if it has, inadvertently translated into lack of focus in certain crucial areas. But overall, no major complaints.
          Usually when an author sits down to write a book, they draw inspiration and influence from a lot of authors. Some authors try to avoid it consciously and some authors proclaim it proudly. This book belongs to the latter category and the famed authors who are a silent inspiration are Paulo Coelho and Pablo Neruda. They have been mentioned more than once in a creative license that always beautifies the common run of the mill stories. The characters might not have read Coelho to spout those script friendly lines, but the author has a way with words that is an ointment to any soul that has been tarnished by the pangs of unattainable (or broken, or unrequited, or selfish, or… you get the picture) love.
          This book might be your make or break. Based on your temperament and patience and usual genre preference, you will either love it so much that you will open and read the dialogues again and again, if only to soothe your wounded soul. Or you will roll your eyes at the questionable expressions of the most sacred emotions humans can feel. There are stories here that suit every type of love. As the author has very rightly said, this is not your usual book of feel-good, happy- ending love stories between men and women. You might be a romantic, or a skeptic, or you might be a cynic, read this book for it caters to every type of person – if not for being a fan, at least for being a critic!

          Namrata is a prolific blogger known by the name Privy Trifles in the blogosphere who romances life through her writings and aspires to make love the universal language. She dons various hats between that of a contributing author to 7 anthologies a reviewer for leading publishing houses an editor to various books and a columnist. Apart from that she is also the editor for an online magazine called Writer's Ezine. Having mastered the nuances of finance till recently she also held the title of an investment banker closely to let it go to embrace her love for writing fully.
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  1. Your last words - , read this book for it caters to every type of person – if not for being a fan, at least for being a critic! took my heart away :)

    Thank you so much for this review I am glad you enjoyed reading it. Also, as an author there is a lot in it for me to take back and ponder

    1. Thanks for taking my review in good spirit! I really did enjoy reading the book. That is exactly why some parts of my review are highlighted in bold. I thought a lot about how exactly i should phrase my review, and that is a rarity.

      Metro Diaries was very refreshing! Please write more such books :)

      Every reviewer learns a lot from an author while reading a book. But it is not often that authors accept to reviews making them ponder. If this review gives you any input, however small, i would be happy!


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