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A well-crafted, daring attempt

Published : Nov 4, 2016, 2:28 am IST
Updated : Nov 4, 2016, 2:28 am IST

Love Is Not Lost is unfeigned literature of the contemporary times. It is a collection of six beautifully crafted love stories that are refreshing and real.

Love Is Not Lost is unfeigned literature of the contemporary times. It is a collection of six beautifully crafted love stories that are refreshing and real. The plots of all the stories are unique in their own way and keep you hooked till the end. They have an element of surprise in them and this unpredictability makes them all the more interesting.

The characters are likeable in spite of their flaws, and the reader develops a natural empathy for them. This is something not easy for a writer to achieve with contemporary characters.

Love here is not candy-floss. It is practical. It revels in renunciation rather than attainment, in decisions rather than dwelling in uncertainties, in acceptance of truth rather than fantasizing over what is not, and in not adhering to the predefined standards of perfection, because true love stories are never perfect. The stories are drenched in emotions of all kinds, true to the nature of love which is one emotion encompassing all other emotions.

The intricacies of relationships between the characters have been beautifully explored by the author Pragnya Patnaik. The storytelling is mature, yet lucid, and so will appeal to a wide spectrum of readers.

The stories are rightly paced, neither fast nor slow. Pragnya has imparted many dimensions to the characters, and it’s a reader’s delight to uncover the various layers attached to them. The situations in the stories are powerful enough to stir one’s emotions. The conversation between the characters is natural and simple, yet the underlying emotions are profound.

The book offers variety and each story has been dealt by Pragnya differently and with careful attention.

The Cup Of Life is a simple love story, yet beautiful enough to tug the chords of your heart. A Sinner’s Diary on the other hand is two stories of love entwined into one, attached by common emotions and situations, and effortlessly.

In Lost And Found, a materialistic male VJ discovers his conscience, through Swamiji's character, whereas in The Last Realization, there is acceptance of the transformed equations in her life and hence reality, in an otherwise sensitive woman, Tanya.

Another piece, Just 80, deserves special mention because of the age of the characters in it. The portrayal of Mr Sharma’s character is very strong. He is an aged man who discovers reasons to love life and that no age is wrong to be in love again. A Ghostly Affair has a mystique charm attached to it and beautifully oscillates between the past and the present.

The title of the book is a major draw. It creates enough curiosity in the readers mind and one is tempted to pick it up. It also sums up the essence of the book that though love stories are not perfect, love is never lost. This cover is attractive enough to make the book stand out from among a horde of books displayed together. The glossy heart in red makes it all the more alluring.

The author’s portrayal of women across stories is worth mentioning. The woman here is strong enough to make her choices, sometimes ones which may not suit her own interest. She is strong enough to reject and move on because she has tried enough and decides to linger no further. She is ready to forgive and let go, for she knows that is what will free her. She is bold, she is expressive, she is loyal and she is unpretentious. She is hope, a friend, a guide.

Tanya, Maya, Leela, Shivani, Vidya and Radha are the real women around us. Each one of them is different from the other, but similar in the fact that they are strong women who have decided to stand by what they believe is right.

Love Is Not Lost is not just a book, it’s an experience. You have the scenes dancing in front of your eyes. You live with the characters, you feel with them, you feel for them. You get involved, you ponder. At places you wish how this and not that had happened, but again you realise that love stories are no fairy tales.

Love Is Not Lost has stories that have relevance today and like wine their charm will only increase with time, when these kinds of situations and settings will be a thing of the past.

This book is a commendable and daring effort by Pragnya in presenting love in its truest and most honest form without following the safe trodden path where love means only painting the town red. It is therefore a must read.

Pragnya, a software professional, quit her job, to do what she loves most, write. After reading this book, I must say that she has made the right choice.