Hooked, Lined & Single by author Rashmi Singh is Alafia Singh’s quest to find Mr Right, right now. Once married, at the age of 21, a marriage that lasted nearly a year, Alafia is now at an age where all she sees around her are married people, and all anyone asks her is when she is “settling down”. Howver, our protagonist is not just finding a groom because of the pressure, but because she wants to get married. Or does she?
The premise of the book is interesting. Our society places so much importance on marriage and “settling down” that we have all seen this happen either to us or to people close to us. The pressures are enormous. Through Alafia’s narrative, we get to hear the stories about her encounters with prospective grooms. The stories are funny, relatable and amusing. It is fascinating to see how people go through the travail of the arranged marriage setup.
But what is more interesting is how the character struggles to know herself better, forgive herself and others for the hurt caused over the years and find out what it is that she exactly wants. Her journey towards finding about her past and how it affects her future is what stood out for me.
While the first half of the book is immensely engaging, and I could hardly put it down, there came a point when I started to lose interest. Wehn it all became a bit repetitive. There are also certain times when the main protagonist is not likeable at all, and you start to question her moves and motives. She says things like “He is not a gay” at one point and that really put me off. Whether that was typo or grammatical error or that Alafia herself is a homophobe, well, who knows. Other than some of these cringe worthy moments, the story is really engaging and one can feel her hurt and pain.
In a nutshell, this is a light one time read that can be finished in a couple of hours. Pick it up if you’re at the airport and have time to kill. If you are someone who’s struggling with the pressures to get married or have in the past, you might want to give it a go.
New shoes. New lipstick. A new lover.
Someone to hold you while you drift off to sleep in a drunken trance.
But then everything looks different in the morning light.
Scars look severe and angles don’t look soft anymore, the way they did on that dimly lit dance floor.
It is then that you know that you deserve better and so does this person you barely know. They deserve better than someone who’s only just clinging on to the bones on their body with glue made out of cheap booze and half-smoked cigarettes.
The illusion of “better” though. The illusion of options.
This vain thought that maybe someone better will come along. A new person is a new high. It is not better people you are craving. It is the high of being loved by someone new, because it becomes harder and harder for you to believe that someone who actually took the time to know you, could love you.
That someone who knows the little quirks about you could be simultaneously in love and annoyed with you. It becomes inconceivable to you that as the layers you created around yourself slowly peeled off, this person still stuck around. You suddenly feel raw, vulnerable and terrified. It dawns on you that you’ve let your guard down and it is only a matter of time before they invade your soul and destroy you. Like the people in the past did. No. You can’t let this happen yet again. It is now time to wear all the layers, and become all new and shiny for a new and shiny person. It’ll be wonderful I swear, at least up until the time the layers start to wear off.
And yet there is that tiny little part of you that whispers every time you meet someone new: maybe this will be the love that’ll hook my heart and change everything. Maybe this time. Maybe this time.
While you are fast asleep
In another part of the world
Surrounded by hills
And enveloped by cold winds
I’m sending you sweet dreams
I’m sending you warmth, my sweet
Kisses and cuddles
Sighs and sweet nothings
I’m sending you me
To keep you warm
© Neha Kapoor
To read more click here.
Trying to know each other.
Trying to fit in to the puzzle.
Trying to be the missing link.
The missing link
Eyes that spell desire.
The craving for your skin.
The longing for rapture.
Captivated. Eager. Thirsty.
All said through a
a first kiss.
© Neha Kapoor
To read more click here.
I thought of you today.
Not who you are now. I probably don’t know anything about the you now.
I thought of who you were to me. The one I wrote long love letters to. The one I cried with on the phone when we couldn’t meet for months. The one who’s heart I broke.
I think breaking your heart broke me. Or maybe I was always broken and yet, you loved every piece. Tenderly kissed every fragment. You had to know it’ll cut, didn’t you? I think you always knew loving me is going to hurt you but you did it anyway.
I owe you a lot. I owe you what I learned about love. You taught me how to love even when it is painful. I hate you for that, by the way.
I thought of you today. Because I think our love never died.
You sound like the old man who sits by the sea and sings songs of heartbreak. I sound like the old lady he sings for.
Life aged us, my dear. We are like the ship that weathered a storm too many. The house that shook through many earthquakes. But survived. We had no choice. We had to survive for each other.
We lost pieces of us in the sandstorms. Bit by bit, the strong winds chipped away the bright and shiny periphery, exposing the unpleasant reality. But I suppose that’s ok. We both know that it is the reality that matters.
Sometimes I look for pieces of me that I lost in the sands of time. The footprints of people who walked through. The pieces of me that got chipped weathering battleships. I look and I look. But everything has been erased during sandstorms. Everything has blended in the white sands, and I realize the pieces and the footprints don’t matter. Sandcastles don’t last long. What last are the memories. Keep making sandcastles though. Because hope is a beautiful thing.