When Our Worlds Collide by Aniesha Brahma

Let me arrange my thoughts first- this book has made me so overwhelmed- ecstatic sometimes and sometimes unusually happy. I have read certain books and watched a few movies about fulfilling wish lists, going on ‘once in a lifetime’ adventure trips, and the likes of it. So I was apprehensive when I began reading. I couldn’t be more wrong. The characters were so fresh, so new and endearing that I sighed that they don’t exist in real life. Or perhaps they do? I beg Aniesha Brahma, our dear author to reveal. And the plot gets its essence from her soulful writing. It’s not your usual lovey-dovey tale. It’s about living in those simple moments of life and cherishing the memories ever after.

I had read ‘The Secret Proposal’ by the author and was hooked by her writing. In ‘When Our Worlds Collide’ I couldn’t help but reread certain sentences, certain thoughts and quotes again and again. I vouch it, my love for words are to blame. The events and incidents recreated themselves in my mind- I hoped I could watch it on screen one day.

Now something about the characters-

‘I write about the cities I wish we had never left.’ -Zayn. Zayn hopped cities since childhood due to his father’s transfers in job. He stayed no more than two years in a single city, yet missed the days spent there a lot.

“Once in a while we meet someone ordinary who teaches us how to be extraordinary.”

“And suddenly, you ceased to be my star. You became my goddamn sky.” –Akriti.  Akriti is an introvert, at peace with her simple life and comfort zone. She has no friends- her busy life dealing with her parents’ divorce and her mothers’ changed behavior didn’t allow her that. Yet she considered Ayoub a dear friend- her partner in managing her mother’s coffee shop. He’s so cute at times, said such smart one-liners and quips. I loved Ayoub’s character. He reminded me of the Korean series ‘Coffee Prince’. The feel of the coffee shop with Akriti, Ayoub and the three cooks was nostalgic.

Zayn and Akriti meet at a Poetry Slam. I want to attend one of these one day. Never been to a poetry slam.  Zayn taught Akriti how to live life in the moment by making her his partner-in-crime for trying out their secret epic adventure list. He made her face her stage fear and bask in the applauds that her poetry received. He made her walk out of her comfort zone and view life through different lenses. She literally learned to live.

I liked the Ayoub-Akriti-Zayn ‘somewhat’ love triangle. Akriti’s love hate relationship with her father was portrayed really well. I liked her step mother and step-siblings. It was really a practically thought out plot without any overdose of superficiality. The epilogue was the best. When you know people have moved on, life is settled, you need to pursue new lands too. Life is such an abundance of possibilities.

I rate this book 5/5 stars- one extra for such heartfelt soulful writing by the author. Words certainly do win me over sometimes.


Queeristan by Parmesh Sahani

  Queeristan (Amazon Link) Thanks to Audible Free Trial I listened to this amazing non-fiction on LGBTQ inclusion in Indian workplaces. Author Parmesh Sahani identifies as gay Indian, working closely with Godrej higher management and employees for years to create an inclusive workplace, both legally and in spirit. This book is a result of those years of experience, research, collaboration with individuals from difference spectrum of the society and organizations who has successfully transitioned into a queer friendly one.   Indian history is inclusive. From the Khajuraho temple architectures, to Konark to the Rig Veda, there is existing proofs even 2000 years ago of Indian inclusiveness of queer. It’s the draconian British law that criminalised it, which was scraped in 2009, came into effect once again following a sad judgement in 2013 and eventually was scraped off for good in 2018. I am in awe of the lawyers who fought this legal battle- colleagues and partners – Arundhati Katju

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