All Signs Lead Back To You

I have always had a liking towards tales with themes of partings and meetings. So this story did hit home almost instantly. And when the author is Aniesha Brahma, I don't really have to think twice before picking it up.

Diya is deep, complex, and a complicated mess. She believes everything in her life comes with an expiry date. She builds more walls around her than bridges. She lets no one in on anything that's important to her, or that she holds close to her heart. Yet the one person who has been through that barrier, Nina- Diya's best friend, calls her that once-in-a-lifetime friend - whom you should never let go of however many times she shuts the door on your face to shoo you off. She may seem selfish and careless but beyond that fake calm exterior is a weak vulnerable person. I loved Diya. I could easily connect with her, being the almost philophobic person that I am.

Ashwin is caring and loving. He tries his best to understand Diya, when she cuts off all contact with him on the last day of school, and when their paths cross after three long years. Shaken by the chance encounter he questions himself whether he really knew Diya at all in the high school years. His perspective of who Diya was as a person and Nina's perspective are so much at odds. Ashwin is kind and an unusual guy who loves discussing books and characters and going to the library for a date. How cute is that!

The story follows a beautiful journey of the characters discovering and accepting each other as they really are without any pretension. Love the ending. I won't reveal it here but know that it's not stereotypical.

One day my mailbox had a link to an article called ‘How to Free Ourselves from the Fear of Love’ in I find the articles here very personal, intimate, revealing, and soulful. The writers have their vulnerabilities laid bare and it does reach out to the readers. There is so much honesty in their words, and the writings speak to you and comfort you like a dear friend. I have loved every post I read here. It has become my go-to site these days.

So the mentioned article described my state completely. “I watch the world from behind the glass window. It’s lonely here, but safe; in this place I can be seen but not reached.” It’s a sad realization for me that all that’s written in this piece is true, the ugly vulnerable truth about who I perhaps am. ‘Leave first, before they leave you.’ My thoughts have an uncanny similarity to this statement. Diya’s thoughts are similar too. Is it even possible that someone else feels the same way? Don’t try to mingle, because they would realize you are not worth it in a matter of days. Don’t make too many friends, it will just make you dissipate away from yourself. They will leave you once they realize you are boring.

Now, this is a bit personal and intimate. I think I am Philophobic. I have never fallen in love- rather I have never allowed myself to love anyone beyond a boundary limit. I have consciously or unconsciously checked all those prospective feelings projected from prospective ‘the one’s. I have never even considered feeling it. They have never crossed the walls built around my heart. I don’t know what to do about it- opening up seems impossible, terrifying, and a whole new terrain I have never set foot in. So yes, I could totally connect with Diya and draw solace from her story.

I kind of had that John Green type feeling while reading this, a new world where 'okay' may not mean 'love you' but 'darling' did mean 'stupid'. Awaiting the next book by the author. Sending love and hugs her way for writing this one.

I would recommend this book to everyone. It is a quick read, best suited to the busy lifestyle most of us are having. If nothing else, I assure you this book would give you few hours of serene and calm, and a greater sense of understanding and empathy. I would rate it 4/5 stars.

Aniesha Brahma


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