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Genre : Fiction
TARGET AUDIENCE: Age group: 17-30
Pages : 190

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RISE IN LOVE

Book Blurb:

A tender and poignant love story of two modern-day teenagers dealing with tough career choices, mysterious and grievous pasts and betrayal in love.

A story of love in it's most pure and raw form, at that age when one becomes conscious of attraction and infatuation, and there is a thin line between love and lust. A story about everlasting friendships, bold sacrifices and stepping into adulthood.

Two strangers meet by chance, Adhira a young, gorgeous Mumbai girl,extremely career oriented and dealing with a tremendous personal loss and trying to find her self-worth meets Abhi, a young writer who dreams of changing the world with the might of his pen, fighting all odds to make a name for himself in a career of his choice.

Sparks fly, but Adhira is in love with Shubham, the heartthrob of the school where they both study and Abhi doesn't want the complication of love. This story is their love story filled with doses of wry humour, profound feelings and raw human emotions laid bare by the souls of the protagonists.

Adhira and Abhi embark on a journey of self-discovery and search for the true meaning of love in this light and refreshing take on teenage romance which will take the reader through a gamut of emotions in this unputdownable love story.


Sample Chapters:

Prologue

There is a lingering, musty nostalgic scent to the air of Mumbai. When you breathe it in, you do not want to leave this city now or ever. Adhira felt it at that moment standing alone at the Bandra Promenade. The July monsoons that ravaged the town every year had been kinder this year, yet the sea showed its anger as its rain-soaked waves hit the bandstand walls furiously. All Adhira could hear in those moments was the sound of the waves and her heart beats. Adhira looked at the setting sun burning orange flames of fire across the horizon and wondered if anything in the world could measure up to this. The large trawlers and small boats with the weary fishermen heading home after a hard day's work in the deep waters of the Arabian sea reminded her of how far her life had come in the past one and a half year.

Finally, that day had come when she would take her first steps to fulfil her dream of becoming a successful fashion designer just like her mother. She remembered vaguely standing in front of the full-length mirror in her mother's boutique as a seven-year-old and posing in fabrics draped around her haphazardly by the kind staff. She still remembered the feel and touch of the materials from satiny silks to royal brocades to sheer muslins and flowing chiffons. She knew then as she did now that she wanted to be surrounded by fabrics all her life. This goal had seemed unachievable a few months back, and yet here she was standing on the anvil of a new future, ready to enrol in the prestigious Massachusetts School of Designing.

The uncontrollable past had wrecked her fragile teenage mind to the point of no return. As the waves hit the silent rocks, she looked back and saw a girl with everything going for her from intelligence to good looks to loving parents turn into a ball of self-doubt, low esteem and self-loathing. Emerging from a traumatic past here she was at the precipice of a new dawn.

Taking a deep breath, Adhira soaked in as of much of the lovely petrichor as she could. This was what she was going to miss the most about Mumbai, the unpredictable rains that had become a part of the lives of the people of this city which never stopping moving rain or not. No place in the world could be home, and home would always be this city. The breeze was playing games with her just shampooed lovely waist-length tresses trying to appease her not to leave this city where dreams came true and sometimes crashed in bits by the seaside. Adhira had proved her name correct, she was strong and although the reasons to stay back were more compelling yet she had to go to fulfil her dreams, her mother's thoughts, Anya’s wish and Abhi’s desire to see her rise in love.

Suddenly, her iPhone buzzed, DAD flashed on the screen. She picked up the call and said, ‘I am coming, papa.’ As she turned around her thoughts turned to the two men who had made this day possible. One who had loved her even before she had entered the world and the other who had loved her when she was the hardest person to love. She smiled as she hopped and took quick steps to cross the road where her parents were waiting for her. Her phone had been flooded with good luck messages; she’d reply to them once she cleared security at the airport.

Butterflies tingled in her stomach. She felt anxious and excited at the same time. As soon as she sat in the car, she unlocked her phone and saw Abhi’s message flash on the screen. “Hey, gorgeous. Dad’s surgery was successful. He’s still in the recovery room. I'm going to be in a meeting with the team of doctors so will be unreachable. Stay strong and keep smiling. Remember your smile it makes my world complete, and I want you to work hard and get all that you deserve.”

Adhira read and message and smiled. Thank god his father’s surgery had been successful. It was a big load off Abhi’s chest. She would reply once she was alone in the airport. She sighed aloud.

‘I wish you were here Abhi’

Chapter 1 Mumbai One and a half year ago

It was rush hour at the roads of Colaba. It was the hour of twilight when most people headed home after a long day's work and the other half directed to party in this sleepless city. The neon lights, substantial well-lit hoardings were inciting and urging the Mumbaikars to enjoy the right times. It was during this magical hour that Adhira, dressed in a jazzy black jumpsuit with her hair let loose in lazy curls, starred in the distance from the car window willing her destination to appear in front of.

It seemed all roads were leading to hearing Shubham play for the first time with a professional rock band at the Blues Lounge. The thought of him brought a smile to Adhira’s gorgeous and flawless face. Adhira, seventeen years old was a ravishing beauty in no small measure. Everything about her spelt perfection right from her doe-shaped dark brown eyes to her aristocratic nose and the sweetest smile showcasing a set of near perfect teeth, thanks to the painful braces she had embarrassingly worn all her teen years. ‘Beauty with brains’ was the compliment she heard most once people learnt that this well-dressed fashionista had the brains to match her looks too. Studying at the prestigious Ecole Savant school in grade eleven she was raring to go. The future was hers; it was beckoning her. The future did not know of the demons lurking in her past.

But at that point, the chock-a-block traffic was bothering her. She knew she had to be on time as she had promised her dad she would be back home by eleven.

It had taken a significant effort to convince her father to allow her this late night outing. Although not a conservative father, he was scared of how this ruthless city would treat his sensitive daughter. It was only on Rashi’s assurance that she would ensure no harm came to her did he reluctantly relent.

Once he agreed she had to fight her mind to accept her attraction for Shubham and step out of the house after aeons.

Suddenly Rashi yelled, ”Hey Adi, I don't think we will be in time to hear Shubham.”

Rashi was precise, what Adhira wasn’t. Chubby, pug-nosed, messy hair and a constantly curious demeanour popping out through her thick glasses. They had grown up together in the same residential complex, had attended same schools and were the ultimate icons of girl love. Where Adhira was sensitive and alien to the ways of the world, thanks to her protective and constricted upbringing. Rashi was street smart and took it to herself to be Adhira’s official protector, advisor and critique. She was fiercely loyal to Adhira.

Adhira gave her a frustrated look and muttered something under her breath, wondering why it always happened that when they wanted to reach someplace on time fate usually played spoilsport and in Mumbai’s case its traffic jams.

Finally, the caravan of traffic nudged forward and both the girls heaved a sigh of relief and crossed their fingers. Suddenly Adhira turned and asked Rashi,”How do you think I'm looking tonight?”

“Aaaha, someone wants to look best, Mmmmh ...what’s cooking Adi?” Rashi asked with a wicked grin.

“Don’t be silly Ra, it’s just after our eleventh-grade exams got over, this is my first outing, so I am a little anxious,” Adhira said nonchalantly although the butterflies in her stomach had not stopped tingling since Shubham had invited her to attend his first guitar performance with a rock band.

At that moment the driver stopped the car and told the girls their destination had arrived.

Chapter 2

The girls stepped out of the car and headed for the happening Blues Lounge. As the girls climbed into the lounge, they were transported into an entirely different world. Dim blue lights, loud music, pretty waitresses hovering around with trays loaded with mocktails and hors-d'oeuvres. The walls of the place were covered with black and white photographs of all the famous blues artists from the world over. The decor of the place reflected the mood of blues music of lost loves and the better life.

The tiny place was cramped with small round tables where people stood and tried to talk unsuccessfully over the blaring music. The area had an eclectic mix of clientele ranging from teenagers to forty-year-old executives to people who seemed like out of work actors or models and one or two lovebirds also who were utterly oblivious to their surroundings.

Adhira and Rashi somehow managed to squeeze in and found an empty table by the corner. Adhira’s eyes searched for Shubham on the playing area. He was not there. She wondered if they had missed his performance and he had already left. Her heart sank at that thought; she wanted to be here for Shubham. His name brought a smile to her face. Tall, with a physique to die for, dark brooding eyes, square jawline and an aquiline nose. He was the epitome of tall, dark and handsome and had every girl in the eleventh grade swooning over him even though he was quite a Casanova and broke hearts a dime a dozen. It thrilled her to bits to know of all the girls in the class Shubham chose her to hear him play.

She had been taken by absolute surprise when Shubham had cornered her after the last exam outside the corridor and asked her if she would come to hear him play the guitar. He was proud of having been signed for a gig at the happening Blues’ lounge.

Adhira knew standing there in the corridor many passing girls were going to burn with jealousy, so that made the moment even more special. Although she had wanted to squeal and say ‘yes’ she had controlled her emotions and told him instead that she would have to take her father's’ permission.

Shubham had turned his head in what seemed like a mocking of her request but had said instead that she let him know at the soonest. The way he squirmed and walked away made her feel ashamed of telling him that she needed to take her father's permission. Most parents of her peers were not even aware of the comings and goings of their children. She was a rarity in her wealthy upper-class society.

What Shubham would not understand was the fear of doing something wrong and hurting her parents had seeped in so deep in her psyche that she refused to take any decision without asking her father.

The only thing she had hidden from her dad was her growing infatuation for Shubham.

But where was he?

And magically enough she felt a light tap on her right shoulder. She turned abruptly and came face to face with Shubham. Lord! He looked absolutely killer in the spiked and gelled hair, two-day-old stubble and a Philipp Plein black leather jacket over fit Armani jeans. Adhira was dumbstruck when Shubham gave his lopsided grin and said to her, “Hey you pretty girl, I thought you were not coming.”

Adhira just smiled and looked at him with awe while Rashi gave him details of the traffic they had to beat. She made it seem as if they had done him a favour by coming.

Adhira winced as Rashi went on and on, but thankfully Shubham didn't seem to notice.

Rashi did not like Shubham a wee bit, but God forbid she would let the smitten Adhira alone with him for even a nanosecond.

“You better treat us to some great food Shubham for all the trouble we took to reach here from Juhu,” Rashi said naughtily but with slight malice.

Before Shubham could reply Adhira gave her a confused look and muttered, “Will I live to see the day when you will think beyond food, Ra?”

Shubham laughed aloud and said, “Sure Rashi, later now it's time for me to rock the floor. Gotta go.” Saying that he gave a quick hug to Adhira and went to join his band on the floor.

Soon the compere asked everyone to quiet down as the live band was about to start jamming. The music playing in the background stopped. It was a mystical setting; the lights were subdued. There was soft clink of fine cutlery and glasses and hushed tones everywhere as the attention was being drawn to the stage area. Suddenly the focus light shifted on a lone figure sitting on a high backed bar stool with a guitar resting on his knees. It was Shubham. Slowly, he strung the chords of his guitar and looked at Adhira and said,”This one is for the prettiest girl in the house, hope after hearing this she agrees to go out on a date with me.” Saying this Shubham looked indulgently at Adhira.

Adhira blushed with pride as every head in the lounge turned to look at her. Shubham played Adhira's favourite number, ‘Closer’ by ‘Chainsmokers’ Adhira couldn't hide her glee and wondered how he had known about it. Then she remembered she was humming it in the corridor when Shubham had cornered her to ask her to come for this show.

Rashi was observing Adhira and could see that look of lovestruck awe and admiration in Adhira’s eyes and knew she was falling for Shubham and she had to be warned before she got her heart broken which was bound to happen sooner than later given Shubham's track record of breaking hearts. Rashi knew Adhira needed to know her self-worth, but dating a narcissist who used girls like toys was not the way to feel loved and appreciated.

At that point Rashi felt thoroughly helpless and clueless about how she could get through to Adi, so she decided to wait and watch and hoped Shubham would himself show his true colours to Adhira.


Short Synopsis:


SIDDHARTH ROY

About the Author:

Siddharth roy is one of the youngest authors in India. His debut novel ‘The Special Fish‘ was critically appreciated and mesmerised the readers. Siddharth through his characters takes you in a much simpler world which has deep social and moral message. He has been invited to speak at TEDx thrice and has spoken at other prestigious events and shared his idea on various topics. He through his books and speeches mainly focus on teenagers and emphasis on making this world a better place to live. He is currently working as Creative Head with Walnut Discoveries, Chief Curator with The YOUth and Outreach Coordinator with Youth for Human Rights International. He is also a Sports enthusiast and has won silver medal in state badminton championship and is football analyst with Fanzone London. He believes in an artist revolution, being a filmmaker he has also directed a short documentary on Ganesh Chaturthi and on verge of releasing another short movie. His current book Rise in Love has already won best manuscript of the year award at Lit o Fest Mumbai and he has won many awards for his work which includes a world record. He is currently studying in Whistling Woods International Mumbai and believes in spreading good work!