Cupid Plays

I wrote this story for a submission of Mocktales under Romance category where the prompt was given by Ruchi Singh but it didnt happen so I am sharing with you guys. I hope you like it and honest feedbacks are needed.

“The new face (male) goes to …any guesses??  Our one and only KEVIN MATHEW”

The thunderous applause drowned her heartbeats knocking against her ribcage, as she watched him walk towards the stage. The tailored black suit moulding his muscled frame caused every pair of female eyes to turn towards him. A sigh here, a gasp there felt like pins piercing her soul. He bowed to the veteran film director- standing here to hand him ‘the black beauty’- in his impeccable, courteous way. She wondered if he remembered her at all in these moments, at the pinnacle of success.

Admiring the award, he took the mic from the stage assistant and faced the audience. For a second it appeared he looked straight at her. Her heart stopped and she shrank back in the crowd. But the next second he blinked, and the moment was gone. She mentally berated herself for the fanciful thought. The stage lights couldn’t have allowed him to see anyone in the huge auditorium, leave alone someone standing at the entrance.

A hand touched her elbow,’ Ms. Kapoor, this way please’

A familiar voice brought her back to reality. She was glued to the TV. She was biting her nails while watching, an old habit of hers.  Every word of him was like a melody to her ears. Her heart skipped a beat when she saw him on the screen. She went close to the TV screen and gave a small peck on his face. After that she just blushed like a newlywed bride.

“So someone is busy day dreaming!” Zana winked.

“Zana stop pulling my leg now!” she defended.

Zana entered the room and saw Kaira admiring Kevin, her long lost love. She was mad about Kevin, the hot and happening Actor. She knew him from her school time and after their school they had lost the contact. But she had always loved him in deep hearts. She used to read each and every news about him. They lived in the same city. Though she could have contacted him easily since she was an established author. Everyone was mad about her stories, her blogs and the way she weaved her stories was enthralling. Zana was her best friend and knew about Kaira’s feelings but whenever Zana tried to contact Kevin, she was often stopped by Kaira.

“May I know Madam, what were you doing?” Zana folded her arms and asked in disbelief.

Zana look at Kevin! He looks so changed and did you notice his new haircut? I must say, it suits him alot.” She said in her glittered voice.

“Kaira! It’s enough! You have been doing this from last three years. If you are so mad about him then why don’t you go and contact him? Have some courage and meet him up at least.”Zana reverted back, anger forming on her face.

“We have discussed about it zillion times. I am nothing in front of him. Just an author! Do you know that he doesn’t like reading! He is allergic to authors and I don’t think he even remember me. If he didn’t recognize me, I will be hurt. Nothing will happen to him. So drop it.” She explained in the most peaceful way.

She was afraid of Kevin’s rejection and didn’t even try once to contact him. She thought he never liked her. Little did she know the other side.

“Okay now leave Kevin concentrate on your award function!” Zana said by diverting her attention.

“I don’t need to think about it when I have my super girl, Maritza” Kaira remarked.

Maritza, wheat complexioned, with brown- black eyes, flat face, who had worn a white shirt paired with royal blue skirt entered the room with piles of documents. She belonged to a business class family but preferred to work on her own in order to prove herself. She happened to be the personal assistant of Kaira and handled all the work regarding royalties, events of her books. She was so indulged in her work that she often forgot to eat her food. Kaira and Zana treated her like their friend other than an assistant.

“Good Evening girls!” Maritza greeted.

“Good Eve” The duo replied in unison.

“Kaira I need your signatures on these documents. It’s urgent!” Maritza looked clueless.

“What happened love? Why are you sounding perplexed?”

“When you will come to know the place and about the chief you will surely faint!”

“Maritza break the suspense please!” Zana joined the conversation.

“The next event will be held in VENICE and KEVIN MATHEW will be the other chief guest!” Maritza shouted, almost deafening their ears.

Zana and Kaira were stunned. Kaira had never expected in her wildest dreams that she would share the stage with Kevin and that too their dream place. Well, yes Venice was Kaira and Kevin’s favourite place and it was their keen desire to visit it someday. Kaira just couldn’t control her happiness after hearing this news from Maritza. She hugged Zana and Maritza. Her cheeks had turned pink after this news. She was gone in some trance, maybe in her dreams where the two personas could unite.

Kaira and Kevin hadn’t met from past 8 years. Still it is believed that they used to meet in their dreams where their personas would share their heart outs. Was Kaira’s meeting with Kevin a coincidence or a cupid play?

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Four years ago

“Kevin we have got her traces”, Jayden informed.

“What?”

“Tell me Jayden, where is she?”

“She lives in Melbourne”

“One more thing, she is an author of Unsaid Truth”

“Oh fish! How could I miss such a clue!”

“I didn’t get you Kevin, please elaborate!”

“Kaira Kapoor was a bookoholic in school and one could find her with her books only and she always wanted to be an author. I just missed this information. Had I read some novels, I would have come to know about her”

“Holy Cow! How can you be such a dumbass?” Jayden remarked.

“Well yes! I am” Kevin laughed at his own folly.

“I have got her book, read it and maybe you can enter her mind through her works” Jayden advised.

“How can I enter her mind? Do you think she has written the truth?” Kevin asked in surprise.

“Yes! The story is about a guy whom she admires and has never told him about her feelings and from her descriptions it is crystal clear that that dream guy is none other than you, KEVIN MATHEW. Now will you bother to read it?” Jayden smirked.

“Have you lost it? How can she love a rich brat like me?” Kevin thought to himself.

Kevin read her book and he understood her feelings. Kaira had narrated their childhood memories and about their separation. After reading this, he began to read her works and then started stalking her, he knew everything about her, where was her event and all about her book. Not only had this he made sure that her books got sold. He even started promoting her books in front of his fans which made her the best seller. Moreover, she got the Pulitzer Award for her works. He began to love reading and was touched by her thoughts. Whenever he thought of meeting her, he stepped back because of his rich brat type nature and Kaira’s words stopped him. “I hate actors Kevin. They all are fake.”  He was going through tabula rasa and could never jot down the courage in these years. But when he got the new face award for an epoch making movie, he mustered all the courage and planned an event with the head of a University in Venice, as he knew she was in love with Venice.

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“I don’t want to go to school momma”

“What’s wrong with you, my skylark?” Mommy enquired.

“Kevin calls me a Geek” Kaira cried.

“And what you think?”

“I think so! I am always into books while others enjoy life,” she uttered.

“Awww..My poor little sweet pie! Kaira do you know why Kevin calls you a Geek?”

“Yes, because I have engrossed myself in these big, thick books which he hates the most!”

“ Kevin wants to be your friend Kaira and when he sees that you spend more time with those books, he feels jealous” Mommy replied.

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Kaira was bewildered by the words of her mother. She had never seen this perspective and was curious to know about Kevin. She used to think that Kevin was a rich brat who would never befriend her. So, she used to keep herself away from him. She went near the lake to have a self introspection. An awkward half-minute of silence had passed by. The sky had turned more menacing. Thunders were quite visible everywhere. The breeze became windier and the lake’s waves were now stronger than ever. It was time for her to get home, she was thinking. Actually, if she had been alone all that evening, she would have left a while ago, but her incandescent thoughts had made her delay a bit longer than she had imagined of. Moreover, because Kevin was literally standing in front of her waiting for God knows what to happen at any moment, it was just mere impossible to leave. She didn’t think he cared about the weather though, because he was wearing his black, cosy leather jacket all the time. Was he going to do anything or just stare at her while she froze in this weather?

Raindrops were beginning to fall, incrementing their speed as each second passed by. Soon it would be pouring rain above them. She watched how his eyes were slowly shutting as he was approaching and ending just inches from her face. Finally, just when his lips were about to touch hers, she immediately came to her senses and took action by pushing him on the chest with her arms for him to get apart from her. There was a bizarre tension at the sight.

Finally, Kevin broke the wall and said,” I want to be with you all the time like the way you are with your book. So let’s be friends?”

Kaira’s cheeks had turned red with happiness. After a long time she was making a friend and for her it was a heavenly feeling. After that incident something was blooming between the two. They had started spending time with each other. The barriers began to break. Things were going on a smooth road until they meet the diverging side.  What happened next was the phantasmagoria of strangeness.

“Kevin what are your plans for your future?” Kaira asked in excitingly.

“I want to be the most loved actor!”

Kaira’s expressions had changed and she seemed to regret her question. Kevin’s wish reminded her of a catastrophe that had changed her mother and her life.  She quickly got control of herself and tried to avoid the eye contact.

“What happened Kaira? Are you okay?”

“ No. I am fine.”

“You are a bad liar Kaira so just blurt out what is bugging you!”

“I hate actors from the core of my heart, Kevin. They are big cheats. My father was a brilliant actor who just broke off his wedding in order to get into this field and told everyone that he was single.”

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A drop of tear trickled down from her cheek. Kevin was shocked at her revelation. He didn’t say anything and hugged her tightly. He changed the topic and asked her about her future plans to which she replied that she wanted to be a writer. He told her that he didn’t like novels and was allergic to reading. He could hardly get a good score. Their revelations left a deep remark in both of the minds. Soon they got busy with their finals and later, both shifted to University. At first they were in touch but after Kaira’s shifting to new city their contact lessened and finally, it broke off completely. They were separated. A lot was unsaid and unheard between them. They missed each other but their revelations and their steps in opposite directions always stopped them to contact.

In psychology, it is termed as Anthrop phobia or simply social phobia. They both were going through this.

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Venice

When Kaira reached Venice, the city of her dreams, she got ecstatic. Maritza and Zana didn’t accompany her because they wanted Kaira to face Kevin and say her heart out. On the other hand, Jayden also didn’t accompany Kevin. Maritza and Jayden had taken a pledge to unite these secret lovers to which Zana also joined them. Infact the trio met at Melbourne.

“Ciao Pauline! La prego di prendere in camera mia?” Kevin asked. ( Hello Pauline! Could you please take me to my room? )

“al suo servizo Signore!”, gestured Pauline. ( At your service sir!)

Kevin was a multilingual and a regular visitor so he knew the staff of the hotel. He spoke very good Italian and Pauline was always ready at his services. The event was to be held at night. Kevin reached the venue an hour before. He ordered the staff to arrange a candle light dinner after the event.

Kaira was unable to select a dress for herself. She rejected almost 20 dresses which were given to her by the designers. Then her eyes got stuck to a black short dress which got fitted to her slim body. She looked dazzling in that dress along with a pearl necklace to match with, followed by black stilettos. When she reached the venue, her eyes searched for Kevin. When she saw him, she just froze there. He had worn a dark black suit paired with a red bow. He looked out of the world. Both were engrossed in the process of admiring each other.

After some nanoseconds, their eyes met each other and they both were searching answers for their unsaid questions. The event started with Kevin’s speech in English since most of the guests knew only English including Kaira.

“ Good Evening Ladies and Gentlemen! We are here to honour that person who has given her devotion and time to literature and writing. Honestly speaking, I never thought in my dreams even that I would be here for an event related to literature since I had always been inimical to the literature. But when I heard about Kaira Kapoor and her works, I really can’t express how badly I wanted to know about her. But one thing I haven’t told anyone about this person.  I have known her since eight years. She was a very good friend of mine. But after our high school we never got the chance to interact, maybe we had some notions about each other that always stopped us to meet. Somewhere in my heart I wanted to meet her and tell her something which I haven’t confessed to myself even. Kaira, you have been an amazing friend to me. I was unknown to literature but since the day I read your works I have fallen in love with literature. Your novel connects directly to my soul. And you deserve to be loved and appreciated. Kaira, please accept this token of love from our side.”

Kevin was over with his speech and on the other end Kaira was speechless. She just froze to the ground. She was in tears. She had never dreamt off that Kevin would read her work and appraise her so much. She just wanted to hug him at that very moment but she stopped. She stood up and accepted his token of love. She was on could nine. Nobody had expected such a response from Kevin. Then Kaira took over the stage and spoke about her feelings.

“Thankyou so much Kevin. I never knew that a person like you would ever read my novel. I am obliged. I don’t have words to express what  I am feeling now. Sometimes we have boundations and we stop ourselves for a long time but one day when we are free of those chains, we feel like a bird. I heartily accept this token of love, Kevin. I would dedicate this award to you Kevin, because you have been my inspiration since last eight years. You would be happy to know that I have started loving movies since the time you entered this industry. I have seen all your movies, especially ITALY DIARIES. And yes, even I have fallen in love with the movies but only your movies.” She ended her speech by winking at Kevin making him blush.

After the event Kevin visited Kaira in her room. When Kaira opened the door, their eyes met each other. Their eyes had said all the unanswered questions. At that time their were no boundations. They knew they were in love yet were reluctant to accept. Kevin embraced Kaira and they both were tranced in heaven.  Later Kaira broke the silence and thanked him for reading her works whereas Kevin thanked her for watching her movies.

“Kaira, there is one more thing which I haven’t confessed in these eight years!”

“Whats that?”

“ I am in love with you, Kaira, since the day I saw you. I am in love with your big beccy spectacles that looked cute on your face. I am in love with your soft blonde hair which I long for even now. I am in love with your soft cheeks that become red when you hear my name. I am incomplete without you. Will you be with me so that this incomplete story can be completed?”

Kaira’s eyes became moist. No! No! These were tears of happiness. Their damaged life had become beautifully repaired. Both complimented each other. Kaira hugged him as tight as she could and blurted out,

“ I love you Kevin, not from today but since ages.”

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A Perfect Detective Novel

‘Was it a Murder?’ by  Anuj Singhal and Ritika Singhal is a perfect detective novel as this piece has all the traits that a Sherlock Homes novel have. While I was reading this book, I was reminded of a detective short story by Graham Greene that was full of suspense till the end. I can happily say that this book is an interesting read. Lets analyse it critically :

Cover- The cover of the book is white in color and has a woman whose lying on the floor and besides her their is a bottle of poison. This gives us an insight of a murder mystery.

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Title- The title ‘Was it a Murder?’ is more than perfect as the whole story revolves around it.

Plot- The plot is constructed artistically. This is a story of a detective, Abhay Savarkar, who solves the mysteries of two murders taken place at his friend, George’s mansion. A series of events take place and a big doubt is built whether it was a suicide or a murder. The twist and turns in the story is the strongest point. The plot is gripping and bind the readers to read it till the end.

Theme- The whole story focuses on the theme of murder which happens in a mysterious way and that leads to another murder. These murders sound natural but have some hidden facts which Abhay Savarkar with the help of Inspector GopiNath and his assistant Yash tries to find out. There are other themes which are minor and are not much of importance.

Characterization- The portrayal of characters is impressive and all the characters are different. The main protagonist is Abhay Savarkar and the whole story revolves around his verdict on these murders. He is a complicated character and not an easy nut to crack. He do everything for a reason and he could sense people’s mind by their behavior. He is a caring friend who went to George’s place and helped him till the end even though George couldn’t trust him for long. He is a true friend indeed. He has a sharp brain and even was a kind master as we see the relationship he had with Yash. Both were ready to help each other.

Whereas Ms. Rose is a mysterious lady who had lots of secrets stored in her heart. Even she is considered as the suspect because the clues are against her. She is a caring sister though yet she is a neglected soul. She had the motive to kill her mother and her brother’s wife yet it wasn’t proved that she was the culprit.

Ms. Laranya was a tough nut to crack. She was a mischievious lady. Even her mother tried hard to support her. She was beautiful and had a lot of attitude. She was indeed a round character in the novel.

Style- This is a detective novel with impersonal description and third person narrative. The sentences had variety in it. Whereas the language was simple, lucid and clear. It had brevity in it. The way authors have described the surroundings or the scenes is impeccable. The authors wrote to the point and were not digressive.

Error- There were no major errors as such just a minor ones and some words were missing. There was one scene which sounded off scene : chapter7; in this scene Abhay is in a hurry to reach Granny’s room and he notices all the surroundings. I personally feel when a person is in a hurry he doesn’t get a nanosecond to check the surroundings. This scene could have been added a bit later. This is my observation but I do respect author’s point of view as I had a word with him. He said he wanted to show the presence of mind of the character.

Availability- https://www.amazon.in/Was-Murder-Anuj-Singhal-ebook/dp/B017RD4PM6

https://www.amazon.com/Was-Murder-Anuj-Singhal-ebook/dp/B017RD4PM6#navbarhttps://www.pustakmandi.com/was-it-a-murder

About the Authors

Anuj Singhal

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Anuj is the author of “Was It A MURDER?” which is a detective fiction published by Authors’ Ink Publications. He is also a contributor in the anthology Crush 2 : An incomplete Heartbreak. He is currently pursuing his BTech in Electronics and Communication Engineering from Ambala college of Engineering, Ambala. His interests include creative Writing, poetry and reading novels. Currently, Anuj resides in Ambala Cantt with his parents. Apart from being a student and an author, he loves poetry and won various prizes at school and college level.

official site : http://www.ultimatesinghal.com/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/ultimatesinghal
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/authoranujsinghal
E-Mail: ultimatesinghal@gmail.com

Ritika Singhal:

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Ritika is MTech in Computer Science Engineering and is currently working in an MNC in Bangalore. She has been a gold medalist throughout her education. Her interests include technical paper writing, writing stories and Reading books. Currently, Ritika resides in Bangalore with her husband and daughter.

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/authorRitika