Millennium Post

‘Read as much as you can’

Give us a sneak peek into your new book, The One You Cannot Have?
The book is a story of unrequited love. No matter whether you are single, married, divorced or committed there will always be ‘The One You Cannot Have’. This is the underlying theme of the book, narrated through the story of Aman, who was in a perfect relationship with Shruti. They could not imagine life without each other. Then Shruti breaks up with Aman and gets married to Rishabh. Yet she is unable to forget Aman completely. How does Aman deal with it? You have to read the book to find out!

Describe the book in one line.
A powerful, gripping story about unrequited love and strong friendships.

How is The One You Cannot Have different from your last two books?
While all my previous books have a strong woman protagonist, this one is from a male point of view. However, like my other two, the elements of romance, and the underlying message of positivity have been retained.

Your books generally have strong female protagonists. Any specific reason?
The new book has a very strong male protagonist. He is a sensitive, mature guy, grappling with issues of getting over the only woman he loved. My last three books did have strong female protagonists. There is no specific reason for this. The stories are all about overcoming odds. Being a woman, writing from a female perspective comes naturally to me, while writing from a male POV was a lot of work. All the guys who have read it so far, have said I have got the male perspective, perfectly and hence that is very gratifying.

Was there any book, in particular, that influenced your writing?
Not at all! I am a voracious reader and l read a lot. But when I write, my voice is always my own. Pick up any book of mine, and this will immediately be obvious.

Who are the writers you look up to?
Neil Gaiman, Roald Dahl (his work for adults), Mitch Albom and Audrey Niffeneger.

What advice would you give to new writers?
Read, read, read as much as you can and write every single day!

Narrate your favourite extract from The One You Cannot Have.
Jealousy is a strange monster. It gobbles up relationships without leaving a trace, only vileness so foul the stench permeates forever, staining the very soul.

Ever since the time Rishabh has read those mails exchanged between Aman and me, he has definitely changed towards me.

Gone is the easy camaraderie and fun that used to be the hallmark of our relationship. It is now replace by a terse coldness and measured responses to everything he says to me.

I do not know what to do to make him feel better. I feel miserable about it. Is it so important for him to have known all my relationships before marriage? (Actually I have had only Aman). Or is the fact that I slept with Aman haunting him?

I wish he would open up and rave and rant and shout out whatever is bothering him. I wish he would just express his anger instead of bottling it up inside. It would help if he got it out of his system.

He comes now from office and he places his laptop bag inside the cupboard and he settles down in front of the television.

‘You remembered to keep the bag inside today,’ I say, trying to lighten the atmosphere, even though I am dying inside at how he is treating me.
‘Yes. I don’t want to inconvenience you in any way,’ he says coldly. I wish he would go back to being the old Rishabh. I ignore what he has said as I want to make peace.

‘Can I get you orange juice?’ I ask. ‘No thanks. I am okay,’ he says.
I sit next to him and put his hand over my shoulder. He yanks it back like my touch has given him an electric shock and says ‘Just leave me alone Shruti.’

‘Please Rishabh. Don’t be like this. Come on. It isn’t that I did something behind your back. Please let go. It was two years ago,’ I plead. ‘How do I know,’ he says and each of those words stings like a sharp slap.
The trust is gone now.
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