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Review – “Matches Made in Heaven ” by Sundari Venkatraman

Matches made in Heaven by Sundari Venkatraman is a collection of 13 short stories about finding and keeping true love. Short and sweet, these stories give us multiple scenarios where love can happen. Although it may seem that all the stories have women as their central character with the men hovering around, it is actually a balance between the genders that drive the plots.

1. Groomnapped! – A boy, whose parents are more interested in dowry than their son’s happiness, plans his own kidnapping with his best friend as an accomplice, to marry the love of his life. A goof-up leads to the best friend being kidnapped and he falls for the younger sister. Both the guys marry their matches and indeed, love can happen in the strangest of situations. 

2. Beauty is but skin deep – A girl, accused of being dark-skinned by her own father after whom she takes the color, is brought back from being a recluse by the son of her mother’s friend. For some, it is a swan-like heart that matters, even if the face is that of a duckling.

3. An arranged match – A co-incident that brings a one-night stand couple together, that too arranged by their parents!

4. Red rose dating agency – Unable to find a date for a nerdy applicant, the owner decides to herself appear as a candidate, only to find out that the guy she presumed to be a nerd is actually a handsome detective sent by her father to check on the authenticity of her endeavor. Needless to say, they hook up.

5. Chahti hoon tumhe – A successful acting career and a bad relationship has kept the girl wary of admirers she gets in loads until she meets a guy who would do anything to protect her.

6. Soulmates – Can love really conquer all? Yes, if it is true. Abused by her father for falling in love with a guy from a different caste, this grandmother welcomes her grand daughter’s choice of a widower with two kids as her life partner, because life is too short to not love.

7. Madeinheaven.com – Harrowed by her parents, a girl puts up her profile on a matrimonial site only to be scooped up by the owner of the website.

8. Rahat mili – Can love pass on over to the next birth? Meeting years apart is a couple, falling in love like in their previous lives. Literally, rahat milk!

9. Reema’s matchmakers – Can love happen twice? Yes, if your first one has left your life, nothing can stop another one entering. A heartwarming story of two single parents meeting by chance and deciding that they are indeed made for each other.

10. The reluctant bride – How long can a wife stay away from the charm of her loving husband? Not long after the girl marries her bestie on the condition of not consummating their marriage, she finds it difficult to stay away from her oh so dear husband. 

11. Shweta ka swayamvar – Seeing that the guy she likes is uninterested in her, the girl decides to opt for a national television broadcast of her swayamvar, only to find her man playing the most ruthless host to her candidates.

12. Pappa’s girl – Nothing can surpass a father’s love for her daughter, even the man she thinks she is in love with. It truly takes a man worth applauding to swoop a girl from under her over-protective pappa’s eyes.

13. Love match for Velan – A mythological love story of the Godchild falling in love despite being married.

All these stories are highly sugar-coated, after all, what is love if it does not make us feel all sugary and sweet. A pattern that I found in multiple stories was that of a feeling, a current being experienced by the characters when they got in touch with their matches physically. It seems like a repetition, something more than this would have been appreciated. A thing that felt good about this book was the variety of scenarios it gives for love stories, some with a social message attached. While reading the stories, I felt that I was into modern-day fairy-tales, but it’s okay, it is a book, and it ought to make the reader happy, even if the plots seem perfectly curated without a hint of any screw-up. Everyone wants a happily ever after, and that’s what these stories give us. The most important of all is that love may or may not happen by chance, but once it happens, it’s existence is undeniable.

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