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All That Matters — by Nidhi Srivastava, Srilakshmi

Publisher: Half Baked Beans
Pages: 117
Price: Rs. 245 INR(Paperback), Rs. 63 INR (Kindle Edition)
Buy here: https://amzn.to/3aid79j

All it took for two lives to intertwine was grief. Kaveri and Ananya are two estranged cousins, who are separated by their conflicting personalities and lifestyle. While Kaveri is a shy nineteen-year-old keen on music, Ananya is an ambitious content writer trying to work her way up to the top. Kaveri and Ananya move to Mumbai. Kaveri secretly plots for ways to return to her village Paravat and Ananya tries to move on. Their chaotic life takes a strange turn, when they come across two men, Aryan and Lakshay. When Kaveri begins to temporarily work in a music store, she experiences love, friendship and a burning passion to pursue music. Ananya falls in love with Lakshay, a Squadron leader, who provides her with a sense of security and confidence, which she never felt before. Will they find love and acceptance, before it’s too late?

About the authors:

Nidhi Srivastava works as a Senior Research Analyst in the KPO sector, holding a Master’s in Biotechnology degree. She hails from the Pittsburgh of India – Jamshedpur (Jharkhand). With the experience in market research, she continued to chase her passion – Writing. She has been associated with book clubs and has made substantial contribution in writing anthology and poems. She has been an avid reader, taking up the Goodreads Challenge every year. She believes in the motto – Life is a journey, where we meet stories of every turn. With passion of reading and writing, she also holds a Diploma in Fine Arts. You can reach her at nidhantrika@gmail.com or Instagram: @nidhantrika

Srilakshmi U Sirurmath, 20, is currently pursuing her bachelors in R.V. College of R.V.College of Engineering, while simultaneously honing her writing skills. Her desire to create stories can be traced back to childhood , when she traumatized the children around her into enacting her make-believes. Socially awkward and an introvert, she finds solace in expressing herself through her writings. She most instinctively writes stories which dwell upon the complexities of human emotions. Like Mr Ollivander said, “The wand chooses the wizard, Mr. Potter.”, she believes that stories choose their writers as well. She actively posts poems and short write ups on her Instagram page: https://www.instagram.com/srilakshmisirur/ . You can reach to her on shreelakshmi1619@gmail.com

My take on the book:

Kaveri a nineteen-year-old young girl, resident of a small village Paravat is devastated by the sudden death of her mother. Her brother has long left home after a silly tiff with her mother, so was her father who abandoned them in search of his passion for music. Though her close friend Pavitra and family want her to stay back with them, Kaveri decides to move to Mumbai to stay with her cousin Ananya on request of her aunt. Ananya has also recently moved there, nursing her own heart break with her college sweetheart Samrat, who dumped her for no apparent reason.

Kaveri’s only hope for future in the city is her love for music that she believes she inherited from her Baba. Ananya gets in touch with Lakshya through a dating app because of her friends while Kaveri meets Aryan when she goes in search of job at a music store. Where does destiny lead these four and will their lives inter-twine forms the rest of the story.

The story traces a simple but touching journey of two girls who are strikingly different personalities – one from rural and other from urban background, each fighting their own insecurities but would never give up. The story gives out a beautiful message of how life is about the journey and not about the interim incidents that might give us happiness or sorrow. Kaveri’s character is the highlight of the story, with her enigmatic approach to life, her poetry, her understanding of life and the facades she is fine putting up everyday.

The different layers of Kaveri keep coming out as the story progresses, however, this is where Ananya fails to impress the reader, as the story does not go beyond her heartache and love life. For a debut and being a co-author project, both the authors did a fabulous job in building a story around women friendship and two young girls finding themselves amidst the chaos of life. A little better editing of Ananya’s story could have done wonders. Pick this one to read an emotional story of two young girls and their journey towards womenhood.

My rating: