The idea

Love, they say, is an emotional high that doesn’t care much about logic. We are all capable of this form of love that has all the DNA of innocuous abstractness floating in it… and yet it is love alone that makes the human mind read between the lines, link up all the logical bits scattered around, and then take cold and calculated steps to either dive into the pool of absolute submission or shrewdly place a devastating scintilla that grows into an engulfing conflagration! This story will meander into a mind that has loved and then plotted to kill that love.

Sujata and Gingko are the ones who meet and catch this fever called love… and stumble into moments where they discover all the uplifting thermals that this emotion is capable of. Sujata is a microbiologist who has chosen to be a food blogger and Gingko is a poet who has chosen to be a scientist. His lab in Pusa complex is where he meets Agni, another scientist who actually wanted to paint and read literature. The chemical reactions in the lab result in tell-tale fumes that travel through the dense traffic of Delhi right into the heart of a hotel where Sujata is busy discussing wine and food pairing with Magi Singh, the famous sommelier and writer.

Sujata’s anguish makes Magi tell her of all the arsenic that spurts out when vitamin C gets to play around with shrimps or prawns! This story is about all the emotional debate that goes on in the mind of Sujata when all these potentially explosive elements come together.

What really happens… and how everything happens is what you get to know only when you read the story.

What makes the story ‘real’

Real people, real aspirations, real dialogues, and real facts come together only in real stories… or those that have either happened with almost similar parameters or have the potential to get into real-life characters without causing any alarm to the sanity synapses in a conventional mind.

The entry of another woman in a married couple’s life is real. The dilemmas that enter the subliminal spaces of people involved in such sizzling situations is equally real. The fact that you now want to read the extract and pounce upon some juicy bits of this story is also real!


Magi seemed to have read her mind well. ‘You’re not thinking about prawns at all right now,’ he said. 

‘Prawns?’ she whispered, as if she had heard this word for the first time, and then mechanically she took a sip of the delicious Sauvignon Blanc in her glass and was miraculously brought back into the real world, ‘yes, prawns. I had read somewhere that prawn shells can result in allergic reactions.’ 

‘Not just allergy. Prawns can poison too,’ said Magi, ‘but first you need to tell me what it is that is bothering you.’



This is my entry for the HarperCollins–IndiBlogger Get Published contest, which is run with inputs from Yashodhara Lal and HarperCollins India.


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Arvind Passey
23 January 2013