Posted: 19 May 2016 at 4:37am | IP Logged
Originally posted by CogitoErgoSumHey Nyna
Will be back for a detailed Un res as soon as I can, my dear.
Nynu...what a delicious, lip smacking, delectable treat this SS is turning out to be.
And before I write about the plot and your writing (stellar), let me deviate into some of the details which struck me when I started reading this fic. Somehow, for me, apart from the meta narrative, little nuances do matter (perhaps its my mild OCD ), and I just loved the way your SS title as well as the chapter titles fit into your central theme---your love for a good warm cup of coffee.
"Sweet Deals"--wow, sweet indeed. As a name for a coffee place, this even trumps "Central Perk" from Friends. And then we have the chapters: "Life begins after coffee", "Dark Chocolate", "Sweet as Honey", and "Sugar Glass".
I must confess, I'm not much of a coffee person, more of an adrak-elaichi chai kinda gal. The only coffee I drink is when a good cuppa of tea is absolutely impossible to come by, and then it is a Hazelnut Mocha or a Caramel Latte. I know, I know, as a coffee aficionado you must be rolling your eyes at me (My Hubby does all the time. ) But yes, oh yes, cinnamon is amazing.
I love the subtle wit that threads its way through a lot of your writing---in the foreword itself, we had you saying that you wake up on some days just for coffee (I feel the same way for my masala chai. ) Chocolates (Toblerone, Guylian, Ferrero Rocher and Cote D'Or) are passions of mine, too. As are SwaSan, cookies and conversations...all combined, you had me hooked from the foreword itself!
As I mentioned in our PM exchange, I just loved the pace and tempo which you set in SwaSan's evolving dynamic. Right from their first meeting, the slight initial friction between them, settling to them both contemplating the other with interest and a small frisson of attraction, the note Sanskaar left for her, Swara's instinctive response, it was all so well done. I could almost see this happening in front of my eyes, and it made for a very warm, lovely picture.
I am not much of a believer in "love at first sight", I do think that there are people who are meant to be together, but that bond takes time to bloom into all its lovely glory. Kudos to you for giving SwaSan the time to explore what they felt for each other, their interest in each other growing into a lovely friendship and a warm camaraderie, their conversations filling their hearts with contentment and joy, and them finding peace and togetherness even in their companionable silences. That's what comfort and love is all about isn't it? Not just excitement and heart racing, knee shaking desire. But warmth, comfort and a feeling of being at home with the person, no matter what.
That small moment you described, of Swara looking into Sanskaar's eyes, and flushing at the intense ardor in them, a little nervous at the longing flaring in her own heart, was so lovely. Attraction distilled into a lovely moment there, with intense yet subtle writing.
And like I said before, I loved how you described the way Ragini was so very protective of Swara. I felt all warm and happy reading about the bond between the siblings---reminded me of my own very close bond with my brother. After all these years, I am still his "gudiya". The way a protective Ragini suspiciously perused Sanskaar was really fun!
And then of course, the masterstroke which departed from the serial---the genuine, heartfelt friendship between Sanskaar and Ragini. With their common interests (foremost being Swara!) being the bulwark of this friendship. Loved the way Ragini gave her blessings, as it were, for Sanskaar to take his relationship forward with her sister.
The way the wounds of Swara's past came out---the trigger which pushed her to break down the walls she had erected around her heart, and finally confide all in Sanskaar, was well done. The gift Sanskaar brought back with him from Kolkata, evoking some very tender yet painful memories, the longing for her mother.
And then the whole story came tumbling out--Swara's girlish infatuation for the rather self centered, narcissistic Bipul Kumar. You know, for a moment there, I wondered if Bipul was just a name Lakshya had used as an alias, but perhaps I was barking up the wrong tree there. And I was wondering what was the deal with Anjan Gupta---you'd mentioned there about how Swara was captivated by his playing. That doubt got cleared yesterday night, with Chapter 4.
I liked the way you've inverted the serial portrayal of SwaSan's pasts in a way, with significant variations, of course. Swara is the one who emerged disillusioned and battered by a doomed infatuation (which she thought was love). And Sanskaar, while he too was infatuated with Kavita for a while, shook it off as he realized what he'd felt was a juvenile, callow fascination with a person who never deeply reciprocated, either.
That kiss SwaSan shared after Swara opened up to him was, for want of a better word, magical. As warm and fulfiling and flavorful as a hot cup of masala chai. Swara registered so many things huh? The way he tasted, his fragrance...yeh toh gayi!
Sanskaar comes across as such a grounded, clued in, mature dude. He knows he loves Swara, wants her with every fibre of his being. But he doesn't want to rush her, he understands she needs time to come to terms with her feelings. The advice he gave Ragini about opening up to family and close friends, about giving them a chance to address the misconceptions they might have, was so mature. One never knows, they might not react the way one fears they would.
So now we have Ragini about to confess something to Swara. I think this has something to do with Lakshya. Would he be related to Sanskaar in this fic? I think he must be, Sanskaar does mention his 2 male cousins, sons of his bade papa. So Lakshya it is huh? I just hope my earlier fear (that he used Bipul Kumar as an alias) turns out to be incorrect.
And oh yes--before I forget, I loved that witty little bit about how Sanskaar wanted to kick himself but lacked the yogic flexibility to do so!
Waiting eagerly for the next chapter, Nyna my dear!
Loads of Love
Firstly, welcome back - been a long time and I missed you. Secondly, that was such a detailed comment, which left me on top of world and delirious with joy, and while reading the comment I wanted to go back and read my own story, you have managed to shed such a different but lovely light over it and I never thought my story could be nice till I read your take on it. For that I am truly humbled and touched, thank you so much. Chapter titles - I have a fetish for them. When I read books, I always love those with chapter titles a teeny weeny bit more than those without (though a bad story with good titles would never be remembered for the title names). So when I started writing, I found that actually giving a chapter name helped me set the tone of the chapter better. I do spend a significant time on the titles (it has to feel right) so it is nice that you noted and loved them. So you are an adrak- elaichi chai person (we did have a similar conversation on one thread - I cannot recall right now, will get back when I do) but at least you do brave a cup of coffee (we will let it rest at that). I cannot - it is either coffee or nothing, believe me, I would prefer a cup of coffee which in reality is ''just rinse' water of an empty coffee pot to a cup of tea. And cinnamon, not too sure of how it would taste in tea, but coffee with a hint of cinnamon sugar, pure bliss. And waking up to coffee /
chai - some days are so depressing and then you think coffee and I am like - well, there is always coffee (Bottle up the aroma of coffee and present it to me - heavenly- I could be your slave for life )
Love at first sight - I am not sure of that either - it would be an electrifying attraction which would need some time to develop into love. My guess is that the people who talk about love at first sight, are those lucky ones whose attraction transformed into a deep love.
And here both Swara and Sanskaar (to some extent) did carry emotional scars from a previous failed relationship. So there was no plausible way to fast track the whole falling in love. And as I often quote, the best things in life are done slowly, and what could be better than falling in love with the person whom you are meant for?
Swara and Ragini - when the serial track started, I did hope it would explore the sibling bond without the expected OTP rivalry or the cliched sacrificial attachment. But then we all are aware as to how they turned Ragini irrevocably evil followed by the illogical redemption and Swara simply forgiving her sister with her perpetual EHMBH jaap. I so hated the sibling bond or lack of it in the serial - in real life, most of the time, your siblings are your best friends, the one who are always there for you, even if you fight or argue most of the time. As you said, we do share wonderful bonds with our siblings, my brother is always my baby brother for me, even though he has a baby of his own now.
Ragini and Sanskaar's friendship was the one thing I wanted the serial to capitalise on - there were so many possibilities which the CVs effectively ruined in favour of melodrama - they both had lovely layers in their characterisations and would have made great friends (you did play a little on this fact, in your tale - Music of the Soul - The Agony and Ecstasy...let me check. Yes, I am back, after reading it all over again, I can just never have enough of it ).
The rasgullas - sometimes it is the small things that we miss the most and have the best memories associated with them, these things are so small that they are not even considered worthy of mention and yet capable of tripping you up.
And then your observation on how I inverted their pasts - that was not intentional but you are so right - it is like I have sorted of mirrored the serial pasts, even the time frame of five years. It never even struck me, which is exactly what I meant in my second line.
The kiss was, as I have been mentioning, the toughest to write - there was a time when I almost gave up, but felt it had to be there, how else would they cross the ''friendship' wala line. Oh! Swara is completely lost, lost in love, though her mind is still holding out - guess a night of dreaming about him helped her memory to register so many things about Sanskaar.
Ragini confessing - no surprises but want you to wait for the chapter(s). I have not changed many characters except for dispensing with Janaki. And your fear regarding Lakshya, sounds interesting. I already have the outline of the next couple of chapters done, but maybe... Yogic dexterity (the Libran vanity in me is pleased - I loved myself for this line too) I am starting to love my story, all because of your beautiful comment.
Edited by Nynaeve - 19 May 2016 at 4:50am