If you visit often then you know that when Robyn, from WOW stops by, she has an amazing author to introduce us to. And she is here today with a multi talented and esteemed author, Ms. Mohanalakshmi Rajakumar. Please join me in welcoming our guests to the CMash blog!!
Mohanalakshmi Rajakumar is a writer who has lived in Qatarsince 2005. She has a PhD from the Universityof Floridawith a focus on gender and postcolonial theory. Her dissertation project was published as Haram in the Harem (Peter Lang, 2009) a literary analysis of the works of three Muslim women authors in India, Algeria, and Pakistan. She is the creator and co-editor of five books in the Qatar Narratives series, as well as the Qatari Voices anthology which features essays by Qataris on modern life inDoha (Bloomsbury Qatar Foundation Publishing, 2010). Her research has been published in numerous journals and anthologies.
She was the Associate Editor of Vox, a fashion and lifestyle magazine based in Doha and a winner of the She Writes We Love New Novelists competition. She has been a regular contributor for Variety Arabia, AudioFile Magazine, Explore Qatar, Woman Today, The Woman, Writers and Artists Yearbook, QatarClick, Expat Arrivals, Speak Without Interruption and Qatar Explorer. She hosted two seasons of the Cover to Cover book show on Qatar Foundation Radio.
Currently Mohana is working on a collection of essays related to her experiences as a female South Asian American living in the Arabian Gulf and a novel based inQatar. She believes words can help us understand ourselves and others.
Catch up on her latest via her blog or follow her on Twitter @moha_doha.
Is Love a Choice?
By Mohanalakshmi Rajakumar
A few years ago I was stuck while writing my latest book, Love Comes Later. All the characters were ready; like actors on a stage they were on set, dressed, waiting for the curtain to open.
The problem was, their playwright wasn’t sure what their lines were. I was writing a contemporary novel that had at its core a love story. But I couldn’t figure out how the characters fell in love.
It was all there in my outline: Abdulla is engaged to Hind. Neither of them want to get married. After a chance meeting, Sangita falls in love with her roommate’s fiancé. Made sense.
Except that spark, the chemistry, the magic they throw around in romantic comedies was missing. I knew by the end of Act II or around the middle of the book, they would need to have a big fight to leave the readers wondering what happens next.
But the first part, the falling scene wouldn’t surface.
I started asking people. At toddler birthday parties, I cornered the dads, all nursing beers, evidence of their marital love running riot around us: “How do people fall in love?”
At dinner, with friends who had arranged marriages, I pestered, “When do you think love starts?”
Everyone hemmed and hawed.
“You had a love marriage,” someone said. As in, I, not my parents or family chose my spouse after dating him. “Don’t you know?”
“Our story was so unique,” I said. “I don’t think other people can relate.” My sweetie and I met in the Arabian desert (he’s American, so no, fiction is not imitating life in case you were wondering) and we were ten months later. Not a typical story from which you can extract universal elements of the love machine.
I grew frustrated until I remembered: married people are the worst to talk to about love. We see the commitment and responsibility as a way of connecting, solidifying, stabilizing.
Finally at Thanksgiving a newlywed couple came over and after everyone else had left, they stayed. He sat on the couch, very close to her, and stroked her hair the entire time she talked. The entire time.
I found it creepy and said so to my husband. Who laughed.
“He’s in love,” he said.
I thought back to the way they were sitting on the sofa in our house and something began to stir. Memories of the embers of infatuation that no matter what age can make you do the most nonsensical things. When you can’t get enough of someone. When you feel the attraction, the chemistry, my single friends mentioned right away on their list of necessities in the recipe for love. The spark in the air that makes what you’re wearing, saying, or doing irrelevant.
And that mighty moment, either in a supervised meeting or over days, weeks, months, years, when that spark becomes the flame of attraction, fed by respect, admiration, and trust.
I had my answer. A magnetic connection, yes, in the beginning, to signal a burgeoning of so much more.
How have you fallen in love? Do you think it’s more choice or emotion? Check out the Sangita, Abudlla, Hind love triangle and tell me what you think.
ABOUT THE BOOK
THANKS TO AUTHOR, MOHANA RAJAKUMAR, AND WOW,
I HAVE ONE (1) DIGITAL EDITION (.MOBI OR PDF)
TO GIVE AWAY. OPEN TO ALL.
CLICK HERE TO BRING YOU TO
THE GIVEAWAY ENTRY PAGE.
AUTHOR, MOHANA RAJAKUMAR IS ALSO HOSTING A
GRAND PRIZE GIVE AWAY OF A KINDLE FIRE.
VISIT HER BLOG HERE OR USE RAFFLECOPTER WIDGET BELOW
No items that I receive
are ever sold…they are kept by me,
or given to family and/or friends.