My Warmest Sorrow by Preethi Venugopala

Something Old, Something New
– A DRA Production

Seven bestselling authors. 
Seven incredible second chance romances. 
One epic anthology. 

What would you do for another chance with the one you love? 

Something Old, Something New – a unique novella anthology – tries to answer this question with fantastic, different, desi dramas. 

Whether it is shapeshifters or shifting interracial relationships, single moms in small towns or rich alpha heroes, friends-to-lovers or passionate ex-husbands; this anthology has something for everyone. 

Something Old, Something New explores the many different facets of love, forgiveness, fated mates and more in seven, distinctly Indian tales!

My Warmest Sorrow by Preethi Venugopala

What would you do when you come face to face with your past? 

When Ajay, now an IAS officer, is added into his college WhatsApp group, he is welcomed warmly by all his classmates. Except by Diana.

Diana is still living with the repercussions of what had happened in the past. She is thrown into despair by Ajay’s presence in the group. 

Diana and Ajay were inseparable while in college. Their relationship had transitioned from being best friends to love overnight. But then fate had intervened in the form of Diana’s tyrant father who had separated them ruthlessly. 

Five years of silence has created a wall of sorrow between them. Their interactions in the class WhatsApp group are nothing like what they once used to be. Every moment is churning out more anguish and unpleasantness.

How much have they changed?

Is love still hiding underneath their public facades?

What are the lies they are hiding?

Read an Excerpt from My Warmest Sorrow

Diana had been online for the last hour. I had checked her last seen almost every hour obsessively. But she had gone offline without even writing a welcome message in the group. I had, in fact, hoped that she might send me a personal message. I felt crushed. No reaction from her even after reading about Anjali. Married life had certainly changed her. 

  I don’t know if meeting Avinash at the Delhi airport had been a stroke of good luck or bad luck. We had talked for just five minutes, but we had exchanged numbers. The next thing I know, I was added to the class WhatsApp group. My first instinct had been to quit. For sure, I would not be able to spend time chatting with friends once I joined work. I would be inundated with work. But the enthusiastic welcome of my former classmates and the humongous yearning to hear from Diana had made me stay put. 

Even hours after I joined, Diana hadn’t come online. Why I had saved her profile picture, I have no idea. Perhaps, old habits die hard. I still treasured all the pictures of us together. Even after I had decided to let go of the past and chase a happy, unappealing future, I couldn’t get myself to part with her photos. They were safe and secure in my cupboard at home in an album hidden at the bottom of an old trunk. Whenever memories came to haunt, I would pull out the old trunk and immerse myself in those memories. I wished I could do the same now. But here, in Mussoorie, where my training was coming to an end, all I owned were books and clothes. 

I turned to WhatsApp again and reread the one paragraph Ashima had written about Diana. To my dismay, she hadn’t mentioned if she had any kids yet. The only info was that she was now settled in Bangalore and worked in an international structural design firm. 

Bangalore! Was God being ruthless by throwing me again into her path? My first appointment after training was to be in Bangalore as SDM. 

At the time when I put down my options, it had seemed like a neutral place. I had not given Kerala as my first option because I didn’t want to run into old acquaintances, especially, I didn’t want to be anywhere near Diana. It had taken me years to forget her betrayal. 

I had quit my job and travelled the world after working for a year, looking for solace in strange places and people. I hadn’t even called home or kept in touch with my family regularly. But they knew, especially my mother, that I needed that break. After a quick trip through Europe, I had finally settled in Bali for a while. It was during that time that I began dreaming of becoming an IAS officer. I had become friends with a Malayalee IFS officer, Rajneesh, who worked at the Indian embassy there. Like me, he had been a civil engineer and he had become my guide. My initial aim was to take IFS and settle away from India. India still held painful memories. But when the results of the Civil Services examinations came, I was among the top 100 in the country. When he questioned my reluctance about taking IAS, I had told him the reason.

“Don’t let the past become your burden. It has already happened, right? Let it go. Build a bright future instead by accepting what God has bestowed on you. IAS is a dream not many achieve,” he had said.

From then on, I had begun to consciously give attention to my present and future instead of a long-gone past that carried along with it nothing but pain. Even though the urge to dig for information about Diana or search for her presence on social media raised its neck quite often, I forced myself to not to surrender to the need. 

About the Author:

Preethi Venugopala stepped into the world of words during a sabbatical from her hectic civil engineering job after the birth of her son. She began as a blogger and wrote fiction to pass time. Her debut novel ‘Without You’ came out in 2015 and was received well. She was then mentored by eminent author Anita Nair at her writing platform ‘Anitas Attic’ in 2016. Since then, she has published 7 novels on Amazon and more than 15 short stories in various anthologies and platforms.

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