Love turns up, taking seven easy steps. Towards and away, wandering in its own light.
She and he live on the shores of different seas. They meet one evening on her shore, Goa. All flows easy in the cover of night. Then life and love make other plans, drifting together and apart.
A decade lapses. She and he will meet again, another evening by her sea.
Love in Seven Easy Steps is a novella in prose poetry that celebrates the ways in which love charms, defies and lingers in us.
RESPONSES TO THE BOOK:
Gayathri Prabhu’s lyrical new work seeks a language that can bridge the mercurial shifts of inner weather with the natural cycles of season and tide. It explores those places where the arc of personal passion might turn into ‘poetry in yaman’; where the details of an intimate love story — ‘vagaries of mother, shenanigans of cat, shapes of mountains’ – might meld with the monochromatic eloquence of old movies, or the classicism of raga. Fluid, cinematic and gently spare, this contemplation on a very singular love unspools into an ancient song of heartbeat, heartbreak and heartsease.
– Arundhathi Subramaniam, author of twelve books of poetry and prose, winner of the Khushwant Singh Prize, the Raza Award for Poetry, the Zen Women’s Award for Literature, the International Piero Bigongiari Prize in Italy, among others.
“I played truant to read Gayathri Prabhu’s luminous, and poignant new book. I would do it again – push away all other obligatory reading to treat myself to Gayathri’s work. Not sorry at all.
Love in Seven Easy Steps is a tender story with quite unforgettable lines. Just for starters:
An infant moon unsheathes.
It is never too late to walk on a beach.
The heist of night had been her heart.
The earth tilted this dawn, my daughter, and in the melting moon, I saw a glimmer of sun. Sigh.
I was so drawn to the tension between the lovers created by apartness and uncertainty and even departures that were so final, lasting only long enough before the author reeled them back to the Verdigris aquamarine sea to finish the slow tango they are dancing.
Gayathri Prabhu’s novella is a delightfully slow love story unfolding. The spaces between each section begets silences – the silence that pays tribute, the silence that acknowledges brilliance, the silence that is pregnant with thoughts that the book engenders.”
– Easterine Kire, poet and author, winner of literary accolades such as The Hindu Literary Prize, Free Voice Award by Catalan PEN Barcelona, Governor’s Medal for excellence in Naga Literature, Tata Literature Live! Book of the Year Award.
“This is a treat, a marvel, an impassioned story to read and re-read. Vivid, irresistible lines, so perfectly cadenced, form a book as layered and flowing and lasting as the finest of poems. Love in Seven Easy Steps evokes the very essence of a relationship, intimately sharing the intense images and deep feelings that love sets pulsing and resonating through time. Gayathri Prabhu has composed nothing less than the By Grand Central Station I Sat Down and Wept the 21st century has been waiting for.”
– Kevin MacNeil, novelist, screenwriter, poet, playwright, lecturer in creative writing at the University of Stirling, Scotland, and winner of Tivoli Europa Giovani Internatinoal Prize Prize.
Love in Seven Easy Steps is many things, but first a remarkable seismograph of the desirous heart(s), one that records – with unflinching attention – its elisions, uncertainties, accelerations and pauses. Form and narrative act together, in every way, as electrocardiograms that chart the meanderings, the arrhythmia, the elusive harmony sought by the subject, the heart which can be noun, adjective, adverb and verb. Gayathri Prabhu reminds us how the minutest details can capture the loving heart’s attention, and be revisited again and again, how the loved one never really becomes the past tense.
– Karthika Nair, poet, author, dance producer/curator, and winner of the Tata Literature Live! Award
Gayathri Prabhu is a literary voice simultaneously quiet and unquiet. This cross-genre narrative is full of heart and intricate detail. A vivid love story.
– Annie Zaidi, author and filmmaker, winner of the Nine Dots Prize, Prakriti Prize for Poetry, BBC International Radio Playwriting Competition, The Hindu Playwright Award.
“The novella effortlessly holds its readers till the very last page. It could be easily read in one sitting, but then, there is a longing to go back to it again. It moves like a play, where curtains of different colours drop on an elongated stage of life, gently and effectively entering various settings, moods and sounds.” – Diptoroop Banerjee in Reading Room Co. https://www.readingroomco.com/2021/03/04/gayatri-prabhus-love-in-seven-easy-steps-a-review/
“A sensory read that evokes the qualities of sound, taste, and smell, this book will help calm your mind – its carefully penned sentences acting as a balm on your soul. Her vivid and lyrical descriptions zero-in on the minutiae of the present.” – Sukhaja on Bookish Bulletin. https://www.instagram.com/p/CL1Ns5jgodS/
“Her chapters — steps — are short, a few lines long, disappearing when you yearn for more. But perhaps their brevity adds to the beauty.” – Cris in The News Minute. https://www.thenewsminute.com/article/falling-love-often-easier-claiming-it-author-gayathri-prabhu-intv-145329