Bookish Witch

In the City of Clouds by Sweta Rani

Book blurb:

15th Century.
Place: Somewhere in Northern India.
A mighty king falls for a common girl, only to realize that she was anything but
common. While fighting the odds and learning their differences, they choose love to write scripts of history. Centuries later, the kingdoms are long gone. But the will to accept challenges survives through a modern story, which is weaved around the
central characters, Hridya and Aarav. They are familiar yet strangers to each other.
From the young streets of college to the history-stricken alleys of an ancient fort,
following the twists and turns of fate, the characters of this book are rallying through memories and time bridges. Their life as students, personal little victories, rebellions of the heart and constant unlearning for self-discoveries braids their story of lost and found. Walking through every stage in their life, they wander in the city of clouds, while finding suns, will they reinstate clarity? Will Hridya be able to fight Aarav who endangers her alleged heart? After crossing a wall of time, will Aarav’s choices repeat history? Is a tale from centuries past returning in the form of modern love?

Genre: Fiction/Romance Drama

Pages: 252

Format: Kindle eBook/Paperback


  • Kindle eBook: 49 INR/$2.99
  • Paperback: 249 INR/$15.99

My Ratings: 4/5

Hridya is someone who has been led to believe that she’s never good enough. Despite an inferiority complex deeply ingrained in her personality, she grows to be a beautiful and successful woman. While struggling, surviving, and enjoying her college life, she even finds herself a secret admirer, who later becomes one of her closest friends. But, will her identity crisis and beliefs allow Hridya to consider her feelings to be beyond just friendship?

Book cover taken from Amazon

A love that stands the test of time and fate.

What I liked about the book:
-> It tells the story of a girl who is a typical Indian girl in a rat race to become the best because. Why? Because her father expects and demands so. She’s a girl just like any of us, whose mind goes through a lot of ifs and buts.
-> The depiction of college life that made me remember my own teens and campus days.
-> The way the past and present generations have been interwoven in a distinct yet similar manner.
-> The character of Aarav and how he struggles to be a part of his family wherein he feels thoroughly misplaced.
-> The dance sequence/performance by Hridya and the way it has been described.

What I did not like about the book:
-> Some of the scenes and chapters felt unnecessary and dragged.
-> Hridya’s character comes off as selfish and frustrating at many points in the story.

Quotable quotes:

-> There are some moments that cannot form a part of reality, but they still play with the nerves of our minds and still try to corrupt the unarmed heart. They form unforgettable dreams and create the most uncomfortable sleep from which one wakes up becoming fragile overnight. In size and span, they might be small, but when played again and again in the circle of memories, they almost redeem themselves as an invincible and lasting thought, that stays, always, like glue.
-> It is always required, howsoever calm one tries to be, to make efforts for the heart not to get affected by the uncertainties.
-> In a country of more than a billion people where there are different and several types of system framing the socio-economic mindset of a citizen, the topmost priority is usually given to financial security.
-> A question asked in a primary school regarding a dream job may strike a number of answers, almost all unique. But as we grow and reach the gateway of our school where we are supposed to take a leap beyond our family into an unpredictable, precarious world, answers get limited to one or two, preferably engineering and medical services.
Dreams get customized and result in storming competition in which, every year, a number of lives are changed, some as planned and some, unexpectedly.
-> Time sometimes testify patience. It not only plays with eagerness, but it also rather competes with it.
-> No stone should be left unturned when it came to putting your efforts in something that was going to change the course of your life. Whatever be the result, it’s okay. Whether or not any stone was left was not a left was not a decision to make at that time.
-> Praise infects an artist.
-> Everyone is bound by stories, the story of their lives, and the stories of others.
-> Failures are designed ftake the plunge and awaken the best in us.
-> It is all about time. Things happen at their own time when they have to. No matter how much we write or whatever we write, unless we have readers in the same sync, we won’t be successful in this field. So I guess, good writers, bad writers and average writers are just the contemplation of collective readers and it’s not really about their quality of writing or choice of language.
-> If in this material world, the issue of pass or fail, more marks or less are nothing but a delusion, life could have been easier.
-> Hmmmm is actually equivalent to human buffering.
-> Sometimes, we don’t want to know the unknown. Sometimes, there is a pleasure in being ignorant because we fear that our imagination, our guesses, our act of construing random thoughts, the drama of our life would end.
-> Silence works well in situations when you want to hear more. Say nothing. The person in front will.
-> When questions are answered with questions, issues at hand often need long, detailed explanations.
-> Love, care, compassion are some delusive concepts whose charm fade away with time.
-> Every Why opens up a new episode, ending with many revelations and despite the fact that the answers are not completely satisfactory, these revelations offer a little help in analyzing difficult things, which looked big at the first place.
-> Whenever a joke is cracked in a group, laughs are based on various factors. Some laugh because others are, some because they really find it funny and some could only giggle in a confusion that whether they should laugh more or not.
-> They can easily relegate, easily delegate and easily instigate a woman who is the product of years of sexism and objectification. The worst part is that most of the people around us don’t even get it when they are actually participating in such acts, which might be hurting their women. Or maybe they do not care.
-> Marrying someone you know is less frightening than getting hitched to a complete stranger even when there are multiple doubts needling your heart.
-> Emotions and their quantity within a person is finite. One cannot spend more than that. Every emotion has its claimer and it can only be rightfully showered if it meets that person, else, it is compromised and once it does, it cannot be repaired.
-> Generation gap, it works in reverse gear.
-> There are times when moments look like a rain dance, when they bloom like an imperishable flower in our memory soil, filling our hearts with fragrance forever, healing our bruises from time to time. They are usually short-lived, but even after they are long gone, they often appear as a breath of fresh air, taking us back to when the moment was alive. Clinging to such moments, one finds solace during hard times.
-> A small detail from a moment undead has the power to wake up every sleeping cell of nostalgia, that prickles until we accept the fact that it’s all in the past and maybe, we should not trust the sudden reappearance of feelings. But it’s just a theory.
-> Most of the times, we believe what we want to believe, even if reality places itself like a mirror.
-> It is all about acceptance and making decisions. Accepting that our heart has made ties without our notice and deciding to allow its defiance. When we actually stop fighting it, we realize its power to transform a person from an indecisive, irrational, fearing naïve to a dauntless explorer, soaring into the sky full of clouds, in a hope that a thousand splendid suns are waiting for the arrival of the brightest day.
-> When we make decisions to prove a point that would affect someone whose attention is our ultimate reward, such decisions enormously affect someone about whom we might not be even thinking.
-> Life is about loving, leaving and loving again for living.
-> Monarchy always has a way even when it is non-existent.
-> Emotions are built on memories, with passing years, as memories fade away, emotions too depart, only to give way to new ones.
-> Sometimes, we are lost only because we have no idea what are we finding. We don’t even realize that we were completely adrift until we find that thing.
-> The mind is capable of putting thoughts on hold until we can’t escape from its swirls.
-> We might have different forms, different lives, different purpose but the way each of our souls is connected, irrespective of the time or place we belong to, is surreal. It could not be felt until felt.
-> if someone is speaking at length, without giving a chance to the other person, it means they have come to only speak.
-> If you have these three attributes, success would never shy away—grit, intuition and ability to take timely course actions.
-> Just love that has a history of faded moments, and is on the test of time, wouldn’t be enough for you two to summon upon a future, if at all there is one.
-> Time is the greatest teacher, but if pupils are unwilling to learn, ask yourself whether the traditions would really get impaired if someone wants to live life on their own terms?
-> Love only can feed your soul but the belly has its own needs.
-> The right person who had left at the wrong time was now waiting to make things right.
-> The man-made system of leading life with economic and social differences eventually sublime to an egalitarian world where love, respect and freedom to each other pillar the paradigm.
-> Everything that seems inevitable are just the victims of time, that faded with years, except a few things that remain, glued, unmoved.
-> Life can’t be left on the mercy of time because it doesn’t take care of everything.

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2 thoughts on “In the City of Clouds by Sweta Rani”

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