Writing a romance novel isn’t easy — however much simple it sounds. To create the characters that are at once relatable and yet leave room for imagination; To create sub stories that add up to the main plot; To conjure up the magic of ‘love’ even for non-believers. Those who dig into Mills & Boons and now Harlequin romances, will list out the other prerequisites — tall, dark and handsome man, bruised and unhappy; a female who rebuffs him, the inevitable clash of personalities, with love triumphing in the end etc.
All of this somehow gels well with Caucasian or American lovers in Greek, Spanish, French or a Hawaiian island setting.
Transport the setting to India, Shimla for instance, with Twisha Khanna, a travel writer and Alex, a rich scion as the main characters. Twisha and her friend, Bobby are in Shimla, for an assignment. They discover a stack of letters in the house they are staying in. The dreamy nostalgia and the sadness in the letters communicates with the two girls, who set out in search of David and Jasmine.
They meet David soon enough; but Jasmine proves to be elusive. In her pursuit, Alex (grandson of David) and Twisha come to loggerheads, confess their non-believing status in love, but...the story runs on a predictable plane. The story of Twisha and Alex doesn’t hold appeal so much because the characters are not well-etched. Their soul searching is rushed, confusing and a little too artificial. It doesn’t speak of the tenderness with which David still thinks of Jasmine.
Thus the author has succeeded in creating an old world romance through the letters; but somehow her writing doesn’t come up to scratch when she is writing romantic scenarios for the present-day lovers. All in all, For the Sake of Love could be a decent read, if you are dreaming of a stranger, on a rainy afternoon.