Love in Seven Easy Steps

A novella by Gayathri Prabhu

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.

About the Author

Gayathri Prabhu is the author of a memoir, four novels and a study of cinema. She lives between the Western Ghats and the Arabian Sea.

Formats: Hardback and Kindle E-book

Published: 18 February 2021

Book Trailer for Love in Seven Easy Steps


“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.


Shortlisted for Publishing Next 2022 Cover of the Year (English) Award

Press and Bookstagram Reviews

“Poetry begins before the first chapter. In the content page listed step by step, word by word. They all end in seven, the steps and the words under it. “If this be love, it will breathe in a poem” is a line hanging mid-page all by itself before Step 1 – ‘Counting Breath’, the first section of the book begins.”

– Cris, The News Minute

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“Like the sand-kissed damp sea breeze of Goa,  Love in Seven Easy Steps, Gayathri Prabhu’s latest novella, spins the essence of a refreshing poetic journey of two lovers who meet, fall in love, part ways and meet again a decade later. The novella moves gracefully across various emotions and states that exist in love, which gets expressed in various colours and smell.”

– Diptoroop Banerjee, Reading Room Co.

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