Tag Archives: The Accidental Wife

A Perfect V Day Gift

Rihaan didn’t get one thing. He looked at Anna. “Can you tell me why everybody is wearing red or pink? Is there some kind of dress code you didn’t tell me about?”

“It’s Valentine’s day, silly.” She laughed giving his shoulder a playful shove.

“Is it?” he muttered under his breath.

“Oh, I’m so sorry! You should be with your wife. It completely slipped my mind!”

His lips drew into a thin line. “Never mind that. Get to the point. Why did you call me here?”

She hesitated, taking a sip of his unfinished drink. “The idea is to make my boyfriend shit in his pants with jealousy. He’s been taking me way too much for granted.”

“Hmm…” Rihaan looked at her, as if seeing her for the first time.

“Will that bother…uh…your wife?” she asked.

“My wife? No, absolutely not. She’s generous to a fault when it comes to matters of philanthropy.”

And while Anna wrinkled her forehead over his statement, he mused; Wonder how it’ll affect Naina if she sees me with Anna right now?

“Dr. Mehta…” Anna began.

“Call me Rihaan.” He grinned. “We’ve certainly been working together long enough for us to be casual with names. So, what did you tell your boyfriend?”

“I told him I was going out with my boss who’s a regular dish. He’s seen you so he knows I’m not lying.” She giggled. “I also texted him this club’s address.”

“You did. And what does he do, this gentleman friend of yours?”

“He’s an amateur boxer and a pretty good one at that.”

Rihaan wondered what mess he’d got himself in.

Right then he heard something which consigned everything else to oblivion. Her voice—Naina’s—as radiant and light as a summer breeze, that his ears were tuned to detect even in the noisiest of clubs. He swung around on his barstool.

Yes, there she was, looking unbelievably fetching in a crochet blush pink shift that admirably complemented her flawless complexion, and with her silky hair knotted casually at the base of her neck. She was sitting at a table, with a few other companions, but his eyes focused on only one, the villain of the piece, her lover, the buffoon who looked even more despicable at close quarters.

“Let’s dance,” Rihaan said, standing up abruptly and forcibly pulling Anna by the arm to the clearing in front of the small stage where the saxophonist had gone into a prolonged, flamboyant solo, egged on by a cheering crowd.

Keeping his mouth close to his partner’s ear, as if carrying on an intimate conversation, he swung deliberately close to where his wife was seated so Anna would brush against her arm. Naina glanced up, and her eyes widened with the shock of recognition. Then, as he looked on, her lovely face flushed red with indignation, including the tip of her pretty little nose. Rihaan felt a wonderful sense of achievement. He inclined his head slightly to acknowledge her presence before swinging away.

But the very next moment he saw her get up and walk away. He gave chase, after hurriedly transferring Anna over to a stocky young man, who’d been glowering silently at them for some time, and whom she nervously addressed as Ricky.

“Why did you leave?” he asked his wife, spotting her on the sidewalk. She looked frantic.

“I was just bored. And tired. It’s been a long day. So now if you’ll excuse me.” She stepped off the curb and waved at a taxi. It whizzed by.

“You left because you saw me dancing with Anna,” he snorted.

She pretended not to hear him and took off down a side street at a brisk pace.

He was equally quick to pursue. “You just couldn’t stomach it. You were hopping mad. Isn’t that right?”

“Why? Why should I feel anything?” she retorted over her shoulder. “You are free to do what you want…dance with whom you like…whenever you want.”

“Am I? But I’m sorry you are not!” he exclaimed, grabbing her arm and holding her back before she could cross the road. “That man…that buffoon whom I saw you invite into your apartment? Who’s he and what’s he doing with you?”

She seemed nonplussed for a moment. “What…? Oh…so that’s why you didn’t show up that night. I’d been wondering. By the way, his name is Farzad and he’s not a buffoon. He’s my mentor at work. A very nice and kind man who happened to let me rent his place for practically nothing, because he rarely gets to use it. He was there to pick up some stuff before leaving on his next tour, and he was so excited since he’d get to see his wife, who is in Cairo. But anyhow, I don’t think I owe you an explanation.” She glared fiercely at him. “When I know that you don’t care about what I do with my life or who I choose to spend it with.”

“I do care.” He gripped both her arms, compelling her to look into his eyes that burned with a flame she’d never encountered before. “I care because you’re my wife and you belong to no one else but me.” He jerked her closer. “Only me.”

And then his lips found hers.

She struggled, but when he didn’t let go, she gave up. Letting out a long relaxed sigh, she wrapped her arms around his neck. Naina leaned into him, keeping her body flush against his. He supported her weight, holding her in a snug embrace, as they continued to kiss while Anita Baker crooned out of hidden speakers on the sidewalk.

Their coming together seemed inevitable.

He whispered into her ear, “We are just two blocks from my place.”

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‘A Tanga Ride’ and an Excerpt from ‘The Accidental Wife’

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It has been more than fifteen years since I left my homeland and as expected the memories have begun to fade. Yet some persist stark and bright reinforced by odors, colors and textures and often bring a whimsical tear to my eye. If I go back now, I doubt my experiences will be similar as I’m older thereby more cynical though I like to think otherwise. Some of these reminisces are irreplaceable and as I don’t trust my brain enough I try to preserve them in my writings. Taking a tanga (horse drawn carriage) ride in Agra or through the streets of Old Delhi is one of them. The following scene in The Accidental Wife illustrates it—

Accidental Wife Book Cover

Then turning to Naina, Rihaan asked, “What now wife?”

She colored, appearing markedly disconcerted and made toward the autorickshaw stand.

He yanked her back. “No, that’s not what I had in mind.”

A few minutes later they were on their way.

“Are you sure you’re okay?” Naina looked at Rihaan, concerned.

“I’m perfectly fine. Couldn’t have asked for anything better.” He let out a contented sigh, allowing his head to sink back into a pillow of fresh straw, and his worn out body to stretch along the length of the traditional tanga. With eyes closed, he inhaled deeply, filling his lungs with a mixture of the sweet hay and horse dung. The jerking rhythm, the clip clop of horse’s hooves, punctuated by the shrill cries of the tangawallah as they made their way through the busy thoroughfare was strangely comforting.

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‘Nothing is Impossible’- Excerpt from ‘The Accidental Wife’

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NYC Skyscrapers. pic credit- Simi K. Rao

The Accidental Wife

Excerpt- Nothing is Impossible.

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How long he walked or how far, he wasn’t aware, just that it was critical for him to keep his body in perpetual motion. When abruptly, amidst an enclosure of several tall shiny buildings, he was forced to come to a standstill. It was as if the looming giants had all ganged up and were hellbent in fencing him in.

Alarmed, he glanced around, searching the faces of his companions, but none appeared to share his uncanny experience. It must be in my head, he thought, closing his eyes and taking in several slow, deep breaths.

Then he looked up warily.

The mammoth structures of concrete and steel, they towered so high it looked as if they were scraping the sky—reflecting man’s eternal quest for the ultimate. And they were all beckoning to him, urging him to join them in their quest. Rihaan responded by drawing his hands out of his pockets, reaching up, craning with every fiber of his being. Yes, if he tried hard enough, he too could touch the sky. Nothing was impossible.

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Accidental Wife Book Cover

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The Visual Writer– NYC

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Atmosphere is everything. Be it television, the big screen, especially a book. Without atmosphere a story is bland and lifeless and Yes, forgettable! My favorite tales are those that provide me with a great audiovisual experience, so I can think and feel just like the characters, even be one among them. And if I get to satisfy my wanderlust, I’ve hit the jackpot!

In my stories I try to treat my readers to a similar kind of experience. In my book ‘The Accidental Wife‘ my protagonist Rihaan lives in the heart of NYC and below are some of the places he frequents— 🙂

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The Amish Grocery Store where Rihaan bought Naina some carnations

DSC_0014One of the streets that leads to Rihaan’s clinic from his apartment

DSC_0060View of the city that Naina sees from top of The Empire State Building

DSC_0146THE NYSE

DSC_0031The Grand Central Terminal-the city’s historical landmark

DSC_0051A very friendly cabbie 🙂

Heroines in Literature and Real Life

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Who is your favorite Heroine? With so many incredible women in literature who are often trailblazers for women in real life, it is hard to choose just one.

Wonder Woman is a name that brings about instant recognition of a strong and strikingly beautiful woman fighting tirelessly for people and causes she believes in. She is devoted to people in need. Perhaps that trait, fierce devotion, is what most captures our admiration for any heroines.

What about favorite heroines of real life? How do they possess the quality of devotion? Mother Terese was fiercely devoted during her life to the sickest, poorest, and shunned of India. Malala is rising today as a heroine who is fiercely devoted to girls and their right to learn. Our own mothers, who show their devotion to their children and husbands every day, are heroines.

Perhaps it is our beloved partner is our dearest hero or heroine. To us, they are Superman or Wonder Woman. They are fiercely devoted to our well-being and will go to extraordinary lengths for our benefit, because they love us.

In turn, how do we show appreciation for this devotion? Hopefully, by being fiercely devoted in return.

Discover Naina in The Accidental Wife. In the beginning she may seem an unlikely heroine, but her devotion will not go unnoticed.

Wonder Woman

http://www.dccomics.com/characters/wonder-woman

Devotion

http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/devotion

 

 Accidental Wife Book Cover

Excerpt from The Accidental Wife:

They satisfied their hunger at an all-night deli before steering toward the overcrowded Times Square.

“Wait!” Rihaan suddenly exclaimed before running inside a small trinket store.

He emerged a few minutes later with a Wonder Woman pin that he fastened to her coat.

“For me?” she exclaimed, nonplussed.

“Yes for you,” he replied softly. “For being so good to me. I hope I can repay you for it all someday. Until then, keep this as a reminder.”

 

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My Interview With Indian Moms Connect

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Recently I had the pleasure of being interviewed by Indian Moms Connect–‘an authentic space for Moms by Moms’ on the web.

I talked to Aarti who had read and reviewed my book ‘The Accidental Wife’ earlier — read it here. 

I was really flattered that she placed it on par with one of her favorite books- ‘The Notebook’ by Nicholas Sparks and also that she thought Ryan Gosling would be a good choice for playing Dr. Rihaan Mehta if the book would see the big screen–sigh (dreams)

We had a great conversation- I read my favorite passage from the book and talked about what inspired me to write it among other things. Click on the link below to listen.

Indian Mom’s Connect Interview

Sensual Spices and an Excerpt from ‘The Accidental Wife’

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It is one thing to prepare food for ourselves because we need to eat. It’s mealtime, we’re hungry, what do we have in the cupboard? But it is a whole different thing to cook a special dish or an entire feast because we want to shower someone we love with a caring gesture. It is a gift of indulgence that nurtures the soul, as well as the body. A home cooked meal that has been specially prepared for us, by someone else, can be one of the ultimate expressions of love.

How do we choose the perfect culinary delight to prepare when cooking for others? We might choose to cook our own favorite recipe or we might choose a selection of our guest’s favorite foods. A shopping trip to pick out fresh, vibrant ingredients is part of the delight. In India the menu might include pakora (a warm fritter), curry, tandoori, naan, or just a simple upma (porridge).

India’s aromatic spices are sprinkled into dishes according to taste, added carefully to lend a personal touch. They have been passed down generations and are known not just to add flavor but also nutritive value to food. Cardamom, cinnamon, cloves, coriander, cumin, and ginger are a few of the earthy spices, and perhaps most sensual in the world, that are found in India. Spices are also available already blended together for ease of cooking (for those cooks who might want to achieve a well-known flavor) such as Garam Masala or Curry.

The fragrant smell of Indian cuisine, with hints of exotic herbs and spices promise to stir emotions deep in our hearts. Pakora and upma are two of the dishes enjoyed in The Accidental Wife.

Want to learn more about Indian Spices? Visit Spices Board India http://www.indianspices.com

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Excerpt from The Accidental Wife:

“Oh My God! I suddenly remembered I am hungry! Have you had breakfast?” she asked, suddenly looking annoyed.

“Breakfast? No. But I don’t have any time.” He peeked at his watch again.

“Please!? Not a speck of grain has entered my stomach since yesterday morning. I will die of hunger, then I won’t be of any use to you at all.” She smiled again before heading toward what Rihaan assumed was the kitchen.

“I can make phataphat upma in just ten minutes!” she said peering at him through the open door frame. “Meanwhile you can relate your troubles to me. C’mon spill it. Don’t be shy!”

Rihaan stepped into the tiny kitchen to find it dwarfed by his lanky frame. Folding wiry arms across his chest, he leaned gingerly against the wall and watched as she went about her task in a haphazard fashion. Her attempts at putting on a show of neatness and method were failing hopelessly.

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‘Indian Elephants and an Excerpt from ‘The Accidental Wife’

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“A king who always cares for the elephants like his own sons is always victorious & will enjoy the friendship of the celestial world after death.” Kautiliya, scholar of Buddhism in India.

Whether it is a colorful figurine, a carved miniature, or a real live titan of an animal, the elephant is revered by many in the Indian culture. Said to be a gentle giant (the largest land mammal on earth), the elephant possesses attributes that humans strive to cultivate in themselves: intelligence, sensitivity, empathy, and self-awareness.

Indian mythology states that the devas (gods) and the asuras (demons) churned the oceans in a search for the elixir of life—amrit (nectar)—in hopes of becoming immortal. Through the churning of the ocean, navratnas (the nine jewels) surfaced, one of which was the elephant.

Reverence for the elephant has also been born from stories of the elephant being chosen as the carriage for Indra (the god of all gods) and visions of white elephants foretelling the birth of Gautam Buddha, in his mother’s dreams before his birth. Ganesha the elephant faced deity and son of Lord Shiva, is the god of wisdom and learning and the remover of obstacles. He is perhaps the most well known symbols of Hindu divinity all across the world.

The Asian elephant, the species that resides in India, has seen its numbers dwindle drastically in the past 15 years. At the turn of the century, nearly 200,000 animals roamed wild; now only 35,000 to 40,000 remain. Elephants are herbivores and eat up to 300 pounds of food a day. Preservation of habitat and eliminating ivory trade are vital aspects to keeping the elephant from extinction.

Elephant mothers are the ultimate example of a nurturing parent: carrying their babies for a gestation period of 22 months, giving birth to 200-pound baby, nursing for two years, then caring for and protecting the young elephant for the next sixteen years.

With so many endearing qualities and a history of cultural significance, the elephant is well deserving of its place of honor in the hearts of many Indians.

http://wwf.panda.org/what_we_do/endangered_species/elephants/asian_elephants/indian_elephant/

http://animals.nationalgeographic.com/animals/mammals/asian-elephant/?source=A-to-Z

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Excerpt from The Accidental Wife:

Inside it, she found some clothes just like the oversized ones hanging in the closet. They were of no interest to her. What caught her eye was a beautiful silk sari, tie-dyed in a rainbow of colors with decorated elephants marching along the borders and tiny shiny mirrors that caught the light and sparkled like diamonds. She flung it around her neck like a shawl and felt deeply comforted by the strong fragrance of sandalwood.

Underneath was a finely inlaid wooden box, inside which on a bed of tissue, lay several glass bangles in red, green and orange tied together with a string. Slipping them over her hands, she wondered if they were a gift from Rihaan. Instinct told her they were, thus filling her with a warm glow.

Trembling with excitement she dug deeper, and at the very bottom, found a large album. She flipped the pages over, only to find random black and white shots, of people and children on the streets. Nothing else. No blissful wedding pictures, in particular no family portraits, as if she’d severed all ties before coming here.

Feeling utterly wretched and frustrated, she tore the bangles from her hands and sank sobbing to the floor.

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YES! I’M NOT FOOLING! 

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“The Accidental Wife is an intriguing tale of best-laid plans gone awry but set straight by the humbling hand of destiny.” —Shobhan Bantwal, best-selling author of The Dowry Bride and other books.

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