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Milan (A Wedding Story) Chap 7: Sugar and Spice

MIlan cover 1

Chapter 6

“Mili!.. You can’t do this. You can’t just run away and leave me high and dry!” Ahaan complained aloud when after searching up and down several narrow streets of the small hillside town, he came upon her standing casually at a relatively large crossroad.

She didn’t say a word, nor did she look at him.

He smiled, understanding the cause of her irritation–herself, and decided not to pursue the topic any further. “Lunch? I’m sure we can agree on that.”

She glanced up at him. He had uttered the right words. “Fine. Where do you wish to go?”

“Hmmm…” He glanced at his watch, “I think La Belle Vie is 15 minutes or so from here. Sid recommends it. Shall we give it a try?”

“Have you made reservations?”

“No. Anyway we should be able to get in. Don’t expect much of a crowd on a weekday.”

“OMG Ahaan! Are you out of your mind? No reservations means no food.” Mili exclaimed. “They won’t even let you hang outside and wait for a table. Annie and I made the same mistake last week and were turned away very rudely!”

Ahaan frowned irritably. “Then the only option left is the Taj…”

“Which is at least 2 miles uphill…”

He let out a frustrated sigh.

“We could certainly go home…Ramu kaka could whip up some…”

‘No way, Mili! I’d rather go hungry,” Ahaan interjected vehemently, “not that I have anything against Ramu kaka…”

Mili smiled,  observing him as he cast his eyes into the distance with arms folded across his chest in feigned nonchalance. His earnestness to spend time alone with her was sweet to behold.

“Then there is only one way out. I know of the perfect place where the food is great and there is no wait whatsoever!”

“Then why didn’t Sid tell me about it?”

“Because it’s my little secret and he won’t be caught dead there!”

“Why…? Hey wait up!” Ahaan had to give up on his inquiry, because Mili had already taken off downhill at a fast clip.

`

He flashed a dubious glance at her when she led him into a tiny strip mall and his heart sank to the pits of his stomach when she came to a standstill in front of a tiny nondescript mom and pop eatery called Marwari Bhojanalaya (Marwari Food Joint.)

“What the…”

“Hush! No cursing in public!”

“I wasn’t… but this is…” Ahaan’s downcast expression said the rest.

“I know but looks are deceptive. Wait till we get in. Besides I have a terrible craving for Daal Baati (lentil soup with wheat dumplings) and this happens to be the only place in Coonoor that serves it.”

Ahaan looked doubtfully at the sizable crowd which had formed a queue outside, “I thought you said that there’d be no wait…”

“I said right. Follow me.” Milli replied with confidence, then marched calmly ahead. After jostling aside a few annoyed customers, she barged into the joint, where to Ahaan’s surprise, they were immediately directed to a table with a plastic ‘Reserved’ sign.

“You had it all planned!”

His fiance managed to look sheepish but only just, “My cravings started in the morning, plus I didn’t get to eat any breakfast. You gobbled up all the idlis (steamed rice cakes)!”

Ahaan glowered at her while reluctantly taking his seat. All he wanted to do at the moment was to rush outside, but incredible hunger overwhelmed his instincts and the aroma in the place fanned it even further. His hopes for a romantic  tête-à-tête were completely destroyed for not only was the tiny tavern packed to the gills with noisy customers but their table was also situated in the dead center of the room. He wondered what had caused Mili to bring him over here. Was she afraid to be alone with him?

“Eat your food. You have been frowning at your plate for the past 5 minutes.”

He woke up from his unhappy reverie to discover Mili beaming at him while slurping the thick yellow daal (lentil soup) from a katori  (small bowl). She appeared ecstatic, floating in some kind of culinary paradise and the vision brought an indulgent smile to his lips.

You lose some, but then you also gain a lot.

He chose to indulge her, but no sooner had he placed a sampling of the spicy wheat baati (dumpling) in his mouth that they were inundated by a flood… a flood of people—the same ones who had been staring unabashedly at them for sometime. Perhaps they had been biding their time, waiting for the appropriate moment.

Mr. Sundaram, in a starched white shirt and dhoti, ventured to be the initial player. First he asked Mili to be introduced to the young man who was accompanying her. Then turning to Ahaan with a bright smile, he volleyed at him a barrage of queries about his life in the capital, his father’s death, his job (including his experiences in dealing with foreign governments,) so on and so forth.

Ahaan, to his credit maintained his cool, and replied in the most succinct and businesslike manner. But matters didn’t end there, for Mr. S was followed by Mr. M, who was followed by Mr. L, then Mrs. V, all wanting to know the exact same information. Ahaan had never been interrogated by so many people before. Soon he was assailed by profound claustrophobia.

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Announcing my New Blog @momspresso

Hello readers,

In order to take my stories to a wider audience, I’m expanding my footprint. I’m spreading my wings so to speak 🙂

I’ve started writing a new blog @Momspresso — a platform that provides content for multifaceted woman of today (in their own words). I’d like you my dear readers to also be able to read the wonderful content offered there. So please visit their site and while at it kindly check out and follow my New Blog @momspresso. Thank you and keep reading!

Musafir #Descanso Gardens

 

Musafir (the heart is a traveler) recommends– Descanso Gardens 🙂

DG is a 150 acre botanical garden located in La Canada Flintridge. It’s an ocean of peace in the concrete jungle called LA. Do check it out to reconnect with yourself once done with the maddening sensory overkill of Hollywood. Besides the usual trappings it has two unusual vertical gardens or green walls (a technique to grow plants on a vertical panel using hydroponics) that force us to think about nature and perhaps ourselves in a different way.

Romance Chap #1

One of the two stories I’m currently writing (trying to) is called Romance. And no it’s not what you think 😉

Here’s a teaser. I will continue depending on the response.

ROMANCE

In a world where society defines everything, a woman seeks to define herself

I’m a woman
Not a heroine
Or a celebrity
Just a regular woman
From a regular family
With regular feelings
And this is my story

1: I thought I had it all

Bangalore, India’s Silicon Valley:

The scene in the hotel room resembled the aftermath of a mini tornado. Fortunately the occupants had been left unscathed. Or had they? I sat on the king size bed in the few inches of space I could find and fidgeted with the pallu of my expensive sari. Spun from the finest silk, in the lightest shade of peach with a green and red wedding procession marching along the edge—it was undoubtedly a fine work of art. As I twisted and untwisted the richly embroidered fabric, I saw the men and women drift apart then come together, often in quite compromising positions. It was fascinating.

“Aanch, what are doing there? I thought you had pitched in to help me and give me advice. Come here, tell me how I look.”

I left my seat and gingerly picked my way through the obstacle course on the floor and went over to where my friend (my best friend) was preening herself in front of the lighted mirror.

“You are looking very pretty Rosh,” I admitted albeit reluctantly and readjusted her exquisite gem-studded jewelry; a slight tug here, a gentle nudge there. Her parents had spared no expense.

Rosh turned to me with a bright smile, “You think so Aanch? Thank you.”

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Writing is my ‘BAD’ habit

Yes, its true. I was never born to be a writer. It just happened that I wrote some stuff that struck the right chord with a few. My writing is ‘pathetic’, ‘sophomoric’ etc. Okay. I’ve got it. There’s a limit to turning a deaf ear or believing in oneself etc. etc. I’m not ‘strong’ nor do I want to be.  (Any thoughts on how I could make the negative remarks go away people? I am a thinking, feeling, human after all! No pun intended!)

So, its final! No more books! Phew! (Wipes brow) Now and Forever will be my last ( if it sees the light of day, I’ve begun to wonder.) Unless… I write something groundbreaking which I doubt will happen 🙁

But to those very few of you who still want to read my inane ramblings I will continue to write and publish here on my blog. You can’t get rid of me that easy! You see writing is my bad habit 😀

I thank all my readers for your love and your hate. Please kindly pause a moment before you throw that next barb. They hurt big time.

An ‘Inconvenient Relations’ Excerpt- Raw Emotions

Inconvenient relations C

Another Excerpt from ‘Inconvenient Relations’

-0-

“Here… lunch.” She pushed a box towards him.

“I don’t want it.”

“Why?”

“I feel awkward.”

“But you never felt that way before, so why now?” You took me for granted. She stared reproachfully at him.

“It’s different now.” My perspective has changed. I behaved like a slave master, it’s humiliating. He stared right back.

She pretended to appear disinterested, “you can eat it, give it to your friends or throw it away. This is all I can do to pay you back right now.”

“You don’t have to worry about paying me back. It’s the least that I can do to make up for what I’ve put you through.”

Her chair knocked sharply against the wall, as she jumped to her feet. “What? You think that’s compensation enough? Nothing you do will give me back what I’ve lost! Yes, I agreed to marry you because I was blind and innocent! But who gave you the right to destroy my life, especially since you were having an affair and there was no hope for us? You treated me as if I was a disposable object! Why? Tell me why?”

“Yes I know I’m the worst kind of cad! But my hands were tied! My grandfather was on his death bed, I had no choice!” He snapped back gripping the counter till his knuckles turned white.

Walking up to him, she said softly, “Yes you had  a choice. You could have walked away. You could have been a man.”

-0-

Ruhi has an emotional outburst. She wants to know why? Why did Shaan think her fair game to betray her on their wedding night and then say sorry. Is it that easy to forgive and forget?  

To know more read ‘Inconvenient Relations’ 

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It’s here! An Incurable Insanity 2nd edition Cover Reveal!

II cover web

Yes, its finally here!

The cover of the brand new edition of my first novel–and I must say I simply love it! Thank you Eddie–you are amazing!

And the book will be out next week! More info soon!

So plan to get it! Here are some sample chapters to whet the appetite 😉

Part 2 is in the works.