Tag Archives: Arranged Marriage

His Prisoner and Handmaiden



A blood curdling shriek good enough to put the best horror movie to shame echoed from somewhere within the Sharma residence. Ahaan’s mother exchanged a perturbed glance with her sister-in-law whose pencil thin eyebrows vanished inside her elaborately coiffed hairdo. Her crimson lips cranked open but were forced shut by yet another ear-splitting rendition.

Meanwhile inside the said room, a broad palm clamped down hard over the source of the cacophony; “it’s me Mili! Please don’t make a habit of this. Shut up if you care in the least for your husband’s reputation!”

Husband?

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Podcast: My novel Inconvenient Relations: Chap 1 and 2. Listen!

I’ve been asked a few times why aren’t my novels in audio? Well, I never thought about it. And then I had to find a suitable desi voice. Too much hard work. But then now that I have my own podcast I thought why not narrate it myself? So here it is! In installments for free! Hope you like it. Will try to post at regular intervals.

Inconvenient Relations- Chap 1 and 2

Inconvenient Relations- a novel by Simi K. Rao, Chap 1 and 2 Healthwise & Author Talk with Simi K. Rao

My novels aren't available as audiobooks and I've had several requests for the same so maybe I should make one on my own. Why not? Here I bring you the first couple of chapters of my very first novel Inconvenient Relations. It is a sassy, spicy tale of Ruhi and Shaan bound together in an arranged marriage. Enjoy! 

HealthWise: Drink Some Tea and Visit the Nilgiris!

Drink tea and be happy and healthy.

Enjoying the lovely weather in beautiful Coonoor, in the Nilgiris (blue mountains), in the Western Ghats, sipping a nice cup of piping hot tea and getting inspired to write a book. What else could I want?

I need no excuses at all but for those who like some scientific data a long term health study (7 years) published online by the European Journal of Preventive Cardiology which followed more than 100K Chinese adults and compared those who drank tea less than 3/week with those who drank more. Those who drank more were found to have a 20% lower risk of heart attack and 22% lower risk for dying of heart disease.The findings don’t prove that tea drinking was responsible for those benefits. But both green and black tea are rich in compounds called flavonoids that help dampen inflammation, a culprit in heart disease. Tea drinking has also been linked to lower cholesterol and improved blood vessel function. Source: Harvard Health Letter.

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The Ritual (A Short Story)

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It was at one of the five star hotels, Marriott I think, the fancy one in Juhu. Thank heavens it wasn’t at his home.

The room was cavernous and daunting with creepy shadows all over created by the hidden lighting everyone is so crazy about nowadays. I was led there by two of my new husband’s giggly cousins. I’d have loved to smack their pretty faces but that’d have invited a ruckus. Besides, I was preoccupied. I was terrified. Terrified of doing it with someone I didn’t know anything about. What little I did could be googled on the web. But then was my lot different from other women. Examples were all around me–my mom, aunts, cousins, friends.

Maybe it was because everything had happened so fast; because I had no clue of the future; because the ghost of Rohan still clung to me like my own shadow. Because. Because. Because.

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Milan (A Wedding Story) Chap 9: 4 Weeks..

Milan-cover (2)

Chapter 8

Chap 9: 4 Weeks..

—o—

Mili woke up with a start. It took awhile for her to get oriented. Sitting on the bed, her limbs entangled in the mussed up sheets, she waited for her pulse to slow down, while watching the tiny fragments of dust float in the rays of the morning sun.

It had been a restless night; of memories and dreams, real and unreal; of realizations; of flights of fancy, the very notion of which made her burn with mortification.

Why had Ahaan told her all that he had? How would she be able to face him now, without imagining herself in his arms? How would she be able to dispel such thoughts from her head? He had completely upset her equilibrium and she hated him for it!

A loud knock at the door made her jump.

“What is it?” Mili called out irritably. She was just getting settled into an imaginary argument with Ahaan.

Kiran stepped in, “beta (child), what’s going on? Do you have any idea what time it is?”

“Maa…I…I,” Mili’s eyes sought the clock as she tried hard to shield her agitation, “I’m sorry, I didn’t realize…I must have overslept…”

But Kiran was shrewd. Little escaped her doting mother’s eyes, but whatever she saw pleased her. Sitting on the bed, she pulled her daughter gently into her arms, “I have news for you…”

“`
4 weeks…

Mili stood in front of the floor length mirror, and contemplated herself. But instead of an image of a beautiful young woman on the brink of life, she could only see a tangled mess of nerves. With trembling hands she drew her muslin scarf  over her head and was suddenly startled by the sound of something heavy scraping against the window sill.

It was Ahaan holding a medium sized terracotta pot.

“What are you doing here?” She demanded, quite rattled.

“Since I wasn’t able to go hunting for wildflowers today, I chose to pick something from your own garden. I hope you don’t mind,” he said with a rueful grin.

“But why the whole pot and not just a flower?”

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‘None of Your Business’

How many women are around there for who plough through every day with broken hearts? For whom marriage has lost it’s meaning. Many I’d say. But not Ruhi Sharma:)

 

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Like it? Want to read more about what my gutsy heroine did? How did she turn her fortunes around?

Then you better buy a copy of Inconvenient Relations and it’s sequel Now and Forever. Available now on Amazon and Kindle. Links below 🙂

 

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Milan (A Wedding Story) Chap 8: Revelations

Chapter 7

It took some time for Ahaan and Mili to get out of the forest. The dense canopy, which almost completely filtered out the light, impeded their progress considerably, causing Mili to stumble several times. Finally at Ahaan’s insistence she accepted his arm and was nearly carried the rest of the way.

“Thanks.” Mili murmured detaching herself, once back on the road.

“My pleasure. We should do this more often.” he replied, grinning when he saw her cheeks blaze with color.

They strolled back, savoring this new found companionship–the lovely formative phase of a brand new relationship which was supposed to last a lifetime. Mili almost wanted to skip with delight. She curbed the instinct with difficulty. It won’t do for me to appear undignified and childish in front of Ahaan. Though he has probably formed that impression already, she thought, unhappily recalling the events from earlier that afternoon.

On the other hand, Ahaan was pursuing a slightly different theme. Good God! She is proving to be quite a handful; a very beautiful one though. I’ll have to keep my wits around all the time in order to survive.  Still, I bet I’m going to enjoy every single moment!

A surreptitious glance found her aiming a vehement kick at a pebble. His hands itched to reach out and pull her into his arms. He stuck them into his pockets instead. Damn this life!

“Ahaan…!”

Startled, he looked up. The object of his preoccupation was beaming at him.

“Guess where we are…”

His vision followed her outstretched arm. Of their own accord their feet had taken them down a familiar path, one which led to their old Alma Mater.

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Another Great Review on ‘Milan’

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“Ms. Simi K. Rao does a tremendous job of weaving the customs and traditions of a prearranged Indian wedding. I was pulled into this vast country and treated like royalty as I read and savored the many traditions foreign to western culture. I was amused and bemused with this enchanting, culture-filled coming of age story about the jitters and joy of preparing for a woman’s big day.” ~~Chiara Talluto, Author of Love’s Perfect Surrender.

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Some Awesome Reviews on ‘Milan- A Wedding Story’

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Here are some recent reviews on my new book MILAN

“A captivating look into the developing relationship of a young couple falling in love for the first time while honoring family traditions. Throughout the wedding planning, the bride-to-be is in a constant state of nervous excitement and total confusion that will keep you guessing until the very end. An absolute joy to read.”
—Yvette Klobuchar, bridal dress designer and author of Brides Unveiled

MILAN is an interesting combination of today and yesterday in India, ultimately bringing Mili, twenty-four but innocent and immature for her age, together with Ahaan, a bit older but more in tune with the customs of their country. This story of their arranged marriage, (still practiced in their country), goes through the accepted steps of bringing their union to fruition. The story follows through the Roka (unofficial engagement), the Sagai (formal engagement ceremony) and other preparations for the magnificent wedding which her father insists on, taking the reader along for all the rituals and experiencing all Mili’s continuing uncertainties as she leaves her childhood home to make her new life with her husband’s family.”
—Nancy Sweetland, author of The House On the Dunes

“In Milan, Simi K. Rao has created a delightful story and a glimpse into of an enduring part of Indian culture. Mili’s family wants her to marry Ahaan, an old acquaintance, but as a modern young woman, Mili is reluctant, fearing that she’ll be forced to abandon her career in music. But fortunately, Mili isn’t the only modern person in the pair, and the two embark on a journey that includes old traditions and a promise from the groom that guarantees Mili her own passions in life. But the best part of the story is the realization for Mili that Ahaan appears to be much more than a husband chosen for her. Despite her initial resistance, she might fall in love. Rao writes with flair and includes the colors and scents and sounds that many of us associate with modern India. Without being the slightest bit didactic, Rao educates us, too, about Hindu traditions and the beauty of language describing the bonds and promises of love and marriage.”

—Virginia McCullough, author of The Jacks of Her Heart