Tag Archives: author

Window Shopping

As she turned the street corner, Ritu stopped to check her profile in the shop window. For a fraction of a second, not more. Guess I look okay, she thought and walked on after giving a brisk downward tug to the form fitting dress that ended just above her knees. It was a pretty dress with a cheery print of yellow and pink roses on an olive green background. “Perfect for the summer!” the salesgirl had assured her with a bright smile.

Ritu hadn’t just bought that two hundred dollar dress. She had splurged– in a way very uncharacteristic of her. She had acted on impulse. The print had caught her eye and the color looked really good on her or so she’d thought at the time. But she hadn’t got around to wearing it. Ever since that day it had hung in her closet to be perused periodically then passed over for something more ordinary and comfortable. Such as the dozen or so pants and blouses that fit her identity of sensible but bland Ritu. But today was different. She wanted to look her best.

The cafe was called Coffee, Tea and Me. The name had evoked a distant memory. It was the title of a book she had read a long time ago. She didn’t recall much of it but the gist had remained with her like some stories have a way of doing. It had something to do with a young woman. Or two young women who were stewardesses and their adventures. She had associated with the book as a young woman; launching herself into an exciting new career, of a stewardess, traveling to new places, meeting people, maybe some romance even. It felt silly now but at the time it had been wonderful. A different life.

Let’s go for a walk

Let us go for a walk, my friend.

Somewhere, anywhere,

In a forest, a park, a street, many streets.

Let us take turns we haven’t before.

Let us sit down on a bench

and talk a little or a lot,

or say nothing at all.

Let us walk for hours,

and wear out our soles.

Simi K. Rao.

HealthWise and AuthorTalk with Simi K. Rao Podcast

Hi friends! Listen to my new podcast to learn more about my books, health, medicine, culture and me!

The Witching Hour – Short Story Excerpt

I watched the dense thicket of clouds slide over the giant luminous cookie in the sky. A pitch-black darkness descended over the neighborhood, and there was not a single streetlamp to mar it.

It appeared that All Saints Eve was going to live up to its reputation after all. I glanced at my companion. I could tell she was thinking the same.

“Should we start? The time looks right,” Myra said.

“Yeah, let’s go.” I smiled at my long-time friend and neighbor.

She adjusted her lace-up corset and handed me her long and tattered train before gingerly stepping out of the alley that had been our hideout ever since the beginning of our ritual. Once again, I had to pause to admire her elaborate costume. She was pleased with it, especially since she had put it together herself. The delicate tea-stained ivory lace and tulle dress accented with droopy brown roses gave her a wispy and forlorn look. The many years of our adventures had supplied a precious aura of authenticity to the dress, as it had been tripped on and ripped several times.

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Personality Talks, It Walks and Rocks!

Inconvenient relations Cnow-and-forever

The statement is absolutely true. At least it is for me. For example how often have you come across someone who’s gorgeous to look at but then they start talking and you realize they aren’t so hot at all. You almost wish they hadn’t opened their mouths. The opposite also holds true.  

Its personality or character that makes or breaks a person. The same goes for a good novel too. What I’m getting at is character development. I may get drawn to a book by its attractive cover and plot summary but if the characters are insipid, if they don’t talk to me or get under my skin my interest dissipates rapidly and I will usually dump the book.

I’d like to say the characters in my books usually have several dimensions (they aren’t necessarily schizophrenic), with subtleties that are revealed slowly or kept hidden similar to many people we all know and acquaint ourselves with. I cannot write my characters unless I know them or I am them. Often I live them and dream them. They are my friends and I talk to them. I ask them how they feel then jot down what they say.

Inconvenient Relations and its sequel Now and Forever have some interesting characters.It is vital to read book 1 to enjoy book 2 because in essence this story is a study of a relationship and its various phases.

An imperfect yet perfect couple—

Ruhi or my chile dulce (sweet chili pepper) as her spouse Shaan likes to call her, starts of as a young woman from a cherished background, with dreams of building a future with her one-in-a-million husband who has been carefully picked for her by her parents. But her hopes are challenged right from page one. She is coerced into taking on a role that is quite alien to her or maybe had been held back and didn’t have the chance to manifest so far. It isn’t uncommon to see certain traits reveal themselves only under times of duress. Instead of bowing down and mutely accepting what destiny has doled out to her, Ruhi chooses to stand up to it. She shows her husband the mirror by turning the tables on him. She disguises her vulnerability in a bold and brazen avatar, She is a novice hence rash in her ways and often undiplomatic in her conversation yet she is also coy and secretive. All in all she is a maddening bundle of fun and mischief who adroitly twists her willing hubby around her little finger and exhibits no qualms about it. She loves him with a passion and won’t stop at anything to get him what is rightfully his.She is a woman to be reckoned with.

Sona munda Shaan Ahuja (heat factor to the power of infinity) is a gorgeous nerd who falls for the wrong woman and ends up paying for it dearly. He quashes the dreams of his brand new bride by announcing on their wedding night that he loves another and then is forced to eat his words. Shaan is a sensitive man with an arrogant streak who is devoted to his wife and his job. He is a jealous lover and possessive husband. He falls for his wife at the outset and doesn’t recognize it or is kept from acknowledging it by his ego and maybe his insecurity. Regardless, she drags his feelings out in the open after a cat and mouse game and they have a wonderful time until life tests him again. But then he has his trump card at his side.

I cannot conclude without talking about Sunshine, who happens to be my favorite character in the books. A frail septuagenarian, she is the catalyst in Ruhi and Shaan’s bonding. But don’t be deceived, this little old lady has a zest for life that rivals even those a quarter of her age. Enough said, I have to leave something for my books. Happy reading!


Rhythm & Blues Chap 23: Glad You Came

glad you came

Chap 22

23: Glad You Came


Dil toh pagal hai, Dil deewana hai…sigh, thought Diva as he watched Shan follow Khanak’s progress back toward the Green Room. Go after her! What are you waiting for? Knock her senseless with a burning red hot smacker! 

But Shan didn’t take his unspoken advice instead gave his head a strong jerk as if trying valiantly to uproot himself out of a trance. Poor darling…I feel for you babes! Diva empathized.

“Diva…” Shan looked at him, “it appears that Khanak has spun her magic on the Japanese.”

Just like she has on you! Diva smiled.

Shan looked at him suspiciously before continuing in a brusque clip; “They are so impressed that they want to book her for a couple of shows. In fact they are anxious to talk about it right now.” His tone then softened, “She’ll be so pleased.”

His face then broke out into a huge grin; “I will tell her later. Surprise her with it! Yes!”

Diva nodded enthusiastically, “Yes darling! Do that! She’ll love to hear it from you.”

“Cool! I will later tonight. That girl deserves the best. She has worked so hard.”

And she has you on her side! Diva thought dabbing his eyes with a tissue.

“I will see you later then at the party,” Shan said turning to walk away.

“What? You aren’t taking her with you?” Diva asked.

“No. I need to meet with these guys first and remember it’s a surprise!” Shan smiled. Then mid stride he paused back and pointed a warning finger at his friend; “You better bring her Diva! Or I don’t know what I’ll do!”

“Pretender!” Diva called out once he felt Shan was safely out of ear shot. “He thinks I’m his messenger boy. As if I can’t see the way his heart does balle balle when he is with her. Why can’t he just confide and be done with it?! And there that poor girl in such a state!”

His pristine hands fluttered like a couple of winged creatures in the air as he hurried to do Shan’s bidding; “Love is a weird thing. It turns smart sensible men into bumbling donkeys! But mein kya karoon?! I love them both so much! My babies!”


Diva knocked on Khanak’s green room door before he breezed in. But then he drew to an abrupt halt, his blue eyes opening as wide as saucers.

The girl in question was sitting in a chair staring despondently at the mirror.

“Khanak my jaan! Meri Shan ke heart ki armaan!” he exclaimed. “What happened? Why aren’t you ready yet?”

“C’mon quick! Get up! Do you want him to kill me? Hailaaa! Though I wouldn’t mind having those big sexy hands on my neck. But they’d look so much better elsewhere.” He then looked at Khanak. “Don’t you get me?” Then as she shook her head in the negative, he let out his breath; “Good! Because it’s censored! Girls should preserve their innocence till their wedding night samjhi?”

Khanak blushed furiously.

“And what are you wearing?” He said staring at her salwar suit; “Girl! This is a dance club, not your local mahila mandal.”

He quickly sifted through the dresses on the rack. “Yes this will be perfect. Wear it.” His eyes were shining. “Shan teri toh vaat lag gayi! (Shan it’s your funeral.)”

“I am not going.” She said. “Can you take me home?”

Then when he raised his exquisitely arched eyebrows, she tried to explain with her hands clasped tightly on her lap; “I…I’m not really a party person and I don’t know anybody there…”

Diva affected a loud cackle…; “As if anybody does. To tell you the truth half of the invitees hate the other half’s guts! But everything is obliterated for the cameras. They’ll kiss, make up and embrace each other. They will show off their latest acquisitions, their Lamborghini’s and Louis Vuitton’s and their sparklers just so they can make it on tomorrow’s Page 3.”

But he succeeded in making Khanak even more anxious; “I definitely don’t see myself hobnobbing with such a crowd.”

“My dear girl, the choice is out of your hands now! You are part of that crowd! By doing what you did on stage today, you have taken your first step into show biz! Everybody is sitting up and talking about you. They want to know more such as where you came from; what were your beginnings; how you met Shan; everything. Besides you are Jhankaar’s new face!”

The hand he placed on her head was almost paternal, “It’s a tough deal yes, but fame is not an easy game. You are forced to wear a lot of faces and do things you’d hate to do otherwise. Because talent is not everything here. Its visibility…being the media darling will make or break you! And you do want to be famous don’t you?”

“Yes I do… but…”

He smiled. There was a shrewd glint in his eyes. “You’re worried you’ll be pitched against that Tash and you are afraid you’ll lose. Yes she is a force to reckon with, a seasoned player. But you can’t wish her away. She won’t vanish into thin air if you don’t face her tonight. Rather it’ll reinforce he to use all her deceit to get you out of the way…and you can’t let her do that! You have to buck up and face her!”

“My dear Khanak…,” he sighed standing her up and held her arms. “You are beautiful. Your talent is so fresh that you shine like a beacon. People are already falling under your spell. You have nothing to fear. In fact Tash is the one who feels threatened because she can see you usurping her place in Shan’s life…even though she is really living in a delusion. You have to show her you are here to stay. Besides Shan needs you by his side… and I know you want to be with him…”



A place where insane hearts find each other and have a wonderfully awesome time

The club was rocking to the latest in dance music. Every night it was a different theme. Tonight was devoted to the engaging rhythms of hip hop and jazz to which grooved a rambunctious crowd of the young and restless from the upper echelons of Mumbai. All having drifted in to let their hair down and dance until the wee hours of the morning.

Tash had just completed a sizzling routine, dressed in shimmering white a la Kylie Minogue. But she didn’t look very thrilled.

“You were brilliant Tash! …Ooooohhhh all those sexy moves! Were they choreographed with Shan in mind? And btw your ankle, it looks as right as rain!” Trish said.

“Yes in a way… but I’m not so sure now. He looked sort of annoyed,” Natasha said doubtfully. She seemed to have grown a permanent frown.

“Of course, I’m pretty sure he took notice even though he was watching the door most of the time…” Trish gushed with a flutter of her false eyelashes and a wide smile on her vampire red lips though inside she wasn’t feeling very sympathetic–You stuck up bitch! Your days are over! Shan could care a hoot! …hope you break your back this time and get permanently laid up!

“You think so?” Natasha turned to her.

“Yes, I know so. But you know Tarun is game anytime, maybe you should get connected…”

“Tarun? Never! Your brother is a big time loser!” Natasha’s eyes flashed.

“Yeah I know.” Trish nodded agreeing wholeheartedly; that’s why I think you are both made for each other!

Wonder where Shan has disappeared…”

All of a sudden there was a commotion near the entrance. Someone had arrived. People stopped dancing and looked up. It was a new face and a popular one– always a worthy distraction.

Trish grabbing a Bloody Mary from the bar and joined the crowd while hollering at Tash; “C’mon! Let’s check them out. Must be some money bags…”


OMGEEEE! Who do we have here? Mousey Ms. Sweetie Pie herself!” Trish exclaimed, her mouth agape when she saw Khanak.

Khanak looked stunning in an elegant raspberry red flowing cocktail dress with spaghetti halter straps and a gold and silver broad sequined belt, the skirt just stopping short of her pretty knees. Her hair was set in wavy curls and caught up in a red, gold and silver bow and her feet were clad in strappy red and gold sandals. With minimal makeup and a dazzling smile she looked as fresh and alluring as a new born daisy.

Light bulbs flashed in a frenzy as people elbowed each other out of the way to get near her. Autographs were requested and signed while a couple of paparazzi hounded her and thrust their mikes in her face.

Diva meanwhile butted in. “Leave way! Ms. Khanak is here to have fun. Direct all interview requests to me, I am her secretary.” He said clearing the way for Khanak.

Then he spied Trish and Tash and gravitated towards them dragging a confused Khanak with him. “Here’s your honored guest Ms. Natasha. What happened darling? Did you bite into a particularly sour lemon?”

Trish forced her mouth closed and looked at Natasha who was glowering at Diva who said;“Haaye if looks could kill! Tash, you should consider the horror movie genre…the directors would save plenty on makeup.”


Khanak tried to shroud her snigger behind her hand when something bright caught Trish’s sharp eyes.

“What’s that?”

“Nothing.” Khanak said snatching her hand away.

“No. It’s a ring! Tash…look!”

When all of a sudden;

The entire club was plunged into darkness except a sole beam that spotlighted Khanak.

The sun goes down, The stars come out

And all that counts, Is here and now

My universe will never be the same

I’m glad you came

Then as the foot tapping music sprung up, several cross beamed lasers in a multitude of colors lit up the small stage where stood a lone tall flamboyant figure with his legs splayed wide, his head turned to one side and his hand holding a black glittering fedora cocked jauntily over his forehead. He was dressed in a white checkered plaid shirt, sequin red tie and baggy khaki cargos.

Khanak’s heart jumped into her throat and she grew lightheaded when she recognized the smile on the handsome profile.


The crowd screamed as one when the dancer smartly snapped his feet together and began to sing with his outstretched arm pointed directly at Khanak.

Khanak felt irresistibly drawn to the strikingly gorgeous man who also seemed to have eyes only for her. Everything else faded into the background.

You cast a spell on me, spell on me

You hit me like the sky fell on me, fell on me

And I decided you look well on me, well on me

So let’s go somewhere no one else can see, you and me

He sprung off the stage. The crowd shifted en masse and gave way as his long legs covered the distance to Khanak in a few effortless strides. He vaulted over the railing that cordoned off the small enclosure where she stood and grabbing hold of her waist lifted her back to the floor, all the while gazing intently into her eyes and ignoring everyone else.

Turn the lights out now

Now I’ll take you by the hand

Hand you another drink, Drink it if you can

Can you spend a little time, Time is slipping away,

Away from us so stay, Stay with me I can make,

Make you glad you came

She followed him in a trance as he led her to the dance floor and stood there in the middle hypnotized while he danced around her in light fluid movements… limbs loose and dexterous…living the music…interpreting every word and making it his own.

His moves almost made him appear to float. His feet glided on the floor as he did complex acrobatic moves that were mesmerizing to watch but hard to breakdown. It seemed like he was wooing her, making tantalizing advances and trying to win her over. He was without a doubt succeeding hands down.

The sun goes down, The stars come out

And all that counts, Is here and now

My universe will never be the same

I’m glad you came

Then switching pace he jerked her close making the crowd gasp with anticipation. She did not resist when he made her stretch both her arms above her head as his hands skimmed over her torso then hoisted her up in a single smooth movement. She scissored her long legs around his waist and arched her back while he hugged her body and rested his forehead on her chest.

A loud applause peppered with whistles and catcalls erupted around the attractive couple who seemed lost in a world of their own.

“Glad you came Khanak;” he whispered huskily in her ear then lifted her hand and kissed it. She lowered her gaze in shy distress.

“Atta boy Shan! Way to go!” Diva yelled his approval.

“What’s the hell is going on here?!”


PS: Sorry about the delay but I’ve been busy with several things including the promotions of my new book MILAN. Yes it’s out! And you can get it here!

Mundane Life–A Poem and an Interview!


Here’s some mundane inspiration–

We run around everyday busying ourselves with mundane routine

Getting the kids off to school, soccer practice, summer camp

Going to work, coming home and working again

Getting dinner ready, walking the dog

Worrying about the future, finances

We continue doing the same old mundane things

We fear to stop and think

Beyond the mundaneness

We continue like busy little ants until

Something steps on us with a giant shoe

And life is over as we know it

If we survive we become philosophers

To give others mundane wisdom

That no one cares to hear

Since they are so busy living their mundane lives


Hi friends!

Occasionally I come across someone who is not so mundane and is able to delve beneath the surface. Sid Sharma is one such person. He interviewed me recently for Asian American News and I think he got me right!

Find out for yourselves here!

Inconvenient Relations Book 2 #Teaser 4 #AmWriting


Teaser 3

4: Arguments


“Oh now I understand why… That little stunt you pulled at Sunshine’s…” Ruhi said.


“Yes stunt or dare, whatever you wish to call it. It was a very slick way of showcasing your machismo, your virility, the extent of your dominance over your wife. That you don’t need to woo her with gifts or flowers. All you need to do is touch her and she will submit willingly to any degree of humiliation. You kissed me just so you could impress Sunshine!” Ruhi said nearly spluttering with anger.

Jesus! How blind can this silly girl get? Shan thought and took a step forward; “No that wasn’t my intention at all. I kissed you because I wanted to. Sunshine had nothing to do with it.”

“Oh really?” She leaned closer, “Is that so?” She glanced around. They had begun to attract quite a few curious stares from the passers-by. Her attention turned back to him. She said, Then I dare you. Do it right here, in public. Show me, convince me that it wasn’t just a cheap gimmick.”

She smirked when she saw his jaw tighten, “Why…what are you afraid of Shan? It’s a free country isn’t it….like you once said. And I’m your wife or you could even imagine me to be your girlfriend…or a…”

“Shut up Ruhi and let me do it properly, will you?”

And shut up she did…and moaned softly, clinging to him as he kissed her…deep, unbridled, hot, delicious...thrilling as his scraggly jaw pricked her delicate complexion, trembling with desire as his rugged frame crushed hers…closing her eyes as the world began to spin dangerously.

Her eyes were still shut and she was smiling, breathing hard when after several moments he withdrew, albeit reluctantly. He had to hold her up for she was dead weight in his arms. He winked at a couple of gaping onlookers, then whispered into her ear,

“You are the only girl in my life whom I’ve ever wished to impress…and for that I’m willing to do anything…even jump off the tallest cliff. You just have to ask me.”

Finally she opened her eyes and stared at him in awe.

“Now if my quixotic wife’s demands have been met ever so slightly, can we finish the rest of our argument at home or…,” he growled into her ear, “if you are game we could even start a scandal right here. I’m sure these folks won’t mind.”

“Nooooo!” She gasped flushing beet red and shoved him away. “Let’s go home!”


Like it? Want more? Your wait will end soon!

Meanwhile to get familiar with our favorite couple Ruhi and Shan read Inconvenient Relations Book1. Get it here!

Rhythm & Blues Chap 22: Overture


Chap 21

22: Overture


“You took my heart and this time I’m not sure if I want it back…”

The words had emerged spontaneously as if from somewhere deep inside. Shan hadn’t planned anything. It was as if his soul had blurted out what he’d felt all along but didn’t have the courage to accept and now that it was out in the open, he couldn’t turn his back on it because it was the truth. Plain and simple.

But how would Khanak react? Would she believe him? After all he had tried so hard to show her he wasn’t really involved.

He waited with baited breath and a lump in his throat.

She stood silently in front of him with her head bent. Her shiny hair expertly coiffed lay fashionably askew (Diva’s a genius!) and it so enhanced the elegant lines of her lovely neck that his hand raised instinctively to trace them with his fingertips.

She looked up suddenly startling him. Her color deepened contrasting beautifully with the pale pink of her dress. Their eyes met and for the briefest moment he thought he saw a glimmer of understanding in those deep pools of ebony.

They appeared to be searching, probing as if looking for something. What? Sincerity? He’d have given anything at the moment for the ability to read her mind.

Khanak looked away feeling flustered. A strange heat was spreading through her body. There was something in those brown eyes she hadn’t encountered before nor had she dared to.

“Khanak I…”

“Yes?” she turned her face eagerly toward him.

But he didn’t speak instead kept looking silently at her.


The impasse was thankfully broken by a loud knock on the door.

“Hey Shan! Are you there laat sahib?”

Shan opened the door, “Rohan you?”

The chubby twin leered on spying Khanak in the background and laughed, “Just what I suspected! Bacchu…When will you lose your bad habits?”

“Rohan. Watch your dirty little trap.” Shan felt himself growing livid over something that wouldn’t have concerned him a tad bit in the past.

“Hold on my boy! I’m sorry. Did I say something wrong?” Rohan said without taking his eyes off Khanak who seemed to be looking for a place to hide.

“Rohan…! Stay within your limits,” Shan said tersely while trying hard not to lose his cool.

The designer was taken aback, “Hey calm down. I didn’t mean anything…nothing at all. I apologize if you felt otherwise,” he nodded at Khanak. “I just came to ask you both to accompany me to the stage.”

“Be sure to watch it in the future or else you can wish away your VIP passes to Jhankaar’s opening night,” Shan said offering Khanak his arm.

That was enough to frighten Rohan into behaving and genuflecting in front of Khanak as if she was the Queen of England.


“How can he?”

“How can who Tash?”

“How can Shan?! Look at him! Look at the way he’s flaunting that bimbo on his arm!”

Tarun turned to give his full attention to Natasha who looked like she had bitten into a particularly smoking chili pepper; one of the ‘Habanero’ variety. Her face bright red, ears steaming, her whole body consumed with a jealous rage as she glowered at the very handsome couple striding arm in arm down the catwalk.

He smiled, “You mean Ms. Khanak Mishra right?”

“Whatever her name is, I don’t care! He cannot dare to pay attention to another woman in my presence!”

Tarun wasn’t in the mood for sympathy, “Well Tash…she is his lead dancer and very lovely too I might add.”

What? What did you just say Tarun?”

“He said exactly what he meant to Tash darling!” Diva breezed by with a bright smile and placed a sisterly palm on her arm. “For once he has spoken the truth. I guess that’s the magic of true beauty…” he sighed. “By the way did you like my artist act? You think I can be a future matinee idol?” He arched his head and appeared to rearrange an invisible strand of hair.

She flicked his hand away, a vicious light into her eyes, “Yes but only as a confused fag…and I can assure you you’ll find plenty of people to laugh at your sob story, me included.”

Diva remained unruffled…”at least I’ll have an audience but my darling you…” he flicked her chin up with a graceful forefinger, “… can kiss the limelight goodbye. From now on your rightful place is in the back benches.”

“Diva! How dare!”

But he had his eyes trained to the ramp, “OMGeee! Look at my lovelies! Don’t they look gorgeous! A match made in heaven! Gosh I need a tissue…” He sniffed and blew a kiss at the dashing pair.

The crowd got into the spirit and began a unified chant—“DANCE! DANCE! DANCE!”

Shan grinned and whispered something into Khanak’s ear. She in response colored prettily and nodded.

The models stepped aside cheering them as the music cued in.

The entire theater gasped as Khanak unclipped her dazzling crystal ensemble and flung it away to reveal an uneven lyrical dress in plum and pink. Shan, discarding his evening jacket took his scarf and fashioned it like a bandana around his head.

The following is a song from the Hindi movie Kisna

Hum Hain Iss Pal Yahan,

Jaane Ho Kal Kahan
Hum Miley Na Miley,

Hum Rahey Na Rahey


(We are here at this moment

Know not where we shall be the next

Though we may meet or not

Though we may live or die)


The rhythm of the song seemed to be in tandem with the beat of the heart as the pair split up and moved to the opposing ends of the stage.

Both appeared displaced in a melee, their eyes flitting around as if in search of a lost love.

Khanak stood on tip toe, her feet bare and assumed the arabesque where she stood on one leg while extending the other straight back then fluidly moved it up in the air and pointed it higher as the front of her body bent low in balance. Then beginning slow in adagio and picking up the tempo as in allegro she began doing quick pirouettes and jumps around the stage…her movements effortless almost as if she was suspended in space. Meanwhile Shan complimented her adding high leaps in the air leaving everyone enthralled.

Rahegi Sadaa Yahan,

Pyar Ki Ye Dastan

Sunengi sada jise

Yeh Zameen Aasmaan


(The story of our love

Shall remain always

Resonating forever

Through this earth and sky)

Both of the dancers looked distressed seeming unaware of where they really were.

After a great deal of effort they spotted one other. Smiling with relief they sprang into motion. Khanak leaped high doing an aerial split. Shan caught her by the waist and lifted her straight up above his head. Holding his gaze Khanak relaxed her body and draped herself over his shoulder as he gently lowered her to the ground and they ended in a tight lover’s embrace.

The crowd roared jumping collectively to their feet. The couple on the stage seemed taken by surprise then smiling with embarrassment they split apart and took their bows.


“Calm down Tash…you look like you are going to burst an artery!” Tarun’s voice rose in concern.

“Make way! Make way!” Diva appeared as the uppity crowd jostled with each other seeking to be introduced to Khanak.

She was riding high with a near perfect ballet/contemporary routine and Shan was by her side. It felt as if she had already met most of her goals.

Therefore when her gaze fell on Natasha who looked ready to make a meal out of her, she didn’t feel particularly threatened. Instead she schooled a pleasant smile on her face and extended a gracious hand—a gesture that was bluntly ignored by her rival.

Tash jumped to Shan’s side and clung to his arm; “My poor dear. How odd you must feel in the company of strangers. Don’t you worry, your favorite Tashu is back and I promise to never leave you alone again!” She said while aiming toxic barbs at Khanak who responded with a graceful smile.

Shan priced Tash’s fingers loose, “I prefer strangers to so called friends who are just waiting for the moment when they can pull the rug from under my feet.” He smiled at Khanak, “…besides Ms. Mishra is not a stranger. Rather she has become someone infinitely more precious.” At that something intimate appeared to pass between him and Khanak causing Diva to burst into a merry giggle.

So you may think but not for long! Tash thought spitefully before she declared with a dazzling smile— “I hope everyone, old acquaintances and new are going to join me in my welcome back bash tonight!”


PS: Excuse me for the delay in posting. I’ve been caught up in a lot of things– including putting the final touches to the manuscript of my upcoming novel MILAN to writing Book 2 of INCONVENIENT RELATIONS. I hope to make the intervals shorter in the future 🙂