Tag Archives: Indian

Human After All Chap 25: Vampires and Encounters with Dr. D

Image by codymonser from Pixabay

Chapter 24

Khanak turned on her heels.

“Surprise. Surprise.She also wears cute glasses. Soon she will change into a bat and make me her latest meal. I’m loving it.”

“You!” Khanak rushed to remove her glasses.  

“No, don’t. You look like a pretty nerdy prof. And ridiculously sexy on top of that.”

As she looked at him in nervous confusion, he came up to her, took her glasses from her hand and put them back on her face, flicking the tip of her nose in the process. She tried to back away as he moved closer and ended up getting hedged into a corner. She leaned back against the wall and closed her eyes, knowing that looking at him would make her thoughts run wild.

“Get away from me;” She croaked.

Continue reading

Human After All Chap 24: Let’s Spread the News


Chapter 23

She lay in her bed unable to sleep yet again, but this time for a different reason; Khanak was excited! She was impressed by how Shaan had come through on his word and so quickly and efficiently had got both their families on the same page. He was as he said a man of action, not just words. Things had happened in such rapid succession, she felt as if she needed to pause to catch her breath but then he always had that effect on her. She blushed with embarrassment and hid her head in the pillow, when she recalled the lessons he had planned for her. The funny part was, she knew exactly what he meant thanks to her education but was a novice when it came to the actual experience. It frightened and excited her at the same time. She closed her eyes tightly trying to wish away the images forming in her mind’s eye. It was to no avail.

Continue reading

Sugar, Shakkar and Cheeni– Did you know?


various types of sugar on wooden table

Sugar or sarkara शर्करा (sanskrit) or shakkar शक्कर (hindi) (gravel or ground sugar) was originally produced from sugarcane in the Indian subcontinent around 800 BC. Prior to that there was only the crude guda (sanskrit) or gud or jaggery which is the raw concentrated sugarcane juice which is very delicious and still used in India. 

The chinese learned  about sugarcane cultivation and the technology of producing sugar from India in the 600s BC.  They didn’t like the brown variety and invented cheeni or chini, what is now known in India as the refined white variety. Hence cheeni. By the way, Cheeni means Porcelain (white) not China. 


4000 BC- sugarcane juice extracted from Sugarcane plants. 

800BC (between 1500- 500BC) invention of crystal sugar (granulated sugar) in India

600-650 BC sugarcane and technology for production of sugar reached China. It was actually smuggled from the court of King Harsha by the Chinese ambassador during the Tang dynasty.  

300-500BC Persians and medieval Arabs discovered from India the “reeds that produce honey without bees” which was initially only used for medicinal purposes. 

1700– the spread of sugarcane cultivation and manufacture of sugar spread to West Indies and America then the rest of the world. 

As mistakenly thought among most Indians sugar is not a gift of the Chinese, it is India’s gift to the world! Proud of being Indian and ashamed I wasn’t taught this in school. 

Hence Cheeni Kum, Shakkar zyada! (reduce Cheeni, increase Shakkar). 

Milan (A Wedding Story) Chap 10: Closer

Milan-cover (2)

chap 9

Mili was uptight. In fact, that had become quite the usual for her nowadays. Anxiety, confusion, sheer nervousness when she was in Ahaan’s company; agitation, restlessness, a maddening confusion when she was not—for sure she was becoming irreversibly unhinged, she had no doubt about it.

She contemplated herself in the mirror; having lost count on how many times she had changed her outfit tonight. Nothing seemed to fit the bill. It was going to be the first time they would be seen socially together and she didn’t want to let him down, rather she wanted to impress him, make him puff up with pride. But how—she worried as her eyes ran critically over her shapely frame enhanced to perfection by the charcoal dress with a silvery sheen that shimmered each time she moved. Was it too revealing? No, she didn’t think so; it did cling but not too blatantly, with the scoop neck revealing just the right amount of silky skin. But would he think so too?

Oh Ahaan! How much do I not know about you!

“But I don’t care! Let him think what he wants to! After all, it was his decision to marry me, not mine!” She defiantly addressed her reflection.

Continue reading

‘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:)



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 🙂















Human After All Chap 1: He Knows What He Wants



1: He Knows What He Wants


A month later: ~

“Congratulations Sir! This project will be huge for our company. Could I have the good fortune of being assigned to it? Since you are busy handling multiple projects here, you need someone reliable on the other end. What do you think sir?”

Shantanu perused Gautam, his Project Manager with interest. His tenure with their company was just six months old and he was already looking greedy. His aggressiveness could be both good and bad. Shantanu offered him an enigmatic smile; “Thanks. I will consider it.”


Gautam walked out of the office with dejection written clearly on his face. He was greeted with a pitying look from Shantanu’s new secretary, Sheila. “Take my advice and hold on to your horses Gautam. Boss hates upstarts;” she giggled as he glared at her and went back to filing her nails.


Meanwhile Shantanu was on the phone with his brother…

“Yes Akshay bro! Kaho kaise yaad kiya? What’s up?”
“Congrats man!”
“Thanks. It’s no big deal,” Shantanu said as he gazed out at the Mumbai skyline.
“What do you mean by no big deal? It is for our company. I saw a smile on Dad’s face after a long time. So that two-month trip did pay off finally huh?”
“Yes bro. Bahut papad belne pade (I had to work really hard) but it was all worth it. I’m glad you and dad are happy.”“We are proud of you little bro no shaq! Welcome to the company!”
“Thanks bro, thank you very much.”
So this is Shantanu Khandelwal. Young, rich, ambitious, smart and ruthless when it came to doing business. He knew what he wanted and would not stop at anything to get it, as long as it did not involve breaking the law. He had inherited this trait from his father who had worked tirelessly all his life to build his empire. His advice to him had always been not to let emotions come in the way of progress and he agreed with him so far. Anyhow he had only just started. He wanted to make a name for himself apart from his dad and big brother—Shantanu Khandelwal, renowned architect, town planner etc. etc.
There was a knock on the door and his secretary walked in without asking for his permission. He wondered what had it been about her that had impressed old Mrs. Khatri so much to recommend her. Mrs. Khatri had left happily. She had retired after working faithfully for the company for over thirty years. But she had left him with this piece of work. Sheila had decent diction, was punctual, her turnaround time for letters and such was acceptable but she had an abysmal dress sense and of late was behaving a little too familiar with him. That was one of the reasons why he had trouble taking women seriously. They always seemed to have an ulterior motive. Just then an image of a pair of beautiful black eyes flashed in his mind. No not like that woman. She was something else.

Continue reading

Rhythm & Blues Chap 24: Superficial


Chapter 23

24: Superficial


“What’s going on here? What’s all this crap?”

Tash’s voice resounded loud and harsh in the sudden hush that descended on the club. Loud enough to rudely jar the deeply engrossed couple out of their reverie.

This was not acceptable to Diva who followed his arch enemy onto the stage.“Tash leave them alone’” he exclaimed. “You are stretching your limits.”

“Yes you are.’” Shan declared irritably not pleased at the interruption especially when he felt the time was ripe to declare his feelings to Khanak who seemed at her most pliant and thawed out state.

But the object of his affections looked shaken and she was staring at his nemesis, her eyes wide with alarm. This caused him further aggravation and he instinctively drew her closer.

“What is this crap are you talking about?” He asked Tash with a sardonic grin; “…the dance?” Then he looked around in an effort to the entire throng of fans; “What say y’ all? Was the dance crap?”

“Nooooooo!” Everyone roared in unison.

“It was heavenly!”

Maar daala (you killed us) Shan!”

Then someone called out; “Dude! The only thing missing was the kiss!”

“Yeeesssss! … Kiss her now…Right now!” A chant started.

Khanak’s cheeks were set aflame when Shan chuckled softly and hugged her tighter. She was thankful he didn’t comply to the crowd’s request.

“Shut up you guys! That is not what I’m talking about!” Tash wailed. She was almost foaming at the mouth as she witnessed the blatant display of affection.

“The ring Tash…her ring!” Trish’s voice urged.

“Show me your hand!” Tash demanded of Khanak and when she wavered she yanked it forcibly.

There was no question that the lovely ring mounted with the exquisite butterfly arrested in mid-flight was made of real diamonds just as Trish told her.

Khanak tried to retract her hand but Tash’s grip was firm.“This doesn’t look like a cheap trinket by any long shot. Who gave it to you?”

“I did.” Shan said.

“What?” Tash stared at him.

“Yes, you heard right Tash.” Shan asserted firmly while smiling reassuringly at Khanak. “I slipped it on her finger a few days ago when I felt the moment was right and this lovely girl was sweet enough to accept my proposal. We are engaged to be married.”

“I don’t believe it! It’s…it’s ridiculous!”  Tash screamed, her face growing white as a sheet.

“You’d better cause it’s the truth;” Shan retorted viciously feeling no sympathy for the woman who at one time he had considered a close friend.

But Tash wasn’t one to be easily dissuaded. She had an agenda and this was the perfect platform.

“Then what is this?” She lifted up her left hand displaying a plain silver band. It was not as lavish or ornate as the one on Khanak’s finger but a ring nevertheless.

“What about it?” Shan continued to stick to his guns.

“Have you forgotten already?” Tash sashayed forward with a coy smile, “Then let me titillate your memory. This, is the same ring you slipped on my finger a couple of months ago. Can you deny it? If so I have plenty of witnesses.”

Shan grew wary as he saw a skeptical gleam in Khanak’s eyes. He was aware that he was treading on dangerous ground but he couldn’t deny the truth; “Yes I did but…”

“There you go!” Tash laughed in triumph looking at the audience who were lapping up everything hungrily. “Now…how can a guy be engaged to two girls at the same time? Not only is that illegal but it’s freaking preposterous!”

“What’s going on?” Khanak exclaimed wrenching herself from Shan’s embrace as he addressed her rival. “Tash…You know very well that was nothing but a joke!”

A joke? Of course not.” Tash then turned and snarled at Khanak. “This is a joke!” She threw her arms around a startled Shan. “Darling! I know how you love taking people for a ride but this is very cruel! You shouldn’t have fooled a poor innocent girl just to make me green with envy and only because I was away from you for some time. Promise me you won’t do it again.”

“This is utter nonsense! You are making it all up! Khanak I can explain!” Shan blurted out looking anxiously at Khanak while trying at the same time to disengage himself from Tash. But she wasn’t letting him go.

Khanak slunk away staring at both of them in shocked disbelief.

“It’s the truth darling,” Tash’s words mocked her stupidity. “How can Shan desire to be with a simpleton like you when he can have someone like me? Nothing could be more absurd!”

“Khanak please …Stop! Don’t listen to her! She’s lying!” Shan hollered reaching for her.



Khanak spun on her heels and bolted. The place had suddenly turned in to a suffocating dungeon. She could hardly breathe. She had to get out.

Pushing blindly through the crowd that had shifted their collective attention on to her—an object of amusement and ridicule. They were murmuring about her and laughing. It was unbearable.

“Khanak!” Someone called out.

She continued toward the big red exit sign. That was her only goal, her escape.

She stumbled in the dark and fell. Her knees stung. But the hurt inside was stronger. She couldn’t yield. Not yet.

She had to put the widest distance possible between herself and those who considered her easy prey.

Finally she surfaced. The air cleared but barely. Her chest still felt constricted.

She glanced around but couldn’t tell where she was. As if it mattered anymore. She laughed. She was all alone again, a homeless orphan.

She took a left defying instinct, nothing could be relied upon any more. She tried to pretend to be invisible but it was impossible—her attire, her gender made her shine like a beacon.

She saw men gawking at her like hungry wolves. She cringed with fear.

But she couldn’t stop.. She needed to keep moving or they’d catch and maul her…if not them then someone else would, the ones she was running from … they’d trap her again in their cleverly spun web of deceit.

Scenes replayed in her head as she hurried along at a brisk pace toward an unknown destination, intuitively dodging her way around on the sparsely populated streets.

Tarun’s uncouth assumptions, his cheap and vulgar insinuations. Her new acquaintances… with their smiling faces and friendly chatter…their huddled whispering in the corridors.

Someone deliberately bumped into her and grabbed at her behind. Swearing aloud she hit out fiercely at her attacker and connected.

She got a glimpse of her attacker’s stunned rough features before he turned about face and walked away.

Trish’s conflicting and confusing words. Tash’s loud derisive laughter…the loathing in her eyes. Diva’s aghast face…

Life for them is a big farce, a grand charade. They are on the stage all the time, playing a part, their true faces hidden behind masks. She had become a part of them–the unwitting player who had been asked to play herself. The accidental tourist.

And Shan…It was agony to even think of his name.

But she couldn’t erase his face from her mind. The harder she tried the brighter it got. The beautiful man she had fallen in love with. The wonderful soul who had urged her to dream big…helped her believe in herself.

Those warm brown eyes in which she’d dared envision a glimmer of affection, of hope…

She came to an abrupt stop. It had started to drizzle. She began to shudder uncontrollably. Tears finally flowed unchecked. I’ve never felt this alone before!

She was standing in what looked very much like a spotlight and felt forced to look up.

The hoarding was brand new. It’s lettering obliterated by her tears and the rain. But what caught her attention was the partially shrouded face of the dancer. She could barely recognize herself.

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!

Inconvenient Relations Book 2 #Teaser 2 #AmWriting


Previous EXCERPT


“Damn this work!” Shan almost clobbered the keyboard of his PC. He was furious. “Finally! But at what time?” he grumbled sneaking another peak at his desktop clock.

‘An unforeseen error has caused this algorithm to malfunction. Can you rerun the program?’

Shan was puzzled. He was pretty sure that everything had been working perfectly on initial submission. Then what had come up in the interim? He ran the test again and sure enough it got stuck but without giving him any clue as to what had gone wrong, almost as if a bug had made its way into the system.

He spent the following three hours going over the entire program with a fine tooth comb. Finally his patience paid out when he discovered the culprit—a discrete piece of code that seemed completely out of sequence…

He frowned unable to comprehend that he had let such a trivial error slip by. It was so glaring and obvious that even a half-witted undergrad could fix it. So why hadn’t the rockstars of the testing team?

“Because they are morons. All of them! All talk and zero substance!” He yelled banging the desk with the heel of his palm so hard that it sent flying half of the bric-a-bracs he had managed to accumulate over the years.

Picking them up one by one from the carpeted floor he tried to console himself– ‘Always keep the inventors on their toes’ was the unspoken mantra at his work place adopted as a holy doctrine by each and every employee.

Perhaps I’m being too ornery, he thought while interpolating the necessary changes into the code then let out a long sigh. But what can I do…haal hi aisa hai!

A fond smile lit his face when he revisited the proceedings from earlier that evening.


Inconvenient Relations Book 2, Now and Forever, #AmWriting, the continuing saga of Ruhi and Shan, A tale of #Romance #Passion #Intrigue

Catch up with BOOK 1 at these LINKS!

Mommy Dearest!


Moments to capture

Memories to treasure

Beautiful mother

Lady, I bow down to your amazingness!

Anna Jarvis, a devoted daughter, created Mother’s Day in 1908 in West Virginia, United States. Anna’s intent was to honor her recently deceased mother, and mothers everywhere, for their love and dedication to their family and community. The new holiday was envisioned as a time to continue the good work of one’s mother.

The holiday was enthusiastically accepted all over the United States and in places across the globe.  However, the intention of the celebration quickly evolved to be a day to show one’s love and affection to our mother.  Typically showering our mothers with cards, flowers, and or a lovely meal prepared in her honor.

Only recently, in the last decade, has the celebration Mother’s Day become popular in India.  “In the presence of umpteenth number of existing festivals, it is a remarkable achievement for a foreign festival to make its presence felt in the vast and culturally diverse country like India,” according to the Society for the Confluence of Festivals in India.

In India, the already innate and powerful qualities of motherhood are deepened by strong, fixed social customs that mold its society.   It’s no wonder that this holiday is being embraced all across this country steeped in richness of culture.

Take for example the close bond that is created between mother and child by constant physical contact throughout infancy and childhood.  Children share the mother’s bed, may receive a daily oil massage, and may be breastfed until two or three years of age.  When old enough to eat solid food, the child is fed from the mother’s hand.  Even when children are older, mothers make sure that on special occasions, such as a birthday, cake and other special foods come from her hand.  Mothers in India go to all extremes to ensure the vitality of their children, even if it means sacrificing her own nutrition in order to provide food for her family.

How will I honor my own mother on Mother’s Day?  In the truest sense of the holiday, I will ponder the causes that are closest to my mother’s heart and put forth an act of beneficial goodness towards that cause. I couldn’t emulate my mother no matter how hard I tried because of the kind of person she is—compassionate, soft spoken, unbelievably kind and unselfish, self-sacrificing, supportive, resourceful, astute, smart as a whip and endowed with an astounding degree of fortitude. She has always been a role model for me and she is the one I turn to for inspiration whenever I fall short. So I try, not just on this day, but whenever I get the opportunity to do something that pleases her.

As we often say in my culture—we reap the fruits of our past karma. So I must have done something very good in my previous life to have been blessed by a mother like mine. Thank you Ammy! I am what I am because of you. I love you so very, very much!