Tag Archives: literature

MY NOVEL ‘INCONVENIENT RELATIONS’ NOW AVAILABLE!

Inconvenient relations C

SEASON’S GREETINGS!

My novel ‘INCONVENIENT RELATIONS’ is finally here!

Buy a copy for yourself and or give it as a gift –who wouldn’t want a little ‘spicy’ romance over the holidays? 😉

Its a New Title, New Cover and a New Series.

‘INCONVENIENT RELATIONS’ originally published as ‘An Incurable Insanity’ – a novel about finding love after arranged marriage with a particularly feisty heroine which received rave reviews- An often intoxicating-will they-won’t they-tale’– KIRKUS REVIEWS is now out in a new avatar. You can read more reviews and sample a couple of chapters here.

It’s the first book in the ‘ARRANGED MATCH’ series—is now available for purchase!

It has some wonderful extras—a recipe and the chapter of my upcoming book ‘THE ACCIDENTAL WIFE”

eBook Store links for various countries. All you need is to download the free kindle app.

US: http://amzn.to/1xtYOIR

INDIA: http://bit.ly/1zzCo96

UK: http://amzn.to/1wHtC6O

GERMANY: http://amzn.to/1AKSb3Z

FRANCE: http://amzn.to/1AKStYH

SPAIN: http://amzn.to/13ZQDaj

ITALY: http://amzn.to/1x5FYFL

NETHERLANDS: http://bit.ly/1xNwsZv

JAPAN: http://amzn.to/1t0ffp0

BRAZIL: http://bit.ly/1vd74p4

CANADA: http://amzn.to/1HEnqOo

MEXICO: http://bit.ly/1CEp84b

AUSTRALIA: http://bit.ly/1CMJ6a5

And I Need Reviews! So I’ve decided to give ebook copies of my next novel ACCIDENTAL WIFE away to the first 5 readers who buy this book and post reviews on Amazon. And everybody else will be entered in a raffle to win a free copy also. And if you tell your friends to buy this book and post a review- they also get to enter the giveaway and you earn another entry. Remember, the more entries, the higher the chances to win. And let me tell you will love the book– you will love both the books 😀

All you need to do is post the link of the review here on the blog or on my page on Facebook.

Thank you and have a romantic holiday!

Simi K, Rao

Words Are Bland.

words

Words are bland

Unless spiced with emotion

Prayer is without expression

Unless said with devotion

 

Love is an empty pot

Unless filled with trust

Earth is a barren spot

Without loads of dust

 

History is a blank slate

Without old tales to tell

Heavens wouldn’t be in demand

Without the ill repute of hell

 

Life would lack soul

Without the good and the bad

Friends make my life whole

For that I’m really glad

Inconvenient Relations- Prologue

Inconvenient relations C

Hi friends and readers!

The 2nd edition of my debut novel is almost out with a new name and a new look. Here I’m sharing with you an excerpt along with the first few chapters. I’m sure you’ll want to read more. Do get the book because part 2 is in the works.

My 2nd book titled THE ACCIDENTAL WIFE will be out early 2015. 🙂

Blurb:

Shaan Ahuja found himself bowing to tradition and agreeing to an arranged marriage to the beautiful Ruhi Sharma. He went through the motions but had no intention of carrying through on his vows. His last foray into matters of the heart with an American girl had left him scarred and unwilling to try again. Thoroughly disillusioned and disgruntled he wasted no time in making his intentions clear to Ruhi on their wedding night. But, he was completely unprepared for what his new wife had in mind.

What KIRKUS REVIEWS said about the book: 

Shaan Ahuja and Ruhi Sharma’s arranged marriage has an inauspicious start. Shaan spurns his new wife on their wedding night, still pining over the American lover he left back in Los Angeles. However, the begrudging spouses soon make a pact: Ruhi will stay with Shaan in the United States just long enough to avoid embarrassment. The young bride hopes she can use the time to win Shaan’s heart, and although Ruhi’s beauty and attentiveness do change Shaan’s feelings, his immaturity and inability to express himself—and Ruhi’s lingering mistrust—keep them from reconciling. As they attempt to be “friends without benefits,” they start to reveal their true selves, including her needling puckishness and independent spirit and the reasons for his reserved nature and impulsive jealousy. Their eventual reconciliation comes not from forgiveness but from acceptance and understanding. The novel trades in a certain amount of melodrama that, thanks to its light tone, comes across as indulgent but satisfying. …The novel seems highly aware of its influences, using cultural expectations and delayed gratification in the same spirit, if not with the same deftness, as Jane Austen. Shaan and Ruhi also sometimes mirror the star-crossed lovers from Casablanca (a film that the book directly
references). ..

An often intoxicating, … will-they-or-won’t-they tale.”

INCONVENIENT RELATIONS

Love: A temporary insanity curable by marriage.
—Ambrose Bierce

This tale is an attempt to prove the reverse
or at least give it a chance.

PROLOGUE

Her heart fluttered when she heard the sound of the key turn in the lock. She quickly adjusted her maroon silk sari with the yellow border, the one that had caught his eye, and waited eagerly for his footsteps.
One, two, three, four, five, six, seven…Yes, exactly seven steps before he stopped, hesitated for a few moments, then removed his shoes one by one and arranged them neatly side by side on the shoe rack.
She smiled. He had been mindful of taking his shoes off every day now. “I am not used to it, but I will if you want me to. It’s probably a good thing to do anyway.”
He walked into the hall toward his favorite chair; he never sat on the settee beside her.
As he settled down, he would pick up the TV remote and, without looking at her, would say in his smooth baritone, “So how did you spend your day, anything interesting?”
She would shake her head, still looking down, though out of the corner of her eye she liked to steal glances at his feet—they were nice to look at, clean with well-manicured nails—then realizing that he was not looking at her, she would vocalize in the negative.
Her soft “no” would drown easily in the raucous loud blast from the TV game. He probably didn’t hear her; he probably didn’t care.

BUY LINKS

Windows

Windows 1

Mumbai’s historic Chatrapati Shivaji Terminus (formerly Victoria Terminus)

windows 2

Humayun’s Maqbara (tomb of the Mughal emperor Humayun) in Delhi, India built 1569-70

Windows2

Alongside Chicago river

windows 3

Windows

-0-

Clean windows, plain, glass, open, close, bright,

Light, shaded, paned, shuttered, blinded, boarded,

Rusty, dirty, smoky windows.

Broken, shattered, run down windows

Windows that protect and hide, windows to the world outside

And sometimes to the world within

Unraveling layer by layer, revealing,

A tool for introspection and scrutiny,

A glance into a soul, full of secrets and smokescreens,

Evasion, denial, half-truths

Windows, they tell it all.  

Under the Shade of the Banyan

banyan-tree.jpgOriginal art by Sneha (oil pastel)

Under the Shade of the Banyan

`

Banias conduct business

Gods meditate and recline

My leaves dispense knowledge

My structure reflects the world

Material and Spiritual

Study me

 I am the eternal tree

`

The Banyan tree is the national tree of India and Bangladesh. The word Banyan comes from the Gujarati word Bania or trader. The word was picked up by the Portugese to refer to the Hindu traders who used to sit under the shade of these trees to conduct their business and passed it on to the English who began to refer to the ‘Banyan’ trees. 🙂

Interesting? Learn more here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Banyan

‘Sindoor’ (the Vermilion powder on the forehead) & ‘Inconvenient Relations.’

sindoor1

“By placing this Sindoor on your forehead, I make you mine. I take you as my wife.”

Sindoor सिन्दूर : Hindi pronounced Sin-Dur is the red vermilion powder worn by married Hindu women along the Maang (parting) of their hair. Being in use since the Vedic era, it is also called ‘Kumkum’ when mixed with turmeric.

Why Sindoor or Kumkum?

Considered scientifically and spiritually beneficial, it absorbs the ‘bad’ influences and enhances the power of concentration through the 3rd chakra which is centered on the forehead in between the eyebrows. It also enhances feminine grace and beauty. RED is the color of love and passion and hence is worn by women to win the hearts of their husbands.

It signifies that the woman who wears it is married and under the protection of her husband, therefore no one dare make the mistake of casting the evil eye on her.

Red is also the color of fire and strength. By wearing it, even the slight unassuming Indian woman can assume the role of Shakti (the divine feminine power) not only to protect herself but also for the security of her children.

InconvenientRelations-web

Excerpt from ‘Inconvenient Relations’

You’re Mine

Ruhi saw Debo examining her curiously and realized that the sari had slipped off her shoulder while tending to Anu.

“What is up, dear? Where is your mangalsutra and sindoor? I noticed earlier but didn’t bring it up.”

 “Umm…the chain broke. I have given it for fixing.”

 “Then what about the sindoor?”

 “I…The whole thing fell on the carpet yesterday and made a mess. I have to go get some more.”

 “Ruhi look at me.” Debo gently propped her face up by the chin. “You consider me like your elder sister, right?”

 She answered with an apprehensive nod.

 “Then there are certain things, which are essential for a married Indian woman. It doesn’t matter what your husband may say, but you should not take them lightly. You should never go without your sindoor because it is an auspicious symbol of your marriage and also a sign that indicates your love will prosper. Therefore, even if you don’t have your wedding necklace, you should at least wear your sindoor.”

 “Yes, di, I will try to get some as soon as possible.”

 “Soon? Why not now?”

 Ruhi felt trapped as Debo dragged her to a tiny shrine and picked up a small silver receptacle full of the vermilion powder.

 “I can put it on, di, give it to me.”

 “No, I have a better idea. Shaan!” Debo called out.

 Ruhi felt upset; her body began to tremble.

 “What is it, bhabhi? Time for food?” Shaan appeared, smiling along with Sujoy.

 “Shaan, I didn’t expect this from you. I know you love your wife dearly, but letting her go about bareheaded. It is not right.”

 “Let them be, Debo, they are a modern couple. It’s their life. You don’t have to interfere.” Sujoy chimed in acutely embarrassed; his wife was quite the traditionalist.

“You keep out of it, Sujoy, I know my sister. She will listen to me.”

 She handed Shaan the receptacle and urged him, “Take this and put it back where it belongs with God as your witness and don’t ever let her go unadorned again.”

 Then as he hesitated, she asked, frowning, ”Is there something wrong between you two?”

 “No, of course not.” He looked at Ruhi who had grown completely silent.

 “Go ahead, Shaan,” Bee said softly, giving him permission.

 He pinched a small amount of the red powder and placed it firmly in the parting on her forehead. Not entirely certain why, but this makeshift ceremony appeared more meaningful to him than the one on his wedding day.

 “Perfect! Now my mishti bon looks like a bride, a very beautiful bride.”

~

BUY LINKS

The Bashful Bride – Innocence Unveiled in ‘Inconvenient Relations’

the shy bride

The Bashful Bride

`

She sits on the rose strewn bed

A bashful bride

In all her jeweled splendor

Hennaed hands resting on drawn up knees

Innocent and uninitiated

Awaiting the approach of her beloved

`

The bombshell had dropped on their wedding night. He had walked into the room late as she sat there, a shy bride in all her wedding finery waiting, nervous yet excited at the same time, to meet the man she had hardly spoken to or looked at. What would he say, talk about, or do?

She had heard a lot of stories about what to expect, some factual and some fabricated (her friends had prepared her well), but she wanted her own to be special, unique, and it was…

Sitting down on the bed in front of her, he had taken her hand in his and said very gently, as if to tone down the trauma, “I bet you are one of the most beautiful brides in the world, but I’m sorry I cannot make love to you. There is someone else.”- An Incurable Insanity

Solah Shringar

The 16 basic steps of bridal adornment which correspond to the 16 phases of the moon. Shringar is derived from the word Shri or Lakshmi; the Goddess of wealth, beauty and prosperity. The wedding day is considered the most significant in a woman’s life- one which marks her transition into womanhood.

1. Gajra (string of Jasmine flowers): Hair is styled and adorned with the fragrant Gajra and jewelry.

2. Maang-teeka: generally made of gold, silver and precious stones, Maang teeka is worn in the central parting of hair.

3. Sindoor: is the vermilion powder that is worn in the center parting of hair. A symbol of marriage, it is placed for the first time by the groom during the marriage ritual.

4. Bindi or tilak: A red vermilion dot worn in the center of the forehead.

5. Kajal or Kohl: Black eyeliner to enhance the bride’s beautiful eyes traditionally made from the soot of an earthen lamp with the wick placed in clarified butter.

6. Nath or Nose ring: By far the most ethnic and traditional of Indian looks.

7. Elaborate jeweled earrings: whose weight is supported by a chain affixed to the hair.

8. Necklace: Of different lengths and styles adorn the neck. The most sacred is the mangalsootra, given by the groom during the wedding ceremony made of black beads.

9. Armlets: Worn on both upper arms.

10. Bangles and bracelets: Made of glass, gold, silver and precious gems are the most visible sign of marriage.

11. Mehndi or Henna: Applied to the hands and feet in intricate design is meant to strengthen the bond of love.

12. Rings and Hathphool (Flower of the hand): A bride wears 4 rings on each hand which are connected together by a central medallion called the Hathphool, which in turn is connected to a bracelet.

13. Aarsi or mirrored thumb ring: The bride wears this so to be able to glance at herself and take a peek at her husband as well through the cover of her veil. 😉

14. Waistband or Kamarband: A beautifully designed silver or gold belt encrusted with precious and semi precious gems which serves a dual purpose- enhancing the waist besides holding up the weight of the heavy sari or skirt.

15. Anklets or Payal: A chain of silver edged with clusters of tiny bells worn around both ankles that make a pleasant tinkling sound when the bride moves.

16. Toe ring: Usually worn on the second toe of either or both feet are  symbols of marriage.

The Bridal dress: This can be a sari or a ghagra choli (traditional skirt and blouse) and is usually red in color because red is considered auspicious. It is richly embroidered in gold which ensures ceremonial purity.

traditional-toe-rings

BUY LINKS

Shakti- the Divine woman & another ‘Inconvenient Relations’ excerpt :)

shakti-goddess

WOMAN

`

From time immemorial

This has been a woman’s lot

That a man is more equal than she

History has not forgot

`

She toiled with him everyday

Made sure he was fed

Going sometimes without

Would anyone care if she were dead

`

She bore him sons

Despite incredible pain

Her daughters he rejected

‘Coz they brought him shame

`

He covered her up from head to toe

Treating her like some possession

Shackled her up in his house

Scourged her for his own indiscretions

`

Would you find people more hypocrite

In any other part of the world

Who deify innumerable goddesses

Yet smother the baby girl?

Inconvenient relations C

` Excerpt From ‘INCONVENIENT RELATIONS’

I AM WOMAN

`

“Can I speak to Shaan?” The voice was female.

 Taking a deep breath, Ruhi answered, “He is still sleeping. May I know who is calling?”

 “Tell him it’s Des. I need to talk to him. He hasn’t been answering my calls!”She had a young but high-pitched voice, a woman who was used to getting her way and who wouldn’t take no for an answer.

 Ruhi bristled with anger. “You can call back in half an hour. He should be up by then.”She hung up.

Soon she could hear him in his room talking and arguing on the phone. She ran into the master and locked the door to shut out the sound.

 Almost a month had passed since they had been together, and she still felt clueless about him. He was like a giant jigsaw puzzle with the key pieces missing. He seemed good at times, caring,

kind. Perhaps it was just his nature, and he really didn’t consider her special. What was certain was that he continued to see this other woman, and Ruhi’s presence hadn’t altered it. Her rival appeared larger than life, and she had lost the fight even before it had begun.

 “Aren’t you going to eat?”

 “I’m not hungry.”

 “Well, that’s something I cannot say to tell you the truth. You have influenced my taste completely.” He smiled.

 “Have I?”

 “Well, here’s my clean plate as evidence.”

 “I’m not talking about food.”

 “Then what are you talking about?” His guard was up.

 “I have been here for quite some time now, and I still feel that you are a complete stranger to me. I was thinking…”

 “What do you want to know?”

“What is she like? Who is she? What kind of relationship do you share? Tell me. I think that I have a right to know.”

 “That’s none of your business. I don’t want to talk about it. Another four weeks and you will be back home. Let’s just leave it at that,” he said, abruptly brushing her off.

 None of my business. She left the table before she threw her fork at him.

None of your business…

The words echoed over and over in her brain like a never ending sermon.

 She sat on the bed with her knees drawn up; her tears had run dry. No words could be more hurtful or decisive. He had been done with her from the very beginning, and she like a fool had believed that she could win him over by playing the ideal Indian wife. He’d probably been laughing at her all along. I can’t stay any longer, I have to leave now! Papa will get me the tickets. Reaching for the phone, she hesitated. Her parents had no idea about what was going on. She had made a conscious decision to not tell them anything. They would be shocked, heartbroken. She had to break it to them gently, but for that, she would need to stay.

 But how? Not like this!

 Pulling off her maroon sari, she stuffed it in the bottom of her still mostly unpacked suitcase. She hated it. Then walking into the bath, she assessed herself in the mirror. If marriage held no meaning for him, why should it for me? If everything was going to come to an end in another month, why not now? Why continue with this charade?

 Unclasping the sacred marriage necklace from around her neck, she laid it down carefully on the counter. Then, wiping off the vermilion dot from her forehead, she examined her face again.

 She smiled. Finally, she knew who she was. She was Ruhi Sharma, and there was no looking back.

““`

Do you sense a change of pace here?

The heroine of my book cannot take it anymore. Ruhi’s done trying and has decided to move on. She chooses to lead life on her own terms.

Don’t be deceived by her sweet disposition, or her slender figure for she is ‘Shakti’–a divine cosmic force that can not only create but also destroy. At the base of her spine resides ‘Kundalini’ energy–a powerful goddess waiting to be awakened.

She is bold and liberated. She speaks her mind. She is tough and vibrant. She knows what she wants and doesn’t compromise on her values.

Yes, at times she is also a tease, impulsive, confused, brash, reactive, headstrong, vulnerable, fragile, infuriating and… a spoiled brat, but she is who she is– her own unique self. 😉

`

LETS TALK SOME MORE on FACEBOOK

BUY LINKS BELOW

US: http://amzn.to/1xtYOIR

INDIA: http://bit.ly/1zzCo96

UK: http://amzn.to/1wHtC6O

GERMANY: http://amzn.to/1AKSb3Z

FRANCE: http://amzn.to/1AKStYH

SPAIN: http://amzn.to/13ZQDaj

ITALY: http://amzn.to/1x5FYFL

NETHERLANDS: http://bit.ly/1xNwsZv

JAPAN: http://amzn.to/1t0ffp0

BRAZIL: http://bit.ly/1vd74p4

CANADA: http://amzn.to/1HEnqOo

MEXICO: http://bit.ly/1CEp84b

AUSTRALIA: http://bit.ly/1CMJ6a5

———000——

AND LAST BUT NOT THE LEAST, AS A GIFT TO MY LOYAL READERS I’VE CHOSEN TO PUBLISH AS I WRITE BOOK 2 OF THE ARRANGED MATCH SERIES (THE CONTINUATION OF THE SHAAN AND RUHI SAGA) On WATTPAD— YEAH!

Now and forever cover image

Please follow me– TheWriteDoc, read and share your thoughts. I promise you’ll enjoy it!

Thank you,

Simi

 

India Unveiled- Mughal India: Tomb of Salim Chishti

Salim Chisti TombIntricate Jali – Stone latticework window overlooking the Jama Masjid courtyard.

About 25 miles from Agra is the city of Fatehpur Sikri (Hindi: फ़तेहपुर सीकरी, Urdu: فتحپور سیکری‎), founded by the Mughal Emperor Akbar, which also served as his capital from 1571-1585. Here he proceeded to build a grand walled city which today is one of the best preserved collections of Mughal Architecture in India.

The Tomb of the Sufi saint Salim Chishti (descendant of Khwaja Mouniddin Chishti of Ajmer) built inside the imperial complex is particularly mesmerizing. Facing south toward the Buland Darwaza, the shrine is enclosed by delicately carved Jalis– marble stone screens and topped by a single semicircular dome.

Jama Masjid courtyard

Jama Masjid courtyard

The atmosphere of the place is beautifully exemplified in this haunting melody from the movie Garam Hawa (Hot Winds), 1973.