Date Published: 10/08/2013
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.'
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?'
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.
The first time Ruhi saw Shaan’s picture – she just knew he was the one. So, among all the suitors that are vying for her attention, she allowed her father to arrange her marriage with a man she had never seen or talked to before. After all, their fathers have been friends and he was an eligible bachelor – handsome, smart, and has a stable job.
But at the night of the wedding, she realized that all her dreams were just illusions. The man she had dreamt about did not exist. It was not exactly how she envisioned her married life would be. Shaan might be kind to her, but his heart belonged to someone else. Ruhi decided to play the obedient, caring wife – cooking his meals, cleaning his house, and the like, but no matter what she does, it seems like it’s never enough. He’s never going to learn to love her.
Shaan had never thought that he’d followed tradition and agreed to an arranged marriage. But his father had blackmailed him into doing so. He had no choice but to do as he pleased, for his grandfather. In no way, however, he would claim his marital rights or carry out his vows. His previous relationship left him broken and angry. He made it clear to his new wife about his intentions – but he was in for a surprise for what his wife had in her mind.
Both of them exasperate me. Here are two people who finally realize their feelings for each other but no one is brave enough to take risks! Okay, Ruhi was hurt, disillusioned and her pride might have gotten bruised, she’s away from her family in a strange country which she really knew no one, add in a disgruntled and bitter ex: ONE BIG TROUBLE. Doubt and insecurities sets in and no matter how much Shaan tries to make her explain – she shrugs him off. Shaan, on the other hand, has a mouth that knows no filter. I don’t think he knew what ticks off a girl, or what she wanted to hear. He had learned it the hard way and suffered the consequences. Nevertheless, I admire his tenacity in proving his feelings for her.
Arranged marriage might be a little medieval at this point in time, but then it still happens. Finding true love when someone else chose for you might be hard, but with fate on your side, you might be lucky enough to find happily ever after. They might have started out wrong, and their relationship had been a wild rollercoaster ride, but Shaan and Ruhi proved it just takes a little bit of trust and a whole lot of love for a relationship to succeed.
Love indeed can make you a little bit insane. These two had me on the verge of insanity, but I love them still. I enjoyed reading this novel, not just because of the banter between the two characters, or their love-hate relationship but Simi K. Rao gave us a glimpse of the richness and complexities on the Indian Culture.
*ARC Copy was given in exchange for an honest review.
"Here... lunch." She pushed a box towards him.
"I don't want it."
"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."
Simi K. Rao was born in India and has been living in the United States for several years. This book is her first foray into writing. The inspiration for the story came from what she has seen transpire among and within the immigrant community. Some of the experiences included are her own; some have been garnered from friends and casual conversations with acquaintances. She also writes poetry, is an avid photographer, loves to travel, and is a practicing physician. She currently lives in Denver with her family.
You can connect with the author and read more of her work on her website atwww.simikrao.com