Falguni Kothari is a very sensuous writer who has penned several books that will make yearn for some more….(in writing terms ) .
Today on my request for a guest post she has obliged Romance Writer With Walnut Cup Cakes blog by hoping in with a pen and paper in her hand to write a GP on love and marriage .
Please welcome Falguni with a new wedding arrangement that will give her an ‘Awwh’ feeling.
Over to you Ms Kothari ,
June begins the wedding season for the most Indians here in India, I would love you to write a love story with a wedding happening in that family.
I’m cheating a bit with this guest post as instead of writing a love story with a wedding theme, I’m posting a wedding excerpt from my first novel, It’s Your Move, Wordfreak!
This is one of my favorite scenes in the book because it’s the first time the heroine meets the hero’s family and really, what’s an Indian wedding without some family drama? Enjoy!
Aryan pressed a hand to Alisha’s back, guiding her through the hotel.
“It’s not a traditional wedding ceremony as the bride is Hindu and the groom, Catholic. It’s more like a reception,” he explained.
Alisha glanced up at Aryan and her vital organs did a curious pitter-patter. His black suit fit him flawlessly, enhancing his powerful shoulders and hugging his waist like a glove. He grabbed her hand as they climbed up the red carpeted steps to the Ball Room. He smelled sinful, decadent, and it was all she could do not to curl into him and sniff.
“There they are,” said Aryan, raising his hand in a wave. Alisha turned to look at his family who were waiting for them along a corridor that lead to the Ball Room.
Uncle Sam, she guessed, was the man in the dark blue jodhpuri. Aryan’s grandmother, Alisha recognized, slowly rose from the ostentatious diwan as they neared. Aryan’s aunt was the short, pretty and slightly pregnant woman in a classic lime green sharara. She didn’t seem all that much older than Alisha. She held out both hands and basically took over.
“We finally meet! You look lovely, both of you.” She gathered Alisha in a warm hug and kissed her on each cheek. Alisha had to bend to return the hug and the compliment.
“Namaste aunty,” Alisha greeted Aryan’s jovial-faced grandmother and was subjected to another tight hug and a pat on her cheek.
“Namaste, beta,” she replied. “Alisha, this is my uncle, Sameer Vaidya,” said Aryan as his uncle held out his hand to shake.
Alisha took it, saying, “I’ve heard so much about all of you that I feel I know you already.” Uncle Sam grinned. His smile was so like Aryan’s that the nervous butterflies she’d been trying to ignore flew away, hopefully forever. The two men looked identical. The same tall frame, the same broad-boned face complete with dimples. Aryan was a younger, taller, version of Uncle Sam.
“Same here, Alisha, same here,” he said and surprised her with a kiss on her forehead. “Let’s just skip the damn wedding and go out for dinner,” Uncle Sam proposed out of the blue.
“Yes! Let’s,” Aryan seconded eagerly.
“Absolutely not!” the two Vaidya women vetoed.
“How can you even think such a thing? That’s my cousin’s daughter getting married in there. A cousin you are very fond of and close to,” said Aryan’s aunt.
Uncle Sam grumbled good-naturedly but eventually agreed with his wife. Aryan’s aunt hooked her arm through Alisha’s and started walking behind them. “Stick to me. I’ll introduce you to everyone.”
As what, Alisha wondered inanely. Oh god, here goes nothing. She looked back at Aryan helplessly and followed his aunt into the humming, throbbing Ball Room.
The Ball Room was bursting at the seams with people who seemed to be sparkling in one way or another. Dazzling chandeliers hung from high ceilings that compensated nicely for the jammed square footage. The ambience was modern but romantic with pots full of sweet smelling freesias and roses. White silk bows held violet drapes together and diyas and flower petals floated in enormous water-filled containers. A shehnai played softly in the background.
“So, you’re a lawyer,” said Uncle Sam as he led her towards a relatively quieter section of the room.
Alisha nodded, feeling a bit shy.
“Divorce law, I believe. It keeps you busy?” Uncle Sam had the naughtiest twinkle in his eyes, one which Alisha recognized immediately as it was so familiar.
Alisha grinned. “Yes. And if you ever need one, I’ll represent you…pro bono.”
Uncle Sam burst out laughing. Aryan was smiling too. Then he rolled his eyes at someone over Alisha’s shoulder. Alisha turned and blushed when she realized that Aryan’s aunt and grandmother had heard that exchange.
“Uh, I was joking,” she clarified, lamely.
“Yes, I know,” Neetamami said and shook her head making her long diamond earrings swish to and fro. “I can see that your sense of humor matches my husband’s and nephew’s.” She didn’t say it but her expression clearly said “God help us!”
True to her word, Aryan’s aunt made sure that Alisha was never alone. Alisha met so many people—as a friend of the family—that the names and faces started glazing over. And everybody in the whole gigantic space was dressed to kill. Note to self: thank Diya for her foresight.
Aryan was completely in his element.
In her experience, most people projected different personas under different circumstances. Maybe not different personas so much as different traits in their personalities dominated in different surroundings. As the faceless Wordfreak, Aryan had been glib and flirtatious. As a man on a date, he was courteous and charming. Amongst friends, he was fun, often frivolous. On rare occasions, he was aloof and moody, and she’d found that those moods could easily be reversed. Here, she was introduced to Mr. Confident-and-Cocky and Mr. Over-the-top-and-Pseudo.
“Jazzy Aunty! You look amazing. Love your sari and the color? Absolutely stunning on you. This is your daughter? Why, that’s impossible,” he gushed. When Jazzy Aunty insisted the petite, shy little girl was her daughter Aryan went on with his ridiculous superlatives, “You don’t look old enough to have a daughter old enough to be in college!”
Alisha refrained from pinching his arm, hard. Though, she had to admit that it was entertaining.
Aryan also had a subtle mean streak that he wielded like a weapon. Most people didn’t even realize they had been insulted. Alisha herself had a more direct approach for such situations, but she was quite impressed by Aryan’s barely noticeable bulls-eyes. Uncle Sam had the same proficiency with sarcasm and Alisha had noticed his wife freezing every so often, when Uncle Sam delivered some such comment, waiting for the recipient to punch her husband.
“Who was that again?” Alisha asked, watching the glamorous woman in a purple and pink lehenga walk away to air-kiss someone. She had come over to greet Aryan’s aunt. The two petite women had ooh-ed and aah-ed over each others’ outfits, jewelry and hairdos. They had air-kissed twice and then the woman had departed, completely ignoring Alisha even though they had been introduced.
“The bride’s sister, Brinda.”
“The barracuda,” Uncle Sam added as the men joined them again, each holding a glass of amber colored liquid.
Aryan’s grandmother tsk-tsked and said, “She’s a very sweet girl. A little spoilt perhaps, but she’s still young.”
“Behave yourself, Sameer. People can hear you,” Neetamami said, poking her husband on his arm.
Uncle Sam shrugged. “Well, she is. Just because she’s nice…way too nice…to you two, doesn’t mean she’s not. We’ve worked with her on her bedroom renovation…ask Aryan…she’s a nightmare.”
Alisha looked at Aryan for confirmation, but he’d taken a sudden riveting interest in his scotch.
“What?” He pretended that he hadn’t heard a word Uncle Sam had said.
Alisha’s gut slowly flipped over. It was like that, was it? No wonder the woman hadn’t acknowledged her. As she mulled over Aryan’s behavior, she spotted a known face in the crowd— Mr. Kumar. His malevolent stare sent a shiver down her spine. She absolutely loathed the uncouth, nasty man. He didn’t budge or look away. Ghastly, obnoxious man, she thought.
“What’s the matter,” asked Aryan, making her jolt.
“Nothing,” she said. “I need to…please excuse me,” she said to everyone in general. “I need to powder my nose.” When Aryan made to go along with her she said, “Don’t be silly. I can get there and back on my own.”
She made her way to the washroom, looking back a few times to see if Mr. Kumar was following—he wasn’t. Sighing in relief, she pushed the washroom door open. The bride and her sister were inside. Alisha’s foot caught on the hem of her sari and she stumbled into the room.
“Careful,” said the bride in a high-pitched voice and grabbed hold of Alisha’s arm to stop her fall.
“Oh! Thanks. How clumsy of me,” she said.
“No problem. Don’t want any of my guests falling and breaking something. I’m Myna, the bride.” Myna said it with such relish and happiness that Alisha laughed.
“I know. And congratulations on your wedding.”
“Thanks.” Myna was a short, pretty girl—really, she looked too young to be a bride—with a sassy smile. “And you are?” she asked.
“She’s Aryan’s latest,” sneered Brinda, the barracuda. She was watching them through the mirror as she refreshed her make-up. Then she insolently looked Alisha up and down and with a flourish swept out of the washroom.
Alisha closed her eyes and counted to ten, slowly.
“Don’t mind her. She’s had a thing for Aryan since Neeta Aunty married Sameer Uncle.” Myna scrunched her nose in apology.
“It’s okay. Don’t worry. I don’t have my gun on me. It didn’t fit in this tiny purse,” said Alisha wryly.
Myna gave a sharp, shocked giggle. “I can see why he likes you.”
“I’m Alisha,” she said, not bothering with a thank you.
“It was really nice to meet you. Please, don’t leave before the show, okay? It’ll start right after dinner.”
Alisha smiled and nodded, then went into one of the three bathroom cubicles. When she came out the bride had gone. She adjusted her sari pallu, dabbed the oil off her face with a tissue and decided that everything still looked nice and presentable but just as uncomfortable. She pushed open the washroom door, stepped out, and stopped dead. Aryan was standing diagonally across the hall, looking grim and unapproachable. Brinda, the barracuda, was standing in front of him, jabbering away. From what Alisha could see from her vantage point, Aryan looked like he was getting ready to smash his glass on the wall, or smack the barracuda across her face.
Alisha sincerely hoped the glass shattering would win as she wasn’t sure she could be with a man who hit women, even women as provoking as the barracuda. She strolled up casually. He hadn’t seen her come out of the washroom for he looked startled at her sudden appearance. Then a dark flush bloomed on his cheeks. Alisha was totally intrigued.
Brinda finally noticed her as well. And then it got interesting.
Aryan turned to her. “Shall we go?”
“Don’t you dare ignore me Aryan Rajaram Chawla.” Brinda grabbed his arm.
“We just spoke for five whole minutes, how is that ignoring you?” Aryan frowned at the short woman.
Then Brinda, the barracuda, turned to her and demanded, “Do you shut the lights when you leave the room? Do you leave the water running when you brush your teeth? Do you recycle?”
Alisha could only shake her head.
“Bloody hell, Brin,” said Aryan, sounding thoroughly exasperated.
Brin was beyond caring now. “What’s your carbon footprint? Tell me, tell me.”
Alisha looked at her in confusion. Was the woman mad? “I have no idea.”
She looked completely outraged at that and rounded on Aryan. “What? You haven’t lectured her on saving the planet? How you must only take what you need and nothing more? On using solar panels and reprocessed wood and saving the frigging planet one footprint at a time?” Brinda folded her arms across her chest and sneered at him. She was very good at sneering. “Ha! Typical Aryan. A charming bastard when he’s pursuing a woman but once he gets into her pants…it’s over. Where is your conserve and use as little as possible policy when it concerns bedding women, Aryan?”
Aryan’s blush had turned a fiery red color by now and Alisha wondered if she could be a witness as well as his defense lawyer when he murdered Brin, the stupid, bigmouthed barracuda.
A bright flash suddenly lit up the room startling all three of them. Aryan’s “Bloody fucking hell!” was heartfelt and resounding.
Excerpt from It’s Your Move, Wordfreak! © Falguni Kothari.
I hope you all enjoyed reading this cool and relaxing guest post by the author of ‘My Last Love Story’ .
Thanks F2 for your kindness in penning this G P for us.
With Lots of Joy and Happiness,