Excerpt from the novel in progress

Hey people,

The novel is still work in progress. It’s the first draft that I decided to start all over again and the good news is that I have almost reached 25 brand new pages, an entirely different product from the earlier draft that I was writing. Of course, it’s a rom-com and sharing an excerpt. Of course, looking for honest feedbacks. I shall tentatively call it, “Half-baked Love.”

Excerpt from, ‘Half-baked love.’

Walking past Churchgate Station, they hailed off the stationed black-and-yellow taxis scouting for passengers and plodded their steps past the fountain, where a line-up of shops selling cheap jeans and tee shirts put on display and hanging on ropes on the colorful tents. A shopkeeper stopped Zoya, “Salum walekum Malkin! Apne Mister ke liye kuch lijiye? (Buy something for your mister)” Kshitij face was amok with excitement and congratulated this guy in his heart , wondering why the fuck they don’t make such kind of commoners. Deep inside, he was plotting that this hawker blurts out some more rubbish.  He was amused and signaled the hawker who sported a grey beard to tell more by waving his hand. He made faces behind Zoya back. She turned towards Kshitij with a serious look and exuded a timid smile, flashing her jaws before turning towards the hawker.

She addressed him in Hindi, “Janab, aap ko kisne bola key eh mere Mister hai? (Sir! Who told you he is my Mister?)” There was no smile on her face nor sign of mild irritation. She is an expert in addressing people in a super cool manner that doesn’t make them back out nor feel apologetic. In turn, it makes plain strangers warming up to her as her cool and calm demeanour makes them feel so good. It’s this one quality that drew Kshitij towards her and wonders how she can easily gel with people like that.

The elderly hawker in between measuring legs for a client and marketing his clothing materials, gave Zoya a tenderly father figure touch. “Kya fadak parta hai! Agar Mister nahin hai toh boyfriend hai ya banjayega. Usske ankhein meindekh aapke liye bohot pyar beti. Ban jayega ek din Mister (What difference it makes? If he is not your Mister, he must be or will be boyfriend. I have seen love for you in his eyes, daughter).” He winked at Zoya. She became sheepish and her face turned red with embarrassment.

Kshitij felt like touching the man’s feet and wished that Harry Potter was real, that he would mix a magic potion to make both father and daughter. He felt like telling the guy, “Thank you Sasur-ji. Banoonga mein aap ke damaad when you adopt this girl. (Thank you father-in-law. I will become your future son-in-law with this adoptive daughter of yours).” Kshitij had to take things slow and was wary of the implications of blurting out such nonsense. He was still reeling under the nightmare.

The only  that he could do was make his heart clap like a silent spectator in his theatre of real imagination. Zoya caught his amusement and waged her middle finger at him, whispering threat into his ears, “You having fun, na. Now, you wait what I do to you? You think that I don’t understand…saala kaminey, harami.” Kshtij immediate change his expression from amused to serious before mocking her. She turned away from him and let off to the enthusiastic, “Yeh koi Mister nahin…bas raaste mein mila (He is no mister and I found him like that on the street)” The hawker let off a smile and tried not to laugh on Kshitij’s face. It was his turn to become red.

She shook the guy’s hands before asking his name, “Suleiman. It was nice meeting you.” Suleiman shook the hand of Kshitij tightly and hugged him with, “Koi baat nahin dost” and whispered in his ear, “Don’t let her go ever. Be stubborn. Yeh ladki Heera hai.”

Zoya scolded Kshitij and pulled his hand, “Let’s go. Do you want to get married to his daughter or what and set a stall here at Churchgate. That way, both son-in-law and father-in-law will make good money.”



Fiction: Cheat Kiss and the frog

‘What did you do just now?’, Mehr’s face turned shy and red, shifted her gaze away from him in the crowded coffee shop to watch the rain splattering on the glass window. He nonchalantly said, “Oh! I was trying to count and feel the butterfly. She wore a feigned smile to express surprise in an ironical way, “WoW! Genius! Where was the butterfly roaming? On my lip. I am flattered.”

Kamal tapped the wooden table with his hand and fingers humming, “I stole a kiss. I peck her on the cheek. She turned her face away. A coy princess. The butterfly lips didn’t kiss and melt.”

“Aha! Mr Shayar. You are in total mood today and better don’t buy moods condom at the shop. Keep the smartness inside your pant,” Mehr deliberately stitched his lip with her words. Mehr has a natural flair for words and this is one thing that made her Kamal’s hot pursuit until she relented.


Image credit: Google.

The rain lashed uninterruptedly for hours. Mehr stuck her cheek like glue to the glass pane, watching the branches clattering outside and water pouring as black umbrellas resurfaced in the city, people flocking for shelter and safety under the thin roofs on the street, housing a line up of old colonial buildings in a row. The face tingling with icy cold sensation was a favorite pastime and she loved this feeling to death. Kamal inched forward to stroke her cheek but he suddenly felt a spurt of numbness on his palm and fingers. A dripping cold sensation ran down his spine and made him shudder. He jerked backward with the cold feeling that almost made his palm and fingers numb.  Mehr broke into a cackle of laughter. “Now, you know why I am a cool oven. Caress me at your own risk. I am electrical and piping red-hot.” He mocked her laughter, “I thought you were cold like the icy water.”

“Hey, Mister,” she lightly chided him. Perhaps, you don’t know how hot and desirable I am.” He was not going to let go of the moment and jumped on the occasion, “You gotta prove your hotness quotient right now here in the crowded cafe after this tall claim. Show some guts, babe. It’s a perfect time. The rain will make it something to remember. The romantic moment, rain and breeze will soon elapse. Enjoy before it melts.” She knew what he was hinting at.

Mehr would play hard to get. At least, he should do some hard work and not empty talk to kiss her most prized possession, the moist lip, She is not going to give in so easily this time. She smiled with naughtiness brimmed to her lip. “Nice try, dude. Better be more creative. After all, it’s a question of lips which I don’t barter for free.” Kamal was losing patience but faked a smile, “You wanna me move the mountains or sing Karaoke in this place full of couples busy making out to win over you. It’s just a kiss yaar.” She put her seductive smile, “Try better. Buck up your act and words. Take your time…I am a hot pursuit, after all.” She winked at him.

Kamal tapped his finger on the table and fling a rupee coin in Mehr’s direction which amused her. She looked at how he expertly tossed the coin with his index and asked, “What are you doing?” He casually distracted her, “Look at this dude wearing fancy trousers. He looks like Ranveer Singh in this funky Pyjama.” She turned her face towards the random guy. He calculated his move as she turned her face and held her waist, swiftly planting a kiss on her quivering lip.

Kamal felt the dripping sensation of moist lips that made him smile. His heart warmed as their mouths cupped. Mehr was taken by surprise and blushed, almost hiding her face under the paper napkin. She moved her face closer and kissed him back. Their hearts melted. She couldn’t stop herself from cajoling him with a tender touch on his face, “You are a cheat kisser. Look outside and see your reflection. Just do it na.” He relented and saw a frog soiling in the muddy patch.

He was taken aback and muttered, “What! You think I am a frog.” She was elated after pulling this one on him, “Of course, you will turn into a cute frog after kissing me. I am a true princess who needs no kingdom.”





Writer’s mind


Oh! Writer! Living in his own imaginative world.

Love, hate, passion, break up and sentimentality!

The orgasm of words faked.

It’s kitsch!


Stack of lies.

How proud I am of him?

Prophet of doom.

Lyrical expression,

singing the tale of ‘ideal’ romance.

Never mess with them;

Making a fool of yourself is the next course;

You shall never know!

Laugh at your own self.

Pointless ranting.

It’s art on canvas of the mind.

Sexy and glam.








UBC 31: Crazy Romance, Cuddling Hearts and Harmless Flirting (7)

This post is written on Day 31 of the Ultimate Blog Challenge that I am doing in October for The Blog Chatter. I was running late and finally, I finished. It’s a romance series and today is the climax  and last outing of Crazy Romance, Cuddling Hearts and Harmless Flirting (7): 100 crores Diwali love

UBC 31: 100 Crores Diwali Love

Dusk has crept in. The silver doorknob twisted and slid open as she walked in tired and disappointed. Ayesha plonked on the couch to rest her head and was sipping a glass of ice cold water when she felt a shadow straggling behind her. A sharp object almost nipped her back which caused her to yelp in pain.

A scruffy voice pierced in her ears, “Get up and move or else this knife will enter your skin.” Ayesha almost fainted and felt a lump in her throat to wiggle her way blindfolded on the stairs. The voice softened, “You can slowly open your eyes now.”

Ayesha turned around in fear and felt no pressure on her, threw away the red band to see that her assailant had disappeared. She felt a chill down her spine. The stairs spangled with colors and lights traversing on every step, earthen lamps, candles lit on every step.  She blighted, trusted her gut feeling that Gigoloskore will surprise her on Diwali. As she flitted her steps, black-and-white pictures capturing her movements during the chase for love at Marine Drive, Archies Gallery, Churchgate Station, holding the teddy bear close to her chest and swirling her way on the streets of Mumbai, were carefully placed in red envelopes splayed on the floor, wall and table.

She knew it was him. It had to be her Gigoloskore. Her heart beat faster for she couldn’t wait to meet the man who made her lose her sleep and making her fall madly in love with him. Her voice cracked, “I know it’s you. Come man. My lips are ready to taste the nectar of passion.”

“Please, yaar! In ten minutes, it’s gonna be six. It’s Diwali yaar,” she implored him. Someone held her waist from behind and she felt a jolt on seeing him. Ayesha couldn’t believe her eyes. “You swine! I am going to kill you for making me do that. I had an inkling that it was you. You made me ran. You almost kidnapped me in my own house. You are so cute. Worth na doing the chase like 100 crores romance. Their lips met and melted, tasting the nectar, roiling passion, exploring every inch, line, and zone in their mouths.

“I promised to you. We will light the lamps together,” he said. He wore a bright blue Kurta on white pyjama. She sizzled in a cream saree.  He caressed her hand as she lit the lick in the colorful earthen lamps, candles, tasting the sweets one by one, gulab jamun, ladoo, barfi, Kaaju Katli, and chocolates.

Ayesha broke a piece in each and every sweet splattered in a huge gold plated thali and pushed into his mouth. He unwrapped the box of Cadburi chocolate and smeared on her lip as she bit his finger. “Ouch!” he complained.  She was amused and laughed, “So much for making me lose my sleep. I told you are a dog. You think I am Basanti or what with your hero giri.”

“You are my Pathaka, my Lakshmi. I will never ever let you go,” he spoke softly. The glitter in her eyes spoke the language of eternal love with passion. Crackers flung in the air. She scampered down the stairs to see small children running to burst crackers and grown-ups wishing each other Happy Diwali in jest.

He gently held her hand as they trudged back to the apartment. Their lips melted again, singing Happy Diwali in pure Hindi film style. He untied the string in Ayesha’s saree kissing her nape and bareback. She bit into the barfi, held between her teeth which reached his dry lip. “It’s the best ever Diwali in my life. Our love is eternal like the sweet,” she breathed.

“And, the light will always shine on us, my Rosho gullah,” he winked.

Ayesha lilted, “What should I call you?” Who will kiss and make love to me every five seconds or five minutes, Gautam or Gigoloskore?

He simpered, “I am at your service day and night, you Highness…Gautam or Gogoloskore.”

The light went off.

The end

Happy Diwali



UBC 30: Crazy Romance, Cuddling Hearts and Harmless Flirting (6): Chasing Love


This post is written as part of the Ultimate Blog Challenge and The Blog Chatter on Day 30. I am writing short stories for the entire challenge in October and doing a romance series, Crazy Romance, Cuddling Hearts and Harmless Flirting (6): Chasing Love.


It was a sunny morning in Mumbai that Ayesha woke up to. She scampered her way inside the black-and-yellow cab, urged the driver to drive aimlessly and to wander on the busy streets. The vehicles ambled slowly in a day where the traffic stood standstill. Finally, the car whooshed past the crowd swarming to the shops to buy new clothes, sweets and decorations for Diwali. It was painful to sit in the car and wait in anticipation.

She was restless. Where to go and how to find him, Ayesha wondered. The stress was too much to handle and felt that her heart could explode anytime. She couldn’t take it anymore. Finally, she got off the car and started running like a mad woman on the streets, shoving past people and sweating profusely.

“What a fucked up, game? As if I am some runaway bride?” she bellowed. Her phone beeped, “Clue Number One. You are close yet very far. Cards, mushy balloons, fancy pens and train.”

She hollered, “Gosh! Crazy man. I gonna find him.” Ayesha stopped in her track and beamed, “Wait, baby…It means that I am right now in Churchgate and train, means station.” She sprinted for her life, chucked out her breathlessness, stormed inside the station, ran down and up the stairs to wriggle her way out, facing Eros cinema.

Her phone rang, “My baby, you are an inch closer to me.” Ayesha lashed out at him, “What man? Cut the crap. It’s Diwali today. You think I am some mad woman who don’t have anything else to do or what? Am I Mother Theresa?  Wait! Hope you not thinking that I am Jai and Veeru rolled into one and you are Thakur who has assigned me to get Gabbar Singh in Ramgarh.”

He laughed on the phone, “Just follow the clue.”

Something struck in Ayesha’s head. She was standing in front of Archies Gallery…yea! Fancy pens.  Cards. Soft toys. She trawled her way inside, admiring the mushy love quotes and soft toys when her name, ‘Ayesha’ was shouted like a lullaby inside her ear.  She turned around and saw a man, walking with paper stuck on his white tee, with her name scribbled in bold letters, ‘Hi Ayesha’ with tiny dots of shaped hearts. She ran behind him and scrapped the paper that almost tore the tee.

“You are my teddy bear. Turn to the shelf,” the message read. Ayesha turned around to see a huge teddy bear slouched among many soft toys and a message written behind, ‘Go back to the Station.’ She turned around but the mysterious man has already disappeared. She clutched the teddy bear close to her chest and leaped on her feet, a car almost hitting her which made the driver mouthed expletives in Hindi.  She brandished her middle finger towards him.

Ayesha was unfazed about the world and sprinted her way, doing a Kajol in Dilwale Dulhaniya Le Jayenge, holding the teddy bear close to her heart. There was a huge commotion with the crowd pushing their way in a chaotic manner and a huge poster displayed on the train stationed on platform No. 1, “A for Ayesha. Come inside.”

She turned her head and upped the gaze to see balloons hanged on the train’s roof with her name splashed all over, Ayesha.”

A Hindi romantic song was suddenly played at full volume. The female announcer called out her name, “Ayesha! You are as beautiful as your name. They don’t make such men anymore. How I wish someone would love me as much as he loves you!  Clue. ‘Romance by the sea’. Run girl run. You have 40 seconds to meet him.”

There was a huge crowd on Marine Drive, exploding crackers and fireworks zooming up in the air to hit the sky and scribbling Happy Diwali. Beautiful lamps were wrapped in colorful muslin papers and placed within inch on the promenade and jutting till the end to make a replica of the Queen’s necklace on the ground.

She sat on the boulder admiring the light decorations on the trees and buildings, in myriad colors and her heart almost melted at what she just saw. Her peachy eyes turned moist. Her voice quavered. Six Muslin papers which adorned the earth lamps sparkled with letters, A Y E S H A. It was her name. The fireworks thrust towards the sky to form white, red, wispy strands, ‘Happy Diwali. I love you, Ayesha. Your Gigoloskore.”

Ayesha picked up the phone, “Dude! I know you are here. OMG! It’s so romantic and awesome. Now, reveal yourself. It will be six pm in another hour and I need to go home in time to light the lamps and candles.”

“Patience, my love. Patience. We will light the lamps together,” he whispered.

“What the fuck dude? I am going home,” Ayesha slammed the phone.

She walked away and hailed a cab to her home at Nepean Sea Road, battling emotions and unsure  whether it’s happiness or sadness. Will she ever see him?! She mused. She sat like a statue at the back and closed her eyes.

To be continued…

PS: I am lagging by one post in the UBC Challenge. Wait for the final outing.



UBC 28: Crazy Romance, Cuddling Hearts and Harmless Flirting (5): Tomato and Lemon


This post is written for UBC and The Blog Chatter where I am blogging for 31 days in October writing fiction doing the series Crazy Romance, Cuddling Hearts and Harmless Flirting (5):  Tomato and Lemon on Day 28.

Crazy Romance, Cuddling Hearts and Harmless Flirting (4):  Tomato and Lemon

The ambiance in the Punjabi restaurant in Andheri was cozy as Gautam and Ayesha admired the blue coated paint sitting by the candle in the darkly lit place. There were wooden decorations that gave a sense of sitting in a forest. Soft music played in the background that enticed romance but would turn out to be a tragic one.

The smoky chicken was placed on the table with huge slices of tomatoes which Ayesha admired with a twinkle in her eyes. She ordered Gautam, “Have the tomato first. You may feel that I am a tomato squeezed and crushed.” Ayesha was fumbling with the spoon and didn’t know how to announce the break up to Gautam.

Gautam was clueless about Ayesha pretending to be squeezed tomato. “You are lemon and I am tomato. Drink the lemon juice sprinkled with salt,” she shot in the dark. Ayesha knew that her words didn’t make any sense to Gautam.

The demon caught hold of her and she felt like Jinns inside her head, words assaulting her ear that would haunt her till death. She fiddled with her phone. Ayesha quavered, “I am breaking up with you. It is not happening. I love Gigoloskore and he’s not a condom. He is human. Lemon and Tomato are a bad mix. We grind them together and the result is horrible. We will get stomach upset.”

Gautam was bewildered, almost sure that Ayesha has lost her mental sanity.

“Are you on drugs, ganja, hashish or cocaine? ” he asked.

“No! I am breaking up with you. I love someone else. He is the one. He is love. The love of my life,” she blabbered.

The word break up landed on the head of Gautam like a war missile. It’s the eve of Diwali. He fought with the whole world on Facebook, insisting on banning crackers but this one was a real cracker on his destiny. Maybe a Chinese one! Ayesha words fell like water bugs on his head and he felt like a fish swimming in mud. She took the chance and said, ‘Ok! Bye and sorry for hurting you and thanks for the tomato that I ate from your plate. Foot the bill’. She rushed out pecking his lip. He felt assaulted.

She furiously dialed Gigoloskore’s number and almost banged the phone that kept ringing without an answer. She redialed the number. Finally! He picked up. She shouted, “Where were you? Listen! I just broke up with him. I need to meet you now. Or else, I will stage a drama in a public place and tell everyone I am pregnant with your child.”

He acted smart, “What the fuck?”

Ayesha harrumphed, “I made up my mind. It’s you, the love of my life. Don’t dare run away. I will find you. If you try to be an asshole, I will put a message on Tinder, exposing you for giving pleasure to older women and making me pregnant. I will call the cops and go to journalists.”

After all, he had no choice and muttered, “Chill! Cool! It’s Diwali tomorrow. I will wait for you at Archies Gallery but you will need to identify me. Let’s play a game.”



UBC 27: Crazy Romance, Cuddling Hearts and Harmless Flirting (4)

This post is written for UBC and The Blog Chatter where I am blogging for 31 days in October writing fiction doing the series Crazy Romance, Cuddling Hearts and Harmless Flirting (4):  Love vs Love   on Day 27.

Crazy Romance, Cuddling Hearts and Harmless Flirting (4):  Love Express  


Their head bobbed as they huddled together on the sofa sitting on the balcony. Gautam nuzzled her face and lip with chocolate, smeared all over Ayesha’s soft skin. He held her by the waist and asked, “Ayesha, what will happen tomorrow if we decide to call it quit?”

Ayesha made a sad face, “Nahin! Nahin! Mere Swami, don’t leave me like that or else I’ll become a devdasi.” He was taken aback by her expression, thinking that she was really upset with him. Her face lit up, “Oh! Really! You wanna leave me for greener and hotter pasture. Obvio, stupid, we don’t plan to stay together forever. We will kiss, hug, part ways and dance to the breakup song. I’ll go on a date with Sanskari Babu Alok Nath.” He gawked at her with his mouth wide open.

“You know what? You are a psycho chick and it’s why I am fida all over you?” he susurrated into her ears. He stole a kiss as he frothed his lip into hers and the swirling tongues licked the melted chocolate inside their mouths.

Ayesha faked anger, “Stand up.”

He was taken aback, “Hey chill. What’s wrong?”

She was adamant, “I asked you to stand up. It’s plain English. What were you thinking before knocking furiously on my door? You came uninvited without calling?”

He stammered, “Come on, yaar. I thought that I’d scare you a bit. Or, someone must have given you a blank call and when I knocked, you became shit scared that a creepy creature landed in front of your door.”

Ayesha flustered and feared doubts Gautam may have about her phony romance with Gigoloskore. She had no choice but to lighten up the mood.

She forced herself to laugh loudly and playfully kicked Gautam in his stomach, “Look who is scared now. No! I knew that it was your ghost.” He felt foolish to turn red after Ayesha faked anger.

A plane roared above the balcony which pushed Ayesha who shrieked into Gautam’s arms. He caressed her bare skin and whispered, “My baby is scared.” Their faces were close to each other, kissing and bodies clutched in a tight embrace.

“You know Gautam,” Ayesha said. “I am serious. It’s not love between us.” Gautam countered her, “What’s wrong with love. It doesn’t make us weak. We complement each other. I am totally into you and will do nothing to hurt you. Sometimes, we need to give love a chance.”

Ayesha knew her mind too well and said, “I chose not to let love control my feelings, space, and universe. As humans, how infallible we are at the mere mention of love. How we let love impersonate the feeling of love!”

Ayesha closed her eyes and knew she had to battle her insecurities. After all, Gigoloskore must have a name beyond chat rooms. She now knew what she wanted. It was not Gautam but Gigoloskore. The moment Gautam started kissing her, she imagined it was Gigoloskore. It felt so real. She knew that she had to act super fast.  She was done with this game of being unsure of her feelings.  It takes a second to fall in love.