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Genre : Fiction
TARGET AUDIENCE: Teenagers, Adults
Pages : 180

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LITTLE MISS MISFIT

Book Blurb:

Mom says “Since you don’t want to become a doctor, at least do engineering.” She looks at her article in her school magazine; She is confused. Siddharth says “Love is for the teenagers. I like you, and I want to marry you.” She is confused. Rohit says “I know we both are committed, but still I like you.” She is confused. Aditi says “ If the friendship is platonic, it is not an extramarital affair.” He is confused. Let’s look into the emotional journey of Rhea, Siddharth and Rohit, each trying to find the meaning of love and commitment.


Sample Chapters:

Radhika was nervous, and she was pacing the room with her full eight months tummy. The counsellor was her friend; her cousin's schoolmate and so she had specially arranged this meeting at her home. Her present condition didn’t allow her to leave the house for a long time, but she was determined to know everything…first hand. After all, it was her friend’s marriage in question.
Radhika was Siddhart’s first friend in Mumbai, and now after more than a decade, the bond was strong. Her husband Varun was also Siddhart’s best friend. The three of them were together since their first year of engineering at IIT Powai and later through IIM Mumbai. Radhika was also working in the same company as Siddhart which she left six months back to take this extended maternity or instead pregnancy break.
“Hi, I'm Aditi Joshi,” said the counsellor and walked into the room. She was not much tall, a little on the wheatish side, wearing a dull grey and pink chudidar, but her thick kohl-lined eyes and slight lip gloss added up to her personality. There are some people whose age you cannot guess. It could be anything between thirty and fifty.
“Hi,” said Radhika “and thank you for agreeing to meet at home.”
“No problem dear, I can understand,” she said. “Let's meet your friends.”
“Of course,” said Radhika, “they are on the terrace with Varun, you go ahead I 'll join you with coffee.”
The terrace was quite when Aditi entered, thanks to smartphones (each busy with the phone) Siddhart was the first one to notice her and went up to her, followed by Varun. His wife remains seated.
“I’ll leave after coffee,” said Varun “so that you can have your privacy, but I can't promise the same about Radhika. They don’t make wives who listen to their husbands anymore.”
“I know….. I deal with them every day” said Aditi and sat on a chair near Siddhart’s wife.
“We will start with the wife first,” said Aditi looking into her eyes, which seemed sad and showed no hope in the meeting.
“No, it would be better if you start with Siddhart. He is the one who wanted to meet you.” She replied in a soft, low but a firm and determined voice.
“ Doesn't matter. I always begin with ‘Her’ side of the story.” said Aditi
“There’s no story to tell. What do you want to know??” she asked “Everyone has a story, like how you first met and how you decided to get married and so on. Everything that you remember. It will help me get to know you well at least.” Aditi explained.
Radhika entered. Poor girl managing herself and the tray. Siddhart went to help her. “Did I miss anything?” she asked.
“Relax,” said Aditi. “She is just starting her story.”
“No, I cant….really,” she said, looking at Radhika. Now she sounded a little desperate.” I cant. You, please talk to Siddharth.”
“I will,” said Aditi and placed her hand on hers, giving her a little confidence. “Tell me…..tell me everything about your marriage. I’m here to help. And you want it to work??”
“Hmm” she sighed and began her story. The coffee mug in her hand gave her a little warmth.

ACT ONE: DELHI
CHAPTER 1
I was near the escalators with my friends. We were at the Citywalk Mall, Saket. A nice warm March Sunday. A beautiful day to roam at some mall, have junk food as brunch, catch a movie and later popcorn and nachos for dinner. A perfect life!!
Just as I was about to step on Siddharth came towards me.

“Hi …” he said.
I kept staring at him for a moment; dressed in a formal suit dark grey I guess, a tie, complete with a crucial looking leather folder, nicely gelled hair, he looked handsome!! I mean I had seen men in suits before, but only at weddings. He looked like the one from suitings advertisements, and I should say he looked better than most of them.
“Hello,” he said again.
“Oh hi.” I just remembered where I had met him earlier, but before I could say anything, he said
“Please say that you remember me or “aapko Pehle Kabhi Dekha he” is a very cheesy old line.”
“Oh, no. I mean yes. I do remember. It's just that I didn’t expect you here and it's more than an year I guess.” I said
“Yes, certainly, last summer” he nodded
“Yes summer, how can anyone forget that,” I said, my mind already ten months back.
Radhika was there too and two others. They were signaling him to hurry. Then Radhika called out; “Hurry Siddhart, we are already late..”
“Coming,” he said still looking at me. “I'm running a little late today and have an early morning flight to Mumbai tomorrow..a aah. Why don’t we meet again in the evening today, say seven?. I’ve heard a lot about this new ‘B bar’ here.”
“A..Actually…I'm with friends…” I started to explain, but he ignored.
“See u then,” he said and almost ran.
I stood there still thinking what to say…………

CHAPTER 2
“Wow, what was that? Date with Mr handsome! That too at B bar. The B bar!!” Said Neetu, my friend, and flatmate.
“What date?? I’m not sure” I said.
“Hmm,” said Neetu “Have you seen it? Amazing place, full hifi. Don't we know even ten percent of their menu and Mr. Mumbai has asked you out there? Now that’s …wow!!”
“Let's see,” I said trying to change the topic, but Neetu was full of questions. When did you meet him? Which summer, where?
“Ok ok, let's sit somewhere.” I gave in.
We settled at “The Coffee Bean” a current hot favorite of our group.
“So shoot, ” said Neetu. By then her boyfriend ‘J’ short for Jasminder had joined us with the rest of our gang. Everyone's eyes were on me.
Last summer I was at Indore. We had a week off which I planned to spend in my room with full on A.C. and T.V., But you know my mom, as usual, she had other plans for me. Rakhi didi’s in-laws had arranged a big puja at their family temple in a small village about forty km from Indore. I don’t understand how can anyone even think of ‘havan and puja’ at a small fanless temple in May. I tried convincing mom, but she just responded by her two big eyes, which meant; you have to come!! Full stop.
Reluctantly I went along, but I guess God had even worse plans for me. Halfway on we stopped to get some cold drinks where I realized that it has turned out to be the wrong day of the month! So now, I was out from the puja and sent to their cousins home to relax. Needless to say that saying to mom “I told you I don’t want to come” did not work. She is an obstetrician herself and still blamed my late nights and food habits for my irregular cycle. All their fifteen plus family members got to know my problem!
I shared a room and a small cooler with Nandita, don’t still know her relationship with me and tried to relax. May heat was killing me, but the antispasmodic which di had smuggled to me (mom hated those) had started to work, and I was feeling a little high. Just then a small girl called out to Nandita, “Didi, some uncle aunty have come to see you.” The entire household got a sudden energy boost. Nandita started getting ready. The ladies of the house began changing from their afternoon cotton gowns to sarees, adjusting their phallus and bindis and simultaneously instructing the younger ones to tidy up. I felt out of place in their activity, so just stayed there observing everyone. I had just changed from my heavy salwar kameez to Nandita’s cotton Patiala, a size larger for me and an equally loose kurta, full mismatch but soothing in the heat and didn’t want to dress up again. I pretended to ignore them all.
After half an hour Nandita came back. I was about to ask her how it went when this Mr handsome of yours walked in with her, wearing a crisp white shirt and cool khaki trousers. They were sent upstairs for their private talk. I hid my face behind an old copy of Sakhi magazine and faced the window with the cooler.
Of course, my ears were towards them. I mean I had seen such scenes in movies. This one matched the scene in the film Vivah, but in real life, it was my first experience, and I was very curious.
For some time nothing happened. He was checking his mobile, and she was fidgeting with her saree pallu.
“Actually I work with Future Graphics, as a software developer at Pune” said Nandita, “but they have an office at Navi Mumbai and I can get a transfer.”
“ Oh” said Siddhart, may be her fluent English made him forget his gadget. “Good. So you are here on vacation.”
“Yes, actually I was supposed to meet someone else tomorrow, but didn’t know that you would come.” said Nandita.
“Oh same here” said Siddhart, now relaxing a little. “Even I came to know just an hour ago.”
Silence again. Then Nandita began “Actually I had seen your profile on our community’s matrimonial site. I quite liked it and I told my brother to enquire about you. He must have come to know that you are in Indore and invited you here.”
“Good.” said Siddhart again. “I didn’t know I had a profile there; must be my mom or bhabhi”
“Do you have a flat in Mumbai ?” she asked. By that time I could see that Siddhart was really pissed off.
“Nandita,” he said, “I really need more time. Im not quite ready for marriage. I think I should leave now” and left the room, just like that…
That’s it. Story finished.
Everyone was looking at me. I repeated. Story finished guys….back to the real world!!
“Hmm but I have a doubt.” said Neetu, in her dramatic best. “You said you were facing the cooler and he was busy with his phone, you noticed him I understand, but when did he notice you?”
“Don’t know and I really don’t care, lets go now” I said. Needless to tell that the rest of day went busy in analyzing my story.


Short Synopsis:


AMRUTA KANDURWAR

About the Author:

Dr Amruta Kandurwar (36), was born and brought up in Mumbai. She is currently practising dentistry at her two clinics in Nagpur. She takes lectures for the medical entrance test. She is a trained Kathak dancer. Her love for reading books has inspired her to pen this debut story. You can connect with the author at amruta.kandurwar@gmail.com