A Scene from #WhenHariMetHisSaali enacted by @AmritaRao & @HarshTalkies at @crossword_book

What a lovely evening and book launch .. we will soon get you the detailed scoop on the book launch;In the meantime here is-

 A scene from “When Hari Met His Saali” enacted on stage by Actor Amrita Rao & Author Harsh !!!Image

AMRITA – Simi knocked on Hari’s door. When he opened it he was so happy to see her. Like an adolescent boy, he asked her in and quickly straightened his room. He offered her his desk chair and stood next to her.

HARSH – ‘Ah, will you have something? Anything cold? Coffee?’ he asked as if she was visiting his own place.

HARSH – It was true in one way: Hari and Simi were meeting alone for the first time since all the cards had been laid down. A heart-to-heart was overdue.

AMRITA –  ‘Hari, I’ve just come from downstairs,’ Simi said smiling. ‘Sit,na. I want to talk to you.’

AMRITA –Hari sat on the edge of his bed, his legs crossed.

AMRITA – ‘Hari, in all seriousness you have to admit that nothing is going to happen between you and me!’ Simi opened with the most obvious comment.

HARSH – ‘I don’t agree,’ Hari interrupted.

AMRITA – ‘Let me finish, Hari. How can you just fall in love with me? You don’t even know me completely,’ Simi said.

HARSH – ‘But that is why it’s called falling in love, Simi. One just falls into it. Plus, look at it this way, if I can fall in love only knowing you partially, imagine what I will do if I get to know you completely.’ He smiled at that.

AMRITA – She couldn’t help but think that the guy had charm. But back to the topic at hand.

AMRITA – ‘I don’t believe it,’ she continued. ‘Plus, you are in love with my sister, Tia.’

HARSH – ‘I was,’ Hari nodded ‘But I am not any more. “Was” is the operative word here.’

AMRITA – You are just under that magician’s spell. The day the spell is broken, SOON you’ll be back to loving Tia.’

HARSH – ‘And what if I’m not?’

AMRITA- ‘How can you not?’

HARSH – ‘Because I have never felt about Tia what I feel about you. Is that too difficult to accept?’

AMRITA – ‘Yes it is. She is my sister. I came … we met because of her. I came to America for her wedding … to you.’

HARSH – ‘So if the circumstances were different you would also fall for me?’

AMRITA – ‘Don’t get me caught up in words, Hari, I am not that smart.’

HARSH – ‘How about your feelings then? I can sense that you can feel my feelings as well.’

AMRITA -‘As a … a … as a friend, yes. What happened to you is unfortunate but what has happened to Tia is injustice. You know how much she was looking forward to it.’

HARSH – ‘She was looking forward to the function, the event, the party. It didn’t matter who the guy was, plus, she didn’t like me the way I was.’

AMRITA – ‘That’s not true. You know she has loved you and only you.’

‘You probably didn’t hear that she asked Xavier to make me into something I was not. And now that I am that person, she doesn’t approve.’

AMRITA – ‘I am her sister, Hari.’

HARSH –‘You are also an independent woman. Don’t you want someone to love you?’

AMRITA – ‘Of course I do … but …’

HARSH – ‘But because it is me saying, “I love you” to you, you have a problem with?’

AMRITA – ‘I have a problem with you being Tia’s fiancé … What am I saying? You are her husband.’

HARSH – ‘That was a long time ago and in two days’ time, that will be rectified. I want to hear it from you if it is me that’s the problem for you?’

AMRITA – ‘Look, Hari, you are a nice boy … a NICE man … But I cannot even imagine …. My life is in India, yours is here. How …’

HARSH – ‘The question is if, if you say you want to be with me, I will figure out the how part. Trust me, I am not as dumb as Tia thinks I am!’

AMRITA- ‘I am your saali, Hari. I have been calling you Jiju ever since we met.’

HARSH – ‘You are my saali if someone is strictly speaking legally. And that too shall be taken care of soon.’

AMRITA – ‘There’s no point in talking if you are going to be like this …’

AMRITA – Tch. Where are the appropriate words that will make him understand.

HARSH – ‘I could feel your soul when I kissed you, Simi.’

AMRITA –  ‘Oh my God, I was just shocked, OK? You came out of nowhere!’

AMRITA – Simi was suddenly feeling uncertain about her feelings and she got up from the chair. Hari got up too and came close to her. He was so close to her he could hear her heart and it was running at a mile a minute. It was as if she was frozen. She wanted to get out of his room, but she also wanted to stay back just a little to see what would happen.

And then, without warning, Hari kissed her. Whether it was expected or not, whether she wanted him to or not, all of that was irrelevant, instinctively she had her eyes shut and was bracing herself on the edge of the desk.

This kiss was different. This time, his tongue snaked into her mouth. She had never been kissed like that before. Namit was hardly a kisser — he kissed like he was kissing a baby. She frantically pushed Namit’s name out of her mind.

Oh God, this feels sooo good!

And then Hari broke away from her and backed off.

‘Oh, Bobby …’

‘What?’

‘… Donnell.’

Shit, these kinda things just escape from my lips.

She hesitantly opened her eyes. She was afraid that her reaction, her flushed face, her trembling body could be too easily read by Hari.

‘Oh God, I have to go now,’ she said hurriedly and ran out of his room.

Harimetsaalicover-frontcover

 

 

Interesting isn’t it ?

Grab your copy from all leading bookstores and online retailers

www.hqnindia.com

 

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An excerpt from #WhenHariMetHisSaali by @HarshTalkies

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Enjoy an excerpt from “When Hari Met His Saali” by Harsh Warrdhan 

Chapter  1 – ‘Jab They Met’,  page 6 –

‘“It was the best of times, it was the worst of times,

it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness,

it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity,

it was the season of light, it was the season of darkness,

it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair,

we had everything before us, we had nothing before us ……’”

This was Dickens. How apt, Tia thought.

The story of her life in six lines.

 

Chapter 1 – ‘Jab They Met’ ~ Page 32~

‘Those sound like a three three-hour-long endurance test. Can’t we watch a Hollywood flick?’ he tried again.

Tia clicked the remote to bring up the menu on her TV screen.

‘You wanna watch P.S. I Love You?’ Tia asked without looking at him … because she knew that he would … convulse.

Hari almost jumped from the couch as if a spider had got under his T-shirt. He was shivering and had sweat beads on his forehead. He was convulsing.

‘No! No! No! Please not P.S. I Love You, anything but P.S. I Love You.’

Hari’s eyes were rolled inside his head. He looked like he was having an anxiety attack. It looked like he would probably need medical assistance if “P.S. I Love You” was mentioned one more time. He was hanging by a thread here.

 Tia rolled her eyes. ‘OK, OK, relax. Don’t be so dramatic. It’s a nice emotional film yaar. It’s a human story. You just don’t have good taste in films. It has Gerald Butler in it, I thought you liked Gerard Butler!’ She was not going to let go so easily.

‘I would watch Gerald Butler running around naked with a sword, like in the film 300 three hundred times before I’ll watch that … that!’ Hari still couldn’t say P.S. I Love You even though he was breathing normally again.

Hari figured he won this round. Hari was usually wrong about such things…

Book yourself A Hilarious Ride Now !

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Books Take You Places – as does Bootie & The Beast by @F2tweet #Holidayreading

The Bootie and the Beast novel Travel-scape by Falguni Kothari

 With the impending promise of summer and the thought of lazy and long vacations or short, sweet holidays (whatever floats your boat) I thought I’d take you, Dear Reader, on a journey through the landscapes of my Harlequin Mills & Boon® April release. The story unfolds in Texas, and ends in Saudi Arabia after making a pit stop in Mumbai. Several other cities/countries are mentioned throughout the book as the heroine, DiyaMathur is a supermodel flitting about the globe for fashion shoots and shows and generally having a ball.The staid and happy-to-be-in-one-place hero, KrishMenon, also has a decision to make. Stay in the Dallas-Forth Worth Metroplex or move to…Wisconsin. But that’s enough about Beauty and the Beast and their woes. This blog post is about Travel, so let’s tread a path through the cities in the story.

 

Bootie and the Beast begins at the Dallas Executive Airport, where Krish “the Beast” Menon awaits the arrival of Diya “Beauty” Mathur.

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Dallas.com:Brash, stylish and cosmopolitan, Dallas is a city with a well-earned reputation for fashion, luxury shopping and flashy prosperity. With one of the world’s most impressive collections of 20th Century architecture, its soaring modern skyscrapers and palatial mansions are anything but subtle. Yet Dallas as a city possesses a Southern grace, Texas style. Its districts, from soulful Deep Ellum to eclectic Victory Park, add range and texture to the Dallas urban experience. With world-class performing arts groups, a vibrant culinary culture and the Dallas Cowboys, the city is full of discoveries.

 

What Wikipedia has to say about:The Dallas–Fort Worth–Arlington, TX Metropolitan Statistical Area, the official title designated by the United States Office of Management and Budget, encompasses 12 counties within the U.S. state of Texas. The area is divided into two distinct metropolitan divisions: DallasPlanoIrving and Fort WorthArlington. Residents of the area informally refer to it as the Dallas/Fort Worth Metroplex, DFW, or The Metroplex. It is the economic and cultural hub of the region commonly called North Texas or North Central Texas and is the largest land-locked metropolitan area in the United States.

 

Krish compares Diya’s flamboyant lifestyle to the Cannes Film Festival.

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What Wikipedia says about:Cannes (French pronunciation: [kan], in OccitanCanas) is a city located in the French Riviera. It is a busy tourist destination and host of the annual Cannes Film Festival and Cannes Lions International Advertising Festival. It is a commune of France located in the Alpes-Maritimes department.The city is also famous for its luxury shops, restaurants, and hotels.

 

As part of her worldwide publicity tour, Diya has recently schmoozed with Europe’s fashion elite at a garden party in Milan.

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Italylogue.com:Those cobbled medieval streets you have been dreaming about? That’s not really Milan. Neither are the Roman ruins or quiet public squares. Milan remains, however, an important Italian city in both banking and fashion. It also can be said that Milan embodies the Italian notion of la bellafigura – behaving well and looking good doing it – better than any other Italian city. In that sense, it’s absolutely Italian, Medieval cobblestones aside.

Sheherazade’s headquarters are in Istanbul, a city Diya is seriously considering relocating to.

 

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Istanbul.com:Istanbul is among the special cities of the world with its position as a bridge between Europe and Asia.At the south of Istanbul the Marmara Sea, and at the north the Black Sea are situated. The Western part of the city is in Europe, and the Eastern is in Asia. The important watercourse that divides Istanbul is the Bosphorus. As a seaport both the closest Asian city to Europe and the closest European city to Asia, and the passage of all commerce ways from here, increases the importance of Istanbul.

 

Diya will be visiting Dubai and offers to take “Suitable Man” Neil Upadhyay’s niece to lunch there.

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DefinitelyDubai.com: Dubai is one of the few cities in the world that has undergone such a rapid transformation – from a humble beginning as a pearl-diving centre – to one of the fastest growing cities on earth. Dubai today is a tourism, trade and logistics hub and has earned itself the reputation of being the ‘gateway between the east and the west.’ It is also considered as the dynamic nucleus of the Arabian Gulf region.

Last but never least, Mumbai, home-of-their-hearts to both Diya and Krish.

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MapsofIndia.com:Mumbai is the seat of Bollywood cinema, shopping mall, bhelpuri on the beach, red double-decker buses and huge traffic jams. Mumbai is the commercial capital of India.The best time to visit Mumbai is between the months of September and April. The weather is then relatively dry and cool. From June to September there is immense shower, very often with fearsome results. We all know that the floods of 2005 took about a thousand and made thousands more homeless. You should also try to avoid the months just before the monsoon sets in, for then the temperature can be as high as 140°F.

And that’s it for the novel-scape. Hope you’re tempted to visit these places with my characters in the book…or visit these places in actuality at some point…or just visit places.

 

On a personal note, I love to visit different places but most profoundly dislike the process of travelling. If I can do away with car and plane rides, I’ll be a happy traveller.

 

Did you know the term for the fear of flying? Pteromerhanophobia. A mouthful, isn’t it?

 

With love and affection,

Falguni Kothari

 

Romancing Cricket(ers)

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Aarti V Raman
Author-Kingdom Come

Last week was the World Cup T-20 final. For cricket fans and fanatics like me, this was a big moment. It comes once every two years and is always nail-biting, because the shortest brother in the game comes with the most thrills.

Champs, favorites and media darlings India were going to take on old foes Sri Lanka, who had been vanquished a number of times comfortably by them. And everyone, including yours truly, thought this was a no-brainer. India comes, India bats, India wins. I still saw the opening overs, (secretly hoping that underdog Sri Lanka would COME THROUGH) and then wandered off, having to Facebook and Tweet and talk to my pals, my readers.

The score read 42-2, Sri Lanka.

Of course, India wins, I thought to myself.

Five minutes later, my neighborhood erupted with cheers and whistles. Another wicket down, I figured.

The slaughter will end soon.

Imagine my utter surprise, when my dad comes in about an hour later and orders me to come the HELL out now! I go out and see the last three balls. I see Sangakkara punch the air in absolute triumph and vindication. I see the last ball going over the fence and I cheered too. My voice went hoarse! It was worth it.

And then, right then, in the middle of one of his victorious cheers, Kumar Sangakkara, Sri Lankan batting legend and a terminal HOTTIE to boot, looked straight at the camera and said in his liquid Sri Lankan-Brit accent, “We play to win. We don’t just play, if we’re in the final, we forget the semi-final and are in here to win.”

Golden words.Truer words.

And the man who said them, went straight to my heart like Cupid had shot me with an arrow and I realized, HELLO, Hero, here you come!

Cricket, one of my favorite sports (I am an INDIAN, y’all) has always been peppered with such heroes and such moments. Australia’s Adam Gilchrist’s walk-offs, earned him the tag of a Gentleman and made me a lifelong admirer of a man who did the right thing even when he didn’t have to. India’s Sachin Tendulkar’s grace and humility off the field is the stuff true legends are made of. The way WasimAkram, a former Pakistan world-cup winner comes down to this side of the pond and coaches Kolkata Knight Riders, with the same enthusiasm and experience with which he decimates players in commentary is commendable.

These are just a very, VERY few examples why I love cricket, and why I, as a writer and an Indian writer romanticize it a bit more than say, another sport like F1 racing.

It’s closer to my heart.

In my Mail Today quote, (February 13, 2014) I was asked to name a few rom-com books that couples could snuggle together and fall in love over. Anuja Chauhan’s “Zoya Factor” was one of the first books I mentioned. It has it all. A zany heroine, a stubborn and sexy hero (CAPTAIN of the Indian Team!) and a sport that is loved by the sub-continent. Cricket! Anuja could have written about any sport as the background for her love story, but she picked cricket because she, as an Ad genius, knew where the pulse of the nation rested.

A sport that has us going up in arms against each other, if need be.

Combining cricket and love is not necessarily a surefire bestseller success formula, but I can definitely -understand the appeal of “The Zoya Factor” even more now, that T-20 as a format is being given star-status, just like novellas and graphic novels and newer forms of expression are coming under traditional fiction and revolutionizing and changing the literary landscape forevermore.

Cricketers are given god-like status in this celebrity-obsessed country of ours, just like the English and Brazilians and Spaniards love their football players. Just like baseball and basketball greats are given pride of place in America, to name just a few.

And therefore, it is but natural that as a writer, I would like to go with where the obsession lies and see if I can use it to my advantage.

Harlequin India’s Kingdom Come deals with the subject of obsession on a couple of levels. There is KriviIyer, embittered ex-spy on the hunt of his life, obsessed with vengeance. For my heroine Ziya, her obsession is to not stay a pawn any longer in the dangerous game of life and death that is player with her in the center of it. There is the Woodpecker’s obsession with the perfect bomb that would mean the end of life as we know it. Kingdom Come!

These obsessions are not as healthy as harmless love for a sport, but we all read the papers, where a few Kashmiri students were accused of sedition just because they cheered for a rival nation in a game. What kind of healthy competition and train of thought are we promoting if we can’t even cheer for the people who deserve it? Regardless of name, race, color and religion?

I still haven’t found the answer to this very disturbing question, but who knows, some wise soul might answer me this soon.

But, another persistent and extremely nagging question got answered when I heard the sexy, sweaty, darkly handsome darling Sangakkara tell the interviewer, “We play to win. We don’t just play.”

Spoken like a true hero.

And guess what, he’s gonna be mine now in the next I am writing for Harlequin India. Keep watching this space for more details as that journey takes off.

For now, my obsession is Kingdom Come and sending it into the hearts of all the passionate readers in the country and beyond who love a tale of love, betrayal, loss and redemption.

Till next time,

Xx

Aarti V Raman aka Writer Gal