Standing Alone – My second novel available on and Smashwords!


An unexpected meeting with her late husband’s friend Richard in Charleston sends Seema on an emotional roller coaster ride which she never imagined she would be in. Richard falls in love with her knowing quite well she would never cross the boundaries set by her culture and family. But will Seema give up seeking the approval of everyone around her to follow her heart?

Here’s how you can get it: Click on the links below:
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Expires: February 19, 2014
For those who want a printed copy click the link below

Would love to hear from you the readers.

Short Stories

Never Date your clients

As she walked into his room all she could think was “Wow! He is so cute! ” She had always assumed investment bankers were so boring and uptight. The way he shook her hands proved he was uptight but she thought she couldn’t put him in the boring category.
“Hi I’m Liana. I just moved to Pune and want my accounts to be transferred from Delhi to Pune. I also want some information on the different products that are there that would help me on my investments.” She knew she was speaking too fast and her hands had become cold.
“Hi, I’m Donavan. Please sit down.” He said in a calm voice.
He asked her for her account number and her investment time frame. As she was giving him the details she couldn’t help her mind from exploring his other features. His deep brown eyes and the little curve on his nose that gave him a rugged look, the way his mouth curved and the way his hair kept falling on his forehead.
He became conscious of the way she was looking and wanted to be done with her. She looked beautiful too with sharp piercing eyes and luscious lips painted in pink. Her light blue ruffled top added to her glow. But the rule that he had made for himself “Never date your clients”, flashed before his mind before he could revel in her beauty.
He took on the serious tone and narrated the different options for her. Her mind went blank half the time and nodded to most of his suggestions. Finally she said “I’ll read about these and get back to you.”
She scolded herself for being so distracted while she was about to be making important decision regarding her investments and promised herself that she would meet with someone else the next time.
When she sat down at her desk to work she couldn’t prevent herself from looking up at “Donavan Seth” in Google. The fact that he was still single and loved to play the guitar made her day!
She had never been interested in finance and always dreaded reading the pamphlets given in the banks. But she decided that she wanted to impress him the next time if she gets to meet him again.
As she entered the bank on Friday all the consultants were busy. Her heart sank when she didn’t see Donavan in his seat. The manager of the branch came and introduced himself to her and apologized as all the consultants were busy. The door opened sending in the morning cool breeze as Donavan walked in with his suitcase and jacket in one arm. The manager pulled him towards her and said “Here’s your man. Hold on to him and make him suffer with as many questions as possible as a punishment for coming late.”
“Yep he is my man!” she thought to herself.
“Good Morning.” They both jinxed together and laughed.
“Come on in. But before you start firing me with your questions I need some coffee. Shall I get one for you too?”
“Okay” she said and felt like she wanted one desperately to wake herself from Donavan‘s spell.
She wasn’t able to get him out of her head this entire week and seeing him today only added more to the excitement. She had taken extra care to dress up. She had worn a skin tight jeans and a white top that hugged her in all the right places and she looked stunning too.
Once he came behind the desk, all his smiles were tucked in and he bore a professional front. As she was going thru her folders he couldn’t help but admire how hot she looked in that dress.
When they were done with the discussion, she just blurted out without thinking “Hey my friend is having a party tonight, do you want to join me?”
“I would in other circumstances but unfortunately I don’t go out with my clients. Thanks for the invite though! Have a great weekend.” and he held out his hands to give a hand shake.
Liana blushed. She felt stupid for asking him without even thinking about it. It was insulting. Even though deep inside her felt he would respond to her in this way.
It so happened that all of Tina’s friends planned an impromptu visit to the beach in Goa after the party. They drove all night and crashed in the hotel early next morning. Liana woke up earlier than everyone to go for a walk along the shore. As she was getting her feet wet and enjoying the morning sun and the way it was reflecting on the water and shimmering like glass, she saw a group of men and women standing around a boat for parasailing. She felt thrilled and wanted to try it too. She wished she had woken up one of her friends to come along.
Her heart skipped a beat when she saw Donavan in the crowd. At first she thought she was hallucinating, but a second look confirmed it was him. She turned around to go back to her room and hoped he hadn’t seen her.
Before she could walk a few feet she heard the sound of water splashing. She held her breath and turned around to see Donavan running towards her with only a dark blue swim shorts on. Liana hadn’t imagined such a well toned body hidden beneath the suit he was wearing yesterday. Her knees became weak on seeing him.
“Hi Liana. Did you actually follow me to Goa?”
“Ah! Yes I don’t have any other work than following you in spite of you proclaiming your rule!”
“Hey come on don’t be too serious. You want to go parasailing. I don’t have a partner.”
“I thought you never went out with your clients.”
“Yes, until yesterday. But there this beautiful dame who made me bends my rule a bit only on the weekends and that too only when they are out of the city. So please don’t say no. Let’s go!” He took her hand and pulled her towards the boat before she could answer.
Liana had never done parasailing. She was giddy with excitement. Two people could go together on the sail and they waited in queue for their turn.
Liana came to know Donavan was from Goa and he came down here once a month. His parents still lived here. He had this smirk in his lips when he talked to her and it irritated her.
She turned around and asked “okay come on, why you have this sarcastic smile? I must have sounded desperate to you yesterday, didn’t I? I didn’t know anyone else to take with me. I thought you might be interested after being stuck behind your desk all day! Guess you had to be stuck with your rules too.”
“Hey come on not every day I get to meet an attractive woman as my client and be asked out as well. It is our banks policy too. We can only maintain a professional relationship with our clients. So I had to say no to you. Are you nervous about trying the parasail? You seemed jittery? That’s why I was smiling.”
“Yep this is my first time and I’m nervous. I am afraid of heights but just want to overcome it. I bet you must have done it a couple of times.”
He nodded his head and said “Once you are up there it is just exhilarating. I promise, you will not be afraid. Just try to enjoy and be in the moment. Its fun.” He sounded like a child when he explained it.
When it was their turn he held her hand and they were both tied to the harness which was attached to the boat. When they took off Liana’s stomach churned. But once they were up in the air the view was striking. She felt like a bird. When she turned her face to look at Donavan he had this huge grin on his face and he said “Didn’t I tell you this is fun?” she nodded. With the sun shone behind his back she thought she would never forget this face in her whole life and wish she would never have to.
Apparently her friends had become paranoid when they didn’t find her. She saw many missed calls from them. As she turned around, her friend Akshay carried her and dumped her in the water. Then all her friends ran and started splashing around.
When she looked up Donavan was very far from her. He had gone without even saying a goodbye. She felt so annoyed at him. She wondered whether he felt the same attraction that she was feeling towards him. She had come here to have fun and decided she will and started frolicking in the water.
Even when she wanted to put away Donavan in a secret corner of her mind and not think about him everything made her wish he was there with her. Her mind kept going back to the fact that he left without saying goodbye and she became moody. When her friends asked her if everything was okay she just nodded and pretended she was sleepy and said that she didn’t want to head out them.
It was almost 9 o’clock in the night. The full moon outside the window teased her to come out and look at him. This was the first time she was near the beach during a full moon and wondered how beautiful it was. It looked bigger and brighter and the shades of light on the water mesmerized her. The house that they had rented had a veranda with 4 easy chairs facing the sea.
She took a shawl and her cell phone and sat down in the chair. Her stomach had started growling by now and she wished she had gone out with her friends. Her phone started beeping and she saw a text message saying “Where r u?”
“Who r u?” she replied back.
“Donavan” came back the reply. She couldn’t help smiling.
Her friends had been teasing her all day with him; in the back of her mind she thought if it was them trying to make fun of her.
“I’m at the bar with my friends.” She replied back.
“Ya I know, just met your friends and they told me that you were in the room. Which one is it?”
She was surprised that he had come all the way looking for her. She stood up to see a shadow standing 2 feet away from where she was.
“Just turn around.” She texted.
He walked slowly toward her and she wished she could just run to him and put her hands around his neck and hug him. But she stood where she was patiently giving him the space to respond. If he had come all the way looking for her, she was sure he felt something for her.
He was carrying a bag in his hand. When he neared her he lifted and said “Food. Thought you would be hungry.”
“You have come at the right time because I’m starving! Thanks a lot.”
He reached for her hand and she leaned towards him and they walked slowly towards the veranda.
She felt so comfortable with him and on seeing him the feelings she was trying to hide from surfaced up.
He stood facing the sea while she went inside to keep the food. She joined him and said “Isn’t the full moon beautiful?”
He turned towards her and held her face and said “Not as beautiful as you.” He took her in her arms and kissed her.

Short Stories

Love is Patient


I was married at the time that I had met him. I had 2 young kids and visited the library often. We bumped into each other and when I looked into his eyes to apologize I felt like I had known him for many lives. He felt so familiar and my heart jumped with a sense of recognition.

 I said “I’m sorry.” When I tried walking away he held his hand out saying “Hi, I’m Dave. Do you come here often? You look very familiar.”
I said “Yes. I come with my kids often here. Nice to meet you too.” and walked away to the kids room in the library.
“Ah! it’s just that I have been coming to the library so often that half the people would already know me here.” I sighed to myself.

The next time when I visited the library, I went looking for a book and when I was pulling it out of the shelf someone else was pulling it out at the same time. I gave in. There, on the other side was Dave again. He broke out with a grin and said “Hi, Nice to see you again. If you want you can keep this book. By the way I didn’t get your name last time.”

I nodded no “Hi, I’m Scarlett. You can keep the book. I can read something else.”

“What kind of books do you read?” he asked. When I told him my genre of favorite books and authors he took me around and showed a few books that he had read and recommended them for reading. Then he started talking about himself and how he was in between jobs for the past 2 months and he listed all the books that he had been reading.

I was fascinated. I loved reading books and any free time that I got I usually sit down and read. I have always wanted to write too, but never had the courage to write. It was nice to meet someone who shared the same interest and I told him how I have always wanted to try writing.

He immediately started persuading me to start writing something small and to bring it to show it to him on Monday. I nodded my head in doubt but he asked me to promise him that I would try writing at least one page.

I finally did try writing a page of the story that had been running in my head for a long time. When I went to meet him on Monday he was not there. I felt disappointed. So I sat there and wrote more pages.

By wednesday I had written nearly 10 pages and wanted to meet Dave  again to share it and get his opinion. So when the kids were at school I went to the library with apprehension to see if I can meet him or atleast write without disturbances. Alas there he was standing near the entrance in a rugged jeans and a red sweater on. He looked so handsome.

I didn’t want to seem that I had come to meet him and acted surprised on seeing him.

He said ,”Sorry I couldn’t meet you on Monday. I had a call for an interview and I had to go since my savings are diminishing.”

 He asked me if I had kept the promise. So we sat in a table and I opened my laptop to show the pages that I had written. He was pretty impressed with the story line and corrected some of the sentences. He knew that I was married but never asked about it.

My husband had been busy for the past year and half with setting up his new business. He was frequently out of town for 5 days and came only for the weekends. During the weekdays I could never talk to him much. I never complained but it was creating a void in me. A need for someone to share my days, which were becoming like wallpaper repeating the same pattern over and over again.

Now Dave was like a bloom in my winter days. He made it a bit more colorful. We started meeting more often at Starbucks or Barnes and Nobles. We discussed books and our other interests. We had so many things in common. At times I felt he was my soul mate to me.

 I did not want to define our relationship with a word. I looked forward to meeting him whenever I could and we did about 6 months. I had nearly completed my book as well with his encouragement.

One day when we were at the coffee shop he looked intensely at me, I felt nervous. I knew he was about to say something serious. I only prayed that what he was about to say would not change our relationship in anyway. But alas he had to say this, “Scarlett I love you. I know you are married but I don’t want you to do anything about it. From the day I met you I felt like I have known you forever. I felt a spark like I have never felt with anyone else that I have met in my life. I couldn’t help myself from holding on to this secret for any longer. It feels so hard to withhold it. I would rather let you know and face your reaction than locking it up. We can still be friends and I would be your first instigator in getting your books published and be there when ever you need me. But I had to let you know  how I feel about you for my sake.”

My hands started shaking. I knew I liked him a lot too. We had a lot of things in common and I had felt the same spark that he just described. But I had made a vow to a man, to stand by him until death do us apart. Now I couldn’t continue my relationship with him I thought. He had been a good friend and helped me find my passion. But I didn’t want to meet him again.

“I am sorry. I can’t do this Dave. It was okay for me as long we were friends. But I am married. My first commitment is to my kids and my marriage. You were a wonderful friend who helped me find myself. You rescued me from a depression and showed me what I was meant to do in my life. I thank you for that. But I am sorry. I don’t think I can continue with this and keep giving you hopes. As I have come from a broken home I always wanted to give my children the stability of a family.  I think I am holding you up from meeting other wonderful women out there who would give you what you deserve. I will sure miss you. But you deserve better Dave. So let’s part ways before either of us hurt each other more.” I walked away without looking back with tears streaming through my eyes.

12 Years Later…..

It was a very cold December day. I was in Book a Million signing my books. I had written 3 books so far and was being welcomed by readers across America.

My husband left me 10 years back for a younger woman he met while on his business trip. I started writing with fervor and here I was today signing books for my fans and living my dream.

 I heard someone call me “Scarlett can you sign this for me?” The voice seemed very familiar and I turned around to see the face that I had yearned so many days to see.  To tell him that it was because of him that I was here in this place.  But I had not known his whereabouts. I prayed that one day I would be able to tell him how thankful that I was to him. Here he was… standing with the same twinkle in eyes and dimple on his cheeks.

Tears tried creeping in my eyes. I tried stopping them but no walls could hold them now. I got the book from his hand and signed “Dear Dave I dedicate these books to you…” with a tear drop blotting his name.





Short Stories

I will be there…


As I was sitting in the hospital chair I couldn’t stop my mind from wandering to the day I met her.
She was 21 and I was in the final year of my college. I never believed in love at first sight until I met her. With the sun shining behind her she looked like an angel walking down the stairs. I immediately found out what her name was thru one of her friends and all her other details. I stood at the same place at the same time everyday just to get a glimpse of her until one of my friends urged me to go and ask her out as the year was about to end.

I was shy by nature and dated very few girls in the past. I picked up my courage and introduced myself and before I could open my mouth to tell my name, she said “I know, you are Steve. You live in the Pine court subdivision and you are in your final year; tomorrow you have your last exams and you have been watching me for over 3 months now! “I was flabbergasted.

 “Okay since you already know so much of information about me, can I take you out for dinner tomorrow night.”

“You have been waiting too long and I don’t want to say “NO”.  But tomorrow soon after my exams I’m leaving for California. So shall we grab something to eat at the cafeteria now?”

She looked so beautiful and her eyes smiled when she smiled. My heart was beating fast and I could almost hear it. Blood rushed to my face and I knew my ears were turning red. That always happened when ever I was nervous.

She looked more confident than me; but at the same time she was down to earth. So we went to the cafeteria to eat lunch and she kept prodding me with questions about me and my life. I asked her how she found out about me and we were giggling soon enough.

She said she had had a good time and would see me tomorrow before she left. I was in cloud 9.

After my final paper was over there was a classroom party and it was past 5 o’clock whenI ran to her classroom but it was too late. I was in agony. I will not be returning to the college again and I was sure she would have forgotten all about me when she came back from her vacation. But deep inside I felt there was more between us. I felt like I had known her for a very long time and we belonged to each other. I missed her terribly and sighed.

I got a job in Staples and moved to North Carolina. I thought about her often.  I had never thought about myself as a creative person but I started a journal and wrote poems in it. Poems about the pain and anguish of a lover waiting for a loved one to return.  About waiting for that one love that feels so true that there is no pretense or no need for explanation.  My book grew in size and my one date with her felt like eons away.

I dated many other girls after my friends started setting me up. I knew they thought that I was stupid pining for a women whom I got to talk to only once. But that one time never equaled to all the hours that I spent with countless other women.

She was just 3 hours away. I had contemplated many times to go to college and find her. But it was better to be in love with her in my mind and heart and poems than finding out she did not have the same feelings as I had for her.

I was fed up with my dates and refused to go out anymore when my friend begged me saying that this would be the last one. I agreed reluctantly and went to the restaurant. It was dimly lit and I was having goose pimples for no reasons. I, who had become immune to these blind dates, started feeling nervous. My heart started pounding when I saw that the girl that I was meant meet was already there waiting for me. I had purposely come 20 minutes late and so I hurried in with a big smile to apologize.

When she lifted her head, my head started spinning. I couldn’t believe that I had kept the one girl I had wanted to meet all these years waiting for 20 minutes. I kept nodding my head and couldn’t contain my happiness on seeing her.

“How are you?”  she gleamed. I didn’t know my blind date would be someone I already knew.

“Me either. Did you wait for on that day?” I asked.

“I waited until my dad got so mad that he was almost going to take off without me. Why didn’t you come?  I thought that the one date that you had with me had made you change your mind. I felt very bad though at that time, I felt we shared more than that one moment. I felt we were meant to be. I have never felt that way with anyone else so far.” She explained and looked up at me with tears sparkling in her eyes.

She looked as beautiful as the day that I had set my eyes on her. Now she was saying the things that I had rehearsed a 1000 times to tell her when I met her. Now I didn’t care if the whole world saw me, I was in love with this woman and never wanted to lose her again. I got down to my knee and proposed to her and asked her if she would marry me. 

She nodded “YES” and the kiss that we shared that night in front of 100 people sealed our life together.

We got married that summer.  I got my book of poems published and dedicated to her. We have spent nearly half a century together. During this time we have fought many battles and made many peace treaties. We have travelled around the globe and experienced the wonders of nature together.  We have had 2 kids as a proof of our love; Stood by each other during all the crest and troughs of life; seen our bodies transform with time. But nothing changed our love for each other.

Today may be time will finally win.  Time was asking me to believe that my love can cross the boundaries of this physical world.

So I walked into the ICU again. Now it was for me to decide whether I wanted her to be tied to these tubes so that I can continue seeing her or let her go and believe that I will be meeting her soon.

I held her hands and spoke to her. I said I didn’t want her to suffer anymore and will meet her soon. I nodded my head to the doctor and held her hands.