It’s Valentine’s Day! Starting today, we are bringing you five excerpts from the book ‘Tick Tock We’re 30’ by Milan Vohra. Milan is the first Indian Mills & Boon author. More about her, and the book, over this series!
Read on for the first excerpt, along with the context, in Milan’s own words…
Milan’s comment about the excerpt:
Why is it that we women always seem to fall hardest for the bad guys? We all have at least one male friend who we know is such a gem, who is chronically infatuated, who is not afraid to wear his heart on his sleeve, who we hope will find someone who values him. Except, it ain’t gonna be you! I enjoyed writing a character like Sitalakshmi (Sita)- man enough to admit to liking the Bee Gees but not man enough for some women. Sita is one of the gang of twelve friends in ‘Tick-tock we’re 30’ who meet again after ten years since they part ways after college. All you good guys out there, read, learn and as the book progresses, be prepared for surprises
If SITA WEREN’T A GUY, HE’D BE SUCH A GOOD GIRL. All the uncles and aunties at the club positively adore him. The reason being, he is truly nice. And as often happens with the nice ones, they’re not exactly chick magnets. It was a given that where there was Sita and any girl, there had to be a rakhi-bhai situation soon. He was kind of like a universal remote. Worked the same way on all chicks.
Fat Riya would waddle up to him every rakhi morning, with the most jhatak creation she could find in Moti Bagh market. ‘Isn’t it ugly, ya,’ she’d drawl as she persevered to track Sita down to tie it on his wrist. She even did it the year he picked the most unlikely place we’d find him—in college, duh—and added her monstrosity to the many other little fluffy bits of string on his wrist.
Sita was always prepared. He’d make a big production of ‘I also have to give you something then…’
‘No, ya. Come on, ya … don’t be formal, ya,’ Fat Riya would fuss, always and always falling for Sita’s ‘Aw. Come on, if you’re my rakhi sis, I’ve got to give you a gift.’
‘So sweet, ya… you’re too cute, ya!’
Sita would fish inside his college bag, building up a nice prologue, nowhere near pulling the gift out yet.
‘It’s just a token. But it took a lot of time to find it. I just hope you like what…’
‘So just give it, ya… it’s the thought… anything from you is cool, man…’ Fat Riya was being reeled in, slowly, surely, as unfailingly as every year.
‘Maybe I’ll change it.’ Sita pretended to start closing the bag again, ‘I’ll get you something else in the evening.’ The promised gift was now pushed further down, totally out of sight.
‘Ay… show, ya!’ Fat Riya had once snatched the bag from Sita and plunged her hand in, to take what was her rakhi birthright.
‘UGLY, ya! You’re so sick, ya!’ Fat Riya had shrieked and flung away what felt and looked like a big squishy nothing-on-earth. It was a large, pulpy, burnt bharte ka baingan; some flaky black bits still stuck to Fat Riya’s well moisturized hands. The miserable eggplant looked like it was the first time in many days it had been aired. Fat Riya had the grace to not stomp away. Yet, she continued to pout and giggle and come up with hourly variations on ‘You’re really gross, ya!’
In the version I’d heard, Sita went and picked the even more misshapen and abused baingan up, and without dusting it off, put it right back into his bag for the next hapless rakhi sister to come his way.
But that was Sita Nair for you. Too much of a buddy to be a boyfriend.
Milan Vohra gained international recognition when one of her short stories won a nationwide Harlequin short story contest and made her the first Indian Mills & Boon author. Her book ‘The Love Asana’ became a huge bestseller and is being translated into several languages. Milan has also written a play, a musical comedy called “Maid in India’, short stories for anthologies like ‘Vanilla desires’ by Unisun Publishers , Young Adult stories for Penguin in ‘Love like that and other stories’ and also written TV scripts for Sesame Street in India.
Milan’s latest book ‘Tick-tock we’re 30’ by Westland is a reflective rom-com about old friendships, new chemistries, and imperfect urban relationships. Milan’s real claim to fame, she says, is that she is the world’s best worst dancer. You can follow her here on Facebook.
Get 42% off ‘Tick-tock we’re 30’ here, the book Times of India calls ‘high on humor…’