started ended with that box…
Aashi’s life was all set. Or so she thought.
Like in the Bollywood films, Ravi would woo her, charm her family and they’d get married and live happily ever after. But then Aashi found the empty condom box…
Putting her ex-fiancé and her innocence behind her, Aashi embarks upon an enlightening journey, to another country, where vibrant memories are created, and unforgettable friendships forged. Old images erased, new beginnings to explore. And how can she forget the handsome stranger she meets? A stranger who’s hiding something…
Welcome to the fifth stop on the whirlwind blog tour of Marriage Unarranged by Ritu Bathal. If you have missed previous posts on the tour, check out the blog tour listing on the right to enjoy all the snippets and reviews of the fabulous new book.
I was lucky enough to receive an advanced copy of Ritu’s book. I have to say, I was swept away with the realism of the characters, the vibrant colours, flavours and textures of the setting that transported me to exotic destinations filled with adventure, noise, love and the occasional dodgy restaurant!
Ritu Bhathal was born in Birmingham in the mid-1970s to migrant parents, hailing from Kenya but with Indian origin. This colourful background has been a constant source of inspiration to her.
From childhood, she always enjoyed reading. This love of books is credited to her mother. The joy of reading spurred her on to become creative in her writing, from fiction to poetry. Winning little writing competitions at school and locally encouraged her to continue writing.
As a wife, mother, daughter, sister, and teacher, she has drawn on inspiration from many avenues to create the poems that she writes.
A qualified teacher, having studied at Kingston University, she now deals with classes of children as a sideline to her writing!
Ritu also writes a blog, www.butismileanyway.com, a mixture of life and creativity, thoughts and opinions, which was awarded first place in the Best Overall Blog Category at the 2017 Annual Bloggers Bash Awards, and Best Book Blog in 2019.
Ritu is happily married and living in Kent, with her Hubby Dearest, and two children, not forgetting the fur baby Sonu Singh.
There is nothing better than hearing from the author herself. Ritu is here to give us a sneak peak from one of her main protagonists. Take it away Ritu…
Hello Eloise and all your readers! Thank you for having me over on your blog to talk about my new book, Marriage Unarranged.
Today, my main character, Aashi wanted to talk about two important people in her life; her brothers, Sunny and Bali.
“Hello again, it’s me, Aashi! You know, there’s nothing better than having a brother, other than having two of them, and that is exactly what I have been blessed with. Two big brothers who would do anything for me.
Sunny is my eldest brother. He’s a twenty-six-year old teddy bear, compared to my other brother, Bali, younger than Sunny, but, at 24, another big brother to me. Bali is a bit hot headed, where Sunny is a bit more sensible. And they are both extremely overprotective of me.
Sunny helps my daddy-ji out with our family business. We have a clothing shop on Soho Road in the Indian area of Handsworth, Birmingham. He’s always loved fashion. In fact, he’s even arranged an appointment with a real designer, when we go to do my wedding shopping in India, for my bridal outfit. I can’t wait!
Bali, well, he’s a lawyer, by profession, and he loves hanging out with his mates in the evenings or going to the gym to practise his kickboxing.
When they found out I had met someone, I was worried that Bali would do something to Ravi. I had to reassure him that Ravi was a decent guy, and that he’d done nothing untoward to me, or with me. (That was an embarrassing conversation to have with my brother!) They both met him, before telling my parents about us, and the next thing you know, we’re setting dates.
Though, I don’t think they’ll ever stop being my over-protective bodyguards. I’m sure Bali’s keeping tabs on Ravi, even now.
He’ll prove them wrong though. After all, he is my Prince Charming.”
Here is an excerpt from the book, where Sunny and Bali show their overprotective side.
“What are you saying exactly, Sunny? What did Ravi do? I don’t understand why we needed to leave so quickly. You could have at least told me what is going on first.” Sunny’s younger brother turned to face him.
Sunny bit his lip. He gripped the wheel tighter, trying to concentrate on the road. He was angry too, but nervous as anything. He’d been furious when Daddy-ji told him what Ravi had done. He would do anything to protect Aashi, and that bastard, Ravi, would get what was coming to him one way or another. Sunny was more anxious about what Bali’s reaction would be. I wish I could have gone alone, but there is no way Bali would leave it once he found out. Better he comes with me, so I can keep an eye on things. Bali was just as protective of Aashi, though. Whereas Sunny liked to think first and talk things through, Bali had a violent streak; his answer to this type of problem would most likely be at the end of his arm, i.e. his fist. Mind you, for once Sunny felt an urge to hit someone after hearing what Ravi had done.
He slowed the car down and indicated left to pull over, before cutting the engine. “Right. Where do I start? Bali, first you have to promise you will listen to me properly and let me say everything before you go off on one.” He faced his brother. Bali nodded.
“Okay, so, it’s like this. Basically, Ravi’s been,” he paused, took a deep breath. “Well actually, he’s been cheating on Aashi.”
“Bhenchod!” Bali exclaimed, before clearly realising what he had said, ‘sister fucker’, was inappropriate. Sunny looked at him in disgust. “The bastard, I mean. I want to fucking go and kill him!” He went to get out of the car. Sunny grabbed his arm.
“Bali, you promised you would stay calm.”
“Stay calm? Stay calm, Sunny? That git has been cheating on our little sister, and you want me to calm down? I don’t think so! He needs to be taught a lesson. So, are you driving, or am I?”
Sunny knew the only option was for him to drive. If he didn’t go, heaven knew what Bali would do to Ravi. Not that he doesn’t deserve it. He started the car again. Sunny needed to be there. At least he could try and stop Bali doing anything rash.
Ritu, thank you for the view into Aashi’s life and meeting her family. I hope everyone enjoys following the highs and lows of their family life as much as I do.
Thank you for joining us on the blog tour for Ritu Bathal’s Marriage Unarranged. Don’t forget that tomorrow, Ritu will be joining Linda at lindasbookbag to share more delicious details about Aashi and her wonderful family.
Marriage Unarranged is now available for pre-order
and will be released on the 9th February.
So there’s no need to wait – order your copy now!
Follow Ritu Bathal’s exciting new release. Click on the links below for further details.
Social Media Profiles
Blog Website: http://www.butismileanyway.com
Click the following link, you get to Ritu’s author profile on Amazon: