Tangles & Ties: Chapter 38: A Window to Soul

“But you smell so good!” “Why are we still smelling differently? Make me smell like you!” One word of assurance from her that he was smelling fine was enough to boost his confidence. It had been a tough call to get up from the living room and come inside to shower and change. Leaving her…

Tangles & Ties: Chapter 37: The Scent Of Love

“Its not love!” Nandini scrolled through the websites that masi had sent the links to, with a subtle shrug and a whisper, convincing herself, ‘Of course, it is not love!’ She chose a blog where the Chef had used a lot of pictures to illustrate the simple steps for beginners to prepare quick healthy meals for…

Tangles & Ties: Chapter 36: Not In Love

Nandini finally gave up trying to go back to sleep. She spent a long time in the bathtub, scrubbing and shampooing and preening herself, simply to kill time… wore a beautiful long floral skirt and baby pink ruffled top that made her feel like a princess… and settled on the couch with Dobby and the…

Tangles & Ties: Chapter 35: I Need You

For the next two days, Manik remained immersed in work, going through the last minute details of the project before handing it over to the executive committee and the client, so that it could be taken ahead for final execution and completion. He would leave home early in the morning and come back late at…

Tangles & Ties: Chapter 34: She Is The One!

Nandini sent a message to him at lunch time — ‘Finished meeting three HODS of different hospitals… tired now… going back home!’ Manik replied back — ‘Great! How were the hospitals? You like them?’ ‘Loved them! Applied to all the places. They have openings. I hope I get it.’ ‘Awesome. I really hope you do!’ ‘I…

Tangles & Ties: Chapter 33: Beyond The Fears

The night may have ended with both of them sleeping side by side, her hand between them and his hand over hers, as softly as he could manage so as to not wake her up. But the next morning found them sleeping in each other’s arms. His strong muscular arms wrapped around her. Her delicate…

Tangles & Ties: Chapter 32 : What Do You Call It?

“So, basically you are giving me the liberty of being ‘me’…” She chuckled and squeezed her eyes as she nodded, “Exactly!!!” “Then, why don’t I feel happy about it?” He had slightly murmured, walking behind her for the billing of their selections. She turned around to look at him again and grinned, “Did you say…

Tangles & Ties: Chapter 31: Everything I Ever Wanted

“Sure, you are talking about our home?” “Of course!! You only said na, that I shouldn’t expect anything like that from you!! Or… should I??” He lifted one brow and smiled mysteriously, before coming up with a soft, husky whisper, almost lowering down towards her shoulder, “Expectations are the fixed frame, inside which, we bind others…

Tangles & Ties : Chapter 30: Breaking The Rules

Manik had asked Nandini to pick him from his office at 3 pm as he had sent his car for her. She finished visiting 3 nearby hospitals by then. All she had to do was observe the patients load and see OTs and OPD. She met the HODs of the hospitals, introduced herself and asked…

Tangles & Ties: Chapter 29: Sinking In

The early morning sunshine seemed to caress her cheeks, sieving through the creeks in the window pane, kissing her eyelids, coaxing her to open her eyes… Nandini frowned. It was too early to get up but sleep evaded her soon. The uneasiness of being displaced from her own world … and being in a new…

Tangles & Ties: Chapter 28: Not An Easy Drive

“I was wondering what would be more profitable to count, from now…” “Like??” “The number of times you leave me stunned with your spark or the number of dissimilarities between us?” With a slight tilt of her neck, she observed him, adoringly! He didn’t appear like he was going to leave her eyes for long….

Tangles & Ties: Chapter 27: Dissimilarities Galore

Dhruv gave him a weird, disbelieving look, evidently smirking with that, “Manik, you are an engineer, right? From IIT? And if I’m not wrong, you manage all your transactions, mails… even shopping… practically your entire life online??!!!” “Tch… Don’t try to become another Cabir, mannn!!” Manik was in no mood to entertain Dhruv’s jokes. He…

Tangles & Ties: Chapter 26 : Thinking Of You

At the office of Phoenix Adlabs Pvt. Ltd. Manik entered his cabin and pressed the buzzer three times at one go, a signal to his subordinates that he was in mood of no-nonsense and commanded them in his room at the earliest with the work they had finished. The staff stood up from their seats…

Tangles & Ties: Chapter 25: We Gel Like No Other

“You want to do something to prove it?” “Yeahhhh!!” She nodded cutely. In a real serious tone, trying not to intimidate or force her, he requested. “Then stay with me in this room. Choose my room!” She grinned and teased him, “You missed a chance, Malhotra! You could’ve asked for something else… as I didn’t…

Tangles & Ties: Chapter 24: New Experiences

The plane was finally flying high in the sky, leaving the older avenues and hoping to kiss the new destination. Bangalore! Manik switched on his laptop and studied a proposal saved by him. He spent an undistracted hour with his laptop almost burying himself in it. Nandini logged into pub-med website and read the latest…

Tangles & Ties: Chapter 23: The Deal Is On

Nandini stood in front of the washroom mirror for some time and blushed hard. Her face, her eyes, her cheeks looked different today. Even a long bath and thorough scrub couldn’t take away that squishy feel from her cheeks and her body. Each feature of her face held a distinct glow. If felt as if…

Tangles & Ties: Chapter 19: Like A Dream Catcher

Someone wanted to see how Manik’s tattoo must have looked – It’s on his chest – around 15 X 7 cm… something like this…. …………………………………………. She frowned, pretended to cry and closed the door behind her. They could hear ma and masi busy in their gossip, giggling like teenagers. Manik pretended to stretch his hands…

Tangles & Ties: Chapter 18: Sassy Secrets

Nandini was back to their room and was selecting the outfit to wear for the Grand Reception in the evening. It had to be a big formal function so the dress had to be the designer one, fit for the new bride. It was so confusing. She decided to take help from Meera. Just then,…

Tangles & Ties: Chapter 17: So Much Unspoken

The factory visit to meet the employees and distribute sweets to them, was followed by lunch and then back to Malhotra mansion. Manik asked his cousins, “Anyone up for a match of football?” His cousins jumped at the idea. They were nearly five boys of different ages… the girls were allowed too, so it made…

Tangles & Ties: Chapter 16: Let The Feel Simmer

The second night was tougher than the first. The previous night was easier –  they had got married a few hours back, had been following rituals almost till wee hours of the morning, were tired like crazy and the hotel room in Mumbai was a closed space with no personal touch. It was a makeshift…

Tangles & Ties: Chapter 15: Untamed Attractions

The plane finally found it’s destination. It landed smoothly at Lucknow airport, making the newly weds too busy to even talk… Relatives surrounded them and took them to Malhotras’ ancestral house. In a suburban colony of the small city, Malhotras owned a bungalow, with three floors, huge spacious ten bedrooms, large dining halls and living…

Tangles & Ties: Chapter 14: We Are All Broken

“Nandiniiiii…” He dragged the last part of her name in an irked chide. Next moment, he turned to her and asked in a very stern, terse, serious voice, struggling with himself and almost upset with her. “Is it so difficult to mind your own business?” Hurt – was a small word! His words pinched deep,…

Tangles & Ties: Chapter 13: Getting Used To You

“I will say that…” “That?” “We were busy?”   She replied with a mysterious grin and raised her brows to add to the effect, making him frown in anxiety, before he stopped her. Immediately he stretched his hand, held her elbow to bring her back from her track. Astounded all over again, gritting his teeth and…

Tangles & Ties: Chapter 39: Forced, Is it?

Manik said, “Listen to me, this is not an arranged marriage. It is a compromise. A compromise that one bears all through his life, just because there is nothing else you can do once you are married to her. You can do nothing – no matter how different you are… no matter how much you…

Tangles & Ties: Chapter 40: Never

He quickly ruled it out. “No, I’m not in love with you!” She smiled and turned her face away, as she closed her eyes for once. Then she turned back to him with the smile retained on her face. “Good! Because neither am I!” It would have broken his heart if he didn’t expect this reaction…

Tangles & Ties: Chapter 41: Time Is All We Have

She nodded, taking a long pause and then whispered, “Leave me alone.” He blinked once and then sighed before he spoke in one single word… low, measured, deep, “Never!” She kept looking at him. He did the same. When she didn’t reply to this, he held her hand and made her sit before him, facing…

Tangles & Ties: Chapter 42: Deeper Connections

“There is no dearth of time! You have an entire life to create and solve issues and no one interferes between two people unless they want it!” Almost mesmerized at his words, her eyes refused to leave him while he spoke. After the little quote about time, when he found her stuck on him and…

Tangles & Ties: Chapter 43: Such Is Life

Nandini wrapped Dobby’s leg in a bandage, set him in a basket, covered him, packed his food and settled him inside the building watchman’s cabin, who had agreed to take care of him till she came back. Every day, when she came home late, she would feel guilty for the puppy, but not anymore. She…

Tangles & Ties: Chapter 44: Hold My Hand

When Nandini walked out of the HOD’s room at Hinduja, she was drained. Both mentally and physically. It was a challenging day. She had driven the car around the entire city, visited four hospitals and nothing had turned in her favour. It had been disappointing. To top that, the last offer was for Chennai. She…

Tangles & Ties: Chapter 45: There For You

Since morning, Manik was typing and sending emails, replying to allegations to him. Around mid-noon, he received a message from Nandini. It had now become an addiction for both of them to send and receive messages to each other, all through the day. She had informed him that she had attended an interview at Max…

Tangles & Ties: Chapter 46: I Will Follow You

“It is based in Chennai!” Manik sat up straight on the bed to listen to her when Nandini outlined the details of the offer that was given to her, the work profile, promise of a consultancy post after an year or if she wanted to join the fellowship, then they would consider her first and…

Tangles & Ties: Chapter 48: Trust Me

“Awww… how sad, Manik Malhotra! You could neither be BRAVE, nor LUCKY! Nahi??” He didn’t know why but he found it adorable. Instead of pacifying her again, he laughed out loud, “On the contrary, I had entered the lioness’ den braced with a list of conditions for marriage. And she agreed!! Now, that’s what I…

Tangles & Ties: Chapter 47: My Universe Is You

“You promise?” “Without a trace of doubt… I’ll follow you wherever you go!” She was visibly elated when he said that. Her lips curved in a huge smile and then she grinned ear to ear. Her smile was precious for him. He could trade it for nothing in the world. “Happy?” He sighed, pulling her…

Tangles & Ties: Chapter 12 : Partners in Crime

“No one messes with Manik Malhotra. Coz people call me fire. You have no idea how dirty it is going to turn.” “Bring it on, Malhotra. The fire is pitched against fire, this time.” This sentence made him lift a naughty brow with a lopsided grin. He smirked slightly. He was standing right behind her…

Tangles & Ties: Chapter 11: A Tease For A Tease

He chuckled, with another irritating tease, “Such things are not planned… Nandu…” One sentence from him was enough to make her cheeks burn. She closed her eyes tight and thanked God for the darkness inside the room as he couldn’t see her blushing. The room was immersed in darkness, with only a faint source of…

Tangles & Ties: Chapter 10: Two Souls Tied Together

With his assurance that he won’t let her fall, she was relaxed. She smiled and turned to flash that smile for him. He grinned. “Ready?” He whispered, taking a deep breath. Her heart was beating hard when she whispered back, slightly singing her response, “I think soooo…” “Let’s face it, then!” He chuckled. “Yeah!” She…

Tangles & Ties: Chapter 9: When Two Worlds Meet

They were two individuals, belonging to two entirely different worlds and were not yet ready to form one distinct Universe of their own. Marrying each other appeared to be a better prospect than a tiring routine of meeting a row of prospective boys and girls and letting their parents down every moment. At least, they…

Tangles & Ties: Chapter 8: Marry Me!

Manik arrived by the afternoon flight, and reached Mumbai by 3:00 pm. The way he had boarded the flight in an emergency had Nandini panicking at the situation. The last words spoken by him that they will be getting married this week, added to it. She reached airport to receive him. Nervous & fidgety. When…

Tangles & Ties: Chapter 7: Innocent Lies

“Don’t worry. It won’t reach that stage. You and me are never going to get married!” Nandini had spoken very confidently. Manik couldn’t stop grinning. He slightly bowed his head to thank her, “I’m really grateful, Madam! Thank you. Now, please pray to God that we don’t get married to anyone in this year… I…

Tangles & Ties : Chapter 6 : A Murk Called Marriage

{ If I had time and if I had my way, I would have replied to each one of you separately. I still try to do max… That is the extent to which I value each of my readers. Love you all. Thank you a just a small word before my love and gratitude…  Stay…

Tangles & Ties: Chapter 5: And We Meet Again

Thank you for all the love dearies…   Early morning 6:00 am, she called him. Their parents had been talking about their marriage quite seriously, she told him. “My parents and your family have been in touch, finalizing dates, discussing the wedding plans and all the other stuff related to it, trousseau, jewellery… etc…assuming that…

Tangles & Ties: Chapter 4: Slightly Damaged

All these older chapters are the unpolished, unedited versions of the book which were originally posted on wattpad. Exactly the same content, I’m posting here, without making any changes to the narrative.   She thought about it and was disappointed as she wondered aloud, “Yes. Arranged marriage is ‘exactly’ that… You sleep with someone you…

Tangles & Ties: Chapter 3: Sharing A Bit

Kindly switch off the notification button if you get bugged with constant notifications on email as I will be posting all 48 parts of Tangles & Ties one after the other, as and when I get time. Can’t thank you enough for all the love and support! “I am a Gemini and I’m a virgin.”…

Tangles And Ties: Chapter 2: Arranged Meeting

Manik threw a glance at his wrist watch. He was summoned within 10 minutes at Oshiwara. That was the time given by Nandini to him, if he had to meet her. He had hoped to fix an appointment for dinner, go back to the hotel to freshen up and change. But she didn’t leave him…

Tangles & Ties: Chapter 1: New Beginnings

{Please Note that these chapters 1-48 are the same as the ones posted at wattpad. I’m grouping them under ‘previous chapters’ to avoid confusing with new parts. These are unpolished, unedited chapters in their first draft form with all the mistakes and glitches. You don’t need to comment 🙂 }   “I’m still clueless about…

Tangles & Ties : Blurb and Cover

Manik Malhotra and Nandini Murthy liked each other almost immediately when they decided to entertain the idea of marriage arranged by their families… But they are yet to understand that to get along with each other, feeling attraction and feeling love is one thing, but to spend life with a near-stranger is an entirely different…