All Nisha Gaikwad wants is to be left alone…
Betrayed by her husband, the only man she’s ever loved, Nisha didn’t just love and lose…she shattered. And all she’s left with are the shards of her broken life. A sparrow with a broken wing. Dull, drab, damaged…
Still adjusting to civilian life, ex-Lieutenant Paul Alvares wants very little from life. A stable job, good times with his friends and, above all, escape from his overbearing mother’s matchmaking schemes.
Wracked with guilt over the inadvertent role they played in Nisha’s betrayal, Paul and his friend Rahul, offer her a job at their fledgling security firm. Only to discover that the so-called helpless housewife has a talent for espionage and a bloodthirsty, out-of-the-box, approach to vengeance.
They discover that even a wounded sparrow can fly.
Between celebrity weddings, political vendettas, and corporate scams, Nisha and Paul discover that there is more to each other than just good times and behind-the-security-scenes. But can Nisha ever forgive Paul for his role in her ex-husband’s crime? Can Paul ever forgive himself for wanting his friend’s wife for his own? When desire ignites on the foundation of friendship, Nisha and Paul are left with only one decision to make – Will they choose a future together or the debris of their past?
Moments. Endless moments.
Life seemed to ebb and flow around her, a streaming consciousness that she was aware of but wasn’t a part of. Would it always be like this? Would her life always be about watching not participating, breaking not healing, wondering not doing?
She startled out of her dazed contemplation of the window and, outside of it, the dirty wall of the next building, at the hesitant call. Ma hovered in the doorway, her hands mangling the end of her chiffon dupatta.
Ma’s hands fluttered in the air like birds with a broken wing, listing and falling, with no apparent direction.
“Rahul is here to see you. Aarushi’s with him.”
Nisha sighed, the exhale of exhaustion seeming to come from deep within her soul. She loved Aarushi, she truly did, but her friend’s open happiness scraped across Nisha’s still raw, emotional wounds.
And Nisha hated that. What kind of person resented her friend’s joy? The ugliness inside her, new but there, was a constant reminder of what had happened. Would Aman’s mark on her psyche ever fade or was she destined to be this tired, angry, bitter wreck for the rest of her life?
“Nishu?” Aarushi bounced into her room, her now fading green streaks of hair flying around her beaming face. Rahul followed behind at a more sedate pace, his posture military straight despite having left the Navy. A wave of distaste flooded her at the sight of him, at the reminder of the Navy and all that it meant to her, but she swallowed it down and looked away, looked to her friend who was literally leaking happiness from every pore.
“How are you?” Aarushi asked, dropping down on the wooden bench beside Nisha.
“Good,” she replied automatically. She glanced at Rahul who was watching her with those shrewd eyes of his and returned his polite smile with a strained one of her own.
“I have some exciting news.” Aarushi caught Nisha’s hands in her own, her slender fingers managing a surprisingly strong grip.
“Lovely,” Nisha managed to say, retrieving her hand and discreetly flexing her squashed fingers.
“Rahul is setting up his own private security firm.”
Oh. She glanced at Rahul. “Congratulations,” she offered.
“Thank you,” he smiled, a little stiffly but with genuine warmth. “I’d like to talk to you about it.”
“Me?” Startled, she stared at him.
He held her glance and nodded, gesturing to the chair in front of her. “May I?”
“Sure.” She shot her friend a bewildered look but Aarushi was busy nibbling on a block of cheese like a little rat. Aaru had developed a weird obsession with cheese in recent times. She’d heard love made you do strange things but cheese cravings might be pushing the envelope on that…
“Nisha.” Rahul’s gentle voice drew her gaze back to him. She wanted to look away but the quiet strength in his eyes wouldn’t let her.
“I want you to come work for me.”
About the Author
A published author with Harlequin India – Mills & Boon India Collection and Juggernaut, Shilpa Suraj’s books have hit both the Hot New Releases and Bestseller lists on Amazon. Her next novel, tentatively titled ‘Wrong,’ has been contracted by Rupa Publications and will release later this year. She is also part of the Flipped Anthology by Harper Collins and had an audiobook book Insta Reddy release with Storytel.
She is, amongst other things, currently working on ‘Frazzled and Fabulous,’ a humorous, true-to-life parenting story that is part memoir and part nonfiction.
An avid reader with a passion for creative writing and storytelling saw her participating in writing competitions at school and dabbling in copy writing for an ad agency as a teenager. Twenty years in the corporate space, including a stint in Corporate Communications for Google, India, and a spell at entrepreneurship all hold her in good stead for her multiple current roles of author, mother and Head of Human Resources & Public Relations at an architecture and interior design firm.