What Amazon says
‘Chickpea Curry’ Lit — Chick Lit with an Indian twist!
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…
Marriage Unarranged is a delightful and feel good romance with the additional interest factor that the main characters are all people whose parents or grandparents originated from India and are of the Sekh faith, but who have grown up in Britain. The young people who feature in this story come from Birmingham in the UK and are the products of an interesting mixture of the modern British influences around them in the schools and work places and the traditional influences of their families and communities. I have often wondered about this dynamic and thought it might be confusing and difficult for the younger generation but that was not the case in this story. The youngsters were able to retain the best features of their families and faith, including respect of the elderly, and successfully combine this, on the whole, with their English surroundings. The author did introduce a young woman who had not been able to do this successfully in the form of the temptress, Nishi, and also a young man, Ravi, who fell by the wayside in the face of modern sexual behaviors.
Aashi is a sweet and innocent girl who is engaged to be married to Ravi. She does not know him that well as the Sekh customs is for a girl to get engaged before the couple can really spend much time together. The Sekh attitudes towards romance and courtship are old fashioned, but quite protective of the reputation of the woman. Unfortunately, the culture does not necessarily lend itself to an engagement that goes wrong and is broken off. When Aashi discovers that Ravi has been having an affair with Nishi, she is devastated and torn between the not wanting to face the personal humiliation of a broken engagement and the embarrassment to her parents and family and her own hurt and disillusionment caused by Ravi’s behavior.
A trip to India has been booked for Aashi and her mother, ahead of the wedding, to purchase the many traditional items and clothing required for the marriage service. Aashi decides that a change of scenery and a trip to India is just what she needs and persuades her parents to let her go ahead with the trip, accompanied by her two brother and her best friend.
During the plane trip, Aashi ends up sitting next to a young Indian man, Arjun, who is making his first trip to India. Arjun fits in very well with Aashi’s two brothers and when they arrive in India, they invite Arjun to seek a room at their hotel and join up with their party. Arjun does this and Aashi starts on her path of getting to know this good looking and interesting man a bit better. She senses that there is more to Arjun than meets the eye but can’t put her finger on exactly what it is he is hiding.
This book is a dual romance and this aspect is very sweet and enjoyable. The descriptions and depictions of life in India, differentiating clearly between life for the poor and life for the wealthy, is interesting and entertaining. I also learned a lot about the Sekh faith which I found fascinating.
This is a lovely and feel good and I recommend it to people who enjoy a good romance with a happy ending and also people who are interested in learning more about India, Punjabi and the Sekh faith.