Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Incurable Insanity by Simi K. Rao
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I have alalways been interested in the Indian culture and was excited to get the opportunity to review this book. What made it even better was that I wasn't disappointed. Simi Rao weaves a beautiful tale of two people in love who are fighting it because of past heartache and betrayal. I was captivated from the beginning all the way to the end. I was entertained and even educated. The only critique I can give was that there were times that I thought that Ruhi (the main female character) would jump from one emotion to another without prprobable cause. I would be reading and think "so what did he do now? Cut the man some slack".  But overall this was a great read that I would recommend to others. 

Don't believe me, try an excerpt:

1: Disillusion
Ruhi Sharma was a blushing bride, practically a newlywed, locked up in this glittering cage for
almost a month, twenty-nine days to be exact; an object of envy of all her friends and family.

Twenty-nine days ago, she had signed her name beside his on the marriage certificate. She had
gone through all the miscellaneous ceremonies associated with the typical grand
Indian wedding—the engagement, the Mehendi, the Sangeet, the Haldi, and the grand finale
(her father had spared no expense) until finally her betrothed had staked his claim by placing
the Sindoor on her forehead and tying the Mangalsutra around her neck, and she had quietly
and blissfully followed him around the sacred fire carefully listening to and reciting the Saath
Pheras in her mind.

She was the very beautiful and accomplished daughter of Amrit and Devyani Sharma, the apple
of their eye, and they had left no stone unturned in raising her the best way they possibly could.

Friends and family were surprised for not only had Ruhi been provided with a very good
education, she held an MBA from a leading institution, but her parents had also made sure that
she was adept in all other various skills, which a well-bred traditional Indian girl is desired to be
proficient in. Therefore, nobody marveled when marriage proposals came pouring in from all

But the Sharmas were choosy; they wanted only the best for their golden child, and they did get
it, or so they surmised.

The idea of giving their daughter’s hand in marriage to the well-accomplished son of the most
well-known family in Chandigarh was beyond their wildest imagination. It was wilder because
they hadn’t gone in search of it, rather it had come and landed on their lap.
Shaan, the youngest and most eligible of the Ahuja clan, was twenty-seven, a fresh aerospace
masters grad from a premier engineering institute located in the Los Angeles county of United
States, California, who had already bagged a plum job in a leading aeronautics and space
exploration company in sunny LA.

“My son makes interplanetary spacecraft. He’s the man of the future” had become the proud and
frequent rant of Mr. Shiv Ahuja, who for some odd reason seemed to be trying to paint his son in
the most rosy of tones even though he really didn’t need to, for as soon as Ruhi saw her future
husband’s likeness, she lost her heart, and there was no question of a retrieval.



“Huh? Yes please with just a pinch of sugar. Thanks!” He took the cup from her hands, careful
not to touch her fingers.

Ruhi closed her eyes; she could now repeat every movement, every word by rote. He was a
creature of habit…and she was bored. What was supposed to be the most exciting time in
every young woman’s life had turned out to be the worst…Well, not really. He wasn’t mean,
rather he was the perfect gentleman, too perfect!

Oh how she wished he would rather be screaming mean and nasty. At least that would bring
some excitement into her not so-happening life! She laughed, pausing as she brushed her
long black hair, rather hysterically.

The bombshell had dropped on their wedding night. He had walked into the room late as she sat
there, a shy bride in all her wedding finery waiting, nervous yet excited at the same time, to meet
the man she had hardly spoken to or looked at. What would he say, talk about, or do?

She had heard a lot of stories about what to expect, some factual and some fabricated (her
friends had prepared her well), but she wanted her own to be special, unique, and it was…
Sitting down on the bed in front of her, he had taken her hand in his and said very gently, as if to
tone down the trauma, “I bet you are one of the most beautiful brides in the world, but I’m sorry
I cannot make love to you. There is someone else.”

Not sure if she’d heard right, Ruhi had watched puzzled as he lay down on the mattress and
turned his back to her. Is that it? A plain and blunt dismissal of her dreams, her life? Was that

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Advice from Simi

Question: Starting Out As A Writer – 5 Things You Should Know

5 Things? Hmm..let’s see.

1. Read: Yes, to write well one should also be a good reader. I fell in love with books at a very young
age, thanks to my father. My first book was ‘Black Beauty’ by Anna Sewell. The story of the beautiful
black horse touched an emotional cord and continues to reside in my heart as do many others. Reading
a lot and widely, helps open up the horizons and expand the possibilities.

2. Write because you love to: Don’t write if you’d rather spend time doing something else. Write
because you want to, because you love to and write from the heart. Be sincere--it shows.

3. Develop your own writing voice: Though there may be several authors you are inspired by, there is
no replacement to your own voice. Develop your own style and stick to it. Often I will buy a book not
because I like the plot summary but because I love the way a particular author writes.

4. Don’t edit, let it flow.

5. Try not to write about what you don’t know without adequate research: If you do, then be prepared
for the expert comments.

And to throw in a bonus
6. Write frequently: Can’t stress this enough. Make it a habit. Write something, anything, but write

Simi K. Rao
Simi K. Rao was born in India and has been living in the United States for several
years. This book is her first foray into writing. The inspiration for the story came
from what she has seen transpire among and within the immigrant community.
Some of the experiences included are her own; some have been garnered from
friends and casual conversations with acquaintances. She also writes poetry, is
an avid photographer, loves to travel, and is a practicing physician. She currently
lives in Denver with her family.

You can connect with the author and read more of her work on her website at

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