Aisha Bhatia works as a guest relations manager at the
Grand Orchid, a five-star hotel in New Delhi. She tolerates
her job but hates her boss, a not-so-uncommon occurrence.
But at 29, Aisha remains unmarried, which seems more of a
tragedy in India than in the U.S., and is a fact her mother
continually points out and will stop at nothing to rectify.
Part of Aisha feels the urge to find a husband, but part of
her realizes she doesn't know what she wants.
Aisha knows that as one grows older, the husband pool
becomes smaller. Then she meets Karan Verma, a businessman
in New Delhi from New York, who represents everything she's
looking for in a husband. Some interesting circumstances
surround their first two meetings, so it's unclear if Aisha
is everything Karan wants. As Aisha becomes more unsure of
what she wants, she may remain single after all.
ALMOST SINGLE, Advaita Kala's debut novel, will ring
true for many women. After all, finding Mr. Right is a
difficult task, no matter the country. She has sprinkled
the novel with wit as Aisha cruises from mishap to mishap,
from toilet papering a car to -- well, you'll find out.
She's a sympathetic character with flaws like the rest of
us. Aisha says she's large, but won't reveal a number and
fudges statistics on the dating site where she and Misha
register. But even without a husband, she's not lonely with
two wonderful best friends, Misha and Anushka, with whom to
Kala gives good descriptions of some Mr. Wrongs, both past
and present, but Karan Verma didn't have as much depth as I
would like to have seen. Other characters come to life well
including Aisha's smarmy boss, her mother with her marriage
obsession and a rival for Karan's attention. The author has
a crisp writing style and provides explanations for most of
the Indian terminology. She has taken the advice of many
writers in creating a tale about what she knows, working in
the hotel industry herself. While this book didn't inspire
an emotional reaction, overall it's a sweet, endearing tale
of friendship, love and getting to know oneself.
In a city where old is meeting new, daughters are
surprising mothers, and love is breaking all the rules,
this heartfelt and wickedly funny cross-cultural debut
novel introduces a smart, irreverent young woman searching
for independence and matrimony in a culture bound by
Between elegant soirees and the
occasional mortifying mishap, Aisha Bhatia’s job as guest
relations manager at New Delhi’s five-star Grand Orchid
Hotel is intermittently fabulous—she certainly knows her
wines and cheeses. But despite a life filled with good
friends and first-class travel accommodations, the fact is
that not many twenty-nine-year-old women in India are
single—as Aisha’s mother never fails to remind her.
Somewhere a clock is ticking, though as far as Aisha is
concerned, it can be cheerfully drowned out by laughter
over a champagne brunch. Yet when the handsomely chiseled
Karan Verma arrives from New York, Aisha experiences an
unexpected attitude adjustment. Karan is everything she’s
ever wanted…that is, if she actually knew what she
wanted. Is it possible that she’s about to find out?
Savvy, sexy, and unforgettable, Almost
Singletackles the loving, exasperating tug-of-
war between mothers and daughters, traditional customs and
contemporary romance—and what happens when a modern Indian
woman is caught in the middle.