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    An optometrist, mother, and writer, I rekindled her passion for the written word in my second act.

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  1. 7 assignments Assignment One: Write your story statement. Finding love while making her immigrant family proud. Assignment Two: Sketch the antagonist in 200 words or less. Goals, backgrounds, and how they react to the world around them. Since she was little, Anjali has been a model daughter to her Indian parents. She stayed steady on her course to become a successful corporate lawyer and is even the owner of her apartment on the Upper Eastside. But one area that she seems to be falling short in is the marriage department. Most of the women in her parents’ generation had arranged marriages in India before immigrating to America. Anjali feels pressure from her mother who thinks that she is a failure because her eldest daughter is not married. Anjali is frustrated too, and though she views the arranged marriage process as something that worked for her parents she wants them to find love on her own. By nature, Anjali is an overthinker and planner. She is concerned about how people perceive her and tends to be a people pleaser at work. She is a loyal friend and has her quirks. She is open-minded, but judgmental. When she meets a handsome guy who is ten years younger than her she is hesitant to date him. She is concerned about what her family and community would think of her being involved with someone ten years younger than her. Assignment Three: Potential titles Anjali and the Architect MissUnderstandings Late Expectations Assignment Four: 2 smart comparables for your novel Grown-up pose by Sonya Lalli Erotic stories for Punjabi Widow by Balli Kaur Jaswal I would like to describe my writing as Sophia Kinsella meets Jhumpa Lahiri, or if Mindy Kaling wrote books instead of television shows. It has been hard for me to find comparables. There have been lots of South Asian female protagonists in commercial women’s fiction, but they usually have heavy and dramatic plotlines. Finding a novel with a balance of tradition and modernism, while keeping a touch of comedy has been difficult for me. Assignment Fifth: Hookline A career-oriented thirty-five-year-old woman living in New York, pressurized by her Indian family to find a husband, falls for a man ten years younger than her, who becomes a potential arranged marriage suitor for her baby sister. Assignment Six: Sketch out the conditions for the Inner conflict your protagonist will have. Sketch out a hypothetical scenario trigger and reaction. Anjali is a single thirty-five-year-old woman, otherwise known as a tragedy in Indian culture. This comes up in her life when she is at a family function and various elders ask her about her non-existent love life, and how she needs to lower her expectations when it comes to finding a spouse. She feels as if her value as a woman is reduced to her potential role as a wife and mother, and nothing more. This causes her to feel bitter and she tends to lash out at her family. She wants to find love on her own while making her family proud. She did have a boyfriend once, but he dumped her before moving across the country. Then she did it her parents’ way by going through their social connections but accidentally got engaged to a gay man. The story starts when Anjali meets Sid, a twenty-five-year-old architect in the city. She finds that he checks all of her boxes, except for his age. Though she finds herself falling for him, she is always on the lookout for any red flags. She doubts his feelings for her but also doubts herself. Is she lovable enough? Is she more than just her accomplishments? Is she making the right decision when starting a relationship with him? Has she made poor decisions in the past? Her finding love with Sid is the primary conflict of the book. Secondary conflict: One of the secondary conflicts is between Anjali and her mother. There are from two very different generations and two very different schools of thought when it comes to 'happily every after.' Sometimes even the simplest mother daughter outing can cause friction. One situation is when Anjali and her mother got to a busy mall on Black Friday. They are at the make-up counter and her mother convinces Anjali to get a make-over. She feels as if her mother is subconsciously saying that she doesn’t look good enough or needs physical improvements to attract a husband. This causes Anjali to argue with her mother causing an estrangement in their relationship that lasts for six months. Assignment Seven: Detailed Setting descriptions New York City (midtown, including Central Park, restaurants, streets, gyms): many settings of the book are on the streets of current day midtown Manhattan in various bars, stores, bodegas, and coffee shops. Anjali's workplace (55th and 6th ave): located in Midtown Manhattan in a high-rise. The inside is grey, brown, dull, old, established, and boring. Sid’s workplace (57th and 7th): located a few blocks from Anjali’s office building. It is minimal, chic, and futuristic. There are iPads and a Nespresso machine. Anjali’s apartment (174 E 74th street): on the Upper Eastside, it is an apartment she bought by herself and that she is proud of. Things are organized. You can find her fluffing pillows and setting out flowers and magazines before her baby sister visits. It’s the site of her Christmas party. She has old CDs and a basket with her knitting supplies, an old-school habit of hers. She also likes classic movies that she watches at home. She has a comfortable couch facing the fireplace. She also has a desk near the window where she does her work at home. Sid’s apartment (East 32nd street): it is a small one-bedroom apartment in a brownstone in Murray Hill. A distant relative of a friend is his landlord which explains the reasonable rent. It's where Anjali and Sid will break up when Anjali finds Sid’s ex-girlfriend at the apartment one morning. Dubai, Palm Island: The conclusion of the novel takes place in Dubai. Fearing that she is about to get married, Sid travels to the Middle Eastern city looking for Anjali amidst the heat and a daze of jetlag. Clear blue waters and dusty sand dunes. They reunite in a glamorous hotel on Palm Island.
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