Monday, April 15, 2019

A2Z April Challenge 2019: M for MAHARAJA INTERNATIONAL

Maharaja International is the third and final book in The Bansal Legacy trilogy that I have set around 5-star hotels run by the Bansal siblings, Rohit, Rhea and Ritvik.

Ritvik, the hero of this story, appears very young, carefree and fun-loving in the first two books. But he grows up to be a mature guy who takes on the responsibility of a single father to his little girl, Aarya, who he has fathered through surrogacy. also runs Maharaja International, a 5-star hotel he has set up in a heritage palace in Udaipur that used to belong to The Thakore Royals. 

Sia is from a small town and has literally clawed her way from poverty to become the manager of Cleopatra’s, the beauty salon at Ritvik’s hotel.

Sparks fly the moment they set eyes on each other…

Only Sia isn’t what she appears on the surface and has a load of backlog. Will Ritvik accept her for what Sia is or the man who has sworn off marriage (the reason why he had a child through surrogacy) dump her by the wayside? You will need to read my book to know more. 

As for research, I wrote this book after visiting the City Palace in Udaipur and also staying in a hotel on the banks of Lake Pichola. But the heritage hotel that I have portrayed in this story is completely from my imagination. Please don’t go looking for it when you visit Udaipur. 

I studied a number of books and journals to understand the workings of 5-star hotels and also had a special tour of The Orchid, Mumbai, organized by a friend, to understand the running of the hotel from top to bottom. 

A glimpse into my novel…

“By the way, I’m Ritvik Bansal.”

Sia’s mouth opened wide in an O. The client was none other than the owner of this popular heritage hotel set in the middle of the Udai Sagar Lake, in the heart of Udaipur. “Pleased to make your acquaintance, sir,” she said, awe in her voice. He appeared so young. From what she had heard, he had built the hotel from scratch, renovating the rundown heritage property to the classy structure it was today. 

Ritvik tilted his head in acknowledgement before saying, “Okay Sia. What I need is a trim, just my beard and sideburns. Do you think you can manage that?” The smile had disappeared and he was suddenly all business. “And I’m in a hurry.”

“But of course sir. Please take a seat.” Sia pointed to one of the plush chairs in front of the mirrored wall. It looked as if her desire was going to be fulfilled almost immediately, that of having a go at shaping his beard. With a smile on her face, Sia brought out a hair cutting cape and opened it with a flick of her wrists before wrapping it around his wide shoulders, snapping the single button closed at the back of his neck. 

Ritvik watched her brief and efficient movements in the mirror, his eyes keen. Sia was not conventionally beautiful, her nose short and tip-tilted while her lips were a bit too generous and wide. Her smoky grey eyes that appeared almost silver were her most striking feature. She was busty with wide hips while her waist was small and her legs pretty long. Ritvik judged her to be about 5’7” tall. She was dressed in black formal trousers and a white shirt. The red apron that she wore bore the stylish profile of a crowned and bejewelled king—the hotel’s emblem—in its centre. He couldn’t but agree that the entire package was extremely attractive.

Sia took out an electronic beard trimmer and ran it efficiently over Ritvik’s thick beard, from one end to the other, trimming away the excess with a minimum of fuss. Then she took out a pair of small scissors and comb from the pocket in her apron and shaped his sideburns to perfection. She quickly dusted the hair off his cheeks and shoulders before removing his cape. “Is that fine Mr. Bansal?” She had a tough time keeping her eyes free of expression. He looked even more delectable than before. 

“It’s perfect Sia. Thanks!” He got up and left abruptly, with a wave of his hand, leaving Sia to tend to her grumbling heart. 


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  1. Sia and Ritwik both seem to have a past. Can they leave their baggage and start a journey fresh? Only the book can tell the readers. Interesting read.

    1. Absolutely! thank you for stopping by and posting a comment