Tuesday, April 30, 2024

A to Z April Challenge 2024: Z for ZANY PRAMOD MISHRA

Image courtesy: https://www.freepik.com/

ZANY means Silly, Whacky or Ridiculous. Believe me, the character Pramod Mishra from my book GROOMNAPPED is all three of these, and more. 

The first book in The Groom Series is available on Kindle, and Kindle Unlimited. 

Some passages from my book to let you know more about the man who’s my heroine’s colleague and is keen to marry her. Yes, you read that correctly. He is not in love with her, but wants her to be his wife.

Excerpt 1

Pramod Mishra’s hair was well-oiled with sarson ka tel that could be smelled from a mile away. Parted in a straight line exactly in the middle, as if he used a ruler to mark the parting, Mishra had combed his hair ruthlessly on both sides of his skull. Though thick, his hair tended to cling to his scalp because of the amount of mustard oil that he used every day to slick it into position. With thick and black round frames for his glasses, he looked like an owl as he peered at those around him. His face was shaved to an inch of its life and appeared as soft as a baby’s bottom, much to the women staff’s mirth. 

Mishra was probably in his late twenties but gave the appearance of one in his forties. Dressed in loose cotton pants and a looser short-sleeved kurta, a cloth bag hanging from his right shoulder all the way to his knee, he gave the impression of a complete nerd. Except for the lack of intelligence. 

His only saving grace was that Mishra could bring to life anything he drew and painted. The birds and animals appeared to breathe from the canvas after he had finished with them. 

Excerpt 2

“Hello Surekha, I was just telling Pratibha about visiting your home yesterday.”

Surekha gave Pramod a stern nod, her regular smile absent. 

Pramod Mishra, who all this long had never had the temerity to talk to her about his feelings, spoke now. “Did you and your family discuss things over?”

She scowled at him. “What things?”

“Er… regarding our marriage…” He stopped mid-sentence when he saw her raised hand.

“Didn’t you hear what my father said to your mother yesterday?” Surekha gave Mishra an angry look that just bounced off the man like water off a duck’s back. 

Mishra shrugged. “I understand that my mother’s demands must have seemed rather startling. You shouldn’t worry about them. Please reassure your parents too. I have told amma that she shouldn’t ask for everything, not all at one go. Just get the marriage over with ten tolas of gold. Your father can give the rest of it over the next two years.”    

Pratibha placed a supporting hand over Surekha’s shoulder, hoping to calm her down. Not that she was really surprised by her friend’s fuming temper. By now, Mishra must be aware of how poor Surekha and her family were. How dared he ask for so much dowry? Had he no shame? And wasn’t he aware of what a horrid personality he possessed? How in the name of hell did he think that he deserved so much in the name of dowry? All because he was a man?

“Mishraji, I don’t think you understand.” Pratibha spoke, unable to stop herself. “It’s not a question of paying you immediately or over the next few years. The dowry you are asking is simply too much. Surekha…”

Mishra stood up straighter, raising himself to his full height of 5’9”. “You don’t know what you’re talking about, Pratibha. After all, you’re a young girl yourself. Men like me demand way more than what my mother is asking Surekha’s father. I…”

Kabhi apni shakal dekhi hai aaine mein?” Surekha snarled. She didn’t care that she had stooped so low as to insult Mishra’s bad looks. How dare he? How dare he think that he had the right to demand so much from her father? That too with his stupid-looking face and mediocre lifestyle? 

Mishra saw red. “Just because the rich and handsome Ameya is spending time with you, don’t even imagine he’s going to make an honest woman out of you. If at all he weds you, his parents will demand five times as much dowry as my mother did. Tell your father to wake up soon and save enough to pay for your wedding, not to forget your two younger sisters. He seems so irresponsible, your father…” 

“Shut up, Mishra. Don’t you dare insult my father. Whether my sisters and I get married or not is none of your business. And let me tell you something. All this long, I was not too worried that my parents couldn’t afford to pay big dowries for us. But after yesterday, I am so glad that they can’t afford to pay you.  Otherwise, imagine my fate, being landed with you as my husband. Ugh!”


  1. Congrats on finishing the A to Z Blogging Challenge! I really enjoyed your blog posts all month long.
    Oh! If you only visit one post of mine this challenge, then today should be the day!
    Tim Brannan, The Other Side blog
    2024 A to Z of Dungeons & Dragons, Celebrating 50 Years of D&D