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</script> <div class="blank10"></div><div class="blank10"></div> <img src="http://www.greyoak.in/images/another_chance_right.gif" width="234" height="224"></td> </tr> <tr> <td width="721" style="padding-left:20px; line-height:18px; text-align:justify"> <div class="blank10"></div> <div class="blank5"></div> This is the story of a depressingly gorgeous woman, Ruheen Oberoi. <br> A fragile beauty brought up by her indulgent Nana in Shimla. A woman stalked by a violent, obsessive son of a powerful minister. A woman married to a junkie in London who spends his days on a Playstation. Her passionate lover, Aditya Sharma, a successful Brand Manager trying to strike the work-life balance, wants another chance with Ruheen in Amsterdam. So does her old flame and best friend Varun Shetty, a recovering alcoholic in Shimla, finding meaning in life. Malika, a seductress wronged by her cheating ex-husband, wants Ruheen s Aditya instead. <br> Who gets another chance? And with whom? <div class="blank20"></div> <div class="blank2"></div> </td> </tr> <tr> <td style="color:#fff;height:23px;padding-left:20px;background-repeat:no-repeat;background-image:url(http://www.greyoak.in/images/books_gradient_1.gif);"><b>About the author</b></td> </tr> <tr> <td width="721" style="padding-left:20px; line-height:18px; text-align:justify"> <div class="blank10"></div> <div class="blank5"></div> Ahmed Faiyaz grew up in Bangalore and now lives in Dubai. He's a strategist by profession, with a number of years in management consulting behind him. He&#146;s a book and film addict, and a passionate writer. His first book, Love, Life &amp; All That Jazz&#133;, published in April 2010, remains a popular bestseller across major cities.<br> Grey Oak has recently released Another Chance, his second full-length novel, and is slated to release Strangers, his anthology of 21 short stories, in February 2011. He is a founding member of Grey Oak Publishers and Grey Oak Foundation. More on <a href="http://www.ahmedfaiyaz.in" style="color:#009ae3; font-weight:bold; text-decoration:none" target="_blank">www.ahmedfaiyaz.in</a> <div class="blank20"></div> <div class="blank2"></div> </td> </tr> <tr> <td style="color:#fff;height:23px;padding-left:20px;background-repeat:no-repeat;background-image:url(http://www.greyoak.in/images/books_gradient_1.gif);"><b><a name="praise"></a>Praise for Another Chance</b></td> </tr> <tr> <td width="721" style="padding-left:20px; line-height:18px; text-align:justify"> <div class="blank10"></div> <div class="blank5"></div> 'A breezy read about love and longing in metros'<br> <b>Mini Anthikad Chhibber, Editor Metro Plus, The Hindu (Bangalore)</b><div class="blank10"></div><div class="blank5"></div>  Written in his sharp, fluid and casual style, this breezy urban delight works for Ahmed's deft handling of the narrative, with vivid details and laced with the right hooks and cuts which makes it hard not to romp through it. Love with all its trappings remains the underlining essence... <br><b>Shagufta Kalim, Senior Sub - Editor, Asian Age (Kolkata)</b><div class="blank10"></div><div class="blank5"></div> 'An unputdownable, compelling roller - coaster ride on relationships...' <br><b>Kainaz Motivala, Actor/ Model</b><div class="blank10"></div><div class="blank5"></div> 'A compelling, emotionally charged story of relationships, life-choices, and love.' <br><b>Rikin Khamar, Author, The Lotus Queen</b> <div class="blank10"></div><div class="blank5"></div> 'The complex web of relationships that he weaves would surely keep the reader engrossed till the end.' <br><b>Bookrack</b> <div class="blank10"></div><div class="blank5"></div> 'A reader, who is looking forward to a realistic take on how relationships work (or don't) in contemporary India, in simple, relatable prose, would do well if he picks up a copy of Another Chance.' <br><b>Asian Age</b> <div class="blank10"></div><div class="blank5"></div> 'Love, relationships, care, r0g5  0ll th5 emotions h05 b55n moulded together t m0k5 0n f0UAVn0tVng impact.' <br><b>Best Book Reviews Blog</b> <div class="blank10"></div><div class="blank5"></div> 'Patiently fleshed out, highly relatable & full of emotional conflicts, Another Chance makes for an involving read.' <br><b>Helter Skelter</b> <div class="blank10"></div><div class="blank5"></div> 'The book is light read, simply written, and moves seamlessly from Mumbai to Amsterdam to Shimla - much like something out of a Karan Johar production. So you know what to do if it is too cold to go to the cinema.' <br><b>Mail Today</b> <div class="blank20"></div> <div class="blank2"></div> </td> </tr> <tr> <td style="color:#fff;height:23px;padding-left:20px;background-repeat:no-repeat;background-image:url(http://www.greyoak.in/images/books_gradient_1.gif);"><b><a name="excerpts"></a>Excerpt from Another Chance</b></td> </tr> <tr> <td width="721" style="padding-left:20px; line-height:18px; text-align:justify"> <div class="blank10"></div> <div class="blank5"></div> <b>Prologue</b><br> <i><br> In Mumbai<br> <br> October 4, 2009</i><br> <br> It wasn&#146;t the most pleasant day to be flying out of the country. There was a storm brewing outside and most roads were flooded. If it wasn&#146;t as early as four in the morning, Aditya would never have made it to the airport in time. It had been pouring steadily since early evening the previous day and the sky wore a purple-black shade, thundering threateningly. The taxi managed to navigate through water-clogged streets and dropped him off at Terminal C just an hour and a half before the scheduled departure time. To add it this, there was a security alert at the International Airport and there were certainly more eyes watching you. Aditya managed to pick up his boarding pass and moved quickly towards the immigration counter to stand in queue. He pondered over the events that had unfolded days and weeks before this planned trip. He stood there wondering if he was doing the right thing. Will I get another chance?<br> <br> &#145;Phew, why can&#146;t they just get on with it? We&#146;ve been in this line for 30 minutes. Half the desks are empty with these guys taking long coffee breaks. When will our people change?&#146; a voice behind him said.<br> <br> He turned around and nodded in agreement. For a moment, he was taken aback. She was an attractive woman, not strikingly gorgeous like Ruheen but attractive with an interesting face. She was tall and dusky with luscious lips and had this no nonsense air about her. She wore her hair just like Ruheen did, and it struck him that what she said also sounded a lot like Ruheen. She wore a sleeveless cream top and a pair of figure-hugging grey jeans, and had a travel guide in her hand. &#145;Well, it&#146;s how these guys have always been,&#146; Aditya said, averting his gaze from her.<br> <br> &#145;Yeah, well, it&#146;s time they change and become a little more efficient. I don&#146;t fancy standing around here while half of them decide not show up or are too busy drinking tea,&#146; she said with a deep frown.<br> <br> Aditya was called on next and had to answer the usual volley of questions that included &#145;baap ka naam?&#146; before his passport was stamped. He walked ahead at a brisk pace towards the security check which, predictably, had a long line of frustrated and irate passengers who wanted nothing more than to board their flight and go to sleep.<br> <br> At the check in counter, more questions were being asked; hand baggage was being checked twice. He could see an elderly woman arguing with a burly security officer about his rationale of taking away her pair of pocket scissors. &#145;What harm will my pocket scissors do baba?&#146; he heard her saying to big-built beefy Sardar who seemed apologetic and shook his head. The lady looked angry enough to want to snatch her pair of scissors from him. She thought better of it and walked away with a huff muttering, &#145;nonsense&#146; while another security officer smiled and nodded at the Sardar. Aditya picked up his backpack and walked towards the business class lounge with memories of Ruheen in his head.<br> <br> He remembered the time when they flew in together to India - it seemed like it was yesterday. She seemed scared and wanted Aditya to hold her hand. She slept through most of the flight with her head on his shoulders. He remembered kissing her forehead and wrapping his arms around her which led her to snuggle closer to him.<br> <br> &#145;Sir, your flight is boarding now; you can proceed to Gate Number 12. Have a nice flight,&#146; the waitress at the lounge said in a friendly voice.<br> <br> Aditya finished his cup of coffee, picked up his backpack and walked towards Gate Number 12 feeling restless and unsure of the purpose of his trip. Would we meet again? Would she be there? Would I be able to hold her and run my fingers through her soft tresses? Would her hair be long the way I like it or has she cut it short like she always wanted to?<br> <br> He boarded the flight and walked toward seat number 7B, searching for answers and remembering how miserable the last one and a half years had been. The years Ruheen and he had spent apart. The years Ruheen and he shouldn&#146;t have spent apart. He closed his tired eyes and tried to get these thoughts out of his disturbed mind. We will be okay, he told himself.<br> <br> &#145;Excuse me, could you please move so that I can get in,&#146; the annoyed girl from the line at the immigration counter said tapping on his shoulders, stirring him from his deep reverie. He sprang out of his seat, and moved out quickly to let her slide into 7A next to the window, a seat that he always preferred given the view from an aircraft taking off or landing in a city. He had turned around and looked at her with searching eyes then, and now looked at her like he had seen a ghost. To her, Aditya certainly appeared to be lost in his thoughts and seemed disturbed about something.<br> <br> She settled in quickly and wrapped a blanket around herself while he fiddled with the in flight entertainment system. He began scrolling through the list of movies, looking for a movie to kill time. He gave up quickly and began reading from a worn, old diary. He looked scruffy and it seemed to her that he had paid little attention to his own appearance. He must be an independent writer, artist or a musician. He could also be one of those offbeat film makers, she thought. She felt that he was good looking and had these innocent eyes; it seemed like he was lost, like he was searching for something. He intrigued her and stood out from the usual band of boys who tried make small talk and used inane pick up lines.<br> <br> A short while after the aircraft had taken off for Brussels, she managed to accidently drop her hair clip which she was playing with while listening to Bruce Springsteen on her headset. It was below his seat and he bent down to pick it up while she removed the headset.<br> <br> &#145;Thanks!&#146; she said blushing in embarrassment.<br> <br> &#145;It&#146;s alright, here you go,&#146; he said handing it to her with a polite nod.<br> <br> &#145;Going to Brussels on work?&#146; she asked, and then felt stupid as he certainly seemed like he wasn&#146;t. He could have been one of those guys going to Europe on a break to try and figure out what his life was about.<br> <br> &#145;No, I&#146;m just transiting through Brussels. I have a flight to Amsterdam tonight,&#146; he said, not really answering her question.<br> <br> &#145;That&#146;s a coincidence; I&#146;m going to Amsterdam, too. It seems like we have a stopover of an hour or so...&#146;<br> <br> &#145;An hour and thirty-five minutes, it will be past nine by the time we reach Amsterdam,&#146; he said in a pensive voice.<br> <br> &#145;I&#146;m Meghna Sethi by the way. I am a talent manager and I represent a few young artists in India. I&#146;m just going to Amsterdam for a couple of days, I have to strike this deal for Natasha Chopra&#146;s Europe Tour in a couple of months,&#146; she said observing that he didn&#146;t quite care what she did, that his mind was far away from the aircraft flying across the Arabian Sea.<br> <br> &#145;I&#146;m Aditya Sharma, it&#146;s good to meet you,&#146; he said offering his hand to shake hers.<br> <br> &#145;So do you live in Mumbai?&#146; she asked sounding curious.<br> <br> &#145;In a way, yes I do. I have an apartment here but I&#146;ve been away for almost a year.&#146; He said this with rare honesty, and it now seemed like he wanted to talk to someone.<br> <br> &#145;Oh...you&#146;ve moved recently much like I have. I live in Pune, moved like a year ago from Bangalore. It takes a while, adjusting to a new place, though both cities are quite similar in many ways.&#146;<br> <br> &#145;Yes they are, except Bangalore gets a lot more rain,&#146; he said with a reluctant smile, and added, &#145;it has Corner House, too.&#146;<br> <br> &#145;Ha ha, yes we do. It&#146;s been our favourite place for a sundae from back in school!&#146;<br> <br> &#145;Yes, I loved the apple pies there. I would head out to one of their outlets on every visit to Bangalore. Though coincidently, each time I landed in Bangalore it was pouring like there was no tomorrow.&#146;<br> <br> &#145;Welcome showers, I guess,&#146; she said reminiscing about the good old days.<br> <br> &#145;Yes, so they were. It was a good feeling to go there in summer and get away from the heat and humidity in Mumbai.&#146;<br> <br> &#145;Yes, we have our summer showers to be proud of. I remember picking raw mangoes from the garden after the showers. Anyway, so who do you work with in Mumbai?&#146;<br> <br> &#145;I&#146;m not working with anyone at the moment,&#146; he said taking his gaze away from hers.<br> <br> &#145;Oh alright, so you&#146;re on a sabbatical from work or something?&#146; she asked. She wondered if he was let go from where he worked.<br> <br> &#145;I quit a year ago, but that&#146;s not why I left Mumbai. I couldn&#146;t stand living there without her.&#146;<br> <br> &#145;I see, without whom again?&#146; she asked, not completely getting what he meant. She unbuckled her seat belt and put her feet up, turning almost completely towards him.<br> <br> &#145;Without Ruheen, my ex girlfriend....she&#146;s the reason I&#146;m making this trip to Amsterdam. To possibly meet her and work things out,&#146; he said with emotion in his voice. &#145;Well, I hope it all works out for both of you,&#146; she said touching his arm. He looked at her hand for a moment and nodded hopefully.<br> <br> &#145;Well it&#146;s a long shot but I&#146;m trying,&#146; he said, without much enthusiasm.<br> <br> &#145;Does she stay in Amsterdam?&#146; she asked before realising that she was being a little too inquisitive.<br> <br> &#145;She once did, it&#146;s where we fell in love. Or at least as I remember where she fell in love with me.&#146; Anyone could sense the pathos in his voice and his longing for this woman.<br> <br> &#145;Tell me about it, when did this happen?&#146; she asked with some interest wanting him to go on. It seemed to her like he could use a conversation. She felt this strange urge to want to know him, to hear his story and to figure out how someone could be so resilient and broken in love. &#145;Three years ago, in Amsterdam...&#146; he stopped and stood up. He removed his backpack from the overhead cabin and took out an envelope containing photographs. He pulled one out and showed it to her. He had a faint smile on his face seeing the picture himself.<br> <br> It was a picture of Aditya and a girl in a waitress&#146;s uniform in happier times. He had longer hair and his cheeks were full. He didn&#146;t have the dark circles under his eyes like he did now. The girl standing next to him had a broad smile on her face. She was petite and strikingly beautiful. She had sharp features, a tiny nose and a sexy pout; her light brown hair was tied in a bun and there was a warm glow about her. Her skirt and apron ensemble showed off nicely tanned legs. She was the kind of woman men would do anything for. She had that vulnerability in her eyes and a mischievous smile, one that could melt many hearts. One that could break someone&#146;s heart, it seemed to Meghna.<br> <br> <br> <div style="text-align:center">*****</div> <br> <br> <i>A few hours later...<br> <br> In Delhi</i><br> <br> &#145;I really like this cardigan for him. He will certainly look dashing in it,&#146; Ruheen said, holding up the full sleeved cardigan for her friend Priya to see.<br> <br> &#145;Hmm, it&#146;s not bad. But not too great either. Why don&#146;t we look elsewhere? There are other stores in Khan Market which will give it to you cheaper,&#146; Priya said.<br> <br> &#145;I don&#146;t really care for cheaper. I want to see the look of surprise on his face when he sees this in a couple of days,&#146; Ruheen said with a smile. &#145;Pack kar do bhaiya,&#146; she added.<br> <br> &#145;You might want to take something warm for yourself as well. It&#146;s a long trip, and it&#146;s certainly likely to be a lot cooler out there,&#146; Priya said.<br> <br> &#145;Great idea, you&#146;re right, it will be cooler. I still can&#146;t believe I&#146;m going to be doing this!&#146; Ruheen said excitedly.<br> <br> &#145;You are doing the right thing. It&#146;s going to be another chance to build a new life for both of you,&#146; said Priya rummaging through the sweaters that were on display.<br> <br> Her phone rang, it was Varun. &#145;Hi, you haven&#146;t left yet I gather?&#146; &#145;No, I haven&#146;t, it&#146;s been crazy making all the arrangements. I&#146;ll leave now and I&#146;ll see you soon,&#146; he said, sounding rushed.<br> <br> &#145;Ok, see you soon. Drive safely...&#146;<br> <br> <br> <div style="text-align:center">*****</div> <br> <br> <i>At the same time...<br> <br> In Shimla</i><br> <br> Varun walked into his office, animatedly discussing plans and ideas for the days ahead with a friend. Ruheen would be waiting for him. He should have left by now, but was unable to, given all the preparations that were underway.<br> <br> &#145;I have so much to wrap up before I take off for Delhi,&#146; he said. &#145;Ruheen is the smart one, she wound up work a week ago.&#146;<br> <br> A member of his staff walked in and waited for him to finish his conversation. &#145;Shastri, I want you to pay close attention to the ongoing wedding preparations. Follow up with stage decorators and caterers and make sure they deliver as promised. Also make sure enough rooms are available for guests. We are expecting people from all over the place,&#146; Varun said, looking at a missed call on his BlackBerry.<br> <br> &#145;I think the contractor is here. I&#146;m going up to the Haveli to coordinate some work that needs to be done. If Mishra comes here, send him down to the Oberoi Haveli.&#146;<br> <br> He picked up his keys and walked out to the car park in a rush. So much to do and so little time, he thought. Let me call Ruheen and tell her that I&#146;m leaving late.<br> <br> <br> <br> </td> </tr> </table> <img src="http://www.greyoak.in/images/all_logos_1.gif"><img src="http://www.greyoak.in/images/go_about_us_quote.gif"><div class="blank2"></div> <img src="http://www.greyoak.in/images/go_footer.gif"> </div></div> <div class="blank10"></div> </body> </html>