Chapters 6–13

In this companion novel to When Dimple Met Rishi, Ashish Patel allows his parents to set him up on a series of dates with Sweetie Nair, an athlete who wants to prove to her traditional mother that she can be happy at any size.
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definitions & notes only words
  1. reconciliation
    the reestablishment of cordial relations
    This had happened more often than he cared to admit over the past three months, ever since he and Celia had broken up. And now that there was zero hope for reconciliation...Ashish supposed this was what he could expect for the foreseeable future.
  2. bravado
    a swaggering show of courage
    The thought of endless Saturday nights spooling out before him made him feel a little physically ill, so he injected even more bravado into his voice.
  3. inconsequential
    lacking worth or importance
    They’d mostly been talking about inconsequential things, but when Amma’s tone turned darker and her volume quieter, Sweetie knew to lean in and hold her breath.
  4. abomination
    a person who is loathsome or disgusting
    Her own mother was that ashamed of Sweetie’s looks. She thought Sweetie was an abomination.
  5. modicum
    a small or moderate or token amount
    But she had found a modicum of peace within herself that Amma was somehow bent on taking away.
  6. erroneously
    in a mistaken manner
    Sweetie Nair, he’d erroneously thought, would be a Goody Two-shoes, full-bottle-of-coconut-oil-in-the-hair, devout Indian daughter.
  7. encroach
    impinge or infringe upon
    Ashish took off like a rocket. He was just wondering if he should slow down, give the girl a chance, when her shadow encroached on him.
  8. chagrin
    cause to feel shame
    Ashish found this detail almost painfully cute, and he had to rearrange his facial features to look chagrined.
  9. myriad
    too numerous to be counted
    I wanted to show you I’m not lazy, unhealthy, or any of the myriad other things people tend to assume.
  10. heady
    extremely exciting as if by alcohol or a narcotic
    When the breeze blew, Ashish caught a whiff of her—even sweating, she smelled soft and sweet, like caramel laced with something heady and girly.
  11. inherently
    in an essential manner
    I mean, the word ‘fat’ isn’t inherently bad or gross. It’s people who’ve made it that way.
  12. inkling
    a slight suggestion or vague understanding
    Studying Sweetie, he got an inkling that there were many things she’d had to deal with all her life that he’d never given a second thought to.
  13. despondent
    without or almost without hope
    He had a feeling he wouldn’t be sipping a Coke despondently on his balcony tonight.
  14. unadulterated
    without qualification
    They high-fived, Achchan’s face pink with unadulterated glee.
  15. cherubic
    having a sweet nature befitting an angel
    Looking at his round, almost cherubic face, thick black mustache streaked with gray, and his big, soft belly, Sweetie felt a tug of affection.
  16. unprecedented
    novel; having no earlier occurrence
    This was unprecedented. Sweetie never, ever drove when her parents were accompanying her.
  17. guffaw
    laugh boisterously
    He began guffawing at what he thought was his razor-sharp wit.
  18. acquiesce
    agree or express agreement
    Amma acquiesced with a slight nod of her head.
  19. formidable
    inspiring fear or dread
    That was his boardroom someone’s-gonna-get-fired face. He’d seen it once when he was a kid and Pappa had to take him in to work because Ma was sick. He’d never forgotten it. It was...formidable.
  20. hone
    refine or make more perfect or effective
    It was a careful game of cat and mouse he’d honed over the years.
  21. renege
    fail to fulfill a promise or obligation
    He’d told Sweetie he was willing to go behind their parents’ backs, and he didn’t want to renege on that.
  22. gist
    the central meaning or theme of a speech or literary work
    I know you didn’t say it in those exact words, but that was the gist of it and Sweetie heard that part.
  23. wayward
    resistant to guidance or discipline
    Do you want the focus to be on your wayward ways when it comes time for them to announce their engagement?
  24. auspicious
    indicating favorable circumstances and good luck
    “Are you serious? You want me to take her to the temple for our first date?”
    “Why not?” Pappa said. “It is an auspicious place, full of good omens.”
  25. untoward
    not in keeping with accepted standards of what is proper
    “At least this way when we do tell them, we can say we kept a guiding hand on you two and made sure nothing untoward happened.”
  26. volatile
    liable to lead to sudden change or violence
    Maybe it was that single act of rebellion, going to see Ashish Patel and deciding to date him behind her back, but it was like something bright and volatile was beginning to spark inside of her.
  27. sanction
    give authority or permission to
    So now it was what she was wearing to the party and what she could eat there? What else might Amma want to sanction? How much air she could breathe?
  28. vehemence
    intensity or forcefulness of expression
    “That is ridiculous,” Anjali Chechi said, her voice loud with endearing vehemence.
  29. relegate
    assign to a lower position
    Sweetie had relegated herself to the backseat after what Amma said in the restaurant, and the environment in the car was prickly and still and weird.
  30. nefarious
    extremely wicked
    Are they gonna tell my parents?
    No, don't think so. They've got another nefarious plan though ugh.
  31. discreet
    marked by prudence or modesty and wise self-restraint
    She nudged him discreetly with her elbow.
  32. imposition
    an uncalled-for burden
    “Of course he can go, if it won’t be an imposition on your parents,” Ma said.
  33. incandescent
    characterized by ardent emotion, intensity, or brilliance
    Feeling her cheeks glow incandescent, Sweetie added quickly, “Uh, their four-date thing, I mean.”
  34. amiss
    not functioning properly
    Ashish didn’t seem to think anything was amiss, he just looked genuinely surprised.
  35. unperturbed
    free from emotional agitation or nervous tension
    “Shh! I don’t want the whole world to know, okay?” Kayla, Suki, and Izzy looked unperturbed.
  36. morosely
    in a sullen, moody manner
    Sweetie took a bite of her dosha and chewed morosely. She hated feeling this way.
  37. patriarchy
    a form of social organization in which men hold power
    “Damn patriarchy,” Suki said darkly. “Holding women up to higher standards.”
  38. guileless
    innocent and free of deceit
    He seemed the most nervous about this conversation, his gray eyes big and guileless.
  39. crux
    the most important point
    Trust Oliver to get to the crux of the matter.
  40. chide
    scold or reprimand severely or angrily
    “Sorry I asked,” Samir mumbled, sounding genuinely chided.
Created on June 26, 2019 (updated July 3, 2019)

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