Chapters 14–20

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. embellish
    make more attractive, as by adding ornament or color
    He was talking to Pinky, who was wearing a T-shirt she’d distressed and embellished herself.
  2. poised
    marked by balance or equilibrium and readiness for action
    He pushed his shoulders back and was poised to go into his trademark swagger when he glanced down—and froze.
  3. apprehensive
    in fear or dread of possible evil or harm
    She got the feeling that he’d been honest with her—he was apprehensive about this not because of her or how she looked, but because of them.
  4. exuberant
    joyously unrestrained
    He gestured to the muscular black boy next to him, who nodded but didn’t give her the exuberant smile Oliver had.
  5. incorrigible
    impervious to correction by punishment
    He was the best dressed out of all of them, in a button-down shirt and neatly pressed khaki pants. He looked like a banker in the making. (Whereas Ash was wearing a Pokemon T-shirt he’d probably had since eighth grade, which was kind of incorrigibly cute.)
  6. devoid
    completely wanting or lacking
    Samir’s face didn’t hint at anything at all, it was completely devoid of expression.
  7. haughty
    having or showing arrogant superiority
    And even though his mouth was turned up in a haughty smirk right then, there was a kind of woundedness in his eyes, a hardness to his jaw that came from feeling defensive, from being hurt.
  8. beguiling
    highly attractive and able to arouse hope or desire
    Something about the way she held herself—that tentativeness, that open-eyed curiosity, that beguiling shallow dimple that popped out whenever she smiled or quirked her mouth—all of those things were attractive to Ashish, and he just couldn’t figure out why.
  9. debrief
    elicit a report from someone about a mission, job, or event
    Sweetie: k. I'll text you guys when it's over.
    Suki: Yeah let’s grab some fro yo or something and debrief.
  10. implicitly
    without doubting or questioning
    If Kayla, Suki, and Izzy believed she had this, then she had this. She trusted their judgment implicitly, even when she didn’t trust her own.
  11. articulate
    express or state clearly
    And until she could articulate those feelings and articulate them bravely and well, Sweetie knew, she’d have to keep the whole Sassy Sweetie Project under wraps.
  12. stringent
    demanding strict attention to rules and procedures
    Usually Sweetie felt a little bite of annoyance at Amma’s stringent rules.
  13. imposing
    impressive in appearance
    Ashish’s house was imposing, even though she’d been here before, just last weekend.
  14. moor
    open land with peaty soil covered with heather and moss
    She tipped her head back and took in the gigantic mansion, which looked like it belonged on some Scottish moor somewhere.
  15. accoutrement
    accessory or supplementary item of equipment or clothing
    Sunita auntie came fully equipped with her puja thali—a silver tray on which were balanced various powders and other accoutrements.
  16. cowlick
    a tuft of hair in a different direction from the rest
    Sweetie could tell from the barely suppressed energy in the room that it was all Sunita auntie could do not to hover and shepherd them to the door, maybe even smooth out Ashish’s cowlick and kiss him on the cheek.
  17. beatific
    experiencing or displaying extreme joy or bliss
    Outside, birds chirped in the trees beatifically.
  18. restorative
    tending to impart new life and vigor to
    “It’s restorative,” she said carefully. “I like to imagine my stress in a box that I leave at the steps here.”
  19. incantation
    a ritual reciting of words believed to have a magical effect
    There was a surprising comfort in being around his family’s religious culture too, in hearing the familiar words of the priest’s incantations and smelling the sandalwood incense.
  20. chafe
    tear or wear off the skin or make sore by abrading
    The stuffy embroidered kurta he’d been forced to wear wasn’t even chafing his skin as much as it usually did.
  21. dapper
    marked by up-to-dateness in dress and manners
    The maître d’, a dapper, short black woman in a suit, greeted them warmly.
  22. conservatory
    a greenhouse in which plants are arranged
    “Excellent. I do see you here, Mr Patel. Would you prefer our conservatory or balcony?”
  23. blase
    uninterested because of frequent exposure or indulgence
    “‘Peeps and tweeps.’ It’s code for ‘friends and important media.’ I guess the PR consultant decided it was trendier—and is obviously a Twitter fan.” Ashish chuckled. “Maybe ‘VIP’ is too blasé.”
  24. transfix
    render motionless because of surprise, terror, or awe
    Their view of the mountains in the distance was stunning enough, but right below them was a shimmering reflecting pool filled with koi and aquatic plants that were completely transfixing.
  25. vestige
    an indication that something has been present
    His brain still held on to the vestiges of Celia, sure he’d never be over her.
  26. bungle
    spoil by behaving clumsily or foolishly
    Ashish bungled easy shots, he got hit in the side of the head because he was looking in the wrong direction, Elijah pretty much carried the game, and Coach ripped him a new one.
  27. humility
    a lack of arrogance or false pride
    Ashish took all the ribbing from his teammates—both gentle and vicious—with humility.
  28. extravagant
    unrestrained, especially with regard to feelings
    He was making extravagant hand gestures, the way he did when he was mad, and Elijah had on his closed-off, shut-down look.
  29. spat
    a quarrel about petty points
    He’d never been in the middle of a lovers’ spat before.
  30. berate
    censure severely or angrily
    You just berate us and laugh at us and poke and prod at the thing we don’t want to think about.
  31. scrabble
    grope, scratch, or feel searchingly
    Suddenly Sweetie sat up and scrabbled in her nightstand drawer. She pulled out what she was looking for, and there in the darkness she shook that Magic 8 Ball like her life depended on it.
  32. connive
    form intrigues (for) in an underhand manner
    As Sweetie had lain in bed last night, thinking about how she’d single-handedly connived to get Ashish Patel’s attention and then begun to date him, she’d gotten a surge of confidence.
  33. insidious
    working or spreading in a hidden and usually injurious way
    Resisting fatphobic messages was one thing—but what about the insidious, internalized fatphobia she carried around?
  34. pretentious
    creating an appearance of importance or distinction
    “I’m the lead singer.” Sweetie tried not to grimace at how pretentious that sounded. “Only because Kayla and the others twisted my arm.”
  35. concede
    acknowledge defeat
    He bowed his head, conceding defeat.
  36. innocuous
    lacking intent or capacity to injure
    “I don’t know….They look fairly innocuous to me.”
  37. dampen
    lessen in force or effect
    She could taste the chalky cornstarch of the powder, but it didn’t dampen the heat of this moment.
  38. boisterous
    noisy and lacking in restraint or discipline
    He nodded and followed her off the field, both of them dodging the yelling, hollering, boisterous crowd of grinning, multicolored people.
  39. irrefutable
    impossible to deny or disprove
    “So it turns out I’m completely, irrefutably attracted to you.”
  40. flourish
    grow vigorously
    She squeezed his hands and her smile flourished into a grin.
Created on June 26, 2019 (updated July 3, 2019)

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