Arohi hailed a cab as she walked out of the airport. There was no way she was going to call a family member to come pick her up. If possible maybe she could sneak in and live in her room for a week before anyone found her! But ofcourse she knew that was only wishful thinking on her part. As the cab pulled up infront of her house and she got out, she felt herself start to panic. She was usually pretty good at getting herself out of trouble where her dad was concerned, but this time she didn't think it was going to be so easy. She stood outside staring at the door for a good 5 minutes before she finally forced herself to walk in.
Inside her house there was mayhem. People she didn't recognize rushing around with ladders and flowers, the house was in the middle of being decorated but for what Arohi didn't know. She had assumed the atmosphere would be more like a funeral, this looked like a wedding. Arohi's mom stood in the corner and as Arohi walked closer she could hear her telling someone that she wanted fresh jalebis and gulab jamun served to the guests. Arohi approached her looking puzzled. Seeing Arohi her mom sighed. "So much work to do." she said but "Arohi, you're home, we weren't expecting you until tomorrow." Arohi looked at her mom, she wasn't acting like nothing out of the ordinary had happened. This was weird, maybe Gauri hadn't told her parents anything. "I decided to come home early." she said hesitantly. " Las Vegas was not what I expected." "Well I guess that's for the best, there is so much to do here in so little time." "You need to pick out your outfits too." "Outfits for what?" Arohi mom looked at her strangely. "For what?" "For the wedding." "Who's getting married?" Arohi asked. Arohi mom stared at her like she'd lost her mind. But before she could say anything, Arohi heard her dad. "Why, you ofcourse Arohi." Arohi swung around and saw her dad standing there with his arms folded across his chest. He looked imposing and angry. "Me?" she said weakly. "Yes, you." "To whom?" she asked miserably already knowing the horrible answer. "To your husband." Arohi closed her eyes and took a deep breath and then opening her eyes she let the tears start to fall. "Daddy, I know it looks bad in the pictures but seriously it wasn't my fault." "It was that Arjun." "He tricked me." "He married me against my will." "But, it's not too late, no one needs to know, and we can get an annulment."
"Arohi Ahluwalia, sorry I forgot it's Singhania now." her dad began in a stern voice. "I saw the pictures, all of them." "It's every father's dream to see his drunk daughter getting married in some Las vegas chapel." "The other pictures I don't want to even address those." "Suffice it to say, you didn't look like you were being forced to do anything." 'I've let you get away with a lot all your life, thinking you're young you'll learn from your mistakes." "But I realize those were all excuses on my part because since you never paid for any of the mistakes you never learned from them." "But, that's over now." "Now you're someone's wife, you're the daughter in law of a family that is very important to me." "So I don't care if this marriage happened because you were drunk." "I don't care if you want to pretend it never happened." "I don't even care if you and Arjun kill eachother." "BUT I will not let you turn away from this marriage." "You're married, there will be no annulment." "You will stay married and you will work on this marriage."
Arohi stared at her dad with horror written all over her face. "No, I will not dad." "I will not stay married to Arjun." "You can't make me." she said with now real tears falling down her face. "I swear, if you try to force this I'll run away." "Go ahead." her dad. "But remember you go and I will cut you off from everything." "You will only go with the clothes on your back." "No family, no credit cards, no cars, no clothes, no place to stay, no university tuition." "Nothing, you will leave with nothing." Arohi's face showed her anguish. "How can you do this to me dad?" "I can't stay married to him." "My life will be ruined." Please, don't do this." she said sobbing. "I'll do anything you want." "I'll study and finish my degree, I'll curb my spending, I won't go out." "Please I promise I'll change just don't make me do this."
Arohi's dad looked her with no emotion on his face. "Arohi, a daughter is a father's pride. But you've left me with just shame." Hearing about what you did in Las Vegas, seeing the pictures...you've broken my trust." "I had so many dreams for you and your immature ways have destroyed them all." "You will stay married to Arjun." "We will have a traditional Indian wedding, with family and friends present." "Arjun is a good man." "Him and his family will love and take care of you." "You will have a good life with them, even if you don't see it now. "
"I will not have a good life with Arjun." "You've just ruined your daughters life I hope you're happy." she said sobbing. "You wanted to get rid of me and now your wish has come true." "I hate you dad, I hate you." she said running up the stairs and into her room.
Arohi's dad suddenly felt old and tired. He sat down heavily in his chair and stared at a picture of Arohi, taken not too long ago. She was smiling mischievously in the picture. He felt tears well up in his eyes. Arohi was his youngest and though he'd never said it out loud. His favorite. She had been his baby girl. He wanted the very best for his little girl and his gut told him that Arjun would be the best man for her. He just hoped that one day she would understand why he needed to be so harsh about this.
Arohi threw herself on the bed and cried and cried. Her mom came into her room quietly and sat down on her bed taking her head and resting it on her lap. "Let it out Arohi," she said soothingly. "I'm here." As she ran her hand over Arohi's hair like she used to when Arohi had been a child. Arohi cried until there were no tears left. Then she just lay with her head in her mom's lap. "Arohi, I know you don't think so now, but one day you'll understand and thank your dad for what he is doing now." "By marrying me to my enemy." she cried. "Arjun and I hate eachother." "Is this what dad wants for me, to be in a loveless marriage." "Love will come." she said softly. "No it won't" "This isn't a hindi movie, this is my life." "I'm 23 years old and I will never get to experience falling in love." "All because of dad's stubbornness." "I hope everyone's happy because I will never be happy again." Arohi stayed in her room the rest of the day, refusing to eat or drink anything. She was told that the mendhi was in 4 days, followed by the haldi and then the wedding.
Arjun's dad used a slightly different tactic. Arjun arrived home and the house was eerily quiet. They knew he was coming home early because Rashi had called her mom earlier and told her that Arjun was on his way back. Arjun walked up to his room. He had expected to see his dad, was ready for his anger but there was nothing. Changing he went back downstairs and found his dad in the study, with a drink in one hand he stared at a photo of Arjun, Rashi and Shefali taken when they were little kids. Arjun knocked and walked in. "Dad." he started. "I want to explain." "It was a mistake." "We were both drunk, we made a mistake." "I'm going to take care of it, I promise it'll be like it never happened."
"But it did happen, and it happened with my oldest and closest friends daughter." Rudra said, finally looking up at Arjun. "If you wanted to get married, why didn't you tell us?" "Dad, I didn't want to marry Arohi." "It was a mistake." "But like I said I'll take care of it." "The only thing you're doing now Arjun is taking responsibility for your actions." "What do you mean dad?" "I mean that you married Arohi, so you'll be staying married to her." "WHAT?" Arjun yelled. "No way dad, we'll kill eachother." "I don't want to be married to Arohi!" "Too bad, because you're already married and I'm not about to let you ruin the poor girls reputation by marrying her and then spending the night with her and then divorcing her." "Dad we didn't spend the night together!" The pictures show something else." Rudra pointed out. "The pictures lie!" "No one is going to believe you." his dad yelled. "If you have any respect for me, if you care about your father at all you will listen to me and you will not divorce Arohi." "I love you Arjun and I really believe that Arohi is the right girl for you." "I think there's a reason all of this happened." "You might not understand it now but you will one day."
Arjun stared at his dad. He had no other option he had to stay in this sham of a marriage. To him his dad's trust and love were paramount, he couldn't go against him and hurt him. " He couldn't file for divorce. "I'll never understand it and neither will I ever be happy with Arohi." "But I will take responsibility for my mistake." Arjun said bitterly.
Two days later Arjun sat at his desk staring at his computer screen, lost in thought. He'd tried unsuccessfully to contact Abhi, but right now he wanted to have nothing to do with Arjun. He didn't know what he was going to do to fix that relationship. He couldn't believe how out of control his life had spun. He was getting married in 4 days AGAIN! Someone he could barely stand was now going to be his wife. His dad had tied his hands and he knew he couldn't hurt him by trying to divorce Arohi. But if she filed for divorce then maybe things would be okay. Arjun tried to focus on his work when he heard commotion outside of his office. Then he saw the office door open and Arohi stood infront of him. Her eyes blazing. His assistant stood behind him with a worried look on her face. "Sir, I tried to stop her." "That's alright, she usually can't be stopped until she's gotten her way." Arjun stood up and walked around his desk. "I'll take it from here." he said smiling to his assistant. Arohi walked further into the room. "What can I do for you wifey?" "Don't call me that." she snapped. "I'm not your wife." Arjun gave a cold laugh. "How I wish that was true." he said leaning against his desk. "Then my life wouldn't be so messed up." "Arjun, I'm not here to listen to your stupid comments." "I 'm here to find out where those divorce papers are that you promised me." "I can't send those." he said looking away. "What!" "I need you to divorce me." "Sure, I'll divorce you, just send the papers." Arjun replied. "No, you have to do that I can't, my hands are tied. " "But if you file for divorce like you said you would then we'll be fine." "I can't!" Arjun snapped. "Why can't you?" Arohi yelled. "I just can't." "You won't understand." "Ajrun, don't do this, I'm begging you to file for divorce." "I can't, my dad is adamant about making me stay married to you." "I have no way out, but you do Arjun." Arohi said desperately. "I can't do anything!" Arjun said angrily. "So what are you saying, we have to stay married and be miserable for the rest of our lives." Arjun didn't say anything, his lips drawn into a thin line. Arohi glared at him, he was the most insufferable stubborn idiotic person she had ever met. "Arjun if you don't file for divorce and I come into your house I will make your life a living hell." Arjun pushed away from his desk, his eyes dark with anger. Grabbing her arm he pulled her to him. " Are you threatening me?" he asked angrily. Arohi struggled against him. "No, I'm promising you, I'm promising you hell if you don't end this now. "
"Arohi you've already done all the damage you could do." "I've lost way too much because of you." "So Ireally don't have much more to lose." "Where as you do." "So think before you make idle threats." "If you come into my house, I will make you pay for everything I've lost." "Slowly and painfully you will pay." "So if you know what's good for you, you will file those divorce papers!" Their faces were inches apart as they glared at eachother. Each silently daring the other to look away. Finally, Arjun let her arm go. "Time for you to go wifey, not everyone has time to waste, like you do." Arohi glared at him rubbing her arm where he had held it. Then scowling she turned on her heal and walked out.
"Arohi, beta, please look at this bridal lengha." "Tell me what you think." Arohi ignored her mom. "What about this one?" her sister asked holding up a gold net lengha with emerald green rhinestones covering it. "Di, I told you I'm wearing a plain white salwar kameez to my funeral. " Arohi's mom gasped, and hit Arohi's arm. "Arohi what kind of thing is that to say." "This is your wedding." "Wedding/funeral same thing if you're marrying a man you hate." "Arohi, stop being a drama queen." her sister Neha snapped. "You're getting married and Arjun is a great guy." "Then why don't you marry him." Arohi snapped. Her mom gasped again. "Arohi, behave yourself." "That's you're husband you're talking about and your sister is happily married." Arohi looked at her mom miserably. "Was I adopted?" she asked "Am I a step child?" "Is that the reason dad is trying to ruin me life?" "Arohi, your dad loves you and he's doing the best for you." "Now stand up and go try on this lengha." her mom said passing her the gold and emerald green lengha. Arohi walked out of the bathroom and her mom and sister gasped. "Wow Arohi, you look beautiful." her sister said. Her mom looked at her with tears in her eyes. " My baby's getting married." Arohi stared at both of them stone faced. "Can I take this off now?" Arohi's mom and sister exchanged glances and nodded. Watching Arohi walk away her mom prayed that her youngest daughter would be happy in her new home and give her marriage a chance.
Arohi's sat with her arms infront of her , a mendhi artist decorated her hands and feet with an elaborate design. It was her mendhi/sangeet night. She still prayed for a miracle but in her heart of hearts she knew there wouldn't be one. Instead she spent her time thinking of ways she was going to torture Arjun. Shefali and Rashi sat next to her oohing and aahing as the artist extended the henna up to Arohi's elbow. "What's your husbands name or first initial?" "I can write it in your mendhi, for him to find on your wedding night." Rashi and Shefali giggled. Arohi glared at them. "It's L for Loser." Arohi said. Rashi gasped and glared at Arohi. "No, it's Arjun." she told the artist. Arohi scowled. Everyone danced and sang around her and Arohi sat quietly her hands drying infront of her. Her sister tried to persuade her to dance but Arohi refused to move. She was not celebrating the end of her life.
The following night at Arjun's
"Bhai, Bhabhi looked so pretty at her mendhi last night." Shefali said happily. "I still can't believe she's going to be living with us and that she's marrying you." Arjun glared at Shefali's happy smile. "I'm glad one of us is happy." he said sarcastically. Shefali continued applying the haldi oblivious to his sarcasm. But that wasn't the end of it, it just went on and on. Everyone that came up to participate in the the haldi would tell him how pretty Arohi was, or how happy him and Arohi would be. His nani told him that she wanted to see her great grand child within 9 months. Arjun almost choked when he heard that demand.
He was sick and tired of hearing Arohi's name. Sure she's pretty but why not mention that she's clinically insane as well. That he too will probably end up in a mental aslyum after a few weeks of living with her. Why wasn't anyone mentioning any of that. Was that a quality that every groom wanted in his bride?! He shook his head at his cynicism. But he had nothing else left. His life was over and these people were celebrating.
Arohi stood infront of the mirror. Her gold fishtail lengha fit her perfectly, the emerald green rhinestones covered almost the whole lengha. The top was short, with cap sleeves and a deep round neck at the front and back. Around her neck she wore a shining emerald necklace, matching drop earrings in her ears. Her hair was done in a low bun. Her duppata that was gold net with a thick emerald green rhinestone border, more rhinestones were also scattered throughout the duppata. It covered her head and was pinned in a way that it hung half in the back showing off most of her lengha. Her choora was gold, crystal and emerald green and went half way up her arm. Her sister and her friend Tina stood behind her. "You look amazing." they both said staring at her in awe. "Arjun is going to be blown away when he sees you." Neha said excitedly. Arohi and Tina exhanged looks. "Hopefully he's blown far far away." Arohi said softly. Her sister ignored her. "They're here, it's time to go downstairs." The butterflies in Arohi's stomach started up again. How was she ever going to do this, she thought.
Her sister half led, half dragged Arohi to the stairs. As she walked down everyone smiled and stared up at her. Arjun didn't bother to look up until Romit nudged him. He rolled his eyes and glanced Arohi's way. Then he returned his eyes back to her. He felt like he's just been punched in the stomach. He could barely breathe, she looked so beautiful. So innocent and radiant. He quickly looked away. He didn't want to have any thoughts of Arohi other then ones of hatred.
Arohi let her sister lead her to the mandip and helped her take a seat next to Arjun The wedding started and Arohi went though all the motions. She felt so nervous. The pheres passed in a blur and when Arjun filled her maang with sindoor and slipped a mangalsutra around her neck, she felt the butterflies start up in her stomach. To her the Las Vegas wedding hadn't felt real. Ofcourse she knew it was lega,l but maybe because she hadn't really remembered it clearly or maybe because when she thought of her wedding she always pictured a big extravagant Indian wedding with family and friends. Now whether she liked it or not she really was Arjun's wife. The ceremony ended with Arohi and Arjun's parents giving them their blessings. Everyone wore happy expressions and Arjun and Arohi sat stone faced.
People came up to congratulate them and they forced fakes smile onto their faces. Lunch was served and they were seated together and hating every moment of it. "Where's my plate?" Arohi asked as her sister set a plate down infront of them. "You're sharing." Eeew!" Arohi said 'I'm not sharing with him di, get me my own plate." Neha gave them both a smile and walked away. Arohi glared after her. Arjun grabbed a spoon but Arohi pulled the plate away. "This is mine." she said. "Get your own." "I don't think so, it's mine" he said pulling it back. As Arohi made a move to grab it again, Arjun grabbed her wrist. "Arjun, let go." she said softly glancing around. "People can see us, so let go you idiot." she said gritting her teeth and trying to smile. "Let them," he said picking up his spoon and taking a bite. "Delicious." he said smiling at her. "Want a bite?" "I'd rather die of starvation." Arohi said still struggling to get her wrist released. Arjun continued to eat and Arohi heard her own stomach growl. She hadn't eaten all day and the loser with no manners didn't think to offer his "WIFE" the first bite. Look at him wolfing down her food. She glared at him and once he finished his meal he finally released her wrist. "You missed out on a great meal." he said smiling. Arohi rolled her eyes and looked away from him.
The usual pranks and games were played. The most entertaining one was the stealing of Arjun's shoes. Arohi had helped her cousins and friends by telling them where they were. She had overheard Rashi and Shefali talking amongst themselves about where they hid them. Arohi gave her friends an exorbitant amount of money to ask for. They stared at her in shock, "Isn't that a little too much?" Tina piped in. "Nope." Arohi said giving Arjun an evil look. "Not too much at all." "Let's see how much he wants his shoes back". When Arjun heard the amount he didn't blink an eye,. But he did look at Arohi with raised eyebrows. He knew where that crazy number figure had come from. But he didn't want to ruin the girls fun either so he played along and then gave them what they wanted. They screamed and cheered when he handed over the money. Seeing the shock on Arohi's face was worth it. Damn, she wanted him to look bad infront of everyone, but he ended up becoming the favorite.
The vidaii was extremely emotional for Arohi. Even though she was upset with her dad it was in his ams that she cried the hardest. She was leaving her home and everything she knew behind to start a new unwanted life. Her mom embraced her and whispered "be happy" tears streamed down her face. Her sister smiled at her through tears and whispered "don't kill him in his sleep the first night." Arohi couldn't help but smile through her tears. Final goodbyes were said and as she got into the car and looked at Arjun she had a determined glint in her eyes. Welcome to hell Mr.Singhania she thought to herself.
Okay so there it is. I know everyone was waiting for this update so I hope it turned out okay. Please let me know what you think.
Edited by salmankh1 - 02 June 2011 at 8:32am