Joined: 15 October 2010
"No means no Khushi! We are not sending you to India alone and that is final!"
"But I won't be alone, I'll go with Payal didi and stay with her cousins. Come on maa, I'm old enough to take care of myself!"
"We don't even know her relatives properly and what if they don't want you staying with them? Plus don't you have to live on campus when going on exchange? And what about all the expenses, who's going to pay for them huh?" came back the reply.
"Well i've asked Payal and her relatives are fine with it, and we've known her family since I was 10, and no we don't have to live on campus, it's our choice. Plus I was kinda hoping you would pay for it, you know for working so hard at the restaurant during the summer. "
"Khooshi," sighed Garima, throwing her arms into the air. "How about this, if you can convince your father you may go."
"Really? If Papa agrees, I can go?" questioned Khushi, her eyebrows reaching her hair line.
Garima just nodded. She knew Khushi's father would never let her go alone to another city, let alone another country.
The sun peeked over the horizon, bringing with it a new dawn. A lone figure could be made out jogging through the now dispersing mist. Serenely making his way through the neighbourhood park he reached Raizada Manor, the white celestial mansion overlooking one of the grandest suburbs of New Dehli. Jogging into the house, Arnav Raizada made his way to his bedroom. Stripping down to the bare minimums, he stepped into the shower, getting ready for another day at work.
"Didi!" boomed Arnav's voice, as he made his way down the stairs, slowly adjusting his tie."I don't have time for breakfast today, so don't make any for me."
"Arnav, you are not leaving home without eat!" Nani exclaimed, recalling the number of morning these arguments have transpired. "It is the most important meal of the day, and I know you're going to be busy today and won't have time for lunch. So sit down this instant and start eating."
Looking down at his watch he looked up to give Anjali a pleading look, who smiled and nodded, knowing Dadi was never one to give in.
"Stop wasting your time staring at your watch and me, we aren't going anywhere. Just sit down and eat," Nani continued.
Arnav glared at Nani but nonetheless made his way to the dining table. Gobbling down the toast and fruit salad in a jiffy, he got up and streaked out the door before anyone could stop him.
Joined: 08 April 2010
Joined: 15 October 2010
Joined: 15 October 2010
Joined: 08 April 2010
Joined: 17 February 2011
Joined: 15 October 2010
23:00 ' Gupta Residence
It can't be that hard right? Papa has never really said no to anything I've asked for before.
Well that's because you've never asked to go overseas without the family, came the response.
True that. I wish I had relatives in New Dehli, it's so easy for you, your parents have no qualms over sending you there.
Oh you have no idea, it took me ages to get them to agree. Btw, I can only go if you're going, so make it happen Khushi, I don't care how you do it!!
I think a little bit of emotional atayachar, pity and a speech on feminism ought to do it. Papa's so liberal, he'll have to agree!
Khushi heard the front door open and her brother's voice announce Papa's arrival. It was 11pm and Papa was home just in time for Pratigya, she thought.
Payal, I g2g, Papa's here! Wish me Luck!! Bye.
Good Luck, and don't back down. Bye.
Quickly reading the response, Khushi sprinted out her room and down the stairs. Everyone look up, acknowledging her presence. Giving her mother a meaningful glance she turned towards her Papa.
"Hi Papa, how was your day?"
"Khushi beta! It went well, what were you doing upstairs?"
"Nothing much, just talking to Payal." Replied Khushi, stealing another glance at her mother. Tentatively Khushi continued, "Papa I need to talk to you about something, it's really important."
"Can it wait half-an-hour?" Shashi questioned.
"Yeah, I guess so."
"Well then let me finish watching Pratigya!"
Ansh, Garima and Khushi roared with laughter. Not having known why Gurmeet had asked to wait half-an-hour, they had all become apprehensive.
"Shush, I can't hear what Sajjan Singh is saying! Complained Shashi, "He's the best actor in TV."
00:00- After Shashi and Ansh have changed for sleep.
"Okay Khushi, what did you want to talk about?" questioned Shashi, walking out of the downstairs bathroom.
Ansh, who had gone to his room to change, walked down the stairs, he wanted to see how this would play out. He had told Khushi that convincing Papa wouldn't be easy but had offered to help out if he could.
"Well Papa, you know how I'm in third year now, and will finish uni at the end of next year?" Khushi approached the topic cautiously.
"Yeah, and then you'll be a doctor and will start your internship."
Ansh and Garima, sitting on the couch, swivelled their heads from Khushi to Shashi.
"Well, when I finish uni, I'm going to have to start working at the hospital straight away. I'm not going to have any time to have a real break." Here Khushi paused, trying to recall her argument.
"Well Papa, I think what Khushi is trying to say is; she wants to do something fun and different before she finishes uni." Stepped in Ansh, trying to assist Khushi with her efforts.
Garima glared at Ansh, so they're in on this together, she thought. Well it doesn't matter, there's no chance their father will allow Khushi to go to India without the family.
"Exactly Papa, and since this summer I was working at the restaurants with you and you're going to need my help next summer as well, I can't go on holiday during the summer holidays." Khushi completed in one breath.
Shashi looked up questioningly, wondering what this was all about.
"So, I was thinking, why don't I go somewhere during the semester, on exchange!"
Shashi's head jerked up. "WHAT!! To where?" he questioned, as if awoken from a deep sleep.
"Well, since we're Indian... ."
"You want to go on exchange to India?!?!" exclaimed Shashi, cutting Khushi's sentence halfway.
"No, no, no, you can't go to India by yourself. Definately not!"
"But Papa, I won't be going alone. Payal's allowed to go if I'm allowed, we can both go together." Pleaded Khushi, her cheeks starting to warm up and eyes getting watery.
"Payal's parents are letting her go?" questioned Shashi.
"Yes, Papa. She has relatives living in New Dehli, that's where we wanna go, and she said we can live with them while we're there."
"No Khushi, I'm sorry but you travelling to New Dehli and living with a family I've never met just isn't going to happen. How could you even think I would allow you to go to India without an adult?"
"I am an adult and so is Payal, but you just don't see it!" Khushi replied angrily, the tears in her eyes threatening flow out. "To you I'm still a 13 year old girl who knows nothing about the world or how to take a care of myself! You're always telling me how important it is to experience different things in life but now you're being a hypocrite!!" Khushi screamed.
"KHUSHI!!! That is not the way to talk to your father!" bellowed Garima, now standing up.
"Well it's true! Papa has been telling me how great India is since I was a child, and telling me to go to India and become a doctor there so that I can work with the poor. You guys are always telling me that treating our own people back home, is what I should do in the future but how will I ever do that if I can't even spend a semester there!" exploded Khushi.
She ran up the stairs, tears now streaking down her cheeks, leaving behind three shell-shocked individuals.
At the top of the stairs she turned around and quietly said, "I bet if Ansh had asked you to let him go you would never have said no." And with that she sprinted to her room, bolted the door and collapsed on the bed, trembling in a mixture of tears and anger.
Hope you like it :)
Joined: 15 October 2010
"Khoooshi," Gurpreet whispered outside the door, "beta, open the door." He could hear her sobbing halt for a second, just to start at a faster rate again. "Khushi open the door please, let's talk about this."
"What's there to talk about, you've already made up your mind!" exclaimed Khushi.
"That's not true Khushi. I just need some time to think about this. It's an enormous decision and I can't just say 'yes' without taking the time to contemplate it," reasoned Shashi, patiently standing outside the door.
"Well then you did you say 'no' without thinking about it?" came the retort.
"I got overwhelmed and said the first think that came to my head. Please Khushi, open the door, won't you let me come in and explain?"
Shashi heard the bed creak as Khushi got up to walk towards the door. Opening the door, she turned straight around and walked back to the bed, plonking herself upon it. Shashi walked towards her, a slight smile now crossing his lips. Taking a seat next to her he asked, "Now tell me why you really want to go on exchange to India? If I'm happy with your reasons I might just change my mind."
Speaking through her sniffles, Khushi finally looked up at re father and responded. "Papa, I want to go somewhere with just my friends, meet new people, do new things and have some exhilarating fun. I've always been so sheltered and have seen the world only as you've shown it to me but now I want to see it from a new perspective, my own perspective."
"But why New Delhi, why not somewhere else like Canada or Britain?"
"Because I don't know anyone there and if I went to Canada or Britain you'd make me stay with one of our relatives. I don't want that, I want to explore new surroundings without someone directing or keeping an eye me."
"Is there anything else you want to add?" questioned Shashi.
"Yes. Please let me go!" Khushi pleaded.
"Ok, I will think about it tonight and discuss it with your mother. I'm also going to have a word with Payal's parents and find about their relatives." Khushi suddenly jerked her head up, surprised by Shashi's response. He's actually considering it, she thought surprised, I had given up all hope. "Don't look at me like that, I haven't said 'yes' yet. I'll let you know my answer tomorrow afternoon."
With that Shashi gave his daughter a small hug and got up to leave the room. Half-way out the door he turned back and whispered, "Khushi, just remember one thing; your mum and I have never made any distinction between you and Ansh and we never will." Spinning back around he walked out the room, leaving behind a guilt stricken Khushi.
The following day- Gupta Residence
Hearing the phone ring Khushi ran towards it. "Hello?"
"Khushi, its papa. I'm at work and just wanted to let you know that your mother and I have made a decision." Khushi held her breath, waiting for the moment of revelation. "You and Payal may go to Dehli."
"I said you can go."
"OH MY GOD, really?!" exclaimed Khushi, a massive smile breaking out on her face.
"Yes really, but there is are two conditions and you have to agree to both. No compromises Khushi."
"I agree!" Khushi replied, already thinking about how much fun she was going to have.
"No, Khushi. I want you to hear the conditions beforehand so you can not back out of them later."
"What are they?" Khushi questioned, starting to get a little anxious.
"First of all, you will stay at Payal's cousin's home as they've promised to take utmost care of you two. Secondly, when your semester in India finishes you will go to our home in Lucknow and meet us there."
"Are you all going to come to India at the end of the semester?"
"Yes but this is not the entire second condition. Once in India we will start looking for a groom for you, and will keep our eyes out for one here as well."
"WHAT?!?!" screamed Khushi. "But papa, I'm only twenty-three!"
"You will be twenty-four by then and as you've already pointed out; you won't have any time once your internship starts."
"But papa, marriage?"
"If you have any one else on your mind tell me now Khushi."
"It's not that papa, but marriage?"
"You don't have to get married straight away, we'll just do the engagement and then you can come back and complete your studies. The wedding can be organised for a later date."
Khushi did not reply. Marriage, already? She thought.
"Those are the two conditions Khushi, let me know when you've decided. Bye."
What do I do? Go on exchange and come back engaged or continue living life in ignorant bliss, her got mind lost in thought as she placed down the phone.
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