Joined: 29 September 2011
Joined: 29 September 2011
Joined: 29 September 2011
Joined: 29 September 2011
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Joined: 29 September 2011
A/n: Before we go to the chapter…I wasn't to apologise for not updating this sooner. I had the entire chapter (and the next few) planned out and written but I couldn't access the files, until now. So, here you go and quicker updates coming up!
On a different note, I wanted to ask you guys if you wanted me to continue writing the dialogues in Hindi or should I shift to English? Because my Hindi is really limited and I'm liable to make a lot of mistakes and I don't want that to spoil the flow of the story! Please do tell me!
Chapter 5: A Plan is Hatched
"Khushi…Khushi…" she ignored his calls and kept walking up the steps to the temple, sure that he wouldn't follow her in.
Damn, why did she have to go and hide now? Arnav swore as he stood at the base of the steps, wondering if it was worth it. He had never gone inside a temple without his Di's insistence, but then again, he was doing this for his Di…
Quickly removing his footwear, Arnav hurried up the steps and began looking around for her. Khushi, who was hiding behind one of the marble pillars doesn't notice Arnav coming into the temple and hoped that he'll get frustrated with her soon and leave.
Catching sight of the green pallu behind one of the pillars, Arnav walks carefully until he was within arms length distance of Khushi. With cat like footsteps, he walks around the pillar and stood before Khushi, ready to block any of her attempts to run away.
Startled at his sudden appearance and even more shocked that he had broken his own rules to come after her, Khushi backed into the pillar, looking at him anxiously.
"Aisa baagne ki kya zaroorat ti?" Arnav asked in a low angry voice, more because he was confused with himself at that point. He had come to ask her about his Jijaji and he was yet to even think twice about him after looking at Khushi. Yeh kis taraf ki pagaliyaan hai? He thought, disgruntled at his own lack of concentration.
"Kya? Woh…" Khushi stammered, looking this way and that, clearly avoiding his eyes. Deciding that they'd never get anywhere with this conversation and that they'd be in their graves before he even got to the point if they went at this rate, Arnav asked directly, "Woh kaun tha?"
Dekho is Laad Governor ka khel; sawal poochthe hi rehthe hai, lekin jawab dene ki koi mauka nahi dethe Khushi thought in annoyance. "Kiske bare mein poochthe hein aap?"
"Unke barein mein jho…jho tumhare ghar pe rehthe hein," Arnav replied, taking a leap of faith. He didn't know if anyone other than her family lived there, but Shyam's familiarity with the people of the house seemed too much for him to be just an acquaintance.
"Achcha…Shyamji ke barein mein pooch rahe hein aap?" Khushi gave a directionless answer purposefully. She wasn't sure why Arnav was suddenly interested in Shyamji and considering that Arnav rarely ever asked about anyone without hidden intentions, Khushi decided not to reveal anything to him just yet.
Arnav, unaware of Khushi's decisions, was getting impatient; so his doubts had been right. His Jijaji was staying in Khushi's house. But how and why? In a voice that demanded a complete answer, he asked, "Haan, uske barein mein. Woh kabse yahaan rehthe hein? Tumhe unse milan kab hua? Tum jaanthe ho woh kaun hai?"
Yeh dekho, phir se aadesh dhe raha hai Khushi thought, wondering how to avoid answering him; she was by now convinced that he was searching for Shyam for some less than good intentions. "Tumhe kya farak padtha hai uske barein mein? Kyon aise achaanak uske barein mein tumhe jaanna hotha hai? Kya unhe bhi daraana hai? Kya woh aapse kuch paisa maangthe the?"
"Woh kabse yahaan rehthe hai?" Arnav asked angrily as he took a hold of her wrist and dragged her behind one of the pillars as she made an attempt to escape. She tried protesting but he wasn't letting go; not until he received his answers… not even if he hurt her.
"Jabse hum Dilli aa gaye the, tab se," Khushi replied unwillingly, twisting her hand in an effort to free herself but the attempt didn't even register in his mind, lost as he was in contemplation. Noticing that he wasn't about to let go or even offer her an explanation for his sudden questions, Khushi asked defensively, "Ab kya hua hai ki aap subah subah mandir aake hamein daandthe hai? Shyamji ke bare mein aap kyon ithni pooch rahe haein? Kyon?"
Frustrated with her questions, he spat out, "Kyon ki who mera jijaji hai… "Letting go of her hand, Arnav began pacing, his mind running a mile a second trying to figure out his Jijaji's reasoning. Khushi, in the meanwhile, was shocked in the most pleasant manner possible.
With a nave smile that conveyed how pleased she was about the news, she said, "Achcha! Yeh tho bahooth achcha bath hai! Meine pehle se hi samajaya ki Anjaliji ki pathi tho bahooth bahooth achche insaan hona hai. Is taraf ki Laad Governor ki jijaji hone ke liye…" she trailed off when Arnav's walk abruptly stopped and he turned towards her, his confusion channeling his anger, towards her.
"Kya kaha tumne? Laad…kya?" he asked, approaching her. Khushi walked back to the pillar, coming up with numerous answers though none seemed to be acceptable, even to her. Finally she said, "Ab Shyamji ke barein mein bath kar rahe hein ya meri baathon ke bare mein?"
Arnav tried to decide if he wanted to know what she had said or not; it most likely would have been something insulting him. Because as much as the number of times they clashed had reduced (with a lot of effort from his side), she still had the worst opinion of him. Running a hand through his hair, Arnav got back to the topic at hand, "Mujhe samaj nahi aa raha hai ki unhe yahaan tumhari ghar pe rehne ki kya zaroorat hai?"
Khushi had an answer ready for that. "Aap samaj nahi sakthe ki saale saab ke ghar pe, kisiko kithni sharminda hothi hai. Kisi unke pathni ke ghar pe rehthe hein kya?" she asked reassuringly, trying to calm him down; lest he break out again. Yeh toh atom bomb se bhi Ananumaey hai she thought tiredly.
"Lekin…kuch toh teek nahi lagtha hai. Iske peeche kuch hai; humein kuch bura lagtha hai," Silently thinking for a few minutes, Arnav came to a conclusion. "Tum abhi kisiko Jijaji ke barein mein bathane ki koi zaroorat nahi, samje? Bas, kisi ajeeb baath ya kaam wahaan ho jaatha tho mujhe batha do, teek hein?" Khushi nodded mutely, though she was sure that nothing could be amiss. Arnav was just making a mountain out of a molehill, she thought with exasperation.
A sudden thought occurring to him, Arnav took his cellphone out and dialed Aakash's number. "Aakash?"
"Mandir mein cellphone mein baathein karna band hua hai," Khushi replied hurriedly, scandalized that he would do something like that. Rolling his eyes inwardly, Arnav nevertheless walked out of the temple, Khushi in tow.
They were almost out of the temple when a mirror placed at the entrance caught Khushi's eyes and she stood frozen. Yeh Sindoor…kaise hamari maang mein? She thought, trying to remember if she had accidentally placed it herself. Lekin hamne kyon aise karenge? Hamari thali mein bhi… her thought process halted as she remembered Arnav pushing aside her hair…Aisa kyon hotha hai ki sab shagun ye hi bathathe hein ki… Khushi remembered all the times there had been indications; he had broken her Teej vrath, the chunni falling on her head…and now this…Hey Devi Mayya, ye kya khel hai aapka? She wondered and resumed her walk, looking around trying to spot Arnav who had by now walked quite a distance.
"Rukhiye! Rukhiye!" she continued as she pushed aside those in her path, muttering Sorry all along the way.
"Haan…ghar vaalo se sach bolne ki koi zaroorat nahi. Okay," Arnav ended the call, a little relaxed now that he had Akash on the job he had started for. Hearing a commotion behind him, Arnav turned and watched as the toofaan named Khushi tried to reach him. A slight half smile reached his lips as he saw her battle her way through the crowd to him, almost tripping at several places.
When she finally reached him, she sat abruptly on the bench beside which he had been standing, trying to regain her breath. He waited for her to settle down and after a few minutes, she looked up at him. Finding him looking at her curiously, she raised her eyebrows in silent question. Arnav shook his head dismissively; shrugging, Khushi asked, "Ab kya karna hai?"
Stumped for a minute, Arnav stuttered a little as he answered, "Uh…woh…hamein jaanna hai ki jijaji kyon aapke ghar mein rehthe hein."
"Ye tho aasaan ki baath hai!" Khushi replied, surprising him. He had been running through n number of options in his head and he still couldn't get a clear idea but this girl who didn't even know his Jijaji as well could find out so soon?
"Jaanthi ho tho batha do na?" he asked, quite convinced that Khushi was bluffing.
"Hamne pehle hi kaha na? Kyon ki…dekhiye shanthivan toh aapke liye ghar hai. Lekin Shyamji keliye toh…unki pathni ki ghar hai na? Toh wahaan is taraf bahooth dino ke liye rehne ke liye unhe sharminda hoga na?" Khushi watched Arnav's expression carefully; she couldn't guess what he was thinking clearly but she was sure he'd see the reason behind her words. After all, Shyamji had helped her so much and he was such a good guy, so it would be natural that he'd have his own reservations.
"Lekin hamse kyon bathaya nahi?" Arnav muttered under his breath but Khushi heard him well enough.
"Anjaliji ko bura lagega. Aur sabko patha chala toh baath paise ke barein mein chalega aur…" Khushi stopped mid sentence, wondering if he would be shrewd enough to understand what she was saying.
"Khushi, mein apni parivar ke paas paise ki baath hi nahi karthi hoon. Mujhe jijaji ke liye villain math banao," Arnav replied curtly, his sudden rudeness arising from the pang of guilt her words gave him. She must have been really hurt by his words, he realized. But he still wasn't convinced about his jijaji. It wasn't money; in fact…a suspicion flashing to him, Arnav quickly made a call to an agency…
Khushi looked at Arnavwith disgust as he finished the call, "Ye kya kar rahe hein aap? Apni jijaji ke peeche ek detective ko bej diya?"
"Haan. Tho kya?" Seeing that Khushi's expression hadn't let up, Arnav wondered how to prove his actions right to her. "Dikhatha hoon," he said and rang his jijaji' number, using the speaker phone to converse rather than the Bluetooth.
Shyam's gleeful voice came on clearly, "Haan sale saab. Kya baath hain? Subah subah videsh chale gaye? Woh bhi humse bina batha huye?"
"Haan jijaji woh…vaise aap kahaan hai ab?" Arnav changed tracks neatly, giving Khushi a significant look as he waited for an answer.
"Ham bas…ek kaam ke liye Lucknow ja rahe hain. Kyon Saale saab? Koi kaam hai kya?" Khushi too, was shocked; why would Sjhyamji have to lie about his location? The PG thing, she could reason out but this…
"Kuch nahi, Jijaji. Ham bas kehna chahthe ki aap Lucknow jaathe hein toh Sheesh Mahal mein tehriye. Di ko achcha lagega," Arnav was now impatient and angry; if there was one thing he couldn't take, it was cheating and he had an inkling that that was exactly what his jijaji was doing.
"Teek hai, Saale saab; Rani Sahiba ke liye toh kuch bhi karna padega. Ab ham rakthe hein; train aagaya hain," Arnav cut the call, giving Khushi a 'try explaining this' look.
"Kuch toh ho raha hain. Lekin kya?" Arnav wondered to himself as he paced in front of the bench; Khushi too, was lost in thought. The ringing of the temple bell reminded her of the time and she started.
"Itni dher ho gaya! Hamein jaana hai. Ghar mein pareshaan honge," Khushi replied worriedly and was about to walk down the stairs when Arnav stopped her with a hand on her wrist.
"Khushi…" he seemed to be contemplating what to say and finally ended up saying, "Apni dhyaan rakho; Shyamji mera jijaji hai lekin... kuch toh teek nahi lag raha hein. Kuch ajeeb lagtha hai…Tumhari ghar mein…"
"Ham sambhal lenge. Aur kuch hua tho ham aapse batha denge. Teek hai?" Khushi asked, finishing in words what he had been thinking. Relieved that he didn't have to say the words that would have surely embarrassed him, Arnav nodded and let her go.
She couldn't help but look back at him a few times, and look at his eyes, before she disappeared out of his sight. She couldn't fathom what he was feeling; she couldn't understand him at all. Was he the caring person he had been a few minutes before, or the Kadoos Rakshas he had been while he interrogated her at the temple?
A/n: Kind of a filer chapter, but it needs to be done. The next ones are the most important ones so stay put!
She wasn't looking at the road; Arnav saw the car speeding towards her and Khushi seemed unaware of it. Having triumphantly caught his attention, she smiled contently and began walking towards him, putting herself right in the path of the oncoming vehicle whose driver was trying desperately to stop. Arnav's eyes widened alarmingly when he saw what was about to happen; he began running towards her at break neck speed, thanking heavens…
Will PM all tomorrow!
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