Joined: 21 March 2011
Joined: 03 September 2010
Khushi walked towards the temple after work, as she had been doing for the last few days. She prayed and gave offerings, hoping Devi Mayya would see fit to help her Babu-ji recover, thankful that he had come out of his coma.
Why did the thought of him stop her? When she looked back on all their encounters it was odd. It was pure craziness the things that he had done to her, from ripping her dori, to plastering pictures of them across news channels. Her family had been humiliated, leading to her and her jiji to move to Delhi. The fact her and the Laat Governor had been constantly bumping into each other and their angry encounters as a result, seemed to be a trick played by the cruel hand of fate.
But it all paled in comparison to the glimpses of the other Arnav she saw. The one that was good to his sister, and made little girls wishes come true.
Who was the real Arnav Singh Raizada? Why did he pop up when she though her hypothetical husband. Someone like him. He didn't fit the bill of Prince Charming she dreamt of as a child, the one her Jiji had teased her about. ASR had no faith in religion. The man insisted that he made his own destiny and that marriage would never be a part it. The exact polar opposite of her.
Khushi tried to ignore that that from the beginning she had felt way too much when it came to him. If not anger, than a heightened awareness in his presence. The atmosphere around her seemed to change when he was near. As if the wind told her that he was close. Her heart beat crazily when she was near him and whenever she met his eyes she fell, lost in their chocolate depths. This had never been the case when it came to Shyam. Was this the problem that Shyam had reffered to, the meaning behind the beating? Do I have feelings for the Laat Governor? Just by asking herself the question, she realised it was true.
Hai Devi Mayya, I'm crazy. Arnav would think she was crazy if he knew. She could imagine his reaction, the "What the...What the'" would only be the beginning. He would laugh that a girl with her status would like him, the great ASR. No, stop with the depressing thoughts, I am Kushi Kumari Gupta, when has status and limits meant anything to me.
Before she realised it, Khushi stood before the idol of her Devi Mayya. She put her hands together and closed her eyes. Oh, Devi Mayya what should I do? Follow my heart, knowing nothing will ever come of it or give into my familys' wishes. Images of Arnav unwrapping her from the faerie lights came to mind. A memory she cherished, the man he was behind his cool exterior had peaked out and she had felt unbelievably shy and cut off from the world in that intimate moment. As if there was only the two of them there and no one to intrude.
Is this the answer? Khushi felt a calming sensation spread through her. She had always been true to herself and she would continue to be. Shyam-ji would understand, she would explain to him why she couldn't marry him.
Khushi looked to her Devi Mayya and gave her heartfelt thanks. Suddenly, she realised that she had forgotten to bring her offerings. Khushi quickly turned around and ran out of the temple, down the stairs, heading for the vendors nearby.
"Khushi-ji!" said a familiar voice.
Khushi turned and was shocked to find Shyam-ji behind her.
"Shyam-ji, what are you doing here?" Now that she had made her decision, she felt uncomfortable in his presence, knowing what she had to do. She hoped that he would take it well.
Shyam tried to put a sad look to his face. "I realised you were right Kushi-ji, I shouldn't hold God responsible for Mausa-ji's state. Instead I'm here to ask forgiveness and to pray for his health". Mausa-ji's coma just kept giving.
Khushi felt doubly guilty in response to his act. "I'm here to do the same".
"Oh, well that's great, I can accompany you then" with that he gestured towards the stairs. Anything to spend more time with his Khushi.
Khushi nodded and followed him up the stairs. Taking in her surroundings, as she hadn't done before, her thoughts turned a different encounter at a different temple. The memory of waking up to Arnav giving her water, she couldn't help but feel warmth spread through her at the recollection. Had Devi Mayya been trying to tell her something then, that maybe they were meant to be? Was it just wishful thinking?
Khushi and Shyam gave there offerings and prayers, only one of them sincere. Finally Kushi prayed for strength before turning to Shyam.
"Shyam-ji, I have something to say to you" her expression was serious with a hint of sadness.
Shyam didn't like the way this sounded. "Please Khushi-ji you know you can tell me anything", playing the nice guy routine that he had perfected over the years.
"It's about the marriage; I don't think I can go ahead with it. I'm sorry". It hurt Khushi that she was hurting a friend. She didn't know if he had any feelings for her but it hurt to reject him all the same.
"Is there some reason you opposed to my proposal, is it me?" Giving her a hurt look. Shyam felt anger burn in his chest; his machinations couldn't have been for nothing. Luckily, he had an ace up his sleeve.
"No Shyam-ji, it's just I don't think we suit". She couldn't tell him about her feelings for Arnav. The realization was too new and she didn't want to share.
"Khushi-ji, I'm sad to hear that. Only, I think you shouldn't tell your family of your decision just yet. For your Babu-ji's health." Kushi looked at him, confused.
"I've just come from speaking with his doctor." He had to play this carefully.
"What did the doctor say?" Kushi was diverted by this. Shyam continued.
"He said that Mausa-ji's health is delicate at the moment. He shouldn't have any unpleasant shocks. You know how he wants us to marry. Maybe we could play along for a little bit, until he's stronger and can deal with the disappointment?" He had to stop himself from being too forceful. It was hard when he just wanted to take her and make her, his.
Everything in Kushi opposed to the idea of with-holding her true intentions. Thoughts of Arnav intruded but she pushed them away, they wouldn't be of any help here.
"It will only be for a little while Khushi-ji". Khushi still hesitated, but then she realised it was the least she could do for her Babu-ji. For Babu-ji then, for him to get better without worry and stress. Khushi made the decision without knowing that she would cause him to feel eactly that.
Kushi showed her agreement by nodding. "Ok Shyam-ji but I want the others to know." These were her conditions.
"Don't worry I'll tell Bua-ji and Amma-ji myself." He was satisfied she had agreed. That was enough for now, he could always rely on Bua-ji to turn up the heat.
With that Khushi-ji turned to leave for home and Shyam followed her, before making his excuses and heading for the Raizada Mansion. He needed to have his manditory audience with his Rani Saiba.
The man sitting outside the temple and watching them leave went unnoticed.
AN - Just so you guys know, I do hate Shyam as much as everyone else! I hope no one was wondering, since He was in the last part as well as this but he's a great way to get things moving. And yes, for you observant ones I did kinda get my title into this chap, couldn't help it.
Also, I really appreciate everyone whose taken the time out to post, your comments make me want to write (yes, I am shameless in wanting reviews). Hope to get the next part out soon. And sorry to anyone I've forgotten to PM. xxx
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