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Arnav couldn't believe what he saw, what he heard. His vision was getting clouded with every passing moment as more tears gathered. He quickly turned his back on Khushi and closed his eyes, allowing the tears roll down his cheeks. The feel of the tears felt odd against the tough skin of his…
Khushi half-expected him to ask her how and when all of this happened, half-expected him to turn away and never come back. But his question surprised her…
"Sagaai? Kyu Khushi?", Arnav whispered, his back on her.
Khushi just stared into his back.
"Kyu?", Arnav repeated, "Kyu kia tumne aisa? Yeh jaante hue bhi ke main tumse –" He paused; because maybe he couldn't continue, maybe he couldn't find words that described what he felt… This news had made him, hollow, brittle, weak… And he just didn't want himself to feel that vulnerable…
He turned to her only to find her staring at his feet. "Tumne aise soch bhi kaise lia ke tum mere saath iss tarah se…. *pause*… Tumhe kya kaga ke tumhare mann mai jo aye who tum kar sakti ho? Tumne ek pal bhi mere baare mein… *pause*… Really Khushi, haan, humare beech aaj tak job hi hua, kya uske tumhare lie koi maayne nahi hai? Yeh decision lete waqt tumhe bilkul bhi mera khayal nahi… *pause*… Zindagi mei tumhari priorities hain kya? Kya chahti kya ho tum??? Haan Khushi? Jawaab do Khushi…", he shook her shoulders violently, "Tumne hi kaha na ke tum chahti ho ke mai har jawaab ke peeche ki wajah samjhu? To samjhao Khushi… Mujhe wajah samjhao…"
Khushi looked at him. Never before had she seen Arnav so hesitant, so short of words. Never before had she seen him demanding answers in a humanly way; not the ASR way – like his life was depended on it. Never before had she seen him so close to his breaking point. Never before had she seen him so weak – like his knees can give up any moment and he would fall… Fall so low that he cannot rise again…
"Khushi…", Arnav whispered…
But Khushi had already turned her back to him. She took one step towards the door, and another step…
"Mera jawaab diye bagair tum kahi nahi jaa sakti…", Arnav said, some strength returning to his voice watching her go.
But she didn't turn back. She just continued walking to the door, continued walking away from him, away from his life, while Arnav just stood rooted in his place… He strangely resembled a man who had just lost everything in his life… All over again…
Khushi ran down the stairs, wiping her tears with one hand, trying to hold her sobs until she was far away from her Arnav… And walked straight into Anjali; whom she didn't see coming towards her.
"Arre Khushi ji…", Anjali began to say but then she saw her face and stopped, "Khushi ji , aap ro rahi hai? Aap kyun ro rahi hai?", she added in a worried voice.
Khushi wiped away the traces of tears and tried to curve her lips. "Kuch nahi Anjali ji… Shayad aankh mei kuch chala gaya hoga…"
"Hume aisa nahi lagta… Kya hua Khushi ji? Chote ne tumse kuch kaha kya?"
"Nahi Anjali ji… Arnav ji ne humse kuch nahi kaha… Humne kaha na, hum bilkul thik hai…", she curved her lips further to assure Anjali that everything was okay.
Anjali looked worried for Khushi, but she decided not to ask anything further about it. "Jai Prakash ji keh rahe the aap ko koi kaam tha humse…"
"Arre haan… hum toh bhul hi gaye the… Voh hum aap ke paise lautane aaye the…"
"Kaise paise Khushi ji?"
Arnav came out of his room and saw Khushi and Anjali talking to each other at the bottom of the staircase. His eyes were still red from the tears, his hair ruffled, his shirt tucked out of his trousers… He looked very non-ASR… Because he wanted to be Arnav, just Arnav at the moment…
"Voh babuji ke ilaaj ke lie Arnav ji ne kuch paise diye the… Ussi ko lautane hum yaha aaye the…", Khushi said, opening her back and taking out a steel container from it. Arnav saw Khushi pulling out the steel container and flew down the stairs.
"Uski koi jaroorat nahi hai Khushi", Arnav said, joining the pair of them.
"Haan Khushi ji, chote bilkul sahi keh rahe hai…", Anjali agreed with him, but when she looked at Arnav, she got even more worried, "Chote, aapne yeh kya huriya banaake rakha hai? Is tarah se hum aapko pehli baar hi dekh rahe hai… Yeh baal bikhre hue and yeh shirt… Yeh shirt aise kyun hai?"
Arnav tried to straighten his hair with his hand, and tried to tuck his shirt in. But he couldn't, his mind was elsewhere, his hands were shaking…
"Di, main thik hu", said Arnav, looking at Khushi, "Main thik hu…", he repeated.
"Par maine yeh nahi pucha ke tum thik ho na… Chote, kya baat hain? Batao hume…" Anjali just stared at his face and noticed that his eyes looked slightly swollen and red… As if he had been crying… "Tum humse koi baat chipa rahe ho na? Tum jaante ho na ke tum humse koi baat der tak nahi chupaye rakh sakte… Toh bekaar mei aise koshish hi kyun karte ho, huh?"
"Di, aap jaise soch rahi hai, waise kuch nahi hai…"
Khushi was staring at the floor all this time. But she knew she would break if she waited any more. "Anjali ji, aap yeh paise le lijiye… Hum chalte hai…"
Anjali and Arnav both looked at Khushi. Anjali started to say something, but Arnav cut her. "Maine kaha na, iski koi jaroorat nahi hai…", Arnav was surprised at how softly the words came out. He meant them to be rude, he wanted his words to hurt Khushi, the same how had she hurt him, but he knew he couldn't hurt her… Even if he wanted to…
Khushi took a step towards him. "Dekhiye, hum jaante hai ke shayad yeh rakam aapke lie jyada nahi hogi… Par hum ab aap ka aur ehsaan nahi le sakte… Kripaya yeh paise rakh lijiye, hume achcha lagega…", she offered the container to Arnav, who couldn't refuse her… Not even now…
Anjali looked at Arnav. "Ehsaan? Yeh aap kaisi baatein kar rahi hain, Khushi ji? Hume toh bass itna hi chahiye ke aap ke babuji ki tabiyat jald se jald thik ho jaye… Aap yeh paise apne pass hi rakh lijiye… Agar aage chalke inki jaroorat padi toh yeh aap ke pass rahenge… Chote, aap Khushi ji ko ghar chodke aaie… Unho ne humare itna kuch kia hai, humara itna toh farz banta hai ke hum unke lie kuch kare…"
Arnav simply nodded. "Khushi, mai bahaar tumhare intazaar kar raha hu…", though his face reflected nothing, his voice sounded full of implications. And he left from there.
"Anjali ji, hum chalte hai… Aap se saath, aap sab ke saath, maine jo bhi pal gujaare, hum unhe humesha yaad rakhenge…"
"Khushi ji, aap wapas toh aayengi na?"
To this, Khushi had no answer. She just hugged Anjali, who hugged her back. Both women had tears in their eyes. "Hum chalte hai… Nani ji, Mami ji aur Lavanya ji se kehna ke hum unhe bahot yaad karenge…"
Anjali nodded. "Par aap wapas aa rahi ho… Hum keh rahe hai…"
"Anjali ji – "
"Hum ne kaha na… Toh bass keh diya…", she said it with so much authority that so looked like ASR's sister when she said this… Anjali Raizada-Jha…
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superb ss pls add me 2 pm list pls pm me when u update next part
Joined: 14 July 2011
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