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Joined: 24 November 2011
The Rising Storm
The luxurious mansion echoed with deep silence. Shocked and agonized by what was unexpected. No one had any answer to their questions, why did it happen? Why? But nothing mattered now---damage was done already.
Two old men stood in the great study that held a sophisticated architect and fully furnished and treasured by enormous books. One of the men in designed black suit was standing by the arch windows where the sun rays directly hit his glittered aged eyes. His shoulders were hunched, defend-less, the dark tie on white shirt was loosen, his one hand resting against the window looking at the green field beside the golf field. A tear trailed down in his wrinkle cheek'the lump in throat was building up to burst.
He turned around, by the touch of someone's hand on his shoulder and faced this tall man in his gray suit, his eyes were watery as well'"Hari" his deep voice broke the silence in the room.
"Everything is over Rajinder" he hugged the man, feeling nothing but the anguish and pain, to his appraise, nothing could be done and dreams he had seen for that innocent were gone down the drain. He could not blame anyone but himself. "Hari'please be strong" Rajinder patted on his shoulder, sympathies with his friend. At this moment he could only think of to gather his friend before he shattered into pieces of hopelessness and grief.
"Rajinder, our granddaughter's life is ruined'" there was deep anguish in his voice; his eyes were burning with unspoken tears. He looked very---old and poor like someone who has lost everything at flip of a card.
"No Hari'nothing happened'we'll deal with this just as we dealt with other problems together" he gave him hope, not even ensured in his heart how they will get through this situation. A warm tear rolled down his eye and fell on his hand.
Who would refuse to marry a girl who had heart of angel, who only knows to love and cherish others? Their granddaughter had unique personality whose name itself was happiness. Then, why did it happen? The question itself was mystery and it bother them a great deal of not knowing its answer.
While they stood their fussing in their mind and combusting with great anger and grief, somebody interrupted them
They whirled to face the worse and saw the panic and paled face of this young woman, who was wearing a blue see ocean chiffon-high f sari, her lips parted to utter the words but they died on her rosy lips, her eyes were in deep shock. They tensed.
"Payal beta, what happened?" they voiced their fear, their heart racing like bird trapped in cage.
Her eyes blurred with big tears and she opened her mouth to say the words. "Dadu---Khushi." Her voice was shattered almost whisper in dark. They looked at each other with profound fear and then her pale face' and without giving into a second, they rushed behind her as she walked out without saying any further.
They stopped upon reaching a room. They were out of their breath, their hearts were pounding in their ribcage and they stopped at the doorway eying the lifeless figure laying on the four pester bed,. Her beautiful face was resting in lap of this gracious woman who was shedding tears seeing her in this state. The room was drowned into pin drop silence watching their beloved doll in her bridal dress and jewelry that enhanced her beauty.
Hari Gupta moved towards the bed with heavy heart, his face washed out with warm tears. He gaze down at her gorgeous granddaughter, his lovely princess. She was laying there numb, wearing this red lehnga that was designed only for her---her skin was pale, missing the essence of charm and her cherry-fully lips were pressed in firm line and her eyes were closed with her long lashes bowing to her cheeks'such a beauty. But now this had no meanings because dreams were already torn apart for her'
He sat down on the edge of the bed and held her cold hand in warmth of his hand and placed a warm kiss on top of her hennaed hand, his face ran into tears, and guilt. Wish he had heard her urge to not getting married at this point of her life. How selfish!
"Khushi please open your eyes" he whispered against her palm---He wanted to see her again running around the mansion, giggling--bothering him when he would be working. She liked to tease him; it was her favorite thing in the world. And she loved to paint and draw sketches and always loved to make painting of him on Sunday morning while she waits for cookies to bake in the oven. She was such a joy. Now she was laying unconscious--- at her no response to his urge, he glanced back at his friend with disappointment. "Rajinder look my Khushi is not talking to me'maybe she is mad at me'ask her why she is mad at me." He spoke in broken tears, feeling the deep pain his heart.
Rajinder felt so heartbroken, couldn't speak as if he lost his voice. He didn't understand how to console his best friend at this moment. He never felt so helpless in his entire life. Outside the guests were waiting and the groom's family had rejected Khushi.
What was Khushi's fault in it? She gave her heart into the decision they took for her'didn't complained except don't send me too far---what went wrong and where? He recalled few weeks back.
A black Mercedes approached at front of the Gupta Mansion, the chuffer came around and opened the passenger door and stood aside holding the door open. A beautiful old maid in her uniform approached the Mercedes and smiled at the figure who stepped out into the pavement "Hi Yana" Khushi gave her bubbly smile and handing her college bag and a painting on which oil paint was still refresh, telling itself that she just painted it just few hours ago.
Yan greeted back. "Good afternoon Khushi'how was your day?" she gave her a warm smile watching Khushi freeing her silken long hair from the pony tail. Luscious hairs surrounded her beautiful face but she looked very tired.
"Oh Yana I am starving" she pouted, sliding her arm around her shoulders -Poor baby' Yana thought as she caressed her cheek. She beamed and headed towards inside and Yana followed her holding her stuff. Upon on reaching the corridor, she heard the voices coming from the great room by the big living room "Is Dadu with some guests?" She asked curiously looking back at Yana was walking behind her. She stopped. "Um-yes your grandfather Rajinder has came with Payal to meet you"
"What?! Really-you serious?" a wave of excitement ran through her body and hugged Yana so tight at point where she started to cough "sorry-sorry." She apologized in her tone and then ran towards the great room. "Honey-be careful!" Yana shouted from behind watching her running in her heels.
Khushi enters the room; her beautiful face light up when she saw Payal and Arnav's Dadu sitting on sofas talking to her Dadu. Oh God'how much she missed them, and they had come after so many days. She couldn't wait to hug her dearest Jiji.
Payal rose to her feet in thrill watching Khushi in her green designed A line printed shirt and trouser, coming towards her, her beautiful doll face was glowing with joy "JiJi!" Khushi ran into her warm embrace and hugged her tight. "Oh jiji'I missed you so much" feeling the warmth of her sister's arms, she felt overwhelmed and realized how much she missed her and rest "How are you?---How is Akash JiJu? My shona how is he? I miss him---does he miss me?...and tell me how is Maa (Arnav's mother)? And Dad?__"
"Bas Bas Khushi'take a breath you are asking too many question" Khushi always got so excited whenever she met her JiJi. Both Dadu look at them amusingly, It was always a treat watching Khushi blabbering in her tone and this charm of her always made people fall in love with her "Yes everybody is fine and Maa, she never stop worrying about you and don't ask me about your Shona'he has become just like you--bothering everyone around him" she gave her a kiss on her cheek.
Khushi chuckled thinking of her 5 years old nephew doing masti. She hardly imagine him doing something absurd or making somebody upset. He was just too adorable. "Aww Jiji'my Shona is such a cutie pie-he can't bother anyone." she said determinably, putting her arms around her neck. "Why would you believe?-- he is cool nephew of his cool Massi" she pulled her little nose that turned red "Ah-JiJi" she grimaced at her stroking her scrunched nose'she looked so adorable, Payal hugged her again.
She had missed Khushi. She was her best friend who shared everything their toys, their clothes and spends a lot of sleepless nights in girl chatting. She missed those moments when Dadu would put bone fire in their backyard and drink hot chocolate and talked for hours and when they got tired, they counted stars in the sky which were barely visible in winter night. Now she was married and lived in Delhi, away from her grandfather and her baby sister. She was happy in her life with Akash Singh Raizada and her baby boy Virat. But sometimes she was jealous of Khushi who get to spend so much time with Dadu. And recently Dadu had taken Khushi to Paris for vacation and just few weeks ago they had came back.
She watched Khushi who was now looking at Rajinder Partap Singh Raizada her other grandfather, who was sitting on the single sofa crossing his leg'looking younger in his silver suit, gazing back at her with guilty eyes. She turned her back at him, crossing her arms.
Rajinder knew she was mad at her for missing her big college function where she had presented her best paintings and knew how much it meant to her'she was really disappointed when she got call from one of his assistances that he won't be able to make it due to urgent meeting with fashion house in Milan.
"I think somebody is still mad...no?" Rajinder watched Khushi in amusement, but she was stubborn to not look at him---how could he do this when he had promised her he will come'she was angry at him.
"Yes I am still mad'and don't expect me to be nice to you Dadu or that I'll forgive you." She frowned at him---Rajinder looked at Hari with pleading eyes to help him because it was never easy to pacify Khushi once she determined.
"Khushi your Rajinder Dadu told you he had urgent work"
"No need to take your friend's side" Rajinder pouted at Khushi innocently pleading her to forgive him'she was precious to him as much as Anjali and he couldn't see her upset. Dadu don't make this face now---you missed the function and broke your promise." She accused him not buying his apologetic face'and her Dadu totally agreed with her.
"Yes Khushi is right'how could you miss her function?" Now Hari Gupta took her granddaughter's side, leaving his friend at his own mercy. Payal couldn't help but grin watching both friends scowling at each other. She knew both of them adored Khushi with their heart and they always tried to compete showering their love towards Khushi, especially when it came to Arnav's grandfather, it was always fun to see Khushi making sweet arguments with him'her relationship with him was exceptional, there was never been a time when they had not argued.
Rajinder rose to his feet closing the button of his coat. He was tall and even in his 60's he looked very young. He held Khushi by the shoulders and sat her down on the leather sofa and then sat besides her taking her hand---Khushi looked away, knowing she would melt in warmth if she looked back.
"Khushi I was coming but you know my dear grandson Arnav'he told me at the last minute that I have to go to Milan urgently'and you know he doesn't take No in answer ever," he caressed her hand---her heart pounded to hear devil's name and remembered yesterday reading his interview in Vogue Magazine'God he looked so powerful and dark in that dark Armani suite with that intense chocolaty brown eyes that could make any girl melt in his arms'feeling the eyes on her she startled.
" umm-Yes yes..I know everything'you both friends has only one concern in life and that is business--you know how I spend my day? No you don't'I am the one who get bored all day after coming from college and nobody cares," Khushi was on edge to cry. Payal knew this that Khushi has become alone since she got married. It wasn't only this Khushi hardly came to Delhi only at times when that Greek god was out for his business trips, surprisingly in 12 years she had gone to Delhi for just two time, once when Payal got married and second when Virat was born.
Payal watched her sad face "That's why Khushi Maa and I asked you so many times that come to Delhi but you" Payal shook her head, knew she was stubborn. Khushi got up pouting her lips and sat next to her Dadu. She had heard this lecture for past years and she was never convinced to leave her Dadu and live in Delhi where everybody loved her. Payal started to serve the tea that a maid left on the table.
"Yes Khushi, Payal is totally right'even I want you to complete your BA in Delhi---your Maa (Arnav's mother) will be very happy" he tenderly looked at Khushi who was listening carefully staring at her cup resting on the table front of her'
She sighed before she spoke again. "Dadu you know I don't want to leave my Dadu and Lucknow'I can't." she hugged her Dadu and kissed his warm wrinkled cheek. Her heart ached to even imagine of going away from her grandfather.
Payal took her tea and sat down. "Khushi you are engaged now'now you will have to leave Dadu one day." Payal teased her. Khushi glared at her sister with staggering eyes and rose to her feet putting her hands on her hips.
"No I am not going anywhere'I even pray Devi Meiyan that they reject me on the wedding day."
Both Dadu looked at her surprised. Payal got up and smack on her head "Khushi you can never behave..you never know when DM would mind and take your words." Payal was really upset. "JiJi" Khushi stroke her head as she looked at her JiJi mad at her.
'''''End of Flashback...
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