Joined: 25 October 2011
Joined: 25 October 2011
Joined: 25 October 2011
Joined: 25 October 2011
I was so glad to see that you had updated this FF!! I hope all of your exams went well.
Joined: 25 October 2011
The following 1 member(s) liked the above post:
Joined: 25 October 2011
Joined: 02 February 2010
The following 1 member(s) liked the above post:
Joined: 25 October 2011
I know I promised to dedicate a romantic chapter to all the readers of this FF ...but when I was typing up this chapter, I realised that these two have some more bridges to cross before they can actually be lovey-dovey. So, because I didn't want to break my promise, I typed another shorter chapter, which is, hopefully, more romantic :) I hope you guys like both of them, I dedicate it to all the wonderful people who've supported me this far :) Love you guys!
Chapter Thirty Six
Arnav's story wound to a stop.
For the past quarter of an hour, he had been narrating, as lucidly as he could, every step he had taken to forestall the threat of Shyam Manohar Jha. His recitation unfolded everything, from the security men guarding Bauji's wardroom incognito at all hours of the day, to the private investigators he had set on the snake's tail as soon as he had fled. He outlined to Khushi the present position- Shyam Jha had burrowed himself in Lucknow, at a friend's house. Obviously, the reason for his flight had been one monumental event- the recovery of Bauji. Whatever doubts he may have had about Shashi Gupta spilling the beans on him would most certainly have been consolidated to solid proof when he had paid a midnight visit to the hospital, only to be confronted and sent scarpering. He had even chucked his phone away so he could not be traced. That was why when Di actually did attempt to call him earlier, she couldn't reach him.
Throughout the narration Khushi remained silent, almost immobile as she hung avidly on every word. Arnav could feel her eyes on him, but the guilt that had set off his desperate plea for her trust was still loitering about, and he could not meet her gaze. Instead, he preferred to stare at the corner of the bedpost as he spoke.
Because he didn't know if he had the guts needed to withstand the questions, the inevitable questions that were bound to arise in Khushi's mind. Not sure if he could stomach the accusation in her eyes that could be justified only too well- What was the point of the private investigators? What were they meant to do? Keep watch? Make sure he didn't graph any more treachery? How did he expect to keep that menace at bay, prevent him from returning if he ever tried? And when he did...what would happen next? Would they simply stand by and endure his return, pretending that they didn't know an 'adder fanged' existed in their midst? Or would he be punished? Would vengeance be sworn for the damage he had caused to countless lives?
Because one fact would never change- that devil deserved to be shoved into the very pits of hell, deserved to die a slow, painful, long-drawn out death...he had caused his Khushi so much pain...he had made him hurt her...he had played with so many lives, prepared to gamble away their joy, prepared to kill for his selfish, demented ends...Arnav drew in a slow, shuddering breath, which failed to ease a dull pain as it became more and more prominent.
But there was another, equally undeniable fact...Di...She adored him, cherished him, practically worshipped him...inundated in tears at even the whisper of some harm to him...
And yet...there were discrepancies to that theory...all those things that Khushi had noted about Di's apathy...things which he had scrutinised for himself later...things which did not seem to tally, did not make sense...
Arnav fought with himself to keep from groaning out load, from dropping his head in defeat into his arms, in frustration. How was he going to get through this? The return of Shyam boded the return of septic bitterness, threatening to scare Khushi away from him once more. For all his promises never to hurt Khushi again, how could he expect her to trust him if he could not even mete out justice where it was indisputably due? Dithering on the verge of avenging her, but not knowing how...He was stuck in mid space, unable to move, limbs atrophied, not able to reach the heavens nor touch land...it was, he thought grimly, comparable to being in purgatory...and this state of suspension, with hollowed, lonely eternity yawning open before him, was the most frightening thing he had ever experienced.
At first he thought he had imagined it. His eyes shot up slightly from where they had been fixated on the bed post. But he had always been sensitive whenever it came to the nuances of change in Khushi, and it was not long before he could detect something that almost felt like...felt like...that vivacity, vitality had- shrunk? Curiosity got the better of him and he turned about.
Khushi was still sitting as she had been, knees bent and legs tucked in beneath her. But the way she held herself made Arnav question whether the words he had heard in her voice, echoing in his head in their incongruity, had actually been real. Her hands where both stretched out before her, balled into fists and jammed between her knees, her head bent. Her face was in shadow.
'Khushi?' his low voice was questioning, almost mystified. She did not move. A bubble of anxiety popped in his heart, and Arnav's hand reached out, his forefinger and thumb gently coaxing her chin, urging her to lift her head.
'I'm sorry, Arnavji,' she repeated, this time confirming Arnav's doubts. To say that he was flummoxed would be an understatement, and his inability to grasp what was going on was heightened as Khushi raised her eyes to him. They were moist with earnestness, glimmering with remorse. Confusion spiralled to new heights. Why on earth is SHE apologising?
Khushi shivered a little, her eyes shutting tightly. 'It's my fault,' she whispered, every limb locked, rigid. 'I should have told you, or Di, or anyone about him as soon as I found out- but I didn't' An almost eerie ring had crept into the hush of her voice, which began to gather a hectic pace, words tripping over one another as though hoping the trial would be easier if she could get over it quickly '-I didn't, and that's why things have gone this far, went this wrong...Di doesn't deserve to be married to a man like that...he doesn't deserve all the love she gives him...and she doesn't deserve to live a lie. I'm so, so sorry.'
Khushi remained silent for a long time, afraid almost to move. Finally, the guilt that had been nibbling away at her had found an escape valve and spilled, tumbling out. There had always been an undercurrent of contrition, always this need almost to atone, in whatever way. Perhaps that was one reason why she diverted all her energies in caring for Di, shield her from whatever deceit her husband might be devising against her, as a feeble form of repentance. But it never changed the fact that in the midst of the omens of apocalypse, despite being a victim herself...she had been, even if in a small way, a catalyst. She had made the crucial, the grave decision of keeping to herself one deadly secret, on which hung the futures and fortunes of the people she sought to protect.
'Khushi,' his firm, almost stern voice made the thrashing tendrils of penitence clench as though bracing for blows. The tips of his fingers were drawing lines of fire upon her skin, tremblingly slow, and Khushi had to harness every bit of self control not to give in to their enticing persuasion, not to be lured into his eyes once more. She knew she hadn't deserved being dragged through hell- but she had had a part to play, and her part had perhaps precipitated that avalanche that had engulfed everything else in its wintry, bleak coverlet. She knew that if he blamed her for it, he could well be justified.
But the idea was terrifying. If he accepted it...she would never be able to forgive herself.
She heard him exhale, his breath sounding as though it snagged as it escaped his mouth. But when he spoke, it was hardly what Khushi could have expected.
'Khushi,' the pain he was trying to curb was audible in his groan, 'when will you stop blaming yourself for everything that goes wrong?'
Surprised round eyes finally relented and flitted in astonishment towards him. He stared back at her, a severity etched into every line of his face. He looked almost exasperated.
'B-but,' Khushi stammered in confusion, failing to fathom why he looked- almost admonishingly- at her, 'but Arnavji, I gave him a second chance! If I hadn't, he never would have tried to do the things he did...' Bafflement magnified within her as she watched him close his eyes, every line on his face rigid, suddenly sharper, watched as he slowly shook his head. Still with his eyes shut, barring Khushi from scouring in their molten gold pools for answers, he spoke, in a controlled tenor.
'If that was a mistake, Khushi, that was your only mistake. And if you are apologising for that one mistake- what am I supposed to do for the hundreds of mistakes I have made?'
The blinds shielding his eyes finally lifted and Khushi felt a prickling sensation shoot up her spine at the ignited sparks that burst forth from his eyes the minute he fixed his stare on her. It cut straight through her, like cold blade slitting warm flesh. And once more, every throb of her heart was a new lesson in agony.
She hadn't intended to hurt him. She would never have wanted to hurt him.
The anguish in his eyes was unbearable.
'No...' it took every fibre of control she could command to regain control over her voice, 'No...' The tinier locomotives in her mind were scrambling in mass disarray, fighting to prove him wrong but not knowing how, fighting to retrieve something, anything from the crisscrossing tracks, to keep him from wounding himself. It hurt. It hurt so bad. 'If I hadn't let his lie go the first time...he wouldn't have-'
'If that makes you guilty Khushi,' Arnav interjected quietly, the liquid pools of his eyes now caramel-coloured marbles, 'Then... I'm guilty too. You let him have a second chance- and I let him have a third.'
He inched closer to her on the bed, looking imploringly into her eyes, begging her almost to listen, to believe, '...if you apologise, then I must too...if you were wrong, then so was I...you think you wronged Di, but you were trying to protect her, just as I was... and if you blame yourself for it, you should blame me ten times more.'
Khushi could not bring herself to respond- the frail connection that had existed between her mind and her tongue seemed to have shrivelled up, and she could but stare at him without remembering to blink.
'Besides,' he whispered, a rueful smile stretching his lips, his gentle fingers prying apart her fists, locked into each other, '...my mother used to say...'
Startled, Khushi barely noticed as he gently laced his fingers into hers, the warmth instantaneously shooting up her arms and quietening the distressed clamouring of the trains of her thought. He barely ever spoke about his mother...and this was the second time in as many days that he was bringing her up, so effortlessly it seemed only natural that he should.
'...she used to say that it's no big deal to make a mistake...because to err is human. What takes courage is to own up to it- because not everyone is brave enough to admit that they are wrong, and to accept the consequences...and even greater than the people who admit their mistakes are the people who try to right it...because it is always difficult to erase the memory of hurt you've given to others...'
Spellbound by his words, his voice lending breath to her body, Khushi did not realise when he had raised their entwined hands to his lips.
'...and she used to say that even greater than the people who learn to make up for their mistakes...are the ones who forgive...because it takes immense bravery to forget- forget and move on-that these are the people that will stand by us forever...'
This time when his eyes captured hers, the mournful desperation cleft straight through her heart.
'And I want- very badly- for her to be right.'
Vaguely, her father's advice whispered to her from the fringes of her mind...sounding oddly like wind-chimes tinkling in a breeze, singing to her...
Listen to your heart...
And Khushi surprised herself as she let her hand, without a hint of diffidence, cradle the side of his face. All she knew was, for some strange reason that her heart was convinced of and mind failed to comprehend, doing so would drain away some of the well of sorrow that threatened to overflow in him, grief that she could feel more acutely than she could see.
'She was right,' she heard herself whisper, once more surrendering her tongue to the jurisdiction of her commandeering heart.
Beautiful doe eyes agleam with sincerity, no longer hidden under alluringly fluttering lashes, but gazing straight into his with an earnestness that both cleaved his heart and healed it. The drum beats in chest, which had until seconds before abandoned all pretence at melody or rhythm, fell back into a healthy staccato, growing steadily louder.
The satin of her skin against the coarseness of his stubbled cheek, the tenderness her touch murmured, the breathtaking absence of hesitation...hope's wings, storm-drenched, feathers ruffled and bent, shook off a fine sprinkle of dew as it skyrocketed towards the heavens, slicing through the grey beclouding the sky. Into a sudden burst of sunshine.
And, with the world aglow in a watery light, sharpening the silhouettes of perspective previously blurred through the rainstorm that hope had scrambled for shelter from, Arnav made acquaintance with several vital facts, printed in no uncertain terms, as crisp and brisk as business cards filed in a wallet.
Do I deserve to be forgiven?
Could I ever forgive myself?
Am I worthy of her?
Perhaps not. But...
... I will make myself worthy. No matter what it takes...
Because losing this...Arnav's fingers raised gently to graze the back of the hand suffusing him with comfort he so desperately craved, submerging him with a tranquillity that might almost have been extinct...losing this would be imbecility of the greatest calibre.
'This time,' he growled, the sudden vehemence making Khushi start and snatch back her hand, before he caught hold of it securely once more, 'I'm not giving him any more chances. Enough is enough.'
Khushi's astonishment dissolved into comprehension, and her troubled glance darted towards the direction of her phone, lying, innocently enough, on the bedspread before them. Arnav did not miss the flicker of fear that sparked in her eyes, before she subdued it.
In the blink of an eye, all self-pity, all remorse was whisked away by a purposeful torrent and the slimy simpering voice that had defiled the wholesome air they shared echoed unpleasantly, gratingly, clattering about within his skull-
...I've been trying to call you for so long...I think about you all the time...please don't worry about me...I'm fine...and I promise I will be with you soon and free you from the clutches of that Arnav Singh Raizada...
Again that bestial fury was clawing at him, threatening to possess him entirely, driving out sense and sensibilities, leaving him with a burning need to get his hands around the throat of that filthy excuse of a human being and squeeze the life out of him. How dare he- how dare he even let the unholy notion that Khushi would think of him cross his mind? How dare he presume that Khushi, a pure untainted soul, would allow herself to be besmirched by his honeyed promises? How dare he even commit the atrocity of even thinking about her? Oh, the temptation of snapping his bones in two, one by one, seeing him writhing, bruised black and blue, on the floor at his feet, begging for mercy he could never hope to receive-
'But what are we going to do?' His murderous thoughts, blacker and more bloodthirsty than he could have imagined in their vindictiveness, disbanded for the moment and his attention reverted to Khushi, her brow furrowed as she looked askance at him, 'Di-'
'-doesn't deserve to live this lie,' Arnav finished grimly, 'You said so yourself. If we want what's best for her, we need to get rid of that bas***d once and for all.'
Khushi returned his gaze, his steely with fortitude, hers frowning ponderously. Finally, she broke the impasse, with a slight lilt of indecision, 'You know- I've never...I haven't really...until today, I've never really felt- afraid of him...'
She paused again, as though perusing her argument to gauge whether it would stand cross-examination. This time when she spoke, her speech took off with the speed of a bullet train.
'I mean to say, if a person knows the difference between good and bad-and they choose to be bad-at least they know. They know that what they are doing is wrong, people see it as wrong, that if they ever get caught, they'll be in trouble. Those kind of people still have a kind of conscience about them, because they still know the difference between right and wrong...when it comes to him though-'
She broke off, gazing up at him almost beseechingly, pleading him to understand.
And he understood. He understood exactly what she was trying to say.
If, even after fooling a young girl's family into a marriage alliance and then being discovered, even after attempting coldblooded murder, after doing everything in his power to woo Khushi without a moment's qualm about breaking Di's heart, her faith, her world...
If even after all this were discovered by the last people he could risk being exposed to, he had the guts to call Khushi...call her and assume, with no dearth of infamy, that he could still win her over, that she would still accept him in spite of his ignominious list of heinous sins...
'...it's like he doesn't see anything wrong with what he's done, what he's doing...' Khushi whispered softly, 'Like he thinks that whatever he has done is completely justified...and a man like that...'
Pure fear shone plaintively in the two tiny beacons staring up at him.
'...A man like that is capable of doing anything.'
*Three weeks ago*
The cellphone fell limply out of Anjali Jha's numb fingers, though she barely noticed. It landed with a soft thud onto the plush rug at her foot, screen downwards.
Her breathing was shallow- despite all the effort in dragging in air, the scanty oxygen she managed to soak in was not enough; the edges of an untimely dusk skulking into her unending day. Mind was frozen in place. Not moving forward, not moving back. Petrified. Blank.
And while she sat still, the room about her revolved, tilting about an axis, like a carousel spinning dizzyingly out of control.
'Arre Rani Sahiba!'
She felt something sink onto the bed beside her, felt the warmth, coupling with the sickly sweet scent of shampoo, washing over her. It was a familiar scent, one she had always found welcoming, balmy and pleasant.
Today, it felt sticky, it felt humid...Anjali gave up trying to breathe altogether, in an instinctive endeavour to keep from suffocating.
'What's wrong, Rani Sahiba? Are you not feeling well?'
Anjali turned unseeing eyes to the man peering anxiously at her. The smile that would automatically spread across her face, reassuringly gentle, cheerful, did not make its appearance with as much promptness as it was wont to. Instead, Anjali stared almost unseeingly into the face of her husband, as he frowned concernedly at her.
Captured on canvass.
Caught on tape.
It was as though the person she was sitting before was not really there.
It was as though she was sitting behind a screen, watching a drama unfold before her. A play. Of sentiment.
'Nothing, nothing!' she quipped brightly, her foot nudging the phone surreptitiously, until it was under the edge of the bedframe, 'It's just that your phone rang, and I was about to pick it up, but it slipped out of my fingers...and fell-'
'Rani Sahiba,' a tone speaking of reprove. Anjali had a mad, overpowering urge to sob. Why did this tone, this tone that she was so used to, found so charming, sound so...coloured? Unreal? Oh, how her heart wanted to believe, how it craved to believe...Anjali would help it. Yes, she would help her heart believe, preserve its undying faith in the man she loved...It did not even occur to her that she was lying. It did not occur to her that a facade had descended upon her with ease, a smiling, slightly sheepish facade behind which blatant denial, outright shock, had scurried for cover.
It was simply a reflex action. An impulsive act to conserve the world she lived in, the world that existed in her mind, and that she liked to believe existed in reality. An act for survival.
Shyam was speaking. She jerked her floundering attention back to his stream of mild reproaches.
'I've told you a million times Rani Sahiba, you have to take care of yourself! So what if the phone was ringing? No business can be more important than your health to me...your health and our child's. And don't you dare try to bend over again! I'll pick it up...'
'I thought- I thought it was important,' Anjali breathed a little haltingly, watching with eyes that dared not blink as her husband knelt down beside the bed, extending his arm under the bed to retrieve his phone. 'A message came from an unknown number first...and then just afterwards that same number called, so I thought it must be urgent...'
'Who was it?' he inquired, straightening up as he checked the call history.
'I don't know,' Anjali lied through her teeth, lied helplessly. She could not control herself. It was as though the paralysis of her mind had simply been a front, a front to compose a story she could satisfy all her doubts with, to plaster all the cracks that the phone call and the video had afflicted upon her, and now that story was tipping glibly out of her mouth, 'It fell out of my hand before I could answer it...and I couldn't reach it afterwards.' She added, lamely, 'Sorry.'
'Uffo, Rani Sahiba,' he was back beside her, smiling comfortingly. He gently touched the side of her face. Even that touch, the feel of skin on skin, felt unreal. Anjali's eyes narrowed at him, as though trying to convince herself that he wasn't a figment of her imagination. 'It really doesn't matter. I don't want to catch you doing that again, do you understand? And whoever it was, I can always call them back.'
'Do you- do you know who it is?'
He frowned at the number on the screen. Anjali pleaded with him silently. Say no, please say no...
'I don't think so...let me check what this message is, and then I'll call him.'
'I have to...go give prasad to Mamiji.' Anjali shuffled to her feet, looking around blankly for her thaali.
Neither noticed that there was no prasad left over on it.
And Shyam did not notice as his wife hobbled out of the room, only to station herself outside their door, within earshot.
Chapter 37- BELOW :) Please hit like before you read on
The following 304 member(s) liked the above post:
sarahz, nicky_nisha263, parimalad, kanu_nvlkh, gogo9895, brajen, Shini.Shiva86, rainy_blue, tweeter13, Goneet, honeyboney1, jenie2012, ipkndFan, Adtsharma, kk10, Artyff, chillies, sonalashish, khub, hhqv, thepelican, Faimina, cappacuino, Sukhin, suganya91, mansi022, reena1146, pav1977, AnuMouli91, ZaynMalik21, reece, Chardonnay, sunaina6676, neena2000, sailakshmi4, madhura1, Dip_IPKKND, aliahayse, Oyester09, zunaisha, v5a1s6, archanaprabhu1, Nammrata, ansak, bazingafan, yhm111, Crwrt, HemaSurya, Melodygirl, Reveur, thumbi, cuppycake11, Sari22, ocean28, arshian_89, TrueLoveIs4ever, MONAKARAN, nimko, violetgirl, Manasvy, sri_ffn, gurukhush, pujajk, arshiiipkknd, naina50, anu41982, chicagogirl, arshidee, dancydreamer, fairycake, arshi_1982, anju4566, Sodapop313, krisha06, indeedisa, addicted16, hina_1234, arkhushi1, nada_a, hills, mandhruv, et_tu_achu, xyzw231, inanyregard, manis, kharunya, minnie me, Black_beauty, mistletoe22, 5armad, Dee-, anumadduri, cutie13, TinkJia, nina282, nermic, fan09, dancedanceRR, poojdc87, sskaug25, cloud.9, chandarani1, MaroRudra, winchfire, spongebobchick, rosalinda92, roseycheek, natzzz, Devilways, lattelove9, thebubblespop12, desisoaps05, Khuarv, whatasurpise, Girl54, disha7, varshapan, TheThoughtCrime, SweetSophie, mysticmanthri, blue_sapphire, falu73, UV_Arshi, abby2181, Sim1234, urs_kkgsr, TRND86, Suchita2012, shona-li, JenniferPurple, mrignayani, ziya-farhannish, TheDreamyKid, Swathiarshi, esmeralda111, star12, amv63, ipkknd_gbdfan, maazia, citi, tmowla, revathysugathan, gata, Arshi4evrnevr, ...pinky..., dreamgirlrus23, moon8387, Creatiwitty, jojo21, Dimz13, riha5002, napk, sida, PreenaRak, jeetega, Aplihs, arshisimple, cosmina, Mrieshka, neha_shah, sanjuarshi, Chanyaforever, Rainy01, shakrobaaj, mojgan, Savera84, First_Light, thiyamappy, ship13, famiya, jg12, Bavari, vks11, golpokobita, NPKN, arushi05, ifsaal044, PixieFairy, damonzlady, sushmitasahu, RandomGirl, avantika_2012, sessy, shubhanjli, barunlove, Bonhi_ipkknd, Anu567, dprover, purplelove, GoldenEyes, hydsri, swati-89, rockinggirl5, lovespell, prabha75, Suni, oh.petite.one, annieK, rhearuhi, Psychedelic, meghnas, rashgirl000, Honkytonk, msmarple, meem17, saavan_lover, HADmishti, mrin0709, suadvani, bushrayou, -Maggie-, EimenEnchanted, vikadesigirl, cpervaiz, pmpm1, ixray, ..Swapnali.., sweetanu2314, Anamika100, DMGFan-2b-not2b, SunriseGreen, Dhara_s, Rozy77, kirti123, -Shobhu21-, akshiankita, Rhysenn, swetha_ch, smileyhug7679, N0306, gunjanmkj, Japonica, _Tabs_, preetihere, sun_shine_girl, Drwho, __blossom__, segad, LondonChick, Dalmuthuya, lakraj80, ipkkndfanforeva, KtotheM, ravalisharma06, preethi.saseeda, rakenduvadana, swat.g, shagun05, Dynamix215, luvbug, SirenMitra, kshubhangi, shutter, SS88, kushiarnav1, aysemLDG, rk2127, sarita_barun, Dhrenu, Pinky.Raizada, Arshi67, amus5, Skiran, ..mrinalini.., sana11, Jai.Mata.Di, udaymanyata07, Kishmish, ayshaomar, kriti_atharv, zafi, bhaktiii, Gurmeet4Drashti, casker, lara3110, shonagudia, saomom, drdee142, Treasures, ashred12, Shamz94, Prasanthi, bmtdluver, soapsuds, chahaat., XSilentPrayersX, drunkiiebabe, mandy15, ..Anita.., shah10, tinsel, Arjuhisis, sarra0, pixiegirl, Newbiesoapfan, ...shruti..., snoopy84, fffan123, seeta_naips, Mrs_Darcy_17, pup03, dumas, mishti_17, serendipity.,
MAANEET FF JAANE TU YA JAANE NA #10 EPILOGUE PG 40
Author: piya- Replies: 403 Views: 32210
|piya-||403||32210||10 April 2015 at 1:17am by sita_rama|
MAANEET FF JAANE TU YA JAANE NA #9 Link # 10 pg131
Author: piya- Replies: 1047 Views: 49616
|piya-||1047||49616||05 July 2013 at 11:37pm by mishtiritu|
MAANEET FF JAANE TU YA JAANE NA#8 LINK #9 PG 141
Author: piya- Replies: 1120 Views: 51765
|piya-||1120||51765||22 May 2013 at 9:23am by tellyme|
MAANEET FF JAANE TU YA JAANE NA #7 Thrd8 link 158
Author: piya- Replies: 1265 Views: 60554
|piya-||1265||60554||10 April 2013 at 6:12am by CuteTommy|
*Taarey SS-Jaane tu ya Jaane na* INDEX ADDED
Author: -PixieDust- Replies: 347 Views: 30847
|-PixieDust-||347||30847||26 January 2013 at 4:04am by amandadsouza95|
Disclaimer: All Logos and Pictures of various Channels, Shows, Artistes, Media Houses, Companies, Brands etc. belong to their respective owners, and are used to merely visually identify the Channels, Shows, Companies, Brands, etc. to the viewer. Incase of any issue please contact the webmaster.
Popular Channels :
Quick Links :