Joined: 24 February 2012
She looked around the bare room and it was as if she had
never been in here. The only traces were here bags which were packed neatly by
the front door. She had asked Hariprakash to collect boxes for packing. She had
packed all the jewelry and clothes gifted to her by the Raizadas in Payal's
room with a note saying please return to Anjali Di.
She felt a empty, not knowing where she was to go or what
she was to do. How had she lived before these torturous 6 months. She had
forgotten how to live.
Everyone was out of the house for Payal's birthday
celebrations, Khushi had feigned illness and excused herself. She knew she
wouldn't be able to leave with the whole family in the house.
Suddenly she heard the screech of a car outside. She called
Hariprakash for help to carry the boxes. He questioningly placed the boxes in
the taxi. "Hariprakash ji, agar humse koi bhool ho gayee.." He interrupted her
"Khushi bitya, aap aisa kyoon bol rahee hain. Aap kahan'" She gave him a quick
hug and jumped into the cab before he could ask more questions.
The taxi came to a stop outside the quiet train station '
she got out and asked the driver to put her stuff in Box16. The tears she was
holding back came out with a vengeance as soon as she was alone in the train.
Flackshbacks from her fight with Arnav last night came to
mind. He had discovered the truth about Shyam a week ago and learnt of Khushis
innocence. He reproached her for not telling him earlier, she accused him of
not trusting her. "I will leave you" She had said last night. He would not hear
of it. "How dare you Khushi, you cannot do this to me." He was unsure of how to
apologize but he wouldn't hear of her leaving the house now. He had begged and
pleaded last night but she had turned cold. Arnav had to leave for an important
business trip to London and he told her they would discuss it further when he
She was so drained emotionally and physically that she had fallen
fast asleep and barely heard the announcement when the conductor screamed "The
train to Lucknow is now departing."
She had called a family friend, a lady she called "Aayi,"
who she knew she could confide in and told her about the last 6 months. Ayi had
listened without judgment and ordered Khushi to come live with her immediately.
As Khushi jumped out of the
train she saw Ayi, Khsuhi felt comforted as soon as she saw the sweet old lady
clad in an offwhite Sari. Khushi hugged her with all her might and broke down '
it had been quite some time she had felt maternal love and someone who
understood her and was willing to care for her. "Beta, sub theek ho jayayga'.."
She ordered her driver to carry khushi's stuff to the car, khushi barely
noticed Ayi was in a flashy Mercedes as she jumped into the car.. "Where are we going Ayi?" she asked.
Ayi smiled and said she has moved. Khushi was disappointed as she wanted to
stay at Ayi's old place where she had so many childhood memories. As they
approached a huge gated mansion, Khushi looked at Ayi questioningly. Ayi
explained her one and only grandson was a wealthy businessman in England and
had moved her into a larger house . Ayi's only daugher and her husband were also in the same
car as Khushi's parents and were killed in the accident. Se had raised Dhruv
all by herself. Khushi and Dhruv
were childhood friends but he had been sent abroad for education at the age of
14 to live with Nani's brother. Khushi wanted to inquire about Dhruv and catchup with
Ayi but was too tired and so just rested her head of Ayis shoulder and slept.
Arnav arrived at the RM, it was 2am and he didn't want to
wake anyone up. He tiptoed into his room, not wanting to wake Khushi up. He had
so much to tell her. The past few days in London had really allowed him to
think and clear his head. Maybe it was the London air or maybe it was the good
company he had had. He had just signed a deal and now had a new business
partner, Dhruv. Dhruv's was his new younger business partner. Maybe it was Dhruv
and his warmness that he now felt like a changed man. He wanted to talk to
Khushi, confide in her about his feelings and make her his own. He longed to
see her face, he craved to feel her presence. He slowly put his bags down and
desperately searched for her outline in the dark. However, there was no Khushi
on the bed. He turned on the lights and looked around, ran to the pool area.
That is when he noticed all her stuff was missing. He searched the room inside
out for some trace of her but there was nothing. It was as if she had never shared this
space with him.
Khushi woke up the next morning feeling emptier and more confused that she had ever felt. She looked around the beautiful room Ayi had prepared for her. The large and lavish room felt hollow and she longed to curl up in a place and cry her heart out and shut herself from the world. But then she got up. She got up to spite him. To show him and herself that he did not affect her. She was Khushi Kumari Gupta and Arnav Singh Raizada could not kill her spirit. With that attitude and her ferocious appetite, she got up, got dressed and rushed downstairs. Ayi was already up doing pooja, Khushi joined her and prayed for her family and the Raizadas and that they may find the strength to forgive her and Arnav. She prayed for Anjali Di so that she may move on in her life without Shyaam. She couldn't yet forgive Arnav and so left him out of her prayers. More than anything, Khushi asked Devi Maya for herself. To help her find the KKG she used to be. The one who used to laugh, care for others and the one who had faith in her.
She and Ayi caught up on old times as they cooked and laughed. Ayi told her about all the naughty things her and Dhruv used to do as children and how she used to scold them. How she used to sit outside and gaze at the stars with the two of them while she read them fairy tales. Khushi reminisced about the simpler days and felt sad thinking about how it was impossible to go back to those days. Ayi told her about Dhruv and what a man he had become and how he had a successful marketing company in London which he runs. "Even with his busy schedule, he comes to stay with me atleast 4 times a year. More so in the winter, he hates the cold." She said while she made the yummiest food Khushi had had in a long time. The food, the memories warmed Khushi. She had become cold living with Arnav Singh Raizada but now felt a lot like her old self sitting next to Ayi shile she fed her.
Arnav could barely sleep and it wasn't the jetlag. He had a lump in his throat. Questions in his mind. Where had she gone? Why was there no note. Deep down inside he knew her reasoning. She had loved him and he had broken her. He had hated her with more fire than even he though himself capable. He was unsure of how this would play out with his family. When the 6 months were over and Di had delivered a beautiful girl, Arnav had sat down with her to have a talk about Shyam. He had also found a chance to have Shyam arrested due to forging signatures on documents to get all of Di's property. He had left out the part about Khushi and his marriage and he was unsure of how he would reveal this to his family. But he could live lies no more and the truth about his marriage with Khushi had to be revealed to the family. He would have to come clean. Not for himself, he was Arnav Singh Raizada and did not feel the need to answer. But he wanted to do it out of consideration for her reputation. He could not bear anyone thinking badly of her. She was good and pure and he needed his family and her family to understand that.
He was worried Buaji and her Amma would not receive her in the house with all her stuff. They would torture her and ask her lots of questions. He cringed at the thought of her being punished by her family, all because of him. She would have to face the world's derision because he was unjust to her. This had to come to an end he thought as he buttoned pulled out a fresh shirt from his closet. It was maroon and he remembered it clearly because it was the one he had worn the night him and Khushi had danced "in Bali" and the night he had shared his recliner with her. As he buttoned his shirt, a deep realization set within him. He realized he would not be able to rid himself of all the memories of Khushi Kumari Gupta. She may have left his home but the memories he had, her payals, her senseless musings, her jalebis, her tacky bright outfits, her colorful dupatas, her smile, her hair, her looks ' he would not be able to rid himself of her thoughts. He put on his suit and gathered the family, he had even sent the car for Buaji, Khushi's Amma and Bauji. He took in a deep breath as he faced a dozen set of eyes on him. Waiting anxiously for what he had to say.
Ayi had planned a full day for Khushi, she wanted to keep the girl preoccupied. She knew how disturbed the child was and longed to heal her wounds with her motherly care. She had secretly called Buaji the night before and told her that Khushi was with her and that she was okay. She explained to Buaji that Khushi had confided in her but she couldn't reveal to her what it was just yet. Buaji, being loud and flamboyant as she was protested "Hai Nandekishore" she squealed at the other end. So when Arnav had called Buaji the next morning, she was not surprised but just curious to know what had happened between these two fools now. She would have blamed her sanka devi but she knew her husband, had a temper and stubbornness to match.
Ayi took Khushi out on a tour of Lucknow for the day however it was Khushi who became the tour guide pointing every landmark and reminiscing of her memories that were associated with each place. She had forgotten how much she loved the city and its people,she felt so much at home. She rememberd the coldness of the RM with Nani and Anjali Di being her only comfort. The car stopped at a designer boutique and Nani told Khushi she would be a few minutes. While she was away, Nanis cell phone rang. Khushi saw Dhruv's name pop up on Nani's iphone screen and quicly picked up the phone.
"Dhruv?" she screamed
"Nani?" questioned a deep voice at the other end.
"Sanka Devi?" again he questioned
"Yes its me Khushi"
"Sankaaa Devi" he screamed in joy, he could hardly believe it.
"What are you doing with my Nani's phone?!" He teased her.
"No Dhruv, she went in to some store and left her phone in the car! I am staying with her'" she pondered on what excuse to give Dhruv when Nani came back with a bunch of bags.
"Ayi its Dhruv'"
"Beta? How are you?" Ayi said.
"I am fine Nani, I cant believe Sanka Devi has found her way
to you. Tell her she better stay as I will be in Lucknow next week, I have a
new Indian business partner who I need to see."
"Yes beta. Khushi will be staying here and your timing could not have been better. Me and Khushi need your liveliness in the house to keep us from getting bored" She eyed Khushi as she said that and thought Dhruv would be the perfect companion to help bring out the child in Khushi that was so lost now.
"I cannot wait to see him Ayi" Khushi screamed. "I will irritate him so much, lets see how long the Nawabzada lasts in Lucknow!"
"Uff, you two will be the end of me" Ayi joke
"Don't say that Ayi'.." Khushi said suddenly serious '"Youre the only mother I have now'"
"Acha, whats in these bags
you've brought Ayi'?" Khushi said trying to change the topic.
"Some clothes for you my Sanka Devi'." Ayi laughed.
Arnav felt nervous for the first time in his life. How was he to explain to the Guptas and Raizadas that the past 6 months had been a sham. That his marriage with Khushi had been a sham. He found strength as he looked at Shanti, sleeping peacefully in Anjali's arms. He had requested the name when he had learned that was Khushi's mother's name. He could not bear the thought of anyone hurting Shanti and the new girl had brought out instincts and emotions in him he thought were long dead. He softened as he saw the baby girl and sat down and looked at the questioning eyes.
After having releayed the whole story, he asked for everyone's forgiveness. He asked they forgive Khushi as she was not at fault in any way. She is innocent and deserves your love and respect he said looking at Buaji and her Amma/Bauji. "Please take care of her" he said tenderly to her family. "She has made a decision to leave me and I have no choice but to respect it," Arnav said sadly. "I would like her to give me another chance and for us to start fresh but I nderstand these things may take time and I want to give Khushi time and space."
Buaji sat silently and did not reveal to Arnav that her Sanka Devi was staying with her Ayi in Lucknow and let him assume she was at their house. She had alerted Khushi's Amma Bauji to do the same. Khushi did not want him to know her whereabouts and rightly so. Arnav Singh Raizada had wronged her and hurt her deeply. Everyone's heart went out to Khushi as they heard Arnav talk. Anjali however felt for her Chottay. She could see it in his eyes, the regret, his sadness, his wounded hear ' his eyes said it all to her. A tear fell from her eyes on Shanti's forehead and girl woke up and started crying. She excused herself and walked out feeling she was partly to blame for this whole situation.
Anjali had found it hard to move on without Shyaam however, Shanti had given her the strength she needed. The beautiful girl needed her mother and as Arnav had planned it, the truth was revealed to her after her delivery. She knew her Chottay had planned it so that Shanti would be her strength at her time of weakness. She had him to thank for that however, she had felt the burden of Khushi's unhappiness on her shoulders. She felt the girl had suffered because her Chottay had put his Di before Khushi. She felt love for her younger brother but also a ton of guilt on account of Khushi's treatment by him. But she knew it was his love for Khushi that had created all the anger and rage he felt when he saw Khushi and Shyaam on the terrace that fateful night. She rocked Shanti back to sleep and fell in a deep slumber herself.
Akash tried to console Payal but she was unconsolable. She
cried without restraint and felt shattered by the feelings of guilt and
sadness. "I was her sister Akashji, I shold have believe her when no one did.
She was my responsibility and I let her down. I let her down'.." She sobbed
violently as he held on to her with all his might. "Enough Payal,
enough'shhh'.," he said softly while tightening his grip on her.
"Ayi, I want to open a school." Khushi said while making jalebis.
"A school beta, but what will you teach?" Ayi questioned her. She was used to Khushi saing ridiculous things but this was a little over the top.
"Ayi, there are lots of girls who don't know the basics of being an Indian woman."
"Such as?" Ayi raised her eyebrows as she said that.
"Such as our traditions, our culture, our mythology, our
religion, our dressing, our food"
"And you will teach girls this?"
"Yes Ayi, I had trained a girl at ''."her voice trailed off as memories flooded her brain again.
"Lavanya ji!" she screamed.
"Uff Khushi, I am not sure what you are upto but whatever keeps you occupied, I want to support you in it."
Before Ayi had even finished her sentence, Khushi was on the phone with Lavanya Kashyap .
Khushi had called Lavanya for references of other rich spoiled brats like her who would require training. She needed students for the Khushi Kumari Gupta Finishing School. She folded her arms as she looked out to the future. She would show people what Indian women were made of.
Arnav felt a
huge load having been lifted off his shoulders. Ofcourse the guilt and sadness
weighted him down still but he had cleared his Khushi's name and that was all
that mattered. She should not suffer anymore, he thought. I have given her
enough pain and hurt her enough for a lifetime and I will do all in my power to
make sure she is happy, even if its without ''.he was unable to finish the
thought. The thought of her being happy without him made him sick.
He returned to the office with a new vigor and applied himself to his work with all his attention. He needed to stop thinking about Khushi and thought that would be altogether impossible, his new business venture with Dhruv Rao, a prominent businessman in London, had got him excited. This young fellow from Lucknow had amused and impressed Arnav. Thought he was younger than him, closer to Khushi's age, he had successfully created a marketing empire. He had a playfulness about him that also reminded him of Khushi.
Dhruv stuffed his bag with the last minute shopping he had done for the Sanka Devi that was waiting for him in Lucknow. He was excited about his new business venture with AR whose owner he had befriended within minutes. The man was cold and ruthless no doubt but was also honest and had a heart of gold. He was mostly excited to see Sanka Devi with whom he had many childhood memories and for whom he had had feelings for as long as he could remember. He laughed out loud as he thought about the times she had entertained him with her musings. He was curious to see how she'd react to him being such a "gora." He had become very British and even his Hindi had suffered. He put his headphones on as the plane boarded and lost himself in Coldplays new album.
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Joined: 24 February 2012
Every moment spent unoccupied was a moment spend thinking about Khushi Kumari Gupta. So he spent every waking minute working hard at the office. At home he would take time out only for Shanti. To play with her to see he laugh had become the joy of his life. Even if she was sleeping when he got home, he would ask for the nanny to bring her out so that he could be with her. He was tortured soul and if it wasn't for Shanti, he would have been lost. She had allowed me to understand his wrong ways. When he thought of a man ever hurting Shanti the way he had Khushi, it made his blood boil. His time spent with Shanti softened him. Other than work and Shanti, he would occasionally drive by the Gupta residence. Hoping, wishing to catch a glimpse of Khushi but she was not there.
He had inquired about her whenever Payal made a trip down to Buaji's but Payal wouldn't say much. Payal's silence he took as her disappointment in his treatment of his sister. Little did he know that Payal was in on the secret with Buaji.
Every moment not spent occupied was a moment of hell for Khushi. She saw Arnav's face everywhere. Somehow her mind would always wander back to the days she spent with Arnav. If Ayi had not reminded her of the days before Arnav, she would have even forgotten that she ever existed before him. She wondered if he was well, if he was taking care of himself, if he ate and slept well. She had tried to hate but all in vain. She had failed at hating Arnav Singh Raizada. She was so lost in these thoughts of whyshe was unable to hate that Laad Governor she didn't notice that Ayi was calling her name.
"Khushi! Khushi!" Ayi touched her face worriedly. "Kahan kho gayee beta." Ayi asked.
"Nothing Ayi, you know I think of nonsense all the time." She shrugged
"Chalo beta, we have to get Dhruv from the airport!"
Khushi felt a bit uncomfortable in her new outfit. Nani had dressed her in a beautiful while shalwar kameez with long sleeves and a gold border but knowing her clumsy self, she knew she would drop something on it very soon. As she fumbled with her dupatta, nani waived to a tall handsome man whose chiseled jaw. He was wearing a while polo short and jeans and had a relaxed look about him. But as soon as he broke out in a smile, she knew.
Dhruv waived at Nani and was a bit confused why this girl clad in all white was running towards him with jalebi in one hand and dupatta in the other. She looked like she was going to attack him when it all made sense. However as she made his way to him, she slipped due to some water on the floor.
He instinctively grabbed her and held her tightly to save her from falling.
He was a bit taken aback back her beauty but as soon as he saw her big brown eyes, he knew it was his Sanka Devi.
He smiled boyishly and said "Ghira doon?"
Khushi wanted to say something witty but couldn't help but
have flashbacks of the numerous times when Arnav had saved her from falling,
"You don't have the guts Chottay Nawab." Khushi teased as she straightened herself out.
"Don't test me Sanka Devi'.." He smiled boyishly.
She thought of how Arnav had always been mad while saving her. As if she was a burden and her clumsiness a sin.
Dhruv bent down and touched Nani's feet and hugged her tightly as soon as he saw her.
Nani, Dhruv and Khushi sat around the table and chatted endlessly about their childhood while eating her amazing homecooked meal. Both Khushi and Dhruv could not stop teasing each other about their childhood antics. Both reminding each other of embarrassing events. Dhruv felt at home in Khushi's presence, he Lucknowi charm, the way she talked, her animated eyes, he expressive lips. He found himself lost in her ways. He could not believe how different she looked.
Dhruv's phone interrupted the banter on the table and he excused himself from the table when he realized it was Arnav Singh Raizada calling him. He waslked away from the dining room and shut the glass door while facing Nani and Khushi.
"Dhruv this is Arnav Singh Raizada." The gruff voice was at the other end.
"Flight as great Arnav. How are you?"
"I am'.well" he said hesistatnly but got down to business and said" I just wanted to call and make sure we book our meeting soon as I may have to head out of town later in the week."
"Any chance you would be able to come to Lucknow? I just want to be home " he said looking at Khushi talking nonstop to Nani.
"Sure," he said abruptly "I will see you in Lucknow next
week. I'll have my secretary make the necessary reservations,."
Dhruv insisted Arnav stay with them and while Arnav was in no mood to spend time with Dhruv or his family, didn't want to seem rude to his new business partner and gave in.
Ayi had something special planned for Khushi and Dhruv and told both of them to change into their sleeping clothes and meet her on the terrace. Khushi put on a simple Shalwar Kameez with a shawl wrapped around her as she made her way outside. Dhruv followed behind her in pajamas and a tee-shirt. Khushi couldn't get over what a child he looked like. She compared him to Arnav who was always in a suit and looked threatening even in a tracksuit.
As they both made their way to the terrace, they were amazed by what they saw. Ayi had arranged a mattress with lots of pillows on the floor and she had chai and jalebis ready for them. They both ran to her lap and gazed stars while eating jalebis. Khushi forced Ayi to tell them her favorite stories and both Dhruv and Khushi were transported back to their childhoods. Nani knew Khushi neeed this distraction and had arranged it to lift the spirits of her Sanka Devi.
Khushi noticed Ayi had falled asleep and told Dhruv she would take her to her room.
As she was about to get up, he startled her by coming close to her.
"Whats the problem?" He said looking into her eyes.
She looked at him questioningly.
"You cant fool me Khushi Kumari Gupta. Your eyes ' they give away your sadness." He said knowingly.
"Dhruv, so much has happened since we last met'..I don't
even know where to start. I don't even know if I am strong enough yet '.." Her
voice trailed off.
He tried to hide his feelings of disappointment that she didn't trust him enough to tell him and smiled and told her "What makes you think I even care'."
Khushi hit him on chest when she heard that. He started smiling.
"I will tell you Dhruv'.when I am ready." She said quietly
as she tried to wake Ayi.
Dhruv just lay there under the stars watchin Khushi walk away with Nani. His head was full of Sanka Devi and her stupid banter.
"You want to open a what?" he shrieked as he almost spit his coffee out on the breakfast table.
"A school - what is so crazy about that…?" She retorted.
"Nani, Sanka Devi has lost it once again…." he said looking
He then faced Khushi and said "You are basically going to take normal modern girls and turn them into crazy bhenji-types?!"
"Listen Dhruk ke bachay, KKG Finishing School already has students that I got thru a referral and I have clients from affluence families who want to enroll their daughters in this school! Anywyas I am sorry I asked for your help!"
Dhruv laughed as he saw Khushi's large eyes get bigger as
she spoke about her school. "Ofcourse I will help you Sanka Devi, I don't have
a choice. Let me make a few phone calls and you can probably use the guesthouse
by the pool for your classes." He said giving in. "Acha but you cant use it
next week, I have a business guest coming who will need to use it!"
"Thanks Dhruv" she screamed giving him a hug.
Dhruv did not know how grateful Khushi was. She needed this school, she needed to do something with her life. She desperately needed to keep herself occupied or else she might have lost her mind to the Laad Governor. He had her heart and she could not let him take away her mind and her sanity.
Over the next week, Khushi busied herself in preparations for the school by getting materials and preparing the curriculum. She started reading about Indian history and culture more than ever so that she could teach it to her students. Dhruv's phonecall to his NRI friends in London had kept her phone ringing. Inidan parents from abroad wanted to send their girls to be trained by KKG.
One of the clients had asked Dhruv what her qualifications were like "They are the type you cannot find in London Mr. Bajaj," he had said.
Arnav had been curious about Lucknow since Khushi had enetered his life. He wanted to go places where she might have. Admire the things she did about the city and so he had told Dhruv he would come to his house later at night as he had a meeting. He spent the day roaming the city and sightseeing. Something had not done in a long time. He wanted to visit places so that when he were to see her, he could tell her about them.
Khushi was busy with prepareations for her school all day wen she realized what time it was. Dhruv's business partner was to be coming to the house today and they were to have dinner with him. Khushi ran to her closet and pulled out another one of the fancy outfits Ayi had gotten her. As she put on the red outfit, she couldn't help but remember this was his favorite color. The night he had seen her in her red sari on diwali….She was busy with her thoughts when she heard Dhruv screaming from downstairs.
"Khushi, my business partner will be here any minute. Hurryy!" He screamed like a child.
He was a bit speechless as she made her way down. He had never seen her dressed up with her hair flowing and the makeup on her face. He was unsure of how to react but remembered why he had called her.
"I need help with my tie and Ayi is busy!" he said with his boyish grin.
"Here, let me" she said taking the tie from his hand. She had seen Arnav do up his tie a million times and had learned by watching. She was lost once again in thoughts of the laad governor and had a sad distant look on her face. Dhruv looked down on her beautiful face, and saw a tear rolling down her face. He reached out and put his hands on her face to wipe away the tear when all of a sudden he heard footsteps.
"Saab, Arnavji aapse milnay ayain hai" said the young boy as he ushered the guest in to where Khushi and Dhruv were.
Both Dhruv and Khushi looked up immediately. And there stood
Arnav Singh Raizada.
He was unable to contain his
shock as he saw Khushi Kumari Gupta standing there with her
hands resting on his business partner's chest and his hand on her face.
Jealousy and rage took over him as he clenched his jaw at the sight.
Please keep reading.
To be continued……
Arnav could barely contain himself. He had wanted to see her since the day they last fought. He craved to see her, her eyes, her hair, her innocent look. He longed for yet. She had occupied his thoughts night and day these past weeks but never had he imagined finding her in another man's arms. He tried to hide his irritation but kept staring at Khushi as he walked towards Dhruv, a million questions buzzing through his head.
Khushi was stunned at the sight of Arnav Singh Raizada. He was the last person she had expected to talk thru the door and though she would think about him night and day, his presence had shaken her. She was unable to move and just stood there holding Dhruv's tie. Dhruv grabbed his tie from Khushi giving her a strange look and walked towards Arnav. "Arnav, how are you," he said in his relaxed style which would make anyone feel at ease. Not ASR thought, it irritated him highly that Dhruv was so comfortable around Khushi.
"Khushi this is my business partner, Arnav-"
"Singh Raizada" she completed his sentence all the while not taking her eyes off Arnav.
"Do you guys know each other?!" Dhruv asked confused.
"Yeah we….Khushi was…." Arnav found it hard to find the words to explain what she was to him.
"His cousin is married to jiji" Khushi interrupted.
He looked hurt by her boiling their relationship down to merely Payal and Akash.
"Oh what a small world" Dhruv smiled.
Arnav desperately wanted to know what Khushi was to Dhruv. He was too proud to ask but Dhruv relieved him of his misery when he said "Khushi is a childhood friend, our parents were friends. She is very close to my Nani"
"Come on in Arnav, lets have dinner and then we can talk business. You know in Lucknow, food always comes first" he said flashing his heartwarming smile while looking at his Sanka Devi, of whose appetite he knew enough.
Khushi's head was spinning and her heart beating faster than it ever had as she sat down on the dinner table. Arnav and Ayi were discussing the difference between Lucknow and Delhi but she could barely contribute.
"Why are you not eating? You have one of the largest appetites I have ever seen Sanka Devi" he teased Khushi. She looked up to see Dhruv giving her concerned looks.
Arnav felt a jealous rage within him. How did he know about her appetite and why did he looked so concerned? Arnav knew only Buaji called her Sanka Devi and was irritated by Dhruv's comfortable nature with Khushi.
He couldn't help but stare at Khushi and his eyes followed her every move. She sat across the table from him and had been fidgeting with her food and dupatta constantly and could barely keep a conversation. She was quiet throughout dinner and excused herself after dinner saying she had a headache. Arnav bid goodnight to both the ladies as he and Dhruv made their way to his home office to discuss business. Dhruv was a bit taken aback by how Arnav's eyes followed Khushi as she made her way to the stairs. He sensed some tension between the two but did not know what to make of it.
Khushi bid Ayi goodnight and ran
to her room. She shut the door and paced the room. She could not understand why
he had this affect on her. She could barely breathe. She sat down for a minute
but got back up and forced herself to change and go to bed.
Arnav could barely discuss his business plans with Dhruv. His mind conjuring up a thousand thoughts. I have misunderstood her once and I will not do it again he promised himself as images of Khushi and Dhruv flooded his mind. He wanted to be alone with her, he needed to know how she was. Her quietness on the dinner table had offended and hurt him. She had clearly not forgiven him and was still upset by his presence.
Dhruv sensed Arnav was tired as he barely responded to any of his questions and told him there would be plenty of time to discuss things tomorrow at Dhruv's office. Dhruv walked him to the guesthouse and bid him goodnight.
Once alone, Arnav could not stay still. He had to see her. He picked up his phone and texted her impatiently.
"Meet me by the guesthouse, now"
Her hands were shaking as she picked up her cellphone. It
flashed a text from Laad Governor. She quickly got up , put on a pair of
slippers and grabbed her large shawl before rushing out the door. Somehow when Arnav Singh Raizada asked her
to do something, she for some odd reason did it. She wished she could control
herself but she was a slave her own desire to see him and be near him.
He stood outside waiting impatiently for her. She could see the restlessness in his eyes as he waited for her.
They stood staring at each other for a few moments.
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