power of a glance has been so much abused in love stories, that it has come to
be disbelieved in. Few people dare now to say that two beings have fallen in
love because they have looked at each other. Yet it is in this way that love
begins, and in this way only."
- Victor Hugo, Les Misrable
"Bitwa, have you packed everything?" Nani
asked, as she walked into the room, and Arnav glanced up from his file briefly,
before nodding and tunring back to his work, a pencil in his hand as he added
variations to the sketches in his hand, his forehead creasing up in
concentration, his shoulders stiffening in tension as the workload increased.
you bitiya?" Nani asked sitting on
the bag as she saw the open suitcase where Khushi was gently packing away her
saris and suits, Nani's eyes widening as she saw Khushi's choice of attire. "Bititya, do you know what month it is?"
Khushi said, as she packed away another sweater, thinking about the cold that
would be gripping the south.
"And do you
know that it is summers there at the moment?" Nani asked, her eyes twinkling in
mirth as Khushi gasped, a hand flying to her mouth, and looked down at the suitcase
that was overflowing with shawls and sweaters.
winters in Delhi!" Khushi exclaimed, as she looked at Nani confused.
"You have got
to be kidding me," Arnav muttered under his breath, and Nani looked at Arnav
questioningly, before turning to answer Khushi.
"Yes bitiya, but it is summers in Melbourne"
Nani smiled, as she stroked her cheek lovingly.
Khushi asked, and Arnav snapped his file in frustration.
"Nani mein Khushi ke saath nahin jaa raha" Arnav said, his eyes flickering over to
Khushi, before settling on Nani who stood up in concern.
"Yes you are"
Nani said firmly, her hand holding the pallu that was covering her head, "and
we had agreed to this a month ago, and we had a talk about it few days ago as
well Chote" Nani said firmly, but
Arnav's eyes closed in frustration.
know a single thing about Australia, I am not going to be baby-sitting her"
"Chote!" Nani exclaimed, her eyes
hardening as she took a step towards him, before closing her eyes, taking a
deep breath and looking at Khushi who was silently removing the sweaters from
Nani" Khushi said cheerfully, hiding the pinch in her heart at his words, and
turned to her with a wide smile, "Arnavji is stressed with work, which is why
he is snapping at everyone. We will go, and trust me, I'll blend in with
everyone so easily, that when I return you won't be able to recognise me!"
Khushi said, bouncing on her heels in excitement as a smile broke past her
lips. Nani stepped forward and kissed her on the forehead,
"Hamesha aise hi haste rehna bitiya!" Nani
said, her eyes glistening with unshed tears, before turning to Arnav.
She stared at
him disapprovingly, before shaking her head in disappointment and walking out.
The moment Nani stepped out of the room, Khushi turned on her heel and started
taking out the lighter suits and one or two saris for her stay in Australia.
The sound of
a file hitting the floor caused her to jump and she whirled around to see him
stalking out of the room, his body stiff with tension and Khushi scowled as she
bent down to pick the file, her eyes taking in the rough sketches of models and
the designs worn by them. Her hands itched to grab a pencil and quickly
scribble over the designs adding her own touch to them but she quickly set the
file aside, her eyes travelling to the pool-door through which Arnav had
stormed out of, and was presently washing the plants, his back facing the room,
and Khushi shook her head as she placed the file on the desk.
"Hai Devi Maiya" She muttered under her
breath, as she went back to packing away her clothes, "bloody raakshas. What does he think of
himself?" She whispered to herself, her eyes travelling to his form, which was
still straight and stiff as he went on to water the pots on the other side of
Picking up a
sari, she held it against herself as she looked into the mirror, wondering
whether to pack it. She sighed as she took in the pale yellow with silver work
on the borders, and threw it back on the bed, "It's not like I am going to be
dressing up for anyone" She muttered, "So why should I pack away the nice
clothes. There is not going to be anyonethat
I will be meeting, except staying with the Laad
Governer all day"
Just as the
words slipped out of her mouth, she gasped and clasped two hands over her
mouth, the nails digging into her cheeks as she looked up fearfully, "Devi
Maiya, promise me you will give me a way to keep out of his way. You have to
promise me!" She whispered harshly, her eyes glaring up at the ceiling, as she
pretended that Devi Maiya sat sheepishly up there, promising Khushi.
Khushi picked up another sari, and held it against her, twirling around, as she
looked in the mirror. The red stood out against her skin and she smiled as she
thought back to the Diwali day when Amma had gifted her to sari, "I might pack
this" She muttered under her breath, and suddenly felt a chill run down her
spine causing her to shiver. She stiffened, as her eyes lost the spark, her
smile vanishing, her breath hitching, as her eyes focussed on the stiff form
behind her, that stood there staring at her as she stood in front of the
mirror, the sari held close to her, his eyes transfixed on her, his hand
folding the jug of water, the grip tightening, and Khushi felt the uneasy
feeling creeping back into her stomach, making her heart race and wanting to
She gulped as
she took a step back from the reflection in the mirror, and realising she had
taken a step towards Arnav, she quickly took a step back towards the mirror,
and looked away, frowning as the uneasiness became worse, causing her to dig
her heels into her sandals and transfer her weight from one foot to another in
back in the mirror and noticed that he had looked away, and was staring at the
ground, his arms bent at his sides, as his brows furrow in confusion, his face
not betraying much of his emotions, and Khushi found herself trying to decipher
the guarded look in his eyes. He suddenly looked back at the mirror, and their
eyes met through the reflection, and Khushi suddenly held her breath, as the
feeling of uneasiness returned to her stomach, causing her insides to clench
painfully, her heart faltering at the look that he possessed, as he took a step
closer to her.
widened, and she quickly took a step to the side, holding up the sari so it
covered the side of the face that was facing him. She could feel the heat of
his gaze as she walked past, knowing that he was frustrated at the way she was
behaving, but she quickly, walked towards the bathroom, mumbling about needing
to wash her face, threw the sari on the bed, and made a dash for the bathroom,
locking the door behind her, and leaning against it, her breathing quickened as
she tried regaining control of her emotions.
he stop staring?
What was he
"Chote?" Nani called out, and Arnav stepped into the
room, the encounter with Khushi still playing on his mind as his mind got
agitated at the fact that she had refused to answer to him. Frowning, he took
off the Bluetooth and set it on the bedside table, coming to sit in front of
Nani holding her hands in his, giving her a brief smile.
She looked at his face, her eyes getting worried at
the tension that was being reflected, and she raised her hand, her fingers
gently swiping over his forehead, trying to ease away the frown lines.
Arnav sighed and leaned into her touch, the tension
leaving him, and his shoulders relaxing.
"Why was Khushi here?" Arnav asked, and Nani gave him
a small smile, nodding gently.
"She is a good girl, Chote" Nani said, but Arnav
looked away, his eyes hardening refusing to answer.
"Chote" Nani said, forcing him to face her, "You leave
in a few days time for Australia" She said in a raspy old voice and Arnav
"Nani. Are you ill? Do you need the doctor? Did you
have your medications"
"Shh, bitwa, I am fine. It's just old age" Nani
coughed and Arnav gently helped her get into a comfortable position on the bed.
"Bitwa, you leave for Australia in a few days" She whispered, and Arnav stared
hard at the bed, not looking up at her, "I want you to promise me something."
Arnav did not say anything and Nani continued, "I
promised your Dada this, and now I want you to promise me the same."
Arnav finally looked up, and nodded for her to
"I want you to take care of Khushi"
Arnav got up suddenly, but Nani grabbed a hold of his
hand forcing him to sit back down,
"Promise me Arnav. She is a kind soul, she hasn't done
anything to get your hatred-"
"Nani she has the-"
"I know' Nani emphasised, her eyes closing in
frustration, "I know bitwa. But I know for a fact that she is not after the
money or wealth. It was a deal that happened a long time ago, Why punish her
"Because she is the reason-"
"Arnav" Nani warned, and Arnav quietened down, his
lips thinning as the anger started bubbling inside. "Arnav, listen to me. She
is my responsibility. I got her in this house. I want you to promise me, that
you will take care of her while you are on this trip" She whispered, "I want
you to promise Arnav, that you will try and make this trip memorable for her"
Arnav looked away, not answering, and Nani's eyes dropped
down and a sigh of disappointment left her at Arnav's stubbornness
"Fine" Arnav bit out. "I promise"
were focussed on the floor as he sat next to Khushi at the airport, waiting for
the announcement for their departure. He started turning his head to quickly
glance at her, making sure she was by his side, but stopped, his breath
hitching, as he looked back at the ground, his palms turning sweaty, and the
unexplainable emotion gripped his insides. Arnav Singh Raizada realised that he
was actually nervous.
He was nervous
to spend an entire two weeks alone with a woman whom he hated, but found
himself physically attracted to, a woman whom he had vowed himself not to get
close to, but had promised his Nani that he would take care of her.
As he looked
at her from the corner of his eye and saw her head moving to the music playing
on her tape recorder, Arnav scoffed and turned away, his mouth dipping into a
He had looked
at her tape recorder in disdain when she had held in her hand to take it to the
airport, and had smirked when Mami had poked fun at it. But the smirk had
immediately vanished when Khushi had turned down the offer of Anjali's iPod,
saying that she preferred to listen to music from her recorder, which had all
her favourite'what was the name? Arnav thought, as he thought back to her
favourite actor's name, his eyes widened as he remembered, Salman Khan. He
thought, as his lips pulled down into a frown.
He rubbed his
hands together, wanting to do something, apart from thinking about her, or look
at her, but soon he found himself looking at her from the corner of his eye
once again, and he frowned as he saw her hand move to the beats, her shoulders
moving in rhythm, and his eyes widened in astonishment as he realised that she
was dancing on her seat.
He flushed in
embarrassment and looked away, the embarrassment soon turning into anger at her
middle-class behaviour and he turned to her, the glare quickly making her stop,
her eyes widening as she mutely stared t him, her lips open as they had halted
on one word from the song when he had turned to glare at her, and Arnav's eyes
quickly dropped down to the pink-stained lips, his own parting briefly, as he
swallowed hard, and looked back at her as she waited for him to tell her off.
Dancing" He hissed, and turned back to face the seats in front, ignoring her.
the kids in front of him were giggling, and he turned to the side to see Khushi
impersonating him, to make the kids laugh. She quickly stopped and her eyes
widened, her lips parting as she shot him an apologetic look.
thinned, his eyes hardened as he leaned in, grabbing her arm in a tight grip,
causing a flash of discomfort to pass her features, making him smirk in
satisfaction at getting a response, "Do not piss me off further Khushi, do you
understand? It's bad enough I have to spend two weeks with you. Try not to
remind me of your presence time and time again, and try to make this trip a bit
more bearable" He hissed at her, his eyes narrowing, as emotions fluttered past
her eyes and face, her cheeks flushing in frustration, before her lips thinned
and she looked away.
was not satisfied, and so his grip tightened on her arm, causing her to hiss
out in pain, "What? Do you have a problem with what I said?"
for her to crack, waited for her to snap, and when her eyes flashed up to his
in anger he geared himself for a fight, wanting to lash out at her, wanting to
get his frustrations out, wanting to fight, so he could have an excuse to hate
her more than he did. But she kept quiet, and plastered on a smile
not" She whispered back, and Arnav's grip immediately slackened on her arm, and
she retreated back in her chair, her earphones plugging into her ears, as she
bent her head low, her hair curtaining her face, as she pressed the play
button, blocking Arnav out.
He stared at
her for a few moments, unsure of what to do, and then settled back in his
chair, slightly disorientated at the lack of a fight. He looked back at the
kids, and saw that they were glaring and pointing at him, while they whispered
He rolled his
eyes and looked the other way, his arms crossing at his chest, knowing that
this trip was going to be hell.
Hamesha aise hi haste rehna bitiya! = Always keep smiling like this, Khushi.
Let me know what you thought! :)
OH!! Just to clarify, the flashback is from Part 18 I think? When Arnav catches Khushi coming out of Nani's room, stares at her, then tells her that she is coming to AR. When she doesn't respond, he gets agitated, and then is about to shout at her, when Nani calls Arnav inside.
To clarify something else in case you found yourself at a loss after the two updates:
a) Arnav is attracted to Khushi. In my previous parts, I had explained that he is a character who likes having things in control. He likes conrtolling every aspect of his life, and hence this marriage was one that he did not have much control over, and his attraction to Khushi is another that he cannot seem to control. And that makes him angry. So he lashes out.
I also explained from Khushi's POV, that she is confused as to why he keeps flipping between being concerned, to indifferent to lashing out at her. This is how Arnav is dealing with the attraction.
b) He doesn't love Khushi. No. Love, according to me is a deep emotion, something that comes by slowly. Hence my characters are not gonna be falling head-over-heels in love with each other after one glance at one another. Hence the quote. The quote emphasises that while a glance is used a lot in all the romance novels - every love story starts with that one glance.
And this is the starting.
If you still have questions, let me know, and I'll hope to answer them to the best of my ability :)
Edited by Krani - 19 September 2012 at 6:30am