Joined: 20 November 2007
Temple has been always a favorite place for Prakash to lounge. He liked sitting for hours in front of Devi Maiyaa and conveying whatever he has in his mind. He sat .with his back supporting one of those temple pillars and thanked the deity for finally settling the storm in his favorite master's life after the huge turbulence he has gone through. He thanked for gifting Khushi to Arnav, a magical blessing and prayed for their safety. He prayed for his grandsons, the only remainder of his deceased son and daughter-in-law and wished for their well-being.
"Pandit Ji… I want to offer prayers in the name of my younger daughter and son-in-law"
The voice startled Prakash out of his prayful trance. The voice seemed heard, very familiar and suddenly an curiousity grew within him to see the face. The woman was clad in a maroon saree and her head was veiled, preventing him from seeing the face. He waited patiently while the Pandit ji took the Pooja tray from her hands.
"Certainly.", the Pandit Ji replied. "What is your daughter and son-in-law's name?"
"Khushi Kumari Gupta Singh Raizada and Arnav Singh Raizada", she replied and folded her hands,offering her prayer with closed eyes.
Prakash heard it and his face turned into a smile. The lady is Arnav baba's mother-in-law. He decided to meet the lady who has brought to earth the beautiful and cultured Khushi bitiya, who changed Arnav and taught to love him.
Garima was totally engrossed in the prayer on the other hand , " Devi Ma, My Khushi has finally stepped into the threshold of happiness. She is finally living that life which was dreamt by my jiji and Aditi Jiji despite of all the problems and hardships. I promise you to offer prayer and fast for the next sixteen Fridays without water but you have to keep my Khushi and my Arnav Bitwa happy and prosperous."
Prakash saw the lady turning and was about to get up but he was shocked to core. Garima? Garima Mishra? In front of him, after fourteen years. The lady who was trapped, cheated, wronged and used as the sacrificial lamb for the whole mess for which his baba and Anjali bitiya has suffered. All the flashes of past suddenly blurred his senses and he failed to come in front of Garima, who was gone by then.
"Devi Maiya… what are you planning to do?", he wondered looking at the deity's idol.
The weather had suddenly turned cloudy and lazy. Soft rumbles could be heard indicating the arrival of rain soon.
Khushi was working from home for the day, as she was planning a dinner. She has invited everyone from Shantivan and Gupta house except Anjali di and dadi, who she was sure, will refuse to be a part of the dinner. She planned to send a box full of dinner for Anjali.
Arnav on the other hand was uninterestingly and annoyingly getting ready for office. The weather,the humidity and his lovely wife who was not joining him for the office was making difficult for him to leave for his work. All he wanted was to snuggle with his wife under the comforter and reach the heights of ecstasy and love but the last moment finalization of an important meeting left him by no choice.
"Arnav ji, your juice", she handed him his glass and was about to leave but she was pulled and wrapped into his arm. "Stay with me for a while", he murmured and Khushi leaned into his chest. He sipped his juice with his right hand while the left was wound around her waist.
"Arnav ji", she murmured
"I know… even I wanted to be with you in your arms like this for the rest of the day", she sighed regretfully and he smirked lightly.
"Just say it once Khushi, I will not go to the office, I swear", he replied huskily looking at her eyes.
"Yes sure and mess with your important deal right?", she was sarcastic and he grinned. "and by the way, I am not dying today you see, you have to return here itself", she added and in instant regretted observing her husband's hardened expression. He pushed her roughly against the wardrobe
"What did you say?", his eyes spit fire.
"Arnav Ji",she whispered in fear.
"Listen Khushi Kumari Gupta Singh Raizada, your are MINE, your life is MINE, you have no right to speak like this about things which are mine, do you get that?", he barked and left her at an instant. He turned his back towards her, taking deep breath to calm himself down.
Khushi regretted for poking the lion once again. She will never learn, she inferred and decided to cool Arnav down.
"Arnav ji?", she placed her hand on his shoulder which he shrugged and took a big gulp of his juice. Placing the glass on the table he took his coat.
"I am getting late", he was about to cross the door when Khushi ran, crossing him and closed their door shut.
"What the ! Khushi let me go", he sternly ordered. She nodded her head in negative and wrapped her arms around him, placing her head over his chest.
"Don't leave angry!", she requested. "I am sorry", she kissed his chest and found his body relaxing and her hug being returned.
"Don't say that ever Khushi, I am warning you", he kissed her hair parting.
"Never", she promised and he left.
Khushi loved her kitchen and she missed it terribly for a week, courtesy her Arnavji who had banned her from Kitchen. She was singing another weird version of 'Mausam hai suhana and adding spices to her food when she saw Prakash enter the kitchen.
"Arrey dadu, how was your temple visit?", she asked enthusiastically and he gave a smile.
"A good one bitiya, here have Prashad", he offered her and her eyes brightened up seeing the Ladoos.
"Arrey Ladoos? I should have gone with you to mandir dadu, we would have brought lots of ladoos", she bit her ladoo happily and saw Prakash's scrutinizing gaze.
"What happened dadu?", she asked and Prakash immediately turned around stopping his gaze. He needed answers and he would find out.
"Nothing bitiya, so what's cooking for today's dinner?", he asked ans she happily showed her cauldrons of food.
"Wah! Aromatic", he complimented nd she blushed. "So your parents are also coming right?",he asked and she nodded affirmative.
"I cant wait to meet your parents, specially your mother", he stated
"Certainly. Amma will be happy to meet you."
"I am honored. She is a lucky woman to give birth to you Khushi", he saw her stiffening.
"Bitiya? Anything wrong?", she nodded negatively, bowed down. "Tell me",he coaxed.
"Dadu, I am adopted", she declared.
"Oh!", was all he could say. "I am sorry."
"Why dadu? I am not sorry at all. Well yes I am because my Amma Babuji are no more but I am happy to have my mausi as my amma and mausa as my babuji", she smiled and Prakash was shocked.
"Masi?", he mumbled.
"Yes Masi. My amma was my real amma's younger sister", she informed.
"Really? What's your Amma's name?", he asked his heart beating fast.
"Garima Gupta", she stated
"and your real amma?"
Prakash was stupefied.
"Prakash chacha meet my friend Kumud", an excited Aditi pulled her friend in front of him .
"Namaste Mem sahib", he greeted.
"Mem Sahab?"Kumud was shocked. "No chacha you will call me Kumud bitiya"
"But…", he hesitated.
"No buts", she was adamant.
"Bahu Rani!", he asked for help.
"Sorry! Its between both of you.",Aditi put her hand up in defence.
"Chacha… call me bityia", Kumud plead softly and he couldn't refuse.
Prakash was going through whirlwind of emotions. Khushi was Kumud bitiya's daughter. She was the one chosen for his Arnav baba long ago. He looked up at the sky and thanked devi maiyaa.
"Devi Maiya, it's a miracle! Thank you."
The traffic congestion was irritating Subhadra to the core. She couldn't wait to reach AR, the safest place to speak with Arnav. She stared at the photo in her hand.
"I refuse to lose the game I created. I rule my family member's life and I will make sure it continues", she was determined.
"Arnav ji",Khushi cooed through phone and he smiled. He was missing her and was about to call her but she did instead.
"Khushi", he replied back and sensed her voice.
"I love you", she confessed.
"No", he denied and her face turned into a big O.
"I love you!", she tried to assure.
"I love you, I love you, I love you", she was miffed.
"Khushi Kumari Gupta Singh Raizada, do you know what you do to me when you declare your immeasurable love to me a million times?", he rested his head on the head support and took a guttural breath which made Khushi blush red. She remained silent.
"I want you in my arms now", he confessed and she blushed further.
"Khushi?", he called again.
"Say something" he coaxed
"I love you", she confessed again and heard him take a deep breath.
"Jaan I have a meeting now, don't make it difficult for me to attend", she giggled and disconnected the line.
He couldn't wait to go home.
How was it? do tell me
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