Miss Khushi Kumari Gupta couldn't sleep at night.
She couldn't sleep for a second.
As the first sun rays came in her room she was up. She saw Anjali sleeping peacefully beside her. She was so proud of her best friend. She always knew Anjali was strong. It's funny how things always went wrong with only a few people, she thought.
Khushi thought about her own life. It has been fourteen years now. Now she knew what was in the letter which came from New Delhi fourteen years ago. Manini aunty had died. She din't know how aunty died. Maa was already sick and couldn't take the news well. She left the world as well.
The Ranawats were in contact with the Malliks though. She had shared letters, emails, texts, phone calls with Anjali and sometimes with Aakash too. But Khushi din't try contact Arnav after a few unreplied letters she sent to him in the early years. And he never bothered either.
She could feel him change. She could feel him becoming distant again even though they never talked. She kept hearing Anjali talk about him, his girl friends, affairs, achievements. Although they had lost Sheesh Mahal but royal blood is always royal blood. They were still rich, one of Delhi's richest. The Malliks led a good life in Delhi too.
Then Khushi's father had died. She knew after her maa's death her bauji was only living so he could see her be settled. But he couldn't pull it though. He had died when she only eighteen. He wanted her to be a teacher, an English teacher. Her bauji would have been really proud her today as she was living the dream he saw for her. More than living it. She was about to start teaching college kids!
Life was hard then. The Gupta's, her father's colleague's family had adopted her. They din't live in any haveli. They lived in a modest house, in a modest colony in Lucknow. Mr. Gupta was a professor, his wife was a housewife. But they had no children of their own. They were more than happy to have Khushi. They gave her their name, got her educated, paid for her graduation, then post graduation. and now it was her time to pay them back.
Five years have passed since. Five years since her bauji died. He was there for his funeral. Arnav was there for her father's funeral. She knew Arnav always liked her father. She knew he would come. She hadn't invited him. But he was there. She was more than touched. There was still hope. Hope for them. Hope for love. Hope that he would notice her. But that was the last time she him in person. And then he had left. Left Delhi, left his father, his siblings, just like he had left her...Left Lucknow.
Then one fine day she got a crying Anjali's call telling her about Arnav's departure. He had left them to mark his place in the work according to the letter he left behind. He did not want to use his fathers name to be known. So he had simply left.
This was not the Arnav Singh Mallik she had known. He was a better man than that. Maybe he had really changed in all these years.
After few months later she saw his picture in the newspaper, India's Upcoming Young Millionaire : Arnav Singh Raizada, it had said. He had changed his name. But whose name he was using she had no idea. She had just felt relieved seeing his picture. He was alright. He was fine. He was better than fine. All that worrying for months on where he was making Khushi drained out.
But that was not the first time she saw his pictures in the newspapers. He was there every week. She got to see him every week. Sometimes the news was about him taking over a new company, a new hotel. Sometimes it was about him buying a new house. But mostly it was about where he went, with whom did he go etc. The were always girls. Mostly tall and well dress. It always pained Khushi to see him. But at least she got to see him every week..if not in real life.
Khushi Kumari Ranawat and Arnav Singh Mallik did not exist anymore. They were gone, never to be found again. Khushi very well knew and accepted the facts. Khushi knew she would never exist for Arnav anymore.
And here he was five years hence. Back in Sheesh Mahal, back in Lucknow. And he had kissed her. She felt a tear left her eye and made it's way down.
"Khush, good morning" Anjali called out sleepily.
Khushi quickly wiped the tear away and turned to her.."Good morning Anji" She smiled.
"Khushi... I was thinking" She smiled. "Lets go to the Chudi wala bazzaar today, no?"
"Anjali!" She exclaimed. "Your father just passed away 2 days ago"
"Khushi... I don't want to talk about it. Since yesterday everybody is giving me pitying looks, saying sweet things. Can't they see I don't need it? You know after so long I'm feeling at home? You are here, me and Aakash are here and there's Arnav bhaiya too! I just want to live the old times while they last. Won't you agree?" Anjali exhaled.
Khushi absorbed Anjali's word. She knew the old times won't ever come back, especially after what happened yesterday. But she would do anything for her best friend today. "Let's go"
Anjali smiled. "Let's get ready."
Edited by blahblah16 - 27 October 2012 at 2:08pm