Credit for Cover: arshy4ever
Next day at about 7 in the morning, Anjali called up Aman. "Hullo? Aman...? Yeah, Anjali Raizada... Ji Namastey... I need two tickets to Mumbai... No it is alright, Chhotey will pick me up... He went there for some meeting... No? Oh, I see... It is okay, you book the flights..."
Arnav Singh Raizada...What are you upto? You have been to a meeting Aman doesn't know about? She was determined to go. She knew where Arnav was. SHE had called Anjali in the morning and told her where Arnav was; she had talked to him yesterday.
Anjali held Khushi's hand as the two of them boarded the plane. She was still trying to make sense of Payal and Akash's conversation. Why was Chhotey lying? She should have known... Chhotey had been weird when he announced he had to leave.
-5 Days Back-
"DI! NANI!" Chhotey yelled.
"What is it Chhotey?" Anjali asked, coming towards him, Khushi at her heels.
"Di, I have a meeting in Mumbai. I have to leave NOW!"
Anjali saw a mad gleam in his eyes, filled with hope. "Chhotey, is this a HUGE deal? You look so happy!"
Arnav hugged Anjali; Anjali was happy...It had been so long since then... "Yes Di. I HAVE To win this deal...It means the world to me."
Anjali stared at his back. Strange...!
Anjali shook her head, and belted in Khushi and closed her eyes...
Arnav was anxious to reach Jaslok. He drove calmly though... His mind was filled with Khushi, and her children...THEIR children...His heart warmed. He was a Papa. How he wished he could cuddle them and pamper them...Today, he would get all the answers he had wanted. He drove to hospital and parked his car. He called up Aunty again, to confirm the place he was supposed to arrive. He took the lift and waited. He came out and Garima Aunty was standing there; she had been crying. She saw him and gave him a nod, imploring him to follow her. He followed her, hoping it was not Khushi. He checked his watch; Di would be here in an hour. He had to refuse her today. "Garima Aunty, one minute."
Aunty stopped and waited as Arnav sent a message to Anjali: "Di, I am in a meeting. Won't be able to pick you and Khushi. I have booked rooms for you in the XYZ Hotel. I am sorry."
He put his cell inside and walked with Aunty again. Both were silent. They walked to a room at the end of the corridor, and Garima gestured Arnav to get inside. Arnav entered, and Garima followed. What they saw, surprised them both...!
When the flight landed, Anjali switched her phone on again. She heard a beep, and saw there was a text from Arnav. "Di, I am in a meeting. Won't be able to pick you and Khushi. I have booked rooms for you in the XYZ Hotel. I am sorry."
"Hmm. Come Khushi." Anjali said, looking around for a taxi.
Khushi was in her boutique, 'Aphrodite Designs', talking to her customers. She had gained a good name and reputation in the last few years. Arshi and Navi had had a half day of school, so they were now playing in one corner. She was half-heartedly working today... That man kept drifting into her thoughts. The minute he had clasped her, she felt something stir inside her. Those eyes...Those beautiful chocolate eyes seemed so warm and deep... she suddenly had another flash, of those same eyes, but now darkened with anger. She flinched, and decided that she would have to talk to him... She had a feeling that that man held answers to her questions. She did not remember much about their meeting the day before yesterday at the park; this would happen everytime she had a flash of a memory attack her. She sighed... She closed the door and put up a 'CLOSED' sign for lunch. She took Arshi and Navi, and asked them to eat. "Come on beta... A little bit..." Khushi
plead. The kids were indignant. Frustrstated, she pushed away their plates, and tears of anger flowing down her cheeks, went to her room.
"Navi, I think we should-"
"Why Arshi? What did we do?' Arshi looked at her brother.
"Navi, she is our mother. We should tell her sorry. We made her cry..." Arshi said miserably. Navi thought for a while, and agreed.
Khushi was sitting by the counter on a chair, her face frustrated. "Mamma, we are sorry. Give us lunch, I promise I will eat. Right Navi?" Arshi asked elbowing Navi.
"Yes Ma." SAY SORRY, Arshi mouthed. "I-I am s-so-so..."
Khushi's anger changed to a giggle. "My darling son cannot bring himself to say sorry...Just like his father..." she laughed. All the three-mother and kids-froze.
"How did I know that?" Khushi thought to herself.
Arshi and Navi exchanged a look, surprise writ on their face. Their mother had never EVER talked about their father, and Nani had told them to never ask her because once they had asked Mamma last year, she had gone back to being that depressed soul they had been afraid of when they were two years old. Their Mamma had become what she was now with great difficulty. They had heard Nani and Payal Mausi talking.
Khushi realized she had suddenly begun to KNOW things ever since she had met that man yesterday at the park. She did not remember any of it correctly...the only thing her mind had registered was the comfort his familiar touch had give her... How her mind had suddenly filled with memories, and her panic came down when he had grabbed her... WHO WAS HE?
She stared out into the calming sea, to calm herself and figure all this out. She wanted answers, and she vowed she would not run away from them this time...
Anjali reached the street where Chhotey had arranged for a hotel. It was by the beach, and looked beautiful. "Just the kind of place Khushiji would have loved,"She murmured. Her Khushi wa staring with amazement at the sparkling sea; "Why isn't this there in Delhi Mamma?"
Anjali smiled. "Because my little Doll, the sea does not touch Delhi." She took Khushi on to her lap.
"Ma, can we PLEASE walk on that white and gold thingy there... It looks so soft..."
"Beta we have to go to the hotel first... Mamu got the rooms..." Anjali said.
Khushi pouted, and begged. "PLEASE Mamma? Pleas please please pleeeaseee?"
Anjali gave up. She told the driver, "Bhai Saab, please stop here. We will walk down to the hotel."
Anjali and Khushi got down from the car and Khushi ran toward the beach screaming, as Anjali gazed adoringly at her daughter.
At the boutique, Khushi told her kids to run along and play. Still a little shaken up at recalling this suddenly, she wanted to figure things out on her own. Arshi and Navi said, "Okay Ma. We will be at the beach."
Khushi nodded. "But don't go too far and..."
"And stay where you call out to us..." Navi finished. "We know Mamma..." Arshi said, smiling.
Khushi smiled back and watched her children run off to the beach.
Arshi and Navi walked to the beach. "Mamma talked about Dad." Arshi whispered.
"I know. Ma has been a little strange since we came back from the park. Do you remember how much she was crying when Nani brought her to the car?"
Both the kids were lost in thought, as suddenly out of nowhere a head collided with Navi's head. "Ow!" He exclaimed.
"OH NO! I am so sorry! Sorry sorry!" someone squealed.
"Its ok, its ok." Arshi said, and turned to Navi. "Did it hurt too much?"
"No I am okay..." He said.
"Hi I am Arshi and this is my brother Navi, short for Navkush." Arshi said to the girl in front of them; she looked about their age. Maybe a little older.
The girl was wearing a little white frock. "HI Arshi... Hi Navi..." The girl said shyly.
Just then a shadow fell over them. "Oh! You have made new friends Khushi!"
Arshi and Navi turned back to look around, and saw a pretty and tall women towering over them.Her face was shocked for an instant, but then she smiled. She looks sweet...they thought...
The other girl looked up and smiled. "Yes I did."
Navi interrupted. "You're name is Khushi? Our mother's name is Khushi too..."
The woman's face grew a little sad. "Ohh."
Anjali watched Khushi playing and saw her bumping into a little boy. He walks like Chhotey, she mused. But she started walking towards the kids, because she was afraid a fight may brew up. As she reached them, she saw a little girl next to the boy, and their backs were turned to her. She hoped they weren't fighting. She walked nearer and saw Khushi smiling. "Oh! You have made new friends Khushi!"
The boy and girl turned around; and for a minute, Anjali was shocked; she felt as though she was seeing a younger Chhotey. I must have imagined it... she thought.
"Yes I did." Khushi replied.
The little boy said, "You're name is Khushi? Our mother's name is Khushi too..."
Anjali felt saddened. "Ohh."
"Ma, this is Navi, short for Navkush, and this is Arshi. They live near by-"
But Anjali was not listening. Those two names had jolted her with a memory.
-Nearly six years back-
Few day before Anjali's Godhbharai, few days after ArShi marriage...
Everyone was at the dining table; Anjali was smiling...She felt so happy, though she wished Shyamji would be here. Her musings were interrupted. "Di, have you thought of a name?" Khushi asked.
"Name Di...for your child..."
"Um, no.I will think about it..." Anjali said. Then she looked slyly at Chhotey... Wedding was over, so that must mean...? Anjali giggled and asked, "What about you Khushiji?"
"What will YOU name your child?" Anjali asked, followed by laughter. Arnav looked up from his coffee; he had not yet heard what the conversation was about.
"I-I will think about it wh-when required." She was blushing pink.
"When required? You don't make it sound as if it is gonna be too soon..." Nani smirked.
"Why Khushiji? You don't want kids?" Anjali asked, laughing.
"It's not like that Di, I-"
Mamiji interrupted. "Helli hi bye bye! Ek bedwa thod dewat ho alreadeej, second bedwa bhi thodna chahat ho ka ?" (You already broke one bed, you want to break the second bed too?)
Everyone laughed. Arnav choked on his coffee and Khushi wished she could just disappear. She blushed harder when Di told Arnav, "Have you heard Chhotey? Khushiji wants kids!"
Both of them looked away, Arnav wishing he had been reading the newspaper, so he could hide behind something, and Khushi wishing she could drown herself in Jalebi syrup.
"Getting back to the point, what names have you decided?" Anjali asked.
"Navkush" Khushi said at the same time as Arnav said "Arshi."
Both added if it is a son, and if it is a daughter...
"Hmm...not bad Chhotey... Nav for ArNAV and Kush for KHUSHi... Arshi is sweet... Ar for ARnav and SHI for Khushi..."
"Your mother's name is Khushi you said?" Anjali asked slowly.
"Yeah..." Arshi said.
"And you are Arshi and Navkush?" She asked, to be sure.
Both nodded. "I would like to meet your Mother." Anjali said finally.
PRECAP- Past revealed (To some extent)
"Chhotey?" Anjali asked anxiously. She then noticed two women behing him; one was Garima Aunty, and the other was, "Ma?" Anjali said in shock.
Edited by Dynamix215 - 01 January 2013 at 1:47pm