Credit for Cover: arshy4ever
Arnav could not sleep. Khushi's face haunted him. He was partly overjoyed that she was still alive, and could not believe that Akash knew, but did not tell him. Nobody else knew where Khushi was. And who were these Purnima and Raghav Kapoor anyway? Dadi had been about to tell him, but Di had interrupted and apologized for---- NO! NO! He would NOT think about it now...
What mattered now, was Khushi...But what was wrong with Khushi? She could not have had such a drastic impact just because of what he had said could she? Was there something else that he needed to know? That he DID NOT know...?
Yes Arnav Singh Raizada... there is quite a lot more that you do not know...
-Two Days Back-
Ever since THAT DAY, the house had lost its charm. It had become from 'home' to 'house'. Arnav was now back in ASR mode; in fact, it was much more intensified. Now, he did not talk properly even to Di, and almost always gave monosyllabic answers.
Everyone was having breakfast, except Arnav; he ate alone. Nobody knew about what Arnav had said to Khushi that day, but that guilt made him unable to look in anyone's eyes. He ate alone and everybody knew it. The only thing, or rather, the only ONE that teemed with life at Shantivan, was Khushi. Khushi, Anjali's daughter. Six year old Khushi, was named in memory of her Mami. Anjali wanted that name for her... She felt that was the least she could do for the part she had played in what happened to Khushi. Everyone had breakfast quietly, and returned to their respective rooms. Half an hour later, Arnav set out for breakfast. He could hear Payal talking on the phone to someone. She seemed nearly in tears. "Yes Amma... Everybody is okay...Yes, and I am taking care of the baby too..." Arnav was a few feet away from their room, and he flinched at Payal's next words. "I know Amma...I know. I wish Khushi was here!... I know we cannot get her here..." He tried to block away the wrods. IF Khushi was here... But Payal's next words made him freeze. "And Amma, how is Khushi? Has-Has she regained her health...Oh... Well, atleast she is not as depressed as before... Thank God she keeps herself busy with her work..." Arnav walked, as if drawn by a magnet, to PaYash's room. Payal's back was turned to the door, and Akash was sitting by the bed, typing away at his laptop. Arnav was puzzled... didn't Akash find anything ABNORMAL in that conversation? Akash looked up. "Payal I-" He stopped short as he saw Arnav standing there. He opened his mouth to warn Payal, but Arnav stopped him with a gesture; he silenced Akash with his eyes, with a slight and stiff shake of his head and a look on his face that said 'Don't you dare'! Akash looked at Payal tensedly, hoping she would feel his gaze. But Payal was busy talking to her Amma. "And Amma, is she...is she still asking questions?... Oh. That is nice... Yes Amma, I miss her. I will try to come next week. Iw ill talk to Akash and see, maybe both of us can visit?... Ok Amma. Bye and take care of Khushi...Tell her that her Jiji misses her." With that, she cut the phone and turned around. She froze in shock when she saw Arnav; Akash was sitting with his eyes closed and right hand on his head.
"Payal, I will ask only ONCE. Is Khushi alive?"
Payal gulped and looked at Akash, who gave a slight nod of his head in helpless assent.
Payal inhaled deeply. "Yes." Arnav's heart filled with joy... she was alive!!! But... Lot of things did not make sense... Why hadn't she called him? And if Akash hadn't reacted at all...
He turned to Akash. "You knew?!"
Payal answered. "It is not his fault. I hid a secret from him in the past, and donot intend to do it again. I told him, and made him swear not to tell anybody."
Arnav drew in a staggered breath. "Fine."
Payal looked at him, surprised he didn't put up a fight or anything. He turned to walk out of the door, and then turned again to face Payal. "It is Mumbai, is it? Fine. I will be there by day after tomorrow."
Payal's face had turned horrified and even Akash stood up shocked. "Bhai, don't. It is... not good...for...for...either of you." He said it very slowly. Arnav realized he was choosing words very carefully. A horrible thought struck Arnav. He turned to Payal. He remembered her conversation with Garima Aunty... "And Amma, how is Khushi? Has-Has she regained her health...Oh... Well, atleast she is not as depressed as before... Thank God she keeps herself busy with her work..."
"Payal, is Khushi alright?" he asked, dreading her answer.
"Woh, Arrnavji..." She stammered not knowing what to say.
In a fleeting instant, Arnav decided he did not care...! All that mattered that she was still out there... "To hell with that! I am going and finding her!" With that he strode off, making a call to Aman. "Yes Aman. Mumbai flight tickets for tomorrow... or at the earliest."
What Arnav had not heard, was Payal calling behind him "No, Arnavji don't! She won't recognise you!" At that moment, Arnav had been blind and deaf to everything else in the world... All that mattered, was his happiness... His Khushi...and Khushi's and his two small Khushiyan, Arshi and Navkush.. He fell asleep, crying for her and dreaming of her...
The next evening...
Garima Aunty was already there.Shashi Uncle was with her, holding her hand. Oh! So Shashi Uncle was alright now...! Arnav hurried toward them; she was in the same bench where he had sat yesterday. She was looking straight ahead, and Shashi Uncle was lost in thoughts. He went without a word, and touched their feet, startling both of them. Garima's hand automatically went to his head, but she withdrew it quickly and looked away. Shashi nodded once. Arnav sat on a rock which was by the bench and turned to Garima, who was still not looking at him.
Her words from yesterday rang in his ears. "Aunty, what happened to Khushi? Why is not recognising me? Is this her way of punishment?"
"No Arnav bitu-" She stopped. She exhaled and said, "No Mr Raizada." Arnav was very hurt at the way Aunty had addressed him. What had he done? What kind of a crime had he committed to deserve such punishment?
Garima continued. "Mr.Raizada, she is suffering from selective memory loss... lacunar amnesia... her mind has slowly started rejecting what would hurt her... Not that the memories are wiped out, they are there in her sub conscience. They will surface again, but not without a reminder... Her mind has forgotten all that she has wanted to..."
What Arnav felt then, made him so numb that even if his heart was pulled out, he would not know... She had forgotten all that she wanted to, and that list included him.
"Do you have anything else you need to ask?" Garima said sarcastically.|
Arnav took a deep breath. THIS was the answer he had been trying to understand for last six years. "WHY did you take my wife away from me?"
Garima looked at Shashi. Shashi took up the question. "Hasn't your Dadi told you?"
Arnav nodded his head. "No. She went back to the ashram three days after Khushi you took Khushi away... I don't know why..."
"Ofcourse she did not tell you! " Garima muttered.
"You asked no one else? Your Di? Your Nani?" Shashi asked.
"No. Both would somehow divert the subject and would otherwise get pretty uncomfortable."
Shashi looked at Garima. "Fine. We will tell you Bitua" He was glad that atleast Shashi Uncle was not as mad at him.
Arnav waited. "Do you know Pari, Mr Raizada?" Garima asked.
Arnav frowned. "Pari? Who Pari?"
Garima simply opened her purse, and pulled out a photo of a small girl of six with hazel eyes and brilliant smile. She wore a pink frock and had a small teddy bear under her arm. Handing it to Arnav, Garima said, "This is Khushi as a kid."
Arnav took the photo, wondering what was the relation between this 'Pari' and 'Khushi'. The minute he saw the photo, memories flooded in. He dropped that photo as if electrocuted. "That is not Khushi...!!! That is...That is..." Arnav remembered her now. Very clearly. "That is PARI!" He still remembered that little girl... how her happy smile had slowly turned into blank expression. Those fear-filled eyes and helpless innocence she had radiated... he remembered very well...
PRECAP- Anjali regretted ever having trusted that man! He had showered nothing but destruction to her family... her Chhotey! Khushiji, who was as good as her sister...even better... She wiped her tear, as Khushi came running towards her, holding a phone in her hand. "Maaa!!! Nani calling from Lucknow! She wants to talk to you!" Anjali took the phone eagerly!
And one more thing guys, please don't mind... I know there are too many flashbacks...But hey, 'Time Hunt and Haunted Time'... That is what all this is about...
IMPORTANT:- Don't forget those important pre-prologue Green Points!
And PLEASE keep in mind that this is DRAMA and not SCIENCE... I am being DRAMATIC, not SCIENTIFIC... facts may not tally with this amnesia thing, so don't screw me for that...
Edited by Dynamix215 - 01 January 2013 at 1:45pm