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After college, she had a shower then she went to the kitchen to make dinner. All the while. she was singing 'Mehndi Laga Ki Rakhna' for her sister. Khushi had dinner with her buaji while chatting about the wedding's plans.
"Sanka Devi! It's not your wedding." She hit Khushi's head lightly.
"So, I'm her only sister, buaji." Khushi pouted. Then the telephone rang and Khushi got up to answer it.
"Bauji! Namaste. How are you?"
"I'm fine, Khushi! How are you?" There was something in his voice which didn't go unnoticed by Khushi.
"Bauji, is everything OK? What happened?" she felt something is wrong.
"Woh ... actually.. the bridegroom's family broke the rishta!" he called them to tell this news, but he was hesitant as he heard her cheerful voice.
"Kya? What are you saying bauji?" The bad news shocked her and buaji felt that and stood beside Khushi.
"I don't know! I thought maybe because of the dowry. Anyways, maybe he isn't destined for her."
"She says that she's OK! I'll send her to Delhi after tomorrow for change. You should take care of her. I don't want her to hear what people say about her broken rishta."
"Acha bauji take care of her and Amma."
"Bye bitya." And he disconnected the call. Khushi was having tears in her eyes by the end of the call; she hugged buaji and told her everything between sobs.
"Everything will be fine, Khushi" NK tried to console a sad Khuahi, but she didn't respond. She thought of her dreams for her sister and how gorgeous she looked then she remembered the dream where she saw Arnav. 'All because of him. Rakshas.' she thought but her anger disappeared quickly and was replaced by sadness again.
During the lecture she was quiet and she didn't participate except when the teachers asked her. All noticed the change of her behaviour which was cheerful just the past day, so she has been asked about it and her question was nothing but everything OK. 'How is it OK?' she thought.
'What's the matter with her? Why does she look sad?' Arnav thought and tried to argue with her when she answered but she didn't.
'What the?' he wanted her to argue, to fight with him as he likes; he didn't like seeing her lifeless like this. This is not the Khushi whom he knows. Arnav frowned when she didn't respond and the teacher answered his question which he was least interested in.
"What's up, ASR?" Arjun asked him.
"I know you don't like seeing her like this. I can see this," Arjun said making Arnav realize what he wasn't ready to accept.
"What a crap? You know that I don't like weak competitors; I want them to be ready to argue. That's it."
"Arnav, don't try this with me," Arjun sighed. And Arnav thought of this, 'Does it really annoy me to see her like this? Why does it matter, dammit?' he asked himself irritated of his own thoughts. The students left the class, but Khushi didn't make any move. Arnav looked at her and stayed there.
"Won't you come, ASR?"
"Go, I'll follow you." then he moved towards Khushi when they were alone.
"Ms. Gupta, sorry for the interruption but you didn't answer my question!" he used that as an excuse to talk to her.
"Huh?" she has already missed his talk when she realized that he was standing in front of her.
"Is everything ok ..., Khushi?" he asked in a concerned husky voice and he said her name for the first time without associating it with Kumaari Gupta.
"How anything can be OK when you're around, Mr. Raizaada?" she snapped.
"Excuse me?" Arnav couldn't get her and she remembered that was just a dream and Arnav has nothing to do with it.
"Nothing." She sighed and excused herself.
"What the? I went to her like a fool to ask her and she is blaming me! What have I done in this?" Arnav got angry and was about to yell at her but Khushi wasn't anywhere to be seen.
* * *
"What now?" he was really angry as ASR's mood got over him.
"NK told me everything. Khushi's sister was about to get married but the groom's family broke up two weeks before the wedding. NK told me that Khushi was so happy for her sister," Arnav remembered how happy Khushi was the past few days, "But when the rishta got broken, Khushi became sad. This interperts her behaviour." Arnav listened carefully to what his friend has said and he felt some pride for having a friend like him, who can do favours for you without being asked.
"And why are you telling me this right now?" Arnav asked after a minute. Arjun was shocked momentarily by the question, then he said, "Ask yourself Arnav. Bye" and each one went in his own way.
* * *
'How can anyone be so effected and attached to her sister's life like this?' Arnav asked himself then before he found the simple question. "Like you are to your Di's" he answered himself loudly.
"Well, there's somthing in common between us Ms. Gupta!" he concluded with a smirk. 'Is Arjun right? Why did I ask her if she's ok?' he sighed and went to sleep after planning for something.
* * *
Khushi made jalebis when she reached her home. Buaji didn't complain as she knows the reason behind this.
"Khushi bitya!" she called her niece when she finished frying jalebis and eating half of the amount.
"Payalia will come tomorrow morning so try not to show any sadness in front of her and do anything to cheer her up."
"I know buaji. I've planned for that; I wan't made her feel sad for a moment."
"This is my Khushi. Bless her Nandhe Kishor." The proud aunt knew how wise her Khushi though she sometimes act childishly.
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