Joined: 24 January 2012
Joined: 24 January 2012
Arnav slowly came & sat down on his chair beside Anjali, & he would have continued to brood & marinate in his own circle of self-retribution, if Anjali didn't touch his arm discreetly to draw his attention towards her. As Arnav looked at her, she tilted her head on the side ever so slightly to ask Arnav if he was OK, & there was so much concern in her eyes, that Arnav involuntarily leaned towards her & covered her hand on his arm with his own. He looked over at Rohan, who seemed to be on a very important phone call by the way he was looking & pressing the phone to his ear, his other hand cupping over his mouth & the device to cover his hushed words.
Arnav looked back at Anjali, & said in a muted voice, "I am fine. Are you? You are happy with all this, right?" Anjali searched his face with restless eyes & finding nothing but practiced calm there, she visibly relaxed a bit, & said with a shy smile, "I have never actually been happier Chhote, since... Since all of that happened & you went away for your studies. I have never been as happy as I am now since then. I feel.." she stopped short as Rohan spoke up in a voice demanding attention.
As they all looked at him questioningly, Rohan indicated at his phone now kept beside his hand on the table & said in a voice offering explanation, "That was Bachchi." Then he looked at Payal, although she was not the one around the table who was now waiting for his next words with bated breath & undivided attention, "Nikhil's Mom called her up. He has his maths term final tomorrow & maybe due to his nervousness can't seem to solve any of the exercises his Mom is giving to him. So she called Khushi up & requested her to come & work with him for a bit, although it was her off day." He finished shrugging in an understanding way.
When Akaash looked at Payal with an inquiring look, she quipped smiling warmly, "Khushi has been tutoring him for almost 2 & a half years now. They are much attached. & Nikhil is like that, gets all flustered & nervous before the exams & can't manage without his Khushi Didi then. & Khushi always complies in these situations, as she says she can't just refuse to go & let their whole year's hard works go to waste for one day, although usually in the days before the exams Nikhil is supposed to do just light revisions, nothing heavy. So Khushi usually doesn't go in those days & his mother takes care of it."
Everyone around the tables nodded their heads more or less & murmured how caring & responsible Khushi was. Rohan spoke up again, "I had told Khushi to take the car. Arnav, will you drop Payal & me home on your way?" Arnav nodded curtly & then everyone around the table resumed their meals again. Except one person. Arnav vaguely heard Rohan refusing Anjali's offer of a helping of 'Gulab Ki Kheer' saying he didn't feel like having it, as Khushi was so looking forward to it & now she, herself, wasn't there to taste it.
Arnav knew it was all an excuse to some extent on her part just to avoid him. Obviously she was still upset over his lecherous & rude behavior. Damn it! If she was going to start avoiding him in this way, then... Was it done? Anything that might have been between them... Was it now over because of his stupid, foolish, crazy behavior? Did she just not want to see him right now, or was she too repulsed by him forever? Arnav gritted his teeth irritably as he felt rage slowly taking the place of all his guilty, self-deprecating feelings.
Arnav Singh Raizada was unaware of one thing, that, guilt never traveled alone... It always brought his friends along. Doubt & insecurity.
As Khushi slowly motioned the car inside the south gate of her University campus, she finally understood that the mindless driving she thought she was doing to make herself forget anything & everything, wasn't mindless at all. Because, if it was mindless, then right now she wouldn't have ended up at the exact same place she & Arnav had met for the first time after 10 years.
Khushi set her jaw firmly & said in a strained voice, "You are not weak, Khushi. You are not going to let all this affect yourself. You are strong. You are not going to cry over some useless, worthless, abusive man! You know why? Because you never cry!" & as she said it, Khushi kept nodding her head as if to reaffirm her point to herself. "You never cry, Khushi Kumari Gupta. That's a universal fact! You didn't cry when Bhaiya went to Cadet College. You didn't cry when you fell from the Neem tree & cut your sheen badly. You didn't even cry when you had that auto rickshaw accident, broke your elbow & had to wear a cast for a year. You had to re-grow all the smashed bones & you still didn't shed a drop of tear when they were twisting the bones in place, Khushi!!! Compared to all that, a little hurt ache is nothing!"
Her eyes shone with pride at her achievement of never really crying during her baby days, which was also discernible in her voice too. Khushi sniffed a little as she felt an overwhelming wave of emotion surge through her body. Her voice rose to a panicky shriek, "Khabardar, Khushi ki bachchi! No crying! Not now! Not for HIM!!" & to distract herself, she switched the car radio on with a flick. As soon as the song playing on the station floated in through the speakers, Khushi turned her eyes to it horrifyingly. This was not happening to her! As the cheesy, filmy song played on the radio, Khushi suddenly stopped the car, braking hard.
Khushi almost flung herself out of the car as if there were demons inside of it & she ran & sat on the sidewalk beside the car. & as, suddenly only Arnav's voice started reverberating around her mind in a loop of 'Tum theek ho?', Khushi cupped her face in her palms & gave in. She started crying in waves after waves of abandoned sobs. She just cried & cried, her upper body shaking uncontrollably as the tears just kept coming. A while later, she didn't even remember why she was crying & the sobs had taken over completely. So she just sat there crying her heart out on a secluded sidewalk in the middle of a crowded campus, in broad daylight, oblivious to the looks the occasional passing students sent her way, as the sound of the offending song kept coming out through the open car doorway.
Pyar ye jaane kaisa hai
Kya kahe ye kuchh aisa
Kabhi dard ye deta hain, kabhi chain ye deta hai
Kabhi ghum deta hai, kabhi khushi deta hai
Several minutes later, the song came to an end & another cheerful one started. But Khushi's tears hadn't stopped yet.
Arnav hesitated a bit before he pressed the door bell of Nikunja. It was almost 6.30 pm now. She should be back by now, if she had indeed gone to her student's house. Before he could look up from his examination of the time on his wristwatch, he felt the front door open in a blast. As he looked up, he saw a heavily built woman, with a very long plait over her shoulder & her knuckles touching her chin, looking him up & down with a wondrous expression. Arnav's brows furrowed as he too regarded the woman & then he started to wonder whether he had come to the right Nikunja or not!
Just when he was about to back off & check out the surroundings to make sure he had the right house, the woman raised her voice & asked in a distinct Lucknowi accent, "Kaun ho, Nand Kissore?" Before Arnav could answer though, he saw Garima emerge from behind the woman & say in a hushed voice, which nonetheless carried itself to Arnav, "Jiji. He's Arnav bituwa. Anjali bitiya's brother?" The other woman instantly made a loud noise of exclamation & started swiping her arms inside the house to motion Arnav in, "Arre Nand Kissore! Come inside, babuwa. Come!" Arnav wordlessly went inside, all the while keeping a safe distance from the lady.
As he sat down on the settee in the living room, the lady bustled in too & started saying in a jovial manner, "Babuwa, let me introduce myself. I am Rohan babuwa's Buaji! You must have heard about me a lot!" Arnav looked at her with a blank expression for a couple of seconds, then seeing Garima's worried expression over the shoulder of the woman, he jerked his head for a couple of times in a manner that could be taken to mean anything.
He was about to ask Garima when did they arrive from Lucknow & where was Shashi, but just then he spotted Payal coming to stand behind her mother, & he jumped up, "Payal! This- I mean, Nani sent this Gulab Ki Kheer she made just now for Rohan &... Khushi. Well, she... I meant, they wanted to eat this so much na? So-" He held out the large hot pot box in his hand, but instead of taking it, Payal just stared at it for several seconds & then, looking up, she asked in an astonished voice, "& she sent it with you? & you even agreed to bring it here? You, Arnavji?" Arnav threw an irritated glance at her & then walking up to her, shoved the box in her hand, saying gruffly, "Just take it!" Payal giggled & left to keep the box in the kitchen.
Twenty minutes later, Arnav had had his black coffee, listened to the small talks of Garima & Payal & answered Buaji's questions as best as he could, but Khushi still hadn't come down. & it wasn't as if she wasn't home. She was. He just knew it. He felt it! & now he could feel all the women eyeing him with various degrees of unease, wondering if he had any other serious matter for coming here. Garima cleared her throat & spoke up, "Bituwa, Rohan said he would be back by 8 & ..." But Arnav cut in as he suddenly said to Payal, "Can you call Khushi down? I mean Nani wanted me make sure that she was fine... You know, she left so abruptly during lunch? That's why! & she wouldn't also want to know if Khushi ate the Kheer she sent! So..." He finished in an uncertain & flustered note.
Payal regarded him peculiarly for some time, because given their history, it really was the 8th wonder of the world, that he would ask about the well-being of Khushi! But she wisely said nothing more, probably out of her new found more respect for him due to their impending new relationship. As Payal went up to call Khushi, Arnav again started waiting, looking at Buaji & Garima sitting in front of him, the former smiling widely at him for some unknown reason.
Payal came down almost 5 minutes later looking a bit uneasy & said apologetically, "Um, wo, I knocked a lot, but she didn't answer. When I said, you brought the Kheer Dadiji sent, she just said, she's trying sleep." Garima immediately stood up & asked in a panicked voice, "Why would she sleep at this time? Is she well? Even when we came she was kind of detached! She's never lik-" She was stopped mid-sentence as Arnav's clear, strong voice cut across her panicked state, "I'll take your leave now, then. I remembered something I had to do." & without giving anyone else a chance to say something more, he strode out going through them & was out the front door in less than two minutes.
As he put his car into gear a lot more forcefully than was required, he let out a string of very colorful swear words directed at himself. Of course, she was trying to sleep, because he was there! That's the oldest trick in the book if you wanted to avoid someone. Then he started feeling angry towards Khushi too. Yes, he f**ked up! But how dare she avoid him like that after he went to her himself? & if she won't let him explain, how was he to clarify why he did what he did? He misunderstood the whole situation. & what did he understood about Kundalis & all? He just added two & two & regretfully came up with 44 & a half, but it was an honest mistake! Anyone could do that! & if he wasn't so out of his mind with her thoughts, her golden eyes, her vanilla scent & her freaking electric smile, he would never in a million years even listen to a conversation that was about those Kundali crap!
'No!' Arnav shook his head as the word was wrenched out of him. By hook or by crook he would make Khushi Kumari Gupta listen to what he had to say. He won't rest till she did! & then she could do whatever she wanted to do, granted her whatever was what ASR wanted as well!
Joined: 09 April 2012
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Although Rohan is a very good of Arnav, when it comes to his sister he has to be 100% sure that his sister is happy with this arrangement and she wont have any regrets whatsoever.
Khushi went away with the excuse of tuitions :D Trust Khushi to come up with such an excuse! Aww he doesn't want to eat the kheer coz he knew Khushi who really wanted to have it didn't eat it :) Yeh pyaar nahi hai to kya hai!
My poor Khushi baby! She cried! Buts he doesn't want to cry over him! But kya kare ab pyaar toh ho gaya hai! Why cry over a person who want take what is between them seriously?
Oh wow Buaji has come J He cant resist her now can he? He is so dying to meet her But she? She wont meet him. These two need to talk and talk they must. They have a lot of communication problem and add sexual tension to that to get a bomb blast!
One is avoiding and the other is trying. Who will win?
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