Joined: 02 June 2012
"Itni thand kyun hai?" (Why is it so cold?) whispered Khushi, as she rubbed her palms against each other. She had just gotten down from the Vishwavidyala Metro Station and was now walking out of it for the college. She had the first 8.40am class and then the fifth class which didn't start until 1.30pm. She hated Thursdays; only two classes but such different timings.
As she stepped out of gate 3, the rickshaw pullers herded around her.
"Aiye Madam. Stephens?"
"Didi? Hindu? Ramjas? Kahan jana hai aapko?" (Which college do you want to go?)
"Madam, idhar! (Here) Kamla Nagar?" (University hangout and Market.)
Khushi looked up at the third rickshaw puller incredulously. "Kamla nagar kaun jata subah saade aath baje?" (Who goes to Kamla Nagar at 8.30 in the morning?) she thought to herself and moved on. Every DU student knows what it's like to be celebrity as they are treated like one, once they step out of Gate 3 of their University Subway stop.
Ushering them all a 'No' with a soft head nod, Khushi stepped out. The sun was hidden in smog. She sighed. She fixed her jhola and snuggled in her cardigan and started walking towards her college. She loved this part of the day where she could just enjoy the scene. Lovers reuniting after a night's parting. The vendors by the roadside and the bright jewellery and scarves they sold. People laughing in the rickshaws as they passed her by. The green Uni buses zooming by. You can't help but fall in love with this place.
Simple as she was, the little things in life cheered her up. She had come from Lucknow to study here and she stayed with her Buaji and her older sister, Payel. Her salwaar-Kurtas were the kinds with bright laces and pom-poms but today, all colour and cheer of her attire was hidden under her elder sister's navy blue cardigan. She had spilled food on her's last night and the second one was in the laundry but that didn't hinder her from showing her spirit. Her long thick braid had golden tassle tied around it and her desi jhumkes (earrings) which gleamed under the soft sun.
She kept walking down the road and was too lost in admiring the place that she almost didn't notice her college gate that she passed by. She slapped her head "Hey Devi Maiyya! Buaji Ji sehi kehte hai! Main sach mein ek paglayt hoon!" (Buaji is right! I AM crazy) She turned back and was about to keep her first step, when her eyes almost popped out of its sockets.
She prayed to Devi Maiyyan every day that she wouldn't have to see his face. He was her Jiji, Payal's boss' son. Payal was the PA to Mr. Abhay Malik. Payal had to attend a lot of parties thrown by him in Shantivan but she never wanted to go alone and thus the reason why Khushi had to tag along to those boring business parties. "Ye koi party hai, Jiji? Na koi naach-gaana. Na koi shor-sharaba. Kaise log hain ye!" (What kind of a party is this? Noone's dancing. People are barely whispering. What kind of people are they?) she whispered into her Jiji's ears as Payal was busy handling the guests. "Chup raho, pagli! Yahan ke parties aise hi hote hain!" (Shut up! That is how it works here) she lovingly made Khushi understand.
Khushi would often be left alone in these parties as Payal went off to attend guests. She never complained as she knew the reason why Payal made her come. They were just enough for her to know that her Jiji was comfortable if Khushi was around.
Khushi would generally sneak out of the boring parties to the big lawn outside. It was huge and well manicured and secluded as well, just the kind Khushi loved. The stars could be seen twinkling brightly as she lied down to gaze them. She loved the feel of the soft grass under her while she talked to her long-demised Amma-Bauji.
The lawn had an artificial Japanese Pond on its right and a couple swing to the left. On one fateful night, when Khushi was new to Delhi and had just started attending parties, she had sneaked out like any other night but only to bump into the mighty Arnav Singh Raizada.
"Ahh!" squeaked Khushi as she tried moving her head away but her earring stuck to the button of the only black suit which was visible. Figuring the body to be a Man's, she started wriggling even harder and landed up hurting herself even more.
"Will you stop moving for a second" bellowed Arnav. That was enough to pause Khushi for few seconds and for him to untangle her earrings from his suit.
"Kaun hai ap?" (Who are you?) snapped Khushi, as she fixed her hair and then straightened her kurta.
"Main ye baat tumse bhi pooch sakta hoon" (I can ask you the same) came a grave, poker faced reply.
She looked up to see who this arrogant person was but what she saw, made her breathless. Was he photoshopped? How can anyone be that handsome? There he was, in a night blue silk shirt with an open collar button and a black suit with a glass of whisky in one hand and the other in his pocket. His stubble was just perfect and his eyes were like soft chocolate but cold, she noticed. They had no gleam in them.
Suddenly jerking back to present, she was blatantly staring at him, she resumed her former armour.
"Maine pehle poocha!"(I asked you first) she retorted, as she looked away, trying to hide her embarrassment.
Arnav had encountered the most unusual person in the party. While everyone was clad in black and subtles, this fiery lady was dressed in orange and yellow with zari borders and moreover, she was spitting fire on him! On Arnav Singh Raizada! Either completely mental or she had no idea who he was and what his temperament was like but whatever it was, he liked her spirits.
She was cute, he decided. It was a huge change from the words glamorous and beautiful. It was like a breath of fresh air; her large eyes, quivering lips, now trying to hide embarrassment. Arnav almost smiled.
One thing led to another, their conversation went into the night. It was their getting to know each other night. Khushi learnt that Arnav had lost his mother as a kid and Arnav was told that Khushi was an orphan who lived with her adoptive parents in Lucknow and now with her Buaji in Lakshmi Nagar. They were both in the same University but different neighbouring colleges.
"I come to your college a lot though! I have friends there" Arnav had said.
They didn't know how time passed when Khushi phone suddenly rang "Chalo Maiyya ke bhavan bhavan BHAVAN! Chalo Maiyya ke bhavan bhavan.." Arnav snorted and Khushi looked back at him with chiding eyes.
"Haan Jiji! Party khatam ho gaya? Haan, main abhi aa rahi hoon" he heard Khushi say.
Keeping her phone down, she said "Mujhe chalna chahiye. Jiji intezaar kar rahi hogi"
Arnav nodded and looked away. Taking it as a sign of dismissal, Khushi walked away.
Arnav looked back at the point where Khushi had pointed as to where her parents were now. "Are you up there too, Ma?" he murmured. He liked this girl. She didn't judge him and he didn't need to prove who he was before her. It didn't matter to her and he was glad about that.
Next day, in college, Khushi was walking out of her class on second floor and happened to peak down from the corridor when she spotted a figure from last night near the bike parking lot.
"Arnav Ji!" she squealed and waved gleefully. Arnav, who was surrounded by his so-called-friends, looked up and smiled but nothing more. He was there to visit his friends. His friends started pulling his leg, saying how a stupid middle class girl had won his heart as he had never bothered to smile at anyone before. Wanting to keep the thing he shared with Khushi as something very sacred, he passed it off with a good laugh. The next thing he knew, he pulled Khushi to corner and asked her to stay away from him in college.
"Kyun? Apko sharam ati hain?" (Why? Are you ashamed of me?) she retorted.
He knew this was coming. Never good with words, Arnav didn't know how to handle it. He took her phone from her clutch and typed his own number and pressed the call button. As his phone buzzed, he handed Khushi back her phone and walked away from there, without a word further.
Khushi, upset, was on her bed in the evening as Buaji and Payal worked around the house. No one pushed her around as they could see that their Titaliya(butterfly) was upset on a reason which she didn't want to share. Not poking any further, they let her be. She must be tired from college, they decided.
Khushi's phone buzzed. She turned her head, which was resting on her knees, heartlessly to check who it was. She was so not in the mood to hear Preeto's endless chatters but she wasn't disappointed.
"Arnav Ji" the screen flashed.
She took up the phone and almost ran out, leaving a confused Buaji and Payal in her wake. Buaji looked at Payal questioning but let it go as Payal nodded her head carelessly.
Arnav and Khushi talked for sometime but Arnav never explained as to why he said what he had in college. It was well past midnight when Buaji screamed from downstairs, asking her to go off to bed.
"Arnav Ji. Mujhe chalna chahiye. Buaji bula rahe hain!" (Arnav Ji, I have to go. Buaji's calling.)
"Hmm. Goodnight." He wished curtly.
Not knowing what to say any further, they both stayed silent for sometime before Khushi heard the beeps of an ended call.
From then on, Arnav and Khushi never talked to each other in college but every night on the phone. Whenever Payal announced a party, Khushi gladly dressed and tagged along without a word.
Khushi would sneak out and meet Arnav, who waited for her patiently in their secret lawn and talk until it was time for her to leave again.
The loud beep of a bike from behind brought Khushi back from the past. She was at the college gate, she looked around. Arnav was their just a couple of minutes back, dressed in absolute black and aviators. He was on his bike, looking handsome as ever, she smiled but sadly, that smile didn't get to linger for long. She saw Lavanya, lady-long-legs of her college get down from the passenger seat. Lavanya turned towards Arnav and kissed him goodbye on the cheeks.
That was enough for Khushi to turn away and unfortunately miss how Arnav didn't respond or acknowledge the gesture and zoomed past her, making way to his own college. "He's ashamed of me" Khushi's eyes brimmed with tears as the noise of mirror shattering reverberated in her ears.
"It was always too good to be true"
CHAPTER 3, Pg 21: http://www.india-forums.com/forum_posts.asp?TID=3342093&TPN=21�
CHAPTER 4, Pg 33: http://www.india-forums.com/forum_posts.asp?TID=3342093&TPN=33�
CHAPTER 6, Pg 60: http://www.india-forums.com/forum_posts.asp?TID=3342093&TPN=60�
CHAPTER 7, Pg 74: http://www.india-forums.com/forum_posts.asp?TID=3342093&TPN=74�
CHAPTER 8, Pg 87: http://www.india-forums.com/forum_posts.asp?TID=3342093&TPN=87�
CHAPTER 9, Pg 103: http://www.india-forums.com/forum_posts.asp?TID=3342093&TPN=103�
CHAPTER 10, Pg 118: http://www.india-forums.com/forum_posts.asp?TID=3342093&TPN=118�
CHAPTER 11, Pg 135: http://www.india-forums.com/forum_posts.asp?TID=3342093&TPN=135�
CHAPTER 12, Pg 3: http://www.india-forums.com/forum_posts.asp?TID=3367300&TPN=3�
CHAPTER 14, Pg 35: http://www.india-forums.com/forum_posts.asp?TID=3367300&TPN=35�
CHAPTER 15, Pg 56: http://www.india-forums.com/forum_posts.asp?TID=3367300&TPN=56�
CHAPTER 16, Pg 85: http://www.india-forums.com/forum_posts.asp?TID=3367300&TPN=85�
CHAPTER 17, Pg 102: http://www.india-forums.com/forum_posts.asp?TID=3367300&TPN=102�
CHAPTER 18, Pg 118: http://www.india-forums.com/forum_posts.asp?TID=3367300&TPN=118�
CHAPTER 19, Pg 135: http://www.india-forums.com/forum_posts.asp?TID=3367300&PID=74210998�
A/N: I really don't like proofreading.. So, Kindly ignore
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