Joined: 25 October 2011
Part 1- Below
Part 5 I
Part 11 A
Part 12 B and C - www.india-forums.com/forum_posts.asp?TID=3343914&TPN=130
So...it was 2.20 a.m. and I couldn't sleep, and my mind started wandering to this time last year...and I got very nostalgic. And since I was planning a short New Year's fic anyway, and I probably won't be free anywhere near the actual New Year's Day, I'm posting bits and pieces of this in advance.
I must warn you though, this is the product of a sleepless night, when initially I was attempting to write an update for Fortunate Events but this came out instead. Anyway, since it's the end of the week, I have taken up on that fic and the next update is currently under construction. Til then, hope you won't find this too dreary :P
New Years Eve, 2011, 11.37 p.m.
Arnav had to grit his teeth tightly enough to crack their enamel in his attempt to keep the profanities rolling about in his mouth from tumbling out. Not only was he certain that the terms were hardly suited for polite company (even though he was completely alone), he was also convinced that once the momentum gathered his fury would only hoist his pitch higher until every colourful oath would be flying off the tip of a thunderous roar (hence the restraint).
Teeth bared as he reined in, with immense exertions of his willpower, the urge to pound his fist into the nearest solid object, Arnav prowled the room he found himself an inadvertent prisoner in with the restless, volatile energy of a caged, ravenous animal. An aura of fatality trailed behind him like his shadow, the silence of his fluid, if not predatory movements punctuated by the upraised voices on the other side of the door.
This was unbelievable. This was outrageous. It was bloody unacceptable.
Arnav Singh Raizada- hiding.
Another incensed growl was ripped from his throat, and it took all the years of disciplining his iron-strong self-control to tamp down the vitriolic disgust that curdled within his stomach, noxious bile clogging his throat until he almost choked on the dangerous combination of rage and indignity.
And all this for what? What possible gain could he, even if he allowed his meticulously leashed imagination to stray, glean from this situation, stamping (silently) about a tiny, dim room? A room which, messily strewn with fabric and clothes in vibrant shades evident even in the half dark, walls disfigured by magazine cut-outs of over-hyped Bollywood actors tacked haphazardly over every smooth surface, a cluttered desk he had no wish of inspecting more closely, offending his obsession for order and discipline to the point of suffocation.
If only Payal's Bua would give her ear-splitting sermon a rest and retreat to her room, Arnav could get out of here with his pride and cool self assurance intact, locking it up in the inaccessible, unopened chest of memories existing within his meticulously ordered mind, never to be recalled or recounted, banished from existence...
...but first, he would find Akash, and reap (sadistic) vengeance for getting stuck in this damn situation in the first place.
And why? Why? His infuriated brain spat scalding venom at the pathetic, dignity-wounding, logic-defying reason.
It was New Year's Eve.
And Akash- his normally clear-headed, soft-spoken, sensible brother- just had to see his wife-to-be at midnight.
Because- according to some senile, fanciful, trashy article published by some hopeless romantic in a newspaper that would do better printing news instead of whimsical dribble- if he saw her at midnight they would be together for the rest of their lives.
When Akash had called him, timid and (justifiably) terrified, to plead his case for staging a break out after his abysmal attempt to infiltrate hostile territory, culminating to him being glued to a chair- Arnav had discovered (to his dismay) that he was speechless.
And speechless not because of the sheer unlikelihood of such a- a- such a madcap, such an absurd thing, deigning to happen in reality (although there was that), or the severe blow from the shock of finding his ever-practical brother reduced to a besotted fool (and there was that too), but more because the number of condescending, derisive, sarcastic, cynical comments which had scrambled over on another to get to his mouth seemed to have jammed his vocal chords, and he did not know which potentially murderous barb to throw first.
What the hell was he thinking?! He's getting married to Payal for the sake of- Arnav fumbled for something to swear upon, his vocabulary lacking of words such as 'heaven', 'all that was holy' and 'God'- he was going to be spending the rest of his life with her ANYway. And didn't he know better? Where the heck had he abandoned his reasonability, actually believing in something that was probably cooked up by a jobless mind, baked with a bunch of refutable, unfounded myths and spoon-fed to the gullible?
He was unsure whether this almost disabling desire to tear off the posters of grinning, posing, stylishly clad men leering at him from all around originated from his explosive fury at his cousin's stupidity, or from the blank incredulity of believing that he was not having a grotesque nightmare.
Because only in a very monstrous, twisted, farcical version of reality would one find Arnav Singh Raizada trapped within the room of the last person on this blessed earth that he would want to clap eyes on.
Especially after making it pointedly clear to her that he did not want to see her face tonight.
That he would much rather have his New Year begin without the sight of her.
That he would prefer his entire year free of her insufferable presence.
Not that it mattered anyway, because he did not believe in that crap to begin with. He just did not want to see her, that was all.
It was a relief, a splendid stroke of luck, the only beacon of hope in an otherwise hell-struck dilemma, that she was out distributing sweets to neighbours.
But that does not matter either, because, even if she was here, that stupid fallacy was pure rubbish. I'm just glad that she's not here because if she were, she'd just get on my nerves.
But she really ought to get back home soon...it was almost midnight- a fact Arnav was well aware off, given that he threw a particularly piercing glare at first the clock hanging on innocuously on the wall, and then the watch smartly strapped about his wrist, every few seconds- and it didn't do for a young girl to be out this late, even within her own neighbourhood.
Not that I give a damn, of course. Because if she was here, I most definitely wouldn't have to be. If she was here, she'd save Akash's hide- after all, these over-the-top, crazy, demented occurrences were right up her alley. Honestly, her madness had probably rubbed off on Akash too. She believed all that crap about seeing a loved one's face at midnight too, swallowed it hook, line and sinker-
A frown that Arnav was not conscious of creased his brow. It was- according to his persistent and futile perusal of the time- almost fifteen minutes to midnight. Did she even realise how late it was, or had she lost all track of the minutes resolutely ticking by, too ravelled up in her crazed shenanigans and irrepressible enthusiasm? He could almost imagine her now, tripping over her own feet as she skidded from doorstep to doorstep, greeting whoever opened the door with a broad, toothy grin and probably a platter-load of jalebis, endearing herself at once to the beholder with her innocently charming exuberance, her determination to leave a touch of happiness at every feasible turn...she would probably bend over and touch the feet of her elders, seeking their blessings for a new year, would wink that over-exaggerated wink of hers at the children milling about her, clamouring for jalebis...would easily get drawn in to an offer to join the fun and games of the children running amok about the street outside, unbridled in their enthusiasm to mark the passing of one year and hail the arrival of the next...
Arnav did not realise that his violent pacing had come to a stop beside the desk, unaware of the slight quirk to his lips as he gazed off into space, until an abrupt, uncalled-for, and wholly unpleasant thought popped into view, centre-stage in his mind, with the unforgiving glare of the spotlight illuminating it.
What if she ends up actually seeing the face of some guy at midnight?
The shock of this runaway, unintentional, anomalous thought, which seemed to have whittled through the formidable iron curtain he chose to drape between his subconscious and his unconscious, swiped off that faraway glaze in his face before the involuntary smile could manifest itself. Scandalised by the treachery of his own mind, Arnav was once again aware of the bilious ire climbing up his body- only this time, it was directed at himself. Directed at his failure to channel his own thoughts.
Distracted by the pressing need to fortify the barriers of his mind, shunting off unwelcome notions while at the same time mercilessly berating himself for allowing such scandalous, inane, unacceptable ideas to lurk in his head, Arnav was not immediately aware knocking a book off the desk as he made to pivot and resume his pacing. The dull thud it elicited upon hitting the ground heralded his attention, having fallen open at a page where a pen had been tucked inside, dainty script scrawled neatly across the leaves.
It took him a few seconds to register the heading scribbled atop the first page.
My New Year's Resolutions- 2012
Arnav snorted. Inwardly glad for the diversion, he quickly snatched up and donned the more familiar emotion of disdain, a humourless smirk twisting his mouth as he ran a sceptical eye over the item. It was obviously a diary.
And it was also obviously written by Khushi Kumari Gupta, because no one else in this family was even remotely likely to jot down their aspirations and ambitions for the approaching year with the zeal of an eight-year old.
Snorting again as he picked it up, Arnav was about snap the book closed, a repertoire of demeaning observations stocking up in his brain which he might probably use later to ridicule her, be it for leaving her diary lying about for the world to see or be it for writing a diary in the first place, when something caught his eye.
His name, written there on that page in her handwriting.
Even before he could fully process what was happening, the iron curtain between the part of his mind he had conquered and the wilder lands he kept at bay had been whisked off. Arnav, heedless of the fact that it was against even his unorthodox principles to pry into someone's personal thoughts, zeroed in to the contents of the diary with an almost unhealthy curiosity.
Shall I continue? I've written up almost the entire story, but I wanted to gauge people's reactions before posting the rest. Especially since this is rather different from what I usually write, so yeah...
I reserve all rights over this work of fiction, and request that readers do not copy/modify/reproduce it elsewhere and/or claim credit. If you wish to quote or recommend my work elsewhere, I would be extremely flattered- but please inform me and seek a go-ahead first- thanks :)
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