Khushi was sitting at the dining table, trying to concentrate on making slides for her tomorrow's presentation, when the front door opened and Arnav came in...it was 9pm, she noted..
She looked up at him as he walked past her to go to the kitchen. Arnav however ignored her and soon Khushi heard sounds of frig and cabinet doors being opened and food being warmed in the microwave..
Soon Arnav was sitting comfortably in front of the TV, watching news as he ate.
Khushi looked at him surreptitiously and was filled with longing for the warm comfort of his arms around her...
As she continued to look at him, he turned his head to look at her all of a sudden and fixing her haughtily with an icy stare, he raised an eyebrow questioningly...as if to say "you wanted to be left alone...right...now quit staring at me.."
Khushi looked away hastily, flushing deeply, all the way to the roots of her hair.
About an hour later, while Khushi was still struggling with her slides, Arnav turned the TV off, yawning and walked over to their bedroom...
He emerged soon, changed in his PJs and without a word or a glance, he walked over to the guest room and closed the door after him..
Khushi's laptop screen grew blurry as her eyes filled with tears...hurt at really being left alone, even though she knew very well that she was the one who had expressed the desire for the same, not so long ago...!
Next morning as she was ready to leave, she stood with her hand on the door knob for a while and then turned back to look at the door of the guest room. There was no light coming from under the door and she stepped out with a heavy feeling in her heart.
" Arnav will leave for Mewar today..." she thought distraught..
Khushi and Ria were sitting in the hospital cafeteria eating lunch...Ria looked at her friend's face thoughtfully..
" Don't tell me that you guys have had your first fight already.." She said in her characteristic blunt way..
" No , of course not.." Khushi lied putting on a fake, amused smile..." It's just that I didn't get much sleep last night.."
Ria looked at her with a mischievous look in her eyes, but before she could say anything, Khushi said quickly, " I was preparing for my morning presentation.."
She knew very well what was going on in her friend's mind...
"Of course" Ria said giving her a naughty look..
They were interrupted by a classmate, who was walking by, " Hey Megha...look your husband's on TV" the classmate said pointing at the TV..
" Madhav Rao, uncle to business tycoon, Arnav Singh Raizada was arrested by Police early this morning at his residence in Indore, on charges of conspiracy to murder his nephew, Arnav Singh Raizada...Arnav Singh Raizada was shot at by an unidentified man last week at a rest area on the Mumbai- Pune expressway..Police sources informed us that the man, a hired killer was also nabbed yesterday at a bar in East Mumbai and has confessed to being hired by Madhav Rao in police custody...The motive..."
Khushi's face turned white with surprise as she stared at the TV screen...Arnav had not shared his suspicions about his uncle with her...then she also felt immense relief pervade her heart.
As she was walking back to the pediatric floor, she took her phone out of her pocket and was about to call Arnav, when her phone rang...It was Arnav...
Just hearing his voice made her want to burst in tears...
"Where are you..Khushi...I was on my way to the airport and ...I am in the hospital right now..." his voice was hesitant, unsure of Khushi's response..
Khushi told him where she was and waited for him with her heart racing..
Seeing her husband walking down the corridor towards her made her realize that no matter what she can never stop loving him...Her immense love for him will make her overcome all her mental barriers...it was just a matter of time...
Arnav came and stood in front of her .
Then he looked at her silently, with just a glimmer of a smile in his eyes...He had noticed the leap of joy in Khushi's eyes, upon seeing him..
" I'm leaving for Mewar." He said finally.
"What time will you reach there?Khushi said, after clearing her throat.
" It's just a 30 mins flight..."
There was an awkward silence after that as there was so much to be said and heard but it was neither the right time nor the place.
Arnav sighed, looking at his watch..
"Your ticket is on the den table...your flight is at 4pm tomorrow.."
As Khushi nodded silently, Arnav said with a hint of anxiety, " You will come, right.."
"Yes" Khushi said with difficulty as her throat felt constricted with emotions..
Arnav looked in her eyes and said, " I will wait for you"
They looked at each other for a while, then Arnav said reluctantly, " I have to go now...bye ...see you tomorrow.."
As Arnav turned around and started to walk, wishing Khushi was coming with him...he heard Khushi call him from behind...
" Arnav...take care..."
Her face looked pinched, with dark circles under her eyes.., he noticed..
He smiled at her,tenderly, " I will...you too..."
Hotel Anand Vilas Palace, a hauntingly beautiful structure, made out of burnished red sand stone, stood at a considerable height from the surrounding plains, nestled in the foothills of the Vindyas Mountain Range..
At the foot of the palace was a crescent shaped, valley lake, called 'Chandra Tal' .
A long, winding road cut through the hills and edged by a low stone wall led to the imposing,intricately carved silver gates of the palace..
Today there was a crowd of people, mostly farmers from surrounding villages, waiting outside the gates, in spite of numerous attempts made by the guards at the gate to dispel them...
They were waiting for Maharaja Arnav Singh, who was coming for the first time to Mewar after being unofficially crowned as the next Maharaja...They had also heard reports of his wedding and were curious to see his wife, the Maharani..
Though princely states were long abolished in Independent India and the royal titles were reduced to being mere formality, the people residing in these erstwhile princely states still had a strong emotional attachment to the royal familiy...And a lot of expectations too..
As Arnav's car reached the palace gates, he was surprised to see the crowd in front of it...As the guards tried to dispel the crowds angrily, to let his car pass, he decided to get out of the car to see what was going on, turning a deaf ear to his bodyguard's remonstrations.
Dressed in a three piece business suit and with his aviators on, he looked nothing like a Maharaja...yet the crowd recognized him...
As they joined their hands in namaste and bowed their heads respectfully, Arnav felt embarrassed, unsure about how to respond...
Scanning the crowd, he felt touched by the look of deference and respect on their tired, weather beaten faces, which he felt, he had done nothing to earn..
Suddenly, he recognized a face in the crowd...
Taking his aviators off, he said wonderingly, "Rajvir?
Coming to stand in front of him, he bowed his head in respect and Arnav was appalled when he saw there were tears running down his face..
Suddenly he realized that he probably still holds himself responsible for...
Arnav sighed...He needed to talk to him, but there was no time now...
" Rajvir...come to meet me in the evening after 7..There is something I have to tell you..." he said kindly, before instructing the guards to let him in...when he comes...
First of all I have to thank you for writing such wonderful, thoughtful comments, full of such wisdom, insight and depth that it's a joy to read them...
Hope you like this update...:) Looking forward to hearing from you all ...Suggestions, thoughts, criticism...all welcome..
Edited by IPK007 - 22 January 2013 at 9:56am