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Shyam looked at his watch… he had just got himself a chance to use his mobile…seems saalesaab has talked to the cops…they were atleast a bit respectful earlier they were downright rude now. He felt better when he found an idiot he had paid to do his dirty work last time…he had sweet talked the fellow into getting him a cell phone for a few minutes.
The guy just arrived with the mobile and gave it to him..making sure nobody saw it…he dialed a number…
"Hello…" a man answered on the other side
"Mr. Mallik? This is Shyam…shyam jha………"
"di…. Please…I am not in the mood to talk right now.."
"You hid things from me di…your chotte?"
"Don't even go there chotte…you did that too so drop it.."
"I did it for you di"
"And I did it for you chotte…I knew you would be hurt and bring about your ruin…you almost did even now…………..end of discussion.."
"No dii!!.its not endof discussion..how…………"
And it went on ….. NK and LA sat on the center couch watching the scene as if at a tennis court…their heads going from one direction to the other as the accusations flew…..
"Oh I think I am quitting…I feel tired…good night!.."la yawned and got up.
"Friends..and let me help you to your room." she helped him up..
"Di asr goodnight!.."
"Ya good night di.." nk piped
Lavanya, anjali and Asr did not miss the fact that NK hadn't forgiven him.. earlier arnav would have shrugged it of with an "I don't care" but now he knew better.
He kept looking at NK as he walked towards the staircase and he saw him glancing his way….he paused, looked at arnav for a while and then turned about and walked a few more steps…he stopped again …shit!.he couldn't bring it in himself to be rude to nannav..
"good night nannav"
Anjali and lavanya smiled at him.
Arnav felt his heart going heavier….why couldn't he have been like that? It was difficult for nk to be harsh as much as it was hard for arnav to be gentle…but nk tried didn't he? Arnav tried too
Anjali was back in tears…she tried hard not to spill them
"Are akash! Did you come back after dropping them to lakshminagar?"
"Yes di… I thought khushiji might need payal so I left her with them…"
"Good thinking akash.."
"Where is everybody?"
"Nk and lavanya just left for their rooms ..naniji retired early…and mama and mami also retired…"
He looked at arnav who was now sitting next to Anjali with his head on her lap.
"Ok then see you tomorrow morning.."
"Will you join us at the poolside…just like old times..you, me and di?"
Akash was taken aback…arnav was requesting almost pleading in his tone. Anjali was patting his head lovingly
"Sure bhai…will join you as soon as I freshen up"
Fifteen minutes later akash and arnav were both sitting on the bare floor next to the pool like children and Anjali was sitting on a recliner chair which had been brought in by arnav…..
Arnav was looking at the stars…
"Do u believe it di?... that maa is a star now?"
"Yes chotte…its all about how you want them to be…she is still there somewhere watching over us so it is the stars we look upto…."
"Will she be upset with me?"
"Chotte…….you know how she is.. she loves you too much to be upset with you……."
"Aren't you angry with me?"
"Are you mad at me?"
"No bhai… but I am upset with you.. you could have told me…"
"Would you believe me if I said I didn't want to burden you? I came to know on the eve of your wedding. You were happy akash. Like di. She was happy because she was pregnant and you were because you were getting married..my happiness was gone…I was….i had been happy that day…very happy and suddenly it was snatched from me..i didn't want you both to go through the same…"
"Its ok bhai…but payal is mad at you"he said as an afterthought.
"I know" Arnav chuckled slightly through his tears "she looks at me like she would skin me alive… maybe I deserve it"
"I feel so confused…"
"Why is that akash bhai? "..Di inquired
"Had bhai asked me to leave payal..i might have done so without question. And payal knows that. But nothing like that happened. But still she is furious at me! I don't understand. What did I do?"
"It is not easy for her akash…she loves you she has given you her heart and the power to destroy her completely..it does not help that you can be manipulated… it must make her feel insecure and unsafe.."
"But I would never have done that akash…I know you love payal and I would never do that to you..i said that just because I wanted to get back at her because i thought she was out to hurt my di…."arnav interrupted
"What do you both think will she forgive me ?"
Though the question was directed at them he also meant to ask himself
Anjali was at a loss of what to say and looked upto see akash also silently looking up at the stars…
"let us hope she will…………"
At the gupta house
gone to sleep except khushi..she tossed for a while and finally got up and moved
towards the window. Amma and buaji had cried buckets asking forgiveness and
complaining about fate. They had told her that they did not care what everybody
thought and she did not have to return to shantivan ever again…thankfully bauji
had intervened to say that can be decided later and that they should all go to
sleep……she had pasted on her smile and pushed everyone to their beds insisting
that she was ok…everything had changed today… all that happened flashed through
her memory….lavanyas arrival her doubts about shyam …arnavjis doubt about her
and nk….finally shyams truth coming out ..everyone defending her..bauji
speaking of shyams actions…news of his arrest..arnavjis realization of her
innocence…still he did not look up at her..he had eyes only for his sister….She
had not even been acknowledged forget being apologized to…still while leaving
she had hoped he would call her back. She even hoped he would ask her to stay
by reminding her about the contract…she had wanted to stay..
"even after everything?…." a small part of her brain had chided "he threw you out to sleep at the poolside, questioned every good part of you and made you feel like a golddigger…"
But that was a very small part of her brain because the rest of it were completely drowned in her reactions to him…his touch..his voice ..his anger..his concern ..she wished she could be with him now..and the thought itself made her angry…how could she throw herself at him after all that he had said? Didn't he say that he hated every moment that he had to spend with her? Didn't he say he hated having to see her? But she knew she would forgive him as she did not know how to remain angry at him since he had been her love…first love…
She looked up to the sky at the stars she believed to be her parents
"am I doing right by forgiving him so easily?" the stars twinkled answering her and she smiled…not the fake one but the one that actually came from her heart.
Gathering herself up she turned back to her favourite idol on her desk… so Devimayya what do you plan for me next?...
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