Joined: 15 September 2012
I dedicate this SS to my dear Jhanu, my best friend, who has been persuading me to pen down my thoughts for as long as I can remember and Aparna(IF id :Appurs) for previewing part of this story and encouraging me to post it in this forum. Thank you ladies!
Part 3 page 2
Part 4 page 3
Part 5 page 6
A Night to Remember
Foreword: This narrative begins right after Shyam has been exposed and expunged from the lives of Anjali and the Raizadas. In this version, Arnav and Khushi did not consummate on the night of the Bachelor's party
Khushi Kumari Gupta Singh Raizada settled back in the plush seat of the business class flight, fastened her seat belt and dutifully paid her undivided attention to the air hostess as she demonstrated proper safety procedures on an aircraft. 'Chalo, ab yeh kaam be poora hogaya hai, tho ab tho yeh plane udne lagegi!' exclaimed Khushi, clapping her hands in childlike delight, earning an amused chuckle from her husband. Khushi craned her neck around to make sure the rest of the Raizada brood had settled in. In the parallel aisle to them were her jiji and jijaji, lost in a subdued conversation, two seats ahead of them were Anjali and NK. Naani and Manorama were seated ahead of Khushi and Arnav, and Mamaji towards the very beginning, all by himself. 'Chalo iss safar mein tho chein ki neend so sakenge' declared mamaji when he saw the boarding pass, earning a not so gentle nudge in his ribs from his beloved 'Mano'.
Khushi peeped out of the window and spoke non-stop about all the things she saw. "dhekiya tho Arnavji, saare ghar kitne chote chote lag rahe hein, bilkul cheetiyon ki tarah', squealed Khushi squeezing Arnav's arm. 'Arre hum tho bhool hi gaye, aap tho woh hain na'; 'Mein kya khushi', interrupted Arnav curiously. 'Wohi Arnav ji, frequent flyer' finished Khushi triumphantly fluttering her eyelashes. Arnav's face creased into one of his rare full blown smiles as he pulled his wife closer to him. Khushi settled in to enjoy her debut flight and her thoughts drifted to a couple of days back in time and to the series of events that had led to all of them being on that plane, bound south - to Kerala!
It all had started with the first daybreak free of Shyam's shadows''''''''..
Khushi stirred as the first rays of dawn hit the floor filtered through the partings of the window drapes. She drew in a deep breath, and as the heavy, musky, all-male aroma assaulted her senses, her eyes sprang open. She found herself nuzzled against Arnav, her face nestled in the crook of his neck just below his chin, her right hand firmly ensconced in his left and his right arm draped over her shoulders holding her protectively.
Gingerly, she tilted her face and degree by degree took in every gorgeous plane of her husband's face. The determined chin darkened by stubble, the soft well shaped sensuous mouth, the tip of his proud sharp nose and finally twin pools of warm chocolate eyes that were gazing at her with unfathomable love and tenderness. Khushi jolted at the realization that her Arnavji was awake and had been carefully watching her indulge in what she thought of as a 'private' ogling ritual. 'Hah! Aap jag gaye Arnavji!' she exclaimed, her cheeks turning a warm pink, 'Aur kitne derse aap hame dekh rahe the?'
Arnav's lips curved into a lazy lopsided smile, as he yanked her back to rest against his chest."Kya hua Khushi? Maine tumhe, muje Ghoorthe hue pakadliya. Iss liye laal ho rahi ho?' he teased."Agar mein tumhe bata detha ki mein kya soch raha tho pir kya hoga?" Settling back, against his shoulder Khushi quipped,'Kyon Arnavji? Aise kya soch rahe the?" Arnav shifted slightly and looking into his wife's eyes continued, "Woh mein soch rahatha Khushi, ki asal mein hum who sabhi rasme poore kiye hi nahin, jo ek pati patni ko karna chahiya'. 'Hey Devimayya! Yeh kaisi ulti Ganga behrahi hai' thought Khushi. Knitting her eyebrows she proceeded to check off on her fingers,"Roka, Kul Devi ki pooja, Haldi, Mehendi, Sangeet, Phere, sabhi tho poore kiye hain na Arnavji'. 'Par Khushi', said Arnav huskily, 'sab se important rasam ' Suhaag Raat to bakhi rah gaya na? Hume ne tho yeh poori nahin ki' Arnav smirked with a devilish twinkle in his eyes. 'Hah! Chodiye hame', blurted Khushi as she sat bolt upright and gathered her hair to tie in a knot. "Hame thayyar hona hain, pooja ke liye der hojayagi', she smartly bounded out of the bed and rushed into the bathroom, leaving her husband chuckling in her wake.
In the sanctuary of the bathroom Khushi pressed her palm on her racing heart in a vain attempt to slow it down. She could not deny the fact that she was looking forward to her suhaag raat as much as Arnavji. Their preoccupation over the past days with plans to expose Shyam had postponed their intimacy, but now there was no turning back. Khushi took in a deep breath, and looked at her flushed reflection in the mirror as she whispered shyly 'iss bhar to hum tayyar hain Arnavji, par aap se kaise kahen', biting her lower lip she proceeded to finish her bath.
'Wait till you see what I have in store for you Khushi' muttered Arnav smiling privately to himself, as he rolled off the bed. "I promise you Khushi, hamari suhaag raat will be something special' he resolved. As Khushi walked out of the washroom, she heard her husband talking to Aman on his blackberry, 'Yeah Aman. You heard me' tomorrow! "
Khushi spent the entire day lost in thoughts. Memories of last Janmashtami when Arnav had teased her about suhaag raat, and her own vivid imaginations of her beloved Laad Governor holding her and kissing her, flitted through her mind constantly. The insufferable Laad Governor on the other hand seemed to have forgotten about it entirely. Life in Shantivan was humming along in its comfortable routine for all except Khushi. "Yeh Laad Governor bhi naa, kya zaroorat thi inhe, hamaare mann mein yeh khayal dalne ki?" "Hum kya Karen Devi Mayya is Laad Governor se pyaar bhi acidity deta hai aur nafrat bhi. Ab aap hi koi upaay kijiye', she muttered while adeptly squeezing out 'golmatol' jalebis that seethed and sizzled in the hot oil, just like the thoughts in her brain.
"Khushiji ab kya kiya chote neh?" questioned Anjali Di who had caught the tail end of Khushi's soliloquy. "Yeh poochiye kya nahin kiya Di? Jab dekho kuch na kuch kahke hamari acidity bada dete hai", "Acidity! oh my God Khushi ji'. Aap ko acidity hogaya? Kab se?' screeched NK who wandered in as well, with Naani in tow. "Hello, Hai, bye bye, NK bitwa' 'Ee patisadi tho sab ko acidity devat hai. Oilwa mein thali hui cheej khila khilaike' stated maami sashaying in, fluttering her hands. "Chaliye Khushi ji' said Anjali realizing Khushi's discomfiture at all of this attention, and led her out to the sitting area, just as Arnav & Akash walked in.
"Ah, Good sab log yehin par hein to achha hain, mein aur Akash kuch share karna chahaten hain" declared Arnav. "Ka baat hain chotte? Sab teek hai na?" asked a concerned Naani. "Haan Naani, nothing to worry, infact good news hain. AR enterprises ko kuch saalon se mein diversify kar raha tha into real estate. Aur mein aur Akash aaj ek badi deal close kiye hain. Hum ne ek resort acquire ki hein kerala mein, aur in this connection, mein aur akash kuch dinon ke liye kerala jaane wale hain". "Bhaat are you saying Arnav bitwa, in God's own country?" exclaimed maamiji in her characteristic style.
Khushi's expression shrivelled at the thought of separation from her beloved Arnavji, especially since she had been on pins and needles thinking of him all day. Arnav took in her crestfallen face, but before he could say anything, Anjali interjected, "Yeh kya baat hui chote, Tum kuch bhool nahin rahe ho. iss bhaar bhi sabhi rasme poori nahin hue, aur tum jaane ki baat kar rahe ho" Arnav whipped his head up in surprise,'"what was Di talking about? Is it possible that Di had guessed? Had Khushi'.?" He locked his eyes with his wife who stood staring at Anjali shell shocked. "No, Khushi would not have said anything" concluded Arnav. "Chotte aap shayad bool gaye ho ki pehli bar bhi aur is bhar bhi app ki shaadi tho hui hein per app ne abhi tak Khushi ji ko Honey moon pe nahin leke gaye. Aur sirf aap hi nahin, Akash ka bhi Honey moon trip nahin hua. Isliye, iss se accha mauka tho hoga nahin. Mere Khayal se aap aur Akash Payal aur Khushi bhabi ko apne saat lejayi yeh aur double honeymoon manayi yeh".
'Haan! Teek kahat hai Anjali bitiya', naani joined forces with Di. Things were moving per plan thought Arnav smiling inwardly raising an eyebrow at Akash who looked on admiringly at his Bhai. "Di had reacted exactly as Bhai had anticipated, bless her heart", althogh he wondered at the brief surprise on Arnav's face when Di mentioned incomplete rasme Payal averted her face blushing and missed the conspiratorial glances that her husband exchanged with his Bhai. 'Par hum sab ko chod kar kaise jaa sakte hein', 'Hum sab saat me chalte hein' insisted Khushi pouting her lower lip. Arnav smiled ever so slightly, he had astutely expected this as well. What followed was an hour of persuasions, proposals, denials and counter proposals that ended with Arnav curtly calling out" Enough! We all leave tomorrow; Aman has booked the tickets for the entire family'. He turned to climb the stairs to his room leaving behind a gaping Khushi & Anjali and a dumbstruck family.
PS: Many thanks to the readers who have posted their comments and hit like. Please do send me buddy requests so I can PM you when I post the next update. As mentioned before I am new to the art of posting short stories and would appreciate any pointers/best practices that have worked for you in terms of keeping the content and updates organized.
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