Joined: 11 December 2012
The story is set in Mumbai and begins in the year 2003. This is a period love story which continues for several years. Owing to the long duration, you will come across many characters which will come and go through the protagonists' lives. I request you all to be patient since the story will take time to unfold.
This is my first attempt at writing fiction, so kindly bear with me. The story is a result of my never ending attachment to IPKKND as well as surrounding incidences and personal experiences. Suggestions, comments, and constructive criticism are most welcome; this is what will motivate me to continue the plot further.
Arnav Singh Raizada- Male protagonist.
Khushi Gupta- Female protagonist.
Shashi Gupta- Khushi's father.
Garima Gupta- Khushi's mother.
NandKishore Gupta- Khushi's brother.
Abhimanyu Singh Raizada- Arnav's father.
Aradhana Raizada- Arnav's mother.
Anjali Raizada- Arnav's sister (deceased)
Subhadra Raizada- Arnav's paternal grandmother (deceased)
Aman Mathur- Arnav's best friend.
Priya, Urvashi, Yasha, Megha, Sana, Sushma- School friends of Khushi.
Manindra Mishra: Arnav's Mama.
Manorama Mishra: Arnav's Mami.
Akash Mishra: Arnav's maternal cousin.
Devayani Mishra: Arnav's maternal grandmother.
Ayushman Singh Raizada: Arnav's younger brother (adopted).
Madhumati Mathur: Khushi's bua.
Shyam Jha: Khushi's friend.
Lavanya Kashyap: Arnav's alleged girlfriend.
Aarti, Deepika, Abhidnya, Aditi, Nilesh, Pranav, Nihar: Arnav's classmates.
Mrs. Acharekar- Music teacher at S.M. School.
Mrs. Joshi- Sanskrit teacher at S.M. School.
Joined: 11 December 2012
Joined: 11 December 2012
Chapter 72: A blow is struck.
10th-11th February 2014
The words battle and fighter were synonymous and no one could have known that better than himself. His whole life had been a battle as he now concluded it, albeit resignedly and try as he might he would never get respite. Not even at present when the battle had ended. But it wouldn't...he would see to it that if it had to end it would terminate on his own terms and also emerge him as victorious. And although he was still at his wit's end in the how's regarding the same, he would strive hard and hard because that was what he had done his entire life. Shyam Manohar Jha was a fighter; you could add many adjunsts to the same...wily, wicked, smart, sneaky, but fighter he was and he wouldn't get respite till wounds were inflicted and blood was spilt. No...nothing would stop him.
"Shyam, your Baba says that he might be due for another promotion. I know this might come as a surprise to you since he doesn't have many years left until his retirement but then the benevolence of the Raizadas is insurmountable. Of all the previous years we have spent by travelling from place to place, I'm glad that we finally settled in Mumbai. Not only did we get lucky with RGI but we have flourished financially to such an extent that twenty years ago I wouldn't even have imagined anything of this sort. You know someday I shall drop by their house to personally thank them. I know it will be difficult to catch up with Abhimanyuji, the busy man that he is but meeting Aradhanaji won't be a problem. You know she even presides over the local ladies' club and widely participates in philanthropic activities. You know those are the people who have money, yet aren't haughty of it."
He felt like puking upon hearing the praises heaped upon the Raizadas by his own mother. And this wasn't the first time. Suman Jha never tired herself from singing praises of the family of his nemesis. Earlier times it had been easier and he would efficiently make use of his two years. After they had started the talks of his marriage with Khushi, hearing about then had begun to have absolutely no effect on him and he even joined in such conversations, because for all he knew at the end of the day Khushi was to be his and so he could be a bit more charitable and flatter his mother. However, right now it nauseated him to no ends and he wished for something to just stop his mother. But it was like fate wasn't on his side, much like it had never been favorable to him. Before he could cause any veritable harm to his own mother he dropped a utensil on the ground, its clanking on the tiled floor shutting up Suman's mouth effectively. She immediately picked it up and seeing that she wouldn't continue with irritating him again, he turned around to get some peace on his own, when he was stopped yet again.
"Accha, did Khushi tell you when she's going to return the box that you took to her house today?" He felt like a blowtorch had been passed through his gut and wanted to bang his head against the wall, just so that he could be benumbed to the pain. But he did restrain himself and said a brisk, "Why don't you ask her Amma?" before striding off to his room and locking the door, signaling his mother to not disturb him until he said otherwise.
Her apartment was visible from his room only and that involuntarily led him to reminisce on the times he had spent watching her living room for any glimpses he could get of her. Right now it pained him to even look in that direction. 'Why had it come to all this?' he thought to himself. Hadn't he wished for just one thing in his life? And while it had been offered to him, why was it so abruptly snatched away from him? He fought the urge but finally gave into his bodily demands as big, fat tears flowed down his eyes. He quickly pulled away the curtain blocking that particular apartment from his sight but that didn't curtail his tears. He began to wonder again as to where it had all gone wrong. Of course seeing the bare chested Arnav had been a nail to his coffin and he marveled at his brain's prowess to have shielded him effectively, even it might have lasted for a short time, from the malady that his presence brought to his heart. But Khushi hadn't known his grief. Despite his attempts to ignore him, she had mouthed those painful words again and again until he had had no option but to lash out at her. He knew it was wrong to have blamed everything on her but then she was the one who had instigated it, hadn't she? She was the one who said that his love didn't matter and that she loved Arnav! Why could she never understand his love? Why?
And then she had slapped him and punched him. But he hadn't been too affected by that for her words had already killed him. He replayed the conversation they had had and right now after going through the entire altercation in his mind, he came to a conclusion. He wouldn't dwell on the culprit over here; rather he would concentrate on the victim. And here, he was the victim. And the victim would get justice. Because this was his court, wasn't it? And justice was always served by him. Shyam might have been thoroughly insane, but even insane people retain that sharp intellect that functions in harmony with the madness. And so while he had contemplated on eliminating Arnav quite early, he hadn't acted upon it for one simple reason. This was no fiction...this was reality. And in real life, he wouldn't get away from murder. But that didn't mean that everything was finished...as he had promised himself earlier, the fight might have died down but the final blow would come only from him. And over here even Khushi would suffer.
She was no longer the Khushi he had known. She might have accused him of having undergone some sort of transformation that made him unrecognizable in her eyes but truth was exactly the opposite. It was she who had changed. He still loved her didn't he? At least he did so till the morning. Right now, Khushi was just another woman; better, she was an enemy. He knew he would have continued to love her had she not given herself so wantonly to Arnav. And to know that she even hadn't tried to hide that fact! By cavorting with him, she had not only insulted his love but had tarnished their sacred alliance. She was completely corrupted and such a kind of woman would never become the daughter in law of Jha family, leave alone his wife. That didn't mean he would let Raizada have her. No, he wouldn't do that. Because for him to be satisfied both Arnav and Khushi would have to fall. He knew a thing or two about striking at the right place and now that he recollected that pithy, he immediately knew what had to be done.
A smile of pure evil pleasure spread across his face as the ideation took root in his mind. Why hadn't he thought of it before? But then it was never too late to put things into action. But then he waited, waited till he knew that the Guptas would halfway through their journey from Lucknow and that Khushi would also be asleep by that time. And so just as the clock was striking twelve, he tiptoed to the room farthest from his parents', dialed the number that connected him to Garima's mobile and gave a scandalous, curt yet completely clear message; disconnecting the call before the person at the other end could even register its meaning in her mind, leave alone reply.
"Mrs. Gupta, do you know that your dear daughter has been sleeping with Arnav Singh Raizada?"
"You really did tell Maa that you were to stay here for the night na?" It was the next morning and Khushi had just come out from the bathroom and seeing that Arnav was up and around had asked him this question. "Well even if I didn't, it's too late to tell her. Perhaps we should see if she has written a complaint at the local police station." She threw the towel with which she was drying her hair at him and glared. "I am not joking Arnav." He maintained a stone faced demeanor while replying, "Well neither am I." Seeing that she was about to believe his words, he made amends. "Of course I did tell her; you have nothing to worry about." She came ahead and stood directly below the fan and said cheekily, "That gives me some respite. I don't want Maa to accuse me of stealing her son." He got down from the window sill and having approached her wrapped his arm around her waist and pulled her close. "She won't say anything of that sort for she knows that she has already lost that battle." She smiled at that and turned her face towards him as he took the opportunity to kiss her nose. "I like your nose", he confessed and was met with a snort from her. "You like many more things Arnav and you've demonstrated that many times." He grinned at that. She couldn't have been any more perfect in her words and since she had broached the topic, now was the time to put those words into action.
"Ah my wife is so perceptive", he began but stopped on seeing he bite back a blush. "What is that about?" She jerked her head towards him, surprised at him having been so observant but nevertheless admitted, "It happens every time you address me as your wife. I guess it'll take some time for me to get used to it." Her words pleased him immsensely and he fastened his hold onto her. "I like to hear this. Keep talking." But she didn't acceed to him. Instead she freed him from his grasp and got back to drying her hair. "We shall have loads of time for sweet talking; right now I'd rather dry my hair first and then make somethingfor the both of us. What is it that you want for breakfast?" Grabbing the towel from her hand and throwing it away he pulled her close again and growled, "You. I would like to have you for breakfast." She stuck her tongue out at that. "Anything but me." He shook his head dejectedly as he replied, "But I'm quite choosy abut my preferences and there's only one thing that can satisfy my hunger." She had to look at him for a complete minute to conclude that he wasn't joking. And even after she was convinced, she didn't reply until she heard his resignated tone, "Are you going to make me grovel Mrs. Khushi Kumari Gupta Singh Raizada? If so then I vehemently deny resorting to begging. Because I'm a gifted seducer if you aren't already aware of that." Her eyes were hooded as he leaned close to his ear and whispered, "Show me your expertise."
An hour later, both lay on the bed, with Khushi snuggling against Arnav's chest as his hands continued to drift across the expanse of her form. "Arnav, that tickles". Khushi complained only to have her be pulled upon him, her thick hair which were now loose cascading upon his face. "And you insult me. Remember I promised you something else yet all I can get out of you is some giggles. I'm depressed." She began raining kisses across his face making sure to leave his mouth alone. "And this is what can be termed as torture. Remember Khushi, never test me; at least when I'm in a considerably superior position." She nipped at his neck and upon the escape of an involuntary moan asked, "I don't think so. I have you entirely under my control." With that she began a downward spiralling outpour of kisses making him want to refute his earlier statement. Almost. However he soon took control as he flipped her below him, pinning both her arma by his own and therby reversing the roles of the vanquisher and the surrenderer. And once he began with his brand of persecution, the resultant thrilling effect made her abandon herself entirely. She had barely uttered 'Arnav' in a throaty whimper when he slammed his mouth against hers submissing her and plummeting himself into the abyss of ardor.
"Don't you have to go to work? I agree that you own your company but what will the employees say when they know that their boss is" she trailed off unable to mouth the words. He didn't require an invitation to pick that opportunity to tease her. "Their boss is what Khushi? What exactly have we been doing?" She turned away from him in an attempt to cover her blush but he was faster. And any direction that she moved, he was there with his goofy grin. "Fine! Since you are not going to stay quiet without my answer I'll say it. I don't want your employees cribbing about their boss ...umm...that he is...he is busy making love to his wife. There I said it! Happy?" He kissed her lightly on her lips. "Very. Actually it is for their benefit." Her eyes widened and her nose twitched upon his anomalous answer. "Don't make this sound creepy by saying that it is for their benefit." He flicked her nose on seeing that her nostrils were flaring. "See this is why I like your nose. Coming to your question; wouldn't my employees want their boss to be happy and stress free?" She cocked an eyebrow at that even as one of her eyes narrowed.
He gave out a sigh. "And to say that you are a doctor. Well since you prefer being told in simpler words, let me explain it to you in a lucid manner. Making love releases endorphins that curbs depression of any sort and is also helpful in reducing stress amongst many other things."
"I know that. How does that relate to this..." She smacked her hand upon her head upon realization. "You sure know how to turn or even quote things in your stride. And to think that you love me. The businessman wins, doesn't he?"
"Are you jealous of my employees? Khushi...tsk...tsk, you are such a typical woman." Contrary to what Arnav's words were aimed for, Khushi did not take affront. "Yes I am a woman and I don't want you digressing in things like these. Now get up and go home. I think I'm safe enough in broad daylight. Besides NK will be home in a short while and so will Amma and Papa arrive by noon. It will be better if you go now; we will be meeting soon as it is." He got up from her and put on his clothes; his sharp eyes not failing to see the slight crease on her forehead. "It's okay Khushi, don't worry. If it helps, why don't you come with them to my home in the evening? We can disclose about us then. That way you do not have to be alone when you talk to them." She nodded her head, the solution sounding acceptable to her.
The phone rang just as Arnav was about to take leave. "Wait let me see who it is", Khushi said as she picked up the phone. Her face reflected recognition and she let him know that it was her's mother's number flashing on the caller id of her phone. But that was the last of the positive signs that he on her face. For as she began to listen to what the person on the other end of the phone had to say, her face unveiled worry, before escalating to extreme horror.
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