Joined: 16 January 2010
- Guns and Roses -
Weddings were a major pain in the neck, RK thought with a grimace as he watched the over-excited crowd of guests at his cousin's wedding. The noise was unbelievable! Everyone seems to be hurrying after something or the other, screaming and yelling at each other and altogether creating havoc everywhere.
"Remind me again why we are here suffering through this, Bittuji?" RK asked Bittuji, his short, stout but dependable assistant, wryly.
"Chief, Prachi Shah is your father's only cousin Radhaji's daughter, and it's her wedding day today. So I don't think missing it was an option" Bittuji reasoned earnestly.
RK, who owned one of the biggest conglomerates of the country, sighed in defeat "Yeah. You're right. But that doesn't make it any easier to bear this eternal torture" He looked around him curiously, and turned to Bittuji with a raised brow "Waise Bittuji, I have been meaning to ask you this. Have you upgraded my security recently? Why do I detect more bodyguards around me than usual?"
Bittuji flushed red at having been caught "Woh, Chief...Your grandfather...Umm..."
"Ah, Yes. Why didn't I think of that now?" RK intoned dryly "When will my grandfather stop interfering in my life? I got away from all that at 21, when he began to pressurize me to enter the family business and we had that almighty argument. I haven't seen or heard from him for almost a decade now, yet he persists in keeping me in his leash. Family eh? Can't live with them, but can't seem to escape them either..."
"He loves you chief. After your parents' death, you are the only remaining link to his daughter. He doesn't want to lose you too. And word on the street is that, after your family foiled his bombing plans, Sultan is keen on taking vengeance by destroying something they value the most...You"
"Trust me to have a family which antagonizes Turkish dons" RK sighed "So, he decided to upgrade my security through you, huh? Sometimes I wonder if you work for me or my illustrious family, Bittuji..."
"I'm most loyal to you chief!" Bittuji sounded outraged at this slur on his honor.
RK chuckled at the expression on Bittuji's face "Calm down Bittuji. I was just kidding."
Bittuji looked slightly mollified. RK then turned his attention towards the stage "Chalo Bittuji, Looks like my dear cousin is about to get married. Let's just wish the newlyweds and get away from here. I'm feeling very hot under the collar in this humidity" RK fiddled with his collar as he began to move towards the Mandap.
Suddenly a flash of yellow, a beautiful girl as he later noticed, came flying out of nowhere and crashed directly into him. The plate full of rose petals flew out of her hands, high up in the air, and scattered around. RK reflexively grabbed the girl's waist to stop her from falling down, as the petals began to shower over them. The girl in his arms had her eyes squeezed shut, her rimless glasses low on her nose, anticipating the inevitable fall. As seconds passed without hitting the hard floor, she blinked and opened her eyes slowly to stare at her savior in surprise.
RK gazed into the girl's honey eyes, and felt like someone had punched him in his solar plexus. The earth stopped moving. The noise around him faded. He became oblivious to everything but those deep rich pools of amber. Her eyes reflected a purity he had never ever seen before, a genuine innocence encountered rarely in today's world. Her flawless, porcelain skin glowed with life and her pink, lush lips were trembling with apprehension. Suddenly realizing her precarious position the girl freed herself from his arms with a mumbled "Thank you" and ran away, as RK stood staring blankly.
The wedding ceremony soon commenced, but RK didn't bother to notice it. His eyes followed and trained on the mystery girl who was showering the couple with rose petals, along with the rest of her group around the Mandap. The ceremony finally concluded and the guests began to rush to the dais to wish the newlyweds. Impervious to the sudden bustle of activity around him RK still stood rooted to his spot and stared at the golden girl, entranced.
"Chief...Chief..." He was brought out of his trance by Bittuji's insistent voice.
"Chief, The ceremony is over. It's time to wish Prachiji and her new husband, Milind"
RK turned his brilliant dark gaze on Bittuji, his mind solely on the alluring enchantress "All right, Bittuji. But first find out everything about the girl over there, the one in yellow ghaghra-choli" he pointed towards the mystery girl and ordered.
Bittuji looked at the beautiful, smiling girl, perplexed. "The one wearing the spectacles? Who is she?"
RK rolled his eyes, exasperated "How would I know Bittuji, when I just saw her? That's why I told you to find it out!" He strode to the stage leaving a totally baffled Bittuji. His boss had never once asked him to do any investigation on any of his girlfriend's until now, not that they ever lasted till it was even required. But here he was asking him to find out everything about a girl he had not even met properly? Weird! But, whatever the idiosyncrasies of his boss, Bittuji knew he couldn't override his orders. Thinking he better begin the work here itself, Bittuji determinedly walked towards the throng of people.
RK congratulated the newlyweds on their nuptials and exchanged short pleasantries with his father's cousin and rest of her family. He then stood in a corner, almost swallowed by the shadows, slowly sipping the champagne and watching her.
Bittuji sidled up to him quietly and cleared his throat, forcing RK to remove his reluctant gaze from the girl. "OK. What have you found?"
"Chief, She's Gunjan Bhushan, Prachi's best friend. Only daughter of her parents, who are from a small town called Morena. She is studying Final year B.A at Excel College with Prachi and stays in the hostel"
"Hmmm...Not bad Bittuji" RK praised his assistant's resourcefulness and looked back at the girl, smirking. "Gunjan Bhushan, Ahaan..."
"Gunjan, Major hunk alert at 3'o clock" Diya nudged her friend and sighed dramatically "Haaye...That's Rishabh Kundra, Prachi's cousin and a top businessman. Also one of the hottest bachelors of our country! He seems to be staring here from a long time. Who do you think has caught his attention?" she asked curiously as she looked around.
Gunjan turned automatically to see who Diya was talking about, and her gaze locked with the most beautiful man she had ever set her eyes upon. He was a tall, almost 6 feet, young and exotic looking man, with a body which looked like it had been sculpted to suit the perfect fit of the dark suit he had worn.
He was also the man she had crashed into earlier.
And to make things even worse, he was staring right back at her!
Look away Gunjan, look away, her mind cautioned even as alarm bells began ringing in her head. But once their gazes clashed and held, Gunjan found it almost impossible to tear her eyes away from the Greek God incarnate. His gaze seemed to burn into hers, and there was a sizzle in the air as his spell binding dark chocolate eyes bore into her honey orbs with an intensity she hadn't felt before. A crazy thought struck her that she would like to gaze into those eyes forever. As he lifted his glass in acknowledgement, Gunjan finally tore her gaze away, embarrassed to be caught staring.
RK smirked slowly, as the girl looked away blushing. She didn't know it yet, he thought as he sipped his drink, but she was going to be his.
The rest of the wedding passed in a blur for Gunjan. She was still shaken by the strange encounter with Rishabh Kundra, or RK as Diya had informed her later that he was called.
Gunjan still didn't know why he had been staring at her. She knew she wasn't that pretty after all. She wore glasses for heaven's sake! But it had spooked her at the same time thrilled her.
Though she hadn't seen him after that, Gunjan felt perturbed. She hadn't felt anything of the sort with Adhiraj, her classmate who had been trying in vain to get her to go out with him forever now. She hadn't felt like that with anybody for that matter. She wasn't entirely sure that she liked the feeling, but she sure as hell knew it made her uncomfortable.
A week later, Gunjan was walking to the bus stop near her college when a car stopped near her and the window was lowered to reveal a casually dressed, dark shades wearing Rishabh Kundra. Gunjan stood there and gaped at him stupidly, as his lean body alighted from the car and came around to greet her.
"Gunjan Bhushan, Prachi's friend right?" he asked smiling.
Gunjan nodded slowly, hugging her books closer.
"I'm RK, Rishabh Kundra. Prachi's cousin. We met at her wedding. Can I drop you somewhere?" he asked courteously.
"I..." Gunjan shook her head "My...My bus will be here" she pointed to the bus stop a couple of feet away.
A frown crossed RK's brows as he glanced at the bus stop, but disappeared as if it had never been there when he turned back to smile at her "All right. I guess that's my cue to leave. But if you need anything, don't hesitate to call me" he said handing her a card "Any friend of Prachi's, is a friend of mine"
Gunjan gripped the card tightly and nodded. She kept watching as he got back into the car and left, almost missing her bus in the process.
"Bittuji, what more have you found out about Miss Bhushan?" RK asked coldly as he sat nursing a drink.
"Chief, she is a very simple and bright girl. Topper of her class. Her friends are Prachi, Diya---------------" Bittuji stopped as RK whirled his stool to look at him, his dark brows raised.
"I asked about her Bittuji, not every Tom, Dick and Harry she knows!" RK said mockingly "Tell me about what she likes, about her hobbies and her dislikes!"
"Her hobbies, Chief?" Bittuji stared at him wide-eyed. He had never realized he had to get information about personal likes and dislikes of Gunjan Bhushan. He had thought this was a normal background search!
"Yes, everything about her, now shoo!" RK downed the remaining whiskey as Bittuji scampered, and stared morosely into the empty glass. Nothing interested him anymore. He thought about that girl, Gunjan, day and night. He felt an irrepressible thirst to know her. He wanted, NO! He needed to know more about her.
What the hell was happening to him?
Only an hour gone.
Irritated and disappointed with the ever slowly moving time, Gunjan looked around at the wild crowd of the nightclub and fidgeted uncomfortably. Diya and some of the girls had planned an outing to the newest happening hotspot in town, and in spite of her objections, had managed to drag Gunjan along. But the moment they had stepped inside the loud, smoke-hazed club, Gunjan had known she had made a mistake by bowing down to peer pressure. This was not her comfort zone. She was most comfortable behind a book or at home with her family. Not that she was judgmental about people who enjoyed such things, but she just couldn't relax in such places.
Gunjan had refused outright to have any alcoholic drinks, and made excuses not to join in her friends on the dance floor. So, here she was, standing in a corner trying to be invisible, in order to avoid some of the unsavory characters who she knew could be lurking around. Gunjan sighed and checked the time once again, wondering how much longer she'd have to take this.
"We meet again, Miss Bhushan"
Hand over her heart, Gunjan spun around startled at the voice, to look at the striking face of RK. "Mr. K...Kundra. You scared me!"
RK looked immediately contrite "I'm sorry, I didn't mean to. But please, call me RK" he looked around "Are you here alone?"
"Uh, No. Actually I came with my friends" she pointed to the dance floor.
"Not your scene, huh?" RK asked loudly, trying to be heard over the noise in the club.
"Huh?" Gunjan strained to hear him by inching closer and her fresh floral scent assailed RK's senses. He took a moment to inhale the sweet fragrance.
"I said you look very uncomfortable" RK replied, their heads almost touching "Want to come over?" He nodded at the alcove, which was obviously set apart for private use, going by the smoke-less, pristine environment she could see through the glass. "I came to meet a friend but he has since left. It would be my pleasure if you could give me company" he looked at the dance floor where her friends were dancing their hearts away, and smiled "At least until your friends tire of the revelry and remember that you are here too".
Gunjan was in a quandary. She wanted to get out of this rush badly, but she didn't want to be alone with a man she knew next to nothing about. A man who made her so nervous and edgy that she struggled to form sentences without stammering!How much did she really know about him? He could be a serial killer for all she knew!
But he was Prachi's cousin, a part of her mind reasoned stubbornly. And also, being in the media glare the way he was, any criminal tendencies and proclivities couldn't have been hidden for so long. As another bout of smoke assailed her, Gunjan made up her mind and nodded slowly "Thank you."
"Thank you" his eyes gleamed down at her "I always enjoy the company of a beautiful woman."
Beautiful...Her? Gunjan almost laughed out loud as she followed him.
RK led her through the rowdy crowd to the alcove, taking care so that no one troubled her. It presented a great view of the city of Mumbai through the glass walls. RK helped her be seated and sat across from her. Gunjan fidgeted in her seat, unnerved by the silence as much as she had been uncomfortable with the noise downstairs. May be this was a mistake, she thought nervously.
"Would you like to drink anything?"
RK nodded at her answer and settled back in his seat. "So Gunjan...I hope I can call you that" Gunjan nodded. "So, Gunjan, are you enjoying college?"
"Ji, Yes" replied Gunjan in a soft voice.
"You don't talk much, do you?" RK asked suddenly, after he got some more similar monosyllabic answers. Gunjan looked up at the teasing tone and flushed crimson as she saw his eyes twinkling.
"Ji, not exactly"
RK chuckled at her curt answer, which made her blush harder. RK quieted at once "Please don't think I'm mocking you, Gunjan. It's just that, it's very refreshing to meet a woman who doesn't think it's her God given duty to fill every living moment with the sound of her voice"
"Ji...?" Gunjan's puzzled eyes blinked behind her spectacles.
"I was talking about some old girl..." Realizing that he was divulging way more information than required, he shrugged casually "Well, Never mind. But it's true what I said. I like that you don't feel compelled to fill every moment of silence with nonsensical blabbering"
"Ji...Thank you?" Gunjan's voice was hesitant, as if not quite sure if that was the correct response.
RK laughed again "I never knew I was so bad at complimenting women. Well, that was a compliment by the way..." he teased the blushing girl in front of him, charmed by her demure ways.
Suddenly RK noticed a red beam pointed towards them and yelled at Gunjan to "Duck!" at the same time the glass wall next to them shattered with a loud crack. He jumped across the table, covering a shocked Gunjan with his body as they fell to the floor. Within a few seconds the room was filled with RK's bodyguards, who began shooting back at the unseen assailants who had opened fire at RK and Gunjan. RK still had his arms protectively around a trembling Gunjan, as a couple of bodyguards helped them stand up.
"Gunjan, are you hurt?" RK began to look her over for damages. Gunjan shook her head but when he touched her left arm, she hissed in pain.
"You're bleeding...!" he exclaimed as he saw blood oozing through a gash in her forearm.
"I...It's just a small wound..." Gunjan tried to pull her hand back.
RK ignored her and yelled at the men "Why isn't the bloody ambulance here yet?" Just then they heard sirens of both the Police and ambulance as they arrived. RK lifted Gunjan in his arms and strode down to the ambulance, much to Gunjan's embarrassment.
"I'm really all right, RK"
"Sshhh. Not a word out of you. Let the experts look it over"
Finally Gunjan gave up and allowed the doctors to check her over thoroughly and bandage her forearm. She felt like giggling looking at RK, who was barking orders like an army General and terrorizing the poor doctors. Anybody would think she had a fatal injury! At last the doctor managed to convince him that her wound wasn't dangerous and RK began to calm down.
"Come on, I'll drop you back. Can you walk?" RK asked, concerned.
"Of course. It's my hand that just got bandaged, not my feet" Gunjan said, amused "Can you wait for a minute? I need to inform my friends"
RK nodded and hovered around her as she called a worried Diya and informed her about leaving. Diya sounded relieved to find Gunjan safe and didn't ask many questions. Gunjan hung the call up and smiled at RK, indicating that she was ready to leave.
The drive to the hostel was spent in silence after Gunjan provided the address. When the car stopped in front of the gate, Gunjan thanked RK for helping her. But before she could get down, she felt RK's hand on her arm and turned to look at him enquiringly.
"Gunjan, I feel really terrible that you were involved in that incident today. Would you allow me to apologize properly by agreeing to have dinner with me tomorrow?"
"I...It's really not necessary" Gunjan managed to say, utterly conscious of his large hand over her arm.
Unable to resist the power of those imploring eyes, Gunjan found herself agreeing to have dinner have with him when she had had absolutely no intention of doing so earlier. She wondered what kind of a spell his eyes cast on her, that she forgot everything else when she gazed into them!
What was happening to her?
"How the hell could you miss? It was an open shot!" Sultan screamed on the phone to his chief sniper, Sikander. "I don't care to hear how clever you think he was, to duck when he saw the laser beam. I want him DEAD! Do you UNDERSTAND?"
He listened to Sikander's explanation with waning patience, and took a deep breath "I know they would have tightened the security around him even more now. Find a way to lure him alone. What about the girl he was with during the shooting? If he seems attached to the girl, then kidnap her and corner him. But in any case I want Rishabh. S. Kundra dead as soon as possible, Or you wouldn't be alive to see the new year. Got it?" he warned furiously and hung up.
"Aaarrghhh. Bloody incompetent fools!" Sultan threw the glass of whiskey at the wall and watched it smash to smithereens. He had failed today, but RK wouldn't be so lucky next time. He and his family had to pay for messing with Sultan, big time.
It was the only thing driving him now.
RK called his friend Armaan as soon as he reached home. Armaan Malik owned one of the best security agencies in the country, and was just the man RK needed right now.
Armaan answered the call on just 2 rings. "Hey superstar, what's up?" came the cheerful greeting.
"Would you stop with that stupid college nickname?" RK groaned.
"No can do! It's rather a cute name actually, just right for your pretty face" Armaan said with a chuckle "And not to forget, you did want to become a movie star before you took over your dad's business!" Armaan had always been incorrigible in college, along with being their college's best boxer.
"Very funny, Terminator. Better my dad's family business than my mom's anyways" he heard Armaan laugh at that "But I called to ask you for a favor"
"Anything for you, my friend. Just name it. It's yours" Frequent leg-pulling aside, his friend's loyalty had never been in question. RK felt warmed to have such good fortune in friends.
"I want you to arrange 4 of your best men to protect a girl. Her name is Gunjan Bhushan" RK explained about the shooting at the club and his suspicion that Sultan may be behind it.
Armaan agreed to see to the matter immediately. "By the way, who's the girl? New girlfriend?"
"Not yet" RK quipped.
"Ooh... She is playing hard to get, Is she?" he was back to his teasing.
"She is not like that" RK was quick to deny "She is just...different. A nice girl"
"Woah, you are defending a girl! Looks like the winds are changing. Watch it Superstar, Or you might just find yourself caught, signed and leg shackled, before you even know what happened, just like rest of us mortals!"
"Oh, shut up Armaan. It's nothing like that"
"Hold on a sec. Let me put Lord "high-and-mighty-I'm-too-busy-to-call-my-friends" also on conference call. He shouldn't miss this historical moment either!"
RK smiled and settled himself on the recliner.
"Hey guys, what's with the conference call?" said the new voice over the phone, his crisp British accent coming through loud and clear.
"Arnav Singh Raizada, as I live and breathe! Did you actually find some time away from your work to pick up the phone?" Armaan pretended to be shocked making Arnav laugh at the other end "Now that you have assured us that you still inhabit the land of living, Listen to this breaking news buddy. Superstar here has fallen for some damsel, very hard!"
"What the? Is this true RK? Who's the girl?"
"I don't believe this. You guys are crazy! All these years since Harvard I never knew have been friends with 2 certified lunatics!"
Both Arnav and Armaan laughed at RK's grumbling.
"Seriously, listen RK" Arnav's voice was suddenly sombre with concern "I just heard about the shooting, I hope you are all right"
"Yeah, I'm fine. Gunjan had some scratches and bruises though..."
"Gunjan, huh? Pretty name. I suppose this is the same girl you are interested in, and Armaan here is pulling your leg about?" Arnav teased.
RK sighed. His friends would not let him live in peace until they found out all about it."Yeah, the same. I also have a date with her tomorrow. Happy now?"
"You didn't tell me that!" Armaan complained "Superstar's life is actually turning into a romantic film, WOW!"
"Dude, watch it. Or I may be forced to tell Riddhima Bhabhi about some of your wild escapades in college" RK warned him, good-naturedly.
"Why are dragging my lovely wife in between? Sheesh, this guy has absolutely no sense of humor, I tell you" Armaan whined making RK laugh.
"Don't forget to invite us to the wedding" Arnav said with a snicker before hanging up promptly. Armaan followed suit, his laughter ringing through the lines.
RK kept spluttering even after both his best friends had hung up.
RK took Gunjan to dinner on his luxury yacht "The Bella Rosa", the next evening.
Gunjan wore a lime green and pink Anarkali suit and was looking like a dream, or rather a dream come true, and RK was lost looking at the lovely vision. So simple, yet so elegant. She made him question his earlier taste in women. How had he ever liked those overly made-up, aggressive women? RK wondered.
Gunjan was delighted with the majestic watercraft, and when RK showed her around, she was as excited as a young child at her first carnival. She had also lost most of her hesitation around RK after last night's crisis, much to RK's delight. The food was excellent and RK was pleased to see that Gunjan wasn't one of those women who merely picked at her food. After dinner RK took her for a gentle stroll on the deck.
"This is so exquisite" Gunjan whispered as she leaned on the side rail and inhaled the salty air, taking in the spectacular sight of the ocean at night and the starry sky.
Not as exquisite as you are, RK's mind whispered back, enchanted by the pretty picture she made.
"You're doing it again" Gunjan said shyly after a minute, turning slowly towards him.
"Staring at me..." Gunjan reddened " You did it at the wedding too"
"Why not? You're beautiful" RK said simply "Like a lovely blossoming rose"
Gunjan blushed even more if that was possible, biting her lower lip as she looked away. RK wanted to explore badly just how far that blush went. "Don't be ridiculous. I know I'm not beautiful" she finally said.
"You are" he said quietly, making her look at him quickly. RK gently took her right hand in his and slowly began to stroke the underside of her wrist with his thumb. Gunjan lowered her eyes shyly and lightly tugged her hand back, but RK held fast.
"I'm not lying. I find you the most beautiful girl I have ever seen. It's not just your outer beauty but you glow with an inner beauty which is so rare, that I find myself wondering at times if you are even real. I think I'm falling for you, Gunjan"
Feeling breathless from his touch and filled with trepidation by his words, she just stared into his intense eyes. Without breaking the eye contact, RK lifted her hand and placed small kisses along each finger. Exultant at not getting any resistance from her at the intimate contact, RK slowly leaned in and brushed his lips gently over hers. A soft gasp left Gunjan at the first touch of a man's lips on hers, but she didn't pull away. RK increased the pressure gently as she began to respond to the kiss. The lingering, hesitant kiss turned into a passionate one as Gunjan's hands slowly encircled RK's neck. RK's hands caressed her back, pressing her closer to him and he let his tongue duel with hers as they savored their first kiss in leisure.
They broke the kiss few moments later when they had to come up for air. RK touched his forehead to Gunajn's as their breathing slowly returned to normal.
"Are you okay?" RK tilted her chin gently and whispered.
Turning a brighter shade of red, Gunjan just nodded and hid her face in his chest.
RK's soft chuckle was the only answer as he wrapped her in his arms and relished the moment of bliss.
RK was waiting in the mall lobby for Gunjan to arrive. They had decided to go for shopping together for Prachi's reception gift, and Gunjan had informed him that she would meet him directly at the mall after college. RK looked at his watch once again. 5.40. She was late by 10 mins now. She had told him she would meet him by 5.30. He retrieved his phone from the pocket to call her, if she didn't arrive in few more minutes.
RK and Gunjan had been dating for a couple of weeks now. His life had never been more perfect. He knew he had found his perfect soulmate in her. She had yet to confess those 3 little words to him, but he could see it in her eyes. But the thing that worried him the most was that he had yet to tell her about his infamous side of family. He didn't know how she would react to it. He had decided that he would tell her the complete truth about his family today.
RK checked the time again. 5.45. But just as he lifted his phone to call her, it rang in his hands. Relieved to see Gunjan's name on it, he picked up the call at once.
"Gunjan, where on earth are you?" he asked with concern.
"Tsk, tsk, tsk...Your girlfriend is safe with us, Mr. Kundra" the mocking voice at the other end replied "But if you want her to remain that way, you better come alone to the warehouse outside the town to retrieve her... within an hour"
RK's heart stopped for a minute "Who the hell are you and what are you doing with Gunjan's phone?" he spit out "If you have even dared to cause a scratch on her, I"LL KILL YOU!"
"Such rage! You do have your grandfather's blood in you, Don't you?" the man on the other end laughed unpleasantly.
RK realized who was calling him. "Sultan?"
"Ah. I see that you do know me" Sultan taunted "Then you must also know what I am capable of, don't you? So hurry to the warehouse if you want to see your girlfriend safe...And don't forget, come alone!" he hung up the phone.
RK stared blankly at his phone for a few seconds before scrambling to action.
His Gunjan was in danger.
RK entered the rundown warehouse Sultan had asked him to come, to see a drowsy but slowly awakening Gunjan tied to a chair and ran to her. But as soon as he began to untie her, he saw someone come out from the shadows, clapping.
"Love makes fools of all of us Mr. Kundra. Did you think you'd ever be able get out of here alive?" Sultan sneered with an evil laugh "I was planning earlier to shoot you but now that you are here, I have a better plan" he clapped once more, and suddenly RK was seized by Sultan's henchman from both sides "Don't forget to capture the moment on film, gentlemen. I want to send his grandfather a sovereign"
By now Gunjan had gained consciousness and the sight in front of her horrified her. "RK..." she screamed in fear as the first punch hit him. RK who had been looking at Gunjan, was taken off guard with that punch but he recovered soon and took a Tae-Kwan-Do position. He then went on to smoothly and methodically knock each opponent off senseless with practiced moves, managing to catch hold of a gun in the process.
He turned and pointed the gun at Sultan. "Back off from Gunjan" RK demanded in a coldly menacing voice.
Sultan who had already begun to get worried as his men dwindled, pointed his own gun directly at Gunjan, calling to RK to drop the gun. RK stood rooted to his spot as a terrified Gunjan flinched at the pressure of the muzzle at her temple.
"NOOO..." RK screamed as he saw Sultan's fingers slowly beginning to curl around the trigger, and dropped his own gun down.
As soon as the gun fell from RK's hands, the remaining henchmen caught hold of RK, and began to beat him up. Gunjan cried hoarsely as it dawned on her that RK was not fighting back for her sake, and began to struggle. Sultan lowered his gun and laughed cruelly as his men battered RK. Blood started to ooze from RK's face as the blows struck him. But as he was about to lose consciousness, suddenly the door to the warehouse was broken down and they were surrounded by men in black ski-mask.
Sultan looked on shocked, as within minutes he was captured along with his goons by the new arrivals. He began to shake with horror as a sixty-ish man in dark suit entered the warehouse, and stood right in front of him. The man whispered something to Sultan making him blanch, before he signaled the men to take him away.
"Please kill me now, don't take me there. Please, Please..." Sultan's desperate screams were heard quite loudly as the masked men ushered him out of the dingy warehouse, and then there was silence.
One of the man in ski-mask helped RK to his feet and another untied Gunjan. As soon as she was free, Gunjan ran to RK and hugged him tightly, crying "I love you RK...I love you"
RK hugged her back with his uninjured hand and wiped her tears gently "I love you too Gunjan. I'm so sorry you had to go through this again because of me" he said in a voice filled with remorse.
Gunjan shook her head. "My only thought when that man pointed the gun at me was that I hadn't yet told you I love you RK. I didn't want to die without telling you at least once how much I love you. And I do, very much" she stretched up on her toes and began to rain kisses all over his face, finally resting her lips on his.
Someone cleared their throat, making them spring apart before the kiss could heat up. "Won't you introduce us to your amore, mio nipote?" a teasing voice asked from behind.
RK sighed and turned to the man who had earlier had Sultan taken away "Ciao Nonno , This is Gunjan Bhushan, the love of my life, and Gunjan, this is Tony Soprano, my grandfather" He noticed the shock on Gunjan's face as he introduced them.
"Grandfather...?" she squeaked softly "But he's...he's Italian!"
RK smiled "Yes. And I'm half Italian. My mom, Meadow, was Nonno's only daughter . She met my dad on her Euro trip and married him without mentioning what her family did. It came as a shock to my father to learn he had married into Italian mafia. But he loved her a lot, so he forgave her for that little omission" he said dryly.
"WHAT?" Gunjan's squeak was pretty loud this time. Her RK was related to Italian mafia? Not that she was stupid enough to blame his family's nefariousness on him, but it was quite bizarre to take in.
"Yeah. I spent every summer in Italy with my grandfather, until I went to Harvard, learning every warfare there is, from martial arts to target practice. He wanted me to take over since I was his only "blood". But I put my foot down and said I didn't want any part of that side of business and came back to India, to take over dad's business after my parents died in a plane crash when I was 21" he looked at her worried "You don't mind, do you?"
Gunjan shook her head, still dazed. RK smiled in relief that she wasn't going to hold his family against him.
"But you didn't have to cut off all contact with us for that, mio nipote" Tony shook his head at his stubborn grandson.
"You would have nagged me until I caved in otherwise, Nonno"
Tony grunted and turned to the girl in his grandson's arms "But he called me earlier today after a whole decade because of you, Bella" he said fondly "Thankfully, we were already in India since I had arrived after the club shootout, trying to locate Sultan before he targets my grandson here"
"Thank you for that, Nonno" RK said gratefully "I'm really glad you were here, even if that meant you were once again interfering in my life without my knowledge" he added dryly.
"Thankful enough to join me?" Tony asked with a gleam in his eyes.
"Ok...Ok...Just kidding. I'm proud of what you have achieved, my boy" He patted RK's back and left, leaving the lovers alone.
"Is your grandfather leaving now? I mean won't he be here for..." Gunjan looked down shyly and bit her lip "Um...I mean..."
"Ahaan. Are you by any chance proposing to me, Miss Bhushan?" He teased looking at her bright red face and winked "If so, my answer is a resounding YES. Te Amo, mi amore...Forever and ever" he whispered softly as he kissed her.
"I Gunjan Bhushan, take you Rishabh Soprano Kundra, as my lawfully wedded husband. To love, honor and cherish forever" As her soft words resounded in the beautiful garden of one of the Raizada Hotels, RK's heart was overwhelmed with love for his young bride.
"I now pronounce you husband and wife, You may kiss the bride" the priest blessed their union and RK pecked her on the cheek. They had already had a traditional Hindu wedding a couple of days earlier and for the sake of Rishabh's maternal family, Gunjan had insisted on a church wedding too. Which would have totally endeared her to the Soprano family if she wasn't already the apple of their eye, RK thought wryly.
RK tugged his wife closer to him on the dance floor a while later, and kissed her softly on the temple "Happy, biwiii...?"
"Very..." Gunjan whispered back "I love you, Mr.Kundra".
"I love you too, Mrs Kundra...Want to sneak away?" he asked with a naughty smile.
Gunjan looked around the dance floor. Many couples were dancing away to the slow romantic numbers, including RK's friends Armaan and Riddhima Malik. Seeing as how everyone was busy in their own world, she looked back at her husband and nodded with a smile.
As the newlyweds began making their way towards the hotel corridors, they heard a sudden crash and peeped to see what the commotion was. The sight that met them was as surprising as it was hilarious. There stood his very uptight and very conventional friend, Arnav Singh Raizada, wearing a big piece of cake on his once impeccable suit, along with a look of utter horror on his face.
"What the...?! Can't you see where you are going, you blind woman!" he fired at the girl, who had been one of the bridesmaids earlier. He had noticed her because of her uncanny resemblance to the bride, sans the spectacles. Her looks were eerily similar to Gunjan, enough to be mistaken as her twin.
The person responsible for the mishap, put her hands on her hips and glared at him "Hey Devi Mayya. How is this my fault if you talk on the phone while walking, and crash into me? Let me tell you, If we were both vehicles, you would be fined for that!" she huffed with her nose in the air.
"Unbelievable!" Arnav was outraged "Do you even know who I am? I'm Arnav Singh Raizada, Groom's best friend!"
"Hawww. And do you know who I am? I'm Khushi Kumari Gupta, the bride's first cousin and the groom's Saali! Now move out of my way, Laad governor kahin ke. Hamari cake bhi kharab kardi" she pushed him aside and ran away.
RK and Gunjan watched in stupefied silence as the deep shock on his friend's face at being dismissed so rudely, gave way slowly to a smile laden with interest as he watched the little spitfire walk away.
"Well, well. Looks like the mighty have fallen" RK chuckled softly as he saw Arnav hastening his steps towards the way Khushi had gone.
Weddings weren't so bad after all, RK thought with a smile once back in their suite. He poured the champagne into 2 glasses, gave one to his smiling wife and toasted happily.
"To new beginnings"
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Sins Need To Be Burnt- HIS LOVE STORY
All the broods, scattered in the Laxmi Nagar chawl compound, clamored in unison, their eyes fixed on the cheap rubber ball flying in the air.
A man stood there in blue faded denim and a black shirt, his both hand holding the bat, still hanging in the air due to the force he had applied to strike the rubber ball.
The man too looked at the flying ball. He saw the ball cascade down, proving the age old theory of gravitational force true and the kids ran towards the ball in a hope to catch it but the ball traveled above them and collided with a white Dupatta, spread on egress in front of the veranda of one of the door in the chawl, his eyes traveled towards the door. And then he saw her, his eyes instantly colliding with the big hazel eyes of the girl, he saw her eyes, wide with shock.
She crossed the veranda and came in front of the egress, her eyes giving a close inspection to her favorite Dupatta. Her lips pursed and the hands on their own record traveled to her hips. Turning away from her Dupatta, after giving a close inspection, she eyed the broods.
"Hey Devi Maiya! What have you all done to my Dupatta?! You naughty kids! " the girl chided the kids in front of her. Her one hand traveled to her forehead and the other still on her hip, lamenting on her favorite Dupatta being spoiled. She turned away from and kids and took the Dupatta in her hand.
"See this" she pointed towards the muddy spot on her pure and clean Dupatta. "see what have you done! You spoiled by Dupatta! Ab hume phir se isse ghiss ghiss ke dhona padega" Khushi again chided in her sweet voice, wanting to sound strict but failing miserably.
The kids looked at the girl standing in front on them. It wasn't something new for them. They have done worse than this while playing here but the look that girl was giving them, made them feel little bad. All the kids looked at the girl but a timid boy nearly 8 or 9 years old, wearing a muddy cloth came in front.
"We are very sorry, Didi. We were just playing. We are sorry for spoiling your Dupatta" the boy apologized.
The girl looked at the boy's cute face and listening to his equally cute apology her heart softened
"Hmm...it's ok! Don't repeat this next time, ok? " the girl asked pointing her finger at the kids.
In return, all the boys nodded.
Smiling at the kids, the girl turned around and disappeared in her house.
"Bhai, aren't you playing?" one of the kid from the group asked to their Bhai, who was looking in front, mesmerized. Their Bhai had captured all the gesture of the girl he had just seen. Her glowing cream skin, peeking from the glass bangles adorning her slender wrist whilst see chided the kids, pointing her fingers at them. The way her eyes went wide when she saw her Dupatta, the way she kept her hands on her hips, the way she smiled at the boys apology, everything. He snapped from the dreamland as he felt a tug on his Shirt and he looked down.
"Bhai aren't you playing?" the small boy asked, tugging at his Bhai's Shirt.
The man shook his hand and handed the bat to one boy.
"Chhotu, who was that girl?" the man asked.
"Who? That Didi, who was scolding us?" Chhotu asked, to be clear.
"Yes! That one!" the man made clear.
"Oh! She came to live here yesterday. You know that Madhumati Buaji? She had come to live with her, with her parents. I don't know her name. She is new here" Chhotu supplied to his Bhai, who was again looking in front, desperate to get one more glimpse of that beautiful face but that never came. Ruffling Chhotu's hair, he turned on his heel to leave, the beautiful face imprinted on his heart.
It was a small room, with rusted spare parts of cars scattered all around. The smell of smoke and liquors polluting the air within. The air within may be toxic for everyone but not for the men seated inside, they were habitat to all this.
One of the man, may be around 21, saw his Boss, lost in some thoughts. Today they were free, no work. They were not having any "assignment" to complete. Assignment, that's what they use to call their all work, may be murder, extortion, kidnap or any such other activities. But seeing his Boss, whom they all call Bhai, lost somewhere, his mind come up with an idea.
"He Bhai, tonight there is nothing for us to do. We are free today. So want to have some fun?" Vivek asked to his Bhai, with a mischievous glint in his eyes.
His Bhai looked to him, unable to catch what he meant.
"What do you mean?" his Bhai asked, his brow frowned.
"I mean...hmm...you know..." Vivek winked and his Bhai knew what he was talking about.
"No! thanks! You may carry on with your fun but I am not coming anywhere!" his Bhai replied sternly.
Vivek sighed listening his Bhai's reply. His Bhai is like a lotus in this alloy world they live., as pure as he can get in this debauch world. He will not be surprise if his Bhai says that he still a virgin. Vivek chuckled at his own thought and got up. Well, his Bhai don't want to have some fun but he will not deny himself from one day of fun.
"Ok, Bhai! As you say. Aap khoye raho apne khayalo main, mein toh chala. My Laila will be waiting for her Majnu" Vivek again winked at his Bhai and walked out of their adobe.
The man looked at Vivek, making his way out of the room. Laila? His mind again fled to the beautiful face he had seen this morning. Her angelic face, her big round hazel eyes, her nose pin glinting against the sun rays. Unable to control anymore, he got up from his chair. His legs, on their own record taking him to his destination.
In no time he found himself standing in front her house. The lights were off but his eyes went to right side of the house, lights emitting from one of the window. Again, as in a daze, he walked towards the window.
The window was little open, he pushed the window to get a clear view and what he saw took his breath away.Sleeping beauty! His mother use to narrate the story of sleeping beauty to him. He never believed her that time. He use to always fight with her, saying no one is more beautiful than his mother and his mother use to laugh at him, saying when he will grow up, he will find his sleeping beauty. Sleeping beauty, whom he will find more beautiful than his mother.
He stared at the sleeping beauty, unable to take his eyes off her. He looked at the window, it was big enough to allow him in. Tightly holding the window panel, he jumped inside. Not making any noise, he started walking towards the beauty. He stopped at the edge of the bed. Some strands of hair caressing her milky white cheek. Unable to control himself, he raised his hand. His fingers, lingering on her cheek for few seconds before tucking the strand behind her ear.
Sensing something on her cheek, the sleeping beauty opened her eyes, disoriented. Her eyes widened in shock, frightened to wits. The scream stuck in her throat. She saw a man standing in front of her, his hand roused. Frightened that he will do something erring, she dragged herself to the other end of the bed.
The man saw HIS sleeping beauty, dragging herself as far as she can get, scared of him and he didn't liked it a bit. He would have rejoiced seeing that frightened expression on everyone but not on her. He saw her, trying to say something.
"Aap,...aap kaun ho? Why ...why are you here?...what do you want?..." the girl stammered, Hey Devi Miaya, what should she do? Is he a thief? Or some murderer? Or ...or some rapist? Frightened of her own thought, she stood up from her bed.
The man tried to come near her but she took two steps back, making the man stop in his track.
"I ...I am, Sujal" the man replied.
"Sujal? I ...I don't know any Sujal.." the girl replied, frightened and confused.
"What's your name?" Sujal asked, not wanting to give more than his name.
The girl looked at Sujal confused. Who is he? And why should I tell my name? but frightened that he will do something crooked, she replied to his question.
"I ...I am..Khushi, Khushi Kumari Gupta" Khushi replied, frightened but still introducing herself proudly.
Khushi! Happiness. Yes that's what he is feeling now! But his face remained expressionless, as always!
"What...what do you want?" the sweet voice broke his trance.
Sujal looked at Khushi, who was confused and scared!
"I ...I want...I want food!" Sujal spoke the first thing that came to his mind.
"Whaaattt?" Khushi, stretched her word, unable to believe what she heard.
"I mean...I mean...do you have food?...I am ...I am hungry.." Sujal fumbled, unable to form anything coherent.
Khushi looked confused at the man, standing in front of him. Is he mad man? Sneaking in someone's house and asking for food. But he doesn't look mad. Infact he is...he is...handsome...big brown eyes, chiseled features. But...but there is something wrong with him. Khushi was ready to say no but her Amma's words instantly flooded her mind.
"Khushi, hume kisi ko bhi, Khane aur pani ke liya kabhi manaa nahi karna chahiye."
Her Amma had said her, when Khushi's one friend has asked for the jalebi her Amma had made for her and she had stubbornly said No, not wanting to share her Amma's delicious jalebi with her friend.
"Ammm...ha...hai...aap ...aap baithiye, hum khaana late hai..." Khushi stammered, and started taking hesitant steps out of the room. Khushi what are you doing? He is probably a thief. Yes! He is a thief? Khushi immediately exited the room and hide behind the door. Waiting for few seconds, she peeped inside, still hiding, to see if he is doing anything. But to her surprise, he was just seated on her bed, taking in the surrounding and doing nothing! Khushi sighed, maybe he is some poor, unable to afford food, and so he came here. Satisfied with her conclusion, Khushi moved to Kitchen, to bring food for the stranger seating in her room.
Sujal sat on Khushi's bed and took in the surrounding, everywhere he looked, he saw pink. Pink mattress, pink pillows, pink curtains, pink walls. Why her name is Khushi, it should be Pinky! As he turned his head to see to his right, he felt something stuck in his hair. He looked up. stars? Artificial stars with glitters all over it were hanging on his head. He caught hold of one, tracing his fingers on the star.
Khushi entered her room with a plate filled with warm food. She saw him touching her stars, not liking that he is invading her private things, she cleared her throat loudly, gauging his attention.
Sujal turned around and looked that Khushi, who was here with a plate filled with food.
Khushi came near him and forwarded her hand.
Sujal looked at her hand, carrying plate. Not saying anything, he took the plate from her hand and sat on the bed.
Khushi saw him seated on her bed and eating. He looked so innocent. Like a child.
Sujal completed his food and looked up to see that Khushi was staring at him. He stood up from the bed and kept the plate on the nearby table. He looked at Khushi and without uttering a word he turned around and exited from where he had came.
Khushi stared at her window. What was that? Was she dreaming? Khushi looked at the empty plate on her bedside table. No! She wasn't! Not wanting to dwell more on that man, she first went and securely closed her window. Kya pata woh bhookha Aadmi phir se aajaye! Bhookha Aadmi! Chuckling on her own thought, she went and lay on the bed, slowly the slumber taking over.
Next night the same scene was witnessed yet again. Khushi's Bhookha Aadmi came, ate the food and without uttering a word left. It was the fourth day when curiosity got better and Khushi prepared herself to confront Sujal. But still he didn't gave away anything about him. And Khushi too not sensing any danger from him, kept quite not nudging him more. And Khushi's innocent and young heart was unable to understand anything other than she liked their late night meets. She liked him. His silent nature, his handsome features, the way he stares at her, the loving look that he gives her. She liked him. Call it infatuation or mere liking, she don't want this to stop.
It was a week, and Sujal visited Khushi every night. Khushi was humming a song and preparing for breakfast when her Amma entered the house muttering something under her breath. Khushi saw her Amma and went near her.
"Amma, what happened?" Khushi asked her Amma, who went and kept her Pooja thali on one table.
"Nothing, Bitiya. You see some boys of Laxmi Nagar, they don't have any work and loiter around. While descending down the stairs of temple, I saw few boys beating a poor soul. Poor man was bleeding so much but that rascals! They have no mercy!" Garima Gupta said with a disgust written all over her face.
"Which boys, Amma?" Khushi asked her Amma, taking out a ladle
"The same boys, Bitiya, who play cricket in the compound" said Garima and soon heard the loud sound of something hitting the floor. She ran inside the kitchen to see what happened.
"Khushi Bitiya, what happened ? Are you all right?" Garima asked seeing the ladle lying on the floor and Khushi in a daze form. Garima went near her daughter and shook her by her shoulder.
"Khushi, what happened, Bitiya?" her Amma asked again, concerned.
Khushi looked at her Amma, feeling her heart grip with unknown fear. She kept a trembling hand on her Amma's hand.
"I ...I am fine, Amma. I have...I have a headache. I think ...I will rest for sometime. I am not feeling well" saying that, Khushi left the kitchen and entered her room.
Closing the door of her room, Khushi went and sat on her bed, waiting impatiently for the night to fall.
Sujal as usual entered Khushi's room through the window, a ghost of a smile appeared on his handsome face as he saw the window open. It always thrills his heart, seeing the window open. The open window conveys that his sleeping beauty too waits for him as he waits to see her everyday. Catching hold of the panel he jumped inside.
Khushi jerked and turned around to see that Sujal was standing near the window.
Sulaj came forward and sat on the bed, looking at Khushi. She looked little different today but he was unable to find out what.
Khushi looked at him, he was staring at her. She went and sat on the bed near Sujal.
She had lived enough in the fantasy land, now time for some reality check. She likes him, want that liking to grow into something more but before that she has some questions and he will HAVE to answer that.
"Sujal, what you do for living?" Khushi asked calmly, in soft voice.
Sujal's head snapped at that question. This is the question he never wants to answer. Atleast not to her. But he saw the look she was giving him and he knew, he knew that it's time.
"I ...I ..." Sujal fumbled, not knowing what and how to tell.
Khushi saw Sujal searching for words.
"Gunda" Khushi supplied the word for him.
Sujal's eyes snapped at Khushi.
"Aren't you?" Khushi asked, fearing his answer.
Sujal stared in Khushi's eyes for a long moment and when it became unbearable for him, he averted his eyes form her and Khushi got her answer.
Khushi immediately got up from the bed. Tears prickling her eyes. She looked at him, he was looking at the floor. Tears made their way down the cheek, breath irregular.
"Can...Can...Can you change?" Khushi asked in a trembling voice.
Sujal looked at Khushi. The world where he lives is like a morass, a muddy puddle, if one gets into it, there's no way out. Either live in it or...or die! It's impossible for him to change.
Sujal again averted his eyes from her and shook his head.
Khushi staggered back, catching the table, the table supporting her trembling legs.
"For me?" Khushi asked again. Hoping against hope.
Sujal got up from the bed and came near her. He looked in her eyes. He saw the hope in her eyes. The hope which he had long lost. But he can't give false hope to her. He leaned forward, his breath fanning her tear drenched cheeks and kissed her cheek, his lips lingering on her pale cheek. Touching his forehead with hers, he replied.
"I am sorry" and Khushi's all hope crashed in a snap.
Sujal heard a low sob broke from Khushi's lips and he clenched his fist. Opening his eyes, he saw Khushi. Her eyes still closed and tears descending down her cheek.
He stared at her angelic face, mesmerized. Unknown desire taking over his heart and reflecting through his eyes. He saw her trembling lips. Lost in the moment, he bent down and touched her lips with his.
Khushi felt his lips on her and more tears poured out her eyes. And at that time she knew that it wasn't any infatuation or some mere liking. The hurt she was feeling in her heart was real and too unbearable. She loves him. And he broke her heart even before she can confess her love. But she can't allow him to stomp on her heart's broken pieces. He can't change for her and she can't live with him knowing his work. Everyday he commits some sin. And her conscious will not allow her to live with a sinner. Khushi's hand crept on Sujal's broad shoulder and taking a deep breath she pushed him away.
Sujal staggered back due to the impact of the push. He looked up to see Khushi, whose eyes were open and also glinting with fire which he had never seen.
"Get away from me and from my life!!" Khushi shouted on his face.
Sujal looked at Khushi, disbelievingly. He went near her and tried to hold her by shoulder but she pushed his hand away.
"Don't you dare touch me! Hath mat lagaeye hume! Ghin aati hai aapse! Your touch disgusts me! Kaise chhu sakte he aap hume uss hath se jis haath se aap sabko maarte hai?! Wahi haath jo doosro ke khoon se range hue hai?!" Khushi blustered. Her broken heart screaming for relief.
Sujal stared at Khushi, his eyes flashing with rage. Taking two steps forward, he caught Khushi's arm forcefully.
"What did you say?! My touch disgusts you, ha? So sorry to hear that! But you will HAVE to bear it! What did you think, ha? That you will say and I will leave you? Never! I will never leave you! And neither allow you to leave me! Do you get me?!" Sujal shouted, his breathing heavy.
Khushi looked at his ragging eyes, her own eyes held the same fury. She tried to free herself from him but he didn't bulge.
"I said leave me?!! Go from here and don't show your face ever. Did you hear me?!" Khushi gave as well as she got.
In reply Sujal tightened his hold on her and dragged her towards the bed. He picked her up and threw on the bed and got over her.
"I disgust you, right? Now what will you do, Khushi?" Sujal's eyes flashed with fire which Khushi had never seen before. And which frightened her. She felt his hot breath on her neck and felt a chill ran down her spin. Never touched this way before by any man, the feeling which ran down all over her body frightened her to no end. She tried to push him with all her might put he didn't bulge. His lips hot against her skin, travel down. Her heart pumping loudly against her chest. Tears flooded down her cheek as she felt him push the sleeve off her shoulder.
"I will not be surprised if you are a rapist too.." Khushi stated as calmly as she can get in the situation she is.
Sujal's head instantly snapped at that. He looked at in her accusing eyes, filled with tears of pain. Pain caused by him. His hand backed away from her and he stood up. Suffocated by her accusing and pained eyes, he strode towards the window and excited the place.
Khushi saw him leaving her room, a sob wrecked her body. Curling herself in a ball, she cried. Cried for her first love being trashed so brutally. On her broken heart, broken by her own love.
The passing few days saw a ghost of the former Khushi, she no more laughed, no more quipped, no more waited impatiently for the night to fall because he never came. Sometimes her innocent heart wanted to forget everything and flew to its owner but she knows she can't. Her Amma Babuji will never give their daughter to a murderer. And she too can't live with a man who is a murderer, a Gunda, as her Amma calls them. But she was unable to console her innocent heart. It's been a week to the night they have fought and he never showed up. Till one night.
Sujal saw the window of his adobe, an adobe where he feels peace, open. He went near the window and again pushed it open just like he had done the first time and was rewarded with the same scene he had seen for the first time. His beauty was again sleeping, but the peace which he had seen on her face was vanished and replaced by pain. Swallowing the lump in his throat, he again climbed the window and entered her room.
Sujal went near Khushi, she was sleeping. He slowly crept beside Khushi on the bed, taking in the beautiful face of his angel.
Khushi felt someone beside her and she opened her eyes, to instantly collide with a pair of big brown eyes. Seeing the familiar pair of eyes after so many days, her eyes filled with tears of longing. Longing for the man she can't live with and also can't live without. Letting out a small sob, she hugged Sujal. All the logical thoughts, taking a back seat. Nothing seemed bigger than the pain she felt when he was away from her.
"Please...please ...please don't leave me..." Khushi whispered against Sujal's neck.
Sujal tightened his hold on her waist.
"I don't want to leave you either..." Sujal said in Khushi's hair.
"Please...please leave all this...be ...be a good man...please for me..." Khushi said, her tears making Sujal's neck damp.
Taking Khushi more into him, he replied.
"Khushi, I can't! please try to understand! Please?" Sujal pleaded.
"I want to introduce you to my Amma. What will I say to her, Sujal? What will I say her when she will ask me what job you do? That you murder people for money? That you are a bad person? Please be a good man for me. Please do it for me" Khushi sobbed. She wants him in her life.
Sujal pulled away from the hug and cupped Khushi's face.
"Khushi I can't. Try to understand. Please? Only way out of this, for me is death. Either I live in it or die." Sujal tried to make her understand.
"What should I do?! Tell me, what should I do?!I can't live without you neither with you. Tell me what to do?! Please...please...please...you are committing sin everyday! Every bloody day! I can't let you do this knowing very well where all this will leads to! Please...please...please... Sujal..." Khushi pleaded, her words coming out in hiccups.
Sujal looked at Khushi's pleading eyes. He leaned forward and pecked her lips softly.
"I am sorry...I can't help all this. I can't change. You have to understand this. We can meet every night, can't we? That's enough for us. Please I am helpless. " Sujal tried again.
Khushi listened to Sujal's word. She wanted to protest again. How many nights they can meet like this? But really exhausted and fed up of his constant denying to change, she kept quite. She closed her eyes, wanting a few moment of peace in the arms of her lover. For other's he must be a sinner but for her? for her he is her lover, her first love, her first kiss, first man to touch her.
Finding solace in each other's arm, both the lovers allowed the slumber to wash over them.
[ Continued In The Next Post]
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Joined: 16 January 2010
It was a dark room as a man stood near a window, facing his back to few men.
"Who is this Sujal Garewal?" the man asked.
One of the men from the group answered.
"He is said to be the rising star of our world. All the assignments that we use to get is gone to him. He is really good at his work, finishes all the work which he takes in his hand. He can be a threat to your position Bhai " the man replied to his Boss, who was not much pleased by this piece of information.
"Rising star?" Shyam Shergill, the Boss of Delhi mafia mocked and let out a menacing laugh.
"Where can we find this rising star?" Shyam Shergill asked his men.
"There's a garage in Laxmi Nagar, our sources say that we can find him there in the evening. Do you want us to do something, Bhai? " one of the man asked.
"No! I will personally look into this matter! I will take down this rising star on my own" Shyam said and took out his gun. Looking at the gun he turned to look out of the window, planning on his move
"Sujal Bhai, you know that Shyam Shergill? He is after you! please go from here. He knows about this place." Vivek said to his Bhai, who came huffing and puffing into the garage.
"Let him come! I can handle him!" Sujal replied least bothered by the information.
"Bhai, you can't take him lightly. Please listen to me. Just for today go somewhere else. He knows about this place. please" Vivek pleaded.
Sujal eyed Vivek and without uttering another word he got up from his chair and exited the garage.
Vivek saw the retreating figure of his Bhai and sighed in relief.
Khushi was placing the plate on the Dining table. Placing the plate on their rightful place, she was about to again enter the kitchen when her hand hit the dining table and a plate came crashing down and shattered into pieces. She saw the plates shattered in pieces with a new restlessness griping his heart. She bent down to pick the pieces, her heart growing with unknown fear, she tried to push away this feeling and concentrated on the task in front of her.
Sujal was wandering aimlessly on the abandoned road. As he was turning around a corner, he felt a bullet zoom pass his shoulder but not before gazing his shoulder. His hand instantly went to his shoulder, blood instantly oozing out of his shoulder.
A piece of glass pierced Khushi's finger. Her head jerked up. her heart thudding loudly inside her rib cage. She stood up. her hands trembling due to the unknown fear. She looked outside her door, and her legs on her own record took her towards the door.
His head jerked to look back and he looked at the man standing at a far distance. Turning again forward, he hides himself behind a wall.
Controlling his irregular breathing, he took out the gun. Peeking from his hidden place, he aimed his gun at the man in front of him, but the man too went behind a wall. Letting out a frustrated sigh, he again covered himself.
Sujal waited for sometime before coming out. It's now or never. It's either him or he.
Shyam peeked out of his place and saw there stood his prey, openly challenging him.
Shyam too came out from his place and instantly aimed the gun at Sujal and without waiting for a second, he strikes a bullet at Sujal, which gazed his other shoulder, making his sleeves wet with blood in no time.
Khushi let out a whisper, her breathing irregular. She was about to exit the door but something stopped her. she saw behind her, her Amma was holding her hand.
"Khushi where are you going? It's so dark outside. You are afraid of dark, Bitiya." Garima looked at her daughter, confused.
"Amma ...Amma...let me go ...please...Please let me go...he ...he needs me there" Khushi pleaded, her eyes filled with tear.
"Who? Who needs you Khushi? You are not going anywhere! " Garima chided, she had noticed Khushi's weird behavior from last few days and she really can't allow her to go somewhere at this odd hour.
"I will have to go, Amma! Please, leave me!" Khushi jerked her Amma's hand from her and bolted outside.
"Khushi, please! Listen to me Bitiya! Please, don't go. Please!!!" Garima Gupta shouted at the running Khushi.
"Amma, I am sorry. I will have to go!! I am sorry, Amma" Khushi shouted back.
Garima slumped against the door
Khushi ran aimlessly on the empty roads.
Sujal's ears caught the familiar voice. Khushi!
Khushi ran in the road till she found the object of her restlessness. Letting out a sigh of relief she ran towards him but stopped when she saw the other man standing in front of her.
Sujal saw Khushi standing in front of him.
"Khushi!!! Go back to your home!!!" Sujal Shouted, wreck with fear, fear of losing his precious thing.
Khushi looked at Sujal and shook her head, tears flowing freely.
Shyam looked at love birds in front of him.He let out a sickening laugh.
"Oh! Toh yaha ishq ladaya ja raha hai! Is shaitan ki jaan..." Shyam pointed towards Sujal "...Is tote main basi hai!" Shyam completed while pointing at Khushi.
"Oh! I am sorry. Ye tota nahi ye toh maina hai!!" and there again came his sickening laugh. But soon masking the serious look he changed his target, now the gun was aimed at Khushi.
Sujal's breath hitched, seeing the scene in front of him.
"Shyam!!! You want me!! Leave her, she has nothing to do with all this. I am here in front of me! Do whatever you want with me, please leave her." Sujal said, helplessly.
But Shyam stood in the middle of the road, not paying any attention to Sujal's word.
"Oh! So the rising star has a love story! I can see a beautiful lover here! But you know what, Sujal? I hate love stories!!! But you know I love the shaitan and tota's story! Have you heard that story, Sujal? Kill the Tota and the Shaitan will die eventually. So what say, ha? " Shyam said with a smile on his face .
"SHYAM!!! YOU bas***d!!! YOU DON'T KNOW WHAT YOU ARE CALLING FOR BY DOING THIS!!!!!" Sujal's voice thundered in the empty road.
But Shyam , not paying a heed, he pulled the trigger.
And then the sound of two bullets being shot, echoed in the surrounding.
Sujal dropped the gun on the road, all the strength being vanished from his body. He stared in front of him. Instantly everything went quite like dead. He saw Khushi! Her kameez drenched with blood. Shaking his head in no, he bolted towards Khushi. He caught her as she was about to hit the hard road.
"No...Khushi...Khushi...Please!!!" Sujal begged taking Khushi head on his lap, as he sat on the road.
Khushi looked at Sujal, smiling. No regret on her face.
"Khushi!!!! who asked you to come here?!!!! Answer me!!! See what you have done!!! Let me take you to hospital!!!" Sujal tried to pick her up but Khushi protested.
"Please...I ...I don't want to go anywhere ...I just want to be with you..." came Khushi's voice in rasp.
"Khushi...let me take you to Hospital, jaan..I...Please...Please" Sujal pleaded, tears flowing down his cheek.
Khushi raised her hand and wiped the tears off Sujal's face.
"Hume hospital nahi jaana,please...aap ko hamari kasam"
Sujal looked at Khushi, his tears falling on Khushi's face.
"You know what Sujal? When ...when someone commits some sin...you know...you know how Devi Maiya punishes them?..." Khushi asked smiling through her pain.
Sujal shook his head, unable to think of anything. What's worse than seeing your beloved dying in front of you?
"She...She is very impartial...I will tell you what she does...She punishes you by taking away...taking away your precious thing..." Khushi let out a small giggle..
"Am I...am I...I your precious thing?" Khushi' asked, a big lump forming in her throat.
Sujal shook his head, vigorously.
"No!!!! No...you are not my precious thing...you are not my precious thing...tell...tell your Devi Maiya that you are not my precious thing...please ...please don't leave me...I can't live without you...I have no one Khushi...only...only you...I need you...i want you... " Sujal poured, in the trembling voice. A pain like never before, pierced his heart.
"Sujal? ...you...you remember ...you remember the night we fought and we didn't meet for few days? ...That...That...night...I ...I prayed to Devi Maiya...I told her to take anything but in return ...in return make you a nice person...and...and now,...now I think that she wants...she wants me ...she wants me in exchange...it's nice na?...we both can sit and discuss how to change you..." Khushi smiled followed by a sudden pain in her abdomen.
"No!!! No!!!...please!!!!!!!!!!!!!! ...God!!!! Please!!!!!!!! Don't leave me...Don't leave me!!!! I will do whatever you want me to do...I promise...I ...I...swear on you Khushi...bas Mujhe Chhod ke mat jaoo!!!!! Please ...what was the need to come here, you idiot?!!!!!!!! Please!!!!!!!!" Sujal shouted on the top of his voice.
Khushi smiled at Sujal.
"I can't wish the fire of hell on you, Sujal...it's better to burn in the pain on regret...Atleast it will ...it will make you a better person...You have to promise me, Sujal...that...that...you will change...promise me... I love you..." Khushi raised her hand.
Sujal looked at the raised hand, he immediately placed his hand in her's.
"Promise..I promise...Khushi...Now you will not leave me, right? I will become a nice person...than you can introduce me to your Amma...I promise I promise...Khushi...Khushi?" Sujal patted her cheek, he saw her hand become limp and drop to her side. A sharp pain shot at his heart.
"Khushi...Khushi...Khushi!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! No...No!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! come back!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I said come back!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I am a sinner!!!!!!!! Why are you punishing her!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! please, give her back!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!" Sujal shouted at the heaven.
Sujal hugged Khushi's limp body. Tears like hot lava descending his cheek. Hugging his body close, he cried on his loss. Loud sobs wrecking his body.
"I LOVE YOU!! I Love you , Khushi!! I love you!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I will become a nice person...I promise you...I will become a nice parson and will join you soon...wait for me, ok? I will fulfill my promise and will follow you soon...." Sujal sobbed embracing his beloved's body close to his heart.
Sins need to be burnt, either with the pain of regret in this world or with the fire of hell in the hereafter.
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Joined: 16 January 2010
"I love you Khushi" The husky voice owned by the owner of the most hypnotising caramel eyes ever, vibrated in the silence of the room.
"Have been loving you from the time I wasn't even aware of the existence of love. I have always tried to run from my feelings, hide them, bury them in some dark corner of my heart but I never knew you lived in each corner of my heart, allowing me no space to dump my feelings. It was always your presence which made me feel happier, livelier and in other words, made me feel human. You and me, we both know we have come a long distance and now is heights Khushi. I don't think I have it anymore in me to ignore my feelings. I want you Khushi. I want you to be in my life, for forever."
"Will you marry me Khushi? Will you provide me the honour of calling you my better half?" He asked, getting on his knees and extending a hand towards the overwhelmed figure of his beloved.
"Yes..!" She replied with a ferocious nod and happy tears streaming down her face as she slipped her palm in his hand.
"CUT!" a third voice roared in the room, followed by wild applauses.
"That was the best shot ever Arnav" The director screamed out the words at Arnav Singh Raizada who was still looking at his hand, which held the soft palm of Maanvi Chaudhary in them.
"The shot is over now Maanvi" The snorting voice of Shyam, broke the reverie of Maanvi who quickly pulled her hand back.
"Congrats to you too Maanvi. This shot was the best I ever got. You and Arnav seemed to be living the characters of Khushi and Aarav" The director complemented, overjoyed at the perfection of the shot.
"Yeah, really looked like desperate love birds" Shyam commented and noticed a scowl forming over Arnav's face but continued anyway,
"With the intensity of those looks, I really thought a Mandap was going to apparate in the room and you two were going to wed each other in no second"
"I am getting a call" Arnav said and in large strides walked out of the room, aware of the pair feminine eyes which were fixed on his back, as he dashed out.
"We need to talk Maanvi" Shyam said out, his gaze following the gaze of the former.
"Not now Shyam" She replied, tearing away her gaze from the receding frame of Arnav and rushed in her green room.
Arnav stood with a rigid form in his green room, his hands in either pockets of his trouser.
Standing before the long glass window, he watched the rain pouring down.
His heart was a flurry of emotions at this minute and he knew exactly where his heart was trying to lead him.
Three years back, Arnav Singh Raizada was the happiest man of Earth. He had a lovely girl to call his own, a promising career as a TV actor but in blink of an eye, he had been robbed of everything.
He had lost the love of his life, his Khushi in a car accident. That was the last day he had experienced a heart beating inside him. He had become a shell, hard to crack, hard to get in.
Even though his life had frozen in that minute, his career had moved on, to great heights.
The heights which Khushi had wished for him.
"Promise me Arnav, you'll not stop here. You'll keep moving in life. You'll make my dream come true" were her last words to him.
So, he had to follow them.
He had bagged shows after shows, brought them to heights, had the biggest fandom ever but all this while his heart had been bleak and quiescent.
Quiescent till the day he had signed this new show, "Pyaar, ek anokha ehsaas".
The title of the show itself was a reason for him to agree to the show. It was a title he could connect to.
But as he had arrived for his first day of shoot for the show, he had felt a strange stir in his heart, like something strong, something familiar was around.
And then he had seen her.
Dressed in a simple green suit, she was walking towards him, her face adorned with a smile which reminded him of someone, someone he loved, still loves.
"Hi Arnav, I am Maanvi. The female lead of the show. I have heard so much about you. It's a great pleasure and fortune too be able to work with you" She had said, offering a hand to him.
He hadn't known what had urged him to extend out his hand into hers but as the touch was made, he had felt a sudden and heavy rush of blood to all parts of his body, rejuvenating the organs, not in a biological way but in an emotional sense.
Something was familiar about the touch.
But before he could have guessed what she had left, leaving him in a state of wonder.
That had been the beginning.
The more he had known her, the more she had seemed similar to someone in particular.
Her infectious smile, her constant talks, her exuberance, her happiness-radiating self, every damn thing about her had made him get attracted to her.
She had been like a magnet to him.
He had miserably failed at keeping himself away from her, once again something he had already tried once with his Khushi.
As the time had flown by, the show had reached heights which no other show could have dreamt of yet Arnav was restless like always, this time with new reasons.
The day he had decided to give into his new feelings, he had got to know about her engagement, with a lawyer, of course selected by her family.
So that was the reason of her recent gloominess? He had wondered.
He had wanted to talk to her but that Shyam man had started coming to sets, shadowing her all the time.
And today was one such day.
The confession scene was to be shot today and the show was going off-air in next two weeks.
The show creatives were planning for a second season but Maanvi had already refused, stating up her impending wedding in the coming month and the busy life thereafter.
And Arnav Singh Raizada was surely not going to ask her to reconsider her decision, disregarding the fact that he had desperately wanted her to say yes for the second season.
Today after the scene was shot, he had noticed the moisture in her eyes, along with an accusation.
An accusation that he wasn't courageous enough to take a stand for his feelings, that he was so easily letting her slip away.
Was that a signal from her end?
Did she want the same as him?
He'll have to find out.
"Maanvi, I have had enough of your tantrums" said an agitated Shyam as he barged in her green room and found her looking blankly at the mirror.
"Please leave me alone for a few minutes Shyam" she replied, looking at his reflection in the mirror.
"So that you can sit here and day-dream about Arnav?" He retorted in a sour voice.
"You're crossing limits Shyam" She said, getting up from the stool and turning towards the furious face of Shyam.
"What I am crossing limits? And here I was wondering it's you doing the same" He continued acidly, taking steps towards her.
"How dare y.." Maanvi started, her face red with the accusation but was cut in.
"I dare much more Maanvi. You think I'm a fool? I know you aren't willing to marry me and it's your parents who have brought you in this but to make you aware, I am not letting you back off for anything rather anyone"
"I am not backing off from the marriage" She screamed out.
"But I see your heart clearly is. I have seen you giving those love-sick looks to that Raizada. I know he's famous, I know he's good-looking but what I want you to know is that I want you...at any cost" Shyam said out the words while his lustful gaze lingered all over her body.
"Get out Shyam." Maanvi said the words with slight apprehension as he took another step at her, his gaze halting at her lips.
"Not before I taste something I have always wanted to" He said, taking another step and caging her between his arms.
"Leave me" She wriggled to get out of his hold.
"I am sure you're going to like this Maanvi" he said and steadying her face with his palms, leaned in.
"LEAVE HER" the thunderous roar of Arnav Singh Raizada filled the not-so-spacious room.
The intensity of the voice reflexively made Shyam lurch back from the shivering frame of Maanvi.
As she sensed the arms around her body being withdrawn, she looked up in Arnav's direction and her heart thudded violently at what she witnessed there.
Arnav was standing in the doorway with his jaw set as hard as stone yet his eyes were brimming with unadulterated possessiveness, for her.
"Arnav" She said and rushed towards him to hug him.
"Shh. It's okay Maanvi. Calm down" He said, glaring in Shyam's direction but at the same time running a smooth hand on her back.
Sensing what was coming up his way, Shyam decided to leave the room.
Messing with Arnav Singh Raizada at this moment wasn't going to be the best thought.
"Water" Arnav offered the glass to her as she sat on the same stool, this time with a different glint in her eyes.
"Thanks Arnav" She said and taking a few sips, placed the glass back on the dressing table.
"I..." Both of them started at the same time and stopped abruptly.
"Go on" He said.
"No no, you go on, Gents first" She quickly replied.
"Okay" He said with a clearly visible amusement on his face.
"You smile?" She asked awed by the small smile on his face.
"What the?" He swore, after years.
"Oh god! You swear? Had never heard you doing so" She continued in her usual chirping self.
"Shut up Maanvi" He said, trying to sound offended but that just allowed her more laughs.
"Hold it right there. No one is allowed to laugh at Arnav Singh Raizada"
"I see. How come you never let me know of this rule?" She asked, trying to stop her laughs.
"Okay, that's it. I am leaving" He said and got up.
"No wait" She said holding his wrist and left at once, realising what she just did.
"I am sorry..I" She fumbled as he turned at her, his intensified gaze at her face.
"I's okay. It's just that when you laugh I...get reminded of someone...I love" He said out the words, with much difficulty and her expression at once changed into empathy.
"I know" she whispered.
"You know?" He asked, surprised.
"Yeah. I mean I know you once loved a girl."
"I still love her" He cut in, more loudly than he had intended to.
"I am sorry. That's what I meant." She said, touched by his genuinity.
"It's okay. I..I just get a little.."
"I understand Arnav" She said, placing a hand on his shoulder.
"So, how do you know?" He asked, coming back to the question.
"I was her friend" She replied, revealing a truth he hadn't been aware of.
"What?" He asked, stepping back in surprise.
"I know I should've told you but I couldn't Arnav"
"We were good friends but I was not in Delhi for four years. But we used to talk a lot, not daily but a few times in a month. And during these times, all she used to talk was about you. Your habits your likes, dislikes but as I said, she never mentioned your swearing habit" She went on, explaining in a monotonous way, unaware of the expressions which were crossing his face.
"But I when I got to know of her...It was very late. No one had informed me so I couldn't come. But when I returned back to the city, I wanted to meet you Arnav. I wanted to see the person who had always been the cause of the happiness of my friend. It was then I learnt of the shell you had closed yourself into. I learnt of the quiescence your heart was in the state of. So, I maintained my distances, knowing well my presence around you and the knowledge that I was a friend of Khushi would give you nothing but more pain but what I didn't know was that destiny had its own plans. I was back in the city and I needed a job. That was when Mr. Singh approached me for this show and without knowing you were the lead, I accepted. I was so surprised to see you here but I maintained the faade as if I didn't know you. And in between all this, I never realised when did I actually started falling for you. It was hard Arnav, to keep myself away from you. After knowing that how badly you were in the need of someone who would lead you to live your life again. I tried to be a friend to you and do everything which Khushi would have done to make you happy. And you were responding, I could see that in your eyes."
"And that is when you got engaged to Shyam because you thought you were betraying Khushi by taking her place in my life? You started distancing yourself from me?" He asked and she was surprised that how accurately he had guessed her inner thoughts.
"Yes" She replied, her eyes welling up with tears.
"Without caring that it was once again shelling me up?" He asked.
"Arnav?" She said, looking up at his eyes which now held myriad emotions.
"Yes Maanvi, I love you. Maybe not like the way I had loved her yet I assure you this love is equally beautiful. I want you in my life Maanvi." He said, surprised at his words.
He had thought it to be more difficult but somehow this wasn't.
"Shh. No more words Maanvi. Love is something which can't be described, let alone comprehend. It exists in so many forms, so many realms and what I feel for you is different yet similar. Ye ek anokha ehsaas hai Maanvi and I want this ehsaas in my life, for forever. And there is no denying it Maanvi. You can't deny it to me. This is one thing I have learnt from my past. Love will find you, no matter how severely you want to stay aloof to it."
"And Shyam?" she asked in a breathless tone.
"We'll make him quiescent" Arnav replied and she finally smiled.
"Know what Arnav?" She asked, getting up and walking towards him.
"What?" He asked.
"I love you Dammit!"
"Me too Dammit!!" Arnav replied before taking her in a hug and silently thanking his Khushi for sending an angel similar to herself in his life.
The quiescence had finally expired, giving way to new happiness in his life.
Holding onto past isn't the wisest decision always.
Sometimes we need to move on and hug the new hopes in life because life never stops.
It gets beautiful second by second.
You just need to develop the right perception.
And find the Mr./Ms Right for yourself.
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utthra1208, meiejrishbala, AzraZaidi, YaSha0512, Aisha1996, sruthick, jisa, Javeria3991, tinsel, janu_2006, -Xpress-,
Joined: 16 January 2010
Heart beats to keep us alive, isn't it? Well, Yes... It's the same here! But wait, what if once your heart tells you that it beats for the one in front of you, what would you do? The same happened with Zaroon.. Dr. Zaroon Junaid, being a cardiologist he couldn't stop his heart from being someone else's, Want to know how?
A very foggy day with rays of sun still peeping out from the heavy clouds, Zaroon drove his car with a great speed not giving a damn to the world outside but only his mind stuck to the call he just received, there were still miles to reach Delhi, but still whispering prayers for her. All the flashbacks of his happiest and most beautiful time were flashing in front of him..
A very fateful day he was driving with the same speed with loud songs and his goggles on, he didn't cared for anything else.. and to describe his life at that time, the best word will be perfect!' according to him but suddenly a scooter bumped into him and he muttered, "Damnit!" banging his fist.
His eye fixed to the view in front of him a girl with long hairs wearing a light pink Salwar Kameez, looking solely angelic. She stood in front of his car with an O' expression making her look more cute and her hands on her hips depicting her anger. Coming back to his senses Zaroon quickly got out of his car and went to her and being it an early morning not more people could be found there.
Zaroon tried apologizing, "I.. I..-" only to be cut off by her in between.
"Dekh ke gadi nahi chala sakte aap? Aur ab ye I.. I kya laga rakhi hai aapne!" she scolded him while his curved up in a slight smile seeing her so angry.
"Look.. I'm So-" Zaroon said but she again didn't let him complete.
"Humein apki koi Sorry Borry nahi chahiye! Help me!" she spoke, amazing Zaroon.
"and What if I don't?" He said raising an eyebrow at her while her one hand again went back to her hips and imedietly she pointed at him with the other.
"Samjhte kya hain aap, apne ap ko?" he eyebows scrunched in anger.
"Zaroon!" he said making it look as a matter of fact and contuined, "and I'll help you only if you request me rather than this ordering." He shrugged.
"Hawww!" he said and giving him a look went to her scooter and securely parked it. and came back while Zaroon stared at her in amusment.
"Look you bumped into my scooter and now you have to drop me at my college! And its an order!" she said crossing her arms at her chest.
Zaroon was for sure shocked! And coming over the sh he spoke, "Excuse me! You were the one whoo bumped into my car!"
"Tch tch.. Guys these days.. well, fine then! It was just a small payback of what you juustt did and agar ap nahi chaahte so okay I'll go byy my own" she said sounding helpful. While his eyebrow shot up listing to her talks, honestly he wanted to chuckle at her antics but maintained the serious look.
"Fine, Aajaiye!" he said unlocking his car.
Zaroon drove swiftly and calmly though he could see her biting nails and continuously checking time, "She must be getting late" he thought. But waited for her to say it aloud and after much waiting he looked over to her.
She was munching on some.. Jalebis in some round steel box what she was probably carrying in her bag. She looked at him gazing her once in a while and spoke, "Em..lenge?" she asked extending the box towards him.
"Er.. No thanks!" he refused poliety. "Are you running late for college?" he asked and she nodded.
"Okay then" he said accelerating the car and bit when she spoke up, "Um No! Don't.. " and looked at her and she quickly added, "im.. I.. I mean im scared of speeding cars." He told innocently.
They were near her college and without wasting more time zaroon quickly said, "I'm Zaroon, you?"
She smiled and replied, "Hum Khushi Kumari Gupta hain." He smiled back at her and again questioned, "Aap humesha aisi hi Hindi Bolti hain ya Koi special-" before he could continue she answered, "Hum Lucknow se hen." she said and he got it.
He stopped in front of her college and she tried untying her seat belt but failed and Zaroon obviously noticed it and without thinking he did the favor to her and their hands touched slightly. he waited for her to vanish from his sight but she didn't.. Not before she said, "Sorry and thanks." sweetly and left.
Zaroon smiled unknowingly, remembering how she stopped her breath when he undid her seatbelt and Yes.. their next encounter which was the very next day at his friend's wedding when he had seen her yet again looking flawless in red dress with minimal makeup and her hair let lose but curled, Drop dead Gorgeous!' a voice in his mind told him.
And their another encounter, just after a day at his hospital he was free for sometime so he was going to cafeteria when on the way he spotted her on Pharmacy, suddenly an unknown concern grew into him and he went to her.
She turned around to see the same guy..'Um.. Zain? No.. Z.. Zo.. Yes, Zaroon!" she mentally corrected herself.
"Hi Khushi!" he said with a smile. But the smile vanished as soon as he saw her ignoring him and tried to stop her, "hey.. Khushi.. listen-" she went behind her a few steps but she turned back and cut him off and spoke, "Dekhiye Zaroonji hum ne apse lift li iss ka ap ko koi galat matlab mat lijiye!" She poined at him.
"What!" he looked at her disbelief.
"Ap humara peecha karna band kijiye Zaroonji!" She said. While the mentally quoted, Peecha, What the hell!'
"Look, I guess you've any misunderstanding Mein aur apka peech-" he tried clearing the fuss but again mentally cursed their Cutting-Off'Connection' as she cut him off and spoke, "Kal raat shaadi aur abhi yahan bhi.. " she muttered.
He was really losing his temper, What did she think of him?' but before he could reply someone came from behind and called him, "Doctor!" and he looked back at the person, "Yes?"
"There is an emergency.. " the nurse informed and he nodded, "Alright." He said and giving her a look while she stood there shocked, he left.
Coming over her shock she muttered, "Buaji theek kehti hai Khusshi tum Sanka Devi ho!" she scolded herself.
Zaroon shook his head at the memory as only knew how angry he was after that.. But well not for much time as the way she came to apologize.
It was quite a while now since he had last seen her, though he was angry he wanted to see her, to meet her and while thinking about her he was informed his some friend named, Khushi has come to meet him. He recalled but he had no other Khushi in his life other than her and not losing more time he told them to lead her.
As soon as she entered his cabin she folded her hands saying a, Namaste' and he nodded And gestured her to be seated and she reprocated.
"I-" she began but he cut her off this time and asked, "Ms.Khushi Kumari Gupta, When did we became friends?"
"Ji?" she asked as she didn't expect such a straight question from his side.
"Wo.. Um-" and again before she could say something he cut her sentence and told, "I was not following you and that was my friend's wedding and this is my hospital!"
"Yes.. I know and-" she tried talking further but he spoke up, "anything else you're still not cleared about?" he said trying to sound much rude and he even succeeded.
There was silence for a few minutes before she answered, "Are we friends?" she questioned innocently.
"If only you don't take it into any wrong way." He said smilling.
He sat enjoying as she again made the cute expression for which he had no doubtly fallen already and said, "Hawww!" she crossed her arms and faced the other other.
But in the next few minutes both burst into laughter and got into a conversation, She offered him the Jalebis that she had cooked for him in form of apology and both got to know each other better.
The fallen slight yet the smile came back onto Zaroon's face when he recalled these memories and the beginning of their sweet relationship which she innocently named, "Friendship!"
He remembered the time when he was finally aware of strong feelings for her when her father got a heart attack and right after checking at her father and performing his duty he came out and was engulfed in a hug by her while her tears soaked his shirt and he just couldn't swallow that.
Till the time her father was under treatment he was always around her but neither he neglected his job though he was with her like a shadow and the first night when he had returned with coffee for both and she had refused instead side hugged him and stayed in the same position for a while before telling her real connection towards the stars..
"You know the bright shining stars in the sky are my parents.." she began while he moved his face a little to get her a glimpse of her but he didn't let go.
"My real parents.. Who became stars. My amma always used to tell me that people we love the most when go far away they become stars, the brighter ones!" she paused, "I don't want my Bauji to become one.. I want him to stay with him, he will.. Isn't it Zaroon?"she questioned looking up at him and he nodded.
Everything had gotten alright.. And he became a usual guest at Gupta House loved and pampered by everyone. His and Khushi's bonding was like no other, he didn't mind Khushi thinking of him as a mere friend but he knew she meant the world to him and her presence around him as a friend was better than not at all.
Zaroon accelerated his car as soon as he remembered Khushi once telling him, "Oh, Chinta mat kijiye.. Hum hamesha apke saath honge, the most shinning star of your sky." No!' he muttered.
He remembered how he had gotten a hope for his poor heart which was no more his but only beats for this girl.. His Khushi.
They were in the cafeteria when suddenly his friend Dr. Lavanya had spotted them and decided to play with this girl. Other than Sara, his sister, lavanya was the second one to know about Zaroon's feelings towards Khushi. Therefore she came and covered Zaroon's eyes from behind confusing both, him and Khushi.
"Lavanya!" he wihpered and stood up and they shared a hug while Lavanya saw the little Ms.Gupta burning in jeleousy and to add fuel she spoke up, "Aw.. Baby I've been finding you everywhere and you're here! Anyways, I Missed you so much and its been a very long time." She paused and eyed Khushi who was mentally strangling this Lavanya while Lavanya resumed, "Finally I'm with you again." She again clunged onto him.
Zaroon coughed at Lavanya's tone and turned to Khushi, "Lavanya meet Khushi." And before Zaroon could introduce further, Lavanya herself spoke up, "Nice to meet you Khushi, I'm Lavanya, Zaroon's girlfriend"
And Soon after two, "What! -s" echoed in Lavanya's ear as Zaroon looked at her shocked while Khushi looked at Zaroon shocked.
Khushi recovered, "Oh, Same here Lavanyaji though Zaroon never told me about you even though I asked him.. Well better late than never, isn't it Zaroon?" he looked at him expectantly and continued, "I guess I should be leaving for now."
Lavanya pushed Zaroon towards the retreating back of Khushi and gestured him to run after her, he shook his head at his crazy friend and went after Khushi.
"Khushi.. Listen!" he called out, "Khushi!"
He matched up with her speed and holding her hand turned her towards him banging her on his chest. She was crying! He cursed himself for being indirectly the reason of her tears.
"Listen to me Khush-" Zaroon spoke cupping her face but she again cut off, "Kya Sunoon? Apne humein ye batana zaroori tou nahi samjha tou ab kya sunoon?" she pushed his hands away from his face.
"Look its not the what you think!" he told, "If its not this so what it is?" she retored.
He was already getting weak seeing her tears and this girl was driving him crazy, When it didn't matter all these months, then why did it matter now? And Also replied in anger, "Iss se tumhein Kya farak padta hain?! Why does it matter to you know!"
In the friction of a second he got his answer, "Farak padta hai!" she yelled at him and he yelled back, "Kyun?!" but again silence fell over as she didn't had any reply for that Kyun'. She left wiping her tears whilst he kicked the nearby wall.
Zaroon didn't wanted to trouble Khushi so let go off the matter and made her aware of the prank made by Lavanya and everything was back to normal though nothing was normal now! Khushi had got a face for her prince in her dreams.
The worst time was when he had been forcefully brought back to earth the time when Khushi's mother had officially started finding a groom for her and had not at all asked or talked to him though he had been to their house many times in these days It was like someone has pulled the ground under his feet. He wondered even after shwoeirng him with so much affection, they didn't pictured him as their Son-In-law?'
"Was he not good enough?" he wondered, "Was it because of their religion difference?" he thought, "Or was it because Khushi and her family had never saw him that way?"
Khushi received a red evening dress packed as a gift with a letter which had written, "Khushi.. I would pick you up at 8, be ready and please wear this dress. -Zaroon."
She did as written on the letter and Zaroon had a hard time stopping himself from kissing her madly.
"You look beautiful!" he cherished and saw the blush creep up on her cheeks. With silence in the car soon they reached the restaurant and he led her to the area, which was beautifully decorated, and the slight music in the background was an addition to the already romantic atmosphere.
That was the most amazing moment of both of their lives when he had gone on his knees and proposed her. Zaroon's eye automatically scrunched remembering how much nervous he was but relaxed as he remembered the feeling further had taken over him when he had started,
"I Love You Khushi.. With all my heart! I've always loved you and will always do as You're my Khushi, my happiness.. I Love you a lot, Will You Marry Me Khushi?"
He twirled her around as soon as he heard a merely audible, "Yes.."
"I Love you too Zaroon.." she confessed as soon as he engulfed her.
Memories rushed back in a flow of emotions as he slammed the breaks and rushed inside the hospital not wanting to.. Lose her.' His life was not perfect... without her'.'
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