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Arakshi FF: Ajeeb si daastan.. Chapter 18C - Pg.101 27/4 (Page 23)

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Posted: 23 February 2014 at 11:53am | IP Logged
Hello everyone.. I know it's been a while and while I should've be making excuses to apologise for the delay, I have none to offer this time around. 
I've been sick of late, trying to juggle between work and my drowsiness, and squeezing in some time for IF in between. Anyhow, things look better now and I should soon be back to my old self.. 

For now, please excuse me for not being able to reply to each one of you personally. I really did want to do it, but I guess I will have to skip it for now. Having said that, I really appreciate and cherish every comment made by each one of you.. It really means a lot! Thank you.. 

I've read all comments and your feedback on the previous one. I'm so happy to know that many of you could relate to the story, the way I want you all to. 
The pace is slightly slow for now, but it's soon going to be action-packed and of course loaded with romance, Coz that's me with a pen (a keyboard, in this case..) Tongue

But I would only ask one thing of you guys. 
I really wish to know how many of you are really and sincerely interested in following the story henceforth. Don't want to sound all pricey and immodest, but a lot of effort and patience goes into penning down every update and hence I'd really appreciate if silent readers make their presence felt here..


NOTE : Don't know how many of you have watched the hangout Vid, but you might know by now that Sakshi's character on the show was supposed to be a 'grey' one. She was planted by Sikander into the ETF for his own ulterior motives.. 
Sigh! We couldn't watch it unfold on the screen. I personally feel, that would have been a welcome change as opposed to the unnecessary drag towards the end. 
We could've probably gotten to see a different side to Sakshi and Arakshi dynamics once the truth was out.. 
Anyway.. That's all past now.. Why worry when we can write our own scripts, right? Wink

So, Gorky's revelation gave me a wicked idea and ended up fueling my already twisted brain. So here's a slight twistwa!

Stay tuned to this space.. The next one is going to be the 'face-changer of the fic' wala update.. Wink
And it might just be a PM update as well.. Tongue


Okay.. enough of my lectures.. Scroll down for more.. 

WARNING: Really long one since I had to make up for the delay.. TongueLOL


                                                    Chapter 3


Next morning

She lay in her bed, staring at the high roof with her eyes wide open. Sakshi hadn't slept a wink all night.

 Watching her father's mutilated body and witnessing his honour being shredded to pieces before her eyes had scarred her for a lifetime; so much so that the visions haunted her in her sleep as well. A sleepless night hardly mattered to her now, yet something was different today.

 After a few more minutes of tossing and turning in bed, she gave in to the temptation and sat upright clutching the woollen duvet closer. She had work to do..

Sakshi quickly freshened up and tied her hair into a ponytail. Wrapping a shawl around herself, she tiptoed out of the house, taking care to not disturb her uncle sleeping in the next room.

The cool morning air hit her as she stepped into the verandah and made her way towards her secret spot near the lone mango tree behind their house. She glanced around once to make sure her secret was well guarded and took out her cellphone.

 

While she waited for the person on the other end to answer, she happened to glance at the faint outline of the Police academy across the river. The nudging feeling she had been having all night returned.

His steady, unwavering gaze while she walked away had made her jittery. Though she had initially brushed it aside as a cop's inherent nature and his kind gesture, the suspicious and inquisitive journalist that she was, kept telling her to look at it from a different perspective.

 

Just then a husky voice spoke from the other end, snapping her out of her thoughts.

"Sakshi! Finally I get to hear you..", a male voice crackled through the phone.


Sakshi sighed and a faint smile appeared on her face as she remembered her partner.

"There's a new recruitment at the academy, Jay." She paused and thought over it for a few seconds, "I met him today."


She knew she had his attention when he cleared his throat and asked, "What do you need?"

That was the question Sakshi was almost afraid to answer. Her mind drifted to the last night inevitably. 

The stranger's eyes held something deep in them; an emotion so intense that she couldn't find the right words to describe it. She felt as though he was guarding a secret or perhaps shielding himself from the world.

Try as much she did, Sakshi could not get it all out of her head. Her years of experience and solid intuitions kept hinting at something far more deep and fishy.

His offering her a lift and then making sure that she reached home safely displayed his kindness and Sakshi wasn't going to be ungrateful for it.

 

However, the fact that he lied about being new to Dhanaulti didn't go unnoticed by her.

She had caught him twice but didn't let it show. But she couldn't do away with her suspicions as well. She realised the odds were very few but her job had taught her that overlooking even a small clue could be dangerous.

 

She shook her head dismissing her judgemental convictions and answered, "I need some concrete information on ACP Rawte."

Sakshi paused to think over her words. His name rang in her ears several times during the night, but despite trying hard, she couldn't point a finger at where she'd heard it first.

She released a restless sigh.


Jay heard the name and stared hard at the flooring. He knew who she was referring to. And if he indeed was present at the Academy, they had to pull up their socks and figure out why. But now, more than that something else bothered him.

"Sakshi. You have to be very careful if he is who I think he is. They say he can read minds and break even the best without even laying a finger on them.", Jay warned.

 

"Is it?", pat came the reply.  "We have one more reason to be sure of our success then, Jay. They've sent one of their best to the rescue. Which means.."

Jay interrupted her, "Let's not jump to conclusions already. But yes, maybe you're right."

He quickly scribbled the name on a notepad and said, "Uh. Okay. Let me see what comes up. I'll send you the details as soon as possible. By the way, what happens to your budding friendship with Mrs. Ayesha Rathore?"

 

Sakshi's eyes widened at the mention of the lady she had befriended a few months ago. "I've told you this before. She's a really nice person and I will not use her for gaining an entry into the Academy, Jay. We have to come up with something else.", she said sternly.

 

Jay shook his head and stood up, "You're not thinking straight, Sakshi. You're not there to make friends and I hope you haven't forgotten that. There's too much at stake."

Sakshi, however didn't need to be reminded of it. She had made up her mind, "No Jay. I cannot do it.  There has to be another way to do it."


She very well understood what the current assignment demanded of her. Though she wasn't new to faking relationships with her clients to seek vital and secretive information, she had her own set of principles too. She was shrewd but not a cheat.

She hated lies and despised liars. It was an irony that she was in a profession where people seldom spoke the truth and sometimes it was better that way, she thought. 

Lies and deceit were the perfect masks for one to hide their true self. And she herself was treading along the same path, though half-heartedly.

 

He figured he had to trust her on this one, "Fine. But quick, Sakshi. The clock is ticking. It's been more than 2 months. And you do realise we're both answerable to people on top. I won't be able to cover for you if you mess this up."

His words rang loud in her ears, reinserting the hidden nuances behind them. She replied confidently, "I won't. I cannot fail this time, Jay."

 


Soon, the valley was flooded with warm sunshine peeping from behind the clouds.. Sakshi was snapped out of her thoughts by the sound of ringing temple bells ringing in the distance. She rubbed her arms and walked back into the house, shrugging her thoughts aside for the time being.

A little while later, as soon as Professor Khanna woke up, the aroma of ginger tea hit his senses and his feet led him into the kitchen. Sakshi looked at him and pointed at his cup of tea placed next to his newspaper on the table behind him.

"Tu phir bazaar jaakar le aayi? Kitni baar kaha hai Sakshi, main school jaakar padh loonga. Itni thand mein bahar jaane ki kya zaroorat thi?", the elderly man said scolding her.

"Uffo Mamaji. Mujhe pata hai, jab tak taaza taaza khabar nahi padh lete, aapka din shuru nahi hota. Aur waise bhi, chai ke liye doodh toh laana hi tha, saath mein aapka newspaper bhi le aayi.", she replied and smiled heartily.

 

Her uncle had his gaze fixed on her as she moved around in the kitchen, rolling rotis for lunch and boiling water on the stove for his bath. He felt guilty about the fact that she was staying back in the village for his sake, leaving behind a job which she loved and a life that she rightfully deserved.

He had tried his best to coax her into returning back to Delhi but to no avail. But not anymore..

 

He looked at her sternly and cleared his throat, "Kab tak beta? Aur kitne din sacchayi se aur apne aap se bhaagti rahegi?"

He paused when she looked up, "Aap phir se shuru ho gaye? Maine kaha na aapse, main khush hoon yahan, aapke saath. Mujhe aur kuch nahi chahiye. Aur waise bhi yahan jo aaram hai woh sheher mein kahan?", she winked stretching her arms playfully.

 

"Ek rishta aaya hai tere liye.", her uncle stated.

That grabbed her attention, her face paled and she stood up dusting her flour smeared hands.

Professor Khanna looked at her when she sat next to him. "Meri baat maan lo, Sakshi. Shaadi kar lo. Aakhir kabtak aise akeli rahogi, beta?"

When she didn't answer him, he patted her head affectionately.

 

She looked at him and asked, "Unn logon ko Papa ke baare mein bataya aapne?"

The guilty look on his face answered for him.

Sakshi shook her head and held up her hands exasperatedly, "Papa aur unse judi hui harr baat meri life ka sabse bada sach hai. Sach ko chupakar naye rishtey nahi jodey jaa sakte na, Mamaji?

Aur batakar bhi kya hoga? Woh mana kar denge na? Toh karne dijiye. Jo log mere Papa ki respect nahi kar sakte, woh meri kya izzat karenge?

Nayi zindagi shuru karne ke liye, main apni asli pehchaan nahi chupa sakti, Mamaji."

She paused and inhaled a sharp breath. "Aur waise bhi, ek deshdrohi ki beti se kaun rishta jodega?"

Her voice softened and had an almost painful edge to it. She walked back to the stove and began rolling rotis.

 

Professor Khanna knew that she wouldn't relent easily. He didn't want to force her into a marriage either. But his ailing body was slowly giving up.

He knew his little girl too well. She was strong and pretended to be even stronger, but inside she would shatter if something happened to him. She had none other to call her own.

Like every other parent, he only wished for her to be happy. He was hoping that once she resumed her work, got married and settled into a new life, the bitterness and resentment harboured in her heart would slowly fade away.

But now, when she refused the fifth marriage proposal without even considering it even once, he was thoroughly disappointed.

He saw her lift the pail of boiling water as she emptied it into a bucket for his bath. He took a deep breath and prayed for her.

He wished a day would come when he would see his daughter marry an honest man; one who would love her unconditionally and shield her from the world's malice. He hoped there was one man in the big world who would accept Sakshi for who she was and heal her with his patience and love..

 

Sakshi stood in front of the mirror, running a brush through her hair absently. Dismissing proposals and watching disappointment widen on her uncle's face hurt her as well. She knew he only wanted her to be happy. And her heart knew how much she ached to be happy, even if it meant just for a moment.

Like every other teenage girl, she too had woven dreams. She had always wondered if the highly overrated Prince Charming even existed for real and if he did, Sakshi wanted him all for herself.

She hoped one day she would find a man she could love with all her heart. Someone, who would be her best friend, a lover and her husband, all wrapped into one. She wished she had someone who would make her life worth living for, one she could stand beside during good and bad days.

She had hoped for a happily ever after..

But now that her life was toppled upside down and she had turned reclusive, shutting out everything that made her feel happy about it, she only wished she would never meet him.

Sakshi didn't have it in her to bear the brunt of one more incomplete relationship. She would rather let her heart remain intact and let it ache for something she could never have than to face it all and sink into sadness if fate tricked her a second time.

 

                                                                                   ****


Ayesha shook her head and gave them a hard look. The spicy dalia remained untouched while the two men were engaged in a silent glaring session, under the pretext of scanning the newspaper for a catchy news.

She tapped her husband's shoulder who lowered the newspaper and looked at her over his shoulder. "ACP Rathore, aaj koi special occasion hai ya phir aap chutti lekar ghar par baithnewale hain?", she asked sternly but with a teasing smile playing on her lips.

 

Arjun lifted his head too and saw her point at the clock hanging on the wall. He suppressed a chuckle upon watching his friend's pitiful state.

The smug smile was wiped off his face when Sameer glared at him and distracted his wife, directing her towards Arjun.

Ayesha crooked a brow and sat next to him at the table.


Arjun groaned softly and began stabbing at the food on his plate. "I should have gone to the mess.", he mumbled.

But his sharp ears heard it and Sameer smirked, "Kyun mere ghar ke khane mein zeher milate hain?"

Ayesha glared at her husband and handed the men a glass of juice each. "Aaj aapka cereal aur toast nahi bana payi. Bina bataye jo aa gaye aap." 

And then as if remembering something she turned to him again, "Aapko kuch aur chahiye toh bata dijiyega. Main market ja rahi hoon. Le aungi."

Arjun merely nodded ignoring Sameer's scornful gaze and began eating, "No. This is really good. Thanks Ayesha."

 

"Aaj ghar jaldi aa jaana, Sameer. Humein mandir jaana hai. Sakshi ne kaha tha aaj sham wahan havan hai. I really want to go.", Ayesha pleaded while handing him his gun and cap.

"You know I won't be able to make it, Ayesha. We're still struggling with arrangements for the new batch. Aise mein mujhe ek hafte ki chutti bhi leni hai. Tum chali jaana and I'll join you there.", he said before glancing at Arjun.

"Waise agar chaaho toh apne dost ko bhi le jaa sakti ho. Thoda dimaag bhi thanda ho jayega janaab ka issi bahane.", he remarked and drove away towards the Academy.

 

Ayesha saw her husband's softened gaze upon his best friend, when he wasn't looking and knew exactly what Sameer was thinking about.

The night before, after being caught red-handed by her, Sameer had expressed his concern about Arjun leading a reckless and reclusive life. As much as he disagreed with him on several things, including DIG Anand's innocence, he still cared for his well-being. 

He wished Arjun would let go of his stubbornness and start living once again but couldn't get himself to strike a conversation with his best friend just yet.

Ayesha, however had found a silver lining amidst the gloominess in Arjun's life. When Sameer too agreed with her, albeit a bit reluctantly, she took it upon herself to voice it out to him.

 


A little while later, Ayesha placed his books in the shelves and turned around admiring her work. Arjun was busy arranging his belongings into his closet.

His quarters which consisted of a furnished and cozy living room, an open kitchen and a bedroom overlooking the valley, were just next door. They were neighbours, with their houses separated only by a wall in the garden.

The garden was in a bad shape and Ayesha made a mental note to help him with trimming the grasses and planting a few plants once he was settled in. The sight of his empty house reminded her of something and she walked up to him.

 

Before she could speak, he beat her to it. "Iss jagah se itna pyaar ho gaya ki ab permanently ghar bhi basa liya yahan?", he asked sarcastically.

Ayesha ignored it and shook her head, "Of course. Quarters hain toh kya hua? Ghar toh uske andar rehnewale logon se banta hai na." She paused when he looked away and said, "Ek baat poochun aapse?"


The softness in her voice forced him to look up. When he didn't respond to that, she spoke again, "Kab tak aise akele rahenge aap, Sir?"

His hand stopped midway and he drew it back after folding a shirt neatly. He looked at her with not a hint of anger or offence which surprised her.

"Mere quarters ko filhaal quarters hi rehne dete hain, Ayesha. It's better that way", he said casually.

 

"I don't agree, Sir. Mujhe lagta hai, aapke ghar ko aur akelepan ko ek saathi ki zaroorat hai. A home is what you need, Arjun.", she said honestly.


Her seemingly simple words had struck a chord deep within him.  Arjun leaned against the wall and pondered over what she implied..

 

It had been years since he had let his mind and heart wander towards a girl. Not that he wasn't interested in relationships or did not believe in the institution of marriage, but he simply hadn't had the time for himself. His training at the academy, his immediate postings and later, his mentor's tragic death had left him with little time for himself.

Years later, he got so occupied with his own anger and revenge that he did not want to let in anyone else into his life.

Though he would never accept the fact that Rathore's abandonment of him hurt him, it also made him feel lonely at times. He was slowly turning into a recluse and there was very little he could do about it.

Each time he saw Ayesha and Sameer together, he sensed the void in his life. He too pined for a family of his own but he was afraid.

He didn't want to disappoint a girl, if he couldn't keep up his promises to her. 

He didn't want to hurt that one person who would probably mean the world to him.

 

Ayesha saw him lost in thoughts and a slight smile crept up on her lips. She knew just what he was thinking and hoped he would act on it soon.

 Like her husband, she too wished for him to move past his bitterness and anger and make a new beginning. Though it seemed difficult for now, Ayesha was hopeful that he would go back to being the Arjun, she had known and heard only from stories narrated by Shree and Chottu.

 

She walked through the now deserted corridor of the Academy, heading towards her husband's office when her cellphone rang. 

She glanced at the number and quickly answered it, "Hello Ma. Yes, we'll be there for Bhaiya's engagement. Hum dono kal raat nikal rahe hain."

The mother and daughter's conversation went on for a few minutes unmindful of the fact that someone else had witnessed it too.. 


                                                                           ****

SCROLL DOWN FOR MORE>>> 


Edited by _Mohabbatgirl_ - 27 February 2014 at 1:33pm

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Posted: 23 February 2014 at 11:54am | IP Logged

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Posted: 23 February 2014 at 11:55am | IP Logged
 *edited*

Okay then, here I am finally. Sorry about the late comment behna.


So Sakshi is working with someone to uncover whatever is going on at the academy and also to prove her father's innocence and that is why she is hiding away with her uncle.

And now she is investigating Arjun, will she come to find out her father was Arjun's mentor and how her father's death has effected Arjun?

I get the feeling she will get to know something and based on that she will have her own agenda in the works.

Whatever it is I think in the end it will all end up working out for her. Her dreams just may come true and she may get the life partner she had always hoped for, of course it won't be that easy either.

Ayesha a peace maker, somehow I never pictured her as a homemaker and a wife, but it is not so hard to imagine her in this role.

I did however, picture her as the one who would mend Rathore and Arjun's relationship and that is exactly what is happening in this one, loved the morning scene between the three friends.

Aha..so Arjun too had dreamed of being married and loving someone but the death of his mentor changed him completely, this is very interesting.

Who is following Ayesha and listening to her conversation?

And then we have Arjun and Sakshi second encounter, I wonder what is in store for them next.

P.S. I am with Fareen on this one, Lollipop is an apt name for you.Disapprove

You stopped there? Really?

Anyhow, you owe me a jaldi, jaldi update.


So I am waiting.Tongue


Loved the update, please do continue soon, and stop tadpofying us. SYS?


Edited by ll-Shilpa-ll - 09 March 2014 at 7:45am

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Posted: 23 February 2014 at 3:11pm | IP Logged
I dont know why I am thinking about your FF today and kinda missing it Embarrassed
I hope you are recovering well :)

This is gonna be reserved until you post hehe Big smile

Unres - finally!

I should really be working but since i have nothing to do i started reading your update and i was so engrossed in it that i ignored everything else around me whilst i read it.
I was in Dhanaulti, i was living the scene, i could feel the mountains the calm, the peace around me...ahhh Avniii thank you so much for taking me there!
I am suddenly missing that place...so many distant and fading memories connected with that place.. including a last trip with my grandfather. Do miss him so ...

Anyway, coming to your update! It was beautiful from the start...I dont know how else to explain it really. Every scene was so beautifully penned down. My favourites include the little scene with Arjun and Aisha, the scene at the temple...felt so much of peace Embarrassed and now i so badly want to go to a temple...not here! I miss delhi too now Ouch
oh lemme continue my fav list! Also this bit:

"The slippery ghats overlooking the slow-paced, milky white waters offered a reflection of the blissful surroundings. The misty air carried with it a sweet fragrance of flowers and incense. A few ladies stood at the banks of the river, lighting earth lamps and setting them afloat on the sailing leaf boats."

Ahhh so beautiful!
And then the last scene of courseDay Dreaming
OMG...so Sakshi is here for a mission? I did NOT see that coming...ahhh. And who is Jay..what are they planning? So much mystery! 
And why why did you have to stop thereShockedOuchBroken Heart

Please please do continue sooonnn!! Loved this update so much that i cannot find words apt enough to describe it Embarrassed
Thank you sooo much for this wonderful story Avniii!Hug And you better keep writing, samjhe ya samjhaon?Evil Smile


Edited by ritu_24 - 07 March 2014 at 4:47am
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Posted: 24 February 2014 at 12:07am | IP Logged
Enjoyed it .. Down their memory lane.
Two different people with same motive.

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Posted: 25 February 2014 at 3:03am | IP Logged
Avantika, my poppet, one thing I know for sure. By the time you are finished with this one, you will have 100+ likes for each entrancing chapter, and not just from those like me who are so taken with your mist clad hills and the smell of wood smoke, of rain lashed slopes and wildflowers in  spring.

This one has a dreamy air to it. Not only the romantic dreaminess of Arjun's dhaba meeting and then the jeep ride with a jittery, wary, secretive  Sakshi, as edgy as a kitten on hot  bricks (not yet a cat, for sure!) about this stranger cop with the hard eyes. But also the dark, mysterious  dreaminess of a smiling landscape that hides treachery and deceit, crimes that cry out for justice and redressal. In the grime and rush of Mumbai, such things would be the merest commonplace. But in serene Dhanaulti, they stand out like a sore thumb, an ugly aberration amidst the loveliness of Mother Nature.

I think you chose this setting deliberately, to underline this contrast. I am glad you did.  I remember something Holmes says to Watson in The Copper Beeches,  where his client. Violet Smith, is employed in a countryside mansion set 5 miles from the nearest railway station. He says that one is far safer in the meanest city slums, where there are always people who would respond to a cry for help (of course that was in the late 19th century, not now!) than in the pleasant looking countryside, where one could be murdered and buried 6 feet deep amidst the heather without anyone being any the wiser. Villainy on the grand scale can flourish unseen more easily in small, isolated places than in mega cities.

I was not surprised  to see that our warring duo, Rathore and Rawte, are back to their familiar ways, for I remembered your warning of some time back! Given the bone of contention between them, it is an entirely plausible falling out. I was glad to see that Ayesha is on Arjun's side on this one, but I admired her for knowing just how far to carry this difference of their respective stands on Samar Anand. That is what goes into the making of an independent and yet  loving spouse.

So Ayesha makes buttery parathas? Good for her. And for Shree and Chotu too, of course. How nice it feels to have them around once again, at least here! I realised anew how much  I miss the original, post-Ayesha entry ETF. Those were their best days and the cases were also the best then. Like the one of the 1975 cinema tickets.

I was not sad to see the series wound up on Sunday last. It was at least a dignified and elegiac ending, with Rathore in a touching cameo, harking back to the old days and reinstating Arjun's by now almost mythical quest for Sikandar where it belongs, up front and centre. In fact, they can always revive it if they so  choose, for the ending was deliberately ambiguous, though that is probably wishful thinking!

I hope your stomach infection is better, if not completely gone. These things have an unfortunate tendency to linger, like my recurrent eye problems, now nearly 7 months gone and still no end in sight. But for the zoom option, I would not be able to read this at all, and anything more than 30 minutes at a stretch at the laptop tires my eyes  out and I have to stop.  As for the migraine, which I get infrequently, that is a frightful and totally draining affliction.  I am sorry that you are stuck with that as well, my poor girl.  I only hope that you do not get them too often these days.

Take care, my dear. Affectionately,

Shyamala Aunty

[QUOTE=_Mohabbatgirl_]Heylo.. Yup.. Back with the next one.. Read and replied to your comments.. Thanks soo much.. 
I know it's in the initial stages and the plot is still a mystery but we shall get there in a few updates.. Wink

Again, I'm cheating coz I will be carrying forward the precap.. The update got too long! Ouch
And I hope you like it.. Looking forward to your suggestions, if any.. Smile


                                                             Chapter Two

Part A



Edited by sashashyam - 25 February 2014 at 3:05am

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life93AeDilHaiMushkil

coolRD Senior Member
coolRD
coolRD

Joined: 27 October 2013
Posts: 911

Posted: 27 February 2014 at 2:35pm | IP Logged
Awsme!!
It ws beautifully writn
Really luvd it..
Arjun's nd sakshi's feelngs nd their suffrngs ws wndrfully portryd
Cntinue soon.. eagrly waitng 4 d big dhamaaka u'v plnd
Thnk u 4 d pm

The following 1 member(s) liked the above post:

AeDilHaiMushkil

rinku95 IF-Rockerz
rinku95
rinku95

Joined: 31 January 2009
Posts: 6781

Posted: 27 February 2014 at 2:52pm | IP Logged
Originally posted by coolRD

Awsme!!
It ws beautifully writn
Really luvd it..
Arjun's nd sakshi's feelngs nd their suffrngs ws wndrfully portryd
Cntinue soon.. eagrly waitng 4 d big dhamaaka u'v plnd
Thnk u 4 d pm

The following 1 member(s) liked the above post:

AeDilHaiMushkil

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