Iss Pyaar Ko Kya Naam Doon


Iss Pyaar Ko Kya Naam Doon
Iss Pyaar Ko Kya Naam Doon

Shades of Love #7: The Dancing Queen

ShikhaKhushi IF-Rockerz

Joined: 20 May 2012
Posts: 9121

Posted: 07 January 2014 at 2:57pm | IP Logged

Big smile It took some time but it's definitely here now!

But before I start, I have to let you know a thing or two. You must have noticed that the title of this series changed from 'Fifty Shades of Love' to simply 'Shades of Love', and you must be wondering why that happened? Well, it's because I have brought a change in the whole plan. You will NOT be having 50 fairytale-based stories, because - let's be serious - I will never find 50 fairytales that I will be able to adapt to Arnav and Khushi, so I'll go until whichever number is possible.
BUT the good news is... You will actually have 50+ Shades of Love!!! Now you must be thinking I lost my mind because I just said there there will be less than 50 fairy tales? I still have it! Defected sure, but it's still inside my cranial box! The thing is that I have divided the SOL series into multiple 'eras', we'll call it. Right now, you have the Fairytale Era going on, and afterwards, when I'm done with all the possible fairytales, I'll do other eras like Greek mythology, Arabian Nights, Folklore, History, etc. You get my point, eh? The idea is crazy but I'll go ahead with it. I have not decided yet what will come after the Fairytale Era but as there is still a looot of time for that, just chill and enjoy this one! *Salute*
The Dancing Queen
The most known and supposedly original story is in fact 'The Twelve Dancing Princesses' and for this one I have watched the Disney Barbie version as well as read the real thing. According to the 'original' tale, there is a King whose Queen died after giving birth to their baby. They had twelve children in all and all were girls. The Queen's death broke the King's heart so badly that he could not really connect to other people, and even if he truly loved his daughters, he could not have that fatherly bond with them.
The Princesses grew up to be extremely beautiful but they were very mysterious. They would befriend no other lady and every morning, each would throw out a brand new pair of shoes that had been completely worn out overnight. The King grew anxious at that. He announced that whoever discovered where his daughters went at night and what they did to ruin all these shoes, he would give to that man the hand of any of his girls in marriage and his kingdom too. Several men tried only to fail. Then a man came along, dressed as a simple traveller and where everyone had failed, he discovered that the twelve Princesses went to a palace hidden in the woods once night had fallen and they would dance until sunrise.
He broke the curse the Princesses were subject to and married one of them and they lived happily ever after. Of course, the Disney version is different but very cute. My story is not based on this tale though. There is a similar but lesser known story that I had read as a child, based on the same concept but I had always preferred this one. I don't know if there is any movie on it but I was very surprised when I few years ago I heard the song 'Hawa Hawa' from Rockstar because it's basically the tale of The Dancing Queen, the fairytale my story will be based upon.
So, in this tale, there is a harsh, cruel King who rules over a cold, sad kingdom. For some reason, he had banned any form of dance in his country and if someone was caught dancing, he or she would be executed. One day, while hunting, he came across a very beautiful girl. He did not fall in love with her for his heart was made of stone, but her beauty captivated him and he absolutely had to have her. She would be his trophy in a way. It was a King who had to have the best things in the world. He asked the girl to come with him but she refused, so he abducted her and forcibly married her. He made her his Queen but never paid her any attention. She was there to only grace his side with her ethereal beauty.
Soon after, the King started to realise there was something wrong with his Queen. She disappeared from her rooms at night. He then called for his most trusted soldier and asked him to follow the Queen like a shadow. The next morning, the soldier presented himself in front of his King, shaking with fear and told the King that the Queen returned to the forest where she had been found to dance with a tribe. That night, the King followed her and saw it with his own eyes. This tale does not have a happy end; the King took her away from there and closed her in a tower forever so that she could not again and the Queen finally died of a broken heart, of lack of love and dance...
I don't know why, but this story had always touched me, and despite it's sad ending, I loved it more, which is why I chose this tale instead of The Twelve Dancing Princesses. I just hope that you too will like it. At least my adaptation of it! :) Read till you find THE END!
Have a nice read,
I do not own IPKKND or The Dancing Queen, characters included, but I do own the words you will read below.
[One thing! I don't PM. If you want to be notified when I update, please PM me you email address or send me an email at][/NOCOPY]
P.S. Oh! And I am adding the song from Rockstar in case you don't know what I am talking about! =)


Edited by ShikhaKhushi - 07 January 2014 at 6:35pm

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ShikhaKhushi IF-Rockerz

Joined: 20 May 2012
Posts: 9121

Posted: 07 January 2014 at 2:58pm | IP Logged


"Find out where she goes, who she meets, what she does when I am not at home. I want you to find out everything. And be careful she doesn't know about it."

"Yes, ASR."

"You can leave now," he dismissed his right-hand man, Aman Mathur, coldly.

His face still as impassive, he stood up straight and walked behind his chair to stare at the city that stretched beneath him. It was in her best interest if she was not doing something as bad as he was thinking, because if she was, he could not guarantee that the remaining of her life would be as smooth as it could be.

He had only asked something very simple of her. He had his own life and he was allowing her to have hers, on the condition that she would do nothing to slander his name. Maybe because of her humble middle class background, he had initially trusted her to be a good docile wife who would neither interfere with his lifestyle, nor harm his reputation. But he could not believe so anymore. She had started lying to him...

"Sir?" his secretary peeped in his cabin fearfully and he turned his head only slightly to acknowledge her. "It's a phone call from your sister." He nodded once, not bothering to say a word and the girl left. He returned to his seat and picked the receiver.

"Yes, Di."

"Chhote? How are you?" his sister's chirpy voice reached him.

A small smile played on his lips instantly. That would certainly be the only time one could see Arnav Singh Raizada smile. When he talked to his sister or was around her, he would completely change. It was as if she were the only woman who could pull a positive reaction out of him.

"I am fine, Di. How are you?"

She giggled. "Very well, thank you! And how is Khushi? She didn't call me today."

At the mere mention of that name, the smile melt away leaving the place for the furious darkening of his eyes. "She must be busy."

"Chhote, did you fight with her? I have always told you to be careful. Why do you get angry over everything? The poor girl is your wife, Chhote! You have to learn to respect her!"

He stiffened and shut his eyes angrily. Then, exhaling his frustration he replied with as much calm as he could. "Di, I am busy right now, so if you don't mind, can I talk you later?"

"Yes," she sighed. "It's fine. That's always what you do, right? Work, work and work. Whenever it comes to the people around you, you don't care, except if it concerns me." His jaws clenched together as his sister remained silent for a moment. "I had thought that Khushi could change you but you only turned harsher, Chhote, and the way you treat her is shameful. Sometimes I regret... Let it be, you are busy."

The line went dead. He put the receiver down viciously and glared at it, wishing it would burn up. Anjali Jha was older than him by nine years. She had brought him up after their parents had died when he had just turned eleven and ever since, she had been his mother. So when she had practically begged him to marry a girl of her liking, he had not been able to turn her down, even though he hardly knew the girl.

His sister lived in Lucknow, the city where they had been born and raised, married to a professor at the university, Shyam Manohar Jha. One day, while she had been meeting her husband for lunch on the campus, she had met his star student and immediately taken a liking to the girl. She had found her very interesting, intelligent and well-mannered, as much as beautiful and Anjali Jha had been convinced that Khushi Kumari Gupta would be the perfect match for her younger brother.

Then had started a huge plot, in which Shyam and their children had been helpless minions following the orders of the lady of the house, who could be as wilful as her very stubborn brother. He took three months to succumb to his sister's tears. He did not know how his brother-in-law's student had agreed and he had not asked either. Did he have to? It was obviously because of his wealth. He earned in a day what her whole family could have earned in a complete year.

Anyway, they had gotten married and he had done it solely for his sister. He had barely bothered to look at the girl after that. On their wedding night, he had just explained her the terms of their marriage - which revolved around their segregated lives and her occasional role of the trophy wife, whenever it would be required - then he had asked a maid to show her to her rooms and gone to sleep.

They seldom spoke to each other. In the beginning, she had tried. She had tried to befriend him or start a conversation with him during the rare meals he allowed himself to have at home, but he had silenced her and killed her hopes with his disinterested, one-worded answers. She seemed to gradually understand what he wanted and stayed out of his way. At times, she didn't even appear at the table. But it was not what had made him suspicious.

A couple of months ago, he had spotted her in a rickshaw as he had been returning from a meeting. That had annoyed him. He had five cars at home and three drivers, one of whom was his personal driver, another was hers and the third was for emergencies or to be sent on errands. Why had she not taken one of them and used public transport instead? It was humiliating. So, when he had seen her for dinner that night, he had coolly asked her not to do that again since it would tarnish his reputation and she had replied with equal coolness that she had not been out that day, before calmly leaving the room.

That had been the beginning. After that, he had repeatedly seen her around Chandni Chowk, still in an old auto, at around the same time, and while he kept asking her about it, she kept lying to him, saying that she stayed at home and read or helped with the housework. Those were blatant lies, and she knew that he had smelled them. Yet, she had made no step to clarify anything to him. So, he had been left with no other choice but to conduct a little search of his own.

Was she seeing another man? Was she having an affair? Why didn't surprise him? Well, he had not been the best of husbands, it was true. But she had wanted wealth and fame, she had both of them. Was that still not enough? But the most important question was, why did it bother him? Was it only because of his reputation or something else?

Arnav grit his teeth and checked his BlackBerry. It was fifteen to one and his next meeting was at one thirty with the head of the accounts department. Meanwhile, he was supposed to read a few files concerning the next company he was planning to take over. But he was in no mood to work. He wouldn't be until he heard from Aman again and he would have to wait for a whole week for that.

He exhaled heavily before summoning his secretary to call off all the appointments and meetings scheduled for that day. He was going home.


Her hair was in a mess, her clothes [earrings] slightly crumpled, her makeup smudged and she was sweating and panting as she skittered inside the house. She had not seen him yet as he sat, leaning back in the armchair, in the living room. Her lips were parted in a wide grin and her eyes were sparkling. It was as if she were no longer the wife he had known for the past five months but another person who had more life, spontaneity and who bubbled with the happiness her name suggested.

"Daaya Bhai!" she called chirpily for their head servant cum cook. The man came out of the kitchen and approached her with such caution that Arnav realised things were not like this during his absence. When he would be away, they would run to her at her beck and call. In a child-like manner, she tilted her head as if to ask what the matter was. Daaya Bhai glanced over her shoulder, caught his master's glare and looked down shamefully.

His wife turned around with a determined, fierce expression, meaning to take down the person who had dared scare the poor man but when she saw him, she froze. Her expression melted away rapidly to be replaced by shock, and she reddened violently. As for him, he stared at her silently. He kicked this realization out of his mind that it was the first time he was looking at her. Really looking at her, his wife. For a moment, he even forgot why there was such a distance between them...

He waited for her to offer some haphazard explanation but she did not. She looked away indifferently and went into the kitchen, a fearful Daaya Bhai on her heels. Arnav saw red right at that instant. His muscles coiled with black fury. He wanted to drag her up in a closed room where the servants would not hear them and demand answers from her, he wanted her to tell him whether she was having an affair or not. But he knew that he had no right to do that and he was the reason behind it himself.

Swallowing a growl, he strode to his room, changed and left the house for the gym. Maybe working out would help with calming down...


"But ASR, you just returned from Bangalore. I think you should rest a bit before-"

The withering glare he sent Aman was enough to make him shut up. The man sighed and sat down, taking a file out of his briefcase and slid it across the table to Arnav who did not touch it. He was not going to read the report Aman's men had sent before having heard it from Aman himself. He was too tired right now and as Aman had suggested, it might have been best if he had had some rest but this was too important for him. It had disturbed him to the point that he had preponed some of his meetings in Bangalore and spent the week there, away from his house, away from that woman...

Aman cleared his voice, a frown of embarrassment on his face. "This concerns your wife, ASR. I don't know if I should tell you this or let you read..."

"Just tell me what you have," Arnav commanded.

"Fine," Aman nodded and straightened himself. "Mrs Raizada works in Chandni Chowk. For a halwai."

"Excuse me, what?"

"A halwai, someone who makes sweets?"

"I know!" he snarled, getting to his feet to pace across the room with his phenomenal anger barely within his control. "But why the f**k does she need to work? Are you sure that she works? She is not seeing anyone?"

"The men watched her closely, ASR. She just works there, under an old woman, Madhumati Kishore, who lives with her grandson, Nand. He spends as much time as he can with Mrs Raizada while she learns from Mrs Kishore but he is only fifteen. He is completely harmless. Anyway, Mrs Raizada works there for six hours every day. But after that..."


"The men lose her all the time. They say the streets are too crowded at the time she leaves the shop and they are unable to follow her. We don't know where she goes for the two hours she goes out."

Arnav balled his hands into fists at his side. "Okay. Tomorrow I will follow her."


Edited by ShikhaKhushi - 07 January 2014 at 5:08pm

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ShikhaKhushi IF-Rockerz

Joined: 20 May 2012
Posts: 9121

Posted: 07 January 2014 at 2:58pm | IP Logged

As Aman had informed him, she spent the day working at the sweet shop with the Kishores. It was not so difficult to find a spot from where he could watch her [earrings]. There was a little public park right across the road; half the time he sat in his car and half the time he would be in the park. She worked tirelessly the whole time, even as the summer heat pelted on them, she served the customers with a gentle smile, she also looked after the ageing Madhumati with as much keenness.

It was the first time he was seeing her smile so much. Her demeanour too was different, more relaxed. She laughed, danced when no one was around, ruffled the boy's hair and joked with him. He realised she was beautiful. Very beautiful, and in every way. Anger enveloped him again, but this time, he was angry at himself. He had ruined her life. She deserved someone who would recognise her value and treasure her. He didn't have any feelings for her. He didn't know her, despite being her husband for five months. He had not even tried to. She had, but he had pushed her away. Could he blame her if she looked for love and happiness elsewhere?


He could not allow himself to take his eyes off her. She was walking ahead, not too fast, not too slow, but the streets were crowded, as Aman had told him. He had had to leave his car near the shop itself because she had gone from there on foot. Jacket, tie and waistcoat left in the car due to the unbearable heat, he had rolled his sleeves and followed her. Thankfully, she had worn something unusually bright today, which made it easier for him to distinguish her from the crowd.

Finally she turned into a less frequented, narrower street. Arnav wrinkled his nose in distaste. The place was dirty, hot and smelly. He wished he could leave, but he had to know why she came here, why she pretended to be at home while she was working and doing God-knows-what in such a part of the city. He wouldn't be in peace until he knew that. Maybe she came here to meet her lover? No one would ever think of Mrs Raizada coming here...

He saw her knock at a door, so he stopped at a careful distance to see the door open. She went inside and the door closed itself. He frowned, debating over what he should do. Should he let her be or go knock at that door too and find out? He sighed. Would he be able to go away from here, without knowing what she was hiding from him?

Hell, no. She was his wife. Whether or not he had treated her like one, she was his wife. Their names and lives were linked together despite his not wanting it. If she loved someone else, she deserved to be with him more that leading this double life. It would make things easier. He would not mind divorcing her if it would free them both from this unwanted relationship. There was nothing in between them to hold them back. And since he knew she was not going to tell him anything, he would have to find out for himself.

Stiffly, he went up to the battered wood door and grimaced at it gingerly. It looked like it was rotting away, the marine blue oil paint peeling off it. It was with a lot of reluctance that he knocked. A woman opened it, blocking the entrance with her arms, and raised a brow at him. Her hair was piled into a high, extravagant bun, she wore layers of flashy make up and her lips her painted in blood red, she was dressed in a rather revealing sari. He would have said the woman had not sense of fashion but the realisation of what this place really was made his throat go dry. She spat the paan she had been chewing on near his glossy Italian leather shoes and grinned rakishly at him.

"This place is closed during the day, jaaneman. Come back after sunset and we'll be at your feet."

Rage exploded within him. His blood turned into pitiless fire as his nostrils flared, as if his breaths burned him. He clenched his fists tight at his sides and without thinking twice, he shoved the woman aside and pushed his way into the building.


Panting heavily, she wiped her sweaty brow with the back of her hand.

"You don't work hard enough, Khushi," Sharmila reprimanded her gruffly. "I can see you are not practising." She bent her head shamefully and bit her lip. The older woman lifted her chin with the wooden rod she used to create the music by tapping it against a block of wood. Khushi saw a small, barely discernible smile playing on her lips. "You are very good. But you can be so much better than that. You are the best student I have had until now. Chalo, tie those ghoongroos properly and start again."

She nodded silently and sat down in the floor, regardless of the dirt and began fixing the ties of the thick ghoongroos that cuffed her ankles, only to be interrupted by the door bursting open right in front of her. She gasped and looked up in the burning eyes of her husband. Sweat dripped from his body even as he shook with immeasurable fury. She, on the other hand, sat there petrified. She could not move a muscle on her own. Her eyes were locked with his and it felt as if he controlled all of her. Her eyes widened with fear as he advanced on her and she opened her mouth to protest but she could not make any sound.

There was nothing she could do when his hand, with steely force, closed itself around her delicate wrist and he pulled her off the ground without saying anything. She already knew it would leave a bruise there. He started dragging her out of there and she wanted to protest, but she could not. Sharmila stood in his way.

"Saabji, I understand you must be Khushi's husband. I will not ask you to let her do what she wants to, I only want to reassure you that your wife has done nothing wrong. She only came here for her dance lessons."

She saw him turn his face only slightly to look at her and the way Sharmila lowered her eyes as she retreated, Khushi could already guess the infuriated look her husband must have given her. His hand tightened cruelly around her, and he walked faster than she could, so that she had to run after him lest she fell down and he keep dragging her until they reached his house...


She jumped when he banged the door of the car shut and strode over to drag her out of it. Surprisingly, her eyes were dry, even when he caught her bruised arm with greater brutality and pulled her into the house. She was just frozen and the fear made her heart throb with anticipation. Her cover had fallen off without any grace. He had never had any feelings for her before, but now he would surely despise her.

But she had not done anything wrong, anything that could have dragged him and his prestigious name through mud, had she? No one had had the least idea of who she was or where she went during the day. At that time, she would just be Khushi, not Mrs Raizada who had thousand of rules imprisoning her, who was unloved by her husband, who was closed in a palatial mansion with nothing to do and no one to talk to... She knew she had not done anything wrong.

When he finally stopped in the living room and ordered the servants that they were released for the day, she crumpled to the ground and fought to catch her breath. He stood there, like a statue made of marble until the house was empty, then crouched low beside her to pick her up from the ground again, his talon-like grip around her upper arms this time.

"Go," he ordered in a low, dangerous voice. "Take a bath, wash this stench off you and put fresh clothes. I want you to throw these away and after that you will come down and we will discuss this. Go!"

She stumbled as he released her to walk into his study. Her arms instinctively went around her to hug herself. This man, who had shunned her from their wedding night, he had never understood her before. What would he understand of her now?


He gritted his teeth, decimating her [earrings] with his eyes only while she stood in front of him, her hands linked tersely before her, against her stomach. He only knew the intensity of fury that was raging through him. He badly wanted to kill someone with his bare hands.

"Why?" he growled. She jerked at the suddenness of it and he shut his eyes tight for a moment, not even knowing why her fear was kicking him in the gut. "Why do you have to go... in those kinds of places? Don't I give you enough? You have my money, you have this house, you have plenty of free time. What the f**k do you want more dammit? I know. I think I know what you want. You want me to get irritated with the things you do so bad that I file a divorce against you, so that you get a big share of my wealth all for yourself, right? That is what you want?"

Lips parted, she looked up at him with shock and he was himself surprised at the incredulity that showed on her face. Her eyes slowly filled up, causing his insides to burn with something unknown. Hurt flared up in those dark, innocent orbs. His frown deepened. Had he gotten her wrong?


Edited by ShikhaKhushi - 07 January 2014 at 5:09pm

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ShikhaKhushi IF-Rockerz

Joined: 20 May 2012
Posts: 9121

Posted: 07 January 2014 at 2:59pm | IP Logged

So that was what he thought of her? That she was just a gold-digger who was plotting to usurp his wealth. Well she did not want any of it. He could keep all of it to himself. Her eyes stung with the hot, salty tears that had pooled inside them and despite her constant blinking to keep them away, they came up even more. But Khushi steeled herself. This might as well be her last day in this house, but for all the months of silence and suffering and hostility, she was going to tell him exactly what was on her mind, exactly who she was.

"No, that is not what I want. I do want a lot of things, Mr Raizada, but your wealth is not one of them and that is why I have found a work myself. I have come to loathe being your wife, Mr Raizada. I don't even feel that I am your wife, we are just two strangers living in one big empty house. I feel lonely and unloved. If there is something that has pushed me to lead this double life it is you! You and only you! Why did you marry me if it was only to abandon me?"

He turned away from her coldly, signifying the end of this conversation but she was not done with him yet. He had asked her questions and blamed her. He had wanted this. Well, he would have to listen to her now. She clenched her fists tightly and took a step forward.

"Your sister had told me you were a very good person and you had a heart of gold. She had told me so many things about you that I had started to believe myself in love with you. She had also warned me that it would not be so easy to get to you, but she was wrong. Either Anjaliji is delusional, or she is the only person to whom you can be humane. I tried to get closer to you so many times, but you responded with nothing but coldness. Did you for one second think how hurtful that was? Did you for one second think that the girl who was trying to know you was your wife? You never wanted a wife, did you, Mr Raizada? Why did you marry me then?"

Her husband was shaking with rage again when he turned on her and advanced, forcing her to retreat. "I could ask you the same thing. Why did you marry me? For my money and fame, right? After all, the opportunity to become the wife of Arnav Singh Raizada does not present itself every day. I gave it all you dammit, and I asked one think of you. To keep this name as clean, as pure as it was when it had been given to you. And you couldn't even... But one cannot expect of something better from a girl like you. Girls like you-"

"Girls like me dream that they will a husband who will love them, Mr Raizada. Not one who will be a stranger to them! And I have told you, you can keep your money and every of your precious things to yourself. I don't want them. I just want a life, I want happiness. I want to exist! I don't want to be a bird in a golden cage! And I have not done anything to slander the Raizada name. I have not done anything to cause disrespect to my parents or grandparents!"

He snorted, disgusted. "Oh, really? Then what were you doing in that filthy shop in Chandni Chowk? What were you doing in that... in that brothel?"

She lifted her chin with dignity and stared back at him. "I was being Khushi, I was being who I really am. I was helping people who truly need it and getting some help and some moments of happiness in return. You will obviously not understand that because you base everything on money. Well then, I will explain it to you. Madhumati Kishore's son and daughter-in-law died fourteen years ago. Since then she had the sole responsibility of her grandson and it was not easy for her. She was very poor and all her relatives had alienated her because she had fallen into bad times. She suffers from asthma. But she still went and did odd jobs to feed the boy. It meant also that she had to starve for days at times but she did it.

"Now she is too sick and old to look after her shop and her grandson. That is I why I am helping her. If I don't Nand will have to stop going to school and do it, and his future will not be as bright. He is an intelligent boy, he will go far if he get the push he needs. During the day, I go there and Madhuji helps me perfect the art of sweet making. I have a little bit of experience because my father is a halwai too, another thing that you might not know because you were never interested enough to ask. When Nand returns from school I teach him how to make the sweets and he takes over while he does his homework at the same time. And Mr Raizada, when I cook the sweets and sell them, I actually get a reaction from the customers. They are strangers to me, but when they eat the sweets and tell me how good they are, I feel something. And you, my husband, still do not realise that every meal you eat at home is prepared by your wife. You never say anything about it. It's as if the food is tasteless.

"And about the brothel? I go there to learn dancing from Sharmila Taayi. Yes, she is a prostitute, but she did not become so of her own choice. None of those women wanted that, they did not choose it. Each of them has her own story, which, of course, you won't care about, will you? Sharmila Taayi was married to a fisherman in Mumbai before. He decided to shift to Delhi because he had heard it was easier to earn money by doing odd jobs here. She followed him dutifully, knowing that her talents of a dancer would go waste here. She used to work in a theatre, with a group of drama artists, but she left all of it for him. Do you know what that man did? He sold her when nothing else worked. He sold her to a brothel. Just like that. As if she were an ornament in his house, which is, by the way, what you think of me. Sharmila Taayi has three daughters. Two of them are already selling their bodies for meagre incomes like their mother and they doing everything possible so that the third girl also does not have to... What is wrong if I try to help them? I take dance lessons from her and pay her for it. Don't worry. I did not touch your money. All the money I get as salary from Madhuji is what I pay her with. That is all I do.

"And now, if all the curiosity about my life that has suddenly awoken in you is satisfied, I want to go to my room and start packing. I will not stay in your house and make you suffer with my annoying presence any longer. I will leave for my parents' house tomorrow morning. You can send the divorce papers there."


Powerless, he watched her go. He felt weightless. He felt as if a load of bricks had fallen over his head. He felt like the ground had slipped from beneath his feet. He felt his heart beat for the first time. And it was beating with an unknown frenzy, with a feeling he could not put in words... All he could think about was the girl who had suddenly started to exist for him...


"Happy Singh! Happy Singh!" She [earrings] tried not to frown as his roar reverberated in the house while she dragged her suitcases down the stairs. She tried not to look at him. "Put memsaab's luggage in the car with mine." Her head snapped up at his command. Happy Singh, his driver, almost choked himself. Mr and Mrs Raizada had sat in the same car only once; when they had come from Lucknow, newly married. He glared at his driver. "What are you waiting for, dammit?"

Happy scurried as fast as he could to pick Khushi's suitcases but she shook her head politely at him. "Let it be, Happyji. I'll do it myself. If you could only call a taxi for me, please?"

"There is no need for it," her husband interrupted tonelessly. "We are both going to Lucknow in my car. Happy Singh will drive us there. Now be quick. I don't want any unnecessary delay."


She was sulking. It was perhaps the first time since she had been seven or eight that she was sulking. All because of her husband. Her future ex-husband who had abruptly started noticing her. Who should be trying to get rid of her as one got rid of a stray dog. Then what was he doing here, seated beside her in his luxurious, air-conditioned car? Why had he refused to let her find a taxi and go on her own? Why was he coming with her? She sighed, gulping down the tears. Oh yes, of course Mr Arnav Singh Raizada wanted to make sure that she would go to her parents' house and not elsewhere...


She stilled when he got down from the car and started taking the suitcases out, then her eyes widened as she noticed the supplementary suitcases that did not belong to her. Happy Singh came up to take the luggage inside but he shook his head. "It's been a long time since you have met your brother. Go, see him. I'll call you when we are ready to leave."

He pushed her hands off her things to lift as much as he could at one go, making her frown and try to snatch some of the suitcases. "What are you doing?" she asked, frowning.

"Taking the things in. You don't expect them to magically walk inside, do you?" he stared at her blankly.

Her eyes flashed and he wondered if it could be possible for someone to look as beautiful even in anger. "Yes but what are you doing here?"

"What do you think I am doing here?"

She squared her shoulders and glared at him. "To check that I came here only, am I right? Well, you can go back now. I have nowhere else to go."

Arnav thinned his lips, watching her silently for a moment. He could not blame her. It was the impression of himself that he had given her. He would have to live with it and make amends until went away. "You are wrong," he muttered simply.


He didn't look like he wanted to go anywhere. They had not spoken at all in the car and apart from that brief conversation outside the house, she [earrings] had not had the chance to talk to him and demand some clarifications. Her family had been around all the time. She looked at him as she sat between her nana and nani. He was eating whatever her mother piled in his plate and talking politely to her father. He had not smiled at all, he had not praised the food, but at least he had not been coldly silent, as he had been to her.

He was respectful to everyone, he was warming up to her family and she could not understand why. Why was he even here? Why was he making it so difficult? Had he stayed in Delhi or gone away immediately after dropping her, it would have been so easier for her to explain to her parents and grandparents that she had not been able to keep her marriage afloat. Was he doing this to make her appear faulty of it? Because she had not wanted to tell her family the real reason behind their separation. She would never have wanted him to be hated, not because she felt for the man but because he was Anjaliji's brother...

"Khushi," her nani whispered and she turned to her grandmother instantly. "You are happy with him, aren't you?"

She felt her eyes fill up instantly. There. He had done it. He had what he wanted. She could see in the old woman's eyes that she already had a soft corner for him. How could she tell her nani now, that he had come here to leave her, that he hated her to the point of ignorance. She smiled tightly and nodded.


"-and those are a rare colour of Cybidium orchids. I had planted them last winter."

"Nana," she walked up to them and set the shawl around her grandfather's thin shoulder, noticing that he had really lost weight since the last time she had seen him. She swallowed her tears again and smiled at him. Now that she was here, she would never leave them again and she would take care of them herself. "How many times should we tell you not to go out at night? It gets chilly and that gives you a cold, even in summer. Go inside and have some rest."

"I was just showing damadji my plants. You said he likes gardening too. Isn't it interesting? I have an obsession for orchids, your father for lilies and your husband for roses?"

She nodded stiffly. "Yes, now stop making excuses and go in."

"Show him around, Bitiya. I had just started."

Khushi sighed and glanced at her husband before walking off to a secluded spot, from where they could see inside the house through the windows but they could not be seen. She spied her nana until he got in. The four elders were together in the same room cleaning up for the day, chatting and laughing together. They made a happy picture, and she was coming to ruin it with her gloom. She wished she had never accepted this proposal. Everything would have been like before... She should have waited for love, true love to come along. Not an attraction based on anecdotes from a doting sister's point of view. She sat down, hugging her knees close and trying not to cry.

It was when she felt him lower himself beside her that she remembered he was there too. Her eyes snapped up to him. "What are you doing? Why are you doing this?" He merely stared back at her silently. It was the only thing he seemed to be capable of. Silence, nothing but silence! Frustration rose up in her and it brought along the tears. "Do you realise how difficult it will be for me to tell them if you stay here and act like the almost perfect son-in-law?"

"They are getting old! This... My marriage falling apart will hurt them, why are you doing your best to make it fatal to them? You know... Nana is getting weaker and thinner. Nani cannot see well anymore, she cannot hear well, she forgets things very quickly. And yet within these few hours you have spent here, you have won their heart already. You will just shatter them when you leave! Why are you here? Why don't you go away?"

"Why did you agree to marry me?" he asked, his voice as toneless as ever. She gritted her teeth together to stop herself from slapping him. She was in a dilemma and here, he was wanting to know the reason behind her saying yes. But anyway, he did have a right to know, since she knew that he had married her for his sister's sake.

She watched the space in front of her, feeling a familiar ache take hold of her throat. She bit the inside of her cheeks. "Because of my nana-nani," she finally admitted. "They are getting old, they wanted to see me married and happy. They wanted to see at least my first child before they..." Khushi looked up, hoping the tears would fall back in instead of spilling onto her cheeks. "You made me think of the way my nana and papa were when they were younger, when Anjaliji talked about you. I had thought... But you made me realise that I was right. Since I was a child, I used to look at them, my grandparents and parents, at their little meaningless tiffs, at the silent love they shared, and I always knew that I would never have that... Go away, Mr Raizada. Don't make this more difficult."


Edited by ShikhaKhushi - 07 January 2014 at 5:10pm

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ShikhaKhushi IF-Rockerz

Joined: 20 May 2012
Posts: 9121

Posted: 07 January 2014 at 2:59pm | IP Logged

 "Chhote? What are you doing here so late? And when did you come to Lucknow? You didn't tell me anything..." He saw Shyam yawn as he sleepily came out of their bedroom, enquiring who it was, and his yawn stopped midway when his eyes fell on Arnav.

"Di, can I spend the night here? I want to talk to you."

Anjali looked confusedly at her husband who nodded and went back to sleep. Worried, she still kept her calm and took her little brother's hand and led him to the bedroom that was usually reserved for him. "Here," she ruffled his hair and was astonished when he did not complain at all. "You can change if you want," she continued uncertainly.

He held on to her hand, looking down like a child who had done something terribly wrong and was regretting it now. "Can I put my head in your lap and sleep, Di?"

She ran her fingers through his thick hair as he stood before her, broken completely. The only other time she had seen him like this was when their parents had died. He had been like this for one night, then, after that, he had been a person of ice. It scared her. She wrapped her arms around her protectively. "What happened, Chhote?"

He sighed. "You had put her hand in mine but I had not wanted it. She tried to hold on, Di, she did. I was the one who pried my hand away until she stopped holding it. We kept getting farther and farther apart, I kept hurting her, and I didn't bother about any of it. Then why now, when it's just our fingertips touching and she wants to let go too, why does it hurt in my chest? Why do I feel like grabbing her hand again and pulling her to me and never letting go? I had wanted it, this distance, this nothingness... I had not wanted her in my life. Now that she wants to be free of our marriage, why do I want her to stay? I want it so much that I feel I won't be able to live? I miss the feeling of her hand on mine, I miss that warmth, I miss her hold on me... I want her to hold on again so that I can hold on too this time... I don't understand what happened, Di. I don't know what to do..."

She pulled back to look at his face. His eyes were glistening with tears. Anjali cupped his cheek reassuringly. "Chhote..." she did not know what to tell him. She had not heard from him ever since that phone call where he had been cold and distant about his wife, and now... What had happened during that time? What had changed his mind in such a way? "What are you doing here, Chhote? Here, in Lucknow? Where is Khushi? Is she alright?"

"She is at her parents' place," he nodded numbly. "I messed up, Di. I made her suffer. Last night, her dam broke and she told me how it felt... She decided to leave me, she wants a divorce. I just... I just realised how wrong I was. In the morning, she was leaving home, I didn't think and I came along. I didn't even tell her why... I want a second chance! I thought she would understand if I came with her and stopped being cold to her! I thought she would understand and everything would be fine. But she didn't get it. She wants me to leave. What should I do?"

A sad smile touched her lips as she made him sit on the bed. "Dekho, Chhote, I had told you that the way you were treating her was not good. You cannot blame her if she does not want to live with you anymore or if she cannot understand what goes on in your head. You have to tell her using words. Chhote, you showed her the ASR side of you, that side who is a ruthless business tycoon, who takes down without pity. What you forgot was that she was not your business rival but your wife. You never were a husband to her, you never showed her the Arnav side of you. Of course she will not understand you. You will have to tell her if you want her back. You will have to convince her to give you a second chance. Silence will not help here."

He rubbed his face with another sigh and nodded. She tugged his head to make it rest on her knees and began playing with his hair to make him fall asleep. "One little thing to help you? There are three things Khushi cannot resist; cooking and food, dance and helping people. But to convince her, you will have to know how to use these things and I think you are intelligent enough to work that out."


"Nani! What are you doing in the kitchen so early in the morning?"

Laughing, her grandmother fished out a few pakore from the hot oil. "I am making this for damadji and you. He might want to eat something, na? And I know you love my pakore."

The corners of her lips fell as she gently took the spoon from the older woman's hands. "He is not coming back, nani," she muttered. Her grandmother touched her arm and asked her to repeat her question. Of course, she had not heard properly. Khushi forced a smile onto her lips. "Your damadji does not like eating oily stuff."

"I can eat if nani has made them," came the sheepish reply from the doorway. She [earrings] jumped and turned to find her husband there, slightly smiling at her. He walked in and took one from the plate. "It is very good. Can I have some tea with it, Khushi? I am used to having your tea in the morning."

Nani beamed at them and patted his cheek. "I will make some more of these. Make the tea for everyone, Khushi."


"Did you fight with him?" She looked up at her mother who was watching her crossly. She sighed and shook her head wordlessly, just like he had taught her to escape unwanted conversations. "Then why are you sulking with him? Such a good boy, Khushi, you should be ashamed!" Khushi lifted the breakfast tray and walked to the garden, where the three men were, rolling her eyes as soon as her mother was not looking.


She turned around briskly as soon as they had entered her room. "I will not ask for any kind of alimony if that's what's bothering you, you can leave now!"

He blinked at her, startled. "That... is not what I wanted to talk about." She clenched her jaws together, arms crossed on her chest. It amused him though. Her beauty never seemed to dull, in whatever mood she might be. He licked his lips and took a step towards her. "I just want another chance."

"Another chance?" she spat incredulously. When he had asked her if he could talk to her in private, this was not what she had had in mind. Maybe she was hearing things wrong or she was not getting his point clearly.

"Yes... I... I... I don't want you to leave. I want to try again." Her mouth opened soundlessly and he gulped. Di had told him to put his feelings in words. It was more difficult than he had thought. He inhaled deeply. "I was wrong in the way I treated you. I should have tried... Dammit, I don't know how to say this... My thoughts, my feelings... are in a jumble! The only thing I understand is that I need you in my life, I need to hold on to you. I can be a better person, Khushi, I just need you to give me a chance to prove myself. Please..."

"You are clutching at the grass," she shook her head tearfully.

"Yes," he nodded as he walked towards her and gripped her hands tight. "I am. And I need you to hold me. I know that I have no right to ask for this after what I did to you but I beg you, pull me out of this... I don't want to drown. I don't want to live without you. I... Help me, Khushi..."


It was a complete reversal of roles when they returned from Lucknow two days later. He was the one trying to make a conversation, and she [earrings] was the sullen one, watching out of the window silently. He knew she was not doing it on purpose. The recent, sudden changes in her life, in him had shaken her.

Why had he changed his mind about her? It was definitely what she was thinking about. He wasn't sure whether he would ever be able to tell her that. It would seem stupid. He had fallen for her during that once angry conversation they had had after he had found out where she went. Her courage that had made her confront him, her sincerity and loyalty to him even when his behaviour had never been worth it, her selflessness for anyone and everyone... All of it, all of her... Slowly, as she had screamed the truth at him, he had tripped over each of them and fallen for her, he had been... dazzled... It was stupid, it was very unlike him...


"Where are you going?"

"To my room."

"No..." She frowned when he protested and he quickly looked away, at Happy. "Put memsaab's things in my room." He turned to her when Happy was gone. "We had shared a room at your parent's place in Lucknow and as we are-"

She was nodding before he could finish. "I get it, it's okay." She did look tired, so he didn't press any further and let her go freshen up before going to sleep.


He was not there when she woke up the next morning. It was not something very different from what she knew of her husband, he always woke up early to go to the office. She felt abandoned again... But it was his work, it might have been something crucial. And again she had nothing to do at home. Her thoughts went back to Madhuji and Sharmila Taayi. She had called them the night before leaving for Lucknow and apologised. She tried to think of another way of helping them since her husband was certainly not going to let her go there again... Anxious, Khushi [earrings] glanced at the clock. It was still twelve. If she went to meet them one last time very quickly, Arnavji wouldn't possibly know, would he?


"Khushi Didi!" Nand Kishore ran up to hug her as soon as she got out of the auto.

She pulled back to ogle at him regretfully. "I am so sorry, Nandu. It's all because of me that you are missing school. I wish I could-"

He clucked his tongue and rolled his eyes. "Offo, Didi! Stop worrying now! This is the last day of my holidays'. Jijaji promised I won't have to miss school now!"

"Jijaji?" she frowned and he nodded eagerly pulling her into the shop. Khushi had to rub her eyes to see whether this was not a dream. A couple of workmen were still working around but the shop was brighter than she remember and sparkling clean, with newer furnishings and two girls she thought were rather familiar smiled at her from behind the counter. "What jijaji?" she gasped in disbelief.

"Your husband, Didi! Who else? He even sent Dadi to the doctor's to get herself medicines for her treatment. He said we won't have anything to worry about anymore."

She blinked, still unable to understand things clearly. When her eyes fell on the two girls again, she finally recognised them as being Sharmila's girls. Her lips parted and she turned to Nand, holding him by the shoulders. "Where is he now?"


The women were sobbing and leaving the place with their poor luggage when she reached there. She stared at them in alarm. What was happening? She ran inside to find Sharmila Taayi and her three daughter weeping too, Arnav Singh Raizada standing there, with his back to her.

"What did you do?" she strode to him angrily. He turned around, evidently stunned by her presence. "What did you do? Why is everyone crying and leaving? Arnavji, what did you do?"

It was the first time she had spoken his name. He could only look at her, replaying that bit in his head. Hearing his name from her mouth, in that sweet voice of hers was so nice to hear. And her eyes appeared brighter when they burned with that anger...

"Khushi, it's not what you think," Sharmila sniffed, wiping her face. "Saabji did not harm us. He is god in the flesh, Khushi. You are lucky to have such a man in your life. Saabji came here to free us from this hell. He is shifting us to another side of Delhi and we won't have to do this... this work again. Our children will be able to go to school."

She frowned at her husband in confusion. She had been confronted with an enigma since this morning... no, since her outburst that night. This man... this man was nothing like the man she had been married to...

"There was this empty building," he explained, expressionlessly, "that we had been planning to demolish to start a project on, but then the project got cancelled and we didn't have any use for the building, so I made the arrangements for everyone to move there. It's old and not in a very good shape right now but the renovations will be starting as from tomorrow. It should be over in four months. And Taayi, I will find jobs for all of you. If you want to reopen your drama club, I can fund it. The kids will also go to school. You don't have to worry about that. I will help you guys out anytime."

Sharmila smiled through her tears and ushered her daughters out. "God bless both of you," she whispered before following the girls out.

"Why are you doing this?" Khushi hissed as soon as they were left alone, causing Arnav to sigh. "You are making me feel guilty," her voice broke as she uttered those words. "You are making me feel as if I was misunderstanding you."

"You were not," he replied apologetically at once. Her tears had come up again and even though he didn't know what to do about them, they hurt him. He gently took her hands in his. "Khushi, I am sorry. I am so sorry. I am just trying to repair the wrong I did. I never let you understand me. I want to make my amends, I am... I am trying to rise a bit in your esteem, that's all... I sorry about the past. I really am..."


She [earrings] tugged at the corner of his T-shirt fretfully. "What are we doing here?" He smiled at her, that tiny, hardly distinguishable crooked smile had that come to make her heart flip, but he did not answer her question as he led her up the flight of stairs. The fact that for once, he had not abandoned her for his office was rather scary, and what was even more surprising that he had left his suits in the closet and dressed in dark jeans and a blue T-shirt. He looked a decade younger. And he looked so handsome, relaxed like this, that she could not really concentrate in other things.

He caught her hand as they turned into a corridor and yanked her closer to him, stopping at one of the doors to knock at it. She noticed that he looked a little bit nervous too and she was going to prod on about it but the door opened, interrupting her. A smiling woman opened the door to them. He gave her their names and she welcomed them inside, asking them to wait a few minutes.

"You wanted to dance? We'll do it together," he whispered. Her eyes widened and for the first time, his small smile blossomed into a shy grin. "I hate dancing usually, but if it helps to know you better, I'll do it. I had wanted to take private sessions so that we would be alone and no one would see me being clumsy but I thought it would make you uncomfortable, so... There you are. It's a tango class for beginners, everything else was full. It will go on for two months. We could try something else after that?"

She simply blinked, completely stumped and he shrugged. "When this class is over I'll take you down to the reception. They also offer courses for all sorts of Indian classical dance. You can enrol for whatever you like. It will keep you occupied while I am at the office."

She tried to find something to say but she could not. This change in him was so unexpected, so... She could not even find the words for it... Her eyes roved all over his face, tracing every line. He was sincere. He was not pretending. What would he win by pretending, anyway? She was no princess. She realised he truly did not want to lose her, he wanted her in his life... Minutes later, the teacher was announcing that all the couples were there and they were ready to start.

"Now remember, tango is a very sensual dance. You have to create that chemistry with your partner. You have to have that passion, and when you dance, it's like nothing else exists but the two of you. In this dance, it is the man who leads. The woman becomes an extension of him, she flows the way he makes her flow. It might be awkward in the beginning but once you get it, you're good. Okay, so let's start with some simple steps, shall we? I want the men to hold their women by the waist, like this, and stand straight please, heads up. Yes, and look into each other's eyes, deeply, get started on your chemistry."

Khushi felt a shiver run down her back as she locked eyes with him, feeling her softer, pliant body flush against his harder one. His hand rested on the small of her back. She bit her lip and smiled uneasily at him. Arnav smiled back with equal edginess.

"Men, you go forward, nice and slow..."

By the end of the first ten minutes, they were holding to each other, struggling with the steps and laughing at the same time. But they were managing well enough. He was laughing for the first time in years, and he watched her, revelling the fact that she was smiling with him, at him, for him, because of him too... Unable to hold himself anymore, he pulled her closer yet, his lips brushing against her ear, and he felt her shudder against him.

"You were wrong from the beginning," he whispered. "You were wrong when you had thought you would not form a couple like your parents' and grandparents'. I was just a bit late."

Khushi turned her head to look at him with her damp eyes, then without warning, she pecked him on the cheek. Arnav smiled as his heart glided dizzyingly. They were getting there...



Edited by ShikhaKhushi - 07 January 2014 at 5:11pm

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palaayan Senior Member

Joined: 07 December 2012
Posts: 514

Posted: 07 January 2014 at 5:43pm | IP Logged

Hayee, Shikha you pen perfection with these stories you really do. I loved how the angst paved way for realisation and then love. Arnav's innocently perfect description of love and how he desperately wishes to hold onto his wife stole my heart, his attempts at making her happy, making her his *sigh* it was nothing short of poetry Shikha.

"In your light I learn how to love. In your beauty, how to make poems. You dance inside my chest where no-one sees you, but sometimes I do, and that sight becomes this art." Rumi
For me this quote summarises the loving being that is your Arnav, so is our swapsie pakka?
Manreet :)

Edited by manreet_gill - 07 January 2014 at 7:33pm

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farheen75 IF-Rockerz

Joined: 25 November 2011
Posts: 6619

Posted: 07 January 2014 at 5:48pm | IP Logged
Superb, loved it.

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Mojoo Goldie

Joined: 01 September 2012
Posts: 2228

Posted: 07 January 2014 at 6:18pm | IP Logged
I promise to never reserve a spot again becoz I suck at reserves...uuufff...Kb ka reserve kiya huwa tha or aaj story dobara parhte huwe mjhe khayal aaya k maine to comment hi nahi kiya...
Sooorrr Shikha...
I lved this shade of love...I have never heard of this fairytale but i liked the song Hawaa Hawaa in Rockstar...
First I thought to not read it becoz It may not have a happy ending but Then I thought to give it a try...I cannot tell U how much I loved it...
In the begining I just wanted to punch Arnav for his ice cold behaviour...I felt goosebumps when he entered Brothel to take Khushi away from there...N from there I sarted loving him...
I specially liked the part where he confessed his wrong deeds to his Di...i just wanted to hug him at that moment...That was so beautifully written emotional part...
N last part was amazzziinng where he asked for forgiveness...n said that He was just late...
Loved it...Absolutly fantassttiicc...
P.S dont take tooo lonnngg to update next shade of love...
P.P.S I promise to not leave my comment in Reserve form for too long...:)

Edited by Nooro - 15 January 2014 at 12:02am

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