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ArHi SS: Berries & Vodka Ch7A Page 25 04/16 (Page 3)

Arshi67 IF-Rockerz

Joined: 09 June 2013
Posts: 9779

Posted: 30 December 2014 at 6:50am | IP Logged
You have a lovely turn of phrase. A very amusing take on the realities of life. I really like the way your Khushi takes things in her stride. 
I can just see her going eww at a fawning doormat like Bankelal! 
Waiting for the vodka kick to happen - with some sweet and sour berries to make things interesting!

Thanks Charu for pointing me here :)

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Pages Newbie

Joined: 22 December 2014
Posts: 49

Posted: 30 December 2014 at 7:36am | IP Logged

Chapter 3 : Life is not fair

When Khushi returned back to her desk following a particularly intense design session, there was a post-it stuck on her desktop screen, it read -

Don't take life too seriously

You'll never get out of it alive.

That was Lesson #2

She never found out who was behind it but kept it glued next to the statue of Devi-Maiyaa because she liked it. 

The last two months was frenzied with everyone breathing down someone's else's neck, the Spring Collection had everyone tense. There was very little time and as usual lots of work. As is the case with creative work - most of the creative eureka happens at the last minute creating a mad rush at the end. Khushi didn't agree to this style of working but it wasn't like she had any say. Aakash was running the show, Lavanya was managing things and as usual the actual Big Boss was never around. There were lots of murmurs about that too, a few of them went like - 

- He's in town clubbing in Goa

- No, he's in to red-heads now

- No,no,no thats not true. He was seen partying in Ibiza with a top Bollywood actress. Her bikini shots were leaked to the media by her PR

- He is in rehab trying to ward off a drug addiction like Dr. House

Needless to say, Khushi's image of the Big Boss was not a good one.

Aakash's working style meant his entire team of designers were perpetually under pressure to meet insane deadlines. Khushi's job was to flesh out Aakash's swirly sketches along with Lavanya, who after an indifferent start had taken Khushi into her wings rather surprisingly. So much that she had become indispensable. Not that Khushi was complaining, it was all she ever wanted. Those few hours at work were her life-saver for nightfall meant back to LaxmiNagar and to Buaji and inevitably to Bankelal. The contrast between AR and Laxminagar made her feel like she was leading two different lives. She couldn't understand how she'd survived at AR for as long as she had. She was not one of them, did not dress like them, did not speak like them or party like them - and no one came to pick her up on mean looking H-D bikes or those ridiculously expensive black cars with tinted windows that cost more than all the houses of LaxmiNagar combined - at the end of the day's work, "Behenji...Chamkeeli...sooo LS...outdated" that's was she was, to them. Her colorful bags with embroidered elephants with sparkly mirrors for eyes were such a far cry from the expensive handbags others carried around, "It's LV" screechy Sheena always made it a point to fling her new bags at Khushi's face, "My boy-friend got it for me..." for an insane amount of money was always implied, "You've seen him right Chamkeeli?" often forcing Khushi to acknowledge her presence, "He's the one that comes in the sexy black merc" 

They hated indifference. It was Khushi's strongest weapon. That and the fact that she was damn good at her job, Khushi was slowly ticking all the right boxes with people that mattered.

Cut to home, there was the insane six-month-marriage-ultimatum from her family, Buaji's hurtful barbs and Bankelal's hopeful round eyes that stared back at her as if they were literally pleading her. The only silver lining in all of this was that Jiji had joined her at LaxmiNagar. She hadn't opened up yet but her mere presence was a comforting factor for Khushi.

Just a day ago, Bankelal was distributing giant Jalebis at home in the evening, "I made my first profit in Delhi" he was beaming with joy. She was happy for him, just not in the way a woman would feel for her man. Why couldn't he see that. Or for that matter, why couldn't anyone else? Wasn't it important to actually love your spouse? 

He was a problem, "Why don't you want to marry him Khushi?" Preeto questioned Khushi everyday. Khushi tried to explain the first few times but was now resigned to return a blank-stare in response.

But something in Khushi snapped that evening, and her response wasn't an indifferent stare,"If you like him so much, you should get married to him Preeto" Buaji who was listening to their conversation had found the perfect fodder, and didn't waste time flipping the adopted card at Khushi's face. It was like that was her sole aim in life, to make Khushi feel miserable. Her hurtful words were always about how Khushi needed to be more grateful to this family and do the right thing for once. That night, Khushi couldn't sleep for the longest time, she watched the twinkling stars, missing her own parents - she cried alone, why did they have to go out that evening? It wasn't fair. How different would her life be today, if her parents hadn't died that night? She would never know. 

It was not easy being Khushi Kumari Gupta, no matter how hard she tried - there was always something ready to pull her down.  It was tough trying to fit in at work, she didn't need the added problems at home. Of late she had begun to wonder if she was wrong, may be she needed to bite the bullet and grow up? May be she had been overly optimistic of her own chances in life? Of late those doubts had begun to creep in. She looked up at the glass box towering above her head as she stood at the entrance to her office, like every other day, Khushi, folded her hands in prayer to her favorite goddess, "Hey Devi Maiyaa, be with me" and walked in hoping to keep LaxmiNagar outside the door.

"Good morning Chamkeeli" she hated how everyone called her that, she had a perfectly happy name for goodness sake, but no one cared, "Good morning..." but Maya was gone before Khushi could reply. As usual, Sheena and Ruhi were animatedly discussing something, "So how was the party last night?" Sheena asked, "I swear yaar, my head is still throbbing, it was a blast and..." she took out a shiny phone from her bag waving it at Sheena's face, "Oh me gaawwwd!!" there was no masking any enthusiasm was it, "Is that a gold plated iPhone 6 Plus? Get outta here!!" Khushi couldn't decide if Sheena was jealous or genuinely happy, "Yaaha..Jay said" and Ruhi actually blushed, "He said...this way, we can see more of each other...when we FaceTime" Sheena giggled just like those annoying college girls in the Metro did every morning during her ride to work , "So he got me a bigger phone" 

You dumb-wits, you don't see more, Khushi felt like screaming at their faces but the lack of sleep had drained all her energy. So She let it be, and trudged towards her cubicle; her head was pounding mainly due to the lack of sleep but also because she had skipped breakfast this morning, tired of Buaji's caustic barbs. She gently massaged her head by the sides as she leaned in to her table - giving into the momentary lull, grateful that her days were brighter than her nights.

"What's wrong Chamkeli?" Lavanya's voice boomed from behind her"Kuch nahi... woh..." Khushi swirled around in panic. A jittery Khushi starring back panda eyed and wearing the drabbest of colors - it was like Khushi had regressed back to the black & white era. It only added to Lavanya's curiosity.

She quirked her eyebrows, and prodded further, "Chamkelli, is everything ok?" the concern was genuine.

"I'm fine" Khushi's quick response came out utterly defensive "Are you sure. You don't look all that swell?" 

"Hum theek hain" Khushi, got up needing some space. She wasn't going to sit back and entertain questions from Lavanya Kashyap of all people. It was enough that she had been thoroughly bullied the first few months at work by this snobby mob, her personal life, or whatever of it that existed, was strictly off limits, to everyone at AR Designs, especially Lavanya and Co.

"And where do you think you are going now?" Lavanya's question didn't stop her from leaving, "I need some coffee" Khushi walked away without turning back.

That was a lie, Khushi Kumari Gupta or Khushi Gupta as she was known here, did not drink coffee. She found it too bitter, and had never understood why everyone preferred to queue up in long lines waiting for the bitter drink instead of drinking Masala Chai, the chai counter was almost always entirely empty.

"Don't lie Chamkeli, I know you don't drink coffee" Lavanya called out. Lavanya observed Khushi closely for the rest of the day, there was definitely something wrong. She was subdued, and looked very distracted. This was not the enthusiastic Khushi at all, "Kuch toy gad bad hai" she told herself, "Aakash, did you notice Chamkeeli..?" 

"Its Khushi La" he made his disapproval clear.

" seems very distracted. I think there is something wrong" Lavanya said looking at Khushi through the glass-wall at Aakash's cabin, "Why do you say so?" he was still busy sketching, "I don't know, she doesn't seem herself"

"May be if you guys were a little nicer to her. She'd be happier" Aakash finally looked up from the sketch, "The way you guys treat her, I'm surprised she's held up for so long" he handed her the finished sketch, "Think about it"

While Lavanya was checking out the design, Aakash walked over to the glass wall and looked at Khushi, "I need to talk to Payal" he told himself.

"huh?" Lavanya looked up, "What?" Aakash turned around.

"You said something?" she asked, he waved it off, "Just talking to myself" he said.

"And" she gave him a weird look, "That's not normal" she replied, "Neeeway, so this is a go then?" Aakash nodded, "We're already running late"


"So the red-head fling?" Anjali opened the suitcase, "You haven't unpacked! Chotte, let me help" He was still her baby brother. Never-mind he was a six foot something grown ass man.

"No Di, I'll do it" he held her hand, "And no, we weren't dating" he quoted dramatically, "We went out once and..." he paused, "that was it" omitting the detail that she had stood him up.

"Kyaaa?" Anjali wasn't convinced, "Thats news...oh wait" she gestured dramatically, "The mighty Arnav Singh Raizada..."

"Di why are we talking about this?" he complained.

"Because for once you are replying back in more than inscrutable monosyllables" she smiled at her brother fondly, "I missed having you around Chotte"

"In that case, I'll go back to yes or no" he raised his eyebrows, realizing the need to distract her before she got everything out of him, "Aaskash is forcing me to go his pre-launch party"

"That's good, you should go and meet your employees" she giggled again, "Whats so funny?" he asked, "Before they start thinking their Boss is the phantom of AR"

"I'm not sure Di" Arnav was in two minds, "There's going to be a lot of obnoxious people there.." Anjali stopped him, "It's about Lavanya isn't it?" he stilled, "How long are you going to keep running away Chotte?" she asked, "You own that company. She has moved on and you should too" he was caught off guard, "Di.." she cut him off.

"I know you feel you hurt her. But now when I look back, I think you did the right thing"

"Di...its not what you think"

She looked a little unsettled, "It takes two people to make a marriage work..." Arnav knew where she was coming from - Shyam had been unfaithful resulting in her messy divorce. Arnav didn't want to rush into any marriage after that. Being single was better than being stuck in a miserable marriage.

"Di..." he worried for her,Shyam even in his absence made her cry, he hated it.

"You're getting it wrong Di" he made her sit on the green recliner, "Aakash has worked really hard and he deserves to be the star of his own show. If I go..." Anjali finally understood his predicament, if Arnav went, all the focus would shift to him. That would be unfair on Aakash.

"But if you don't?" it was more of statement than a question, Arnav knew, "That's the thing..." he sighed, "I need to find a way out of this"

Edited by Pages - 21 January 2015 at 2:09am

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AsmaXx Senior Member

Joined: 29 March 2013
Posts: 247

Posted: 30 December 2014 at 7:49am | IP Logged
lovely story and the different one! 
lol bankelal has a funny yet troubling character Wink

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shruti46 IF-Sizzlerz

Joined: 27 December 2012
Posts: 11519

Posted: 30 December 2014 at 8:10am | IP Logged
oh i got the ans.just now sended u a Pm regarding vanishing of update .:)

now on chapter ..
there are so many prb and so many people..
arnav , khushi .lav.akash.anjali .buaji.bankelal..even shyamu too !!!
looks like we need lots of berries and vodka to cater all present here

why lav suddenly changed ?
and this payal is same khushi ki jiji !!

lots of gossip abt arnav...
and did he became saint just after only 1 one night stand ? again WHY

lots of ques are roaming in my mind .

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shruti46 IF-Sizzlerz

Joined: 27 December 2012
Posts: 11519

Posted: 30 December 2014 at 8:15am | IP Logged
forgot to mention waiting fr rabbe ves too :P

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FeistyDewdrop Goldie

Joined: 24 October 2012
Posts: 2202

Posted: 30 December 2014 at 8:18am | IP Logged

Loved all the 3 updates.. :)) i admire the grit with which khushi pursuing her life esp with the taunting buaji n the AR folks.. Kudos to her!
Very intriguing title uve got here yaar. Its really very nice! :D

Arnav seems like a very caring brother.. Gotto see his office persona.. Haha:))

Awaiting Arnav Khushi meeting! :))

P.S : May i know ur name? Or plz tell me how may i address u further :))

Loved the chp-3 font.. Was comfortable reading it that way.. :)

Also.. Plz let me know the update schedule :)

Great going!! :D

Cheers :)

Edited by Ms.KKN - 30 December 2014 at 8:19am

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MDTharun IF-Dazzler

Joined: 22 June 2013
Posts: 4239

Posted: 30 December 2014 at 9:09am | IP Logged
Very interesting
khushi's life is a mess , her only solace is her job . Buaji's taunts , Baankelaal's  marriage proposal , strained relationship with her adopted father .
ASR is scared to attend the party organized by his own company owing to a horrible experience in the past .
Will ASR meet KKG in the party ?

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sanamsky IF-Dazzler

Joined: 20 February 2013
Posts: 2961

Posted: 30 December 2014 at 10:56am | IP Logged
i love it it is awesome n i really need a promise from u that u will not vanish becuz i really want to read this one n plz pm when u update 

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