Joined: 20 October 2012
A beautiful lady, clad in simple and elegant green sari, was sitting on her knees on the grass, putting mud in the pot. She felt a tug on her pallu and looked to her side. She smiled seeing her 4 year old son with a frown on his face.
"Ma, you scold me when I play with mud and now you're playing with mud. That's very bad", said her son.
The lady laughed a little at his scolding tone, "I am not playing with it chottey, I am putting the mud in this pot for a plant, see here", said the lady and showed Arnav a very small rose plant, which had a one tiny red bud on it.
Little boy looked on with fascination as his mother put the plant in pot, adjusted mud around it, give it little water and place it to side and explained to him how after few days there will be more followers on it. The little boy will go to garden every day to see whether there are more flowers on it or not and he was very happy when one day he found two other small red buds. He run to kitchen and squealed telling his mother about it, his mother laughed at his excitement as he pulled her hand, dragging her towards the garden.
(Scene changed ...)
9 year old Arnav was sitting on his bed, drawing on his sketch pad. He had good skills in drawing and love to draw and coloring. But right now he was not enjoying, rather he was sad and angry. A girl of 13 yrs tiptoe into the room and went to bed, suddenly she hugged Arnav, "Happy Birthday Chottey", she exclaimed loudly.
"DII ...", Arnav shouted in irritation, "I am not chottey, and go from here", he jerk her hand.
Anjali roll her eyes, she was use to his temper going on and off, "Ok fine, Arnav, here this is for you", said Anjali putting a wrapped gift in his lap.
"I don't want it, go away", said Arnav rather rudely and Anjali got up from bed feeling hurt, "You are so bad Arnav, fine I won't talk to you EVER ...", Anjali shouted the last word and stormed out of his room. Arnav sighed and pushed his sketch pad away.
He didn't want to hurt his sister, he was angry on his father. He doesn't care for his children and as usual was way to some other city. It's evening and his father still haven't even wish his son happy birthday and it hurt Arnav very much. So he had been sitting in his room since morning. Arnav went out of the room to apologies to his Di. He didn't find her in kitchen, living room, his mom's room and even in her room. Then he went towards lawn, he couldn't see properly as the light wasn't on. And its dark now. He went to the switch and turn on all light. When he turns he heard a loud chorus of "Happy Birthday Arnav".
He got astonish to see his mother, sister, nana, nani, mamaji, mami and Akash standing some distance away around a table which had a cake lit with candles. He got happy seeing his Nana, Nani and others. He run to his Nani and hugged her. Nani smiled and ruffle his hair. He greeted his Nanaji, Mamaji, Mamiji and Akash. His mother lovingly kiss his cheek. When he turned to his sister, she turned her face away. Arnav hold his ears, "I am sorry Di, please forgive me, I won't do it again".
Anjali look at him, "You always say this and then always shout on me", she pouted. She cannot remain angry on her chottey, she loved him too much.
"And you always forgive me Di", smiled Arnav teasingly. Arnav's mother smile wide and look lovingly at her children. Arnav then cut the cake and celebrated his birthday with his relatives. That day he decided if his father doesn't care for him, then he won't care for him either.
(Scene changed ...)
"Kaka hold it tightly, don't you dare let it fall", said 14 year old Arnav in warning tone, as he made his away to his mother's room.
"Don't worry chottey malik, I am holding it tight", said his servant.
It was 12.10am, and Arnav wanted to wish his mother happy birthday before his sister could do it. Every year they challenge each other about whose surprise will be the best for their mother's birthday. And for this year, he had made his mother's sketch and framed it. He had been watching his mother getting more sad and lost since few months. He knew the reason, his father. He hate him, he always make his mother cry. He and sister try their best to cheer up their mother by doing special things for her every now and then.
"Kaka, see if the door is open, if not then I have key in my left pocket", said Arnav looking towards his left & right to see if his sister is coming or not.
The servant put the frame down and twist the knob slowly and push the door, it opened. Arnav got relieved, he balance the cake he was holding. He had order her favorite strawberry cream cake with "Happy Birthday My Ma" written on it.
Arnav pushed the door with his foot and enter. He went towards his mother's bed. He opened his mouth to shout happy birthday but instead screamed MAAA, seeing the blood on bed and dripping down from her cut wrist.
Suddenly he heard a soft voice calling his name, "Arnavji ... Arnavji ...".
(Scene changed ...)
He saw Khushi standing few feets away. He was breathing a heavy and sweat beads on forehead. He saw Khushi coming to him and caressed his face, shaking her head. She kissed his forehead and eyes.
"Arnavji, you are not alone, I am with you", said Khushi with love. Arnav hugged her tight.
"I love you Khushi".
"I love you too Arnavji, I love you a lot".
(Scene changed ...)
"Khushi where are you going, come back here. Don't go there", said Arnav as he jogged behind Khushi who was laughing and running ahead.
"No Arnavji, you promised you will show me your Sheesh Mehal", said Khushi while running. Arnav didn't want her to go there. That place is haunting; it takes all your happiness and gives you sorrows in return. He didn't want to lose his Khushi. Finally he caught her before she could enter through front door.
Arnav shakes his head, telling her not to go inside. Khushi hug him, "Arnavji don't worry, nothing will happen, I am with you na. Please show me na, I want to see your room, please please". Her pout and her puppy dog eye look always work on him. He smiles at her and held her hand tight and went inside with thudding heart.
(Scene changed ...)
They were at the huge terrace of Sheesh Mehal, Khushi was mesmerize seeing the look down there from height. It was beautiful. She hugged Arnav and requests him to live here now. Arnav denied immediately, he don't like this place.
"Arnavji, you promised that whatever I will ask you will give me as a wedding gift. So I am asking this. I want to live here please, it's so beautiful here. I will remove all your bad memories", said Khushi.
Arnav look at his beautiful wife, yes his wife. They got married a month ago. But he cannot let her stay here. This place is haunted and bad and what not. He had lost his mother here. He do not want to loose his Khushi. But after her pleading so much, he agreed and Khushi kissed him lovingly.
(Scene changed ...)
Arnav enter Sheeh Mehal in worry and dread, "Khushi ... KHUSHI ...", he shouted for her. He have to tell her what she saw is not true, what she heard is not true. She has to believe him. She will believe him right?
The newspapers have linked him with another woman, and Khushi had seen that woman in office today when she bought him lunch. That woman was all over her husband. But before she could see her husband throw that woman away and slap her she had already left, running away. A week ago there was picture of their close hug with article "Is ASR cheating on his wife?". She cannot bear it now.
Arnav frantically search her in rooms but cannot find her. At the end he reached the terrace and saw Khushi standing on the edge of small boundary wall.
"Khushi ...", shouted Arnav and run to her.
"No don't, you cheat on me, I loved you so much and you cheated", said Khushi with tears in her eyes.
"Khushi please come down we will talk about it, please sweetheart, you taking it all wrong. There is nothing between me and her. I love only you", said Arnav as he slowly took steps towards her.
"No ...I saw with my own eye, you with her, kissing and hugging. How could you do this to me?", yelled Khushi.
"No its not true, you have to believe me", said Arnav.
"No I don't, I hate you Arnav Singh Raizada, I hate you", said Khushi and then jump.
"KHUUUSSHIII", screamed Arnav and run to terrace wall and saw her body lying down on floor with blood all around her.
"KHUUSHIII", Arnav shouted as his sleep broke with the nightmare. He was breathing heavy and sweating. He quickly looks around and takes a deep breath, calming himself. It was a dream, just a bad dream, he thought. He use to get similar nightmares but it was the first time he had seen Khushi in his nightmare and it didn't set well with him. He quickly grabs his cell from side table and dials Khushi's number. He wants to hear her voice right now, he wants to make sure she is alright.
Khushi's eyes were finally drooping; her naughty baby had woken up an hour ago with hunger. Khushi had quickly made his milk bottle and put him back to sleep. But he was being naughty didn't go to sleepy soon. Finally after playing for few minutes and listening to lullaby songs on Khushi's cell Arush slept again. Khushi clicked her tongue in irritation when she heard her cell ring, she quickly picked it up after 2 rings, worry that Arush might wake up. Before she could scold the person on other side for calling at this hour she heard Arnav's worried voice, "Khushi are you alright?".
"Arnavji", Khushi got surprise hearing his voice, she looked at the time on her cell, it was 12.25am.
"Arnavji what happened?", asked Khushi now sleep far away as she move out of bed.
"Nothing nothing, you are alright right?", asked Arnav.
"Yes I am fine, but what happened, why are you sounding like this? Are you alright?", asked Khushi now worry herself for him.
"yeah yeah, its just ... I ... I was missing you, yeah just wanted to hear you. Sorry for disturbing you from sleep. Um .. yah goodnight", said Arnav and cut the call.
Khushi got worried and confused at his behavior. She called him but he cut his call. She called again and he cut her call again. This got Khushi more worried. Arnav never cut her call until and unless he is very busy with work.
She was about to call again when her cell beeped, indicating a coming message. She opened it and saw a message from Arnav:
"I am fine, don't worry. Go Sleep."
Khushi knew it would be futile to call him again, his mood has been changing to this and that since Dadi's stupid accusations on him and his family. And now she was getting the feeling that Arnav is not alright. Something is disturbing him, and she knew the reason behind it. A sudden urge went through her to go him and enclose him in her arms, away from all sadness and hurt.
"Khushi, what happened?", came Payal's sleepy voice. Khushi went to her sister, who got alert seeing Khushi's worry expression.
"Jiji, Arnavji called, he ... he was sounding so disturb ... I ... I want to go to him Jiji .. I must go to him", said Khushi as she look around for her dupatta and drape it on her.
Payal grabs her hand, "Khushi are you mad, look at the time", said payal in low tone looking on her side to see if Arush woke up or not and then look at Khushi.
"Jiji I know but Arnavji is not alright he ... he was sounding so disturbed", said Khushi.
"Khushi its too late, its not safe to go out at this time and Nikhil is not here who can take you like always in late nights and everyone else is sleeping", said Payal in hurry.
"Jiji please, you're not understanding, whatever Dadi said today had made old wounds open and I know he will be thinking all sorts of things .. I ... I need to make him ...", Khushi was moving around in room to locate her clutch. Payal get out of bed and place the pillow around Arush. She grabs's Khushi's shoulder and stopped her rant.
"Khushi, please relax.", said Payal and make her sit on bed, "Sit here. Tell me what did Arnavji said". Khushi told her about their conversation.
"See Arnavji said na he is alright, then why are you getting worried", said Payal.
"Jiji, you don't know him like I do. He will say he is alright but I know there will be a storm going inside him. He is disturbed, his voice ... his voice was so vulnerable. And after what happened today I know he must be thinking about past. He must be thinking what If he hurt me like his father did with his mother. He hates his father; he will be hating himself now. I need to assure him Jiji, I cannot let him go back into his shell. Please I have to go to him ... he .. he wont say anything to anyone. I don't want him to fight with his demons alone. I know how it feels to loose someone you love.", said Khushi and now her eyes were brimming with tears. Payal hug her sister rubbing her shoulder.
Akash groaned as his sleep broke with the ringing of his cell phone. He extend his hand to take and look at the screen, next moment he sit up on bed seeing Payalji' flashing on his screen. He quickly pick up feeling concerned and worried, why she is calling him this late in night?.
"Hello Payalji, Are you alright? Does something happened?", asked Akash.
"I am fine Akashji, wo um ...(payal look at her teary eye sister) Sorry for disturbing you at this time but I need a favor from you ... I don't know who else to call", said Payal.
Akash felt good that payal think of him in time of need, "Oh no need to be sorry, yes please tell me what I can do", said Akash wondering what is the matter.
"Can you please come here and take Khushi with you to meet Arnavji", said Payal in hurry.
It took few seconds for Akash to understand what she had said, at first he thought that Payal was asking him to take her some where.
"What?", asked Akash to be sure. Payal repeated her sentence.
"Why, what happened to bhai, did he talked to Khushi?", said Akash as he get out from bed, ready to go to his brother's room to see if he is alright.
"Akash, Khushi here. Don't go to his room", said Khushi as she took phone from payal, she knew that hearing about Arnav, Akash will definately go to his room to check up on him.
"Khushi tell me what hapenend?", asked Akash in worried tone.
Khushi briefly tell him about Arnav's call and her take on his behavior. Akash close his eyes for a second. He can understand it clearly, he had seen his brother going hard and into his shell at mention of his bua.
"Ok get ready, I am coming", said Akash as he move to take his wallet and wear slippers and cut call hearing Ok from other side.
Arnav close his eyes as light breeze touch his face, he was standing by the open window with hands in his pocket. He shouldn't have called Khushi at this time, he knew she would have become worried. He just hoped that she had gone back to sleep. But he could not. The nightmare had shook him, its not un-usual for him to get nightmares. Seeing his mother suicide and dying in his arm, its not possible to forget that and he had got the scene in his dream many times but this was the first time he had seen Khushi in his nightmare and that too doing suicide. The image of her in pool of blood shook him. He will not let that happen, he will not let any harm come to her. But what if he is the one who will harm her, what if something like his dream happen? Will Khushi believe him?
What are you thinking Arnav, of course she will believe you, she loves you, he chided himself thinking on those lines. But he couldn't help but feel little fear towards their future and crave for his Khushi's presence. He wish he could go to her, he would bury in her warmth, seek solace, reduce his fears and kiss her to his heart's delight.
He shakes his head and went to sofa and opens his laptop. He needs to distract his mind right now. And as usual drown himself in work
---------------------- After an hour around 2.00 am ...
"Thanks Akash, you can go now", said Khushi turning to Akash as they came in front of Arnav's room.
"Not yet Khushi, I just need to see Bhai myself", said Akash as he knocked on the door. Khushi smiles at his concern. Its shows how much he loves and care for his elder brother.
"Who's there", came Arnav's voice from behind the door.
"Arnavji ...", said Khushi. The door opens quickly revealing Arnav with shocked expression. He looked at Khushi and then at Akash.
"Khu ...", Arnav just opened his mouth when Khushi move ahead and hugged him tight.
"I will go now, take care Khushi ... Bhai", said Akash nodding his head at Arnav and leave from there.
"Khushi what are you doing here?", asked Arnav still surprised. Khushi breaks the hug and look at Arnav with love and worry, "App thek hain?".
Arnav cupped her face when he saw her eyes getting moist, "Khushi, mein thek hun".
"Mujey laga ap thek nahi, muje laga ap ko meri zarorat hai, is liyee hum ... hum agaye ... ap k pas", said Khushi with concern and worry. She had been very worried throughout the drive from her home to hotel.
"Khushi you shouldn't have come here, its too late and even Akash didn't stop you", said Arnav in stern tone. Khushi got angry at his tone and push him, "Ok fine I will go back, its my mistake that I love you so much, its my mistake that I worry for you. I will not do it in future", saying that she turn to go but Arnav grabs her hand and pull her to him, "I didn't mean that Khushi".
"Then what did you meant?", asked Khushi still angry. Arnav takes her inside and locked the door. He took the glass of water offering her but Khushi turned away folding her hands .
Arnav put glass back on table and hug her from behind, he could not believe that his Khushi is here, in his arm. He was just thinking about same sometime ago.
"You know I just wished sometime ago to be with you, to hold you and I can't believe you here. Khushi I didn't meant to hurt you, its just that you coming here at this time and that only for me is a bit shocking for me", said Arnav as he pull her into his front.
Khushi turns in his arms and place her hands on his chest, "Arnavji , if It was me who had called you in middle of night that way and hung up not telling the real matter, wouldn't you have done the same? For me?".
"Of course Khushi, you come first in everything in my life now", said Arnav.
"And you come first in everything in my life, so how can I not come here when I know that you need me", said Khushi as she cupped his cheeks caressing them with her thumbs.
"Oh Khushi ... my Khushi", said Arnav in a whisper as he places his lips on hers. He took her upper lip between his and gently sucks on it. Khushi hands roamed up from his chest up to his nape. He then gently bit her lower lip making her gasp, gaining entry in her sweet mouth. They sucks on each other's tongue. Arnav pulled her more into him, crushing her breasts to his chest. The kiss was not to show the desire, not for passion. It was a kiss of longing to be with each other, a kiss for a need, for a want to take the other in warm embrace and soothe the worry and sadness away. They only break the kiss when they felt the need of oxygen.
"I am sorry Arnavji, I wish I knew what Dadi had in mind, I would never have let her say all those things to you", said Khushi. Arnav place his forehead on her, "Don't, its not your fault".
"But is pains me to know that because of this you recalled your past, you are not alone Arnavji. I have said this before; you don't have to fight with this alone. I am with you and will always be with you", said Khushi kissing his forehead. Arnav smile at her.
"You had a nightmare", said Khushi, it was not a question. Arnav look at her astonish, how did she know.
"Your eyes are red", said Khushi looking into his eyes, as if seeing his soul through them.
Arnav nodded a little, "You saw Ma", said Khushi and Arnav gulped looking at her, he crushed her in his arms.
Khushi runs her hands on his back, "That's not all is it Arnavji", said Khushi breaking the hug.
Arnav looked away and move back, he was about to turn when Khushi stopped him and cup his face, "Tell me Arnavji ... please. It will help. Let your fears your worry out, share it with me", said Khushi in soothing tone.
Arnav hug her place his head on her shoulder and slowly told her about his nightmare. His voice got choked at the end. Khushi stand on her toes and hug him tight.
"Nothing will happen to me Arnavji, I am here with you. You won't let anything happen to me", said Khushi.
Arnav breaks the hug and move away, "Khushi you don't understand, I ... I am ...", Arnav don't know how to say it out loud. He is that man's son, who had hurt her ma to that extent that she commits suicide, what if unintentionally something same happen from him then ...
"Arnavji, you are not him", said Khushi in a stern tone. She went to him and make him turn to look at her, "Get that in your mind for once and all (Khushi cupped his face) you are not him, you are his son ... true, but you are nothing like him. You are Arnav Singh Raizada, the bravest man I have ever known. You may appear hard from outside, but you are soft and warm from here (Khushi place her one hand above his heart). You are kind and caring. You always take cares of everyone in your family. You have worked so hard, struggle so much to get to this height and success. Not for yourself, but for your family, for you Di, because you wanted to give them the best of everything. Tell me if you were anything like your father then would you have done this much? would you have loved me like you do? Would you have bare your soul to me? Would you have willing ready to marry me, to agree to fulfill all the rituals in which you don't even believe. Would you? No Arnavji, you are not him. You may have his blood running in your veins but that is overpower by the love of your mother, your sister and your Naniji that's also runs inside you. That is who you are, their chottey ... my Arnavji", said Khushi in soothing tone, not once her voice falter. Her eyes showing her love and pride.
Arnav didn't know when a tear made its way from his eye down to his cheek, Khushi wipes the tear.
"Arnavji I love you so much, and I know you will never ... ever ... hurt me intentionally. I know your anger, I know your care and I know your love. And that love will fight ... fight with everything to keep me happy. I said right na Arnavji?", said Khushi look at him with a slight pout. Arnav crush her lips with his, kissing her passionately this time. He showed through his kiss how much he love her, craves her. They broke kiss after devouring each other lips and taste.
"Promise me Arnavji you will share your worry and fears with me, you will not try to fight them alone", said Khushi and Arnav nodded his head in agreement, "Promise".
Khushi took him to bed and make him lie down, she then switch the lights off making only one side table remain lit. She then climb on bed and sit beside him leaning down a bit.
"Khushi you need to sleep too", said Arnav pushing her to lie down but Khushi shakes her head.
"No, I want to make you sleep, and then I will automatically go to sleep", said Khushi as she runs her fingers in his hair. Arnav sighed feeling her soft touch.
"Remember I told you whenever bad thoughts or memories come to you mind, always think of the good ones", said Khushi.
"I do, I think about you", said Arnav, "You are so beautiful", as he runs his finger on her cheek, "So beautiful", whispers as his eyes roam on her face glowing in soft yellow light.
Khushi blush and looked down feeling his intense gaze on her.
"Problem solve then, always think about me then. Beside my name means happiness so there will only be happiness in your life", said Khushi giving him a wide smile.
"Its already starting to", said Arnav.
"Ok now close your eyes and try to sleep", said Khushi as she make his eyes shut with her hand but Arnav opened it again.
"Arnavji", said Khushi giving him a stern look.
"I want to look at you", said Arnav.
"Hmmm", said Khushi as she continues to run her fingers in his hair and then started to hum a song that she sings to make Arush sleep. After few minutes Arnav's eyes started dropping and then another few minutes he was asleep. Khushi caressed his face lightly and peck his lips and lay beside him. Looking at his peaceful features, she takes his hand in hers making a promise to herself that she will never let him fight alone and fill his life with peace and happiness and close her eyes.
---------------------- Next day - Sunday Morning
Arnav voice broke with ringing of his alarm, he looked to side for Khushi but found it empty. He quickly sit up calling her name. He grabs his cell phone from side table to switch off the alarm when he notice a piece of paper.
"So sorry I have to leave like this, but can't help it. Jiji wanted me to come home before Dadi wakes up. Remember your promise and be happy. Don't worry Akash is dropping me home. Poor guy, have to wake up this early. Check your cell, you would have gotten a message from me the time you wake up. Love you loads and missing you already".
Arnav check his cell and indeed there was a message from her, "Reached home safely, now going to sleep. Will call you when I woke up. You take care and don't you dare to skip breakfast and your medicine. Muuah (kiss emoticon).
Arnav smile reading her messages and murmurs, "Khushi, I am missing you too".
Arnav was buttoning his shirt when his door was knocked. He opened the door and find his sister and jiju.
"Di?", Arnav looked at his sister with questioning gaze. Anjali look at Rahul standing at her side, he gesture with his eyes to go ahead.
"Chottey I need to talk to you about something", said Anjali a bit hesitatingly.
"Yes Di, coming in, tell me whats the matter", said Arnav as he move gesturing them to come inside.
He saw his sister hesitating, "Di, tell me. Is everything ok, are you alright?", asked Arnav with concern, putting his hand on her shoulder.
"Yes chottey, I am fine, actually I ... I wanted .. to go somewhere", said Anjali getting a bit nervous.
"Where Di?", asked Arnav looking at his sister and then at his jiju. Rahul understood that Anjali is feeling nervous to say it. So he move ahead and side hug Anjali and face Arnav.
"Arnav, she wants to visit Sheesh Mehal", said Rahul in soft tone.
Arnav move back a step shocked at this. Anjali immediately held his arm, "Chottey please don't be upset, I ... I just want to ... I am missing that place ... please understand ... I do not mean to hurt you".
Long back when Arnav took Sheesh Mehal back from his uncle he visited the place, but got devastated looking at the its condition. It's like the building had aged hundred years, no furniture, paintings torn, an empty and hollow feeling all around. After that day he hasn't gone there. Anjali had requested him that time to go there but Arnav refused, telling her its worst condition. After that day Anjali hadn't spoken about Sheesh Mehal to him. And never visited Luckhnow either as Arnav feared that he will lose her like his mother. But now after many years she was back in this city and she could not help the feeling to visit the place which was once their sweet home.
Arnav close his eyes once and remember what Khushi had said to him about facing the past, fighting it rather than running from it or ignoring it. He opens his eyes and look at his sister whose eyes were moist. He put his hand above hers and squeeze it, "Its ok Di, I understand. Of course you can go there. It's your house.", said Arnav.
Arnav had put that place in his sister's name. He did not want to do anything with it; he got it back because that place belonged to her mother and to take revenge from his uncle. Even though he hated that place, he could not sell it. He won't admit but he still felt the connection with that place.
"Really?", Anjali asked being surprise and elated.
Arnav nodded his head, "But don't ask me to come with you".
"Yes, yes I know", said Anjali and hugged Arnav, "Thank you so much". Although Anjali doesn't need his permission to go there but his opinion regarding that place matters to her a lot.
Anjali then break the hug and happily went out of the room to go to Nani to tell her about it.
She had already told Nani about her wish to visit the place, Nani didn't had any problem with it, but she knew that Arnav won't like it so she asked Anjali to talk to Arnav about it.
Rahul smile at Arnav and move towards the door, "Jiju", Arnav called him and Rahul turned back. "Please take care of Di, don't leave her side".
"I know, don't worry", said Rahul with a smile and went out.
So it was decided then that Anjali and Rahul will stay back for 2-3 days and others will go back to Dehli on their 11am flight.
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Joined: 20 October 2012
------------------------ After Lunch time ...
"Arush come here, finish this now", said Khushi who was sitting on sofa in the living room feeding Arush some rice and boil potato.
"Naah, Alush tha lia"(No Arush has eaten), said Arush in his baby language who run away to other side of small center table after eating few morsels.
"Arush, how will you become a big boy if you not eat all this haan", said Khushi standing from sofa to catch him. Arush grinned seeing Khushi coming to him and run around the table to other side, he was in a playful mood.
"Acha, so you won't come here haan", said Khushi as she placed the plate on table and make a dash towards him. Arush giggled aloud as Khushi caught him and pick him up in her arms, tickling him on stomach.
"Pakar lia Arush ko"(caught Arush), said Khushi as she sit on sofa taking him on her lap and take the plate from table.
Arush made a protesting sound as Khushi bring a morsel near his lips.
"Nah thana"(don't want to eat), said Arush. "Alush ko thelna ha"(Arush wants to play), said Arush in his baby language looking up at Khushi.
"Mama will play with Arush if he eats some more.", said Khushi and again tried to make him eat but he didn't open his mouth.
"Arush ... I will tell Papa that Arush is not eating, then he will scold Arush", said Khushi in stern tone.
"Naiii, Papa nai bataana"(no, don't tell papa), said Arush and open his mouth and Khushi put small morsel in it. Khushi makes him eat some more morsels and then he was again not eating. Khushi put the plate away and just take a tissue to wipe his mouth when she heard Payal calling her.
"Khushiii ... you're phone is ringing. Its Arnavji's call", Payal shouted from room. Khushi quickly stood up and make Arush sit on sofa, "Don't move from here ok", said Khushi pointing a finger to him and run towards her room to take her cell.
Arush quickly slipped down from sofa and move towards the side table. He was tapping his hand on table as the sound gets him excited. Just then his hand touched a show piece and it fell on table and rolled to side. Arush was about to touch it when another hand caught it.
"What are you doing here?", said Sara in stern tone, a bit loud for Arush making him startle.
"Where's that so called mother of yours haan, she leaves you here to break the stuff", said Sara as she jerked Arush's hand from table. Arush stumble back a little. Sara was about to grab his hand when another hand grabs her in tight grip.
Sara look up and found Khushi looking at her with anger, "Don't you dare touch my son", said Khushi with gritted teeth, "I will break your hand" and twisted Sara's hand a bit to make point.
"Ah leave my hand", Sara hissed a bit.
Khushi jerk her hand with force making her stumble a step back. Khushi picked Arush in her arm who was now scared. Khushi didn't like that look on his face and glare at Sara.
"If you have so much interest in bringing up other's kids then take care of them, don't leave them here & there to roam around", said Sara in disgust tone.
"Don't you dare utter a word about my son", said Khushi in dangerous tone, "You should be careful of your roaming around, you don't want me to open my mouth about your daily Thursday visits to temple do you?". Khushi smirks as she saw Sara's eyes got widen and a flash of panic on her face.
"What about it? I ... I go to temple, un-like you we take our customs seriously", said Sara trying to make her tone confident.
"Really? Do your custom includes meeting a guy in a nearby market?", said Khushi in mock tone and glad to see the worry on Sara's face.
Khushi took a step towards her, "I don't say things that doesn't me I don't know about them, so be careful in future how you behave. Understood", said Khushi making her voice dangerous at the end. And turn after Sara nodded her head a little, getting mute.
Khushi smile and then kiss on Arush's cheek who was quite all this time, she felt good threatening her cousin. She felt like ASR. Khushi giggled at her thought. She give few noisy kisses to Arush to make his mood better and Arush in return give his mom a wet kissie.
Khushi tap on Arnav's name on her cell to make a call as she move towards her room.
"Hello Arnavji, you reached home?", said Khushi as Arnav picked the call.
"Hey, yeah I am, are you busy?", asked Arnav.
"Nah, I was feeding Arush, I am free now", said Khushi as she put Arush on bed, who immediately stood up and grabs her shirt jumping, telling her to pick him up again.
"One minute Arush, I am talking to Papa", said Khushi.
"Paappaa pappaa", Arush exclaimed and put his hand forward to grab the phone.
"Arush baby no", said Khushi as she move her hand away.
Arush started to squeal as he wanted the phone. "Aruuushhh", said Khushi in the tone which was only reserved for Arush, telling him to stop what he is doing. And Arush stop and look to her with his innocent eyes and pouty lips. Khushi sighed and sit on bed beside him and put phone on his ear, "Here talk to Papa".
Arush got happy and started making voice, "Papaaa.. Kaa ho (Papa where are you?)".
"Hey buddy, Papa is at home", said Arnav.
"Papa ohm"(Papa is home), said Arush looking at Khushi who smile back at him.
"Alush paassh ajao"(Come to Arush), said Arush in his baby language. Khushi giggle hearing this.
Arnav could hear her sound and a smile appear on his lips, "Arush tell your mama to take Arush to his papa".
"Alush ko papaa passh janna"(Arush wants to go to Papa), said Arush moving his hand and look at Khushi, the phone slipped from her hand and she grabs it again.
"Arush now sit here quietly ok, no masti", said Khushi pointing a finger to him.
"Alush papapaa pass jaanaa , Alush papa passs le jaaoo"(Arush wants to go to Papa, take Arush to Papa), said Arush in his baby language.
"Awh mera shona, Mama will take you to papa ok, promissh", said Khushi.
"Piisshh (Promise?)", said Arush.
"yes Pissh", said Khushi and Arush clap his hand. Arnav was smiling listening to their conversation. Khushi quickly put some of his toys around him to distract him.
"Arnavji, how are you?", asked Khushi.
"I am fine Khushi, whats gona happen to me", said Arnav.
"Arnavji, (pause) ap thek hai na", said Khushi in soft tone.
Arnav sighed understanding her meaning, "Khushi mein thek hoon .. bus mein ...", he left the sentence incomplete. Khushi remained silence giving him time to say.
"Bus tumhain miss ker raha hu, tum yahan hoti toh mein ...", Arnav again left his sentence incomplete. Khushi could feel the longing in his voice.
"Arnavji, hum bhut jald ap k pass ajayein gey, aur wo bhi hamesha k liye", said Khushi softly.
"Pata nahi aur kitna wait kerna patrey ga ... all these stupid rituals and ceremonies, I wish I could just take you away and get done with this marriage", said Arnav in irritation as he run his hand in his hair.
Khushi blushed hearing his impatientness. She could imaging him running his hand through his hair, "Don't ruin your hair, I don't want you to get bald on our wedding day", teased Khushi.
"What the ...", said Arnav getting bewilder at her sudden change of topic.
"Khushi Gupta, you are just unbelievable, here I am telling you how much I am missing you and want you and what rubbish you are saying", said Arnav in curt tone.
Khushi giggled, "Awh you look so cute when you are angry".
"Cute eh? Just meet me and then I will show you how cute I am", said Arnav making his voice husky and Khushi blushed again. Just then she felt Arush climbing on her and Khushi move away a bit.
"Yeah we will see ... Ok Arnavji I have to hang up now, Arush is getting naughty again", said Khushi.
"You can't handle a baby's naughtiness, what will happen to you when his father will get naughty haan", said Arnav in teasing tone and Khushi's mouth open in small O.
"Besharam", said Khushi and cut the phone and then blush thinking about his naughtiness and felt her cheek getting warm.
Arnav smile wide hearing her endearment for him, "Can't wait for that" he murmurs looking at his phone.
He quickly get freshen up and call Aman to come here so that they can catch up on some work.
After dinner he called Khushi to ask when she will be leaving for Mumbai, Khushi told him that tomorrow they have very early morning train to catch. Arnav didn't like this and suggested her to go by plane. But Khushi told him that she and Payal love to travel by train and she also wanted Arush to experience this.
In reply Arnav told her that Arush is too small to make sense of train and its experience which make Khushi's mood sour and he also mentioned that it will be difficult to handle him for so long in train, so its better to travel by plane. Khushi got irritated a bit and told him that this might be the last time she will be traveling by train with her family because after that she will get married to him, who will never allow her to go by train, to which Arnav instantly agreed making Khushi pout and him wishing to kiss her adorable face.
Next day (Monday) Arnav was busy with meetings so he didn't get a chance to talk with Khushi. Although he got a message from her saying that she is leaving for station.
Arnav had a meeting with Mr. Ashok, who owns a very good interior design company and had done renovation for AR few years back. Arnav told Ashok his requirements, and it was decided that his team will come in the evening to have a look at his room and make a list of things to be done. In evening, Arnav told his team about the changes he wants; give a list of new things etc. He wants the work to start as soon as he will come back from his London visit.
After Ashok's team left he called Khushi whose number couldn't get through, after trying for 2 - 3 time he stopped thinking that may be the train is going through no-signal area.
He had just gotten into his bed to sleep when he looked at his cell and saw a message from Khushi:
Happy Birthday Arnavji, Many many happy returns of the day. May Devi Maiya fulfill all your wishes and fill your life with happiness.
Cannot call now as won't be able to talk properly. So Good night. Love you loads. Muuah (kiss emoticon).
Arnav smile reading the message and wished that he could talk to Khushi. He replied back, "I want real kisses".
His cell beep after 2 minutes, "So come to Mumbai and take your kisses".
Arnav replied: "Think again Khushi, I will come there. Then don't back off".
Khushi replied: "I won't. (blushing emoticon)".
Arnav sighed and started to think how if he could go to Mumbai tomorrow or before going to London.
His cell beeped again, he checked and chuckled seeing many kissing emoticon send by Khushi.
The need to see her and kiss her rises within him, but right now he couldn't do anything so he opened her pictures and went to sleep while look at her beautiful pout and smiley faces.
Next Day - Tuesday - 21st August - Arnav's Birthday...
Arnav had just returned from the jog when he received call from his sister wishing him happy birthday. Arnav talk to his sister for few minutes and his Jiju who also wished him.
He went to his room, got ready for office and went down. His Mama, Mami , Nani and Akash wished him. Mami fetch the arti thal from mandir.
"Chottey, Anjali bitya is not here to do this, but she asked me to do this", said Nani and Arnav reluctantly agree. Nani took his arti and bless him, he was glad that he don't have to wear raksha thread as he was already wearing one, which he had to till the wedding day.
Throughout the day he missed Khushi very much. She did called him and wished him and talk to him. But it was not enough for him. He had thought many times to just to go airport board a plane to go to her. But every now a then new work or file or some client call came.
In evening, when he went home, there were no decorations or party. Because everyone knew that he doesn't like to celebrate his birthday after his mother died, as she also died on her birthday.
He directly went to his room telling Hari Prakash and his Nani not to disturb him. He never thought to celebrate his birthday, never wanted to. In his college days whenever his friends wanted to celebrate his birthday or gift him something. He would deny straight away. But now with Khushi in his life, there is this tiny wish and hope to celebrate his birthday with her but that also cannot be fulfilled as she is miles away from him
He came out of washroom, showered and changed clothes. He opened his laptop and take some files out of his laptop bag. He went to his cupboard and open it to place his files when his cell ring. He went back to recliner picked his cell, attach to his hear.
"Hey birthday boy, whats happening?", came Khushi's chirpy voice.
"Nothing, just showered and now going to work", said Arnav as he place 2 files in cupboard and open another to check something.
"Haw Arnavji even today you are going to work, Its your birthday. You should be celebrating it.", said Khushi.
"Khushi I told you earlier I don't like all these things", said Arnav as he closed his cupboard and went to recliner and place file on small table.
"But Arnavji, this is your first birthday after we both got together", said Khushi little sadly.
"Khushi", Arnav sighed hearing her sad tone, "You know after Ma I never celebrated my birthday, I never had the urge or want for it", said Arnav as he went towards the poolside.
When he still didn't hear her reply he continued, "And besides you are not here so whats the point in celebrating", said Arnav.
"Oh if I was with you, you would have celebrated your birthday", asked Khushi in hopeful voice.
"Yes Khushi I would have", replied Arnav.
"Really?", asked Khushi.
"Yes, as I told you I never wanted to celebrate my birthday before but today I had this wish that you could be here with me so that I can celebrate my birthday with you", said Arnav.
"If thats thing then your wish is my command, I will come there", said Khushi.
"What? You will come here? Khushi you are in Mumbai remember", said Arnav not understanding whats got into her.
"Yes if you would call me then how can I deny you my sweet Arnavji", said Khushi in cheeky tone.
"Khushi you are mad", said Arnav shaking his head.
"Arnavji I am serious, you call me and I will really be with you", said Khushi.
"Ok come here then", said Arnav in challenging tone.
"You call me and here I am Arnavji", said Khushi.
Arnav got shocked hearing this, because this time her voice didn't came from phone but from behind him. He turned and could not believe his eyes ... Khushi was standing there in red & black saree, just few feet distance from him.
TO BE CONTINUED ...
Looking forward to you comments.
NO PMs will be send for this update, its already late here and i am posting the update. won't be getting much time tomorrow to send PMs to 300+ readers.
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