Joined: 01 December 2013
"How long do you expect us to carry on like this?"
"NK, we can't just kill people because we're angry. What would that say about us as people?"
"It's not like they care! They kill us, why can't we kill them?"
"An eye for an eye-"
"Spare me the moral values lecture, Aman."
NK spat, stalking out of the room. Everyone's eyes remained on Aman. The normally poised man was obviously frustrated, his fists clenched by his side as he took a deep breath. Anjali placed her hand gently over Aman's as the group split, a sharp discomfort taking over. She sent Khushi a weighted look, pleading with her to follow NK.
He looked down at his fiance, the corner of his lip curling into a wry smile. Anjali shook her head, silently requesting him to keep his cool. Aman sighed heavily, running a hand through his hair.
"You can't let him rattle you, Aman. You know that's just how NK is."
He sighed frustratedly, turning to look out of the window as he gritted his teeth. Anjali wished she could do something, sensing that he was exhausted with the fight. She could hear the tired resignation in his voice, his face haggard and his shoulders slumped.
NK's continued determination had put a dent in their cohesiveness as a group, and Aman was feeling the pressure to give results as their leader.
But it was getting harder and harder to tell people to wait, and Anjali felt Aman's frustration as her own. It made it worse that she couldn't do anything except watch, silently standing behind him to support him.
"I know, Anju, I know. But I don't want his philsophy to influence the rest of this group. We can't lose them to violence, Anju, that takes away from the point of our fight."
"But when you argue, you let him affect this group. You can't blame him for being frustrated, Aman. It's been a long time, and we're all angry."
"That doesn't mean we act like them."
"It's a valid method."
"Are you saying he's right?"
He turned on Anjali, who simply raised an eyebrow. He sighed, knowing how ridiculous he sounded. He knew he had been unnecessarily sharp with that statement, turning his anger on Anju.
She glanced around, noting that everyone had left, before pulling him into a quick hug. He wrapped his arms around her, pulling her into him as he buried his nose into her neck, inhaling deeply. Almost immediately, his mind relaxed, the warmth of her hug allowing the tension to slowly seep out of his body.
Anjali pulled back, cupping his face fondly. She rubbed a thumb over the lines on his forehead, smiling up at him reassuringly.
"Be the Aman I know. Counter NK's points with calm, sensible points, and don't lose your temper."
Aman's heart swelled with the love he had for this woman in front of him.
He wouldn't have lasted this long without her support. He had sensed that she wished she could do more, the pained, worried looks she gave him revealing enough.
He wished he could tell her that her support was enough, her smile giving him the strength to keep his temper. He wished he could tell her that her reassuring voice, reminding him not to lose his temper was what kept him from losing it with NK, tell her how much a squeeze of her fingers relaxed him.
He struggled to form a sentence that did justice to all she had done for him, and instead stepped forward, cupping her face gently.
"What would I do without you?"
She grinned, mischief glimmering in her eyes.
"I don't know, Aman, I think you owe me one."
Leaning in, he took her lips in a deep kiss, smiling as she pulled him closer.
"NK! NK, wait!"
Khushi panted as she caught up with NK, who paused, his entire body shaking with anger.
"What? Are you going to lecture me too?"
She reached out, grabbing his hand to stop him as he whirled around to leave. NK froze immediately, turning around slowly to look at her in surprise. He glanced down at her hand, a small smile appearing on his face.
Hastily, Khushi dropped her hand from his, rubbing it gently. She felt uncomfortable, almost as if she had betrayed Arnav in some way. She stepped back, her eyes wary as she glimpsed the hope in his eyes.
"I- I'm sorry. I didn't intend to do that. I simply needed to stop you from leaving before you heard me out."
The light faded as he noticed her hesitancy, the way her eyes refused to rest on him. He narrowed his gaze, realizing that something was different in her attitude towards him.
Until now, she had been slowly opening herself up to at least the possibility of a romantic relationship. She had considered him as a possible partner... but it was as if that had disappeared.
She seemed uncertain of being in his presence, more guarded.
What had changed?
He returned his attention to Khushi, who was looking at him worriedly. He fought back the irritation, knowing that she too would tell him to calm down. He gritted his teeth, forcing himself to listen calmly as she spoke quietly, pleading with him to not be rash. Her voice faded away into the background as he slipped into his own thoughts, nodding at whatever she was saying as he thought.
He respected nonviolence, but he didn't believe that it was a viable way to win the fight. It was too docile, and they had been using it for over twenty years with no results. He was sick of being told he was wrong, of being denied the opportunity to kick out the British by using the same tactics they did.
He would just have to do it on his own.
Khushi worriedly looked at NK, who was evidently not listening to her. She could see her words were falling on deaf ears, and she sighed heavily as she watched him disconnect.
NK glanced up, his heart thudding in his chest, shocked her usage of his first name. Khushi noticed the way his eyes lit up, and hastily covered up again.
"I mean, I didn't mean to use your-"
"It's fine, Khushi."
"I just needed your attention."
She felt the need to justify it, to make sure he knew why she had used his name. She ploughed forward, ignoring the uncomfortable feeling in her chest.
"I know you are frustrated. And I'm frustrated too. We all are!"
"I know you want to use violence, and you have every right to your opinion. But... we're fighting for the same thing. Please don't fight us."
He ran a hand through his hair, sighing heavily.
"I know, Khushi. But how long can I wait? I've been waiting for years, and nothing has changed. Nothing."
"We want it too. We want freedom, we want our independence, the power to make our own decisions. We want the same thing as you!"
They stared at each other, with Khushi silently pleading with him to understand. She reached out, gently touching his shoulder. He looked down at her, his eyes torn.
"Don't fight us, NK. It'll splinter us, break us apart, just like they want us to be. It'll make it easier on them. Fight with us, please. We need you, someone who's as passionate about independence as you are."
NK closed his eyes, before relaxing and nodding.
"I know. I'll wait, a while longer, Khushi. But we have to do something, soon."
He smiled briefly at her, his eyes softening as he looked at her, before turning to leave.
She knew he was frustrated, but that he had agreed once more to hold himself back... because of her. The reminder of his feelings for her made her uncomfortable.
She didn't want to hurt him. She wished... it could have been different.
They were so similar, two people who cared deeply about the same thing. He wanted freedom, just like her, and he respected it. He had a temper, but he always listened to her opinion, took it into consideration.
Smart people waste their time on activities like these, rebel movements that go nowhere.
She wished she could muster up feelings for NK, that she could fall in love with him.
But somehow, she knew she never would.
She watched his figure disappear into the distance, a saddened smile appearing on her face.
Sakshi looked up at Ashok, who was calmly scanning the newspaper as he did daily. She could see the graying hairs that were neatly combed back, and slid her eyes down to the edges of his crisp, white kurta that was just barely visible.
She felt herself smiling, her heart warming at the sight of him. These were her favorite moments, sitting quietly by Ashok as they relaxed. She could hear his soft breathing, the crinkle of the newspaper as he turned it.
Their parents had arranged their marriage, with Ashok being the son of a friend of a family friend. She still remembered the day he had come to see her, his dark hair slicked back, his kurta as pristinely ironed as it was now.
At the time, she had been intimidated of him, his face revealing almost no emotion. He had been impeccably polite, but hadn't looked her way once.
And then, he had done something that had shocked their families.
He had calmly turned to her parents, and asked for permission to meet her alone. He hadn't reacted to their raised eyebrows, simply smiling and stating that he would at least like to speak with the person he was supposed to spend the rest of his life with.
They hadn't fallen in love right then.
It had taken them years, two children, and she was still learning new things about him.
Even today, she still felt as if she didn't know him sometimes.
But as her children were finding their own spaces, they were finding themselves as well. Their relationship had changed, and she had grown closer to him as both of their children were spreading their wings.
He had always been on the quiet side. Her husband wasn't one for flowery statements, keeping his thoughts short and simple. He rarely expressed what he felt, and initially, Sakshi would be frustrated with his lack of response to what she said.
She had been more hot tempered, getting angry over the fact that he would simply respond with a calm smile, never yelling back at her. She had often wished her husband would be more expressive, that he would get mad at her and yell.
Over time, the frustration had morphed into a deep admiration and respect. She had learned from him, to regard situations carefully and weigh both sides. She respected his open minded attitude, the way he never judged anyone.
To this day, the only times she had seen him lose his temper was when someone insulted her or their children.
He had his flaws, of course. He often seemed aloof, something that still frustrated her even now. She wished he would tell her how he felt, let his emotions loose every once in a while.
But she had learned that he expressed his love through actions, instead of words. He would buy her the sari she had noticed in a shop months back, remember the pieces of jewelry she liked. He knew her favorite books, and would let her slip her feet between his legs to keep them warm.
She started when she realized her husband was looking directly at her questioningly, over the tops of his reading glasses. Her cheeks darkened, but she mustered up what she hoped was a dignified smile, shaking her head and turning back to the embroidery.
She blushed like a young girl sometimes, with the new sense of intimacy that came from two people who had built a life together.
It was odd that Anjali too would be gone in a couple of days, leaving just the two of them... and Khushi.
The girl they had taken in, one she had come to consider as her own child. Ashok would tell her about the precocious little girl whenever he visited Shashi. Khushi and Anjali had always gotten along well whenever they had visited the Guptas.
She hadn't hesitated when Ashok had come to her distraught, asking her if it would be okay if they took in the trembling teenage girl who came with only a small suitcase.
Arnav had just left for England, and she had eagerly looked to fill the empty space in her heart by taking in Khushi, treating her as her own daughter.
Now, Khushi was almost her own flesh and blood.
She had been thinking after Ashok's gentle suggestion, asking her to consider making their relationship formal.
Having Khushi, as her bahu.
But Arnav... she didn't want to keep him here, hinder his achievements, especially when he disliked it so much.
Khushi would never agree to leave. This country meant too much to her.
She sighed heavily, staring out of the window.
Having Khushi as her bahu would be beautiful, everything she had ever wanted. She didn't want to let go of the girl, even though she knew she would have to.
Somehow, the lack of a blood tie made her worry that Khushi's marriage would mean she would lose her forever.
And she wasn't ready for that, she would never be.
But they would never agree. She had to come to terms with that, and not dwell on impossible fantasies.
NK would suit Khushi well. They would be happy, and she would be just down the street.
She would have to come to terms with that. Yes, that would be the best for Khushi.
Khushi sat down quietly with Sense and Sensibility, her eyes scanning the familiar words, drinking them in. She sighed contentedly. The simplicity of the romance never failed to enchant her, the gentle patience and quiet pain of Edward and Elinor.
She wished her own romance was so simple.
She and Arnav were no where near the enduring patience of Colonel Brandon, the tender love. They argued often, their equally matching tempers clashing in furious debates that quickly grew heated.
"They're using our resources for a war a continent away! Bengal is going through a famine, where they barely have food to feed themselves because of-"
"You do realize there is a war going on in Asia too, right? Right in India, even. It's the one you guys are fighting."
"We believe in nonviolence, Arnavji. Being a rebel does not mean that we automatically wreak havoc-"
"Ha! I've seen the chaos those protests cause. They're a menace. It would never happen in London. India isn't strong enough to do this. It's simply too hard."
"Just because it is hard, does not mean you should give up."
Her heart clenched at the sharp reminder of their differences. She closed her eyes, leaning against the couch.
"Chote, did you bring the sweets?"
"Haan Ma, I've got them here."
"You brought jalebis? But I had only asked for rasmalai... chalo, koi baat nahi, Khushi likes them a lot anyway."
She felt the pleasant warmth spread through her at the emotion, and glanced around self consciously.
He hadn't looked at her at all during that conversation, had simply apologized for accidentally bringing jalebi as well. She had seen the shadow of a smile as he watched her eat it through the corner of his eye, satisfaction glimmering in his eyes.
He would always let her drag him to eat pani puris with her, rolling his eyes and cribbing. But he always did it, shaking his head at her enthusiasm, a smile tugging at his lips.
He would wait up on the terrace at night for her, wearing a simple cotton kurta. His hair was not slicked back as it usually was, instead let loose so she could run her hands through it. For once, he was out of that god forsaken suit.
The way he sat in silence as she looked up at the stars, only breaking it to occasionally ask her questions about her parents. He would bring out the old, fond memories, hold her through the difficult ones.
His eyes searched for her, his face relaxing when he found her. The way his fingers would slip between here at every opportunity, sometimes sliding against the bare skin at her waist, making her shiver.
She lifted a hand up to her cheek, feeling the heat against the back of her palm. She looked around again, amazed that no one had noticed her fluster.
Her eyes caught sight of him, engrossed in a newspaper. She let her eyes linger, taking in the way the crisply ironed shirt was rolled back, revealing the tanned forearm that would press against hers as they worked.
He was tender with the leaves, gently brushing away the dirt from the buds despite the thorny branches. His hands were reverent as he adjusted the soil around the plants, making sure it was well packed and watered. She was always amazed that the man who had such a sharp, cool exterior could show such warmth when he was tending to their garden.
A smile spread across her face, unrestrained and joyful. She couldn't stop the small giggle, and he looked up at her immediately, his eyes catching hers. Her breath caught, and she felt her heart thud at the expression in his eyes, one reserved just for her.
She blushed, tearing her eyes away from his and looking back down at the page. She looked up at the sound of Ma's voice, trembling slightly.
"I can hardly believe that you'll be married this weekend, Anju."
Sakshi broke the silence, brushing away a tear as she looked fondly at Anjali. Anjali scooted closer to her mother on the couch, wrapping her arms around the tinier figure as she placed a loud kiss on her cheek.
"Arey, I'll be just down the street! Why are you crying now itself? There are still three days left until I leave."
"That's why she's crying, Anju. She has three whole days left with you, my poor mother."
Arnav drawled, not looking up from his paper.
"Oh, chup kar."
Anjali glowered at him, and he looked up, grimacing at her. Anjali rolled her eyes, whining to Ma about how mean Arnav was being.
For a moment, Khushi was struck by the warmth in Arnav's eyes, warmth that was underlied by nostalgia. She watched as Arnav continued to poke fun at his sister, a rare show of affection from a man so reserved.
"Ma, you'll still have Khushi, no?"
"And what happens when she too gets married? She'll also leave us, and Chote will go back to England."
"Or you could marry her to Bhai, and she would be here forever."
Anjali realized the implication of her words as soon as she said them, the innocent statement hanging heavily in the air. She glanced between Arnav and Khushi, and then at her mother.
To her surprise, her mother looked almost pained, her eyes torn. Her mother looked away for a minute, opening her mouth to say something... but then closed it. Steeling herself, Sakshi turned to Anjali, a bright smile on her face.
"But Khushi has NK, and he too is just across the street. You both will be right across from me. Hai na, Khushi?"
The tension in the room was thick, as Khushi smiled tightly at Sakshi, avoiding Arnav's penetrating gaze. Khushi knew Arnav would be furious, his teeth gritted as he stared at her.
She was uncomfortable by the blatant mention of NK, the ease with which Sakshi Ma labeled him as her future husband. She felt the prickling of guilt at not being able to feel that way about NK, wondering how upset Sakshi Ma would be if she found out the truth.
Anjali looked at Arnav, who was staring incredulously at Khushi, his figure stiff. She recognized the familiar signs of his anger, his lips pressed tightly together in a thin line. She moved her gaze to Khushi, who was fingering the page of her book nervously.
"I think there is some work I need to take care of in the garden."
Abruptly, he stood up, striding out of the room. Anjali looked back at Khushi, who was sitting uncomfortably on the couch, blankly staring at the words in front of her.
"Khushi, why don't you go as well? You haven't gone out all day, it'll be nice."
Anjali saw the reluctance on Khushi's face, but she still nodded, walking out to the garden.
Arnav slammed the spade into the dirt, taking care not to hurt the plants nearby. They needed to dig a new hole to transplant a shrub anyway.
He heard her behind him, patiently waiting. There was the faint whiff of lavender, a scent that calmed his nerves almost immediately.
"NK brought a proposal for me shortly before you came to India."
He slammed it into the dirt again, his knuckles whitening at the mention of NK.
"He's a close friend, but I..."
She trailed off, and he leaned back on his heels, standing up as he turned to look at her.
"You didn't deny what Ma said. Do you want to marry him?"
"I don't want to hurt Ma and Papa."
"I asked if you want to marry him, Khushi. Not about Ma and Papa."
"He is like me, Arnav. He wants freedom, he loves this country. He's kind, and he's a good man."
"It's a simple question, Khushi."
"Why do you care?"
"Why wouldn't I?"
She was clearly startled by his answer, sucking in a sharp breath. His tone was brutally honest, revealing every feeling he felt. She could hear the hurt mingling with the confession, unconcealed.
She sighed heavily, before lifting her gaze to him.
"It would have been easier."
She said simply, her eyes reflecting her conflict.
Had she not met him, she would have said yes without a second thought.
"Just because it is hard, does not mean you should give up."
Her eyes widened in surprise. He had remembered her words. They stared at each other for a long while, the tension softening, before she relaxed, a faint smile on her face.
He laced his fingers through hers, tugging her behind him.
"I have to show you something."
He slipped through the back roads, taking her through the relatively empty streets. They came to the gate of Lady Willingdon Park. He kept walking until they came to a secluded area just behind the mosque, with tall trees.
She glanced around, the air cool from the trees around them.
"This was the place that made me fall in love with gardening. Papa used to bring me here when I was younger, and would teach me about all the plants. I love the quiet, the solitude... I used to come here just to think."
He searched her face. This was his favorite place in India, the architecture and the beautifully planned gardens never failing to amaze him.
"It's my favorite place in India."
It mattered to him that she knew he cared about this place, that she knew... He wanted to show her that he liked India, that they were similar in many ways.
He wanted her to know that he cared.
He knew she had been here before, but for some reason... today was different.
He knew he wasn't NK, with his love for India. He and Khushi had their differences, plenty of them. But... maybe this would change things.
She regarded him for a moment, her face serious. She could tell that he wanted to tell her something, his eyes searching her face, asking her to understand.
"Would you... mind showing me around?"
A smile broke his face, and she smiled back.
Note: And that's where I'll leave you for today! Thank you for waiting. I hope you enjoyed it- if you have the time, please let me know what you think through a like or a comment. I love to hear your thoughts!
As always, please follow @ipkchotidesi or PM me your email for update notifications.
A warm welcome to any new readers- and I hope you all had a wonderful start to 2015!
The following 232 member(s) liked the above post:
vpapa, uno1234, racheal, nuttsk12, KADBURY, praharsha, zzll12, khub, Pantheraonca, chinnimunni, HugeArshiFan, neha_mayur, raniusha, Chardonnay, moni16, ssahiti, priya4574, Kiakhatiyan, bhuvana143arshi, Maprani, loony-toony, neena2000, adhara17, Maitri12345, ipkfangirl, Tajmahal87, Arshidewani, turnip, PaaruSB, thumbi, VioletFlower, vidra, mkavi, kiwikali, irama1, anuarshi, raniii2, ranahind, HopeRuel, mv2003, slakhani, bablubli, MONAKARAN, malar3, nimko, cutyanushka, 12041989, Arshinme, g17jas, gurukhush, arshi_1982, sunshineswirl, sangeethbala, afshanbabar, ace13, athirakt, esha85, gudiya74, fanfollower, ashwakes, bc1972, binduk, ammyicycool, sydy, malfoy, cutie13, shyamidutt, indu9, savvz, shamyj, MayaraaSobti, Frida, tasmine, ARSHI_FAN11, manusmithcl, anisa79, champsum, fhussain237, simraaan, roseycheek, snehashetty34, disha7, brinny, lOVENI, sreeanshu, inamajar, Aishaqaiser, shivanisaur, BlueRobbin, nishkka, Amrita_12, shr1234, soppy, penrith, gata, xyzsm, hashey, kamtokdin, niharika111, 123carter, Tiramisu_coffee, anjubua, headtotoe, luv_panipuri, arshisimple, Nirjhoramanisha, Sj236, divya_divs, Amita2014, Greyasr, ..Sri..sd..lg.., alwaysarshi, SharuAG, ipkndlover75, ManKiBaath, DevdasiSingh, Mirabell, anukap, addicted25, DDC1, brishti84, Illuminatus., .kat., WanieA, Aish002, niya55, Tirtharupa, deepsdspeed, greshu, Bavari, mayurisb80, barbiebala, sk2405, Polkadots78, rosalineak, rizib, Janu75, sakhter90, Mxk3444, Anu567, Raila1014, thangam100, msmarple, meem17, neet2407, shils28, sammymas, anarshi, V3Od, Armela, unna_178, mrin0709, huny.thebest, pinkly, himalayanyeti, seshatree, zainza, Anamika100, iqbals4ever, kirti123, hararnav, N0306, aafan, Kittya_Cullen, pravallika, badfaith4u, crazy4ArnavSR, BroknAngel, TwilightStar_JP, mehak06, Shru9ti, srain10, ASRphanki, sincereme, Sanaya.Barun, luvbug, Alai123, tashi26, IronButterfly, saschades, SS88, sanamsky, MDTharun, JJKKL, rk2127, shalbi, sayari_sanki99, Dhrenu, Pinky.Raizada, Arshi67, Heavens_Flower, YaSha0512, Chokri_ASR, jyothirockz, aayt, missmk, dieforasr, vrindagupta, blackdove, aquagal, shiv456, Kishmish, medha16, sudhareddy, Angels11, farheen75, kvarsha, sonia_92, bmtdluver, zooni.blue, anu1017, Shamz94, sman, ..Anita.., shalini_s, ChitraF, Arjuhisis, --MISHTEE--, amaia, snoopy84, seeta_naips, yoga123, sunitikapoor, canapoem, pup03, ranogill, honey-sweety, 1chilly, .LadyHitler., -UnknownSoul-, Rasgulla_sp, MysticRiver,
Joined: 28 September 2012
The following 8 member(s) liked the above post:
pinkly, JJKKL, chotidesi, Heavens_Flower, Arshi67, sman, Arjuhisis, 1chilly,
Joined: 17 February 2012
The following 8 member(s) liked the above post:
ManKiBaath, JJKKL, chotidesi, Chokri_ASR, Heavens_Flower, Arshi67, 1chilly, Arjuhisis,
Joined: 09 June 2013
How beautifully you have shown the many hues of love. Where a touch of the beloved can act as a balm to soothe ruffled feathers, it can also ignite hope for a so far unrequited love. It can be a gentle companionship, it can be a maelstrom of confusion.
Ashok and Sakshi's marriage is so inspiring. The deep respect and understanding they have built up over the years infusing love and warmth not only between them, but encompassing their family.
You've brought out NK's frustration so well. The way he's chafing at the bit to take action. The hot blood of youth wanting to follow in the footsteps of Bhagat Singh rather than that of Gandhiji's ahinsa.
I adore the way Khushi surreptitiously notices everything about Arnav and the way he indulges her subtly. Anju sure put her foot in her mouth there. But good that Arnav was able to see past his jealousy. His wanting to show her his love for her country will hopefully pave the way for a future together.
The following 6 member(s) liked the above post:
ManKiBaath, Illuminatus., chotidesi, Heavens_Flower, Chokri_ASR, 1chilly,
Joined: 19 October 2013
The following 6 member(s) liked the above post:
Mirabell, Illuminatus., JJKKL, chotidesi, Chokri_ASR, Arshi67,
Joined: 09 June 2012
The following 1 member(s) liked the above post:
Joined: 23 September 2010
The following 1 member(s) liked the above post:
Joined: 05 February 2012
The following 4 member(s) liked the above post:
Mirabell, JJKKL, chotidesi, Arshi67,
Arhi os:Khushi's chalenge to Arnav for arhi sangeet
Author: Hina69 Replies: 94 Views: 54411
|Hina69||94||54411||13 October 2016 at 2:18am by arnavmaan|
Arhi os:HILARIOUS CONVO BETWEEN ARHI.
Author: Hina69 Replies: 94 Views: 62348
|Hina69||94||62348||24 September 2016 at 5:29am by NPKN|
3 | ArHi FF: Resistance | COMPLETE | PAGE 74 | UPDATED 2/6
Author: chotidesi Replies: 719 Views: 73830
|chotidesi||719||73830||09 April 2016 at 12:26pm by shalbi|
1 | ArHi FF Resistance | COMPLETE
Author: chotidesi Replies: 1165 Views: 175418
|chotidesi||1165||175418||14 August 2015 at 9:32am by bluesky10|
Whisper Arhi SS Last Part Arhi
Author: jasminerahul Replies: 212 Views: 156421
|jasminerahul||212||156421||26 January 2012 at 3:08am by meluhan|
Popular Channels :
Quick Links :