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ArHi: Innocence to a half-mad city [Complete] (Page 107)

manishapatro Senior Member

Joined: 24 May 2016
Posts: 302

Posted: 20 July 2017 at 1:32pm | IP Logged
Nice one..

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pinkly Goldie

Joined: 07 August 2006
Posts: 2227

Posted: 20 July 2017 at 7:44pm | IP Logged
I am so glad the dumb Anjali finally got some brains. I loved the way she talked to her FIL and dummy husband and she threatened them nicely :-)).

Good that she is mending her mistakes one person at a time.

I am also sad that only one chapter is remaining!! There is so much to wrap up...what happens to Arnav and khushi, Anjali and her grandma's apology to Arnav, Arnav and Aman's relationship and their friendship with lavanya, what happened to Shyam and his dad, Payal and the police officer, and Khushi's pathetic ex husband (may be not him)... too many things are there. Please make it a long chapter.

I liked the last 2 chapters. It was good to see Anjali taking over her responsibilities.

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vrindagupta IF-Rockerz

Joined: 02 June 2012
Posts: 6514

Posted: 20 July 2017 at 11:22pm | IP Logged
How is all the mess gonna be sorted in just 1 more chapter
Anjali has found sense
She realises her mistakes
Glad Suman decided to stay back
Otherwise Anjali would have been a mess
Well we get to thank Arnav for that

Anjali is on right path
She needs to apologise to arnav
She even suggested the same to Nani
Hope is able to heal some damage
They did to arnav

Listening from Suman
I guess holiday did Arshi good
Arnav had become a bit romantic
Would love to see that

Waiting eagerly to read more
Update soon

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SharuAG Senior Member

Joined: 22 October 2014
Posts: 934

Posted: 21 July 2017 at 10:06am | IP Logged
Anjali have the nerve to point the faws of her grandmother. Whey were a pair in tormenting Arnav and treat him like a garbage to dump frustrations and agony of loving the loved ones. Never ever think abou his feelings. He lost his parents too. And he must be going through the same shit they would be going through.
We human are complicated creatures. We love to blame others for the our faults. Just to have a peace of mind?

I m sad that the story is coming to an end. But everything has an expiration.

Looking for the next update

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RockBarbie Goldie

Joined: 13 November 2011
Posts: 1138

Posted: 21 July 2017 at 10:24am | IP Logged

Chapter 23: When the dust settles

"You are glowing, Aman points spatula at his oldest friend, and adds, "And you look like a cross between a hobo and a retired Rockstar.

"He is right, Lavanya chimes from somewhere in kitchen. Before Arnav can respond, she pinches his hip from behind making him yelp. "Tell auntie Lavanya everything.

"Everything? Arnav leers at her. Aman sniggers at Lavanya's bashful expression.

"Highlights would suffice, I suppose. She sniffs.

"I suppose so as well, Arnav replies, laughing.

"You look good Arnav, she says sincerely once they have all settled down in the living room. Aroma of freshly cooked meal wafts around them and something settles in Arnav's chest when he sees his two best friends relaxed around him.

"I certainly hope so La.

"One year is a long hiatus for a busy man like you. What did you do? Aman asks, handing Arnav plate filled with food.

"In the beginning everything was too quiet. There were no phones ringing, there was no sound of traffic or anything. We were living in a cottage that's in outskirts of Kyoto. I couldn't fall asleep because my head wasn't tired, you know what I mean?

Aman and Lavanya both nodded vigorously. "I have been working for so long that I didn't know what to do with my time.

"So, what did you do? Aman asks.

"Gardening. I spent hours in our backyard planting things. It was cathartic when I pitted the garden and planted a row of tomatoes. When I saw the first hint of green on ground, I burst into tears. Arnav smiles softly at his plate, lost in a tender memory. "In the last year I have cried more times than I have cried in my entire lifetime. I never really mourned for my parents you know?

"What do you mean? Lavanya asks.

Arnav pushes the plate on table and takes a long sip of water. "After my parents died, I had to get back to company since the rumors of their misdoings were already floating around. With Anjali and Naani hovering around me and berating me, I swallowed my grief and did my job. In Kyoto there were no deadlines, no one waiting on me, no judgments, no sense of abandonment. It was just me and her and the muted silence.

"Is it too soon to ask you about your sex life? Aman leered at his best friend.

Arnav smiled softly. "Khushi isn't still comfortable human contact for extended period of time, especially men. She is okay with brief touches and hugs and chaste kiss. Anything beyond that requires a conversation.

"Is it a trust thing? Lavanya asks, curious.

Arnav shakes his head. "There is a deep seated lesson etched on her skin that every touch she gets comes with a sexual or a possessive intent. She is relearning human touch and she had made great progress in last year. The journey is still in progress to get to point where she maintains a hug for more than fifteen minutes.

At that both Aman and Lavanya somber.

"You are okay with that, right? Lavanya asks carefully.

Arnav nods. "I am more than okay with it. The last year has been good to her and both of us, together. We got to know each other without distractions. We both have a ton of emotional baggage that has to be shared, cleared and dealt with before we take the next step.

"How did you two spend your time? Aman asks, Lavanya looking interested in the question as well.

"I did a lot of gardening. Khushi read a lot mostly mathematics and some physics. We both took Japanese classes from an old Australian couple who came to visit Kyoto back in the seventies but never left. They lived two kilometers away from us and we used to trek every day to their cottage for two-hour lessons be it snow or rain.

"What? You didn't own a car? Aman asks, surprised.

Arnav shakes his head. "We owned two bicycles. We took bus or train when we visited different parts of the country. Arnav's eyes soften over the memory. "There was no hurry, you know? The pace was what we set. We didn't rush into anything but just moved with the moment. For me it was as if I was coming back for air after being underwater for so long.

Lavanya moves to squeeze Arnav's hand. "Must have been touch.

"I spent three hours in a tiny railway station fighting an anxiety attack after panicking about the train timings. Khushi just sat next to me as I fought my anxiety. After three hours we were still there and the world was still turning. No one cared if I was going to be late to a museum. That day, we just took a train back home and I wept while swimming in the pond behind our house.

"Why? Aman asks, his voice barely a whisper.

"On that day, I realized that I actually have the luxury to fall apart and when I do, I have people in my life who will hold my hand and wait for my anxiety to pass away to meet me on the other side. You two have seen some variant of it but only recently I discovered how bad it can get.

"I am glad Khushi was there. Lavanya says. "I am glad it is her. Lavanya finds that she is perfectly okay with Arnav and Khushi. She doesn't say it out loud that it helped her as well to move on from Arnav without him around her with Khushi.

"I was surprised she agreed to come with you, Aman notes distractedly. "Especially given her conservative values she grew up with.

"So was I, to be honest, Arnav agrees. "I told her if she wanted to get away with me for a few days or a year. She just asked me when.

"Really? Aman asks, surprised. Arnav nods.

"She hasn't seen anything outside this city, did you know? I have been to Kyoto several times but seeing the city from her eyes was an altogether different experience. For her it wasn't just getting away form mundanity but having to just live without dealing with several issues at the same time. Arnav pauses as he grapples with words that's swirling in his head. "She had her share of bad days when she didn't come out of the room and didn't speak more than five words for an entire week. With passing weeks those bad days became less and less. Her ex got married and that was a shock and half.

"Its amazing to watch her work after everything she has been through. The resilience of a woman. She says with admiration in her voice.

Pride swells in Arnav's chest at that and he grins widely at Lavanya. "She is Khushi. He says simply.

At that Aman raises his champagne flute and toasts. "For life long friends, new found dreams and lasting love; may we find our joy imprinted on the heart a budding star.


"I almost expected to see your puja thaali in this room.

Anjali jumps at the familiar voice making her spill coffee on the table. "You stood there and waited till I picked up my coffee mug, didn't you? She says glaring at her brother.

Arnav nods, laughter in his eyes. "You are such an ass, she laments and points him to the chair opposite to her. "What do you want? I am busy. She huffs as she wipes spilled coffee on her desk.

"Just came to say hi, he says casually looking around the place where he has spent most of his adult life.

Anjali sees him observing his old office. "Want this office back? She asks, neutrally.

His answer is instant. "Nope. Besides this office and desk suits you better.

"Everything suits me Arnav, Anjali deadpans. Now Arnav indeed laughs out loud.

"I really did just come by to say hello to you and Suman.

"Bored already? Anjali asks, biting back a grin.

"Not really, no. I have no idea what I want to do but I do know that I don't want to be here. He says sincerely. He loved his company and the work he did. But everything had changed after his parents' death and his passion was tainted by what took place after. For now, he was happy with the time he had on his hands and various options that were available for him.

Anjali concedes by not responding to him. "Did you talk to grandma?

He shrugs. "She cried a whole lot after I said my piece. I don't know what she wants or what she is expecting but its going to take a while, he sighs. Anjali wants to reach forward and offer him a hug or run her hand in his hair but she refrains herself from doing so. Baby steps, she tells herself. They have only started talking without hyperbole and emotionally morbid insinuations, she wants to keep their relationship easy going for some more time before taking the next step.

In the past year, they have talked a lot and fought a lot as well. Her apologies have been sincere and his hurt filled explanations equally sincere.

"Lunch? He initiates tentatively. Its not forgiveness yet but its one of the first steps to it, she thinks.

"You are treating. She demands. "If you are bumming out in a foreign country in a cutesy home with a cute girl, you might as well spend some rupees on your poor sister.

Arnav laughs heartily at that.

The clenched feeling in her chest relaxes a little. When she smiles at him, she finds a little slice of peace.


He walks into the little watch shop that is bawling with cacophonies of an hour successfully passed. The watchmaker is standing behind her workstation, hunched over a wrist watch. After the collective sound stops, he clears his throat to get her attention.

She looks up from her work and looks at him amused. "Can I help you?

"I was wondering if you could fix this wrist watch for me, he points to the watch on his right wrist that stopped working fifteen years ago. "I think its time.

When his hands shiver as he unclasps the band, her cool palm closes on his and gently squeezes. She takes it off gently and places the wrist watch on her workstation.

"Is it broken? He asks, his voice hoarse.

She looks up after several minutes and smiles at him.

"Not anymore, she says and snaps the metal plate in its place.

The wrist watch silently whispers its signature sound in her hand as the tiny metal hands that stayed dormant for decade finally moves forward.

The End.

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RockBarbie Goldie

Joined: 13 November 2011
Posts: 1138

Posted: 21 July 2017 at 10:24am | IP Logged
This story took longer than I expected and I did spend more time writing it. Writing solely angst is time consuming and mentally draining experience. I have worked with my limitations and I do sincerely hope you have all enjoyed the story.

Leave your thoughts on this story once you are finished. Its always a pleasure to see the story from a different perspective. I will respond to them very soon.

Edited by RockBarbie - 21 July 2017 at 10:32am

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-Loki- Groupbie

Joined: 23 September 2015
Posts: 63

Posted: 21 July 2017 at 10:40am | IP Logged
I heart this story. 

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MysticRiver IF-Addictz

Joined: 16 October 2004
Posts: 79786

Posted: 21 July 2017 at 10:51am | IP Logged

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