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ArHi: Innocence to a half-mad city [Complete] (Page 23)

RockBarbie Goldie

Joined: 13 November 2011
Posts: 1138

Posted: 29 May 2016 at 4:33am | IP Logged
Originally posted by Kishmish

There is nothing worse in the world than being held responsible for the death

of your own parents and that too by your own sibling and family ...

"Grief is not as heavy as guilt ... but it takes more away from you" but

if the two are combined then its burden can create havoc in your mind ...

More than a decade of not being able to mourn the loss of your parents in

peace over that blamed for being the cause of their death are bound to put

any person in depression and Arnav is after all just a human being ... how long

will he be able to carry this guilt along ...

Thank God for the good friendship between Lavanya , Aman and him ... but

for them he would have been a mental case ...

Humans have this tendency to be more loving towards a person whom they

feel is weaker not realising that the other could be hurting too ...

Thank God that Dadi has finally seen the light and realised what Arnav is

going through ...

Finding solace in the company of a total outsider is not uncommon so am not

surpised one bit that he finally landed up at "Watching" ...

So we shall be seeing them spending more time together because of the clock

she is planning on making for him to gift Aman ... J

She figured out how much she is hurting her grandson by being quiet. Either one really supports or they don't. Just by not talking, grandma stood away from Arnav. And that hurt him.

Something like that yea :)

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RockBarbie Goldie

Joined: 13 November 2011
Posts: 1138

Posted: 29 May 2016 at 4:34am | IP Logged
Originally posted by archnahardik123

Such a sad past he is carrying with him. Some of doubts are clear about Arnav and anjali. 
It's true both of them lost their parents, where one get full attention other left alone to deal with his pain along with accusations. His heart is broken completely and h dis searching some peace with friends or lavanya till now . But looks like time has come when he fix his stopped watch.
There is some peace between them in such a short time. And without conversation they can sit and do their own work. 
Conversations between his grandma and emotions felt through is beautiful written.

maybe i should write Anjali a little more. We have been seeing her from only one perspective :)

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RockBarbie Goldie

Joined: 13 November 2011
Posts: 1138

Posted: 29 May 2016 at 4:36am | IP Logged
Originally posted by Aashmin

Honestly I don't know how to express my thoughts... I mean I'm not that good at words... While reading I felt all the emotions building up with in me... I was feeling it actually... Arnav.. Lavanya... Dadi... Lot of emotions..

Thanks for writing. :) I am glad the update was able to resonate with you.

Originally posted by elinad

Awesome update...
Loved it

Thanks :)

Originally posted by -Roshini-

Nice update

Thanks :)

Originally posted by savvz

you write beautifully dear...

btw.. the clock ... *thumbs up*..
am going to see if i can build this up... i was in search of a grandfather clock for so long... but this is so much better... :)

Good luck! Do share your progress :)

Originally posted by srmirji

Thanks for such an informative update...I didn't know about Weasley clock... the article is interesting
Your update also gives a glimpse of the past along with the emotions buried deep within Arnav.. Intriguing...


You are welcome :)

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RockBarbie Goldie

Joined: 13 November 2011
Posts: 1138

Posted: 29 May 2016 at 4:38am | IP Logged
Originally posted by Mrieshka

Another brilliant updateTongue. Arnav is in so much pain for so long that too inflicted by his own family--what can be worse than it specially for doing the right thing. This happens so commonly that the emotionally weak person gets all the attention and affection in the family and most deserving person is left stranded. Grandmother is too late to show her remorse, the damage has been already done.
But Arnav is very lucky to have at least good friends which is nothing  less than a treasure. 

Oh--this watch making seems to be a genius's work and so happy to see Khushi who is strong and competent although seems to be hiding a tsunami of her past. I am really inrigued for the rest of story now.
 Thanks for the PMSmile.

Some times one cannot recover from childhood damages. That's just how it is. Arnav, though has gone through so much in his life has had luck with his friends. He has his friends to fall back on, people who he call as his own. Another family, of sorts.

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RockBarbie Goldie

Joined: 13 November 2011
Posts: 1138

Posted: 29 May 2016 at 4:39am | IP Logged
Originally posted by bakwas_serial

_ Amazing. 
- Arms, military, politicians in same sentence leaves a bad taste in one's mouth.  If your actions direct or indirect is a cause  of harm to a loved one.. is a heavy burden to carry.   Time heals, you may not forget but learn to forgive yourself but spite and resentment from family...

- 10 years and Nani still wants more time for things to settle? Too weak to face the music ?

- Seeing a psychiatrist  means you are crazy.  Even witn time Anjali is still shallow.

 - If not for Lavanya and Aman would be have able to survive ?  On their death anniversary he seeks solace with a stranger not his close friends.  There is a calmness in their interaction.

PS  No relaxation tea required after this update

Nani is spineless. She has doted on Anjali and now its showing. :)
MarySue Groupbie

Joined: 07 January 2015
Posts: 99

Posted: 29 May 2016 at 8:55pm | IP Logged
Thankyou so much for providing the info and links! i so badly hope i will be able to make it for my mom when i get over high school.
Its amazing! Atleast there's something that can make me feel less of a muggle. 

Sorry for the rant, the potterhead inside me is freaking out.

Now about the chapter, i love how Arnav went to Khushi to find solace. Its cute. My heart goes out to Arnav when i read about his situation. Looking forward to read more about past and ofcourse Arnav Khushi's bonding! 


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RockBarbie Goldie

Joined: 13 November 2011
Posts: 1138

Posted: 29 May 2016 at 10:02pm | IP Logged

Chapter 5: When sunshine competes with star shine

Arnav dowses another glass of wine to ease the manic ache in his limbs. Its bone deep, hollow and unnamed. Something has shifted between them - him and Lavanya and he is sensing it. He doesn't know if he is a little slow on the uptake or if it is something new. Either way, his breath stammers.

"Stop looking at me like that," Lavanya chides. The little upturn in her lips downgrades the tension that has cocooned them. "How is your food?" She deflects when she sees he is about to open his mouth. He frowns at her action but doesn't address it.

"It's good. Why aren't we meeting at our regular place?" He asks looking around the dimly lit restaurant that intentionally was designed to propagate intimacy. Lavanya's preference was mostly classy, elegant, bright and definitely luxurious. This joint was more his style; gloomy, stifling and mostly empty.

Lavanya shifts in her seat and pushes the empty dessert plate away from her. She is aware that her deflection has been obvious but the grateful look she sends him every time he acknowledges it, accepts it and segues to something mundane, worries her. When the last of their plates are cleared, they start on the last of their wine.

"I want us to end." She says softly. To her credit, she looks at him directly in the eye with a smile that's filled with longing he cannot erase. "End for good." She adds to clarify.

The wine in his glass sloshes dangerously close to the brim. He sets it down with his shaky hand.

They have been on again - off again sort of couple for two decades. They always took "break" but never ended. He knows this is the end by the finality in her voice.

Yet, he cannot shake the ache that's spreading in his body. The longing. The dependency. The past. The romance. The sex. The affection. The adoration. Their shared history.

"Okay." He says. Too many words swim in his head and he finds himself losing grip on one of the two deep red threads that holds him tethered to reality.

"Arnav, may I explain?" Lavanya begins cautiously. He looks up and nods. His mouth softens at the easy way Lavanya was able to read his hesitation and take reigns before he drives himself to the ground with self-pity and disgust directed towards himself.

"We have known each other for two decades. We know each other's families, we have common friends, we have routines and we know each other more than what two people can ever achieve in their entire life time. We are friends, best friends even. And I want to be that. Only that." Lavanya pauses and looks at Arnav who is looking at her curiously.

"Are you saying we are boring La?" He asks, smile ready to go and pain a few feet away. He doesn't know what else to say.

She chuckles and shakes her head. "Have we ever been boring Arnav? No. It's not that. It's hard to explain especially when I know how good we are, have been and can be great together." She pours more wine to her glass slower than usual to gather her thoughts. "Our lives have intertwined in such a way and to such an extent that when a bad news hits one of us, we are both impacted by it. I am afraid of the contexts, of our combined pasts and our history as a couple. We have grown up together as kids, as lovers, as friends and as two human beings. I am afraid if we go for longer than we have, we may impact the very foundation that our friendship is built on. I can live with not having you in my bed but I can't live without you by my side."

There is slight desperation in her voice. He is unsure what he is feeling right now. But there is one thing that hounds his mind like a freight train.

"I want to say I understand but I don't. I want to say I didn't see this coming but that would be wrong. I want to say it's alright but I am not able to. I do however know this for certain - we will never not be friends." His words spread like an umbrella above them, shielding and preventing anything from the outside world to disrupt the hum that has set between them. "I don't know of a universe where you aren't my friend Lavanya."

Lavanya smiles. Its sunshine, honeyed apples, bittersweet jasmine green tea, rollercoaster. "Thank you for being you. Always."

They walked out of the restaurant as slightly different people. He relaxes when he finds Lavanya's arm twitching. He smiles softly, inwardly and takes his hand in hers. They always held hands as a couple when they weren't in company of others.

"I don't know what I would do with the knowledge I have of you, of us being together, as lovers." He blurts.

Lavanya stops. He stops when her arm tugs him and turns around. When she looks away, he can see the sheen in her eyes. When she looks back at him handful of moments later, peace outlines her face.

"We make them into memories. We carry it in our pockets like good luck charms, talisman. And in our darkest moments, we bring these memories back to the surface from deepest crevices of our brain and use it as a catalyst for what strength we have, to deal with reality." Lavanya squeezes their linked hands.

Arnav pauses. When he speaks again, much of his anguish has reduced. "Let's go home."

He thinks about the pieces of himself that he has given Lavanya: sharing favorite music, food, travel destination, restaurants and things he shared about himself. He realizes that he has pieces of Lavanya that he will forever carry alongside his memory of hers.

He doesn't feel so alone anymore.


Payal freezes when she sees Khushi booting her laptop. "What's going on?" She asks walking into Khushi's room.

Khushi busies herself picking up another monitor from storage box. Once her hands are free she smiles at Payal wanly. Payal is taken aback at the intensity and joy behind the smile. She hadn't seen that in almost two decades.

"I got commissioned to make a state of the art grandfather clock." Khushi waves her arms in ta-da motion.

"What?" Payal asks surprised and walking into the war zone that has become Khushi's room.

"Remember that guy who came in couple of weeks ago?" Khushi starts, turning her back on Payal and missing the look of panic crossing Payal's face. "He came in the other day asking for a specific kind of clock that requires heavy customization and, guess what?" Khushi is speaking too fast. She is excited. She is happy. Payal's nervousness starts prickling her skin.

"What?" Payal asks, slowly.

"There is some fun programming involved. Isn't that awesome?" Khushi's happiness is precious to Payal. Yet her heart hammers in her chest.

"Sounds like it," Payal replies, watching her sister splutter around. "Hey, why don't I get the small store room cleaned up for you? You can set up your workstation there." Payal asks before she can think of consequences. But the smile that splits on Khushi's face makes the oncoming days filled with panic and paranoia absolutely worth it.

"You don't mind?" Khushi asks. The surprise in her face twinges Payal. It twists her stomach when she realizes how Khushi thinks she doesn't have any room to request Payal, her own big sister.

"Of course not. This is your home too." Payal hopes her voice doesn't carry the tremor that she feels.

"Thank you," Khushi gushes. For a moment Payal feels extremely disgusted by her own actions after everything they went through during Khushi's married life.

"When are you delivering this?" Payal asks changing the subject not so smoothly. "I will need a quotation you know?" She tries to keep her voice light.

"Oh, there is no delivery end date specified. I have promised him I will work on this project only in my spare time. As long as I deliver, he is okay I guess." Khushi replies, worry in her eyes. Payal belatedly notes that the worry isn't for the client but for making a deal without notifying Payal about it. Khushi is afraid she has broken chain of command.

"It's okay Khushi. You know you can take commissions without running it by me, right?" Payal asks urgently hoping she would receive an answer she wants to hear.

She is disappointed when flash of surprise crosses Khushi's face. "Yeah, sure." Khushi says with hesitation and mild disbelief.

"Good. You have the freedom and the right to do so, alright? This shop belongs to both of us." Payal desperately wants Khushi to know this, understand this and accept. She wants to dig the asshole who made Khushi, a genius, second guess if two plus two was really four.

"Yeah, of course." Khushi is uncertain. Payal swallows bitterly and makes a reminder to reinforce this thought on a daily basis.

"Good. Do you have this person's phone number? I just want to call and check." Payal asks. Khushi isn't stupid. The residues of smiles from moments ago gets erased and is replaced by a neutral expression. Payal hates herself for being so abrupt but as Khushi's only remaining member of her family, it's more of a duty now.

"Of course. Here you go," Khushi hands over a business card that she had kept handy.

Arnav Singh Raizada. CEO, Raizada Industries.

Payal looks at the card dumbly.

"Is this a prank?" Payal asks.

Khushi shakes her head. "I don't think so. But who knows?" She trails, losing confidence in her instincts. Slowly Payal realizes her mistakes and berates herself for being so hasty in her assumptions.

"I don't think so either. I mean Arnav has shared his private cell phone number here." There is a teasing shift to Payal's voice. Khushi, as expected, misses it.

"I sure hope so Payal." Khushi flutters around moving boxes to a pile by her door so that she can move them to the spare room. "I mean it would be awkward telling his assistant about clocks and code and stuff." Khushi huffs when a particularly heavy box refuses to budge. Payal smiles at her sister and lends her a hand.

"Here, let me help you move your stuff for now. Tomorrow I will get someone from the textile showroom across the street to clean up the store room, okay?" Payal says gently.

"Thanks Payal," Khushi says gratefully.

Payal hopes that one day Khushi would accept she is more than what she thinks she is. There would be a day when Khushi would stand her ground and have a fight out with Payal over some stupid mundane thing - like color of paint on their living room wall. She hopes with few years more of therapy, Khushi would get there. Even after years of emotional abuse, it was a miracle that Khushi remained to be such a wonderful functional human being.

Anyone else in Khushi's place would have killed themselves or killed someone to sustain the kind of disaster her psyche had undergone.


"So it's done, huh?" Aman pours a glass of freshly made lemonade into a coffee mug. It looks ridiculous and it tickles him so.

"La and I are done. We are done for good." Arnav replies, strangely calm. He echoes Lavanya's words and hopes her sentiment is infused with his words.

Aman studies his friend for a few moments before handing him his mug. "She broke it off, didn't she?"

Arnav looks at Aman, question ready on his tongue. "Am I that transparent?" He asks with enough self-deprecation to fill the room.

"No, you aren't." Aman takes a sip of bitter sweet lemonade. "But she is."

Arnav shrugs. "When she told me that it was over for good, I kept thinking about our college days. Some stupid song had gotten stuck in my head and I had passed on the song virus to you and before we know it, the three of us were singing cheesy boy band songs instead of studying. I remember wondering if the three of us could just be like that forever. Like freeze time, put that moment in a bottle and just exist that way. Forever. Even in the mind of a sixteen year old it sounded stupid and pedantic. But a fantasy that we hope to achieve some day."

Aman stares at Arnav for few seconds. "What's your point?"

Arnav smiles bitterly. "Everything has changed and nothing has. It feels like I just keep losing things, you know? I am trying Aman, I swear. I am trying to hold on to what little human relationships are left in my life. They all seem to slip away just when I start to think I have got a hang of life." He hides his face behind his hands and his fingers rubs his eyes. Aman is shattered to see Arnav's breakdown. The last time he saw Arnav cry was when Arnav's parents died. Aman rushes to Arnav's side and holds him. Arnav is stiff and unresponsive first but slumps as if everything that has been holding him together is snapped. Aman holds him close, strokes his back and whispers soothing words in Arnav's ears. Arnav lets out the sorrow that he has been stuffing inside of him for more than a decade. He cries for the things his parents missed, he mourns for the time lost fighting with his sister, he grieves for the life he doesn't get to have with Lavanya and the future destruction of the tiny flare of hope that Aman carries in his chest.

Hours later Arnav untangles himself from his friend's embrace and smiles weakly. "I am sorry you had to see that." He says, self-deprecation making an appearance again.

Aman whacks his head in mock anger. "I am sorry you had to go through that." Smiling at Arnav's blank expression he adds, "I am glad you came here."

"Where else would I go?" Arnav asks seriously, gathering himself. Aman privately mourns at the loss of holding someone dear to him in his arms. He finds his thoughts appalling and scolds his quivering heart.

Aman smiles instead. "Pretty pathetic that you have no one else," he gently teases.

Arnav chuckles mirthlessly in response. "More like pretty desperate," he adds instead.

Aman laughs but doesn't bother correcting Arnav's response. It is true.

"Sleepover?" Aman asks already knowing the answer. Arnav looks grateful for pre-made plan. "My bed is big for both of us." He adds with humor.

Arnav's eyes lose some of its edge. "I wish I could love you the way you want to be loved." Aman's heart stutters.

"Maybe you can, one day." Aman stammers. "For now, you need sleep my friend. Go on to the guest room then." He practically pushes Arnav into the spare room. There is an apology ready on Arnav's tongue that doesn't make it to the outside world. Aman doesn't want it. Not yet anyway.

Aman closes the door behind him and settles his head on the door. He closes his eyes and takes several deep breaths. He wants to pray the Gods for the love he wants, he deserves. He wants that love to be Arnav - the gentle, soft spoken, brilliant, broken and wonderful man who needs to be taken care of. Arnav needs to be showered with affection, breezy romance, light dates, Science fiction movie marathons, black coffees, cheap candy and so much more. Little things that Arnav liked but no one paid attention to. Not unless one was Aman or Lavanya. Lavanya did everything she could within the parameters of her own life.

But Aman would raze the world down to make Arnav happy.

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vgedin IF-Dazzler

Joined: 26 August 2012
Posts: 4772

Posted: 29 May 2016 at 10:04pm | IP Logged


As Meera says, this update takes you through a myriad emotions - but it is no rollercoaster with jerks and slopes and troughs - this one flows seamlessly, gentle waves lapping at the shore. One after another. And each one more heartbreaking than the one before. 

What Arnav has been through itself is so incredibly painful. To imagine what Khushi's past is like makes me shudder. 

And in all this, let us not forget that Aman and Lavanya are also heroes in their own measure. 

I want to hug them all and wish their pain away. 

Edited by vgedin - 30 May 2016 at 8:32am

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