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ArHi: Innocence to a half-mad city [Complete] (Page 56)

SharuAG Senior Member
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Posted: 08 September 2016 at 1:12am | IP Logged
Unres on page 54

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RockBarbie

docs Senior Member
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Posted: 08 September 2016 at 6:38am | IP Logged
Omg...

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RockBarbie

swtsam IF-Dazzler
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Posted: 11 September 2016 at 6:13am | IP Logged
Amazing... Loveed it.. 

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RockBarbie

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Posted: 12 September 2016 at 9:16am | IP Logged
Wow!! That was an awesome update Clap
Anjali is a self centered person. She doesn't see anyone beyond her happiness. All her loyalties are for people who she likes and her brother isn't one of them as he is not concurring with her.
Arnav is right as well as wrong. Right as he chose the path of honesty and wrong because he is not trying to help Anjali in realizing her mistake without loosing his temper, after all she's his sister. Aren't you supposed to safeguard your loved ones from harm even if you chose the path of morality? I do feel bad for him as he currently don't have anyone to share his pain even his friends. 

A question...how old is Khushi? Is she older than Arnav? Because you said 16 yrs of marriage plus 6 yrs after separation which makes her very older than Arnav.

Eagerly waiting for next update. Post soon.

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RockBarbie

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Posted: 13 September 2016 at 8:45am | IP Logged

Chapter 10: When levee breaks...

Payal finds Khushi curled up on sofa in their living room staring at a spot on the wall. Payal places glass of warm water with lemon and mint on the coffee table in front of sofa and gently nudges Khushi's knees. It's been three days since they received Teddy's wedding invitation and it has been exactly that long since Khushi had gone quiet and spending all her time in the newly modelled workshop. Whatever Khushi had been working on, Payal was ignorant of it. But she was sure Khushi would deliver something stellar by the time she works her way through grief, misery and tumult memories.

"Teddy is a jackass." Payal says placing Khushi's feet in her lap. She massages Khushi's instep to relieve some of the tension. These words have been hashed out a thousand times and more. The walls don't bother echoing them back.

Payal breathes in deeply to hold her temper in check. Her anger towards her ex-brother in law isn't warranted in a time when Khushi is feeling low. "There is something else as well Khushi." She starts berating herself in delaying this message.

"Teddy is finally signing divorce papers?" Khushi asks dully. Payal's look of surprise is missed by Khushi.

"How did you know?" Payal asks.

Khushi's shrug is missed by a mile. "Teddy is a lot of things but one thing he isn't is stupid. He has been clever since the start Payal. He never left a mark on me that wouldn't disappear within hours. He never gave an idea to anyone outside the shit he pulled on me. Did you really think he was going to start a new life with a new woman by his side with some sort of attachment to me?"

"I didn't expect him to move on, to be honest." Payal admits. "I believed he would latch on to you for the rest of his life and make it his primary purpose to harass you till one or both of you die. Banality of his actions when he was with you seemed intense and had a deep rooted sense of purpose."

"That's messed up purpose, isn't it?" Khushi snorts derisively. She turns around in sofa and pushes herself on elbow. "I have spoken to half a dozen psychiatrists Payal. Everyone gave reasons for Teddy's behavior and his obsession with control. They all seem to be surprised when I negated almost all of their hypothesis."

Payal quirked an eyebrow. "What are you saying? That Teddy is somewhat special?"

Khushi huffs out a laughter. Payal's stomach settles a little to see her sister calmer than before. "It's the exact opposite actually. Teddy is as plain and as ordinary a human can be. He had a decent and ordinary childhood. Good education. Moderately well paid job. Liked by all, ignored by none. Friendly, calm and helpful."

"What's the catch?" Payal asked, intrigued by Khushi's line of thought. She soaked up whenever Khushi spoke as it wasn't as often as Payal would have liked. They almost never spoke about Teddy as a rule as Khushi maintained a tight lip surrounding the subject and opened up only in her therapy.

"That's the rub Payal." Khushi hums. "There isn't one. He was just obsessed with me and an idea of perfection in his head. You must think it was seen in other aspect of his life. It was nothing more than what an average man would expect from his life - an attempt to hold on to some ideology of perfection and working towards to attaining it."

"He needs to be studied," Payal observes seriously.

At this Khushi bursts into laughter. There is hint of self-deprecation, pain and an inexplicable longing caked in it. "Sometimes things are quite simple Payal. Teddy is a shithead and an asshole who hides his true behavior very well in front of others. I mean, look at our own aunt," she choked on the last part.

Payal's face falls at that. "She will come around one day Khushi," Payal answers glumly to which she gets a watery smile in response.

"I truly doubt it Payal. I am not going to apologize for leaving Teddy. I have apologized for things that weren't in my control in the past. Our aunt sincerely believes it is my fault that Teddy and I are separated. I...I don't have the energy in me to make someone like me anymore. I have accepted the absence of her in my life. I am glad she at least talks to you."

Payal bites her lips and sighs. "It's weird to be there sitting with her and reminiscing about our parents and gossip about our distant relatives without you around. Its...wrong."

Khushi sits up and clasps Payal's hands. "But you will continue to meet her, yes? She doesn't have anyone besides us Payal."

Payal breathes out shakily and nods with a heavy heart. She doesn't like her aunt's mentality and finds it hard to reconcile with the dislike her aunt seems to have for Khushi. According to their aunt, a married woman must ensure she stays in the boundaries drawn by the husband and must "adjust" and "compromise" to the expectations. Payal had now come to hate both the words and it stung her every time their aunt insisted that Khushi should fall on Teddy's feet, beg for apology and grovel for forgiveness. No matter how Payal tried to explain, her aunt had either ignored or didn't believe.

"I don't get our aunt as well Khushi. I understand she is from a different time but I don't understand how one can be so out of it?" Payal huffs in anger. Her relationship with her aunt was strained but she maintained since their aunt was the last thread they had to their parents.

Khushi looks at her mug when she replies. "She comes from an era where a woman was expected to grin and bear the atrocities done to her by her husband and his family. Women were persecuted for pretty much everything back then. The society maintained a false sense of normalcy, cheer and happiness - all in the name of maintaining old tradition and culture. We have come far Payal but not far enough. Aunt belongs to a generation and category of people who likes to maintain the balance rather than breaking the harsh rules that were once set."

"You practiced this speech?" Payal notes glumly.

Khushi shuffles around a bit, chuckling darkly. "I am a realist Payal and I have accepted many things in this life including the one where our aunt will think I am some sort of charlatan and broke Teddy's itty bitty heart."

"It isn't right," Payal snaps.

Khushi falls silent.

The duo sits quietly sipping their respective mug of now lukewarm water immersed in their own thoughts.

"Were the divorce papers delivered?" Khushi asks quietly.

Payal grunts. "It's been delivered to our lawyer. I have asked her to hold on to it till I broke the news. I should have expected Teddy to pull some new shit on us when he suddenly started showing mercy."

"Is it too late to call her?" Khushi wonders aloud. "If I can sign it today, I can get it over with."

The strength in Khushi's voice is new. Payal loves her for that. "I will give her a call."

-----------------------------------------------

"Happy Birthday!"

Arnav swiveled in his chair to see his secretary, Suman, standing in front of his desk with a homemade uneven cake in her hand.

"Thank you," he smiles and eyes the cake in her hand. She places it in front of him and lights up a candle stuck on it with a lighter.

He laughs when he sees the cake. Its pudgy, uneven and has a slice missing. "I was hungry on my way to work, okay? I had to get up early to bake this and make arrangements for your Tokyo trip." She explains hastily.

He shakes his head and blows the candle. "How does it feel to be all of thirty-seven years old?" She asks slicing the cake with a pink plastic knife. "I forgot paper plates." She adds blandly.

Arnav groans and takes the gooey chocolate cake in his hand and shoves it in his mouth. Suman laughs at his antics and mimics him handful of moments later. Between them, they take record seventeen minutes to polish off the tiny cake, their face and hand messy with chocolate. Arnav's pristine blue shirt has a glob of chocolate running through it and is now sticking to his skin. It's the best cake he has had in a very long time.

"So? What are your plans today?" She asks wiping her face and hands. "Anjali must have organized some puja?"

Arnav laughs at that. "I had forgotten it's my birthday today." He smiles when Suman bristles at that.

"You are kidding. Your friends didn't wish you either?" She asks blithely.

"They haven't yet. Maybe they will sometime today. Its only eight in the morning," he reckoned. It bothered him more than he thought it would.

It stung.

Suman smiles in response and bends down to kiss his cheeks. "I didn't know what to give a man who has everything. So I gave him my time." She says sitting back down.

Her words make him smile bashfully and hide his face behind the shadow of his expression. "Thanks Suman. It means a lot to me."

"Of course, you dork," she teases and rearranges her expressions to that of seriousness when she sees the way Arnav shifts in his seat uncomfortably. "Work now?" She asks pulling her planner and her phone.

Arnav checks his phone for any new messages and shoves the disappointment down to his stomach when he doesn't find anything new. He nods at Suman who is patiently waiting for him to begin. "Do I really have to go to Tokyo?" He asks hoping there is no juvenile whine in his voice.

Suman looks at him pitifully. "Yes, you have to. Now, shall we start? I have to go through three dozen items with you before senior management meeting today."

Arnav ignored the pangs of loneliness that struck him in that moment and got himself absorbed in his work.

-----------------------------------------------

Khushi walks in to Payal's office to find her staring at a sheet of paper. Khushi takes in on her sister's pale appearance, clenched jaw and realizes what must have happened.

"So my divorce is finally official, huh?" Khushi asks, taking the sheet from Payal's hands.

"How do you feel?" Payal questions, lips flat and eyes steely. Khushi cocks her head in an unseen carelessness.

"I am not sure." She answers. "The last connecting thread to Teddy is now severed. I was married to him for ten years that felt like fifty. I should be elated for detaching myself from him but a part of me is restless, upset and clawing my insides." She admits, head hung low.

Payal quickly runs around her desk and holds Khushi in her arms. "You don't have to apologize Khushi. You never have to apologize for anything you feel. You hear me?"

Khushi breaks down in the arms of her sister. Payal holds her till they hear the wind chimes in the shop makes melody announcing a customer. "I will deal with them," Payal says stepping back. Khushi shakes her head.

"Work will distract me from...this." She waves her arms around helplessly unable to articulate what she was feeling. "You do you thing," she insists.

Khushi splashes water on her face and walks into the store to find Arnav peering at the watch display. She is surprised to find a smile flitting on her face at the sight of the rich businessman wearing a cheap neon green children's watch. It tickles her to see it on his wrist as he pokes a watch enclosed in a box.

"Hello," she says, catching his attention.

He grins at the sight of her. "I come bearing gifts," he says pushing a plastic cover on the counter.

She laughs brightly when she eyes the content. She takes out the hairband that's sparkling pink complete with cat ears that's studded with sequins. "I couldn't resist." He says when he watches her primly sweeping her hair and placing it on the crown of her head. "You look ridiculous." He crows as she rolls her eyes.

"Where did you find this?" She enquires.

"Right by the place where my car is parked. I saw the brightly lit store and had this brilliant idea," he swells his chest a little. His birthday may have started awfully but it was suddenly looking up.

"You came all the way from your part of the city to the other side of the tracks to give me a cheap plastic hairband?" She huffs, resting her elbow on the counter and placing her chin on top of her open hand. It is such a signature pose for her that he smiles toothily.

"What can I say Ms. Khushi. Your sparkly hairbands have a personality of their own." He laughs at her indignant look. "I came to tell you that I will be away for two weeks. So we have to cancel Saturday plans and move it to end of this month or early next month."

Khushi tries and fails to read his face. "You could have called." She says simply.

He retrieves a box that's sitting on the stool next to him and places it on the counter. Khushi watches curiously as he cuts the string using a pocket knife and opens the box. "It's my birthday. I thought I will come by, share this amazing cupcake and demand some gifts." He pushes the box towards her.

"Happy Birthday Arnav," she smiles and takes one of the cupcakes from the box.

"Thank you Khushi," he smiles back.

"Do you have time to complete that clock shopping now? I will buy you birthday lunch on the way." Khushi offers shyly.

Arnav remembers Suman's strict words Don't run off and leave the senior management hanging. I am not going to bail your ass again - birthday boy or not.'

"Sure, why not?" He replies. "You are wearing that hairband right?" He asks and relishes when she splutters in indignation.

"Fine. Whatever." She grumbles.

Arnav laughs harder.

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meera30 IF-Rockerz
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Posted: 13 September 2016 at 9:33am | IP Logged
Res

Men like Teddy - psycopaths - in the medical sense - the ones who will be able to manipulate those around them and be purely selfish - exist - that's a fact. But HOW do they continue to find people who will be available to their machinations. Is the lack of information? Is it the lack of other options? Is it the basic human distrust? I mean this woman he is marrying now...HOW? Would she dismiss Khushi as a bitter ex-wife if she went to her (don't know if she has)? Or is she not special in Teddy's view - he doesnt view her as the idea of perfection that Khushi once was? I don't know...I don't need a real answer - I mean I am not sure I can wrap myself around any explanation perfectly...but that is what is most scary. That men like Teddy can find new women to marry despite all the shit they've pulled on the previous ones.

About their aunt - that line about coming from a generation that still wants to balance things - oh yeah - I see that every day. The ones who tried to break free and never could more than just loosen strings of control that span centuries if not more.

This lost Arnav...He makes me sigh. No one wished him. Even at 37 (not that far away from that number myself)  - to not have anyone usher in a "special" day...Sure, it's just eight...But thats eight hours of birthday already gone!! Thank God for Suman. And her cake!




Edited by meera30 - 13 September 2016 at 9:52pm

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MysticRiver IF-Addictz
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Posted: 13 September 2016 at 9:53am | IP Logged
nice update..awesome..Clap

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RockBarbie

prpk525 IF-Rockerz
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Posted: 13 September 2016 at 9:55am | IP Logged
Loved the update

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RockBarbie

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