Posts Tagged ‘Arshi’
Just Good friends
Khushi continued to stare at the empty doorway long after Arnav had left. She was joined by a gaping trio.
“Woh…..I…he ….what ?…..I….I ….need to go!”
“Khushi bitia tum teekh tho ho?”
“Hmmm….ji Nani Ji …I …have to go”
Khushi turned on her heel and ran before anyone else could ask anymore questions of what everyone had witnesses.
Khushi sat on a parapet on the roof top surrounded by silence-thinking.
What just happened ? what did he do ? Did he know that they were watching ? he couldn’t have , he was outside she had pinged him on his arse.
Khushi smiled at herself that was fun -he knew it was her he just couldn’t find her! She had got him square on target -bulls eye! She still had it in her. But what now ? Did he mean anything he said or was it a show? Maybe he was going to say something else like pull her hair or something…..it was a long time since he had done anything to her!
The harder Khushi thought the harder it got to come up with an answer…he had done nothing to her in the recent past except manage to get them engaged.
She thought she had successfully broken the engagement only to have him re-fix it. What was his brain thinking?
Hope …maybe just maybe he felt something for her? Something more than friendship…if she asked him direct and up front there would be no going back…she was going to have to gamble a lifetime of friendship for a lifetime’s happiness or a lifetime’s loss, once out there was no getting out of the rabbit hole once down, that was it -the point of no return.
She had to find out the risk was worth it how was she going to get there …OP scootie! Hadn’t he banned her a while back ..ohh what did it matter -he was going to be either really angry with her anyway for misunderstanding or be ecstatic in which case he would forgive her.
Right now her best method of transportation seemed to be a scootie.
“OP bhaiya please can i borrow the scootie”
“No Bitia -Arnav Bhaiya said i was not to lend you the scootie”
“OP bhaiya -Ok then get me an auto rickshaw -you know it will take me longer and then i might not find one on the way home…i’ll be waiting all alone by myself instead of coming home and in tis day and age ….” “Bitia -you will be extra careful and won’t drive above 20 miles per hour”
“Of course -tell me does a scootie go that fast ?”
“No no no it ’s about 15 mph and please get home before Arnav bhaiya does otherwise both you and me will have to find new bodies -I will be saying goodbye to this one”
“ you worry too much what could possibly happen?”
As khushi set off OP carried out a min poona and burnt some lemon and chillies to ward of any eveil eyes that might be free to cast a glance at his Khushi Bitia.
Khushi drove along extra careful to keep her promise to OP. She ignored the line of traffic as she drove along in the middle of the road. She ignored the honking and the comments of other two wheelers that could get past her. She paid no heed to the other road users who were getting irate with her. She had made a promise to OP she was doing her best to keep it.
Finally she arrived at the AR designs carpark she drove in and to avoid Arnav parking area she parked on the opposite side of the car park. Why was everyone so worried about her abilities when it came to two,three or four wheeled vehicles.
Khushi negotiated the stairs all the way to Arna’s office she told his PA that she had a urgent appointment with him.
Arnav’s PA knew that there were two females that were allowed to enter his cabin unattended and he would alter his schedule when it came to these two women- Anjali ma’am and Khushi.
Now his relationship with Khushi had been given a special name, she was his fiancee.
She smiled and said she would get a message to ASR about her presence.
“Khushi what are you doing here -everything ok ?”
“Yes I think so”
“Arnav about this morning”
Arnav rubbed his arse involuntarily “Khushi your aim is till spot on and for future reference it hurt”
He then did something that shocked Khushi into silence, he quietly grazed his lips against hers -leaving the merest hint of him on her.he grabbed her hand and pulled her over to his chair, pulling her onto his lap -shocking her into further stunned silence.Before she could retaliate with what the hell Anav have you gone stark raving mad- she was fighting her emotions that really wanted this to be happening.
Now they were on their own -no one was watching , they were not performing for anyone or were they?
“Are you getting ready to take a selfie ?”
Arnav reply was to lift Khushi’s hair to one side and start to trail hot warm kisses along her neck line.
Arnav heard her breath catch and her rate of breathing speed up.
“mmm Khushi what did you come for ?”
“I came to …ask …this morning …I did everything to split us up and then you came …back and …and ..stop it Arnav …”
“Why ?…You don’t like it ?….you’re not enjoying it ?….”
“Arnav how are we going to split up if you keep behaving like this ?”
Arnav turned Khushi to face him and then lowered his head so that his lips met hers, he slowly sipped her breath. Khushi lost herself to the moment ,electricity of his kiss, spread through her as his tongue seeked entry, looking and finding its mate played with it .His heady scent filled her senses till she was no longer capable of focused thought.He was no longer capable of focus thought either -when did his hands find their way under her blouse he had no idea, They were both caught up in the moment lost completely in each other, until the constant ringing of his phone returned them out of their world of pleasure to the present.
“hello yes Aman -yes I’m fine…i haven’t been running a marathon …yes khushi is here ….yes cancel the next meeting or take it on your own …..I’m busy … i am in the middle of negotiating something more important than there business deal …my wedding date …will that do for now …can i get back to dealing with my fiancee.”
“Still want to split up ? It is not going to happen ever -you were my best friend and i have always been in love with you. Why do you think i have never been able to commit to anyone – i have been waiting for you to grow up. Now I am going to marry you ! you know Nani knew long before even my brain had worked it out -show me your ring and when he half twisted it off she saw the words ARNAV spelt out “ Now look at mine “ -KHUSHI was spelt out “she plays a mean game”
Khushi I am in love with you are you in love with me sufficiently to take me on for the rest of your life -there is no going back on this deal-no exemption clauses -this is a one time offer for life -will you marry me ?”
All Khushi could do was kiss her best friend -it was a very long time later when she finally emerged from his office leaving his PA with on doubt as to what exactly had been going on behind closed doors.
It wasn’t until Arnav said that he would give her a lift home that she panicked the scootie was outside . She fobbed him off with some excuse that she had to go get some girl stuff and then get home . She would meet him at home.
Khushi remembered her promise on the way back again taking up the middle of the road and almost single-handedly being responsible for a major traffic jam. It wasn’t until she was near home that a large white Suv honked her again and again and then the driver just honked continuously as the driver recognised who exactly was on the scootie he wanted her to stop.Hadn’t he told her that she was never to drive any thing with wheels and then it happened she suddenly accelerated due to the irritating driver behind her constantly badgering her -didn’t he realise that she couldn’t break her promise. The scootie went one way and she fortunately went the other whilst Arnav’s SUV crunched into the scootie.
Arnav stopped his vehicle with his heart in his mouth to see Khushi standing up and dusting her self down seeing the state of the scootie turned around to give the stupid driver a piece of her mind and the stopped recognising the car and driver and instead said a few very quick prayers to Devi maya.
“Arnav i..I can explain”
“Khushi if you value your life say nothing until we get home”
It was fifteen minutes later that they pulled in. Arnav opened the door for her.
“OP did Khushi ask you for the scootie?”
“No i did not ask OP for the scootie and why are you shouting at me?”
Nani thought to herself not again -now what had those two found now to fight about -she had better get them married quick and they would be able to work out most of their arguments in bed. The old lady sniggered to herself. Her husband had taught her well poor Arnav he really hadn’t realised what was happening -I think four weeks should be long enough for those two not to kill each other.
“nani ji she was driving again and almost killed herself by trying to get my car to drive over the scootie.”
Bitia are you ok ?”
“No nani look at me I’m bleeding”
“OP get the first aid box for Khushi Bitia, tell me what happened?”
“I was driving along minding my own business when he starts honking me incessantly”
“I wanted her to stop -you know she is lethal on anything that has wheels -I’m not getting married to her in stitches or plaster or whilst she is in prison since she doesn’t have a license”
“it’s Ok Aman would have come and bailed me out!”
“Yes you and your precious Aman”
“At least he does’t shout at me and helps me out “
“Then maybe you should have spent the afternoon with him and not me -and then see how precious your Aman would have been!”
Both individuals stared at each other and thought about the afternoon -there was no way Arnav was going to let Aman ever get that close to his girl; there was no way she would even let Aman contemplate doing the things that he had done to her that afternoon.
They both stared at each other , anger spent only concern left.
“is that it have you two got it out of your system then listen to me , both of you firstly Khushi he is only concerned about you look at the number of scratches you have on yourself and what if it had been you and not the scootie hit by the Arnav’s car.”
A shudder went down Arnav’s back.
“Khushi bitia you have to admit that you and moving vehicles have a bad relationship as far back as I can remember-So Chote you are going to buy Khushi a car and hire a driver for her -ok both of you and you will both get married in four weeks”
“Ok nani ji “ was the simultaneous reply
“What no argument no resistant “
Arnav was the first to speak “well you could make it two weeks?’
“No nani ji couldn’t -I have sort out my lengha and all my outfits-i want a proper wedding with all the bits -not your type of wedding where you wear a black suit and a white shirt and have a court wedding “
“What’s wrong with a black suit and white shirt ?”
“I want my groom to arrive on a horse and be wearing a sherwani! “
“I am not wearing a sherwani and am definitely not coming on a horse-it would probably be trained by you to throw me half way here !”
“Both of you -go and discuss your wedding choices by the poolside ,i’ll send a tea and coffee-but listen clearly both of you -you are both getting married in four weeks and Arnav it’s not going to be a court wedding and you won’t be wearing a suit – now that you have given me a headache with your constant arguing today go and don’t give me a heart attack before your wedding”
Devyani was very happy with the outcome of her plan -finally those two had accepted they loved each other god only knows what kind of married life they would have but it certainly wouldn’t be boring.
Six month marriage but partners for life
It had been five years -their marriage contract hand come to an end -six months had finished and Shyam Jha was out of Anjali’s life- forever. She would rebuild her life with a lot of help and support from her family.
Why was Khushi still around -six months? that’s what he had stated – she had tried to be their for him but she had felt the pain and hostility from Di. This was Di’s home and as long as Di was not happy Arnav wouldn’t be happy and as long as Arnav wasn’t happy -how could she ever be happy – there was only one way forward she had to make the decision- she had to cut ties with the whole family. She had to leave for them to heal. He had told her six months and never altered that contract-for Arnav a deal was always a deal.
Khushi made one of her hardest heartbreaking decisions -she would leave -disappear for the sake of everyone concerned, it was better for her heart to break than to slowly see those around her suffer.Once she left Di, would get better quickly and Arnav would be happy. The entire family , nani ji , mani ji, Akash juju, jiji they would all be happy . Was her happiness more important than six other people. She was the daily reminder of what Shyam had done to their families.
Khushi packed her bags with the things that she had entered Raizad mansion with and left. She left behind all traces of Khushi Riazada ,the only two pieces of jewellery she took that Arnav had give her -was her wedding band and her mangle sutra. Every other piece she left behind.
A short note to Arnav to say their six months contract was at an end ,she had left as she had entered with nothing extra -he would find all the jewellery and clothes in her cupboard.
He could tell the family she felt she needed a break from everything that reminded her os Shyan Jha.
With that Khushi disappeared from all their lives , she wiped out all evidence of herself. She left no trace of herself.
Khushi had left a trail across Dehli of crisscross between buses and trains and then nothing the trail was dead.
Six years had come and gone. They said time healed old wounds but for Khushi and Arnav the wounds were still raw. The only difference time had made was acceptance.
Arnav had understood a longtime ago that Khushi had left him; he was to blame .Arnav had decided to come clean about his marriage to Khushi, with his family ,finishing off with the fact he really loved her and the six month contract had slipped from his mind -forgotten -as it was inconsequential . He felt after his kidnapping she understood the depth of his feeling -but it was evident that she had not. Arnav had told both families the truth -he didn’t want Khushi name being sullied anymore than she already had been. The responsibility for this mess lay firmly at his door and no one else’s.
Anger turned to grief and finally acceptance as everyone realised that there was no finding Khushi.
Arnav knew that life carried on and Khushi’s case was still open with the private investigator that he had hired to track her down.
The family knew that Khushi was alive because of the gifts that arrived for the family, a letter always came with the gifts, addressed to Payal telling them that she was doing fine. It was always general what she been up to what she had eaten there was detail but no detail.Not enough to locate her. The parcel was usually delivered by a random auto rickshaw to deliver it.
Arnav would ask Payal for the letters to re read them over and over again.
Khushi had managed her life by herself, for the last six years. She was no longer the happy-go-lucky care free person she had once been. The trials that she had, had to endure over the last six years while she established herself and re-invented herself had slowly been wearing away at her.
Now she was here parked outside Raizada Mansion contemplating entry.
Six years were a long time to be off their radar now she was back, she needed help. She needed Arnav’s help and money. She had nowhere to turn to, no one to ask. All her avenues were exhausted. Would he help her ? He would scream at her, she would have to deal with his temper , he would be angry , he might try to strike up a deal but if she asked for help he would give it,of that much she was certain.
She didn’t know how to even begin, ring him ? ask at the gate to be let in ? Walk up the drive through security . The heat in the car was stifling she had opened a window as she sat there lost in her world of thoughts.She had had the courage to come here she might as well get it over and done with. Her palms were sweating and it wasn’t anything to do with the heat of the day. She was not sure herself if it was fear or nervousness. She was fast running out of time ,she had been there an hour now.
The phone rang “ Khushi Bitia they are waiting on confirmation, they are running out of time – are you having problems raising the money?”
“No uncle ji the money will be transferred as soon as i can arrange it ,it will take a little time , I am here now -please tell them to go ahead- tell them Mr Raizada will be arranging the transfer.”
“Bitia please speak to the lady yourself.”
“Hello …I understand what hospital policy is ….the money will be transferred as soon as physically possible ….the guarantor …will be Mr Arnav Singh Raizada of AR designs and Business enterprises……..What do you mean anyone could say that … “
Defeated Khushi said “I will be there in an hour with the money”
She dialled Arnav’s number from her cell.
“hello ASR’s phone can I take a message ?”
“Aman “….Khushi ’s voice was barely audible
“I’m sorry, you have me at a disadvantage, you recognise me but I am sorry I can’t say the same for you”
“ARS is …is …he available or in a meeting …if so how long will be -this is urgent”
“Well he is in a meeting and will be un contactable for at least a couple of hours. May I know who is calling and I will certainly ask him to call you you back at his earliest convenience”
“Aman ….I need his help now not in a couple of hours …it might be too late “
“Maybe I can help you ?”
“Aman I need to transfer twenty lakhs cash now -can you authorise it?”
“Not without ASR’s permission”
“Aman ….this is Khushi…hello ….hello…are you there ? …hello?”
Aman had dropped he phone in shock and then had to recover quickly .
“Err hello Bhabhi -don’t go anywhere . I am just going to sort out your call -first what is your number? Secondly where do you need the money and if you text over the bank details I will get the money transfer organised”
Aman took Khushi ’s number and dialled it through his phone.
“Aman are you calling me ?”
“yes i’m making sure I have taken the number correctly do you have the bank details ?’
“Aman I will get them and ring you back shortly “
“Please don’t hang up put me on hold while you …” “Aman I need the money , I will call back”
Staff that saw him thought he had gone mad as he ran at full speed racing up a flight of stairs to get to the conference rooms.
Knocking and entering “Sorry to interrupt but this is an absolute emergency please can you come with me sir”
Arnav was about to interrupt “Sir it’s a family emergency”
That was all the warning Arnav needed. Everyone knew the man of ice, the master of negotiation was completely malleable when it came to his family.
They had seen their employer reduced to all fours when his niece and nephew visited and decided that he was their method of transport.
“Aman what’s wrong ?”
“Sir your office first!”
The tone in Aman’s voice was enough to warn Arnav not to ask any further questions till they had reached the privacy of their office.
As soon as the door was shut -“start talking Aman”
‘Sit down and let me begin “
I just received a call… and his phone rang again “hello… yes …let me get a pen …”
“Aman cut the line “
“Sir this is the call I was talking about ..”
Aman took the details “I will sort this out in the next fifteen minutes can you meet me in the next half hour at the Hyatt ?”
“Ok you name the place I will meet you there …the time the place just name it bhabhi…”
Aman heard the quick intake of breath by Arnav.
Aman had only ever called one individual Bhabhi -Khushi….surely not after all this time …out of the blue.
Arnav hung on every word that Aman was saying not interrupting.
“Bhabhi , I can’t transfer this kind of money without your signature the money will go into a holding account so that the people will know it’s there but without your signature or ASR signature,I can’t release it. I’ll bring the documents to you for signing just name the place”
Initially Arnav had been confused about Aman’s statement but then understood , he was not letting Khushi go without a meeting face to face.
Arnav didn’t realise that he had been holding his breath till he saw Aman scribble an address down on a piece of paper -
“Bhahbi I ‘ll be there with the documents in half an hour…..I will tell Arnav as soon as possible…Bhabi …where are you know ? where have you been ….and why now ?”
“Ok no questions ….I’ll bring the documents over …..You want to talk to Arnav first …..OK “
“Explain Aman now “
Aman explained about the original call to his phone and the call for the money.
“I need to transfer twenty lakhs to this sort code with this reference -Arnav its a hospital they are waiting on it for emergency surgery -what ever we do we need to transfer the money. Bhabhi would not ask unless it was urgent ….” “This is all hers anyway transfer whatever she needs and give me the address I’ll go and meet her”
“Arnav – we have been friends a long time and I know how you have suffered over the years without her …control your temper …what ever the reason then and now she will have an explanation ….you need to hear it without exploding.”
“You’re a true and loyal friend – I will listen…get the private investigators onto her, I want her followed 24/7 incase she decides to run …..and don’t let anyone else know that Khushi is back. There is no need to break even more hearts if it is her intention to disappear “
“Arnav ….listen to her …not just her words …..just like you read the business opposition you read everything about them …read her body language ….good luck “
Arnav arrived not knowing what to expect, He didn’t know so he said his name to start with -“Hell ,excuse me , I’m Mr Raizada ..I’m ..here to…”
“Oh I know, I just told some one ,he is in surgery now and the family has been allocated to a waiting are on the fourth floor.
Arnav pushed the button for the fourth floor the elevators shut taking him upwards -his mind was being pounded from every direction possible. Khushi was back -just like that someone needed a transplant that was evident from the money and surroundings -his name was recognised so she must have left a message for him. Who was being operated on -who would come to mean so much to her that she would come back to him, unannounced -knowing he would never refuse her. Arnav felt the pang of jealousy -a man , her lover ? She had come to him to save her lover!. Then Arnav took a deep breath and let it out slowly Aman had said think it through with a cool mind-no anger. She was his Khushi -she was still married to him even after all these years. She would be faithful to him to the end that much he knew -so this man had to be a friend some one who meant the world to her or a pure stranger -Khushi was like that . She would lay down her life for a perfect stranger. That much he could vouch for. So this man was being operated on meant something to her but he would not be her lover -of that much he was certain.
Arnav stepped out of the elevator and looked for the waiting room.
He saw her her head in an old man’s lap. He stroked her hair soothingly while tears trickled down her face. Her eyes were shut but the tears were evident. She looked tired and dare he say it haggard and older.
His heart contracted with love -all the pain,fear and anger he had felt for being abandoned all those years ago left him -the only thing he knew was that he stilled loved her. Whatever the reason for her needing him he didn’t care -she was back and it was up to him to convince her the only right decision that existed was for her to stay for them to re start their lives as one. Husband and wife.
Khushi eyes flew opened and she stared at Arnav.
What did she really expect ,for her existence to go on untouched by him. She knew that that he would want answers. He was owed answers. He deserved to know what was going on in there.
“Baba – this is Arnav “
“Hello son , do you want me to stay Khushi, or should I get myself some tea and a bite to eat, call me if you need me or if there are any changes, I will be in the canteen he is going to be in there for a few hours. I only ask one thing son … see this mess through her eyes ….she had very little choice then ….and now. But I say god moves in mysterious ways -a new lease of life is being bestowed on my child and I think ..NO Khushi let me say it …i think this could be his way of allowing new beginnings for all of you”
“Khushi its been a long time -five years three months and four days”
“You’ve been counting ?”
“Every second without you ..” “I had to leave then”
“What about now ?”
“On what or who ? Arnav pointed to the doors that stated no entry , authorised personal only”
“On you Arnav ….I left you…about five years ago..”
“five years three months and four days”
“Do you always have to be so precise ..”
“As I was saying I left you -our contract ended ..” “Damn you, Khushi ! you know that the contract meant nothing after everything we had been through”
“Arnav, Di needed time…everybody needed time to deal with Shyam and his duplicity. Di needed time to forgive and heal without me staring in her face-a constant reminder of what might have been ”
“Point taken but you could have called …it took you -five years three months and four days to call and that too when you needed money….money that was always yours ….still is today”
“I thought I ‘d call you in a few months but then things changed ….and the longer I left it ,the harder it got and then things changed ….and then things, they really changed. It really got complicated that…that i couldn’t come back. I couldn’t make things worse for you.”
“How did things get complicated?”
Khushi stood up and was walking to and fro. Fidgeting . She twisted the corner of her dupatta.
“Oh Khushi don’t tell me you were pregnant!”
Arnav saw her eyes widen and her pupils dilated , oh my god , he had just said that in jest …because of the absurdity of the idea …it couldn’t be true …for the last four and a half years he had a child one whom existence he had never known of.
Arnav voice was hoarse with emotion ,his throat felt dry ,his tongue stuck to the roof of his mouth
“Khushi ….do …we…have …a.child?”
All Khushi could do was nod as more tears flowed as she looked towards the doors that said no admittance.
“is he or she in there ?”
All Khushi could do was nod…she saw all the emotions fly through his eyes , disbelief , sorrow and finally anger.Those eyes had almost turned black with anger his fist struck the table making Khushi jump in fear. She watched him clench his fists and turn round and walk out …leaving Khushi standing alone.
What had she really expected ? Happy family reunion ?forgiveness?would he ever understand why she had left and why she couldn’t return ? If she had had the kind of money needed for the operation she would have come after the operation. But what now -she didn’t have enough she had saved a substantial amount but the continual ongoing cost of keeping her son alive had eaten into her savings especially the last hospitalisation.
Opportunity arose she had to give her son the chance irrespective of personal cost to either of them.
Khushi felt the floodgates of emotion on top of what she was already coping with she felt as though she was going to explode
She called her Baba “please come “
An elderley man stood up and waited for the elevator as the doors opened he entered.
“Leaving already -son?”
Arnav looked at the elderly man and nodded.
“have you heard her whole story ? or only the part you ant to hear ? Do you not want to know what she has done for the last five years and how she has coped with evey thing that fate has thrown at her. I have to go to her she needs me -but it should be you holding her hand ….why don’t you come back with me”
“I need some fresh air “
“She needs you -not me -she always has and always will.Things happen ,let her explain”
“Things happen -five years she carried my child and gave birth to it -I don’t know if it is a boy or girl and now he or she is in surgery for what ? “
“Why don’t we ask her together? Take a piece of advice fro an old man – you will have plenty of time to think and for accusations and recriminations and the preverbial what if, what you won’t have time for is the now -lets go up together and try and make head and tail of what is going on”
The elevator reached the ground floor and the doors opened…
“I believe that this is you stop?”
“No mine is on the fourth floor-i believe that my wife is waiting and my kid….”
The elderly man pressed the button to shut the door with a faint smile on his lips.
Arnav re entered the waiting room “You came back” Khushi launched herself at him and held him close. Arnav couldn’t help himself his arms came up and held her close as if nothing could harm her. He smelt her hair like he had a thousand times in his dreams and now she was really here. She wasn’t a hallucination she was real.
“Khushi tell him about Arav”
“Do I have a son or daughter ?” “Son”
“Arav Shashi Singh Raizada “
“I thought you would like it ?”
“Why didn’t you tell me ?”
“Di already hated me ….and then I was having a baby …..a happiness that by all rights should have been hers …initially she blamed me for all that Shyam fiasco. In time that seed might have taken root again I had to give her time before coming back”
“What about me Khushi ? in all of this grand master plan of yours ,what about me?”
“Our son was born and it wasn’t easy ….babuji helped me ..alot in those days …I didn’t have time to think …I had a child who was constantly sick in and out of hospitals …” “Why didn’t you call me Khushi whats all this money worth if I can’t use it to help those i love”
Khushi looked up at Arnav “You still love me ?”
“I have always loved you , I am currently furious as hell but that doesn’t mean that I don’t love you”
“How could I give you a moments fleeting happiness and tell you that you have a child and then take it away from you …Arav had a heart condition only a transplant would take care of it -drugs would prolong his life but not for long. Do you know how hard it is for you to see you child grow weaker by the day. As time progresses you notice more and more he is not quite as big as the other kids born in his year. He can’t run as fast .then he can’t run at all. He doesn’t keep up with the other kids -every time he goes into hospital the fear grows is this the last time ? will I bring him home for another day? Each time I brought him home ,I felt god had granted me a reprieve. How could I put you through that. I decided that after Arav was better we would come and meet you.
He had a very bad infection a few months back and I thought that was it -it cost a lot of my savings..” “Khushi you have all the Raizada money at your finger tips at anytime you could have use it”
“I know how you work the minute i operated my bank account your detectives would have been on me-wouldn’t they ?”
Arnav smiled for the first time and nodded.
“A transplant opportunity came up and here we was are “
“I understand your mad warped brain thinking pattern -I don’t agree with it -but I understand it-how long do we have to wait “
“Four to six hours”
“Some child lost their life so that mine could have a chance , Khushi do we know where the heart came from ?” Khushi shook her head. “ devi maya will be upset with me -my heart leapt for joy when I heard that there was a possibility of a heart for Arav . I was happy that a child somewhere had died so that mine could live “
“No Khushi you didn’t think that you were just happy that our child had chance. Our child do you have any pictures ?”
Khushi sat there showing a whole array of pictures and listening to the stories of Arav and his shenanigans -his birthday’s.
“I’m so sorry you missed out -“
“I missed a few but i will be there for next one and every one thereafter.”
“will ……will he …will he be around for …for “ “Khushi he hasn’t met his father yet …he will wake up to meet me and the rest of his family , his cousins aunts and uncles and his Bua who will love him more than any of the other kids. You know I’m her favourite papad ka tukha”
Arnav had felt the years of loneliness of the last five years vanish. She had her reasons for disappearing then . If he wanted a chance with her he had to let the past go and be in the past. He had to create a future for them , one that she was so secure she would never run again.
‘Khushi promise me you will never leave me again no matter how justified you feel- you will always tell me if you get this mad running bug again”
“I promise “
“I want you to come home with Arav and all of us be a family again. We have a lot of things to work out and in time we will ,come home Khushi”
“We will ,but what about everyone else – ?”
“No one will say a word and it’s more your house and Arav’s than anyone else’s …they have all missed you …including Di”
‘Look the doctors…Mr Raizada I apologise for the delay in the procedure I didn’t realise the connection ..but the procedure was a success….the rest of it is in god’s hand “
Khushi spoke first “he was always in god’s hand and still is. It was god’s hand that guided yours during surgery and now he will watch over my son”
“When can we see him?”
“He is in ICU you can see him there but he will be heavily sedated for a few days.”
The doctor just watched the couple hold each other as they cried.
After all Mr Raizada maybe an important business man but at the end of the day he was just a father and a husband . It was as simple as that -he was only a father and a husband -nothing else mattered not the past , not their mistakes only them and and their son.
The latest chapter in the series
The Morning After the Night Before
Arnav sat in his office playing with a piece of paper and a pen. How many times had he started crossed out, screwed up the piece of paper and thrown it across the room.
Aman walked in and looked around the disaster site which in the morning had been ASR’s office now looked as though a paper fight had ensued in his absence.
“ASR have the boys been around without Khushi Ji “ as he looked around the room.
“No Aman this is all my own handy work! For once it’s not the boys but I have to say that I have created an impressive mess all by myself!”
“ Designer’s Block ?”
“Far worse – its our seventh wedding anniversary coming up and I am at a loss as to what to get Khushi. I thought I might design a special outfit -but I design a lot of clothes for her so that won’t be special. She has more jewellery than I can even remember and she doesn’t wear most of it.
She has got everything -shoes bags perfumes , she has visited most places in the last seven years”
“ASR may i suggest that you are going about this all wrong -you are trying to give her what everybody thinks should be given on a wedding anniversary. What you need to do is give something she would never expect as a present from anyone let alone you.”
“That’s the most perfect idea -now leave me I need to think !”
“Actually I came in fro a job …..I’ll come back later”
“No Aman it might actually distract me”
Khushu sat on her bed staring down at the envelope, chewing her nails. She had already downed a tubful of ice-cream and was n her second box.That envelope had seemed to grow disproportionally since it’s arrival. Initially she had hidden at the bottom of her draw thinking she would deal with after Arnav had left and the kids had gone to school. The kids ! what was the time , they would be back soon -demanding expecting and generally causing mayhem as only boys can do. She had about fifteen minutes before they came tumbling through the doors creating their own style of havoc. Khushi quickly put away her letter to deal with the impending chaos commonly known in RM as Raizada one ,two and three. Ayaan, AAshish and Akhil.
There door flung open and three boys came tumbling in laughing Aashish and Akhil were carrying Ayaan into the house by his arms and legs.
Khushi covered her eyes with both her hands and peeped through her fingers splaying them one at a time. She had already had had a stressful morning and now this -her boys were on form.
“Mohan Ji -what ?”
He fully understood what Khushi ji meant -these boys were loveable rogues -they got into mischief on a daily basis and were daily taken to task for it by their mum. If Arnav Bhaiya ever got involved in the discipline process there would only be two reasons -one the boys had crossed some unwritten line in the rule book which allowed them to be naughty up to a certain level after which he took over and that was not nice. The only other time was was when one of the boys said something to bring tears to Khushi Ji eyes . That was a horrible week he had never known a week like that.
Gone was Arnav the father and ASR had appeared and he had launched into those boys as if they were fully grown adults.
He had no concern for who was there or who was watching, their boys had the audacity to think they could speak to their mother like that and behave in a manner, that brought tears to her eyes.
He had not allowed anyone that right, not her father nor him, since she had become his wife . No one but no one was allowed to upset Khushi or say a wrong word against her. And here were her children playing up. They got the message loud and clear no one hurt Khushi not even them. They were lucky that they were standing there -had it been anyone else Arnav explained in no uncertain terms to them that he would have ripped them apart limb from limb leaving no evidence of the crime. It was his job and there’s to keep there mad mother safe, from all things that might hurt her or make her sad. That was a lesson that they would carry into adulthood and long after. No one messed with Khushi Raizada not even dad. That day a mutual pact was made between the four boys -naughtiness allowed ,to an extent ,teasing mischief allowed -but the first one of them or anyone else to cause tears in their mums eyes would pay a huge price ,even their dad. No one was excused from that rule.
“There was a minor disagreement at school and Ayaan to the other persons side, not Akhil’s hence he has to be punished-something about a promise that they made and Ayaan has broken it.”
“Boy’s put Aayan down wash your hands change your clothes and come and eat and we will discuss the breaking of another Raizada law of which I have no knowledge and then we will find a suitable punishment which does not involve the dislocation of arms from their shoulders and me spending the rest of the afternoon in the emergency ward.”
“Mom we were carrying him properly! we were not going to dedocate.. sisdocate….lateosis…remove his arms from his shoulder. I would have tied him proper mom if I had had a big stick and some rope, like they do when the hang up an animal from a big stick. Mom can you really remove someones arm as from their shoulders if you carry them like that ?”
“Yes you can and the word is DISLOCATE”
“I’ll remember that for the next time” “Akhil please don’t -you get into the most trouble out of the three you really don’t need any advice from me -it come to you naturally”
Akhil grinned up at his mom “Come here “
Khushi bent down to her son’s level and received a big kiss -“Dad say’s i get 70 % of my genes from you thats why I get into so much trouble -he says it shadows me like it does you. I told him That I must have got 100% of my genes from you, as I keep getting into trouble with everyone…….Dad said that was not possible …I had to have got some genes from him….I told him I like to be the top at everything so 100 % must have have come from you. ……. soooo….if you are thinking of punishing me remember your only punishing yourself since i am 100% you!”
Khushi looked at him in disbelief at the logical argument, well as logical as an argument that you can get from a six year old.
“Akhil the way you have just put forward your argument stems from your fathers logic so you have to be carrying some of his genes! Go and change so that I can find out what you boys have been up to before I get a call from the principle or an irate parent complaint about the lack of manners and what kind of wild animals am i raising !”
As they all sat down to lunch Akhil gave his version of events – “Aayan took the girls side after I took the ball from her. I asked her nicely to give our ball back and she said only if she could play football with us. I said no and took the ball.”
“No mum , he snatched the ball and pushed her over. I took the ball back from Akhil and gave it back to Rhea.I also let Rhea play with us -tow of us against Ashish and Akhil.”
“Who won ?”
Akhil replied in a sullen voice “They did but mom its the family rule raizada’z against everybody we never split up we always support each”
“Akhil -not if you were being mean to Rhea -you pushed her and almost made her cry” “She’s a girl -she doesn’t count!”
“Mum’s a girl and dad said he would tear us from limb to limb and bury us alive if we ever made her cry!
“Ayaan that’s meant to be a secret between the men of the family -dad said mum was not supposed to find out!”
“in this case Akhil ,Ayaan is right- you shouldn’t push anyone let alone girls”
“Well I said that she could play with us tomorrow because she doesn’t play like a girl and she can kick like a boy she like you mum!”
“I’ll take my compliments where i find them -you think I’m like a boy !”
She smiled she had to tell Arnav she had officially been designated as an honorary boy -how did he feel about that.
Ashish joined the conversation -“she not like mum, mum’s pretty and smells like mum! Rhea smells like a girl!”
Khushi replied “I think that’s a compliment you boys had better stop while I’m ahead.
The rest of the afternoon passed in a flurry of activity till six o’clock when Arnav arrived home.
Khushi loved watching him and the kids. Around them he became one. Before he would play with the boys he had a rule tea or coffee with mum and then he was theirs to command.
It was finally that Khushi spoke to Arnav later that night after everyone had gone to bed.
“Do you know that I have been given honorary status of being a boy and not smelling like a girl”
Arnav laughed “I’m dammed glad that your not a boy and don’t smell like a girl -you smell like my Khushi”
You know that we will have been married seven years next week “
“If i ask you for some things will you do it for me?”
Arnav was perplexed “What’s going on in your bran Khushi? Not something stupid?”
“err no , well at least I don’t think so!”
“So what do you want me to do?”
“Not have a party this year -please -just let it be us! Lets send the kids over to Dad and Payal ans Akash. Is it really bad that I don’t want to share the day with any body except you?”
“Khushi shall I translate what you have just asked ? No its perfect that you want to spend the day with means I would love it. I always do but what you’re really asking me to do is take the flack from all the family when I tell them that we are going away for one of our weekends. You also want me to bribe the boys into behaving so that we can go away without to much headache…….you know they will have a list of demands that I am going to have to comply with”
“ Mav it’s such a good job that you are an excellant negotiater. You have to watch out for Akhil -the way he seys his arguments out is actually quite clever”
“So if I do all this what are you going to give me ?….. oh…..mmm….I wasn’t expecting a return so soon …..mmm ….that’s so… Khushi ….stop….no don’t stop!…just slow down ….or I’ll be done before ….yyyyyyou …..have begun …..Slowly ……what the ….hell….jjjjust …..carrrry ..on”
“Shut up Mr Raizada and enjoy”
Khushi thought to herself about the letter that still lay unopened in her draw -that letter might lead to a barren period for both of them. She would look at it tomorrow.
Rise of the Phoenix (chapter 11)
Khushi had kept Arnav on his feet he had lost focus , she had kept his attention for the whole show and now the after party -she had to keep his focus -to lose it now would jeopardise the whole plan.
Phoenix changed and reappeared this time not in her signature colours but a mellow coffee coloured gown -this would definitely hold his interest – a few hours more.
Phoenix reappeared in the after party stunning as per usual breathtakingly beautiful.Arnav sensed her before he saw her and when he saw her his heart stopped.
She should definitely carry a hazardous to health warning. Whatever she was up to she was going to do some serious damage to his heart. He had crawled out of the quagmire of emotions the last time he had tangled with her, and here he was jumping in again feet first.
He knew she was trouble -T_R_O_U_B_L_E in a big way. But like a moth to a flame he couldn’t resist her.
“Stunning may I say -as per usual “
“It’s a phoenix original”
“there’s nothing original about Phoenix “
“then why are you looking?”
“I’m searching …..searching …somewhere under all this facade my Khushi might just be present even a fraction of her is worth more than the Phoenix”
Khushi took a long shaky intake of breath “You killed your Khushi a long time ago , you threw her away when she served no more purpose to you-but if you hard enough you will see that khushi died and Phoenix was born”
“wrong what I can see if a lot of My Khushi a bit battered and bruised still holding it together -the scars are there if you closely enough -what did they do to you Khushi “
“like you don’t know -Arnav how does it feel that your family and my father are totally and completely responsible for creating the instrument of their destruction.”
“Do you really think you can destroy the Gupta and ASR business single handily? If so you are a stronger women than Phoenix you have to be my Khushi”
“I might not be able to destroy you but you know what it will certainly hurt you and I will have my pound of flesh”
“Khushi -so much anger, so much hate, still ? Let it go! It was a long time age – Me and Di, I ….never found you…..I looked……Khushi…..where did you disappear to all those years ago and where have you been all this time ….What are you trying to do now?”
“Be more than your equal, be better than either you or my father – teach you both the true value of breaking my dreams”
“Phoenix ….my Khushi….was always more than my equal…..”
Before Arnav could elaborate on his statement Khushi interrupted him “Your Khushi died a long time ago!”
A song started to play in the background ‘teri meri’- Arnav stared hard into her eyes trying to pierce through her armour, find a chink and the suddenly of their own violation his arms moved and grabbed her gently pulling her towards him unflinchingly she moved. His touch burned her soft warm caressing hand on her back , he spun and dipped her , hie gaze unrelenting. She ran her hands down his back ,grabbing his shudders for support -they were both transported to a more magical time. He had danced and caressed her in front of everyone. They had looked as they adjust made out on the dance floor -their chemistry was sizzling , her eyes had been full of laughter then.
The rapturous applause brought them both back from the past to the present, he had her held above his head and as he slowly released her , she felt every part of his body before her feet were allowed to touch the ground.
Arnav stared and slowly lowered his head to place a soft warm butterfly kiss on her lips. Just the merest taste of him left as a souvenir.
Arnav whispered into her ears as wolf whistles were heard in amongst the echoing applause- “Phoenix’s kisses may be for sale -but those lips were only ever mine-never to be sold or shared”
Khushi’s eye’s grew , startled or shock and for a moment there she had lost focus and she whispered back to him “then why did you sell me ? why did you never come for me and ….”
Then her mask was replaced -a temporary set back. Khushi couldn’t allow her self to feel or remember him it was too painful, there was a sliver of truth in what Preeto and NK had said – she might not survive the fallout.
Mask back in place -she smiled her fake smile “Oh so far as the kiss go who kissed me ? Arnav Malik or Arnav Singh Raizada.I ‘m not the only one who re invented himself. I believe that, that is Karan over there -shall we?”
“Khushi, Arnav kissed you, “ In that moment , Arnav laid himself bare. He had always been a risk taker, nothing ventured and nothing gained. From the moment he had danced and their lips had caressed each other -he knew that his Khushi was still there ,buried under a multitude of scars, that she had papered over. The only way to survive that pain from all those years ago was to bury those memories deep within the recesses of your mind and find a new focus. He had done that and been exceptionally successful at that. But now Khushi was here and just like that, she had turned the key and opened Pandora’s box. She had released a multitude of memories and emotions. He was older now ,more experienced ,better equipped to deal with those memories which seemed to be from a life time ago. Now he could sieve through the moments separating fact from fiction. He could begin analysing what had really happened all those years ago. Now he was in a position to deal with the fall out. He could begin his journey into the past . Now he was in a position to deal with it both emotionally and financially. Now, if need be he was in a position to reek retribution and ask for justice for Arnav and Khushi. An innocent sixteen and eighteen year old who had been torn apart and separated by two twisted and warring individuals. There only agenda was money and what money begets -power. The balance of power they had tried to control was no longer in their grasp. The tighter that Shashi Gupta had tried to hold onto it ,the quicker it seemed that Khushi was intent on ripping it away. She had tarred him with the same brush as both their father’s – all he could do now was prove himself to her -sieve through the memories and paste together what really happened and then ,maybe even forgive. With forgiveness comes a time of healing. Acceptance ? they had all accepted the facts along time ago. No they had accepted the facts as they had been presented to them by two power hungry crazed individuals.He needed time to unravel the truth, the facts and separate them from memories that may have been distorted then maybe with a generous hand of fate they could begin again. Maybe …….maybe …….just maybe Arnav and Khushi might get a second chance at happiness. Whatever her plan he had to sow the seed of doubt in her mind and let it grow-then maybe she might not be that intent on destroying him and together they could salvage themselves from the past and look not the future. Finally after a long time Arnav started to let hope take root in his heart. The strong protective shell that he had built around himself had begun to come undone.
“Khushi ask yourself this -you reinvented yourself as Phoenix why did I have to reinvent my self as Arnav Singh Raizada- if i was as guilty as you seem to believe then I should still be carrying the name Malik. Khushi this is neither Arnav Malik or Arnav Raizada talking , this is your Arnav talking.
Shall we go and meet another one of your conquests – your self confessed slave.”
Khushi looked away from Arnav blnking away the sheer film of tears that had glazed her eyes. He could still pull her heart strings -he could command her every move like a puppeteer -she had to be vey careful around him still after all this time. She had to get away from him before she totally fell apart, there was only one thing that had kept her sane all these years -she needed answers, an explanation as to why her angel had to leave her, and justice for her daughter. In that instant the thaw that threatened to melt her heart stopped. She was here for a reason , a purpose and she was the weak link.
Khushi smiled a smile that Arnav knew she meant business. For a split second he though he had got through to her. Well with time …he might get through.
“Wow Phoenix, ASR what you guys produced on stage was awesome but that dance that we all just witnessed -that was of the richter scale. You guys just tripped the light fantastic. And Phoenix this dress -not your usual colours? But still you have outdone yourself “
Phoenix smiled at Karan “Watch the headlines tomorrow, your lengha will be in the news but this is the dress design and colour that will be in the headliner and being copied to find itself on every shelf within the next twenty-four hours.”
“That’s Di , she is signalling us to come over”
Preeto and Anjali were watching, they had seen the dance, the looks and now both sets of eyes were growing saucer shaped.
Arnav was steering Phoenix across the crowded room. It was not the way he guided her but it was in the way he guided her through a throng of people. One arm around her waist pulling her into him protectively whilst the other was in front of her preventing anyone from bumping into her or touching her accidentally.
Preeto knew instantly that the two people in front of had history. It was in the way she handled herself in front of him.
“That meeting -maybe yo and me should have one first and then let me see how quickly I can arrange a meeting between you and the Phoenix.
It had been over a year that Arnav and Khushi had been spending an increasing amount of time with each other.
The odd casual coffee and ice-cream had turned into a standing date most evenings, usually down a local ice-cream parlour at Laxmi Nagar -to the extent they had their own table. Arnav smiled as recalled the first time that he had his coffee and her ice-cream.
Arnav pulled up outside her house just as he saw Khushi leaving a large building across from their house. She was in her overalls -the building carried the initial AKG Motors.
Arnav met her at the entrance and smiled, Khushi smiled back and told him that Aman wasn’t there.
“Khushi I have to deliver some documents to him Arnav had stopped by Laxmi Nagar on the pretext of delivering papers to Aman for the morning meeting -emailing a copy would have sufficed- but the excuse that it required a signature was what he used as justification to meet Khushi.
Arnav knew that the errand that he had sent Aman on would keep him occupied for at least two hours -time enough for him to deliver the papers and see Khushi.
“Khushi while I wait can I have a coffee?”
“Err …no one drinks that stuff at home Akash has chai like me. Lets go to the local ice-cream shop -they may have coffee”
They sat at a table at the ice cream parlour but that took Khushi and Arnav about fifteen minutes to get there.
Arnav watch as she must have wave and chatted -Khushi style to every person as they walked. To top it of she stopped to play marbles with group of boys -hitting the bull eye and then high fives the boys as they all laughed.
“Can he play ?”
Khushi made a sad face and shook her head.
“Can he fly a kite ?”
Khushi looked at Arnav and then back at the boys -and shook her head
“Can he …..Khushi held up her hand and then using her hands explained to them he couldn’t use a catapult , or play gilli- danda or climb trees , bowl a cricket ball like her or Akash or kick a ball and was completely useless when it came to cars- he didn’t even know that a car needed petri to run.
“Khushi Didi why are you his friend then ?”
“He is Akash bhaiya’s boss”
All the boys then nodded their heads wisely, grasping the situation -this was Akash bhaiya’s boss not Khushi Didi’s friend”
Arnav was laughing as they walked away -“just for the record -i play cricket , football and hockey “
Khushi explained to him “Did you want to spend the next hour playing with the boy’s”
Arnav shook his head and laughed.
“You know you look much better when you laugh “ Khushi ironed out his frown lines as she signed him.
As they entered the cafe and took their seats Khushi placed their order one bitter horrible black coffee -and then went on to explain to the shipowner that if was plain black he could maintain his moods for longer -sugar might actually sweeten him up -so he had to stay away from it. She on the other hand wanted a vanilla ice-cream with three sauces and multicoloured sprinkles and moon dust that popped in your mouth with a crackle .
Khushi was already in heaven just describing her ice-cream to the owner. She hadn’t even started eating it yet and she looked as though she was going to orgasm. Could she really love food this much?
Arnav noticed that having no voice didn’t hold Khushi back in this environment , here she was happy , loved and treated as an equal by most. Arnav was finally beginning to understand why Aman had never moved from Laxmi Nagar -here his Khushi was safe. Everything was familiar -people knew and she knew them they had all found a way to understand her and her them.
They sat at a table but not in silence -well not Khushi version of silence she signed him and used her phone to text so that he understood. What did he like about the bitter dark liquid that made her toes curl cause it was bitter.
“why do you like black coffee ?”
“Are there any other colours?”
Khushi looked at him with a loss of words as his statement continued “I like it like i like my woman, hot and strong “
Khushi choked on her ice-cream she quickly stretched across to grab a tissue before the contents of her mouth ended up on him. In her rush, she knocked over her ice-cream and spoon which suddenly seemed to develop wings. It somersaulted over and hit Arnav on the nose. In her anxiousness Khushi quickly stretched across the table to offer him a tissue instead in her hurry she knocked the steaming cup of coffee into his lap.
Horrified at her resultant actions Khushi ran round to his side to mop up the offending hot bitter liquid and then it happened -she slipped and fell straight into his lap forcing him back into a seated position.
He wasn’t sure what he was suffering more from -was it really possible ? He had just been wacked on the nose by a metal spoon, traces of ice-cream trickled down his face and had steaming hot coffee thrown at him followed by a beautiful wriggling girl and the more she wriggled the more aroused he got even in his damaged and painful state ….he was getting hard.
And Khushi stopped wriggling and her eyes widened she felt it -no she had imagined that -surely not !
Then Aman walked in.
Both Arnav and Khushi had the same train of thought Shit! the only difference Arnav verbalised his noughts whilst Khushi just thought them.
“Khushi what the hell is going on and ASR what happened to you”
“Your sister happened to me! I’m not sure which injury to deal with first”
“If I may suggest Khushi -get of Arnav -give me your hand “
Aman removed Khushi from Arnav and then asked her if she was OK ?”
“Now you ASR -how bad is it ? Usually if Khushi is involved its bad”
“A bit bruised sticky and wet and burnt -how’s that for openers “
“Khushi -you going for some kind of record here -how much damage can you do to one guy in fife minutes “
Khushi bit her lips apologised and moved forward to try and help the situation. Arnav had just got himself under control -there was no way he was about to embarrass her or himself in front of her brother and friends. He held up his hands as fast as Aman got hold of Khushi by the scruff of her neck.
“Khushi you have helped enough today please stop -go home while I try and sort this mess out.
‘Khushi -thanks -as dates go this one will always be up there”
Khushi looked at Aman “It wasn’t a date Aman, tell him the date is tomorrow same time and same place if he can walk”
“Khushi he needs danger money to go on a date with you and I need a boss that can still walk the day after tomorrow- so I’ll say NO”
“I carry special insurance -so I’ll say yes!”
Aman didn’t know who to glare more at his sister or his friend cum boss.
Arnav smiled and nodded at Khushi to go home.
“Aman you don’t need to worry -tomorrow would be the safest date that Khushi would ever go on ….man I think you need to get me to the hospital -forget walking I think your sister is an advocate for family planning -i think she has burnt my balls !!!”
“Serve you bloody right for looking at my sister and engineering my absence”
“Ok I think I have paid the price for what i did to you -“ “Arnav I’m serious -she is my kid sister and ..”
“I am deadly serious about getting to know her- trust me when I say I am never going to hurt her intentionally but the same i can’t guarantee about her” Let’s get you to the hospital.
It was after that eventful day that Khushi and Arnav started spending time together.
He learnt sign for her by attending classes , she tried hard to drink coffee -the closest she got was an iced mocha caramel latte.
She made Arnav smile and now he wanted to lay the world at her feet.
Rakashabandan had come and gone – everything was planned down to the last detail for tonight.
Nothing had been left to Aman. Right down to the last detail Arnav had planned it.
The perfect proposal. It had been weeks in the planning -the backdrop, the ambience ,the food the ring and the verse.
Aman already knew Arnav’s intentions he had already declared his intentions to Aman who was Khushi’s brother and one of his closet friends.
Getting to Know Khushi
“-Arnav Ji are you ready -We will be over to pick you up in ten minutes you haven’t forgotten -your forfeit.”
“-At the door , please open -ding dong-“
“I didn’t hear anything”
“The bells like me the silent type communication by text -so open the door”
Arnav stood there gaping
Khushi pointed to herself and then gave herself the thumbs up.
She gave him a twirl and then signalled him a question what do you think?
She stood there in a beautiful chiffon sari with a red sequin border and large kundan ear rings.
“Breathtaking -amazing “
She signalled back to him with Aman’s help-
“For Salman – a girl has to make an effort for her beloved -you know one day I’ll marry him”
“Yeh -he will be waiting for you at the Laxi Nagar crossing cause he has nothing better than to wait for you !”
“Arnav who’s at the door ?”
“nani ji its Aman and Salman Khan’s fiance “
“What Arnav ?“
“Nothing Nani ji Its Aman and Khushi “
Khushi looked at her watch -and then indicated to Arnav -are you ready ?
“There’s plenty of time , would you like to come in?”
Khushi looked at Aman who translated for her
“We have to leave now she doesn’t want to miss a single thing”
What you mean like standing in a ridiculously long queue to get in and then buying absurdly priced food and drinks and then sitting in crowded hall watching hundreds of women fawn over Salman Khan, listening to their screams and wolf whistles when he takes his shirt off”
Khushi ’s eyes lit up and sparkled and she nodded her head vigourously and smiled.
Arnav shook his head and then said something that made Aman look up and stare at Arnav.
“Really ?You do you need to make gaga eyes at him when you have to fine specimens here in real life “
Was Arnav really flirting with his sister ? Aman glared at ASR- to warn him.
Khushi looked at ASR and felt his biceps and then gave him the thumbs down, She then pointed out his shirt and waved her thumbs from side to side indicating that he did not match up to Salman; she then turned to Aman hand smiled and kissed him on his cheek and indicated that he was perfect -except for his rakhi -he was her brother.
Nani had seen the exchange and heard the comments and laughed as she approached.
“Aman beta come in “
“Namaste Nani JI “
And then Arnav saw it but Aman was used to it.
Khushi involuntarily took a step closer to Aman and sidled up to him -fear flickered in her eye’s and then settled as he casually draped his arm over his sister’s shoulder -and then the boldness returned to her eye’s.
Arnav realised two things in that instant -Aman was not only her voice but he was her strength and proctor.
Aman’s reactions were habitual that’s how Khushi always behaved round new people nervous, till she had assessed them, she took her confidence from him until she knew where she stood with strangers;that’s why he had found her response to ASR puzzling -not once had she retreated into her shell -instead she she had come out fighting, treating him like a long friend, his equal which she was. Aman felt that ASR had met his match in Khushi -the way she was treating him and the way he was responding. But this was his baby sister -more like his daughter-he had brought her up on his own for the last fourteen years on his own. He had taken responsibility for her from a very young age and then when his mother’s body finally lost the will to fight anymore ,Aman took responsibility for her completely. He would have to watch ASR very carefully -he wasn’t about to let him hurt his sister.
“Who is this , with you and did I hear that Chote was actually going to A BOLLYWOOD- INDIAN MOVIE with you?”
Khushi put her hands together and greeted Nani traditionally as ASR made the introductions before Aman could -“This is Khushi”
Khushi stepped forward touching Nani’s feet
Aman and Nani stared at Arnav momentarily – Aman noticed that ASR was taking his place he was becoming Khushi ’s voice and he hadn’t even realised it.He had to watch carefully -could ASR change -could he be the one for his Khushi- he had to wait and watch carefully.
Nani looked up at Chote -he introduced Khushi -but she was obviously here with Aman -and what magic spell had she created that was making her Chote voluntarily attend a film.
“Come in and have a cup of tea before you go”
Nani watched the expression in her face change as she warily looked at ASR first and then Aman for reassurance -they both smiled reassuringly and beckoned her forward into the room.
Aman was watching ready to pounce like a hawk, as Nani grabbed Khushi’s hand and led her to the sofa.
As they walked across the room Khushi clapped her hand’s and pointed to the mandir.
Khushi eyes lit up at the beautifully decorated mandir.
Arnav shook his head and Aman laughed.
He looked in stunned disbelief -him the agnostic was falling for a girl who visibly smiled at the site of a Mandir -typical of fate -it always laughed at him.
Khushi distracted and started peeking in and looking and admiring the mandir at the way it was decorated.
“Khushi you like it-you can go in if you want “
Khushi couldn’t resist -re-emerging a few minutes later
“Beti what did you pray for ?”
Khushi pointed to Arnav and Aman and smiled.
“You shy ? really you prayed for both of them anything special”
Khushi nodded and shook her head – confused how to tell Nani .
She looked at her gently and smiled and pointed to her voice box and shook her head and then made actions of flying wings -indicating that her voice had flown away a long time ago when she was a child.
With her actions and Nani’s interpretation she told her that she had prayed to Devi Maya that they wouldn’t embarrass her at the movies and behave themselves -she really hoped that Aman wouldn’t fall asleep and start snoring like he did last time he took her.
Aman and Arnav watched her and Nani talk as if they had known each other all their lives.
“Chai Khushi ?“
She made Nani understand She would prefer Adrak wali chai -Khushi jumped up and indicated to all that she would make it.
She rushed off following HP returning awhile later with adrak wali chi for all.
“Nani praised her chai commenting she hadn’t had such a delicious cup of tea in a long while.”
Everyone had joined them for tea and to stare in amazement that Arnav was going to watch a film -an Indian film.
Seeing was believing ,all there were convinced that he would find an excuse not to go.
Khushi looked at the time indicated to Aman that they had to leave -
“Excuse us Nani Ji otherwise if I miss the film we will have to endure the torture twice she will watch it and make me watch it again looking at Arnav -and if I go down so do you -boss or no boss!”
They all laughed
“She is very pretty -but she doesn’t speak- she ’s not good enough for our Arnav -she’s not perfect”
“What do you mean she doesn’t speak ? She speaks more than you -didn’t you notice she didn’t stop”
‘She doesn’t speak Sasuma! She is like broken toy -one that you can’t fix”
“Manorma! she is not broken , she doesn’t need fixing, she is perfect – she smiles with her eyes and only those with a good heart would recognise that. Only broken people look for the same in others because of’s their own insecurities. That’s the problem with you you can’t tell the difference between a real diamond and paste. And Khushi is a perfect diamond -I see that -but that doesn’t matter Arnav and Aman see it too -and that makes all the difference.”
All three had heard the whole conversation Aman noticed , the anger flare in ASR’s eyes and clench his fists, Khushi smiled and slipped her hand into Aman’s hand and shook her head and smiled and said lets go – Salman ’s waiting.
She placed a hand on Arnav’s shoulder and shrugged hers and smiled – it didn’t matter she was used to comments like that.
Arnav replied that “it still didn’t make it right “
Khushi used her eyes and a combination of simple hand signals and Aman’s help to say to Arnav “You change the world one person at time -I won Nani ji today -next time may be ,It will be your Mammi or maybe it won’t ;some people you can never change.”
“How can she say you don’t speak -you say more in couple of sentences than she does in an hour?”
“Salman – keys please Aman! I need to drive”
“Arnav say a prayer Khushi is driving put your seat belt on we are partaking in the ned Dehli Grand Prix- I ‘ll take the back seat -you joining me or are you showing your false bravado by sitting in the front!”
Khushi glared at Aman and told Aman “ to zip it -Arnav waiting -front or back , let’s go“ tapping at her watch.
Arnav sat and belted himself in and the heard Khushi rev the engine squeal the car out the drive -he grabbed the seat of his car as he watched her weave in and out of Dehli traffic like a true professional cab driver -cutting up drivers going across a round about and the wrong way up a one way street. Finally he had to say something.
“Khushi you know that we have to be alive to watch the film !”
Arnav turned round and saw Aman siting with his head back eyes closed -sleeping -obviously he was accustomed to Khushi particular driving style.
The car halted with a jerk -yes she had actually managed to park the vehicle in the tinniest space.
Aman stood patiently at the boot of the car waiting .
“What are we waiting for ?’
“I can see that you have never been to the pictures with Khushi – our picnic basket”
We can buy popcorn and ice-cream and whatever else she wants inside ?” “Not my Khushi -I tried to warn you -now just sit back and experience Miss Gupta at the cinema’s and we will have to translate for her as well -as crazy as her words are”
Arnav wouldn’t have believed it if he hadn’t been there.
She had an argument with the ticket collector and won about the food with Aman translating for her. She held her own little picnic and shared her food with total strangers and them. she danced in her seat whilst Aman and Arnav sank lower and lower. Everytime Salman’s shirt came off Khushi whistled as loud as she could. The first time she whistled Arnav had a heart attack and looked at Aman -who held out a sleeve of paracetomols smiling. Arnav shook his head -i’ll take my punishment like a man.”
“ASR you still have a lot more coming you’re way. The night is still young”
The look that Aman received was one of absolute plai terror at what more the night could hold.
Finally the film was over and Khushi was dancing on air.
“It’s a good job that she can’t sing or we really would’t survive”
Khushi then took the boys out for food -they had chaat from a street vendor whilst ASR looked at the food as though it would walk away by itself. She found a balloon man and bought half his balloons from him and let them go only hanging onto two, kissing each one as she let it go.
“khushi what are you doing ?”
Khushi explained to Arnav that she was sending a prayer and a wish up to heaven -it might reach there faster. ASR smiled at her. She had ice-cream and had made Aman have one too since she couldn’t decide on a flavour , she had triple scoop each a different flavour and Aman’s was the same. Each time he reached the next flavour she would take a little bit of his cone and when her’s was finished as she wolfed it down at a ridiculous rate she watched Aman -till he smiled and gave her the rest of his cone.
“You do this every time Khushi -why don’t you just order four scoops yourself.”
She moved her hands very quickly and Arnav couldn’t follow the conversation.
“Pardon Aman I didn’t follow that last part -she should order eight mini scoops for herself , so I can eat mine in peace.”
Khushi jumped i the conversation -Arnav don’t listen to him he only wants two scoops he orders the third for me in the first place.
The group broke into laughter as Khushi took them to the park where they fed the ducks and she paddled in the fountain and she made Aman and Arnav join her and then the three lay on the grass watching the clouds and stars trying to name the shape of clouds as they floated by.
Eventually Aman drove them back to Shantivan whilst Khushi slept in the back.
“Enjoyed your punishment ?”
“Yes actually Aman I did! Tell her I’ll speak to her tomorrow”
“Why ASR ? She’s my sister -let her have her dreams, as long as she hope she will always dream -you might just break her dreams”
“Aman -she is special-I wouldn’t let anyone break her dreams-night Aman – give us a chance Aman or she will lose hope slowly and you will end up breaking her dreams. Everybody deserves one chance”
“Aman looked at Khushi and the Arnav -text her tomorrow I’m sure she will be waiting “
This seems like a natural place to stop this three shot -unless you want a further part or epilogue.
The Runaway Bride
Khushi grabbed her phone
“ Hi Jiji “
“Khushi you OK ?”
“Fine , how about you ? Whats the weather like?
“the weather ? “ “stormy or a force 9 hurricane ?”
“depends who you are talking about ? Dad -well he is on force 9, Buaji -well she ’s a bit better only about 4 and the Singhania’s well they are off the scale! Sham is absolutely fuming ! I have never seen a human so angry -he has even got dad thinking that maybe you did the right thing running off-so much anger and hate in one person is not good -it would find a way out-not caring where the anger landed. Keep a really low profile , Khushi so low that you should not be seen or heard from for at least a few weeks!”
“Jiji -I am going to send the clothes and jewellery back to you get them back to dad -without him knowing they came from you!”
“Khushi take care of yourself do you need anything?”
“No jiji -“
Now what Khushi Kumari Gupta – your stuck in this pent house for at least a week.
Now readers we all know are heroine well -bored on her own for a week how soon before she would be climbing up the walls -her creativity , her mischief her sense of fun all needed an out let. Your absolutely right when did Khushi just simply follow anyone ’s orders. Her brain computed various methods of escape from her self imposed imprisonment. Her overactive imagination and love for the impossible, could only lead her successfully into more trouble.
Arnav , Aman and Anjali were just about to be introduced first hand to how much chaos Khushi Gupta could cause.
The Clothes and jewellery played heavily on Khushi brain. They were not hers -they had to be returned and sooner the better. She was no thief -well at least not stuff that didn’t belong to her.
What her father had given her belonged to her or did it ? her mind was racing ahead of itself with a multitude of scenarios-the clothes they had to go but how?
Arnav! he would help her of that she was sure make a small package ,place in her rucksack, get to her house. That was the hard part. From thereon in it was child’s play, climb over the wall , up the tree to her dad’s balcony deposit, the parcel in his room and leave undetected. How many times had she returned after curfew and had to shimmy up the drain pipe or the tree.
Now how was she going to get Arnav to agree to take her- Aman was good kind, understanding and easy as pie to talk to but not a risk taker -he would never agree. Anjali was too much of a lady -very prim and proper she wouldn’t be able to do it and secondly she wasn’t sure how Aman would react to his wife being pulled into her adventures.
“Hi Arnav -you busy ?”
“I’ve got a moment”
“can you meet me for lunch -I need to discuss something ?”
“Ok soon as I’m available -ill be up “
It was well into the afternoon by the time Arnav came up.
“How can I help?”
“ummm I need a lift tonight after dark about 10:00”
“What you got up your sleeve tonight ?”
“umm I want to return my wedding outfit and jewellery to my dad”
‘how about I just drop it off”
“that will implicate you and right now there is force 9 hurricane blowing !” “What ?” “nothing -there will be too many complications if you return it whereas I can just drop it off”
“You think you can walk in and out like that without anyone noticing? You’re the hottest piece of gossip at the moment on the Dehli circuit -with everyone wondering where you are- run away with your boyfriend seems to be the popular topic of conversation-you know you have no reputation left, where as I have plenty of bravado – apparently I drove up to your house and as true love lives eternal I whisked you away in my arms, and drove of with you into the sunset to get married. Apparently we are honeymooning in Goa, or Kashmir as they seem to be the popular places for eloping couples . You either hide with the tourists in Goa or you hide in Kashmir with everyone else trying to keep out of each others way”
“what ? You’re the hero of the hour whilst I’m the slut”
“You called it !”
“They don’t know about snakeapuss -otherwise i would be being hailed as the heroine of the night. Forget this conversation -will you help me ?”
“You bring interest into my life -you make me feel alive Khushi- of course I will , since I helped you run away once I feel that I have a responsibility towards you”
Later that night Arnav led Khushi to his SUV where she could get in unseen in the underground carpark. She laid low in the back footwells till Arnav was certain that he was not being followed.
Khushi made Arnav turn down a parallel street and park there beneath a huge tree.
“OK thanks you wait here -I’ll be back soon”
“what? No way are you going anywhere on your own this time of night -I don’t care how well you know the terrain! So lead the way “
Khushi Climbed into her neighbours garden and Arnav followed.
I got to say my readers both him and you are probably wondering what the fool was doing following her through other peoples gardens climbing over fences and wall ,when he could have just as easily had the parcel delivered anaoymously to Shashi at his offices -but then where the fun in that. And this is Khushi story – a touch of insanity and laughter are essential ingredients. Why don’t I narrate the rest and you read on instead of listening to my wittering on’s.
“Khushi that’s at least an eight foot wall -now what “
“we go over “
“Are you serious ? How ?”
You hoist me up and then I’ll give you my hand to help you -“
“You really are serious aren’t you -why did i ever think for a moment that you might just use the gate or the back door ?”
“Oh let me think -because i ran away from a wedding mu buaji is on the rampage and my dad is currently competing with a force nine hurricane and in case i forgot something the Singhania’s are out for my blood -for ruining there latest business acquisition, their reputation oh incase i forgot anything -Sham can’t wait to get into my pants -did I miss anything? agh yes -i might just be branded a thief as well as a slut!”
“Come on lets get you over that wall”
Arnav could literally see sparks flying out of her eyes – she was gorgeous when she was mad -she was gorgeous when she was running away , she was gorgeous when she was playing games with Aman. God she has a gorgeous butt! as he saw it close up and personal as he lifted her up to the wall. It was in his face and he had the greatest urge to bury his face in her arse. What was he thinking – he wasn’t ! He was using all his free testosterone that started to circulate round his body in her presence. That’s what landed him in this situation in the first place.
He saw her scramble nimbly up and hold her hand down to help him .
Here is where the plan started to go pear shaped. Arnav was not as light as Khushi and it took several attempts to get him up including her falling off ton the opposite side. Our hero had a minor panic attack until he saw her clamber up again, whispering not to be such a girl and be quiet otherwise they would be caught. She had a plan to help him up and over if he wanted to carry on and accompany her.
You forget readers Khushi has had to sneak in several times as her time keeping abilities far sadly lacking. British rail have a reputation for being on time far more often than our lovely heroine and using far more plausible excuses than she could ever invent -leaves on the railway lines delay the trains , the tracks are frozen over-hello in a country where it is perpetually cold and the weather unpredictable -in a single day to have sunshine , torrential rain , hail and snow – surely they should be more prepare -but I digress- Our heroine successfully got our hero to the top of the wall. Announcing in a quiet whisper -team work !
Arnav was seriously concerned for the level of sanity that she was currently displaying.
“Ok Khushi, is this your garden and please lie to me if it isn’t ,I’m not sure how much more stress i can take without blowing a fuse”
“Yes -look here come Tiger and Kaley “
Arnav looked up and saw two dobberman pinchers approach them barking and wagging their stump of a tail .Obviously well trained guard dogs -but Khushi’s friends.
“hi guys -missed you ,I got you a treat -and this is my friend and pleas be quiet or you will have me caught , Arnav give them this treat -now go -go boys before Mickey comes to see why you haven’t come back”
“Really Khushi anymore surprises in store for me ?”
“No we have two watch dogs -you have just met and a night watchman, sometimes Kaka does a round if he feels the need to exercise. Look here is the tree follow me up”
“Khushi are you serious -you want me to climb that!”
“Yes or wait down here for me but just watch out for Kaka -look we only have to go to the first floor balcony and leave the parcel on dads’ bed. And then leave the way we came -its easy”
“I’ll say that when we are both back in the penthouse safe and sound”
Well to speed it up a bit, Arnav and Khushi climbed up the tree to the balcony where he swore as he saw her swing across to the balcony and gently land on the balcony like a cat. Some thing that was inherently built into her genetics -he followed suit. We can’t have our hero being left behind. The parcel was dutifully place on her fathers pillow and our emotionally unstable also left behind a few tears and a kiss on her fathers pillow.She also felt the need to graffiti across her fathers mirror -sorry dad -i love you -
Khushi would have hung around reminiscing and debating about times with her father had our man of the moment not hurried her along – reminding her of the time – cinderella will turn into the bride again if her father catches her.
Glad to say that our favourite couple made it back to the penthouse undetected or unseen by any parties and sat down to a cup of hot chocolate and marshmallows whilst Arnav had coffee-blisfully unaware of the pandemonium that they had created in GM.
Buaji at her best – was over dramatising the parcel and the message -she had to be taken to her bed for recovery while Shashi Gupta really didn’t know what to do -scream at the lack of security at his house – and two really hopeless guard dogs or be proud of his daughters audacity and planning to be able to enter and leave undetected. She always left him in a conundrum.
In the end I am proud to say that love prevailed and he shed a few tears and touched her message on his mirror and said a special prayer and thanked the angels and Garima for looking after their daughter.
Slight on the naughty side mild and definitely suggestive
Khushi Get’s her Ice cream
It was blazing hot Khushi needed something to cool her down – her grumpy husband was not faring much better than her. He had his aviators on and stared dead ahead with his expressionless face. The air con was on full blast but all she could think of was ice-cream -cool and soothing trickling down her throat soothing and cooling her from the inside .
Why did he have to drag her to this stupid meeting – he could have gone to Nanital for the meeting without her and leave her to her boredom and heat at home, at least that way all she could not only have eaten ice-cream but stuck her face , no her whole self in the freezer.
“Arnav ji please just stop for one minute at the next place to see if there is any cold drinks or water maybe?”
“Khushi we’ll be there soon how thirsty can you be ? You know I don’t like stopping once I have started driving and those places you like to eat from -I’m surprised that the food just doesn’t walk away by itself it has so many microorganisms !”
“Micro what ?”
“Bugs -cockroaches to you!” “Arnav ji you are mean just plain mean to me! Please I promise i will zip out of the car buy the bottle and jump straight back in the car “
He felt her hand caress his arm he was already well on the way to folding but he had to hold out a bit longer. He had already dragged her to this meeting because he wanted her company , her presence just made I’m feel better and this was going to be a difficult negotiation anyway -good or bad outcome when she was with him it always felt better. But she didn’t know that also when she was around things always turned out for the better no matter how bad things initially looked. The Sham fiasco , the Shukar brothers episode . She was his lucky charm, things had jus looked up since they got married. It had almost been three years now and he still felt as though they were just beginning their journey together. He was no fool he knew she knew exactly what buttons to press to get him to do her bidding. If she hadn’t wanted to come, she would have told him in her own way and he wouldn’t have forced her. Like now he would hold out for about another ten miles and then relinquish. He enjoyed there imaginary war.He hated it when they fought in reality and usually she was right -he had learnt that after three major arguments; she had relented first and he always felt like S***, even when she said sorry. The first time he tried to make up he bought het a chain -well that’s what men do buy gifts to appease their wives . Wrong not Khushi -“why would I want to remember the time that you made me cry -take it back to the shop now or sell it I don’t want anything to remind me of the time you made me sad !” She had made him take it back to the jewellers -and he was apologetic and the jeweller was astonished but appreciative.
When they had left the shop a junior asked the owner why had he accepted the return? the answer was very simple -for a girl like that when her husband had something to celebrate he would spend three time the amount -she was special, Mrs Raizada was really special and meant the world to her husband -he would do the best to lay it at her feet, and being jewellers they would help him.
“Khushi when have you ever been able to zip out of a car and nip back in -you have to stop to speak to half the world , comment ,discuss the pros and cons ,make them your aunt and uncle if by chance you don’t discover that they are already related to you. No we will be late for our meeting!”
“Arnav -your meeting not mine -but I know we are in this together , I promised to walk beside you in this life and the next seven”
Arnav was controlling his laughter as his lips were twitching out of control, the minute she dropped the Ji from his name , he knew it was moments before he, the great entrepreneur of the year -still only a man, who adored his wife caved in. The walls of Jerico had already crumbled and lay as rubble and ruins ,but he enjoyed the negotiations she would come up with. Well he was a businessman. Deals were what he did day in and day out and the ones with his wife brought him the most immense amount of pleasure and laughter.
“Please you can time me I will be five minutes ,no hello ,no goodbyes , no aunties or uncles in and out just like that as fast as Mr Raizada”
“Err khushi when have I ever been in and out just like that as fast as that? I always take my time savouring and enjoying every second, slower the better”
Arnav ’s look and meaning put a whole new connotation on Khushi’s innocent statement. She turned bright red looking at her husband stunned into silence.
“No come back Khushi ?”
“Just drive !” She spluttered and keep your ming on the road !
“Drive or stop ? You seem to have changed your mind “
“I’m going to time you -five minutes”
With that Arnav slowly pulled into the next collection of shacks that appeared -that called themselves a town.
“You’re on a timer “
Khushi dived out purchased a cold drink two bottles of sealed mineral water and an ice-cream and rushed backed to the car.
“ Can’t have been more than five minutes “
“You were ten , Khushi whats with the ice cream -you know how i feel about that -you will get ill and pick up something “
“I have bought it now and your getting late drive we will argue on the way”
He noticed that she put the radio on to the latest Bollywood song and was enjoying her ice-cream to the fullest.
She licked up the melted ice-cream first not wanting to waste a single drop of the elixir. Her tongue glided across the surface from the base to the tip savouring each lick she closed her eyes ,reaching the head.and closed her lips enjoying the coldness as the ice-cream slid down her throat. She was in seventh heaven. She sucked the ice-cream into her mouth silently watched by the corner of his eye.
Back down to the base before the little drops trickled any further. She swirled her her tongue around the base ,pleasure evident on her face. The tip of her tongue popped out and licked her ever so kissable luscious lips.
What was she doing to him did she even have a clue ? Arnav was no longer sure where to focus -watching her was mesmerising , hypnotic , his attention needed to be on the road not her. But his body was responding to her of its own accord -he had little or no control. He was aroused and hard -he was sure this was illegal to eat ice-cream like this in public.
“Err Khushi quickly eat your ice-cream before it goes everywhere”
“You just drive and let me sink into the pleasure that this ice-cream is giving me” Yup only Khushi, his oblivious wife could be so unaware of his predicament that she was solely responsible for . Could he pull of the road and park up unobserved -meeting be dammed -traffic was always a good excuse. She would never give him head in the middle of nowhere. But he was desperate for her-how had she exactly got him into this state. Surely she must know his precise position.
He looked at her again uncomfortably shifting ,fidgeting in his seat his hands clenched at the wheels knuckles showing white. His mind reciting the facts and figures for his latest presentation.
Khushi continued to lick and swirl her tongue getting pleasure from each drop of vanilla ice-cream when she noted the tension in her husband his arms and then his trousers.
“Arnavji pull up behind that big tree ?”
“Park up behind that tree ?”
“Why ? its another forty-five minutes left to Nanital”
As he parked up “what Khushi ?”
“This wont take long what did you say earlier in and out fast as you can !”
He sat stunned at her actions -his trouser was unzipped and he was treated to the pleasures of her tongue that he had witnessed the ice-cream getting moments ago
She looked at him – and smiled leaning over -naughtily whispered -“get driving Mr Raizada you’re gonna be late for your meeting -two unscheduled stops so far.”
He looked across at her -“Just when I think i know you -you go and pull the rug out from under my feet. Do you even begin to comprehend how much i love you or what you mean to me Mrs Raizada.”
“Just keep reminding me -now drive or you will be late”
Hi a long OS -sit and get the popcorn out sorry couldn’t upload the picture 5200 words approx – acup of coffee or chai latte sit back relax and take time out your busy day and enter my word of fantasy !
Akash and Khushi- Best Friends
Khushi opened her eyes as the sun seemed to stream through the window finding her -blinding her.
Who was that screaming “ Shut up !”
Akash in total agreement tried to agree but all he could manage was an incoherent whisper. Who had the music on surely everyone had gone home.His head throbbed there was a constant pounding in his head and the light was blindingly bright. It was cutting through his brain like a blunt knife slow and painful.
Khushi spoke first -“Do you want to kill us -shut the curtains …….. today. Are you just plain vengeful or what ? Shut the curtains its making him worse.”
Khushi’s eye grew slowly accustomed to the darkness she could make out a man in a three piece suit standing there looking as though he was about to commit murder. By the look on his face it was going to be Aki and herself that were the intended victims.
“Who are you ? The party is over – get out and let us die in peace”
“Aki how you feeling ?”
“Khush….I feel like death….”
“No thats the moron standing here looking at us -do you know him because I’m about to throw him out on his ass”
“Khush i have a marching band playing in my head -let me go to the bathroom first -then I’ll sort him out”
“Aki are you OK -do you need some help?”
“Khush I’m going to the toilet -I’ll manage that by myself!”
“Thank God you can do that by yourself “
“Bhai ? Is that you ? Oh crap”
“Yes it’s me -Bhai- Get your girlfriend out of here -now and the place cleaned up Nani and Di will be arriving shortly”
“Bhai they are not due till the 24th”
“It’s the 24 th today -oh my, doesn’t time fly when you are having fun “
“What ? but that means its monday -today ! What the…”
“Oye you Aki ’s bhai, when are Nani ji and Di coming ?” “About three hours ?”
“Right first things first Aki lets have some paracetomols you shower I clean away the rubbish and you … are you here to help or shout and glare ?”
“ what ?”
“Khushi quickly scribbled a list -look here are some instruction go and buy these from the store across the road and come back asap”
“Look do you speak english ? -go..and …buy ..the …things …on the list …understand “
“oh you need money hand on a sec..”
Arnav watched in amazement first he had walked into their flat -it looked as though a bomb had hit the place, next he found Akash in bed with a girl -both hungover -he was a lot worse than the girl.
Now she was sending him out to buy things on a list and His Nani and Di were arriving in three hours -Akash was going to be dead meat served up for both of them to kill again. Akash and his friends had trashed his flat and god knows what else they had done. Now he was watching this girl rifle through her purse and then Akash’s wallet. Really -unbelievable she had forced the money ,list into his hand and shoved him out the door. He was about an inch away from killing his brother -better be go off and blow off some steam and then come back and sort out this mess….Akash as soon as your brain is functional you are going to wish that you were dead by the time I finish with you. Then your Di and Nani will start on you.
Khushi quickly shut the door behind Arnav, she ran back to check on Akash,
“Idiot your brother’s here, your sister and nani are on their way, what did you drink ?and how much ? The flat is trashed you need to get up and have a shower. You might feel better! I’ll clean up as much as I can before your brother gets back, hopefully I have bought us some time”
“My head Khush !’
“Aki Sweetheart -its going to be a lot more than your head on the block ,if we don’t get this place sorted -your Nani and your Di are on the way -your brother -well the less said the better. Get in that shower and keep your shorts on so I can come in and check on you”
Khushi made a few calls and an hour later when Arnav returned with the shopping list prepared to do battle and start on the flat he found a sleeping Akash and a flat that was spotlessly clean everything in order. There were no remanents of the scene that had initially met his eyes -empty alcohol bottles, broken glasses, half eaten food, left over food on the table, couple of broken pinata’s , confetti scattered on the floor, chairs upturned and to top it of , the place had smelt like a brewery a -only Khushi presence was evidence that something didn’t belong.
The flat was welcoming, it smelt of chocolate and vanilla as sensed candles and colourful flower arrangements were strategically placed around the flat.
Arnav placed the shopping in the kitchen as he continued the inspection of the flat, all the bedrooms had been cleaned and beds made and presented with little gifts on two of them one for nani and one for Di.
Arnav’s temper diminished slightly -at least the flat looked presentable -to be honest ,it looked better than it ever had. The black and white austere presentation was gone. There were flashes of colour and humour scattered through out the flat. The toilet had a sign -
“If you sprinkle while you tinkle,
Be a sweetie wipe the seatie”
Only a girl could have put that up, the windows had chimes and in Akash bedroom was a collage of photographs mostly of himself and the girl that was probably responsible for cleaning the flat in record time -since Akash was not capable of much. The idiot! He should have known better -how much had he drunk and what had he mixed to get himself into such a state.
Arnav gazed at the pictures -her eyes ,and her smile were infectious -she was stunning. Arnav felt something stir, she was attractive , no she seemed full of life and vibrant in every picture- laughing. The way Akash looked at her in the pictures showed a bond.
He had witnessed that bond earlier -when he had walked in both had been in the same bed! What the hell was he doing staring at his brother’s girl. She obviously cared for him -it was evident in the photographs, the way she had sorted the flat out and the time frame.
As Arnav returned to the the lounge, he found her feeding Akash and berating him in the same breath.
“ I don’t care, you aren going to drink this. What the hell Akash , what did you drink -if I hadn’t got back when I did -what do you think i would have found ? A dead body lying in his own vomit -do you know how many times you were sick last night -how many times I cleaned up after you! And because I had spent the last forty eight hours on the go looking after various people you included . I fell asleep next to you – your brother walked in found us together and assumed that we were both hung over. You are, but I was only exhausted from looking after you all. Don’t you ever drink that much or mix your drinks – I thought i was going to have to get your stomach pumped. Akash if anything happened to you who would I shoot baskets with , feed the ducks, play on the swings and merry go rounds . Who would partner me on the seesaw. Who would I play holi with? Swallow you soup, you will fell better. Have some nurofen now and by the time your Nani arrives and your Di you will feel half human again.”
As Khushi got up to leave Akash got hold of her hand “ sorry , I promise not to do this again!!” “You had better not or you will ave me to deal with -this time I have let you off the hook -since its your first but the next…..” “Khushi ,I promise there will be no next “ “What about your stag night ?”
“Not even then, besides you will be there to keep an eye on me “ “It will be your stag night -how can I be there, do i fit the description of a stag ?”
“Yup! Honorary Stag!”
“ Shut up Akash and drink some more fluids -let me finish the lunch for everyone now!’
“Did I ever tell you how special you are?”
“Aki -what do you want ?”
“Since I am forgiven -a massage for my very delicate head”
“I haven’t forgiven you !”
“You called me Aki !”
“I’ll come back after I have sorted the lunch”
Soon as Khushi left Arnav sat down “explain”
“Not now Bhai, take pity on me, I have just had an ear bashing from Khushi please can you wait till I feel better. You must have had at least one hangover in your life -this is my first and last.”
“who exactly is she?”
“She is Khushi”
“Akash I’m serious who exactly is she? What is she doing here? and are you going to tell Nani and Di about her -otherwise get her out of the flat before they arrive!”
“Nani and Di know Khushi , they often talk on Skype “
“Really ? How come they know and no one has said anything to me?”
“Bhai ? why would they say anything to you -you are the original angry young man -everyone too scared to say anything to you “
An hour later Khushi returned lunch cooked.
“Khushi can you do my head neck ….maybe shoulders and back”
“Aki don’t push your luck get in the bedroom have some more water and get your t off I’ll get the oil”
It was a long while later that Arnav returned with Di, NK and Nani to find Akash fast asleep and a delicious lunch cooked.
It was the early evening before Akash stirred to find his cousins and Nani there including his parents who arrived later.
Khushi finished her shift at 2:00 am in the morning exhausted let herself back into the flat changed and fell into an exhausted slumber.
It was the early hours of the morning as Arnav cuddled up to the warm body in his bed. He nuzzled her neck, her heady aroma heightened his senses and his body fitted around hers like a glove. His hand draped over her unconsciously caressing her breast.
His body responded to warmth next to him.
She felt so right next to him she fitted him so perfectly he wanted more – her scent he snuggled into her wanting more ,he loved morning sex.What the hell ? morning sex ? who with ? who was in his bed ? who exactly was he caressing ? His hand came to a standstill, the lower half of his body was a lot slower responding to the next set of commands than his brain , her voice -cold and menacing
“If you don’t remove your hand and the rest of yourself from my bed in the next split second Akash Raizada , I will scream blue murder before castrating you! What the hell Akash ? What pissing planet you from ? Since when do you behave like this? Your second is over and your still in my bed!”
Before Arnav could respond as his stunned brain was immobilised by her voice -Khushi-Akash’s girl. What the ….. he was in bed with his brother’s girl and enjoying it ! He couldn’t work out if he was shocked or disgusted with himself. But then he felt it and heard it simultaneously .
“Get out AKASH!” as he was unceremoniously kicked out of bed and landed on the floor with a bump
Khushi looked at the doorway as she heard her name being called .
Khushi looked to the doorway “Akash Tum? to yeh kahn?” looking at the individual who was lying face down on the floor.
Arnav played for time let the dust settle ,more importantly let his body settle.Attack is better than defence after all she got into his bed. He didn’t climb into hers and why was she objecting to Akaash’s hands all over her -he had seen them earlier and then to kick him no Akaash unceremoniously out of bed. That was a mighty hefty kick for a girl of that size -his brother had found himself quite a little…Shut up Arnav -one problem at a time.
“Khushi you ok?”
“Get that idiot out of your room!”
“Oh don’t act so virginal -nothing happened! Akaash -really nothing happened ”
“What ? Get out of my room -his room whatever get out”
One pillow flew after another hitting their intended target perfectly.
“Bhai duck!” Akaash flew to grab Khushi’s hands before the next missile hit his brother square in the face. He was sure their was some sort of explanation, but in a mood like this there was no reasoning with Khushi. The vase left her hand but missed her target landing with a crash near enough its intended victim.
By this time the entire family were at the doorway watching the going ons in disbelief there Chote was lying on the floor in his pyjama bottoms having missiles thrown at him whilst Akaash was trying to stop Khushi ji from hurting him. What was going on why was Khushi in his bed ? why was Chote on the floor why was Akaash having a hard time wrestling her. All these questions were going through all the various spectators minds-but only one was going through Arnav’s -self preservation!
“Bhai get out till I sort this out !” Out everyone!”
“Khushi stop ! what happened and why are you in my bed ?”
Khushi looked up at her best friend and didn’t now where to begin -to tell him where his brother’s hand’s had been where other bits of him had been -he had been hard and aroused -what was she more ashamed of that she had thought for an instant that it had been her best friend. He would never behave like that with her. He would never betray their brother /sister relationship like that. She should be ashamed of her self for thinking like that.
“Aki I have too many late nights and my brain function is not at its best -my shift finished later than usual by the time I got home i looked in my room I found someone sleeping in my bed..”
“That was me I was waiting for you to tell you that I had more people staying than I first anticipated but you know my weekend “
“Don’t i just”
“I fell asleep in your bed”
“So I came to your room finding your bed empty -I thought it was for me so I stripped and went to bed only to find someone in my bed -your bed this morning -i thought it was you messing around so …”
“You kicked me out of bed ? What exactly was i supposed to be doing ? That was a lot of anger that you directed at my brother ? Exactly what did he do ? Khushi he didn’t try anything on with you ….did he ?”
Khushi saw the anger flare in his eyes -she saw the beginning of rage .
“No Aki ! Think about it I was in his bed -I think it was an innocent mistake”
“Khushi I will kill him “ “no Aki i think it was a genuine mistake -look lets go out and sort out this mess before your family think you have a complete lunatic living with you. Errr… either pass me my scrubs or your gown”
Khushi and Akaash looked at each other and then burst into laughter.
All everyone heard was roars of laughter vibrating through closed doors.
“Khushi which ever way you leave this room its gonna look bad -in my gown or your scrubs -i think its a fine line -scrubs are sexier!”
“Aki your gonna get hit next !”
“Scrubs it is pass them over.”
Khushi walked out of Akaash room towards her under the watchful eyes of the Raizada family.
I’m going to have a shower in my room I suggest that you have a shower in Aki room and you Aki find your own shower. Graduation is in 3 hours , explanations can wait!”
The house was a flurry of activity as everyone rushed to shower and change. They all remerged fully dressed to be met by a table laid with a full english and Indian breakfast to accommodate all tastes.
“Quickly eat everyone otherwise we will be late and you will miss Aki’s graduation.”
“Khushi I can’t …” “Aki be quiet -eat your breakfast I have laid it out for you and I sort the rest of you out – where is Payal when you need her !”
“Khushi… please !”
“Aki pass me the tie let me stand on a chair -I can’t believe you still can’t tie a Windsor knot. Anjali Di I think now that Aki is graduated -don’t you think we should get him married ?”
If looks could kill Akaash look would have annihilated Khushi into the ground to leave a pile of cinders.
“Do you need me to feed you as well or would you rather I left that to….” “Khushi Kumari Gupta! you are on thin ice !” “No one heard -And I thought you needed a helping hand”
“I heard !”
“look about this morning -I’m sorry -just marry the girl- she has dropped enough hints and do it before Nani ji and Di realise the real extent of your relationship and then you will be both dead meat”
Both gasped “is it that obvious ?”
“Only a blind man and my family could miss the signs and evidence “
“I’ll tell Nani and Ma after graduation”
Khushi threw her hands around Akash’s neck “really ! I have to go and and make some jelabie now for Devimaiya!”
“Later Khushi!-first my graduation”
“bhai -you will help me with ma”
“Akash you really need to ask that ?” He loved his little brother -he would do anything for them Di, Mami and Nani bu right now why did he feel as though he was making a big mistake , a huge error,
It was this morning -the way this girl had handled everything in the last twenty-four hours showed how much she cared for his brother . The way she had responded to him but made him doubt her and himself. A life time of watching and not having. He knew he desired this girl more than any other he had ever laid eyes or hands on ,his bodies responses were a witness to that fact.
Akaash graduated later that day and was hugged and kissed by his whole family and Khushi. Lunch was served and celebrations carried right on into the early hours of the evening.
Only back at the flat as her watch struck seven and an alarm went off-she smiled and said to all -“my shift is starting in an hour and looking at Arnav -when I come back I am in my own room , in my own bed , no unwanted guests .”
Arnav was the first to reply -“not in your bed, but should you care to share the one last night it will be a different issue!”
Everyone laughed as all necessary explanations had been made through the day.
Khushi you want me to drop you off – you know I don’t like theses late shifts of yours.
Khushi smiled a secret smile- Arnav saw the hidden language between the two.
Those two had better come clean soon or else Mami would go up the wall as soon as she realised what those two were up to.
As soon as they were out the door Arnav saw them walking away -strange they neither held hands nor touched each other intact Akaash was on the phone talking. They were a strange pair.
“Mami ,Nani now that Akaash has graduated what do you think about him settling down ?”
“ he has chosen a girl, it’s his choice I think we should stand behind him !”
“What do we know about her backgroundwa, her family la. What’s she really Likewa?”
Di was the first to speak “ He has chosen her and that is all there is to say on the matter -whatever her family background it doesn’t matter he has picked- and knowing Akaash she will compliment him in every way.All that is left to be decided is a date – we will ask Khushi when she comes back from her shift.”
I was a bitter sweet feeling for Arnav – he had help sort his younger brothers life out with a girl who made his heart smile. Everytime he thought of her smile, her kicks her orders his heart smiled and ached a little.
Time had flown by wedding arrangements were well underway. Arnav knew that Akaash best friend was flying in from the states ; it was only after his arrival would festivities begin in earnest.
He had stayed away from the wedding madness as far as possible – cards, outfits ,jewellery , he had given them a free reign and a carte blanch as long as he was not involved and only had to turn up to only essential ceremonies.
“Bhai, can I talk to you ?”
“What’s up Akaash ?”
“ why do I feel that you are not 100% behind this wedding?”
“What Akaash ?”
“I don’t know, I get the feeling that you are holding back”
“Akaash you know my views on wedding -its not for all of us”
“you will come home for dinner tonight -Khushi’s arriving tonight -the madness will begin”
“Akaash you mean it hadn’t started yet -OMG this was a lost cause -i’ll be late tonight”
Arnav arrived late that night to be greeted by fireworks -his family was bananas and weddings made them more so. Wht the hell were there fireworks in his garden -today of all days-he thought the madness was calming down and then he remembered Akaash had said Khushi was coming over tonight. He had successfully avoided her since graduation and through out all the wedding fiasco- he supposed there was no avoiding her now.
The site that greeted him was bizarre a beautiful girl was twisting Khushi’s ear while she was shrieking
“Aki , Aki stop her I will never forgive you !”
Arnav saw Akaash take a step forward to rescue his Khushi when another voice spoke
“If your Aki interferes I’ll never forgive him”
“That’s not fair both of you I’m screwed which ever way I go”
“Welcome to married life “
“Aki , jiju help me stop Jiji -I’m going to have no ear left”
“How much more have you planned Khushi ? come clean now!”
“Jiji I have to have some fun at my best friends wedding and my Jiji’s”
It was naniji who came to her rescue – forgive her let her go -if it wasn’t for her where would you two be today ? Her heart is in the right place “
“Nani ji her heart is always in the right place her brain doesn’t always follow suit -i mean look at the picture !”
Arnav looked at the picture /cartoon /caricature of Akaash – even his laughter bubbled to the surface -it was good -the only part that was a mystery to him was exactly who Akaash was marrying . He thought it was Khushi but she had called him Jiju and the girl twisting her ear Jiji.
Those wedding cards he hadn’t paid much attention he had to get his hands on one now!
“Chote where are you going ?”
three voices replied in unison “MANDIR ?”
“I am going to pray for our safe passage throughout this wedding I have just seen who’s come!”
They all laughed remembering his last encounter with Khushi.
In the mandir , for the firs time ever Arnav thanked the gods – the wedding card stated there on the front for any idiot who took the time to read – Payal weds Akaash.
Arnav felt like slapping himself -he had been miserable for months -he couldn’t forget how she felt how he felt and now …. he actually stood a chance to find out. He still had to be exceptionally careful, she was going to be related to him and she was Akaash best friend. There was no space or time for screw ups. He needed time to think things through.
“Said your prayers Arnav “
“Hopefully we will all be protected “
Arnav watched his house literally come to life over the next few days -after the arrival of Khushi.
She seemed to be in ten places at the same time -there was no telling whose side she was on the girls or the boys one minute she was taking part from the boys side and the second she was on the girls side.She was at the boys sangeet and then at the girls, at the boys’ haldhi and then the girls.
She served and worked like a boy when it was Akaash’s function and worked like a boy when she was from the girls side .
In this mad zone she took a few minutes out for down time -no boys side or girls just her. She sat and looked up at the stars and spoke her silent thoughts.
“Do you know their names ?”
“Thats my Amma and my babuji -I was updating them on how I was coping with this crazy wedding and the latest dilemma I was in ?”
Arnav had expected her to spout out the the names of orions belt or something at the intense way that she was staring at the stars not what she stated.
“Whats your dilemma -Aki and Jiji are doing my brain in tomorrow whose side am I on boys or girls -don’t they understand that i love them both and I am fed up of picking sides !”
“Khushi forget about the wedding – for now -how long are you here for -you finished studying ?”
“In my line you never finish studying there is always another exam or paper to write- but I love it. I graduated about a year ago – I am in the middle of my post graduation at the moment – so I will be returning when this mayhem is over. I have missed living with Akaash”
“What no drunkens orgies to clear up or strangers in your bed ?”
Khushi turned beetroot red at the memory -changing the subject “he was always good hat was a one off”
“What about you Khushi? Do you fancy a quiet anything away from here with me?”
Khushi took a deep breath “ Just a anything or an actual date ?”
Arnav stared into her eyes images filling his head of the time spent together since her arrival “actual date”
“Fancy Chinese ?”
he hated chinese he could never find anything he liked “Love too”
“How about now ? we disappear and reappear in about an hour who is going to miss us in this bedlam”
Arnav grabbed her hand and sneaked out the back entrance .
They returned an hour later to find that people had been looking for them, but Arnav had just had the best chinese in the world.
The wedding finally came to a natural end and soon it was time for all guests to return home.
Akaash involved as much as he was in his own wedding hadn’t fail to notice the look in his brothers eyes or his best friends secret glances . How they used every opportunity to do jobs together.
“Ehh bhai -can I ask you something ? Khushi is going back in three days “
“I know that”
“err are you going to miss her ?”
“I’ll be grateful for the peace and quiet and return to normality”
“You know she has three months left till her next contract .”
“Really -now why are you telling me that ?”
“You know she is committed to her job and would never leave her job half way through bu after that she is a free agent as long as no one signs her up -some one like her is usually headhunted -I’m just saying “
“thankyou for just saying”
“that morning in my bedroom what exactly happened why ddid Khushi kick you out thinking it was me? We have shared a bed before and she never kicked me out”
“That is none of your business -you didn’t ask that day and well that boat has long since sailed “
“err bhai you know that I am her Jiju and her best friend “
“Yes Akaash I know trust me this circus I have been in for the last three weeks has all been about you becoming her Jiju!”
“ Bhai ! why are you so difficult ?” Do you like Khushi ?”
“why didn’t you just ask the question directly and save all this beating round the bush, the answer to your question is yes”
Total silence followed. Khushi entered “has someone died ?”
Both looked up at her and then each other “Aki do you fancy chinese ?”
All Akash could see was Arnav signalling him -but all the signals were confused.
“what just me or all of us ?”
“All of us if your free Arnav ?”
“Khushi he hates chinese !”
“What ? “
“if Arnav is going it will have to be Italian -but you hate italian”
Khushi looked at Arnav and both broke into laughter -“i’m sure I can manage one italian meal after all the chinese that I fed him!”
“Arnav has had chinese ?”
“Over the last two weeks I think everyday with me “ Khushi laughed harder
“You had chinese -you hate chinese you never go when we go !”
“it’s what you do when you love some but don’t want to say it -actions speak louder than words!”
Khushi stood on tiptoe and quietly kissed his cheek and left -not sure who was more in shock Arnav or Akaash.
“Ohh and Aki if your my best friend -you will never ask what happened that morning in your bed that morning “
As cool as Khushi tried to appear her colour was anything except cool -the brightest shade of red .
Akaash’s mind could only wonder what had exactly happened that morning and Arnav well he just smiled .
He wasn’t about to share any news with anyone or else that madness would begin again. For now it was enough that they knew that she was returning at the end of three months to become Mrs Arnav Singh Raizada, his ring was worn around her neck news not to be shared with the rest of his crazy family.
He would tell them ooo about forty eight hours before the due date.
“I think it was chinese you wanted”
“No Arnav -Italian is fine”
Akaash looked on in disbelief his brother was readily suggesting doing something he disliked.
“Bhai how about chaat “
Arnav hated chaat more than chinese. Now he had his brother he wasn’t going to let go so easily. It’s not often that you got the better of Arnav Singh Raizada and when you did -you just didn’t let go that easily.
“Just for the record she loves chocolate , cake , and jelabie -basically everything you don’t -oooo I am so going to enjoy watching this”
“Aki get jiji and meet us downstairs”
If he had ever had marching orders these were them.
“Akaash is going to make my life hell till you come back what was that peck you gave me -that was a sorry excuse of a kiss”
“That was the best you were going to get in front of my Jiju, do you really hate chinese ?”
“I’m finding dishes that are quite palatable and the company makes the difference -now my kiss before we go downstairs”
The Runaway Bride
Night had turned to day, Khushi sat on the balcony watching the sunrise over the buildings there seemed to be a mist covering the buildings but up here the noises were faint and the smell-was not the smell Khushi associated with Dehli.
Up here she couldn’t hear the traffic ,the horns blaring, people talking , where were the smells of all the foods being prepared at the roadside mixed with petrol fumes and smog? Where were the rickshaw’s laden with children hanging off the ends in their pristine uniforms off to school? Where was the Dehli that she knew ? Like her when she ran, she left it behind, had she taken a step to far that she could no longer recognise the town she lived in. Or was it that her town was still sleeping -soon it would awake and come looking for her.
Khushi sat on the balcony -what next ? She had run last night , there was no going back now and unfortunately she had dragged another innocent soul along with her.
First she would have to fix that and then she would work out what to do – she had qualifications-at home ,a passport -at home , money -at home what did she have on her ? A horrendous wedding outfit – one user only may have some commercial value but from the boys side -not hers ,their jewellery – should have had some commercial value- not hers , therefore definitely not for sale. The clothes she was wearing and a spare set -mismatching shoes -which didn’t look so bad -so she could be a new trend setter. Who was she kidding? At this precise moment in time things looked pretty grim for her.Khushi needed a reality check-up ,she had run from Snakapus but now she needed a plan. She didn’t even have a toothbrush she really should have though of a better plan.
What plan -she was scared -opportunity presented itself and she ran! She needed to speak to Aman -he was a good sounding board and he spoke a lot of sense when she had gone into meltdown yesterday. How long would they let her stay here before turfing her out on her ear she had to find some thing of value in herself that she could do for them to allow her to stay till she could get herself back on her feet.
“Can I join you ? You couldn’t sleep either ? I knocked your light was on so i peeped in -your bed was empty so i chanced the balcony. I wouldn’t want you jumping -just yet.”
“Nope not even on my list of considerations – Snakapus is not worth that! I’m worth far more”
“No I agree on that statement -so now what Khushi ?”
“No thanks -I drink coffee”
“Tea helps slow down Alzheimer’s”
“Then you had better start drinking coffee and not tea”
“I never thank you for last night and all of this”
“Well its not everyday that a man gets hijacked by a ball of tinsel-how could i resist?”
“The outfit was awful wasn’t it -i mean i have a christmas tree with less tinsel than that!”
“So Khushi Kumari Gupta -now that i have finally found your name what are your plans ?”
“Well i have thinking about what Aman said and how you feel? I have no money ,or clothes , I need to return these things to my family so that they can return the to the boys side and then I need a job which I can do in secret -without realising who I am- got any jobs that would fit the bill -that is also legal!”
So the reality of the situation was neither individuals could sleep but for entirely different reasons
Khushi trying to resolve her future and Arnav looking at his future. How had this girl completely managed to fill his every thought. He went to bed thinking of her and his first though was of her. He had found her entirely enchanting. Inspite of Aman’s warnings he had to hang on to her -but then our hero wouldn’t be the dashing knight in white armour if he did’n at least come up with a plan -a wishy washy weak plan but a plan all the same. It was surprising that that Khushi couldn’t hear the cogs turnings they spun faster and faster upping the gear each time -aplan -he needed a plan to hang on to her legitimately . No not marriage thats to early on in the game. Our hero has to offer her a job that she can legitimately accept and be legally paid for ! So girlies get your mind out of the gutter that’s for later -much later at the moment we are still in the 12± version -give me time and I notch it up.
“Khushi , have you studied ?”
“Oye Mr Raizada , I‘ll have you know that although it may look like the worst case senario and the events that I have been involved in recently may lend themselves to you thinking that I have to be the most stupidest female to ever walk the earth -include in this the dinosaur age – I actually beg to differ – this face actually houses an intelligent brain -when its not on vacation. I think the last few weeks it was taking a sabbatical but it came back on time and saved me from a fate far worse than jumping of this balcony . Oh don’t worry I have no intention of jumping of this balcony just yet -there is a lot more of life I have yet to experience before that can happen, my first kiss , my first love , my first bunjy jump , my first balloon ride, my first plane ride.The list of firsts is endless so you see the balcony jump is very far away. As for my intelligence level when working at full capacity usually weighs in at 140+ but the last few days I would say has been operating around the 55 + mark. So as to your answer I have been to school and graduated. I possess a degree”
“Really-in what ?”
“I have an MBA “
“Hard aren’t they -where’s yours from ?”
“Really! Mr Raizada”
“Looking for a job ?”
“I’m on the market and could be convinced to work depending on the package”
“What package you looking for ?”
“Advance of their salary , accommodation and an arena to prove my worth?”
“I’ve got the perfect job for you -and all three conditions will me met if you work for me , I’m Arnav Singh Raizada of AR designs -you may have heard of us”
“Before you offer me the job you better be aware who exactly you are offering the job to -the youngest daughter of Shashi Gupta of Gupta Industries was supposed to be married into the Singhania ’s . It was meant to be a merger of two companies -Gupta and Singhani’a -one small problem me. If you take me on -you will be setting yourself up against them both Singhania’s will be out for my blood -their honour is at stake and my da well he just be plain mad! He hates it when a deal goes sour -but he is my dad and he will come round in the end -so the your real adversaries will be the Singhania’s.”
“As I was saying -there’s a job going interested -as for the competition -you always need a bit of spice in life and my life was getting boring and my little bundle of tinsel just spiced it up enough for me . Shall we celebrate our new venture with tea and coffee “
“What will Aman say ?”
“Why don’t you tell me and I let you both know?”
“What you doing here so early ?”
“Well firstly my wife’s here and not in bed next to me courtesy of your actions , secondly I wake up to find you gone -didn’t take a genius to work out where you would be -hence I thought I had better get over and carry out damage control before you two made a completes Pig’s ear of my whole plan !”
“Aman , what are you doing here so early ?”
“Missing you , but how come your not asking your brother ?”
“Where would I expect to find him-but at work ?”
“Anjali he’s not at work -he in the penthouse….” “Having coffee with his sister !”
“Anjali! ! How do you do it Arnav ? She already on your side!”
So there we have it, a plan in its infancy each with their own end ,but they all forgot the part that destiny has to play? Why is our hero falling over himself to help our Damsel in distress out . What was her ulterior motive ? Now remember Aman can see his sensible plan falling about his ears, very rapidly , but then Arnav was always one to fly closer to the wind than he was -that was why he was more successful. Bigger the risk -bigger the reward . But this time even our hero hadn’t worked out the prize of this game -the lady with his heart in her keeping. Time and a few more events are required to unfold before the final curtain of realisation is allowed to fall on our couple and everyone else.