Love happens again

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Jul 4

chapter 11 (By Rdsyam) (Thanked: 95 times)

“I thought this was a towel” he stammered all along looking at his wife.

There was an awkward silence for few seconds before khushi opened her mouth speaking to her sister, “jiji I will bring the towel”

Once khushi is out of ear reach, diya stormed in and snatched the dupatta from his hold, “diya, seriously I thought it was a towel. How embarrassing” he attempted a sly smile.

“shut up shyam” diya snapped and went out of the room. That was the first night of their stay and also the last one. Next day diya insisted that they leave to their new home. She avoided meeting khushi’s eyes and answered only to her mother.

It pricked her heart, but khushi as always didn’t take it to her heart. She can take anything from her sister everything even hatred with so much love. She already started to dream of golden old days but they left....

It was also a relief to not have shyam around her. She didn’t know why, however reserved he was and behaved like a gentleman, khushi didn’t feel comfortable around him.

The next two days she was busy with the first order she got. It was miracle she finished it within the said time, the customers smiled which increased her zeal for more work.

After two days and many hours of pondering khushi decided to go meet arnav’s family as he asked for. When she reached there she had o go through many security checking before she got into the threshold of the house.

Wondering why all this sudden protection to the residents she entered, very late in the evening that day hoping arnav will definitely be at home at this hour.

Nirmala first saw her and smiled wholeheartedly, “come in khushi” she said like she used to in previous years. Nothing changed her, not even her sister’s betrayal. Feeling grateful she walked into the hall where voices were loud.

“hello hi bye bye, payal you can’t tell me to go now. Sasuma she didn’t like the modern clothes designed by the latest designer of our company but she comes to the kitty party with all the old sarees and now she wants me to get them”

“manorama she only goes for the party on your in tolerable babble. She doesn’t like the parties unlike you” nani smiled stealing a glance at anjali who seemed lost in her own world

“look it is her sister”mami ji shouted bringing everyone’s attention to khushi, even anjali looked up at khushi.

Khushi trying to lift her eyes from the floor walked to anjali straight away, “di, how are you?” she asked with concern filled voice.

Anjali just nodded at her and pointed her to sit, “is this why you want me to go away. Your friend is coming” mami ji looked at payal angrily

Payal glanced at khushi giving a sorry look and turned to her mother in law,” It is not like that maa ji..”

“look even if she is our enemy I can’t deny the help she gave us in finding arnav alive. I Don’t care if she comes here”mami ji said sternly

“no one are enemies here”nani ji glared at manorama and looked at khushi with softened eyes, She came and sat beside khushi and they indulged in the conversation in which anjali took no part.

After a while of talking, khushi looked around for arnav, “arnav went to US on some important business trip” payal answered for her questioning glances.

Khushi nodded feeling disappointment rising in her stomach, “i will now nani ji, amma will be waiting for me”

“you can’t go without eating dinner Khushi. I will ask the driver to drop you”nirmala said holding khushi’s hand and smiling.

Khushi tried to protest but everyone except manorama wanted her to stay. Including anjali who asked her to eat and go. So khushi reluctantly joined the family dinner.

They were eating when a small boy around 4 walked in crying, just awake from sleep, “anjali everyone of us forgot to see him even once see how he is crying. Poor boy”

Anjali held his hand wiping his tears, “mama didn’t go anywhere beta, stop crying now. He only slept before khushi came maa. I thought he won’t be woken so soon”  anjali took him into her lap and wiped his tears.

“what is his name?”khushi asked smiling at the little boy who stopped crying in his mother’s lap

“sameer” anjali replied, “see a new aunty came. Go to her” she said, the boy blinked at khushi and hugged his mother.

Khushi left after that feeling a heavy weight lifted from her heart. She in fact felt the same way when she used to come to arnav’s house when she was in college.

####

The next morning brought a surprise to khushi, the entire building was talking about an accident Mr kumar met with. They said he fell from his bike while returning home last night.

But they also secretly talked that he was lying about the accident. The wounds more looked like that came from beating rather than an accidental fall.

Khushi went to meet him and felt the same. He was bruised from someone hitting him. It clearly looked so, “how are you Kumar ji”she asked

He merely laughed and said, “khushi you must not call me by name. See the age gap, I am your uncle”he said

Khushi went to her work shocked at his sudden changel. After that for the next whole week khushi wasn’t found at home at all. Though diya visited home as her mother had told with her husband accompanying her. Khushi didn’t dare to meet her sister again.

If she doesn’t like seeing my face, so let it be she thought determinedly, indulging more in work than thinking about anything else.

####

The next day as khushi walked to her shop trying to find an auto ride a car stopped right next to her. She was surprised when the glass rolled down and someone called her name. It was shyam

“Khushi ji are you going somewhere? Come I will drop you. “he said smiling brightly. Khushi felt very uneasy, trying to find some excuse, “I... I will go by auto”she said

“no talking, come on get in khushi”he waved his hand

Khushi hesitated but she didn’t know what else to do other than obey to what he said. She started with tiny steps towards his car, when another car stopped right next to this one with khushi in between.

“Hey khushi”arnav’s husky voice made her blush, as is the routine with her whenever she sees him these days.

“what are you doing in the middle of the road? Come get in I will drop you”he said ignoring Shyam completely, whether he didn’t see him or he acted it, only he knew well.

“I am taking her”shyam’s harsh voice flowed in from right. Arnav removed his goggles and watched at him with mild interest.

“He is diya’s husband. Right”arnav said smiling broadly

Khushi nodded, while shyam gritted his teeth throwing furious looks at him, “khushi come” he almost shouted

“Yeah khushi go with your jija ji. I heard that you came to my house when I wasn’t there? I will take you personally next time. Don’t forget to call me”he wore his glasses and rode away.

Khushi got in the car, her skin glowing with the recent talk with arnav, he was so friendly, so happy to see her, just like her, “you know about him? Don’t you? All those mails, life threats. Finally diya has to take police help to stop him” Shyam said

Khushi was so furious, she wanted to retort, she did take police help to arrest him and also her own sister. Khushi was surprised by the sudden halting of the car,

 “I told your sister, tried to get her brains to some sense that you are innocent. But things took ugly shape during our marriage, they went out of my hands” his hand crept slowly up to khushi’s. Khushi took back her hand shocked,

“I am sorry” he said taking his hand away, “I... I have to buy some material” khushi said trying to open the door. But it was locked.

“Open this,”she almost yelled, “relax khushi, you just tell me where to go. I will come with you” his ugly smile smeared on his face.

“No, I can go alone”khushi shouted this time, anger rising in her, brushing away her hair out of her eyes. “just open it”

“Okay fine”he said still smiling, “I can drop you every day. It is on my way. I think”he said, “cute”he murmered.

But khushi already started to walk away very fast.

His hands were white on the steering wheel by holding it too tight for long time. Arnav had followed the car having a close watch on them. He stopped the car when they stopped at right angle to their car.

He was invisible but he saw what shyam has done, his blood broiled when his hand reached out to khushi’s. He wanted to leave the hiding and thrash him for what he did. But he controlled with difficulty.

He saw khushi walk away angrily; he wanted to go to her and tell she isn’t alone with the monster. He now understood the real meaning of shyam’s words. He understood what he actually wants.

Khushi I need you to catch the rat in its cage. I am sorry to use you, arnav thought after he relaxed a bit.

 

 

 

Jul 8

chapter 12 (By Rdsyam) (Thanked: 87 times)

Past week Arnav pondered over the thought on telling shyam’s truth to khushi.  If she supports him well and good, but if she runs to her sister that will become a bigger problem than he is willing to face for now. He wants her on his side with her knowing it or not.

While khushi has been relieved for not meeting shyam since that day’s incident, she felt a bit low today. She is in her shop working on designs, thinking about her father’s health.

It had been worse from last few days and there were too many hospital visits than they had in years. She talked with one of her friends who said that there is 100% cure in cases like him in Kerala.

The ayurvedic treatment is itself too costly and she also has to pay for his accommodation. Yet she has settled everything and her father will have to leave for his treatment in next five days.

He was always there for her, whether he could speak or not but to not able to see him for months together created a void in her heart.

Her phone rang; someone has called for the shop address. She told the address and asked them to come when they could.

Though her business is moving at snail’s pace, her designs enticed the customers without her being totally out of work.

A little later someone pushed the door open and entered, khushi looked and was shocked to see shyam smiling at her.

“Surprise” he exclaimed smirking. It irritated her but she politely smiled, “how did you....”

“I called you a while back like a customer, remember” he said

Annoyed at his over smartness, khushi didn’t even ask him to sit. She desperately searched for excuses to make him leave. But she didn’t needed them, at that time deepika barged in excitedly

“khushi come on we need to go right now. Shakshi wants to see you....”she stopped abruptly and took in the figure standing there having a very angry look on his face.

“Urgent” she added turning to khushi

Khushi fought back a smile and looked at shyam, “jija ji, sorry but I really have to go now”

“it’s okay” he said with a failed attempt to suppress his anger, and walked out.

“What do mean by she wants to see me. Did she like the designs?”khushi asked as she locked her shop and hurried to Deepika’s bike.

“I think she liked them, I really don’t know why she wants to see you” Deepika said pulling the stand, “by the way was that your sister’s husband?”

“yes”khushi answered

“I don’t like him much”

“neither do I”khushi replied.

####

“I saw your designs khushi”sakshi said calmly,” and I really love them, want one of them for me. They are that good” sakshi smiled, seeing khushi’s childish grin.

“but about the Exhibit.... I want to clear a few things before hand. There are designers like Manish, ASR , Adaa, Suri and many more, whose names who should have heard of already. You must remember they are not just some rocks or boulders you could clash with. They are mountains and I am telling this already that one of them will take the offer”

Khushi nodded, “I know they will win” she said

“I don’t want you to get all disappointed after that, do you understand? They will give their 100 percent not for money but for their brand name. The money is really small for them but think about the free publicity of their name in newspaper every other day. They will be mentioned as designers of the highest budget historical movie in history. Do you get my point?”

Khushi nodded again, “but once the designer is chosen. People are allowed to visit the exhibit, some of the high profile people will be there so that is where your designs can gain light”

Khushi laughed, “does this mean I can..... I get to exhibit”she clasped her hands in wonder looking at Deepika

Sakshi smiled,” you can. Don’t thank your friend, it’s your hard work that brought you here”

####

Khushi’s happiness knew no bounds; she rode the bike herself with jerks and breaks every time she was so lost in her dreams. “and I think Arnav will be there right” she said

“I don’t think they come themselves until they are announced as winners to sign the deal or something. So there is very little chance that he may come” deepika said, “now will you give me my bike back. Remember, your sister is coming today”

Khushi’s blissful thoughts hampered, “yeah”she said dully.

When she reached home they were already seated at dining table eating. Sighing inwardly she was about to leave to her room to freshen up, “khushi ji you can freshen up later come and eat with us” shyam called her. Her sister didn’t even look at her.

Khushi walked to table pulled out a chair and sat, “yes and there were so many who said they got cured” garima explained happily. Suddenly shyam’s eyes sparkled with excitement, “Oh so sorry aunty ji, we could have come with you to admit him there but you know even my mom is not feeling well. Diya and I have to go to Mumbai for 2 weeks” the words he spoke and the facial expressions didn’t match at all as khushi has noticed.

He wasn’t sorry for not able to being helpful, but what is that murky brain thinking, khushi couldn’t help but ask herself.

“So khushi has to stay alone as we all are leaving on Friday” diya said looking at shyam with piercing gaze.

“Suppose so. There is no other option I presume” shyam said sadly.

####

But the very next day khushi got a shock from her sister, some London based software Engineer is coming to see khushi.

All the happiness when she got acceptance to exhibit burst like a bubble. She told her mother she didn’t want to marry yet. Her mother only replied in a single dialogue, “do as your sister says”

Thursday morning khushi got ready in a yellow and pink bordered saree with the assistance of her sister. Her skin crawled at the thought of marrying. She even thought to remain single lifelong than to be someone else’s. She can’t define her feelings for arnav but he was the only one in her mind all the time every day.

Arnav’s trusted Secretary Aman who is on shyam’s tail informed arnav what shyam has done to stop the marriage alliance. Aman said that shyam informed the groom’s family about khushi being sent to jail by her own sister and hinted that her character may not be good.

Such creep, arnav could only think one thing about all this. He must be behind the bars soon for not just his family’s safety but also khushi’s.

However the groom and his family arrived promptly. They were received well. Diya was so nice to khushi and she talked jubilantly about her sister to them. When they sat in front of each other, khushi vehemently trying not to see him, the young man himself raised the doubt,

“I heard you sent her to jail. Are you wrong or is it your sister” Shyam looked delighted; khushi felt the ground sink below her feet, while diya gazed at him with no expression.

Getting no reply he asked,” I see that you are cordial with your sister now. So she wasn’t wrong. Then why did you send her to jail?”

“Get out” diya shouted, “excuse me” the groom was startled

“You heard me. Leave” diya repeated.

He and his family stood up and left looking very angry.

Khushi stared at her sister silently. While garima already had tears, diya looked as if she would cry any minute now. Khushi felt bad for her, she wanted to hug her and say that there is no mistake of hers.

Diya sensed the intense stare of khushi, their eyes met. Tears threatened to spill every second now, she looked sorry. “Aahhh” diya sat on the sofa with a thud holding her stomach.

“jiji “khushi rushed forward, “what happened? Jiji...”khushi held her shoulder with concern. Diya harshly removed her hand and stood up, “this is the reason why I asked you to stay away from him” she shouted back angrily

“Why do you talk with arnav after all he did with me? Even back then you both came together to stop my marriage, even stooped so low to threaten with blackmails and death”

Khushi had tears in her eyes, after all these years, her own sister doesn’t trust her, “how can you think I will do something like that to you”khushi said wiping her tears with fist. “and Arnav..... he can never....”

“just stop talking about him with me khushi” diya spat angrily

“Your sister is right. It must be him who called that family telling about your jail incident” he walked closer to khushi patting her back in the act of consoling her.

Khushi recklessly moved forward avoiding his hand, “jiji you must trust me. After all these years I only hoped for one loving word from you. That is all I wished for. I can never give you pain” she choked as words got struck in her throat.

“and arnav, he almost came back from death because of me. You know him too; he wouldn’t harm me or you. What makes you think of arnav like that?”

“I said stop talking about him. Don’t talk to me until you stop talking with that person” diya stormed out of the house followed slowly by shyam.

Khushi walked out of her own house feeling alone in this world.

  

 

Jul 9

chapter 13 (By Rdsyam) (Thanked: 94 times)

Lots of time has passed, she hasn’t returned, not even for lunch. Garima traced the same path all the while walking to the door every time the lift buzzed or looking down from the balcony for khushi.

At last when the clock showed 5 she decided to call diya, “khushi didn’t come home after she left in the morning. She doesn’t pick my calls also”

“amma relax, what do you want me to do. I have lot of packing to do for tomorrow. I don’t think she is hurt or anything, she just wants us to give in for her wishes”

“wishes?..... Of course she won’t be hurt diya, after all she has gone through in the past and took them all without no hatred for anyone or hadn’t scared her heart for lifetime, I think what happened today couldn’t even make her feel bad at all” garima said fiercely and ended the call and collapsed on the floor crying.

The khushi she knew from before diya’s marriage is the jolliest girl, the khushi she saw after the incident is totally someone else. Garima always thought her elder daughter as sensible and mature but for what khushi has become now, she feels proud of her little daughter who has faced the troubles without a trace of ill feeling for life or people.

####

“what are you saying aman? Is he still at home? Are you sure he wasn’t out of your sight even for a second” arnav’s hand ran through his hair as he felt tension building up in his body

“yes sir, he came right away with his wife and he didn’t leave. I don’t really know where khushi ma’am could have gone. I am to look after Shyam so....”

“yeah I know. Then where the hell is khushi, she is not at her boutique, her mother called payal too. Anyway have a close eye on him” Arnav paced the room. The door knocked and in came Manas

“Sir, there is this note that needs your signature” he said opening file on his desk. Arnav sat on his chair and pulled the file closer. He read the papers carefully before he signed them; “Is everything ready for my Paris trip” arnav asked closing the file

“Yes sir, all set”

“I know where she is”he murmured, arnav stood up suddenly

“In paris” he said to the surprised looking Manas. He almost ran out with quick long strides leaving Manas without his mouth hanging open.

####

Khushi has called this little park in Lakshmi Nagar as Paris. She has her own logic for the name but this is where he and diya worked on project works in college days, while khushi played alongside the pond. Yes she literally played like a small kid.

He smiled at the memory when he saw khushi on the bench by the pond from far. His mouth opened slightly when he took in the beauty that sat on the bench silently watching the ripples.

Her skin glowed and gave a tough completion to the soft yellow fabric sticking to her body and the golden rays of the setting sun. There was that familiar tug in his stomach he used to have whenever he saw diya in the past. He stamped the feeling with all the force and walked to khushi.

“hi”he said casually, “do you still come here” he saw the colour rushing to her cheeks when her eyes met his. He also saw the dried tear marks on her face and her red eyes.

He gulped down the lump in his throat formed seeing her sad face. But he also noticed the quick change in her expression, her eyes lowered and lips quivered.

“khushi why do you feel so shy every time you see me” he asked unexpectedly

Khushi looked up, “I.... I don’t feel...”

“Don’t lie to me khushi, you could hardly string words in front of me. Where is that khushi who couldn’t stop talking?” he smirked at her reddening face.

He sat beside her and started counting the pebbles she kept beside her, “let’s see whose goes far” he said throwing a stone in the pond and giving one to khushi.

Khushi was puzzled at his behaviour, the pebble rolled in fingers slightly but she didn’t throw it like him, “come on” he nudged her.

She had pulled him to the pond so many times in the past to play with her and challenged him like he is doing right now. He slightly ruffled her hair and asked her play on her own being the kid she was. The memories are still fresh; she smiled for the first time in the day looking down at her stone in her palm, she threw it.

Soon they are playing like small kids, khushi giggling at her own feeble throws while arnav’s stone crossed the small pond and fell on the ground opposite.

“That doesn’t count. No way, the stone must fall in water” khushi cried pushing arnav’s hand away. She laughed when her’s covered even lesser distance than the last time.

Suddenly all her laughs and happiness were tugged by diya haunting words, “I will talk to you only if you stop talking with him” she stopped laughing abruptly, arnav looked at her. The velvety sky wrapped them in darkness.

“it is too late. I must go” she said standing up

“okay wait, I will drop you” he walked along with her

“no” she said

####

Next morning garima and Shashi Gupta got into the cab which shyam has called. Diya sat with her parents in the back seat avoiding khushi.

“khushi take care. Call us if there is any problem” shyam said, opening a door in the front when his phone rang. Asking them to wait he moved a little away to talk but his words are audible.

“But how can I now. I am on leave” he was arguing with someone.

“Khushi, don’t forget to eat on time. Look at me khushi” khushi looked at her mother, “I will be back in 4 days once I see to it that your father is well taken care of. Don’t neglect rest” she said in warning tone

“don’t worry aunti ji. I will watch over her” shyam said smiling, garima didn’t understand, no one did actually

“I have to stay back, I got a call from office saying there is important work” Diya got down the car looking very serious, “then I will cancel too” she said

“but diya, mom is not well. No one is there to look after her. Only two days, by Monday I will be by your side” he said pecking on her cheek. Khushi looked away as he stared at her while kissing his wife.

Diya looked very angry but she felt helpless, he is too smart in his stupid deeds, diya looked for the first time after the fight yesterday with a warning look at khushi, it was more like be careful khushi,

“don’t worry about my food and all. Khushi is there, I will eat with her” he said cheerfully waving at the leaving car.

Khushi went back to her flat and locked the door, she didn’t invite him, and neither did he follow back. She is not going to eat with him or even stay with him in the same place.

She has to go for work so she will call him and tell that she is going out. She breathed to relax a bit and went to take a shower.

Shyam had his own perfumed bubble bath in his house, reminiscing his romantic moments with diya and how he could use the same tactic on khushi. He imagined her in his hands by the end of this day.

With diya being around she always had an eye on him, watching closely, what or who will stop him now from getting khushi. He waited patiently the whole day not even calling khushi once.

Patience pays, be calm he said to himself as evening drew closer. He took out his phone and dialled her number,

“Khushi sorry I couldn’t come for lunch I was busy with work. May be you waited for me” he said trying not to act desperate

Khushi frowned; she didn’t even remember him the entire day. After the tiring day with her shopping for the exhibit she needed this now, to cook for him, “yeah” she lied.

“fine I will come for dinner. Don’t bother with cooking, I will get something on my way” he said spraying lot of perfume on his body.

Then why don’t you eat for yourself, khushi thought angrily, and didn’t make any reply thinking if she could call deepika to stay for this night just in case.

“I am coming then” he repeated not getting any reply from her.

“yes” khushi ended the call and dialled deepika immediately asking her to come,” I can’t I am working tonight” deepika said

Bitting her nails khushi didn’t know what else to do.

Shyam rechecked himself in mirror and whistled walking out of his house. Taking him by surprise he saw silhouettes in the darkness. An ambush he didn’t expect. Police walked to him.

“we are here with search warrant on the complaint of your firm that you have been sneaking out important documents and selling them to the rivals” the inspector said with harsh tone.

Before shyam could say anything the police barged into his house and easily found the papers they were looking for. He was thrown behind the bars even before he could come out of the surprise on finding his office papers in his bedroom.

“but inspector, I don’t know anything. I don’t know how the papers....”

“came into your house” a voice was heard not from the inspector but from the right side. The inspector stood up with respect, arnav walked to the bars with an unfading smile.

“It’s you” shyam threw daggers in his looks

“Me of course. They walked into your house when you went out to buy some obscene magazines” arnav raised his brow giving a filthy look at him.

“I don’t want him to talk with anyone on phone. Tomorrow and day after are court holidays, so he can’t get bail. Let him rot in jail till his wife comes running for him. Let them taste the jail life for a change” arnav turned his attention back to him,

“this has just started. I don’t love khushi, but you do right. You will see with those filthy eyes of yours how I get to her. She will be mine, just the way you snatched my girl years back.”Arnav spat angrily at him, he knows he is standing on the snake’s tail making it to strike back. It is only then that he will be trapped in his plan. Even if he has to talk bad about khushi he will do it. Only the memory of priya is making him talk about khushi in this way.

“don’t you dare go near her” shyam kicked the iron bars angrily

“I won’t she will come running into my arms, begging me to take her” Arnav turned around, tears glistened behind his black glasses. Khushi this is for your own good, he thought.

 

 

 

Jul 16

chapter 14 (By Rdsyam) (Thanked: 90 times)

Khushi was least bothered and was busy with her work, but after continuous two day ignorance from his side she thought she must at least check with her sister if shyam has left for Mumbai.

Diya said he didn’t come to Mumbai and said she has not talked to him since the time of her coming to Mumbai. She insisted khushi to go check at their house once as the phone was off.

 Khushi immediately regretted calling her sister but yet, on Monday morning she visited their house. Seeing the lock she started to retreat when a woman who must be their neighbour enquired who khushi is.

After knowing all the details from khushi she slowly repeated what happened on Friday night. Khushi was beyond shock, what she must do now. With trembling fingers she dialled to her sister and told about the arrest.

Diya was worried and she said she is returning by the flight meanwhile asked  Khushi to see what the matter is and talk with shyam once.

Khushi was hesitant but took deepika’s help to take her to the police station where they said he was taken away for court. Khushi waited all day long outside the station but it was evening and he didn’t return. Khushi thought she must talk with a lawyer and asked deepika if there are any she knows.

The two of them shuttled from lawyer’s office to the police station so many times all day and nothing came out until the lawyer informed them that as he didn’t get lawyer at the time he was sent to central jail after the court ordered remand.

He assured he would bail him out next thing and asked them to arrange for money. Diya called saying she will be in Delhi next morning.

Khushi returned home and fell on the bed with a thud, while deepika who offered to stay with her the night, watched her with a frown. “Why does all these things only happen in your life” she said gulping down water.

Khushi shrugged, “I will quickly make something for us to eat” she went into the kitchen while deepika checked on her work as she missed to work most of the day. Khushi finished making dinner and went for a bath.

They sat eating in silence when deepika looked upset, “what happened?” asked khushi seeing that she is not eating

“after all these days, don’t you trust me khushi?” deepika said looking disappointed

Khushi stayed silent for a while thinking then she said, “fine, arnav and jiji loved each from their college days. We were all friends I thought until they finally felt I was mature enough to know about their love. It came as shock but I was happy for jiji because arnav is the best she could get” khushi took breath and looked away seeing deepika staring at her.

“no I didn’t love him then”khushi responded

“so you do now” deepika smirked

“did I say that” khushi said apprehensively

“sorry continue” deepika raised her two hands and smiled.

“Arnav came to talk to his parents about diya..... he was at Harvard studying”she added seeing deepika confused. “jiji was working in Bangalore and she couldn’t come when arnav came here. He talked, they gave their assent and everything was fixed when suddenly their family broke off because of me”

Khushi told the story about arnav’s father’s affairs and the girls suicide, “he took you seriously just by your word”deepika asked looking stunned.

“He did, anyway he confirmed with his father” khushi said finishing her dinner and went to wash the dishes while deepika stood by and listened

“no one actually were angry with our family and jiji’s alliance is fixed but jiji stayed angry with me for days” deepika raised her brows

“After arnav’s completion of studies and he returned home he immediately took over the business and jiji said she would resign any day as they have even fixed the marriage date for arnav and his brother akash. I was so excited” khushi smiled, “I did more shopping than my sister as she was busy with her final project at the company”

“cards were distributed and then all of a sudden jiji called babuji and said she wanted to marry shyam. He tried to talk to her but that is all she said, kept on repeating the same. I was so angry, I literally grabbed the phone and scolded her left and right”

“she was angry with me and disconnected the call. While we sat worried arnav came home looking tensed, seems like she broke the news to him too. “Khushi’s eyes blurred at the memory.

“He was agitated, “is she safe, is she in some sort of trouble”he kept on saying only this thing, he has that must trust on her. Babuji however had to hurry to Bangalore the next day as she called again saying she is getting married the very next day”

Deepika gasped,” amma couldn’t be controlled, I sat by her side all day long wishing this was only a bad dream. Arnav became worse he was broken. The family broke both the marriages and they had to answer so many people just like us. Babuji came back head bowed and he said she seemed very happy with the marriage and is not forced or is not in any sort of trouble and said they postponed the marriage until a few weeks as shyam’s mother was ill “

Khushi finished with the dishes and came back to her bedroom gathering her design papers. Deepika watched her all the while and saw that she was trembling and resisting the urge to cry.

“that didn’t in the least ended our troubles, arnav was in no state to see what is happening around. It is far from truth he could do anything like what she accused us of. She came home one day without prior calling. The only thing she did when she came in was to slap me. She was shouting over the top I doubt if anyone from the colony didn’t hear our house drama”

Tears gushed out of her eyes and khushi made no effort to wipe them, she sat rocking with fear and anguish deepika hugged her from sideways ,”okay stop now, I don’t want to know anything more”

“My own jiji said I want her dead and I along with arnav planned threats and emails tarnishing her image in front of her in laws who now don’t want such bahu. She called the police, my father was completely broken , she made a total scene saying I wanted to murder her fiancé”

“the total colony watching I was arrested, not just me. Even arnav was. He was inside the cell and he didn’t speak even for once. I was crying, I was so afraid to be inside the cell beside others who genuinely belonged there. They were looking at me like I......”she couldn’t speak anymore “I was only 20 and I.... I had to go the jail and one rogue.....” khushi stopped talking,

“no need to tell me khushi please stop it” deepika was crying herself

“he peed in front of me, I looked away and arnav was so angry he fought with that fellow. I screamed and the police removed me from the cell but it took so long to separate arnav from him. I have never seen arnav so angry, arnav was being beaten by the police himself but he never left that man until he was bleeding and fell unconscious”

Deepika closed her mouth with both her hands and khushi stopped crying” I never told this to anyone not even my parents. I was kept outside the cell all day long until jiji decided to take the case back on both of us and she got married the very next day”

“Is she even human.”deepika said

“khushi looked sharply at her,” you know I didn’t even hate her for all that but when she responded coolly about arnav’s death, I was thrashed from inside, it was like not him but I was cheated”

After a lot of silent tears from deepika, Khushi pulled her drawing board and started to work, “you sleep”she said to deepika

“while you work? You are tired yourself and I think you need to sleep too”deepika said looking at the watch

“no, I have the exhibit remember.” khushi smiled weakly

“how can you work after a day like this and after such harsh memories” deepika looked amazed

“I have to. It is the only way. I was the one who failed many subjects after what my sister did and never took my studies seriously. But after all these years what did I achieve by mourning for what happened in my life. At least I have one thing in control in my life” Khushi yawned but she resolutely continued with her work.

 

 

This update is intense but it is must for the story......

 

 

Jul 22

chapter 15 (By Rdsyam) (Thanked: 87 times)

Khushi packed her bags; she is leaving for Manali tonight for the exhibit where also the shoot for the supposed film is happening. Deepika watched the dark road in trance.

“Are you sure you can manage alone” she asked glancing back at khushi. Khushi can see another garima in her worried face and she laughed.

“I can. Don’t worry about me, and please don’t be like my amma. I have already got some 10 calls from last 3 hours. Concentrate on your work” khushi held her hand seeing the creases deepen on deepika’s face

“That is why I didn’t want to share my past with anyone. I don’t want the pity” khushi said feeling a bit hurt

“I don’t pity you khushi.... It is that I am just.... worried” deepika said, Khushi nodded, “I can’t come with you and I wonder why but I have this uncanny feeling about you going away.... alone.”

Before khushi could reply a Luxury bus came to halt nearby, like her a few of the passengers rushed to get into the bus. Deepika helped khushi into the bus and kept her heavy luggage overboard and leaned in for a quick hug, “take care” she said getting down and waving.

Khushi fell back and looked at the starry sky. Her mother called again, telling her that she got in the bus and the bus started to move, she ended the call promising to call once she reached there.

Her mother didn’t return from Kerala as she told she would, instead shyam was bailed out yesterday after a weeklong stay in jail. However, khushi didn’t get to meet him even once and she had to go away today for the exhibit much to her happiness.

Diya behaved weird being more friendly than she has been for years and she didn’t talk about her husband much though she did everything to get him out.

The next morning Khushi had to sweat to reach the famous lake from manali, a tourist place mostly for honeymoon couple, yet got very little transportation facility. It became noon before she reached the place and started her hunt for a hotel.

Deepika and she have searched for hotel rooms online but they were either out of her budget or not vacant. She thought she could find something small once she is at this place but her hopes went in drain after searching in at least a dozen hotels.

There is this one hotel where the exhibition is also taking place but it will cost her so much but it would be the most convenient for her. Her last try hoping there were a room coming within her plan and vacant.

Once inside she thought she misjudged, the place was nothing less to a palace and so many people were in and out of it all high profile. She dragged her bags, her clothes only occupied a shoulder bag she is wearing now rest of them all were her designed outfits.

Timidly she approached the reception area, there were 5 of them all on phone before on girl noticed khushi gave a smile and wished her.

Khushi enquired about a room, “sorry ma’am we are full right now.” She said with an unwavering smile. Khushi’s fast beating heart dropped an inch, she looked outside, it became totally dark outside, she glanced at her watch which is only showing 5.

“can you please check if there are any at least for this night.” The girl nodded looking into the computer.

“Arnav Singh Raizada”   khushi heard the familiar voice and turned to find him standing a few feet away taking out his black shades. She felt a heavy weight lift from her seeing him there at this new place.

“arnav “she called over before she could stop herself, he turned to her surprised then he smiled seeing khushi, “what are you doing here?” he asked  though he perfectly knew why she is here, gesturing one of the bellboy to hold his luggage, who came running to arnav.

“Sir your suite keys” the other girl whom arnav told his name waved at the keys and handed the keys to the bellboy. “have a nice day sir” she smiled

“Keep them in my room” he said and came close to khushi, by now the receptionist who was searching for an empty room looked back at khushi with a fallen expression, “sorry ma am there are none” she said

Khushi looked down at the floor and then back at arnav smiling, “I came for the exhibition, I am presenting my designs for the first time” her eyes twinkled with pride

“so you too are staying here” he asked slowly again knowing the answer

Khushi nodded as no, “strange but where ever I go they are full. I have to continue my search” she said shrugging and having the feel of rushing shyness seeing his intense stare into her eyes.

“Bye” she turned not able to look at him anymore

“Wait khushi, we can share the room” he offered trying not to sound obvious

Khuhis turned to look at him, her heart thumping loudly, “we can’t. I can find one by the end of the day. Anyway thanks” she said a bit sharply

“you can never find” he blurted, and checked himself taking deep breath, “this season is like that, you need to pre book” he said

Khushi looked down gazing at the floor, “then I have to commute from Manali” she said doubtfully, she knew it will be impossible.

“at least for tonight khushi” he said, “it is getting dark” he has a pleading look on his face almost feeling sorry for her condition, which he himself has created. He knew what she can afford and had them booked beforehand.

“I... how can we.....”khushi fumbled for words

“we are friends right? Can’t we share the room like two best friends do in a college hostel or something” he smiled; he knew it will be very difficult to make her agree but he must.

Khushi looked dully at him, it pricked his heart to force her but he has to. “I promise I will deposit you safely somewhere tomorrow first thing in the morning” it is a lie of course.

Khushi still didn’t agree, he used his final card, “don’t you trust me khushi” he said adding hurt in his voice. Her innocent eyes widened roaming all over his face.

“I didn’t mean that. I.... trust you” you are the only one I can trust to walk into hell with she thought inwardly. “Then, come on” he said grabbing her hand and walking along.

####

The suite has two beds; khushi hesitantly crawled into the bed after dinner. She didn’t fall asleep immediately like arnav has who is in deep sleep already. They talked very little while they ate.

Khushi prayed to god to get a room next day, rather than to get appreciation for her hard work from past days. She slept after seemingly long time.

“If you get ready fast, you can make to the exhibition or else you will lose everything you did to get here” arnav told sleepy khushi, who is blinking at the sun rays. He is all ready in his suit, khushi wondered how could he manage that.

She rushed into the bathroom and came out to find the room empty. With her bags she came out into the lounge and went to find the exhibition hall.

She didn’t see arnav all day. While other designers have chosen a better way to present their clothes, using mannequins and some even with models. She only had to display them on hangers because of which she got very few visitors.

But most of them were awed by a particular set of clothes draped on mannequins, a lean man in formal clothes stood greeting every person who passed through him looking at the designs. Khushi too inwardly felt they were best of all of them, but she thought her designs should get the chance like them.

By evening, exhibition wrapping up for the day arnav made his entry along with Sakshi. Khushi smiled at them as they walked to her, “khushi meet ASR, the most profound, intelligent, creative designer of the time. You must have seen his clothes there” she pointed at the lean man. Of course khushi thought proudly, he is the best.

Khushi smiled, “I know him, we are friends” Sakshi looked stunned for a second and then smiled looking at arnav

“yes” he said simply, “so you must have already seen her designs then. She is nothing less” sakshi said

“no I am just seeing them” arnav gazed at the clothes walking along the hanger lines, khushi walked closer to him, “shall we go for searching” she asked excitedly, “only if you wish to” she added slowly

“khushi I have to leave for Paris two days later. But as I have already pre booked the suite for a week, you can use it. You can pay me later” he said interrupting khushi, “I am leaving tomorrow after the results so I think you don’t have any problem.”

Khushi was thinking yet, when he said,” khushi just do it, only this night I promise. You will be free of me by tomorrow”he whispered having a close look at the dresses

Khushi nodded looking down, “by the way these are very good, I am impressed little sunshine” he ruffled her hair, smiling. Her heart skipped a beat and she lingered there hiding her blush as the two walked away to Arnav’s designs.

 

 

 

  

 

 

 

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