Arshi - Reawakening

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Jul 11

Part 10 - Finally out (By Mimima1) (Thanked: 78 times)


Part 10- Finally Out


ASR once again jumped from his position in a swift action, pinned the snake to the wall behind.. “Don’t you have any shame at all? How dare you?” he lifted his hand to punch when,



Finally, Anjali seemed to have come to her senses.. She put her hand gently on Arnav. When he turned, Anjali closed her eyes and nodded. ASR backed off, he knew his elder Di wanted to take control. 



Folding her arms across her chest, she signalled with her eyes for him to sit. “Which house do you want to take me to Mr.Jha?“ she spoke slow and calm, throwing him a spiteful look. Shyam shivered thinking this must is the end to his golden docile duck..



“Explain what you are seeing then?” Demanded Anjali. “Why should I not believe them when they have produced all the proof? Or are you trying to say this is all lies... What have you got to say for what has been recorded on Lavanyas phone, right under this roof. She had left the phone in our room, guessing there will be something fishy going on in your head.. is that also made up?”



Knowing there was too many evidences to hide, Shyam decided to say half truth. Bank statements, phone calls, recent photos – not all of them could be proved false..

“Well Rani Sahiba,” he began, but

“Cut it Mr. ... its Anjali. Just Anjali, rather still, don’t even call my name..”

He began again, “Yes I was married to Samira before. We have a son, but we were in the process of separating, when I met you, I was head over heals in love with you.. ” cursing his son who looked just like him. There could be no mistake in the photo.



Akash for the first time spoke, “Yuck, don’t speak about love from your filthy mouth. Love with her money..”



Anjali asked, “Have you legally separated or not”



“Rani sahiba nothing is more important than you. Come with me, I will explain, it is a misunderstanding...” he began again, but realised this Anjali was in deed ASR’s elder sister, when he heard. “Mr.Jha, are you or not”



“But Rani sahiba, I have been through hell with that woman. She used to threaten to take my sons life away. You come I want to sit and clarify everything with you....” he spoke sheepishly in a low voice trying to get up.. 



“Do you honestly think we will let her? Whatever it is, out with it now. Answer Anjali’s question.” Manohar for once was rude and stern..



“Ok ok, Not yet, we had began the divorce process, it was taking too long, then it got stalled.” Shyam told 



Mami came in “Haan why will he do it? Because if he did, he would have to pay for them. Now, he can do what he wants, you didn’t stop going there either, have you? Trying to lead double lives, or more.. “ looking at Khushi.



SLAP.. 

(Phew...slap again..)

 “How could you do this? I feel disgusted.. Does she know your double standards? Do you have any other affairs that we are not aware of now?? What did Khushi ji threaten you with?” asked Anjali



“Oh not her but her aunt over there. And Khushi ji, do you really trust that middle class girl?” Shyam slyly replied looking at ASR, but 



ASR pounced on him with such force and started bashing him, Shyam fell to the ground with blood liberally coming out of his mouth. “Don’t you say a word, Don’t you dare.” ASR hissed. Akash and Manohar dragged Arnav out.



Akash told his dad, “Papa, I think we should ask the police to take this scumbag immediately. It is enough evidence he tried to kill Khushi’s dad. We can look into all legal issues.  We don’t want this filth in our house any more. Make sure he does not get a bail”



“No you can’t put me in jail for this? I have not done anything.. “  Shyam began his defence. ASR was soon in action again, holding him by his collar,  “Oh yes, that is enough for us, and we will make sure there will be more evidence to keep you in there.“  holding the collar even tight he snarled “Real or false”



Nani commanded, “Chote, don’t get your hands dirty. Let’s leave him to the police” Looking at Shyam sadly, “We did everything possible from our side and you took advantage of our situation? This is what we get for trusting you “



********************************************************

All sat in silence. Pin drop silence. None could speak. The police had come, done their duty and gone.  Somehow all of Anjali’s tears seem to have gone dry. As if there were no more tears. 

It was about nearly half an hour when Buaji got up went to Anjali, “Beti, I am sorry all this happened, trust me, our family does not have anything to do with this.”

Anjali just nodded, she could not say anything, she did not know what to say. Buaji moved to Nani ji and taking both her hands, holding tight she spoke most respectfully, “You have saved our family from all the problems. I was committing a great crime by forcing my parameshwari, and my brothers life was in danger all the while. If you had not told us, we would still be in the dark.. I don’t know if I can ever repay you for this kindness..“



ASR looked away with guilt, while Nani spoke, “Well it was us who put you in all this trouble in the first place, that’s why Devi maiyya gave me this opportunity to at least stop it from happening further more. In fact it is because of you we came to know about all this, if you had not called on that engagement day, all this would have still been a secret...”





Khushi spoke, “Now when I try to think of all this, it all fits, it was only him in the house when my Babuji had an attack. He took him to the hospital. He got all his medicines.. ”  suddenly remembering the recent encounter with the rehab doctor, “He tried to meddle with his medicines as well. He never gave him proper medicines. Did Babuji know anything that he was preventing him from getting well..”  



Without waiting for his answer Khushi continued absentmindedly, “How much he tried to discourage me from coming to RM to work? He knew I should not get friendly with Anjali ji. He always spoke ill of Arnavji and all the Raizadas. But see the destiny.. On my  engagement day, it was Anjali ji who forced me to come. If I had not come to RM that day I would not have gone to temple, or got hurt and Ar..”  she suddenly stopped, looked at Arnav, who was looking at her keenly thinking.. “So she remembers every detail...” 



After a while, Manohar came forward to say to Buaji, “We might come to you for some evidences and proofs, so please oblige. Don’t let him come anywhere near you, call us immediately. We will make sure he rots in jail for long enough though “ finally he concluded with, “Please let us know if you need anything with your brothers treatment. We will be honoured if we can help..” Nani and Akash nodded,...



Akash came forward surprising the family, when Buaji and Khushi got up to leave, “Khushi ji, I will drop you, please come”



Mami came forward and might have probably thrown unwanted dialogues, but Nani’s strict gaze stopped her midway.

Khushi went to Anjali, but not knowing what to do, just held her hand, pressing them tight, she whispered, “Take care Anjali ji”

Khushi hugged Lavanya before leaving, “Thank you Lavanya ji, for calling us and trusting us.” 

Just before she left, she could not stop herself from looking into those sad chocolate brown eyes. He was yearning to get her attention... 



******************************************************

Finally this snake is done and dusted with...

Now so many other aspects to deal with...

Lavanya... Aw... feel sad for her,...

Payal,.... Akash

Khushi... Of course ASR...



Jul 14

Part 11 Normal is it (By Mimima1) (Thanked: 66 times)

Part 11 – Normal! Is it?



“Titaliya, I think we should not say a word about all this to Amma or Payal now.” Shivering with dread, “Hai re Nandkis****, What was I doing? I had sacrificed the whole family by giving shelter to that snake.  I don’t want Shashi’s treatment to be impacted in any way, but again like you mentioned earlier, if Shashi did know about that scoundrel we must tell him that he has been caught. At least he will be in peace while his treatment goes on.”  Buaji told Khushi as soon as Akash had dropped them home and made extra enquiries about Payal...



Snuggling close to her Buaji at night, “Buaji, let us keep to ourselves for now. Can’t explain these things on the phone. Let us see how his treatment goes, I will take a few days off and we can visit them again.  Buaji I feel very bad for Anjali ji. I know they have previously had a very bad past as well, now this....“  She could not stop thinking of the sad chocolate brown eyes. 

Overridden with guilt, Buaji hugged her tight and apologised sincerely. “Please forgive your Buaji titaliya, I was going to spoil your life.” Khushi  hugged her back saying, “As long as Babuji and Devi maiyyas blessings are there, we don’t have to worry”



Next few days saw all the Raizadas get back into their normal duties, with Manohar taking up the legal issues concerned with the snake. With his previous marriage still valid, Anjali’s was considered void, but he was looking into getting as severe a punishment as possible. 



Having constant attention and company, Anjali was getting rather frustrated. She wanted to have some alone time which was quite difficult at Raizada mansion. One issue was bothering everyone. Arnav questioned his Di everyday, “Di, did anyone come to meet you today?” Lavanya quite guessed who he meant, but she dare not say a word..



Khushi kept to herself, she dared not even sleep in  RM’s direction. She  got even busier with her work and seriously contacted all her acquaintances in Lucknow to find something suitable. Even though she had wanted to see  Anjali, it was too much to take in for the poor soul.. Yet she had called and spoken to Anjali, who sincerely thanked Khushi “Khushi ji, if it was not for you, we would have never known the truth. We were all in our bubble which you have come and burst open. I can’t even imagine how terrible it would have been if things had gone further.”



Another soul was also on a guilt trip which was eating him day by day. Every time he saw Lavanya, he tried to avoid her, but for how long could this continue. Mustering all the courage, nearly a week since the upheaval in their lives, “Lavanya, I need to discuss a few issues”



She knew it.. 

One day or the other, it had to come. She was rather surprised it wasn’t any earlier. Though there was no mention of Khushi since the fateful day, it was painful for her to think Khushi still resided in every one’s mind and in one person’s heart, because they consciously avoided speaking about her.



“Yes ASR, go on? What’s bothering you?”



“Lavanya, I don’t know how to say this,.. but it has to be said.. I don’t want to keep you in the dark.. because.. because..”  he hesitated



ASR hesitating in front of a girl..., She let him continue, Lavanya wanted to have a bit of fun.... 



“I am extremely sorry, I feel ashamed to have dragged you this far, but I will not be doing justice if we continue like this. “ he said with his head bent..



“ASR?” she looked at him, concerned but expected him to elaborate.

“Lavanya, You have slowly gained everybody’s trust in this house, we all have a very high opinion of you. You have earned a special place in this house. Especially Nani, who now completely depends on you, thinking you as her own. How much you did for Di, I can never thank you enough. “



Arnav paused to see her reaction, but seeing her still waiting to hear more, he continued,



“Now, coming to what I want to talk, when we got into this arrangement,  you know we both never had marriage on our books. We never wanted to commit to anything. But slowly our thoughts changed, we changed. So many things have happened since then. I am sorry, but somehow I will not be able to do justice for this marriage. I know, I certainly cannot reciprocate the feelings. I should not have proclaimed about marrying, but now if we continue, I will be hurting your feelings, I will be insulting you more. I am ashamed to have got you into this mess, but I don’t know what to do..I dont want to spoil it more by proceeding further”  he spoke soon lest it becomes hard to say to accept his mistakes..



Lavanya thought for a while, “ASR, is this because Di..” but he stopped her with,



“No no Lavanya, it has nothing to do with Di. These thoughts were bugging me even before all this happened, like I said, I wanted to talk to you way before, but Di’s issue came up out of the blues and I was in no mood” he did not want her to have hopes that things would get better with time..





Standing tall to get all the courage, Lavanya spoke quietly, “It’s OK ASR, I was waiting for this, I knew this was coming all along.”



“You knew?” ASR asked very surprised thinking “How come she knows?? And what does she know?”

 

“Yes ASR, that’s why I tried to go away for a few days to give it some thought, for myself too, but had to come back because Nani wanted me here..”  she explained.



“I know I know, I feel more guilty thinking of all that you have done for this family” ASR spoke honestly feeling very guilty..



She was prepared for this. However sad she was, she would get over it. Yet she wished he had told her the real reason. Thinking “Well what will be will be, “ she cheered herself soon, “It’s ok ASR, you are right, we did enter into this without any thought of committing to anything, and then both just went along with the flow. Well, at least we will be friends I hope..”



Looking here and there, she replied, “I will move out soon, but I will give Di a few days, I don’t want her to think it’s because of her we are breaking...”



He had a lump in his throat. He croaked,  “You don’t know how much you have changed Lavanya, you have gained a higher place in my heart, you will always be my friend. I can’t believe even now you are thinking of  my family..“   he hugged her heartily.



Lavanya hugged him holding back her tears, feeling an empty hollow in her tummy, even though she knew he had never really loved her. Suddenly a question popped into her head “Did I love this man to be my husband?”  Surprised at her own question she consoled, “Of course I must have, what a question to ask? That is why I am feeling sad”



He returned, more peaceful than before. Though he still regretted what had happened, there was relief that things were being set right..



**************************************************

“Bhai, I will finalise the deal with the Murthy, you don’t bother coming” Akash was trying his best to go alone for the meeting. Akash sighed thinking... “I want to speak to Khushi ji, but Bhai will not let me go in peace.. Its nearly two weeks...” 



Little did he know, ASR had his own reasons of course. “No Akash, I will come as well, or better still, I think you can look into the other project, I will manage this... ” Akash coughed... but finally agreed to go with him, lest he might be left behind...



Aman sat back watching. Both the brothers arguing to go to the meeting, “What is the matter.... I think I should go as well now!! “ wondered Aman....  

 (Yay.... Yippe... finally enters our super hero, who saves the day..... yaaahoo...)



There was a hustle and bustle going on at Murthy software. The girls were eager to meet the great ASR. The previous time he had come, being the end of the day, none could catch him, but today all the girls could hardly concentrate with ASR in the conference room giving a presentation.



By now, they knew they did not have to see each other to know they were there. Heart beats went erratic and a cool breeze soothed their nerves bringing with it some unknown peace both yearned for. Khushi made sure she did not get out of the canteen. But how she wished she could see him may be, just once.. 



They sat in the canteen with both their eyes glued to Ansh’s laptop seeing the various therapies offered, time taken, medicines... Khushi sat with the list of medicines Babuji was currently taking and checking what each medicine was given for. 



He was explaining showing the screen “See Khushi, This one here is very important. Make sure all of you have one at all times.....”



“What the..” he exclaimed getting angry. He couldn’t wait any longer and had walked straight into the canteen to get a glimpse of her when he saw them happily looking at whatever it was...  The great ASR has gone to the canteen to see Khushi? And here she is with some unknown guy laughing and giggling.. That is not done for!!



She knew he was there now. Unsure what to do, she sat quite, but knowing him, he would get more angry if he was ignored. Of course she knew he was here to see her. There was an unknown familiarity, similar to that shared by a husband and wife, which each accepted as something very natural between them.  She walked over to him, 



“Namaste Arnav ji..” she quietly whispered looking at him. How she had longed to see him. His heart melt hearing his name from her. Both looked at each other for a few seconds, then accepting her greeting with a gentle nod, he husked “I just wanted some water..  Khushi” She felt her heart gallop a mile a minute..



Taking the glass from her, lingering his fingers on hers for a few seconds extra, he asked “Khushi, how is your Babuji?” 



“He is getting better. How is Anjali ji?” Khushi enquired. “She is fine. Somebody is with her all the time.. May be you should come and visit her” he was surprised at how easily he was conversing with her.



Shocked, she opened her eyes wide while her head was still bent. Was this the same man inviting her, who once threw her out of his house and got into trouble with his sister? Feeling uneasy, she fidgeted with her dupatta, while nodding. “Best not to stir trouble with him again.” She could hear her Buaji’s words which she repeated every morning. She half expected him blame her for all the mishap and wondered why he was being so nice to her..



“Khushi ji. How are you? How is your Babuji?” Akash walked in after waiting for his brother to return. Turning to ASR, “Bhai, you here” he asked surprised.. 



Arnav cut him off with “Akash we should make a move now..”



“Bhai you go ahead, I will catch up soon, I want to talk to Khushi ji” Akash could not stop himself, how long should he have to wait to talk to Payals sister!!



“What the..” however this time he did not say it loud... walked out thinking “Akash, what have you got to discuss with Khushi” 



When Khushi returned home, she heard Buaji talking merrily on the phone, giving details of their next visit. “It is a wonderful place, they told us it is less busy at this time of the year,... No, we haven’t booked the train tickets yet, Haan haan yes she is here, I will check if she has got her extra few days off..” and she raised her eyebrows to ask the question. 



Khushi mouthed  “Who is it..” 



Buaji again asked, “Has your leave been sanctioned?”



“Yes Buaji it has been..!!” Khushi replied thinking of all possibilities as to who it could be. 

*************************************************

Next Part 

“What do you mean all this would not have happened if I had not come in your life”

“Yes everything would have been just fine” 



Jul 16

Part 12 - Journey (By Mimima1) (Thanked: 77 times)

Sincere thanks to all who have commented.

Humble request to silent readers.

Kindly could you comment. It gives a lot of encouragement and inspiration to write .. so please comment..


Here is the next part..


Part 12 - Journey


When Khushi returned home, she heard Buaji talking merrily on the phone, giving details of their next visit. “It is a wonderful place, they told us it is less busy at this time of the year,... No, we haven’t booked the train tickets yet, Haan haan yes she is here, I will check if she has got her extra few days off..” and she raised her eyebrows to ask the question. 

Khushi mouthed  “Who is it..” 

Buaji again asked, “Has your leave been sanctioned?”

“Yes Buaji it has been..!!” Khushi replied thinking of all possibilities as to who it could be. 



“Buaji, how can you agree to go with them. You keep telling me not to get into rich people’s business and now you have agreed?” Khushi truly did not want to go with them, when buaji told her about Nanis call. Try as hard as she could, her heart ached to see Lavanya and Arnav together, with Lavanya trying to cling on to ASR at every given opportunity. The Shyam fisaco had further made her tough, and Khushi did not want to do anything with them. Now she had no qualms about accepting her feeling towards him, but knew it would never be..



“Titaliya, anything Devyani ji asks, I cannot refuse her. Yet I tried, I did say we were not sure when we would go, but she was quite insistent. You know how hard it is to reject when someone requests with so much love. And we will always be grateful to her, if not for her, Nandkis**** knows what would have happened..” 



Khushi still tried her best, “But Buaji, you know I will have to finish work and then we will be going. We should not delay them unnecessarily “ Khushi tried to argue.. only to fall on deaf ears.



*******************************************************

He had his own plans brewing in his head.. he had to set the wheel in motion now, it would help everyone in the long run.....

Akash had done a fair job in inspiring the family.. He had researched the place thoroughly. Beautiful scenic place, running next river Gomti. What better place can an city man ask for? Especially for his dear Anjali Di, who was trying to come to terms with what has happened in her life, a change in environment is a welcome break. 



Akash suggested, “Dadi while we are there, Di can look into changing the decor of Sheesh Mahal. Owing to time, you know Bhai had only managed to do a few basic bits” This suggestion backed by his mum sat very well with Nani.

Nani’s long wish to visit the dargah had to be fulfilled. .... of course Akash made sure that was reminded..



It was decided the Raizada’s would visit Lucknow except Mami who preferred to stay back to look after her husband. The family was to stay at Sheesh Mahal and visit Shashi while they were there. Nani made sure Khushi and Buaji hadn’t bought the train tickets and to go with them. 



The family was disappointed Lavanya was not accompanying them. La thought this was the best opportunity to exit when everyone was leaving and keep extending the stay until all were aware of the facts. 

 “Di, I will be gone only for a few days.. I will come back when you are all back” she told Anjali, who, though did not like it, agreed without any arguments. 



Lavanya did not leave the chance to tease her friend Mami quietly, “Mami ji you want the whole house for your self to spend with your husbaaand, hello hai to husbaaand and Bye bye to all”.. Mami opened her mouth, eyes .. “Ms.Kashyap.. that’s bhy(why) I like you,  I have got this chance after 25 years!!” 


Nani however was not convinced with Lavanya. She knew there was more to it than the eye could see and the long chat Lavanya had with Nani had confirmed her fears. Nani was heart broken, but she understood where she was coming from and she definitely couldn’t force these things.. 


Flashback Start

“What is it Bitiya? Are you not happy?” Nani took Lavanya to her room for a chat. 

Lavanya had approached Nani cautiously not to disclose anything as of now.... However, seeing the love and affection she received from Nani, she could not keep her in the dark.



“What are you saying bitiya? How can Chote do that? ” Nani was devastated to hear the story of their breakup.



“Nani ji, it is not just him. I know you will think I am saying this to cover him, but I too have thought about this thoroughly and what he said makes sense. You might find it hard to believe, but when Khushi was telling me about all the husband stuff and all that, it was nice to fantasize and imagine, but to imagine ASR  in that role, now when I think about it,  I myself am not sure. I know you must be thinking my character is deela... but when he also does not have those feelings, it is not right for both of us.”  She told what was in her heart honestly. 



Though Nani was sad that her Chote was being rejected, she knew if both did not share those feeling, the union would be futile. Both wouldn’t be happy. This again brought her to the question, “Will my chote ever find anyone whom he would love? “



Lavanya could not hold, “Nani ji if I tell you that he does love someone, would you believe me? I am pretty sure, but I don’t know what’s holding him, why he is denying those feelings, he is not ready to accept it and take it further..”



“Sachi (Really) is that why?? “, she was happy about it, but again, thinking for a while she grew angry, “If that was the case, why did he have to bring you here, and make you go through all our tests and agree to marry?”



“Oh Nani I will never regret spending my time in this house. The best experience in my life. Nani lets be happy it ended early on without much complication..  he will one day get married, because she is the only who can bend your Chote, so just wait..” Lavanya consoled.. what surprised Lavanya was she did not feel any bitterness while speaking about Khushi. Though she had initially taken it with a pinch of salt, when she thought about it, she was fine with it..



“Who is that girl?” Nani looked like a  stern and strict teacher.. she did not want a modern bahu who would have to be trained again!!



Guessing her gussa (anger) Lavanya consoled, “You will not have to worry about her at all. You all know her. Now don’t ask me anything.. Nani ji keep in touch with me, I will keep giving you clues.. but you might find out soon enough..“ and she winked at Nani..



Nani, looking surprised, laughed at her chirpiness and blessed her whole heartedly while thinking who this new breaking her head thinking over who the girl could be..

Flashback End



“No I will not come with you. Buaji will not leave me and go” Khushi was arguing with Arnav who had come to Lakshmi nagar to pick her. She did not want to be a third wheel.



Sitting at Gupta house, trying to convince her, Arnav was running out of his patience, but tried to be as calm as possible. “Khushi, they waited for you, Nani told me they tried your number quite a few times but it was switched off. In fact even I did not know I was to pick you, I thought you had gone with them. I was in a meeting and it was already decided I would join them later. Only before I left my office Nani called to say I had to pick you..”



“How can buaji do that, “ Khushi was literally in tears now.. when Happy ji came to the door..

“Khushi ji.. Namaste. Sorry I had gone out and got delayed by traffic. Buaji told me to tell you that you are to come with Arnav baba. “ looking doubtfully at ASR Happy ji repeated Buajis words like a parrot.

  “She tried calling you.. and yes, she has taken all the luggage..” 

“Khushi I will wait for you in the car.. “ Arnav walked out with looking back.



By now Khushi was quite upset. Getting ready to go, muttering to herself, “Hey Devi Maiyya.. Why? Do you not like me? Why do you hate me so much? What should I do now? Go with him of all people? Why did they have to have a meeting today itself in the office“ she made her way to his car, after talking to Buaji on Anjali’s phone..



But what awaited her next took her breath away.. ready to take off, at the helipad, stood ASR’s chopper.. 



Khushi stood astounded. Eyes wide open. She pinched herself and pouted when it hurt. No it wasn’t a dream. She had heard loads of stories how it would be when an aeroplane takes off, how the tummy tumbles.. But she was not ready for this. 

She looked at Arnav who was watching her ever so keenly, savouring her every expression, image which would go deep down into his heart never to be forgotten.  



Closing her mouth, looking at Arnav, she exclaimed, “Arnav ji?” when he smiled as if it was no big issue. He put his hand forward to let her in, but Khushi stepped back, stammering to herself, “H H how can I?  I I am not sure?” She stood thinking for a while.  As if she had found a solution, she spoke loudly, “Wait a minute, Where is Lavanya ji? “ 



Arnav’s face was withdrawn suddenly. Did she have to mention Lavanya now? He too was not prepared for this, but when he found out he had to bring her along with him, his heart did miss a beat for this fortunate opportunity. Just the thought of spending time with her was heart warming, he did not want to feel guilty about Lavanya. Nevertheless he realised she had no clue about his break up. 

“She has gone to London” he muttered, trying to avoid her eyes

“What? London? Why? When? how?” Khushi could not hold herself and blurted all the questions that popped into her head.



Again giving her his hand, “Khushi, if we can start, we will reach there soon just by the time they reach.. and I will have enough time to answer all your questions..” 



“But I thought she was also coming, that’s why I agreed. How can just the two of us go?” Khushi asked innocently..



Arnav raised his eyebrows, slowly folding his arms on his chest, “Khushi I have lost count how many times you have come with me in my car, what is the big deal about this? In fact I offered Di and Nani to come as well, but they wanted to drive down..”  going extra husky on his voice, “and Khushi, yes it was just the two of us in the car all the time, and it was again just the two of us when we went to Nanital. You forgot? Or do you want me to remind.. ”



Khushi went red with embarrassment thinking of all that they had shared. She also got annoyed at his behaviour. How could he talk to her like this when his fiancee was not present. After enjoying her restlessness, he asked, “Shall we go now, don’t worry there is the pilot?”



“Devi Maiyya, I better not pray to you. You don’t seem to help me at all, I had better ask Nandkis**** to help me... Hai re NandKis****.. please help favourite devotees sanka devi. Next time, I will remember to give you 1 kilo of jilebies ”, without bothering to take his hand, Khushi settled herself. 

“I will be promised enough entertainment in the journey,” he thought and settled down.



As much as he tried to make her comfortable, Khushi was tensed at the start, but soon forgot everything in amazement when Arnav distracted her with the famous land marks of Delhi and later Lucknow, which she thoroughly enjoyed like a little girl.. 



It was only when they were driving to her place, Gomti sadan, with Khushi leading the way, she realised how much she enjoyed the journey, but felt guilty she had enjoyed with him. “I thought he would be angry with me about Shyam or something, but he has not spoken or said anything about it.. Hey devi maiyya, what awaits me.. please save me, and my family” remembering she had to ask about Lavanya, 



“Arnav ji, you did not tell me why Lavanya ji went to London. Is everything ok. Her parents?” Khushi waited for him to continue.



“There is no problem, her parents are fine, we decided to breakup and she went to London” he mentioned so casually Khushi was jolted. She thought “How can he be so cool, that’s it.. so easy to break up.. I must be hearing things” shaking her head, unsure as to what it meant exactly..

“Arnav ji, when will she return, when will the engagement be and we“ she couldn’t muster enough courage to say wedding..



“No wedding Khushi, we broke up” he continued again too casual for her liking..



Despite the fact there was a a sigh of relief hearing the news, she was enraged thinking if this was similar to when La had previously walked out and Khushi had to convince both of them.

 

“I finished my work at RM when Nani ji agreed to the marriage. I honestly don’t intend to convince both of you like last time because I am not returning back and I have learnt my lesson. Do you even know what you are saying? What all she had to go through to be able become a daughter in law of your house?”

He let her vent out all her frustration. Since every one was scared of his outbursts, nobody ever told him anything he did not like and it felt good to hear someone shouting at him. 

She hadn’t finished yet. Remembering diwali day, the painful day when he had agreed for marriage Khushi sadly told “After promising in front of all the guests that you would marry her, you now coolly say ‘broke off’? Poor Lavanya ji? You do this again and again and again don’t you? When you are angry you don’t know what you do or say. You don’t seem to bother about others feelings ” 

Seeing Khushi was taken back to that day, he whispered, “Khushi.. its not like that”



But she would not listen, she had had enough.. “No I don’t want to know like what? May be it is ok in your high society. May be it is ok for people with money. Now I realise how true it is when you said in this same city, ‘I write my own destiny’ but you should have said ‘I write mine, yours and others destiny as well‘. If you hadn’t come into my life like that, all this would have never happened.. ‘” she went quiet thinking of all the repercussions.. 



He was broken. He knew she was returning all the insults about class and money he had previously hurled at her. How she must have felt when he had said them, but today he wanted her to let all the steam out



“What do you mean all this would not have happened if I had not come in your life”



“Yes everything would have been just fine. I would still be here, happily running around in  Lucknow carefree, my jiji probably happily married by now, and most important, my Babuji still hale and healthy. Agreed, I came and spoiled your show, but what punishment for that one mistake? And my family endured all that for an orphan girl without saying a single word. You could have taken my life away that day. Just one act of yours done without thinking, in anger, with pride, arrogance. If you hadn’t shown that video, I would not have been ill-treated and molested here in the streets of Lucknow, Shyam would not have come to my rescue. We would not have moved to Delhi. I will always be grateful for that act of his, whatever his intentions.” she had stopped, thinking of all that happened after..



He sat numb after knowing the real impact of his deeds. In his attempt to push her away her had not heard her side of the story until now. He did not want to think what would have happened if Shyam hadn’t come. Soon, his thoughts went to Anjali and wondered at his words, “I write my destiny”. He felt depressed. This girl could show him his face like a mirror just as it was, whether he liked it or not and he had tried to break the mirror every time. He wanted to set things right now. 



She knew the subject had moved away from reprimanding for breaking up with Lavanya, but she did not regret what was said and she was no longer in a mood to preach him about love and marriage, thinking “if they have broken up, fine, what can I do? Let them patch up. I can’t be convincing both of them each time they fight. I can’t be patching them after they are mar... “   she left it there..



No more words exchanged. Both sat silent through the journey in their own thoughts. When it was time to go, before she opened the door, Arnav stopped her, “Khushi.”



Khushi stopped giving him a disinterested look. Arnav smiled a genuine smile and said “Thank you”

Her eyes shot up, ears alert, Khushi looked, confused and shocked. After telling him off, giving a big lecture for a long time, this is what she gets? 



************************************************

How was it guys...

Next part...

Some more plans!!!

Payash..



Jul 18

Part 13 - Solutions (By Mimima1) (Thanked: 63 times)

Thank you alllllllllllllllllllllllllll for your support...



Part 13 – Solutions 




“Akash? “ Payal was at her tethers seeing Akash walk into the rehab centre looking for, oh of course..



The Raizada family, after relaxing had gone about finishing the impending duties they had come for. Starting early, Nani took all her grand children to the family temple and later her long wish to visit the Dargah was fulfilled. 



Seeing the over enthusiastic Akash, Anjali teased, “Akash how come you know so much about this place?” She was feeling a lot better in her hometown. Though it brought back painful memories, it still  had her childhood memories, her loving mum. You simply cannot forget the place where you spent the first 18 years of your life.

Giving her a stern look, “Di, I think you should wait here while I confirm this is the right place.” And he was gone to look for the Guptas.



Arnav seconded “Yes di, that’s right, Nani, and you stay here”. Getting bored after waiting for a few seconds, “I will see if I can find Khushi”  and left the ladies to take rest.



Payal was surprised “Akash, What are you doing here Akash? Have you come all the way, or am I dreaming?” 



However Akash did not hear much of what she said. He was so happy seeing her after so many days. He spoke dreamily.. “Dreams.... yes I am dreaming everyday Payal.. Is it the case with you too?”



Payal went red seeing him flirt, the cheek of him, even though she was happy to see him, trying to get angry, she spoke rather grumpily, “Akash? Honestly you have come here to say this? Did we not talk that day, I don’t want to talk about marriage and I have other responsibilities, let’s give it a br..” but she stopped abruptly when she saw they had an audience.



Arnav looked at them, gaping. He didn’t know Akash and Payal knew each other. When had they met? Definitely they were not talking like strangers and what is Payal on about, what marriage?

 

As soon as Akash saw his brother, “Bhai, this is the right place,” and turning to Payal, “Payal, Di and Nani are in the car.” 

Now Payal got a bit worried and the first thought that came to her mind was “Have they come here with regards to a marriage proposal? Last time he had come with Anjali.”



Looking at Akash, she spoke or rather whispered, “Akash, what’s happening? Why are they all here.” The familiarity with which they spoke, how she was arguing before, and now whispering, Arnav felt uncomfortable as if he was entering the personal space of a couple. He was unwanted there at that moment of time.



“Payal, They are here to meet your Babuji. To know how his treatment is going on. Have you met Khushi yet? Has she spoken to you?” Akash was surprised she did not know anything.



“Oh, Why, they came yesterday but there were a few things she had to sort out in Lucknow before coming here. So Khushi and Buaji have just come, only a few minutes ago. They are with Babuji and Amma” Payal explained. She felt as if there was something she was supposed to know. However, with Arnav looking at them in a daze, she knew she could not talk much now.



“Call Anjali ji and Nani ji, let them come and meet Babuji” Payal told Akash. 

Arnav was soon to react and said, “Akash you stay, I will get them” with Akash immediately replying “Thanks Bhai..” 



He was very much tempted to strike back at Payal for talking to his brother with such lenience , but it was too much of a shock to strike so soon. The fact still bugged him, “How do they know each other. And Akash didn’t want me there..” It saddened to think his younger brother was trying to get rid of him.

 

No sooner was he gone, Payal angrily turned to Akash and hissed, “AKASH? Why are they here?”



“Payal, where is Khushi? We thought she would be here first thing in the morning to see her Babuji.” Raising his shoulders and making a bored face, “Has she also been visiting all the temples, dargah, like us since morning? Do you know any we could visit, tell them to Nani and Di..”   





“Well I told you they had work in Lucknow, no not visiting temples, but finalizing some business for us”. Realising he was making fun of his Di, Nani, and giving him angry glares Payal questioned, “Now what is happening? Why have you all come this far?“ 





But her questions were unanswered when Khushi came around and stood surprised. “Akash ji. You? “ and saw behind him, leading Nani and Anjali, her laad governor who seemed to look much smarter, sporting a slight smile on his face.. She flushed, reminded of his departing smile last night.  





“Anajli ji, Nani ji? Have you come to see Babuji? Buaji and I have just come.“ Khushi remarked guessing they had come to see Babuji. 



“Namaste Khushi ji. How are you? How is your Babuji? Sorry we had to leave you and come last night.” Anjali apologised, 



“No worries Anjali ji, just that I wasn’t prepared. Babuji is doing well. Please come” She replied looking at ASR who made a face to say, “What could I do? Even I did not know?” 



Shashi had only just returned from his long morning exercise session and was happy to see his daughter and sister.  Khushi and Buaji were very impressed with the progress Shashi was making. His only previous movement was when he had blessed Khushi by placing his hand on her hand on her cancelled engagement day, since then there was some noticeable change, though there was still a long way to go for him.

Akash and Arnav stayed outside their small cottage, while Anjali and Nani went to meet. As soon as he saw Anjali, Shashi recognised. She was the same women whom he had seen at the temple with the snake. Staring at her, he immediately raised his hand slowly pointing at Anjali he repeated in his slurred speach, “Yeh, yeh yeh (she she she)” which almost sounded ‘ya ya ya”



Payal and Garima came running to him, 

“Babuji you want something?” Payal asked concerned. But Shashi kept pointing at Anjali and repeating “yeh yeh yeh” 

Garima told Khushi, “Khushi bitiya go get the doctor. Now..” and Khushi ran out. Listening to the commotion inside, Arnav and Akash peeped inside. Anjali was by now feeling very awkward and apologised. She did not know what to do. They were all relieved when Khushi came back running with  the doctor. 

Dr.Kiran noticed Shashi’s behaviour and sat next to him patting his back. Shashi had not taken his eyes off Anjali. Holding his hand gently, “Do you know her? Do you want to say something to her?” to which Shashi nodded positively.



“Don’t worry, she will not go anywhere. We will help you” the doctor calmed him, but Shashi was still agitated turning his head from left to right feeling helpless. This was his only chance to expose that creep and he did not want to let go of it.



By now the Raizadas were concerned too, while the Guptas watched anxiously. Turning to Anjali, the doc asked, “Beta, do you know him?”



Anjali almost literally in tears for causing this commotion nodded negatively, "No doctor, this is the first time I am seeing him”

By now Shashi was looking at Anjali and then at Khushi. Watching silently, having a wild guess, Buaji came forward and asked Shashi, “Is it about Shyam?” 

Shashi looked at his sister, extreme shock written on his face. Did his sister know everything. He nodded, still looking at his sister surprisingly. Buaji and Khushi looked at each other. Soon the Raizadas realised Shashi knows about Shyam but cannot talk.. The doctor, after assessing the situation, told Anjali, “May be you remind him of something. Let him settle down, I will give him some medicine.”



“No Doctor, let him be, he will settle down. I think we know what the problem is” Buaji spoke to the doctor. Turning to Shashi, “Don’t worry, we know all about Shyam, he is in jail now. We were thinking whether to tell you, but it is not new to you. It is us who were in the dark.” 





Shashi breathed a sigh of relief. He looked up thanking his devi maiyya. What a consolation to the ailing man. Garima and Payal both exclaimed, “Can anyone tell us what is happening? What has Shyam got to do with this? Why is he in jail?”



Buaji now proceeded to introduce the Raizadas to Garima and Shashi. Once done, she started recounting the history. Payal and Garima were clueless, but both sat in a daze as the events unfolded. Tears rolling all the while, Shashi was nodding. Now it made sense to them why the Raizadas had taken all the effort to visit Shashi.



Once done, all sat in silence. Garima went over to Khushi and apologised, “What blunder we were going to commit. What face would I show my sister? Hey Bhagvan, Khusi, please forgive your maasi, I have failed to look after you properly.”



Khushi glared at her and hugged saying “AMMA” which was obviously understood. 



Astonished, Arnav looked at Khushi. He remembered she had mentioned about being an orphan even yesterday, now he understood. He  felt more guilt and regret wash over him thinking of how he had treated her.





Payal held Khushi’s hand tight, reassuring that everything will be alright from now on. She surprised everyone when she hugged Anjali. Of course she had not forgotten they were friends!! And this lady was more affected than anyone else now.



It took some time for the rest of the party to settle down and get back to normalcy while Payal and Khushi prepared some tea for the guests.



Arnav slowly walked towards Shashi, holding his hand, looking into his eyes, spoke very politely,

“Uncle, my one mistake has made your family suffer do much, I can’t even imagine how you must have all gone through it. Please forgive me. My lack of faith in life has made me very tough to the outside world. I didn’t trust anybody. I didn’t think of your family’s honour when I telecast those videos.. please forgive me..” Shashi kept nodding while remembering all events and the stories his sister had told. 



Khushi came around the kitchen door shocked to see Arnav Singh Raizada apologising to her dad on his knees. Though she had told him off yesterday, she wasn’t happy to see him bend his head down. But yes she was happy to have unloaded her weight yesterday. How many times had this man reminded her status and said, “I don’t have to say sorry to you.” Even though she knew he used to be hurt after seeing her hurt, he never accepted any mistakes. But after Diwali, she had lost all faith. She was reminded of his words, “Don’t think a rich man was holding it to his heart, it does not mean anything to me” and as another blow the Shyam fiasco happened soon afterwards making her even more tough.



Anjali, Nani and Akash were no less surprised. He never apologised to them too, though he always made it up with his actions later. Now he was asking for forgiveness from a stranger.  It didn’t stop there though, he carried on,

“Uncle, if it was not for me, I don’t think you would have been in this position. So please let me bear all the cost of your treatment, it will give me some peace. Please accept..” He was sincerely apologising and now Nani and the other Raizada’s nodded in approval.



“Hai re Nand kis****, you don’t have to worry bitwa. When he has two shernis (Tigresses) he will not accept.  Nandkis**** ki jai, now everything will be alright. We need not worry, a few days more and the girls also will be together helping each other. “ Buaji commented.



“Oh is Payal going to come to Delhi as well?” asked Anjali quite happy,

“No bitiya, we will all be coming back to Lucknow, that’s why we were late in coming here today. My sanka devi has been slogging day and night to get all this sorted. She will finish in dilli, may be two more weeks and come and start here.” Buaji replied 



Akash and Arnav both echoed, “What?”. They soon quietened down when they got strange stares from Gupta’s and other Raizada’s, with Akash looking at Arnav and visa versa. Soon Akash hissed a quiet “ouch”. Nani wondered what the matter when she noticed Anjali pinching behind his shoulders.



“What is the plan Madhumathi ji?” asked Nani very politely.



“We will be renting a house along with a small garage where Khushi will start our normal sweet business. That girl has seen a lot in the last few days and she has become very brave. Now she says she is confident to start on her own. Because people know us, we are trusting Nandkis**** to help us. Of course Payal and I will be there to help her. She wants it to be just like her Babuji’s shop.” Buaji was telling them their plans unaware that two gentleman were having trouble breathing with every detail she gave.



Nani spoke, “That is good Madhumathi ji, but let us do our part. If it wasn’t for your Khushi, we would still be in the dark. As it is we were in the dark for three years. If Khushi hadn’t come in our lives, I dread to imagine what that scoundrel would have done. Please let us bear the cost of his treatment. From what we saw today, I am sure he is in this condition only because of that snake“ 



Buaji suggested, “I don’t think the girls will like it. Let them do their job, but if there is anything, we know where to get help. I will definitely come to you. It was all because of my blind faith in that bugger”



All agreed to the above suggestion, but Arnav was quite adamant and he wanted to get a detailed information of the treatment and they agreed to set up an appointment with the doctor before they left.. 




************************************************************

Next part

“No, you will do no such thing, don’t you dare speak to them.”

“Common, for how long, please I have to, let me..”

“What the... What is going on here”

“Hey Devi maiyya!! “

Who are these people speaking??? 



Jul 20

Part 14 - Best Laid Plans (By Mimima1) (Thanked: 84 times)

Thanks for all the comments... Please keep them coming..



Part 14 – Best laid Plans




Anjali was enjoying her trip to her hometown. Her faith in her god did not deter even after receiving blow after blow in life and she loved visiting all the places she once used to frequently visit with her mum. She was in bliss with the feeling of nostalgia. 



Even though she had previously paid visit to Lucknow during the takeover of Sheesh Mahal, there was always the fact she had to return back to Delhi, but now, she was free. Free to do anything she wanted, stay where she wanted.  



Arnav’s bitterness to visit Lucknow had by now reduced with Khushi being there. He was busy planning to bring her back to Delhi with some good proposal,.. “Di, Akash, what is the need for all of us to go? You know why I am going there. Leaving Nani alone and going, what’s the point?” Arnav’s arguments to visit the rehab centre alone, fell on deaf ears when both Akash and Anjali insisted they would  accompany too. This soon started raising Arnav’s concerns about Akash’s purpose for visit. He was now for sure there was more to what the eye could see. He had to investigate.. Things were getting more and more complicated.

 

Nani was too glad to be left alone. She too wanted her me time!! So what if she was old? This was the city she grew up and had lived most of her life until they moved business to Delhi. Just being driven around the city was enough to invoke all the memories – good and some bad. With the passage of time, she had gained enough wisdom to bear the bad memories also with equal calmness. On a large scale to things, she knew “This too shall pass”



The whole night had passed with Buaji and Khushi recounting the events  again and again, and Garima expressing shock and surprise every time Buaji unfolded the snakes character. Khushi wondered if they told anything different, but it was the same facts retold.. However, the Raizada men had in deed impressed both Shashi and Garima.

“Jiji, whatever you say, that Arnav beta is a gentleman. And Akash bitwa is no less. Both were so helpful. From what I saw, it is hard to believe what you all used to say about him”, to which Shashi also nodded raising Buaji, Payal and Khushi’s temper. Garima also added, “I think we should take their help and you two should come back here right away. We can always return it later. It is not safe for just you two in Delhi..” her mums instincts rose after hearing the dreadful story of the snake.



Straight away Khushi and Payal refused, “No, Amma don’t you trust us? Just a few more days and Khushi and Buaji will be back. So no need to ask any favours from anybody.” Remembering her mums words about them being a gentlemen,



“Yes yes, you will like them. You would have known how much of a gentleman he was when Khushi was working in his office” Payal complained, though she chose to keep quiet about the other Raizada. It was Akash who had helped Khushi then. However, now she wondered and colour rose to her cheeks as she thought, “was he coming to see me then?”

It was no surprise when Payal walked out glowing with a smile, Akash fell again!! 

“Payal....” is all he had to say, when she could no longer hold her smile, and gave him a genuine full blown smile flattening him further.



“Akash I did not know you were coming today” she had to somehow control her smile from growing. 



“Not just Akash, we are also here”, Anjali too joined them while Khushi too had come out hearing Payal. Khushi was surprised again seeing  Payal and Anjali hug each other. They seemed a bit extra friendly for her. But her attention soon grew to the fact that another gentleman was missing!!



“Di I will leave now, you stay with them” Akash excused himself from the ladies. Payal and Khushi raised their eyebrows, Anjali explained clearing their doubts, “Chote has gone to meet the doctor. Akash just wanted to drop me and go..”



“I think I want to go as well”, Khushi felt obliged to listen to what information was being given. She anyway wanted to catch up with the last few days. Dr. Kiran was surprised when Khushi coolly pulled a chair and sat next to Arnav.



“Dr. Thank you, there is so much going on, you wouldn’t know seeing the place. However, please do your best. If there is anything you need please let me know, this is my card, I have written my personal number as well and preferably call me on that line.” Arnav finally spoke.  



Khushi watched him intently discussing the treatment procedure, time scales, and the costs involved, which Payal and she had together worked out. She felt proud and relieved at the same time when she discovered  nothing new hadn't cropped up.  After a long discussion with Dr.Kiran, Khushi realised how they both were sat like a couple discussing about someone close. It didn’t take Dr.Kiran to guess the intention of the young man.

 

Garima and Buaji were glad Anjali too had come with them and they were busy serving the young lady, where pity was also playing a major role. Anjali subtly enquired about Payal’s marriage if both Khushi and Payal were to start business on their own. Anjali also had a long one way conversation with Shashi, telling him of their history and how she ended up with that thug. Though he could not speak, Shashi felt for the little girl in Anjali. 



With Anjali talking, Khushi left to look for Payal, strangely who had gone missing last few minutes. No sooner had she left, Arnav too left on the pretext of a phone, but soon both came to a halt near his car when they heard arguments.. Khushi and Arnav both looked at each other puzzled. 



“Payal, what is this new business all about. You are all planning to move back to Lucknow? Please Payal, I know your family has been going through some problems, which was probably caused because of us, so why don’t you give me an opportunity to help and we can sort it out together.” Akash was trying to persuade Payal to accept help and move back to Delhi as soon as possible.



“Akash have we not been through this in Delhi as well? Even Anjali ji tried but you know wont understand my problems. For me more than marriage my family is important now. I want to see my Babuji hale and healthy and I want to help in anyway I can. Remember we were in this business even before, so we want to get back to it” Payal tried to dissuade him, but

“Ok Ok Payal, you can help your family wherever you are anytime. Shall I speak to your Babuji and amma?” 

“No, you will do no such thing, don’t you dare speak to them.” Payal literally growled at him,

“Common, for how long, please I have to, let me..”

Payal stared at him, “Akash, NOW, in this situation? How can you even think of this. Ok, first tell you mum, see how her reaction would be.” Suddenly she saw him go pale.

 “Why Akash, why has all the colour drained out? You very well know what she would say. And yes don’t forget to say that my marriage broke at the alter. Not that I am crying because of that, in fact I am happy it broke. But honestly, we  can never match you in your class, status or money, yet I am happy how we are, I don’t want anybody hurling insults at my family. Why do you want to go against your dear mum for a middle class girl. Now isn’t that what exactly that scumbag had told? For you to be alert since ASR was already going to be engaged?” 

(Part 9- Shyam had asked Akash to be on alert from the prying eyes of Khushi)



“What the... What is going on here” Arnav and Khushi came forward given the other couple a big shock.



“Hey Devi maiyya!! “ Khushi opened her mouth wide. It did not take her long to guess what was going on.  



Payal gave a stern look at Akash, folding her arms in a namaskaar “Now you can deal with your brother, I have nothing to do with this.” and walked out.



“Jiji” Khushi ran behind her....



Arnav was staring at Akash with anger rising. He could now guess what was happening, but wanted to hear from Akash. “Akash out with it now. I did not like the way she spoke yesterday as well, how can she be so rude to you and even now as well when you were both talking?”



Akash, drowned in his own melancholy, “Bhai, you will not understand this. I need to sort it out. Where’s di?” He asked quite agitated and not bothering to answer Arnav’s question. 



“Akash” Arnav looked deep into his eyes and waited. Coming back to his senses, Akash apologised “Sorry Bhai,.. woh... I was a bit tensed..” he tried to explain.

Staring sadly at his brother, Arnav spoke, “Akash, why is it that I am the last one to know if there is any problem in the house? Am I that insensitive that you all don’t think I am capable of understanding? Nani did not confide in me, Di knows what your problem is. Is it just me? Fine, if you don’t want to tell me, then so be it.” Arnav, now hurt turned away saying “I will call Di if she is done, we can go, unless you want to stay longer”. Arnav asked sarcastically.



“Bhai, don’t take me wrong. You have already taken responsibility of  all the issues at home and in the office, I did not want to burden you with mine, and moreover, I thought she would agree, but she is so adamant” Akash started and explained from where it all started.

****************************************

“Jiji, wait...” Khushi finally caught on with the angry Payal, who had by now was feeling very upset and hurt. She could not see Akash dejected, but she did know any other way either. It was enough for Payal, who hugged Khushi and started crying and told in a muffled voice, “I swear on God, I have not done anything Khushi. I do feel bad for him, but you know right, we can never dream of all that..” 



Who else would understand her sister. “Yes jiji, you are right. We cannot have such high dreams” she was taken back in time to Diwali night.. again her mind went back to thinking why the engagement was broken. She had not slept the whole night, but she did not want to probe anything further. Once bitten, twice shy..



Her eyes welled up with tears, Khushi gave her sister a bear hug. How could they both have landed in the same situation!! Of course here, Payal had taken extra care not to let her emotions run high like herself on diwali day. 



“Jiji, you have done the right thing, I think we have something more important to think about now. Listen to this jiji” She tried to cheer her sister. 

“I have spoken to my manager, he is ready to let me off in next two weeks as they have found somebody else. He also asked me if we wanted to do tiffin business, he could recommend some offices in Lucknow. Isn’t that wonderful. You get all the things we need, once Buaji and I come, we will start straight away.. with Amma looking after Babuji here, it will be perfect” Again thinking about the good old days,

“Remember how we used to all help Babuji when he was running the shop..  Let us do our best jiji.. We should be the best halwaii in Lucknow“

Happy with their plan, both girls returned to see Anjali, Akash and Arnav saying bye to their elders. Arnav stared at Khushi but she did not give him any attention. 

Best to avoid... for how long will he let her???

******************************************************

That’s it for now...



Aug 8

Part 15 - Responsibility (By Mimima1) (Thanked: 68 times)

Sorry guys/gals... been away for a while, then loads of guests come bringing along tons of misunderstanding....

Finally I have managed to get this one out... 

Hope you all like it...



Part 15 - Responsibility

“Di, how can you even think of going back there? Have you forgotten the past?” Arnav tried to make her see some logic.

“Chote, running away from the past does not make you forget it. We tried it. Have you forgotten? No, every time you think of it, or go to Lucknow, it hurts even more than the previous time. I want to try and live there, probably that might strengthen me to take the bitter past with a stride than escaping from it. I strongly feel I will feel more lighter, otherwise there is always the heavy head of the past lurking in my mind.” Anjali was quite adamant on going and staying in Lucknow.

Getting angry, looking into his eyes, “I was so eagerly waiting for your wedding, and now, you have taken away that as well. “ she spoke harshly. All were devastated, especially mami on learning the latest news of their breakup.

Ignoring her last few comments, “But Di, what about us? How can you be there alone? May be you want to go there, but alone? That’s impossible” Now ASR spoke with strong command and all knew he would not budge on that issue.

Considering what Anjali has been going through, seeing the brother and sister fight, Nani interrupted, “Well, chote, if that will make her happy, I will go and stay with her for a few days. Then we can decide on what she wants to do.” Nani liked the freedom she had had in Lucknow, even if for a few days only, so she suggested “Anjali too might want to be left alone for at least some time.. and why not give the opportunity, she is not asking to go away to a foreign country or a place where we don’t know anybody. It is Lucknow. We know the place, nothing to worry “

“Nani, if you are going to be there, Di, stay for a few days, then we can see.” Seeing his di give a full blown smile, Arnav felt content.

However there was another quarter that needed his attention. He had heard all about the Payash saga both from Akash and his Di. So he suggested,

“Akash, you too can go there for some time if you are interested!!” to which Mami gave him strange or may be few angry glances.. “Why do you want to take away my only bitwa” she thought but dared not to say anything!!

“Bhai, it’s of no use..” Akash gave him a dejected reply and went out of the room.

He had seen enough. He couldn’t wait any longer. How long can he see his brother brood? He had tried to convince him she was rude and may not be right for him, but nothing worked. Akash went into further depression. It’s been nearly a week since they had arrived in Delhi, Arnav dialled Khushi. He wanted to ask her how she was doing? Whether she was really going to Lucknow.. being Khushi, always taken for granted, he spoke, rather barked..

“Khushi, can you meet me today sharp 6pm in my office? “ Arnav ordered Khushi. He didn’t know how to be polite when his brother was being subject to such torture from her sister.

Even though he was talking rude, it was music to her ears. How she had longed to hear him. The last she spoke was in the rehab centre and he had to rush to Delhi for an important meeting, leaving the rest of the family to come back with Buaji and Khushi.

Now, Khushi literally had her hands on her waist, as if to say, “How dare you order me.. why should I meet you?” however, she decided to listen to him first, but spoke rather rudely “Arnav ji, what is the matter, all of a sudden you call me and order me to come and meet you.”

Realising his mistake, “Ah,.. Khushi, its about Akash and Payal”

She was soon on her guards. “Well Arnav ji, if your brother hasn’t told you, then let me tell you clearly. My sister has not made any advances towards him. So please, do not make any assumptions. I know what you will be thinking, but that is the truth. Also, you yourself saw how she refused him. Please why do you want to pull this now.” Remembering her Amma’s trusted advice, “And if you think we are at fault, I will apologise. I will make sure my sister will never cross your brothers path. Please leave it at this.”

Arnav was getting angry. This girl was getting it all wrong. He tried to interrupt, but what he heard next made him stumble back. The truth had hit the right chords. “Arnav ji, do you know what my jiji said, she said, we are not in a position or we are not allowed to have such high dreams. So she knows. “ she could not speak any further, she had tears rolling down her cheeks.

All anger gone, Arnav sat on his chair as if somebody had given him a blow. Then mellowing his voice, he pleaded this time “Khushi, please, can I meet you?”

“Where do you want me to meet. I am not in my office, I finished early, so I came to Devi maiyya temple. I can’t reach your office by 6”

“Ok, you wait there Khushi, I will come there” he cut the phone, but his thoughts had moved back. Back to the time when he had shattered her. He never realised it would be this painful. His stomach wrenched even with the thought..

Khushi blindly walked to the very same bench where she had once sat with him, when he broke her fast,,..... the Teej day...

Khushi wasn’t feeling very great either. She felt depressed. She thanked her Devi maiyya because she was out in the temple where nobody would bother even if she cried (Of course her Devi maiyya did not like to see her sad.. ?).

She knew Arnav was regretting what he had told her. Though she had no intention of putting him in agony, these were some of her thoughts running through her mind, since Payal had mentioned. How well it had matched what he had told her.....

She was still immersed in these thoughts, sat on a stone bench when he came, sat next to her. She had become immune to the raising heartbeats.. she knew it was no acidity, but the young angry man who in spite of breaking her heart at every given opportunity still occupied her heart and mind all the time ...

Arnav’s heart broke further seeing her so dejected “Khushi” he husked, bringing a small smile on her beautiful face. She had missed him and after all these days of, just his sight was enough to raise her mood. This was however short lived. Seeing him sad, she was brought back to reality.

“You wanted to meet me Arnav ji? How is Anjali ji, Nani ji , mami.” deliberately leaving out Akash, she asked as cheerfully as she could muster. Who was she hiding it from? He could see the pain and sadness hidden behind those beautiful eyes. How he wished to erase all the problems.


“Khushi all are fine. How is your Babuji? ” He knew she had not gone to Lucknow after she had returned with his Di and Nani. He had kept a close tab on her moves. Either Nani or Anjali had always kept him well informed.

“He is getting better, I have spoken to the doctor” Khushi nodded. Then she waited for him to continue with what he had come for.

“Khushi” he whispered. She looked up, meeting his eye. He knew how to make her heart melt over and again. Not once, every time he called her name, there was this something she could not describe.

“Akash is not doing very well.” He started off, but stopped to see her reaction. Khushi however, was clever. She had already given him a piece of her mind on the phone, so she waited..

Seeing she would not react, he continued, “Akash seriously loves your sister. He has not been himself since we have returned. He had kept his hopes high, however after his return, he has gone into depression mode. Tell me, do you know if Payal loves him?”

Khushi for a moment was struck with the question. So did Payal really like Akash? Even she wondered now. She played the conversation they shared. Thinking of all the words Payal had picked, she could only come to the conclusion, “yes Payal does like Akash, but would she agree to it? Never.”

Arnav waited for her reply. But Khushi did not want to say what she thought. She spoke rather sarcastically,

“Arnav ji, you should know better. Does it really matter if my jiji likes him or not? Take your brother out, let him go on a holiday like how Lavanya ji has gone. It is just a passing by attraction. It should not take him long to forget my middle class sister. Or ask your mami to look for a very educated, better still, a very rich beautiful girl and get him married. Now anyway there is no point in waiting for your marriage isn’t it?”

“Khushi, you think I have not tried all that?” He bit his tongue having said that. He knew it would be taken in the wrong sense, soon he corrected, “No I did not mean that, I did all that to check if it was just a passing by attraction, but he really likes her. And if she also likes him, I don’t see why they should not get married.”

Khushi looked at him with surprise and raised her eyebrows. This man could change his views if it came to his family. “You are saying this Arnav ji, knowing our status, background?” she knew how it stung him.

“I think my sister has quite clearly explained to him. Did she not ask him to mention it to his mum and sort it out. That is the best thing Arnavji, let him tell him mum, probably that way he will face some reality”

“So you will not help me?” looking straight into her eyes, Arnav questioned.

“As much as I want to help your brother, I don’t know how to. What do you want me to do? Don’t you think I have already landed my family in huge trouble after interfering the first time in her marriage? “ she asked him in all honesty, “Not just me, Payal too has been through a lot. When her first marriage was fixed, we planned, spent without thinking and did everything for the wedding. She had dreams and fantasies of her own and we encouraged her as well, then it all fell. And now do you think she will even dare to dream? Though we are all happy the marriage fell, because she cannot be happy if the boy could not stand for her, still we had to go through a broken wedding, and then downfall...” Khushi left it there..

Soon, seeing how much he wanted to help his brother, she told, “Arnav ji, I know my sister will not openly agree even if she likes. Because of her past, I know she will never do it. So it will be hard for Akash ji, but if he really loves her, then it is all in his hands only. I know my sister will listen to her parents if they ask her to marry him” that was the only positive response she could offer.

Understanding her situation, Arnav changed the topic. Yes there was nothing for her to do staying away so far as well. He knew very well Payal would not agree. “There is one more thing I want your help in.”

Khushi smiled, “Arnavji I cant believe you are asking me for help?” somehow she was more at ease now. Strangely he felt relaxed now. He strained his brain to think when he had a relaxed conversation with anybody, let alone Khushi.

“Khushi” he said sternly, he did not want to show he was casual... “Di wants to stay in Lucknow, that too all alone. Of course Nani will be there, but di wants to come to the rehab centre and do some voluntary work as well. She does not know anybody in Lucknow. We have lost all contacts.”

Khushi sighed. Devi maiyya had her own plans. Khushi had thought once they move out of Delhi, it would be easy to get over her heart break and concentrate on her family, but there was no way keeping the Raizadas out of picture.

Agreeing to his request, “Don’t worry Arnavji, I will do my best, I will keep an eye on her”

He somehow felt relieved hearing her assurance. Somehow he felt she was the only one who would look after her as sincerely as himself. He even felt a pang of guilt thinking he did not trust his own family as much.

By now, he knew there was no way of keeping her behind in Delhi. He had done a lot of damage by his careless acts to their family. Moreover he did not like Khushi being guilty. He was apprehensive to even help her in this venture, lest it might hurt her. However, he did try..

“Khushi, one more thing”

Khushi looked at him with an expression “Now what” the great Arnav Singh Raizada making requests to her.. Was this even real.. she thought.

“I know a few companies that might be of your help..” he did not get the opportunity to continue, because Khushi had put her hand out to stop him. “Arjnav ji, please I want to do this alone. Thanks, but I don’t know why you want to do this. You don’t have to feel guilty anymore.. You have offered help with my Babuji’s treatment as well, but honestly, you don’t have to. Thank you”

“Please.. “ and she gave him a beautiful smile.

“oooof, how can she be even more beautiful?? Or is she beautiful to me because I like her” he left wondering to himself. “wish I could understand myself....”


***********************************************

“Lavanya ji?” Anjali shouted. Then turning around and making a pout, “No I am not talking to you.”

“Di, di di.. sorrie sorrie....” Lavanya held her shoulders and gave her a hug.

“You don’t pick up my calls, you just disappeared? Have we become outsiders now?” Anjali questioned her still with a pout, at the same time happily calling “Nani, Mami, look who has come”

“Di, I had to get back to my normal self. I know I told ASR I was going to London, but somehow I was happy in my flat alone and I wanted to get back on the track..”

“I am sorry Lavanya for what happened. I can’t believe Chote has done this.” Anjali sincerely apologised. “So tell me Lavanya ji, what is happening? What are your plans?”

“Di, I have booked my tickets to London for next week. I have taken three weeks off, and I have arranged a holiday with my friends to go to Paris for a few days. Then I will resume work in London itself.. I have spoken to ASR” while she spoke, in walked the very man.. a hundred years, Anjali remarked..

(There is a saying in some sects where in if the person is talking about someone and if they come at the same time, they will live a hundred years!!)

“Lavanya, what a surprise..” in deed he did look surprised at the same time he did not know why he felt guilty since he was just coming after meeting Khushi. He was under the impression she was in London.

Giving him a peck as if everything was normal, Lavanya settled back with Anjali. Soon everyone stood rooted to the spot when Mami came rushing out blabbering,

“I will never let it happen, never ever..”





-

Thank you all for your support... please comment...



Aug 18

part 16 - Melancholy (By Mimima1) (Thanked: 61 times)

Thank you all for your lovely comments... 


Special thanks to Julie. Will update more often...




Part 16 – Melancholy...


“Aye Sanka devi how long? Your devi maiyya will close her ears if you keep talking to her. Give her some peace. Let her have time to listen to others problems as well. You come here and help me to get the trunk down. I need to pack.” This was her fifth call but her sanka devi still had loads to talk.


“Devi maiyya, Buaji will rip me apart if I don’t  go. Now don’t forget all that I have told you. Please please please, help Akash ji, Anjali ji and everyone in that house. And please come with us to Lucknow so that I can do the first offering to you“ she would have continued if not for Buaji who had finally come to her room and literally pulled her away.



“Hai re nand kis****! Do you know still there is so much to pack and we have only 2 days? Where have you been? You said you would come early. Have you spoken to him? Where have you kept the phone number of the truck driver. Pack Payal’s clothes as well. Poor girl didn’t take much when we left. “ This was too much information for Khushi’s mind to process. She looked blank. 


But suddenly getting very excited, Buaji questioned, “Aye Khushi, don’t you think she has become very bold now. I was surprised how she was talking to the doctor and how she alone managed to find the house. We only saw after almost everything was settled by her. The owner of the house was very impressed with her.”



“Buaji, we have to be like that to survive, else they will eat us raw!” Khushi answered her and got busy packing. 

With Happy ji around, help was easily available sometimes. One of his clients had a factory in Lucknow and they often had goods being transferred to and fro. It was a god sent opportunity for the Gupta’s to move their stuff so Buaji could rent the house.


(In this story Buaji owned the house in Delhi which her late husband had left in her name, hence she was renting to a PG. Sorry no Shukla ji!!)



************************************************************

Guessing the reason for her angry outbursts, the trio Anjali, Lavanya and Arnav rushed to the kitchen where Mami was busy pounding ginger.. She had to vent out all her pent up anger on something... what best other than make ginger tea.. all the while muttering angrily..


“How do I explain it to him? This boy is still too young to know what is good or what is bad. He has not seen the real world, he does not understand. And to top all that, he has his support of his dad... Hey bhagvan what do I do with both father and son. They are doomed to bring me down!! How will I show my face to my friends!!“ for the first time Mami had forgotten her hello hi bye bye.. and remembered bhagvan!!



Akash had chosen a time when both his mum and dad was there to break the news and as expected again, dad did not have any issues. But in the light of recent downfalls they had had, he only told, “Akash, you know how people can fool us easily for money, make sure this is not the case and do thorough checks, otherwise I have no problem beta.”



For Manorama, the earth slit open listening to her sons amar prem kahani (Eternal love story). Rage took over her being. Forgot Hello hai bai bai... stomped off to the kitchen. Three pairs of eyes glued on her all the way while she wailed. 



Manohar consoled his son, “Give her some time. Don’t be too harsh on her, Once she agrees, she will stand by your side all the way..”


Nani rushed out along with her goat, Lakshmi, hearing all the commotion. For the first time she saw her daughter in law doing some proper work in the kitchen. When she was slightly calmed down after drinking her bitter ginger tea Manorama went straight to her mother in law and all the while sobbing she narrated her sad story. 



Nani had expected something drastic had happened, but soon heaved a breath of relief. Having met Payal recently, Nani was happy with the news, yet she leant an understanding, sorry ear to her daughter in law who had come to her with a problem. 



Knowing Payals current problems and worries, she consoled her DIL, “Manorama, I got worried listening to your wails. Anyway, give your son some time. Let him think clearly. If this is what he wants nobody can change anything. Anyway they are away in Lucknow, so with time he will be alright” 



While Lavanya looked questioningly at Anjali and Arnav, the two knew precisely what her problem was. Rather they were shocked Akash would disclose the matter this early. 


Well Poor Akash, was at the end of his tethers. His logic was, “if it will happen one day, let me do it right now, why wait..” He was not in a stable mind ever since Payal had told him to ask his mum. It was now a matter of finding his own identity. He questioned himself “Does she think I’m a coward when it comes to my family and I can’t stand against them?” 


Very true to Payal’s, words the reactions were exactly the way she had predicted, which made it even worse. For the first time he was swimming opposite the tide. And it hurt. Nobody ever denied anything until now, “Well that’s because I always asked for what was basic necessity and nothing extravagant!!”  he reasoned.. “and now I can see the true colours” 



. “Di when did all this happen?” Lavanya questioned Anjali, while Arnav made his way to Akash to make sure all was fine..


“Lavanya, you won’t believe Akash would be like that, but it started since Khushi was working at AR.” Lavanya’s mouth and eyes opened wide with surprise. 


Taking  Lavanya to her room, Anjali continued, “You know Akash has gone to drop Khushi a few times, so I think it started then...” then giggling very quietly, she recounted.. “You know Chote told me Akash was having a lot of problems with his vehicle last few months and he always took them to the garage near Khushi’s house” she winked at Lavanya and both enjoyed a good laugh after a long time.



“Di, actually I came here for another reason too. I wanted to visit Khushi. So I thought I could take you. “ hesitating a bit “ah, that is if you didn’t mind. But after listening to all this,...” she stopped.



“Layanya I don’t mind at all. Well there were plans that I too will be going to Lucknow, and staying there for a while, but now with Mami having her anger bursts may be I will stay over for a few more days. Let’s make sure Mami and Akash are both alright and then we can visit her. You know Khushi will be leaving very soon..”


“Who will be leaving soon Di?...” in walked Arnav who had come to inform he was going out. 


“Leave that chote, how is Akash? Is he quite upset. And where are you going?” Anjali asked eagerly,


“Di, of course he is a bit sad. Well very upset and depressed. But I think he will be able to convince Mami, and time is the only factor!” Arnav confirmed. “I am going to meet one of the clients. Aman has told he will be there but he said he may get delayed, so I thought I can handle the situation until he comes.” Looking at the two of them getting ready to leave,


“Where are you two going?”


Anjali was not sure whether to say. She knew he does not hate Khushi anymore, but she was not sure if he would like if she went to Khushi’s house. Though she never had plans or wanted to go, since the time Lavanya had asked her, she wanted go. 

“Your Aman will be getting late.. go now..” and she literally pushed him out of her door. 


******************************************************

“Anjali ji.. Lavanya ji....” a shocked Khushi stood by the door just watching them. Coming behind her, Buaji swung her long braid behind her neck, “Hai re nand kis****, who is at the door, why are you stood like a stone?”



For a moment she too stood still seeing the visitors. Coming back to her senses, both Khushi and Buaji made way to them. “Please please please come in” and making way for them to enter and sit down, Khushi apologised. “Sorry for the mess, I have been running like a headless chicken packing. Tomorrow all the things will be shifted...”



Giving a big hug to Lavanya, Khushi looked sorry but she did not want to apologise for his behaviour. “How are you Lavanya Ji? Sorry I could not speak to you. You know we got busy with my Babuji’s treatment and all this moving” Somewhere she too felt guilty. Did she have a hand in their break up. Though she did not believe it, there was a doubt lurking behind... Was it because he fell for her he could not love Lavanya? Suddenly shaking her head in denial, she thought .. “Love... and that Arnav Singh Raizada? He only loves his family and nobody else. Poor Lavanya ji. Well at least she got away from a loveless marriage.“



“No worries Chamkili. I am super fine.. see.” She swung around showing off her recently purchased anarkali dress. 

“Its beautiful bitiya” Buaji remarked. Breaking her knuckles to remove all evil eye!!  


“Thank you” replied Lavanya shyly..


“How is Payal?” Asked Anjali.


“She has become such a strong support for the family, you will not believe it bitiya,” Buaji started. “She has been taking care of all the hospital duties and the setting of the new house single handed. Sachi mein (Honestly) she has grown ten fold in the last few months ever since they moved there. I think the Lucknow air suits her. Once I go there, I will start enquiring my friends to find a local boy.. it is sad her first marr.......”  Buaji continued, but Khushi, Anjali and Lavanya looked at each other. They had not told Khushi what was happening at RM



Trying to change the subject, Khushi asked, “Anjali ji, when are you coming to Lucknow?”

Suddenly Anjali raised her eyebrows. How could she know? Wasn’t it just today they had discussed about it? “Who told you?”  



Now Khushi was very uncomfortable. She did not know how to say she had just met her brother a few hours ago, and it was worse to say in front of Lavanya. However, Lavanya was clever to understand and guessed. 

Thankfully, Buaji came in asking “You are coming to Lucknow bitiya? How nice. When are you coming?”   



Anjali forgot her question to Khushi and answered, “The plan was to come quite soon Buaji, but a few problems have cropped up at home, I will just see it settles down and then will come there.”



Khushi looked concerned, but Anjali replied, “Nothing to worry Khushi ji, just that my Mami is a bit aaa....” she did not know how to complete, so she left it. 


All formalities complete, Anjali was out in the car, but just before leaving, Lavanya held Khushi’s hand, “Khushi, thank you for everything. You might think why, and actually even I don’t know why. I don’t know when I will see you next, but you take care. It is not always about others, sometimes you need to think of yourself too. I hope you do really well in your business in Lucknow. And if you need any help of any sort and I can help, please ask.” Khushi nodded. Lavanya hadn’t finished, “look after Anjali ji. And yes don’t take any trash from ASR. Give him back properly and bring him down to earth!!” 

Khushi frowned, looking at Lavanya, but Lavanya now feeling bit sad, “ok chamkili, I don’t know my long term plans, but I will see you sometime..  soon...”



***************************************************

Sleep evaded him. He couldn’t explain the emptiness he felt. The hollowness grew every time he remembered her words, “At least now you be happy. I am going to Lucknow forever, forever....”

 ****************************************

Khushi was deep in her thoughts late through the night. She was going. Going forever just the way she had promised him. With all the hard days work her eyes drooped slowly with the thought “why did it pain so much”, when she was supposed to be happy to be returning back to where she belongs.. immediately she was drawn by the dark brown eyes she saw in her dreams. She knew. Because that is where she belongs....

******************************************

Akash was completely broken. After keeping himself away from everyone, he went out to the family gym to work it out.

The want to exert his body, to shout, to scream. He just could not bear.. he just exhausted himself on his treadmill. Yet he could not sleep. He had made up his mind, well that’s what he thought. “Fine if she does not want the girl I have chosen, I will never agree to anyone else she chooses. I will wait.

I must go away for a few days. 

Nobody wants me here...


 Even Bhai suggested that, probably that is the best idea.” 

(This gym, I assume is at RM)

******************************************

Ever since she had the conversation with her sister, she was uneasy. Of course she could guess why Anjali ji’s Mami was not alright. Though Khushi did not say much about that or her conversation with Arnav ji, Payal knew Akash would have told his mum. A part of her felt sad knowing the reaction was how she had expected, though she knew it would not have been otherwise. Her first thoughts were, “Oh my god, Hope Akash is ok, he will be feeling so low. Hey Devi maiyya give him support“ 


She consoled herself with the thought, “the earlier the better, at least he knows how his family is..” still, she could not sleep. There was a tear flowing down towards her ears...


***********************************************

Thats it for this part dearies.... hope you all enjoyed...

Please comment...



Aug 29

Part 17 - Time Heals??? (By Mimima1) (Thanked: 42 times)


Hi all


Thanks for your comments...


I have added a new OS- Long Destined..

Have a read and let me know your thoughts...

Thanks dears for all your support... Never thought I would be writing ..... it is all with your support...



Part 17 – Time heals?? 



Somehow all managed to get through the night. However, there was no escape from reality the next day. Or the day after, or for that matter, the next two and half months... All memories seemed to be fading with time, except of course, each knew the agony of separation only grew deeper. Longing, more intense. Each waiting for an opportunity to fall on them to see each other... 



Akash busied himself in work. Exhaustion from work and his strict gym regime kept him from the rest of the family. His silent rebellion was something his mum was not used to. She could tackle if he spoke but his silence killed her. He never once asked her again, yet it was the third proposal he had rejected. Though he did not create any scene in front of the prospective parents and the bride, “No” is all he said when they left.  No reasons explained, no further conversation. Every avenue was blocked. With silence..



With Anjali and Nani away in Lucknow, the house was empty. There was no way he could go and visit them  with the new project in hand. Arnav spent most of his time at office, mainly to fight his feelings and emotions running amok.  It was a lot different when he was studying in Harvard. This was the first time he was at home without his sister. No more happy dinners. Every night he returned to a silent house only to be greeted by the Prakash brothers. His only respite was to hear a detailed recount of Anjali’s day. He waited for those days when she would visit the Gupta household or when Khushi took Anjali out... There was one thing that stood out... Khushi never went to meet Anjali at Sheesh mahal, every time there was an opportunity, Khushi managed to dodge..... yet she managed to make sure Anjali was safe.. Even Payal seemed to have visited her with Buaji.



For Khushi and Payal, seeing the developments their Babuji made, was enough encouragement to keep them going. It was like watching a child go through various milestones. With the love of all the devi’s surrounding him, his loving sister, doting wife, darling daughters and of course the all pervading Devi maiyya, Shashi showed significant improvement. He was now seen taking short walks with the help of a stick. Dr.Kiran was ready to discharge him soon, scheduling regular follow ups and the family couldn’t have heard anything better.



Payal and Khushi sat on the steps of their favourite Devi Maiyyas temple, watching the crowd pass by. So many emotions unsaid, but understood. The last two months had seen the two sisters bond in a special way, both at a professional level and as siblings. Suddenly Payal asked, “Khushi, Buaji is right. You are one Sanki (wierd).. see, I don’t know, one fine day you stopped wearing these bangles, and now you don’t take them out at all!!”

Dreaming, she gently stroked her mums bangle on her hand. It was the day they were supposed to shift to Lucknow...

Flashback start

Stood holding the banister of Buaji’s house as if waiting someone would come, Khushi wondered, “How did I get into this? Hey Devi maiyya, what all has happened in the last few months. I want to go back to Lucknow, but I want to stay here as well.” She felt depressed thinking about it. Yet there were opposite thoughts too when she was reminded of all the atrocities she had to go through “Why should I stay here, what for when all my dear ones are there? There is nobody for me in this place!!” 



“Aye Parameshwari, do you want to be stood here all day and miss the train? Go and get the rickshaw.” shouted Buaji from inside, giving a final touch to all the door locks and the left over furnishings they wanted to discard..



Still in her reverie, Khushi unconsciously made her way out when she heard the familiar sound of the engine. A whiff of air blew, her heart raced. She knew. Like a balm to her bruised heart, Arnav opened his window showing his pale, sad face to her. Why had he come here? He knew they were supposed to go tomorrow. Something strong had pulled him to Lakshmi nagar today. There was a strong urge to come here and true to his feelings, there did await a surprise. They were leaving early. However, he also had to clear some doubt, before she left...

Even though sleepless nights had given him a few dark circles round his eyes, it was still a relief to see him. She did not want to look away. She wanted to capture this moment, for she did not know when she would get another chance. If at all.



However, buaji had by now finished her last minute checks and came out to see both the lovebirds having an eye lock.  Though confused at the beginning, she ward off her thoughts, and called, “Aye Khushi, what are you doing? Arnav baba has come?”



Khushi looked at both of them one after the other. She did not know what to do. “Has Buaji locked the house, there is nothing inside, should I call him inside? Why has he come? “

Buaji spoke, “Arnav baba, how are you? How is everyone?”

“They are all fine.” He wondered what was happening, but soon Buaji cleared his doubts, “We were leaving today itself. Few things were pending and we thought it might take time, but Khushi has finished every thing and there is nothing left to stay” 

Arnav felt a pang of pain when she said that, though he knew what she had meant.

“Buaji what time is your train?” Arnav asked in a curt manner. 

“Well there is still some time, I wanted to speak to Shuklaji to check on the tenants. But you know my sanka devi, dreaming here,..”  Khushi held Buaji’s shoulder to stop.

“Buaji, come I will drop you. But is it ok if I take Khushi for some work” he looked at her questioningly, while both Khushi and Buaji were left wondering what the work was.. but somehow she did not mind going with him. She felt the need to spend the little time she had with him if she could..

Buaji agreed reluctantly, but she let go. “It wont be long, we will be back soon and I will drop you to the station” Arnav reassured her, seeing her worried look. Giving a stern look towards Khushi, he nodded and as if she were his puppet, and she obeyed without any qualms. 



Dropping Buaji to Shuklas house, Arnav turned to Khushi and asked “Khushi, I want you to explain, giving me all the details. And I want just the truth..” 

Khushi looked at him with a big question on her face. “What was he talking about??” 

Coming straight to the point, “WHERE DID YOU BUY THOSE PLANTS FROM?” 

Again Khushi looked confused, even though she was getting a hang of where this was coming from. Realising she knew what he was talking about, Arnav called “Khushi, yes the ones that were left in my office. Where did you get them from?” 

Khushi squirmed in her seat, “Well, Arnav ji, you know Lavanya ji got them. I don’t know” 

“Khushi, I will not buy any of your lies. I know she did not buy them. Honestly damn it, how did you manage to get them?” He was getting angry and she could feel there was no way out. “ Hey Devi Maiyya, please save me... let him get an urgent call, do something Devi maiyya, but please save me..”  Khushi prayed, while he observed her facial expression change between anxiousness, nervousness, sorrow, pleading...

When she did not answer and kept quiet for a while, “Khushi, you don’t want to tell me?”

“Arnav ji, How could I let Lavanya ji go. That would result in my failure in doing my job. I had to make her stay until Nani ji could approve her.” Getting angry at both Arnav and Lavanya, she spoke, “And  both of you were equally stubborn. What could I do? I had to think of a way to make you agree. I knew you had all the expensive and best things you wanted, so this was the cheapest gift I could think of”



“And you call them cheap?” He asked Khushi earnestly. Then putting up a curt and stern voice “How did you manage to get the money. Those plants are quite expensive I know”



Trying to ward away his questions, “Arnav ji, I don’t know, but I could not think of anything else I could buy that you would like. Anyway, you liked it, that’s all matter, and everything worked out fine, let’s leave now, its time for me to go”

“Khushi, You do know how to get a good gift, but until you tell me the truth, I am not taking you back” he told in a decisive voice.

Again she tried to lie, “I had some spare money I had saved up in my piggy bank..”

“Khushi, those plants are not something you can get from just spare money.. and if I can remember, you were in need of money then,.. then how did this come up??”

Seeing no other escape, “well, I had some old jewellery..” his face changed immediately.

“What the..” he raised his voice. “Did you sell your jewellery to buy the plants? Damn it. What was the need?”  shaking his head in disbelief, “I can’t believe you could do that.” 

“No no, I did not sell it, it has been pawned ,” she thought she will clear the misunderstanding, but she then bit her tongue, when he said, “Tell me where,”

Try as much but she could not deter him from his goal of getting her the jewellery back. He gave a deathly glare to Khushi when the sales lady mentioned, “Madam, I knew you would come for it one day, since you said it was your mum’s. I kept it safe.” Khushi gave a meek smile. Looking at Arnav, the sales lady asked, “Madam shall I show you some new designs that have just come?”

“No thanks..” Khushi managed to say “Can I have water please?” Then she murmured, “I just want to get out of this place alive” getting another steely glare from Arnav.

After making the payment, Arnav came with the bangles. She had lost all hopes of seeing these bangles ever again. Tears rolled down her cheeks on their own. Taking her hand ever so gently, he slid them on each hand. Holding her hand for a tad bit longer, looking into her eye, he told her in a very gentle voice  “Don’t ever do this again, please”. Both looked at each other. Nothing was said, but he knew she would never do it again.

When they had arrived at Shukla ji’s house to pick Buaji, she asked, “Arnav ji, how did know? And after some many months?”



“Khushi, I can make out when you lie, so don’t hide anything, and I have my spies everywhere..” she looked at him puzzled, when he explained “By the way Lavanya asked me yesterday where I got those lovely plants from!!!” 



Automatically, Khushi put her tongue out biting it, she exclaimed, “ooops” 

Flashback end



“Jiji, come lets go home and may be watch something on TV. It has been a while since we have got time like this..” Khushi urged her sister to move from there, but Payal had other plans. 



“Few more minutes Khushi. It is so peaceful to sit here....”  Payal tried to stop Khushi who actually was not in any hurry as well, when suddenly Payal got up and went ahead...



That’s when Khushi saw... Payal was at the gate of the temple, hugging and taking blessings...




**************************************************

Thank you all for your continued support,...



Who do you think Payal has fgone to meet...

New prospective groom?

Anjali ji and Aaksh??


Sep 26

Part 18 - Deja vu (By Mimima1) (Thanked: 61 times)



Part 18 – Deja Vu

“Few more minutes Khushi. It is so peaceful to sit here....”  Payal tried to stop Khushi who actually was not in any hurry as well, when suddenly Payal got up and went ahead...

That’s when Khushi saw with her mouth open and googlie eyes...... Payal was at the gate of the temple, hugging and taking blessings...



Khushi ran down, a wide smile adorning her beautiful face and gave a tight hug to her Babuji. 


“Bitiya, give him some space to brethe..” Garima  came to Shashi’s rescue. 


“Aye sanka devi, what are you doing” Buaji called her giving a pat on her head..


“Khushi you are such a nautanki (Drama queen) Leave him alone” Payal pulled her back


“Jiji, you knew and you never told me?” Khushi complained to Payal making a big pout, to which Payal scoffed her off saying “If your phone was charged you would have known. Kiran uncle (the doctor) was coming to town and thought he could see if Babuji could take the stress of travelling since he was getting better”


“So I asked if we could go to Devi Maiyyas temple beti “ Garima finished the conversation with Buaji leading them all to the main temple “Hai re nand kis****, are we going to be stood here all day!!”

*****************************************************

This was getting uncomfortable, but a promise is a promise. She had to call. Payal’s thoughts went back to the time when Khushi had just arrived and they had moved into their new house. 


Flashback start


Despite the excitement of moving and starting a new business, she was often seen in her own world. It was again when Khushi was probing into her silence, she had got his call.. Moving out of Khushi’s hearing, Payal received his call. She was selfish, in that she wanted to hear his voice. But when she heard him, her heart broke. 


“Hello,. Akash? How are you? What’s the matter?” 

With a heavy thick accent he had spoken, “aa Payal. I am fine. How are you?”


“I’m ok.. How is everyone?” Payal had gently enquired without deliberately probing too much into his well being. She had no clue what had transpired at his end. She did not know he had spoken to his mum.


“Payal can you do me a favour. I know you will not simply accept my love because of all the differences and everything that has happened before. Trust me I am working towards it, and I know I will be able to prove myself. My only problem is, your Buaji is way too keen to fix you sisters alliances.. so please if any plans do come up, can you tell me first.”


She hesitated a bit. She knew it was easy to tell him that she too equally likes him. But would it be an easy path?


Especially with her family in such a situation, she did not want to commit, however she did promise what he wanted form her.  “Akash, I don’t understand anything, there is too much going on both sides. But if that is what you want, ok, I will let you know” 


Just as predicted, coming back from the temple, Buaji was way too excited. The Pandit ji had suggested one ‘boy’ who was to visit Lucknow. He had gone to ‘foreign for studies’.. to say in exact Pandits words...

Even though Shashi and Garima were not too keen on sending their to ‘foreign’  Pandit ji had suggested ‘why not see the boy!!!’



Flashback end



********************************************************************

“Chote, what a big surprise. I called you so many times and now you have made time for your sister” Anjali was almost in tears seeing her brother after so many days. 

Sitting under the moonlight after dinner, both brother and sister had a hearty conversation.


“Di, you know how busy I was with the project. I am so glad Akash has taken complete responsibility of the project and I can concentrate on the show you want me to do here.” Stopping her brother mid way, Anjali asked, “Chote how is he taking all this. I am surprised after pursuing so adamantly he has given up..”


“Di, you are mistaken, both mother and son are quite adamant. You very well know how Mami kept bringing him all the rich girls alliance, but his way of protesting is completely different. Don’t know what happened last week he has really gone over board, does not come home on time, he is in the office till late midnight, then goes off to gym early in the morning, does not speak to anyone. That’s why Mami wanted to come as well. Don’t know what she has in her mind.” he found himself talking his heart off quite comfortably for the first time in a while. He did not want to admit, but he had missed his sisters constant nagging. 


“What does she want to do here? Has she agreed for Payal? “ Anjali enquired.


“Di you think she is that easy to crack? I don’t know what she is here for, but I remember the last parting words of Akash to his mum”

Anjali closed in to hear her brother repeat what Akash had told, “Ma, if you were to go to Lucknow and create a drama at the Gupta’s or insult Payal or anybody from her family, that day you will lose my respect forever”



“Hey Bhagvan (OMG) this Akash is quite stubborn, then why can’t he do something?” Anjali asked, or rather questioned herself.



“Well I think he wants Mami to accept Payal, but I don’t know what she is up to. You must find out Di. I don’t want anybody to hurt Khushi anymore” it just slipped out of his mouth. Before he could stop or realise, Anjali raised her head a bit confused.



Khushi’s thoughts had occupied his mind to such an extent that it did not feel strange taking her name. His every action or thought ended with her. “What would happen to Khushi in this situation”. She was always in his thoughts. How she had parted when he had dropped them at the railway station, he could never forget. Looking at her mum’s bangles, she had whispered  “Arnav ji, thank you. Don’t know if I can tell you this, still, look after yourself, now even Anjali ji will not be here. Make sure you keep your sugar in control”. 


Speech stuck in his throat. Nobody other than his family had taken the liberty to talk anything personal. But with Khushi, it had never been so either. She always spoke her mind, whether he liked it or not.  Before he could say anything she turned and  left. The last thing he saw was her eyes glistened. With tears. 


***********************************************************

“Dhak dhak dhak dhak...” her heartbeats rose erratically as they neared the gates of Sheesh Mahal. It was here when it had all started to go.. aaaa different. She had mused on this for long hours in the last few months. She couldn’t call it was all completely wrong now. Though it had all turned out right now, she would never want to go through certain things ever again.  



Khushi clutched her kurta tight. Though her attire hadn’t drastically changed, in the last two months, owing to flexibility and comfort, Khushi had slowly changed to Kurtas,.. though some of her friendly clients teased her “Khushi ji you don’t have to wear a veil with this..”  to which she would reply aptly.... “Yes ji.. Few more days to get unveiled..” 


“Arnav ji” she whispered, still dreamy eyed.


Payal turned to her questioningly “How do you know he has come?” but Khushi wasn’t listening. 

When they had both settled after all the courtesy’s, sipping her tea, Khushi understood why Payal had pestered her to come to Sheesh Mahal. No amount of excuses worked today. There was Mami ji in all her jewels and gaudy make up sipping her herbal tea. 



“Jiji you did not tell me all these people are here?” Khushi whispered into Payal’s ears. “How should I have known, Anjali ji told me only her brother had come and wanted to discuss a few things about our business” Payal whispered back. 



“Khushi ji, finally you have come. I told Payal, you have to bring Khushi . Why Payal ji?? She has not come even once...” Anjali, happy to see the cheerful sisters sat down with her tea, only to sigh at Mami’s snide comments..


“Bhy (why) Anjali bitiya, I thought they would have perrmanantly moved here with you..”



Both Khushi and Payal looked at each other, but left it there knowing Mami. Anjali changed the subject, “Khushi ji, Payal ji chote will be having a show here this season. Me being here, I forced him to give me the responsibility. I am enjoying it. He wanted to talk to you guys about some catering. So Khushi ji can you go and get him. Just ask the staff, they will tell you where the hall is“


Nooooo her head screamed, but she did want to see him. Oh of course yes. How she had yearned to see him. 

Without thinking, Khushi strolled down the corridors. Images of her first visit to the Mahal playing in her head.


Payal’s wedding day


Running to the reception to ask for Abhishek


Going down the corridor


Taking the wrong turn


Models trying to quickly patch her make up


And finally being pushed onto the stage..


But today, she just knew where he was. She did not have to ask anybody. As if her legs knew where to go, she went on. Down the corridor, to where she had first seen the receptionist, turning in the right direction without having to recite “bhoool bulayya” and into the room where stood her destiny,...



Engrossed in checking all the arrangements made. Arnav was surprised looking into the files, neatly organised paperwork in order, the amount of planning that had gone into the work and began to commend all the hard work Anjali had put in. 


But as if the air around him stilled, his heartbeats began to rise. He could sense her. This feeling of belongingness. He knew very well indeed. The feeling he had missed last few months. He immediately looked up. 



The next thing he knew, Khushi in his arms, both eyes shut, holding the lapels of his shirt tight, not to fall on the ground. 

Realising she had not hit the ground and knowing very well who held her, Khushi opened her eyes, only to fall deep into his chocolate brown orbs.. and him mesmerised by her beautiful eyes. Both whispered


“Khushi”


“Arnav ji”


Time stopped. Silence everywhere. The world had stilled. For how long they stood, they knew not. 

After what seemed ages, they heard



GASPS......

*****************************************************************************

Oh no... who has come to disturb the love birds now!!!



That’s it friends. Hope you all enjoyed it. I know I know I have been quite bad with my updates. Honestly I thought September would be better, but it has proved otherwise. I will try my best to update often...

Please leave your valuable comments...



Oct 8

Part 19 - All over again (By Mimima1) (Thanked: 57 times)

Thank you dears for all your comments...I feel blessed...


Hope you anjoy this part too and please leave your comments



Part 19 – All over again


Both were broken out of their reverie. Seeing they have an audience, breaking the eye lock, he gently put her down. Both looked flushed and out flew all the logic. Unlike the previous fall, this time Khushi was angry!!! 


Being in Lucknow, away from him for months, she had thought she had moved on!! He would not affect her as much now. But what was happening? Still her heart beats went erratic in his vicinity. Still she could feel the breeze and oh how she felt her heart miss a beat when she saw him. She could not take her eyes off him. And now when she saw Mami, Payal and Anjali all stood with their jaws nearly touching the ground, she lost it.... Mami’s recent remarks came to her thoughts,


Eyes widened, pointing her index finger at him,  “All this happened because of you” she started, but stopped immediately when he held her finger, looked in her eye and said coolly,


“Yeah right, I asked you to trip on the wires, correct..” he couldn’t bring himself to be angry with her. Not now, after such a long time. Still holding her finger, he could see her face go red with changing expressions. 


Squishing her finger out, she stammered, “ a a I I didn’t see the wires, they were all over see. “, she moved her eyes all around to show the wires lying about... When her eyes landed on Payal, she started again, in her annoyed tone,..


“This is all because of you Jiji, I told you I will not come, did you listen to me?  No. Now see, my lights have gone off, I mean there is not enough light and I can’t see. ” holding her head and turning around, “Hey Devi maiyya, this is happening again, what situation have you put me into.. Jiji, chalo, let’s go”


Anjali stopped her with “Khushi ji, Khushi ji, wait wait... stop please.. It was me,... I left these around so that the electrician could come and get the lighting sorted, but I forgot to tell you.” 


Mami who was strangely quiet until now “Hello hai bye bye, Arnav bitwa, just check if any fuse has fallen down when she fell?? God knows with whom we need to deal with” Saying so she walked away in her favourite catwalk, the stage being perfect for her!!



Payal finally spoke, “Arnav ji, sorry for all the mess she has made. Anjali ji sent her and before we could come and warn her, she got into all this... ” addressing Khushi, “Khushi you seem to have lost the connection.. just jabbering? Buaji is right, you are one Sanki.. (mad) ” both Payal and Khushi walked out leaving behind the brother and sister duo. 



While Arnav intently watched Khushi, anticipating her to turn, Anjali was amazed at the smile that had not left his face. Expecting him to be in his foul mood after the mess, she had stayed back to calm him before talking to the sisters about the catering services. But she was knocked out when she saw Khushi turn just before she left the hall and both Arnav and Khushi were eye locked, with a smile lingering on her Chote’s face.



Not wanting to read between the lines, she shook her head. “Hey Bhagvan, (Oh God) what’s happening? Is there anything going on??” But, shaking her head more vigorously, “No no, it can’t be possible with Chote”

 

While walking back, Khushi made it clear as crystal to Payal. “Jiji, I really do not want to take up any order for their show. I don’t think I can handle it again. It is happening all over again.  My Acidity, my madness.. .Please Jiji “  in her own thoughts, she did not realise she was once again jabbering..


Stopping and shaking her shoulders, touching her forehead, “Khushi, what is happening? You were ok when we left home. Do you have fever? What can’t you handle? What is happening again? Have you eaten anything? What Acidity??”



Getting out of her thoughts she realised she needed to go home, “Jiji, lets go home right now please”

“Ok baba, lets wait for Anjali and then we will take leave” Payal reassured her, after seeing her in a confused state.



Little did they know that Anjali had other ideas. After seeing her brother, many ideas had popped into her head and she wanted to make sure what she saw was true..


“Array, how can you both leave like that. Khushi ji has come here first time, so please stay for some more time. Anyway Chote want’s to talk to...”  Anjali was talking when Khushi suddenly stood 


“Chote.. aaa I mean Arnav ji wants to talk? No Anjali ji. That was a mistake. I did not know about the wires. But if anything has happened, then I am sorry.” Seeing her tirade once again, Anjali, Payal and Mami were dumbstruck with their mouths open  ” Please tell him that. Jiji, let’s go.. “ but she stopped when she could sense that he was coming. “Jiji please lets go,.. he is coming”.



Anjali looked at Payal. Guessing her questions, Payal answered, “Believe me Anjali ji, I am sure she was alright. She even ate her jilebi’s today, she is not on any fast, No fever, I checked“



All of Khushi’s efforts to leave failed when he entered and spoke. “Ms. Gupta, I want to talk to you.” 

Khushi was tongue tied looking at him. 


Both Payal and Khushi followed him to his study looking just like meek sheep..


Anjali was enjoying seeing a flustered Khushi. “Am I supposed to see anything here. I need to speak to Nani” she told herself and taking the opportunity she discussed with her confidant, dearest Nani. 


Hearing all the story about what Anjali had seen and thinking about Chote’s concern for the Guptas with Mami’s visit, Nani commented,

“Anjali, I remember Ms.Kashyap had once told me, Chote likes somebody and we all know her and like her a lot. Did she mean Khushi bitiya then? Is that why Chote broke up with Ms.Kashyap? We need to keep a vigil on these two..“



Anjali raised her concerns with “Nani do you remember how he used to hate her? He hated when she came to Raizada mansion. He spoke such harshly when we were trying to persuade her to do some extra work or come after the engagement was settled. I never understood why he was after her...”


Nani who was in deep thoughts, broke in with, “Anjali, was it really hatred or ... ” she once again went back to thoughts to analyse all the events and happenings with the pair of them..



It was a day of getting impressed with the ladies. Arnav with all his business tactics could not get the Gupta sisters to agree to his deal. Payal impressed him when he heard her say, “Arnav ji, I agree the deal is very lucrative for us, and  it is very important for both of us. Now I need to make sure we can deliver what you are looking for, because we have not catered to such needs before. So, please give us some time to make a decision” 



In spite of being impressed with the way the meeting was carried confidently by Payal, what he heard next, pleased him. He felt a sense of pride hearing Payal whisper to Khushi while leaving, “Khushi what has happened to you today. It was always you who dealt with new contracts. Today, I have had to do all the talk  and you sat like dumb doll”


Though he knew not what he had achieved, with a proud smile he thought “So I have managed to put Ms.Khushi Kumari Gupta out of her shell. She was tongue tied today!!”



Khushi sighed when all the talks were finished, and was more relieved when nothing was agreed with regards to the catering contract. 


They were ready to leave. But once again, Anjali wouldn’t leave her. “Khushi ji, I am feeling like eating homemade Jilebies, why don’t you stay back, then Chote will drop you. “


“What... me... no no” realising that she was refusing to make jilebies, she corrected, “aa I mean, “ however hard she tried, she could not think of an excuse.. Luckily, Payal came to her rescue, with “Anjali ji, Just before coming here we made fresh jilebies for you. But you know this Khushi has forgotten everything today. She forgot to give you”


Anjali’s attempt to  make them stay failed again, when Payal interrupted, though uneasily with, “Anjali ji, we have to go early today.” 


Nani tried to convince them, but when Payal told them the real reason, none argued, but let them go without a word. 

With the cheerful Gupta sisters gone, all sat with a glum face.... No one knew what to say or do...





******************************************** 

What reason did Payal give???



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