Sunday, September 30, 2012

Chapter Five

One Step Closer

Arnav’s hand reflexively reached for Khushi’s face…. as his hand came closer to her face, Khushi opened her eyes… she was breathing heavily.. her heart started racing as his hand came closer… she knew… she decided that she was not going to fight it anymore.. she decided not to push him away anymore… and she closed her eyes once again.. her lips quivered even more… in anticipation of his touch on her face… Arnav’s hand stopped briefly close to her face. He looked at the mesmerizing beauty… his eyes took in her restless, blushed face in… his heart now became restless… anticipation ensued.. he also decided not to fight it  anymore…he gently placed his hand on her face… Khushi’s body shivered as if an electric current passed through.. she opened her eyes… as Arnav moved away stray hair from her face.. she gazed into his eyes… Arnav’s eyes started speaking to her and she could not move her gaze away…. Khushi allowed herself to get drowned in those intense eyes.

Arnav’s jaw had relaxed… his face calmer… his gaze soft… his eyes caressed Khushi’s face, every inch of it… his hand lingered on her face and then settled briefly on her cheek; as he was about to pull back his hand, Khushi reached for his hand and held it gently, snuggled her face into his hand…. Intense longing on her face and in her eyes… it reflected in Arnav’s eyes as well… As Khushi placed her face in his palm, his face turned even softer,,,

Arnav leaned forward and asked in a husky voice, “Khushiii…did you miss me?”
Khushi opened her eyes briefly, tears filled up to the brim in a jiffy… her twinkling eyes shined through her tears and a smile of relief broke on her face as she again held his hand and pressed it against her face… she nodded ‘yes’…The time froze for them in that moment… Arnav’s face became softer, vulnerable… something that Khushi had never seen before… his eyes got moist and Khushi’s tears started trickling down…Arnav’s hand in her grip, that had her face snuggled in it, caressed her face ever so gently…

They might have stood there like that longer but just then, they heard a knock on the door. Khushi quickly let go of Arnav’s hand, gathered herself… all of a sudden turned shy… and rushed to open the door not making eye contact with Arnav..

It was Lovely at the door. She said, “I am sorry, I hope I am not disturbing you, ASR!” as soon as the door opened…She looked up to find Khushi at the door instead of ASR…
Khushi said, “Not at all. Come in, please!”

Khushi brought Lovely by poolside where Arnav was..
Lovely said, “Hi, ASR.. Can we talk about tomorrow a bit? It will be nice to have….”
Arnav interrupted her, “Sure.. why don’t we go downstairs..” his eyes darted at Khushi who hesitantly looked at both of them, her discomfort was quite obvious. ”Khushi will not be disturbed… and for us too...”
Khushi’s gaze briefly met with Arnav’s. Khushi was puzzled whether he meant it in a nice sense or he was just trying to avoid talking in front of her…
Lovely and Arnav stepped into the room and started walking towards the door.  Khushi kept watching them leave with a curious restless gaze…

Arnav turned around before leaving and gave Khushi a tender, affectionate look…. Khushi blushed vigorously as she had images of him asking her if she missed him, run through her mind…and that touch… Khushi closed her eyes as her body still could feel Arnav’s affectionate touch and longed for more…


Next morning:

Everyone had gathered at the breakfast table. Lovely was in a salwar suit today, upbeat and modern styled yet traditional.  Khushi admired Lovely’s dressing sense as she poured tea for Arnav.
Anjali asked, “What’s the plan for today, Chhotey?”

Arnav looked up and said, “Di, Lovely, I , and Aakash are going to the office. You know that Lovely is in designing too.. so, we have much to…” he chose not to complete his sentence, instead added, “We’ll be back by this afternoon! Why, did you need something?”

“No, I don’t! But, yes, it will be great if you can come back home for lunch!” Anjali said smilingly.
Khushi became restless again. This little tiff in her heart would not let her breathe easy. She did not know why she felt like that. She looked at Arnav… Now it was her turn to be surprised, he was observing her keenly, not being herself. His eyes asked her “What… what’s wrong..?” Khushi shook her head and looked at him as her eyes said hesitantly, “No…. nothing…” However, her eyes mellowed down.. started welling up…  Arnav looked at her puzzled. He knew that something was bothering Khushi big time.

Just then Mami asked, “Wheresh Damadji, Anjali bitiya? I have not seen him this morning.”

Anjali said casually, “Mami, you know, he had something important to take care of so he left early in the morning today.”

Lovely asked, “Shyam…, correct? So, Mr. Shyam is a lawyer? What kind of law does he practice? I mean, criminal law, civil justice or business…or…” Anjali interrupted her, “He only takes cases of people who need help and have no one to help them. He loves to fight for people who need help but cannot afford. He loves top help people more than fight for money!” Pride overflowed Anjali’s eyes as she talked about Shyam.

Arnav’s facial muscles tightened as Anjali talked about Shyam with pride…

Khushi saw Arnav’s face getting firmer, she immediately reached for his hand, held it gently though he initially tried to pull it out from her grip. Khushi gave him a squeeze… Arnav pulled his hand out of her grip again but Khushi held it tight, she brought her other hand to wrap around his hand… she kept gazing 
into his eyes  with a gaze so affectionate that Arnav could have gotten lost in it… as Arnav looked at her with slight irritation… Khushi whispered… ”Promise,. Remember the promise; you would let me do whatever I want. Right?” Arnav  could care less as his rage mounted, he still pulled his hand out of hers..

Nani ji said pleasantly, “Lovely bitiya, Anjali bitiya will never get tired of praising Damad ji!”

Just then Shyam walked in, “What are you all talking about? Someone tell me, please!”
He quickly gave Anjali a shoulder hug bending down in the chair and said, “How are you, my dear Rani Sahiba, this morning?”

Arnav’s face got tense again… Khushi jumped to her feet immediately, and walked over to Arnav pretending to shed off something from his shoulder. She looked deep into his eyes as his puzzled gaze steadied on her face. She then reached for the lock of hair on his forehead and moved it aside ever so gently that her fingers caressed his forehead, distracting Arnav. His heart longed for more…

Mami instantly widened her eyes and said, “Phati saree… has the sun risen from west today? Arnav bitwa is in a very different mood it seems..”no gussa dayss’ howat hai ka aaj…. Is it a no anger day today?” She smiled as if she cracked a big joke.

Mama ji jumped in, “Arey Mannu, why are you making a mountain out of a mole? Let it be!”

 In the meantime, Khushi’s right hand still was resting on Arnav’s forehead as she put her left hand on his shoulder. She looked at Mami whose eyes were wide with lots of surprise as Arnav reached for Khushi’s hand on his shoulder and about to take it off when Khushi’s affectionate eyes urged him not to do so.. reflexively Arnav steadied his hand on hers.
Nani, Anjali, Aakash and Payal smiled at each other… They had never seen Arnav like this before. Baffled somewhat and his eyes puzzled at Khushi’s display of love. Somewhere his face depicted that he liked it though he was fighting it.

Shyam got extremely irritated and gave Khushi a pointed look. Khushi instead looked at Arnav, who noticed that she was not looking at Shyam, instead her gaze was focused on himself. Arnav seized the opportunity to play along to show off to Shyam. He held Khushi’s hand on his forehead and guided her to the chair next to him, once seated; he said to Khushi in an affectionate soft voice, “Now, have some breakfast!”
“Jiii…. Yes..” Khushi’s eyes became wide with amazement; as she saw affection oozing from Arnav’s eyes and a slight smirk appear on his face as his eyes twinkled. Her heart missed a beat as she looked at this Aranv… She wanted to hold her heart so bad as it started racing and color filled up her ckeeks…. Anjali and Nani nodded happily. Shyam clenched his jaw muscles, twitches on his face become more frequent… Arnav liked what he saw from the corner of his eye…. He turned to Khushi again and held the glass of orange juice to her lips… Khushi had no idea what was happening  to her… she thought she was losing her mind with giddiness… as she gazed into his eyes her face turned vulnerable… her heart reflected through her eyes.. drowning Arnav into them..

Just then Lovely said, “Anjali, do you know that ASR had made a bet with us at the business school.. his ‘shirt’ and him! You know what he has lost the challenge!” 
Anjali asked enthusiastically, “What bet? What challenge?  Come on, tell us, please!” Anjali chucked with mischief as Khushi and Arnav’s spell broke..

Khushi blurted out reflexively, “Kya…? What? Arnav ji never loses any challenge!” As soon as she finished her sentence she and Arnav looked at each other,  he gave her a long inquisitive stare, Khushi’s eyes finally gave in… she averted his gaze as if “I know… I know… I should not have said that…” a little smile flickered on her face..

Arnav then looked at Lovely and said, “Lovely, is it necessary to announce it to everyone? I don’t think we need to discuss it here!” he added sharply..

“What are we not discussing here?” Karan said in a jovial mood as he walked in, “Arey bhai, will someone tell me what we are talking about?”
Karan then turned around and winked at Anjali as he said, “Hi, Sweetheart!” Anjali was taken aback; smiled at him as she thought that he was joking. Shyam did not like it. Mami said, “Hello Hi Bye Bye.. what a trend it is these days! …har kissi ko sweetheartszz bulane padi… Anyone calls everyone sweetheart these days!”
Everyone smiled.. Arnav did not think much of it, Khushi just gave a casual curious look to Karan.
 Lovely though looked at him for a bit with inquisitive stare; then she said, “Karan, Good Morning! I did not know that you would make it here on time! That’s a first now..!” She then turned to Arnav and said, “ASR, Karan is a habitual late arrival…Anyway, I was talking about the bet you lost! I now must collect those one thousand dollars from you, ASR!” Arnav just nodded with a soft face.

“Okay, sis, go ahead, tell us! ”Karan said in jolly tone as he stuffed a piece of parantha in his mouth… and gestured to Anjali that it was very good with his ‘Thumbs Up” sign!

Lovely made a gesture as if she was about to announce something huge… cleared her throat… then said in a dramatic way, “ASR had wowed never to get married!...... He also had said that he would never ever fall in love.. because it was non-sense!” then she gave a broad smile and looked at Arnav as she said, “But..the TV channels.. the news reports.. have informed us that you got married .. secretly..... and that too in a haste!” Lovely now had a mischievous smile on her face and a twinkle in her eye as she said, “We won’t ask you ‘why’? Because… I can see that you are in love with Khushi.. so, I guess the marriage is not a surprise! BUT.. you lost the bet! You lost the challenge, ASR!”

Everyone was sort of stunned at her reveal… though not surprised… just restless as they knew about ASR’s attitude. They all looked at Arnav, there eyes waiting for him to get angry. Mami muttered under her breath, “Hello Hi Bye Bye.. that’s the end of it! Arnav bitwa is going to get so angry that the skies will be brought down!..skyszz the limitz..” Mama ji gently put his hand on hers and gestured her to calm down..

 Khushi looked at Arnav with a soft gaze… her face became more tender, eyes shimmered… as she quickly stole a glance at Arnav….Arnav happened to be looking at her… his mind was occupied with the sad, painful memories of forcing Khushi into the marriage… how she had cried when he put the sindoor in her maang.. parting of her hair. His gaze oozed deep pain. He immediately got up and started walking towards the stairs. Khushi jumped to her feet reflexively… restless…she looked at Anjali and said, “Di, I will go… see...” and followed Arnav…who had already disappeared up the stairs..

Lovely watched Khushi promptly follow Arnav and turned to Nani and Anjali…. said, “ I think I am starting to get it! There is something very special in Khushi.. that has ASR’s heart entwined with hers!”
Everyone nodded happily except Shyam… who got angrier.. twicthes on his face got more dense and frequent…


Aakash and Payal.. in their room..

Payal said to Aakash, “Give me a call before you leave for home at lunch time so that I can keep everything ready!”

“OK, Payal!” said Aakash.

“Shall I say something?” Payal asked. As she saw an ‘Yes’ in Aakash’s eyes, she said, “This Karan..ji… I mean.. He is so jovial and so carefree! Really like a breath of fresh air! Have you known him for long?”

Aakash played with his lips, curled them in a dismissive manner and said, “No, not at all! This is the first time I have met him.. but, seems like a great guy!”

Payal said, “Why is he not staying with us? Why is he staying in the hotel?” a smile flickered across Payal’s lips as she remembered him say ‘Sweetheart’ to Anjali..

“His choice!” Aakash answered, ”OK, Bye!” as he left for office...


Khushi walked into the room… looked around for Arnav as she stood at the door.  Arnav was standing next to the pool, holding on to the recliner… his back at the door…

Khushi closed the door behind her. She slowly walked up to Arnav.  As she stood next to him, she looked at his face… he was in agony…. His face tense, his jaw muscles tight… his teeth clenched… his hand curled in a fist… he banged the fist on the metal of the recliner…as he clenched his teeth tighter... his eyes were moist… as his hand hit against the metal, Khushi went, “sssssss..”  She rushed quickly to get hold of his fist and looked at him.. Arnav averted her gaze…

Khushi did something unexpected… she held him by both his arms just below the shoulder… just the way normally Arnav held her usually… her affectionate eyes looked in to his eyes…  she said in a soft voice, “Arnav ji… aap thik toh hai?... are you alright?”

Arnav said nothing… briefly looked her into the eye… his eyes welled up… he looked away… his hand still curled in a fist… Arnav’s mind was playing images of Khushi crying as he placed Mangalsutra around her neck…

 Khushi moved very close to Arnav, still holding him by sides, “Arnav ji.. kuch toh boliye… say something…” Words escaped Arnav… he did not say a thing.. did not look her into the eye.. Khushi pleaded again, “You will have to share your grief, Arnav ji… I cannot see you in such agony.. this anguish…” Her eyes filled up to the brim with tears…

Arnav’s eyes returned to Khushi. As he looked into her eyes, his eyes said, “Kis mitti ki bani ho tum, Khushi?.. What are you made up of, Khushi?” Khushi knew at that moment why he was hurting… she consoled him through her eyes… as a precious tear trickled down her eye, Khushi hugged Arnav, rested her head on his chest and let her tears roll down… Arnav’s arms gradually come up and enveloped her in a gentle embrace…. he rested his chin on her head…. as a precious tear trickled down his eye... he gulped… He could feel his heart beating with Khushi’s.. it seemed like he was about to stop breathing….he snuggled his face against Khushi’s hair as he tightened his embrace..


kathrina pheonix (DUMAS) said...

awesome update loved it that was so sweet loved how asr was playing along and snke kept getting so angry awesome update i like karan thanks for the pm

Lovely1 said...


Quote Posted: 30 September 2012 at 11:57am
Amazing update, loved it, love Khushi s plan...and this will even help them realise their feelings and get back at Shyam...thanks for the pm...waiting for the next one?

Lovely1 said...

Quote Posted: 30 September 2012 at 12:02pm |
Awesome--dz chaptr z so prfct!! I cn nevr get enough of ur work! It always leavs me cravin for more and more..wonderful writer u r B-) luvd da part where he regrets what he did to kushi..i can smell alot of suspense on the way!many truths to be unfolded..pls update soon luvly:-* :-*

Lovely1 said...


Quote Posted: 30 September 2012 at 12:10pm
nice Update dear after a long time gap.. really njoyed the bet, sweetheart... but I thought you wud say abt Arnav lovely discussion but dnt... hope in coming up we will get it...Also you maintained the Arnav attitutde Clap

Anonymous said...

loved it