Monday, September 24, 2012

Chapter Four

The Mystery Guy Casts a Shadow On Shyam's past

Lovely and the guy hugged each other tight and for a long time…
Everyone looked at them with surprise. Payal tugged Aakash’s hand. Her eyes asked Aakash if he knew who he was. Aakash nodded in negative, curled his lips to let her know that he had no idea either.

Finally they separated.. Lovely said, “I missed you so much!”
He responded, “I missed you too!”
Anjali stepped forward and asked smilingly, “You…?”
Lovely immediately answered, “Oh, sorry! Let me introduce… This is Karan, my cousin brother! He has just shifted his base to Delhi from Mumbai.”

Anjali smiled. Aakash moved forward, shook hands with Karan and, introduced himself, “I’m Aakash and this is Payal, my wife!”
Payal put her hands together in ‘Namaste’ with a smile..

Mami ji interrupted, “It’shhh me you knows…, Maorama ..Mami..”
Karan smiled, put his hands together with a ‘Namaste’ to her.
Lovely then introduced Karan to Nani, “Karan, this is Nani ji!”

Karan did a ‘Namaste’ to Nani and then turned to Anjali who was standing next to Lovely. Karan said flirtatiously in Lucknow style Urdu, “Aur aap Mohtarma?... And you miss?”

Yeh hai humari Rani Sahiba!..... This is my Rani Sahiba!” a voice interrupted. Everyone turned around to find Shyam walk in. He had his poisonous sweet smile on his face. As he walked over to Anjali, he wrapped his arm around her shoulders and said,” Humari Rani Sahiba, humari Zindagi….My Rani Sahiba…. My Life!  And… me.. her hubby!” Shyam held her close and tight. Shyam’s gaze was fixed on Arnav as he talked and hugged Anjali, a shrewd smile had spread over his face.

As Anjali smiled and blushed, Arnav’s face turned firmer. His jaw muscles tightened, his temples started heating up… his hand curled in a fist… tight. Khushi followed Shyam’s gaze fixated on Arnav and noticed Arnav’s anger mounting… She slowly reached for Arnav, grabbed his hand and held Arnav’s fist wrapped up in her hand, then she gently took her other hand and soothingly folded it over Arnav’s tight fist…
Arnav gave Khushi a stern look. Khushi leaned slightly and whispered, ”Promise.. Remember the promise…” Arnav looked at her puzzled for a brief moment, then his eyes darted back to Shyam. Shyam’s gaze was full of  disgust now as he saw Khushi hold Arnav’s hand so gingerly, so affectionately……
Arnav’s anger started mounting as he watched Shyam look at Khushi.
Khushi sensed Arnav’s stiffness. She gave a gentle squeeze to Arnav’s hand. Arnav looked at her… simultaneously he felt his tension melt. His face relaxed. He looked deep into Khushi’s eyes as they stood next to each other. Khushi’s eyes consoled him, asked him to relax. Arnav’s heart calmed down… finally some solace.. his anger started evaporating.. he felt very different.. Arnav and Khushi kept gazing into each other’s eyes …oblivious to others.. Rabba ve..

Just the, Karan took a few steps forward, extended his hand to shake Shyam’s and said, “Hi! I am Karan, Karan Kumar Saxena!”
Shyam shook his hand and said with a broad smile, “I am Shyam! Advocate Shyam Manohar Jha! And this is my wife, Anjali Jha!” Shyam squeezed her shoulders in his arm wrap once again. He once again fixed his gaze on Arnav. Arnav’s face turned stern. Khushi was still holding his hand. She felt his hand become stiff again.. Khushi lifted her hand that held Arnav’s hand, brought it close to her heart, her other hand caressed his hand ever so affectionately that his mind got distracted…
Arnav looked at Khushi with subtle question in his eyes,  she shook her head to imply, “No, do not react…” The urge in her pure affectionate eyes touched Arnav’s heart.. his body immediately relaxed as he felt the tension leave his body. His face relaxed, but his mind now started racing… The urge in Khushi’s eyes started chasing him.

Karan immediately responded to Shyam, “Shyam Manohar Jha! I have heard this name before!”
Lovely chimed in looking towards Anjali, “So this is your husband! Namaste!”
Anjali smiled, and said to Shyam, “You know that we have not met in a few years! Now you will get to know her...”

Nani ji added with a smile enthusiastically, “Lovely bitiya, Damad ji is also from Lucknow, just like us!

Karan immediately fired up, “Where are you from in Lucknow?”

Shyam cleverly changed the topic, “Arey bhai.. Are we goijng to keep the guests standing in the hallway only? You guys have just arrived.. We will talk later, let us first get you settled. You must be tired. Relax! Come on in!”

Arnav stepped forward, shook hands with Karan and said, “I am Arnav Singh Raizada!” Then he turned toward Khushi and said, “Meet Khushi, my wife!” Karan responded with a broad smile and said, “Oh, so you are the Arnav Singh Raizada! I have heard so much about you… from Lovely!”
He looked at Lovely as he finished his sentence. Khushi became uneasy as soon as she heard that…she looked at Arnav. Arnav’s eyes were steady on Lovely, his face relaxed..
Karan then looked at Khushi, Khushi let go of Arnav’s hand and put her hands together in “Namaste”.
Arnav then lead everyone towards the living area, ”This way…..”

Khushi and Payal were in the kitchen. 
Payal asked Khushi, “Khushi, this Lovely knows everyone in the family quite well!” “Yes, Jiji! Aakash Jijaji must have told you all about her!” Khushi said with slight curiosity. Payal’s answer did not help either, “No, he didn’t even talk about her… Well, you tell me! Arnav ji must have told you about her! After all, she seems to be close to him.” 
Khushi started munching on the Jalebis at a faster rate as she said, “No, Jiji! You know him…..” 
Khushi controlled her tongue and thought, “Laad Governer.. forget about him telling me anything! I must find out though.. about this Lovely… Who can I ask?” Khushi kept thinking as she gulped down couple more Jalebis, suddenly something dawned upon her, “May be Mama ji .. or may be Mami ji…”she smiled to herself, picked up the serving bowls and walked out of the kitchen…


At the dining table:

Khushi chose to sit next to Arnav. Lovely sat opposite from Arnav, Karan next to her.. Shyam was next to Anjali, in front of Mami ji…Nani ji was at the head of the table..
Khushi served Arnav carefully.. Lovely watched her closely, then said, “ASR, does Khushi ever eat or does she only feed you?” Everyone around the table laughed...except Shyam… Khushi, embarrassed, quickly dropped the parantha in Arnav’s plate and started helping herself.  Her eyes did not leave her plate. Arnav looked at her from the corner of his eye with a stern face.
Anjali jumped in as she watched Arnav’s reaction, “Lovely, you know our Khushi ji is just like that! She always puts every one else first.. She takes care of all of us!” Anjali threw an adorable look with a smile at Khushi.. Khushi looked at her nervously..

Everyone was enjoying food when Karan suddenly said, “Ah, I remember now! Mr. Manohar Jha… the great hotelier.. he owned many top hotels many years ago! Are you related to him in any way? Are you his son or what?”

Shyam’s face immediately turned angry and surprised at the same time,.. he wanted to avoid this conversation at all cost.. He spilled soup on his hand, “Aww.. Oh… “  
Anjali immediately jumped in.. quickly grabbed a napkin and started cleaning his hand.. said worried, “You!.. You can be worse than a child at times!”

“Now, Rani Sahiba.. It's you who has me spoiled!.. with your love!” Shyam did not forget to throw a poisonous, challenging smile at Arnav..
Arnav clenched his teeth as his jaw muscles tightened...Khushi immediately placed her hand on his arm,  looked at Arnav and shook her head to say “Do not get worked up..” Arnav’s eyes asked her, “Why? Are you out of your mind?” Now Khushi wrapped her arm around his and leaned on his shoulder with her gaze steady, her eyes looking deep into Arnav’s.. urging him to calm down... Arnav did not realize when he put his hand over Khushi’s arm.. he felt the tension leave his body once again as he gazed in her eyes..  All of a sudden he averted her gaze… what was happening to him? Why did he feel so drawn into Khushi’s eyes.. why did his heart calm down at her touch? He wanted to shake these thought off but, he could not.
Shyam’s eyes filled up with anger as he watched Khushi and Arnav communicate through their eyes… 
Just then Anjali called for HP, loudly…”Hari Parakash Ji, bring the first aid box quickly!” HP came running, “Right away, Anjali Didi!” rushed off..

Mamiji in her room:
She was fixing her nail color..Mama ji focused on reading the news paper…
Mami said enthusiastically, “I like this Ms Lovely a lot! She got me the make up from overseas you know!”
Mama ji said, “Yes, she is a great person! Straight out of her family’s legacy.. I still remember, when Babuji, my father, was alive we always used to visit her Dada ji.. they were very close friends!”

Mami changed track as she held her hand to check if the polish went on right or not, “I was thinking…” Mama ji cut her off, “Na, Mannu! Why are you torturing your brain? Don’t think, dear!”
Mami fired back, “Hello Hi Bye Bye! Why shouldn’t I think?”
Mama ji said suppressing his smile, “Oh, I am just saying that why bother so much and torture your brain?”

Mami did not pay attention to what he said, instead she looked around and said thoughtfully, “I felt bothered by one thing, you knowsss….. Damad ji .. he did not answer a single question that Karan asked him…”
Mama ji also nodded, it occured to him that she was right, “You got that one right, Mannu…”
They both looked at each other and then Mama ji said, “Let us just not talk about it for the time being!”

Mami said to herself, “hume toh daalwa mein, in lentil you knowszz, kuchh blackwa nazar aawat hai.. hume toh investigationia karni padegi…” “I see that something is very wrong here.. I must investigate!”
Mami got up and left swaying her hips in her usual style …

In Arnav’s room: at nighttime..

Khushi entered the room. She found Arnav watering his plants, he had changed into his casuals. Luckily Khushi saw Laxmi by poolside… she stepped out… held Laxmi, got down on her knees next to her.
Khushi started talking loudly but as if she talking to herself, ”Arey, Laxmiji, where were you until now? You missed the chance to meet with our guest, Lovely ji!..... Oh, what?... You want to know who Lovely ji is?...... and some more?............ Hmmmmmmmm…. Even I don’t know that…. Sorry, Laxmi ji, I cannot help you there!”
She kept fixing Laxmi’s outfit.. all of a sudden she felt ‘his’ presence … As she looked up, her eyes went wide.. Arnav was standing right next to her.. his gaze was fixed on her and he was playing with his lips curling them occasionally…
Khushi quickly jumped to her feet.. unsteadily…. Averted his eyes… … intermittently looked up and then finally she managed to say, “Jiiii?” 
Arnav looked at her with a stern face, and said in his matter of fact voice, “What do you want to know?... Ask me!”  

Khushi could feel her throat go dry… she could not think clearly..
Somehow she managed, “K..y..a..? W...h… a…t?”
Arnav now said in a little bit rough voice, “You wanted to know something… about them. Right?”
“Ji, the person… about….. who…..I….Me…” Khushi could not speak coherently… she thought that she had irked Arnav…
Arnav then said, “Lovely..right? You want to know more about Lovely? Correct?”
He took a step forward.. Khushi realized that she was standing very close to him.  She tried to take a step backward but there was no space. She looked up with her innocent eyes, Arnav’s eyes had a twinkle she had never seen before…

Khushi felt her throat go dry… her lips quivered.. she closed her eyes… …. it was difficult not to get drowned in those intense eyes…

Arnav looked at her.. her hands were trembling… she nervously squeezed her kurta with her right hand.. eyes closed.. lips quivering.. the breeze blew and threw a lock of hair on her face.. Khushi opened her eyes to find Arnav still looking at her.. his eyes had never left her face.. she closed her eyes again.. Arnav 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.
Rabba ve………..


In Nani ji’s room:

Lovely sat down on the floor. Nani ji was at the edge of the bed.. Nani ji started putting oil in Lovely’s hair…
Lovely said, “Ah, Nani ji… how this reminds me of my childhood! All those happy times… when you and Nana ji used to come over to our place with the family! We all used to have so much fun …”

Nani ji remembered those happy times as well. That brought a smile to her face. She said, “Yes, bitiya….“ then she added with a sigh, “Those were the days…”

All of a sudden Lovely asked, “Nani ji, I could not come for Anjali’s marriage. Now it is more than three years since her wedding! Tell me more about her marriage, I missed it all!” Dark shadows loomed over Nani’s face… her face changed to sad and unpleasant, as if someone had just opened her unhealed wound!

Nani ji controlled her emotions and said, “Bitiya, it’s too late at night.. we must go to bed now.. We will talk later, okay?”

Lovely said “OK”, wished Nani “Good Night” and left her room…
She could not get Nani’s worried face out of her mind  as she walked away…


 Link To IF:


Anonymous said...

Loved your update. Written superbly. Loved Khushi being jealousy by Khushi. Can't wait for update.


kathrina pheonix (DUMAS) said...

loved the update awesome so karan knows about snake and karan questions have made everyone thing about how snake was not answering loved it nani poor nani khushi is so jealous love the update thanks for the pm

Anonymous said...

Fabulous update!


Anonymous said...

awesome... plz write frequently
-Ju (IF)