Saturday, 4 August 2012

Chapter Seven: Rough Bark

1) Many readers have been asking about this on the forum, so I'll clear it with everyone. The women that said "Chee" to Khushi said it because of her non-speaking condition, not becuase of her past etc etc that anyone's thinking.
Hope that clears things. :) 

2) There are many clever clog who have figured out that something else happened, as well as Shashi and Garima dying that day, that is also the reason for Khushi's resistance to speak. What happened in the woods? Only Khushi's future flashback can tell...

3)And yes, the men started the fire purposely...


*..........*..........*

Hands shook proudly in the Owner's Office of AR as Kushal grinned from aside. Arnav, in a dark suit with indigo shirt, tightening his grip as he finalized the huge deal.
Arnav smirked: "Look forward to working with you Mr Mehra."
Mr Mehra nodded: "Likewise."
As Mr Mehra and his manager walked out the transparent doors down to the base office, Kushal patted Arnav's shoulder proudly making him lightly smile.
Kushal: "I told you. We Raizada's always have the last form on the table. *chuckles*"
Arnav smiled and nodded. Kushal walked up to the see-through window, to look down to see the sun set upon Chandigarh. 
Kushal gallantly: "I have no doubt at all that you have the perfect skills that your father held, I held and generations before held at our time. * solemnly*Abhi and... Muskaan betiya... would be saying what I'm saying right now to you... You are shining just like them, but even brighter *chuckled* now its your time. "
Arnav stood by Kushal looking down at Chandigarh too with a smirk: "Thanks Dada."
Kushal with an elderly grin: "Come. We must celebrate Chote. This is a huge step forward in our company."
Arnav walking towards the door first: "Yes Dada."
Just then a peon walked in,accidently bumped a tray with a water jug into Arnav, ruining his suit. The peon stood back in shock trembling from head to toe. Arnav's glare turned from serious to vicious.
Arnav burst: "CAN'T YOU WATCH WHERE YOUR GOING?!!?"
Peon stuttered: "So...sorry..s.sir..."
Arnav glared: " IF YOU CAN'T DO YOUR JOB PROPERLY YOU SHOULDN'T BE HERE AT ALL!! NOW MOVE!"
The Peon nodded mumbling one final sorry before scurrying off. Arnav's lip twitched frustrated, but then realized he wasn't lone in the room.
Arnav swiftly turned to Kushal: "Aa...Sorry Dada you had to hear me-"
Kushal chuckled: "No no! It's totally fine. Workers need to be treated as workers to get the job done right. Right?"
Arnav sighed looking at his suit: "Right."
Kushal patted his shoulder: "Don't worry we'll go home for today. We'll celebrate there with your Dadi too hmm?"
Arnav nodded as they walked out of the office.


~


The arrived at home 45 mins before dinner to be served. Kushal and Arnav walked toward Devayani with their jackets in their arms. Devayani was sat in the living room with a basket beside her and smiled welcoming their arrival.
Devayani: "Kushal, Chote? How was your meeting?"
Arnav nodded: "Good Dadi."
Kushal laughed:" He bagged the deal easily."
Arnav sat beside Devayani as she gasped : "That sound brilliant!! I tell Aman to prepare something special for dinner. Congratulations Chote!"
Arnav smiled as if it wasn't a really big deal, but was glad he could share his success. 
Devayani looked up to Kushal: "Why don't you freshen up? Dinner will be ready soon. "
Kushal nodded and left leaving Arnav to watch Devayani pick flowers from the basket and put them in the vase one by one. These were daffodils this time, Arnav noted, and no doubt given by Khushi from the light smile on fondness on Devayani's face. Just then Arnav noticed Devayani frown slightly in thought and turned to him.
Devayani: "Chote? Can you call Aman beta here, while your passing the kitchen?"
Arnav frowned: "Why? Is something wrong?"
Devayani: "No. Madhu betiya asked for this balm for her headaches she's been having this morning and I have totally forgot to give it to her. Aman could take it to her for me."
Arnav nodded and stood up to walk to his room only to halt in his step. Maybe... Arnav swiftly turned back to his Dadi.
Arnav firmly: "Dadi, I can take it for you. "
Devayani looked up at Arnav oddly: "You sure Chote? You've just come back from work and-"
Arnav hastily: "Not a problem Dadi. Where is the balm?"
Dadi looked on as Arnav rushed upstairs to her room: "It's in the top bedside drawer!!....*thinking to herself puzzled* What's going on with Chote? "
Devayani sighed before shaking her head.


~


It was dark now, with the path lights on as Arnav was coming back from Madhumati's house. Feeling the relaxing cool air hit against his shirt, he took off his tie, shoving it in his pocket and opened the top 2 buttons of his dark purple shirt. He sighed. Just his bad luck to see only Madhu and not Khushi. Believing he had made the trip for nothing , Arnav stomped through on the dry dirt path, when just then he heard Khushi's payals again. Arnav stopped and lifted his head slightly, still hearing the enticing sound coming towards him. They were chiming at a slow rhythm indicating she was casually walking. Arnav moved to hide behind the path-side trees, devising a way to stop and talk to her. What was she doing out this time of night anyways!? 

Khushi in a dark red salwar suit was smiling on her way back home. She held a mixture of flowers that weren't familiar to the Raizada gardens. Buaji will defiantly love these. Khushi grinned before walking more ahead.  With her gardening work was done, Khushi gently brought her hair down from a bun and put the black band round her wrist. She smiled lightly feeling the kind winds push her long hair behind her as she walked forward. Just then a firm grip was laid upon her wrist making her eye's widen and mouth open to gasp. Khushi dropped the flowers as she was tugged to the side, with her back was against the a tree in an instant. She opened her eyes hesitantly to see dark sharp eyes staring back. The glow from the pathway was little, but enough for Khushi to see who it was. Arnav calmly staring down at Khushi taking in her lost expression. Khushi was to shocked to think and leaned back against the tree trunk as Arnav stepped forward. 
Arnav huskily:" I need to talk to you Khushi".
Khushi body started to form tears in her eyes and in the situation she was standing in, there was only one thing running through her mind. Run.

Khushi tried to escape from both side of Arnav, but this time he was too quick and stopped her by placing his hands against the tree to block her in. 
Arnav built in anger: "Just stop..."
But Khushi didn't. She felt trapped. Her breath and heart raced fast feeling the same echoing vacuum that she had felt all those years ago. 



Khushi panted with frightened tears rolling down. She kept running in her red coat terrified of what she had just seen. She felt her heart pound out of her chest hearing the chaser close behind. He suddenly gripped Khushi's by the arm making her scream into the air, echoing against the trees. 
Khushi: "LET GO OF ME!!!! "
The man tried to grip the 11 year old but Khushi bit his hand making him curse and let her go.
Khushi ran again knowing there was more coming: "AMMA!!!! BABUJII!!!"



Involuntarily her body squirmed and turned trying to run. Leave. Her mind blocked the words that Arnav was saying in the background.
Arnav frowned trying to control his anger: "You need to listen to me! OK! I know I shouted...I mean about the other night when I..."
Arnav was finding the words harder and harder to form, especially when Khushi was showing a deaf ear. Arnav's blood pulsed at her reaction and just had enough. He closed his eyes and yelled finally in a booming voice.
Arnav: "ENOUGH!!!"

It echoed in the sky for every leaf to hear...before silence settled. Only the frustrated breathing from Arnav's mouth was being heard. He felt everything still, letting him feel a lulling peace embrace him slowly. Opening his eyes, Arnav saw Khushi with her back flat against the trunk, with her hands together in front of her as if she's pleading. He face was streamed with fresh tears and eyes closed tight with fear. The only thing that moved was the tremble of her silk lips and the feathers of her hair brushing against her cheek. Arnav could only stare in a lost trance with eyes soft and expression calm. He couldn't utter a syllable seeing her like this. He felt like he was in shock. But of what? He didn't know. He only did what felt right...in that very moment.

Khushi felt numb, not knowing what was about to happen. She prayed from her hear,t hoping for him to disappear in to thin air. Hoping that...
...
...
She suddenly felt a soft brush of fingertips on her cheek making her breath hitch. She turned her head in the direction the fingers drew and opened her eyes as the fingers left contact from her face. Her breathing calming slightly, Khushi looked back at Arnav to see something different. About his eyes. They looked distant, yet...  it were as if her own. A unfamiliar warm feeling, like when someone brushes their thumb against your knuckle when you hand is in theirs. She felt contently lost in this man's expression that portrayed remorse. Something rough, yet soft. She blinked as if in a haze as her resurfacing past faded away for another day. Arnav couldn't help, but tentatively wipe her other cheek, disturbing the line of sorrow shown on her face. Khushi breath quickened again lightly watching his fingers, then back to his eyes. 
Arnav took a breath: "I'm s-"
They both shot their faces in the direction of the sudden barking that came running up towards them. Arnav stood back as Raja angrily barked to create distance between them. Arnav glanced at Khushi before looking  away confused with a frown. Khushi with her hands by her side was trying to make up in her mind. Both thinking the exact same. What just happened? 

Khushi looked at Arnav, muddled about his character, and watched as emotions of an unexpected storm brew on his face. She felt startled as he settled upon anger and glare at her with a frustrating sigh, before charging off back to the Raizada house. Raja who was still barking made Khushi crouch down and hold him close. She stroked his mane and shook her head at him gently making him whimper and nudge her leg. Taming him, Khushi curiously looked up again at the man walking away who frightened her being, but somehow soothed her soul.


*..........*..........*

New words to translate

Amma: Also means Mother
Salwar: An Indian casual attire (usually made of cotton)

xxx

5 comments:

  1. Wow that was some little insight on her past
    Can't wait o know at happened
    He showed his gentle side for couple of mins I am glad Kushi realised the feelings and felt good for those couple of mins.....s

    Sic a mystery why Arnav iss also like t his there should be something in his past
    Can't wait to read more

    Smleyhug7679

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  2. wow. just amazing. he always has a thing for her tears. awwww...such a softie. beautiful update. loved it. keep it coming. :)
    ak

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  3. C'mon Arnav.. U can just say one sorry.....
    Guess next time khushi herself will go to him.
    And raja what a perfect timing dear.....

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  4. Wow, simply loved this chapter.

    So, there's definitely more to her past, that she witnessed that night.

    IF: Atownsuga

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  5. SO there is still mystery on why Khushi stopped talking . ASR and Khushi were in trance good

    ReplyDelete