Sunday, 10 February 2013

After note: Inspiration of Muskaan Singh Raizada...


When I was thinking about an OS for my coming "The Thief's Angel OS's" Series, I remembered a beautiful song played by piano in a anime show when I was very young. Looking for it on Youtube, I then came across the song and in it was the woman I thought about Muskaan for my VWT FF. I was shocked because I wondered why I didn't tell you all becuase I distinctly remember many asking me about what Muskaan looks like etcetc but I never said ...Now I remember why.

I was embarrassed I guess becuase I have taken inspiration from a cartoon character rather than from an Indian heroine or actress you'll all be familiar with. So if I mentioned it, I thought everyone would be like ' WTF!? How are we supposed to image Muskaan as a cartoon character!?'

But now coming across the video again, and now with my VWT FF being over, I think there's no harm in revealing to everyone who I thought of/about when creating the character of Muskaan in my story.

This clip is of Tory playing the piano tune that his mother used to play when she was alive. In the flashbacks you will see her playing the piano. That is the person I have always imagined whenever I wrote about Muskaan.


Thanks again for reading and enjoying my VWT story.
Hope to see you on my Hierarchy blog too. hehe. 

x

Wednesday, 6 February 2013

The Epilogue of Vines With Thorns

First of all I want to thank everyone of my sweet squirrels that has followed my FF right from the beginning, from half way, and from now. Thank you so much for allowing my FF to hold your interest and also to those who have spent the time commenting on every chapter. I deeply appreciate it and wish I could go through the screen and give you a tight hug. Truly. 

I can still remember when I put together the plot and story for this FF bit by bit, typing it down on my small chipped Nokia phone when I'm waiting at the bus stop or travelling by train to and from Uni. And all of it was truly worth it. Every one of your likes and comments has made this worth it. Thank you. 

I hope that as you read this final page of my FF you'll all enjoy it to the fullest. If you have time please do also drop a little comment after sharing your favorite or key chapter/scene from my FF. I would be very grateful. After the epilogue is the intro and link to my NEW ff called Hierarchy for those who missed it. Please do have a peek and hopefully you'll like it. 

Oh yeah I last Hi 5 from Raja to you all.



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

As the crimson sindoor filled Khushi's parting, she closed her eyes feeling a smile creep onto her lips. She opened her eyes slowly to look into her now husband's dark molten eyes. Arnav looked devilishly handsome in his dark sherwani as he smiled at her, making Khushi feel so lucky to have a man like Arnav to spend the rest of her life with. Khushi was wearing the sari Raja chose which was a beautiful red and cream net sari, with the pallu draped over her professionally wrapped hair. Everyone cheered and clapped snapping them out of their trance back to where they were. Khushi smiled bashfully and turned to see Raja sat on her other side obediently looking up at her.

The Open area in the Raizada Garden was decorated lavishly, perfect to Arnav's taste. The dark red and golden drapes hanging from the high palm trees gave the area a much exquisite look, baffling many. The guests weren't many however held the people that mattered most, like Payal, Priya and her friends, Sajjan, and many more. Under the hut where Khushi and Arnav were now stood up, they together went up to Kushal and Devayani taking their blessing. Devayani and Kushal took them by surprise and hugged them tightly as well. Coming to Madhu, Khushi embraced her into a tight emotional hug with tears running from her eyes. Everyone watched with teary eyes as they held each other.

Madhu pulled away she wiping her tears: " Aree Sanka Devi stop crying. You're making me cry see. "
Kushal coming up to them: " Madhu betiya Khushi would cry not to live with you of course...Why don't you come and live with us-"
Madhu shook her head thankful: " Maaji already asked me...I thank you, however I would feel better living at the cottage."
Kushal: " If it's becuase all I have done-"
Madhu smiled shaking her head: " No of course not. Arnav babwa has explained everything to me....It all makes sense. I can only be thankful everything is well. "
Devayani coming beside Kushal: " Then at least take these. "
She handed Madhu a file making her frown: " Maaji? What are-"
Kushal smiled: " These are the papers of authority for the cottage. The cottage from now on belongs to you. It's the least I could do for all I have said to you and about Khushi. "
Madhu couldn't believe it: " But how can I-"
Devayani smiled: " Any you will. Not a word. "
Madhu blinked away her tears happily.

Khushi hugged Madhu again making everyone smile. As she pulled away Anjili nudged Arnav making him roll his eyes with a smirk. Unexpectedly Arnav picked Khushi up making everyone cheer and Kushal pat Arnav's back encouragingly.
Madhu baffled: " What is this?"
Devayani laughed: " Our Raizada tradition Madhu betiya!"
Khushi looked around embarrassed  making Arnav grin at her teasingly. She couldn't help but smile back at him as he stepped down from the platform under the hut, walking past everyone to go up the concrete stairs to the Raizada house with Khushi rightfully in his arms.

~

As the family and friends gathered round the living room, Anjili led Khushi to a beautifully floral decorated area where the professional photographer was waiting. He had taken photo's for the Raizada family for many years now for the special occasion.
Rio grinned and clapped his hands: " Ahh darling. You have come. "
Anjili smiled and let Rio take Khushi by the hand to set her up. The pose was for Khushi to sit on the floor with the sari fanned out slightly around her. Anjili smiled and stood to the side beside Rio.
Rio: " Now where is Mr. Raizada? Anju baby could you find him while I see how the bride looks in my camera. *Looking through his lens at Khushi smiling feeling awkward*"
However just as Anjili was leaving she giggled seeing someone else enter the frame.
Anjili: " I think he's here. "
Rio frowned as he saw through his lens not a man but a dog.

Khushi grinned to see Raja stroll over to her side. He sat down proudly beside Khushi with a single paw on her lap, making Khushi grin adoring his sweetness. What made Anjili laugh further was Raja then barking for Rio to take the photo.
Rio confused: " But Anju!?!? A dog? Where's Ar-"
He felt a tap on his shoulder which made him turn to see Arnav smiling at him.
Arnav with handsome smirk: " Take their photo's first. Khushi and I can take them after. "
Rio blinked before lifting his hands giving up: " Your the boss."
Raja barked making Khushi smile. Arnav watched with a fond smile and arms crossed at Raja and Khushi getting their photo taken. With a variety of photo's being taken between them, like a kiss on Raja's nose and a hug, Arnav shook his head glad that Raja wasn't a human being to compete against for Khushi. He knew who would have definitely won in that case.

Anjili hugged Arnav side-wards: " Go on Chote. Khushi's convinced Raja for you to take your turn *giggles*. Go. "
Arnav grinned and stepped forward passing Raja. Khushi, still sat on the floor, smiled up at Arnav. He held out a hand to her, which she took for him to pull her up into a warm hug.
Khushi whispered with tears in her eyes: " Arnav..."
Arnav murmured against her cheek: " Shhh...I know...you don't need to thank me. But you might need to do something for me when we get to the bedroom...ok?"
Khushi blushed brightly pulling away making Arnav chuckle.
Rio gushed behind the camera: " Ohhhh you two are so damn cute!!"
Arnav smirked and held Khushi close as the first of many photos were took.

~

Chinky grinned: " Game time!!!"
Arnav stood up from the living room chair: " Come on enough of this. Dada at least you should understand. Man to man."
Payal and Priya behind the sofa Arnav was sitting on, each put a hand on his shoulder to sit him down again. 
Everyone: " SIT!"
As everyone laughed Kushal put his hands up helplessly sat beside Khushi and Devayani on the opposite sofa.
Madhu shaking her head with a smile: " Arnav...this is a tradition! Sit put."
Kushal grinned: " I'm sorry Chote. When it comes to weddings...*chuckles*... it's over when the women say it is. "
Devayani rolled her eyes: " Like grandfather like son."
Sajjan laughed out loud slapping a hand into Kushal's who laughed: "You said that right."

Arnav annoyed: " Ok ok. ..What's the game?"
Aman putting the bowl of milk in the middle of the table: " Well Bhai It goes like this-"
Arnav: " Then play it when it's your wedding Aman. "
The girls sprung with giggles as Chinky and Aman went beetroot. Anjili hit Arnav's shoulder ridding the smug look on his face.
Anjili: " Chote leave them alone. * grinned evilly* You and Khushi are the ones meant to be grilled today."
Arnav rolled his eyes: "Diiii!"
Madhu : " Now babwa...the game is for you and Khushi to put a hand in the bowl to find this *bring out the ring holding it above the bowl* in here * drops the ring into the milk*. The game is who can get the ring first. Groom? Or bride?"

As soon as Madhu said those words the girls and guys starts to hustle taking sides. Khushi shyly smiled at the amount of people on her side compared to Arnav. Arnav on the other hand didn't look fazed. Instead he held a cunning smile staring at her, making Khushi frown.
Arnav: " So what if you have Dada, Di, Aman and all the others on your team. I have all your friends but most importantly...Khushi? Where's Raja?"
Khushi's eyes widened looking beside her, finding him not there. She was shocked to look across the table to find Raja on Arnav's side. He barked with his tail wagging. Dada clapped his hands laughing while Khushi pouted. Arnav hugged Raja stroking his fur before raising an eyebrow at Khushi competitively.

Anjili shook her head at the two: " Ok ok...Before Khushi kills Chote on their wedding day, lets get on with the game. Hands in please!"
Arnav rolling up his sleeve put a hand in just as Khushi did. Everyone was holding their breaths waiting for the green light.
Anjili: " Go!"

The game started with a cheer from the family and guests chanting Khushi and Arnav's name over and over. With Khushi fully focused on the game she frowned not able to find it as she stirred her hand in the pool of milk. Arnav cheekily kept distracting her by gripping her finger with his fingers. Khushi shyly tried to remove her fingers but Arnav was stubborn. However Khushi then felt the ring. She looked at Arnav surprised at what he hand done, while he simply watched her reaction in muse. The cheering quietened as their hands did in the milk.
Madhu frowned: " What's wrong? "
Khushi blinked coming out of the trance of Arnav's eyes and lifted her hand from the milk. Everyone watching was first confused why Khushi's hand was empty but then one by one their mouths went into an 'O' shape to realize why Khushi wasn't holding the ring...she was wearing it!

Chinky confused: " But how can that be?..."
Priya: " Who won?"
Sajjan chuckled at Khushi's lost look at Arnav: " I think Arnav put the ring on Khushi in the milk...aren't I right?"
Arnav smirk told it all making everyone awe and clap at the surprising result.
Kushal shrugged his shoulders: " He gets that from me."
Devayani whacked Kushal playfully: " That takes brains Kushal. It's from me."
Kushal putting an arm round Devayani: " Yes yes.. Of course Devayani."
Devayani smiled at Kushal while Khushi smiled watching them.

Anjili jumping up: " Aman is the rope ready in the conservatory?"
Aman smiled excited: " Yep"
Anjili clapped her hands with an infectious grin: "Now tug of war between the two! "
Everyone, especially Khushi, looked at Anjili as if she was mad. Arnav on the other hand jumped up knowing he'd win easily. The faster I win the faster Khushi and I can go to our room.
Arnav went round to Khushi's side holding her hand making her stand: " Come Khushi lets play *winking*."
Anjili raising and eyebrow: " And where do you think you're going Chote with Khushi?"
Arnav frowned: " The conservatory...Tug of war with Khushi"
Anjili smiled cleverly: " I said tug of war but your not against Khushi. Poor thing we don't want her sari to get ruined do we?*giggles*"
Arnav looked round the room at who it could be: " If it's not with Khushi..then with whom?"

~

Aman announcing grandly: " Ladies and Gentlemen. Presenting the tug of war battle for which the winner shall be crowned the King of Mrs Raizada's heart. "
Everyone clapped with excitement and wolf whistled for encouragement. 
Aman: " With Kushal Singh Raizada as the referee, we shall see whether Mr Raizada can win against Mrs Raizada's lover, Raja. "
Khushi couldn't believe this was happening before her eyes. She couldn't keep the smile off her face. Sitting on a chair, in front of Khushi was a rope. With one side Arnav was holding on with his vice grip hands and the other Raja was holding on with gripping teeth. To her surprise Arnav and Raja both looked very serious about this making her wonder if she should laugh or be very worried. 
Aman: " Ready....Steady....PULL!"

Just before Arnav could even tug, the force Raja tugged made his eyebrows hit the roof. Oh Shit. With feet against paws, the ribbon tied in the middle was being tugged to and fro between the two making everyone clap faster and cheer louder. Khushi bit her lip hoping neither Raja or Arnav get hurt in the process. Arnav feeling his name at stake started to pull with all his might, tugging the ribbon nearly over to his side, however there was a sudden pull from Raja's side allowing Arnav no chance of winning. 

As everyone cheered and laughed, Arnav stared at Raja amazed, however his eye caught onto something else. The rope on Raja's side was long... Extremely long...So long that it even went out of the window. Arnav rushed forward to the window shocked to see Chinky, Anjili and Priya all were holding the rope outside. He hadn't lost to just Raja but to also 3 girls added. He went up to the others.
Arnav roughly: " That's uncalled for! Dada no fair. Di, Chinky and Priya can't help Raja."
Everyone hushed to listen to Kushal's verdict.

Kushal dramatically in a deep tone: " All's fair in love and war."
Everyone cheered and gathered round Raja to pet him. Arnav shook his head with a smile.
Arnav muttered: "Unbelievable."
Khushi smiled at Raja receiving so much loving attention, while watching Arnav come up to her and bending down on one knee beside her. Khushi held back a giggle seeing his bewildered state. Arnav lifted her hand and kissed her knuckles with a knightly smile. Khushi shook her head at him in adoration and held his face in her soft hands, before planting a kiss to his forehead. 

~

It was dark when Anjili led Khushi to the bedroom and allowed Arnav to go to. The girls figured they had tortured them enough for their wedding. He bid everyone a good night and so did everyone else with a teasing smile.

As Arnav went up the stairs in twos he reached his bedroom quickly, before slowly opening and entering the room. He smiled to see Khushi petting Raja in the middle of the bed. He was fast asleep no doubt as her fingers stroked through his mane over and over. Khushi looked up at him with a sweet smile before looking back down at Raja. Arnav made his way to the other side of their decorated bed and sat down like Khushi was. He stroked Raja's back chuckling, remembering the tug of war earlier today.
Arnav in a deep tone: "He's puckered out isn't he..."

Khushi nodded softly eyeing her Raja's wonderful fur. She bent down to kiss his crown making his ears twitch contently. Just as she pulled back, she felt Arnav hold her hand on top of Raja's back. She looked up at him.
Arnav whispering: " Come with me..."
Khushi was confused but let Arnav lead her away from the bed closer to the center of their room. Facing him, Khushi instantly closed her eyes blissfully feeling Arnav's hands on hers, rise brushing his finger tips up her arms to stop at her shoulders. He smirked at her reaction before stepping forward and brushing his lips up her neck to the shell of her ear.
Arnav whispered again: " Come with me..."

Khushi's forehead frowned slightly not understanding. She opened her eyes to meet with Arnav's lovingly intense ones as he kissed the the beck of her hand.
Arnav huskily: " Remember I told you downstairs that you'd have to do something for me when we're in our room?"
Khushi looked down remembering and nodded gently. Arnav raised an eyebrow.
Arnav: " So.."
He suddenly lifted her in a bridal manner, making Khushi gasp and wrap her hands round his neck.
Arnav continued with a gleam in his eyes: " ...Come with me..."

Khushi watched as Arnav carried her towards the door making her look back at Raja sleeping soundly on the bed.
Khushi concerned: " Arnav..."
Arnav taking her out: " Shhh...he'll be fine...trust me."
Khushi nodded and silently let Arnav take her away.


Through the garden Arnav carried her, past the open area, the meadow, the conservatory and the cottage til they reached the bottom of the steps to the Secret Garden. Khushi stroked Arnav's cheek with her hand, making him halt.
Khushi questioningly: "Arnav?..."
Arnav smiled across at Khushi: " I have a surprise for you..."
He walked upstairs with her, entering the black gate before letting her down onto her feet. Khushi facing the garden felt her mind stop. The garden was scattered with round dim lit balls, complimenting the pond already lit with reflected moon light.


Stepping towards the the pond in the middle, her chinking wrists automatically were held to her chest as the smile on her face couldn't stop. The glow looked marvelous and so calming to look at. Khushi couldn't help but twirl with glee, and rush back to Arnav hugging him tightly as a thank you.
Khushi in awe: " Arnav..."
Arnav breathing in her sweet scent: " Like it? Did it all myself yesterday..."
Khushi pulled back nodding her head and extending her arms to show just how much. She grinned and kissed his cheek before holding his hand and running round to see how the other parts of the garden were decorated.

However it was when Khushi turned round the corner of a small hill, when she stopped in her tracks. Under the open sky was a white circular bed with a thin silk netting draped round it from two posts. The cushions were a decorative dark green with the smallest red petals she had ever seen. She slowly stepped forward to touch the drapes with a slit in the side for them to enter.

Before Khushi could even utter Arnav's name, she felt him wrap his arms round her waist burying wet kisses in the crook of her neck. She gasped tilting her head for him as he muttered to her.
Arnav: " I wanted our first night as husband and wife to be memorable Khushi...Let me show you how..."

~


It was middle of the night after a few more rounds of heated passion, when Khushi finally looked up into the starry sky with her back fully on the bed. With lazy fingers, Khushi played with the back of Arnav's hair as he busily gave attention to Khushi's collar bones.
Khushi softly: " Arnav?..."
Arnav planting one more lingering kiss, lifted his head to look at his Khushi.
Arnav intensely: " What is it Khushi?"
Seeing her mouth open again to breath soundless words with her eyes watery, Arnav sighed heavily flexing his arm from Khushi's back to her cheek.
Arnav: " Khushi...I'm going to tell you one last time...And after that I don't ever want you to think like this again...I love you....All of you. And remember I told you didn't I? I don't care if I have to wait all my life...or never at all...to hear you voice. Your eyes tell me everything I need and more. You do so much without your voice Khushi... You even did the impossible and brought Dada back. And you know...It surprises me that I could find you out of everyone in the world...*chuckles* In my garden as a matter of fact. You're more beautiful than you know Khushi."
Khushi stroked his cheek in awe. Tilting her head at him lovingly, her eyes gleamed brightly at him.
Arnav smirked brushing his nose against hers: " I love you too."


Life was just as bright as any flower in the secret garden for Arnav and Khushi. 2 years didn't even pass before Khushi's first pregnancy of many was announced. The Raizada household was never so busy in all it's years and with each year passing Arnav's love only grew for his Khushi. And just as Kushal and Devayani's portrait hung in the Raizada House beside Abhimanyu's and Muskaan portrait...so was Arnav and Khushi's with the addition of Raja beside her legs...just where they all belonged. Together.

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

Ok squirrels. I'm sorry to say I have run out of tissues because I have used them all up and now am using my sleeve. Oh man this is so tough to say good bye to this FF as it's so close to my heart. I can't stop myself from saying thank you all again for allowing me to share this story with you all and hopefully help everyone see the world we live in a slightly brighter light. :')

Now I will pm the link to Hierarchy separately to all my buddies but to those who aren't on my buddy list here is again the link to my NEW FF called Hierarchy. 

Hierarchy 

There are many ways to reach your desired destination, but when stepping towards the top of your goals, don't forget to look back on the journey traveled and think "Was that the right turn?"

This story is about a boxer, Arnav Singh Raizada, who dreamed himself better from a young age. Rising up to the make or break playing field rivals are met as well as hearts mended. However when making the decision of how to reach his potential, what are the consequences to those who are dear?
Link BLOG: http://zarashierarchy.blogspot.co.uk/
link IF: http://www.india-forums.com/forum_posts.asp?TID=3405458&PID=74641706&#74641706



Please please please do come and have a peek at Hierarchy as the first chapter is already up. The second chapter shall be up next Friday as I have an exam coming up (and want to finish my Midnight Theft TS over this weekend.)

x
(p.s forgive any typo errors. Will check in the morning hehe)

Friday, 1 February 2013

Chapter Fifty: Beauty in Disguise

~Last Part~

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

Days passed since that ground shaking incident, settling down the waves of the Raizada household as it took grips of a new direction. Clapping and giggles echoed in the hall as Khushi's friends from the hostel danced to the light drums being played. Everyone was wearing churidars, lenga's and sari's of a mixture of greens, oranges and yellows, with Khushi sat in a dark green and red dress. With comfortable mats and pillows scattered on the floor, some of the women sat there enjoying the dance while others were having their hands decorated with the aroma paste of Mendhi. Devayani and Madhu was sat with friends and close guests beside them commenting fondly about the wedding to come.

Payal grinned ear to ear: " Khushi!! Your Mendhi is looking so beautiful!!"
Priya chuffed with her self: " Told you I'm good didn't I? Now Khushi tell me...*teasing* When I finish this last hand do you want the full name of your husband on it, the initials or just Arnav."
Khushi's smile was radiating as the blush tinted her cheeks hearing that comment.
Anjili smiling: " Payal I'll do your hands after I'm done. You can get a small experience for when it come to your turn."
Payal's mouth open wide embarrassed while everyone laughed and Khushi grinned. Payal shook her head with a smile, but then noticed something else bringing a grin to her lips.
Payal: " What's Raja is up to?"

Khushi and the others turned to see Raja sniffing curiously the decorative bowls of Mendhi paste. A smile grew on Khushi's lips as Raja lifted his head to stare at the other girls adoring his actions.
Madhu noticing Raja: " Raja? What did I say? You stay with Arnav upstairs. Why did you come down? Hmm? Girls allowed only."
Raja with his ears down, walked to Khushi's side and sat next to her giving the round eyes to Devayani and Madhu. The other girls pleaded playfully for Madhu to let him stay making Khushi shake her head. She knew her Raja and his puppy acts well.
Devayani laughed: " Betiya let him. I'm sure he'll behave."
Madhu: " Haire Nandkisore...Ohhhh Alright! But no mischief from you Raja. Still and stay there *smiles* Ok?"
Raja barked happily making the girls cheer.

It was then when Khushi's eye spotted Aman and Chinky walking to the hall shyly. Khushi grinned with wide eyes and indicated to Chinky to come over quickly. She was already dressed in a green churidar and smiled blushing while Aman walked away to let the girls have their function. As Chinky sat beside Khushi discretely, she watched as Khushi wagged her eyebrows at her asking.
Chinky quietly with a smile on her face: "Aman's Babuji likes me. He can't wait to meet my Papa!"
Khushi grinned and hugged Chinky with one arm, careful not to ruin her hand. Feeling Arnav's eyes on her, Khushi looked up to see Arnav watching from above, in a dark waist coat with an indigo shirt underneath. Seeing his concerned gaze, Khushi reassuringly smiled back hoping Arnav wasn't losing heart.


With the preparations for the wedding going on, Kushal hadn't once participated or wither interfered, which made Arnav feel bad each time. Khushi had seen Arnav trying to talk to Kushal to say sorry, but Kushal would walk away. Khushi knew Kushal was still deeply hurt by Arnav's words. But she would immediately go to Arnav to make sure he doesn't lose heart or feel more guilty. Arnav keeping faith in Khushi would smile at her hoping...just hoping.


It was after the Mendhi function when Arnav knocked on the door to the room all the girls were in. He knew Khushi was left inside and so entered to see her sat in the middle of the bed, surrounded by designer sari after sari, Lenga after Lenga. Underneath a sari drape, beside Khushi, was Raja laid down on his stomach. Arnav watched as Khushi smiled brightly seeing him. But Arnav could see through it.

Closing the door with a soft click, Arnav walked over to sit gently beside Khushi with his eyes fixed on her. Khushi feeling uncomfortable with his questioning stare, immediately tried to change the subject by showing him her crimson/black henna on her hands. Arnav stared at them before taking them in his hands. Staring at them for a minute he lifted them to his lips kissing his name on her hands. Khushi smiled fondly, but it didn't stay.
Arnav: " Khushi...You don't need to act in front of me...*smiles* All these days you've been my support...telling me everything will be alright...and today when you're cracking you're hiding from me?...Let me be your support today Khushi. "
Khushi felt her eyes water making Arnav sit closer in an instant.
Arnav whispering: " Shhh...No Khushi...I know...You're feeling bad that all this is going on without Dada, and It's all my fault-"
Khushi shook her head: "Arnav.."
Arnav holding her face: "...but Khushi you can't lose hope please....If you do...I won't be far behind. "
He looked down at Muskaan's ring on her finger and kissed it with confidence. Khushi nodded knowing that Arnav was right. Feeling touched by his sense of knowing her feeling so well overwhelmed her. She moved to hug him tightly with her arms round his neck. Arnav laid his hands on her bare back before smirking.
Arnav: " That's my girl...oh have I mentioned you look absolutely delicious in what your wearing?"
Khushi smiled through the tears and buried her face into his neck shyly. Arnav chuckled before noticing Raja nudging a particular red and cream net material Sari. Arnav raised an eyebrow impressed.


~

With the haldi coming up tomorrow, decorations were being made and put up by workers with direction by Aman and Chinky. To pick up Arnav's tailored sherwani and choose the mangalsutar Anjili, Devayani and Madhu left by car near noon leaving Aman and Chinky in charge.

Kushal exited his room with a strict expression on his face and with a dark designer kurta on. He had been burying himself in work for the last few days since that day to avoid the celebration around him. He knew his own grandson's wedding was being prepared and he had even missed the Mendhi for it, however he couldn't shake off the comments Arnav had said that day. It shook him to his core that his own grandson had spoke to him this way...and he himself was the reason for it. He could always feel Khushi watching him when he was pre-occupied in the study or in the morning when taking his daily walk. But he felt it was best for all if he stayed out of everyone's way.

Heading for the study he started to go downstairs when his tracks stop suddenly. He blinked frowning as his gaze remained glued to the unbelievable sight in front of him. Is that...No... It can't be...But how...



As he stepped closer and closer his eyes widened and heart stopped. It was them... His favorite flowers that he hadn't seen since...since Muskaan had brought them into the house. There was a long stem in a vase on the hall table in the corner, with a basket beside it full of petals of the same. They were white. Muskaan's favorite color. Kushal couldn't blink seeing these flowers. It was too...surreal.

Lifting a hand carefully he edged his shaking fingers to the petals of the flowers seeing if they were really there...and they were. Feeling the softness of them nearly took the breath out of Kushal as tears formed in his eyes. He immediately looked around searching for the person who put them here.
Kushal loudly: "AMAN!"
Aman raced up to Kushal from the kitchen with a concerned gaze. Before he could even ask what the matter was Kushal rushed up to him desperately and gripped his arm. He then pointed at the flowers now determined he wasn't imagining things.
Kushal queried : " When did those flowers get here?! Are they from the garden!? Where?! Who put those flowers there Aman?! WHO?!"
Aman looked at the flowers semi shocked with the way Kushal was nearly pleadingly asking about them. Chinky rushed over too wondering what's wrong. Aman went to speak when his eye caught on to the person ahead of them. Kushal looked too to see Khushi stood there staring at them confused. He looked down to see in her hands was another basket of freshly picked petals of his favorite flowers.

Khushi watched as Kushal hesitatingly walked slowly up to her asking curiously.
Kushal: "Khushi Betiya...did you bring these flowers?"
Khushi looked down at the flower petals on the basket and looked back at Kushal nodding fearfully. Doesn't Dadaji like them? *gasp* Is he allergic?! I only brought them as they match with the yellow and white drapes!! Now what!?
Kushal cautiously: " Where did you get them from?"
Khushi pointed backwards behind her to indicate the garden making Kushal's heart skip a beat. The flowers he had been looking for all these years always wondering where Muskaan would get them from in the past...

Khushi watched Kushal's eyes get lost into fond memory as his lips twitch into a relieved smile. She smiled realizing that they must have something to do with Muskaan and stepped forward to Kushal. She put a hand on his snapping him out of his thoughts. Kushal watched Khushi smile softly at him with questioning eyes, nodding her head slightly. Kushal with hope asked the question he had many times asked Muskaan.
Kushal gently: "Where are they in our garden betiya? Show me? "
Khushi grinned with hope.


~

Kushal waiting by the pool watched as Khushi came out with a thin shawl. He handed it to him feeling the air become slightly chilly. Kushal stared at Khushi fondly before taking it with an appreciative nod. With Raja coming out from inside too, he and Khushi walked slightly ahead of Kushal leading the way to the place where those flowers grew. 

Kushal followed eagerly behind the two but also noticed how they passed everything, even Khushi's cottage, and went further back into the garden. It wasn't long till Kushal watched Khushi and Raja go up the steps enthusiastically making him halt at the bottom. I've never seen these stairs before? How long have they been here? He frowned looking down at the sturdy stairs and looked up as Raja barked at the top of the stairs. Khushi was grinning at the top indicating with her hands for him to follow them. Kushal smiled softly feeling a thrill of excitement discovering this place, new to his experienced eyes.

Kushal entered through the black swirl railed gate carefully, with his eyes amazed by the sight. He couldn't believe that even after all these years staying here, he had never known of a place like this. He couldn't believe that his Muskaan had been spending her time here. 

The grass was perfect in it's shade of green and the trees were tall and protective. He blinked over and over unable to take in sure a beautiful garden. A smile grew on his face as he entered further to see different types of flowers in blushes and patches. He now knew where Muskaan was bringing all those flowers from day after day. Kushal could only shake his head in sheer astonishment of this well maintain place. 

Raja suddenly appeared beside Kushal and barked to grab his attention. Kushal looked down to see Raja walk ahead to Khushi who was stood facing him waiting. As he walked up to Khushi taking in further his surroundings, he was utterly speechless on how to express the thoughts that were twirling in his mind. Expectantly he stood beside Khushi and watched her calmly point ahead. 

Kushal followed her finger alignment to see the lake ahead was catching the light perfectly to illuminate the garden to the right degree to set an atmosphere of peace and tranquility. Squinting hard, Kushal went forward step by step heading closer to the lake, stepping over the gravel path. His eyes widened again to see the flowers of a huge variety of colors basking in the light from the opening of the trees above. 



Stepping closer Kushal mesmerizingly smiled with relief, finally feeling a sense of inner peace. The discovery of these flowers...this place made him feel so close to Muskaan that he felt the heavy weight on his shoulders lift. He also noticed the vines of the plant itself was decorated by thorns to protect the flowers it harbored. Kushal could imagine Muskaan picking these flowers delicately for him and now realized why she had kept this place such a secret. It was best kept this way. He sighed emotionally looking up high into the sky as tears flooded his eyes, closing them knowing Muskaan was in the garden too watching him. And he wouldn't be surprised if his son was right beside her too.


As Khushi watched Kushal from afar, with Raja beside her legs, she felt Arnav come to stand beside her silently. Khushi felt herself smile softly, happy that Kushal was. Kushal wiping his tears turned to Khushi to be taken aback seeing Arnav stood there too with an apologetic expression. It took a moment before Kushal  began to walk towards them stiffly, making Khushi worried and Arnav instinctively slip and hand into hers holding it protectively as his jaw was. Kushal noticing this continued to walk til he stopped right in front of them both and pulled them into a tight hug. Khushi and Arnav's felt their breath hitch shocked at Kushal's actions. Kushal on the other hand was crying...crying tears of joy.

Arnav gripping his grandfather tightly: " I'm sorry Dada. I really am-"
Kushal instantly pulled away and held Arnav's face in his hands: " No Chote. No. Don't be. You were right in your place. I have done things that have hurt the people who love me most-"
Arnav: "But you had reason Dada...I should have understood and talked to you much earlier. I'm sorry."
As Arnav hugged his Dada again, Khushi brightly smiled with her hands clasped together. She was overwhelmingly happy that Arnav and Kushal were finally on the same page and was more glad that this garden had in some way played a part in it.

When Kushal pulled away he sighed before turning to Khushi holding her face tenderly.
Kushal: " In all of this betiya I have hurt you the most haven't I...I have always kept you away from me so you'd be protected from me...but know I have realized that it only hurts everyone instead on making things better...I'm sorry betiya.*Khushi shocked shook her head*...You *smiles* have always been the perfect match for my grandson. *chuckles* Just like Arnav is like a reincarnation of my Abhi...you were like a reincarnation of Muskaan when I first met you. That same clumsiness, happiness, care and most of all understanding. You understood me more than anyone betiya...I don't know how...but I guess it was a constant sign to me that you were made for my Chote... and made to be a Raizada daughter-in-law. And I'm proud of you betiya...*putting a hand on Arnav's shoulder*...And I'm proud of your choice Chote. You both are just like Muskaan and Abhi. Perfect for each other in every way."

Arnav looked at Khushi who's eyes were teary feeling finally complete. With smiles brimming on their faces, they both bent down to take Kushal's blessings. As they stood up, Raja barked over and over and jumped round them with his tail wagging making them laugh. Arnav hug Kushal tightly again.
Arnav whispering: " Thank you Dada."
Kushal chuckled: "No Chote. Thank you for making the most important decision in your life...the right one. "
Letting go he quickly glanced back at the flowers behind him, seeing them shimmer in the sunlight and sway in the gentle tune of the wind. Turning back to Arnav and Khushi he smiled.
Kushal: " Come. Lets head back. We have a wedding to prepare for. Hmm?"
Khushi and Arnav nodded shyly and let Kushal and Raja lead the way. As they walked, Arnav slowly intertwined his fingers with Khushi's making her blush happily for the days to come. Left in the secret garden was left the smiling souls who's arms were linked into a eternal bond, with her head resting on his shoulder watching them leave.


~

Dear Raja, 

It's the night before my wedding and the butterflies in my stomach doesn't seem to stop fluttering. I can't explain what I'm exactly feeling as it's like a whole ball of different emotions. I feel scared of tripping in the sari you have picked for me, happy that I'm getting married, sad that I'll be leaving Buaji and this cottage, excited to become a Arnav's wife and a Raizada bahu and ..and oh so much more. 


But most of all I'm grateful for the way things are now. Dadaji. I mean Dada is so much more...happy now. Dadi said he's just like before now....I'm glad we took him to the Garden Raja. I asked if he wanted to go again, but he said once is enough. I think I should get some seeds from that plant Dada likes and plant them in the garden nearer the house so he could see them every day. Babuji, Amma, Papa and Maa in the sky are so proud of us Raja. I know it. And I hope their blessings always stay with us through life. 


Night.


P.S I will always love you Raja.



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

So that's it! Finished.....nah just joking :P Got the epilogue left to put up. Please do come and read Raja and Khushi's wedding...I mean Arnav and Khushi's. ;)
x

PLEASE READ. Noticed that some people are PMing me about my new FF and their links. ATTENTION AGAIN PLEASE :)





General note. If you have any questions about the blogs or about my two last FF's please don't hesitate to PM me. I'll gladly reply to the best of my ability. :)

Thursday, 24 January 2013

Chapter Forty-Nine: Thawing Ice

Hey squirrels. Note about my last 2 FF's at the end so please do read!!!

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

After that day at the park, Devayani and Madhu both arranged to a date to meet the panditji for a wedding day, bursting Arnav's plan about getting Khushi to stay a few days longer, but on the other hand he was glad that their wedding plans were under way.

The family, however, seemed to be dividing with Kushal not participating at all. Khushi however made it so everyone would gather together and talk endlessly about nothing. No one minded if Kushal talked or not, what mattered was that he was there as part of the family. The sound of her payal's rushing in from to the room would instantly brighten up everyone with silly antics. Kushal would listen to their conversations filling his ears soothingly, while watching Khushi make everyone smile. Khushi in the corner of her eyes would notice too making her heart warm.

Arnav however watching afar from upstairs could see what Khushi was up to. For the last few days he'd notice when he got back from work, Khushi would be going up with tea for Devayani and Kushal, but he'd know who she really was giving tea to. And when Kushal is looking for something Khushi and Devayani would send Raja in, making him know who was giving it to him. And now from each cheeky grin and each over-exaggerated hand gesture, he's notice her trying to get everyone feel together, with specifically Kushal. He's grip the banister tightly seeing his grandfather not move a single inch from his chair or even talk as everyone did. He hated watching Khushi try to do something which wasn't possible. He knew his grandfather well.

As Arnav slammed a fist to one of the pillars and storm off to his room, Khushi's would lift her eyes watching him leave. She knew she had to try a bit more harder to convince Arnav about Kushal. She needed his support.


~

Later that day, straight after having dinner, Khushi slipped quietly into Arnav's room creeping round in her teal green salwar. With eyes searching for Arnav, she soon found him standing on his balcony with his dark grey waist-coated back to her and hands in his pockets. Khushi smiled seeing his rolled up blue sleeves and strong figure. His handsome sense of style was always one of the things that made her heart flutter when seeing him.

Slowly with tip toe steps, Khushi went up behind Arnav before slipping her hands round his waist and sliding her hands up to his chest. She smiled warmly closing her eyes while rubbing her cheek against his back. Arnav's body had immediately tensed, before turning with a serious questioning expression to face her. Khushi smiled softly at him before pointing at his suit and then her wrist for time.

Arnav roughly: " I'm not in the mood to get changed for bed yet Khushi. Leave me for a while."
Khushi frowned looking down knowing why he was upset. She looked back up at him before stepping forward and touching his forehead lightly with her fingertips.
Arnav annoyed: " I'm not angry Khushi. Stop it. I just...*sighed calming down* I just don't like what you're doing..."
Khushi, determined, made him look up at her. She took his hand to put it against her heart and nodded asking him to believe what she told him the other day about Kushal's guilt and that he did care deeply for her.

Arnav angrily snatched his hand away: " Khushi no. Even if it's true that Dada feels guilty, it gives him no right to treat you like the elephant in the room. He doesn't care about you Khushi. Only about himself. And you're too naive to see the truth."
He stormed into his room, with Khushi following hot on his heels. She desperately held on to his arm trying to make him believe her. She knew anger and frustration was clouding his mind, but why couldn't he just believe her.
Khushi pleading: "Arnav.."
Arnav having enough: "STOP IT KHUSHI!! ENOUGH!"

Khushi taken aback with eyes wide, stepped back from this enraged man before her. Something changed in Arnav's eyes.
Arnav: "Don't you see what he's doing Khushi...he's making us argue to separate us! No wonder! He shows all his bitterness towards you when your not there, and pretends to care for you only in front of you. Dada's going to far...Khushi...too far.."
Khushi a seething Arnav rush out the room leaving her fearing what will happen next.

As Arnav looked upstairs for Kushal, slamming doors open, crying out for him, everyone started to come out gathering in the hall concerned and confused. Arnav shot down the staircase like bull.
Devayani: "Chote? Chote what's wrong?"
Arnav ignored her: " DADA! DADA!"
Anjili appalled: "Chote what's wrong with you!? Your shouting like a mad man. Just tell us what's wrong!"
Arnav just then spotted Kushal walk in calmly with a serious frown on his face. Arnav breathed out fire.

Arnav: " Why Di should I tell you what's wrong. You know! Everyone knows?! The only person who doesn't know is Dada!!"
Kushal stepped forward: " Chote-"
Arnav lifted a hand to stop him rudely, making Devayani and Madhu's eyes widen in shock.
Arnav: "No Dada. Not today. Today I'm going to talk and you are going to listen....Ever since I have come back home, I have always seen you talk bitterly about Khushi behind her back..And more than that without good reason. Even I thought of Khushi as meddlesome too, but it wasn't long til I realized how wrong I was...and how loving, caring and innocent Khushi really is. I fell in love with Khushi a long time ago Dada and when you found out...you sent her away PURPOSELY to keep us separated. YOU did this Dada! And it's only after the damn bomb blast you realized sending Khushi away was wrong...why? Becuase I got hurt!! Not her!! "

Kushal stood still with the same stern numb face, staring back at Arnav. No change in expression, however his silence told all the hurt he was feeling. Devayani couldn't believe Arnav had been building these thoughts up, she rushed to stop him speaking any further, but there was no stopping him.
Arnav: "There's nothing you can do Dada to separate Khushi and Me Dada...Nothing! Your cheap games to get what you want won't work, because if you can be this stubborn...then I can be too and I want to marry her. Khushi says that you feel guilty about Maa dying..."
Kushal and Devayani stared at him in shock as did everyone else.
Arnav firmly: " And that's not true...we ALL know that Dada!! No one blames you, but I will blame you for hurting Khushi. I will blame you Dada for keeping her away from her, from the people who love her most! It's not fair that she suffers so you can looking out for yourself and your own pain-"
Khushi: "ARNAV!"

Everyone, except Kushal, looked up to see Khushi looking down on them from the first floor with eyes staring only at Arnav.  He looked at her shocked as he witnessed the ashamed look in her eyes...the pain that he has just caused her...the look of disgust. The tears from her eyes made his heart break and breath restrict, alerting to him that he had done wrong. Arnav looked back to his Dada to see him look down with a stern expression. Regretting how he expressed his anger, Arnav stepped forward to him, but Kushal turned to head for the staircase.

Khushi seeing how hurt Kushal was ran to the top of the staircase so she could stop him. She watched him starting to climb up towards her, but before she knew it her foot caught on the other. Everyone's eyes widened in horror.
"KHUSHI!!!"

~

It was a few minutes after Khushi fell, she opened her eye lids that were squeezed tight, from fearing the impact of the fall.  She could hear everyone calling her name and Raja barking too. She felt herself get rocked back and forth against a very warm chest. Dadaji? Everyone was crowded round on the stairs as Kushal held Khushi close. Madhu and Devayani were in tears, while Anjili was too shocked to even react. Aman and Chinky were trying their best to look to see if Khushi was fine or not. Arnav was speechless. He felt a cloud of guilt shadow him. 
Kushal in tears: " Khushi Betiya! Khushi Please not you too. I-"
He then felt a light push to his chest, making him loosen his hold. He looked down desperately to see Khushi was looking up at him smiling softly. 
Kushal: "Khushi betiya?"

He frowned checking over her body. She was fine. No blood. No cut. Only a tumble as he had rushed up to stop her from falling the whole staircase. 
Kushal: " You're...You're ok...*grinning* You're ok betiya?"
Khushi nodded with teary eyes and a smile. Kushal smiled brightly as did everyone else. 
Devayani thanking God: " Kushal...you saved her...if you didn't catch her in time then..."
Arnav looked at Devayani feeling worse. All the things he had said about Kushal only caring about himself...

Kushal's smile left him as he realized everyone was watching...and everyone including Arnav. Khushi could see the change and felt him lift her to sit her down on the steps properly, before standing up straight himself.
Kushal: " Stop talking nonsense Devayani. She's fine and that's all that matters. Care for her...I'm...I've got work to do."
He then went up the staircase leaving the others staring at his back. Khushi immediately got up and went to stop him, but she halted knowing he was greatly hurt. A mixture of emotions overcame her then. Tears. Anger. Hurt. Pain. Shock. Disappointment. And only because of one person. Arnav. 

Khushi sharply turned to the others watching her every move and looked a guilty Arnav straight in the eye. Glancing at her hands she rushed down and roughly lifted Arnav's hand. Arnav's heart was shot numb watching her put his Maa's ring into his hand, before rushing down the rest of the stairs heading to her room in tears. Raja shot after her to make sure she wasn't alone.
Devayani: " Betiya!"
Madhu shocked called out to her: " Khushi!"
Everyone went after her, leaving Arnav staring at the ring in his hand. What have I done?

~

Aman: " Khushi open the door. Please. Don't be upset. Come on. "
Chinky put a hand on his shoulder gently telling him it was no use. Khushi wasn't going to come out. Everyone was round Khushi's door wanting her to open the door. Both worried and concerned at Khushi's silence and lack of actions, they could only hear the quiet sobs on the other side of the door. 
Arnav roughly: " Everyone move. "
Arnav squeezed through to get to the door banging on it wildly: " KHUSHI! Khushi open the door now. Please Khushi!"

Khushi was inside on the bed, hugging Raja tightly. Lifting her wet face from Raja's mane, she looked at the door before feeling more upset. She shook her head angrily as she heard Raja whimpering too. No Raja. You weren't there. Arnav was so rude to Dadaji it was unbearable and now...Dadaji will be more far away from me and everyone will be apart from each other too. What point is there to a marriage where no one is happy? With fresh tears arising she put her face back into Raja's mane.

Arnav never felt so furious with himself his whole life. But he needed to fix this now. Right now. 
Arnav: " Khushi!! Please open this door. You can't just do this to me. I know I was wrong, but don't punish me like this. KHUSHI!"
Madhu: " Babwa...Maybe we should all leave her so she can calm down a little."
Arnav shook his head: " No Buaji. I don't want to leave her like this. I can't wait. I need to see her now. *banging on the door again* KHUSHI!"
Anjili: " Chote, Buaji's right. Calm down...maybe-"
Arnav wiped his tears stepping back: " Khushi if you don't open this door I'll bloody break it in. Damn it you know I will Khushi. " 
Anjili and Devayani turned to Arnav shocked: " Chote!?"
Arnav: " One..."
Madhu: " Haire Nandkisore!!"
Arnav louder: "Two..."

There was a few clicks, before the door gently swung open to reveal Khushi and Raja. Arnav sorrily looked at Khushi, whose eyes were all red and slightly puffy from crying. Not giving her even a chance to say his name, Arnav rushed into pull her into a tight hug. He closed his eyes feeling her hug him back just as tightly after a minute, realizing that she had needed him all this time and he didn't give his support. He felt his body shake as she cried making him repeat sorry over and over again. 

Arnav short-breathed: "Don't ever do that to me again Khushi. Ever...I'm sorry..You won't know how much...And I'll do everything you say to make this right again....Just please don't leave me. I love you."
Khushi nodded unable to stay mad.
Arnav pulled back to look into her eyes: " I believe you Khushi...Every word. Just tell me what to do to make it all right. "
Khushi braved a watery smile knowing now Arnav was be her side...and now everything would be alright.

*..........*..........*
Thanks for reading guys and please do comment.

Now this news about my last two FF, Hierarchy and Dark Wolf Eyes (DWE)

Along with this update for VWT, I have also started my ARHI Hierarchy story by putting the first chapter up on blog and also IF. This story will be a very different from VWT, but I hope as loyal readers, you will all have a little peek to see what it's like. I hope I get more people follow this FF on blog and IF than VWT because of it's serious based issue. Based on how much everyone likes it I will say when I will update the 2nd chapter after VWT finishes. 


Now for my last FF DWE, I shall be updating the 1st chapter with chapter 50 of VWT. But after that I will only focus on finishing Hierarchy. I'm only posting up the 1st chapter is becuase I have had many PM's asking it I could start My DWE story for a long time. I really want to get Hierarchy done, before focusing on DWE really, but just as a kind of gift for all my readers I'm posting the first part. I have a blog for DWE if anyone wants to follow it there. ( Please do. ;) ) 

Blog for DWE: http://zarasdarkwolfseyes.blogspot.co.uk/?zx=e04982109aea1863

Remember I always update my blog first then IF. 

General note. If you have any questions about the blogs or about my two last FF's please don't hesitate to PM me. I'll gladly reply to the best of my ability. :)
x

Sunday, 20 January 2013

Chapter Forty-Eight: Vibrant Scales

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

It was the next morning when the sun shone through the slit of the curtains in the room Khushi was staying in. Feeling the massaging warmth against her face, Khushi's slumber slower roused awake, stretching her arms and legs in a dinosaur-like fashion. Sitting up in the middle of her bed with messy hair, she rubbed her eye with a hand and felt Raja nuzzling her jaw in a greeting manner. She smiled fondly as her eyes were still closed, refusing to open just yet. Morning Raja. She cracked open her eyes weakly to look at him staring at her with his tongue out happily. What shook her out of her sleep however, was the opening and shutting of her wardrobe. She focused her eyes on who was making that noise. 

Madhu turned to Khushi with a bright grin: " Titaliyaaa!?!? Come. Up now young lady! This is a first for you sleeping in for an extra hour. Hmmm?"
Khushi's eyes widened. What!? She snapped her head to the side to look at the clock on the wall. She had slept in. Khushi sighed leaning her back against the lavish wooden head board of the bed. I must have stayed up too late. After coming back from Kushal and Devayani's room the previous night, Khushi had thought long and hard about how to get Kushal to come to terms with the reality of now, instead of dwelling in the past. She had to also explain to Arnav that his grandfather did approve of her...but is just scared to embrace it.

It was then Khushi frowned actually noticing what Madhu was doing. She was packing her bags.

Khushi removed the covers and got out of bed confused. She walked up to Madhu making her stop to see her expression. 
Madhu smiled: " Oh! *holding Khushi by her forearms* I was thinking that the Raizada's have been very kind letting us stay while you recover Khushi. *touching her cheek* But now that you're all better titaliya...we shouldn't outstay out welcome here."
Madhu went back to packing away clothes leaving Khushi in thought. She looked down remembering that she was only staying here, becuase Devayani had insisted for them to stay.  Even though she was slightly disappointed that they were leaving, she knew her Buaji was right. Madhu noticed the slump expression on her niece's face and smiled shaking her head.
Madhu cheerfully: " Arreee Sanka Devi... Why the frown? *laughs* We live at the cottage not at all far from here silly girl...Anyways it wouldn't be right to stay here like this. "
Arnav firmly: " And it would be very rude of you to leave like this Buaji. "

As Khushi and Madhu looked at the door to see Arnav stood in a dark indigo pullover on a black trousers & shirt, with his sleeves rolled up. Raja barked from the bed happy to see him. Arnav walked in room seriously looking over the bag, now half full. He clenched his jaw before calming himself down, and looking at Madhu sincerely. 
Arnav gently: " Buaji, you and Khushi shouldn't leave. "
Madhu smiled: " Babwa. I know you and Maaji have done a lot for us, however I think it's best we leave."
Arnav gritted: " Did Dada say something?"
Khushi stared at Arnav with a harsh frown. How-...How could he just assume that-
Madhu confused with a smile: " Of course not Babwa. Why? Anyways it's because Khushi is much better now see. And you must understand that we'd be missing our little cottage terribly."
Arnav eagerly: " Isn't this house like home to you both Buaji?"
Madhu looked at Arnav perplexed: " Why are you asking such odd questions Babwa? *laughs* Of course it is, however there is no valid reason in my opinion for Khushi and I to stay."

There was silence in the room for a while with Khushi feeling slightly out of breath seeing the table tennis of questions and answers between the two in front of her. The eerie silence was broken when Arnav turned to her.
Arnav: " Khushi? Why don't you and Raja go and have breakfast. Chinky and Di are in the conservatory. "
Khushi stared at Arnav oddly. Arnav looked back at Khushi and Raja strictly.
Arnav: " Khushiii...go!"
Khushi jumped a bit and rushed off out the room, with Raja following suit, leaving Madhu and Arnav in the bedroom. 

~

Madhu sat on the bed in shock: " In front of everyone?"
Arnav sat beside her nodding.
Madhu continued lost: " You've even given her Muskaan's ring?"
Arnav sighed as Madhu had repeated this now for the third time: " Yes Buaji. I have....I don't want you to think I haven't taken your permiss-"
Madhu shook her head thoughtfully: " No babwa. You have taken my permission that day you took my blessings....but this fast? *teary*"
Arnav turned to her concerned as Madhu continued: " I never knew I'd see the day again that my little titaliya would be getting married to someone who was worthy of her. *looking at Arnav stroking his hair* And you are, Arnav. I could never be more proud of my Khushi's life partner. *pausing her smile* but I'd be lying if i said I still don't worry about-"
Arnav sternly: " I know everything about that day Khushi left this house Buaji. I know Dada did it."

Madhu looked at Arnav with shocked wide eyes. Arnav nodded curtly confirming. 
Arnav: " But I also want you to know Buaji that I will never leave Khushi's side. I don't care if Dada is with me or not for this decision. He can come round later in his own time, however I'm not wasting what I have of now just to wait for him."
Madhu quietly: " Arnav Babwa?...Do you know what you're saying? Your going against your elders-...No one will be happy in this marriage, especially Khus-"
Arnav: " Khushi will be the most happiest woman on earth Buaji. I promise you *holding her hands tightly* Dada will come round with Dadi's help, but please don't stop me from marrying Khushi. Please. "
Madhu looked down at the desperation Arnav was putting across and couldn't help but agree with him. 

Arnav: " Thank you Buaji...but I have one more request. Can you and Khushi please stay-"
Madhu smiled: " You ask now too much. I know you would...like to spend as much time as possible with Khushi, however it's for after marriage young man."

Arnav sighed disappointed, before after a minute he heard Madhu laugh quietly to herself. He looked at her curiously.
Madhu smiled fondly looking at him in awe: " You know...you are just like your father. I had to explain to him too that he couldn't spend lots time with Muskaan after their engagement, as all that comes after marriage. And you know what? His reaction was exactly the same to yours. *laughs*"
Arnav grinned chuckling. He could imagine his father like that and Dada always did say how head over heels in love he was with Maa. Must run in the genes I guess. He decided to push his luck anyways. 
Arnav: " Can you both at least stay til the marriage date fixed?"
Madhu laughed out load while getting up to put Khushi's clothes back: "Ohhh alright. *strictly* But only til then. After the date is fixed, Khushi and I go back to the cottage. Understood? *raising an eyebrow*"
Arnav had no choice but to nod before getting up to leave the room before she changed her mind. What she didn't ask is when I'm going to get the priest in to even fix a date. *sigh* You still got it ASR.

~

Anjili grinned enthusiastically: " We're here!"

After a few days with Khushi and Madhu staying over, upon Arnav's insistence, Anjili, Khushi and Chinky had arranged for a Lunch picnic for everyone, to the quiet lake on the outskirts of the forest nearby. It was a very open area with the most lushest green grass, perfect for the sun rays to lay upon.

The three young ladies made sure everyone was free from work or house chores, so no one had any excuses. Thankfully the skies were a sound blue tone making Khushi smile as she got out the white SUV in a teal blue churidar. Raja zipped out straight after loving the new fresh surrounding. Khushi grinned at her Raja's play and looked back at Anjili and Chinky just coming out the SUV too. The girls wanted it to match in color today. Chinky was wearing a blue light long salwar, while Anjili wore a baby blue sari. They even insisted for Devayani to join in on their color matching antics.

With summer hats and baskets full of food, they three girls went slightly ahead towards the river banks ahead, near the lake. Their eyes searched excitingly to pick the perfect spot to lay out the picnic. Aman grinned, in his white shirt and dark jeans with two fishing rod cases, ran after them. Madhu clambered out muttering 'Haire Nandkisore' every other minute. Devayani smiled watching them go and looked beside her at Kushal who was looking round in a daze. He remembered this place like the back of his hand. He always brought the family here for picnics and outings...before Muskaan died. It was their favorite outing. It was only because of Anjili's stubbornness that Kushal agreed to come along today. He sighed through his nose, before walking with his wife.

It was then Arnav got out the SUV driving seat, watching Khushi run far ahead in the distance. In his chocolaty  maroon shirt and dark blue denim jeans, his lips curved slightly into a smile remembering faintly the times they had come here before. With his hands in his pockets he followed the others in thought of why Khushi had insisted this place when Anjili told her about it. 

~

With everyone sat accordingly in a circle on the white and red checkered blankets, food was soon handed round with everyone tucking in at their own pace. Sat under a shady tree, the cooling winds aided them from the heat in the air. Khushi, feeding Raja, could feel Arnav's warm glances at her from the other side of the circle. Glancing up secretly, Khushi's eyes widened and mouth opened to see Arnav shamelessly wink at her sexily. She quickly flickered her eyes round the circle confirming no one was watching, before shyly looking away. Arnav grinned mischievously before popping another morsel of food into his mouth.

Khushi smiled lightly before noticing Chinky blushing away beside her. Khushi discretely looked across beside Arnav to see Aman was doing the same as Arnav. She rolled her eyes, before nudging Chinky with a raised eyebrow. Chinky immediately felt caught by her friend and blushed hard, making Khushi grin and hug her gently. 

Anjili piping up: " Good thing Khushi thought about this picnic today. Tomorrow Dada and Chote have that meeting tomorrow don't you?"
Arnav hmm-ed under his breath to end the topic. Kushal noticed this. 
Madhu looking around: " It's more beautiful than I have imagined this place. Muskaan used to talk about this place a lot when she used to come round. "
Devayani fondly: " Yes. This place was dear to all of us. I'm glad we came today."
Anjili grinned with her eyes wide: " Dadi?! Do you remember when Maa tried to catch fish here? *laughs* She kept failing at first, but Dada made sure she didn't give up."
Kushal softly: " And then she finally catch one...a great whopper fish too. "
Anjili smiled glad her Dada spoke: " Yeah...we took a picture then. The five of us."
Kushal looked up at Anjili with a slightly smile: " It was the six of us betiya. Your mother always said that every time we took a family photo Abhi would always be there too. However, it was only her who could see him... "

It was oddly quiet for a second as everyone smiled at Kushal's words fondly. Khushi was more than that. She was grinning ear to ear. She wondered what more storied were there through Kushal's eyes. She was so intrigued. Arnav however realized then why Khushi had insisted this place for the picnic. He jaw tightened. Thinking about Kushal's thoughts of Khushi and stood up finishing his lunch and took one of the fishing rods, before storming to the wide river close by. Sitting down on the grass, he whipped his bait and hook in the water and gripped the handle tightly. How dare Khushi do this to make Dada happy!?! It was a few days ago when Khushi tried to convince him that his Dada wasn't in the wrong, but he blocked his ears with cement. Even though she bloody knows what he thinks of her she-...Why does she think she has to make him happy to get accepted!? Why should she!?

Kushal realized his words taking in everyone's expressions and stood up abruptly. Devayani frowned.
Devayani: " You haven't finished your food-"
Kushal roughly taking the other rod, headed towards Arnav's direction muttering: "I'm not hungry."
He sat a long arm's width away from Arnav's sitting spot and flung in his bait and hook too, staring at the water angrily. Devayani and the others watched the two raging men sitting with their backs to them, hurt. She shook her head at her husband's behavior and smiled reassuringly at the others. Khushi however was the most upset by the distance put by Kushal and Arnav. She simply prayed for all to go well today.

~

Everyone else was in the mists of their chitter-chatter on the blankets about Muskaan and Abhi, while Arnav and Kushal remained beside the river. Both not sharing even a word to each other and both still with no sign of a single catch. But suddenly out of the blue...

Arnav frowned feeling a strong tug on his line: "Shit I got one.."
Kushal's amazed as his line had also become tight: "My word...I got one too!"
Both men hung on to their rods and the line was tight, with their heels digging into the ground, each used their tactics to loosen and then tighten the line to reel the fish in, however neither of their fishes weren't going without a fight. Everyone from the blankets noticed the load banter between the two near the river and could see two tug of wars going on. They immediately got up and went over beside them. Devayani smiled to see them both looking like their having a great time.
Aman stared at the water in shock: " Bhai!! I think it's a big one!"
Arnav grinned: " This is definitely a big one Aman!!"
Kushal chuckled struggling with his own: " Keep it on the line boy! Or else you'll lose it!"
Arnav laughed: " You focus on your own one Dada. Or else you'll lose yours!"
Kushal chuckled with a smirk: " Oh-ho!! So you think you can beat your own Dada Chote!? "
Arnav smirked loosening the line again for the fish to run a bit: " Beat you in golf didn't I!?...Why not fishing?"

Anjili rolled her eyes with a smile at the two men continued to talk hot shot, while focusing on reeling in their fish.
Anjili: " Allow it Chote. Dada is the best when it comes to fishing. Come on Dada!!"
Devayani laughed: " Your Dada was once a great fisher, but I think my Chote will have the edge today. "
Kushal sighed loudly with a teasing grin: " My own wife against me! How could you? "
Devayani smiled brightly taking Arnav's side by sitting beside him, as Madhu, Aman and Chinky did to.
Chinky excited: " Bhaiya! Come on Bhaiya!!"
Madhu: " Haire Nandkisore!! Babwa! Be careful!"
Khushi grinned while Raja barked watching the teams battle it out. She went to sit beside Anjili on Kushal's side and clapped her hands as Anjili was for him to win. Raja barked being on Kushal's side with Khushi. There was suddenly a moment where Kushal nearly let go of his rod, becuase of the strength of the fish, but Anjili and Khushi immediately held on to the rod to help him grab better hold of it. Kushal grinned.
Arnav totally concentrating on his bite: " Dada, you are not winning this! I got 4 supports on my side. And you only got three! Plus you taught me everything you know! *grinning*"
Kushal smirked looking at his grandson briefly: " Not everything young man. Or else the headmaster would be called the student too."

The atmosphere of cheering and clapping was uplifting and exhilarating, making Kushal become lost in the times before when he came here with the family. It was then after a few more chanting of the teams on both sides, when Kushal pulled a fast move to finally bring out the humongous fish on the end of the line. Anjili and Khushi clapped, while the others gasped at their victory. Kushal laughed out loudly and reeled the flapping fish in, looked across to his grandson with a raised eyebrow.
Kushal grinning: " Seee! Challenge your old man and you shall lose Chote.* Laughing* And with my two betiya's by my side, of course I would win! Impossible for me not to!"

Arnav's rod went flying in the water causing a huge, noisy splash. Kushal snapped out of the moment and took in the stuck faces on Madhu and Arnav. Everyone else had also faded into quietness staring at Kushal by his choice of words. Khushi felt a relieving sigh rush through her. Devayani in pure happiness was lost for words.

Kushal however felt immediately defensive as he set down the fish to let it go and left his rod by the side. He abruptly stood up tall making the smiles among them fall.
Kushal cleared his throat: " That's..er...enough for today, don't you think...."
He then left leaving mostly everyone wanting him to stay back, but were slightly scared to. Arnav watching Kushal leave, angrily turned to stare at the river. Of course! Too bloody good to be true!! He then got up too, furiously and shot off in the opposite direction for a walk to clear his head.

Slowly everyone got up feeling disappointed, while Khushi still staring at Kushal in the far distance held that soft smile on her face. It seems like everything did turn out for the better...even if it was a tiny step better.

*..........*..........*
x

Wednesday, 16 January 2013

Chapter Forty-Seven: Shadows of Trees


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

Kushal was the best father and father-in-law to Muskaan. Especially after Abhi passed away. 

He spent more time away from office and with her to make sure she didn't fall into depression.

He and Devayani together aided her with raising Arnav from a baby to a young little boy.

With each day passing Muskaan would feel hope again, With each year passing she'd also feel whole again. She knew Abhi would have been proud of her...proud of her Babuji looking after her every step of the way. Never did Kushal let Muskaan feel alone in the world. He'd let Muskaan rest her head against his chest, as he hummed a light lullaby, letting her know her Babuji was here. 

As time passed Anjili was becoming a young enthusiastic woman with a crafty talent in arts, Muskaan and Devayani guided her not letting her feel the loss of a father figure. Anjili and Arnav would go to Kushal for help as they knew that at a drop of a hat, he'd come zooming to make sure they had all the encouragement and support Abhi would have given them. 

Kushal had enrolled Arnav to the best of schools, colleges and Universities abroad making Muskaan upset at first, however hearing Devayani's view when she went through the same thing when Abhi was sent abroad, Muskaan gently smiled. She smiled at the thought of Arnav following his fathers footsteps. 

The joys and happiness was maintained and always connected among the Raizada's, with trips and joyous festivities always spent and shared together. People would praise Kushal and Muskaan's relationship as heartfelt. The all knew Kushal didn't have a daughter, but with Muskaan it was as if she was his own. Kushal would had never raised a voice against her or anyone not being in his nature. The household was sound, with soft memories and thoughts of Abhi always lingering in everyone's mind. The Raizada family was bonded strongly by Kushal, Devayani, Muskaan, Anjili and Arnav. 


However it was one day when only Devayani, Kushal and Muskaan was home...Events happened which changed things for everyone.


Kushal angrily: " You should have told us!! Leaving like that without telling anyone is irresponsible!! Do you know how worried we all were!!?"
Muskaan looked down at her hands tearfully: " I didn't know how time flied Babuji. I thought it would only take about 15 mins to go the mandir and back."
Devayani gently: " But you should have told someone shouldn't you? Hmm? You know how your Babuji is-"
Kushal enraged: " Nearly 5 hours!! 5 HOURS DEVAYANI!"
Muskaan knew it was her fault. She did know how Babuji was and he was right to be angry. 
Muskaan: " Babuji I-"
Devayani quietly indicated to Muskaan to remain quiet as she knew her husband's rage. He needed time to cool down. She went up to his side.

Devayani calmly: " Leave it now Kushal. It won't happen again, right betiya?"
Muskaan nodded desperately wanting Kushal to not be angry anymore.
Kushal's mind still fogged with angry muttered: " She's irresponsible. Just like Abhi was! Why do you think he's not with us now..."
Muskaan looked up at Kushal with her heart stabbed.
Kushal continued: "Children these days don't understand when parents get worried. She went off without a word to go to the mandir and he...he sped home to get to Muskaan in hospital. Irresponsible. "
Muskaan felt hot tears fall and held back a sob before rushing out of the room. 

Devayani shook her at Kushal: "Kushal, calm down. You don't mean that."
Muskaan screamed: "BABUJI!!!"

Just as Muskaan was rushing towards the stairs her feet stumbled upon the bottom of her sari, making her fall forward screaming for her Kushal. With that blood curdling scream, Kushal and Devayani rushed out of their  room to see Muskaan roll down the long length of stairs, with each step thunderous. Kushal and Devayani felt their hearts fall, as their eyes couldn't believe and lips screamed only one name. 

"MUSKAAN!"

Kushal broke into a sprint along the corridor and stormed down the stairs missing a few along the way. He head spun slightly seeing each descending step was bloodier than the last. Just before Muskaan hit the bottom floor, Kushal stopped her. 
Kushal hysterical: " MUSKAAN!! Muskaan!!"
He gently turned her so her head rested on his arm. He held her face with the other free hand, tapping her cheeks desperately wanting her to wake. 
Kushal frightened out of his wits: " MUSKAAN!? DEVAYANI CALL AN AMBULANCE DAMMIT!"
He turned back to Muskaan to see her open her eyes weakly at him.
Kushal tried to ignore the blood soaking his arm behind her head and tears started to fall heavily.
Kushal : " Muskaan betiya. Wait Ok. The Ambulance is coming betiya. Just hold on for me."
Muskaan simply stared at him with a gently tearful smile. 

Devayani rushed down to come beside them with tears in her eyes and hands shaking as she stroked her head gently. 
Devayani: " Betiya the ambulance is coming. "
Kushal gently started do make Muskaan sit up against him to help the blood flow stop, but Muskaan shook her head.
Muskaan gasped roughly: " I'm ...so sorry ...Babuji."
Kushal roughly: " Be quiet Muskaan you pagli....You're going to be fine.... Just you watch."
Muskaan feeling weaker: " Babuji...Abhi is calling me."
Kushal never felt more vulnerable hearing those words. He grit his teeth as his eyes blurred with tears, while Devayani was sobbing beside her. Kushal held her close against his chest rocking her lightly, making Muskaan smile again.

Kushal desperately: " No...No....Please no... Betiya you can't...Just wait the ambulance is coming.... He can't be...Please don't go. You can't leave your old Babuji like this. And your children?..."
Muskaan smiled again closing her eyes before whispering one last time: " Babuji..."

~

Devayani staggered forward towards her sobbing husband: " Kushal...how could you say that? .... Everyone knows what happened...It wasn't your fault? How did you kill-"
Kushal shot up and turned to Devayani with fiery eyes: "If it wasn't for me, Muskaan wouldn't have ran!...If it wasn't for me, Muskaan wouldn't have fallen. IF.IT.WASN'T.FOR.MY.GODDAMN ANGER!!!! MUSKAAN WOULD HAVE BEEN ALIVE!!!"

Devayani stared up at her husband who she could see clearly now, haunted by the demons in the shadows,  wrapped in the vines of the past. For once in so many years, Devayani would see her husband again pained with guilt. Suffering silently. 
Devayani sadly: " All these years...and you have been thinking it was your fault. *stepping forward* Kushal...It's not true. If it was, why would Chote look up to you, Why would Anjili betiya be coming here over and over? No one blames you Kushal. It was an accident. And you know it. God always plans and if Muskaan didn't die then, she would have died another way. Everyone has their time."
Kushal shook his head, looking to the floor: " You don't understand what it's like-"
Devayani retorted: "I could blame myself then can't I?"

Kushal looked up at her confused. Devayani continued: " Well I should have gone after Muskaan when she ran out the room."
Kushal angrily: " Stop it. You're not taking this upon yourself-"
Devayani grilled: " Then stop taking this upon yourself!! You're blaming yourself for something that didn't involve your hand. Yes you shouted at Muskaan, but you wasn't wrong to. And I'm not saying it was Muskaan betiya's fault either! It's just *tearily* An unfortunate event. "

Kushal remained silent staring angrily at the floor. Somewhere deep inside of him he could feel Muskaan asking him the same, but he couldn't let go. It pained to let go and it pained to hold on. How could he explain this to anyone. 
Devayani put a hand on his shoulder: " You need to let go Kushal. You're letting this guilt take over your present and it's hurting everyone. Doesn't it hurt that it's distancing yourself from your family...And Chote!? He hasn't said a word to you since last week! You'r losing your grandson. Khushi reminds you of Muskaan is a sign Kushal! God wants this house to be full of joy like before. That innocent girl that you refuse to be a Raizada daughter-in-law, knows that you care for her so much and respects you. I'm scared to think that she'll wonder if it's because of her lack of speech you dislike-"
Kushal: " Devayani! Stop it."
Devayani: " Exactly! See! That's what I mean! You never show that outside!? Why!?"
Kushal sternly: " I can't let Khushi be apart of this family. The closer she gets, the more I care. The more I care, THE MORE SHE'LL GET HURT, JUST LIKE MUSKAAN!"


It was the two taps of knocking on the door making Devayani and Kushal remember the world around them. Kushal looked at the clock muttering about who'd be up now and stormed to the door to blast who ever was on the other side with a good shouting. Devayani followed closely behind, hoping he wouldn't say anything harsh at the person. Whipping open the door however the words and expression of anger was shot down, like a bird from the sky. 

Stood nervously in her teal green salwar night suit, with her dupatta openly draped round her shoulders, was Khushi. A silence set in as Kushal looked down at the neatly folded sari in her arms. It seemed like the one she wore earlier that night.
Devayani spoke up with a smile: " Betiya? You here? Is something wrong?"
Khushi shook her head and held out the sari to her. Devayani looked at it confused. She smiled.
Devayani: " Khushi betiya, this sari is for you to keep. You don't have to return it to me or Anjili. "
Retracting her arms hesitantly to hold the sari to herself again, she looked up at Kushal who was staring sternly at her.
Kushal: " Go you should go back to your room and sleep."
Khushi however stared at Kushal with a concerned, sympathetic look, making him wonder if she had heard even a little bit of what was said inside. 
Devayani smiled: " Go betiya, honestly you don't need to return the sari. *hinting at Kushal* Does she Kushal!? " 
Devayani then went back inside to let Kushal shut the door. Khushi was still hesitating to leave watching Kushal. 
Kushal gently in a low tone: " Betiya. Go to bed. Go." 

With that Khushi started to walk away, looking back time to time to see he was watching her leave. With what Khushi knew now, she was determined to help Kushal out of the past and into the future. But first she had to convince Arnav that all wasn't what it seemed with Kushal. And knowing his stubbornness was just as tough as his grandfather's, this was going to take some planning. 

*..........*..........*
x