Enigmatic love

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Mar 24

Enigmatic Love (By Sillylisa) (Thanked: 35 times)


(Conversations will be marked in blue for ease of reading) (Flashbacks in green italics) (POVs in red)

Akash had called Arnav over to Delhi for a business meet. While there, Arnav had multiple serious discussions with Akash, Aman and a couple others. They went step by step over the situation and decided the best course of action. 


As everyone stepped out of the conference room to give him a breather, Arnav put his head back on the chair as he mentally went through the recent chain of events- how Vishal and he had gone back the previous night again to investigate the portrait, Vishal's conclusions, how Chanda had called her dangerous, what he had learnt from Chanda, how everything was slowly falling in place


Arnav knew he was pretty close to cracking the puzzle, so to speak...


"Khushi", he remembered, "I haven't seen you in three weeks, Please come meet me, I need to know you are safe", he thought fervently, "please be safe"


The picture of the hazel eyed beauty smiling at him in the moonlit garden was soothing to his mind's eye.



He opened his eyes to a call on his phone as he pressed speaker, "Yes Dr.Sharma"

"ASR, your blood reports have come. Did you want to discuss on phone?"

"Yes please"

"Alright then", Dr.Sharma said, "You are not anemic"

"That's a good thing", Arnav said, "then why have I collapsed in the past few days so much?"

"I suspect hypoglycemia, low blood sugar"

"But I am a diabetic and I need to take medications to reduce my high blood sugar"

"That is true, but we found traces of sulfonylureas in your plasma", Dr.Sharma paused, "sulfonylureas are also used for diabetes but that is not the medicine you have been prescribed"

"Your blood glucose levels are fluctuating severely", "Stick to your medicines ASR", Dr.Sharma said gravely, "you must watch, it is dangerous, it could lead to coma or even death"

"Thank you doctor", Arnav disconnected the call and threw the phone on the carpet enraged


"What is this Bhai", Akash walked towards him angrily, "how can you let this happen?"

"Did you hear everything Akash?"


"Please keep it between us"

"I am going to kill the bast*rd", Akash said furiously, "What is the motive Bhai?"

"We will find out soon Akash", ASR said determined, "Very soon, But first I need to get back to Lucknow ASAP"

A day later (Back at Sheesh Mahal in Lucknow):


Arnav sat down for a late dinner as the dining table bustled with chatter. He was concerned when it came to matters of his family. He knew, for sure, they would be upset with the revelations. He was not ready to deal with it right now. 


His niece, Mehak, was firing questions to her mom looking at a picture of elephants in a book, “Is this little one the baby elephant mommy?”

“Yes Mehak”, Anjali said a little exasperated, “Can you please finish your paratha fast?”

“Ok”, Mehak continued, “Is the mommy elephant big or the daddy elephant?”

“The daddy elephant”, Anjali said 

“When is my daddy getting back here Mommy”, she switched topics suddenly

“Tomorrow baby”, Anjali said

“Where is daddy?”

“He is in Bombay”, “Baby, it’s time to go to sleep, eat soon”


Instantly Arnav remembered his encounter with Shyam in Surat more than a week ago. When he heard from Aman that Shyam was in Surat instead of in Bombay, he had to confront him. He was pissed that Shyam was crossing a line again. Arnav was thunderstruck at what he found there.


He rubbed his temples, this was getting on his nerves. 


“Are you okay ASR”, Lavanya asked

“I am fine”

“Chote, you looked tired from the Delhi trip”, Nani advised, her voice full of love, “why don’t you go rest?”

Arnav looked at his charming grandmother. The years had not been kind to her. She looked aged with her wrinkled skin, but her eyes shone brightly behind the glasses. 


“Are you okay Chote”, she asked kindly, “is there anything you would like to share with me?”


“Damn”, thought ASR, “how does she manage to read my mind every single time?”


“Nothing Nani”, he smiled as he stood up quickly, “I think I will go rest”



While the family was busy amongst themselves, Arnav snuck back through the study door into the garden without anyone noticing him.

Inhaling the crisp smell of soil after the recent rain, he walked deep into the group of the majestic mahogany trees, as the light and the voices from the house grew fainter.

He sat on the garden bench and whispered, “Khushi”

“Hmm”, there was an instant answer stunning him for a second

“When did you get here”, he spoke excited and relieved at the same time, “where were you?”

“Behind the huge oak”, she pointed her finger in a direction, “I was waiting for you to come into the garden”

“Did you know I was going to come into the garden?”, he teased her

“I was just hoping Saab”, she said shyly

“Why so?”, he provoked her, smiling all along

“It has been a while since we met”, she said lowering her gaze

“A while... Really Khushi? It has been a long…long time”, he emphasized, “Where were you darling?”, he asked fondly

Her head snapped up at his endearment. Tears swam in her eyes at his love. 

Arnav extended his hand and gently grabbed hers for the first time. The first touch was electrifying to both of them. Realizing what he had done, Khushi tried pulling her palm out of his, and when he wouldn’t let her, she looked back with worried eyes at the Mahal. 

Understanding her predicament, he pulled her softly behind a huge tree away from the Mahal. As she adjusted herself against the bark, Arnav moved closer shielding her body with his. He rested his hands on either side of her on the tree bark.

“Are you okay?”, he asked her

“Yes” she nodded with her head bent

Arnav put his right index finger under her chin and gently lifted her head up.

As she looked at his eyes, he said, “You are so soft Khushi”

He ran his thumb along her chin, the angle of the jaw and on her lips without breaking their eye lock. Khushi’s felt herself quiver at his touch. 

Slowly, Arnav bent his head down with his eyes on her luscious lips. He took his time in order to give her a choice to back off.

Khushi knew what was coming, she was tired of running away. She wanted to give in, she wanted to indulge in the pleasure he was promising. She closed her eyes giving her consent.

Arnav caressed his lips with hers feeling the softness. He leisurely caught her lower lip between his’ and gently sucked it. His left hand moved behind her waist to pull her closer. Khushi placed her palms on his chest as her chest collided with his. Arnav drove his right hand into her soft hair, lifted her head more and kissed her intensely.

The rustling of leaves nearby brought them back. Arnav looked at her flushed face with tender eyes.

“Are you okay Khushi?”, he asked again

She lowered her head blushing and nodded.

He moved his right palm all along the length of her left hand from shoulder down and intertwined her fingers, “I am there for you Khushi”, he said, “You are not in this alone”

Khushi looked at him shocked.

He blinked his eyes, “I know how to break out of this”, “do not worry”

A few tears rolled down on her smooth cheeks.

“No more tears”, he said firmly

“But how…” Khushi couldn’t complete as he placed his index finger against her lips and silenced her

“I will get us out of this mess”, he promised, “Just trust me”

She hugged him and cried.

“I want you to leave now”, he laid out the plan, “but come back tomorrow night”, “Be safe darling”, he kissed her again on the lips.

As Khushi smiled and went across the garden to the other side, she failed to notice a thin shadow follow her silently. 

Mar 24

Enigmatic love (By Sillylisa) (Thanked: 45 times)

PART- 9:

(Conversations will be marked in blue for ease of reading) (Flashbacks in green italics) (POVs in red)

A couple of days later:  


The beautiful grounds of Sheesh Mahal abound in various types of plants, trees and creepers. Different varieties of birds had made nests in and around the palace. 


Nani would wake up every day to the pleasant chirping of birds. Everything to do with nature was soothing to her. She had made a habit of taking a walk in the palace grounds with Mehak describing the different plants and birds to the little one.


One such morning, the duo got back to the grand foyer to sit with the family as Mehak was served milk.

"One more story grandma", Mehak requested

"Sure beta", Nani said indulgently, "But drink your milk first"

"Your mom and Mamu were fascinated by the mysteries that I used to tell them in childhood", Nani said with a chuckle, "in fact your Mamu still is!"

Arnav rolled his eyes.

"Are you Arnav?" Arjun asked unable to control his laugh

"Chote is always hooked to mysteries and puzzles", Anjali said, "he is crazy about them"


Arnav instantly thought of the mystery that was currently happening in his life, "Yes, I don't let go of mysteries without solving them", he thought, "And this one is pretty close to being resolved"


"Anjali", Shyam spoke faintly into her ear, as he was sitting beside her on the couch, "I have to travel to Bombay the day after tomorrow"

"Again?" Anjali pouted, "Why do you have to travel again?"

"Court-related work Anjali", If Shyam was irritated, he concealed it well

"Will you come back soon Shyamji?"

"Yes, I will", Shyam held her hand kissing on her knuckles as Anjali smiled at him.


Arnav watched the entire exchange between them silently as he moved into his study.



The Same Afternoon:


Arnav had to work on a business proposal for a Paris-based company and was tied up the entire afternoon.

The peace of the late afternoon was disturbed by a hot altercation between Anjali and Shyam.


Nani and Lavanya stepped out of their rooms, surprised that the ever-cheerful Anjali was screaming loudly and a desperate Shyam was trying to placate her.


"Anjali", Nani interrupted her, "what happened?"

"Shyam ji", Anjali tried speaking in between hiccups, "is trying to hide something from me"

"What?" Nani asked, "What happened beta?"

"Nani, do you remember my friend Pallavi?"

"Yes, she came to your wedding"

"Yes, the same one", Anjali said, "She said that..."

"Stop it Anjali", Shyam interrupted her, "Enough is enough"

"Why Shyamji?" Anjali snapped back, "Is it because your lies are exposed?"

"F*ck", Shyam swore as he ran his hands in his hair

"Pallavi saw Shyamji in Surat when he was supposed to be in Bombay"

"Is that true Shyamji?" Nani asked

"And he refuses to tell me the reason Nani"

Anjali turned towards her husband, "What are you hiding from me Shyamji?"

"Anjali, it's nothing..."

"Stop", Anjali bellowed, "Tell. me. the. truth"

"I can't, and I won't", declared Shyam

"What, why?"

"Because of me Di", Arnav stepped into the conversation, "Jijaji couldn't tell you as this is related to me", "Jijaji was only trying to protect me"

Anjali was perplexed. "Now you have to answer me Chote", "What exactly is happening? What are you guys hiding from me?"


"Nani and Di", Arnav started as he seated them down, "You need to know that we are caught in a conspiracy, there are people trying to ruin our family, even kill me"

They looked horrified.

"Since I came here, I had multiple episodes of unconsciousness", Arnav added, "which I found out later were induced through wrong medications. Someone was clearly messing with me"

"In addition, Jijaji found some fresh blood a few days back in my study on the document safe", Saying this Arnav looked at Shyam indicating to take over.

Shyam nodded, "I asked Arnav if he had any injuries that day, which he did not. Initially I was worried for him as he is a diabetic and he heals slowly. I was also concerned as I have been observing some odd behavior in the Mahal since we came to Lucknow"


"I found out that someone else had a cut in their palm that day and I was surprised since that person had no reason to go into Arnav's study. My lawyer's skepticism kicked in, I suspected foul play - someone was trying to steal the documents. I sent out this blood sample for investigation to Chandigarh to corroborate my suspicion. Just out of impulse, we compared it with Arnav's blood sample"


Shyam took a deep breath, "Here's the thing - this blood sample was a perfect match to Arnav's paternal DNA"

Nani and Anjali were shocked

Anjali screamed right away, "I did not enter Arnav's study neither did I have any injuries"

"I know Anjali", Shyam said unperturbed, "It was not you because the maternal DNA was different"

"What???" gasped Anjali trying to get the import of his statement 

"Hence, I met my cousin Praveen, the private investigator in Surat and requested him to look into it", Shyam continued, "What he found out was shocking"

"The business meeting that you think Arnav attended in Delhi was actually orchestrated by Akash and Arnav travelled to Surat, so we could discuss the findings"

"Also, Sheesh Mahal has Secret passages with some hidden mysterious rooms leading to the Northside foyer and outside gardens that made it easy for people to enter and leave without our knowledge"


Anjali interrupted, "But who is doing this? What do they want? When did all this happen?"


Shyam turned towards a fidgety Lavanya and asked her calmly, "Lavanya, I think, you can answer this better than all of us"


Lavanya turned uneasy as all eyes turned on her.

Mar 27

Enigmatic love (By Sillylisa) (Thanked: 75 times)

This is a huge update. Hence is broken down into multiple parts....

PART-10 (I)


Continued from Part-9 (Same place, Same time)



Lavanya cleared her throat at being caught unawares. 

“What…”, She looked around for support, “What are you talking Jeejaji?”

Shyam smiled, “I know exactly what I am talking about”

“How can you even think of…” 

“Enough Lavanya”, ASR roared, “Just answer the damn question”

“ASR”, she ran towards Arnav, “he is just turning this on me. You never liked him much, so, he is making me the scapegoat”, she continued without noticing Arnav’s irritation, “Actually I saw him go into your study multiple times, he is the one trying to steal your docum…”

“Stop it”, Arnav said calmer than before but there was a dangerous glint in his voice

“You know what? You are smart Lavanya, I am surprised that you noticed my displeasure towards my Jeejaji because I never voiced it out to you”

Turning towards Shyam, Arnav said, “I am sorry Jeejaji, “I really am”, he continued, “Two weeks back, when I had gone to Delhi to crack the deal with Seth, Aman told me that he had seen you in Surat. I really suspected you”,

Arnav was genuiunely apologetic, “I did not know you were looking out for me”, “So, when I flew right away to Surat for the first time to confront you, I was really shocked”, “but I mean it when I said, I really found a true ally in you, a real friend in you ”

Shyam acknowledged with a smile.

“Di, my most recent trip to Delhi last week was orchesterated by Akash as Jeejaji mentioned already”, he turned towards Di, “When all of you thought I went to get a deal done, I had a confidential meeting with Akash, Aman, Vishal and Praveen”, “we put everything together”, “we conferenced with Jejejaji in Surat”, and then I flew down to Surat, for a second time, from Delhi for some addiditional information”, “we have everything we need including a bunch of evidence”

“Now Lavanya”, he said looking at her intensely, “Spill the beans”

“I hate you ASR”, she said realizing her game was up

“Why did you marry Chote then?”, Nani asked, furious

“I was forced into this marriage by my mom”

“Nonsense! You were happy throughout the weddding”, Anjali intercepted, “You even complained to me that Chote was not paying you enough attention”

“Cut the cr*p”, Arnav said with a tight smile, “pathetic excuse, out with the truth!”

“But I have to admire your loyalty…”, Shyam said to Lavanya, “…to your partner in crime

“Yes”, Arnav smirked, “He will be here any moment, he has no freaking clue what is going to hit him”

Akash walked in, surprising everyone, with Arjun.


Mar 29

Enigmatic love (By Sillylisa) (Thanked: 93 times)

PART-10 (II)


Continued from Part-10 (I) (Same place, Same time)



Arjun walked in with Akash.

"Hey Arnav", he said casually, "what's up man?, Akash here told me that you were not feeling well, Did you fall unconscious again?" he asked nonchalantly

"Not if I can help it", Arnav snapped

Arjun instantly noticed the hostility in the atmosphere, "Is everything okay?" he asked

He looked around, and as he did, his eyes lingered on Lavanya for longer than necessary. He realized, things had gone wrong, for him.

"I think it's time to get back to my clinic man", he said trying to formulate a neat exit strategy

"That might be difficult", said Arnav

"Excuse me?" Arjun sounded surprised

"Oh, you know", Arnav spoke offhandedly as his phone beeped, "Looks like the Deputy Inspector General of Police is here for you"

Arjun realized he had walked into a trap. His blood boiled.

"What do you mean?" his tone was sharp

"Give it up Arjun", Shyam suggested, "Lavanya did!"

Arjun's eyes narrowed. There was some unfathomable emotion in them, akin to hatred and more. But he would not budge yet.

"What do you have against me? What I don't understand is why get Lavanya involved? why get Khushi involved?" Arnav asked with barely-controlled fury

"Who?" Nani and Anjali said in chorus

"I will tell you about her in a minute", Arnav turned his head assuring them

Arjun's eyes darkened even further, if possible. He stayed silent.

Just then, Aman walked in with the DIG of Lucknow along with a few other police officers in tow. As they exchanged pleasantries, DIG said, "thanks for the tip ASR", "we nabbed Chitwan"

"What?" Arjun lost his cool

"Yes, another of your accomplices", Arnav supplied, "And Khushi?" he asked the DIG

"She and her father are both safe"

Arnav let out a deep breath

"And both are willing to testify", added DIG

"How dare you?" Arjun stepped forward and held Arnav by his collar

"How dare you?" Arnav charged forward as he meant to punch Arjun

"Enough", said the DIG as he pulled Arnav back a few strides, "We will be taking him with us now"

"But why?" Anjali asked Arjun, "we treated you like family", "Why did you betray my brother?"

"You and your family should not be talking about betrayal", Arjun scoffed

"Why did you want to hurt Arnav?" Nani asked feeling weak in the knees, at the second deception of the day.

"Your family is the reason why my family got shattered", Arjun hissed, "You have no right to have a family, heck you have no right to even live", he spat looking towards Arnav.

Nani gasped for a breath as she slumped down on the couch.

"I want to know the reason for your hatred", Arnav said moving closer to him

"Alright then- My mom was cheated by my dad and committed suicide. Ratna Raizada was the reason"

Nani felt her head spin, "what?"

"Arvind Mallik was my dad", Arjun said, although Arnav already knew it due to the DNA testing, he felt his heart break by the actions of a man he had never met

Anjali held her palm over her mouth stifling her sobs.

"I was only four years old", Arjun said with a distant look in his eyes, "My mom did not know about his cheating until she heard about his impending marriage with Ratna from someone else. My mom begged him to not leave her, but he said they were in love with each other. That was too much for her heart." 

"My mom's brother, Chitwan, raised me after her. He couldn't tolerate what his brother-in-law did to his darling sister. So, he got Arvind Mallik killed in an accident", he continued without paying attention to the gasps around, "I was going to be an orphan anyways with him leaving us for another woman"

Without caring about the audience, Lavanya walked towards Arjun and hugged him tight, "it's okay", she said rubbing his back. 

The DIG realized this as an unresolved familial issue. He stepped out with his men to provide privacy for the Raizada family.

Before Anjali or Nani could react to this indecorous display of affection by Lavanya, Arnav made a point, "So, Lavanya was having an affair with you behind my back, huh?"

"Why not?" Arjun sniggered, "Your mom was having an affair with my dad behind my mom's back"

Arnav stormed forward as he lost his cool again

"No", Nani stood up shakily from her couch, "No", she repeated, "She did not know, Ratna did not know", she turned towards her grandchildren, "Your mom sure was hopelessly in love with your dad, but she would never have broken a home, Ratna was always soft and gentle, Your mom really did not know anything", She wanted her grandchildren to know that truth about their mother. She didn't want her grandchildren to misunderstand their mother.

"My daughter didn't know anything about your dad. She wanted to marry him, she thought he was unmarried. After they fell in love, Arvind came and asked for Ratna's hand in marriage. We thought he was a good guy, hence we accepted the alliance", she explained to Arjun, "I am very very sorry about your mother"

Arjun kept a passive face. Years of hatred would not be wiped out with an apology.

"Nani", Anjali cried, holding onto her and supporting her at the same time

Arnav looked daggers at Arjun.

"Had we known about his infidelity, Ratna would have stayed away from him for sure", "she was not a homebreaker, she was raised in a good household"

"Well she got pregnant before marriage", Arjun spat venom

"Don't you dare judge my mom, b*stard"

Akash and Shyam held Arnav back.

"You know what Arnav?" Arjun drawled viciously, "My parents were actually married, so I'm the lawful son, you are the son of my dad's mistress"

Anjali broke down crying. Arnav and Shyam rushed forward to gather her in their arms. 


The sight of the distressed siblings satisfied Arjun. His entire life, he had been waiting to bring them to their knees; to remind them of their illegimate parentage; to put them through, at least a part of, the suffering that he had gone through. 

However, this was not sufficient, he needed more, he needed Arnav dead and Arnav's property in his hands. Lavanya was all prepped for that. Lavanya, the eldest daughter-in-law of the Raizadas would walk away from them with their property and pride. He had to hit the Raizadas on their most prized possession- their honour.

That would be the final vendetta, the revenge for his mom's death, and for breaking his family. Ratna Raizada and her family had to go through exactly what his' went through- disgrace and death.

Akash looked at the cousins he loved the most from childhood. He sneered at the pathetic excuse of a man, who had claimed to be a long-lost cousin, and entered their lives to wreak havoc. He had to pull his family together.

Akash walked towards Arnav and hauled him up slowly from Anjali, "Bhai",Akash implored, "Please get a grip", "We need to deal with him in the right way", he said firmly, "we need to protect our family from the likes of him"

Arnav closed his eyes giving out a long exhalation. The hard-nosed, level-headed businessman took over the sweet family man.

"Alright", he said after a long thought, "but the last laugh is mine Arjun", he jeered, "You and your precious mamu are going to jail, And the girl that you terrorized, will rip you apart in court"

No sooner had he said those words, a beautiful yet demure girl walked in along with the DIG. As she surveyed the living area, her eyes clashed with the malevolent ones of Arjun. She inched towards Arnav subconsciously as if seeking refuge.

Arnav realized what was happening and smoothly diverted her attention to his family.

"This is Khushi", he introduced her to his family in general

Khushi folded her hands in greeting.

... Continued...

Oct 11

Enigmatic love (By Sillylisa) (Thanked: 53 times)


First off, my apologies for the delay. Most of you probably forgot the story too- I deserve that... But please, if you think it's necessary to do a re-cap of the story, please do that before you get into this part. This will have multiple references from the previous chapters. This is a connection and explanation to the enigma around Khushi.


What was I even thinking? I tried fitting everything in this update... but it doesn't work. It's cumbersome and way, way too long. You guys are right, this cannot be the last part. This one and the next update will explain how Arnav figured out things, why he doubted Arjun and Lavanya, and who his confidantes were in this journey. A lot of flashbacks and their explanations here...

Stay put for my sakes... This is all a part of showdown. All the pieces will fit in place... If not, we will make them fit Wink

(Conversations will be marked in blue for ease of reading) (Flashbacks will be in green italics) (POVs in red)

Continued from Part-10 (II) (Same place, Same time)

"This is Khushi", he introduced her to his family in general


Khushi folded her hands in greeting.


Shyam and Akash nodded at her. 


Shyam stepped out with the DIG as the police handcuffed Arjun and walked out with him. The DIG gave him a pivotal piece of information that made Shyam smile for the first time after the entire ordeal.


"Please wait here sir. They need to know this", Shyam requested the DIG as he led them into the well-furnished atrium on the ground floor, "along with him",Shyam added pointing at Arjun.

"Sure", the DIG understood.

Shyam walked back to the family room as he made a few important calls.


Back in the adjoining hall, as Lavanya sat down with a thud, Akash signaled the guards to keep an eye on her.


While Nani and Di greeted Khushi back, they looked at Arnav confused as to how she was related to any of this.


"Khushi is the one who helped me nail the bast*rd," Arnav said barely concealing his anger.


"Chote" Nani admonished his language right away


"But how?" Anjalis tone was still weak


"He used her as a bait Di", Arnav explained, "She is as much a victim of Arjun and Chitwan as we are. He imprisoned Khushi's father and blackmailed her into doing his bidding"


"Di and Nani- please sit down", he seated them all in the grand foyer and ordered HP to serve some beverages.


"I am sure both of you have a lot of questions", Arnav said as he sat down in a couch next to Khushi, "I have a lot of explaining to do. Earlier, I could not let you have a wind of what was happening as I could not afford risking exposure in front of Lavanya or Arjun."


"But Lavanya..." Nani was unsure how to continue, "how could she and Arjun... I mean how did Arjun even get to her? What does she gain from this?"

"Nani, please", Arnav pleaded, worried about the matriarch's delicate health, "I will explain every. single. thing", he promised, "Take a breather"


Nani calmed down visibly even though her inner turmoil was great.


"Chote", Anjali asked, after taking a sip of the beverage that HP brought, "But Lavanya is Garima Aunty's daughter. Then why is she involved with him? I mean how is it even possible?


"Di, everyone knew that our mom and Garima Aunty were best friends. It was no secret either that I was supposed to marry Lavanya. Arjun has been tracking us- our family and our business from the past four years. He had one goal in life, the reason I was not aware of until now, and that is to destroy us"


The women gasped.


"Yes", Arnav closed his eyes he took a deep breath, "He made acquiescence with Lavanya four years ago. This plan has been set in motion a long time back. I would not call Lavanya innocent in this whole nightmare, but she has been filled in by Arjun's supposed love and hatred. She is nothing but a spineless stupid, blind in her love"


"Well, women can do anything when they are blinded by love", Anjali said sadly with tears in her eyes, "as is evidenced in Mom's case"


"No Anjali", Shyam stepped in to counter his wife's statement, "Your mom may have been in love but she was not definitely blind"


"Oh really, she was pregnant before marriage", Lavanya spoke with spite, "what do you call it if not blind?"


"Shut up", Shyam bellowed for the first time, "Only because I still consider you a family member, I am keeping quiet. Don't push your limits"


Shyam turned towards his family as he said, "Chitwan's locker had the official divorce document of Arvind and Charuseela.. that is Arjun's parents"

"I just spoke to Garima Aunty, and she hastened to send me a picture of an old photograph that Ratna Ma gave to her. Here it is", he showed his IPhone with the picture in it.

It was a clear photograph, though worn out on the edges, of Arnav Mallik and Ratna Raizada's wedding. They had married in a simple temple ceremony. Ratna looked shy and beautiful.


Shyam continued, this time looking at Lavanya, "Garima Aunty also mentioned that- Ratna wanted to wait until their wedding in front of everyone, but she could never refuse her husband anything. She loved him a lot. He married her secretly more than two months before their official planned marriage"

He looked at Lavanya straight in the eyes- "Arnav and Anjali are not illegitimate"


Arnav and Anjali hugged each other tightly. "Mamma", Anjali said as she pulled back slightly, "she is so beautiful"


Arnav nodded, his eyes glistening with a sheen of water.


"Chitwan knew that his sister and Arvind were divorced. But he couldn't tolerate the fact that his sister committed suicide. So he killed Arvind Mallik. Shashi Gupta knew about the murder, hence was captured and tortured by them- hence his daughter Khushi followed their rules. If she didn't play along, they would kill her dad"

"Chitwan also hid the divorce document and incited Arjun to exact revenge on Arnav. Lavanya was trapped by Arjun on purpose as he knew this alliance was going to happen. She did it in his love and for the property. Arjun masqueraded as a distant cousin of the Raizadas. He eyed the property too. And Arjun used Lavanya knowing that she would betrothed to Arnav" Shyam concluded finally.


"Like I said Di," Arnav concluded, "this plan was set in motion many years back. Arjun has been tracking us diligently"


Akash smiled as he walked to the area where his family was assembled, "All that has been wasted now, isn't it Arjun?" Akash taunted him.


That's when everyone noticed that Akash had walked in with Arjun and the DIG. 


"I wanted him to know that he had been wrong from the very start, so I got him here", Akash explained to their questioning gazes.


"Oops you were kept in the dark by your own uncle and while you were busy plotting revenge, you were blissfully unaware that you were set up by him", Akash mocked Arjun, "The truth as you can see now is that Arvind Mallik and Ratna Raizada were infact married before Arnav and Anjali were conceived. Your parents, I am sorry to say, are divorced. The reason for your mom's suicide is that she couldn't handle the divorce"


At the mention of his mom, Arjun surged forward and hit Akash in the face. He was about to deliver another punch when the DIG and Shyam pulled him back. 


"Akash are you okay?" Arnav inquired as Akash nodded rubbing his jaw.


Arnav looked murderous at Arjun for hitting Akash, but Akash calmed him. 

"Let him go Bhai. All his life, all his revenge is a sham. He will need time to process it," Akash sniggered on purpose.


Arnav smiled at his dear cousin as Arjun's vein popped. 


"But Bhai", Akash called Arnav, "when did you start suspecting him of foul play?"


"The first time I doubted Arjun was because- he seemed to know everything about me. He claimed that Nani had told him. I felt that was fishy. 

He attended my wedding. He never got an invite from our side; And as much as he maintained, he did not know Lavanya either. Yet when he talked to me about me missing my wife, he took Lavanya's name very casually. I was surprised that he remembered my wife's name so well considering the fact that I never talked to him about Lavanya. 

The last nail in the coffin- He was around me every time I fell unconscious"

"Blood test in Delhi revelaed high doses of hypoglycemic to induce loss of consciousness", Shyam said as he brought out the blood work report and started reading it, "His doctor interpreted that Arnav was probably overdoing his diabetic medication, but he was not. There were sulfonyl ureas in high doses. Sometimes he was also given Insulin intra-muscularly which would suddenly lead to hypoglycemic syncope- Meaning losing consciousness due to decreased blood sugar levels. It leads to confused mental state, and Arjun planned to use that against Arnav. 

Unfortunately, the only person in our vicinity with medical knowledge is Arjun. That's how we started suspecting him"


"Arjun used that confused state to introduce Khushi to me".


"What, how?" Nani and Di gasped simultaneously


"Arjun wanted to hit on Arnav's fascination, as an enigma or a mystery would fascinate him", Shyam explained smirking at Arjun, "But how did you assume that Arnav would fall for a pretty face?"


"He may not be a lady's man," Arjun's laugh was devilish, "but Arnav was hooked to her- not just her beauty but the mystery around her "


"Maybe, but your re-incarnation tale is lame", Arnav said promptly


"What re-incarnation?" Nani asked right away


Arnav smirked looking at Arjun. 


"Well, he went to great lengths to create a story of a curse and a re-birth", Arnav explained, "I acted like I believed in the reincarnation story just to find the real hand behind it.."

"Oh, don't show off now Arnav", Arjun spat at him, "The story was created not to make you believe in it but to trap you in it. You would have been dead before it ended, had she not gone against my plan", he pointed at Khushi.


"Tch...tch... It's a well-planned, well-executed elaborate hoax that ended up as a failure", Arnav mocked him


"Failure?" Arjun questioned raising his eyebrows, "You are definitely attracted to Khushi. You spent hours and days waiting for her. I clearly saw the desperation in your eyes for one glimpse of her. The very fact that you are so protective about her right now- is proof enough that you fell for her."

"You call this a failure ASR?" Arjun mocked, "I won for sure... I would have reached my goal, had she followed my instructions. She is too smart for her own good" Arjun looked at Khushi in insane fury


The subtle threat toward Khushi made the DIG step forward. He said, "ASR, I think it's high time he's taken away"


"Thank you, sir" Shyam appreciated the DIG sincerely, "We will be coming to the station to file a FIR. My law firm will get back to you soon regarding the rest of the stuff"

He dismissed the cops smoothly.


As DIG and his team walked away with Arjun in cuffs, the living area turned completely silent. Everybody was processing the information in their own way. 


Shyam walked over to the couch with Anjali and sat down next to her, "Anju are you okay?" he asked concerned

"Thank you Shyam", Anjali held his right hand in her left, "Thanks for protecting Arnav"


"Damadji," Nani called him, "Thanks for saving my daughter's reputation"


"Naniji", Shyam was affectionate, "you don't have to thank me at all. I am sorry that we all had to go through this ordeal"


Shyam continued, "Remember the time when Arjun came to Lucknow airport to receive us from Delhi?" Anjali nodded as Shyam went on, "I noticed the covertlooks of Lavanya and Arjun and got a doubt. Something did not feel right. A couple of times, I almost caught them at their secret nightly meetings. They escaped at the last minute. There are many secret passageways with hidden rooms leading to the Northside foyer and outside gardens. Arjun knew the layout of Sheesh Mahal very well and used it to his advantage"


"Do you remember Arnav that one night I caught you in the study when you were looking for the flashlight?", Shyam urged him to recollect the incident.


Arnav remembered the night well. It was right after Khushi had said that her portrait was the key... He had decided to go check on the portrait in the Northwing.



Since it was dark inside the Mahal, it was difficult finding the way to north-wing. He did not want to switch the lights on and attract attention. He could walk around in the garden and reach the north-wing from the other end. He needed to get a flash light from the study for that. 

Arnav walked to the study but was unable to find it, so he had to switch a small side-lamp to search for it.

"Who is it there?", a male voice shouted from the stairs. Someone switched the light on in the living area.

Arnav pocketed the flash light and moved into the living room.

"Saale Saab", Shyam said, "Is that you?"

"Hmm", Arnav said

"What are you doing in the study?", Shyam asked

"Um... just had to get something from there", Arnav said

"Ok", said Shyam and looked around as if scanning to find somebody/ something

"What are you doing at this time?", asked Arnav looking at his watch, "It's almost two in the morning"

"I came to get water for Mehak", Shyam said still looking around

"Ok", Arnav said, "I will get back to sleep"

Flashback ends..

"I remember that well Jeejaji", Arnav smiled, "I was determined to go to the Northwing to check on Khushi's portrait and you inadvertently stopped me"

"I didn't stop you inadvertently Arnav, I stopped you on purpose" Shyam supplied as Arnav's eyes widened, "I didn't know where you were going but I knew you might get in trouble. So I diverted you. I had heard voices the previous night from the study. They were in your study looking for something. I was worried that if you stepped out, you would be hurt"


"Thanks for looking out for me Jeejaji"

"Anytime Arnav"


"Another incident that cemented Lavanya's intentions against Arnav was- when Lavanya came to Sheesh Mahal for the very first time, Arnav had the same unconscious episode again. What made me doubt her is that Lavanya is a poor actor. While everyone was concerned about Arnav, she being his wife was not bothered at all, moreover had a slight smirk smile playing on her lips"


"It's an irony that my so-called wife wanted me dead when a complete stranger risked her life to save me. Khushi dropped me numerous hints, she went off the script dictated by Arjun knowing that she was being watched by him or his minions constantly" 

Arnav smiled at Khushi as she raised her eyes to look at him. Everyone noticed the warmth in their interaction. Shyam and Anjali noticed the bond right away and beamed at each other.


"Thanks, Khushi beta, Nani said, "If it was not for you, we would have lost our Arnav"


As Khushi nodded meekly, Anjali asked in a naughty tone, "Exactly how did you save your Arna.. uh.. I mean our Arnav?"


Arnav caught onto that right away as he winked"Ah Di, where do I start?"

...To be continued...

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And real thanks to all of those awesome readers that have already commented ...

Here are the links to my other FFs:

My Very Own Arnav:


Beyond Desire:


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