Piece By Piece

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Aug 8

Piece By Piece (By Chasby) (Thanked: 13 times)

 INTRODUCTION

Piece by Piece is all about:


A Son, whose life revolves around his Mother. A replica of someone whom he hates the most, his father. A son, who have groomed himself to avenge the past, the same past which had given his mother nothing but pain and heartbreak, the unchanged pain that still lingers in her eyes and the agonizing heartbreak still frozen in her heart.

The past, he didn’t even live!

Will his stances ever turn into anything else towards his father and his family? Or will he succeed in equaling the score with them?



A Father, who is also a husband but were never able to wholly become one. And he was still willing to change that, if only, he knew where his wife was. If only she would come back to him.

A father, who was still unaware of his son existence. The son, who hated him like no one ever had.

Will he be able to accept and endure his sons hatred?



And about A Mother, who is the sole reason, both the son and the father were living their life for!



All in all, it is about how they ruined and rebuilt their life "piece by piece", in spite and despite of all the hatred, love, anger, and their differences.  

 

 











Aug 8

Prologue (By Chasby) (Thanked: 30 times)

PROLOGUE

The Times of India

"THE PRINCE OF FASHION WORLD: HIS NEXT COLLECTION IN INDIA"

 A.S Gujral, the great business tycoon or the Prince of Fashion World, as the world refer to him as, is going to be in India very soon. After giving a new dimension to the fashion world in so many countries, the Prince is finally in India to try his hands on Indian Traditional Clothes, for the very first time. Mr. Gujral will showcase his new ITC collections, which he has named as K-Ace, in the upcoming India Fashion Week.

Mr. Gujral, though an Indian, was born and brought up in New York. At the age of 19, he started his own business and now after five years, at the age of 24, he has become the youngest and one of the most successful businessmen in the world. In just a short span of time, and at such a young age, he has done and achieved what other only dreams about. Aren't we proud Indians?





A man sighed and locked his IPad. Closing his eyes, he recollected all the gens he had heard seven years ago. He had been preparing and waiting for this day to come for the last several years. He wanted to see for his own eyes, the country, the city, and the people, who had given his mother nothing but a lot of pain, the same pain that still resides somewhere in her heart and that still lingers in her eyes. He would do and go to any lengths to remove them from her life, he had sworn. Advay Singh Gujral was all set to face those people and settle the score with them!





Another man, in Delhi, kept staring at the picture on the newspaper. He has been doing that for the last ten minutes, his breakfast untouched, unaware that his family were now staring at him.

"Chote!"

"ASR!"

"Bhai'"

"Arnavji"

Oblivious to their callings, he kept staring. He seemed familiar, he has had this thought every time he had seen him on television or on papers. But could never relate as to what and how. This young man has always fascinated him. Though they have never met, he knew that, in many forms this young man was exactly like him. The whole world would always come up with something or the other, be it related to their business or their personalities, and awe about the resemblances. He was well informed about them.

No wonder the world calls this young man "the Prince of Fashion" while Arnav Singh Raizada as "the King of Fashion".





A woman, her eyes full of unshed tears, sighed and kept the newspaper down. She was very proud of her son! "Pata hi nahi chala kab bara hogaya" she mulled over and quickly wiped her tears, fearing her son might come to know that she has been crying when he comes back home. He hated tears, especially in his mother's eyes and she hated the long lecture she gets after that. She smiled remembering all those censured moments. Suddenly, her smile faded recalling that certain fact from the paper. Her son was going away to that place, where she had lost everything. Her son had never wanted to go to India, so this sudden decision was making her confused and anxious. Khushi Gujral could never understand her son, sometimes, just like how she had never understood his father most of those times. She sighed again!




 










Aug 12

Chapter One (By Chasby) (Thanked: 24 times)

CHAPTER ONE


Gujral Mansion, New York



Advay Singh Gujral, a very reserved person when it comes to his personal life, owns one of the biggest and highly securitized mansions in New York. No one, be it from the media or his fans, had ever gotten their peep in his personal life. No one knew how many people live in that mansion. Everyone knew about his mother but no one ever saw her. The world knew nothing more than his professional life, which have always been on the first page news ever since he stepped into the business world, or more precisely the fashion world.



"Ema Baby, I am sorr…"

Advay trailed off as he entered the Mansion and stopped short on his track, disappointed and confused, when he didn't find her.

"Ema Baby?"

He made sure.

"Yes, dear."

Came a voice from the kitchen and an old woman, in her fifties, entered the hall smiling nervously at him.

"Dida, where is my Ema?"

He was worried! She would always be there, waiting for him by the entrance. She has always been the first one he wanted to see when he gets back home and the last when he leaves. And she would never missed that until and unless!

"I asked you a question, dammit? Where is Ema, Dida?"

He snapped! She must be somewhere, all alone, probably sad or crying and he knew that. He would make that out as soon as he sees her and she knew that.

"The lawn! She said she wanted to be alone for some time."

The nervous smile reappeared and Dida averted her eyes from his, knowing very well what was coming next.

"What??? I told you not to leave her alone, no matter what. Can't you understand one thing I asked you to do? What if something happens to her? You know how she is, she will not take care of herself at all. And where is that nurse? Tell her she is fired and to never show her face here, again."

He said that through gritted teeth and rushed towards the Lawn.



Dida heaved a sigh of relief. Her master was the worst when he gets angry.

"She was the fifteenth."

Dida mumbled shaking her head. This was the fifteenth time in a month. He had fired 14 other nurses before this who had come to attend his Ema. And she has lost the count of the nurses he fired in the last few years. He would never compromise when it comes to her. One small slipup and they would be out in a blink.

Dida’s been with them ever since Advay was born. She was a family and she had seen Advay growing up, from a baby to a now matured man. She has seen his revolution, his very own limited-edition transformation: from an angry small boy to an arrogant young man and from a merciful teenager to a now ruthless young businessman. But to, with and for his mother, his Ema baby as he calls her 'pyaar se', he would become the same old Advay. The endlessly loving and an extremely caring son! The inimitable bond that the mother and the son shares were accessible only among the close folks whom he shields.

The world would definitely go bonkers if they see him in that avatar!



She was seated on her wheelchair in midst that vast lawn, entranced in her own realm. Her mind hauled by her unsolicited past, he was never oblivious of that. He walked towards her, her back facing him, soundlessly. He was only few steps away when she turned and faced him, her lips adorned in that enchanting smile of hers. She gestured him to come. She was avoiding looking into his eyes for more than few seconds, he noted unpretentiously while walking towards her. He leaned down as soon as he reached close to her and kept his head on her lap. 

"Mama, you know I don’t like it when you don't turn up at the door. I know I am late and I am really sorry for that."

He admitted. He had never intrude and he won’t do it now either, he decided. For him, she mattered the most and he have fulfilled her every wishes, be it the verbal ones or the unspoken. And he would obey this unexpressed one too!

Khushi just sat there quietly, stroking his hair, hoping he would understand her silence like he always had. And he did! The mother and the son just sat there the whole evening, enjoying their blissful silence and only returned into the mansion after the sun set.







Raizada Mansion, Delhi, India



Arnav was still lost in the picture, when someone rudely snatched the paper out of his hands.

"What the'!!!"

He looked at the empty space between his hands and then looked up to see the insensible invader.

"OMG! The Prince is going to be in Delhi very soon."

She shrieked startling everyone sitting at the dining table.

Kavya Singh Raizada, the youngest Raizada and the daughter of Akash Singh Raizada and Payal Singh Raizada had just entered the dining area when she saw the Picture of Advay on the paper. Unintentionally inviting trouble for herself, she had immediately jigged to get that paper and was now so captivated by the article that even the notifying tug by her bua Anjali Singh Raizada could not bring her back to the alarming scenario. She had even failed to hear Arnav's very stunned 'What the'. While, the rest of the Raizadas held their breaths, anticipating their hot-headed’s next move.



"Dad, did you kno...” 

She animatedly turned towards Akash and trailed off, confused, as she saw all the family members gesturing her to keep quiet and directing towards her right. When she did, she froze as realization dawned upon her.

Oh ****! Hell! What did I do? Wait a minute! When did he come back? He was supposed to be back only tomorrow evening! I am so dead. Please someone save me! She prayed!

"I ..I.. aa..m soo..oory A..S.R!"


ASR furiously stood up, his chair stumbled in the process. Kavya bowed her head and closed her eyes, waiting for the verbal lashes while others stiffened at their places.

"Don't be late!"

After what seem like centuries have passed away, he just said that traumatizing everyone in the process. He was about to shout at Kavya when his eyes have landed on the paper on her hands and saw the picture, which have instantly soften his demeanor. He turned his back to everyone and frowned not able to understand himself.

“Khushi!”

He breathed and left for AR, confused. And left everyone stupefied at the dinning, the second time that morning.


 

"What just happened?" 

Akash asked, no one in particular, unable to believe what just ensued.

"I know, this is the first time in the last 25 years Chote didn't make a fuss."

Anjali said still unable to comprehend, while Nani and Mami nodded confirming the same.

“Kavi, didn't you see your uncle was holding the paper? Why do you have to get into trouble every time he is around? I just don’t understand this. Thank goodness! If it was any other day, I don’t even want to think about what would have happened.”

Payal Raizada reproved her daughter.

"I didn't even know ASR was back from his business trip."

She said idiotically.

"Obviously, how would you, when you were busy gossiping with Di over the Skype, the whole night. I just don't understand how you girls can even talk for that long."

Navi Singh Raizada, the ten minutes older twin brother of Kavya, spoke for the first time after Arnav left. Kavya was about to retort when their mom reminded them of their uncle’s warning.

"Oh ****! We are getting late. ASR will surely kill us if we are late for the first day of our internship. Not every person is lucky to get a second chance from the great ASR, you see Kavi. So, let’s go!"

Navi hurried his sister after glancing at his watch. They kissed and hugged everyone and in return got their wishes and then left for AR.



"Bechey kab bare hogaye pata hi nahi chala." 

Anjali wiped her content tears.

"My grandchildren are all grown up but I don't know if my daughter will ever grow up."

All smiled as Mami teased Anjali, making her blush.

These small bright moments and the three new members have kept Raizada Mansion and its people optimistic and have eased them to move forward in their lives, ever since Khushi left them. In midst of all these, they were still hoping and praying, with their full hearts, that their Khushi would come back. To them and to her Arnavji, who has been waiting and searching for her all these 25 Years.











Aug 16

Chapter Two (By Chasby) (Thanked: 20 times)

CHAPTER TWO


Gujral Mansion, New York

Advay sat lost in his thoughts as his rockers swayed him among so many concerns that needed his attention. His mother crowning the list! She was fast asleep in her room upstairs and his mind went back to what happened earlier at dinner time.



"Again?”

This wasn’t the first and yet Khushi would be left surprised every time. 

"Ema baby, you know I hate irresponsible people and she wasn’t reliable at all. How will someone succeed in their life when they can’t even do their designated job properly?"

Advay has been feeding Khushi all the while chatting and teasing her when Khushi had noticed, Kathey, the nurse whom Advay fired not so long ago, wasn't around. She enquired Dida about the same and that is when her son had told her, she was gone for good. Advay reasoned out but all three of them, who were hovering around the dinner table, knew he could and would never stand anyone who were negligent towards his mother. 

"Why do you even hire them if you are going to fire them the next day? Bechari, she was so in need of this job. You have become so ruthless, just like your fa…"

Khushi stopped as soon as she can, while Advay's hand, which was holding the spoon, stopped midair when he heard that.





He knew what his mother had meant to say. That he was becoming just that Man! NO!!! He was not like him. He will never become like him. He would never hurt his mother like that person had. He would never leave her like that man had. She is the one and only reason for and of his existence, his pictorial live, and he would be doomed if he became like that Man. NEVER!

Khushi was thinking about the same happening. She had pretended to fall asleep after Advay had tucked her in her bed, so that he would leave her and she could think over the whole incident. She cursed herself again! Something had flickered in his eyes in that precise odd moment and had bounced away in a wink, she was still certain about that and in spite of everything, she had even examined his eyes again but she could not tag it. The practiced shield of his eyes that he keeps propelling whenever he wants to, had hid his feelings really well.





"Mama, you are everything that I have. There will never be a place in my house for someone who can't take care of my mama. Aur mere dil mein toh bilkul bhi nahin. There is only one place in my heart and that is for you."

Knowing fully well what his mother was trying to do, he snapped himself out and ignoring everything, he expressed his part. Khushi cupped his cheeks, eyes full of love for her son, and kissed his forehead, thanking her Devi Maiya with all her heart, for giving her Advay, her very own special boon!

"But then where are you going to keep 'her', you better make a space for her too." 

She teased him easing the air right away.

"Who? And where do I have to make a space for her? Why?"

He asked confusingly scandalized.

"Hai Devi Maaiya, what do I do with this boy? Arre, I was talking about my daughter in law, your future wife."

Khushi enlightened her son, who just stared at her all alarmed.

"No way mama. Me and marriage!!! Nah, not possible."

"What not possible? It will be possible when the right girl comes in your life. Dekh na, once she comes, you will not be able to take her out of your heart."

"No other human can ever make that happen, Mama. My heart exists only with you. Other than that, I don't believe in others’ nor will I understand their language.”

Advay advocated himself.

"Pyar toh dil se hi hota hain. Iss tara hisab kitab kar ke nab tol ke nahin hota. Pyar toh bas ho jata hain. Ki jab app ausse dekho toh auski chere se nazar hi na hathe. Agar who audass ho toh kuch bhi accha na lage. Ausse door jaane ka kayal bhi app ko parshan kare."

Khushi wasn't ready to give up just like that. While her son watched her amusingly.

"Mama, I don't want to waste my time in these impractical things."

"You just wait and see. One day you will love to waste time in these things. Because…"

"Yeah I know, because according to you, one day that girl will come, jisse dekh kar main sab kuch bul jaun ga, jiske aane ke bat etc, etc, etc'. Oh! Come on mama, even if someone like that comes in my life, I would prefer to stay away from her. Because my heart belongs to you. End of story!”

"You will never be able to do that dear."

"Why?"

He asked acting surprised, tongue in his cheeks, waiting for another one of her witty replies.

"Because if she goes away from you then your heart will stop beating."

She said cupping his cheeks once more. Advay just stared his mother, wide eyes, for the first few seconds and then he burst out laughing.

"You are unbelievable mama, do you know that. Really? Sanse ruk jaye gi."

Khushi innocently nodded her head.

"We better go, it’s time for your medicine. My heart will definitely stop beating if we continue this."

He said still amused, which annoyed his mother. He smiled even more when he saw her irked pout.

"Well, when I already have such a lovely and the most beautiful lady in my life, why will I need someone else?"

Khushi smiled unable to control herself and punched his chest calling him ‘badmash’.

"And I also have the world cutest baby with me, my Ema baby. I don't need anyone else."

"Shut up! You always treat me like a kid. If you have forgotten then let me remind you, I am your mother"

"I know, I know. Okay, let’s move to the hall, you need to have your medicine now."

He led Khushi to the hall.

"But Ema, you are my baby no matter what you say."

He added to rile up her again and he laughed as he saw his mother pout for a second time.

Dida, who was the silent viewer of their absolute bond, secretly blessed them as she wiped her happy tears.



Advay had realized what she had left unsaid, Khushi was awfully aware of that and she wasn't surprised when he didn't make any reference on the same. It has always been like this. Advay had never ever asked about his dad and their past. As though he had always known, as if he have grappled with her buried past and the pains that were bound to follow! He had avoided and escaped a few times when she had tried to tell him about his dad! 

Heart? Love? Marriage? These are the three of the four ideas Advay never believed in. He was much bitterer towards life than anyone can ever be but his mother’s presence have made everything meaningful. His heart exists only with and for his mother and he would always abide by that. He had never missed having a father. He didn’t even want to know who he was until that one incident, seven years ago, which had changed the whole setups. He never let her have any inklings but he had been very well detailed about the past, though unknowingly.





“What the hell Jain! You know, I don’t take calls around this time?” 

Advay had just finished making Khushi have her medicine, after much cajoling, when his phone bell rang. He never attends any calls when with his mother. Everyone associated with him were well versed with the timings. There were specific time given to his office staff for official calls as well!

"I...I am really sorry sir but it is really important."

Jain, his manager spoke with trembling voice. He, after jumping through many thoughts had dialed his boss number, fully knowing the outcome.

"Whatever, I don't care."

He said that and was about to cut the call when he saw his mother gesturing him to continue and complete the call. He sighed!

"This better be something really important! You have one minute.”

"Sir, there was a call from India. All the schedules have been preponed and we will have to be there by next week."

Jain said in a single breath.

"Next week?"

Advay looked at his mother, as he heard Jain explaining further details.

"Okay, arrange a meeting tomorrow and book the tickets."

"Yes sir, right away sir."

Advay cut the call and faced his mother properly, who has been listening intently to his every words.

"So, you are leaving next week?"

The second he saw the tears, that she was trying to bravely hold them back, he reached beside her.

"Yes mama. All the schedules had been changed there and I have to be there by next week. Please stop the tears right away, you know I hate them in your eyes. Just one month mama and then we will be together forever, I promise."



He hated being away from his Ema and he hated tears in her eyes even more but he have to do this. He didn’t want to ignore and escape this time. He have waited for this for far too long.

Her son had always reminded her of Arnav. And he have grown up and become just like him. Even their mindsets were similar, be it towards love, god, marriage and so on and so forth. Sometime, she fears that her son might ruin his life, unknowingly, like his father had!

The only thing that resembled Khushi was his eyes.




That night Advay and Khushi could not sleep for a very long time. Khushi could not get over the reality that his son will be going away to that very place, where she had been robbed off from every relationship she adored and from every happiness she netted. She would have stopped him if not for the success she wanted for her son.

If only she knew what his son was really up to!






"Next week!"







Raizada Guest House, London

"Next week?" 

She smiled knowing that at this time, next week, she would be back with her family.

Aashika Singh Raizada, the daughter of Anjali Singh Raizada and the niece of the great ASR, was in London for the last six months working on few projects that her Mamu had assigned for her. She had joined AR group right after she was done with her studies and has been helping and working for AR since then.

Arnav has always been the father she never had. Though he fails to express himself but she have felt his love and care for her in his every deed. She would always be indebted to him!



"I should call and inform them." 

She murmured to herself but decided against it soon after. Surprising them would be more exciting, she resolved.

She grinned and got back to her work.



Raizada Mansion, Delhi, India

"Next week! The day is coming again, Nani."

Anjali teared up as she reminded them.

"I know Anjali Bitiya. I don't know when his pains are going to reduce. Though he doesn’t express but we all know he is still suffering."

Nani, Mami, Anjali, Akash and Payal, were seated in the living room, with their eyes full of tears and sadness, dreading the day that was coming in a week. The Marriage Anniversary day of Akash and Payal, but also the Marriage Anniversary day of Arnav Singh Raizada and Khushi Kumari Gupta Singh Raizada.

That sorrowful date when the lives of Arnav and Khushi had taken a cruel turn, and had in turn, changed the lives of the people around them, 25 years back.




"Chote is still searching for Khushi Bitiya, isn't he?"

Nani would ask the same question once in every few months. Hopeful every time only to be left with disappointment.

"Yes Dadi. It’s been 25 years and they are still unable to find her whereabouts. The police and detective agencies had given up long time back but Bhai didn’t let them stop. Khushiji has disappeared like she never existed, Dadi."

Aakash could never forget the devastating look on his brother’s face, every time when the results came negative. That expectant look which instantly turns into a shattering one!

"I just hope my Khushi is fine wherever she is."

Payal cried while Akash embraced her supportively.

"Don't cry Payal Bitiya, our Khushi will be all fine. I am sure her Devi Maaiya is looking after her well. I just hope I get to see her once before I leave this world. Otherwise, I won’t be able to rest in peace."

Nani knew her days were numbered in this world.

"Sasu Ma! Don't say like that, you still have a long life to live. Not only will you see Khushi again but you will live to see your great great grandchildren."

Mami cheered up her mother in law.





"Whose children?"

Navi and Kavya entered while the elders froze on their seats.

"Is anybody coming over Dadi?"

Kavya asked Mami as she snuggled into her grandmother.


"How was your first day in AR?"

Anjali succeeded in changing the topic as Kavya excitedly started sharing their first day working experience in AR, completely forgetting about her earlier questions.

The elders would not have been able to explain if they had heard everything. The younger Raizadas didn't know what exactly happened 25 years ago. They knew who Khushi was, they knew her importance in Raizada family, and they even knew that their uncle loves her a lot but they were never specified about the reason of her absence.


"Next week!"




AR Head Office, Delhi

"Next week! Khushi, our anniversary is coming. Are you still planning to spend the day all alone? Let’s just be together this time. Okay? Please! Please come back."

His Khushi smiled back from the framed photo on his hands. He caressed the photo one more time, put it back on his office table and dropped back on his chair, exhausted. Arnav had just finished talking with the agencies and the answer was still the same. She is alive, his heart knows no matter what others thought or believed. She was out there, somewhere where she had hidden herself really well, breathing for them!


That day, 25 years ago, was the day where so many lives had taken a drastic turn and this time the same day was going to be the beginning of the another turn their lives were going to take.

Next week? Seven Days? 168 Hours? The beginning of a new story and the first step towards the ride, all their lives were going to take.

 

Reference: IPKKND




Aug 24

Chapter Three (By Chasby) (Thanked: 30 times)

CHAPTER THREE


After one week: 14th February


TNTV


Breaking News: “Fans waits for 'the prince'.”

As you can see, thousands of people have gathered here to catch a Glimpse of A.S. Gujral. Yes, you heard it right! Today is the day, the great Business Tycoon Mr. A.S. Gujral will step into India for the very first time. These people have been here for the last ten hours, from journalists to Medias and to his very large number of fans, waiting for "the Prince". The jet is said to be landing very soon. Stay tune! We will get back with the live happenings after this very short break. This is News Reporter Rajan Shah with the cameraman Vivek, TNTV, New Delhi.




Delhi Airport, India

The Delhi International airport was in a lot of chaos, with thousands of people including Medias gathered around the arrival gate, waiting for Advay. The reporters from various News channels were giving out their live updates. The Medias were waiting in a hope that they would get few words out from him while the fans waited devotedly, for this long, to catch a glimpse of him.




Raizada Mansion, Delhi

"Can you please stop that Kavi? You have been gawping at every news channel for the last two hours." 

Navi was irritated beyond his limits. There were a lot of last minute unfinished works and here, instead of helping, this hopeless sister of his was busy wasting time in front of the television.

"Oh! Come on, Nav. I could not go there, at least let me see him live." 

Kavya whined, her eyes still on the screen.

"Do you think you will be able to meet him if you go there? Can't you see the people there? It is crazy!" 

Navi scowled looking at the screen and wondering how someone could worship a human being to this extend.

"And I am his craziest fan. Did I show you my latest addition of Karls? I tell you, that dress is a one piece. Dad bought it for me."

Kavya’s excitement fetched him a smile.

"You and your Karls! Now, get back to work, we have only few hours to finish up everything."

And that wiped away all her excitement.


"Nav, are you really sure we are doing this?" 

This was the nth time in the last one week. She had been shoving that question from time to time in a hope that her brother would cancel the plan. She was still apprehensive over what they were doing.

"Not again!”

Navi exclaimed frustrated.

“They have never celebrated this day. We have never seen them do so. Maybe we should have asked them before doing this.”

Kavya tried again!




"I know and I can’t stop wondering why. Those fabricated excuses they gives whenever we asked them, I am so done with them. Argh! I don’t want to think about anything right now. It’s their anniversary and we are going to surprise them. That’s it! Every arrangement has been made. Everything is in order. All we have is few things to check and then wait for them. Alright!" 

Nothing will waver him from his mission, he resolved.

"Hmm...”

 

The twins had been planning for the day for the last seven days. Fortunately for them, all other family members were out for the day and would be coming back late. They resumed their work disregarding every pleas, which they had been listening to from the moment they started this madness, from Hari Prakash, the Raizada’s oldest helper. Listening but ignoring them soon after!

Hari Prakash stood helpless! He had begged, requested and even tried little threats but the Razaidas are born stubborn and he knew that!

 


 

Karl's Private Jet

"Sir, everything has been done like you wanted. The mansion will be ready in a month and the second head office launch will be conducted after a week from Fashion week. And…"

Jain went on about Advay's schedule for the next one month, while Aaina, Advay's P.A, handed him his coffee.

 

There were only three of them in the jet. Advay, his manager Jain and his peronaal assistant Aaina Carlo. They have stood by Advay throughout ever since he started the business. He would and he could trust them with everything, even with his life. The last one week in New York had been hectic and emotional at the same time for Advay. He had been really busy, wrapping up his unfinished business in New York. There had been meetings after meetings in the day and he would spend his time with mother as much as he could when at home. He would miss her a lot. This was going to be the longest he would be away from her!






Few hours ago at Gujral Mansion, New York

"Dida, I know I don't have to tell you but take care of Ema. You know about her nightmares, please make sure you stay close by when she sleeps. I don't want her to wake up with her nightmares and gets more scared when she doesn't find anyone beside her. The medicines have been helping a lot but still then." 

He had always been there when Khushi would wake up often from her nightmares, but now that he was leaving, he was afraid how his mother would deal with them. But Dida would take care of his mother, she would be there in his absence and that relaxed him to some extent.

"Don't worry dear. I won’t disappoint you. Please you take care of yourself baba. You know Khushi bitiya worries more about you than herself."

Dida reassured. He smiled gratefully, gave her a nod and then walked away.

 

"Ema baby?"

Advay peeped inside the room and walked towards Khushi when he saw her seated near the window, lost in her thoughts. He hugged her from behind, keeping his chin on her shoulder, which towed her back to present. 

"Mama, I am going to miss you a lot."

He closed his eyes as he said that, imprinting the moment in his heart. Khushi caressed his cheek and brought it closer to hers. 

"I will miss you more. Did you pack everything you need? Warm clothes? You will need them. You might get sick as you are going there for the first time and the climate might not be suitable for you. Medicines? You always forget to take your medicines. Don't get too busy that you forget to take care of your health. And …”

Advay came in the front, his arms still around his mother and watch her fondly as she started her non-stop blabber.

"Stop! Stop! Take a deep breath, Ema baby. If I am not wrong, this is the 50th time you are saying this.” 

He teased.

"This is the first time you will be away from me for a month."

She grumbled with a pout, trying to mask her true feelings, which her son didn’t fail to feel.

“I know, mama. Just this 30 days! I will get everything settle there and I will come to take you with me. And then me and you, together, forever. Till then take care of yourself. I will call you every day and I will take care of myself, I promise." 

Advay hugged her again and blinked away his tears hurriedly.

"Aren't you getting late? Go now, I wish I could come to drop you but never mind, take care baby. I will miss you. I love you." 

Khushi said with a smile, hiding her own tears.

"I love you too, mama. I love you too!”

The mother and son tighten their hug and held each other like they were holding on to their lives. But the truth was they were indeed each other's life. Advay broke the hug and kissed her forehead once and left the room but not before displaying his father-like smile to her. He raced out, afraid, he might break down in front of his mother. He had promised himself that he would never let her see him in that state. They were each other's strengths and weaknesses and he had avoided becoming her weakness most of the time!

 

"This is going to be a very long month." 

Advay sighed and murmured to himself as he got back to reading his files.

 



Gujral Mansion, New York

"Arnavji, where are you taking me. You are hurting me. Leave my hands.” 

Arnav ruthlessly dragged a very confused Khushi to the poolside. The man, who was teasing and flirting with her, a few flashes ago, had suddenly turn into his former cruel self. The same man whose eyes were filled with love a few hours ago was now filled with hatred. She still asked, still confused! Then he had said something that had traumatized her to her very essence. He had broken her every feelings and her every dreams at that very moment, on that very day.

 

Khushi woke up with a jolt from her little nap, all sweating. Today was that same date, where every wrong began happening in her life and where she had lost everything at the end. She tiredly looked beside her. Dida was seated beside her, holding her shoulders in comfort. She drank the water forwarded by her, confusingly and then soon realization dawn upon her that her son was on his way to that place, that personal hell of hers. She had never wanted to go back but only for her son, she was prepared to bury that unhealed scars deep into her heart. 

She missed him, though it has been only few hours since he was gone. She could no longer sense him around.

 

"Waise, tell me one thing, how do you always know when I am near you? You freaks me out when you do that.”

"Bas pata chal jata hain. I just know."

 

Advay had once questioned her. How could she sense him even before he could announce his presence! It had surprised her when that happened for the first time and had thought it be some motherly instinct but as the time passed by, she realized it was something really special, the same special bond she used to share with his father, Arnav Singh Raizada.

  

 


AR Head Office, Delhi

Arnav kept himself busy the whole day. He tried! This very date has been haunting him for the last 25 years. It was the same day he lost everything because of his own idiocy. If only he could turn back the clock and make every wrong right!

Anjali had called earlier and asked him to come to mandir for the pooja, the Raizadas have been keeping every year, on this date for them, for Khushi. He would have never agreed if not for her. 

Only for his Khushi!




Delhi, India

Advay was welcomed by his new office staffs of Delhi and he wasn't surprised to see the crowd rushing towards him when he stepped out of the airport. He has always been the media attraction! Reporters started questioning while his fans were busy clicking his pictures. Thanks to his manager Jain’s perfect arrangements that he didn't get crushed by the mob. Some bodyguards circled as they walked him towards the waiting car, while the rest of the bodyguards were handling the crazy crowds.

All these uproars were the breaking news on every news channels. The media could not get a word from him but Jain, his manager promised them a press conference soon. 

The waiting cars soon moved out of the airport, taking their master towards his new journey!

 






Aug 28

Chapter Four (By Chasby) (Thanked: 32 times)

CHAPTER FOUR


Raizada Mansion, Delhi

Payal rung the bell and waited for someone to open the door. Anjali along with Mami had stayed back at the mandir for the evening puja, while the rest of them had come home. Inside, the twins waited with infantile anticipation. Everything had been set up for the occasion. Payal unlocked the door with the spare keys when no one opened even after three to four dings.



“What happened to the lights?”

Nani asked when they were greeted with darkness soon after.

"I have no idea, Dadi. The outdoor lights are fine."

Akash answered as he turned back to see the bright lights outside.

"I think no one is home. Let me switch on the lights."

Pagal was about to do that when the lights lit up, followed by an earsplitting cheering.

"SURPRISE!”

Family, relatives, friends and associates came out from their hiding places as they crooned their wishes.

"Happy Anniversary Dad and Mom."

The twins rushed forward from the troop and hugged their parents cheerfully. They misunderstood the shocked faces in front of them to be that of a favorable one.

Akash and Payal stood motionless!

Behind them stood a quiet Nani and a frozen Arnav!





Arnav held his breathe as he steadily scanned the hall.

The similarly decorated hall!

The same occasion!

The jovial atmosphere!

People dancing merrily!

But his eyes searching for her!

His Khushi’s smiles and blushes!

The hugs!

The kisses!

The giggles!

Then the slap!

The screams!

The cries!

The accusations!

Khushi with tears!

Her disappointed eyes!

And then she was gone!

Everything that had taken place that unfaithful night 25 years ago flashed in front of his eyes and rammed his already broken heart.




"Thank you everyone for coming and the wishes. We are really sorry but something important has come up and we will have to end this gathering here. We would really appreciate if you could leave our family alone."

Akash had turned back and had sensed the ordeal his brother were going through. The twins tried to protest but the threatening glare from their father hushed them. They realized they have brought a serious trouble upon them.

The guests moved out supportively without any fuss. One of them who knew the Raizadas from ages even wished Arnav, who stood numbly, still wound in the past. The twins horrifically eyed their uncle when they heard that and watched as that person leave when he didn’t get any response.

“Khushi!”

Nani was about to move towards Arnav when they heard his piercing scream. A very worried Akash whizzed by everyone and held him before he could fall. A very startled and weeping Nani and Payal were beside him soon after trying to calm him down. Akash led his brother to his room but not before glowering towards his twins, who stood there edified, scared and confused at the same time. They had never seen their uncle so weak and powerless!





"What was that? Who told you to do this?"

Payal demanded furiously, startling the twins, as soon as Arnav was out of sight and earshot. The pains that the elders have been trying to bury were ruthlessly mined out, which they had not even buried completely.

"Did you guys ever saw us celebrating this day? We had reasons! You are big enough to know that we don't do things without any purpose.”

They were not given a chance to speak. The twins got tearful seeing their sobbing mother. They never wanted to hurt their family. The number of unanswered questions multiplied and they grew more confuse than ever.



"Mom, we never meant to hurt anyone."

Navi tried to clarify.

"I don’t want to hear anything from any of you!"

Payal interrupted, alarming her twins, before he could continue his explanation. She then walked away from them, dejected and met Akash, halfway to their room, who nodded his head calming her.

"Bhai wants to be alone."

He informed as he hugged wife comfortingly and accompanied her to their room.





"Badi Dadi, please…”

Nani dodged away before Kavya could even complete her sentence, leaving the twin even more apprehensive.





Gujral Mansion, New York 

Khushi was taking a stroll around the lawn, her favorite of all places, when she felt a jolt. As if someone was calling out for her. She closed her eyes and patted the place where her heart is and breathed the name of the two most important men of her life.

"Arnavji!"

"Advay!"





Raizada Mansion, Delhi

Arnav was seated, on the lounger at the poolside, reminiscing every episodes of his Khushi and with that, welcomed every sentiments enclosed around every one of them. He gripped his hair in agony, crying over his unfair life, when he heard her.

“Khushi!”

He mumbled and raised his head in an instant. A slow smile formed on his lips as he stood up at once and fled towards the main door.

The smile faded sorrowfully when instead of Khushi, he saw a young man being carried into the hall!






 

Two hours ago

"Stop the car!”

They were on their way to the resort, where they were going to live in for the next one month, when Advay ordered that all of a sudden. Jain and Aaina, who were seated in the same car as him, gave him identical confounded looks. The driver obeyed on the other hand and the three other cars accompanying them halted simultaneously.

“Take the other car and go.”

He instructed to both his manager and personal assistant, who looked at each other even more confused.

“But sir, you?”

Jain faltered but still asked with forced courage.

“I am going to check out the Mansion first. 

They could see he was annoyed.

“But sir, the meeting?”

Aaina meekly questioned this time, still rooted on their seats.

“Do you think I don't know? Get out!”

Advay uncontrollably snapped which bustled them out of the car.


 

The inspection of the mansion ended worthily. The mansion was going to be the welcome gift for his mother. Everything were planned according to her fondness and he was glad everything were coming in place. After coming out from the chaos of the airport, Advay had called his mother but he had not been able to have a word with her. Dida had reported him that she was sleeping. He had then ended the call resolving to call her later! He dialed her again, eagerly. She should be up by now. It felt like eons since he last heard her voice!



"Advay dear!" 

Khushi picked up in the third ring and chanted his name, tenderly. Advay smiled with the same emotion!

"Ema baby! I miss you!”

Advay admitted endearingly, conveying and enquiring everything at the same time, in that single confession.

"Well, no one is missing you here. Everyone have been taking breathe of reliefs since you stepped out of the house.”

Khushi teased, giggling adorably, turning her son more miserable without her by his side.

"Ouch! That hurts, Mama."

He played along and smiled idiotically as he could visualize her expression really well.

"Badmash! Of course I miss you too. Who will miss you otherwise?”

Khushi continued mischievously but suddenly went all quite when she heard the temple bell ringing over the phone.



"Mama, what happened? Are you alright?”

Advay was about to retort when Khushi’s unexpected silence had him worried. He signaled the driver to stop the car and got out of it feeling suffocated. The mere thought of something happening to her freaks him out! 

"I am fine dear. Are there any temple nearby?"

Khushi asked carefully, knowing very well about his disturbing opinions of them. 

"What???"

That distracted him from his earlier unwanted thoughts but made him confusingly flabbergasted. 

"I said, are you near some mandir? Actually, I heard the bell ringing, so... Ah, you can still hear them. Why don’t you go and pay your respect there?”

She laughed inwardly and waited for his predictable reactions. 

"What the!!! Mama, mandir? Me? No way, I am not doing it.”

Advay grumbled but still, discreetly looked around for the temple.

"Baby, please! For me! Can’t you do this small thing for me?" 

She said faking her sadness. Though she knew it was futile, for her son would catch that up in no second. But he won’t deny her no matter how much he hated doing it.

"This is really not fair Mama. This is emotional blackmailing. Okay fine, I will do it but this is the first and the last, I am going in there.”

Advay grumbled some more, which only made his mother laugh heartily.

"Okay baba. Now go and call me back once you are done. I love you."

Khushi didn’t promise though. Delhi have diverse of temples after all!

"I love you too."

He ended the call with a helpless smile and look towards the temple in disfavor. He took a deep breath and walked towards the temple.



Anjali and Mami proceeded towards their car at the other side of the road after they were done with the evening prayers. Mami remembered something just in time and walked towards the stalls nearby but not before telling Anjali to go ahead. Anjali had just started crossing the road when out of nowhere, a speeding bike came rushing towards her leaving her shocked and immobile in the middle of the road.

Advay, who was about to walk up the stairs after getting the stuffs for the mandir, saw the scene unfolding from the corner of his eyes and rushed in that direction without a second thought. He rescued the woman but could not help himself from getting slightly pushed by the bike. He fell down and hit his head on the hard surface which drove him into unconsciousness.


“Anjali Bitiya, are you okay?”

Mami bend over and helped Anjali to get on her feet. She had seen the commotion and had worriedly rushed forward when Anjali had stumbled down by the push. 

"I am fine Mami but that…”

Anjali trailed off as she dragged Mami with her and limped towards the young man lying on the road. They gasped in horror when they saw the blood coming out from his head.

"Let’s just take him home. It’s near and I will call the doctor on the way. This way, we can nurse him fast."

Mami took the charge seeing a teary eyed Anjali, who nodded in agreement. Mami requested the people, who had surrounded them, to help them get the injured man inside the car.







Back to present

"I just hope nothing serious has happened to that son.” 

Mami ended her description of the incident. The doctor was already examining the savior in the guest room, where he had been rushed into as soon as they got home. No one had been able to recognize him with his face masked by his own blood. Everyone, except for Kavya, had gathered in the hall and they all hovered around Anjali the second Mami finished her narration.

"Di, are you okay? Are you hurt?" 

Arnav held her face, horrified and frantically scanned her for any bruises. That man in their guest room already had him feel restless since the moment his eyes landed on him!

"I am fine, Chote. That young man saved me. Thanks to him! If not, I won’t be here with every one of you." 

The elders flinched thinking of their lives without Anjali. Khushi’s absence had ruined them. They didn’t want to think about another one!





"What? What happened, Mom?"

Aashika Singh Raizada stood shocked at the entrance. She had heard the last bits of their conversations.

"Aashi!"

"Di."

"Bitiya"

The Raizadas exclaimed their surprise and happiness. Aashika sprinted towards her mother and hugged her tight. 

"I am fine Aashi. Why didn't you tell us that you were coming?"

Anjali caressed her back to calm her. Her baby was scared and she could feel that! 

"I wanted to surprise all of you!”

Aashi confessed, still wrapped in her mother’s arms.

"Well, you did surprise us and what a lovely surprise! Don’t worry dear. I am really fine.” 

Anjali cheered her up. Their pleasing reunion was interrupted by the doctor, who came out of the guest room. He was escorted outside soon after he advised and informed them of his verdict. Nothing critical, the patient just needed rest!





“Prince! OMG, he is here! In our house!"

The family were discussing the identity of that knight in shining armor when they heard Kavya’s scream. They watched amazed as she danced her way towards them.

"Kavi, what’s wrong with you? And who the hell is this Prince?" 

Payal grew more infuriated. Her son had been behaving so far but her daughter seems to have forgotten the mess they created not so long ago.

"Mom, I just saw him. He is here in that guest room. The Prince!" 

Kavya gesturally explained oblivious of her mother’s growing irritation. She was on her way to the hall when she saw someone, with a bandaged head, on bed in the guest room through its faintly opened door. She peeped in through that same door and was serenely traumatized by the presence inside.

"You mean the prince, the Advay Singh Gujral?"

Navi voiced out after being a silent spectator for that long.

"Yes!" 

Kavya confirmed animatedly and would have continued if not for Aashika, who presented herself in front of her little sister, who have not noticed her in her innocent excitement.

"What?"

Arnav’s loud voice resounded in disbelief!







“Mama!” 

Advay groaned, after an hour, as he slowly opened his eyes in pain. He got up confused and looked around disturbingly, but remembered everything in the next minute. He gently stood up and lugged himself out of the room, trying to find if someone was even living in the house. He reached at the top of the stairs leading down to the hall, where he saw them. They were deeply engrossed in their conversations that they didn’t see him. He heard his cell phone buzzing from the room, he just came out from, and hurriedly dragged himself back to that room. He had kept a specific ringtone for his mother, so that he would be able to answer it no matter when and where he would be.

His mother was calling!


 

Arnav had been here earlier to see Advay, who had been unconscious. After he came to know about his identity, he had not been able to stop himself from checking on him. He had left then, after failing to reasoned himself and name that indescribable twitch he felt when he saw Advay in that miserable state.

‘Ema Baby’ 

The screen displayed! Arnav's room was just next to the guest room and he had come as soon as he had heard the buzz. He freaked out for a second when he didn’t find Advay on the bed, but the next second had gotten distracted by the incessant phone bell.

Arnav was about to answer the call when he heard someone behind him. 

"Excuse me! That is my phone."

Advay involuntarily extended his hand for the phone, at the same time, the man holding his phone turned towards him. Both of them stood staring at each other. 

Advay stiffened and stood with numbness!

Whereas Arnav stood staring unfailingly into familiar eyes, his Khushi's eyes!

 





Sep 2

Chapter Five (By Chasby) (Thanked: 33 times)

CHAPTER FIVE Raizada Mansion, Delhi

They could not avert their eyes from each other! 

Advay remained completely still feeling powerless all of sudden. For a mini second there, he felt shamelessly complete, like he finally found the missing piece in his life standing right in front of him. But no sooner did he feel that, he was brought back from that unsought nightmare by the unceasing buzz, which ultimately carted him all the hardships and the heartaches his mother still survives through. Just because of this same man standing right in front of him! The man, he had tutored himself for, for this long, yet he had known he won’t be able to stand his presence! And in another mini second, the pain and the hatred defeated the unfaithful feelings he had a while ago.

This encounter have held Arnav on the hop too. His sudden developed vulnerability jumbled his senses even more. The same eyes! But empty, sheltered by an impenetrable armor. He could not spawn a word, even when a certain indefinable emotion glinted for that tiny second. Advay had punctually adorned his shield. He tailed as Advay grabbed the phone from his hand and answer it. He then looked back at his still outstretched hand and felt this agonizing emptiness.




"Advay, what took you so long? Are you okay? I told you to call back. I have been waiting. I felt something was wrong. What happened?”

He was bombarded with Khushi’s alarmed queries as soon as he accepted the call. Her voice undid his strong façade and he turned away in no time, avoiding any breakdown in front of that man. He had never felt so weak and incompetent. 

"Ema baby, I am really sorry I worried you. I am fine. Just that the crowds and the traffics are terrible here!"

He reassured, returning to his normal self. His mother would never suspect his reasoning. She should never find out! For now! She would never find out! For, a prolonged, now! Everything would be out in the open one day, so till then, up until then! He ended the call after few natters, promising to keep her updated and closed his eyes feeling drained. 




“How are you feeling now?” 

Arnav asked after much deliberation. He had moved towards the window and had waited silently, musing over his own alien behavior, at the same time giving the young man his space to talk with that special someone. His tone of voice proclaimed of all his love for that Ema baby!

Advay went stiff when he heard him for the first time. The child still breathing somewhere inside him would have turn back and justifiably demand answers from his verified father. His innocent kindergartener self who had been confused and at the same time had envied his friends for having their fathers around them all the time, the young unworldly boy who had been pitilessly tormented to mature untimely and that prematurely matured man who had horrifyingly realized the veiled heartbreaking ordeal of his mother! 

But the son of his mother stopped him!


"Arnav Singh Raizada here."

Arnav made an effort again, though he was baffled by Advay’s unexpected indifferences. The phone vibrated again! And Advay plainly acknowledged him with a nod, ignoring his extended hand and swiftly left the room. 

Arnav hauled himself out of this unusual vibe and stepped out a minute later.





"Shut up! Raizada Mansion in five minutes. A second more and you are fired. You get that?"

He should have been dead than be under this roof! Without hearing a word from the caller, a smothered Advay had snapped on the phone, as he furiously marched down the stairs, shocking his anxious manager on the other end. That in turn had snapped the rest of the Raizadas out from their joyous family reunion. He ended the call and as soon as the stairs ended, he scanned around for the way out when his eyes landed on them. Everyone had stood up and were staring at him with disbelief clearly written on their faces, which halted him on his track. 

They could literally see the young Arnav in him. The revised but unchangeable version of Arnav Singh Raizada! Advay frowned at a complete loss and that intensified his irritation. He saw their eyes swaying behind him in equal wonder and he turned back to see Arnav, who had seen the silent event and had understood his family’s predicament, standing attentively on the top stair. Their eyes met once again and his earlier resentment toward this whole scenarios returned!

Advay turned and resumed his way out without a word, putting an end to the dazed ambience! 



"Son?" 

Advay halted for the second time, few jumps from the door, taken aback by the audacity.

"Never ever call me that! I have a name and it is Advay Singh Gujral." 

He shoved them through gritted teeth, his back still towards all of them. How dare someone from this household even call him that! This people would never have the repute to call him that! Ever!

"Are you feeling better now? I just... I just want to thank you for saving me.” 

Even though Anjali was hurt by the blatant ignorance, she didn't show it. However, she smiled radiantly when he finally turned around.

"Anything else Ms.…" 

His annoyance building up more than ever.

"It's Anjali…” 

She could not finish.

"Mrs. Anjali Shyam Manohar Jha!" 

The main facilitator of his mother’s every tears and sufferings and he cursed himself for being the one to help this woman. Advay didn’t know the Raizadas by their faces except for Arnav but he knew the rest of their names and the roles they represented in hurting and deserting his mother. He had deliberately named her that and watched with satisfaction as her eyes filled with tears, while the rest of her family flinched at the name.

"Is there anything else, if not I should leave." 

He asked again.


                                    

"You can call me Aunty, Advay."

Anjali wanted to lighten the intense moods somehow. She had discreetly stopped her furious daughter from doing anything reckless towards Advay. Her family were warily watching her for her reaction. The elders had known, though she denies the blame that Anjali still hold herself responsible for all the mishaps in their lives. 

"Main aise hi kisi ko apna nahin manta. Na main aise hi kisi ko apna banane deta hoon"

Advay disregarded their every feelings. 

"Why have you come down? You should have rested a bit more. How are your scars?"

Nani interrupted this time. 'Itni Nafrat, itna Gussa! What could have turned him into this! This angry heartless young man! But the owner of a very beautiful heart, concealed away from the cruel world! Or else, why would someone help a stranger at the risk of his life! 

"My scars doesn’t heal easily."

He looked at Arnav when he said that and before anyone could even react on that, someone rushed inside and paused awkwardly when he felt everyone’s eyes on him.


"Sir, shall we?"

Jain steered without a second delay. This meet was not supposed to happen, ever. His boss had never even considered to face any of these people in person. He hated them like he never reviled anyone! So, imagine the intensity of shock he was struck with when Advay demanded his presence in the Raizada mansion. 

“Advay please stay for a while and rest. You are weak right now. Have dinner with us and go. We still haven't thank you enough!”

Anjali could not bring herself to let go him just yet. And she could not understand why! 

"It’s okay Mam. I will take care of Sir."

Jain interjected as politely as he was allowed by his flustered inner self. Advay have had enough of everything and was brought on a brink of exploding anytime soon.

"Sir, please!" 

Jain directed again and Advay started moving without another word.





"You should stay back for a while. Your wounds are still fresh." 

Arnav descended as he said that, which stopped them from taking another step. Jain closed his eyes tightly and waited for the outburst but when none came even after few seconds, he opened them and saw Advay taking a deep calming breathe.

"Issi ka toh afsos hain." 

Advay declared and finally crossed the threshold leaving them astounded.

And Arnav felt something shattering inside him!

 







Sep 5

Chapter Six (By Chasby) (Thanked: 23 times)

CHAPTER SIX


Raizada Mansion, Delhi 

”Who does he think he is?”

Aashika Singh Raizada fumed breaking the silence left by Advay. 






"Mom, where is my father? Today, one of my classmates said that I am an unwanted child and that my father left me because he didn't want me. Is that true?" 

Aashika angrily burst through the main door. Her anger camouflaging everything but her red eyes conveying her pains and the hurt. She had been deprived of her father since birth and even her two uncles had not been able to completely fill the void of her ten years old’s heart.

Anjali had avoided telling her the truth with one excuse or the other. Her daughter have the right to know everything and she was very aware of that. And every time she had stopped herself and others, giving her young age as an excuse but the truth was that she had been dreading this day ever since her princess was born. She realized she would never be ready for the day! 

"No Mom, I don’t want to hear anything else, just tell me the truth. He didn't want me. That is why he left both of us. Because of me, he left you too. You should not have brought me into this world. It would have been different if I wasn't here."

Aashika bawled when she saw her mother was going to shun her away, again. And a less than a second later a slap boomed in the room. Anjali slumped down on the floor, cursing her fate, cursing herself for being such a weak human being and cursing herself even more for what she just did. 




"He didn't leave me because of you. He didn't leave me because he didn't want you. Do you get that! I threw him out of my life, out of your life and out of our lives." 

Anjali stood up all defeated. By then everyone had assembled around them. Akash had silently held Arnav and gestured him not to interfere. The moment had come!

"He never loved me. He married me because he wanted my Chote’s money. He was lusting and obsessing after another woman, even when I was expecting you. In fact, he had been deceiving us all the time but we were so addicted with his lies that we could not see his true face. He ruined all our lives, most importantly he ruined my Chote's life.” 

Anjali then started to tell her the whole story except for the fact that the woman her father was obsessed with was her Aunt, her Uncle's Khushi.

"He was never a good man, dear. He pretended to be a great husband, a good son in law, and an understanding brother in law, but everything were for a show. And I can assure you, he could have never been a good father to you." 






Her mother had ended on that note! It’s been fifteen years since she had known everything about Shyam Manohar Jha. Fifteen years since she had stopped asking for her father! And that insensitive arrogant man, what does he even know! 

If only she knew what Advay had known! 


“He reminds me of our young Chote. Rude, angry and arrogant! Your uncle was like him, Aashi. It’s not like he has changed any better now. But he have always owned the best heart and there are reasons why some people are like him. Maybe Advay had been through something for him to have become like that. One meet is never enough to judge a person, dear.” 

Anjali argued.

"Your mom is right Aashi. He saved Di, a stranger, from the accident, didn't he?” 

Akash contributed.

“But that doesn’t give him any right to talk with anyone like that.” 

Aashika was not ready to change her opinions yet!

"Hello hi bye bye, that Advay bitwa was speaking with us as if we are his 'janam janam ka dushman'” 

Mami highlighted!




The Imperial, Delhi 

"Sir, there was a new report. Everything was kept very confidential so that’s why our people were not able find that until now."

Advay with a single nod indicated him to continue as he read the file in his hands. The file with all the information of the Raizadas. The one Jain had gathered two years ago for him. He had ignored most of their details including their photographs last time but now he wanted to know every single thing. He hated repeating his mistakes and he would never want today to happen again. 

He was propped against the pillows on his bed, taking the needful rest. He was still weak because of the accident and still disturbed, for he had never thought he would ever meet those people like this and that too on his first day in Delhi.

“They are searching for Khushi Maa….I mean Khushi Mam. They have been doing that for the last 25 years and still could not locate her.” 

Jain faltered as his boss blazed up, with his clenched hand in midst of flipping the page of the file. He had received the call from their informers when he was on his way to the Raizada mansion and had tried telling about it when they were on their way back but seeing his boss' foul mood and understanding his state of mind, he had refrained himself then.


 

"Why? Why can’t they find her? My mother is alive you know!” 

Advay scorned after recovering from the mystifying blow. What does they want from his mother? Didn't they hurt her enough?

"They are in search of Khushi Kumari Gupta Singh Raizada, not Khushi Gujral, sir.” 

Jain guided, leaving him thoughtful.

"You may leave now." 

Jain left the room.

His mother was deliberately hiding from them! But why would she do that? 




Gujral Mansion, New York 

Khushi Gujral never wanted to go back into being the Khushi Kumari Gupta, nor the Khushi Kumari Gupta Singh Raizada. These two names had given her nothing but lots of pain and hatred in return of all the love and happiness she had showered to those people around her. But the name Khushi Gujral had given her a new life, surrounded by people who love and respect her without expecting anything in return. She could never nor would she ever regret turning into Khushi Gujral because the name has given her Advay Singh Gujral.




 

Raizada Mansion, Delhi

"Khushi!" 

Arnav whispered as he stood by the pool and watched the stars above, knowing very well his Khushi would do the same in another place on another time. He closed his eyes and found her. In his memory, for his memory is the only place, where he can see her, hold her and be with her all the time. He then saw her eyes, the same eyes that had adorned Advays’.

He jerked his eyes open and recalled all the things that happened earlier. He had retired to his room soon after their mysterious guest had left. But that hollow eyes had continued its haunt on him. There had been some weird reaction in his eyes and he had seen them only for a second, which he unconsciously allowed, every time their eyes had met. No matter how Arnav presents himself to the world, he was not ignorant of his surrounding and the people in it. He could unmistakably see his young self, alive in Advay and he silently wished that Advay's life never turned up miserable like his, where only emptiness exists. The consequences of that one mistake, upheld by many of his previous gaffes!





The Imperial, Delhi

Advay leaned back on the headboard with closed eyes and heatedly tossed away the file, feeling trounced all of a sudden. 

Advay Singh Gujral has been reliving Arnav Singh Raizada’s life in every aspect but with a slightly modified plot. Arnav had been orphaned at the age of fourteen, where as he has been living without a father since his birth. If Arnav had never been able to overcome his haunted past, then he has never been able to look past his mother’s devastating past, ever since he got to know about them. Arnav is devoted towards his sister, the only one who had survived their dreadful past with him. And Advay, his life revolves around his mother, the only reason he breathes every day for.

Advay had never asked for his father, for even as a kid, he had seen that lone tear his mother covertly wipes every time when someone would ask for her husband or his father. He had been too young to understand what his mother was actually going through in the beginning but as the years passed by, he had gradually seen the pain in her eyes, the silent tears that she sheds confined in her deserted room and the nightmares she still endures. And all because of Arnav Singh Raizada! 

Every pains, every agonies and every other hurtful sentiments buried so deep inside her heart that he had not been able to get inside no matter how he tried.

But only Arnav Singh Raizada would be able touch and hold that part of his mother’s heart. 

He would realize that soon! 






Raizada Mansion, Delhi

"She was just like her name, Khushi! She would spread happiness wherever she went. Such a lovely child she was.” 

Nani started with a smile. This rare episode would present itself randomly once in a while, where one or the other would insentiently mention Khushi and then the elders would reminisce about her. But the session had never ended on a happy note. The void of their lives had never let them!

"She was madness personified but at the same she was as innocent as one can ever be." 

Payal added with tears in her eyes. Everyone, except for Arnav, were gathered for their evening tea. It has been a week since the disastrous wedding party and their first meet with the enigmatic Advay.

"She had captivated and made us hers from the day she first stepped into this house. But with chote, it’s altogether a different story. They never used to get along. They would argue on every little things, their day would never become complete otherwise. They would have happily strangled each other if not for the love they have for each other. Only Khushi could make our hardhearted Chote live like a normal human being.” 

Anjali revealed and then chuckled as she remembered their antics. The three young Raizadas had very obediently paid attention to every word. They have never met Khushi and yet they have always been very fond of her.


"She was really different from others. These luxuries and wealth had never meant anything to her.” 

Arnav intruded, which alerted everyone. He had heard them as soon as he had entered the house. His steps had wavered and he had halted in a trance as he heard more about his Khushi.

"She used to be happy with small things in life. Even with a packet of channa or a poster of her favorite actor, she would be on the top of the world. You should see her eyes when she is happy. One would eventually become happy seeing the happiness in her eyes. Her eyes had always been the mirror of her soul. Her happiness had always made me happy and her tears, her tears had pricked my heart every time." 

Arnav continued oblivious to the awe of his family. The love in his eyes, the love soaked in his every word and the smile brightened on his face, overwhelmed all of them. How they wish they could see him like this forever, the Khushi's Arnav!

And a lone tear dove from his eyes at the end!




 

The Imperial, Delhi

"What about the showstopper?" 

Advay, along with Aaina and Jain entered his room with loads of files on their hands and sat down to finalize few important things. They had been very busy the whole week. The Karls’ first Indian Traditional Clothes Collection would be showcased in the upcoming fashion week, which was just a week away. He had shoved back the incident with the Raizadas and had instead focused on his work.

Just for a week or two and then he would get back to them! 

"Sir, she will be here tomorrow."

His face soften as he heard that. She has made him wait for very long this time. 

Miss Zaina Oberoi was finally coming to him only for him!






Sep 7

Chapter Seven (By Chasby) (Thanked: 29 times)

CHAPTER SEVEN  

14th February, 25 years ago

She came to a standstill from her defeatist run and crushed against the pillar (of the gate) as she rashly wiped her tears. Why is she always the one to get misunderstood at the end of every frenzied chapter? Why should she always be the one to accept defeat in such cases? Why does she have to be the only one to always get hurt and shunned out in the end? Why could not anyone have that absolute trust and faith in her for once? Was being considerate and protective, knowing the truth could shatter everyone’s lives, such a big offence that she was being punished for the second time? How fair was it that she was accused, alone, yet again? 

She had silently grieved and had borne all the hurts and humiliations. She had rebelled but was forced into a contract marriage, she had acceded because she didn’t want to be the reason behind her sister’s broken marriage once again. She had obeyed the conditions and had maintained her silence even when their families had criticized only her, after the supposed eloped marriage. She had been manhandled and held responsible for unspecified issues but she had still braved all of them.

She forgave and forgot! She had embraced every one of them back in her life without any grudges. She had forgiven all of them! Her family for disowning her, her sister for whom she had tangled herself into that hell of a marriage, his family for charging only her when they had always known Arnav was equally guilty and she had instantly pardoned Arnav too when she had realized the real reason behind his demand for the contract marriage. She believed she was equally responsible, if not more, for the judgement he crafted. Even when he confessed his errors and proclaimed his love, after recognizing his misunderstandings and gathering her innocence, she trusted him in a heartbeat. And all those time she had been the only one who had bowed and had harmonized with every one of them! 

But now she didn’t have it in her to do that anymore. She was tired! After what happened that evening, she just wanted to get away from all this misfortunes. Away from everyone! And far far away from that man. He would never disappoint her again and would always protect her from every evil, she has had confidence in him.

He proved her very wrong! And how! 

Khushi Kumari Gupta Singh Raizada has had enough of everything! She delimited as she lifelessly moved out of the gate of the Raizada Mansion.


"Chamkili!" 

Lavanya squealed as soon as she got out of the car and oblivious of her friend’s turmoil, she ran towards her and hugged her tightly, which teetered Khushi out of her musings.

“Lavanyaji!” 

Khushi breathed, relieved to have someone by her side. She hugged her back with more force and burst out crying, scaring the wits out of Lavanya.

"Khushi, what happened? Why are you crying? You are scaring me! Please…." 

Lavanya had landed from New York an hour ago. She had finally found her prince charming and was going to get married soon. She had come to surprise the Raizadas with the news and had wanted to personally invite all of them. They have always been a family! But her happiness soon died down when she heard her best friend’s gut wrenching cries.

"Lavanyaji, please take me away from here. I will die if I stay here for one more second. Please help me!! Don't ask me anything right now! Please just take me from here!” 

What made the one of the strongest and spirited human beings, she had ever known, into this devastated and fragile mess in front of her! Lavanya dreaded to even think about that. Lavanya could not see her like that anymore. She gently helped Khushi in the car and drove back to her apartment. 



"Lavanyaji, I am really tired of everything. I will go away from everyone. I don't want my baby to grow up with them. They are going to treat my baby like how they have been treating me and I will never let that happen." 

Khushi concluded as she caressed her stomach, startling Lavanya for the second time that night. As soon as they had settled down in Lavanya’s apartment, she had bravely demanded to know everything. Khushi had then told her every single incident, from the first meet with Shyam till the horrendous event of the evening.

"What? You are pregnant?" 

A tender smile replaced Lavanya’s outraged face, which faded when she heard Khushi again.

"I haven’t confirmed it yet. But I know I am. I can feel it!” 

Khushi was very positive! She could strongly feel it!

"I was too busy to visit the doctor, so I thought I would ask Nanheji's doctor friend in the party. I thought it would be the best anniversary gift for us and most importantly for Arnavji. I didn't tell this to anyone, nor did I get the time to ask that friend and you know the rest.” 

Khushi continued before Lavanya could even comment. She had wanted to surprise Arnavji but she had been surprise by him instead. How cruel life can be sometimes! But that ‘sometime’ had dutifully appeared time and again in her life! 



"Going away is not the only solution Khushi. Please reconsider it. We can find another way.” 

La provided.

"No, Lavanyaji. I have decided and it’s final. And you promise me that, you will never let them know any of these.” 

Khushi can be very stubborn when she wants to! 



"I promise! But you will come with me to New York. If you refuse, then I am taking you back to Shantivan.” 

La surrendered after much deliberation but with conditions.

"Okay! But no one should know about my whereabouts. Can you please make that happen, Lavanyaji?" 

Lavanya smiled with a nod and promised herself to always stand by her best friend as long as she can. This was nothing compared to all the things Khushi had taught and done for her!

 

Two days later, Khushi Gujral had fled to New York.


Gujral Mansion, New York 

Khushi wiped her tears as she caressed the portrait of Lavanya with the love of her life, Gaurav Oberoi.

Gaurav had welcomed her with open arms in their lives, and together, they had supported and had cared for her as their own. He had been the brother she never had, the perfect life partner for Lavanya and the best Bade Dad for Advay. They lived together, happily for many years and their happiness had doubled when Lavanya’s baby girl had joined them. But that car accident had taken away everything from them. Their happiness! Her mentor, her best friend and had wheel-chaired her! And had left Advay with this irreplaceable void in his life. 

Since then, Khushi have shielded both of her children together with all the love and strength. Now, they are each other’s only family!


Karls Group of Companies, Delhi 

"Where is he?"

She asked innocently. 

"He is in a meeting. And I am not taking you there. I lied to him because of you and I don’t want to die right now."

Jain warily answered. 

"Aww dear, if you don't then I will get him to kill you anyways.”

She threatened very sweetly. 

"You will surely get me killed some day. I don't know why I even agree with you for everything."

Jain grumbled. 

 

Zaina Oberoi smiled mischievously as Jain led her to the room!





Sep 15

Chapter Eight (By Chasby) (Thanked: 40 times)

CHAPTER EIGHT

Karls Group of Companies, Delhi

"What the hell!" 

The faint room brightened up disturbing the meeting and infuriating their boss at the same time. The employees looked around the room, confused and was baffled when they found that no one had moved from their places. One of them, who was doing the presentation, saw their annoyed boss and rushed towards the switch box and dimmed the lights again. He resumed his presentation, wiping the sweat beads off from his forehead.

 


"What is happening here?" 

The room illumined again and that frustrated Advay even more.

"Sir, I think there is some problem with the switch box. I will see to it." 

Another staff got up from his seat and turned down the lights. He remained near the switch box just in case. The Karls’ second head office was at its polishing stage and would be ready in a week. The office they were in right now was a temporary one and they, the Karls’ new employees of Delhi, had selected the place. They were in for a very big trouble if they offends their boss with their choice.

The meeting restarted. 

A second later, the room brightened up for the third time! 


 

"Get this damn room checked first. I don't know why did I even hire you guys? Can’t even organize a meeting properly!"

Advay angrily strode out of the room! 


 

All the while a blissfully smiling Zaina stood outside the door! She had missed her angry bird! She had been playing with the switch outside the room, the impish devil that she is when it comes to him! 

 

"How dare you?" 

An arm blocked Advay as soon as he stepped out of the room, which peeved him even more. But when the owner jumped into his arms, his whole demeanor changed and he hugged back with all the joy and love.

"Weren't you supposed to be here in the evening?" 

He asked though he didn’t want her to be anywhere but with him, right beside him.

"I wanted to surprise you. I missed you so much." 

She snuggled more as she admitted.

"Me too dear. I missed you too." 


 

Jain turned up beside them and channeled the office staffs, who were ogling at them as if they have never seen anyone like that, away from the scene. Before Advay see all of them like that and blowup big time! He breathe in in relief and silently stood facing them. He saw as Zaina broke the hug and the next second freaked out as she saw the scar on Advay’s forehead. A very tiny scar left from last week’s accident!

 

"Ehhh!! What happened? Did you get hurt?" 

Zaina fussed over!

"Hmm... Yeah, a small accident." 

Advay hesitated and stroked the scar as he remembered that repulsive incident.

"Well, forget about this. How was your fashion trip? You took long this time?" 

He diverted as he led her to his cabin, while Jain followed them.

"Perfect! I wanted to come back early to you and Choti Mom but I couldn't. It’s been so long I haven't seen her. We talk everyday day though. I thought of seeing her first and then come here but then again I couldn't." 

She blathered which amused him. He really missed her!

 

"Sir!" 

Jain interrupted them. He had patiently waited but he realized they weren’t stopping anytime soon. When they turned towards him, thankfully without any danger for disturbing their conversations, he started discussing few things regarding the press conference with Advay. The discussion ended in few minutes. Jain was about to move out when he heard Zaina, who had been scrutinizing them all the time. 


 

"Why are you both being like this?"

Both of them looked at her, confused. 

"You guys have been together since high school. Jain had always been there with you and even now he is working with you BB. What's with this behavior?"

She addressed Advay. 

"Zaina, this is office alright!"

Advay knew what she was getting into. 

"I know that but at least act like friends for once. Ever since this business started, I haven't seen you guys even hanging out. Okay! I know, Jain had always been scared of you but it has been so long since you have known each other!”

Jain had been orphaned too at a very young age. He was a junior to Advay and was the same batch as Zaina and Aaina. Everyone had judged him as an unwanted person and they would distanced themselves from him for no valid reason. On the other hand, Advay had a completely opposite reputation. He had been the most popular and respected personality in school but he avoided blending with his peers as much. He had once saved Jain from the bullies in school and since then Jain has been a devotee of him. Though Advay doesn't react much to emotions and opinions around him, he had inconspicuously allowed Jain into his life and had unaffectedly sheltered him. Till now! 

In spite of Jain’s terrors for Advay and the arrogance and the indifferences of Advay, they have always been together. Jain is the only man, after his Bade Dad of course, who had been able to make an important place in his life. He would confide every important things with Jain! And Jain, he has become so accustomed to Advay and his every mood swings and have learned to read him very well. Jain had been shadowing Advay, through his every ups and downs, without any questions and he would be with him until the end of time. He had pledged! 

 

 

Raizada Mansion, Delhi

"What is it Bua?" 

Anjali came back from the door after accepting the parcel from the delivery boy and stopped by Kavya, who had paused her way to the kitchen, to check the contents.

"Wow, invites for the India Fashion week. This is going to be so fun Bua. You know for the first time, the Prince is going to display his collection in India and that to on Indian Traditional clothes.” 

Kavya chirped.

"You mean Advay?" 

She animatedly nodded her head in agreement.

"I would love to see that boy again!” 

Anjali wished earnestly.

  "Di! Do I have to go?" 

Arnav grumpily stepped down, all dressed up in his usual three pieces, which tapered their excitement.

"Of course Chote. The Kapoors are our close family friends and your business associates too. We could not attend the wedding but it's their daughter's wedding reception today! We can’t miss it too!

Anjali debated as everyone else followed him soon after.

  All of them, with a very reluctant Arnav, drove out to the venue.

    

 


At the Reception Venue

Every rich and elites had graced the event with their families. The Raizadas parted and moved to their own circle of friends and acquaintances. Arnav and Akash were talking business with Mr. Kapoor, when Arnav felt the air change around him. That feeling was back! That oddly delightful one he felt when Advay had entered their house for the first time. His eyes reflexively moved to the entrance and sure enough, there walked in Advay with a beautiful lady by his arm. Maybe his Ema Baby! 

Everyone were eyeing Advay and his companion. He had wanted to skip the function but Zaina was so excited for the same that he could not refuse her. Moreover, Mr. Kapoor was one of the organizers of the Fashion week and that amplified his assent. Jain walked behind them. He would always accompany Advay in his every social events. This was the first in Delhi!


 

"She is Zaina Oberoi. The only showstopper of every Karls’ collections."

Kavya cleared when she saw her confused twin and faked a cough to bring him back from his ogling session. 

“What? She is beautiful!”

Navi nonchalantly acknowledged. 

 

"Welcome Mr. Gujral and Ms. Oberoi. Thank you so much for coming. We are extremely honored." 

Advay greeted him back.

"Oh Yes! Arnav, Meet Mr. A.S Gujral and Mr. Gujral they….." 

Mr. Kapoor had barely turned towards Arnav and Akash when his sentence was cut off by Advay.

"Mr. Arnav Singh Raizada. We meet again!" 

Advay extended his hand this time. He had seen Arnav the moment he entered the jamboree and had then made up his mind that he will not screw up like he did last time. He will never let him or any of the other Raizadas affect him in any other way. He will make sure, they never have a dot place in his emotions and undeniably, never ever in his life.

"Yeah! I can see you are all fine now." 

Arnav contained his confused happiness. Advay just nodded his head in response. And a second later an awkward silence lingered around them.

 

"BB! What’s with your face? At least smile, it is such a happy occasion." 

Zaina nudged him as she looked around plastering a smile on her face. They stood away from the gathering. They were done with all greets and the smiles. She have never attended any Indian functions of this grand scale and she was thrilled to be a part of it. But this Zombie best friend of hers was blotting her fun.

"I am here and this should be enough for everyone. You know I don't like these kind of parties or function or whatever **** it is." 

Advay murmured and felt a hand on his shoulder. He turned around and clenched his hands in disgust when he saw her.

"Hi Advay. How are you?” 

Anjali had come to him as soon as she had spotted him. The twins just a step behind her!

 

"Fine!" 

Advay spitefully reacted after a much stretched, intended and a reasonable silence. He didn't like a bit that this woman was behaving as if they were close, as if she cared. He hated her! Why couldn’t she get that in her harebrained head of hers!

  

Why his every harsh words stings her heart like never before? Anjali couldn’t figure it out at all.

  

All too soon, all their mystifications would be remedied! All too soon, they would feel complete only to mercilessly fall back the next moment but for the worse!

All too soon!





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