Arshi FF: Family

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Sep 1

Chapter 11 (By Archanasuresh) (Thanked: 82 times)

Chapter 11


Raizada Mansion, New Delhi

5.00 pm


“Right on time Ma!” Aarav said as he stepped into the living room.

“Aarav” Khushi squealed and hugged him. She withdrew from the hug seeing someone standing behind him.

“Aha, so this is my hone wali bahu! Come here dear!” Khushi cooed and ran towards a nervous Shreya who stood clutching her sari.

“Aww look at her, so nervous. Don’t worry we don’t bite!” Khushi said hugged her. She withdrew after a few seconds and said, “I’m Khushi. Aarav’s ma”

“I’m Shreya” Shreya said smiling.

“I know that” Khushi said laughing, “Arnav ji come here!” Arnav chuckled and walked towards Shreya. “Hello dear”

“Hello uncle” she said and bent down to touch his feet.

“Uncle?” Khushi cried, “My Arnav ji isn’t that old”

“Oh sorry” Shreya said alarmed.

Arnav chuckled and Aarav said, “Shri she’s just playing with you!”

“Aaaah, Shri?” Khushi asked raising an eyebrow.

Aarav blushed and looked away.

“So Shri” Khushi asked emphasizing on Shri, “Do you like my son?”

“Yes” she said smiling.

“WHAT? I thought you love him! You just like him? You don’t love him?” Khushi shouted.

“Khushi” Arnav groaned and patted Shreya’s shoulder who looked nervous and scared, “Don’t mind her dear. She is a nautanki!”

“Ma stop scaring her” Aarav cried and pulled Shreya to him, “Come let’s meet family”

“Ah so we aren’t family?” Khushi asked, her hands on hips.

Arnav chuckled and Aarav face palmed. “Aarav go” Arnav said and Aarav smiled at him gratefully and took Shreya inside.

Khushi burst into laughter and Arnav said, “Nice way of being welcoming!”

Khushi stuck her tongue out and ran away.




“Arrey what are you doing?” Khushi asked surprised seeing Ishaan standing by the poolside holding a flower basket.

Ishaan jumped hearing her voice and said smiling nervously, “Woh HP uncle was searching for flowers and…then Anjali aunty asked him to make tea…so I started to search for the flowers and then I….”

Khushi burst out laughing and said, “Okay I understand!”

Ishaan smiled sheepishly.

“You’re so cute, you know that! You doesn’t behave like a 19 year old!” Khushi said smiling.

“Is that good or bad?” Ishaan asked biting his lip.

“Arrey it was a compliment” Khushi said and face palmed, “****o how’s your college?”

“Good” Ishaan said smiling happily.

“I forgot to ask you. What do your parents do?”

Ishaan froze and he said fumbling, “Ma…ma works in a tailoring unit…and pa…pa….”

“Ah I know Arnav ji told me!”

“He did?” Ishaan asked shocked.

“Ha, your father and Arnav ji studied together in Harvard right? He said that your dad has textile business” Khushi said smiling.

“Oh. Yeah” Ishaan said nodding and looked away when he spotted a photo inside the room.

Khushi followed his vision and smiled at their family photo. It was taken during Aarav’s convocation. Both, she and Arnav ji, stood on Aarav’s either sides wrapping an arm around him.

“That was taken on his graduation day” Khushi said smiling.

“Aap bahot pyaar karthe hai na?” Ishaan asked slowly, his eyes fixed on the photo.

“Who Aarav se?” Khushi asked smiling.

“Dono se” Ishaan said and looked at her.

Khushi smiled and looked at the photo, “They are my lifelines! If one is my heart, then the other is my blood!”

Ishaan smiled.

“Acha ****o, let’s go downstairs. HP uncle must be waiting for you” Khushi said patting Ishaan’s shoulder. Ishaan chuckled and followed her.



“Have some” Ishaan said smiling forwarding a plate of ladoos to Shreya. “Thanks” Shreya said and took one.

“Ishaan, it’s better if you leave that plate there. She might need all of it!” Aarav said smirking and Shreya gasped, “Chup”

“Oye don’t tease my bahu!” Khushi snapped and smacked Aarav’s head.

“Acha so you guys are a party now?” Aarav asked to his family who was around Shreya.

“Yes” Everyone replied.

“What? Who is with me? Me….Ishaan? Ishaan, come here!” he cried and dragged Ishaan to him, “Ishaan is with me! Ha!”

“Ishaan you’re with me right?” Shreya asked narrowing her eyes.

“No he’s with me!” Aarav said wrapping arms around Ishaan locking him from moving.

“Err…I’m with…Aman uncle” Ishaan said and slipped from Aarav’s hands.

“Ha ha….right on your face Aarav!” Aman said laughing and wrapped an arm around the boy.

“Having fun without me?” a voice came and everyone turned.

“Riru!” Aarav cried and ran to her hugging the life out of her.

“****o….your girlfriend might think that she has a sautan!” she said laughing and craned her neck to Shreya, “I’m Irene. Family friend! Aur tumhari honi wali saali!”

“Khushi ma!” Irene said and ran to her. Khushi hugged her and asked, “Where are you parents?”

“Taking out some gifts from the car!” Irene said and moved to hug Anjali. She hugged everyone and stopped at Arnav. She looked at Ishaan and then at him. Glaring at him she moved to Ishaan and gave him a hug.

“Hide away from my parents” she whispered in his ears.

“Why?” he asked frowning. Irene looked around. Everyone was busy with their own talks and no one was noticing them except Arnav and Aman.

“When you dropped me home yesterday, papa and mama saw that. I got an earful and told me not to hang out with you. They think you’re a….a…”

“A…what?” Ishaan asked.

“Street rat” Irene said biting her lip.


“Listen don’t…don’t feel bad…it’s…my parents are like that. So it’s better if you stay away from them today and…”


“And here we go!” Irene sighed and turned.

The whole family stopped their talks hearing Lavanya’s loud voice and looked to where a very furious Lavanya stood with her equally furious husband.

“What’s this brat doing here?” Lavanya asked angrily and looked at Khushi.

“Err…he…Ishaan. He is Arnav ji’s friend’s son!” Khushi said and looked to and fro from Ishaan and Lavanya.

Augustine marched towards Ishaan and held his collar.

“Dad” Irene cried.

“Augustine, what’s happening?” Aman asked stepping in. He made the guy leave the boy’s collar and pulled him back.

“Are you following my daughter?” he asked angrily.

Ishaan nodded no, scared to death.

“Dad stop!” Irene cried, “He is my friend. He is not following me around. He’s ASR’s friend’s son!”

“I hate this boy. Don’t you dare hang out with him again! He is a street rat” Lavanya said disgusted.

“Lavanya stop!” Arnav said angrily.

“ASR, this may your friend’s son but…I don’t like my daughter hanging out with boys who work in garages.” Lavanya said scrunching her eyes.

“Woah woah stop there. You cannot talk about my boy like that!” Aman said chuckling and wrapped his arm around Ishaan, “Arey such a nice boy. How can anyone hate him?”

“I’m sorry. I’m not…following her…” Ishaan said nervously, “I’m new here and she is my only friend….and….”

“And he’s working in garage as part time. He is an engineering student.” Aman said angrily.

“From where did you get this brat?” Lavanya asked looking at Arnav, “Whatever it is, ask him to stay in his limits. Don’t even think about hitting on my daughter”

“Mom” Irene cried.

“Tu chup! You don’t know these types of boys. They impress you with their tricks and then cheat you. Look at him, I mean…look at him! He looks so low class….no status at all!” Lavanya said angrily, “He looks so shabby, low class, repairs bikes for a living, studies engineering with ASR’s money. He is nothing but a gold digging brat!”

“SHUT UP” Arnav shouted angrily, “Who do you think you are? Don’t you dare about Ishaan like that?”

“Why are you defending him?” Augustine asked angrily, “Because he is your friend’s son? Are you so generous that you took your financially low friend’s beggar son under your wings? He is a street rat!”

“HE IS NOT A STREET RAT. HE IS MY SON!” Arnav shouted.

Aman sucked a deep breath. Ishaan closed his eyes and Irene bit her lip looking down.

Everyone froze on their positions. Unable to say anything, their hands and legs numb, they looked at Arnav open mouthed.

No one moved. No one said anything. No one moved their eyes that were fixed on Arnav.

After what seemed like a decade a whisper was heard, “What?”

Arnav gulped and looked at Khushi who was looking at him in disbelief.

“What did you say?” she whispered in a very low tone but it was heard by every single wall of the Raizada Mansion.

Arnav looked at Ishaan who looked up at him in tears. He nodded and said, “Ishaan mera beta hai!”

Sep 2

Chapter 12 (By Archanasuresh) (Thanked: 117 times)

Chapter 12


“Ishaan mera beta hai!”

Khushi chuckled and looked at Aman, “Aman what has gotten into your boss?”

Aman looked at Arnav and then at Khushi. He walked forward to her and held her arms, “Bhabhi…relax…listen to me…”

“He is joking right?” Khushi asked laughing, her eyes welling. She looked over to Arnav and said, “Kya joke hai yeh Arnav ji? Try something else!”

“Bhabhi” Aman said patting her back.

“Papa bolo na” Aarav said laughing, “Why are you quiet? Tell everyone that it’s a joke!”

Arnav looked down and Aarav turned to Ishaan, “Ishaan…what’s happening?”

Ishaan gulped and looked at Arnav who was looking down.

“What’s happening here? Bhai what is this?” Akash asked angrily.

“It’s not joke chotte. What has gotten into you?” Anjali asked walking to Arnav.

Lavanya and her husband looked at each other and then at Irene.

“Irene” Lavanya asked, “What’s all this?”

Irene looked at Arnav and then at Ishaan. “Mom let’s go” she said slowly.

Aman looked at Lavanya and nodded. Irene patted Ishaan’s shoulder and hugged him. “I’m really sorry” she whispered.  And she dragged her parents out of the house.

Shreya looked at Aarav and then at Aman. Aman looked at her and motioned towards the door. She bit her lips and looked at Aarav.

“Go” Aman whispered. Shreya nodded and walked towards the exit.

“Why are you not replying?” Khushi shouted, her laugh and smile of earlier vanished in thin air. She swatted Aman’s hands and walked to Arnav.

“Look at me!” she demanded. Arnav looked up at her in tears and she asked, “Bolo…joke tha na?”

Arnav bit his lip controlling his tears and shook his head negatively.

Khushi cried, “TELL ME! SAY IT!”

“No” he whispered, “It’s the…truth…not joke…”

Khushi sucked in breath and stumbled backward to Aman who held her.

“Papa” Aarav whispered and walked forward, “What are you saying? You…Ishaan…?” he turned to Ishaan and asked, “Why are you quiet? Why aren’t you denying it?”

“Because it’s the truth Aarav” Aman said and looked at Arnav.

Khushi looked at Aman in tears and then at Arnav. Arnav looked at her and walked forwards.

“No” she said and extended her hand indicating him to stop walking. “Stay there. Talk from there” she said breathing unevenly.

“Khushi….it…in Raja…Rajasthan….” Arnav stammered.

“SAY IT!” she shouted at the top of her voice. Aman and almost everyone jumped under their skin hearing the loudest they have heard from Khushi. Arnav flinched and stepped backwards. “20 years back, I visited Rajasthan. And there….”

“There?” Khushi asked leaning forward, “What happened there?”

“Woh…there…” Arnav said, his breath falling apart.

“Woh woh kya? WHAT HAPPENED THERE?” Khushi shouted.

“Woh waha he…” Ishaan began when Khushi shouted, “SHUT UP! I’M TALKING TO MY HUSBAND.” She looked at Arnav and said, “YOU…CONTINUE! WHAT HAPPENED AT RAJASTHAN, 20 YEARS BACK?”

“Khushi ji….calm down” Anjali whispered.

“CALM DOWN? YOU WANT ME TO CALM DOWN?” Khushi blasted. Aman sighed and patted her back, “Bhabhi…relax…take a…”

“Now don’t you start!” Khushi shouted and pushed Aman back, resulting in the man stumbling to the couch, “I’ll get back to you after a while!” she turned to Arnav, “So where were we? Ah Rajasthan! So continue!”

Arnav looked at her in tears and Khushi looked over to Aarav who stood pale as a white paper.

“Arey Aarav, come here. Let’s hear the story!” Khushi said laughing and pulled him. She sat on the couch and made Aarav sit next to her, “let’s hear about your father’s adventures behind our backs! Come on Arnavji continue!”

“Khushi please…” he whispered.

“I SAID CONTINUE” Khushi blasted.

“It’s not his fault” Ishaan said slowly, his voice cracking, “His drink was spiked. He…” he stopped seeing Khushi’s glare.

 “Continue” Khushi said sternly. She looked at the family who stood shocked and numb not knowing what to do. “Arrey aap log…why are you standing? Sit na…its story time!”

Aman sat next to Khushi and wrapped his arm around her, “Bhabhi….”

“Aman. Leave” Khushi said breathing heavily.

“Listen to me!”

“I said leave!” Khushi hissed.

“Just listen to what he has to say. Please” Aman said.

“That’s what I am doing” Khushi cried, “He isn’t continuing. Ask him to continue!”

“I met a woman named Shalini. She was the daughter of the factory manager; the factory that I bought in Rajasthan. We became friends” Arnav said, his voice cracking, “After six months, I had hosted a party in the city of Jaipur as a celebration of the success. I had invited the factory workers and she was there. Her fiancé spiked her drink but it was accidently served to me!”

“Okay” Khushi nodded, “Then?”

“Then….” Arnav looked at Aman and Khushi shouted, “DON’T LOOK AT HIM. LOOK AT ME! ANSWER ME, NOT HIM!”

“I thought she was you” Arnav whispered in tears, his tears rolling down his cheek to his neck and shirt collar.

“Ha” Khushi scoffed, “What a nice heartwarming thing to say!” she looked at Aarav who didn’t utter a single word till now. He was sitting numb staring at Arnav.

“It was not intentional” Arnav whispered and walked forward to Khushi.

“STAY RIGHT THERE” Khushi stopped him.

“Please believe me” Arnav cried begging, “I thought she was you. Trust me. And it happened…”

“Didn’t she stop you? Her drink wasn’t spiked right?” Aarav spoke for the first time.

“Why would she?” Khushi asked scoffing, “Who wouldn’t want him? He is the most handsome successful businessman of the era. Anyone would love to sleep with him” she chuckled and said, “And you used to call me a gold digger! Arrey asli gold digger tho woh hai…kya naam hai..ha Shalini!”

“Stop!” Ishaan whispered, “You cannot talk like that!”

“Ishaan” Arnav whispered.

“How should I talk then?” Khushi asked angrily and stood up.

“She is my mother” Ishaan hissed.

“Ishaan. Quiet” Arnav hissed.

“You cannot call my mother a gold digger!” Ishaan shouted at Khushi.

“ISHAAN” Arnav shouted at the top of his voice. Ishaan looked at him shocked and Arnav said angrily, “Apologize!”

“No” Ishaan said angrily shaking his head.

“ASR stop!” Aman whispered standing up, “Not now!”

“Ishaan. APOLOGIZE TO HER!” Arnav shouted.

“I WON’T” Ishaan cried and looked at Khushi, “Whatever it is and whoever you are I won’t let you insult my mother!”

“Don’t talk to my mother like that” Aarav shouted standing up. He pushed the boy and Ishaan fell backwards to Aman who held him. Aman made the boy stand straight and stood between Aarav and Ishaan, “Aarav, listen to me. Sit down. Calm down. Listen to what ASR says…okay…SIT DOWN…bhabhi….sit down!” he looked at Akash who stood stiff as a pole. “Akash” he whispered. Akash jerked and rushed forward. He made Aarav and Khushi sit and Aman walked a few feet away with Ishaan.

“Calm down” Aman whispered and Ishaan sighed looking down.

Khushi looked at Arnav and said angrily, “So you had **** with a woman in Rajasthan 20 years back and then have a son with her. 20 years later you bring him home and expect me to accept him? Great!”

 “Khushi hear me out” he whispered.

“NO” she said, “Take him back to his **** mother! Don’t even think about bringing this son of a **** here!”

Ishaan closed his eyes tightly and Aman held his tightly not allowing him to bash forward.

Arnav looked at Ishaan and then at Khushi. “His mother is dead” Arnav said.

“So? Why should…” Khushi stopped herself. “Oh” she said realizing it, “The call from Aman that night” she looked at Aman, “the woman at Rajasthan who died of cancer was her?” she looked at Arnav and whispered, “You kissed me goodbye the next morning to attend your mistress’ funeral?”

“She was not my mistress dammit!” Arnav shouted.


“Khushi stop” Arnav hissed and looked at Ishaan, “Not before him at least” he whispered lowering his voice.

Khushi looked at Ishaan who was silently crying looking at the floor.

She looked away and covered her face with her palms. Rubbing her face vigorously she whispered, “How could you?”

She looked up at him, “How could you do this? What was wrong with me that you had to go to another woman? Ah…yes…I cannot be a mother. Yeh baat hai na!”

“No it’s not what you think…” Arnav whispered,

“I gave you everything” Khushi whispered, tears rolling down her tears, “Everything that a woman can. And you made a big joke of it by going to another woman for that ONE thing I cannot give you. A child!” she burst into tears and slumped on to the floor.

“Khushi ji” everyone cried and rushed forward.

“NO” she cried and everyone stopped, “I don’t anyone’s help!” she hissed in anger.

Arnav walked to her and slumped next to her.

“Move. Go away” she hissed.

“Please listen to me” Arnav whispered, his tears now wet with his tears, “Look at me please” he cupped her face.

“GO AWAY” she shouted and pushed him. She stood up from the floor and rushed upstairs.

“Khushi” Arnav cried and followed her.

Khushi ran to their room and shut the door behind her.

“Khushi! Please…open the door” Arnav begged banging on the door.

Everyone looked up to him from downstairs.

“Ishaan” Aman said and everyone looked at him, “I’ll drop you to hostel”

Ishaan looked at Arnav and then at Aman.

“Come with me” Aman ordered and walked to the main door.

Ishaan looked at everyone who threw him a disgusted glare. He looked at Aarav who still sat on the couch pale as a sheet, staring at the wall.

“Ishaan” Aman called out. Ishaan looked down and followed Aman.


Sep 4

Chapter 13 (By Archanasuresh) (Thanked: 98 times)

Sorry for the late update. Things are being restored after the floods and my classes commenced today. So i cannot write and update regularly. I'll try to update every alternate day.

Chapter 13


Khushi gasped and she slumped on the floor, leaning on the recliner. Laying her head on it she clamped her mouth shut preventing herself from crying out loud.

She closed her eyes shut and touched the surface of the green recliner.

“Khushi stop running!” Arnav cried following her around the room.

“Catch me if you can!” Khushi said giggling and jumped on to the food.

“Come here you!” Arnav said laughing and pulled her hand.

“Aaah!” she squealed as she fell on his arms. Arnav stumbled backwards and fell on the green recliner, with Khushi on his top.

He wrapped his arms around her and said chuckling, “How long will you run from me?”

“I can run very far you know” Khushi said smirking.

“Then how come you’re still here in my arms?” He whispered and leaned to kiss her. She laughed and moved her face away, “Do you know why you’re able to catch me?”

“Why?” he mumbled and nuzzled her neck.

“Because I want you to catch me” Khushi whispered and pecked his lips.

She burst into tears and stood up. Using all her might she pushed the recliner. It moved towards the poolside door and crashed on it. Khushi ran to the bed and buried her face on the pillows.

“Khushi please… the door!” she could hear his voice.

She sobbed hard and clutched the pillows.

“What are you doing?” Khushi asked with widened eyes when he pinned her down on the mattress.

“Just romancing my wife” Arnav said shrugging and buried his face in her neck.

“You have to go to office” she said laughing but turned her face extending his access to her neck.

“Office can wait” he murmured and kissed her earlobes.

Khushi hummed and clutched the pillows closing her eyes in a daze.


Khushi sat up in the bed and threw the pillows to the dressing table, knocking down the bottles. The perfume bottles, bangles and cosmetics fell down to the floor crashing into pieces.

Closing her ears shut she screamed at the top of her voice.

“Khushi j!” Anjali cried, “Open the door please”

“LEAVE ME ALONE….GO AWAY ALL OF YOU!! GO! GO” Khushi screamed, her voice cracking at the end.

“Khushi please” Arnav begged, “Please”


“Okay okay” Arnav cried, “I’ll go…I’ll go…don’t harm yourself please…”

“GO” she screamed.

“Shalini” she whispered in hatred and disgust.


“How was Rajasthan trip?” Khushi asked rubbing her eyes as she sat up.

“Great” Arnav said sitting next to her on the bed, “I bought the factory there. Great people. They agreed to help us and sell their handwoven materials”

“That’s good” Khushi murmured sleepily and leaned on him. He chuckled and wrapped his arm around her. “My Khushi is sleepy” he cooed.

“Khushi sleepy sleepy” Khushi mumbled and snuggled into his arms “When did you reach?”

“Early morning” he mumbled and then said, “Waise I saw someone like you”

“Like me?” she asked withdrawing from the hug.

“Ha daughter of the factory manager, Shalini. She looks like you” Arnav said chuckling.

“Aha” Khushi chuckled.

He nodded and she said, “That’s good. You’ll have someone who reminds you of me. So you’ll not forget me!”

Arnav chuckled and kissed her hair, “I would never forget you!”

Khushi hummed and hugged him.


“Ma” Aarav called out and knocked the door softly, “Open the door” he whispered.

Khushi looked at the door and slowly walked to it. Opening the door, she burst into tears and fell into her son’s arms.

Aarav hugged her tightly and patted her back.

“Aarav…yeh…he…how cou..ld…he…” Khushi sobbed. Aarav nodded and took her inside the room. Making her sit on the bed, he walked to the table and took a glass of water.

“Have it” he said softly and made her drink the water.

Khushi laid her head on his shoulder as he sat next to her. “How could he Aarav?” she whispered.

Aarav didn’t say anything but kept on patting her back comforting her.

“Take me away from here Aarav” Khushi whispered. Aarav looked at her and she sat up straight. Wiping her tears Khushi took a deep breath, “I can’t stay here anymore. I need to go away”

“Where?” he asked void of any emotion.

“Anywhere that doesn’t remind me of Arnav Singh Raizada” Khushi whispered and closed her eyes tightly.

Aarav nodded and stood up. “Let’s go” he said and walked forward.





“Go talk to her” Aman said softly.

Arnav looked at the sky and kept mum.

“ASR” Aman urged, “Go!”

“She asked me to go away” he said.

Aman sighed and sat next to him in the terrace, “Talk to someone” he said.

Arnav nodded no.

“Talk to me” Aman shrugged.

Arnav looked at him and he smiled.

“It was not intentional Aman” Arnav whispered, “The night with Shalini. For me it was Khushi. I did not know it was Shalini until the morning when I woke up next to her!” Arnav closed his eyes tightly wincing at the memory.

Aman hummed and Arnav said, “If Khushi knew about it, she would never forgive me. I did not have a choice Aman. What could have I done?”

“You could’ve told her, right away!” Aman said.

Arnav scoffed and said, “It’s easy to say that. How many men would do that?”

“You could have done that” Aman said pointedly.

“If you had **** with another woman, would have told Ayesha? Hey Ayesha, I’m sorry but I had **** with another woman. Please don’t leave me. It won’t happen again” Arnav said.

Aman sighed and said, “I never created an incident Arnav”

Arnav looked at him hearing him use Arnav. He uses it rarely.

Aman looked down and said, “Your night with Shalini…it happened. We cannot do anything about that. It happened. Unknowingly! But what happened after that was in your full control! You could’ve changed the whole past Arnav. You could’ve told Khushi bhabhi. You could have let her decide!”

“She would’ve left me” Arnav cried.

“What’s the difference now Arnav?” Aman asked chuckling, “Yesterday or today, she left you!”


Aman motioned towards the front gate. Arnav looked at and froze seeing Aarav and Khushi leaving.

“Khushi! Aarav!” Arnav whispered and was about to turn and dash downstairs, when Aman held his shoulder, “Let her go!”

“WHAT?” Arnav cried.

“They need time ASR. Let her go. Give them some time!” Aman said calmly.



Sep 5

Chapter 14 (By Archanasuresh) (Thanked: 100 times)

Chapter 14


Medical College Women’s Hostel, New Delhi

8.00 pm


“Thank you” Aarav said as he took the keys from Shreya. Shreya smiled faintly and rubbed her hand on her arm, “Everything will be alright” she whispered comfortingly.

Aarav nodded grimly and said, “It’s just for a few days. I’ve asked my friend to look for an apartment”

“You can stay there as much you want. It’s mine. So is it yours” Shreya said slowly. Aarav nodded and turned to walk away.

She held his hand and he looked at her. Sighing, Shreya walked forward and wrapped her arms around his waist. Hugging him slowly she whispered, “Open up Aarav”

Aarav stood stiff as a pole and did not return the hug. She broke the hug and looked at him in worry. “Speak it out. Don’t keep it to yourself” she said softly.

Aarav bent down to her face and kissed her lips. “Bye” he murmured and walked away.



Skyline Apartment, New Delhi

8.30 pm


Khushi looked around the place as she entered the apartment.

“Shreya own it. Her parents stay here when they come to Delhi” Aarav said and Khushi nodded.

He walked to the dining room and switched on the lights. Keeping the food packets he had bought on the table, he turned to his mother.

Khushi sat on the couch and stared at the wall.

“Mamma have food” Aarav called out.

She didn’t respond but kept on staring at the wall. Tears kept rolling down her cheek and she leaned her head back on the couch.

Aarav took out his cell and dialed Anjali’s number.

“Ha bua” he said, “Mamma is with me. We’re staying at….my friend’s place. Ask him not to come searching for us”

He listened to what Anjali is saying and said, “We’re fine bua. We’re good!” he hang up. Sitting on the chair he buried his face in his palms.

Right from his childhood, he was appreciated for his outstanding memory and observation skills. From the number of paintings hung up on the walls of the classroom to the number of steps they had to walk to reach the highest floor; from the dates of specific events to each tiny minute details written in his medical textbook; Aarav remembered it all! And cue to his memory, he remembered most of the things that happened since his age of capturing moments.

An important one was an image of himself playing with other kids in an orphanage. The most lovable and sweet moment of his life. When he helped the ashram head Asha ji in gardening, when he played on swing with Rekha, a girl who used to play with him, and when he was scolded by the cook for wasting rice and throwing it away.

Then came Sheethal. A nightmare disguised as a daydream! With hues of hopes and dozen of dreams, she took him away in her expensive car and gave him beautiful dresses he had dreamt of. She just had one condition. To get his father, her husband, back he need to be like him. A desire to be accepted by his father made him do things he never dreamt of doing. A boy who hated sports to core, he was, trained basketball to be a pro. A boy who loved sweets had to behave like a diabetic. He, who loved oily food to his heart, had to eat tasteless toast. All for the acceptance of someone he thought his father.

Today, after years of being accepted by two people, who weren’t his parents, and years after calling them papa and mama, Aarav never imagined that he would see a day like this!

Aarav sighed remembering the days he had cried to Arnav and Khushi for a sibling. He had ended his queries when one day, mamma got a report from hospital that she cannot be a mother. Why did the report say so? Mamma was already a mother na? His mother! Aarav Singh Raizada’s mother! It was Anjali bua who told him that mamma cannot give him a sibling and she would be sad if he mention it again. And he never mentioned it. When his cousins, Akash and Payal’s daughters, were born he was elated to heaven but the urge of having a younger sister or brother of his own remained forever in his heart.

And today he has one! A younger brother! But no matter what, he can never accept him. A brother, who is not one among them. A 19 year old boy who is not his Khushi mamma’s son. A son who was kept as a secret for the past 20 years by his loyal and sincere father.

He stood up and looked at Khushi. “Food is here. Have it” he said and walked to the bedroom. Closing the door shut behind him, he slumped on the bed and buried his face in the pillow, crying his heart out.

Crying for like an eternity, Aarav sat up and took out his mobile. Dialing a number he said, with a voice so strong that he never heard himself use it, “Meet me at Coffee Beanz Café within half an hour”




“I don’t think this deal would be profitable” Arnav said to Akash as they walked into RM, “They are demanding much more than their worth. 5 million dollars for this deal, it’s not worth it!”

Akash nodded and said, “Even I feel so bhai. Let’s cancel this!”

Arnav nodded and said, “Ask Aman to send them an apology decline letter” Akash nodded.

“Chotte” Anjali said walked to them in worry.

“Kya huva di?”

“Khushi ji is crying. We don’t know why” Anjali said tensed, “She isn’t telling us anything!”

“Ha papa” Aarav piped in, “She asked us to go away”

Arnav looked up and ran upstairs to their room.


“Khushi!” he called out softly. Khushi looked up from where she was lying on the bed burying her face in the pillows and ran up to him.

Hugging him tightly she burst out into tears. “Khushi what happened?” he asked worriedly.

“Woh….uss…doctor…ke reports aa gayi!” Khushi said hiccupping. She withdrew from the hug and said in tears, “Arnav ji….main…I can…never be a…m…mot…mother!” and she burst into tears. She clinged on his shoulders and buried her face in his chest.

Khushi gasped for breath and sat up straight on the couch. She wiped her tears on the cheek and neck when her hands touched the mangalsutra.

Every single memory associated to that piece of chain was precious to her. The first time he tied it to her, in front of devi maiyya’s idol, was painful like hell. But the second time he tied it, in front of their family, during their wedding was pure as bliss. The handsome smile he had, the tears, the love and assurance he held on those eyes, the promise and safety he had given her by locking his palm with hers…

Everything that reminded of that blissful day, today, pained like hell.

Ishaan mera beta hai

Khushi clamped her mouth shut and closed her eyes tightly with his words bouncing on her ears repeatedly.

I met a woman named Shalini.

I thought she was you

Ishaan mera beta hai

Khushi clutched her throat feeling severe pain there and leaned back on the couch. She looked to the room when Aarav opened the door in a swift and walked out to the living room.

“Where are you going?” she asked in a strained voice.

“Out” Aarav mumbled.

“Where?” she whispered tired.

Aarav sat next to her and caressed her face, removing the strands of her hair from her face. “Wash your face and sleep. You’ll feel better” Aarav whispered and patted his mother’s cheek.

“You really think that I’ll feel better by sleeping?” Khushi asked with a dry chuckle.

Aarav didn’t say anything, his face not even twitching with emotions.

“I’m going to visit him” Aarav said looking away.

“Who?” Khushi whispered.

“P…my foster father” Aarav said and stood up, “Should I get you something? Food or medicines? Anything?”

She nodded no.

“Batter? You wanna make jalebi?” Aarav urged.

Khushi smiled sadly and said, “This time I won’t feel better by making jalebis Aarav”

Aarav said nothing and walked away.





Coffee Beanz Café, New Delhi

9.05 pm


Aarav sat before his father…foster father and asked, “Did you order?”

Arnav nodded no and Aarav called out for the waiter.

“One black coffee and one cappuccino” he said and the waiter took the order.

“So” Aarav said and frowned seeing Arnav’s bandaged hand. “Punched the mirror? Threw away garden pots? What was it?” he asked leaning back on the chair.

Arnav looked at his hand and whispered, “Mirror”

“Good” Aarav nodded.

Arnav looked at him and Aarav asked, “Ishaan right? Ishaan Singh Raizada…sounds great. It matches well….much better than Aarav Singh Raizada right?”

“Aarav” Arnav whispered, “Please….please listen to me”

“I’m listening” Aarav nodding chuckling, “That’s what we’re here for. Go on, I’m listening!”

Arnav sighed and looked down and Aarav said, “You kept on saying listen to me, listen to me. I’m listening to you. What is it that you want to convince me? That Ishaan is not your son? Or that you choose Ishaan over me and my mother?”

“NO” Arnav cried, “I can never choose ANYONE over you and Khushi!”

“You just did that” Aarav whispered, “You did that 20 years ago when you slept with that….woman”

“It was a mistake Aarav. I thought it was Khushi!”

“Yeah she magically appeared before you at Rajasthan” Aarav scoffed.

“I was drugged dammit!” Arnav cried frustrated.

“Fine” Aarav said shrugging, “Why did you hide it? You had a ****ing son! You chose to keep it away from us? WHY?”

“What else could have I done?” Arnav whispered, “I found her when she was four months pregnant. I gave her some money and a place to stay. And then I left. I never contacted her nor did she. Until three years back. She had cancer and she contacted me for money. I did not even know that it’s son until three years ago. Even then I never went back to him. I met him for the first time during her funeral!”

Aarav nodded. “Then?” he asked.

“He doesn’t have anyone else. He is my responsibility now. I accept that. I brought him here. Enrolled him in college” Arnav said.

“Do you remember, 17 years back, when mamma got the report that states that she cannot be a mother?” Aarav whispered.

Arnav gulped and nodded.

“She was crying. She was devastated. Even you were crying but you consoled her” Aarav said, “She was crying because she couldn’t give birth to a child, YOUR child! And at the same time, miles apart, a woman was raising YOUR child!”

Arnav looked away in tears and Aarav whispered, “I can feel her pain. Why can’t you p…?” he stopped from calling papa.

“I do feel her pain” Arnav whispered.

“Wrong. You feel your pain” Aarav hissed.

Arnav rubbed his face and said, “I’m not a villain here Aarav. I did not know what to do. I cannot lose Khushi and you. So I kept Ishaan away.”

“If Shalini was never dead, you would have never let Ishaan into your life right?” Aarav whispered.

Arnav nodded.

“With your own son living his life all alone, how on earth were you able to love your adopted son?” Aarav whispered, his voice cracking and eyes welling, “How could you spend your nights with your wife when you, on your full conscious, know that you have touched another woman? Don’t you feel disgusted of yourself?”

“Aarav…” Arnav whispered, “What should have I done? Tell me?”

“Tell mamma the truth. Tell us!”

“And let your all leave me alone?”

“So this is it? You hid it because you hates to be alone in your life?” Aarav asked chuckling.

“No” Arnav whispered, “I cannot imagine a life without you and your mother in it!”

“You had a life, without me and my mother in it, when you were ****ing that woman” Aarav hissed.


“Let me finish” Aarav whispered, “When it was clear that Sheethal was playing with all of you and you and your family got attatched to me, you adopted me as your son. But papa let me ask you something….” He paused and gasped for breath. With tears rolling down his cheek he asked, “If I Sheetal wasn’t lying and if I was your son, would you have adopted me or kept me away like you did with Ishaan?”

Arnav gulped and looked away, tears rolling down his eyes. “I got my answer” Aarav whispered and rubbed his face.

“Your whole relationship with me ends here at this moment papa” Aarav whispered and stood up.

“Aarav stop” Arnav cried and stood up.

Aarav sniffled his tears and rubbed his eyes, preventing himself from a breakdown. He moved forward and hugged Arnav tightly. “Thank you for your love for all these years. Love or fake love, I don’t know!”

He broke the hug and wiped his tears, “But even it was fake….thank you for it. I’ve never loved Shreya like I love you. I’ve never respected Shreya like I respect you” he looked away and whispered, “If someone asks me to choose one between you and Shreya, till yesterday, I would have chosen you!” he looked at Arnav and whispered, “Well….looks like I’ve to change that now! Priorities, papa, it changes!”


Sep 8

Chapter 15 (By Archanasuresh) (Thanked: 102 times)

Chapter 15


Skyline Apartments, New Delhi

9.00 pm

 Khushi opened the main door hearing the knock.

“You?” she asked frowning.

Aman smiled faintly and Khushi asked, “How did you know that we’re here”

“I knew Aarav would contact Shreya. So I called her” Aman said shrugging.

“What do you want?” she asked.

“I just came to see you” Aman said.

Khushi moved away from the door and let him in.

Aman walked into the apartment and sat on the couch. Khushi sat opposite to him and said, “If you’re here to sing praises about your boss, the door is still open for you”

Aman chuckled and said, “Why would I sing praises about him?”

“I don’t know, you tell me” Khushi said angrily, “You’re always with him, by his side. Supporting him….for EVERYTHING”

“Bhabhi” Aman said sharply, “I don’t support him for EVERYTHING. And if anyone cares, I came to know about Ishaan just two days ago”

Khushi looked away and he said, “I just wanted to tell you that whatever decision you take, I’ll support you!”

“I thought you’re his side!” she said frowning.

“I’m on no one’s side! Why does everyone feel that I’m ASR’s side?” Aman cried, “I came to know about the boy but I didn’t tell you. Yes. Because it was not my place to tell you bhabhi. He should tell you. It’s his job not mine! I’m no one to interfere in that! So I asked him to tell you.”

“In front of the family? In front of guests?”

“No, in private. He wanted to tell you tonight after pooja but….Lavanya blasted and he blurted it out!” Aman said.

“He loves him a lot right?” Khushi asked leaning back. Her voice cracked and she said, “I envy him. He got to have a kid of his own! His own blood!”

“Isn’t Aarav your own kid?” Aman asked slowly, “Blood doesn’t matter bhabhi. Bonds do! Love does! Trust does! You and Aarav have the best mother-son relationship ever!”

“You didn’t answer the question. Does he love his son a lot?” she whispered.

“I don’t know. He is complicated. At a moment he says that he hates that kid. He is a nuisance! He is breaking my home! And the next moment he enrolls him in a good college, gives him his name….I don’t bhabhi. I don’t know what he feels about Ishaan. But he doesn’t hate him, I know that!” Aman said honestly.

“Have you seen her? Shalini?” Khushi whispered in tears.

Aman sighed and nodded, “Years back at Rajasthan!”

“Is she pretty?”


“Is she pretty Aman?” she whispered.

“Yes” Aman nodded.

“Prettier than me I guess” Khushi said smiling sadly.

“Not really. She just resembled you at some angles” Aman said.

“Don’t try to make me feel better” Khushi whispered.

Aman sighed and said, “He thought it was you”

“It wasn’t me” Khushi said chuckling, “It was never me. I was never the woman who carried his child. I couldn’t give him a kid!”

Aman was about to say something when Khushi cut him in, “I know. Aarav. He is our child. But what if we didn’t have Aarav?”

“I know you’re hurt. Very hurt and angry. And you have the right to be angry!” Aman said, “But before you take a decision, I think you should talk to him!”

“Talk?” she scoffed.

“Isn’t that how it works?” Aman said smiling sadly.

“I’m confused over you Aman” Khushi said smiling, “Who are you supporting? Me? Him? Or Ishaan?”

“You got me there” Aman said smiling, “Ishaan”

“I knew it”

“I have met him. I’ve talked to him. He has opened up to me” Aman said smiling sadly, “At first he was the illegitimate son of ASR but now….I wish he was my son! I would have given him the world!”

Khushi looked at him and he said, “He is a very good person. He deserves happiness!”

“And don’t I?” she whispered.

“Yes you do. Everyone does! But sometimes, not all can be happy!” Aman said looking away.

“Will you fight for his happiness, even if costs my, your bhabhi’s, happiness?” she crossed her arms.

“I don’t know bhabhi. It’ll depend on who’s right! Or in better words, who, I feel, is right!” Aman said.

Khushi sighed and nodded.

Aman stood up and said, “Whatever decision you’ll take, I’ll support you. But do think about….Ishaan….”

“Why should I think about him?” she asked.

“A whole childhood not knowing who his father is; A whole life with people calling him fatherless, **** and all sorts of name; And now the feeling of guilt he has when he sees the family that broke because of him” Aman said chuckling and looked at her, “I think he deserves a peaceful life!”

The door opened and Aarav walked in. He looked at Aman and then at Khushi.

“How are you Aarav?” Aman asked smiling.

“Let me see” Aarav appeared thinking, “Hmm….knowing that my father has a son with another woman, then walking out of the house with my mother, then breaking my relationship with my so called father…I think I feel great!” and he walked inside the room, shutting the door with a slam.

Khushi looked at the door and then at Aman. Taking a deep breath, she said, “Take me to him”


“My husband’s son” she said gritting her teeth.




Salkara Restaurant, New Delhi

9.45 pm


“You can leave Aman” Khushi said calmly. Aman looked to and fro between Khushi and Ishaan. “Aman” Khushi called out warningly. Aman stood up and nodded. Patting Ishaan’s back he walked out of the restaurant.

Ishaan bit his lip and looked around at the posh restaurant and then at the person before her.

“Did you have dinner?” she asked looking at the menu.

“No” he said slowly taking a look at her appearance. She was no longer dressed in the red sari that she wore a few hours ago. Dressed in a dark blue ankle length kurta and white leggings, her hair tied in a loose braid, she hardly looks above 40!

The waiter came for order and Ishaan buried his head in the menu. Looking at the long list of unknown dishes, he looked at Khushi, flushed and nervous. Khushi looked at him and then at the waiter.

“Schezwang momos and hard rock coffee for me and…” she looked over the menu and said, “Pasta and Belgium chocolate for the young man”

“Yes mam” the waiter took order and walked away.

Khushi kept the menu away and leaned back on the seat. Ishaan sat up straight, nervous, and drank the glass of water kept there.

“It’s okay” she said smiling, “At your age, I didn’t even know that the white packet that come along the coffee was actually sugar!”

He smiled nervously and nodded.

“You’re 19 right?” she asked and he nodded.

“You completed your 12th at the age of 17. What did you do for one year?”

“I worked in a garage back in Rajasthan” he said.

“Didn’t you want to study further?” she asked.

“Yes but we didn’t have money!” he said.

“So your mother got money to treat her cancer but not to get admission for her son!” Khushi scoffed.

Ishaan looked away not responding and she pressed, “How selfish of her. She wanted to treat herself even after knowing that she is gonna die! She couldn’t get her son enrolled for engineering!”

“She wasn’t selfish! It was I who asked her not to beg in front of others for my education” Ishaan said curtly, “I don’t want anyone’s charity fund to study. Even if I don’t go to college, I can be a good mechanical engineer by working in workshops”

“If so, why didn’t you deny when my husband enrolled you in college?” she asked raising an eyebrow.

“Your husband is my father” he said slowly, “And that was the first thing he willingly did for me. I was happy, not because I got admission. I was happy ‘coz he had his name on the column for father’s name

Khushi clenched her jaw and looked away, preventing tears.

“How do I know that you’re Arnav ji’s son? What proof do you have?” she asked.

Ishaan looked at her and asked, his voice laced with anger, “So you mean my mother is a **** who sleeps with many men?”


“Fine” he said angrily, “I’ll tell you the biggest proof. Your husband couldn’t even look up at your face when you were questioning him. That, Mrs. Raizada, is the biggest proof that he is my father!”

“Mam, sir” the waiter smiled as he brought food. Ishaan took a deep breath and looked at Khushi as the waiter kept the dishes on the table.

Ishaan looked clueless at the pasta before him and hesitantly took the spoon.

“Fork” Khushi mumbled and he looked at her. “Take the fork” she said.

He kept the spoon down and took the fork.

“Ishaan” Khushi said slowly, chewing the momos, “Whatever it is, I can never ever forgive your mother!”

Ishaan hummed and looked down to his pasta.

“She ruined my home”

He looked up at her and said, “She never wanted to ruin your home. If yes, then she could’ve done that earlier!”

She took a deep breath and said, “Just because she’s your mother and she’s dead doesn’t mean that she was a good person!”

“And just because I’m your husband’s illegitimate son and doesn’t match his or your status doesn’t mean that I’m a bad person” he whispered.

“I’m not here to argue with you” Khushi said sighing.

Ishaan hummed and looked down.

“What should I do about you?” she asked.

Ishaan looked up and said, “I’ve told him and I’m telling you now, you don’t have to do anything for me. I don’t have anyone, that’s true, but I don’t want to be with you and your family”

“I thought you loved your father” she said crossing her arms.

“I do” he whispered, “But I don’t want to break his family. He hid this because he loves you more than anything in this world. He cannot imagine you and Aarav bhai being away from him!”

Khushi hummed and looked at him. Ishaan pushed the fork into the pasta and gradually lifted a huge bulk of it. He looked at Khushi and dropped it on the plate embarrassed. She smiled faintly and said, “You remind me of myself!”


“Back during my days….when Arnav ji used to bring me here, even I used to behave like you do!”

He smiled sheepishly and said, “I haven’t been to a place like this before…so…”

“It’s okay. Take your own time” she said and leaned back sipping her hard rock coffee.


Sep 9

Chapter 16 (By Archanasuresh) (Thanked: 105 times)

Chapter 16


Salkara Restaurant, New Delhi

10.00 pm


Ishaan grinned at the clean empty plate. He was now having the Belguim chocolate and Khushi couldn’t help but smile at the boy who looks like a small kid who got to eat chocolate on excess.

“It’s very tasty” he said and kept the glass on the table. Khushi smiled and nodded.

He wiped his mouth with tissue paper and Khushi placed some notes in the bill book.

“Let’s go” she said standing up. He stood up and followed her outside.

Khushi walked forward to the car parking and asked the boy, “Do you have a pic of your mother?”

Ishaan looked at her surprised. “Yes” he said.

“Can I see?”

Ishaan pulled out his wallet and forwarded it to Khushi.

She smiled faintly at the image of Ishaan hugging a pale lean woman.

“When was this taken?”

“When I passed my tenth” he mumbled.

Khushi nodded and returned the wallet to him. He dug it into his pocket and stood looking at her, his hands tied at the back.

“Get in. I’ll drop you” she said.

“Nah I’ll go” he said.

“I said get in” Khushi said and got into the driver seat.


“You clearly don’t expect a warm welcome to the family do you?” she asked as she drove through the busy roads of Delhi.

“I don’t expect a welcome at all!” he said smiling faintly.

“What do you see in your future?” she asked slowly.

“Passing out BTech and opening my own garage. I’ll work there!” he said happily.

“But that’s not a great income generating job!”

“I’ll be happy” he said smiling.

Khushi kept mum for a minute and then asked, “Do you know that Aarav is not really my son?”

Ishaan looked at her shocked and she said, “He is adopted”

She looked at him sitting shocked and said, “I cannot conceive. I can never give birth!”

Ishaan looked out of the window gulping his throat and she said, “What do you expect me to do Ishaan? I don’t want to be hard on you. I like you. You’re  a good boy but you’re a constant reminder of my inability!”

Ishaan looked at her, his eyes welling and she said, “You’ll remind me forever that I could not give birth to Arnav ji’s child. And when I was crying over my inability, another woman was raising his son! You’re the harshest joke but the reality of my life! A virtual slap on my face!”

“So you want me to go away” he said nodding.

“No. I’m going away” she mumbled.

He looked at her in shock and cried, “No you can’t do that!”

“Why can’t I?”

“He won’t survive!” he cried, “He wouldn’t have hidden all this if he didn’t love you! He cannot imagine a life without you!”

“Well now he has to!” she said chuckling dryly, “he can’t expect me to stay with him after knowing that he has a son with another woman!”

“I think you should read this” Ishaan mumbled and pulled out a paper. He forwarded it to Khushi who took it with her one hand and the other hand over the steering wheel.

“What’s this?” she asked frowning.

“Ma wrote this. For me” he said slowly.

“Why are you giving this to me?” she whispered.

“You should read this” he mumbled.

Khushi stopped the car before the college hostel and he got out of the car. Leaning to the window he said, “Please don’t leave him. If I’m the problem, I’ll go away I’ll never ever come back!”

“You’re not the problem Ishaan” Khushi whispered, “It’s him! I cannot be with him anymore!”

“He did it uninte….” He was cut off by Khushi, “Whatever it is Ishaan, it changes everything forever….forever” she whispered in tears and drove away.





Skyline Apartments, New Delhi

8.30 am


Khushi dashed into the kitchen in haste. It was 8.30 and it was the first time she was waking up so late. She entered the kitchen to see Aarav preparing breakfast.

“Good morning mamma” he said smiling. He flipped the paratha and Khushi gaped at him cooking.

“Hey I know how to cook” he cried.

“Did Shreya make you cook?” she asked jokingly.

“Nah, I learnt it from bua!” Aarav said laughing.

Khushi walked to her and hugged him lightly. Cupping his cheek she asked, “How are you?”

“How are you mamma?” Aarav asked softly.

“I’m good” she lied.

“Yeah right” Aarav scoffed. Khushi waved her hands and walked to the coffee maker. “This flat is fully furnished!”

“Yeah I told you. Her parents come over!” he said.

She nodded and made coffee.

Aarav cleared his throat and said, “I want to say something”

She hummed.

“I got an email. I got this a week ago but I didn’t think over it!” he said slowly.

She turned to him and frowned, “What email?”

“A job offer” he mumbled, “The hospital where I work…umm….a few months ago a senior oncologist from US had visited. We had a complicated case and he was called. We worked together and then he went back. He has invited me to work with them in their hospital”

“That’s great Aarav” Khushi said smiling.

Aarav smiled faintly and said, “I didn’t give it a thought…until yesterday” he mumbled, “I was thinking…why don’t we…go away for a while?”

“You want me to come?” she asked.

“I don’t want to leave you alone” he whispered, “I’ll take you to US mamma”

Khushi sipped her coffee and turned. She looked down and he said, “Your wish mamma. But I don’ want…to be here….anymore!”

She hummed and he said, “I…I feel like my whole life has been a lie! The person I adored very much has reminded me, after long years, that I’m not his blood son! It’s like…I don’t have anyone!”

“You have me!” she whispered.

“Yes but….” Aarav sighed and ruffled his hair in frustration, “Lets go away mamma. Away from this place!”

She sighed and nodded. “US” she whispered.

“Texas” he said and she nodded, “Fine”

She turned to him and asked, “When?”

“I replied to his mail yesterday. He asked me to join within a week!” he said.

She hummed and said, “Okay”

Sep 15

Chapter 17 (By Archanasuresh) (Thanked: 104 times)

Chapter 17


AR Fashions, New Delhi

9.30 am


“How are things at home?” Aman asked walking into the cabin.

“Di asked me to leave” Arnav said looking down on the floor, “Asked me never to return!”

Aman paused for a bit and said, “Aarav had called me. He…they are leaving”

Arnav shot looked up at him. “What?”

“Aarav and bhabhi are leaving to Texas. He got a job offer as an oncologist in one of the best hospitals there!”

Arnav gulped down a lump at his throat and asked, “Can I meet her? Just once?”

Aman shook his head and said, “It’s better for them to leave”

Arnav looked at him in shock and Aman said sighing, “Do you really think that she’ll continue her life with you? With a person who has a son with another woman? This betrayal is been imprinted on her forever ASR. She can never forget the fact that she is not the woman who carried your child!”

Arnav buried his face in his palms and Aman said shaking his head, “I don’t know what to do. But I think it’s better to leave her to take decisions. Let her decide!”

Arnav looked up and whispered, “I want to meet her”.


City Hospital, New Delhi

9.30 am


“Thank you for your days here Dr. Raizada. It’s been a pleasure to work with you!” the senior doctor said shaking his hands and Aarav thanked him.

“Good luck”

“Thank you doctor” he said smiling and walked through the corridors of the hospital, he learnt, practiced and operated his field of study! A faint smile appeared his lips as he walked through the familiar wing where he worked for late night hours.

A sudden gush of wind was felt and Aarav saw a figure storming towards him. Shreya ran to him and clutched his arms, “Is it true?” she asked in tears, “Are you leaving?”

“Shreya” he hissed and looked around to see people around them watching them. “Not here” he whispered looking at her.

“What do you mean by not here?” she shouted, “How can you leave?”

He held her wrist and dragged her to his cabin. Shutting the door shut behind him and locking it, he turned to her sighing, “I got an offer. At Texas. I’m joining there”

She looked at him in tears and he said, “I know it’s…unexpected but…I’m leaving. I’m joining there. I’m taking mamma with me!”

“So it’s all decided! You took decisions alone!” she asked chuckling through tears.

He nodded and said, “I don’t have anything left here. All I have is mamma. I’m taking her with me!”

“What about me?” she whispered, tears rolling down her cheeks.

“I think we should call it off” he said shrugging.

She stared at him and took a deep breath. “You know about my family. They are stereotyped people and it had taken me a lot of convincing to let me come here and stay in a hostel, to be a doctor. They even bought a flat here in Delhi so that they can come and stay here for some days, so that they can have a reign over me!”

“I know that. Why are you telling me about this?” he asked curtly.

“I let go of my family’s views, my parents’ instructions, my relatives’ orders, just to be with you. I even gave you the flat keys! I…I came with you, wherever you took me….because I love you. And now….” She whispered, and slumped on the chair, “Now you tell me I think we should call it off!”

“I can’t deal with this right now Shreya” he hissed.

“YOU HAVE TO!” she shouted, “You can’t end this…just like that!”

He rubbed his face and looked away, “I’m starting a new life Shreya. My mother is the only person in it. I’m cutting all my strings here!”

“Why me?” she whispered taking a step towards him. Cupping his face she whispered, “We can fight this together!”

“No” he said shaking his head and shoved her hands away.

“Why?” she cried.

“Please Shreya…please don’t overburden me!”

“I’m a burden?” she whispered.

“Stop! Go. Go away!” he shouted.

“Don’t be a coward!” she shouted, “You’re doing exactly what your father did! Running away! He ran away from that woman and you…you’re running away from everything!”


Shreya looked at him gulping her throat, hearing the loudest voice he has ever used.

“Go” he whispered, calming down. She looked at him and he said, “I’m in a mess Shri. I don’t…want you in it!”

“I want to be in it” she whispered and hugged him, “Please don’t go” she said, draining her shirt with her tears.

  He closed his eyes and wrapped his arms around her. “I love you” she whispered and hugged him tighter, “You can’t leave Aarav. No”

He opened his eyes and pulled away from her. “I have to” he said hoarsely, “It’s time to choose Shreya. You or my mother. And when it comes to her, I’m sorry but I can’t choose anyone over her. It’s always mama. Always mamma!”




“What do you want?” Khushi snapped walking towards him, entering his mother’s garden.

Arnav looked up from where he was sitting under a tree and stood up seeing her.

Khushi looked at him pale face, messy hair, tear strained cheeks and red eyes.

“I wanted to…talk” he whispered.

“Fine. Talk” she said crossing her arms.

“Aarav…and you are leaving” he said.

“Yes. Tomorrow. He’s joining next week but we’re leaving early. We really don’t have anything left here so…”

“Khushi please….” He whispered, “Please don’t leave me?”

“Ha” she scoffed, “You still expect me to be with you? Are you that idiotic or that selfish? Selfish, I assume!”

“I can’t live without you” he whispered.

“You lived…when you were with her!” she whispered.

“It happened Khushi” he said sighing, “It wasn’t in my hands. But what happened after that was my fault. I ran away. I hid it from you. ‘Coz I was scared to lose you and Aarav. I had got you after a long series of troubles and I didn’t want you to leave me. I wouldn’t have survived!” tears rolled down in cheeks.

“Would you have accepted me if it was me in your place?” she asked coming closer to him. Standing right in front of him, she whispered, “Would you? If I had slept with someone and had a son with him, would you have accepted me and the child?”

He looked away and she hissed, “Look at me and give me an answer”

“I don’t know! But I would love you. I love you” he whispered looking at her.

“I cannot” she whispered, “I cannot carry on with you!”

He looked at her in tears and she whispered, “I have been a selfless woman, all through my life…but not now. I cannot stay in the same room that you are…coz when you come close to me, now, I can smell her on you. I cannot sleep with you knowing that you had another woman’s breath on you, every single time, when you came close to me”


“Let me go Arnav ji” she whispered, “I’m not stubborn. I’m not angry. I’m exhausted. Tired. I cannot take this anymore!”

She looked up at him and said slowly, “I loved you. I think I still do. But there is something called self respect. And I tend to have that more!”

She turned to walk away but stopped. Turning to him she said smiling, “I’m going to Texas. The last time I went there was with you. But unlike last time, I’m confident now. I’m determined now. And I think, I should thank you for that! Thank you for giving this middle class woman a chance to be elite!”




Sep 19

Chapter 18 (By Archanasuresh) (Thanked: 94 times)

Chapter 18


Skyline Apartments, New Delhi

10.00 pm


Arnav Singh Raizada.

The only male best friend I had in my life. I never knew how it was to have a guy best friend. But after he came, I realized that it was pure bliss. But it took only one night for that to fall like a house of cards.

Rudra Pratap Singh. The son of village serpanch. The man who fell for my beauty and wanted to marry me. The only reason he wanted to marry me was that I never allowed him to come close. Marrying gives you the license to touch your wife, is it not so?

But no, he wanted that as soon as possible. A party in the city of Jaipur gave him the best opportunity. It just takes a few notes to buy drugs. And it just takes another few notes to bribe a waiter and spike drinks. And that’s what he did.

Only thing, the waiter served it to the wrong person. Carrying one spiked and one normal drink in one tray, the waiter accidently gave the spiked one to the person next to me. Arnav.

Sometimes I wonder, why did I have to look like Khushi? Why did my hair resemble her? Why couldn’t I be like someone else? ‘Coz if it was some other woman in my place that night, Arnav would’ve never touched me.

Why should I blame Arnav alone? Wasn’t I at fault? Why did I give in to him? Why did I turn selfish for a moment? It was always Khushi for him! He couldn’t take anyone’s name that night other than Khushi. Yet…why…why didn’t I back off?

You can never hold sand. No matter how much you try, it’ll slip through your fingers. That’s who world is! If you try to tie things, that aren’t yours, to you, you’ll find yourself in a knot instead. Just like I was.

One mistake I made, one selfish act I did, cost me my whole life.

Arnav left Rajasthan the next day. He couldn’t even face me after what he did. The truth was that I couldn’t face him after what I did. But the reminder of that night grew in me. Rudra spread the news in the village and I was banished from Bagru. Sleeping on the roadside, one day, after four months of banishment from my village, Arnav found me. He had gone to Bagru for some work and it was only then he heard what happened with me.

He took me to a village named Chirota. He bought me a house, gave me money, made arrangement for my stay, got me a job in a tailoring unit there…all in ONE condition. I would never meet him, ever in my life. And I accepted his condition. I never met or contacted him. Until I came to know about my cancer.


What else can he do? It was my fault. My selfishness! I could’ve destroyed his home with my act. It’s his goodness that he helped me.

It’s always Khushi. Arnav is Khushi’s. Khushi is Arnav’s. I’m no one to come in between them. Arnav-Khushi-Aarav. They are the family! Me and my son are just reminders of his…no my mistake.

If you’re reading this Ishaan, then it means that I’m dead. I could never say these things to you when I’m alive because I cannot bear the look of hatred towards me on your face. I cannot lose you. You are all I have. That’s why I’m writing this and handing it over to the nurse who would hand it over to you after my death.

Whenever I told you about your father, I have always added “Never hate him”. Please don’t hate him baccha. You should never hate him. ‘Coz no matter how much I try to reason with myself, I should’ve realized that I just LOOK like Khushi. I’m NOT Khushi.



Khushi folded the letter, that Ishaan had given her, with a sigh and kept it on the table top. Tears rolled down her cheek and she looked out of the window.

Sometimes I wonder, why did I have to look like Khushi? Why did my hair resemble her? Why couldn’t I be like someone else? ‘Coz if it was some other woman in my place that night, Arnav would’ve never touched me.

The words from the letter bounced in her mind.

“I thought she was you” he cried in tears.

She closed her eyes shut and shut her ears with her palms.

“I love you Khushi” he whispered and hugged her tight.

“I love you too” she whispered and hugged him back.

“We’ll be together. Hamesha….”

“And forever” she whispered.

She gasped in tears and clutched her mangalsutra.

Clutching and twisting the black thread, she gulped down a lump at her throat.

“How do I look?” she asked swirling her dress.

“Great” he said smiling seeing her baby pink saari.

She bent down to the bedside table and took a diamond necklace. “Does this look good with this?” she asked him wearing it.

He nodded no and walked towards it. Pulling out the diamond, he threw it to the table and said, “Just the mangalsutra is enough!”

She pouted and looked at the mirror. “But it stands apart?” she said holding the chain.

He hugged her from back and rested his chin on her shoulder. “I love it when your mangalsutra stands apart”

She looked at him and chuckled, “So that the world would know that I belong to ASR?”

“Nope” he whispered and kissed her earlobe, “So that the world would know that I love you!”

Her phone rang and she jerked from the flashbacks.

“Hello” she whispered in tears.

“Khushi ji, it’s me” a familiar voice said from the other side.

It would be a lie if she says that she didn’t feel better hearing that voice. A drop of water during drought, it was, Khushi felt immense relief and happiness when she heard him.

“Nanhe ji” she whispered.

“Anjali di called me. She told me what happened? Where are you now? Where is Aarav? I’m taking the next flight to India!”

“No need” she said, “Me and Aarav are going to Texas tomorrow”

“Texas? Why?”

“Nanhe ji, thank you so much for calling me” she whispered in tears, “I so wanted to talk to someone!”

“You and Aarav will always have me by your side Khushi ji!” he said.




AR Fashions, New Delhi

11.00 pm


Arnav leaned on his chair closing his eyes. His hands clutching his arm rest he gasped in for more breath.

“Let me go Arnav ji” she whispered, “I’m not stubborn. I’m not angry. I’m exhausted. Tired. I cannot take this anymore!”

He rubbed his face and leaned on to the table. Laying his head on the table top, making his salty tears fall on the glass table, he opened and closed his mouth like a fish to stable his breath.

He heard the noise of his cabin door opening and he looked up.

He stood up, with all his left energy, and shouted, “WHAT ARE YOU DOING HERE? WHAT DO YOU WANT NOW?”

Ishaan shrank back in fear hearing his tone. Gathering himself he stood up straight and said, “I’m leaving”

“Where?” Arnav asked narrowing his brows.

“Back to my village”

“Great. Now that you’ve destroyed my family, you can happily go back!”

“I never destroyed your family. You did” Ishaan snapped.

“Your mother did!” Arnav shouted.

Ishaan looked away and said, “I never asked anything from you. We first met, just a week ago. You always knew that you have a child. You knew that it’s a boy, three years ago when she told you. But still you didn’t want to contact me. I knew your priorities back then. But now that my mother is dead, you’ve risen up to the responsibilities. Thank you, but I had told you this before and I’m telling you now, I don’t want all this!”


“I WANT A FAMILY” Ishaan shouted.

Arnav looked at him shocked hearing the loudest of the boy.

Ishaan looked at him in tears and said, “I want JUST ONE PERSON whom I can call my family, MINE. I had my mother for all my life and now….I don’t have anyone!”

“I know that” Arnav cried, “That’s why I brought you here! I took all risk to bring you here. And look where we are now!”

Ishaan was about to say something when Arnav said cutting him off, “Years back your mother used the same trick on me. I don’t have anyone whom I can call mine. She forced me to let her have the baby. And today you’re using it against…”

“You’ll never know the pain” Ishaan cut him off, “You can just see your insecurities, not others!”

Wiping his tears, the boy said, “Yes, my mother ruined your family. She took advantage of your state. But whatever or whoever she is, SHE IS MY MOTHER and I love her. She was a great mother to me and she never made me feel the absence of a father figure in my life. And I lost her! I don’t have a single person in my life, whom I can call mine. YOU’LL NEVER KNOW HOW THAT FEEL! YOU DON’T KNOW THE FEEL OF BEING ORPHANED! And then came in you, my so called father. You became a ray of hope for me! The feeling that I have someone! I wanted you to accept me but I stopped myself knowing that you have a family.”

He paused and said, “I did all I can to hold your family. But the truth is, you had already broken it years back!”

Arnav looked away and Ishaan whispered in tears, “Why did you let her have me? Why couldn’t you kill me?”

He looked at him and the boy said, tears rolling down his cheek, “A sign on an abortion document would’ve saved my bitter childhood and teenage of being a ****. My mother was selfish. She wanted the child. You were selfish. You ran away. And who pays the price? The illegitimate child”

A pin drop silence prevailed in the office.

Ishaan dug his hand to the bag he had brought and pulled out a bundle of money.

“I bought TC from the college. They returned a portion of caution deposit. I don’t know about the rest” he placed the money on the table.


“Go. Go to your family” he said in tears, “I won’t come back. Never. Ever. Bring her back. Bring Aarav bhai back. Hold back your family!”

“It’s all over” Arnav whispered.

“No it isn’t” he said, “And if it is, start it all over” Ishaan whispered and turned to leave. He stopped himself and turned to Arnav.

“You’re a great man…pa” he paused with a small smile, “But you’re a great man caged by ego and insecurities”

He walked forward to him and hugged him tightly. “Thank you for everything.”

Sep 22

Chapter 19 (By Archanasuresh) (Thanked: 83 times)

Chapter 19


Skyline Apartments, New Delhi

9.30 pm


“When is the flight?” Akash asked.

“4 in the evening” Aarav said sitting opposite to him. Akash nodded and looked at Khushi who was cooking in the kitchen with Payal walking behind her.

“You both don’t have to leave” Akash said slowly, “It’s not you who has to leave!”

Aarav looked away and Akash said, “I know that you both are angry with him, but…please don’t be angry at us. Please don’t…”

“Chachu” Aarav said sighing, “We don’t have against you and other family members. It’s just….it’s hard. For me and…mamma to stay there with….”

“He left the house” Akash said.

Aarav looked at him and Akash said, “Di disowned him”

“It doesn’t make any difference” Aarav whispered, “That house is gonna remind us many things chachu. Many pleasant fake moments!”

Akash sighed and Aarav said, “It’s better to go away. And the offer came in right at that moment”

“Please stay in contact with us” Akash said and Aarav nodded.




“Jiji please” Khushi whispered, stirring the curry, “It’s better to go away. I can’t be here anymore!”

Payal sighed and said, “But please do call me. I can’t bear you being away from me!”

She turned to her sister and smiled, “Sure”

Payal cupped her face and whispered, “You deserve all happiness in this world!”

“And why am I not getting that?” Khushi whispered, her voice cracking.

“We don’t get happiness. We own it. We find it!” Payal said smiling, “Find happiness in what you do, where you go. You’re going to Texas. Start a new life. Find your happiness there!”

Khushi smiled and nodded.

She turned to the stove and asked, “What have you guys decided on Ishaan?”

“I don’t know. Who cares about him?” Payal scoffed.

Khushi looked at her and asked surprised, “No one talked about him?”


“He is…he is his son. The Raizada blood. The heir.” Khushi whispered.

“Relations don’t always follow blood. Bonds matter. Aarav is the Raizada heir” Payal said curtly.

Khushi looked down and whispered, “It doesn’t make any difference jiji. Ishaan will always be ASR’s son and Shalini will be the woman who gave birth to ASR’s son” she turned to her sister and said, tears rolling down her cheek, “At first I thought that Shalini was the other woman between me and Arnav ji….but, was it she or was it me?”


“She wasn’t between us jiji. I was between them!” Khushi said in tears.

Payal wrapped her arms around her sister and brought her close to her.

Khushi rested her face on her sister’s chest and sobbed. “He…how easily did he make fun of me and our relation? I’m his wife…WIFE! And he…he went to another woman for that one thing I couldn’t give him!”

Khushi broke the hug and said, “He could’ve made her abort the baby. He didn’t. He wanted a child jiji! What should I make out of that?”

“Now listen to me!” Payal held her arm firmly, “Forgot all that. You’re going to Texas with YOUR son. He has got an excellent offer there and he’s gonna work hard. I want you to start a new life there! Do something… start a catering service there like you have here or something like that…do something. Be something!”




AR Fashions, New Delhi

9.30 am


“Good morning” Anjali said curtly as she walked into her brother’s cabin.

Arnav, who had laid his head on the table top, looked up and stood up seeing his sister.

“Di” he whispered.

Anjali walked towards him and sat on the chair before him, “Sit” she said.

He sat and she said, “Khushi ji and Aarav are leaving today. Their flight is at 4!”

He nodded and looked down.

“Aren’t you gonna do anything to stop them?” she asked raising an eyebrow.

“No” he whispered, “I don’t deserve them”

“Great. Good that you have realized that” Anjali said heaving in relief, “Coz I had taken time out of my schedule to walk into this office just to warn you not to disturb them again. Looks like you won’t! Thank you”

He looked at her shocked at her behavior and she said scoffing, “Stop looking at me as if I’m an alien. This is the least I can do for her! I cannot change what happened but I can keep you away from her!”

He opened his mouth to say something when she said, “Khushi ji had called me. She has a request for you. That’s never to contact her or Aarav”

Arnav gulped and looked away.

“And by the way, this is the last time that I’m meeting you brother mine!” Anjali said and Arnav looked at her shocked.

“Don’t even think about stepping into RM again” Anjali said dangerously, “AR is yours and no one is gonna argue on that. Akash and I are gonna resign from the board member positions. You can keep your baby company with you ASR…and yeah, do hand it over to YOUR OWN son!”

“Di please don’t…”

“And don’t call me that!” Anjali said and stood up.

Arnav groaned and buried his face in his palms. He looked up and said in tears, “I admit I made a mistake”

“Sin” she corrected.

“Fine. SIN. But I didn’t know what to do! That night wasn’t in my hands!” he cried.

“Yes but the days that followed were” she said crossing her arms.

“I ran away. I know. But what else could have I done?” he stood up, “I couldn’t tell Khushi. I….she would’ve left me. And Aarav too. And…”

“Why didn’t you force that woman to abort?”

“I asked her to abort the baby but…she said that she didn’t have anyone else in this world. The baby was her only relation. The only thing she was living for. She was kicked out of her village and she couldn’t go back, even if she had an abortion. So I thought…let her have the baby. I’m fine with that as long as she and the child won’t enter my life!”

Anjali scoffed, “How logical! You thought that your son with another woman would never enter your life? HE IS YOUR SON! YOUR BLOOD! ARE YOU SUCH AN IDIOT TO THINK THAT YOUR BLOOD SON WOULD NEVER ENTER YOUR LIFE?”

Arnav burst into tears and said, “I DIDN’T KNOW WHAT TO DO! I COULDN’T TELL THIS TO ANYONE! I HAD TO DO IT ALONE! I DID WHAT I FELT LIKE DOING AT THAT TIME! I didn’t have anything in my mind. Just one thing and that was I CANNOT LOSE KHUSHI, MY FAMILY!”

“Was that the only reason?” Anjali whispered.

Arnav looked at her and Anjali whispered in tears, “Wasn’t the fear of being compared to Aravind Malik a reason for hiding the truth?”

Arnav’s face paled and Anjali said smiling sadly, “He cheated on his wife, our mother. You cheated on your wife. Mamma came to know about it in front of a huge gathering. Your wife came to know about it in front of a huge gathering! What’s the difference between you and him Arnav? Oh yes, there is a difference. At least he didn’t have a son out of the affair!”

Arnav slumped on the chair and whispered, “Please stop di”

“It hurts right?” Anjali scoffed, “Coz that’s exactly what you did!”

“I didn’t do it intentionally” he said.

“You were in your full senses when you decided to hide it from Khushi ji. You were conscious when Shalini contacted you three years ago. When she died, you took the boy under your wings. You were in your senses then! Yet you chose to hide it, as long as you can!”

“I CANNOT LOSE KHUSHI!” he shouted.

“You already have” Anjali said shaking her head.

He looked away and Anjali said chuckling, “Don’t tell me that you still have hope! You still think that she would come back to you?”

“Not today. But someday!” he whispered and looked at her, “Someday she’ll come back”

“And you’re gonna wait till that?” Anjali asked.


“Even if it takes a lifetime”


“Even if it takes you to your deathbed?”


Arnav looked at her and said, “No matter what you all say, what all you believe, Khushi is the only woman I have loved. She is my first love…and the last too!”

Sep 23

Chapter 20 (By Archanasuresh) (Thanked: 101 times)

Chapter 20


Skyline Apartments, New Delhi

12.30 pm


Payal sat next to Khushi and Akash sat in middle of Anjali and Aarav as everyone served each other the lunch.

“We have to leave at 1.15” Aarav said and Khushi nodded.

“Are the documents ready? Passport and…” Akash asked and Aarav nodded his head.

“Where are you staying there?” Anjali asked.

“They have arranged our stay at a hotel for two weeks. Within that time I should find a place and move out!”

“Ha they won’t arrange your stay?” Payal asked.

Aarav looked at her and said chuckling, “For two weeks! They won’t find me a living maasi. I’ve to find it myself. They are giving me time for that!”

“That’s what every company and authorities do!” Akash said, “Arrange stay for a time period!”

Aarav nodded smiling and looked at Khushi who was playing with the paratha, her vision fixed on the plate.

“Mamma” he called and she jerked. “Eat” he said calmly and she hurriedly took a bite.

The door bell rang and everyone looked at each other. “I’ll look” Akash said and walked to the door.

Everyone craned their neck and seconds later Akash returned with Aman.

“What are you doing here?” Aarav stood up and asked angrily.

“Aarav” Khushi called out warningly.

Aarav looked at her and then sat down.

“Did your boss send you here?” Payal asked angrily.

“Why does everyone associate my visit to my boss’ orders? Can’t I visit you guys without his permission?” Aman shrugged.

“I’m sure he has sent you here! His audacity!” Anjali shouted.

“I came to see you off, before you leave” Aman said looking at Khushi and Aarav.

“Have something” Khushi said pointing to the chair, “Di serve him!”

“What?” Anjali cried and Akash said, “Khushi ji, this guy is here carrying his orders in his head! Are you sure you…”

“Sit down Aman” Khushi said and forwarded him a plate. Aman nodded and sat down opposite to her.

Khushi looked at Akash, Anjali and Payal and said, “I’m not upset with my husband because of Shalini, since I believe his story of spiked drink. I’m upset because he chose to hide it. I’m upset because he hid the fact that he has a son for the past twenty years. And I’m devastated over the fact that I’m not the one who carried his son.”

She looked at Aarav and said, “Explain why you’re upset and angry with him”

Aarav looked up at everyone and said, “I considered him as my father, my role model and I was greatly attached to him. One fine day I come to know that he has another son, his own blood. I feel betrayed. I feel that the love he had showered on me wasn’t real.”

Khushi looked at everyone and said, “See, this is the reason why we’re leaving. We want some space. Some time.  And one more thing, the problem is between me, him and Aarav. You guys don’t have to take decision for us!”

“Khushi main…” Payal began when Khushi cut her off, “I know that you love me and Aarav. You care for us. But I’m very sorry but you guys don’t have a say in this! He betrayed me and my son, not you guys!”

“This is a betrayal for us too” Anjali cried.

“Really? You shouldn’t be the one talking about betrayals di” Khushi said angrily.

Anjali looked at her shocked and Khushi said, “We all have been selfish when time came. Our selfishness were forgiven by the people whom we love. Like, didn’t I hide Shyam’s truth, for like six months? Didn’t my mother hide the truth of her affair with your father for years? Didn’t you hide the fact that you visited your scoundrel husband behind our backs?”

Anjali gulped and looked away.

Khushi smiled faintly and said, “We were forgiven. But now…I don’t know. I’m unable to forgive him. Not forgive actually…I’m unable to forget this. Whenever I see him, I see Ishaan too. I see another woman.”

She sighed and said, “I’m not angry. I’m exhausted. I’ve told this to him and I’m telling you guys, I’m tired. Give me some time!”

“So you’ve forgiven him?” Akash asked.

Khushi shrugged and said, “Forgiving isn’t hard. A sentence I forgive you is enough. But forgetting is hard! Trusting him again is extremely hard. I need time for that.”

“Time is the best healer” Aman said smiling.

Khushi smiled and nodded.

She looked at Akash and said, “Your behavior with your brother is not my call. Your wish. But kicking him out of the house he built isn’t right. Let things be like it was”

“Things can never be like it was. Stop talking as if you’re no one to us! What he did to you affects us too! We’re a family” Payal cried.

“You call this a family?” Aarav asked chuckling.

Khushi sighed and looked at Aman. “Where is Ishaan?”

Aman said, “He left”

“Where?” Aarav frowned.

“I don’t know” Aman shrugged, “He visited ASR and said he was going back to his village. Then he visited me. He said he was leaving. I asked him where and he shrugged.”

“Back to village?” Aarav mumbled.

“I don’t think so” Aman said, “He doesn’t have anyone or anything back there?”

“He didn’t have to leave” Khushi mumbled and looked at Aman, “I thought you would stop him”

“I’m not the one to take decisions in your family” Aman said shaking his head.

“I thought you liked the boy”

“I like him. But he hated it here. He liked when he joined the college but…he called it off. He said he wanted to leave!” Aman said.



Indira Gandhi International Airport, New Delhi


“It’s time” Aarav said to Khushi who nodded.

She looked at everyone and asked to Aman, “Arnav ji?”

Aman shrugged and said, “I don’t know”

Khushi nodded and looked at others. Smiling she hugged her jiji.

“Call me” Payal said and she nodded.

Aarav hugged Akash and Anjali and looked at Aman. “I thought he would come”

Aman smiled faintly.

“I’m sorry if I have…snapped at you. I was just…” Aarav said and Aman patted his shoulder. “Good luck Aarav”

He nodded. Aman looked at Khushi who was busy with others and looked back at Aarav. “Shreya called me. She wanted me to give you this!” he forwarded him a packet.

Aarav frowned and took the small packet. Opening it he looked inside it to find a ring. Gulping his throat, he closed it and dug it inside his pocket.

Aman looked at him and said, “So you really called it off?”

“I’m in a mess. She already has problems of her own. I don’t want to burden her” he said.

Aman nodded and said, “She seemed very upset”

“She’ll get over it” Aarav said.

“And you?” Aman asked.

Aarav took a long breath and nodded his head.

Khushi came to them and said, “Ishaan…he didn’t really have to leave!”

“Let him go. Why are you bothered about him?” Anjali asked.

“Because it’s not his fault” Khushi snapped.

“Khushi” Payal said warningly, “Don’t even think about accepting him in the family!”

“Yes” Anjali cried, “he cannot be in our family!”

“True” Akash nodded.

Khushi sighed and looked at Aarav. Aarav smiled faintly and said, “You know the fun part maasi? He cannot be a part of our family. Coz he is family!”


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