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Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Arhi FF, Chamkili. Ch-11, 'It's All in the Past.'

                                       It's All In The Past...

When Khushi finally arrived home, it was quite late and she was glad that no one was there for if Nani or Anjali would have been there, there would have been an array of concerned questioned and had Mami been there, some inbhestigation would have followed, and presently she was in mood for neither. And as for her husband, well what did she expect from him, that he would stay there even after she shouted at him, that he would mollycoddle her, grovel even, if need be. Her husband was one Arnav Singh Raizada and he didn’t grovel. Her head had been on the verge of bursting with all the personal and professional troubles and so she decided to make herself some ginger tea. With that in mind she moved towards the kitchen, not wanting to disturb Hari Prakash for her own selfish reasons. But as soon as she reentered the drawing room, she could hear some faint musical notes floating in the air around her. And forgetting about the tea for the moment, she made her way in the direction of the song instead.
She found herself standing outside the guest-room, the door was shut, not locked though and she stood there wondering what the social protocol was in such situations. The musical notes were in some foreign language, probably English so she didn’t really understand the lyrics. What she did understand however, was that those notes vibrated with sadness… melancholy even. The only words she could catch sounded something like cats…moon…dad…son… what kind of a song was this, the jumble of words made no sense to her and yet she felt like she understood it. In that moment, she knew who was behind those closed doors and so without hesitating for another second she pushed the doors and there he was… a lost little boy… fighting his demons… all by himself. She knew what it felt like; she had fought that war almost all her life.
He was still oblivious to her presence and she wasn’t sure how to approach him, the similarities that he shared with her Arnavji or even the simple fact that he was just a kid, didn’t give her any lead right now. And so she just stood there, quietly listening as the high notes of that foreign song attempted to and yet failed to drown his soundless hiccups.  ‘Where was his mother?’ she wondered, ‘Weren’t mother’s supposed to feel their child’s pain from anywhere, making a mockery of all those cartographers who attempted to draw borders across the face of earth? She still believed that her parents, though worlds apart were still with her, every step of the way. Then why was Aarav, whose mother was so close to him, so helpless… so alone?’ 
Khushi felt her frustration rising at her helplessness, her inability to cure this broken child and her anger at her husband knew no bounds.

“Where the hell is she?” Arnav Singh Raizada felt his frustration mounting as soon as he entered the room and figured out that his arch nemesis, who also happened to be his lover, was nowhere to be found.  He had been on an edge for quite some time now and all the frustration could just burst out any moment now. But just when he was about to shout for her, he heard her foot-steps behind him.  Facing the door he assessed her from some distance for a while. She seemed lost somewhere, unaware of his presence and that frustrated him all the more. How could she be so unaware of him when he could feel her every pulse as if it were his own.  Insecurity… no such blatant insecurity had never been such a defining feature of his existence until Khushi and ofcourse he hated her for making him feel like that.
His nails were digging his palm as he fisted those into tight balls. And the next moment he was right beside her.
Khushi jerked out of her thought and let out a shocked gasp as she felt someone roughly pull at her arm… and ofcourse who else could it be. She wondered why she felt even that momentarily shock at such rough pulls and grabs now, even after being the sole recipient of such callous roughness for more than a year now. 
“Where were you, I was waiting near your office all this time and then you don’t even have the courtesy to inform me when you left?” Arnav said in a dangerous tone.
“Courtesy?” Khushi looked at his hand that had held her upper arm in an almost painful grasp and then let out a small wry laugh before continuing, “Who asked you to wait for me? I didn’t.”
“And since when do I take orders from you?” Arnav wasn’t going to back out either.
Khushi let out another dry laugh, ‘Men… such fickle creatures they were, in one moment of passion and pleasure you become the centre of their universe… nah… their entire universe and in another they disregard your very existence.’ But she didn’t utter these words, for her motive right now was not to rile her husband up… No, she actually wanted to talk to him.
“Aarav seems a little upset today, I was wondering when Sheetalji would be coming back.” Khushi said her tone emotionless. She saw a flicker of concern cross his eyes but the steel was back in a blink.
“I do not want to talk about Aarav or Sheetel and you know that very well.”
“What do you want to talk about?” She said trying to jerk his hand away from her arms.
“About us and you know that very well. Khushi I… I” he stammered a bit, trying to figure out what would be the right thing to say here. But he was cut short by Khushi.
“I think you should go and talk to Aarav…” and before she could finish Arnav continued,
“Khushi, today… in your office I don’t know…”
“… after all both of you seem to share a special connection…” the fire in his eyes burned brighter than before.
“…I don’t know what happened to me… I mean lavanya had told me that…” Khushi had seen the warning in his eyes and yet chose to ignore it.
“I think we should maybe call Sheetal ji and find out when she’ll be able to come…” and the next moment she found herself suffocating between two solid walls… the cemented on at her back and the steely muscular one pushed against her chest, almost painfully pressing her breasts.
 “Khushi stop this madness this moment, okay.” she stilled, still locked in his arms.

“Khushi I knew… I mean Lavanya had told me… that you didn’t want… that you wanted…” Arnav found himself at a loss of words. How was he supposed to justify or even explain his action after accepting that he knew about her choice and still didn’t respect it?

“When has it ever mattered?” he heard her voice, low and distant. He shivered, but this dampness had nothing to do with November.

“When has it ever mattered Arnavji… what I choose, what I want. It has never meant anything, not to you… not to anyone else.” His hold on her arms slacked, not letting her go but also not really holding on to her. No one spoke for a while. Both felt that cold dampness spreading… the silence multiplying… breeding… feeding on that sickening dampness. But he wouldn’t let it defile their relationship.

“Khushi please listen to me. See I know what you wanted and believe me, when I first reached there I had that in mind. I… I hadn’t planned on revealing your relationship with me. But then when I saw you… and him… I… I just don’t know what happened…” he was cut short once again as his phone started ringing right that moment.

“You should take that, it might be something important.” said Khushi, but he had already disconnected the call.

“Khushi, I want to talk about what happened today, please let Me.” he had started to lose his patience now. She stayed silent and he continued.
“Khushi, when I saw you with him, I don’t know what happened to me… you know, right, you of all people know what it dos to me, seeing you with someone else.”

“Ofcourse I should know, I am your wife after all and its my duty to understand you, to fulfill your desires and to cater to your needs, oh and how could I forget, to follow your orders as well, right Mr. Raizada? But what about you? Why is it that you don’t have to fulfill any of these duties, that you are not answerable to me as I am to you?” Arnav stood there quietly listening to all her complains. It was good, better than her silence ofcourse, this was his Khushi, the one who fought her own battles.

“Why is it that an innocent crush that I had on someone as a kid disturbs you so much that you can not tolerate the sight of that person, even for a second and yet I am expected to happily live under the same roof with your old flame, who now means nothing to you? Must I remind you that I am not the one with a string of lovers in my past? Have you thought about me, about how insecure and how unsubstantial I feel in front of those faceless Shreyas and Cindys.”

“Is that what all this is about, Sheetal?”

“It’s not about Sheetalji or Samayji or anyone else Arnavji, its never been about anyone but us. I love you Arnavji, I trust you with my entire being, why can’t you love me… trust me the same way? What have I done so wrong? Why must you always punish me? What have I done to deserve this?”

“Khushi, I…” 

“I don’t have it in me Arnavji... not anymore. Please I cannot go through all that once again.” she saw guilt on his face and continued.

“We have been through all this before… you accusing me of having an affair, you blemishing my character, the hatred in your eyes and the venom in your words, I survived it once Arnavji, but I don’t have it in me anymore. The cracks have still not healed and if you put me through all that once again I’ll break, I… I won’t be able to survive it. Please Arnavji… Please.” and she broke into uncontrollable sobs as Arnav hugged her to himself. He stood there, holding her, trying and then failing at gathering the broken pieces of his wife’s heart. There were very few moments when his wife’s Herculean spirit crumbled… when her vulnerability blatantly stared him in his face and what he hated more than anything was to be the reason for all this. He wanted to whisper soothing words in her ear but words failed him. He wanted to run soothing circles on her back but his hands seemed paralyzed. And so he just stood there, a broken woman in his arms… his broken woman in his arms.

 ‘Why did she decide on coming here… what did she expect to find or rather who?’ Anjali Singh Raizada was harassed by a multitude of questions as she entered the campus of Ramjas, her college. Memories, from what seemed like another era, invaded her, hunting through the dusty corners of her mind. Most of those memories weren’t pleasant and she was glad that they were nothing more than occasional visitors now. For who would want to remember seeing humiliating pity in every single eye, hateful sympathy in every single gesture and that demeaning compassion that one shows towards an unequal, secretly feeling glad that you are not in their place. She was pretty sure that like those pity-filled eyes were the only thing she still remembered about her companions, her limp would be the only thing that they remembered about her. She wasn’t Arnav Singh Raizada’s sister then, no she was just the girl with a limp, she was pretty sure that’s how her batch-mates would recall her.

She had often wondered in thee last few weeks if that was the reason that she fell for the charms of Shyam Manohar Jha, the man who saw beyond her limp. The man who saw or at least pretended to see the woman, not the limp, not the name, not the past, nothing but the woman that she desired to be… nah, that she was… for he was not the only one… and with that thought the dustiest recess of her mind saw some light again. Just like our eyes lose all sense of sight when suddenly exposed to light after being suspended in darkness for a long time, similarly the images that came rushing back to her now seemed blurry… disjointed… formless… fragmented… surreal almost and for the first time in years she didn’t try to push them back. The memories were hers and she was now ready to claim her rights on the same… even though he…

“Anjali Singh Raizada?” a familiar voice stopped her in her track.

A funny thing about long forgotten memories, sometimes they are better as just that… memory.

It had taken some time and a lot of cajoling and soothing but he finally been able to put her to sleep. And now that he looked at her calm visage, he felt a little at peace, finally. But sleep eluded him, there were a few things that Arnav Singh Raizada could not handle and Khushi’s tears had topped the list for quite a while now. He had seen today that just how broken and insecure she was. How could he have missed on all the signs, now that he though of it all those little, wordless gestures blatantly stared him in his face and in all her unspoken words he could hear her restlessness, her insecurity, her fear. Realization had finallt struck, but that was not the end, hell it was not a Greek tragedy that was bound to end in destruction. He was Arnav Singh Raizada, and though a little late this time, he still knew that he would get things under his control and that too very soon. He dialed a number on his cell,

“Aman, I need you to do something for me and it’s not work related.”

Lots of love
Srija :)

1 comment:

rano gill said...

I some time wonder how Arnav Singh raizada had string of women as girlfriend if he can not say soothing words to khushi ....please do some thing I can not bear this broken khushi.....and welcome back