Wednesday, March 12, 2014
Arhi SS: Highway to Hell. Part 2.
Highway to Hell
It took her another few seconds to realize that his hand still rested on the curve of her waist and staring in her eyes he seemed completely oblivious to it. She gave another smile and then moved her hitherto fixed on him gaze to the conjunction where his slightly dark hand was molded around her olive colored waist. Following hers, his gaze also came to stop at the erotic sight and enamored by it, his brain took a few seconds longer to register the inappropriateness of it, at which point he finally took his hand off her, a little too reluctantly though.
“I am sorry.” He said in a straight voice.
“Why?” she asked in a husky tone, a loop-sided smile and the quirk of an eyebrow followed. Her eyes twinkling like a novice’s who had just had his first taste to heroin.
He frowned at her and she wondered if she glimpsed anger mixed with slight discomfort in his eyes. ‘Was he judging her? Did he belong to the group of men who believe that sensuality was a whorish trait and than only sluts smiled at strangers? Well, she had to admit that it was a possibility for such men were in majority in… well everywhere. Did he know her father?’ Her thoughts were running at the speed of infinity per second but it was at the last thought that she finally panicked. ‘For god’s sake what the hell was wrong with her? She was at her house, at her sister’s engagement and was blatantly flirting with a stranger. She needed to do some damage control right that moment.’
“I… I mean you saved me, I should be thanking you for that and here you are apologizing for no reason.” she offered him a shy smile. When he still seemed off, she wondered if the damage done was irreversible. ‘What if he discloses their little adventure to her dad? Will she be forced to get married to some mamma’s boy in the same mandap as her Jiji? Will she do it?’ It was a fact universally acknowledged that Khushi’s imagination competed with light for a speed championship and that no clear winner had been announced in the last twenty-two years. Was that about to change now, for in the next moment she pictured her self wrapped in a red saree, sitting demurely next to a faceless man, while Payal sat adjacent to her in a similar red saree and with a similar faceless man.
“I… I was wondering if you are from the bride’s side or the groom’s side?” she tried to initiate small talk once again but her slight stammering gave away her obvious nervousness… well, obvious to him at least. He was a smug smart man, the two titles often competing for precedence. And finally he bestowed a loop-sided smirk on her.
“Well, neither actually, miss?”
“Khushi. Khushi Gupta.” She replied, trying to reign in her frayed nerves. He smiled in acknowledgement and gaining a little courage from that she continued,
“Yes, actually I am the bride’s sister. But you never introduced your self.”
“I am the manager of the firm that is catering for the event.” He smiled in a polite manner and Khushi let out a sigh of relief. And of course, nothing went unnoticed by him.
“Pardon me, I don’t mean to pry, but I couldn’t help but overhear what you were saying just now. He must be a terrible person whoever he is, I am sure. And I am not sure, but I thought you were referring to your sister’s fiancé. I was just wondering that if he is so wrong for her then how and why exactly is this wedding happening?” His voice laced with sincerity… over flowing with it in fact.
Khushi belonged to that sub species of humans who weaved stories… Nah, she loved to weave stories around anyone and anything that had the misfortune of crossing paths with her. Nothing out of ordinary there! The crazy bit was, she also belonged to that little sub-sub-section who voiced… nah, loved to voice their crazy stories. And so when the opportunity presented itself, she decided to go for one of her crazy rides and take the deliciously handsome stranger with her. This was going to be fun. But, of course she had no idea how much.
“You see Mr.?”
“Yeah, so you see Mr. Singh, I should not be telling you this but then there is absolutely no one with whom I can talk about this and keeping it inside is getting just so difficult, in fact impossible with every passing day.” Khushi turned away from him and then sighed dramatically before continuing further.
“But for some reason I just cannot hold it back anymore and don’t they say that at times it is so much better to talk to strangers, to open yourself up to someone distant for those who know you just don’t care or even want to understand.” She added a slight sniff as a prelude to her story.
“Mr. Raizada.” He arched his brow at her in question. Khushi wondered if she had seen some shock there initially. But not giving it a second thought, she just continued without missing a beat.
“Mr. Arnav Singh Raizada, my Jiji’s fiancé.” She said in a way of expaination.
“He saw my Jiji at a golgappa stall last week and lost his mind.” Khushi gave a dramatic pause, expecting the handsome stranger to say something. But the fact that he didn’t did nothing to dishearten her and she continued,
“I don’t blame him, my Jiji is exceptionally beautiful and anyone can fall for her. But there is a limit to any kind of madness and this man… he has crossed every limit imaginable. First, he pursued my Jiji and asked her out, but she politely denied him. Then, he went to my parents and asked for her hand in marriage and my Jiji begged him to leave her alone and that she was in a relationship with Jai and yet, this stone of a man pursued her relentlessly. He even went to the extent of purchasing majority shares in my Dad’s firm and then blackmailed my family with it.” She once again halted, stifling a little sniff in her duppatta and then turned her back to him.
“What choice did she have? She, in fact all of us had to bend to the manipulations of that vile man. Bloody uncleji!” At that she once again turned towards her singular and singularly handsome audience. Her voice laced with anger and yet, the mischievous twinkle didn’t escape Mr. Singh’s sharp eyes.
“I offer my condolences, Miss Gupta. I am sure he must be a very despicable man, your Jiji’s fiancé, your Brother-in-law. What did you say his name was?”
“ASR” Arnav… Khushi was unable to finish as another voice overlapped with hers.
Payal came to stand right beside her and Khushi took a moment to comprehend that Payal had taken the name of ‘he who shouldn’t be named’… well at least not with such respect and tenderness. And where was he anyway? Payal was not the shouting types, she was very soft spoken, so Khushi craned her neck and looked around nearby, analyzing every face in the vicinity and yet, no one seemed to fit the image that she had created and so she looked at her sister for some hint when she saw her looking at someone. And following her gaze… her eyes finally met his… for the second time that evening… a hazy barrier between hazel greens and chocolate browns… the haze cleared and realization dawned…
Loads of love,