Chapter Six


Banner Credit: Harith25
This update goes out to Hitashi. Happy Birthday, and much love!
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

We’ll handle this.

 
 
Just three words, and yet the memory of those words is all that keeps me from succumbing to the panic that awaits me whenever I think about what Payal has just told me.
As I follow him into the house, my mind takes me back to that phone call, and replays the few details that were all I was able to get out of a hysterical Payal. She told me that her pregnancy was a result of a few reckless nights she spent with Akash , something that she had initiated as a last, desperate resort when it had seemed as if he was going to give her up, after all. Shortly after that, she had found out that I was getting married, and then her own marriage had been arranged. In the excitement of the whole thing, she had neglected to understand the signs until it was too late. Now that she knew with a hundred percent certainty, she had called me before even telling Akash. She had confided in me that she was afraid that his sole reaction would be panic, and that wasn’t what she needed at the moment.
She needed decisive action, and that was what I needed to do. Advancing the date of the wedding was the biggest concern at this moment, but I had no idea how I was supposed to accomplish that goal.
 
 
We’ll handle this.
 
 
Once again, the words echo in my mind. I don’t really know if he is going to help me with this or if those words were simply meant to reassure…but I do know that it feels good. For the longest time, I have been solely responsible for righting the wrongs in Payal’s life, and it feels good to know that someone is there for me, offering to share the burden and help me out with this.
 
That thought brings a faint smile to my lips even as I turn towards the stairs, only to stop as his words ring out through the silent house.
 
 
“Where are you going?”
 
 
“To my room…I have to call my mother and…”
 
 
“What are you going to tell her?”
 
 
I look away, knowing that I have no answer to that yet.
 
 
“I…I’ll think of something.”
 
 
“Khushi…”
 
 
His voice is gentle now, and it forces me to look back up at him as he continues.
 
 
“I told you that I would help you with this, and I meant it. Now here’s what we are going to do. You are going to follow me into my study, and then you are going to call your mother. Do you understand?”
 
 
A small part of me wants to rebel at the imperiousness in his voice, but the larger part is in a daze, unsure about how to go about doing what needs to be done.
Without waiting for a reply, he walks into his study. After a moment’s hesitation, I follow him inside, and then look down at the phone in my hand.
 
 
“Dial the number, Khushi. And then give me the phone.”
 
 
“But…what are you going to say to her?”
 
 
One corner of his lips curve up into a smile.
 
 
“Leave it to me.”
 
 
I don’t quite know what he is planning, but once again, I feel relieved to have someone take charge of the situation. For years, no one has offered to do anything remotely like this, and I cannot help but go along with the flow now. I’m not certain if he is going to succeed or not, but I find myself grateful for the fact that he is willing to try.
 
The phone rings twice, and then my mother’s voice comes down the line.
 
 
“Khushi? Is everything alright?”
 
 
“Yes, Amma. It’s just that…I needed to talk to you about Payal’s wedding date.”
 
 
Arnav gestures for the phone, and I hastily speak before my mother does.
 
 
“Actually…it’s Arnav who wants to speak to you.”
 
 
I hand the phone to Arnav, and sink down into a chair, frustrated by my inability to come up with an idea on my own. 
But then I hear him  speak, and I stare up at him in disbelief.
 
He had obviously pulled out all his reserves of charm, and at the end of five minutes, he has managed to convince my mother that the wedding needs to be held within the next ten days or so. 
His reasons are believable, too. In a few short sentences, he has informed my mother about the takeover , and has explained that the consolidation of assets and removal of liabilities from the new company will take up all his energy over the next few months. The transition period extending over the next two weeks is the only time when he can make it back to India, and if his presence is necessary, then the wedding needs to be held during that time.
Since the call is on speakerphone, I hear my mother’s immediate reassurances that his presence is extremely necessary. But then she also voices her doubts about being able to arrange the wedding in such a short time.
 
 
“Don’t worry about all of that, Mrs.Gupta. I will get my assistant to work on it right away, I’m sure that he can find us the best wedding planner in Bangalore by tomorrow morning. As your elder son-in-law, surely I have the right to do that much for Payal’s wedding, don’t I?”
 
 
“I…of course, bitwa, but…what about Akash’s mother? I don’t think that she will…”
 
 
“I’m sure she won’t have any problem with all of this when I explain things to her as well, Mrs.Gupta. “
 
 
After a few more minutes, he has managed to allay every single doubt, and he hands the phone back to me with a smile.
 
 
“Close your mouth before I am tempted to do it for you, Khushi. And then dial the number of Akash’s mother.”
 
 
I realize that my mouth has fallen open in surprise at the ease with which he has convinced my mother, and I quickly snap it shut before returning my attention to the phone.
 
Moments later, he has turned on a double dose of charm while speaking to Akash’s mother, and in no time, he has her eating out of his hand as well. Not only has he managed to persuade her to advance the wedding, but he has also made her agree to the fact that one extravagant sangeet ceremony is all that is needed instead of the five day celebration she had been insisting on earlier.
At the end of the call, she is the one who thanks him for taking the time from his busy schedule and giving her his input about the wedding.
 
I stand up slowly, unable to believe that everything is being resolved so easily.
And yet, why am I surprised?
I know from personal experience that once this man has set his mind to something, it will be accomplished, no matter what.
 
After all, who can withstand this force of nature?
 
 
 
 
 
 
A half hour later, I am standing in my dressing-room, my movements slow and uncoordinated as I think about all that has happened over the past forty-eight hours. 
The conversation in the gazebo is always at the forefront of my mind, and I know that all my preconceived notions regarding this marriage have just gone for a toss.
I have thought about everything that has been said over and over.
The fact that he chose me above all the others is incredibly flattering, as is the fact that he doesn’t necessarily see this marriage as having a fixed expiry date. His honesty and forthrightness have gone a long way towards making me change my view on what this marriage is, and for the first time, I find myself thinking about what it can be.
That thought had prompted my acquiescence to tonight’s date, even  as I had battled my own apprehensions towards taking that  tentative first step in making this marriage real.
 
Because I still have my doubts and fears, there’s no escaping that reality.
I am still not sure about why a man like him wants to be married at all, when he has been vocal about his anti-marriage stance. The fact that he is now thinking about taking this beyond one year is incomprehensible to me.
There’s also the fact that I am still not entirely over his rather colorful past. It strikes me that if the shoe were on the other foot and was the one who had admitted to having multiple relationships in the past, then the outcome might have been very different.
 
I don’t quite know what to make of all this, but in the battle between my heart and my mind, the latter seems to have taken a backseat for now. And then there is my body, which clamors for his whenever we come close.
The physical aspect of this relationship isn’t something I can ignore any longer, and I know that this has played a huge role in my decision to take things further.
 
I know that this is a risk…but for the first time in my life, I want to put myself out there and damn the consequences.
It may not be wise , but I know that I have to take this chance.
 
And when he does things like the dual phone calls tonight, I feel as if trusting him , just a little, is a natural progression.
In one fell swoop, he has arranged things so that the new wedding date is now his idea, and Payal was very relieved when I told her of this fact. For the first time in a  long while, I heard a genuine note of apology in her voice when she told me how sorry she was to have dragged me into this. And then she had asked me to hand the phone to Arnav, and thanked him as well.
I am still worried about how Payal is going to handle this baby on top of all the other life changes coming her way, but for now, I allow myself to be momentarily relieved at the resolution that had seemed so impossible just hours before.
 
And that brings me back to my husband, the enigma.
 
Throughout this evening, I have seen a different side to him…something that I have barely suspected until now. While the paparazzi brought out the protector, the relaxed atmosphere at dinner showed me the lighthearted charmer, a man against whom I have no defenses anymore.
And now, by resolving the Payal situation in moments, he has taken over a responsibility that I have shouldered alone for far too long.
 
How am I supposed to keep resisting a man like this one?
 
 
I barely have time to complete that thought before I hear the door to his room open behind me, and I turn to face him as he walks into his room. It’s apparent that he hasn’t seen me yet, his attention is completely focused on the phone in his hand.
 
At that moment, a sudden realization floors me.
 
I don’t want to be alone tonight.
 
 
After all the doubts and the confusion of the previous day…and the turmoil caused by Payal’s revelation tonight, I am wary of being alone with only my thoughts for company in my solitary bed.
 
Before I can talk myself out of this, I find myself stepping into his room.
He looks up quickly, and smiles with the air of a man whose mind is still distracted at the moment.
 
 
“Still not asleep?”
 
 
“I…no. I just…wanted to know if…”
 
 
“What is it, Khushi?”
 
 
 
“Will you sleep with me?”
 
 
I curse myself at the way that came out, and curse myself again when I watch his eyes widen in surprise.
 
 
“Look, I…I didn’t mean it that way. I was just wondering if we should…considering all that we have been talking about recently…wouldn’t it be better if we started sharing a room now?”
 
 
He throws his phone down on the bed, and takes one step towards me.
 
 
“So let me get this straight. You want me to share your room…but not do anything else tonight?”
 
 
I know that I am blushing, but I stand my ground.
 
 
“Yes, I…”
 
 
 
“That’s not going to be easy, you know.”
 
 
His smoldering gaze makes me still for a moment, but then I quickly resolve to inject some humor into this situation before it spirals out of control.
 
 
“Are you afraid of me, Mr.Raizada?”
 
 
He stares at me for a moment, and then a slow smile takes over his face.
 
 
“Arnav Singh Raizada is afraid of nothing, Mrs. Raizada.”
 
 
 
He looks over my shoulder, and then back at me.
 
 
“Go to bed , Khushi. I’ll just change and join you in a moment.”
 
 
 
I turn around and rush inside my room, wondering just what I have unleashed here. 
In the few short days that I have been here, this room has become my sanctuary. By inviting him to share it, not only am I taking the biggest risk yet, but I am also crossing a boundary that has been essential until a few days ago.
 
And yet, I cannot deny the thrill of excitement that goes through me at that thought.
 
 
I sit back against the headboard, wondering if he is feeling  the same.
And then suddenly, he is there, closing the door behind him.
 
 
The room seems smaller somehow, as if it isn’t big enough to accommodate the two of us. Or is that due to the fact that the air supply seems to dwindle suddenly?
 
“Stop looking at me as if I am the lion entering a lamb farm.”
 
 
I look away immediately, trying to hide a smile.
 
I feel the mattress give way as he settles in, but then an expectant silence settles in.
 
I find myself curious about what he is doing, and try to sneak in  a glance at him. To my surprise, he is pulling out  his laptop from it’s case.
For a moment, I look at his brace and wonder if I should offer to help him in any way.
 
 
He looks up suddenly, and catches me staring at his now-open laptop.
 
 
“Is there a problem?”
 
 
I take a deep breath, and try to relax against the pillow at my back.
 
 

“No, I…I was just wondering if you  were planning to work right now?”
 
 
He smiles, just a little curve of those lips that I can’t seem to look away from.
 
 

“I always work until well after midnight, Khushi. Probably longer, now that I’m sharing this room with you.”
 
 
 
My cheeks are burning now, and I remember him saying a similar thing on our wedding night. I have no reply, and I draw the covers up to my chin as I try and tune him out.
 
 
His answering chuckle ignites something warm and undefinable in the depths of my tummy, and I press a throw pillow against it in a futile attempt to regain control over my own unruly body.
 
But it’s a wasted attempt.
I am very, very aware of every move he makes, and even something as innocuous as the strike of his fingers against the keyboard makes me tense.
The bed that felt warm and vaguely comforting until yesterday has now taken on a whole new dimension, and I struggle to get into a comfortable position.
 
 
“Am I disturbing you? Do you want me to go into the study?”
 
 
Yes, he is disturbing me…just not in that way.
I can hardly tell him so, and therefore I decide to pursue a diversion myself.
 
 
“No…that’s fine. Will I be disturbing you if I watch some TV right now?”
 
 
I sit up against the headboard, and gather the courage to meet his eyes as I say this. 
 
 
“Go right ahead.”
 
 
I reach for the remote, happy to hear that he isn’t going to be bothered by my late night TV viewing habits. In fact, he is back at work even before I have had a chance to choose a channel, and I lean back with a sigh of relief.
 
It strikes me at that moment that we haven’t really gotten to know each others’ quirks and habits yet. Although we have taken some steps forward in the intimacy of the other sort, the little facts of our lifestyle are still largely hidden from the other.
I wonder if this is what a normal marriage is like…this daily discovery of routines and patterns that make a person who he really is?
 
I stare at the moving images on screen, barely aware of what is going on. My body is still attuned to him, and I don’t really remember anything of what I’ve seen until his voice breaks into the silence.
 
 
“You’re watching that? “
 
 
Immediately on the defensive, I look up at him.
 
 
“Yes…is something wrong with this program?”
 
 
He stares at the TV for a moment, then turns to face me with surprise in his eyes.
 
 
“It’s just that I did not expect you to be a fan of trashy reality television.”
 
 
I bristle at that, and fold my arms across my chest.
 
 
“Reality television is great as a distraction,and as a way to unwind at the end of the day. And there’s nothing trashy about this! It’s one of the top-rated…”
 
 
“Oh I know. I’d have to be blind and deaf not to know about this particular show, even if I have never watched an entire episode in it’s entirety. But come on, Khushi…explain to me just why  a bright, intelligent soon-to-be Doctoral student is watching twenty bimbos throw themselves at one supposedly hot bachelor?”
 
 
“Because it’s entertaining, that’s why! And just for the record, I watch plenty of other reality shows too…including the cooking contests, and the survival shows. Why does that surprise you, anyway? Did you imagine that I would only watch the discovery channel or something? That’s called stereotyping, you know. It would be like me assuming that you only watch the business channel.”
 
 
From the suddenly evasive look in his eyes, I know that I have hit a nerve.
 
 
“Oh my God, you do watch only the business channel!”
 
 
He has regrouped by now, and merely shrugs.
 
 
“Sometimes, I don’t even find the time to do that. I watch the stock market report and NK fills me in on major events later in the day.”
 
 
I laugh at that, and laugh some more when he turns an affronted gaze towards me.
 
 
“There’s nothing funny about the stock market.”
 
 
“No, there isn’t. Just like there isn’t anything to get judgmental about when it comes to reality television. Haven’t you ever heard of ‘to each, his own’?”
 
 
His expression turns thoughtful now.
 
 
“I wasn’t really judging you, Khushi. It just took me by surprise…and reminded me how little we really know of each other.”
 
 
This echo of my own thoughts from earlier takes me by surprise, but then I remember something else.
 
 
“I can’t believe that you are taking me to task for this particular show!”
 
 
“What?”
 
 
I smile, warming up to my theme.
 
 
“Have you forgotten what took place in Shantivan a few weeks back? If that wasn’t a Delhi version of the bachelor show, I don’t know what was!”
 
 
That was different. It was a get-together of various families who were known to my grandmother. I did not have women competing in ridiculous tasks to garner my attention!”
 
 
I shake my head, exhilarated at the rare opportunity of having him on the back foot for once.
 
 
“Same difference. It was a modern-day swayamvar, that’s all I know.”
 
 
“One that you weren’t really interested in, were you?”
 
 
In one smooth move, he has turned the tables back on me.
But then I realize that this is something he already knows.
 
 
 
“I wasn’t. My Buaji didn’t even tell us why we were there until we were in the house.”
 
 
He places the laptop on the nightstand, and turns fully to face me.
 
 
“Have you ever thought of what might have happened if she had? Would you have even been there?”
 
 
 
“Maybe not…or maybe she would have steamrollered me into it anyway. Who knows what might have happened?”
 
 
“But marriage was definitely not on your horizon when you came to India?”
 
 
“No, it wasn’t. I was only thinking of Payal and…”
 
 
The mention of my sister’s name brings back all the turmoil that I had been trying to push to the back of my mind, and he catches on to that immediately.
 
 
“Payal will be fine, Khushi. She has what she wants now, and hopefully she will make the best of this opportunity.”
 
 
I raise a hand to my suddenly aching forehead.
 
 
“I guess…but that still doesn’t stop me from worrying about her. I only hope that…Akash turns out to be a good guy, someone who is there for her through thick and thin…”
 
 
As I look up at him, I realize that his gaze has gone back to the TV screen.
 
 
“These things can never be predicted, Khushi. Whether it’s an arranged marriage…an affair that is now being formalized…or just blind luck like one of those reality shows…it’s all unpredictable. “
 
 
“Then how did you know that was…”
 
 
The words are out of my mouth before I can stop them, and his astute gaze turns to mine, even as I find myself suddenly unable to meet his eyes.
 
 
“You? That decision was made on one, and one single basis only…”
 
 
He leans down towards me, and my heart races as he runs one fingertip down the side of my face.
 
 
“…it’s called chemistry, Khushi. That indefinable something that causes sparks when two people come together.”
 
He places his warm hand against my chest, and I stop breathing .
 
“That thing that is making your heart pound at this moment, and also…”
 
 
His hand leaves my chest to rest against my arm for a moment, and then trails down until he grasps my hand in his.
 
 
“…also the thing that is making me very, very hard for you at this moment.”
 
 
 
He takes my hand lower, and my heart stops beating altogether.
 
 
Fear and fascination fight for supremacy as he places my hand in the most intimate place it’s been yet, and my gaze automatically drops to the hardness that is all male…all him.
 
In an instinctive move that I don’t fully understand, my fingers clench of their own accord…then stroke once, then twice.
 
His husky groan snaps me back to my senses, and I withdraw my hand as if I have been burnt,
My face feels like it’s on fire, and so does the rest of my body.
 
But as his rueful gaze meets mine, a stray thought makes it way to the forefront of my mind and I give voice to it before better sense can prevail.
 
 
“Well that was much more interesting than examining your shaatir dimaag!”
 
 
A surprised laugh is torn from him, but in the next instant, he leans over me, pinning me down with his weight.
 
 
“If interesting is what you’re after, then I’ve got plenty to show you.”
 
 
The warmth of his body and the heat in his gaze makes it difficult to think, but I manage to respond, even if my voice comes out weaker than I had hoped.
 
 
 
You should be the one getting a PhD. In innuendo.”
 
 
 
He laughs, and I feel the vibration throughout my body.
 
 
 
“I don’t even have a single degree to my name.”
 
 
 
I remember that he had dropped out of University before he could graduate, and I wonder if this fact bothers him now. But before I can pursue that thought, he lowers his lips to my neck and I promptly forget everything else.
 
 
“I do know a lot about other things, though.”
 
 
He places a string of  kisses along my neck, and I cannot stop myself from arching into him.
 
 
“You…do?”
 
 
“Yes. And I would be willing to share my expertise for a price.”
 
 
“What…would that be?”
 
 
He is kissing the underside of my jaw now, and my eyes flutter closed for a moment.
 
Only to snap open at his next words.
 
 
“Let me sleep here every night.”
 
 
 
I stare up at him and realize that the time for teasing is over.
Despite the lighthearted banter that has gone before, right now he is very, very serious.
 
 
“I never intended for this to be only for tonight.”
 
 
My words make him smile, and he leans down to place a fleeting kiss on my lips.
 
 
“Best news I’ve heard all day. Now go to sleep, Mrs.Raizada.”
 
 
Before I can process the words, he turns off the night-lamp and settles back in bed before drawing the covers over both of us.
In the dim light streaming in from outside, I see that his arm is flung out over the pillow, and his eyes are fixed on mine.
 
I realize that he is leaving the choice up to me, and there is only a moment’s hesitation before I make my decision.
 
I rest my head on his pillow, and place my hand over his chest. His good arm comes up to encircle my shoulders, and I find myself relaxing at once.
 
My last thought as I fall asleep is that I could easily get used to this.
 
 
 
 
 
When I wake up the next morning, I am alone.
It brings back disturbing memories of being left alone after a night of intimacy, but that lasts only until I roll over and find a small piece of paper on the nightstand.
 
I open it at once, my heart pounding at the words written in a slanted scrawl.
 
 
This isn’t your husband being invisible again.
This is just a harassed CEO who has been summoned for an urgent international conference call at an ungodly hour of the morning.
If I had my way, I would still be there beside you.
 
-A
 
 
I read it thrice, then scramble up from bed and dash across to my wardrobe. Finding the small jewel box there, I slip the note inside it and head for the shower with a silly grin plastered across my face.
 
 
A half hour later, I have eaten my breakfast , spoken to Amma and Payal, and decided that there is no point in moping around the house all day. Amma has told me that a wedding planner has been in touch already, and a Panditji has been summoned in order to advise them about a possible date.
 
 I feel reassured enough by the way things are going to actually do something worthwhile with my own day, and I decide to go down to the Stanford library and get started with some research today.

As I walk towards the front-door, I hear raised voices from the study and pause. When I can discern my husband’s voice, surprise overtakes me.
 
I was under the impression that he was at the office by now, but that doesn’t seem to be the case.
 
 
“NK, I know that the timing isn’t ideal, and I’m not arguing with that. But you know the details as well as I do, and I’ll only be gone for a few days anyway.”
 
 
“It’s not just that, ASR. I can handle the transfer by myself, but there’s more than that at play here. All eyes will be on A.R during this period, and a missing CEO isn’t really what is wanted or needed at this point. Plus, there’s another issue that we need to consider.”
 
 
“My India trip isn’t up for discussion, N.K. Now what the hell is this other thing?”
 
 
“I heard about your little brush with the paparazzi yesterday. You do realize that without a press statement of some sort, curiosity about Mrs.Raizada is going to reach unhealthy levels soon? And postponing that party hasn’t helped matters either. If she had been introduced to all your friends and colleagues, people would know who she was by now and…”
 
 
“I know that, damn it! But we don’t have time for all this at the moment. The wedding in India is the priority and you know damn well why!”
 
N.K comes back with more arguments, but I am not listening anymore.
 
I slump down into a chair by the entrance, my mind whirling with the realization that my husband is placing my priorities over his.
Over A.R, which shocks me the most.
 
And at that moment, guilt hits me with full force.
As I think about how far he is willing to go for something that isn’t really his concern, I realize that my course is clear too.
 
I know what I have to do, and I quickly walk into the study, ignoring their looks of surprise as I launch into my speech.
 
 
“I heard your argument, and I have something to say about that.”
 
 
Arnav walks out from behind his desk immediately.
 
 
“Khushi, it’s all fine. N.K here had some concerns, but I have…”
 
 
“And his concerns are valid, aren’t they? The last thing I want is for my troubles to affect A.R in any way. That isn’t acceptable…not to me.”
 
 
I take a deep breath and continue.
 
 
“When the date is finalized, I will let you know immediately. But we don’t need to go there before the day of the actual ceremony. And once the pheras are over, we can leave at once. That way, you only need to be away from your office for about four days.”
 
 
He stares at me for a long moment, but it is N.K who replies.
 
 
“That sounds like a good plan, ASR. It would ensure your presence at the wedding, and you would be back sooner than we anticipated.”
 
 
Arnav barely spares a glance towards N.K before turning back to face me.
 
 
We? I know that I can only be there for a short while, but what is stopping you from going there right now and helping out with the arrangements? I could always join you later.”
 
 
I shake my head before he has even finished speaking.
 
 
“I can’t go right now because I have a prior commitment here.”
 
 
“What are you talking about?”
 
 
“The party. Have you forgotten that? I know we planned it for the weekend, but since the invites haven’t been sent out yet, can’t we hold it within the next day or two? That way, I could meet everyone before we left for India, and maybe we could even issue a press release about our marriage at the same time. How does that sound?”
 
 
“It sounds brilliant, Khushi! And that’s what I have been telling ASR…”
 
 
The younger man’s voice trails off as he registers the fact that  his boss’s dark gaze is fixed on him now, the use of my first name has obviously drawn his attention.
 
Arnav says nothing, but makes his disapproval clear all the same.
He turns to me after a moment.
 
“You don’t have to do this, Khushi. We can hold the party later, your family needs you at this time…”
 
 
I raise my chin, knowing that I need to make my choice clear at this moment.
 
 
“No, I don’t have to do this. But I want to. Just like you want to attend this wedding even when your company needs you.”
 
 
His eyes flare with the acknowledgement of what I am trying to convey, and a warmth steals into them that wasn’t there before.
 
 
“If that’s what you want, then that’s what we’ll do, of course.”
 
 
His gaze lingers on mine, and then finally swivels to N.K.
 
 
“Organize the party for tomorrow evening, N.K. I don’t care if you have to go out personally and visit everyone on the guest list, just make sure that it gets done. Then start drafting a press release and run it by P.R.
And get the jet on standby, we might have to leave on a moment’s notice.”
 
 
I look at the clock on the wall, and realize that I’ve spent more time here than I realized.
 
 
“I…I’ll leave you to it, then.”
 
 
He takes a step towards me but then stills, obviously aware of the presence of the other man in the room.
 
 
“I’ll see you later, Khushi.”
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Hours later, I lean my head against the desk before me, frustrated by my inability to concentrate.
 
My mind is being pulled in a dozen different directions, and I find myself thinking about Payal, my husband, the PhD, my mother….and then back to my husband again.
 
It’s no wonder that the man dominates my thoughts. I replay those moments in my bedroom over and over, and the thought of that note still makes me smile.
 
The vibration of my phone snaps me out of my reverie , and I look around furtively before answering the call with my head below the desk now.
 
 
“Hello?”
 
 
“Why are you whispering?”
 
 
Arnav?
 
 
Because I’m in the library! Why are you calling me?”
 
 
“Do I need a reason?”
 
 
I twist around in my chair and bend over slightly, glad that there is no one in my immediate vicinity who might be disturbed by my whispers.
 
 
“Don’t you have a company to run?”
 
 
“Even CEOs take a break for lunch, Khushi.”
 
 
I look down at my watch, startled to notice the time.
 
 
“I didn’t realize that it was so late!”
 
 
“So you haven’t eaten yet?”
 
 
 
“No, I…I was busy…”
 
 
 
“Did you make some progress?”
 
 
I look back at the unopened books scattered across the table, and sigh.
 
 
“Not really.”
 
 
“Why not?”
 
 
“Because I was distracted.”
 
 
“Distracted? By what?”
 
 
“By…nothing! It doesn’t matter.”
 
 
“It does , to me. I want to know what is going through that pretty head of yours right now.”
 
 
“Why does it matter to you?”
 
 
“I need to know…because increasingly, a lot of my time is spent in thinking about you. I find myself wondering where you are and what you are doing…”
 
 
“I’m just sitting here in the library, that’s all.”
 
 
“Are you sure?”
 
 
“What…of course, I’m sure!”
 
 
There is a moment’s silence, and then he speaks again.
 
 
“So you weren’t thinking about me at all? “
 
 
“I didn’t say that!”
 
 
I clamp my lips shut, but the damage has been done.
 
 
“Were you thinking about what we did last night?”
 
 
“We did nothing last night!”
 
 
“Keep your voice down, please. I don’t want you to be thrown out of the library yet.”
 
 
“I’m going to leave anyway. It’s not like I was doing any good here…”
 
 
“Khushi, straighten up.Now.”
 
 
I jerk upright in my seat at once, automatically responding to the command in his voice.
 
 
And then I bristle.
 
 
Don’t order me around! I’ll sit however I want to, what’s it to you?”
 
 
“It bothers me that some lecher is taking advantage of your crouched position to look down your cleavage.”
 
 
I look down at the vee-neck of my kurta, and realize that the guy seated across the aisle is suddenly taking a deep interest in the pillar beside me.
 
A flush of embarrassment sweeps over me, and I stand up quickly, trying to gather my belongings without dropping any.
 
 
And then it hits me.
 
 
“Wait. How do you know that he was…”
 
 
I turn around quickly, suddenly realizing that there is only one way he could have known what was going on.
And sure enough, he’s right there by the main door to the library.
 
Dressed in an all-black suit with his aviators in place, his suave, handsome figure is already drawing attention as he stands there by the door, speaking into his blue-tooth device.
 
 
“It took you long enough to realize that I’m here.”
 
 
I cut the call immediately, then place the phone in my purse and start walking down the aisle.
 
On my way to the door, I realize that a number of female gazes are trained on him, and my walk turns into a strut of pride as I realize that in a few moments, they will all know that he is taken.
 
He is mine, and everyone is going to know it.
 
 
Before I have time to be surprised by my own possessiveness, I am at the door, and Arnav removes his earpiece while staring behind me at the unfortunate guy who is still seated at that table.
 
 
“What are you doing here?”
 
 
“Saving you from being visually harassed, by the looks of it. Didn’t you realize what was going on?”
 
 
I shrug, then move to walk past him.
 
 
“I was too busy trying to carry on a furtive conversation at the moment.”
 
 
He catches me around the waist, and swings me into his body in one swift movement.
 
 
“Do you want me to go back there and teach him to keep his gaze where it belongs?”
 
 
I stare up at him in disbelief.
 
 
“Are you seriously asking me if I’d be okay with you starting a brawl in the library?”
 
 
“Oh, it wouldn’t come to that. I can be quite…persuasive, if I need to be. Actually, I have a better idea.”
 
 
Before I know what he is up to, he presses his lips to mine for a brief, yet passionate kiss that has my toes curling inside my shoes.
 
When he lets me go, I have to hold on to him for a moment until my legs feel steady again.
 
 
“Shall we leave now?”
 
 
“Where…are we going?”
 
 
 
“I’m taking my wife to lunch. Didn’t I tell you that?”
 
 
“I think you neglected to mention that.”
 
 
“I’m telling you now. What cuisine do you prefer?”
 
 
I think about it for a moment as we walk down the corridor.
 
 
“Surprise me.”
 
 
“Oh, I plan to, Mrs. Raizada.”
 
 
His audacious wink derails me for a moment, and then I remember something else.
 
 
“Why do you keep calling me Mrs. Raizada now?”
 
 
“Because that’s who you are.”
 
 
 
He opens the car door for me and I wait until I am seated before responding.
 
 
“What’s wrong with just Khushi?”
 
 
There’s nothing wrong with your name. But calling you by my surname…satisfies me on a different level altogether.”
 
 
I think about that slightly unsettling disclosure for a moment, then wait while he gives Dhruv the directions to a new Chinese restaurant that has just opened on University Avenue.
 
When he’s done, he raises the privacy screen and turns back to me, just as I remember something else.
 
 
“You have had Dhruv for a while, haven’t you?”
 
 
“Yes, he’s been with me for several years. Why do you ask?”
 
 
“It’s just that… I wondered if Lavanya was temporary. If I would ever be free to go about on my own…”
 
 
He looks away towards the window, and I know that I am not going to like his answer.
 
 
“I’m afraid not, Khushi. She’s here to stay.”
 
 
“But…why? I’m sure that most software CEOs don’t quite have this level of security?”
 
 
“They probably don’t. But this is something that my family insists on, especially after what happened a few years ago.”
 
 
“Your …family?”
 
 
 
He sighs, then finally turns to face me.
 
 
 
“Yes. Di and Nani are paranoid about the fact that the events of that time might be repeated, and I have not been able to reassure them enough since then.”
 
 
“What events?”
 
 
 
 
“It was nothing, Khushi. Nothing to worry about now.”
 
 
“I would still like to know, if you don’t mind.”
 
 
 
He looks over at me, a rueful light in his eyes.
 
 
 
“You’re quite the stubborn minx when you want to be, you know.”
 
 
“Just tell me.”
 
 
 
“It was just after I completed my first hostile takeover, years ago. It was a small company, and the Vice President was already filing for bankruptcy when I went in and took over. And then, the poor guy seemed to go off the deep end.”
 
 
“What do you mean?”
 
 
“Well, he started out with vaguely threatening phone calls, but then one day, he turned up out of the blue outside my house. And he had a gun in his hand. He went on and on about how I had ruined his life, how he could have salvaged his company if I hadn’t stepped in at that moment. Luckily, the security guard of the apartment complex had the presence of mind to come up behind him and disarm him, and the cops took care of the rest. But Di and Nani were terrified, and a personal guard was the only thing that could reassure them then.”
 
 
I find myself trembling with reaction, my fists are clenched against the seats as I try to imagine the sheer horror of watching this man being threatened at gunpoint.
 
My terror must have communicated itself to him because he leans over and pulls me into his arms  at once.
 
 
“It’s all in the past, Khushi. You don’t have to worry about this now.”
 
 
I nestle into his warm, strong embrace, and wonder how I can tell him that it’s not me I’m worried about.
 
 
For the first time ever, I find myself glad that Dhruv accompanies him everywhere.
 
 
This man is way too important now for me to even imagine a threat to his well-being.
 
 
And that thought scares me, as I think about all the reasons why.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
The black chiffon drapes over me like a dream, and I stare at myself in the mirror, knowing that I have done my best today.
 
The black saree with it’s silver embroidery is one of the few designer pieces I own, and I know that I require every bit of elegance I can dredge up for tonight.
Silver chandelier earrings dangle from my ears, and I rub the lobes, unaccustomed to their weight.
My hair has been styled into soft, loose waves, courtesy the salon that I visited just hours before, The smoky eyes and vivid lip color is also a result of that salon visit, and I quickly spray on some perfume before sitting down at the vanity where my bangles lie on disarray.
 
As I put them back in order, I think about the almost magical way in which everything seems to have fallen in place for tonight’s party. The gazebo has been decorated and tables have been arranged on the lawns for the buffet-style dinner planned for later this evening, and the caterers are here already.
Most of the invitations have been accepted, and I know that this is a result of the curiosity about the new home…as well as the new woman in his life.
 
I don’t quite know what to expect of the gathering tonight, and apprehension makes me jittery…until I look up suddenly, and meet a searing gaze in the mirror.
 
His eyes run down my body in a slow, thorough scrutiny, and I find myself squirming in my seat as embarrassment wars with desire.
 
 
When his gaze finally meets mine, it is unreadable.
Nerves make me rush into speech at once.
 
 
“I’m…almost done here.”
 
 
 
“No, you aren’t. There’s something missing.”
 
 
 
 
 I stare at my reflection in the mirror before me, trying to figure out what could possibly be missing.

I realize in the next instant that he has come up behind me, and then his warm touch on my shoulders leaves me breathless for a moment.
 
He says nothing, and I watch our reflections in the mirror as he slides his hand down my arm slowly, leaving trails of fire in his wake.
For a moment, he gently caresses my left hand, then grasps it in his before leaning down to whisper in my ear.
 
 
“For you, Mrs.Raizada.”
 
 
The cold feel of metal makes me glance down quickly, and I catch my breath at the sight.
A sparkling ring now sits on the ring finger of my left hand, the brilliance of it’s central emerald competing with the surrounding circle of diamonds as I raise it to the light.
It’s different, and unusual…and I love it.
 
 
But those aren’t the words that spring to my lips.
 
 
“But…why?”
 
 
He doesn’t say anything for a moment. His gaze remains on my  hand, and then he raises it to his lips before kissing the ring.
 
 
“Because I wanted to see it on your hand…and know that placed it there.”
 
 
I cannot take my eyes off the mesmerizing sight in the mirror.
 
 
 
“It’s beautiful. Thank you.”
 
 
 
At last, his eyes meet mine, and he smiles.
 
 
 
“I’m glad you like it. To be honest, this wasn’t my first choice when I went down to the jewelers this morning. I wanted to buy the biggest solitaire they carried…but then I happened to see this and I just knew. “
 
 
I twist the ring around, his explanation somehow making it even more special.
 
 
 
“Some women would be disappointed at the loss of a huge solitaire.”
 
 
His hand moves to my ear, and he toys with my earring as he replies.
 
 
“But you’re not one of them. “
 
 
 
“How are you so sure ? For all you know, a solitaire might be the embodiment of all my girlish fantasies.”
 
 
 
I bite back a smile as the beginnings of doubt flash across his eyes.
 
 
 
“Is that what you really wanted?”
 
 
 
I can’t restrain myself anymore.
I laugh out loud and stand up quickly before winding my arms around his neck.
 
 
 
“Not at all. I was just kidding. This ring is beyond perfection, and it’s just what I would have chosen for myself if I had a limitless bank account at my disposal!”
 
 
There is no answering mirth in his gaze.
 
 
“You do have a limitless bank account at your disposal. You know that, don’t you?”
 
 
I sigh, then step aside.
 
 
 
“How did we end up talking about all this? I just wanted to thank you for a beautiful gift, that’s all.”
 
 
He stares at me for a long moment.
 
 
 
“It was my pleasure. Shall we leave now?”
 
 
He offers me his arm, but I am still feeling bad about disrupting the mood of the moment. Following an impulse, I rest my hand on his shoulder and pull his head down before kissing his lips quickly.
 
He is taken by surprise, and doesn’t really respond until I have moved beyond him to the open door.
 
 
“Come on, Mr.Raizada. We can’t be late for our own party!”
 
 
He shakes his head ruefully, then runs his fingers across his lips.
 
 
“Oh, don’t worry about that. The lady at the salon assured me that this was long-lasting, non-transfer lipstick.”
 
 
He smiles now, and I take his arm as we walk out together, relieved that the lighthearted atmosphere has been rekindled again.
 
 
 
“So the choice of lip color was deliberate? I’m flattered that you were already planning to kiss me while you were getting your make-up done.”
 
 
I raise my chin, meeting his gaze with what I hope is a nonchalant one.
 
 
“It wasn’t for your benefit. I just didn’t want to leave stains on the crystal glasses.”
 
 
“Really?”
 
 
“Yes!”
 
 
“I hope the glasses appreciate this, then.”
 
 
He is smirking now, and my heart does a peculiar somersault thing in my chest.
But then I notice that we are standing at the back door already, in full view of the gazebo and the guests who have already gathered in the lawns beyond it.
Apprehension and nerves make a spectacular comeback, and I unconsciously tighten my grip on his arm.
 
I can feel him looking down at me, and the next thing I know, he has leaned down to place  a brief kiss on my lips.
 
 
“Khushi…look at me.”
 
 
I hesitate for a moment before meeting his gaze, and then I find myself speechless at the emotion in his molten brown gaze.
 
Tenderness.
 
 
That’s what it looks like, and I realize that I have never seen anything like it before.
 
 
“The guests are just regular people like you and me, Khushi. There’s nothing to be apprehensive about.”
 
 
“That’s easy for you to say! You’ve known them for years, while I…God alone knows what’s going through their minds at this moment!”
 
 
“I can answer that.”
 
 
I look up at him in surprise.
 
 
“What?”
 
 
“I can tell you what they’re thinking. All the men are insanely jealous of me right now.”
 
 
For a moment, I decide that he is just saying this to bolster my confidence. But there is a note of pride in his voice that convinces me otherwise.
 
 
“I’m privileged to have you on my arm tonight, Mrs. Raizada.”
 
 
I feel the heat rushing into my cheeks and look away quickly, before turning back again when a random thought passes through my mind.
 
 
“And the women? Can you tell me what they’re thinking too?”
 
 
He smiles down at me, then urges me down the steps as he continues.
 
 
“That’s easy. Most of them are mourning the fact that I’m taken, and throwing daggers at you in their imagination.”
 
 
“Have I ever told you how conceited you are?”
 
 
“Yes. The first time we ever met, you were quite vocal about that.”
 
 
I take a deep breath.
 
 
“I…don’t think you’re a jerk. Not anymore.”
 
 
He stops walking and looks down at me again.
 
 
“That’s progress, I guess.”
 
 
I take a deep breath, then take one step towards the crowd.
 
 
“So…let’s go out there and tackle this envious, murderous crowd, shall we?”
 
 
 
 
Two hours later, I know that I needn’t have worried at all. The guests have mostly been warm and welcoming, and I have had to admit to myself that I am actually having a great time at this party. The conversation is engaging and the food is perfect, what more could I have asked for? 
It is a perfect evening, made all the more perfect because of the man by my side.
He has barely left my side all night, and now that he has finally been drawn away into a group of his closest friends, I still feel his gaze upon me from time to time.
 
I try not to look back at him, and instead, I concentrate on the woman dressed in a gorgeous pink saree who is talking to me now.
 
 
“Khushi, have I told you how much I am enjoying this evening? I’ve waited for this for so long, it’s good to see my brother so happy and at ease!”
 
 
“So you aren’t missing Sheetal at all?”
 
 
Her husband’s voice interrupts with it’s tinge of dry humor, and I have to look away in order to keep myself from laughing out loud at the look of consternation on Anjali Di’s face.
 
“She’ll be fine with the sitter, Shyam. At least, I hope she will be!”
 
 
“If I were you, I’d be more worried about the sitter.”
 
 
This time, I lose the battle and a chuckle escapes me as I listen to her husband’s rejoinder. I quickly try to disguise it as a cough, but I don’t quite know if I’m successful.
 
 
“Ignore Shyam, Khushi. He never wastes a chance to malign that poor, dear bird of mine. Let’s talk about you instead! So when is my brother taking you on a honeymoon?”
 
 
Honeymoon?
 
 
I haven’t really given this any thought, and I quickly reply with the first excuse that comes to mind.
 
 
“Well…we really won’t have the time until we are back from our trip to India.”
 
 
“Oh, right…I forgot about that! I’m so sorry that we won’t be able to attend your sister’s wedding, Khushi. But Shyam has no more vacation time left, he used it all up during your wedding…but Nani said she’d be there!”
 
 
I smile at her, glad that she has been diverted.
 
 
“I know. And I am looking forward to meeting her again.”
 
 
“Anjali, there’s someone I’d like you to meet…”
 
 
Shyam draws her away towards another couple, and I wander towards the table that holds the beverages, aware that my husband is still busy with his friends.
 
As I reach the table, I find myself being offered a glass of some sparkling beverage.
 
 
“Khushi, you look lovely tonight!”
 
 
I look up into N.K’s smiling eyes, and thank him for the compliment.
He offers me the glass again.
 
“We might never have the chance to drink a cup of coffee together, but how about some champagne instead?”
 
 
“Thank you, but I don’t drink.”
 
 
“You don’t? I’m sorry, how about some juice, then?”
 
 
I accept the fruit cocktail he is holding out to me, and sip slowly as my eyes wander back to my husband.
 
 
“Do you know that ASR is a connoisseur of fine wines?”
 
 
I look up at N.K, surprised.
 
 
“No, I did not know that.”
 
 
He is staring down at me with a speculative expression now, and I shift uncomfortably in my place.
 
 
“You both don’t really have anything in common, do you?”
 
 
A deep-rooted instinct makes me defend myself immediately.
 
 
“Do we need to have something in common? Do all couples need that? Isn’t it more thrilling when two distinct individuals come together in a journey like this one?”
 
 
The speculative expression deepens.
 
 
“I see your point. But there’s something to be said for shared experiences too…”
 
 
I have had enough of this verbal dodging around, and I decide to take the bull by the horns.
 
 
“Just where are you going with this, N.K?”
 
 
He stares at me for a long moment, and then his gaze clears.
 
 
“Nowhere, of course. It was just an idle observation! “
 
 
I don’t really believe him, but I let the matter drop…for the moment.
 
And then I remember something else.
 
 
“N.K…thank you for all your help with my sister’s wedding. That wedding planner has turned out to be a gem, there’s no way that my family could have arranged this in so little time otherwise.”
 
 
“It’s my pleasure, of course. And everything is set for tomorrow, the jet will be ready at around four a.m.”
 
 
I nod, then quickly drain the glass.
 
 
“Thank you for that, as well.”
 
 
 
“I’m just doing my job, Khushi. Although I have to tell you, this…”
 
 
His voice trails off suddenly, and I notice that he is staring at something over my shoulder.
At that exact instant, a warm hand encircles my waist, and I am pulled back against a hard, male body that I instantly recognize.
His voice is ice-cold as he addressed N.K.
 
 
 
Mrs. Raizada. That’s who she is to you, N.K.”
 
 
I try to twist back in his arms and call him out on this, but something in his implacable gaze stops me in my tracks.
 
The two men stare at each other for a moment, and then N.K sets his glass down on the table.
 
 
 
“Of course, ASR. I apologize. And now, if you’ll excuse me, I have to make a call.”
 
 
I wait until he has gone before turning back to my husband.
 
 
What was that all about? was the one who agreed to him calling me that!”
 
 
“He’s an employee, Khushi. There are certain boundaries that need to be…”
 
 
Boundaries? That’s ridiculous. That man knows intimate details of our contract, as well as the reason behind my sister’s wedding…what boundaries are you worried about now?”
 
 
“How do you know that he knows about the contract?”
 
 
“He told me that, of course!”
 
 
Arnav looks over at N.K again, and his eyes narrow imperceptibly.
 
 
 
“I had no idea. I might need to have a talk with N.K, after all.”
 
 
I throw up my hands in frustration.
 
 
“Fine! Do as you want!”
 
 
I turn around and walk away, unable to understand what his problem is with all this. It seems like a small issue that has been blown out of all proportion, and I spend the rest of evening with the guests while my mind is constantly struggling with an explanation.
 
 
 
 
Later that night, I am still thinking about it as I place my dresses in my suitcase. The party has tired me out, but there is no time to rest because we need to be at the airport in less than four hours from now.
In a little more than a day, my sister’s sangeet ceremony will be held in Bangalore. The Panditji has picked this date as the most auspicious one in the next four weeks, and there has hardly been any time for me to pack for this trip. My only source of relief is the fact that I know that my sister has her wedding trousseau picked out already, and the wedding planner has taken care of everything else.
 
I sigh, then straighten up and rub my aching back.
 
My eyes fly open as a warm, male hand replaces mine.
 
 
“What are you…”
 
 
“Sshh. Just relax, Khushi. Your muscles are wound as tight as a coiled spring.”
 
 
I sigh again, then lean back against him as his fingers work their magic.
 
 
“I’m still mad at you, you know. You can’t win me over with a massage.”
 
 
“Even if it’s as good as this one?”
 
 
I chuckle reluctantly.
 
 
“You are incorrigible.”
 
 
“And you are irresistible. Especially in this saree.”
 
 
I move away from him, then unpin my pallu from my shoulder.
 
 
“I need to change out of this…”
 
 
 
“I can help you with that.”
 
 
I look back at him over my shoulder, amused and embarrassed, all at once.
 
 
“I’m sure you can…but we don’t really have the time for your kind of help!”
 
 
He smiles lazily, then walks over to caress the material between his fingertips. And even though he isn’t really touching me, I feel that touch right down to my toes.
 
 
“You’ll be amazed at what I can do in such a short time, Mrs. Raizada.”
 
 
Before I can respond, he leans down to place a slow, lingering kiss on my lips that leaves me gasping for breath.
 
 
“So…have I managed to change your mind?”
 
 
I open my eyes slowly, then look up at the devil who is tempting me with every breath.
 
 
“Not yet…but keep trying!”
 
 
His husky laughter follows me as I run into the restroom, and I smile to myself as I close the door behind me.
The reflection in the mirror shows me a woman with flushed cheeks and reddened lips, and I raise my trembling hands to my cheeks.
 
 
What is happening to me?
 
 
 
 
 
Twenty-four hours later, I am wondering the same thing…but in very different circumstances.
 
The long flight has exhausted me, but since we have landed mere hours before the sangeet ceremony is due to begin, there is no time to rest. We have been driven straight to a five star hotel located near my mother’s house, and I have barely had the chance to unpack before my sister’s call interrupted me.
Through all her panic, I only managed to grasp the fact that she is here at the hotel, and she needs to see me now.
 
Minutes later, I open the door to find a gorgeous-looking Payal, dressed in a green lehenga and antique gold jewellery. 
But I have no time to admire all this, because she throws herself into my arms at once, sobbing hysterically.
 
 
 
Payal! You’ll ruin all your make-up, stop!”
 
 
She clutches me harder and sobs into my shoulder, and I turn an apologetic glance to my husband who has just come out after a shower.
He has spent the entire flight catching up on his work, and I know that he certainly doesn’t deserve this, on top of all else.
 
He walks up to me, then takes a deep breath.
 
 
“I’ll give you both some privacy. But don’t hesitate to call me if you need any help.”
 
 
His words seem to jar Payal out of her panicked state, and she looks up quickly.
 
 
“Oh God, you must think I’m crazy for barging in here like this! Especially after all  that you’ve done for me!”
 
 
“It’s fine, Payal. I understand that pregnancy makes hormones run wild and…”
 
 
A hysterical laugh is wrenched out of Payal.
 
 
Pregnancy?! I wish it was just that!”
 
 
Alarmed, I lead her to the couch and sit down beside her while Arnav walks up behind us.
I take Payal’s hand in mind before I speak.
 
 
“Payal…take a deep breath and tell me what’s wrong, for God’s sake! I’m sure it’s nothing that can’t be fixed!”
 
 
“Fixed?! How on earth will you fix that witch?”
 
 
“Whom are you talking about?”
 
 
“Akash’s Mom, of course! Oh, Khushi, you have no idea…”
 
 
For the next half hour, Arnav and I are forced to listen to a diatribe about how her future mother-in-law is the most controlling, demanding woman ever. Payal goes on and on about how she dictates everything…from what Payal should wear for the wedding, right down to the honeymoon destination.
It takes me another half hour before I am able to calm her down, and I explain that adjusting to all the new expectations and a new family doesn’t happen overnight. By the time I have managed to convince her, it is almost time for the sangeet to commence, and I quickly send her off with Arnav’s driver to the venue before rushing to get dressed myself.
 
My mother had called me earlier and informed me that I was supposed to wear a dress that has been gifted by Akash’s Mom tonight, and Amma has sent her own jewels for me to wear with it.
 
I barely notice the color and work on the lehenga before pulling it on quickly, and try to tame my hair and wear the jewelery at the same time.
I rush out into the living-room of the suite with my heels in one hand, and then still as my husband comes into view. Dressed in a grey suit tonight, he looks the very picture of elegance and sophistication.
 
But then his gaze drops to my dress, and his mouth tightens in displeasure.
 
 
“That dress is so not you, Khushi.”
 
 
I finally look down at it, and know that he is right.
The blue and red ensemble with the heavy gold embroidery is definitely not what I would have chosen for myself, but I don’t really have any choice in the matter.
 
 
“It’s a gift from Akash’s Mom…I have  to wear it.”
 
 
He shakes his head, then opens the door for me.
 
 
“Akash’s mother has clearly no clue about you…or Payal.”
 
 
It is the first time that he has alluded to what has occurred earlier today, and I wait until we are seated in the car before replying.
 
 
“I don’t know how she should handle this , really. After all, she has to live with her mother-in-law…”
 
 
“The point is, she needs to deal with it, Khushi. It can’t be you who rushes to her rescue all the time.”
 
 
“I couldn’t just leave her in that state!”
 
 
He parts his lips to reply, but his phone rings at that moment.
The rest of the drive passes with him busy with his call, and I try to fight the jet-lag that is beginning to overpower me.
 
The rest of the evening goes by in a blur of music, noise, and conversation.
After a tearful reunion with Amma, I finally meet Akash’s mother. I realize that Payal might have exaggerated things after all. The woman seems to be shrewd and clever of course, but to me, she is affable and friendly. Akash seems like a simple, uncomplicated guy, and I notice that his gaze rarely strays from Payal.
The dance performance by Payal’s friends and our cousins occupy our attention for the rest of the night, and I barely have the chance to speak to my own husband. As words spread about the millionaire in their midst, a great many relatives suddenly find it imperative to come up and speak to me…and my husband.
 
It is the wee hours of the morning before we return to the hotel, and I collapse into bed fully-clothed.
 
 
 
The next morning, chaos rules once again.
The muhurat for the pheras is set for a few hours from now, with the reception to be held later in the evening.
 
I dash down to the hotel spa for a quick hair and make-up session, and when I return to my room, I find a surprising sight before me.
 
A gorgeous bronze-colored lehenga is hanging in my wardrobe now, and I walk slowly towards it, drawn by the subdued sparkle of a hundred crystals scattered across it.
As I finger the delicate material, my gaze falls on the label and I gasp, recognizing the name of one of India’s top couture designers.
 
 
“Do you like it?”
 
 
I whirl back to face my husband.
 
 
“It’s…gorgeous. But how…”
 
 
“It just took one phone call last night. He’s a friend of a friend.”
 
 
“But I…”
 
 
He comes up to me, and places the dress in my hands.
 
 
 
“Wear it for me, Khushi. I can’t wait to see what it looks like on you.”
 
 
 
 
A half hour later, I know that his choice is perfection.
Again.
 
 
The bronze silk bustier showcases all my curves in just the right way, and the lehenga falls to the ground in shimmering waves of decadence.
kundan necklace and earrings complete my look, and I stare at myself in the mirror, unable to believe that this is me.
 
 
A dark shadow comes up behind me, and I look up into dark, compelling gaze that never fails to stir my senses.
 
Dressed in a black bandgala jacket and trousers, he looks like every woman’s fantasy come to life.
 
He trails one hand down my back, and I suddenly remember that two thin doris are all that is keeping the blouse together at the back.
 
 
“Do you see it now?”
 
 
His low, husky voice strums across my skin, bringing every nerve-ending to life.
 
 
“See…what?”
 
 
“Do you see what I have been seeing right from the very beginning? You are so beautiful, you take my breath away.”
 
 
I close my eyes as the compliment sinks in, and then I feel the imprint of a  kiss on my neck.
 
 
“Do you see how perfect we look together?”
 
 
I open my eyes and look at the reflection in the mirror, unable to deny the truth of his words any longer.
 
I bring my hand up to cover his where it rests at my waist, and both our eyes are drawn to the sparkle of the ring on my finger.
 
His ring.
 
 
“Khushi, I…”
 
 
The shrill ring of the hotel phone disrupts the charged moment, but for an instant, no one moves.
Finally, he steps away and answers the call.
 
 
 
“Yes?”
 
 
His mouth tightens as he listens, and then he hands the phone to me.
 
 
“It’s your sister.”
 
 
I take the phone in my hand and turn on the speaker-phone before reaching down for my bangles.
For the first time ever, resentment at my sister threatens to overpower all else, but I fight it down, knowing that there is very little time left now.
 
 
“Payal?”
 
 
“Khushi? You have to come here right now! This woman is driving me mad, I swear I can’t take it anymore!”
 
 
 
“Calm down, Payal. I…”
 
 
 
“That’s what you told me yesterday! But I just can’t do this anymore, Khushi! I’ve told Amma too. Baby or no baby, I’m not marrying Akash unless someone talks some sense into his mother!”
 
 
“What?! Payal, the wedding is less than an hour away!”
 
 
I know that! Khushi, that’s why I need you, now!”
 
 
It takes me a few minutes to reassure her that I’m coming, and then I place the phone down before rushing towards my bag.
 
 
“Khushi…stop.”
 
 
“I don’t have time! I have to get there and knock some sense into her before she does something unforgivable!”
 
 
He walks up to me and grasps my shoulders, holding me in place.
 
 
Listen to me, Khushi. Until now, I haven’t interfered in your dealings with your sister. But now, I think things have gone too far. What do you think you are going to accomplish by running there now?”
 
 
“I’ll talk to Payal, make her understand that…”
 
 
 
“She won’t listen, Khushi. She has gotten used to you fixing everything for her, and she thinks that you can fix her mother-in-law too. So is that what you are going there to do? Because let me assure you, nothing less than that is going to satisfy Payal.”
 
 
“That’s ridiculous. I’m sure it’s just some small misunderstanding…”
 
 
“I’m sure it is, too. And that’s why you need to step away and let her handle this, all by herself. Don’t you see what’s going to happen otherwise? Whenever she has some disagreement with her mother-in-law or even Akash, you will be the one whom she calls to step in and fix the mess. Do you really want to interfere in her family life to that extent?”
 
 
“I…of course not, but…I can’t just step back now! I can’t just let her cancel the wedding or something…not over something trivial!”
 
 
“So what if she does cancel? If this wedding doesn’t really mean anything to her, then I guess she’s better off not entering into this bond in the first place.”
 
 
A red rage descends over my eyes, and I lose the shaky grasp I had on my self-control.
 
 
“That’s so easy for you to say! What do you know of marriages anyway? You don’t even believe in them!”
 
 
His face tautens with an answering rage, but his voice is cool and controlled as he replies.
 
 
“What feel is beside the point. The point here is that you need to stop running your sister’s life for her. You’ve made way too many sacrifices for her until now, but it stops right here. Let her resolve her own issues and deal with the fallout, Khushi. Don’t go there right now. If you want to, you can call your mother and ask her to handle this. But you stay here with me, we’ll go there together.”
 
An icy calm comes to my rescue as I reply.
 
 
“That isn’t possible. I’m going there now, and I’ll do whatever I can to ensure that this marriage takes place.”
 
 
I turn towards the door, but I’ve barely taken one step before he stops me with an iron grasp on my arm.
 
 
 
“I won’t let you do this.”
 
 
I whirl around, my chest heaving with the force of my anger.
 
 
 
“You won’t let me? How dare you !  You have no right to stop me, do you understand?”
 
 
 
“I’m your husband, damn it!”
 
 
 
“No, you’re not. Not really.”
 
 
 
The words are almost a whisper, but he hears them anyway.
His face whitens and he lets go of my arm immediately.
 
 
I grab my purse and run towards the door, and moments later, I am in the elevator.
 
I ask for a taxi at the front desk and luckily, there is one available right away.
I tell the driver the name of the wedding venue, and it is only when we finally pull out into the busy flow of traffic that I allow myself to think of what I’ve just said.
 
 
And then the hot, scalding tears finally break free of the constraints I had placed over my emotions.
I slump down in the seat, my hands rising to cover my eyes.
 
 
 
Oh God, what have I done?
 
 
 
******************************
 
 
 

A/N:
Thank you all for the awesome feedback, it makes my day!
 
Chapter Seven will be posted by next weekend, and an excerpt will be posted here on the blog in the middle of the week.
 
If you wish to comment , you can do so right here on the blog, after the update.
 
Or if you wish to use the forum, here is the link to the new CC thread for my readers:
Thank you  for reading!


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247 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. mahrusweety
    Nov 15, 2016 @ 17:23:08

    Patel really need to grow up.
    When everything going according to her will she just forget khushi exist but then at a drop of her she will run crying towards khushi to clear the mess for her .
    Feel bad for arnav

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply

  2. Monica
    Aug 18, 2016 @ 05:10:42

    Oh no, what has she done!!!!!

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply

  3. Bibliobibulus
    Feb 25, 2016 @ 02:11:08

    It’s not just lust for Arnav, not anymore.. And Khushi is super frustrated at the uncertain nature of their relationship, even if she doesn’t realise it yet. They both want something more, something real, but won’t admit it to themselves or one another..

    Like

    Reply

  4. scrapbooker10019
    Oct 17, 2015 @ 20:14:58

    I wanted to ask the same question… What the hell is she doing? Arghh, so frustrating… Ok you really can not give up habits of a life time in a moment… but that was so uncalled for… This is a major setback… Dammit I have read this story before… what happens next? Trying to remember… I know… I will just read the next chapter.

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply

  5. jasbinji
    Apr 30, 2015 @ 17:20:01

    What the hell happened with khushi?
    Why is she so stubw
    God please knock some sense in her

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply

  6. bluemystique
    Aug 29, 2014 @ 20:21:41

    What. The. Fuck!? What the fuck?

    OMG! OMG! OMG! OMFG! It was going so well! They were doing SO SO well! Nahiiiiiiii

    But…but…why!?

    Why you do this to me, Juju? #SobsUncontrollably

    Okay. Fine. I’ll calm down. Cause I know you, and I know you would never NOT give them a happily ever after…I hope. YOU BETTER!

    Anyway, in control and confident ASR is the best ASR. But then again, I love when he is desperately in love and can’t control himself. I don’t know which one I like more. #KDHI No no, not Kyun Dard Hain Itna…it’s Kyun Dilemma Hain Itna

    I loved that he took over, like a true husband would (which he is, Khushi!) and arranged everything without making anyone feel like he’s making them do something that they don’t want to do. Clever man.

    I absolutely loved the fact that Khushi made the first move again, asking to sleep with him *snigger*. And I love that he waits for her to make the first move, always.

    That note made me swoon! How cute is that!? Arnav is growing on me so so quick. But I am still going to elope with Khushi, just saying. Maybe I will convince them both to get married to me. Is that even legal?

    Again, love love love how is always just there for her. She doesn’t have to ask. In the same way, she knows what is good for him, and does that. They are each other’s better halves (Pun again!)

    And finally, why why why did you do this? Everything was going so well, and then you introduced the rabba ve sad version. I can’t believe she said that! How is he going to react!?

    Kyn Nazrein Teri Yun Anjaan Hain
    Ankhain Hain Meri Bhi Nam
    Kyn Pakar Bhi Tum Ko Khoya Hain
    Hum Kyun Na Ban Paaye Hum
    Kyn Dard Hai Itnaaaa
    Tere Ishq Main

    Rabba Ve Rabba Ve
    Rabba Ve Rabba Ve

    DON’T make me cry in the next one. I look ugly with mascara running down my face.

    Liked by 2 people

    Reply

    • scrapbooker10019
      Oct 17, 2015 @ 20:17:26

      Hi Blue… Fancy meeting you here… Not really, we spoke about this… Loved your comment. I had been thinking about their beautifully blossoming relationship and was going to comment on it but it all flew out of my mind when I reached the end of the chapter… WTF! RIGHT? who would believe that I have read this story before. LOL!

      Liked by 1 person

      Reply

  7. Fuzzy
    Jun 02, 2014 @ 21:11:28

    awwwwww poor them….loving it :))

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply

  8. namendra60
    May 27, 2014 @ 10:59:32

    Awesome update. Arnav is so competent & dependable in Payal’s emergency.wedding. What he advises Khushi is so true, but for her it is so difficult to let go, especially as she feels she only can handle it.

    I have myself been guilty of this, without realizing that if left to themselves, they will find a way out or face the consequences.

    But Khushi has jeapordised her relations with Arnav in the bargain! NK seems another suspect person, or I think I’m reading too much into innocuous statements.

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply

  9. srilathalolla
    May 01, 2014 @ 15:47:46

    I totally agree with what Arnav said about Payal and I can understand what Khushi is saying. Nice update

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply

  10. Latha
    Apr 21, 2014 @ 01:32:36

    I am with Arnav about payal. How long will khushi keep on doing this and payal doesn’t seems to appreciate khushi either.
    She have hurt him.

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply

  11. Gullam
    Apr 05, 2014 @ 19:05:30

    Lovely update

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply

  12. Manjula Pv shankar
    Mar 26, 2014 @ 15:33:19

    Thank u loved it. Waiting to read more.

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply

  13. sternobok97
    Mar 24, 2014 @ 12:43:39

    Wonderful!

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply

  14. anita21492
    Mar 21, 2014 @ 03:59:25

    What has Khushi done …smh

    ..Anita.. (IF)

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply

  15. SUDHA GUDA
    Mar 19, 2014 @ 15:01:53

    Juhi Amazing update and lot of happened in this one update
    Sorry for late comment and it s because my mind struck only at the word of Khushi “No yo’re not. Not really” and it didn’t go out of my mind.

    Loved how Arnav said we will handle this and how he handled the situation and solved Payal’s problem by talking to Khushi’s mom and Payal’s mother in law and convinced them to pre phone marriage and how he made Khushi feel that he is there for her to share her worries and problems.

    Khushi wanted Arnav to sleep in her room and loved their whole convo and little hot romance in her bedroom and their “Chemistry” and loved the way she slept placing her hand on his chest and loved how he kept a note for her in the morning.

    Khushi heard Arnav and NK’s conversation in study and loved how Arnav made Khushi’s priorities more important than his priorities and AR and loved how Khushi stepped forward and solved his problem and wanted party before they leave for India.

    Loved Arnav and Khushi library phone conversation and loved his and her possessiveness for each other and loved his kiss. Wow he took her for lunch too and loved how Khushi worried for safety when they talk about security.

    Loved the way Arnav gifted her ring on party night and loved how Khushi surprised him by kissing on his lips for spoiling his mood and loved their conversation.
    Loved Anjali, Khushi and Shyam part at party.
    I didn’t like the way NK spoken with Khushi but loved how Arnav said to him to call Khushi as Mrs Raizada and showed his place.
    Loved the way Arnav massage her neck to make her relax from neck pain and loved their easy banter and his kiss.

    Payal is very annoying and she came to Khushi and complained about her mother in law and Arnav is correct it is not Khushi but Payal has to deal with her mother in law and Khushi can’t rescue her all the time.

    Loved how Arnav arranged a gorgeous Lehenga for Khushi in a night and he wanted her to wear it for him and loved how he showed them in mirror to her and said they look perfect together and he tried to say something and a phone call disturbed them.

    Payal called Khushi and complained about her mother in law again and said she won’t marry Aakash unless someone put some sense to her MIL …… I think Payal needed more sense than her mother in law.

    Khushi tried to go but Arnav stopped her and said Payal gotten used to Khushi fixing everything for her and she thinks she can fix her mother in law too and said let Payal handle herself with this problem and if this wedding doesn’t really meant anything to Payal, it is better for her not to enter into that bond in first place ………… Arnav is right and agree with him

    Arnav was hurt with Khushi’s words …….. I felt sad for him. He did everything for this relation and she hurt him by her harsh words.
    They made a plenty amount of progress in last few days in their relationship and because of her over responsiveness towards Payal she has spoiled her relation with him.
    I want to know what Arnav wanted to say to Khushi
    Waiting for next update

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply

  16. dsbj
    Mar 19, 2014 @ 14:26:54

    Wow!! What a brilliant update.. I think arnav was right ,khushi should listen to him at least this time.. Luved the update.

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply

  17. hoperuel
    Mar 19, 2014 @ 11:35:42

    Loved the update… cant wait to know Arnav’s reaction… Wonder when will Khushi realize his importance… 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply

  18. sanasafina
    Mar 19, 2014 @ 10:19:36

    What have khushi done??? Her overresponsive attitude towards Payal is spoiling her relation…. I m hating this Payal… She has problem with anything and everything… Arnav is right khushi has to let her deal with her issues… She can’t go on like this…
    Arnav is trying so hard to work out everything… Poor guy… But its like khushi can’t seem to think beyond her family…

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply

  19. aquagal01
    Mar 19, 2014 @ 07:44:14

    So much has happened here in this update between Arnav-Khushi. For a person like Khushi who has always shouldered responsibilities , not only hers but her family too, the feeling of someone being there for her, to take care of her, to take care of her responsibilities and concerns and just to be there for her must be overwhelming. No doubt she wanted to give them a chance, at least to start with it. Them sharing a room was the first step she took to give this marriage a chance.
    I really didn’t think Khushi was that bold!! But when I look back your Khushi (in every story) has a bold side 🙂
    Arnav keeping AR on back-burner for Khushi shows how much she means to him. He wasn’t doing it just for the heck of it but he meant what he had promised her.
    I loved how Arnav ended up in the library and that kiss was actually toe-curling.
    Was it just possessiveness on Arnav’s part or is there truly something wrong with NK? Is he trying to dissuade Khushi?
    I agree with Arnav. Khushi doesn’t need to meddle in Payal’s life anymore. Payal has to take responsibilities and to do things on her own than calling Khushi for help all the time. I understand her sisterly concerns but sometimes one has to allow a loved one to fall for them to rise and get on their own feet. Khushi has done a mistake here. They had made a lot of progress in the last few days and she has put it all at risk with her words. I hope she will be able to undo the wrong. Obviously it’s not impossible and it’s absolutely worth it.

    Liked by 2 people

    Reply

  20. aayt
    Mar 19, 2014 @ 03:20:00

    it was beautifully written they were quite better to each other she also acted well made things easy for him till that every thing was going well Arnav did everything possible to make their relation work but khushi is still holding against not fully ready to work on their marriage payal is simply annoying spoiled n khushi is doing everything as per her wish actually khushi is partly responsible her that irrational attitude Arnav was right but she ruined all with her so called ego n blind love for her sis NK is another story he seems interested in khushi what he want from her
    what he was trying talk about ? something about arnav

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply

  21. riya2792
    Mar 18, 2014 @ 19:52:12

    Its just awesum I cant belive hw on earth u r so playful wid these characters. …… really belive itssss g8888t… love u for dis…. plzz update next part soon

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply

  22. vidsk
    Mar 18, 2014 @ 18:31:37

    Oh Khushi what have you done? They were making such great progress. Great update despite khushis foolishness. I hope payal grows up soon.

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply

  23. angeldream14
    Mar 18, 2014 @ 18:09:37

    loved it
    he is so caring n understanding n giving
    khushi has to stop dealing with Payal’s life, why she has to clean all he mess
    n she had hurt Arnav hw can she be so insensitive

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply

  24. dreamqueen1
    Mar 18, 2014 @ 14:49:51

    Chpt 6… Oh Khusi, you have to realize and soon that you need to focus on the one person who reallys cares about you— Arnav…. its time to let payal and gang go… they are just using you, wheras Arnav loves you and cares for YOU!

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply

  25. sudhalata1
    Mar 18, 2014 @ 14:20:15

    What’s wrong with khushi. He is going all the way to make her comfortable and accommodating in this new relation and she has to go and spoil it.

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply

  26. blueeeye
    Mar 18, 2014 @ 13:56:25

    its sad that a beautiful update like this ended with their bitter talk 😦
    i cannot wait for them to apologize each other..
    and what’s up with nk :/
    oh iam hating payal right now 😀
    Iam very anxious for next update!!

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply

  27. Eccentrica
    Mar 18, 2014 @ 13:42:05

    I’m at crossroads after this chapter, and that is only so because of the two diametrically opposite characters that have been portrayed over here.

    Championing Khushi has been the most natural thing for me to do, knowing that any decision she makes will be right. Even in her moments of confusion wherein she is having difficulty in dealing with her attraction towards Arnav, I am with her more often than not. And so when she decided to throw caution to the wind by taking a step towards Arnav, I was ecstatic, to say the least. Knowing Arnav, I could only envision a happy path ahead.

    Enter Payal Gupta. I must tell you J; after seduction, Payal is proving to be a villain yet again. That she has been dependent on Khushi to clear up her mess has been a bone of consternation, but I feel she has crossed her limits with this chapter. to be responsible for the accidental unborn child is one thing, to not care for its future all of a sudden is another, and for that I would not shy away from calling her utterly irresponsible, not to mention someone who is still in her pubescent phase and refuses to grow up.

    Now I’m dejected with the developments that have taken place owing to Payal’s last minute bolting, but I’m glad that it brought out a very vital point. Khushi has for long been dusting Payal’s wrongdoings under the carpet, and it is high time she stops doing that. The supported that I am of this Khushi, I’m sure she will come to a realization and take steps towards the same at the earliest (This also means making it upto Arnav ;))

    My suspicion meter is ticking wildly when it comes to NK; I just hope he does not take advantage of the rift that has been caused between the couple.

    As for Arnav…hum toh unhi ke hai *blushes*

    P.S. Belated happy birthday, Hitashi! I hope you had a rocking one 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    Reply

  28. Asha
    Mar 18, 2014 @ 13:09:28

    Hayeeeeee… I think khushi realises her mistake and hope she tries to manao arnav in the next chapter…she shd just throw Payal out of the window…..

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply

  29. Anonymous
    Mar 18, 2014 @ 09:21:23

    payal is really too much just like a spoil brat…shee needs everythg in a platter…
    i think khushi just realised she ruined something so perfect ….arnav has constantly been doing everythg single thing to please and understand her but is it her ego
    what is with nk?
    march2011 if

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply

  30. bookadict303
    Mar 18, 2014 @ 07:18:05

    Ohhh maynn! I hope this gets solved!

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply

  31. adhiti
    Mar 18, 2014 @ 06:36:43

    Hey,
    I had read the first part even before you pmed me. But sorry that I can’t comment long now. I have my internals this Friday and hence having little time here.

    But just know that I loved it a lot, in fact relished it. The first part was like Biriyani and the last part was like having ice cream over it.

    But I can’t stop the thudding of my heart reading the end and not knowing what is going to happen next. It’s unfair to ask after such long updates but I just ‘wished’ if we had a tease for next update in one line at the end. Just a wish.

    NK seems to have a liking to Kushi? So my guess was right? Or is it something else?

    Payal, oh the cranky sister. Babies are much much much better than her.

    I have a hope that Kushi might reverse the car and come back to Arnav before heading off to such a selfish sister. I wish that happens but I have given it a 50-50 chance as I know Kushi is not reliable when it comes to Arnav and might break Arnav’s and my heart if I trust her on this! Sigh!

    So I have a second hope that though Kushi goes there, she won’t help Payal. She would remember Arnav’s words when Payal is acting hysterical and for the first time be a ‘real responsible sister’. Being a scapegoat doesn’t make her responsible and that is what she had been doing so far and that has made Payal what she is today. More than Payal I would blame Kushi for making her this.

    So I wish she won’t disappoint me at least this second time!

    Waiting for the next update with a restless and incessantly thudding heart.

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply

  32. misscrazyfan
    Mar 18, 2014 @ 04:51:41

    just awsome dear
    u make us go in to the world of arshi u created
    just just loved it

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply

  33. tvmania
    Mar 18, 2014 @ 04:42:17

    First I didn’t knew that you had updated just got busy with work so had no time to check on that…. I read 3 updates back to.back and what should I say on that finally khushi want this relation to go forward after an year… Arnav is indeed doing right thing with Payal and plz someone make her realise what all khushi has sacrificed for her…. I m sort of confused with NK is there some secret about Arnav which is yet to come ?
    on the whole great updates 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply

  34. seetanaips
    Mar 18, 2014 @ 04:12:16

    they were coming so close to being a real husband and wife now Payal and her stupid tantrums have created a rift
    Arnav is right Khushi has to stop fighting Payal’s battles

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply

  35. moomin4455
    Mar 18, 2014 @ 02:38:42

    Oh god! It was going so well too!! But I’m sorry; I am in complete agreement with Arnav: is Payal going to be calling Khushi every minute her MIL does something she doesn’t like? She needs to be cruel to be kind and let Payal sort out her own mess.

    As bad as Khushi’s comment was, it is true. They have a contract marriage and until that constant elephant in the room is addressed it will never progress beyond that.

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply

  36. Archanapopli
    Mar 17, 2014 @ 23:48:56

    I just read the last update I agree with Arnav khushie tries to solve all her younger sister issues make her rea Lise life can not be fixed ,I like their rapport with each other .

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply

  37. shrutee27
    Mar 17, 2014 @ 18:53:46

    Arnav and Khushi are such sweethearts. He is so understanding and to think that he was introduced as a cad! And really that Payal gal has serious issues. Such a sweet update, thank you for notification 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply

  38. Amal
    Mar 17, 2014 @ 18:13:37

    Wow what an update!
    Part 1 – they are coming close and getting closer is 2nd part too but the end OMG!
    Can’t wait till the weekend:(

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply

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