Concluding Part of Jigs’ Birthday OS ‘Thirteen’

Part One by ChotiDesi: http://www.india-forums.com/forum_posts.asp?TID=4157751

Concluding part: By Expelliarmus 🙂

 
 
January 2014,
Democratic Republic of  the Congo.
 
 
¨Damn you to hell, NK.¨
 
 
 
¨I’m sorry, did you say anything, Mr.Raizada?¨
 
 
He sighed, then looked up at the nurse who was now staring at him with renewed interest. If he wasn’t careful, he would ruin all that he had accomplished over the past three hours. During the interminable ride back to Kigali, he had managed to convince the shrewd-eyed woman that he was fine, and that the explosion hadn’t really damaged him in any possible way. The shrapnel wounds over his arms and face had been treated and all he wanted now was to go home, away from this trip and the disaster it had turned into.
But the triage nurse was still insisting  that he had passed out after the stray explosion, and as a result, he was now being transported to Kigali from Virunga National Park for an X-Ray, despite all his protests. 
 
Of course, his angry mumbling wasn’t going to help matters here.
How the hell was he supposed to explain to the nurse that he wasn’t hallucinating, that his muttering about NK was based solely in reality?
NK, the man who was responsible for the visit to this Godforsaken place. His friend and colleague for the past thirteen years, NK had been the one who had suggested that this year, they should both go to the Virunga National Park in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. 
And although he had taken part in equally dangerous adventure trips over the past decade or so, even Arnav had balked at this one. The park was a preserve that housed an endangered species of Mountain Gorillas, as well as several other African species of wildlife. And that temptation had finally won out over his hesitation to go to a country that had been repeatedly ravaged by civil war and internal strife.
NK had convinced him that it would be fine, that it would be no more dangerous than their previous trips into Death Valley or the Amazon…or any number of equally hazardous locales around the world.
 
But two days before their scheduled departure, NK had fallen sick with a virulent form of malaria and Arnav had been forced to make the trip on his own. Cursing NK all the way, he had flown down to Kigali and then taken a bus into Virunga, but he  hadn’t been able to even enter the gates before an explosion had rocked the ground beneath his feet, and blackness had descended before his eyes.
 
 
And now, faced with the inevitable medical examination and whatever unnecessary procedures they deemed essential, he had gone back to cursing NK for his predicament.
 
He looked up at the nurse again, only to find that she was still staring at him with an intrigued look.
 
He couldn’t tell her the truth, of course.
He couldn’t tell her any of it.
 
She wouldn’t understand.
No one could.
 
He could barely explain, even to himself, the uncontrollable urge to flee the country that overcame him at this same time every year.
The urge that transformed the staid, respectable owner of a successful software company into a rash, thrill-seeking adventurer for a month, making him take risks and live on the edge…until he was able to erase the memories that threatened to overwhelm him.
 
Memories of January…of a month just like this, thirteen years ago…
Memories of the day when an earthquake had stolen his dream…his very life.
 
 
He shook his head violently, trying not to give in…trying not to remember.
Luckily for him, the bus rolled to a stop at that exact moment, and the nurse’s attention was distracted by the task of helping the handful of victims down the stairs and into the makeshift tent that housed the medical camp run by Doctors without Borders.
 
Arnav walked in behind the others, shaking his head at the idea that someone would willingly volunteer to serve in a place like this. As far as he was concerned, he wanted out, and now.
And if that meant cooperating with a physical exam that he really didn’t need…well, that was a small price to pay.
 
 
A half hour later, he held the X-Ray film in one hand, and used his other to rub at his aching head. The procedure had taken only a few minutes, but he was now stuck behind a line of patients waiting to see the physician here. Once he was seen and declared fit to leave, he would waste no time in going straight to Kigali International Airport and buying his way onto the first flight to leave the terminal.
 
He sighed, then leaned back against the pole behind him.
 
He couldn’t wait to get away.
 
 
After what seemed like an eternity later, he heard his name being called out by the nurse, and hurriedly straightened up before following her into a smaller tent behind the larger one he had spent most of the past hour in.
 
 
¨Wait here for the doctor, Mr.Raizada.¨
 
 
The nurse was gone before he even had a chance to nod, and he allowed his gaze to wander around the sparsely furnished room. A shabby metal desk and chair occupied center-stage, while a battered metal cabinet and a table with a few instruments leaned against the back wall.
 
Walking towards the small stool that the nurse had gestured towards before leaving, he lowered himself into it slowly, just as he heard someone enter the tent behind him.
 
It was the scent that captured his attention at first.
 
A light floral fragrance, it was like nothing he had ever experienced before. It also felt completely out of place in this medical camp, and curiosity made him turn towards it’s source.
 
 
And then, he felt his world tilt on it’s axis.
 
 
The slim figure dressed in tan slacks and a loose blue shirt looked eerily familiar…as did the hazel eyes in the too-pale face.
 
But that was impossible.
 
 
Rising to his feet, he continued to stare at her as if in a trance, his rational mind warring with the evidence of his senses.
 
 
It wasn’t her.
 
It couldn’t be.
 
 
 
In a futile effort to remind himself that the truth was undeniable, he forced himself to remember those words that had been seared across his mind thirteen years ago.
 
 
¨No survivors.¨
 
¨There are no survivors in Lakshminagar. The entire area was razed to the ground by the earthquake, no one could possibly have survived that.¨
 
 
He closed his eyes, then opened them again.
 
It didn’t matter if this woman looked like her.
 
It wasn’t her, and never would be.
 
 
Because Khushi Kumari Gupta was dead…and he had known that fact for the last thirteen years.
 
And yet…there was something here that he couldn’t turn away from.
 
Apparently, neither could she.
 
 
Wide hazel eyes were fixed on his face, and her lips had parted in an expression of…shock?
 
When she finally tore her eyes away, he saw her gaze fall on the file in her hands. She seemed to be reading the name on the cover over and over, and when she looked back up at him again, the shock had given way to amazement.
 
 
And then he heard a word…a word that he hadn’t ever expected to hear again.
 
A word that tilted his world , once again.
 
¨Arnav?¨
 
______
 
She stared at the man before her, his bandaged, tanned face making her chest ache while the rapidly returning memories made her feel dizzy.
 
When she had first seen him a few moments ago, her exhausted brain hadn’t been able to process what was before her.
 
Until she had looked down and seen the name on the file in her suddenly trembling hands.
 
And then his name had slipped out of her parched lips, a name that she hadn’t spoken for thirteen years now…
 
¨Arnav? ¨
 
 
His face reflected the amazement and disbelief that was probably apparent in her own expression at the moment.
 
Paralyzed, she could only stare as he took one hesitant step towards her.
 
¨Khushi? It cannot be…¨
She felt the first drops of moisture on her cheeks, and realized that for the first time tonight, she was afraid.
Terrified at the thought that this was just a figment of her imagination, that the tortured existence she had led for the last thirteen years had now manifested itself in this last, fevered dream.
 
 
Was this real, was this even happening?
 
The sudden touch of his callused palm on her own shaking one jolted her out of her terror.
 
Looking down at it, she knew.
 
Because only one man had ever had this effect on her.
 
Only one man…the one who was standing before her now.
 
And miraculously, he had returned to her.
 
The man and the woman standing before each other in the medical tent near Kigali would probably have stayed that way for a while, if it hadn’t been for the interruption by the nurse who bustled in, wondering why the doctor was taking so much time with this one patient while there was so much to be done.
 
 
“Dr. Gupta, is there a problem?”
 
Arnav looked up at the nurse, then back at Khushi, who had now taken a reluctant step away.
In her eyes, he saw the plea.
 
Wait, Arnav.
 
 
He heard the words just as clearly as if they had been spoken out loud, and smiled a little to himself.
 
 
Thirteen years, and he still hadn’t lost the ability to read her mind.
For the next few minutes, he felt as if he was an actor on a stage, playing the part of a patient while she carried out the role of the professional to the hilt.
 
Examining the X-Ray first, she declared that it was normal, and her physical examination revealed no signs of head trauma either. After the nurse had noted this in his file, she reminded him to change his dressings twice daily and he nodded dutifully.
 
He knew that Khushi needed to complete the tasks required of her at this moment, and he knew that the best way to make that happen was to allow her to move on to the next patient who required her attention.
 
Even if that meant that he had to push the questions and the doubts and the fears to the back of his mind.
 
He would do it for her…for them.
 
And all this while, the nurse never noticed what was really going on in this room.
 
She couldn’t see the quest for reassurance in every touch and every gesture, as Khushi performed her examination.
 
She did not grasp the need for reaffirmation of this seemingly improbable occurrence in the way his eyes lingered on her face, in the tenderness evident there.
 
Instead, she went about her work  unaffected by the undertones in the room, her mind already on the next patient waiting outside.
¨If you’ll follow me, Mr. Raizada, I’ll show you where you can sign and then you’re free to go.¨
_________
 
It had been over  an hour since Arnav had heard those words from the nurse, and the ensuing sixty minutes had been nothing short of torturous. 
Waiting behind the DWB tent, he watched as the last of the patients walked out or were helped out by the staff.
 
 
He knew she would come.
 
He had seen it in her eyes when they had exchanged one last , charged glance before he had followed the nurse out into the bigger tent.
 
 
But his fears wouldn’t let him rest.
 
 
Would she really come?
 
 
How was this even possible?
 
 
Although he had seen her and felt her touch just  a short while back, he still found it extremely hard to believe that this was actually happening.
 
Had he been misled all those years ago?
Had the Red Cross personnel been mistaken?
 
And yet, he hadn’t taken them at their word, had he? Even after he had heard that terrible news, he had still gone back to the rubble that was now Lakshminagar and hunted for someone, anyone who had known the Guptas. He had finally found one other family that had come there to look for their own lost loved ones. But the Kashyaps had been unable to give him even a tiny shred of hope. They hadn’t seen any member of the Gupta family in the weeks following the quake, and unlike him, they had extended their search well beyond this small neighborhood.
It was only a month later that he had finally given up and left the State with Anjali, feeling as if he  was leaving his soul behind in the ruins of what had once been his everything.
 
 
 
So how was she here, in this country, of all places?
 
 
A surge of emotion caught him unawares, breaking through the shell of shock that had held him captive until now.
 
 
Did it really matter how and why this had occurred?
 
 
 
No, it really didn’t.
 
A wave of joy and gratitude swept through him as he finally realized that he had been granted the most precious of all gifts…the gift of a lost love, given back to him years after he had lost all hope.
 
 
He couldn’t wait to see her.
 
 
On the heels of that thought came the realization that he wasn’t alone…not anymore.
 
 
Whirling around, he found her still, silent figure standing a few feet away.
 
Her gaze was fixed on him, and yet she made no move to draw near.
 
A new emotion reared it’s head then.
 
Although this was miraculous and he felt as if he was bursting with joy, he also realized that they had been apart for thirteen years.
 
And thirteen years was a long time…time enough  for old emotions to fade and new ones to take their place, perhaps?
 
He would have to tread carefully here. And yet, he knew that his excitement couldn’t be kept in check…not entirely.
 
The hope in his voice could not be entirely extinguished as he finally addressed her.
 
¨Done for the day?¨
 
 
A small smile curved her lips, and she took one step closer. 
His heart beat faster in response, and he willed it to slow down.
 
 
 
¨Done for the term, actually. Today was the last day of my tour of duty here in Rwanda. I’m heading out to Kigali International Airport in less than an hour.¨
 
 
At this, he smiled too.
 
 
¨That’s a coincidence. So am I.¨
 
 
 
Her smile faded a little.
 
¨So you’re going back…home?¨
 
 
He shook his head.
 
 
¨That’s not important right now.¨
 
 
Closing the distance between them, he took her hands in his and grasped them tight.
 
 
¨How is this possible, Khushi? I still can’t believe that you are here, standing before me…when all those years ago, I was repeatedly told by the Red Cross personnel that there were no survivors in Lakshminagar! And later, even the Kashyaps didn’t know anything…everyone presumed that you were dead, damn it!¨
 
 
 
Her eyes filled with tears.
 
 
¨They were right, Arnav. There were no survivors in Lakshminagar. But I wasn’t there, was I?¨
 
 
¨What?¨
 
 
¨I…I was halfway to the temple when the tremors first hit the area. I wasn’t at home, I’d left early because my parents had left for the Republic Day parade…¨
 
 
He closed his eyes tight.
 
 
¨But…I was there, at the temple! And later, I went back along the path to the town…¨
 
 
 
She shook her head slowly, her eyes sad and resigned.
 
 
¨I wasn’t taking that route. I…I was afraid that someone would see me and I would be stopped, and so I was walking there through the fields and then the hill…and when I finally saw the temple, it was…it was too late. The structure…was in ruins…¨
 
 
He looked down at her and pulled her slightly closer.
 
 
¨And so you assumed that I was…¨
 
 
This time, it was her eyes that shut him out, but not before he had seen the world of pain in them.
 
 
¨I thought it was all over, Arnav. I stood there in that spot for an eternity, stupefied by the devastation in the distance. When my parents finally found me there, I was an incoherent mess, incapable of saying anything but your name. I didn’t even protest when they pulled me along into the first bus to leave the area…¨
 
 
¨So all those weeks when I was searching for you like a demented man…you weren’t…you had just left the city?¨
 
 
 
The hint of anger and hurt in his voice made those hazel eyes snap open.
 
 
 
¨Yes, I left. Because in those first few days, I was like a…a statue, with no willpower of my own. But that wasn’t the end, Arnav. When reason finally returned, I made an excuse to my parents and came back to Gujarat two months later, but by then…no one knew what had happened to you. There was no sign of Arnav or Anjali Raizada.¨
 
 
 
¨I had left before then, Khushi. I…I thought that it was the end, too. And I couldn’t bear to stay in the same place where you and I had…and so I left. We went to Delhi.¨
 
 
 
¨Your grandmother’s house?¨
 
 
 
¨Yes. And you?¨
 
 
She shook her head again, a wry smile curving her lips.
 
 
¨My parents took me to Bangalore. The other end of the country…¨
 
 
 
He held her gaze, amazed by the twists of destiny that had conspired to keep them apart.
 
 
And then, the miracle of the moment overwhelmed him again.
 
 
Pulling her into his arms, he held her close to his body, his head resting on her shoulder as the sudden upsurge of emotions threatened to bring him to his knees.
 
He felt her stiffen, then melt into his arms…just as she had, all those times before.
 
 
His voice was a low, pain-wracked whisper as he breathed in her scent.
 
 
¨I can’t begin to tell you what it means to see you here, now…Khushi.¨
 
 
She tightened her own hold around him, and then pulled back slowly until their eyes met again.
 
 
¨I still can’t believe that this is actually happening…Arnav, I…¨
 
 
¨Dr.Gupta, there are…¨
 
 
They sprang apart as the nurse’s voice trailed off, and he watched in amusement as the familiar scarlet hue colored her cheeks.
 
 
¨I’m sorry, doctor…I didn’t realize you knew…¨
 
 
He watched her take a deep breath, then square her shoulders before facing the nurse.
 
 
 
¨Mr.Raizada and I were neighbors…years ago, in India. Was there…anything you needed?¨
 
 
 
The nurse looked from one to the other, sensing that there was more to this story.
Finally , she looked down at the paper in her hand and nodded.
 
 
¨There was one form that still needs your signature, Dr.Gupta. I wanted to get that done before your cab arrives.¨
 
 
Taking the pen from the nurse, he watched her sign the paper and hand it back to the nurse before turning back to him.
 
 
¨Didn’t you say that you were on you way to the airport too? We could share the cab…¨
 
 
 
He smiled, then nodded once before following her into the tent. As he watched her make her way towards the compact suitcase sitting in one corner, he strode forward briskly.
 
 
¨Here…let me get that.¨
 
 
She shook her head with a laugh.
 
 
¨You’ve barely recovered from an explosion, Arnav. And I don’t know if you have noticed, but these days, I’m not quite the fragile flower I used to be before…¨
 
 
He had noted that, but that discovery had been buried beneath the sheer relief of seeing her alive.
But now that she had brought his attention to that fact again, he realized that the professional, mature, capable looking doctor before him was  a far cry from the gentle, sensitive girl he had once known.
 
And yet, she was still the  same. He felt as if he still knew her on an elemental level…but did he really know what was going on in that brain of hers?
He knew that she was still in shock, and that joy and relief played a major part in her reaction.
But did it go beyond that?
 
Did he dare hope that she still saw him in the same light?
He had no more time to ponder on those troublesome thoughts over the next few minutes. Organizing their departure took up all his time and energy, and it was only when they were well on their way to the airport before he got the opportunity to talk to her again.
 
 
¨So…you are going back to Bangalore? How are your parents?¨
 
A new sadness entered her eyes.
¨Amma is fine. Babuji is…as well as can be expected. He had a stroke a few months back.¨
 
 
 
He placed his hand over hers, rejoicing when she didn’t pull away.
¨I’m sorry, Khushi.¨
 
 
She shrugged, then turned away to look out the window.
¨He’s coping. My Mom was devastated. It’s one reason why I asked for an early termination of my assignment here.¨
 
 
¨One reason?¨
 
 
She hesitated before replying. 
¨My parents were never in favor of my work in these troubled regions. All they want is for me to settle down into a comfortable private practice and…get married. And now, after all that’s happened…they just want me back.¨
 
 
An uncomfortable lurch in the region of his heart caught him unawares.
¨So they’re looking for a match, I presume?¨
 
 
She shook her head. ¨They’ve been looking for years. But I’ve always managed to put it off. My work with Doctors without Borders was my priority…my dream. And someone told me years ago that following our dreams gives us the reason to live…¨
 
 
He smiled, recalling his words to her all those years ago.
¨You still remember that?¨
 
 
¨There’s not much I’ve forgotten, Arnav.¨
 
¨And neither have I. Do you remember how much you wanted me to go back to school?¨
 
 
She faced him again, a new light in her eyes now.
 
¨You did?¨
 
 
He laughed. ¨Of course. I went back to school, then on to IIT, Kanpur. And there I met NK, with whom I started Alpha Resources. A.R is now quite successful, we have our headquarters in Delhi.¨
 
 
¨That’s…amazing! I’m so happy for you, Arnav…you finally did it all, didn’t you?¨
 
He looked away towards the window.
¨I had to. It was the least I could do, to honor the memory of the girl I’d once…¨
 
 
The cab braked suddenly, and they braced their hands on the headrest before them. When it set off again, he saw the shimmer of tears in her eyes and quickly changed the subject.
 
 
¨Anjali is in Delhi too. She’s happily married to a lawyer and has twins.¨
 
 
That brought a smile to her lips, and he leaned back, relieved.
 
“That’s wonderful. Has  she changed at all?”
 
“You can judge for yourself when you finally talk to her.”
 
“I can’t wait! But…if your family is in Delhi and so is your work, then what are you doing here?”
 
 
He looked away, uncomfortable at the direction this conversation was taking.
 
“I do this every year. Adventure trips to a new place, usually with NK. But he fell sick this time, so here I am…”
 
 
“Can’t quite tame the risk-taker in you, Mr.Raizada?”
 
Her teasing tone brought his eyes to hers.
 
“The risks helped me forget. I needed this…especially at this time of the year.”
 
 
 
Understanding dawned in her eyes then.
 
 
“Did it…help?”
 
 
Suddenly, he was angry.
 
“Does anything help? Does anything dull the pain? And now, to realize that it was all for nothing, that all that grief and despair could have been avoided if only we had…”
 
 
“If only we had…what? None of this is our fault, Arnav. It was a cruel trick of fate…and yet, it is that same fate that has brought us here today, at this moment.”
 
 
He leaned back against his seat, the anger leaving him just as soon as it had overtaken him.
 
 
“Fate..destiny…all that is crap, Khushi.What we are and who we become is in our hands.”
 
He sensed her smile.
 
 
“You haven’t changed at all, have you?”
 
 
He opened his eyes.
“Not all that much. And certainly not when it comes to…”
 
 
The cab gave another uncomfortable lurch, and as they braced themselves yet again, they realized that they had pulled up before the departures terminal of the Kigali Airport.
After paying the driver, he pulled on his backpack and waited while Khushi unloaded her suitcase from the trunk before following her inside.
 
But only after  a few steps, he came to a sudden halt, wondering if he had gone insane.
 
Wondering if they both had.
 
 
After an almost improbable miracle had brought about their reunion, were they really going to get on their respective aircrafts and head home to their families as if nothing had happened here?
 
 
Had the years changed them both that much?
 
He didn’t believe so.
 
He knew what he wanted, and this time, he would leave no stone unturned in making his dream  come true.
 
 
“Khushi…why don’t you go on to your check-in gate, and I’ll meet you there after I’ve purchased my new ticket?”
 
 
She stilled, then turned back to face him.
 
 
“Do you have a cellphone?”
 
 
He nodded, then pulled it out while she dictated her number. Satisfied that they now had the means to communicate even while they were at different ends of the airport, he stepped away.
 
 
“I know which flight you’re on, Khushi. I’ll be there as soon as possible. It doesn’t leave for two more hours, does it?”
 
She shook her head.
 
 
“No…but I…”
 
 
He grasped her hand in his.
 
 
“I will be there, Khushi. I promise.”
 
 
The doubt in her eyes wasn’t erased entirely, but he knew that he had no time to waste.
 
When she finally turned around and started walking towards the check-in area, he ran across the terminal, looking for the signs that would lead him to the airline offices.
 
A half hour later, he had what he needed.
Sprinting in earnest now, he made his way back to her gate, and sighed in relief when he spotted her by the phone booths.
 
Stopping a few feet away, he waited for her to finish her call. Winded by his run, he leaned back against the wall, drinking in the sight of the woman before him.
 
 
When she finally saw him, relief warred with uncertainty in her eyes, and for the first time, he felt the stirrings of doubt.
 
 
Had he done the right thing?
 
 
Would she see it that way?
 
 
He had no way of knowing. The only course of action was to ask her outright, and time was running out here.
 
 
Before he could get the words past his suddenly parched mouth, she spoke in a low-voiced whisper.
 
 
“Did you…get the flight you wanted?”
 
 
He smiled, then moved towards her and took her hands in his.
 
 
“Yes. But is it what you want, Khushi?”
 
 
Her eyes widened. “What do you mean?”
 
 
He held up his new ticket, and watched as her eyes widened further.
 
 
“This is a ticket to…Bangalore?”
 
 
He nodded, watching in alarm as her face paled further.
 
 
“I’m not about to make the same mistake that I had made all those years ago, Khushi. I am not about to let you go. I will follow you, and I will wait for as long as it takes. I realize that things might have changed between us, but I am willing to work at this. But if…this isn’t what you want, if this isn’t…”
 
 
She placed her finger on his lips, tears shimmering in her eyes again.
 
 
Stop. How could you even doubt that this was what I wanted? I’ve been torturing myself  with thoughts of another impending separation for the past few hours…and the only thing stopping me from voicing them was the fact that I didn’t know if this was what you wanted. I didn’t know if there was someone else…”
 
 
He laughed. “Someone else? There’s only ever been you, in any meaningful way. Don’t you ever doubt that. You’re stuck with me this time, Ms.Gupta.”
 
 
She wound her arms around his neck.
 
“There’s nowhere I”d rather be.”
 
 
When his lips met hers, both were reminded of that one magical night all those years ago. 
The lights and sounds and surroundings couldn’t have been more different, and yet…everything was still the same.
 
Their bodies knew the truth, that there was no one else.
 
And soon, so did their hearts.
 
 
When they finally parted for air, he rested his forehead on hers.
 
 
“Khushi?”
 
 
“Yes?”
 
 
 
“If you…still felt this way about me, why were you leaving? Why were  you letting me leave?”
 
 
He sensed her smile again, and pulled back to look into her eyes.
 
 
“Who said that I was?”
 
 
He drew in a startled breath as his eyes finally focussed on the paper she was holding up before him.
 
 
And this time when he crushed her lips with his, he was no longer gentle or patient.
 
 
As the kiss spiraled out of control, the slip of paper fluttered unnoticed from her hands onto the floor.
 
 
 
A one-way plane ticket from Kigali International Airport, to Indira Gandhi International Airport, New Delhi.
 
 
 
 
 
*****************
 
 
A/N:
First off, apologies for the delay, I blame my AD entirely!
 
Secondly, thank you @chotidesi for all the ideas, planning and execution of this story. It wouldn’t have been the same without you!
And last, but certainly not the least…happy birthday, Jigs.
This is for you, and you know why.
Aur kya bolun ab?
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42 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Deandre
    Mar 26, 2017 @ 04:43:36

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    Like

    Reply

  2. mahrusweety
    Nov 17, 2016 @ 03:48:29

    Awesome os

    Like

    Reply

  3. kunj1612
    Jun 16, 2016 @ 05:34:43

    it was just amazing..

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply

  4. priya300
    Jan 28, 2015 @ 06:44:45

    Such a beautiful story
    Loved it
    Really enjoyed reading it

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply

  5. archnagautam
    Jan 22, 2015 @ 08:34:36

    I am so late in reading this story.
    This was amazing story thanks you two to write it. Loved it so much.

    archnahardik123(IF)

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply

  6. aquagal01
    Sep 23, 2014 @ 05:08:43

    Beautiful story. The pain of losing love isn’t less. Fate was clearly testing them otherwise why it took them so many years to meet? But I’m glad that they did meet.
    PS: Arnav has NK to thank for this adventurous trip and the location. 😉

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply

  7. parimaap
    Sep 23, 2014 @ 00:01:50

    Amazing story

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply

  8. flowers4u
    Sep 20, 2014 @ 21:32:35

    Loved it beautiful os

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply

  9. flowers4u
    Sep 20, 2014 @ 21:31:26

    Loved it….beautiful os

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply

  10. flowers4u
    Sep 20, 2014 @ 21:27:38

    A very beautiful os …loved it

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply

  11. pixiegirl09
    Sep 18, 2014 @ 03:51:39

    That was a really moving & touching story Juhi… Just loved it like any of your other ones before…

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply

  12. kondhili
    Sep 16, 2014 @ 18:17:25

    Oh Wow juhi splendid….such a lovely story.
    Wish you had more time on hand to keep coming back.
    Miss you 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply

  13. shubhanjlisaxena
    Sep 16, 2014 @ 11:20:21

    Lovely story.. Awesome.. Loved how they met after 13 years long separation…

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply

  14. SUDHA GUDA
    Sep 16, 2014 @ 08:28:25

    Wonderful and brilliant and lovely story. Loved the way Arnav and Kushi met after 13 years.

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply

  15. ranogill
    Sep 15, 2014 @ 19:57:18

    Brilliant..so good to read you once again

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply

  16. mimosa658
    Sep 15, 2014 @ 18:23:42

    Thats a brilliant story Juhi! Loved it!

    Thanks to you and Choti for for coming up with such a heartfelt story!

    Juhi! Miss you and your wonderful stories! Please come back and bestow us with your magical stories!!

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply

  17. Arshix144
    Sep 15, 2014 @ 16:26:03

    Juhiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiii *sniff* we miss you dammmmmit! Thank you for coming back and giving Jigsie a super awesome birthday treat, the kind of treat that all of us got to enjoy! I have seriously missed your writing terribly!
    I must thank both Jigs and Choti for making you write again! You guys have written a beautiful/timeless TS! Arnav and Khushi’s reunion scene took me back to Veer Zara and the slow motion tere liye walk, it was pure magic!
    Kya bolun ab, this TS left me wanting more of your writing! *insert dreamy smiley here* 😀

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply

  18. yoga1237
    Sep 15, 2014 @ 00:18:28

    Brilliant story…………….Missing your stories Juhi…………Please come back with your wonderful stories……………..

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply

  19. bavari456
    Sep 14, 2014 @ 17:53:04

    Happy ending to sweet couple and amazing story. Enjoyed reading your writings again. Really missing your story and your version of Arnav and Khushi. Pls Juhi come back with your awesome stories. Thx.

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply

  20. anupamachand567
    Sep 13, 2014 @ 17:32:51

    So wonderful…they bought tickets to each others’ hometowns…a story about hope in the middle of despair. Arnav and Khushi can easily be imagined this way. Miss all your beautiful writing so thank you for this treat, Juhi. Iss pyaar ko kya naam doon?!

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply

  21. snoopy84
    Sep 13, 2014 @ 13:33:42

    that was real beautiful finding each other after 13 years really miss your stories

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply

  22. gangsu
    Sep 13, 2014 @ 12:54:12

    Beautiful
    But 13 yrs is too long of a separation but it isn’t at least aftr their marriage

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply

  23. sanasafina
    Sep 13, 2014 @ 07:51:14

    Amazing story Juhi…
    Loved it…

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply

  24. badfaith4u
    Sep 13, 2014 @ 05:26:53

    That was so emotional and wonderfull. After all these years, they found each other. Fate works in mysterious ways.

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply

  25. badfaith4u
    Sep 13, 2014 @ 05:26:53

    That was so emotional and wonderfull. After all these years, they found each other. Fate works in mysterious ways.

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply

  26. sweetydoll32
    Sep 13, 2014 @ 01:30:37

    Beautiful os dear loved it

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply

  27. raila1014
    Sep 12, 2014 @ 21:33:31

    Simply Wow! Juhi magic all over again. My mom passed away recently and I have been quite sad. Your stories are always special and this was one where love triumphed over tragedies is no exception. Thank you for putting a smile on my face! Hope all is well on your side. Come back with more stories will you?

    Liked by 2 people

    Reply

  28. pixieflame
    Sep 12, 2014 @ 18:41:17

    Just read both parts!
    A short and yet a beautiful tale!
    Every time I see you posting something new, my heart jumps with happiness! Cliché much? 😛
    Do write more!

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply

  29. rulama
    Sep 12, 2014 @ 16:44:07

    Lovely Part 2 Juhi!
    Was missing your writing a lot…

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply

  30. mdtharun
    Sep 12, 2014 @ 15:32:17

    Missed you a lot , I read and re-read your amazing works . Please do write such beautiful stories when you get time .

    This was as usual Perfect

    Loved it

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply

  31. namita111
    Sep 12, 2014 @ 14:44:06

    I really missed your stories. .please write whenever you can
    This one was so emotional and beautiful

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply

  32. heavensflower
    Sep 12, 2014 @ 13:35:32

    Thank you Juhi for this wonderful insight into yet another journey of Our Arnav and his Khushi….

    It is almost as if time had not elapsed… not only for Arnav and Khushi but for you and us… (don’t think I am separating you from us but what I am trying to say in my clumsy way is you the writer and we the readers) the words that you used to narrate their journey… Pure magic…

    I hope you get back to sharing this precious gift of your with the world again soon…

    Liked by 2 people

    Reply

  33. mayurisb80
    Sep 12, 2014 @ 13:23:09

    Oh. ..thats so beautiful. …..

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply

  34. desi introvert
    Sep 12, 2014 @ 12:58:18

    First of all, feels like 20 bajjilion years since I last read something that gave me the expelliarmus feelz. Probably because it’s been 20million years since you last wrote. So gotta thank jigs for having a bday! And oh happy birthday.

    Secondly choti! Kya scene set kiya hai dost?! Garba, earthquake only thing missing was dhokla, gathiya, undhiyu, thepla, chevdo, fafda…kidding! It was great. So many memories..and feelz. I swear lahu muh lag gaya was playing in my head when they were near the pan stall. Alas thanks for leaving us on a cliff! What more could be expected if expel was to follow..

    Ok so part 2.
    I laughed cried screamed and had a “OMG Arnav just said I love you dammit to khushi” face when I read “CONGO”. I also kind of missed S when I read that, because I know she would have had the same face (because telepathy sometimes!)

    This is pretty much why I love your stories, after being tortured and grilled (almost getting second degree) about what do I think is coming next..I get to go to Congo from gujju land. Like how can I even complain?!

    I loved the beginning! The hospital, an injured cursing Arnav, and the adventures in Congo with FBs of years gone by..the angst was almost borderline KDHI! But I knew there was a HEA moment lurking in the BG so I just enjoyed the ride. I really wish you would elaborate Arnav’s and NK’s adventures and write more adrenaline wala stuff and new travelling experiences! Like shattered wale caves me spelunking. So much missing of good times is happening, sigh!

    13 years is a long time! I have long moved past the that day, but I kind of understand the feeling that creeps up on Arnav that month. I think you wrote that part really well! Also the part about wanting to go back home, amen. Nothing like home when u have reached your travel misfortune threshold. Also well done Arnav for beating the Y2K ya!

    But nothing like angst and 13 years apart to make you JUMP with joy when the reunion happens. SO MUCH LAU. I can’t even…that was just amEzing yaara! And all it took was a simple touches and lingering looks, super duper expel paithraz. LOVED IT. Killing da pheelz and keepin it real, yo! Now I want to go back and read expel’s spells all over again! LLATW.

    I don’t even know what to say anymore… I love this story so much. Except except AR is back in a new avatar! Trust you to create innovative companies Hamesha! I am pretty sure u are in the wrong occupation.

    I loved that DM decided to show up 13 years later and all the feelings and emotions and histories that came out of it. You explored them so well, and yet kept it simple and real. Obviously with your usual brand of magic. Because we all need little miracles sometimes. And this was one of those.

    Thank you for taking the time out to write and share. I think this one will stay with me for a while..long while!

    Lulu

    Ps. Totally totally failed at all the guesses, glad to make you ROFLz, Hamesha.

    Liked by 2 people

    Reply

  35. savvz
    Sep 12, 2014 @ 12:44:36

    wow… good one… 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply

  36. naushi78
    Sep 12, 2014 @ 11:11:09

    Juhi, Yet another amazing story. I miss your stories and how I used to stalk your blog for an update.
    You make us all want Arnav all over again.

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply

  37. Ms.KKN
    Sep 12, 2014 @ 10:28:21

    Fantastic! Mind blowing!

    Har baar rulana zaroori hai kya Juhi?? ** Wiping out the happy tears!!!**

    Miracle of destiny n the strongest emotions of love shared by this couple Arnav n Khushi.. ArShi Hamesha! You make them so real , each n every time!

    Take a bow sweetheart! Muah!

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply

  38. anu1017
    Sep 12, 2014 @ 10:24:02

    This is awesome J!!! Please start writing again, missing your stories!!!!

    Liked by 2 people

    Reply

  39. emotionsmyriad
    Sep 12, 2014 @ 10:10:49

    Oh by the way, my IF ID is cineraria.

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply

  40. emotionsmyriad
    Sep 12, 2014 @ 10:10:24

    That was so so poignant. I don’t remember blinking while reading. Thank you so much Juhi Di and Choti for this. And Of course dearest Jiggs Ben.

    Liked by 2 people

    Reply

  41. 1chilly
    Sep 12, 2014 @ 09:41:13

    Me too.missing you stories. 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    Reply

  42. crazyarshi
    Sep 12, 2014 @ 09:28:30

    Wow. What a story. Really missing u guys and ur stories . :).

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply

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