So it happened that Shanya got married in January and Amya got married in late spring of the year 2029.
Chotti played a key role in the arrangements for the wedding. She wasn’t much interested in the catering aspect and conveniently left that to her mum, preferring to focus on the shopping with her Maami and the brides-to-be.
Anya’s marriage was of course a grand affair, befitting that of the Raizada khandan’s first daughter’s wedding and everybody in Delhi, who was anybody, landed up to bless the happy couple. Even the Mumbai (and Lucknow) gang landed up in full force. The shaadi itself was being held at a five-star hotel, but all the ‘rasams’ were being held at RM, which was brightly and exotically decorated.
I won’t bore you with the details just that rest assured Anya was a dazzling bride, and Sherry the dashing groom – Buaji toh nazar hi utarti reh gayi. Okay okay fine – just a couple of highlights theek hai? (but don’t blame me if as usual main rasta bhatak jaaoon)
Since it was Khsitij’s daughter’s wedding, the Lucknow gang landed up well in advance and so did Payal. Though technically they should have been all staying at GM, for some strange reason they all ended up staying at RM – in fact half the time GM wasis were also available at RM. Khushi ne toh insist kiya hee tha but Anjali also suggested generously that Khushi wouldn’t want to miss out on the company of her family that too after such a long time. Ab yeh alag baat hai ki probably it would have been just as easy for the RM wasis to shift to GM but then that is neither here nor there (aur tabhi I didn’t want to go into details – aap logon ko toh pata hai na meri kitni buri aadat hai ramble karne ki).
Anyway it was full house at a brightly and gorgeously decorated RM – Nani of course enjoyed the company and the chehel pehel but it was the kids who had the most blast – all cousins under one roof, no school, no exams, yummy food, masti hi masti – this was the stuff childhood was made of.
And since there is no such thing as a free lunch, the price for such a blast was paid, well, by the adults, particularly Khushi and Poo who barely had time to breathe as they rushed from one thing to another (in between bouts of uninterrupted talkathons not to mention laughathons stretching late into the night).
The only one who was isolated (mostly by choice) was Arnav – he preferred to give the ‘nonsensical’ activities a miss by staying back at the office later than usual as he really disliked all the shor sharaba underway at RM. But there was another reason – Aakash had sent out strong hints and feelers regarding his interest in re-starting joint ventures. While again it is not very clear exactly why Aakash was keen to team up with A&Designs it is possible that things were not going all that well in his business what with Mamaji deciding to take sanyas and preferring to spend his spare time with his grandchildren and pooja-paath rather than cooped up inside a closed building for days on end. And once Mamaji had made his decision he just completely withdrew and refused to even discuss business – as a result Aakash was left floundering. Despite his claim to being a savvy businessman and indeed heading a reasonably successful venture, Aakash had never really worked alone and now all of a sudden all this responsibility – it was too much for his sensibilities and inherent hesitant nature. Possibly he was looking to tie up with Arnav as it gave him a comforting feeling, a sense of security – or maybe Aakash wanted to make up and mend the very bridges he had burned many years ago or could be simply that Aakash had designs on A&Designs – khair woh sab toh waqt hi batayega.
Anyway, Arnav welcomed Aakash with open arms and got down to putting final touches on the draft proposal drawn up by Aakash (but Arnav was careful to let Aakash take the lead treating him more as a partner than a kid brother with no sense to even wipe his nose on his own).
So basically during the entire period, Arnav and Khushi met only briefly and had rare if any private moments for all the kids were putting up in the adjoining room and were forever in and out of their room. Since Chotti was invariably harassed and harangued by ‘ghosts’ of various shapes and sizes, she preferred to sleep with her parents.
In any case both were so busy that they barely had time to miss each other even – waise bhi shaadi ko itne saal ho gaye hain, ab toh space ki hi zyaada zaroorat hoti hai right?
But then again sach poocho toh Arnav aur Khushi busy the, khush the par phir bhi dil ke kisi kone main something was not right, a sense of incompleteness, a sense of anticipation, a sense of wanting something more would dog them both. Khushi’s eyes constantly searched for Arnav’s as did his – unfortunately they seemed to have lost their sense of timing.
Itne baar eye contact miss hua ki Khushi ke long deep sighs (and Arnav’s frequent outbursts) se irritate ho kar ‘fate’ stepped in (pssst maybe fate bhi RV ko miss kar rahi thi 😉
Sangeet wale din, both Arnav and Aakash had escaped to the office but then in the confusion and hullabaloo, Arnav forgot his all-important pen drive. Khushi ka pehle phone nahi lag raha tha and then he finally got through the landline, she was at the parlor, phir Poo couldn’t find the pen drive. Irritated, Arnav had no choice but to come back home – woh toofan ke tarah wapas aaya aur Khushi, jo apne kaam se jaa rahi thi phoolo ka thaal lekar, usse takraaya and they were both enveloped in a shower of rose petals.
Arnav reflexively caught hold of her as the rose petals swayed and lazily floated in and around them in tune with the RV which had just perked up and hummed the first few bars, “Khushi,” Arnav breathed huskily as he leaned over her struck and mesmerized – she was in fact looking gorgeous, she had done something to her hair and she looked years younger – it was yesterday once more.
Arnav straightened fluidly still holding Khushi, “You are beautiful,” he said almost awed.
Khushi hurriedly cast a look about them even as she blushed and raised her hands to her hot cheeks.
Arnav caught hold of her hands and looked at them searchingly, “Kya hua?” Khushi was surprised.
“Kuch doondh raha hoon,” came the terse reply.
“Doondh raha hoon?” Khushi was surprised, “Mere haath main? Kya?”
“Tumhare naam ka ‘A’,” pat came Arnav’s reply.
A rueful smile lit up Khushi’s face bringing an added glow (if that were possible), “Abhi tak bhoole nahi woh baat huh,” she made a face, “Aur bhoolne bhi nahi denge,” she half complained.
“Bhoolna kyon hai? Mujhe har baat yaad hai aur waise bhi,” he looked down at her, “You are looking exactly like you did that day,” he looked around, “yeh ghar, tum, sab ek hi hai.”
“Aur meri choodiyan?” She fluttered her lashes at him.
A/N Dear friends, apologies to those who were expecting the focus of the update to be on Shanya – understandable I suppose considering it is their wedding. But since SS is meant to be about Arshi and their journey during the ‘happily ever after’ I thought it best to avoid including their story as well (err actually I am no good at describing shaadis and its trappings – like ASR find them a whole lot of nonsense and waste time 😀 This time I managed not to veer off course but there is no saying what will happen in the future.
Click here for Chapter 376