Chapter 472: A Stalemate

The stalemate between the two reached an impasse and their relationship was seriously strained and was on its perhaps the lowest ebb ever.

Khushi’s on her part found that no matter how hard she tried, she just couldn’t forgive him, she couldn’t move on and let bygones be bygones. All these years, it was she who had blinked first. In the interests of a peaceful congenial atmosphere, she had climbed down from her high horse and put mitti over whatever the bone of contention was – besides his lost puppy look had always been more than enough to melt her tender heart.

But ab nahi, and she was successful in upholding her end of the marital war mostly because she refused to look at him.

It was sort of ironic that the very children for whom she had sacrificed her ‘self’ should be the ones to instigate her into taking a stand – and ek baar stand le liya toh she could hardly back down could she? Besides, she had tried, she had gone and apologized and he had insisted on an explanation but if he couldn’t digest it that was his problem wasn’t it? Humne kuch galat nahi kiya, she justified, I tried to apologize which he should have accepted gracefully and moved on, ab nahi kiya toh na sahi, she thought mutinously hume bhi kuch nahi kehna unse, bahut ho gaya yeh sab drama, she thought bitterly, why should I always be the one to ‘understand’ and let bygones be bygones, nahi hum nahi jhukenge iss baar she reiterated over and over again.

Arnav on his part didn’t quite know how to handle the situation. He reluctantly agreed that perhaps Khushi did have a point and it’s not that kahin dil ke kone main he didn’t hold a grudge against his mother for ditching him like this – didn’t she love him at all? But then he didn’t like Khushi pointing it out to him besides he was smarting at the way Khushi put him in the same category as his father, albeit indirectly.

So, he got off his high horse, and promptly found a higher horse and turned his back to the problem. If he shut his eyes and refused to acknowledge the problem phir toh koi problem hi nahi hogi na? That made a lot of sense to ASR and he threw himself with double josh into work – work, which gave him his identity, soothed him, boosted his ego that defined him.

Arnav pointedly and determinedly ignored Khushi and deliberately focused on his work, preferring to attend out of station meetings even. His reasoning was that if I don’t acknowledge the problem, sooner or later it would die a natural death not realizing that this was probably what the worst thing he could do to Khushi – ignore her and let all the angst fester in her bosom.

But to be fair to Arnav, he didn’t know Khushi had suddenly gone and changed the rules of the game.

Khushi brooded to her heart’s content till it became an all-consuming full time task. As far as Devansh was concerned she alternately worried and consoled herself – abhi se itna egoistic hai pata nahi later what will happen, he shouldnt have dragged this thing for so long, pata nahi sab kuch akele kaise manage kar raha hai – chalo achcha hai jaldi bada ho jayega Guddu, good training for him when he goes off to USA wahan toh sab kuch khud hi karna padega but Arnav ko damage control karna chahiye na, USA main toh Laundromats hain, yahan toh…the arguments and counterarguments flew thick and fast.

Yeh toh hui Devansh ki baat – as far as she herself was concerned, Khushi was very dukhi and depressed at Arnav’s uncaring and callous attitude, doesn’t he care the slightest bit for me? She thought despairingly. I wish I hadn’t rocked the boat she thought miserably, sab achcha hi chal raha tha, why protest itne saalon baad, kuch fayda hua kya? Nahi na bekar main there was this awful eerie silence in the huge house. Worse, there was no Nani to scold Arnav and make him toe the line. Khushi desperately missed Nani and agonized for hours over what was the right thing to do. Nani hoti toh kya kehti? Zaroor Arnav ko samjhati.

Lekin ab toh Arnav kuch karenge nahi – he was content to let things slide and wait for it to sort out on its own and nahi bhi hua toh it was apparently no skin off his nose, his work was solace and distraction enough.

Toh hum hi olive branch extend karein kya? Thought Khushi unhappily as she desperately missed her Arnav – almost like a physical ache. She often woke up nights dreaming about Arnav looking at her with the irresistible warm glint in his eyes – it felt like years since she had seen that look, tears rained down her cheeks. Aisi bhi kya naraazgi, so childish and foolish, life was too short to waste on such petty issues wasn’t it?

But hamesha main hi kyon jhukoon? She thought with a touch of defiance and resentment, agar unhe meri zaroorat nahi, if he doesn’t miss me, if he doesn’t need me then I too shouldn’t impose upon him or compel him to talk to me. Jo marzi aaye karein hum kuch nahi kahenge, after all humari bhi kuch izzat hai, self respect hai she vowed and went about her day’s chores, hiding her broken heart with years of practice.

And on top of it, things at Lucknow weren’t too good either, Babuji wasn’t keeping well and neither was Buaji – if only she could go home. But then what about Chotti, this was a crucial year for her and she couldn’t afford to miss school. Of course leaving her alone wasn’t an option. If things were better between her and Arnav, maybe she could have requested him to go to Lucknow, or even take a day off so that she could have a quick peek, but Arnav was on a jet setting spree, barely home these days, aur hote bhi the toh his forbidding expression was enough to put her off.

And so it continued without any respite in sight…

Mercifully, Chotti remained quite unaware of the silently ongoing tussle at RM. She was too busy juggling school, coaching and a blossoming love life. She suddenly became very self conscious and particular about her diet – her ambition was to achieve size zero.

Devansh was right – no sooner had he left school (along with his brooding fierce glances at any male who dared to cross the Lakshman rekha around his baby sister) than Chotti suddenly found herself to be the most popular girl in her class. She of course couldn’t help lapping up all the attention and in all her innocence genuinely believed that the boys liked her for her ready wit and intelligence (well maybe her class notes too) and that they were all just really very good ‘friends’. She didn’t really have any favorites and was equally fond of them all.

That she was a sort of a status symbol among the guys or that any of them could be angling for ‘something’ else never entered her head – that is until one day, things came to a head.

In general Khushi was very careful about accompanying Chotti everywhere even preferring not to let her travel alone with their time-tested driver (yeah yeah ASR’s orders) but sometimes it did happen that she had to fall back upon her own resources. Take for example one cold winter rainy late afternoon when Anjali slipped and fractured her toe. Incidentally all the menfolk were out of station so it fell to Khushi to take care of Di. Chotti had her coaching classes and as fate would have it even the driver had a family emergency and had to rush off after dropping her.

Ab naturally there was a sort of a mini crisis – Khushi at the hospital with Di and Chotti at the coaching center, ‘Chill mom’ Chotti texted her mother from the class ‘I will ask a class mate to drop me home’. ‘Ok’ Khushi had no choice but to accept it, ‘but come directly to the hospital, we can go home together’.

‘Ok’ Chotti signed off with a smiley.

***

Click here for Chapter 473

11 thoughts on “Chapter 472: A Stalemate”

  1. These two r worse than kids.. & letting problems related to kids detoriate ones own relationship, is d most idiotic thing arshi could do.. yes arnav is what he is but now khushi with her so offensive stand, has make suitation worse.. but as far as arnav’s mother is concerned, i think khushi is being too proud of herself.. kyunki there is a vast difference between khushi’s & ratna’s suitation.. Ratna never has a nani, a di, a bhaiya etc.. she has a subhdara devi, which frankly khushi can’t even tolerate for few weeks.. & who knows, maybe ratna was suffering from depression? Khushi knows bare minimum, which a 14yr old son knows & madamji is passing judgement on that.. now suppose arnav started passing judgement on how her buaji & amma has akwayz treated her like a orphan, how payal has been more dear to them? How would khushi like this?? I really believe in marriage, parents on both sides, is a very sesitive thing.. so both partners should really think hard before dragging them.. no matter how rt or wrong u r..

    I m not saying khushi is wrong in her thinking but frankly at 60, no one change their attitude.. arnav tho fictional hai, real life main bhi ppl r set in their ways at 60.. lets see ab kaunsa world war baki hai

    Liked by 4 people

    1. Definitely worse than kids, but then most adults are like that! I do find it interesting that Arnav is what he is but Khushi cannot afford a single slip up, a moment of weakness, menopausal or otherwise knee jerk reaction. If Ratna was clinically depressed, there’s nothing more to be said. Although I personally dont think she was given the kind of flashback Arnav had on his 2nd wedding night. Secondly, she may not have had a Nani, she had Nani has her own mother and brother in Mamiji.
      ASR has never minced his words and has never been circumspect about his opinion of her parents, their aukat or their unfair treatment of her (reg their silence on her sudden marriage). He has been constantly (at least in SS) instilling into her the fact that her family didnt support her when he forcibly married her, he sowed that seed of doubt. He has never bothered to hold back just because she might get hurt, because woh aisa hi hai but when he asks for an honest response, he can’t take the truth? She is entitled to her opinion (besides, she did apologize) judgemental or otherwise isnt she? Particularly when she is at a low point of her life, undergoing hormonal changes, lost Nani, her children growing up, leaving her with free time to mope fret worry with no shoulder to lean on. And worse, her own children for whom she overlooked herself, her feelings accuse her of having no self-respect? Can nobody see her pain the anguish, unhealed raw wounds and continuing sense of injustice of having had to swallow Arnav’s cruel words after two decades of marriage? That she is questioning the very basis of their relationships and getting no reassuring vibes from anywhere? That she needs to lash out in the same language as Arnav does so thoughtlessly and get away with time and again with impunity. Can no one cut her a bit of slack? Leave Arnav, do we understand and hear Khushi? Of course she is overstressing about DSR, but isnt that what mother’s do? Can she not have a moment of weakness? Is there no one on her side?
      Err kuch zyaada ho gaya kya? Kya karein I do love a bit of a healthy debate. Besides, believe it or not, (like Ruchi noted) the entire SS was conceived and built up for this moment of crisis. That ASR wouldnt change, that Khushi would continue to give until one day, she had nothing more to give, except her angst and pent up bottled emotions. And how fandom would react to that.
      And also isnt this what we women do? Give and give, stop living our lives, make our children’s lives our own, even after they grow up, get married and have kids? Keep taking nonsense, hoping against hope, waiting, praying that one day the tide will turn and when things become too much, lose it and blast off on possibly inconsequential things? And then if a marriage breaks, it would be her fault, that she spoilt him, it’s too late… ahhgggh I better stop now and let someone else take the floor…

      Liked by 5 people

      1. Oh Dahlia….i do totally agree with you (its almost like you read my thoughts and wrote it in a much better way than I would ever be able to)..I loved to the extent to say that I loved this response more than the chapter (though not sure how the story teller in you would take it) here you have penned down the depth of Khushi’s struggle and internal anguish and a lot more.
        Just to add to what you have written, I have always seen/felt that the one who bends/makes compromises usually/initially will be expected to do that always. And for the short tempered ones – everyone will always excuse them saying that he/she is like that only. And the usual patient ones, they do it for the peace at the home, their own sanity etc..but there comes a point when all the pent up emotions break and its almost like all hell has broken loose. Then the question will be “why didn’t you tell/share before”? Its like they (here Khushi) can never win.
        As you said, ASR ka all guna maaf but khushi can’t slip even once.
        Just to summarize, even from the serial days my opinion about ASR was – He is good, but for Khushi. I do love them as a couple and all…but ASR Khushi ko mubaraq ho 🙂

        Liked by 4 people

      2. Haha true Nisha true. Only A true Khushi could hold on and stay on with an ASR because she truly can’t win. And thank you for the lovely comment, the story teller jaye bhad mein 😉

        Liked by 1 person

      3. Arnav never promised Khushi a Rose garden but gave an impression of one. After being insulted bar bar she kept coming back for more. Why? She fell in love with ‘I am like that only’ Laad Governer.’ Mat jao ; Mein tumhare bina ji nahi paunga’ from ASR and she keeled over at his feet. She always backed down. She is upset because ASR was strict with her ladla beta and told that what will he do without ‘his’ money. That put Devansh’s back up and I think he rose valiantly to the challenge. He is doing well but Khushi feels that he is too young to be working to earn money as well as study. But what is the real reason? All the resentment of past treatment by ASR has bubbled over. She feels hard done by.
        But what is holding her back? Nani is gone, the family has gone their separate way. the kids are old enough to look after themselves. What is stopping her to take some time for herself? Take a few months/weeks off and do what pleases her. Go on a cruise as a master chef and teach how to make jalebis. Take part in BBC’s Strictly Come Dancing or go to New Youk and hire the Carnegie Hall and have a show of Bollywood dancing. Anything. Just walk away for a little while to find herself. Find that feisty Khushi who stood up to the mighty ASR. All the money he threw at her she has paid in full and with interest. She saved shatir dimagwala ASR from going under. Stop making excuses for staying. She does not have to completely cut herself off. There is always the phone to keep in touch if she wants (or if the kids, her Arnavji want to).
        Here’s my penny’s worth. I do not know if it makes any sense at all or it is a load of codswallop.
        Good Evening Dahlia.

        Liked by 2 people

      4. Not codswallop at all Ferdi! Makes a lot of sense and if not in India, she would have probably done it long time ago. But as they say we are our own worst enemies, we cage ourselves, restrict ourselves believe that I cant do so and so thing – hence she remains in the rut going round and round in circles of abuse and despair. Perhaps she does have the Stockholm syndrome! But then again, to keep a relationship one has to overlook so many things, be generous and forgiving and large-hearted. I do believe it is not the problem itself which destroys us but our reaction and inner conflict…oh what am I rambling on about?

        Liked by 2 people

  2. Well, it’s not about Khushi is right or wrong in having an opinion in his mother.. It’s about how they deal with the crisis .. in general I’m Arnav’s ardent fan.. but in this case I can’t get myself support his attitude towards Khushi.. poor thing had to deal with so much and on top of it Arnav’s callous attitude to deal with .. Can someone hit him on the head and make him see what he is doing to his life’s biggest deal..

    Liked by 3 people

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