Khushi snuggled up to her softly snoring husband and drifted back in time, before they re-married, when ASR was trying to convince her to marry him.
“Why should I give a chance to you?” Khushi wasnt going to fall so easily into his arms. “Did you give a chance to me? Nahi na, so why should I?”
Arnav was panicking; Khushi was turning out to be a tougher nut to crack than he thought. She was right, he was a moron, an idiot, and he really was a fool. He had fooled even himself. He thought he was a ‘head’ man, when actually he was all ‘heart’. He had had acute brain failure and now he was having a heart attack.
Khushi watched the play of myriad emotions on his face and softened. She suddenly stiffened, come on Khushi, don’t give in now, don’t forget your ‘kartavya’ teach this Laad Governor a lesson.
She charged out of the room just like she had charged in, leaving Arnav to wrestle with his unpleasant thoughts, though Khushi’s heart did miss a beat or two, what if he didn’t come to get her? Shut up Khushi, if he doesn’t, that means he doesn’t love you and it is best this way, she told herself firmly. But that didn’t stop her from soaking her pillow each night.
Of course Arnav did come around, though he took his own sweet time to recover from the heart attack and brain failure but by that time Khushi was again boiling mad at him for making them undergo this torture.
What she didn’t know was that without involving her or his Di (distracted by NK), he called Aakash, Payal, Nani, Mami, Buaji and Garima to AR Designs where he laid bare the real reason for their clandestine contract marriage, how and why he had forced her to marry him.
They were all shocked and horrified but they calmed down when he made it clear that he loved her and wanted to marry her and stay with her for the rest of his life.
Buaji and Amma were full of regret and remorse at what Khushi had to undergo to save her sister’s marriage, more so because they had failed to trust her. She had done more for the family than would a family member and yet Buaji had given the unkindest cut of all – paraya khoon.
Amma had come back home and hugged Khushi, wept and begged for forgiveness, but Buaji just sat there with a shell-shocked expression; hand on her head, in total silence.
Finally when Khushi hesitantly came forward and said, “Buaji,” the dam broke and Khushi was nearly strangled by Buaji’s emotional outpourings and extended ‘jhappis’. After the zillionth ‘hume maaf kar diyo bitiya’ Khushi was exasperated enough to say, “Ok that is it, now I am going to that Arnav Singh Raizada and will take him to task for involving all of you in this. What was the need for all this ‘confession’ now I don’t understand? Oh, I get it; this is another of his tactics to force me to again bow to his wishes”
She would have gone and blasted him again but was stopped by the entry of Payal. Another round of fresh tears and bitter self-recriminations followed and Khushi felt limp and exhausted by the end of it. But to tell the truth, Khushi felt a warm soothing glow at some corner of her heart. She felt free, released from a huge burden she did not even know she was carrying. Her family’s opinion mattered and clearing up their misunderstanding had brought solace and comfort to her bruised heart. She sent a silent heartfelt thank you to Arnavji.
Sensing victory and not one to let up on pressure, ASR sent Aakash and Nani as his emissaries to plead his case and even her family ganged up against her and nagged her into accepting his proposal for marriage.
Seething at his underhanded tactics, she called him up late at night. “I am ready to marry you.”
Arnav was overjoyed. “Khushi…”
Khushi was cold and curt. “Zyaada khush mat hoiye, I am doing this as my parents want me to marry you and for me this is just an ‘arranged’ marriage, and I don’t love you at all.”
She disconnected the phone, nibbled her nails and gave in to her baser instincts and danced a merry little jig, Laad Governor, mere saath hi nahi, mere isharon pe bhi naachega.
Arnav stared at his phone, a smile slowly spreading across his face; it was time, time to go shopping, shopping for shoes….dancing shoes.
Click here for Chapter 6