She didn’t see him for the next two days and for once she couldn’t blame it on the lack of trying. Her eyes seemed to be on a permanent lookout for that familiar saunter, the top of the guitar that seemed to be his constant companion, the shout of his abbreviated name amidst chaos in the cafeteria or the corridors.

Nothing.

She hung back, pretending to read the notice board outside the Refrigeration and Air-conditioning lab when she realized a Final Year class was in progress.

Nothing.

She even did so much as demonstrate a more usual curiosity about Aarohan and its goings on to Arjun. So much so that Arjun had commented, rather curiously on her enthusiastic participation and forced Khushi to realize that her restlessness was rather evident and completely uncalled for.

In the moments following her “audition” and AV-Sir’s disappearance from the auditorium, Khushi had battled, unsuccessfully, with disappointment and despair at not having had the chance to know what he had thought of her rendition. What had been, in the first few minutes of the afterglow of general praise, confidence that he had liked her singing, had rapidly deteriorated into self-doubt and an ultimate conclusion that her imagination may have run wild and cajoled her into imagining appreciation that had never been there in the first place. Had she assumed that moment of connection, uncanny as it had been? Had the warmth coursing through her veins been completely irrational and foolish? Had she let her emotions get out of hand without preamble? Again?

It was not a happy thought.

And therefore, it was hardly a wonder that in the practice sessions that had taken place in the last two evenings in the same auditorium with almost the same audience except the one missing person, her singing had been possibly less than inspired and definitely less than inspiring.  Nishant Kumar Pathak, the third year student in charge of all the songs and performances, a chief coordinator of sorts, the one who was evidently AV-Sir’s self-appointed heir and natural successor once the current Final Year batch graduated later that year, had taken her aside and asked her if there was a problem that they could work on together so that her throat would open up and her singing would get back to being just as impressive as it had been on the day of the audition. To say that she had been mortified at being singled out so was an understatement and yet how could she explain just why her vocal chords refused to cooperate and let her voice echo in melody as it had.

“Nishant Sir is super stressed, Kavi. He has so many people to listen to and correct and he has this reputation of being very serious about these things. Plus, he is a bit of snob. He believes that those who are trained in classical singing, especially Hindustani music, are the only ones who should be singing at all. If you’ve noticed, he is hard on almost everyone who is an amateur. Ridiculous if you ask me. We are prepping for a fun night of Bollywood singing, not some classical singing competition. He needs to lighten up. Everyone thinks so. Don’t worry about him.” Arjun had said when she had finally decided she had had enough of Nishant Pathak’s unintentional tyranny.

Khushi might have felt better after listening to Arjun. After all, Arjun’s words had presented such a beautiful contrast between AV-Sir and his self-appointed successor. Wasn’t it just a day before she had sung in the audition that AV-Sir and she had shared a few dialogues where he had made light of the fact that she had no formal training in music, when he had made her feel comfortable and warm – much like he had the first day he had asked her to sit down while keeping the remaining seventy odd boys in her class standing? Hadn’t it made her feel better about having lost her heart to someone because that someone was more than worthy?

If only her inspiration would come back to her… But AV-Sir had almost disappeared from the face of the earth, keeping her spirits lowered and her mood just as blue as the water in the Ganga was grey.

It was in such a mood, her mind full of self-reproach for falling in love with just the idea of someone who ticked all the boxes on a list she never knew existed in her head, that she sat on the cleanest and most secluded Ganga ghat there was in all of Kashi. Her eyes followed the water as it hopped along merrily, its current strong and vibrant as water splashed against the stone steps that was the ghat along its bank. The water was relatively clean in this part of town, closer to the university that housed IE and a host of other colleges. The ghat itself was off the main tourist track and hence relatively unoccupied especially at this time in the early evening unlike other ghats like Dashashwamedha ghat that was adjacent to the Vishwanath temple and all sorts of crazy on most days. She allowed her gaze to travel along the course of the water even as evening temple bells in the tens of other ghats sounded out, some drowned by the chanting of thousands of priests and devotees and others only enhanced by the preparation for the sandhya-aarti.

She had not been fond of the city ever since they had moved here three years ago but there were moments like these, when she felt herself bogged down by her habitual overthinking and other minor issues, when the hint of religion in the air, camphor, flowers, ash, lamp oil, soot, human perspiration and blazing fires, brought some sense of tranquility to her heart. The restlessness she was carrying with her for more than forty eight hours seemed to ease even as a shadow of sadness overwhelmed her. It was ridiculous that what she was feeling could be largely attributed to one specimen of the human race. She had never imagined herself to be one of those teens, despite all her filminess and love for drama. She shook her head. They said those who refused to stumble, fell really hard when they did.

It was certainly true in her case.

And yet, she had as much hope about easing the disquiet in her heart as the Ganga that flowed by, had of being clean one day.  She looked at the water in the distance as glittering orange from lamps being floated in its current cast its glow on the small waves and felt a strange sense of dejection in the river’s plight. Maybe one day she would find herself in the mountains, upstream where the water from the snow in the Himalayas had still not been tainted by human desperation.

She hummed the beginning of a song, as she allowed every other thought except the sound of rippling water to fill her ears.

Pani pani re

Khare pani re

She imagined the music that played in the original playback version, the sound of water sloshing against stones as the river flowed through icy mountains. It was a far cry from the ice and the fog-breath inducing weather and yet the slight nip in the evening air as clouds gathered overhead gave her the best possible companionship she needed for the song. The rest, as Tripti would say, was all in her head.

Pani pani re

Khare pani re

Nainon mein bhar ja

Neendein khali kar ja

It was a song that almost always made sure her eyes were moist in its wale. The lyrics were profound in the singer’s search for lost innocence and simpler times.

Pani pani in pahadon ke dhalanon se

Utar jaana

Dhuan dhuan kuch vaadiyan bhi aayengi

Guzar jaana

Ek gaon aayega, mera ghar aayega

Ja mere ghar ja

Neendein khali kar ja

Khushi smiled softly as she stopped singing and took a deep breath. It was beautiful song. And whether it was the name her parents had given her or the fact that rivers were one of nature’s most stunning creations in the way they represented life and its trappings, journeys across terrains to the ocean, it was a beautiful feeling to be able to sing along with the flowing water. She was a romantic. She couldn’t deny it.

“I must tell Nishant he is worrying for no reason.”

Khushi jumped up in her seat, her beautiful illusion shattering as the voice pierced through the small bubble she had sealed herself in for the last few minutes. Suddenly, it was the slightly less crowded ghat in Varanasi and not just her and the Ganga sharing moments of togetherness.

She turned around, as was customary now not really needing visual aide to know who the owner of that voice was.

Arnav Varun was walking up to her, his eyes glittering brilliantly with the reflections of the flowing river. His hair was slightly wind swept and yet there was a sense of impeccable grooming about him. That was another one of those qualities that stood him apart from the crowd. Engineering student or not, he was not one for sloppy behavior. Maybe that was part of the discipline that was going to make him the gold medalist and the one most likely to succeed.

She lowered her eyes as she realized that she had been staring too long to be considered polite and forced herself to smile even has she could feel her pulse leaping out of her wrist.

May I?” He asked, waiting patiently next to the stone slab she was sitting on.

If this was Arjun, he would have been sitting with an arm around her before remembering that it was probably polite to check if she minded company. And he would have made her snap out of this somberness with all his silliness. She would have been laughing before she realized it. Yes, she would have been happy if it had been Arjun interrupting her solitude. And yet, she couldn’t help but be immensely grateful that it was not.

Smiling she nodded and shifted slightly though the slab was big enough to seat at least five fully grown adults. And yet, she could feel the warmth of him in the air that touched her arms as he sat down, facing the river like she was, a good distance away from her physically.

“I didn’t know that this ghat was popular with the first years already.” He remarked as he pried the guitar off his shoulder and allowed it to rest softly by his side.

She looked at him and shrugged. “No…I’ve been coming here since we moved to the campus three years ago.”

Arnav nodded. “It is the best part of this town. Other than the university campus, of couse. The rest of it,” he shuddered. “And I thought where I come from is the pits.”

“I think they keep it polluted knowingly. You know, that brings in the tourists who want to see the “real” India?” She offered, surprised that she was willing to share her borderline cynical thoughts so openly with a practical stranger. Of course it was only after she had spoken that she realized that he had given her the perfect opening to start a more meaningful conversation – at least exchange basic information like hometowns and she had skipped it. What was she going to do about herself? She sighed inwardly.

AV-Sir chuckled. “That actually makes sense.”

Khushi smiled and looked away.

They sat there in silence for the next five minutes. Khushi was never one for unexplained silences with people she knew. Except her parents, her sister and complete strangers, she could never really participate in a silent togetherness in a way many people did extremely naturally. Even with Arjun, in the rare moments of silence that stretched between them, it was always Khushi who spoke first and initiated conversation. So it was weirdly satisfying that it was not the case with Arnav Varun. Or AV-Sir. Or Arnav. She still hadn’t decided how she referred to him even in her own head. God forbid if she ever had actually to call out to him by a name!

“Do you talk less as a matter of principle or is it a side effect of being the only girl in four years of Mechanical Engineering students?”

Khushi looked at him in surprise only to find a gentle teasing smile on his face as he looked at her once and looked away at the river. With the sun setting behind, his profile was swathed in a mixture of darkness and light, throwing his features in sharp relief. Khushi’s breath caught in her throat as she cleared it soundly. She couldn’t act like a total idiot. She owed it to herself.

“I’ve never been a great talker but yes, it does help now.” She said softly.

Arnav shook his head and smiled as he tilted his head to look at her again. “So was the choice by design or by default?”

Khushi had to admit that it was at least a different lead up to the “Why Mechanical Engineering question?” Or maybe she was just being kind because of who was asking the question? Whatever the case, she found herself answering with significantly lower annoyance in her voice. “My parents wanted me to stay at IE, Varanasi because they are here. And though I wasn’t particularly inclined to have my way over which IE I chose, I wanted to at least have the final say on the branch. Ma wanted me to take up Electrical or Chemical. Now, if only she had told me why she preferred those branches…” She trailed off.

Arnav was chuckling softly beside her. “So designed default then.” He summarized and Khushi smiled back.

“And why are you called Khushi when your name is Kaveri?” He asked a small second later.

Khushi’s cheeks colored as she remembered telling him to call her Khushi – something she hadn’t allowed most of her classmates to yet. “Khushi is my middle name. My parents named my sister and me with names of rivers they liked and emotions they felt at each our births – happiness for me and contentment for her.” She smiled at that. It was her favorite family story and one she usually took many together spent hours together to reveal. Yet…

“So you are Kaveri Khushi Gupta and your sister is?”

“Krishna Tripti Gupta.”

Arnav smiled, his coal eyes glinting off flecks of gold as the evening sun caught between those lashes. “Kaveri-Krishna, Khushi-Tripti” He smiled some more. “That is pretty amazing.”

Khushi smiled. Tripti had always claimed that Khushi had the better combination and Khushi had felt vice versa. Neither of them was completely happy with the most important part of their identities and yet this story was as dear to her as it was to her sister.

“Who would think that Professor Gupta was capable of something as poetic as this?”

Khushi frowned only to see Arnav hold up his hands in front of him. “Kidding, kidding. Not risking the ire of my project guide’s daughter.”

She blinked and looked away. “He is absent minded” She acknowledged sheepishly. “But brilliant,” She countered immediately.

Arnav nodded. “Of course. He is one of the best professors we have at IE. When he first came three years back, he was our Applied Mechanics professor. It was a pure treat to be in those classes. He made everything sound so…simple.”

Khushi felt her heart swell with pride. She was proud of her father on most days but with Arnav’s words, it was something different, better, more meaningful.

She smiled at him tentatively and tried to keep her beating heart in check. After spending more than two days wondering where he had disappeared after her audition, after wondering if anything she had sung had made any impact, it was almost incredible that she was sitting with him, on a beautiful monsoon evening at a peaceful Ganga ghat. A part of her just wanted to come right out and ask him where he had disappeared that day. And yet how could she without also revealing just how much his presence and his opinion had come to mean to her. It was that thought that brought her thoughts back to his opening statement from a few minutes ago came back to her. “What did you mean by telling Nishant..Sir about not worrying. He is worried I am not…that I won’t be able to sing well?” She asked quietly. She wasn’t surprised that Nishant Kumar Pathak had shared his misgivings about her singing with AV-Sir. After all he wasn’t even technically wrong. And yet it hurt.

Arnav clucked dismissively. “I am not worried. Not after what I just heard. You’ll be fine. I guess you just need to stop worrying about what others are thinking about your voice and your song.”

Khushi jerked her head up to look at him curiously. Had he known somehow that she had been seeking his approval, his feedback?

Arnav shook his head. “You tend to hold your voice back. Even the other day, as wonderfully as you sang, there was hesitation in your voice, you know?” He frowned. “Like you were holding yourself back even as your voice struggled to break free.”

She should have heard the professionalism behind his comment but all Khushi could hear was that she had sung wonderfully. Wonderfully. That was praise. Pure and simple. It was as if a weight had been lifted off her chest. She had sung wonderfully. He had not disappeared because he had been disappointed in her.

“…would say…khul ke gao. If you need inspiration, take time to think about it. Nothing makes your song sound better than if you know and feel what you are singing.”

The smile on her face refused to dim even in its muted state. The diyas floating in water glowed brighter, the water splashed along more merrily.

Khil uthi toh kali

Paaya roop naya

Poochti thi kali ke mujhe kya hua

Phool hansa

If she sang right now, Arnav wouldn’t have a chance to say any of what he was saying right now. She smiled to herself and looked away as her legs swayed gently in the air.

“I’m so sorry. As I mentioned the other day – I tend to get carried away when I am talking about…”

Khushi looked at Arnav and realized that they were still in the same place and he was now looking at her evidently embarrassed for a rather lengthy feedback session.

“No, no,” She hurried to assure him. “Thank you so much for sharing your thoughts. I will…” She nodded her head earnestly, “I will try to sing without worrying about how I sound. It is what my mother has always told me about singing as well.”

AV-Sir’s face relaxed. “Gayatri Ma’am sings too?”

Khushi nodded. “Both my parents do. Ma is even trained in Carnatic classical singing though she never really took it up seriously.  She spent a few years in Chennai when she was growing up and my grandparents were very fond of classical music.”

“That’s explains the fascination for the name Kaveri.” Arnav said softly.

Khushi chuckled. “Yes. I am glad she didn’t grow up in Banaras. Ganga would have been a very difficult name to laugh off.”

Arnav laughed out loud at that and Khushi’s heart soared in the aftermath of that hearty wholesome laughter.

There was no question about it anymore. She was in love.

River Song, Music and Lyrics

Song Title: Aate Jaate

Album: Maine Pyar Kiya

Singers: Lata Mangeshkar, S.P. Balasubramaniam

Music: Ram-Laxman

Lyrics: Dev Kohli

Tum Kaun Ho

Batla Toh Do

Kyun Karne Lagi Main Tum Pe Aitbaar

Khamosh Rahun, Ya Main Keh Doon

Ya Kar Lun Main Chupke Se Yeh Sweekaar

Yehi Sach Hai – Shaayad Maine Pyaar Kiya

Next Update: Tuesday, April 28, 2015

145 thoughts on “Chapter Seven: Feeling Blue

  1. Hey Meera, another wonderful update and beauitful song selections, especially the last one.. so apt for Khushi’s state of mind, she has hopelessly fallen for Arnav, if only she has guts to confess it to Arnav if not now, before he leaves the college, but these are easily said than done. You have just taken us back to those days in college, seniors crushes, silly excuses to be at right place at rigth time for the real reasons only your heart knows, have been there. So, what are Arnav’s feelings, he doesn’t seem to reciprocate Khushi’s feelings yet, he is all caring and friendly. Will we getting his side, his feelings any time soon..?

    Liked by 1 person

  2. mmmm…..i enjoyed by reading it as slowly as possible the way one takes time in eating their favourite sweet….Superb update….I am falling more and more for this khushi….so simple and beautiful…IF-srilathas

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Oh poor Khushi! I can understand her restlessness and worries. Sigh, first love! It is magical!!! And you put it into words so easily and beautifully that every chapter of your brings a barrage of memories and makes me relive my college days all over again!

    LOL I had a good laugh reading about the “self-appointed heir’s” concerns and his “tyranny”. If only he knew why she wasn’t doing her best!

    Arjun is a life-saver yaar! Always there and unerringly knows what to say to make her(and us) feel better. Haeee, two dreamy guys!!!

    Your knowledge of Varanasi is comprehensive! The way you describe the river and its moods, the ghats and the activities that take place really transports a reader to the holy city and experience it all. I lobe listening to the aarti that pandits do in large numbers, the chanting, the tolling of bells, the clapping of people, the smell of flowers, camphor and fire in some way calm me down and make me feel content and connected with God. It’s a very difficult feeling to put into words.

    Khushi’s musings were a joy to read. And your songs! Sigh, I have really enjoyed listening to such PURE GEMS! Thank you for including such beautiful songs in your FF which I am sure I would have missed otherwise. You have introduced me to some stunning music!

    Eeeeeeepppp!!! AV Sir is there! I had a huge grin on my face! God Meera, you are turning all of us to 16 year olds!! Khushi’s confusion about what to call him made me ROFL. Their conversation was personal yet impersonal, formal yet informal and the ease with which they went on and on made me sigh and become all giggly! So her father is his project guide! She is sure to see more of him then!!! The Ganga joke was good! Khushi you are a total goner babe!!! (and so are we Meera :D)

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Meera!

      What a lovely update! You’re writing is sheer eloquence.

      Oh dear me Khushi, we’ve gotten down to stalking already! Meera, you’ve so beautifully projected the restlessness, the impatience, the nervousness, the hesitance & finally the happiness at having found him – a myriad of emotions experienced within a span of two days.

      I also love the finality, with which, you’ve stated her emotions – ‘She was in Love’. This line somehow to me, was the highlight of the update.

      Good Work Girl..This Khushi somehow is so real.

      Looking forward to you’re next update, as usual!

      P.S Did I tell you that the song selection was super awesome & so is this Arjun guy.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. lovely update! she acknowledges to herself that she is in love. arnav was trying to tell something about him but she missed the chance. wonder where he disappeared for two days? she revealed too much to him about her family, but didnt care to ask him about his own! would khushi n arnav have a duet performance at arohan? that wud be a treat to watch!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Brilliant! Where do I even start to share my thoughts…
    The best part was the solace you find at the holy places which have the most serene surroundings at one particular secluded spot. I can so well empathize with khushi on this.. When I go to a mandir for my share of tranquility , sitting n pondering in my favorite spot just for a few minutes brings me back from all the troubling , annoying thoughts in my life.. Sigh!! I love these kind of detailing u give in your stories Meera.. Very heart touching.. Another reason to love AV sir ( not DAT we need some reason to like him ;)) for being such a thorough gentlemen. His Analysis on the Krishna Kaveri duo was cool.. :D Their first real convo outside the campus environs was splendid.. That scene reminded me that to be comfortable with a relative stranger u don’t need to really chat endlessly…
    The songs yet again were amazingly lovely..
    Im genuinely wondering as to… How do u actually write the script? Do you pick up the song n weave a situation around it for the story yaa vice versa..? Jo bhi ho the resultant sync of the song n the situation is just beyond words.. Mash Allah!!!

    I love this musical Meera.. It illustrates how beautiful n interesting can each one’s life can be with these Lil yet significant details, though the individuals themselves perceive it very casually.

    Eekkss.. My comment apparently completes a century for this chapter! Wohoo!! N it’s today u r going to post the next chapter!! Awesome!!!!

    Liked by 2 people

  6. My Dear Meera!!!!

    Absolutely amazing to have you back!!!

    I just speed-read all chapters so i could be ready when you update and like always your stories are a breath of fresh air!!! They are Khushi and Arnav in completely alternate universes but still with the same passion, same love and same charisma!!!

    I’m just soooooo glad your back!!!!

    Love ya girl!!!!!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Hey Meera…sorry if I’m pestering you but if its possible could you please grant me access to both your other stories A Word’s Worth and The Emerald Isle Tales. Specially A Word’s Worth…I’ve read so much about it that I’m dying to read it. I’ve requested access on both sites. Please grant me the access. Although I’d understand if you have a reason for not doing so. And I’m eagerly waiting for the next update :)

    Liked by 3 people

  8. “…the hint of religion in the air, camphor, flowers, ash, lamp oil, soot, human perspiration and blazing fires…” This! I don’t know of any better way by which Banaras can be described. You are a genius and I swear by it.

    We still don’t know where he disappeared to for two days, but at least he initiated contact again and saved her from heartbreak. Poor girl would have gone into depression otherwise.

    Here is my song for the update:

    Liked by 3 people

  9. Such a beautiful read- The journey of first love – its so beautiful and the last song from MPK is one of my favs .. cant wait to read what goes on next. Hopefully you will update soon.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Loved the chapter and songs. Both the songs are my favorite one too. Finally Khushi gets to hear AV sir’s comment without any audience. Loved the way his conversation with her and comfort level of their conversation . By this he’s knowing more about her and her family. Thx

    Liked by 1 person

  11. ohh meera meera..what an excellent piece of work..no doubt u come across ppl saying d same thing many times..but take mine too..i took long to come here to read this..but just loved all the chapters..and d songs choice is over d top..putting every emotion at the right place in right amount.waiting for the next chapter to follow d beautiful flow..i just wish der r no heart breaks..

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  12. Meera , I usually read your fictions after you publish the last chapter, cause it gives a different satisfaction . As usual an amazing work Meera. After reading till chapter 7 of your beautiful fiction , I sort of feel nostalgic about my days at college, and I wish I could go back to that time which I know is quite impossible.
    First day at college, we usually have a mixed feeling, we will be curious , excited, tensed and anxious but will pretend to be a smart adult . We will curse the seniors for ragging , but one of the senior will definitely will be our favorite person sooner or later. And, Isn’t during the college days we taste love for the first time? I think the first step is infatuation, the attraction towards the popular person in college, then it grows rapidly, and at one stage we realize that it is not just attractiion, we will feel jealous if our hero speaks to another girl, we will feel uneasy if he has fun with another girl and we cry silently cause we don’t want to get embarrassed by disclosing the feeling we have for the most appealing college hero.
    If at the time of joining we are fortunate enough to find a familiar person in the same batch he/she will be our first friend at college and probably our best friend.
    Yes, all this feeling is narrated interestingly in your story. I felt like Khushi is me, but I am sure the majority of the readers felt so. Arjun is an interesting character, I think he still loves her. I love to read a Arnav’s perspective. Did Khushi’s presence make any difference in his life? Did he control his feeling in the misconception that Khushi and Arjun are a pair?

    Like

  13. Well meera I just cannot stop reading your story. I came across this story when I was searching for arhi ff. And guess what I bookmarked it just after reading the prologue. I read all the chapters in one go.
    I just love ur narrative style.
    Your story reminded me of my 1st day in my college. Well I just cannot say how scared I was because medical colleges are known for their ragging but fortunately things turned out to be good.
    Arnav’s perspective is yet to cum but still I can relate his characterization to someone who is very close to my heart and hence I would be looking forward for his perspective.
    This is longest comment I have written for any writer but I couldn’t stop myself from writing after reading your story.
    If possible please do consider giving access for your other stories. I would just love to read them.

    Like

  14. This meeting is a turning point in their relationship, I think. They’re a little more than just college mates and acquaintances now.
    For Khushi it’s like a dream come true, hai na? To have Arnav’s undivided attention with nobody else around to take away from it. Just a simple compliment on her singing and her heart has taken flight and is soaring among the clouds. Or more appropriately, tripping along the Ganga. Am keeping my fingers crossed that when real life shoves its head in, it’s not too painful…for Khushi, Arnav and Arjun.

    Liked by 1 person

  15. We have our alcove !!! The riverside nonetheless!! I love such scenes ☺️☺️

    Also… Sitting by a river and not singing paani paani wud be a crime !!!

    Liked by 1 person

  16. The title of this chapter reminded me of the song Jaane Kya Chaahe Mann Baawra.

    Khushi’s down to stalking AV-Sir. I’m sure his appreciation, though not verbal, was not a result of her imagination. It’s hard not to get bogged down by insecurities. Perhaps, that led to her perfect rendition of Paani Paani Re. A song that probably fit Khushi’s plight –
    O mere dil ke chain,
    Chain aaye mere dil ko dua kijiye…

    The portrayal of the scenic beauty of Ganga and her surroundings along with the insight into Khushi’s feelings was truly enchanting Meera! So absorbed was I, that it felt as if I was right there with AV-Sir and Khushi. But not so close that I become kabab mein haddi ;p. This was their first conversation without the usual college or practice session chaos and boy, I absolutely loved it !

    Arnav is a true gentleman. His sensitivity, sense of grooming and the mere thought of a coal-eyed companion for a lovely sunset at the Ghat… Sigh.
    Must you spoil us beyond redemption ?
    Khushi seemed free enough to share her thoughts with Arnav, and on topics which she probably wouldn’t discuss even with Arjun.

    ‘There was no question about it anymore. She was in love.’
    These words definitely echoed, true and beautiful. It’s almost as if I heard them in my head.

    But some questions remain unanswered. Why and where had Arnav disappeared ? And how did he find Khushi? We may not know his train of thoughts, but the guessing game has it’s own charm, doesn’t it ?

    No other writer weaves magic, in quite the same way that you do. :)

    Liked by 3 people

  17. After reading this updated, Khushi has hopelessly fallen in love with Arnav.😊😊
    But what Arnav is feeling about Khushi is only friendliness or the answer to that question lies in those 48hrs?😏😏

    Like

  18. Brilliant!!

    The way you wrote Khushi’s restlessness​ and feelings on not finding AV is so nice!!

    Loved their interaction and sharing those little things about the common interest-Music, and themselves!

    Liked by 1 person

  19. The uncertainties of youth , the never ending sometimes turbulent sometimes serene Ganga ,the beauty of Varanasi’s ghats despite all the muck, and the feeling of oneness with the environment one gets sitting on a no crowded ghat all this and more bought out perfectly by you . i always enjoy stories where one can connect with the spaces around the main characters.
    Better look into real life before I move on to next chapter.CHEERS

    Liked by 1 person

  20. Arnav had the right words of advise for the lite singer..khushi is slowing sinking into the ocean of love..the mix of college days and Bollywood music can be nostalgic..reminded me of a good friend who would drive me crazy looking out for that someone special 😂

    Now it is all memories..beautiful and cherished days!

    Like

  21. Their conversation was soo beautiful…khushi is soo innocent…silently waiting to hear arnav’s compliment…finally the words from arnav made her soo happy…i am sure now she will sing with more confidence…

    Liked by 1 person

  22. Their conversation was soo beautiful…khushi is soo innocent…silently waiting to hear arnav’s compliment…finally the words from arnav made her soo happy…i am sure now she will sing with more confidence…arnav’s advice about singing also good…
    The comparison of their names is good…

    Liked by 1 person

  23. Awwww… i am in 💘
    I love the songs u bring in…. they gel soooo well. Again a couple of favs here…
    Khushi seems to be building castles in the air, where Arnav seems to be just on the borderline of politely friendly… can’t wait to read further!

    Liked by 2 people

  24. “So much so that Arjun had commented, rather curiously on her enthusiastic participation and forced Khushi to realize that her restlessness was rather evident and completely uncalled for. ” Ya, I know that feeling too. when we dont want anyone to know. But, maybe that is just Khushi. MAybe, you do disclose it to your best friend. But, Arjun. Maybe not. But, I understand where Khushi is coming from. You want to treasure this feeling. Before it goes out.

    ” What had been, in the first few minutes of the afterglow of general praise, confidence that he had liked her singing, had rapidly deteriorated into self-doubt and an ultimate conclusion that her imagination may have run wild and cajoled her into imagining appreciation that had never been there in the first place.” The second-guessing. The pessimism. The feelings that we were so sure about, ultimately become a question.

    “her mind full of self-reproach for falling in love with just the idea of someone who ticked all the boxes on a list she never knew existed in her head, ” Hayee. How do you do this? How do you know that we all feel like this?

    “They said those who refused to stumble, fell really hard when they did.” “Na na karte pyaar, tumhe se kar baithe..:D” I must say, some of the songs you have used in the story, I have never heard them. But, I could never imagine any other song in their place.

    “Engineering student or not, he was not one for sloppy behavior. Maybe that was part of the discipline that was going to make him the gold medalist and the one most likely to succeed.” Is it a crime, or does it make me materialistic or hollow if I want him coz of that, and just made him more attractive to me. Hayee, what am I doing.. I am crushing on a fictional character. Kya hoga mera? Meera kyun banate ho itne cool leads?

    “And yet, she couldn’t help but be immensely grateful that it was not.” And, that made all the difference in the story. You are magic, meera! you know your words, and you play them right! Never stop writing Meera. Please!

    “Of course it was only after she had spoken that she realized that he had given her the perfect opening to start a more meaningful conversation – at least exchange basic information like hometowns and she had skipped it.” – The classic wake up in the middle of the night with the perfect comeback situation. :’)

    “. She owed it to herself..” And to all the females, who are rooting for this lovestory and identify themselves with you.!

    What a simple, beautiful, sweet love story. Just plain old magic! Meera, you are brilliant and I just fall in love with your words, every time. Please start a new story! Come back!

    Kyun Karne Lagi Main Tum Pe Aitbaar
    Khamosh Rahun, Ya Main Keh Doon- Maine Pyaar Kiya!

    Liked by 2 people

  25. awesome update yar
    khushi is head over heals for arnav
    he will be leaving the clg soon….
    will khushi able to confess it……ofcourse it will be difficult…and it’s her first love….
    she doesn’t have the guts to make him realize it

    Liked by 1 person

  26. Hi Meera,

    How are you..

    Beautiful update especially starting about khushi ‘s state and her time on this special ghat which is penned in divine way.. so NK is here & liked the way Arjun encouraged khushi..

    Coming to songs.. new song on pain..so went ahead & enjoyed it.. all songs are in sync with updates & with khushi especially.. awesome job..
    Very long & best conversation between tabac & khushi.. aww he so encouraged her & motivated her .. they spoke about her parents, her family bg, her names & they way he combined both sisters name was good.. khushi is in love & v r in bliss.. Thankyou!!!😊🙏

    Liked by 1 person

  27. Reading this update reminded me one of the time I travelled to puri.. the bliss. the temples, rivers, temple bells camphor..Thanks

    Liked by 1 person

  28. Feeling a little blue myself today. And I think it’s without reason. (One without an Arnav to pine an absence over is no reason, isn’t it?)

    I came here specifically to chase some of it away, to witness Kaveri and AV sit by the Ganga, fall a little more in love.
    And once again, I’m reminded of just how and just how much you’ve given us in your inimitable way, Meera.
    It almost feels like you bequeathed us with little snippets, a line sometimes, a heart beat at others, and always something that is so much more than what we deserve.

    Thank you!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Nivi, how are you? Haven’t seen you around much.
      I was out and about this morning, and tanhayee comes on the radio. My thoughts immediately went to an auditorium and a conversation about a list of songs. And I felt like coming here and leaving a little comment.
      This will always be special.

      Liked by 1 person

  29. Thank you, Meera enjoying the story. Reminding me of my college days and first visit to Kashi as a teenager with my college friends. Have been there again years later but would like to visit again and stay longer and have a stroll on various ghats. I know the river has been poisoned and made dirty by us but I hope that one day it will be clean again.
    Khushi got the reassurance she needed from AV and is happy.
    Back to the rest of the story.

    Liked by 1 person

  30. Khushi misses Arnav n loses interest in singing …
    But after their sudden meeting,she has got her inspiration..
    She has fallen hardly for him..

    Pls Meea.. no heart break for my Khushi..
    I can’t take it.. lol

    Liked by 2 people

  31. Is it common to address seniors as “Sir”? I did not know.
    So, Khushi missed AV sir or Arnav Varun or Arnav (whatever she will decide to call in her head in the future) because he disappeared from the face of the earth! She realized she was in love with him.
    Told you he is a dream boy! I know 17 year old girl’s feelings can be passed off as infatuation, but, some love stories are meant to be.
    What about him? Did he not find a dream girl yet? I am not complaining. This is an Arshi story and they will end up together at the end. But such a dream boy and no girl came after him or he fell in love with someone in the last 3 and a bit years or before?
    Yaar, when he appeared at the Ghat she should have used the conversation to discreetly ask about his disappearance or is it too early to broach such subject?
    He acknowledged that she sings wonderfully. Tomorrow, he will find what difference did it make to Kaveri Khushi Gupta’s singing. Nishant sir might think it is his scolding that paid off.
    Cheers…….

    Liked by 3 people

  32. I love the playlist that accompanies the chapters. The whole story is like a musical journey, not just the mixtape that accompanies it, but also the music in the story itself. Your picks are wonderful and add another dimension to the story! Thank you for bringing back forgotten favorites…

    Liked by 1 person

  33. Meera, I can almost visualize the Ganges, the sound of the stream, the tranquility, distant sound of bells , chatter , but zoned out kh, 🙄
    She was delirious when AV told she sang beautifully 👍🏼
    Kh is so much in love 🥰
    What about AV, is he in a relationship with someone else or waiting to hot big time & has no time for romance 🤫
    Waiting for Nishant Sir ‘s reaction tom 🤓

    Liked by 1 person

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