The words slipped out of her mouth amidst jangling nerves, ice-cold palms and a stomach that growled and twisted painfully with anxiety.

“Where is he?”

For a second after she had realized she had spoken aloud, she thought Arjun had missed the question. It was only when she had allowed herself to exhale that she was faced with the fact that he had not. Her relief was useless – just as her restlessness seemed to be.

“Who?”

Now she really wanted to roll her eyes even though it was perfectly normal that Arjun wasn’t synced to her chain of thoughts. It would have been weird if he had known exactly who she meant. Because that would mean that someone other than her stupid heart knew who the sun in her universe was.

“AV Sir.” She replied after considering and dismissing just as quickly, the idea of changing the topic and escaping the answer. She didn’t want to escape. She really did want to, rather she really did need to know where AV Sir was. If for nothing else, then for the fact that they were to sing together soon and his absence was disconcerting in the context. What if there were last minute changes needed? What if she needed to review the order of songs once just to refresh her memory and prepare herself?

Yeah, right, that little voice intruded again. Last minute changes on an impromptu singing session where you are nothing more than a mere extra supporting the college hero?

“He was here just a few minutes ago. Why?”

He was? She suddenly turned around and scanned the crowds as if she expected to see him smiling at her, just like that. “I haven’t seen him at all this evening and I just wanted to check if there were any last minute changes.”

The little voice in her head sniggered. She ignored it and the fact that her voice was rushed and her mind reeling from the images her eyes were processing at inhuman speed. He was nowehere in sight. He had not been all evening. Then how come Arjun said he had been around just minutes ago? He was either avoiding her or…teasing her…and both had diametrically opposite implications. She wanted to dismiss both given the importance both placed on her existence in his world. But…

“Whatever you need to discuss with AV-Sir, Kavi, we can deal with later. We need to get this song done first. Dammit, how did you manage to sing even once? I am dying of nerves here.”

She narrowed her eyes and looked at Arjun. “You are dying of nerves?”

Arjun didn’t look up from the piece of paper he was holidng. “Haseeno se keh do kahin aur jaayein….” He muttered the lines under his breath as if trying to memorize them. “Drama queen,” she muttered to herself. He knew all the lines of all the songs there were in the Bollywood universe. “I thought nervousness was for sissies” She pointed out, shamelessly borrowing his words from a previous conversation.

This time he looked up. “I didn’t say that?” He smiled sheepishly at her.

“You did.” She replied plainly and then shook her head. “This is insane. This song is going to be…so embarrassing. Why…why did I ever agree to sing this?”

“Embarassing? No way – this is going to be epic. If there is no whistling – call me Karan starting tomorrow, okay?”

Khushi frowned in confusion. “Karan?” She shook her head. “What the hell are you talking about?”

“You are losing your touch, KK Gupta. You know how they say mark my words or Nnaam badal dena…you know how it goes…and I am Arjun – Karan Arjun…” He shrugged and shook his head in childish annoyance. “This explanation giving is killing my master word play attempt, Kav”

“What?” She wanted to slap her hand against her forehead. “I don’t even know what to say anymore, Arjun,” She emphasized. “And just so you know…talking about whistling as a response to the song…is not helping.”

“Stop it, Kavi. I need to memorize these lines again. I don’t want to look like an idiot on stage.”

“You don’t…?” She began before throwing her hands up in the air. “I am the one who…never mind…let’s just get this over with. I am so done with all of this Aarohan business….I mean I am done. Done!” She muttered and put the paper she was holding, away. She didn’t need to memorize lines. She would remember this song for a lifetime.

And where the hell was Arnav Varun?

“Are you nervous or irritated, by the way?” Arjun quipped, his eyes narrowed suspiciously. “Because I saw nervousness the last time. Now you just look cranky.”

Khushi shrugged and dismissed the question.

“Kavi, okay I am sorry I am being annoying.  But this is a fun song. We need to…Stop worrying if this is embarrassing. So there will be whistling…” He raised his hand to stop her when she began to interrupt him. “There will be – and that’s a great thing. This is supposed to be one of those evenings. And you really have to stop over thinking everything. You are going to be a hit today. The song you sung earlier was phenomenal, this one will be amazing and with AV Sir – if you are not crowned Queen of Aarohan at the end of this….” He paused dramatically, “Call me Karan starting tomorrow – okay?”

In all her anxiety, nerves and irritation that belied unprecedented anticipation of the moment she would finally see the person she really wanted to – Kaveri Khushi Gupta burst out laughing and only half in exasperation at Arjun Agarwal’s statement.

“See that is so much better!” Arjun quipped as he gave her a thump on her back, making her cough as tears spilled out of her eyes and laughter ebbed.

“Let’s go sing,” She said with a dramatic sigh.  Arjun Agarwal really was something else.

————

Arjun’s little pep talk may not have been life altering but it was also true that five seconds after she had begun singing, nerves disappeared and embarrassment seeped into her cheeks to glitter as warm patches of rose on her slightly-fairer-than-average Indian skin. It didn’t bother her that there was more whistling than she imagined. Maybe because the claps and the cheers were a lot more celebratory than they were teasing in nature. That Arjun was with her on the stage and seemed determined to not allow her an iota of doubt with his effortless rendition of the intermediate prose that was central to the song, was no small matter. When they finished singing and waited (Arjun made sure she couldn’t escape the moment they finished – like she wanted to) for the noise to die down, Khushi felt her heart hammering rather pleasantly in her chest. Even Arjun’s unchecked grinning and curtesying seemed rather harmless in the aftermath.

Now if only, she could find the one person who could lift her spirits in the blink of an eye…

The “if only” lasted longer than she had hoped for. Arnav Varun remained missing long after the laughter and noise gave way to the final two performances of the evening, both just as much fun as Khushi and Arjun’s had been and yet held no significance for Khushi except being the fillers she had live through till her time to sing with Arnav made its presence felt.

“Kavi, it’s almost time for…”

“Arjun, where is AV-Sir?” She interrupted her friend as he sauntered over purposefully towards her. She really did need to know now.

“You still didn’t see him? I just…” Arjun turned around and looked over to the opposite side of the stage which was now swathed in darkness. “He just congratulated me on our performance. He thought it was the best of the evening. Really…”

Khushi’s teeth clenched of their own accord and anger she had not known for a while surged through her veins. What was this supposed to mean? What the hell was…

“Anyway, I was coming over to tell you that AV-Sir wants you to wait before you join him on stage. There is a little change of plan. He wants to do a few songs…”

“If he doesn’t need me to sing, believe me I am more than happy to oblige. It is pretty late…” She quipped tersely, pretending to glance at her watch when she couldn’t care less what the time really was.

“What?”  Arjun asked, bending slightly to scan her face. “What has gotten into you today, Kaveri? I thought your bad mood was all gone after our song – you really seemed to be enjoying yourself earlier and now…”

At once, Khushi felt ashamed for behaving like a crabby boor especially since Arjun was always nothing less of wonderful to her, soothing her nerves. But this thing with Arnav…”I’m sorry, Arjun..I just…this session with AV-Sir..it is bothering me..We haven’t had proper practice sessions in the last week or so and I haven’t seen him all evening…And now you are saying that there is some change…”

Arjun shook his head and smiled. “Relax, baba. All he said was that there was a slight change. And he even asked me to apologize to you on his behalf. I am sure he will do that in person after the show as well. There’s just a lot going on in the background. The Final Year batch had negotiated a stall with Kingfisher…”

“Kingfisher? Why would they…” Khushi began when it suddenly dawned on her. “Beer?” Khushi asked, her eyes wide in her face as the alcohol conversation she had with AV-Sir, jogged her memory.

Arjun nodded. “It was all done and then suddenly the University Student Affairs Dean’s office withdrew permission for alcohol on campus. Big ruckus outside. AV-Sir is apparently on the Student Management Council and was called there…It’s all sorted…They finally have permission – apparently just for a couple of hours after the program has ended…so…”

Khushi rolled her eyes. The way Arjun was talking, it seemed like Arnav had won the war against world hunger.

“Yeah I know you are not impressed but imagine what a dry Aarohan would have meant?”

“Safety?” Khushi volunteered. “Appropriate for an educational institution? Sensible decision?”

“Not fun.” Arjun replied just as wryly.

“Whatever,” Khushi shrugged. “So what do I…”

The words trailed off as she glanced back at the stage, her eyes still searching as the sound of guitar strings amplified manifold pierced through the air around her. The stage still remained dark. The audiences however, quietened and settled down for the beat of a heart before a roar of applause, hoots and cheers sprung back into the air.

The guitar strings strummed again, this time as the keyboard joined with its pronounced notes.

She felt his voice in the tips of her fingers before she heard it, deep and resonant, very uniquely Arnav in its essence and yet faintly simmering with something that she had never truly felt outside of a recorded song.

Jaanam, dekh lo

The tingle of a note shivered down her spine as a faint golden light – spotlight she had only imagined once on this very stage – illuminated a single figure seated on a stool, guitar cradled in his arms and head bent slightly such that his hair fell over his eyes and hid his face from her view.

Mit gayin dooriyaan

It was as if she had travelled a million light years from that first moment weeks ago in her new classroom. He had been a dazzling comet then. He was the sun now.

Main yahaan hoon,

He looked up at the audience and then in the blink of her eye, glanced as though straight at her before turning away and completing the line

Yahaan hoon, yahaan hoon, yahaan

Silence spilled over as the voice and the music dimmed for a finite moment. And then gold burst through the world, spilling out of her eyes as it did

The whistles that erupted in the auditorium, drowned out everything around her. Not that she needed it to. Her heart had stilled and every noise dissipated into nothingness as she acknowledged the choice of song and that momentary glance.

He knew.

He knew she had been looking for him. He knew how she felt about him. What else could explain the song, that slight smile, the glitter in his eyes?

“There’s a way to make an entrance!” Arjun said loudly, clapping her back and effectively ending her little solitary sojourn into the possibility of the impossible.

Except this was no dream.

The song was no illusion. It wasn’t just two lines she imagined in a situation more fantastic than she had ever expected her very ordinary life to be.

 

 

Jaanam, dekh lo; Mit gayin dooriyaan

Main yahaan hoon, yahaan hoon, yahaan hoon, yahaan

Kaisi sarhadein, kaisi majbooriyan

Main yahaan hoon, yahaan hoon, yahaan hoon, yahaan

He had chosen what had been firmly entrenched as the ultimate song of seduction in her list of all time favorites since she had first heard it just a couple of years ago – a lover’s boisterous declaration of knowledge, of borderline arrogance that stated he knew just how the object of his affection felt about him. And in the wake of what she had been through all evening and since that day she had been kindly excused in a gallant gesture of unnecessary chivalry, it seemed like a resounding response to her endless quarry of self doubt and despair.

She stood rooted to her spot as the music spilled, festive as he replaced many of the original supporting notes on his guitar and chuckled along as words of adulation were thrown at him from the audience. He didn’t look at her after that one moment, but every word seemed to be uttered with specific meaning just for her. If this was her foolish imagination overplaying what she shouldn’t overplay, then she was gladly a fool.

Tum Chhupa Na Sakogi Main Woh Raaz Hoon

Tum Bhula Na Sakogi Woh Andaaz Hoon

The beautifully plucked notes of the teasing wooden instrument he held in his arms reminded her just how much of a fool she was. A fool who has assumed she could keep how she felt hidden. Her secret had never been hers. He had known. For days, perhaps. How?

Gunjtaa Hoon Jo Dil Mein To Hairaan Ho Kyon

Main Tumhare Hi Dil Ki To Aawaz Hoon

A small smile cracked through her frozen lips. The echo of her heart?

Sun Sako To Suno Dhadkanon Ki Zaban

Main yahaan hoon, yahaan hoon, yahaan

Never had she been so beautifully seduced into what could easily be a trap she realized. And yet, what was the proverbial moth if not a willing prey to the glory of the flame.

She smiled, her eyes glittering as everything around them melted away including the questions that had plagued for her mere seconds ago. There was no one that mattered anymore, not Arjun who stood in mesmerized silence beside her, not the hundreds of students who saw nothing more than the one who held them entranced in his music. And yet, it thrilled her that no one really knew what was going on?

A small voice threatened to intrude her illusion, she closed her mind to it.

Main hi main ab tumhare khalayon mein hun

Main jawabon mein hun, main sawaalon mein hum

Main tumhare hare ek khwaab mein hoon basaa

Main tumhare nazar ke ujaale mein hoon

A slight tilt of his head, a glance that didn’t find her eyes – every gesture was pronounced, every little movement, an ode to the spell that now seemed irreversible in its effect.

Dekhti ho mujhe, dekhti ho jahan

Main yahaan hoon, yahaan hoon, yahaan

She didn’t wait for the song to end to fall in love all over again, this time seemingly forever. As Arnav Varun’s voice softened and the music faded into thunderous applause, every reason her mind had come up to keep whatever was happening at bay, vanished. There was no embarassement, no shame, no fear. In that moment, Kaveri Khushi Gupta was free like she had rarely been in the years that had followed her first brush with the idea of love and romance. Nothing mattered more than the moment that was breathing in her chest.

“Good evening, IE-V” Arnav hollered into the microphone, his voice booming with a ring she was fairly sure she hadn’t heard before.

A loud good evening response rang through her crowd. It was like she had forced a bolt of the energy that seemed to fill her soul, through everything around her. In that moment, she was as separate from them all, as she was connected to them. And it all channeled through this one person who stood right in the center of it all – tall and luminous.

“He looks like a rockstar on that stage, doesn’t he?”

It was a throaty little giggle that someone very feminine had uttered somewhere from her left as she brushed shoulders against someone else who was trying to catch a glimpse of what was happening.

It sounded so far-fetched that it was true, Khushi realized as she let her gaze stay anabashedly fixed on Arnav as he placed his guitar away and walked over to the front and centre of the stage.

“Aarohan has been part of IE-V for longer than Dean Shastri. It has been more popular than Professor Asif’s saffron checked tie. It has been more fun than the TAs Annual Holi special dance performance. And most of all it has been as soulful and full of talent as the Annual IE-Med Vistaa.”

A loud cheer enhanced by a million catcall, mainly restricted to the side that housed most of the seasoned IE-Vians, seemed to boost the grin on Arnav’s face. Khushi smiled wryly, it was just the kind of the thing that she had glimpsed so many times in the last month that she had been here – the subtle reference to “greener pastures” out the engineering fraternity. Even Arjun had once mentioned something about Vistaa and some girl who was dating one of their Computer Science batchmates.

“I can see most of the first year faces staring blankly at me now.” Arnav said as the laughter ebbed. “Don’t worry, kids, by the time you are here smiling indulgently at the first year batch four years from now, you will exactly what I mean.”

The audience clapped now, this time more poignant than teasing.

“We have seen an amazing selection of singers this year at Aarohan. Needless to say, the legacy of Bollywood rests in very able hands for the future.” He said as he paced around the stage, comfortable like a lion in his jungle. “I am not surprised though. We do background checks on all of you after the Test to make sure you are not all about ranks. If you are then we send you to Kanpur. Why do you think we don’t have any ranks from 1-500 here at IE-V?” He winked as he pretended to whisper in reference to the other IE housed in their state.

Laughter roared again as it spattered around her.

“So given all of you first years have done so well, here we more experienced IE-Vians are – now trying to assure you that your seniors aren’t as bad either.” He said seriously as a few folks clapped again. “After-A started four years ago when our seniors decided they wanted to extend our ragging just a little bit more by making a few of us sing impromptu. So if you don’t like what is to follow, you know who to blame!”

More cheering followed as Khushi marveled at the humility that seemed so beautifully genuine for a person who could just as easily have been arrogant as many with his talent were, and gotten away with it.

“So, without much ado, let’s give it up to more masti and more music. Welcome to IE-V – your home for four years, your family for life!”

The lights went out as there was shuffling, sound, clapping, cheering and laughter. And just as she was about to turn to ask Arjun what was going to happen, she felt someone reach out and grab her hand, giving it a little tug that she felt in the pit of her throat.

River Song, Music and Lyrics

Song Title: O Re Piya

Album: Aaja Nachle

Singers: Rahat Fateh Ali Khan

Music: Salim Sulaiman

Lyrics: Piyush Mishra

Nazrein bolein, duniya bole; Dil ki zubaan

Ishq Maange, ishq chahe; Koi Toofan

Chalna aahiste, ishq naya hai

Pehla yeh vada humne kiya hai

 

Note: Those who are here with this update – I cannot thank you enough for bearing with me. This can’t have been easy – seeing me through long absences and unexplained silences. I know you could have chosen to walk away and I honestly understand why all those who might have, did. I am hoping to now stick to weekly updates continuously till I finish this story. I am writing continuously (as possible). And I will finish this tale

Next update: Monday, 28 March 2016, Late night IST

160 thoughts on “Chapter Fifteen-B: A Day of Reckoning

  1. Dear, thanks a ton for updating……….. So the river is flowing again………..

    I loved the update………

    Khushi is impatient to see Arnav……… But still Arnav has not come before her…………

    I feel sorry for Khushi……….. She deeply loves Arnav……. Is Arnav not aware or is he ignoring it or does he not feel the same? ? ? ? Dear, please I want to know their past……….

    Dear, also wanted to ask when we will come back to present day in Arnav-Khushi’s life? ?

    (orchids8888 from IF)

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Amazing update.. so very happy to see the update like Khushi is to see her AV sir on stage singing such a seducing song.. loved the update.. will be waiting for next part eagerly.. :)

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Been totally away from all things FF the past few months but who is Twiggy to resist the flow of the River?

    So glad to have you back, Meera! And this update just as dramatic and stunning as AV Sir’s entrance here. And that song. THAT SONG. The heart skipped a beat before it was sinfully seduced and reduced to a gooey mush.

    And he KNOWS. HE KNOWS. I still remember Chapter 2 or 3 where they had this aakhon hi aankhon me ishaara when she left the canteen. I now wonder if he was always more attuned to Kaveri than we gave him credit for?

    Arjun is tots adorbs. Khushi is… I am glad her heart found wings but I am still scared for her. And AV Sir – he’s stolen all hearts yet again. And it seems effortless. I think its the charm plus the goodness he exudes. Not to mention the enigma about him. He is mine bas.

    Not sure if you’ve already used this one on the blog before, but here is my song for the update.

    Welcome back, my Sheera!

    Liked by 3 people

  4. waiting makes it More interesting…so finally Kushi and we get to see our AV Sir ,, and he came with a bang! and the song
    …waiting for their performance..never was i eager for Monday like now.. as usual you rocked it !
    thanks for the update ..

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Hey Meera,

    A song long lost forgotten, one that never made a mark in the charts or minds, but stayed in my head buried somewhere, surfaced when I was reading about Khushi in the update yesterday. The song had died in my head because its not the best of the songs I have heard in my life, but something soulful about it always appealed to my heart more than my mind…just thought of sharing it with you. I never add songs here, so don’t know how to add links here, so just pasting the entire link. Don’t know if you have heard it.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for taking me to a new song! I completely missed it I think – thanks to the other chart buster from the same film that took away all the limelight…

      Liked by 1 person

  6. An update an update!!!!

    Welcome back:-)
    The college fests always a party (though kingfisher scenes only in the parking lots..it’s banned!!) Hahaha.that movie and song is one of the finest of Bollywood totally love it. And Arjun-khushi their relationship is so beautiful and Arnav being the rock star that he is sings it and is trying to woo Khushi?? Wow.
    Waiting for the next update coz every time I read the prologue is on my mind:-P

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Thanks for the update. Can’t wait for them to sing together…bring it on, we are waiting:) patiently though, know you have a ton to do other than write such fantastic stories.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Hoo…i don know what i will write here about the update.. really mindblowing… i was transported to a time during my college days..n i think i was in a similar auditorium while reading it… and wen i heard the first chords of AV sirs guitar…my god… i skipped a beat.. now i am thinking which is my favourite among… CW n river… i don know… i think i like them both equally … anyways eagerly waiting for the nxt update..

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Aww Meera..simply mesmerizing seeing the river flow again… It’s beautiful! Choice of songs are astonishing and so well placed!

    Waiting for Jaane Ja…I think it’s perfectly timed for them..

    The subject of this chapter .. Kinds of makes me wonder what’s going to happen by the end of this eventful day!

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Meera, Thanks for your writing and for sharing with us. It is always a treat to read…. i am loving this story all the more for the songs and how well they have been woven into the story… you always have this knack don’t you?! I was amazed at how you had themed your story based on colors in Colors of the wind. Now with Bollywood songs – but the same magic!!!

    Mow for this update – i was smiling, melting, and fall in in love all over again…. i forgot googling!!! Hindi is definitely not my forte but love for music and Bollywood songs goes beyond language :)

    I believe you had said that you will not write AV’s POV… but can i request a big favour… please don’t make it such that Khushi grossly misinterpreted AV.. i cannot bear the heartbreak…

    Liked by 2 people

  11. Hi Meera,

    Awesome update. Once I read an update next 2-3 days will be thinking of that only. Take ur time, researching for suitable songs and writing the story is not easy. We will wait for ur updates

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Absolutely, absolutely loved the chapter. Was caught in the anticipation and excitement Khushi was experiencing.
    Will eagerly look forward the next chapter….

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Hi MEsw from IF.
    i was absent from If for a while and tried to see more updates before leaving…none was there…
    surprisingly when returned there were four….thnx for coming back…
    once again after i think about 4-5 months….the web has not been any weaker…yes! felt i was back…in the world…where i have never been actually…a world…woven by the words…by you…a world where there is me and i am just a ghost…a world i see…i feel…thorough you…but they dont see me nor feel….their tears and their smiles put tears and smile on mine…but mine doesnt affect them…not complaining…just stating how i feel…i feel like an invisible person…floating in their world…feeling all they feel….i even heard some guitar strings..strung beautiful music…and than saw…AV….walking on the stage and casually talking to his friends and his fellow college mates as he owned the stage…as he owned everything….i was laughing clapping with them…i am as impressed by AV-sir as they are…believe me…

    i felt clammy, nervous…when Khushi had to sing her first SONG ON STAGE….like literally….i was slightly shivering…
    i got drenched in the rain on the way back from practice….felt to so conscious of my self…walking next to my crush…

    your words weave a world in front of me and i stand there, feel it all as a silent, invisible observer…

    hope….all the rest of updates will follow soooooooonnnnn….
    I know i have no right to demand anything…this is solely your discretion how and when to write…if to write or not….
    but wish….i would be able to finish…the journey…i have unknowingly embarked when i started to read this story…

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Firstly I am so happy meera that you are back with this story. I love this story and especially loved this chapter. Your writing is magical and the magic definitely shows every time you pick up the pen. Love the songs Janam Dekh lo and o re piya and what a way for Arnav to let khushi know that he understands her feelings for him. That was awesome and can’t wait for the next update when they will sing o re piya together !! You really brought out the essence of college festival… The thrill, the excitement, the anticipation. Brilliant writing. Can’t say enough how much I am addicted to your work !! :) ship13(IF)

    Liked by 1 person

  15. One of my favourite songs… just like AV sir enchanted the audience you have done so with this update.. I was grinning through out like an idiot. Ha khushi was missing av sir and nothing but his singing could stop her from being cranky. I am still reeling under the after effects of the songs.
    Don’t mind my incoherent thoughts :D
    Waiting for the next update :)

    Liked by 1 person

  16. Meera!
    Let me give you a hug…thanks dear for the update…for coming back after the long hiatus…I was bone tired Monday morning after a long tiring night due to food poisoning. But you can’t guess my joy when I saw the mail notification about the update..I was too tired then to type a comment and I wanted to write in detail..hence the delay but I did read the update that moment itself.. and was grinning like an idiot after reading it…again now after reading it again and again….Oh Meera, you have no clue of the happiness you spread around..Dunno why I love this story like never before..may be it’s because you write emotions of a “crushing” girl so brilliantly so that it could be easily related by people like me who had once walked in similar shoes….or may be its because love stories with real pulse is hard to put into words but you excel in that job…ok ok..now you are rolling your eyes thinking I am lavishing you with praise..just stating my thoughts and believe me its true…ok I wont embarrass you more..

    Some of the lines which made me smile —
    1. Because that would mean that someone other than her stupid heart knew who the sun in her universe was.
    2. He was either avoiding her or…teasing her…and both had diametrically opposite implications. She wanted to dismiss both given the importance both placed on her existence in his world. But…
    3. Dammit, how did you manage to sing even once? I am dying of nerves here.”— I wish I had a friend like Arjun at present…I do miss my friends Meera after reading about Arjun-Kavi bond..all are away now..but reading about this duo makes me nostalgic about college days…believe me, boys are the best than girls in friends department..you can tease them, punch them…they take it in a spirit..at least few like arjun…girls are what to say…keeps fluctuating…he he..
    4. And where the hell was Arnav Varun?“Are you nervous or irritated, by the way?” Arjun quipped, his eyes narrowed suspiciously. “Because I saw nervousness the last time. Now you just look cranky.”—see! He catches on fast…I loved that observation karan arjun…Arjun Agarwal really was something else.—true! True! Oh Meera I loved them on stage together…btw, have you decided on the faces for these characters? I badly badly want to see whom you have decided for Arjun…
    5. Khushi’s teeth clenched of their own accord and anger she had not known for a while surged through her veins. What was this supposed to mean? What the hell was……he he….so he is giving her medicine back….AV sir…I can’t wait to see you in full swing…
    6. I am sure he will do that in person after the show as well. —really? Dreamy Sigh!
    7. Khushi rolled her eyes. The way Arjun was talking, it seemed like Arnav had won the war against world hunger.—ROFL!!
    8. “Safety?” Khushi volunteered. “Appropriate for an educational institution? Sensible decision?”— Kavi, you are a killjoy!
    9. Jaanam, dekh lo— ohmy! I had almost whistled even in my tired stage…Oh Meera, now I can never see this song without thinking of river tales…
    10. The tingle of a note shivered down her spine as a faint golden light – spotlight she had only imagined once on this very stage – illuminated a single figure seated on a stool, guitar cradled in his arms and head bent slightly such that his hair fell over his eyes and hid his face from her view.—fainted! :0
    11. He had been a dazzling comet then. He was the sun now.—cheese overloaded!
    12. Main yahaan hoon,He looked up at the audience and then in the blink of her eye, glanced as though straight at her before turning away and completing the line Yahaan hoon, yahaan hoon, yahaan—someone give me some pani…my throat dried up…what was that glance…

    13. He knew.He knew she had been looking for him. He knew how she felt about him. What else could explain the song, that slight smile, the glitter in his eyes? Kavi….you are gone! This is no dream…I hope its not…please…how is she going to find voice now?
    14. The song was no illusion. It wasn’t just two lines she imagined in a situation more fantastic than she had ever expected her very ordinary life to be. —When songs are used like these then there is no chance…ordinary life becomes extra ordinary…rose tinted eyes, color blooms on cheeks…sigh! I want to fall in love..abhi! he he…;-)
    15. If this was her foolish imagination overplaying what she shouldn’t overplay, then she was gladly a fool.—I hope not…
    16. Her secret had never been hers. He had known. For days, perhaps. How? —exactly how???
    17. A small smile cracked through her frozen lips. The echo of her heart? – he he
    18…Never had she been so beautifully seduced into what could easily be a trap she realized. And yet, what was the proverbial moth if not a willing prey to the glory of the flame. —- hai hai! Never felt that song had this much potential…
    19. Oh man! No wonder he is the hero…how smoothly he took the crowd in his hands..Khushi marveled at the humility that seemed so beautifully genuine for a person who could just as easily have been arrogant as many with his talent were, and gotten away with it.— wow..you scripted my thoughts beautifully…
    20….And just as she was about to turn to ask Arjun what was going to happen, she felt someone reach out and grab her hand, giving it a little tug that she felt in the pit of her throat.—oMG!!! You cant stop here….Meeraaaaaaa……when will 28th be?

    Liked by 6 people

  17. He was teasing her. Deliberately hiding and that song was for her
    ..I want to believe khushi but why I cant :(
    Why I am having a constant nagging in my head that something is going to happen. Something which will not be in favour of khushi.
    All this felt so surreal….
    But the choice of song and the way you make his entry. Applaud meera. I was literally imagining the whole scene…
    I read it like for gazillion times…

    Thanks for holding up. I still remember the time when you said that you will give summary of this story. :( I.was so sad.
    But as I always knew. You bounced back. And now I will get to read this special tale. .

    Let’s flow with river. ..:)

    Liked by 3 people

  18. Hi Meera.. glad u finally updated this story. Who wudnt fall in luv with AV ..after all he is the college heart throb. And tht was a cliff allright.. does he know doesnt he. Wat if he does or doesn’t :) ? Reminds me of my college crush.
    Cant wait to know wat happens next. Hope the next update is longer
    Oh and the songs.. sigh.. i luv jaanam dekh lo..i mean seduction yearning arrogance all rolled into one. But the song O Re Piya is my absolute fav. I consider it their best song of Rahat Fateh Ali and it gives me goosebumps everytime i hear it. Dil maange lots more Meera..

    Liked by 2 people

  19. Meera, I was just telling M that you excel at creating an atmosphere. You nail it every single time, and this was no exception. You made me feel what being at Aarohan would be like- the energy, the mesmerizing lilt of Arnav’s voice… Uff. Maza aa gaya, it was just so much fun to read- you held me in a trance for a good chunk of that. Very well done, as always.
    Love,
    Choti.

    Liked by 2 people

  20. Meera…have come back and so glad to see the story has moved ahead….just loved the whole college atmosphere, music…Arohan…took me back to my college days. Loved Arnavs entry and his song…I just don’t want to see Khushi being disappointed… So dying to know Arnavs views…but can wait for it…..since it creates a mystery too…update end was a major cliff hanger…waiting for Monday eagerly…

    Liked by 2 people

  21. Hi Meera.

    You have been one of my fav writer since your first ever story on Arnav-Khushi.

    I accidently stumbled upon a link to this ff via your conversation with *chotidesi*.

    Does not really matter how long you dissapear for, few of us will forever await ur writing. Thats a guarantee.

    Feeling absolutely thrilled i got a cuancento read this ff. Your Khushi here is absolutely devine and totaly relatable. Not that I went through what shes going through with Arnav, but your writing is expressively exceptional.

    Never have i been so happy to be sick n taking and off from work as i was this time. I read this ff in one go.
    The songs, scene descriptions, ur entire writing style makes the visual so vivid that as times its hard to keep myself separate from the characters and their feelings.

    The last chapter u update is absolutely delight. I am so glad i read it after i reread the chapter before. He feeling for Arnav are electrifying. My skin is tingling asni write the comment. I can totally relate to how shes feeling as the time hearing the changed songs.

    Which again makes me really want to know Arnavs point of view. I just hope henis not just doing this for Aarohan.
    I hope what her heart is telling her is all true.
    i am super excited and scared for her pure heart at the same time.
    Cant wait for next 2 updates.

    I absolutely love arjun-khushi relationship.
    may i please request u to give us pictures of the character as u visialize each one while penning them down. Just like you did for your other ffs.

    Meera, please email me if and when u write again after this ff. I know its too early to make that request but seriously……………*tum Jahan mein wahan* ;)

    Cant wait for the next update.

    Liked by 1 person

  22. Beautifull!!
    Arnav’a entry was simply amazing! Just like khushi his soulful song put me into a trance along with the knowledge that he knew Khushi’s condition all the while and reciprocates her feelings too:-)…It was indeed a mesmerising and heart warming realisation..And the small impromptu speech which followed just shows how famous , humble and intelligent Arnav is amidst the campus… Can’t wait to see the dhamakedar duet from the new lovers in campus :-)

    Liked by 1 person

  23. O my god o my god o my god! I’m still hyperventilating! Eeeeeee
    Yar you have no idea how happy was I to see this chapter and GAWD WHAT A CHAPTER! Haye sonheyo maar hee daita jay! Yaar absolutely brilliant!
    AV sir is back with a bang. What an entry sir jeena :*
    And that song. Day-um. I hope for the sake of khushi’s sanity ( and MINE!) k AV actually intended that look and song to imply what khushi is interpretting. See I don’t make any sense I’m that hyped. This is what your story does to me meera!

    Love and best wishes!
    Happy :’D

    Liked by 2 people

  24. What a come back Meera!!
    Truly worth the wait..Arnav is a tease ..I just don’t know what to make of his actions..why the heck is he playing this hide and seek ..Gosh I really can’t wait to know his thoughts..

    Liked by 1 person

  25. Fabulous update n the song oh i just love it so atnav knew abt khusi’s feelings n he sang this song just to show her that he is well aware of it but wat happened that they parted their ways.

    Liked by 1 person

  26. Awesome update with an awesome song, but I somehow Feel It In My bones with something very heart breaking My happen in the next updates. Is she going to throw up like you mentioned in the prologue. Is he in love with a girl from Vista? And is khushee going to find it out. Oh meeera welcome back. We missed you.

    Liked by 1 person

  27. woowww…..i dont know wat to say…………beautiful story…..
    im glad that i get to read such stories..n thankuu somuch for writing this one.
    it really touchd me….n some way i think im reading my own story here..

    Liked by 1 person

  28. Glad that you’re going to be back with regular updates.
    Arnav knows about her feelings?? Like really? I’m glad if that’s the case and he has not misunderstood her odd behavior after that walk in the evening.

    Liked by 1 person

  29. You will not believe it !

    I caught up with this chapter on the bus back home from college, with my faithful duniya-bhula-do-earphones-laga-lo wala lifesaver belting out song after song even as I was absorbed in reading the update. It was when Arjun was informing Khushi about how AV-Sir played hero sorting out the issue involving permission for alcohol and at the onset of the debate on why Aarohan is more fun with alcohol that I heard the guitar strings as Khushi did, concurrently. Even as she heard Arnav whisper Jaanam Dekh Lo, Udit Narayan uttered the same into my ears as the music flowed in through my earphones. From then on it was just Arnav’s velvety voice and I was living the moment just as Khushi was ! Enraptured by Arnav. I was grinning so hard that the lady beside looked at me like I had quite a few screws loose.

    It happened a second time when I switched on the TV the same evening and was greeted with the vision of Shah Rukh Khan declaring that he was here, while Priety Zinta looked on mesmerised even as an engagement ring was being slipped onto her finger by someone who wasn’t her love. The grin returned ( full 32 wali Colgate smile ) and my dad saw me, rolled his eyes and continued on. He gave it as much importance as any other daily occurrence – a consequence of the Shah Rukh Khan fever that I caught when I was just a year old and jo aise chada ke kabhi nahi utrega. :) All these just point to the fact that this tale is way more connected to me than I previously thought.

    Okay, ramblings apart, this was an absolutely beautiful chapter Meera !
    I see another occasion of Arjun distracting Khushi who was an irritated bundle of nerves before their seeti-inducing performance, not different from what he’d done on their first day at A&M. I guess over the years, she’s come to depend on him deeply and because he’s there for her always, without question. The ‘naam badal ke Karan rakh lena’ quip wasn’t missed in the first instance itself. There are occasions of this sweet and true friendship that come across really well.

    There’s a mystery as to why Arnav chose not make his presence and appreciation known to Khushi, even though he did convey it to Arjun. But keeping that aside, that moment when he whispers the first notes of an SRK favourite, his eyes finding Khushi’s even though it was for only that one miniscule moment – swoon faint thud !
    He knows.
    With Arnav Varun having bewitched her, she couldn’t have kept that much hidden and that too when with every passing day she was just falling completely and irreversibly in love.

    Arnav’s witty little speech was certainly a delight, infusing laughter into the Aarohan atmosphere. He effortlessly enamoured each one, right from the Alumni to the first years who were just finding their rhythm in IE-V.

    Was it Arnav who pulled Khushi’s hand at the end ?

    Absolutely splendid writing Meera ! :)

    PS : Ore Piya is another favourite and the choice of Main yahaan hoon for this chapter – Perfect !

    Liked by 3 people

  30. I…really don’t know what to say. That was sinply stunning. How do you do it? That song has just about done me in. Wow.

    Okay, starting at the begining..haha even Arjun’s nervous lolol. And, lol, having to explain a joke takes the fun out if it.. :p “Call me Karan” Rofl.

    That was the funny part. But then my poor heart started hammering…you create such magic with words… The wait for AV, that disappointment, the growing anxiousness, the rejected feelings and thennn….THAT SONG! I just..am dead.

    I am one of the ones who walked away but only to come back. I expected you would and I waited for the day. It took me longer than I thought, but I am here and Im here to stay.

    Liked by 1 person

  31. Simply Beautiful Meera – takes me back to Delhi Uni Fests- you have captured the essence of that first romance that is completely all encompassing . Then again you have chosen the perfect songs to add to this exhilarating scene.

    Liked by 1 person

  32. I dont know if i am making any assumptions…but i can see u r love for shahrukh khan romantic songs in every chapter…am i correct…
    Glad that i am reading this story it reminds me so many songs…i love shahrukh khan songs amd i am fan of him…
    Finally arnav made an appearance in a grand way…loved this scene…perfect as always…

    Liked by 1 person

  33. Meera, u r a wizard with the words… felt every bit of the anguish Khusi goes thru in the chapter to get that one glimpse of him.. and when she does!!!! WOW! ♡♡♡♡♡♡♡

    Liked by 1 person

  34. “Because that would mean that someone other than her stupid heart knew who the sun in her universe was” Awwwwwww. Dil to Pagal Hai Ji :’}

    Arjun is a joker. The kind of charmer girls will have crushes on too. He may not be an enigma like our Hero with two names, but he is no less I genuinely believe.

    But, the most significant question is where is beloved hero?? Not fair, that he didn’t see her and is not even around. Kahan gaye saiyan ji?

    Alcohol on the campus. I feel, in this day and climate, it is a big no-no. However much others agree, I am with Kavi. Though I drink, one should drink smartly and be careful about the environment they are drinking in. Colleges, educational institutions should not have them allowed. It only promotes unruly behaviour.

    “He had been a dazzling comet then. He was the sun now” – Poetic and so effing romantic.

    Ohh MMmmmmmm Goooddd. Have I told you the whole musical duet between the two is my most favourite part of this story? It is. I know what happens next, but I don’t care. That high of 1 hour, all the music, is so contagious. Each song you chose, become my absolute favourite. WoW. Sonu Nigam at it best!!! This beautiful selection of songs. The rendition. The underlying chemistry. The secrecy. Wowowowow. After these updates, I had known, this story surpasses so many other stories I have read. I loved it.

    “Main Yahan Hoon” – Meera, you describe Bollywood songs so beautifully. Like Kal Ho Naa Hoo, This one and the others. ” the ultimate song of seduction in her list of all time favorites since she had first heard it just a couple of years ago – a lover’s boisterous declaration of knowledge, of borderline arrogance that stated he knew just how the object of his affection felt about him.” You are so amazing Meera!

    “glanced as though straight at her before turning away.” It was like for a minute; I was standing there. I mean this excitement (I don’t even know what to term it as) is so damn real.
    He knew. What else could explain the song, that slight smile, the glitter in his eyes? For that full update, before I knew the reality, even I believed it was true. He knew. He felt it. And, that’s why.

    “There’s a way to make an entrance!” Arjun said loudly.” – Took words right out of my mouth.

    Though Khushi tried being rational, this seem so real and certain. Even I didn’t want to believe otherwise.

    “Never had she been so beautifully seduced into what could easily be a trap she realised. And yet, what was the proverbial moth if not a willing prey to the glory of the flame.” wow.

    “There was no embarrassment, no shame, no fear. At that moment, Kaveri Khushi Gupta was free like she had rarely been in the years that had followed her first brush with the idea of love and romance. Nothing mattered more than the moment that was breathing in her chest.” Meera, even I am in love.

    “Khushi marvelled at the humility that seemed so beautifully genuine for a person who could as easily have been arrogant as many with his talent were, and gotten away with it.” – Yes, how is that even possible. I have never seen someone like him, Humble and this fantastic. It feels like a mutually exclusive combination. Hmm…

    The cliffhanger, lol.

    “Chalna aahiste, ishq naya hai
    Pehla yeh vada humne kiya hai”

    You leave me speechless. And, yet here I am trying to write something that can define what I am exactly feeling. Just wow.

    Like

  35. Hi Meera,

    Magnificent update.. Kya entry, Kya song, Kya speech..first love.. omg arnav is in love too..😊..he knows.. really liked khushi’ emotions..reactions & her freedom..oh shivji/meeraji Kya kar daala aapne.. so much in love with this ff.. apart from songs treat… plus university environment such a deadly combination…sab aakhon hi aakhon mein between the two…super masti & dhamaal… Thankyou!

    Btw there is one new show more mil just mentioned & the hero is from Patna like arnav.. it so reminded me of this arnav😊

    Liked by 1 person

  36. Meera ji…I am reading River for the second time with the concentration of a studentwho wants to ace her/his exams😉Though it is very difficult to stop at this point of the story,it’s unfair to move to the next chapter without this little note of appreciation for this beautiful story and the generous amount of Bollywood music.God only knows what our lives would be like without these wonderful Bollywood songs that never fail to evoke emotions some of them we don’t even know we possess.Now I should move to the impending heartbreak.💔

    Liked by 1 person

  37. First of all you have a good memory and lot of interest in Bollywood songs to choose such gems for each occasion. So, Arnav hid himself all this while to present her this song. To tell her how she is feeling and hinting her he knows her feelings. Does he reciprocate her feelings or does he consider her as a kid just like as he addressed all 1st year students in his introductory speech? Such a memorable present for Khushi! I think Khushi will cherish this moment forever.
    Lovely update.
    Cheers……..

    Liked by 3 people

  38. Hero Ka entry with Main yahan hoon , utterly butterfly Arshilicious .
    He was not a comet but her sun & he knew it
    There used to be a gif during IPK days with Barun saying ‘ I am sexy & I know it ‘ from kh ki haatho jadoo hai scene
    Was Reminded of that ☄️☀️
    O re piya, waiting for the duet , specially for the person who pulled Kaveri

    Like

  39. Did he know about khushi’s feelings? Now what was his side story? Uff the song selections meera u excelled in that. It was one of my favorite too from veera zaara movie. Eager to read next. Thank you for the river dear.

    Liked by 1 person

Say something?

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s