What would a Hindi film heroine do? Khushi wondered once Arnav’s song was over and Antakshari had resumed only to morph into an unstructured singing session.  There was no answer, of course. Because Hindi film heroines never had this kind of trouble. They almost always knew what the hero wanted. Mostly because the hero was almost always very clear about his wants. And these wants – they were almost always centered around the heroine.

Here, however, there was no chance any such clarity – after all she was no Hindi film heroine. She squashed the little voice of girlish hope that wondered if there could be, much to the taste of bile on the back of her throat.

What the hell was she doing, she asked herself angrily, her brow crunching into a deep frown. She didn’t need this. And whatever it was that Arnav Varun was up to, she was done falling for it. Enough time had already been wasted on this topic. And it was going to end.

Today.

The next time Arnav Varun pulled something of this sort, he was going to know just how unappreciated it was. “You mean singing songs? Because that is all he has done this time” A voice sniggered in her head. She flicked it way with her willpower and focused on her anger.

She would borrow from every haughty fictional and real characters known to her if that is what it meant. Or better still, maybe this new found annoyance would help her find her own original response to his vagaries. Feeling surer than she had been, she shrugged the feeling of tingling anxiety away.

The rest of the evening passed with little regard to the person of two names – neither herself nor the other. She forced herself to never look in his direction, not even when she knew he was looking in hers. A part of her had wanted to get up, dust her hands visibly and walk out of the session.

However, there were two reasons she didn’t do it. One, she didn’t want to give Arnav Varun the satisfaction of knowing that he was getting to her. Yes, she conceded to herself, there was no point pretending the absence of this silent dance between them, as pointless as it was.

The second reason, of course, was the fact that it really was the most beautiful night. Even without a full moon, the light was enough to cast a faint, pale yellow shadow over the silhouette of mountains and clusters of trees. Moonbeams bounced off the rolling river in chuckles of gaily splashing water. The rocks lying awash in the river’s path – impish in the way they teased her patience – gleamed and shone. Even for this time of day – night to be precise – everything was fresh and beautiful. If at the moment, a couple of fish were to fly up in the sky and across the moon before splashing back into the water, she wouldn’t be surprised. It was that picturesque. And just the perfect atmosphere for the song that was now being sung.

By Arnav of course. And yet, she was determined to see nothing and to pay attention only to the beauty of a gifted voice.

Khoya khoya chaand, khula aasman

Aankhon mein saari raat jaayegi

Tumko bhi kaise neend aayegi

 

 

She didn’t care that it might have been a subtle reference to the sleeplessness that she couldn’t deny. It was as much in his sunrise irises as it was in her bespectacled gaze. She didn’t even care that in not caring about the former, she had pretty much acknowledged just how attuned she was to him with every breath of her being. She only reminded herself with every fail of her heartbeat that he was spoken for. A part of her also wanted to cruelly question his morality at pursuing her when he was engaged otherwise – pun intended.

He isnt actually pursuing you, you know. Khushi told herself with a wry chuckle. You wish he did. But all he really did was apologise for leading you on. Which basically means he knew exactly what you were feeling back then. Which is basically why you are scared.

Stop it. She scolded herself. And then whined the same phrase in her head again, hoping for some relief. Please stop it.

Thankfully for her, Aditi Sinha took over from her “baby” brother soon enough and saved Khushi her sanity. If nothing, it helped Khushi focus on the brilliance of Aditi’s voice even as she sang a male voice original with almost as much charm as her brother had. Her voice was teasing and just husky enough to hint at mystery and romance. Aman Sinha – handsome as he was himself, was a lucky man.

Taare chale, nazaare chale

Sang sang mere woh saare chale

Chaaron taraf ishaare chale

Kisi ke toh ho jaao

She watched as Aditi walked up to Aman and held out her hand amidst cat-calls from all those around them except Arnav – who was half-hiding his face in his hands with a weary smile. Aman, however, was clearly no stranger to his wife’s ways. He took her hand and led her to a quick waltz around the flames as the rest of the group continued to sing for them. She joined too, purely out of instinct as her gaze followed the pair of them with great awe and not-unremarkable envy.

Hum mit chale, jinke liye

Hum mit chale hain jinke liye

Bin kuch kahe woh chup chup rahein

Koi zara yeh unse Kahn

Na aise aazmaao

A little breeze picked up in the otherwise still night and ruffled her hair up about her in a touch of black and white romance, or at least that is how she saw it in her head. Smiling, she tucked her hair back and clapped with the rest of the group as the lead couple took a quick bow and found their seats again.

In the next thirty minutes or so, the group began dispersing for the night, one or two yawning folks at a time. Aman Sinha was among the first few to leave. Aditi had remarked shortly after that he would spend time working on the next day’s sessions, pushing Aman’s status further up in Khushi’s standing. When it was only Arnav, Aditi, Arjun and couple of others from their group around the now dying fire, Khushi knew that she had her way out and that she needed to take it before it was too late.

Luckily for her, Aditi also rose at almost the same time, further bolstering Khushi’s decision. She bid her goodnights to the rest of them and stepped away from the group. Khushi was about to follow the older woman when Arjun reached out to grab Khushi’s hand much to her embarrassment and tugged at it with a tone-deaf rendition of one of her favourite romantic tracks.

Bekaraar karke humein yun na jaayiye, Aapko hamari kasam laut aayiye

Khushi blushed to the tip of her wavy hair and tugged her hand back to the safety of her own personal space. She refused to look in the direction of a focused, unreadable, sun-flecked contemplation and made a face at Arjun instead.

“Please do not murder that song, Arjun. I beg of you.”

“Dont leave then? Didn’t we talk about not being bores and sleeping at ten?”

Khushi continued to look at him blankly even though he knew that Arnav was now shamelessly looking at her, the memory of a late night rendezvous clearly shining in his fire-lit eyes.

“Unlike you, Arjun, I am dead tired. If I stay here for a minute more, I will be falling asleep here.”

“So? Haven’t you ever slept under the stars? It used to be the best part of summer vacation for me.” Then he turned to Arnav. “AV Sir, we should have a sleep under the stars night. We can pull up all the mattresses here on the beach.”

Khushi didn’t pay attention to what Arnav said in response because she was sure he rejected the idea. If Arjun was the idealist romantic, Arnav Varun had been the unassuming pragmatist. That difference hadn’t disappeared in the last four years. If anything, it seemed to have solidified in its intensity. Nevertheless, she couldn’t deny that Arjun really did know the best lines to make her rethink her plan of action. Sleeping on the terrace and then waking up early to snuggle into the chilly comfort of her cotton-filled pillow just before Tripti and she were dragged away indoors before the sun could make its appearance, was her favourite memory of summer too. Well, second favorite, she corrected herself. Her favourite memory of summer vacation would always be reading novels without interruption for hours, sliding in and out of sleep as she did.

“Even so,” She said softly with a shrug aimed at conveying that her mind was immutable.

Arjun made some comment about her which she didn’t pay heed to. Instead she wished him good night and then bade a generic good night in the direction of the others before she picked up her chappals and walked back to the sanctuary of her tent.

Once in her tent and having changed into her favorite night shirt and a pair of mismtached, worn out pyjamas before she tucked herself into bed, she couldn’t however, so much as even close her eyes. She had not been lying about being tired. She was exhausted enough to feel it in her bones and the muscles in her forearms and calves. The underside of her feet tingled as she folded her knees and rested her feet sole down on the thin mattress beneath. Despite the physical aches and pains, tokens of a hard-day, there was no shred of sleep in her consciousness.

The light of the moon filtered in through the slivers of thread-bare canvas in the river-facing side of the tent. The air inside was thick with the gathers of afternoon heat, like she had come to expect. The tent would automatically cool down as morning approached, she knew. Enough for her to feel a chill when she would wake up.

For more than an hour, or so she estimated by the length of time that had passed by and the slight but evident shift of the moon’s position in the sky, she lay absolutely still, her mind clouded with myriad thoughts but with one single focal point – of the night before, the day and finally the evening. Even in such a short span of time, she seemed to have covered more Arnav-distance than she had in the last four years. And that was unsettling. Finally, she pulled herself up and got out of bed to find herself a remedy for restlessness. She looked at her walkman and mixed tape and decided against music. She had had enough for the evening.

She paced in her tent, regretting saying no to a gas lamp that might have been helpful to get some reading out of the way. She walked up to the closing flap of canvas that lay unflattering at the entrance of the tent a couple of times before she gave up and threw it open to walk out. She wouldn’t walk to the site of the campfire, she decided. She would walk upstream, the side she had left unexplored last night. Hopefully, she would not run into either Arjun or Arnav, neither of whom she could handle at this hour.

Thankfully, when she walked along the lesser travelled pebble-marked path to her right, she could see only wisps of smoke coming from the camp fire on her left. And the beach itself was completely deserted. Since her tent was on the left extreme, she could as she walked, see the remaining tents in her periphery. Most of them were illuminated with nothing but silver beams of the half-moon. A couple however, had dull yellow light streaming out of them. She could see faint shadows of moving limbs. She just had to cross her fingers and hope that no one would come out for a stroll at this time. If they did, if anyone did, she promised herself that she would be firm enough to excuse herself and head back to the tent.

The area to the left of the camp was a lot less narrow and un-cleared of foliage, large rocks and stone. In the distance, she could also see the edge of the mountain where the river bank was not wider than a small gali near the Vishwanath temple back home. Wincing as her foot caught a small, usually sharp pebble, she stumbled and looked around her to find place where she could sit. She really should have worn her slippers, she thought as she hobbled around in inspection. They had been told multiple times and by Aman himself to ensure that their feet were covered and that they had enough insect repellant applied on the exposed parts of their body, at all times. She had ignored the instruction and now she would pay. A part of her wanted to turn around to go get her chappals. However, she knew that if she turned away now, she wouldn’t come back. So shaking her foot and vowing to pay more attention to the path, she walked on with a slight limp till the river was in her ears, the sparkle of the moon against the water, catching her eye. She walked right up to the edge of the bank and in a moment of sheer impishness, stepped into the shallow edge, the water rushing against her feet for a second before she realised it was too slippery to be safe. Shaking her leg free of water, she walked back and looked around her to see if she could find another rock to sit on. To her surprise, her gaze came to rest a small charpoy hidden between two large rocks almost as she was about to give up and sink on to the pebbled bank. The only reason she had even spotted it was because the area where there charpoy was standing was slightly depressed, giving her an unexpected advantage of height from where she was standing.

Sighing to herself, she walked carefully along the pebbled strewn path, careful to make sure she found the soft springy sand to place the pad of her feet. When she reached the charpoy, she checked it first to make sure all the thick, coarse jute strings were intact in their criss-crossed pattern. The last thing she wanted was to sink down to the bottom in an ungainly heap, even if there was no one to witness her fall. When the charpoy passed all possible inspections, she sat on it gingerly, easing into the seat as the device creaked under her weight. Five minutes of awkward sitting later, she was finally reassured that the thing wasn’t going to buckle. So she pulled her legs up straight in front of her for a second before she pulled her knees to her stomach and hugged herself. Her chin came to rest in the little cavern between her knees as she stared into the river. The moon had now disappeared behind a couple of stray clouds and it was completely dark. It was such a beautiful place and for some reason, she found the knot in her shoulders easing away. Whatever it was she had come looking for, she seemed to have found with unanticipated ease. She knew it was a matter of minutes before her eyelids drooped under the weight of sleep. Smiling to herself, she closed her eyes, promising herself that she would rest only for a few minutes before heading back to her tent.

———

“Khushi,”

The voice seemed to be pattering into her ears like the sound of rain against her window pane – her absolute favourite sound in the world. It was insistent and yet had a certain beat to it. Almost as if nature was challenging her to find the lyrics and sing along. So far, she had yet to find the words. She would, she knew. One day. Smiling at the thought, she allowed herself to ignore the voice only to have it touch her hand in the next instant. She pulled her arm away and tucked it in the curve of her body.

“Khushi,”

She blinked with closed eyes as she tried to turn in her sleep only to realise that the frame of her glasses had dug into her temple again. It hurt as she straightened them. She really did need to remember to remove them before she fell asleep.

“Kaveri, wake up. You shouldn’t be sleeping here.”

“Sue me,” She mumbled as she frowned. Tripti really did need to be spanked once to remind her who the older sister was. Using her first name was not going to earn her any favors. Or didn’t she know that already? Saying so, she succeeded in turning away from the voice only to have something smooth but hard poke into her hip. Flinching at the alien intrusion against her thread bare shirt, she slowly allowed her eyes to open. For a few long moments, she had no idea where she was or why.

Till the shape of the adjacent rock came into focus. Blinking again she turned to her left to see the indigo expanse above her. It was only when a light breeze brushed against her arm that she realized the silver holes in the carpet above were stars. Jerking up to a sitting position, she straightened her clothes and her glasses before turning to look at her left. Her mind had already begun invoking Shiv-ji to dispel any unfriendly spirits that might have taken offence to her shameless presence.

Of course, the person she saw scared her a lot more than any ghost could have in that moment at least. And it was no Tripti.

Arnav was staring down at her, his eyes glittering softly in the dim light of the hour, his face set in an unreadable mask. Or maybe she was just too groggy to notice. Great, she told herself. Of course he had found her. Again. Maybe that is what she had been hoping for. After last night, what other reason could there be for being out alone so late at night. And falling asleep on a deserted charpoy to top it. Oh the ignominy!

“You are going to have a stiff neck.” He said as she swung her legs down, her eyes quickly roaming over her clothes to make sure she was still decent. “And a cold.”

She looked up at him and stood quickly. She considered saying something stupid and inane and decided otherwise when she finally saw the glint in his eyes. If she didn’t know better, she would have bet he had come looking for her. Taking a deep breath, she mumbled a quick goodnight and began to rush past him.

“Khushi.”

She really needed to tell him to stick to one of her names. This oscillation was meant only for family. Even Arjun called her just Kavi. Arnav Varun, of all the people in the world, wasn’t allowed to choose what to address her to his liking. The words almost erupted in her throat when she felt his presence behind, too close for comfort.

“All I am asking for is a conversation, a chance to explain”

She turned around at that. She didn’t need to see him to know he was being earnest in his request. It was his biggest weapon – the ability to be so sincere in his communications. It was a bloody lie. Her eyes burned with anger. Sure, he may not have anything to apologize for from four years ago. But this pursuit…it was not helping. If anything, it was highly uncomfortable. As a professional, couldn’t he just leave her alone and get the week over with as quickly as they could?

“Please.”

 

River Song, Music and Lyrics

Song Title: Yeh Raat Bheegi Bheegi

Album: Chori Chori (1956)

Singers: Lata Mangeshkar, Manna Dey

Music: Shankar-Jaikishen

Lyrics: Shailendra

 

Ithlaati hawa, neelam sa gagan

Kaliyon pe yeh, behoshi ki nami

Aise mein kyun, bechain hai dil

Jeevan mein na jaane kya hai kami?

 

Kyun aag si laga ke, gumsum hai chaandni

Sone bhi nahi deta, mausam ka yeh ishaara

 

 

 

 

Next Update: Tuesday, Jun 7, 2016

364 thoughts on “Chapter Seven: Out of Favor

  1. I hope this comment gets posted. I have done this over the last few updates and have failed with my poor network every time. I so hope it gets done this time.

    So first thing to be said is you are getting crueler to us. Why would you stop there?😠 I do hope she allows him to speak this once before she bursts open shouting at him without knowing what has been going on his mind. He deserves it or not,we will see about it later but let the man speak for once, a bit may be. His voice has become one of the loved voices for her. He does find her everytime, this time he had come with a mission to get an opportunity to speak, seems like he did come looking for her.

    Aditi and Aman are sweethearts, enjoying the scenic beauty ever so romantically. Ohh yeah, you have been excelling yourself time and again in making us picturize the river bank and the falling night. The song setting, a wonderful for the scene.

    Arjun is another enigma, giving AV Sir hints of feelings we hope aren’t there. Wouldn’t want this cheery soul to be troubled anyway. I love how Khushi always thinks in her filmy ishtyle, analysing what heroine would do.😂 She has a long list of things to remind and tell people to do. Arnav really has taken liberty of calling her what suits him in situations.

    This was wonderful making us wait for next one to come much sooner.

    Liked by 6 people

  2. WP didn’t send me a notifiacation, AGAIN. 😢
    Meera, you took me up in the clouds with these lovely old songs and Aditi and Aman waltzing around the bonfire. I am, and will always be, a romantic. And this story and these situations you create with the lovely songs take me to another world. (And let me tell you Meera, this is a difficult feat these days with the in laws breathing down my neck!)😝
    I love this Aditi! In fact, I love all your Aditis. Why are they so loveable? No wonder, Aman falls for her every time.
    Arjun is surely still in love with Khushi. I don’t want his heart to break. He’s such a loveable guy. Why Shivji, why?
    Arnav seems to want to explain himself . I just hope Khushi listens to him and puts ME out of my misery!😉
    Sleeping under the stars is my favourite memory of my summer vacations. I’d love to be Khushi sleeping on the charpoy between the two rocks. And I wouldn’t mind Arnav finding me there too! Hehe!

    Liked by 10 people

    1. Oh wow….grew up hearing this song so often,…eventually understood the meaning after I started understanding the Hindi words…..but it’s such a lovely lovely song…..

      I think it’s both Arnav and Khushi on charpoy- me thinks charpoy is Arnavs usually hangout …..hes got it bad too, poor guy…..

      Liked by 5 people

        1. No notification….just came to look for new comments n saw the update….

          Btw I was wondering ke tumari chhutti kardigayi…..how did u pull of reading the chapter and comment in a day….lol

          From me to u…. (( x )) …😜😛😝

          Liked by 4 people

            1. I know your pain. My mil was here for 6 months and now finally gone. I saw her in my dream that she was returned back to USA from Frankfort airport due to some paperwork issues and I was heartbroken and than I woke up and realized it was just my imagination and she actually reached India. You can imagine how badly she affected me.
              I feel for you. You deserve a big hug.

              Please don’t mind but one thing I have learned– if you feel she is very unfair and you are right– take a stand right in front of your hubby only as in this world people keep on taking u for granted especially if you are good natured but you have to care for yourself first . I was given a ride for 15 years by my mil– but no more. Here it is my house and she is just guest.

              Liked by 5 people

              1. Thanks Mrieshka. I know re. Indian MILs are a rare breed. They live to make our lives miserable. I am a heart patient, so can’t do much. Hubby knows that and takes care. Of course, she always says I don’t do anything all day. That’s the way they are. I just take life with a pinch of salt and laugh it off.

                Liked by 5 people

        2. Hey, about the notifications issue, you can try this.
          1. Unfollow the blog.
          2. Wait for a few minutes, click on follow button.
          3. If you receive and email saying – ‘You are now following this blog and will receive an email for every new post’, you will receive future notifications.
          The email confirms notifications.
          Hope this helps.

          Liked by 5 people

    2. Sorry for digressing …but felt like saying that some of the best songs of the black and white era are sung by Lata ji… The voice so beautiful then…crisp, clear and sublime, riding all the possible notes from all the possible octaves with such ease and fluency…such a gifted voice! One of my most favourite songs is sung by her.. from Asli Naqli…everything about it is heavenly! The actress Sadhna – stunning and elegant as always 😊

      Liked by 7 people

      1. Oh my god. This ring us just too poignant . I am a sucker of B&W era songs and there lyrics. All time golden songs. I also listen to them on my way to work and now commenting at work in between. You r so right about lataji .

        Liked by 5 people

  3. Btw ‘anyone’ did u know ur a *2 million club member* (over 200 comments in 2 days) in a Shortest span…..

    Abh Arnav POV ya, Khushi ka raudra Roop dikhdo…..guarantee hum tumhe 4 million club member banadenge in 1 day…..😝😍😛😝😜😋

    Hahahaha

    Liked by 10 people

  4. I love the songs you choose for your updates — they’re so fitting! How on earth do you just… know?

    I hope Arnav and Khushi have a conversation about this so they can put it behind them. She’s so intent on running from him — I wish she’d realize that running from him is kind of like running on a treadmill at this point; she’s still in the same place as she started. I love the way you set the scene — when you describe it, I feel the chill of the night air. I’m curious to see where this book of the story will leave them. I believe someone said that they start out angry at Arnav… and then they lose the anger… and then it comes back. I can’t quite decide how I feel about him, even now.

    — MN.

    Liked by 8 people

  5. When I am reading this story I feel like I am sitting on boat on a calm peaceful river with my favorite book in hand and a small radio playing my favorite songs…it’s that beautiful Meera..your writing transfers me to a different zone..

    Liked by 5 people

  6. What’s going on in his mind… Song pe song is on his lips…. As if he’s been waiting for ages to say something!

    Finally he’s pleading for a conversation… Khushi this time you stay..He’s confused you a bit too much!!

    Meera beautiful ambiance, wish I was there too..loving every bit:)))

    Thank you for writing it’s such a treat to have from you👏👏👏

    Liked by 3 people

  7. Every time I notice the songs that you add to your updates, these lines- ‘I, love you like a lovesong, baby and I keep hitting repeat’ – start playing in my head. (Btw, it is the lyrics to a Selena Gomez song). Also, it really makes me believe that Khushi does love Arnav like a lovesong, because these love songs are what ties these two together.

    Anyway, I can almost relate to what Khushi feels, though. She doesn’t want her heart to keep breaking again and again and never for the same reason – the enigma she cannot seem to solve. She is scared and rightfully so.

    She wants to run away but she is only pulled towards him.
    She does not want to think about him but somehow, her focus is always him.

    But isn’t it almost time? To have the much awaited talk? To finally get the whole picture clear? Even the sinner is forgiven his first mistake. So, Khushi should really allow herself to hear what Arnav has to stay and have some peace with that night. And how can new love, between the two, be found until old wounds do not heal?

    And Arnav, oh, he knows when an opportunity comes his way and when he found her asleep outside, he took that chance with both hands.
    Woah, this time, you cannot escape Khushi and I really do want to read what Arnav has planned to say to Khushi.

    Waiting. :)

    Liked by 5 people

  8. Oh My…………..at last i could able to read this one……….3 days late(:.. Somehow i love Aditi n i think she is going to play cupid in these 2 but soche ke dimag phir jata hai ki aisa kya hua ki ye phir bichame 4 saal nahi mile…
    Arnav i feel know about Kushi’s interest but somehow he was not in this n respecting his parents decision…..pata nahi aab aage padhake he pata chaega ki kya hoga ..

    Defiantely waiting for next as needs to see what AV wants to say aur ye Kushi sunegi ya chilayege pata nahi..

    Meera your playlist is maste… cant forget any of these song choices :)

    Liked by 3 people

  9. i dont want to speculate. and so i wanted to abstain from commenting. i think i have posted this before with some other story that by speculating, i am making up my own story. this is fiction ( may be inspired by real life incidents, but fiction, nonetheless ) Meera has chalked up the outline of it already and now she is filling in with color. i would like to see the picture with her eyes than mine. it would have been so nice and easy for my impatience mind to see the picture after its completed. but i am me, cant wait till its all done.so now i am in soup. dont want to speculate and dying of curiosity what it is. which light i should see AV in? which light i should see Kaveri in? which light i should see each and every person in? every situation in?
    so i am going to consolidate just the facts i have till now. and see if i see something. without speculating and without going wild with my imagination.
    so here it goes
    Kaveri had and has image issue. ( she has come out of it a little, but its still there)
    Kaveri is introvert. naive.straightforward and romantic at heart.
    she started falling for AV-sir, right from the very first instance she had encounter with him, and because she was confused about her own feeling and hesitant she can have him. he was and is out of reach for her(she has and still thinks so) which is also playing a part in this distance between them right now.
    and for the same hesitant nature she used to use Arjun and still using Arjun as a shield against AV. and her confused heart.
    she hasnt learned her worth yet.
    she has not understood Arjun’s interest in her since she was in school, behind his playful nature.
    for her Arjun is friend and nothing else. A shield, a companion for a only girl in a group of all boys.

    Krishna is extrovert. bindas kind of girl. but sweet and close to Kaveri. her respect and love for Kaveri is unconditional.

    Their Parents are Parents…ofcourse…good in so many ways, but still parents. not friends, they arent that close to their kids, which was catalyst to bring Kaveri and Krishna closer. As they had each other. Its hard for them to accept certain decision of their kids,like what courses they want to take. or what career they want for themselves. (doesnt mean they are wrong. but they have that barrier there.)

    Arjun was interested in Khushi ( now this can be speculation, but i dont think so) from school time. He might know he is her friend and only friend, nothing else. but deep down somewhere he harbors the wish to be something more than friend to her. He is in my opinion good friend. we are seeing this story only from Kaveri’s point of view …but she when used him for a shield against AV, she might have given him very wrong signals. He might be tagging along till all this years for that purpose. he is hiding his feeling behind his playfulness.which is good and bad in a way. good for him coz, thats why they are friends till date. bad coz, his intentions are not understood,and he is friend only till date. good coz, that gives Kaveri a friend, a shoulder to lean on. but bad, coz, she might be giving Arjun,AV ( and all others) wrong signals too.

    Now OUR AV- sir.
    he is as mysterious as a mystery can be. But he cares for Kaveri for sure. He is affectionate. he is little bit idealistic and perfectionist kind of a person. but not a stuck up. am i missing something??

    what did i get after doing all this? i distracted myself from speculating and still felt stayed with story. ;)

    Liked by 7 people

    1. Neat! You had a clear objective to start with, and at the end of the comment definitely achieved it.

      Guess a few others (like yours truely) seem to be surviving with one singular purpose in life – pulling out whatever is left of one’s hair!

      Liked by 6 people

  10. pareshaan main apne hi dil ki badaulat.
    magar iss dil ko kis tarha samjaoon?

    nazron se bayaan hona, kuchh aur hi hai,
    zuban pe magar dil ki baat kaise laoon?

    saamne woh mere, hai fir bhi itne faasle,
    hai apna ya nahi woh, yeh bhi na jaan paoon.

    raaz jaane hai woh mere dil ka magar,
    sila kya denge, soch ke ghabhraoon.

    Liked by 7 people

    1. OMG,…shaayar sahiba……

      Loved every word of that shayari…..so befitting the current situation…Kaveri ka Jamal-E-dil

      Is that ur own penning?

      ‘anyone’ is quite an inspiration to a lot of hidden talents…..😊

      Liked by 5 people

      1. to be very frank with you. i can converse in english but for translation. you need to know the language in and out and i suck at english.
        so thank goodness for google translate…
        and for the “sila kya denge…”
        sila mens reward or response
        kya – what
        denge. – will give.

        so last couplet means

        “he knows secret of my heart but,
        i am scared my love will be unrequited.”

        Liked by 6 people

  11. Neat! You had a clear objective to start with, and at the end of the comment definitely achieved it.

    Guess a few others (like yours truely) seem to be surviving with one singular purpose in life – pulling out whatever is left of one’s hair!

    Liked by 2 people

  12. I am so sad because I accidentally deleted my long comment and finally decided to write again😭😭. First of all Meera you used one of most romantic song khoya khoya chaand to be sung by one and only AV sir– i don’t know about Khushi, I would have died on the spot if someone like AV sir sang this song for me. I am humming these lyrics constantly especially these lines:

    Aisi hi raat, bheegi si raat
    Haathon mein haath hote woh saath
    Keh lete unse dil ki yeh baat
    Ab toh na sataao

    Hum mit chale jinke liye
    Hum mit chale hain jinke liye
    Bin kuch kahe woh chup chup rahe
    Koi zara yeh unse kahe
    Na aise Aazmao

    I wish he was thinking about her while singing that song and it may be true– so how can I blame Khushi for her restlessness and inability to sleep.
    I went and reread whole interlude few times word by word and now this is very obvious that AV sir had and has feelings for Khushi. He called her mere colleague ?? And than laughed on himself knowing very well that she was much more than a colleague. He also knew her feelings for him and especially when he said that he will always remember the moment of rivers meeting mountain( the song Khushi sang thinking abut AV sir in her head). He was swinging in pendulum of talking versus not talking to her that aarohan night and afterwards. Now the big question is what was the reason that he stopped himself from accepting his feelings towards Khushi or keeping quiet. This is the biggest mystery so far.
    I have many speculations–

    He was in denial
    He was committed to childhood sweetheart? And fell in love with Khushi but was guilty for his feelings and he wanted to behave honorably towards his girlfriend

    Or is it something to do with Arjun, as he is perceptive and figured Arjun’s feelings towards khushi or Arjun said something to him

    We all are dying of curiosity here and Meera when will we get at list some glimpse of these last 4 years. I feel he kept quiet to keep his promise for his Juliet but something happened to his girlfriend , may be she is dead or something and now he met Khushi again by chance and all the suppressed feelings resurfaced again and that is why he wants to talk to Khushi.
    My heart want him to stay quiet and Khushi to run away to avoid further embarrassment as I do not think that he is yet ready to accept depth of his feelings for her but my greed wants to hear his version of story. I want to hate him but unable to do that as he is also not at peace and they both need some closure. But if he hurt her again than I will go and push him in Ganga by going to Rishikesh personally😙.

    Meera you are queen for creating romantic atmosphere by describing live River, mountain, chaand, stars, antakshari , hero singing melodious and romantic song in chandani raat and our beloved heroine falling asleep on our hero’s charpoy under the stars. Kya Kehne. Gajab ki thi ye raat— bhai wah. I want to be there instead of my boring bed here.

    I would love to know what was Arnav’s reaction when he found her deeply asleep on charpoy and he had to literally wake her up and she said — SUE ME. That was hilarious. I bet his heart rate went sky high at that time–Meera- can you at least tell his reaction at that time to us greedy readers without indulging anything else from his head.

    This story is musical and all the songs are so meaningful and fit appropriately. Only thing I hate is wait each week but understand the practicality of this. You also have awesome readers and their thoughts and comments increases the charm of this story even more.
    Bechari Khushi–she is so helpless–I am proud of her for trying hard to stay strong. Her problem is:
    नींद से क्या शिकवा जो
    आती नहीं..
    कसूर तो उस चेहरे का है जो सोने
    नहीं देता..

    And madam Ji keeps on wondering in middle of night and AV sir bhai bhatakti atma se kum nahi– raat bhar Ganga kinare ghumta hai– Aisa kyon hota hai. Ye to hamari writer mahodya hi janti hai. Keeping with the theme– here is another devanand era song from Arnav’s point of view–

    Liked by 10 people

    1. Imagine a big Jappi coming ur way from me…..

      [italics]Neend se Kya shikayat jo ati nahi….
      Kusoor to us chehre ka hai jo sone nahi deta…… [italics]

      What amazing lines…..☺️

      And I am not alone …..thank god….You felt the same after reading the interlude……..ur also getting the notorious Arjun vibes…..and AV holding himself back….

      ****.He was in denial
      He was committed to childhood sweetheart? And fell in love with Khushi but was guilty for his feelings and he wanted to behave honorably towards his girlfriend******

      I get that too….but the question is what did he do or what exactly happened to lead him to current situation….
      And I bet u he is no longer with *juliet*

      the deep gash on his shoulder is another mystery that doesn’t leave me.

      But for now I am going to enjoy the ride and marvel imagining AV singing the khoya khoya change and the verses u mentioned ringing in my head too and await Kaveri to unleash her wrath….or maybe not…..
      I guess she’s too dignified to go that way…..

      Liked by 5 people

      1. I am glad you felt that too. I also feel that he is no more with so called Juliet . I somehow feel that deep gash has connection with Juliet, as she was supposedly from different religion and something happened involving him and therefore the injury, it may have been catastrophic event and that is why he is so melancholic at times and restless at times. You are right to just enjoy the ride but I can not help speculating. I am inherently impatient person and this intazaar is making me more besabar( hope u got my Hindi).

        It is funny that three of us posted same song– lol at my silliness.

        Meera must be thinking what a crazy bunch of people we are.

        Did u read meera’s reply to one of her reader where her reader mentioned that Arnav has upper hand in current situation and Meera replied — does he?. That reply made me think that AV sir is possibly more heartbroken than Khushi and there is some big mystery behind his behaviour which will come as shocking news to all of us but not until we reach prologue I guess. That is why I feel Sohni may be right that Arjun is not what appears to be on face. However we may all be far away from real truth. My AD is crazy and despite that I am busy thinking about Arnav, Khushi and our writerji — anyone😜.

        I also think that Khushi will not be angry on AV sir but possibly they will also will not have a conversation due to some reason such as Aman, Arjun, or any other villain .

        And thank you for the jappi. I really needed that today. Hugs.

        Liked by 5 people

        1. I am in a similar boat as ur self,…..June is always a very busy month….home and work front. I am also preparing for my daughter going away for 3 weeks end of school year transatlantic trip. First for me….so m in a panic mode constantly…..Kya karegi, kaise karegi….wohi socha socha ke dimaag ka ho raha hain….

          Uperse Meera bhi break nahi de rahi….😝😛😜

          Meera yaara,……sachmein Kal tak intezaar karwaogi.?😳

          Ditto for Arjun,….and the gash could also be a result of rafting accident ……just a thought…..but like u said the first think that came to mind is some sort of a riot – most likely cuz he denied wanting to continue that relationship after they approved it. Again pure speculations on my part.

          So many ppl have such wonderful comments and speculations that I go back and reread them again like I do with the chapters…..

          It funny how this story and comments have become a part of my life like a daily soap….unbelievable.😳

          Meera,……Kal subha subha update kar do na please……late night tak ka intezaar please mat karwao….Meri saanse Ruki hue hain….☺️🤗☺️😊😜

          Liked by 3 people

  13. Oh I completely forgot to mention that I also love your Aditi and Aman. Loved their romantic dance . In fact Aman and Aditi are essential part of the family of Arnav and Khushi. Someone rightly said that how do you create these characters who were just exceptionally awesome. Please do not bring lavanya and or Sheetal here ( I can only request but it is only for fun you see😜👻😍), any name for that so called Juliet is fine except those two.

    Liked by 7 people

    1. Yeah,….I too realized that twiggy had posted it already after I posted it…..cuz I didn’t hear the son as I was still listening to Khoya khoya chand…..while posting …….

      But like u said….it’s a beautiful song and we all got reminded of the same as we read…….

      Liked by 2 people

  14. Hi Meera
    As usual wonderful chapter. We can understand Khushi’s inner turmoil. Khushi should listen, what Arnav wants to say, if not for khushi at least for us. This will throw us some light above Arnav’s POV. Waiting eagerly for the next update.

    Liked by 2 people

  15. Why did you stop there Meera?? Why? It not okay!
    But what a chapter… And those songs? You gave best selection of songs.. I always end up listening to them on YouTube after reading!!
    Keep up Meera… Loved it!

    Liked by 2 people

  16. My heart was thudding and I knew Arnav will find her. Now, he wants to explain to her. He know she was ignoring him. Was charpay Arnav’s lone space, where he likes to be himself..his own space?!

    Liked by 3 people

  17. Why did u stop???! That was cruel okay.
    I dont want kushi to listen to anything. I want her to simply excuse herself and leave. I dont even want his story i just want him to suffer from whatever it is.. guilt,heartache anything. He must understand and know the pain of rejection even if it is simply rejection to hear his speech. Poor kushi is now getting on track by showing some anger and he just cannot shake her up again. But i know ,we readers can only hope.
    Please di his juliet can be called anything but sheetal or lavanya please. I just cant bear them. And i surely dont want arnav to consider kushi be 2nd option. Whatever might have happened arnav shouldnt want her just becoz his juliet rejected him.
    Anyway plz update on monday di , dont think we can survive till tuesday

    Liked by 2 people

  18. Simply amazing ….like always…love the way you are making us curious about AV sir …and love Khushi more in every chapter.. enjoyed beautiful description and lovely songs …Thanks…..

    Liked by 2 people

  19. In her eyes, he saw the splinters of broken dreams.
    The slivers drenched in reddened inks of what could’ve been.

    Every saddened gaze fractured his wounded soul,
    Shrouding his being with a cloak, the color of coal.

    His heart pulsed with a need to wipe away their sorrow.
    Will his words, his plea, bring dawn tomorrow?

    Liked by 16 people

    1. Did you write that? If yes, please stop reading this story right now. You need to focus on writing. Honestly that is beautiful – so so so beautiful

      Liked by 8 people

        1. Beautiful!
          Not many have this gift, you should write
          P.S: Playing devil’s advocate! Who said please at the end, him or her?
          Him: Please listen to me
          Her: Please leave me alone
          :-)

          Liked by 5 people

      1. How can she stop reading this story?! Our AV is quite the inspiration you see :)

        Of course there are a lots more that will impact our dear N…. Skies, moon, Sindoor….. But we are not pulling back the story from the list :)

        Liked by 6 people

    2. I can hit the like button only once and it does not justify the poem!!!!! Of course, words will fail me when I want to say how much I am loving it :) what beautiful jump start to a Saturday morning!

      Liked by 6 people

        1. It’s not you, it’s me dear friend. I am always scared to think positive till it is confirmed. That’s just me. I know I should change but easier said than done 😭. But I pray that what you are saying turns out to be true and than I will be the most happy person.

          But now you have to tell me what do you think happened that aarohan night and last 4 years and what do you think is going on in AV sir’s mind causing this turmoil, why he kept quiet 4 years ago, is he ready to acknowledge his feelings in front of her yet. Please please dear friend tell your version, I know it is just assumption but want to hear your side please.

          Also I could not find your comment on interlude– how can I read that, tried few times, don’t know why?.

          So my dear friend, will you write/ send your version to me about AV sir so far. Thank you in advance😄😄😄😄😄😄😄. You can email me at ranmgr@gmail.co as well.

          Liked by 4 people

          1. I don’t have answers/ theories to all the questions that are bugging you. But, there are certain conclusions some readers (including you) have arrived at. These conclusions – my wishful heart comfortably believes in! Let me tell you that these conclusions are reassuring, at least for me :) Reassuring, despite the extremely strong possibilities of a tragedy that AV encountered, and an impending heart break for our Khushi before they meet at the time of Prelude.
            These hypotheses keep me sane despite the multitude of unknowns and possibilities. It is a lifeline that I am holding on to survive the turbulence. But I guess everyone’s thresholds and lifelines are different!!!

            Here are the blurbs that let me sleep. Mind you, these are nothing ground-breaking:

            – I truly believe Nivi’s poem is 100% reflective of what AV is feeling now.
            – In the end, Arnav and Khushi will be together (Hint: the poem)
            – I can live with the possibility that Khushi might not be the only girl AV fell for. ( I may be digressing, but I sometimes think that ‘only true love’ is a romanticized notion, and ‘monogamy’ is a convenient social set-up for a lot of practical reasons. ‘Deeds and actions’ more often than not are controllable, but ‘thoughts’ – Nada. Let me stop now lest I get shunned by the group!)

            Gosh – I am writing as if Khushi and Arnav are my long lost friends who I empathise with and am rooting for with all my heart:)

            PS: My comment on the Interlude was posted to the last chapter and hence you could not find it. Will email you. But must warn that it might not have answers you seek :)

            Liked by 4 people

            1. Got it and thanks a lot. Yes you are very right and I am also at peace for the reasons you mentioned. For me most important is that AV sir also has feelings for Khushi– that makes me content. Even if they do not meet in the end(perfect set up for me to ask for chappals and tomatoes)-although I will be very sad but that sadness is less compared to the thought that he loves someone else not Khushi. I think if I write more, I will start blabbering ,hence will stop here and wait for Meera to update another beautiful chapter hopefully soon.

              Liked by 4 people

    3. Goodness thank god you decided to be shameless! To think I would’ve missed this gem!

      Girl drop everything right now and get to writing. Okay all the floodgates of real talent have opened and now I just want to stop writing. YOU are the one who needs to write!

      Liked by 6 people

      1. No ways are you stopping,Twiggy! Please do not ever stop, Oh the nightmare! Mujhe inspiration kahan se milega!XD
        Borrowing from Meera – Write write and write some more…..
        You write even a word, I run like your Khushi, to read it. Ise pyaar kaho ya mera pagalpan, mere liye ek hi hain.
        PS:Bachche ki jaan leke rahoge tum log.

        Liked by 7 people

          1. Yes, it does hold a major part of my inspiration but you know that’s not the only thing. Will I have to pull out my SRK trump card for you? That might be enough, yes? ;)

            Liked by 6 people

        1. Can I put it up on a separate page? With credit to you of course! And I am not saying it is or not reflective of AVs feelings but they are beautiful words meant to be read and absorbed :)

          Liked by 8 people

          1. That poem is yours now Meera, please feel free to do whatever you want with it. You read it- that’s enough for me. You said such kind words – that’s like dil mein Diwali! :)

            Liked by 6 people

  20. a chance to explain! hope khushi gives him that. they both deserve a much delayed conversation. hoping to find a glimpse of arnavs feelings

    Liked by 2 people

  21. Because I was listening to this one today

    Naa visaal hoya kadi na judai hoi
    Ishq de qaidi ki naa rihaai hoi
    Lokon supne ch milne da wada usda
    Saari saari raat na akh lagdi
    Mere saa vi thode thode ghat aaunde
    Meri nabz vi thodi ghat wajdi
    Challa ki labh da phire

    P.S. anyone can ask me for translation. But I feel these lines are somewhat related to their situation.

    Liked by 6 people

      1. It’ means
        neither we met nor get separated
        I never got a release from prison of love
        She promised she will meet in dreams
        I can’t sleep the whole night
        My breath is coming in intervals and my pulse is also very slow.
        What am I looking for?

        Liked by 6 people

  22. The river scenarios you create are so magical. And the songs that you choose <3 Do these songs come naturally to you or do you put up an active hunt for songs in your list that best match the situation?

    You know, I somehow feel Khushi subconsciously seeks Arnav out though she may keep denying it to herself. She hasn't had a proper closure to all those feelings years back. And when Arnav tries to clear himself, I feel Khushi doesn't want her emotions to be tied together in a bow and have them presented to her. You know, repulse it before you are completely consumed by it? Poor girl's had her heart crushed once with no solid fault from either party but again, that's the kind of wiring our brain has. I will not blame Arnav and I can't not side with Khushi.
    We all thrive on romantic cynicism before we decide to fall hard and then get up and brush ourselves before falling once again. Active repulsion during attraction is yet another story.

    Something also tells me Khushi will run away again in the next chapter and not let Arnav 'explain'. And you, my darling, end at points where we are left wanting for more. Kyun M, kyun?

    Liked by 9 people

  23. This is for our khushi… This is her halat right now..

    This is our Asr from me

    I was listening to the music and even than I remember only them

    Liked by 6 people

    1. Both beautiful songs. Vishwajeet singing Zara najro se kehdo— I would have loved the video even more if it was dharmendar or manoj Kumar or Sunil dutt in that song instead of him😜.

      Liked by 5 people

      1. I know I wanted to post link with out video, for both the songs.so the wording of the song bring out the feeling I wanted to convey,and its effect is more profound.
        Coz that song is from me to our AV -sir.
        I was listening to songs. Watching takes away the perspective.
        Even the khusis song her feeling are depicted very acutely in that song.

        Liked by 1 person

  24. Can June 7th be here fast enough??!!:(
    This has been an excruciatingly slow and painful week Meera — and its only becos of your story.
    In this past week, I have read and re-read and read and re-read the entire story countless times, including the comments! I have fallen in love over and over again, come up with different perspectives every time I read the story… The songs are hauntingly beautiful that just had me travel back in time to reminiscence long forgotten memories!!
    I must have listened to the song — Mujhe Raat Din bas mujhe chahti ho a zillion times in this past week.
    What have you done to us with your writing Meera!!!

    Sometimes I wish I had not chanced upon this story till it was complete.. That way I would not be spending my time agonizing over what will happen next!!!

    One request Meera — dont ever keep this story incomplete — for any reason..
    Theres so many of us who are so invested here… it would be criminal if you do..

    Love your writing and cannot wait till the next update.. .which I know for sure will only leave us again, clamoring for more!!!

    “armaania” from IF..

    Liked by 5 people

    1. Let me say it this way – if I ever leave this story incomplete – it would be because I was absolutely forced by circumstances and without any will of my own. I have never left anything incomplete and I hope to always be able to say that :)

      Liked by 6 people

  25. I totally feel like I’m on the cheering wagon. The kind that sits around you during a session of truth and dare and fuels your adrenaline rush until you just have to succumb to stupidity.

    I hope there’s no stupidity coming along for either of them. Please. Too much bekaraari going on.

    Liked by 5 people

  26. A beauty of a chapter- singing around the fireplace, moonlight andsound of the river in background……Khushi’s internal debate is so poignant. Aditi and Aman dancing – so romantic.
    Khushi knows what her heart wants but there is so much uncertainty and she wants to be cautious this time around.
    Will she give arnav a chance to explain and will it pave the way for them to move forward?

    Liked by 1 person

  27. We see the side of khushi and her pain and how she is hung in the past. I am curious to find out what’s happening with arnav?

    The songs are melodious and very nice selection of them to hear while we read as well. I may just come back to listen again and read again 😉

    Liked by 1 person

  28. U r choice of songs is simple awesome…two old songs really fitted perfectly for the situations…
    Aman and aditi both are so sweet…hope they understand the situation of khushi and arnav and help them…
    Yes arnav came looking for her…i am sure about that…she is just trying to avoid the much needed talk…because she is afraid of arnav’s current status…that is either it is married or engaged…and also she didnt want him to know that once she loved him…
    I hope this time she will give arnav enough time to explain himself….
    Along reading the chapter i am just playing songs and listening them…thanks to you…

    Liked by 1 person

  29. Beautiful choice of songs as ever. Kudos!
    Khushi & her wonderful wandering mind. Getting angry towards herself…cute in its own way.
    Aditi having her own fun with her hubby. I bet Aman isn’t romantic guy to show his feeling…Aditi is enough to address for both…he is romantic in his own way which Aditi cherish to the fullest.
    Arnav embarrassed…loving it…at least it placed a smile on his face. Uneasiness & emotional she is feeling towards Arnav…conflict of interest with her heart and his. Peace she finds at the banks of river. Arjun’s open friendliness…roadblock/hindrance towards Arnav…hesitate to share his feelings.
    A chance he needs to speak to her…explain his inner turmoil & situations with all the aspects that’s was thrown in his path. Ying-yang she feels with her name she wants to be addressed by. She denies his pleas…raw and edginess she feels with him begging to speak with her & her tussle with her emotions/feelings.
    Sad to see him beg…
    I wished he should have slept besides her instead of waking her up…that will have given him chance not only to talk but to hold her. 😜😜

    Liked by 1 person

  30. Pingback: Tunes of My Heart
  31. The little monologue about Hindi film heroine was bittersweet. Kaveri and self-depreciating humour continue to strike me in ways where I am like, I agree with you sister..it is not you but me too..One can also note the maturity within Kaveri now. Earlier she used to avoid him AV; now she is facing him head-on.

    I can only imagine the beautiful musical night. The songs keep appealing to my soul. Some have become more special than others, while others make me appreciate more and more the world of Hindi Music.

    ” Masti bhari
    Hawa jo chali
    Khil khil gayi
    Yeh dil ki kali
    Mann ki gali mein hai khalbali
    Ke unko to bulaayo”

    It doesn’t get better than this. By the riverside, Rafiji and his music.

    Arjun and Aditi keep amazing me with their light humour and teasing. Entirely in contrast with the lead pair, they are just what this FF needs.

    Arnav Khushi meeting each night is an eventuality that I was prepared for. However, this time it was a little amusing. It is like it was meant to be.

    ” Jo din ke ujaale ne na mila
    Dil dhoonde aise sapne ko
    Is raat ki jagmag mein doobi
    Main dhoond rahi hoon apne ko..”
    Always the best and apt song to end the chapter with.

    Liked by 1 person

  32. First he had to go on a river expedition to make her worry at the night fall and then suddenly appear to just sing those wretched songs which echoing her current state of mind. It is too much to endure for Khushi and she could not go to sleep. Hindi movie heroin or not, this is not working. To just get some peace she ventured on the non-ventured route and stumbled on a charpoy of all items in the middle of nowhere. I am sure it belongs to AV and he uses it to sleep there whenever he is in a turmoil. OK! he wants to explain something. It better be about his feelings. I am not sure whether Khushi gives him a chance or not.
    Cheers…………

    Liked by 2 people

  33. First AV comes back late & sings, later finds her in charpoy, Hindi film heroine or not , she is gone
    He wants to talk now, did he misunderstand Arjun s friendship or he was drawn to kh inspire of his gf

    Like

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