To the half of you who knew this would happen – and the other half who will groan when it does and want to throw something at me – thank you for being here and making the River more than a story!

She turned around at the plea in his voice and took a deep breath. “There is nothing…” She began softly, annoyed that even when she was angry, it rarely came through in her voice. Except when it was Tripti. Or her parents, on occasion. “There is nothing to explain.” She said firmly. “Really” She added for good measure a second later as her eyes met his disbelieving ones.

“I am not doing this to embarrass you.” He said softly.

Wasn’t he? Then what was this going to achieve? Even if he did think she had feelings for him, why bring them up?

“I am not embarrassed. Just that there is no…” She could feel herself getting worked up and she hated it. She may or may not be a weak-willed but she definitely didn’t like to show it to the world.

“I heard your sister that night.” He interrupted.

She frowned at that. “My sister…?” What was he talking about? It made no sense. “What…” She began and then suddenly remembered…Tripti had said something about her having fallen in love that evening and he had appeared shortly thereafter. How had she forgotten that little detail? Damn! Of course he had heard Tripti. Her sister was not known for her soft-spoken-ness. And Khushi herself had wondered even then if he had heard that comment. She jogged her memory for any straws that she might be able to clutch at and used the first one that came to mind.

“She was talking about Arjun.”

He took a deep breath and looked away. She could see that his palms were now clenched into a fist and lay tense against his thighs. He was changed into a relaxed t-shirt and knee-length chambray shorts, clearly night clothes. Why hadn’t he just gone to sleep in his tent? Why did he…

“No, she wasn’t.”

That scraped at her, a frown burrowing through her forehead, even though she knew she had lied. He had no way of knowing Tripti was referring to him. Her sister had not taken any names. And she had mentioned Arjun in the conversation. Even if this was a flimsy counter, she needed to hold on to it.

“She was.” Khushi restated with a slightly more confident voice and then shook her head. “How is any of this helping? I have no idea why you are feeling guilty. There was nothing…”

His mouth tightened enough for her to be able to see despite the complete lack of light around them now. He was not more than a living shadow and yet, she could feel his nerves sizzling in the air between them.

 “I just want to apologize, Khushi. For not mentioning that I was engaged to someone else. For leading you on to believe something…even though I had no intention of doing so.”

Khushi’s face flamed. How dare he say he wasn’t doing this to embarrass her and then go ahead and do exactly that? “You did not lead me on. I wasn’t led on. I am not an idiot.” She hated that her voice was quivering even if with controlled energy.

“I never said you were. But there were two of us that evening. And I know…”

He did not know. He could not know. “Sir,” She began

“Arnav,” He corrected her immediately and she cursed herself. What was she calling him Sir for? College was over. He had not been her senior for years now.

Ignoring his edict, she continued with more patience than she knew she was capable of. “I don’t know what you think you did to me. But let me assure you that…” She paused. What the hell was she going to assure him of? “We sang a few songs together. Sure, they were mostly romantic. But I didn’t think anything of them. I did not believe that you were singing them for me.” Lies. Such lies. “As I said, I am not an idiot. The only thing that caught me by surprise that day was that you were engaged…and I would have been as surprised if the news had been about Arjun or Nishant Sir.” She had always been a good liar. It came from being someone who couldn’t share her innermost feelings with even those she was closest to. And today, she was doing a great job – even according to her own standards. It was evident to her in the way her words were rushed and jumbled. She was pretty sure Arnav couldn’t hear her as clearly as people usually did. But in the moment, it didn’t matter. Nothing did.

“Not many people knew about Saira. Just a few of my friends and Ar….”

Saira.

All these years she had stayed away from finding out what his fiancee’s name was. And now she knew. Saira. It hurt. Even now. Even though she was no eighteen year old in the throes of an appalling crush. She wanted to hold her hand up and ask him to stop talking. Instead she folded her arms over her chest and shook her head.

“It doesn’t matter. I don’t know what I can do to make you believe me. But the truth is that you don’t owe me an apology. I was not led on.” She enunciated the words. “And,” She took a deep breath. Maybe the words needed to be said out aloud. “I don’t have any…” Shit, this was so awkward. “I am sorry if I ever let you believe that I have any…feelings for you….I never did. We – everyone in first year…looked up to you because of all your achievements….Admiration…Even Arjun feels that way about you.”

If she had been him, she would have challenged herself on so many points. If there was nothing there, why did everything change between them after Aarohan? Why did she refuse to even meet his gaze thereafter?

“You kept the tape.” He said softly, taking a small step closer and forcing her to look up. She shifted in her place, transferring her weight to her right leg.

“I happen to like the songs. Some of them were favorites even before I heard them on the tape.” She said, happy that at least some part of this conversation was true. “Thank you for going through the effort to put them together.” She added for good measure and tried to smile. When her lips refused to comply into a curve, she opened her mouth to ask why he had given her the tape but decided otherwise. “It has nothing to do with you personally other than that.” And that was the end of the explanation that she was going to give. This conversation had already stretched way longer than she had wanted it to.

She waited for a long second, making sure she wasn’t the first one to blink. He needed to believe that she had never been more than mildly intrigued as far as he was concerned.

Sure, she might have wanted to explore what would have happened if she had just acknowledged his apology and accepted it gracefully. But…She frowned at the thought. Maybe that might have been a better approach. It may have meant a little soul-baring…

And a LOT of embarrassment, her conscience reminded her.

In the few seconds that she took to go through the little what-if, however, it seemed that Arnav Varun had been convinced of her argument. He was now nodding and saying something about having bothered her and about being really sorry for having assumed more than what was. She watched incredulously as he looked at her with a smile that barely reached his eyes. She heard him tell her that she needed get back to her tent and get some sleep, that it was going to be a longer, harder day tomorrow and that she would need all her energy. She must have nodded because he was already looking away from her and picking up his things – two thick blankets and a pillow, only to throw them on the measly little charpoy.

Excellent.

He had not followed her out into the night. He had not been waiting to apologize to her. He was here to sleep under the stars – presumably like he did every night she guessed by the evenness of his handiwork as he went about setting up his bedding. Or maybe Arjun had given him the idea today – whatever it was, it was not in her honor. Get over it, she scolded herself softly. Mumbling a quick good night, she turned around and walked away, grudgingly accepting that her face would always burn in endless mortification around this man.

———

In the hours preceding dawn, between intermittent states of sleep and wakefulness, Khushi found herself alternating between anger and remorse. Anger because he had forced her to speak about something she had avoided speaking about even to herself. And remorse because in retrospect, her anger seemed completely unjustified for everything except her own sense of discomfort. He really did seem to be sorry for how things had been left between them. She had been lying of course. There had been a thread of sorts and it had been broken. He may not have actively hidden the information about his girlfriend at the time but omission to report had long been established as active lying itself. And it was a punishable offence in her world. Even if the punishment was as ridiculous as disallowing the defendant the ability to apologise. People were allowed to wield whatever power they could in their solitary territory of reign.

When dawn came, it brought with it, renewed vigor – to go through the program with the sole aim of mastering it – like everything else she had been raised to excel in. Thankfully for her, the day started early and without Arnav Varun. Aditi Sinha was in-charge of leading the group on a nature walk trail and for some reason, maybe it was the lack of similarities in physical appearance, it was easy for her to forget about Aditi’s connection with Arnav. Khushi found herself right at the head of the single line that marched on the narrow beaten path up the adjoining mountain. She walked in silence, not unlike the rest of them. There was something about morning by the hill and all the sounds that it brought, that made them want to listen. Even Aditi, who had been nothing but chatty last evening, was a somber, quiet version of herself. To her relief, Arjun, who was bringing up the rear of the little formation that was trekking up the hill, was too far away to be heard clearly. Though, Khushi could say with some confidence that the mutterings and occasional guffaws could be attributed to her friend.

Upon their return to the camp almost ninety minutes later, they were all given exactly half an hour to get changed before they could have a quick, preferably light breakfast before they could head out for the rafting session. So about an hour later, Khushi found herself strapping a neon life jacket on, her hands finally trembling in anticipation of what was coming up, more than the presence of a certain someone around her. Aman and Arnav were going to lead one raft each and the groups had been divided and assigned at random even as the teams were gearing up. Khushi and Arjun were in the same raft – with Aman, much to Khushi’s inner sigh of reprieve. The CNBC crew had been assigned to a third raft which was going to be led by one of senior camp helpers – Ramcharan. Aditi was to sit this one out, a fact that troubled Khushi more than it should have given how much experience she now had in being away from female company.

However, before the official rafting day could begin, Aman asked the group if they would be interested in cliff-jumping their way into the Ganga – an activity not technically related to the program but one too good to miss, apparently. He pointed the cliff and the jump-location at a distance. Judging purely based on how it looked, Khushi wanted to vote no and hope that they would proceed to the team rowing event instead. However, in the wake of her promise to herself, she found herself to be one of the first people to vocally vote in favor of the exercise. Arjun, to her surprise, was rather squeamish about the whole thing. So much so that Khushi found herself teasing him for a change, a fact that was widely welcomed by the group. The teasing, however, made no impact on Arjun – usually the first one to fall for boyish dares and pokes implying cowardice. It was only when Khushi had naturally and unknowingly transitioned from teasing to coaxing that Arjun decided to give it a go. Of course, it also took a little motivation from Aman himself, who assured Arjun and a couple of others in the group that with the life-jacket, they were in no danger, even if they did not know how to swim. In the end, it was Khushi who found herself leading the little queue of eager and not-so-eager cliff-jumpers – Arjun included. The trek up the narrow winding path up the mountain was interspersed with conversation, excited and full of wonder. It was only Khushi who walked up in silence, yet again, her heart thumping as she neared the jump location. From the River staff, it was only one of the helpers – Mohan who had followed the group. The CNBC team, she could see in the distance was already mounted on the raft, their cameras poised as they seemed to be clicking and recording test runs. Arnav and Aman, with one helper each, were steering the rafts to a location only slightly away from where they were all expected to make contact with water.

A distant sound of a shrill whistle brought her attention to its source. Aman, now standing up by the raft near a pebbled indent into the curving river, was waving at her – presumably to get started.

“All the best,”

She didn’t see who it was that had wished her from somewhere behind her back. All she could now see was the edge of the cliff, smooth and surreal. The location was well chosen for an uninterrupted fall. The cliff wall was nearly straight and the water below, emerald and shining, was almost still as a lagoon that the river had eased into. The place seemed to be designed for such adrenaline-rush inducing activities. Khushi, took a deep breath as her feet dislodged a few tiny rocks and sent them crashing into the water. They made no splash, such was the height where she now stood – almost as if standing on the fourth floor of a residential building somewhere. Her heart was in her mouth, thudding against her teeth.

“Madam, sochiye mat. Ek minute se kam mein aap paani ke upar aa jayengi.”

It must have been Mohan who had shouted out that final instructions. She didn’t know exactly because before she could really let the words sink in, Khushi had forced herself to take a deep breath and jump off the edge.

For a fraction of a second, the lack of solid earth under her feet did not even register in her brain. Till she felt the little tug in the pit of her stomach. Keep your back straight, she told herself even as the surroundings flew past her in a blink of brown cliff and patchy green vegetation. Weightlessness of free fall, she thought to herself, in awe of the subject she had most hated, ironically given her choice of profession. Before any further thoughts could enter her head, she instinctively held her breath as her body went crashing through the surface of water. It was now like falling into a bottomless pit as she felt herself being pulled downwards. When she tried to open her eyes under water, she realized she hadn’t taken her glasses off and they had, surprisingly stayed on, wobbling only a little bit as they hinged on her ears. She could now see the dark, murky water around her, light filtering in through from above only enough to remind her it was day.

It was then that panic set in. Shouldn’t she have been floating upwards now? She struggled and tilted her head to look up, towards the light. Her pulse began to pound in her head as breathlessness began to squeeze her lungs. And then just as suddenly as it had started, she found her descent arrested and her body began to float upwards. What must have been seconds, seemed like ages as her mouth opened and closed under water, her lungs contracting painfully till she felt head tear the surface of the river and come up in short bursts of breath even as she felt a tug around her waist. Her glasses were now askew on her nose, dangling by her left ear. And so the face she should have seen clearly and pushed away instinctively, remained blurred and in her personal space for a moment too long. Long enough for her to register the presence of alien fingers on her waist, misty breath mingling with hers as water streamed down her face and her hair and evaporated as it caught the sun’s heat.

It was over as quickly as it had happened. When she was floating in the little naturally carved jade pool, her neon life jacket bobbing about her chest, she felt cool air rush into the widening space between her and the person who had come to make sure she was okay. The weight against her waist disappeared. She straightened her glasses only to see Arnav swimming away to the bank. Aman, still straddling his raft and the bank, slightly ahead, was now asking her if she was okay, to which she responded with a vigorous nod. This was followed by swift instructions for her to waddle to the left so that in the light current, she would be able to find her way ashore. When she finally pulled herself up on the slightly rocky beach by the river, her shorts dripping and T-shirt uncomfortably plastered against her body under the cover of her life jacket, she only saw Arnav looking up at the others and yelling instructions to remain ramrod straight and let buoyancy do its work before they decided to struggle and panic underwater. It was not a rebuke but she didn’t miss the note of annoyed concern in his voice. She knew it so well because it was the Gupta’s standard response to emergency – fear morphed into anger and irritation that led to quarrel more than it did to reassurance.

When the person after her (Sameer), had jumped into the water, with a loud, boisterous shout, no less, she realized that the interval between his jump and when she saw his face sputtering above water, was hardly a matter of seconds. Mohan’s assessment of a minute had been off by at least half that duration. It was foolish of her to have panicked. And yet, hadn’t Arnav done exactly the same? When he, at least, should have known better? Now, however, his stance was as aloof as it could be, almost obviously so. It bothered her that she was noticing all this when she should have been rejoicing in reclamation of her personal space. This was too familiar – the tussle between the two of them. And last time, she had been the one left in tatters.

She waited, her arms crossed across her chest, her eyes trained on the masses dropping into water in front of her. A while later, Arnav was as good as forgotten as she found herself cheering those jumping after her and silently accepting the compliments of having led the way to a great experience. Presently, Arjun was poised at the edge. Even at a distance, she could see his face scrunched up in tension. Since it was so rare to see her friend like this, Khushi found herself rooting for him loudly with the others. When Arjun emerged out of the water, his face petrified, she was grinning from ear to ear.

“I wish I had a camera,” She said to him as he walked up to her, his clothes dripping even as his hands hung loosely by his sides. “This is the best expression you have worn in all the years I have known you, Arjun.”

It must have been enough to shake him out of his state because the next thing she knew, she was being drenched in the water flying off his head as he shook it intentionally at her. She swatted him on his bare shoulder rather forcefully and with a loud groans of disgust.

When the group had spent more than the allowed amount of time sharing their personal experiences and euphoria in an outbreak of endless cacophony, decisive claps from Aman and Arnav – brilliantly synchronized – broke them apart and herded them into the rafts. The first few minutes were spent with quick recaps on the details of their rafting route. They would be rafting through the Shivpuri-Rishikesh stretch – a sixteen kilometer trek right up to Lakshman Jhula. It would take them through mostly Grade II and Grade III rapids – a few of them imaginatively named Roller Coaster, Three Blind Mice and Terminator. They would also skim through a Grade I rapid named Sweet Sixteen in acknowledgment to its universal appeal just before they slid into the plains. Next they moved onto technical instructions for the rafting stretch itself. They were shown to their seats based on some predetermined logic that they were not privy to. Body weight, swimming abilities and risk appetite, Khushi guessed as she took her seat on the river-side of the raft in the middle row. Arjun was to her left and in front. Next, they were handed their oars and Aman showed them how they were supposed to grip their oars while rowing. Instructions were clear. They would follow Aman’s command at all times. A practice session would be first as they covered a three kilometer stretch right up to their first rapid.

When Khushi glanced at the other raft, she could see the other group and Arnav going through the same motions. When she looked away and grasped the smooth wooden oar in her grip, she knew then that for the rest of the rafting expedition, she would be too busy to notice anything.

Or anyone

River Song Music and Lyrics

Song Title: Iss Pyaar Ko Main Kya Naam Doon (Rabba Mere Rabba)

Album: Mujhe Kucch Kehna Hai

Singers: Sonu Nigam, Chorus

Music: Anu Malik

Lyrics: Sameer

Tanhaai betaabi, meri saugaatein hain

Mere in hoton pe, bas teri hi baatein hain

Kuch na keh paane ki, yeh kya majboori hai

Nazdeek rehke bhi, yeh kaisi doori hai?

Khamosh hoton se kya paigaam doon?

Bechain dil ko kaise aaram doon?

 

Iss Pyaar Ko Main Kya Naam Doon? Happy Anniversary of Madness #5 to you all. A show that has me writing fiction and prevents me from thinking about the most innocuous Bollywood numbers without thinking about mohabbat, nafrat and love with no names – here’s to more!

Next Update: Monday, June 13, 2016, late night IST

413 thoughts on “Chapter Eight: Free Falls and Close Calls (I)

  1. Oh my goodness.. Meera plz share the details of this place… Pronto…
    I have to do this… Mera jeevan adhura rah jaayega if I don’t experience this… :)
    Who are you kidding khushi? Arnav is perceptive.. He is tuned to all her nuances… He has just backed off for the time being…
    Khushi …is channelling all her anguish , anger, remorse to the training… It’s fine by the day.. But what of nights? Can she escape her own thoughts…
    Arjun.. I feel for this boy… Poor guy…

    Liked by 3 people

    1. And somehow I could see them arnav and khushi in this update … I never imagined I would consider varun and kavi as arnav and khushi… Somehow this update has messed up my thoughts…
      Maybe because I am really angry with these two… Arnav for continuing his apology when clearly khushi was not comfortable and khushi for getting arjun in the middle just to avoid confrontation…
      *sigh* .. What do you do meera.. :)

      Liked by 4 people

  2. Don’t know what how to say. Dammm so proud of Khushi. Don’t we all use defense mechanism at some point…so did Khushi. Hope that Khushi gets some type of closure cause Arnav apologizing to her didn’t help much. Can’t wait for Arnav’s pov. What is going on in his head? One thing is for sure that he isn’t happy and Has feelings for Khushi but he does not know it yet. I cannot wait for next update.

    As always beautifully written.

    Liked by 3 people

  3. Khushi has successfully conversed with Arnav without tearing up . I don’t think Arnav believed her , because her face and eyes are expressive . May be he left it to that because he clearly saw that she was very uncomfortable and talking further more might reopen her wounds .Arnav was about to say something about his fiance and Ar ? Khushi dismissed him before he could say about the mysterious girl we all are wondering .
    Rafting , you have taken lot of efforts to give detail explanation about the whole thing meera , khudos to you

    Liked by 3 people

  4. I have often noticed this when I am in a confrontation situation – that – I kind of get emotional and angry which prevents me from expressing myself clearly and often I choose the easiest way out – its escapism. What I learned over time is to be honest and stand up when confronted. It helps to have clarity and sort the issues whatever mess it would be…I got to admit that this process is not easy, it would mean bearing out your soul and yes, embarrassment too but I don’t want to consider it embarrassment. It takes guts to express yourself honestly. Many can’t do that.

    Frankly speaking, I didn’t like the way Khushi found an escape route and used Arjun. However, I liked the response it bought in Arnav. Good ;-) And nice that he apologized I liked that statement “But there were two of us that evening though it would have hurt me if I was Khushi…and Saira, the name..it did pierce…”sigh! shit yaar…why is love always complicated?

    it was the Gupta’s standard response to emergency – fear morphed into anger and irritation that led to quarrel more than it did to reassurance.— lol! I do this too!

    Liked by 15 people

    1. Very well said maya – hope it’s okay if I call u that’s….

      Then skill ur referring to that takes a lot of courage come with experience …… As much as I agree it’s u I also feel Khushi has a lot of maturing to do….she acted like a normal early adult ……. I know it was and easy way….but everyone is allowed their fair share of mistakes rite?…..and I guess she will eventually learn from it as she mature.

      As for Armav…..ur again spot on…..I am glad her responses – unfavourable as they might be – showed us a little bit of Arnav.

      The ” I am not doing this to embarrass you ” spoken softly came across to me as a soft plea…..that kind of felt like it’s okay she felt the way she did…..that is fall for him….I bet u anything had she not got all reverse and defensive on him…..he would have admitted to feeling exactly what she did that night.

      Cuz in the later part when he said he her her sister…..I was thinking that Tripti conversation happened before the songs singing….and inspite of hearing how she felt about him if he still sang the way he did, and gave the tape to her …..there had to be something he felt for her.

      again tho I am only going based on what we have read and felt…..Meera could just turn everything around….she’s mastered the art of taking our breath away.

      Liked by 5 people

      1. Of course, we all mature over time like wine. I can never say I behave maturely now that I am thirty. It depends on various factors like emotions, situation etc. One of things I am weary in life is how I would behave when I come across a person who hurt me a lot. Could I be civil to them or would I plainly ignore them? Can I handle them calling me by my name? Would I listen to them ? Would I be crushed again by the memories of them which I have sealed long ago… Too many questions.., it’s nice to see how a writer explore on various human emotions

        Liked by 7 people

        1. Been there and done thru a situation ur describing,…..sans me saying the following:

          I clammed up….I am unable to give any more info about me and I would only deny what they say they thought about me….inspite of it being correct all I am able say is they have got it wrong and am unable to divulge any further information.

          Ohhhhh…….💡💡🤔🤔

          Now I get it……

          Ohhhhhhhhhhhhhh💡💡💡💡💡💡💡💡💡💡💡💡

          But she did it without getting why he thinks that way only because of that one * I heard ur sister that night*

          Meera….Kya Kahe tumari likhai ka….ur the genius when it come to creating most realistic characters.
          If they ever made a finale series wit ur stories, they would never need creatives and still the trps would skyrocket weekely.

          Liked by 5 people

      2. It takes courage to express emotions and a writer is a brave soul to create multiple personalities with complex emotions and put those across through words. She or he becomes successful when their creation is felt and discussed deeply. So Meera, kudos to you

        Liked by 5 people

          1. I think with my current weight, if I jump I will never float up, life jacket or not, unless and until there is an AV sir ready to pull me up😕

            You are brave M *salutes*🙌🙏

            Liked by 8 people

          2. O M G……I had to do it with my daughter as she signed me up to go to camp with her…..and I agree with u about feeling scared sh*t …… I was one of the last ones to go as I keep on pondering and had almost chicken out……
            Until she came up again after her jump and pushed me down….I felt like my heart was floating above my head. Literally…..But once I was in the water ,….it was the most magical feeling there after…..we did it 4 more time after that at various height.

            And yes no matter what,…you do come up all the time…..it may feel forever initially but I get accustomed thereafter.

            We ended up going to the underwater limestone caves there after ….. which is again scary but so surreal.

            I am enjoying this story so much Meera and reliving our wonderful journey all over again…..

            Liked by 4 people

                  1. We all wish to see Av sir is feeling like this:

                    मैने तो यूँ ही देखा था शौक -ए-निगाह से तुम्हें…..!!
                    खबर ना थी की रग रग मे समा जाओगे तुम….

                    Liked by 4 people

                    1. Maine ton yuhi dekha tha shaukh – e – nighaho se tumhe…..
                      Khabr naa thi ki rug rug mein smma jao ke tum……

                      Wow what beautiful lines and so true at that……

                      Reminds me of….

                      Substitute sharaabi though to *Khayalo Mein rekhna sikhadiya*

                      Liked by 3 people

  5. Once again that was a very interesting update…at the start of the update Arnav got his chance to explain…his talk to Khushi was brilliantly written..Arnav is coming out clean about the past may be so that he can start afresh with Khushi, but Khushi denies her feelings for Arnav, though she knows and her heart knows she never was able to move on from her past, from Arnav, the moments of past she has shared with Arnav is special, actually those times are special for both of them…but Khushi does not want to acknowledge it in front of Arnav…fair enough…I really hope both Arnav and Khushi can start afresh on a new page and may be build a relationship slowly but steadily…good update…both Khushi and Arnav’s emotions were portrayed beautifully…please do continue soon…waiting for the next update eagerly…. :-)

    Liked by 3 people

  6. Happy 5th year anniversary to all you Arhi fans! Woow an update it was. I understand tht khushi just wanna save her self from another heart break and embarrassment. I mean let’s face it who want to be in her shoe right now. Since AV himself hasn’t clarified wether his still engaged or not.

    Liked by 2 people

  7. Sorry for disappearing, got family emergency.
    I am happy that Khushi was strong here even though i wanted to hear Arnav completely.
    I don’t think Arnav believed her though but somehow this will help Khushi i think.
    Why did she bring Arjun in this mess?
    Why do i get the feeling that Arnav is not married?
    What if Arnav believe that Khushi got feelings for Arjun? ha ha ha that will be fun though.
    And when will we get to know what Arnav feel :(

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Hey latha….gud to see ya….hoping all well and gud now…

      I agree ,….. I felt the same that Arnav isn’t married or attached otherwise too. And dfntly just backed off but didn’t believe her at all….

      I heard a wring of a challenge in Arnavs hears when Khushi said * she didn’t feel anything for him *……it was a gallant lie but I can’t wait to see how those words now shape Arnav….

      Liked by 5 people

  8. I was most excited for the “embarrassing” convo.. It felt kinds familiar but at the same time refreshing. Oh i loved Kaveri, she adorable and funny at the same time.

    This update makes wanna go out to adventurous things…. Even wanna makes me go for rafting, thats saying something as I cant swim. I think i am going to starting hiking again… It time!

    Another great update Meera!! I love the way Kaveri is coming out of her comfort zone and trying these new things.
    Cant wait for next…
    And did i mention I love Arjun? Okay, now I did.

    Lots of love
    Sush

    Liked by 3 people

  9. P.S Happy Anniversary! I never loved and got attached with any show before. IPKKND was the one! It got me started with IF which led to making friends, reading amazing piece of writings… And here we r today. I am very thankful.
    Dont think i will ever fall for any other show the way i did for IPK…. It was amazing!!

    Liked by 3 people

  10. I forgot to mention in previous comment that I don’t like the way she used Arjun’s name. I.like Khushi’s spirit. She is confident and enthusiastic. But the way she choses an escape mechanism, whosoever it may be, I dont like that. May be with time she will learn to fight on her own. And in her defence, she is too intimidated by AV, no?😆

    Liked by 3 people

  11. Well Khushi did allowed the conversation and handled it brilliantly.. she made Arnav think he have all wrong notions and she never had any feelings for him.. well at this situation wants to know about Arnav’s POV.. he too had something and it can’t be denied and thats the reason he came to talk about it.. well Khushi deflated his all claims.. well its nice to see Khushi is able to be herself now and with Arnav not hovering around with a plea of conversation.. loved the way Khushi took part in that jump.. she is still noticing him but she is not worried as she was earlier.. things are easy now for Khushi.. hope she is able to be this strong and come out winner of this camp with her participation and less looking out at someone.. really need to know Arnav’s pov.. loved the update.. it was brilliant. :)

    Happy 5th Anniversary of IPKKND to you too Meera.. really agree with you.. 5 years of madness and still not thinking of giving it up.. <3

    Liked by 4 people

  12. This was so marvellous. Even if my heart wanted her to say truth about that day and feelings for him, yet what she did was right because here we see Arnav was never straight forward in his approach. He never made clear about his intentions. Even if he said he is not doing it to embarrass her, how can she confess her live when she didn’t know what’s in his heart. Hurt in her heart can be felt when she heard his fiancée name for the first time.
    But Arnav clearly knows that she is telling all lies about her feelings. But else he can expect from her, and what will happen after that? Now he is angry and showing frustration.
    This is getting interesting day by day. What else this trip will bring out.
    Amazing update Meera, loved it a lot.

    Liked by 5 people

  13. I am admittedly frustrated with both of them — but I can also empathize with both of them. Even if Arnav is a little harder to do so with. I don’t blame Khushi for searching for an escape route, but I *do* dislike that she chose to use Arjun. I suspect, however, that if he does like her and if he was confronted with that knowledge… he would brush it off jokingly. I do like that she finally let him hear it though. I also, like some other people, really like how she took initiative and leadership. She’s grown as a character, and that’s one of my favorite things to see in a story.

    I also think Arnav should have stopped with the apology when it is so clearly making her uncomfortable — why is he so adamant about apologizing? It seems to be a dead end, since it’s been a few years, and they’re both at different places in their life. He doesn’t seem as if he’s intent on starting a relationship with her. Perhaps I’m reading too much into it, and he just wants to apologize to feel as if he’s made things right.

    Also! What an apt song choice for the five year-iversary. To me, the mark of a good story is when I care about the characters and their choices — and given my frustration with these two, that has clearly been fulfilled.

    –MN.

    Liked by 13 people

  14. Happy #5 anniversary to IPK.. This chapter I feel was very well dedicated and brought back many memories🎉

    Arnav was surely angry during the conversation it’s like he wanted Khushi to acknowledge his apology! If I we’re in her shoes I think I would say pretty much what she said!

    Seriously this song is very timly… And now I ‘m singing
    Teri..meri..Prem ..Kahani hai mushkil…

    Meera have been an ardent admirer of your writing👌thank you for this journey since Arshi came into our lives, we have been so lucky, Kudos to you for your amazing work 👏👏👏

    Liked by 2 people

  15. Fabulous chapter so the mysterious girls name is saira but I think arnav is not engaged nor married as there must be some tregedy occured in past which shattered him n his family but khusi did the right thing by denying as she doesn’t know wat arnav’s present status is n how he feels for her.

    Liked by 2 people

  16. I hate WordPress! I receive a notification for all the stories I follow except this one. And receive messages for every like here! Wah wordpress, teri mahima nyari!
    So, what we all hoped for didn’t happen! Now, I am a bit irritated with these two. Arnav is bent upon trying his best to embarass a poor girl without really intending to do so. Why does he have to bring up the topic again and again?
    And why does Khushi have to lie? I am quite disappointed in both.
    Arjun knew about Arnav’s engageement! Then why didn’t he say anything to Khushi?
    I was hoping for a few answers, but this gets more complicated then ever.
    Arnav certainly cares for Khushi. Why was he upset when she panicked when she fell in the water? Just can’t wait to know his real feelings. Meera, it is extremely difficult to get through a week before reading the next update. Waiting for the showdown that is just waiting to happen!
    The song is another gem! Loved it!

    Liked by 12 people

    1. charu,….I don’t get the notification for Meera’s post either….I only get update on anyone that likes or comments to my comments….

      It seriously quite annoying….but then I overcame that as this blog is always open and refreshed on my iPad as I I check for new comments like I check my mail….😝

      Liked by 4 people

  17. What an awesome update. I love every bit of it.
    I am falling in love with this Arnav more & more. It shows that he truly cares for Khushi. That why he felt bad to led her on and hence the apology. But I feel that at Aarohan while singing duets with Khushi, his own heart’s cords might have struck, that why it made her to led Khushi.

    Liked by 3 people

  18. Khushi didn’t want to get embarrassed and Arnav did just the same. Poor Khushi, really can feel her embarrassment the way you narrated it.It feels really awful when the person you love secretly comes and confronts you about your love for him when he himself is not in love with you.

    Liked by 3 people

  19. And about second half its nice to see how Khushi gathered herself and ready to overcome her embarrassment. She is a strong woman, a fighter.
    Again Arnav shows his care for Khushi when she fell into the water and got panicked, he got really upset. Just didn’t understand whose fingers did Khushi felt on her waist, who helped her underwater?
    Looking forward to the next update.

    Liked by 3 people

  20. Would you believe me if I told you that I had expected Khushi to put her shields right up when she is targeted at any point of time concerning her feelings for Arnav? It is not surprising in the least. It would rather throw us off-guard if Khushi had come to acknowledge her feelings for Arnav, especially when asked in person by the object of affection himself. It would have been very un-Kaveri like. And bringing Arjun to cover for her – that was so in sync with her character. Your Khushi isn’t saintly. She is thoughtful and introspective, despite not being very vocal about her thoughts. She is the kind of character who considers herself eccentric and yet fits in beautifully when she gives herself the chance. She is the most human and greyish-white flawed character one could come across. One who is self-correcting and self-evolving. Thank you M for writing her the way you did.

    I don’t know why but I still feel Arnav does not have ‘solid’ feelings for Khushi. Except maybe for admiration. Or momentary attraction out of curiosity, I don’t know. And maybe he doesn’t know it himself. That’s probably why he feels irritation and anger at finding himself drawn towards Khushi and yet not being able to comprehend the fact that Khushi would deny her feelings for him. Also, I believe Arnav is not convinced of her denial. But again, I do not find myself reading between the lines when it comes to Arnav Varun. And especially when the author is you!
    I loved the cliff falls that followed. Escape mechanisms work best for Khushi. She beats Arjun at adventure and I am glad.

    There’s this eerie feeling when it comes to Saira’s relationship with Arnav. I will let you unfold that at your pace. Also, would it be stupid if I said I felt that those songs by Arnav at Aarohan were directed towards a certain Saira rather than Kaveri? I have to admit that the tension between them was palpable. But then again, we’ve always seen Arnav through Khushi’s head and heart. I will reserve my judgement for later.
    For now, there’s a second part to this and I am waiting most eagerly!

    Liked by 13 people

    1. First of all beautiful analysis. Loved reading your comment. Although you just broke my heart by showing mirror to my worst fear ( to the extent that I am in denial to even utter these words)that Arnav was singing those songs for Saira, not Khushi and pining for S which I absolutely can not handle. That may be the reason for the reaction of Khushi in prologue. However the title of book — River of joy’ contradicts this theory. So let us see what happens. Meera Aab ye intjaar aur nahi Saha jata.😄😪😅.

      Liked by 6 people

                1. I can’t help wonder how oh how can she hold herself from jumping is at some of the most craziest and utterly absurd theories a lot of us have come up with….

                  She truly got and iron will…..🤗😝😛😜

                  Liked by 4 people

    2. I dont think the songs are directed towards juliet because if they were AV wouldnt want to apolozise to kushi, imean there was nothing else in his behaviour which says he led her on. He was being a good friend and senior.( So no need to be sorry)
      I think he really knows what he was doing on arohan night. There was nothing in tripti’s line which says kushi loves av and not someother guy. He simply assumed it becoz even he has a crush on her (hopefully) and altogether forgot saira, but then his parents brought the so called happy news and he was in a fix not knowing what to do. Or was it really happy news and av knows his parents would accept his love so it wasnt much a surprise and he was worried for kushi. Whatever it was i think av does feel something ,not sure if its love, but he really feels good around her. Things which i dont understand are his trails to make her accept her feelings which would bring nothing but embarassment if he still is not clear with his own feelings. And if he was clear then it would really be wonderful if kushi accepts her feelings. But then that would be’ the end ‘ right.*sigh*
      Its amusing that he still remembers tripti’s words after all these years and it clearly says he really gave some importance to kushi coz i ,for one dont remember what people said just the day before ;) i must applaud for his amazing memory.
      I am sorry i dont even know if i am making any sense. What i really want to do now is simply pray to god with all my devotion that i dont lose my hair by the end of ARRTI :P

      Liked by 5 people

  21. Wow!! that was a fabulous update…
    Loved the way Kushi stood up for herself..although thru lying.
    But she shudn’t have used Arjun’s name..
    Wonder what happened to Saira..religion clashes??

    Liked by 2 people

  22. Khushi gve too much explanation,no??what was the need for doing it..it confirm his suspicion…
    “we sung songs which are mostly romantic.and i did not believe you are singing them for me.”..seriously Khushi… now he knw what u thought about that song too…sigh..u r stupid…

    and did dat song all for Saira ???no please…

    Liked by 4 people

    1. I agree with u on that front….
      I felt the same with all that she was saying albeit in denial was not mentioned by AV at all…..it may very well not even be what he was talking about but denying it is assuming that what he thought and indirectly voicing what she indeed felt.

      She was explaining too much,…and and giving more info than needed only justifies one is trying to hide everything they are denying…….

      I won’t go as far as calling her crazy and all….but i do believe she by any means simply wanted to just convince him that she didn’t fall for him. And she choose the route she felt best at that point.

      that’s why I think Arnav saw right thru her….n choose to back off. As he must have seen no point of carrying the argument forward.

      Liked by 6 people

      1. Hey Avani, do you really think that Arnav had no feelings for this Saira. Than why is he so sad, melancholic and restless living in mountains. This can not be due to his feelings for Khushi.

        Liked by 4 people

        1. I don’t think he didn’t have feelings for *juliet* maybe he did,…..but different from how he felt with Khushi…..I don’t even think he understand the extend of what he feels for Khushi. All I see is he can’t seem to stay away, he isn’t able to ignore.
          He probably enjoyed the person he become around her….maybe enough that he felt he should explore that further and saw no point in continuing what he shared with u know who.

          It’s more like,…..* jo Juliet ke saath that won zaruri nahi ke pyaar nahi tha,…….lekin shayad woh jo Khushi ke saath hain uska waqt nahi tha*

          Hope I am making sense….

          Liked by 5 people

          1. I agree with you * jo juliet ke sath tha wo jaruri nahi ke pyaar nahi tha, lekhin shayad wo jo kushi ke saath hain uska waqt nahi tha*
            And we cant be sure that he ran into the mountains only because of saira or kushi right. There maybe something else too. Only meera di can tell us. Waiting for update di.

            Liked by 3 people

  23. Lovely update.. It must have been very odd for khushi to actually hear it from arnav bout her feelings which are not reciprocated.. Now m really excited to no how will their love story actual begin..

    Liked by 2 people

  24. I knew it. Kushi willnot reveal the truth. But i felt she was truely stupid when she explained about the romantic songs. She didnt need to.
    I dont think saira is dead. Coz it is really difficult for someone to so casually refer to a person who is dead. So i think whatever happened the seperation was mutual. AV does care about kaveri. Maybe not in a way u care for ur love but still he cares for her.
    I like the way kaveri didnt breakdown infront of AV though it would have been nice if she laughed and then call his claims false. AV’s stance and the way he spoke made me feel he wanted to hear a positive response to his claims though its not likely that he would do something about it.
    It was funny when he said he didnt want to embarass her but did just that. I really hate kushi for always using arjun just like that without thinking, whatif av likes her now(or realises it ) but gives up his feeling just for arjun and her.
    I wanted to know what made him tense -is it jealousy or simply frustation that this girl is simply saying no and not giving him a chance to complete what he wants to say.
    Meera di the update is fab. I really loved it. The cliff jump is superb. Now its in my wish list. Do we need to know how to swim to do that. If not how is someone supposed to reach the shore. I am confused.
    Waiting for monday

    Liked by 8 people

    1. And happy 5th Ipkknd aniversary.i Iike the show so much and i miss it.
      Actually i miss barun. He a wonderful actor and i love him.
      Will anyone believe it if i say i learnt hindi because of him and for him i.e to understand the dialogues!!?

      Liked by 6 people

    2. *I wanted to know what made him tense -is it jealousy or simply frustation that this girl is simply saying no and not giving him a chance to complete what he wants to say.*

      I felt it was just frustration …… Of not being able to say how he ,ah have planned out.

      This conversation was probably running in his head since the AROHAN NIGHT….he may have played it out in his head millions of time since then….but I guess it still didn’t happen the way he probably wanted to.

      Interlude….remember him saying something like so about the mixtape….forgotten somewhere in the wooden box or thrown away in a thrash bin… And he said that in the interlude cuz up until then Khushi hadn’t heard the tape and didn’t give any kinds of reaction to him…..

      Later when she heard he was gone for her to give him any reactions…..

      And now that they came face to face,….how she felt for him was front and centre on her face for him to see….n then the mixtape too surfaced….

      I believe he felt hopeful and that’s why tried to have the conversation…….although that didn’t go as per his is anticipation.

      Liked by 5 people

      1. Yeah. Poor AV. Until now i was frustated with his behaviour but now…
        Come on, he was a college hero who has lots of female fans. How come he wasnt able to frame a proper conversation. Maybe because he too is affected and has some feelings which inturn can bring jealousy into the equation, isnt it??

        Liked by 2 people

        1. Yup…..I guess there was that too…

          Remember the first day of AaRohan practice when Khushi was going out of the cafeteria cuz Arjun was teasing her and she bumped right into the door the Arnav opened…there was a Lott of concern on his face but most importantly when Arjun came and started fussing over Arnav was kind of taken aback….he even said something like *the nurses office is just round the corner if u want I or if ur more confortable with agrawal he can take u*

          Even Khushi has actually felt that he thought her and Arjun were together….there were a lot of times when there was a hint of jealousy….

          Also the time when when he was walking her home and he teased her about Arjun singing at AaRohan …….how not a single singer have been trashed by tomatoes till date so why Risk it….and at her serious face he had rephrased by saying although he would pick all the govinda numbers and have the crowd enjoying with him and that would be bad for all of them gud singers…..

          He didn’t have to…but that dialogue made me feel like her was retracting his steps thinking Khushi felt offended when he said what he did about Arjun…

          This is just me reading btwn the lines…..I guess I am hoping against all odds that he did have feeling for her and was confused as to why knowing in the back of his head he had someone …..

          Liked by 5 people

  25. Ok. He tried! He even called out on her bull shit. I don’t think he could’ve continued the conversation anymore.
    Khushi… sigh!
    *trying to pacify myself* – It will all work out in the end.

    Liked by 6 people

  26. It is embarrassing for anyone to talk to their crush about their one sided love.
    What did Arnav expect that Khushi will tell him that she did fall for him and blah blah.

    Actually I wonder if Khushi did tell him
    “Yes, I fell in love with you
    Yes, you misled me
    Yes, hiding facts is equivalent to lying”

    Then what would he have replied to her. Anyways Khushi’s reaction was expected.
    But what surprised me more was Arnav’s reaction to her statements.
    Was he disappointed that she had not fallen for him or was he annoyed that she was lying?
    I felt his apology was really not directed towards Khushi at all. It was more convincing himself that knowingly or unknowingly he did not break a young girl’s heart.

    Meera, I loved reading the cliff jumping scene.
    Watching a person jumping off a cliff in a movie is something but reading about it is a totally different experience.
    As a reader, I felt I was the one jumping off the cliff and I waited with bated breath to plunge into the water and I panicked too when Khushi did not float on water quickly.

    Have you done this cliff jumping in your life? You must have done.

    Arjun is so cute. He is a true nautanki guy.

    Thank you for this wonderful update.
    Now eager to know how the river rafting experience would be.

    Liked by 11 people

      1. Where did the Banu come from?! Bombay movie? Or am I the only disillusioned Maniratnam junkie here?!

        It’s funny how Arjun shaking his head and spraying water on Khushi reminds me of Aravindswamy and Madhubala in Roja. Of course, the mood is completely different between both these scenes!!!!

        Liked by 5 people

          1. Actually I did get Banu from Saira Banu, as Meera mentioned above. And LOL I just assumed her name to be that. You know maybe her mom was a big fan of the heroine Saira Banu and named her daughter after her screen idol.

            Liked by 6 people

  27. Leaves me with a big what if. What if she hadn’t been so stubborn with her denial. What if he had been more persistent. What if he wasn’t he n she her reluctant self.What if he was waiting for her to acknowledge his apology. What if there was still a chance for both of them. Yeh dil ka kya kehna. It cannot help but dream.

    Liked by 4 people

  28. “Not many people knew about Saira. Just a few of my friends and Ar….”

    Did Arjun know about Arnav and his Saira? If so, then why did he not mention it to Khushi before Aarohan? Arjun knew that Khushi has feelings for Arnav, why did he not tell her then?

    Liked by 6 people

  29. Hi Meera
    I have been a silent reader all this while, have thought about posting a comment innumerable times but never did, today it is!

    I am in love with the story, one week long wait is torture. I found this story in February and caught up in a weeks time and after that it has been like wow what next! First of all kudos to you for coming up with something like this. Exceptionally written and thank you for adding songs to the story river songs and also AV sir songs are like oasis in the desert, something that helps in understanding him and his actions. All the characters are so real Kaveri and family moments are totally relatable and so is Arjun. What makes it more interesting and frustrating (at times) is we see and feel what Khushi feels; Arjun, AV brains are black box giving nothing to form a solid opinion. Every chapter is with me even after I close out of the blog, speculating and thinking in circles. Readers are all Khushi(s) at this point of time ;) Thank you for writing this story. I love collecting books and some of them go into my collection which one day will go into my personal library which I am yet to build. I know I want this story in my collection. Hopefully a non-copy pdf or ebook with copyrights is in store once you are done with the story.

    Before I used to just read the story and go back to my speculations but then last week everything changed. I was trying to get the dose of the story during the wait by reading it again when I came across comments, was stumped reading the comments. Speculations, theories and detailed analysis of every sentence written in the story made me go bonkers!! oh My! readers here are something else. Appreciate each and every one of them for putting down their thoughts even the ones which states “pulling hair out, trying to understand AV Sir”, mostly this is the state I am in! I have to ask you this question do you ever get confused with the comments and story in your mind? the reason I ask is some readers are so good putting their point across that I start taking sides.. but I have to give it to you once I read your update everything goes back to square one and makes me think from your base point. You have the power Meera to keep us all guessing with every update, 300+ followers are trying to decode ;) amazing feat !
    I want to be part of this interaction, where we keep guessing and you keep knocking the ball out of the court with every update, don’t want to be a silent reader anymore!!

    Coming to the update, oops you did it again!
    what do we make out of actions like Arnav’s irritation when Khushi flatly refused to have any kind of feelings for him and his quickness to help her after the cliff jump? cannot pin point to anything nor ignore the actions ..Shiv Ji !!
    Arjun – fear of heights? I keep thinking he did it for Khushi. He didn’t want to say No to Khushi ?
    Saira – No tragic story I think, probably ended the relationship because of parents … Arnav living in the mountains, trying to distract himself or taking a break from whatever happened with Saira?

    you describe everything so well that I get transported to the place – night time, charpoy, river, mountains, cliff jump rafting!!

    Waiting eagerly to read what rafting experience would lead to….

    Liked by 11 people

    1. Thank you for breaking your silence. It’s always a wonderful day when someone makes an appearance for the first time and so eloquently! Thank you for being so kind. With this story I have found a set of such wonderful people who make this place so much more than just another piece of Fanfiction!

      Liked by 7 people

    2. A very warm welcome to you friend😄. I know the feeling as I was in same situation few months ago and here I am now that keep on coming back to River again and again. You have chosen one of best story to start your active participation that too very elegantly. Hope to see you regularly now.

      Liked by 4 people

      1. I feel I should go back to school and learn how to form sentences ! Everyone is so articulate and so expressive..I am sure I will learn lots of things via this interaction ! Thank you for such a warm welcome !

        Liked by 1 person

  30. Travelling like crazy! Sorry for being late Meera, reading in a rush, writing in a rush :(

    What a situation these two have gotten themselves into ! They seem to master the art of complicating each other’s lives without any effort!

    The thing that stood out for me was …he is not liking her denial! This is interesting! :) He seemed restless because of it, even angry. In some way it supports my feeling that the man is in hell. He was hell bent on pursuing the conversation, trying to steer her answers towards a positive! Does it mean so much to him that she agrees and confesses to having feelings for him? Would the conversation have gone into a completely different mode for him had she told him she had feelings for him ?

    What was he hoping for? He did not try to reach Khushi after the Aarohan night. So I can’t even say that the flame inside his heart grew so big that it burned him alive. Or did it? Did he go to Saira in that frame of mind? Did he realise that night that his heart had changed …betrayed …hoped …all at the same time? Had he broken up with Saira because of a change of heart or had Saira left him because of that realisation? Why had he not tried to reach Khushi after that night or later? Saira is missing …and thats driving everyone of us mad :D

    Or may be he hoped for his feelings to subside. Trying to pass it off as a teenage crush? Did he wait to get over her? “Four years is a long time”…..trying to make sense of a feeling that ran so deep yet seemed so superficial, may be not worth acknowledging? Rationalisation and practicality declaring war, trying to win the battle against his heart day and night. Did he lose the battle after seeing her at the camp? Did the hope that had almost died, wiggle itself into existence after seeing her? Is that why her denial to acknowledge her feelings towards him rile him up?

    After being in hell because of that one line from Tripti that night, the denial from Khushi now, must have stung! It meant that he made a complete fool of himself…for so long! It meant that he (probably) hurt Saira really bad for that one line which was misunderstood completely. And the worst realisation…it also meant that she liked Arjun! Ouch! God that must’ve hurt!

    But somehow he didn’t seem convinced when she denied right? Kudos to Khushi for coming up with the best retorts in the nightmarish situation, something she probably dreaded getting into. But they didn’t seem to hit home. At some point he gave up, realising that they are at an impasse. Well handled by her I must say, not bad! :D

    What I didn’t like was his approach of confrontation though. The mad urge to know how she felt about him then and now clearly messed up his reasoning ability. Why would he play Mr Unaffected and try to tell her that he was sorry for leading her on because apparently, he didn’t have any intentions or have feelings for her? Was he scared that she might just laugh it off if he had approached the topic directly? His ego or a weak heart? Was this a safer way to approach the topic and then talk about it in detail if it went well ? If thats true, its lame! And then again, he probably wasn’t expecting an outright denial from her side! That left him baffled.

    Oh god what a mess! If I was Khushi, I would go mad! But one thing is clear, his feelings run deep, deep enough for him to dive down deep to ensure Khushi’s safety. To look out for her, to keep stealing glances and to be around her…no matter what the situation is.

    The jump you described….lol I imagined myself doing it and died! :D This crazy-speculating-machine is signing off for now from after-life! 😋

    Liked by 11 people

        1. I have a halo around me now Meera! 😇 You have no idea how much you saying it means to mere mortals like me! Thank you! Now it’s your responsibility, ahem .. You need to write many many stories and I need to comment many many times. Eventually ..practice will get me there someday 😄

          PS: if you write one more story like this, I don’t know about a pen, but I’m definitely going to need a wig! 😋

          Liked by 9 people

          1. Hahahaha,….

            That totally cracked me up…….

            In fact Meera should post updates with wigs sellers link at the end….at the rate she’s going,….those guys will be paying her commission for all the sales she will generate.

            Liked by 7 people

        2. I just read my post again cus that was written in one flow, didn’t get time to read it then. Lol it looks like a question paper for an exam! 😂 Deva! How many question marks have I used?😄 Are you getting a feel of the state of my mind now? 😋

          Liked by 6 people

      1. You are too sweet with your words hun 😊 Thank you!

        Have ‘you’ thought of writing madam !? I look forward to your comments as well ! You do an amazing job! 👍

        Liked by 8 people

    1. The voice of reason returneth :-)
      Why did he force that conversation, he had apologized the night before and could’ve left it at that. Why this insistence on an acknowledgement of sorts from her? Since she went right ahead and denied everything (in the lines of khoosie bitiya’s “yeh hamara awaaz nahin hai” :-) ), they are at an impasse, which they have been at for a long time! Both of them I feel are highly attuned to each other, him maybe more than her. So my feeling is he didn’t buy into her denial, but decided to step back since she didn’t seem to be in a space for further discussion. I don’t think he has any confusion regarding her feelings towards arjun, may be knows about arjun’s feelings towards her. And both of them were not expecting to run into each other like this and that has also added to the situation.
      A mess it is, has been from aarohan night. Maybe he feels tremendous guilt for having played around in a sense with the feelings of not one but two girls.
      And at the end of the day all over speculations may very well come to naught :-)

      Liked by 9 people

      1. “Yeah hamara aawaz nahi hain” cracked me up!!!! But, it was exactly that ☺

        What was she thinking!! – “… we sang songs… they were romantic… but i did not think you sang for me… i did not have feelings for you… ” basically polar opposite of the reality … Khushi! Khushi! These words are all screaming at AV ” beleive exactly the opposite of what i am telling you!”

        Liked by 8 people

    2. Sohni

      I have been waiting for your comments! Was actually going to put up a comment askng where u were since i hadnt seen your comment yet! It has been a crazy day today and hence i havent commented today but so glad to finally see yours!!!!

      Liked by 6 people

    3. Hey sohni,….

      Rushed comment….rushed???!!!! Seriously….if this is rushed then I can only imagine leisure …..

      So when do I get and invitation to ur blog for such wonderful thought and feelin on then lost speculated and confusing Arnav Varun….

      nick has taken the challenge, I for one won’t mind reading ur thought on him too….

      And what a wonderful angle,….it certainly is a whammy for him …… I think he didn’t approach her after AAROHAN cuz he probably didn’t get any reaction from him….

      Remember in the interlude he thought she probably hadpsnt heard the mixtape…and she indeed hadn’t heard….

      But after 4 years,….seeing her,…he not only got a reaction but the mixtape surfaced too…probably giving hope to his dormant or buried feeling….

      Again, take what I say with a grain of salt…Meera is a master as twisting things and shocking us.

      Liked by 8 people

      1. May I have a name for you please?.. its weird to write ‘Hello reinventaddict’ after having exchanged so many posts between us :)
        Thank you for your encouraging words..not just today! :) Yes, he had wondered about the mix tape, hadn’t he? Meera is writing a mystery, not just a romantic story :D Its just that whatever she writes, we lap it up and long for more! Loving this story so much, just like the rest of you :)

        Liked by 6 people

          1. Hell yeah!! You are good at this, you are too good at this actually! I mean look at us, poor lost souls…you have us running around in circles right now and this isn’t even supposed to be a mystery (yet)! :)

            Go for it….Please please Please!!!

            Liked by 7 people

    4. Your comment was awesome and like many others, I was also waiting for your comment. Well now we know that you were traveling. Gosh, I am also struggling with all the questions and reasons as you mentioned to the extent that I am ready to pull my hairs, hit on wall etc etc. My insanity keeps on increasing after each update. How I wish I can dissect AV sir ‘s brain/mind into many pieces and study each piece microscopically with magnification😄😄😜😜. Ye kya Kar diya Meera ne.

      Liked by 7 people

      1. Thank you hun :) Yes, we need to know everything about Arnav now, not just whats going on in his mind, but life too! Hope we get something in the upcoming updates.

        Wondering if we all are turning into Sherlocks! Looking for clues, reading between lines, assessing situations! By the end of this story, we all will be ready to take on real life cases ;)

        Liked by 7 people

  31. Brilliant Meera.
    I read all the chapters from prologue for any clue there
    to find out AV feelings.I am sure
    he felt the same way like Khushi that’s why he changed the songs after hearing Tripti.Eureka…
    Now he was giving cold treatment
    to her as he did not get answers he wished.
    No way he was thinking of Saira
    Meera assured us its a love story
    and she will read all the speculations with a wide grin:)

    Liked by 4 people

      1. Okay….in that case….

        R we predicting how many blessings till Tuesday’s next week? ……

        Meera ji….. aaj office bunk……going to catch up on few errands and the new blog…😝

        Honestly ever since I have found this blog, I feel like I am back to my college days…..itni masti with friends and writing only happened then….lol

        Thnq Meera.

        Liked by 4 people

  32. Meera I can’t help but require his lines from chapter 12 heaven and earth. Once a mountain stream.

    “Please tell me that Aanewala Pal is not one of the songs you dislike? I don’t think we can be friends if that is the case.” Arnav avowed

    That song to me completely described his his AaRohan phase to how he is now….

    Aanewala Pal Jaanewala Hai,
    Ho Sake To Iss Mein Zindagi Bitaado
    Pal Jo Yeh Jaanewala Hai

    {adinserter 2}
    The moment that is to arrive, is about to pass by,
    If you can, in it, live your life…
    This moment, that is about to pass by.

    Ek Baar Yoon Mili Maasoom Si Kali,
    Khilte Hue Kahaan Khushbash Mein Chali.
    Dekha To Yahin Hai, Dhundha To Nahin Hai,
    Pal Jo Yeh Jaanewala Hai

    Once (I) met this innocent blossom
    Blooming, (she) said, I am leaving happy.
    When I looked, it was right there , When I searched, it is not there,
    This moment that is about to pass by.

    Ek Baar Waqt Se Lamha Gira Kahin
    Wahaan Dastan Mili, Lamha Kahin Nahin
    Thoda Sa Hasaake, Thoda Sa Rulaake
    Pal Ye Bhi Jaanewala Hai

    Once, a moment fell from (the grasp of) time somewhere
    There I found this legend, The moment was nowhere,
    Making you laugh a little, Making you cry a little
    This moment is also about to pass by

    Aanewala Pal Jaanewala Hai,
    Ho Sake To Iss Mein Zindagi Bitaado
    Pal Jo Yeh Jaanewala Hai

    Liked by 6 people

      1. No problem….

        I recall there r a few of us here who can enjoy the conversation a bit better with translation….

        Although I’d say this,….the translation doesn’t do justice to the actually song in Hindi. It somehow lost the essense😕

        Liked by 6 people

  33. I reread the chapter to clear my brain of different theories i and everyone else here is coming up with. I want to be on meera di track But now i am back on square one with new set of questions.
    How do u manage doing this to us every single time meera di??!!
    Now my questions are-
    Why does he want bring that up again when he apparently has no feelings at all? Time manages to heal everything right, so he could have just let her be or simply make a casual friendly conversation.
    Why is he hell bent on proving his claims? I dont think its becoz he has a huge ego or is that why he was irritated when she straightaway said no . Whatever it is, it is really difficult to imagine av to be egoistic, asr would be one but av…
    He has an amazing memory yousee, if he had felt that the love of kushi was him on that night itself then he shouldnt have changed songs in the last minute and straight away avoid her like how he did before, so as to not complicate things. But noo he exactly did the ulta. I dont think kushi imagined him looking at her once in a while. There will be no smoke if u dont have a fire. So av did lead her on. Question is why? Why should he lead her if he already has a gf. I am sure he is not a dumb ass to not know what he was doing.
    AV is right now blowing my fuse off.:(

    Liked by 4 people

    1. And yes why did he not speak to her for a while back then? Did he do that becoz kushi wanted it or was he angry on her for doing that to him and is applying tit for tat formula. Another new question. Looks like i must revise that chapter once again. Believe me i never revised anything to this level even before appearing in competitive exams. Power of meera di. Hats off.

      Liked by 3 people

  34. Human psychology is something weird amd complex. The way khushi is avoiding Arnav, and when confronted, she used Arjun’s name, the way she denied having any feelings for Arnav, also using her defense mechanism and lying so blatantly, it just shows, she is not ready to accept herself in love with Arnav once again. She knows, but accepting would mean she will be facing another heartbreak.
    Being not anle to express her feeling is her major drawback. What i am more interested in knowing is what happened to Arnav, his story in these 4 years. Saira, a beautiful name, but where is she? I hope she is not in Arnav’s life, because had she been, he would have not talked to Khushi at all. May be they are not yet married, or may be she is out of his life for good.
    I loved the update and this jumbled up human emotions.

    Liked by 7 people

      1. Thnq Charu,. This weekends trailer trip was not just fun but quite enlightening,……

        We enjoyed so many golden gem and found a few family favs too…. Found kids humming a few tunes too……

        Even Brought back the gud old antakshari as well…..

        Thnq Meera……for making my AD entertaining and interesting.

        Liked by 4 people

  35. Hey dear
    By now i hope u know me a little
    Would love to read careless whispers.. I hav requested d access to
    Its me sugi (samsung04) 4 u..
    Hav a gd day..:)

    Liked by 2 people

  36. I’m extremely late! Sorry meera, im recently married and staying in sasural for a while,atlast I found time to squeeze in! Marriage is madness (atleast for girls) *Sigh*

    I’m a little disappointed with khushi’s lie at first but
    I don’t blame khushi here, how would anyone react while dealing with their love of life,who,by the looks of it, a husband or fiance to someone else? All she knew was he was trying to bring up a subject that’s highly uncomfortable and embarrassing for her, she did what came to her instinct. she could have used a better way but why would she when she was despondent of their likely future. she deliberately killed a conversation which couldn’t have done good to either parties ,I totally back up her! He came to embarrass her,instead she embarrassed him ( though he knew she was lying) way to go girl :D
    BUT my only problem was her using arjun’s name to shield up against arnav again!this time directly! Couldn’t she see she was being what exactly she was accusing arnav of? She might not be sure of arjun’s feelings for her but that doesn’t justify using him for the rescue everytime, and to hurt or embarrass arnav in doing so was a cheap shot!
    Arnav, I still do not understand his intention behind this SECOND apology, what could lead him to elaborate that apology and repeat something very uncomfortable for Kaveri?I could only think of 3 reasons here.
    One- he was extremely guilty,couldn’t exactly live in peace unless khushi forgave him,and he could only feel that guilty if he had feelings for her when there was no reason to be guilty, he hadn’t committed any crime,like khushi said he just sang few songs,it isn’t leading someone on, atleast to the outer world.
    Two- to gain satisfaction from the affirmation of her feeling..that is.. maybe he is trying to reassure himself for a reason to be happy and live infact in her assurance and affirmation on love for him though he could afford to pursue it.khushi’s love could be his salvation from whatever he is suffering from.

    three- he might be trying to begin something with that apology? What if she had accepted the apology what if he had driven the conversation into something more purposeful and important– his feelings.but this reason seems far-fetched,oh I’m delusional totally!
    All my reasons lead to one conclusion, that he loves her :DD

    His guilt driven urgency for khushi, his restlessness of her lie his dejected and unattainable comportment, his protectiveness of her,stolen glances, deliberate ignorance….if these symptoms aren’t *ahem* love or like,what are?

    But there are aloofness, a clear facade and inner turmoil that we cannot ignore…I really hope arnav and saira( such beautiful name for Juliet? Not fair meera) broke up, I really hope there isn’t as sad history as arnav demeanor proving it to be.

    Arjun being squeamish! hehe how cute!! I love this guy… Ok now going back to arnav’s line that ended with ‘ar’, wouldn’t arnav ever complete arjun’s name BTW? Why didn’t arjun say anything to Kaveri if he knew so? Was it just that he just forgot to mention? But that seems unlikely knowing arjun.

    Huh my comment consists questions, presumptions and speculations :P

    Take care meera

    I.F -prodigy-

    Liked by 7 people

    1. He could not* afford
      Why is there no edit option here? :(

      Nice song selection meera, I never knew there was a song with ipkknd title! Alt song for update and anniversary ;)

      Liked by 4 people

      1. First of co granulation to you and ur better half on the new beginnings. Wish u both a very happy journey ahead.

        Secondly….***All my reasons lead to one conclusion, that he loves her :DD***

        Ahhhhh such beautiful lines…..and I agree with u…..reading and reading few chapter again ultimately take me down the same lane….Ur comment thought summed it so well.

        😊

        Liked by 4 people

  37. Awesome! Im so glad I’m here at the right time for the next update! Yippppeeeeeee! As for the 2 previous updates they were mind-blowing as usual. I love how khushi answers to Arnav’s remorse. And seeing him clenching his fist makes me squeakishly happy! I sense the green monster! oh I love arjun! I wish I run into a guy like him. Earlier I wasn’t much of a fan of bollywood songs but now I look forward to them all thanks to you! Can’t wait for the next update!

    Liked by 2 people

  38. Despite my trying very best– I am again as usual late in writing my thoughts😩😩. It is a beautiful and so many emotions evoking update. I can not just stop thinking and speculating various future scenarios here. Before I say anything , I have to say big thanks to you Meera for indirectly fulfilling some of my wishes:
    — Khushi has an accident( I feel her pain and wishing for her speedy recovery and hopeful that nothing major happened to her, please godji forgive me for wishing this)

    —- they still have more day left in camp and Arnav will be there on last rafting day— no matter what will be the consequences— I am still happy 💃💃 with this little bit of information.

    — Khushi still thinking🤓

    It is beyond my control not to put myself in her shoes and when I do that— I can feel what she is going through. Despite all her emotional insecurity , she is a very intelligent and level headed young woman and I am proud of her for this. She is a modern women yet traditional and cultured—– may be due to the way she has been raised by her educated parents. I know many readers are miffed with her which is reasonable but somehow I still feel for her pain and anguish she is experiencing at such a young age.

    She is having a big tussle between her heart and mind and failing miserably. She wants to remain with just fleeting memory of his kiss( how heartbreaking)— whom she is kiddying😭😭. She feels guilty and somehow responsible for Arjun’s feelings towards her and she is also selfless to the point that she is contemplating to harm herself and Arnav in this whole marathon of emotional fight she is having with herself. Yet it is only one night after all this, I know that she is not going to take dishonest decision and either she will say no to Arjun or she will tell him her honest feelings and see if Arjun wants to accept this relationship not based on mutual love—- anyway— that is what I feel but rest is upto Meera how she spins the tale. I still feel proud of her for trying to stay normal with all these life turning events and her eyes and mind constantly looking and searching for Arnav to the point that she looses focus and lands up herself in this accident that too in Arnav’s absence( very unfair shivji).

    Regarding Arjun, I was always neutrals till this current chapter, he is behaving weirdly— why, I am not sure but my radar is putting him in grey area till we know more. We already had enough discussion about him— so no more on this subject as I want to devote my quality ME time more on Arnav—-p( I know , how selfish of me👻👻👻).

    Now when I think about Arnav and this mishap with Khushi, my heart literally breaks for him as he was thinking about her when he was fixing the ropes of flying fox and took extra care. Now he will be devastated after this and will feel even more guilty about everything. I am praying for Khushi’s speedy recovery for us and for Arnav also as he will be emotionally overwhelmed after this accident— I think.

    After khushi’s accident and sad and devastated/ guilty Arnav, injured Khushi, emotionally charged Arjun all in same frame along with Aditi and be guilty Aman— seems definitely receipe of some disaster— I am scared what is going to happen.

    I feel in some way, Arnav and Khushi both are similar. They are selfless and kind hearted and honest person. I feel Arnav was trying to give his all to his previous relationship with Saira to the extent forgetting his passion of music and follow her likings and rules etc. Now he may feel guilty and responsible for all the pain and hurt Khushi going through. Hey Bhagwan—yay Kya ho Radha hai. Both are stupid, silly people who don’t know how to live for just themselves( Raab ne bana Di Jodi, ek AANDHa ek kodhi 😫😫)
    One thing I have to say Meera in the end that you were unfair to leave us hanging at this cliffhanger in the end— now you have to fulfill our wish by flying our dear Arnav sir to save his Khushi as he got telepathy about this mishap—— blink blink—- sun arhi ho na Meera darling sache Dil ki pukaar———😤😤❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️.

    No words to describe the beauty of your writing.

    Liked by 2 people

  39. I didn’t speculate but the way khushi tried to get out of the confrontation was not unexpected. The wound is still raw for her, even after 4 years.
    Ignorence, downplaying, lying are all avoidence tactics.
    I guess Arnav pretended to accept her words seeing how distressed she was, contrary to her words.
    I wonder when and how the past will be laid to rest…….

    It’s clear you’re writing from experience about the rafting and cliff jumping. I’m too much of a wuss to do that.😋

    Liked by 2 people

  40. Khushi’s anger toward Arnav is going to keep her strong and help her through these few days…or rather nights. The days are too filled with activity for her to do much, hai na? You have described this place so beautifully Meera I can almost imagine every mountain, every cliff and every turn the river takes.

    Khushi’s slaying her personal and professional demons here I think. She’s matching the men step for step, challenge after challenge, even leading the way. You go, girl. Show the guys we women are not wusses too worried about our hair and nails to be able to keep up with the men.

    Liked by 2 people

  41. I too wish like others that she had faced him..what can one do when your heart is taken over..embarrassing because it is not reciprocated I understand. In this case, I had hope she would learn the truth of his life during those years when they did not see each other.arnav heard her sister and he knew before he sang all those looking at her..did he harbor the feelings too and only came to realization later?

    Saira..a name and a question to what happened there..want to read but want to stay out of heartbreak if it may come..

    Liked by 1 person

  42. She pretended that she never had any feelings for arnav…i dont know whether she is succeeded or not…i think she is right in this moment because what happened is happened she didn’t want to embarrass herself before him by accepting the fact that she loved him…
    I am again absolute clueless about arnav…at one moment he wants her to tell the truth…next moment he stood speechless before her while she is pretending…i dont know what to conclude…
    It is very funny when khushi is teasing arjun…finally he stopped being hyper…
    Arnav rescued or helped to overcome panic attack…that was lovely…waiting to experience rafting…
    So arnav’s fiance name is saira…like khushi i am curious to know more about her…

    Liked by 1 person

  43. Meera, sorry for late birthday wish to your little one… I hope you and her had wonderful day.
    Khushi is brilliant…showing bravado to hide her feelings for Arnav… Liar…he called out on her. Tape…gave her away. He knew how she feels but hesitant of her acceptance and deniability. Good mechanism tool she is using…complete deniability. She fully knows she will lose the battle but don’t want to show in front of him.
    Touché…he too doesn’t like to be addressed by her. “Sir”. Ghost that haunted her…now she has a name she can address with. Saira.
    Brave Girl…Bravado she show…kudos for Khushi…first one to take the leap. Trust fall exercise help her to shine. Arjun showing his fear…scary cat…wish I had camera to capture the moment not only for Arjun but for Khushi too…excitement and accomplishment would have shined on her face.
    Arnav scared for her safety…jumps to save her.
    Beautifully written Meera…felt like I’m experiencing myself.

    Liked by 1 person

  44. Im writing this even before i read.. coz i’m the former half that thinks i know what’s gonna happen… and wanna say, no matter what we love u and ur writing ♡ …

    The rest will continue after i finish the chapter :-)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Wow!
      Y Khushi, Y? Denying it even when he clearly says he heard it :-(

      He seems tortured .. explains why he was stuttering to explain on the night of the event. Poor guy.
      He panicked, for her… and she knows it!

      Saira : wonder what the story is!

      Liked by 1 person

  45. At what a high point the chapter begins. I am thrilled with it. This needs to come out. Arnav has a lot of explaining to do. Nevertheless, it should be Khushi’s decision whether she wants to hear it or not. As much as we wish this confrontation, Khushi’s need for self-preservation is justified. It is already embarrassing for her, that the person is aware of her feelings and now this.

    The way she gives her explanation, the lies she speaks, they do seem credible. If I didn’t know what was going in her mind, I would have almost believed her. Almost. Emphasis on the almost. Somehow, I do feel to a certain degree, back in Arohan days, Khushi’s feelings might be a bit transparent.

    “Excellent.” That sentiment of disappointment seems so mutual at the moment. Somehow, during this journey, Khushi’s feelings have become our own. Her struggles have become our own. Or maybe somehow, in so many ways, Khushi keeps reminding me of my self.

    One question though I wanted to ask AV if I was in Khushi’s place is why is he insistent on the apology now, clearing the air, and why not four years ago, after Arohan. Why not approach her then?

    All the adventure-based activities are exciting my senses too. Arghh. Need to sign up for something similar.

    ” Is Aagaaz Ko Kya Anjaam Do
    Bechain Dil Ko Kaise Aaram Do
    Is Pyaar Ko Main Kya Naam Do”

    Liked by 1 person

  46. awesome update yar
    thanks for keeping khushi so natural…
    because if I had been in her place…then I would have done the same….especially after he saying that he let her lead on…. without knowing….I dnt think so…..
    and khushi plz dnt bring arjun here and dnt break his heart

    Liked by 1 person

  47. I need to reiterate. I am transported to the river and cliff Jump. The way this program has been set was so professional. With lighter activities, pep talks, making the group feel at home and making them feel that everything is so routine and normal was amazing. Hats off to you for making us experience everything just by reading your narration. I am sure I will enjoy the rest of the activities too! The only thing I don’t know whether it is the age or nature, but, Khushi is becoming her own enemy day by day. I don’t know how far it is going to help her. Every time she makes a resolution only to break it as soon as she sees that man with two names.
    Arjun, where is your information when we need the most?
    Cheers……..

    Liked by 2 people

  48. I did do the jump thing, it was scary , but my daughter who had signed up for both of us, literally pushed me off the cliff, then we did it 2 more times( like Kamal & rekha from kaadal mannan ) but we were very much alive , though a little breathless
    Waiting for rafting experience with Arshi , Aditi & Aman
    Aditi/ Aman seem like #couplesgoal #
    Was it conscious decision Meera , not to name her Anjali?

    Liked by 1 person

  49. I wish Khushi wouldn’t have denied! No use denying when the other person already knows it! But what I don’t understand is why even after being engaged did Arnav sing those songs dedicated to her? Or was it just in Khushi’s head?

    Like

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