“Why aren’t you at a business school this year?”

Khushi sighed in relief as Arnav took charge of the awkwardness between them with determination in his voice and manner. They had finished the remainder of their lunch in silence after she had uttered the words she never really thought she would ever be saying to anyone, leave alone this man now sitting beside her on the rock they had shared two days ago. She had all but indicated that she was in love with him – enough to think of futures which didn’t seem promising given such diversity in geography. The ride in the mountains, the little trip down to Rishikesh and back had pretty much sealed her commitment to Arnav – which was little progress considering how much she had already been committed to him the last four years.

What was still bothering her was his reasons for being exactly where she was. Yes, there was the possibility that he was also attracted to her – which was ridiculous to even imagine. How could he be? She had seen herself in the mirror – as much as she avoided it. And she had seen him. He was at least an 8 on 10 in the looks department – this was her being stingy. And she was…Sure she wasn’t hideous. But she was fat. And with those glasses…at the most a 5. 8s didn’t fall for 5s. She had always assumed successful couples fell around the same range on most parameters – looks, upbringing, financial status, career prospects and success. It just made logical sense to think of romance in reality like that.

And yet with Arnav and her…What was it? How was she to find out? Asking would be pathetic. It would give away more of her than she wanted to. And not asking…well that just spelled disaster in her head.

What could she ask anyway? And what were the possible answers? What if he thought she was his best bet given he knew how she felt about him – and even if he wasn’t here nursing a broken heart, he did have a past history of having been rejected. Could she blame him if he was going with the safe option here? And if he was – was she okay with being the safe option, being taken for granted even? What about toe-curling passion – that kiss they shared earlier…even in her severely limited – correction – in her complete lack of experience, that was not one of someone making do with the best option they had…Yet, there was a conscious effort to put distance between them. What was that…chivalry or…

Ugh. Stop stop stop. You are losing it again, Kaveri Gupta. She breathed in again and forced herself to dedicate herself to the safer topic he had picked. He was trying. She was going to too.

“I messed up the MAT. I wouldn’t even get to Tier II colleges with that score.” She admitted ruefully as she pried her eyes aware from the little rock in the middle of the river and turned to look at him.  Despite the heat, sitting by the river and watching it flow on uncaring how much things changed in the lives of those who spent their days on her banks, was refreshing. And somehow, it seemed to be the place that made the most sense when she was with him – not unlike how it had been on that ghat in Benaras once

He looked at her in surprise. “It can’t be English. Or Math. What did you mess up? Logical Reasoning?”

Her mouth swung open in surprise. “Why?” She asked with a frown. “I mean, why did you assume…”

“Your English is good. Your Math has to be good – you made it to IE anyway. So…” He shrugged easily. He wasn’t judging clearly but to assume her weak point was Logical Reasoning – she frowned.

“I have good diction. That’s not the same as good English – at least not in the way MAT defines it.”

“So you messed up English?” He asked again patiently.

She colored and shook her head. “No. It was LR.”

He chuckled softly at that. “And it bothers you that it was LR? It doesn’t reflect on your personality, you know. It’s a test. And it has patterns that can be mastered. You just need to have the right guidance.”

She snorted without thought. “Typical speak. Of people who crack the test.”

He laughed out louder this time and her cheeks flared. Damn, she cursed. “When you start preparing for this year – which by the way you should right away – I’ll help. I might have some material back at home. I can have it couriered.”

She smiled. He really was quiet the senior from college. It suddenly made so much sense that he was here conducting a program on learning and development. It seemed like such an inherent part of him right back to the Engineering Drawing book recommendation. “I don’t know if I will take the MAT again. I might take the IMAT.”

He raised an eyebrow at that. “And international MBA? That’s a splendid idea. It costs a fortune though. Student loans usually mean earning in dollars for a few years. Staying away from…er..home…you’ll manage?”

She watched him carefully, willing her heart to stop galloping like it had taken to in hope. Was that slight hesitation an indication that he might not…

“But if that is what you want to do. You certainly must. International MBAs are worth so much more. And with the world collapsing and India’s growth stories, there seem to be many paths heading back to the country – with adjustments on expectations of course.”

She shook her head. “I haven’t thought about it properly. My parents will flip, of course.” She shrugged.

“Come on. Both Dr. Guptas are such professionals. I am sure they want their daughters to have the best.” He argued. “How are they, by the way? Did Sir make Head of Department yet?”

Khushi smiled. “He is not going to. Ma says he doesn’t have the office politics gene in him. Plus, he really seems to be so much keener on research. Being HoD has so much else that needs attending to. He – he can’t even to turn off the lights before he falls asleep.”

He is a true academician. He was such a brilliant guide for my final year project.” Arnav smiled as he looked away. “And he gave me an A, which is always appreciated.”

She chuckled softly.

“All my friends had warned me against picking him. He hasn’t given too many As and he is…well…said to be a little absent on projects.”

Khushi grinned. “They weren’t wrong. He complains endlessly about being picked as a project guide. At the end of Second Year, he told me categorically that I was to not even entertain thoughts of him as a potential project guide. And that I was also to let my classmates know he wasn’t available to mentor any of them.” She chanced a look at his profile. “He must have liked you.” Not that it was difficult for anyone to like him. Even her father.

He looked at her, his smile slipping slightly as his eyes darkened under the sun which chose to peek out of a stray cloud at that very moment, throwing mustard beams that seemed to glide on water as the river turned green from grey.

“Anyway…” She spoke too quickly, hoping to break the little spell that could go nowhere under her own instructions. “International MBA is a distant shot. I was looking at domestic options – a cousin of mine went to School of Business in Hyderabad this year. He is all praise. But for that I need at least two years of work experience. So there is time.”

She looked away and clasped her palms together. There was so much to do yet. And yet, somehow…nothing seemed more important than this moment here. It was stupid and very unlike her but wasn’t love supposed to be like this? And maybe he would be the type of boyfriend who would help her be better than who she was…

Boyfriend?

Oh God. AV Sir. Somehow the term didn’t quite suit him. But if not that, what would he be to her? Hum Aapke Hain Kaun…The thought crossed her mind and made her giggle before she could check herself.

“What?”

She shook her head quickly and schooled her face.

“Where is your sister? She must have finished school now?” He asked.

Khushi smiled at the thought of Tripti. “She is in Second Year now. At IE-V”

“IE-V?” He asked incredulous. “Not Mechanical?”

This time she positively laughed out aloud. “No, no. She saw me and decided she could never do without her girlfriends. It helped that she had a better rank. She managed to get Electronics,”

“So she gets your mother as a Professor.” He said with a grin. “The Guptas are quite at home at the IE-V, aren’t you?”                            

She grinned at him. “We are. And to think all of us were miserable when we had to move from Bombay.”

“I am not surprised. Mumbai is strangely addictive. Despite the little time that I spent there, I miss it sometimes.” He said softly and then smiled wryly. “But that can also be because it was the first time I spent any time in any big city. Patna, Benaras and then Ahmedabad.”

“And now Rishikesh,” She remarked. She could see why he had come here to nurse his wounds after that career debacle he had admitted to. Mountains and rivers had a way of realigning perspectives – at least in the short run. And then there was the heartfelt admission of wanting to repay his sister and brother-in-law for their kindness. Yet, he had mentioned something about this not being their only time together. It had been playing, quite joyously on her mind since that little admission minutes ago. “But there is more?” She asked tentatively.

“The River operates only twice a year for about two-three months – February to May and then October and November. Winters are too cold and Monsoons too erosive for the mountains. So we head down to the city. All three of us do short term projects, attend courses, sell more work. I have been working with a few firms off and on. And,” He turned to look at her. “One of them has asked me if I would be willing to join them full time.”

She raised an eyebrow in surprise. “And you are thinking of taking it. Wouldn’t Aman and Aditi…”

He smiled. “Both of them want me to go get a real career going. This, they argue, is not my dream.”

She looked at him curiously. “And it is important for everyone to have their own.”

“Isn’t it?” He countered with a bemused smile.

“Maybe some people will not have that luxury?”

He shook his head. “Every dream doesn’t have to be about starting something on your own. It can be about building a thirty year career from scratch. It can be about earning the freedom to do what you want. It can even be about being passionate enough to make mistakes continuously.”

He sounded so wise, so beautifully sorted at the moment – the AV Sir he was once. The one who talked about dreams and hopes and being excited about new worlds. She smiled in quiet victory. He was still there. And even more irresistible with the wounds and setbacks – physical and otherwise. “Where is their office – this job you are going to accept?” She asked.

“They have offices in Delhi, Mumbai and Bangalore. I can choose. Though they would, I think prefer for me to be in Delhi.” He replied and then turned to look straight into her eye, the impact making her reel. Was it always going to be like this, she wondered? Even if this is how they lived for years – by the riverside. Talking. “You don’t know where you will be shipped off to. After this program?”

She shook her head. “I am going to ask for Marketing and Sales. That would be in Delhi – their headquarters.”

“But is Marketing and Sales open to GETs?” Arnav asked.

She shrugged. “Arjun says it isn’t. But why would they make us go through that stint if it wasn’t?” She countered much like she had with Arjun. “He is so sure I will get saddled with R&D….” She fell silent before the sentence could roll itself out from her voicebox. And powerful it was. Enough to spread like grease between the two of them, marring the stupor of evening silk spun around them from the golden weave of the sun.

A few moments later, he waded through the sticky heap of unresolved Arjun between them. “He never said anything at all? Nothing in four years?”

He was talking about Arjun. And he was saying what everyone had been saying. He had seen it too, then. Everyone saw it. Why had she been unable to believe it then?

You never saw it coming?” He insisted.

“I have been mistaken often in interpreting others’ feelings” She admitted.

Once again silence yawned and stretched its fluid arms between them. She allowed herself to stay mute as her eyes fixed at the color changing sun that seemed to be on schedule in slipping behind the mountains.

“You weren’t.

The words were spoken like an apology – one she had, for once, not been fishing for. And yet, now that it was there – she wanted to hear more. In vindication of her eighteen year old heartbroken self. She blinked and turned to look at him, hoping that he wasn’t. She didn’t want to look into his eyes. After all she didn’t need to see or hear the regret – just needed confirmation that there were indeed two people there four years ago.

“I just didn’t know what it was. And there was…”

Saira.

Would they ever be able to leap across the two names that lay between what was and what could be between them, she wondered.

“I know I owe you some answers about Saira. About what we had and what went wrong and how…” He turned to look at her, his eyes troubled and dark. His face was cast in a mesh of fine lines and worry planes that made it difficult for her to breath as she looked at him. “I’m not trying to get out of that. It’s just that I don’t know…what I should say and what would make things only worse between us now.”

She shook her head, the words she had wanted to say and yet couldn’t till this moment, slipping out with enviable ease. “You don’t have to tell me anything you don’t want to.” She hesitated for a second. “You don’t have to tell me anything at all.” She said softly. He was right. There was no way to know what was important and what wasn’t. How was anything about Saira going to help? The only thing she wanted to know was what happened four years ago between them. And he had almost answered it. He had felt something for her enough to be confused. As long as there was no Saira anymore…

“You can’t mean that, Khushi. There must be something you want to know. Ask me what you do. And I promise to answer honestly. I can tell you everything and yet I know portions of the story have no bearing on us except to erode the shine of what…”

Of what they were feeling. She completed the sentence in her head as his words trailed away. She saw him glance at her hand that placed on her left and just inches away from his thigh. For a moment, it seemed like he would reach out and take her palm in his. She wanted him to. And yet…He was right. There were two things she needed to know. And she was not going to let stupidity take over and let things remain unsaid.

“Do you still miss her?” She asked softly.

He shook his head without missing a beat. “No. Not in the way you mean. I think of her fondly. We’ve known each other all our lives. There are moments…” He hesitated again. “…of friendship, just being together – that are linked to my happy days. That’s all.”

She blinked and looked away. She knew his answer was as beautifully human as he was. And yet she couldn’t wonder if she would have preferred a single unequivocal “no” like he had uttered when quizzed about his romantic availability.

“See, this is why…” He muttered something unintelligible under his breath and then spoke again. “If I were to see her again – and I have once since we officially ended our relationship – I would feel nothing that I wouldn’t feel for a childhood friend.”

She nodded even as she felt like an immature idiot who needed declarations as strong as this to feel better. She should have known not to force him to say it. Even if he didn’t sound like he was forced. And she should have known better than to voice the question she knew she was going to ask next.

“Why did you…” She checked herself before she could complete that statement. She didn’t need to know, she assured herself. He had just declared that chapter was over in his life. That should be enough for her. “No,” She shook her head. “Nothing.”

“Why Saira and I broke up.” He supplied nevertheless, catching on to her faster than she could rein her stray thoughts and impromptu questions.

Silence screamed in her head following the promise of a twisting knife in his words. Enough to scare her.  “You really don’t have to talk about it. I don’t want to know. You are right. What good can come off of it?”

He smiled ruefully and shook his head. “It’s…it’s best to let secrets all out with people who care about each other. It damages – even the most innocuous ones…” He looked away, his shoulders strained and his profile set. “I just couldn’t be what she wanted me to be and…” He took a deep breath. “It’s a long story. And…” He turned to look at her. “I can hear the rafts. The team is back.”

Khushi turned her neck immediately and sure enough she could see a file of men walking down on the other side, rafts were making their way on to the other side – Mohan and another helper who must have stayed behind on the camp or come back with Arnav – she didn’t know – at the helm of each raft.

Arjun.

She jumped off the rock and realized that the little day straight out of her dreams had been rudely cut short. She needed to talk to Arjun. And yet…her palms turned cold. She turned to look at Arnav – who not surprisingly – was on his feet as well, and focused on reality waiting to intrude on them.

Before she could avert her eyes, his gaze found hers and caught. She felt his fingers curl around her wrist a second before she had to lift her eyes to stay connected with him, as he stepped closer. “Meet me tonight?” His hands slipped to her palms and fingers linked. She could feel a thousand currents of air swoosh past them in electric friction. A thrill ran up her spine and curved on her lips.

This was not over.

She nodded with a small, tentative and not completely happy smile.

River Song, Music and Lyrics

Song Title: Aur Kya

Album: Phir Bhi Dil Hai Hindustani

Singers: Alka Yagnik, Abhijeet

Music: Jatin Lalit

Lyrics: Javed Akhtar

 

Dhadak raha hai dil mera

Jhuki jhuki si hai palkein yahan

Jo dil mein ho, woh keh bhi do

Jazbaat maange zubaan

Aur kya!

 

 

Note:

  1. This chapter is for all those who used the phrase “stolen moments” in their comments on the last couple of chapters!
  2. Next Update may be delayed. I will try my best to update on Monday, Oct 3, 2016 but I do have a rough week ahead at work. Please look for a note on the Index page.
  3. Please excuse typos!

553 thoughts on “Chapter Eighteen: Stolen Moments

  1. Such an apt name ” Stolen Moments” before all hell breaks loose….Arjun, separation…..uff
    Nice to see that they got to atleast TALK…. about the mundane…..am sure the deeper conversations are for a point of time in the future….

    Liked by 4 people

  2. My dear Meeru jaan..

    In trying to crack the code of this story, and busy speculating, I missed telling you about the things that really touched my heart to the core in this update.

    These lines were sublime –

    Once again silence yawned and stretched its fluid arms between them. She allowed herself to stay mute as her eyes fixed at the color changing sun that seemed to be on schedule in slipping behind the mountains.
    “You weren’t.
    The words were spoken like an apology – one she had, for once, not been fishing for.

    You can embellish words and make turn them into a showpiece everyone envies. How beautiful can you write? Every successive story tells me, you have more potential than this and you just keep outdoing yourself. Be it any subject you handle, this beauty shines through everything! Such delicate things, these words, you have made them your prisoner!

    “You can’t mean that, Khushi. There must be something you want to know. Ask me what you do. And I promise to answer honestly. I can tell you everything and yet I know portions of the story have no bearing on us except to erode the shine of what…”
    Of what they were feeling.

    Simple sentences really, but profound depth! I can see how desperate he is to keep her away from hurt. How desperate he is to assure her that they are a ‘us’ now. And that what they share now is so beautiful and precious, its his everything and he wouldn’t want to lose it ever. He also tells her that she has the right over him. To question him, demand answers and he will tell her everything she needs to know, in all honesty.

    I could paste the whole update here at this rate.

    Just wanted to let you know, that we all are here because you are spinning a magical tale. We are here because you’ve touched hearts deeply! We are here for your words and your ability to play with them which leaves us speechless most of the times.

    We are here for the story jaana. But only cus, You are writing it.

    Love you.

    Liked by 18 people

    1. I agree centpercent!! I started reading on IF from 2012 , read lots of amazing wonderful stories mostly I stalked.Meera had that magical touch where I was compelled to come back and back again to her updates!!and thanks to you River sisters also I get to read such awesome speculation n analysis love you all 😍😍😍😍😍

      Liked by 11 people

    2. Sohniye 😘❤️ Tumhe hum sab ki dil ki baat bahut khubsoorati se likh di…Muaaah !! 😘🤗❤️😘🤗❤️
      Writerji, I second what Sohniye says, especially “We are here for the story jaana…But only coz, You are writing it” 💖

      Liked by 10 people

  3. Nodding my head in agreement at the last paragraph. I Second that Meera. 😍😍😍😍🤗🤗🤗
    You r indeed a master story teller with artistry of word unlike any other. 👏🏻👏🏻👏🏻

    And Sohni,….jab baat AV ki aati hai toh u can mange to find 💎s in the tiniest speck and this was his dil choonewala admission. 😍😍😍😍

    Liked by 11 people

  4. Woww..,no words to say… except drown in Ur river of words…gladly…💝
    Superbbbbbly written…….👌

    &Despite the tension, they had a deep yet light conversation…💙

    Loved their feelings…
    Loved their restlessness….to decrease the distance b/w them..
    Loved her hesitation & his Understanding…..

    Stolen Moments…. Indeed…..💕💕

    Liked by 5 people

        1. 😂 acha hain yeh trail …Mast hain song, heard it for the first time…lyrics are awesome!!

          Thank you, Appu for sharing :)

          One of my most fav song of Sunidhi, I have this awesome feeling whenever I listen to this song :)

          Liked by 8 people

  5. Hey Meera…loved it as always :) very curious to know more about Arnav’s past and as to how Khushi will talk to Arjun about all this….and I loved the way Arnav was trying to find out more about her future plans…and I just hope Arnav is able to explain his feelings to Khushi and help her overcome her insecurities….i hope we’ll get a few more beautiful AV-Kaveri moments before they part ways again….eagerly awaiting the next one…

    Namrata

    Liked by 4 people

          1. lol I know Anu, but mentioning the Photoshop in between all this was killing the romance! Its more than evident that someone has sprayed him with light and gloss! Forehead chamak raha hain chikne ka! :P 😁😀😀😀

            Divzi, we need the untouched version of this snap, the real one .. ya tumko bhi aisa hi mila? :(

            Liked by 7 people

        1. I had read a OS that was post 2nd marriage of Arshi , wherin Arnav returns home to see his wifetotally engrossed in watching the iconic toe curling Kajol SRK scene, from kabhi Khushi Kabhi Gham, re chudis ( bangels ) and how Arnav mimes along with SRK and seduces Khushi. loved this Os dont know who wrote it . here is the scene you can forward the first 1 minute if you want , though I kind of like that too
          .

          Liked by 2 people

  6. This update was yet another stepping stone in Arnav and Khushi blossoming relationship, I feel so because in this update both Arnav and Khushi are getting reacquainted with each other and their lives…Arnav talking about Khushi’s business plans, her family, his sister and Khushi in turn wanting to know about Saira, it looks like both Khushi and Arnav are ready for a new beginning together on a fresh page letting go of the hurt of the past…yes there is so much more for these two to know about each other, there is so much more they can explore together and this conversation in the update seems like a good start to set the ball rolling for the future…really very good..I really like that these two are not rushing into a relationship rather taking baby steps and what I liked the most is that both Arnav and Khushi have new horizons waiting for them, whether it is with regards to Arnav’s new job or with Khushi thinking to do an International MBA and with their new found relationship on the block it is not limiting their life, aspirations and dreams in anyway, this is really good….so time has come for Khushi to talk to Arjun, fingers crossed hope the conversation goes well..I am looking forward for Khushi and Arnav’s meeting later in the night… well written update…and once again the song you have used in the end ‘Aur Kya’. it is a beautiful track and one among my favourite songs…please do continue soon..waiting for the next update eagerly… :-)

    Liked by 5 people

  7. Dear,
    Even though I read the update on the same day, instead of posting my views, I started reading others comments :)
    Only today i realised that I have not posted my comments :)

    How to start!!! Ok, i will start to comment about your writing skills first!!! U r excellent and too good in putting one liners and make it mean a lot more than the words that has been used

    “You weren’t” was an excellent example.. when I read that, my first reaction was “bas, itna hi”.. with that reply he made it crystal clear to Khushi that she was not wrong in assuming about arnav’s feelings towards her…

    Even though I always like to take Khushi’s side, this update for once, made me realize that u tried to give more weightage to arnav’s character.. I just loved the way he tried to keep the conversation going effortlessly, trying to keep Khushi in ease all the time..
    Arnav was too good..

    All were looking very simple from outside, but these 2 have covered most of the ground..
    Now, Khushi knows arnav’s feeling towards her during college days, and his take on Saira, his new job,…..
    Even Arnav got to know about Khushi’s feelings towards Arjun..

    On the whole, beautiful update

    Dear, I love updates of yours when there is more conversation.. it just gives the pleasure to c your choice of words in expressing things

    🤗🤗🤗

    Liked by 5 people

  8. Oh my! This is too good to be true. Finally they get their time to talk without being interrupted. I loved the update di. Starting from her wonderings about how well they can make a couple, one being 5 on 10 (her opinion not mine)and the other scoring a min. of 8 on 10 in looks department to their academic talk… was really nice.
    I loved the part where Kushi talks about her sister and Arnav finds it amusing that even her sister ended up in IE V. ( I wonder if she felt atleast a bit jealous knowing that her sister is a bit better in academics) And then their serious talk… Though Kushi thinks that digging the history does no good, it is so thoughtful of Arnav for wanting to clear the air. She needs that assurance that Saira means nothing anymore at least romantically speaking.
    I really want to know the equation between Arnav and Arjun. This speculation and theories we come up with are… I don’t know. Di when will their conversation/confrontation take place? I cannot wait anymore. And I want to know more about Arnav. What was he thinking of when he simply stopped talking with Kushi in college(after the Arohan night),why does he keep on mentioning about Arjun as if something about/related to Arjun makes it difficult for them to be together… many other questions are beginning to resurface again. Now that the much awaited kiss did take place i really wish Kushi thinks straight and gets all the answers, both from Arnav and Arjun.
    Anyways I love this chapter more than any other and hats off to your amazing writing di(I really hope u don’t get bored with all the praisings you get. Do you? ;) )

    Liked by 9 people

            1. you see i don’t want to face my mother’s wrath anytime soon. so i postponed all those wishes for some other time, maybe after 5 years. so much for actually wishing…*sigh*

              Liked by 8 people

          1. Yeh jawaani hain diwaani, haaah meri rani, ruk jaao rani
            Dekh zara peechhe muud ke, chali kahaan aise udd ke!
            Gili Gili akkha, Gili Gili akkha, Gili Gili akkha,
            billy billy billy!! :D

            Welcome to the adult world chhotu jaan! Wish you a very happy birthday!!!! Wish you many many many many more wonderful ones! :)

            Liked by 6 people

            1. Thank u so much di. You know I have suddenly become so responsible… i have lost my smart phone. Amazing entry into the adult world, isn’t it? :)

              Liked by 3 people

  9. I m so so sorry Meera dear,

    For the delay in commenting. I havent even write a single comment on last chapter other than “me”.

    Life took a turn, i m hoping and praying for it to be good, that means, less time to indulge in virtual world more time to deal the reality.

    Back to the chapter,

    This was amazing

    Their conversation, though Khushi still hesitates to initiate conversations, they are talking about their life.

    Him opening about Saira, his job offer and her future.. Those are major things that need to be converse and thet highlighted on it

    The way you have narrated the conversation, that was amazing.

    Are they going to meet at the night?

    Is that how Arjun finds about them.?

    Anxiously waiting

    Liked by 3 people

  10. Hey meera and my lovelies.

    The Festival of Navratrimis upon us.👏🏻👏🏻

    Durga mata ne vinanti karu chhu ke
    Apna Jiwan ma Sikh-shanti chhalkavi d-ye
    Sauni Ichhchhao jaldi thi purn kari d-ye.
    Ane Mari waali sakhiyo ne Navratri na avsare khub sari shub-kamnao.

    🤗🤗🤗🤗🤗🤗

    Liked by 9 people

  11. Such a perfect name. These really are stolen moments. Nobody knows what they are up to.. I mean like something is brewing between them. If Arjun happens to get to know about them now I’m sure they will have to spend a lot of time trying to explain it to him especially Khushi.

    Liked by 4 people

  12. Everytime i fall in love with ur story a little more…
    I am so hopeless already, m so damn eager to know how r they goin handle this love, fear, and everything else.. i know, all in good time.. jus being impatient here..
    I am so dreading Arjun-khushi talk… would he know what might have happened? I hv always believed him to be quite sharp… So, may be…
    I jus don want any shadows of regret, guilt or anything else when Arnav Khushi move forward.. but i guess thats jus one hypothetical situtation…
    Or not? Who knows….m loving it..beautiful update Meera…😍

    Liked by 2 people

  13. Just when they finally get a chance to talk about the past, reality intrudes.

    “I have been mistaken often in interpreting others’ feelings” She admitted.
    “You weren’t.”
    His simple words say it all. There was something there 4 years ago and he’s willing to be honest about it and tell her what happened.

    Liked by 2 people

  14. Kaveri’s state of mind reminds me of old adage ‘be careful what you wish for because it may come true’. She was totally okay to ‘crush’ over him from far but when it comes to reality, she has all these doubts and is almost wanting a fairy tale nebulous Prince Charming versus reality in front of her. She is desperately wanting an out of this situation.

    Liked by 3 people

  15. Khushi’s insecurities definitely needs addressing and the more open they can be the better it is for their future. Relationship always are shaken when she has so many questions and she is so hesitant and not confident and only way she can feel assured is being open..I hope we see that soon or it is threading towards another heartbreak?

    Arnav seems more matured and grounded and want to clear the air for her and he should demand that she understands why he choose her. I hope he realizes that need. Beautiful update meera.

    Liked by 2 people

  16. Stolen moments yes indeed it is…wonderful chapter…arnav just wants to clear all of her doubts at the same time he dont want to see her hurt by his words…great chapter …
    I just couldn’t be what she wanted me to be …arnav said about saira…
    I really want to know what happened between them…
    Normal conversation between them was so sweet…they somehow overcome their awkwardness between them…
    He guessed correct about khushi… that’s so embarrassingly sweet for khushi….
    Arnav asked her to meet him tonight i hope she wont disappoint him…
    I missed shahrukh khans song in last few chapters very happy to hear now…

    Liked by 1 person

  17. Beautiful chapter…apt with the title. They needed the moment to hash out their feelings & the talk, the personal time needed, they never had before. They hadn’t had a chance to talk about lot of things like future and so but little is better then nothing. Thanks of sharing beautiful words each one had to say to each other…but the most important things are those words were pen down from your beautiful, marvelous brain. Thank you for sharing the insight of a different profession that I’m not prevue too.
    Now the real challenge they would face is dealing with Arjun.👌👍👏

    Liked by 1 person

  18. Stolen moments indeed!
    I really wish he could have answered her 2nd question with an ankhon-mein-anhein-daal-k-soul-searching-wala look and said “hum”
    It just would have answered a lot even if they were interrupted… But mow oh now am so nervous, there is so much that could be misinterpreted between them, but hope’s sure blossoming ♡

    Liked by 1 person

  19. Loved the stolen moments
    arnav and khushi talked about their past and all set to start afresh…..
    Now it’s only arjun-khushi talk is remaining….I really hope that khushi will make arjun understand……..
    dnt knw wats in store but something is going to happen which will change all the equation

    Liked by 1 person

  20. ” 8s didn’t fall for 5s.” I agree. But, then I also feel, looks like can be the first determining factor. Afterwards, there are always more things to it. That makes the bond ever-lasting.

    I imagine everyone asking these questions? They are not just about insecurities. The speak rationality. They seem legitimate and deserve an answer. Maybe.

    ” It’s a test. And it has patterns that can be mastered. You just need to have the right guidance.” And, yet this one exam seems so scary and predictor of so many futures. Do the results define us or do not. I don’t know. Somehow, I feel they do matter in so many ways.

    ” And yet, somehow…nothing seemed more important than this moment here..” Afterall, there is something significant here. Something that has the potential to build into something beautiful. So, it is only natural to forget everything as necessary at that moment. It is lame if we keep imagining ourselves in that situation? Is it lame that we also feel the same emotions as Kaveri?

    ” “Every dream doesn’t have to be about starting something on your own. It can be about building a thirty-year career from scratch. It can be about earning the freedom to do what you want. It can even be about being passionate enough to make mistakes continuously.” See, I love these lessons hidden in your stories. Starting your own business seems reasonable on paper, but it has the ability to destroy your personal life too. I have seen my dad. While he made sure he was there at every PTM, those holiday trips that we missed out always remain on his regret list. At least, my dad made an effort. I have seen so many business families struggle with everyday life. It is rewarding, yet also hard. People just sometimes fail to take the full picture.

    ” Why had she been unable to believe it then?”
    “I have often been mistaken in interpreting others’ feelings” She admitted. COuldn’t have given a better insight into understanding why she didn’t trust Arjun’s feelings for her. I mean, I too wonder why she didn’t see it coming. It is so hard to say. But, then this and the fact that Arjun had other girlfriends, can convince an already insecure girl about the impossibility of such a thought.

    ” He had felt something for her enough to be confused.” Was this enough for Khushi? What about those songs? Why didn’t he indicate his commitments already? It all comes down to that one evening. What did it mean? Was Khushi committing a blunder by not asking these questions? Does the feeling of being confident better than portraying ourselves as insecure? The dilemma. I guess. We all fall into the former category.

    “It’s…it’s best to let secrets all out with people who care about each other. It damages – even the most innocuous ones” When you come back to the story, you realise, there is a meaning attached to every sentence, which didn’t make sense then, but now you understand the depth.

    Can’t wait for tonight, I guess.

    This it for now. I’ll be back again in a couple of days. It is just that while I can surely comment on each chapter as easily, I like to take out time and indulge in every word. I do not want to be hasty with A River. I want to actually devote time here.

    Liked by 1 person

  21. Arnav confirms that Khushi had not misunderstood back then..
    He had feelings for her but was confused..
    Khushi also makes it clear that she doesn’t reciprocate Arjun’s feelings but she has to talk to Arjun at any cost..
    Arnav wants to tell about Saira but the time is not right as they r not alone anymore..

    Liked by 1 person

  22. Lovely update. They spoke about past, present and future. Arnav confirmed that Khushi did not misunderstand his feelings or her feelings. It was just that he was confused and then there was Saira.
    So, Tripti is studying Electronics and Khushi is still thinking about MBA. Local or abroad she hasn’t yet decided. Arnav offered to guide her to understand LR if she decides to sit for the exam. Wonderful. Will she take the offer? Her emotions and thought process was so natural. The team is back and they have to postpone their conversation to the night. Is she going to meet him?
    Cheers……

    Liked by 1 person

  23. That was what Arshi needed & me too
    All questions / doubts regarding life, love , career , placement , city ,parents were discussed except why he broke up with Saira
    May be she was just like Arjun , a friend turned love
    Now confrontation time

    Like

  24. Meera , about the song Aur kya,from Phir. Bhi Dil hai
    This was SRK s first production with juhi & Aziz mirza as partners ( Dreamz)
    He promoted the movie from roof tops, every tv channel , game/ reality show with juhi
    We smug fans ,believed that it would be a blockbuster given his recent BO success 👍🏼
    To our horror, it tanked , SRK admitted to crying ( years later 😬)we were heartbroken too
    becos of a certain Greek god who shimmied in sequins crooning ek pal Ka jeena in the voice of lucky Ali
    ( along with a real life sob story ) He went to bag filmfare for best actor & debutante that year
    Yet the war had just begun
    He was defeated thrice at BO in subsequent Diwalis by Badshah
    I never tire of this story , he he

    Like

  25. Her dreams are coming true, first the kiss now the woven hands, wow…..I just hope Arjun is cool and not judgemental! But I think something did happen between them 4 years ago! But what?🤔

    Like

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