She had no idea how much time she spent with Aditi Sinha on the banks of the Ganga eventually but it was definitely oddly refreshing to have had spoken to someone who she had almost nothing in common with. Once they had edged past the man who was the point of intersection of their very separate paths, they never came back to him. When Aditi and she said their goodnights, they saw each other in a new light that shone brighter because and despite of the sunrise irises that hovered in the background of their openly exchanged warmth.

Khushi was smiling to herself and on her way to her tent, her bones now heavy with sleep even as the bruise on her back prickled under the dressing. When she felt the tug on her wrist, a small shout escaped her mouth and bounced off warm skin that was now merging into the space around her.

“Shhhh….She has the ears of a bat. She’ll come running back to check,” He whispered against her mouth as her right hand remained firmly caught between his fingers and twisted against her back. Her left hand instinctively grabbed his sleeve and curled into the cloth. She blinked as she struggled to reconcile his presence that was now sending her heartbeat into a tizzy. Even as she scanned his eyes, he edged her backwards, his eyes never leaving hers as his legs brushed against hers, and his lashes fluttered open and close over his steady gaze.

“You fell asleep.” She said stupidly even as his feet struck hers and made her stumble against him, only ensuring his grip on her tightened.

“You didn’t wake me up.” He countered as if to suggest her decision had been just as stupid as his slumber.

“You looked like you needed the sleep.” She said, surprised that she could hold his gaze that long – perhaps for the first time. They were still inching backwards, although now it wouldn’t surprise her if someone saw them and mistook their movement for a quickstep.

“I need this more. We need this more.”

It was enough to make her blink. And for him to breathe in sharply before he forced them to a standstill and bent his head to kiss her. This time, it was almost as if she expected it, welcomed it too. Her lips parted easily, helping him to capture her breath and the little whisper of pure pleasure that seemed to come from somewhere deep within her body. His hands let hers go and stole up her back and into her hair which whipped around her head in a sudden gust of river wind. She winced softly as her teeth gnashed against his and he caught her lip in a sudden nip. Before she could decide whether it hurt or not, the kiss slowed and his tongue swept over the sensitized skin, soothing and urging all at one. As she felt him loosen the grasp on the roots of her hair – when had his fingers become entangled in her hair, she let her hands reach up and thread through his, pulling him closer. The groan that came from him, deep and harsh, told him she had surprised him as much as she had surprised herself. She sank into the kiss with unprecedented abandon, hoping that she was not making a fool of herself.

He was right. They did need this. She knew she did even as he broke the full mouthed kiss and placed smaller, lighter ones on the corner of her mouth and trailed down her jaw and eventually her neck. Her hands were now on his shoulder as he found a little spot on the edge of where her neck met her shoulder, one she didn’t even know existed.

“Khushi,” He said softly as drew in a breath against her skin and caught it between his lips.

Her eyes felt drugged as she struggled to open them, fighting the sensations that his hands were now cavorting down her spine and eventually settled on waist for second before they snuck into her sleep-shirt, fingers teasing the edge of her bra almost absently. Her very frayed, plaid bra if there was ever one. Her hand curled into his T-shirt and dug into his shoulder as she silently urged him to stop.

“Please.” She whispered as his thumb grazed the underside of her bosom, knowing that a part of her wanted him to dismiss her and continue what he was doing.

But this was AV-Sir, no…Arnav – the man who seemed like the sorts who would always do the right thing. So he did stop – with a sudden jerk like she had caught by surprise.  Smiling ruefully in the moment where she would have used the word “sorry”, he straightened himself and placed a little kiss on her lips. Then almost grudgingly, he took a couple of steps back to look into her eyes. She waited for him to say something that would either echo or completely belie the chaos in his face.

“You have been awake for some time?” She asked when he didn’t say anything and moments stretched.  Her voice struggled to return from raspy to regular, her breathing hitched and became even. She held her hands back consciously, when all she wanted to do was trace his kisses on her skin and see if they were as real as they felt in her blood.

He nodded and continued to stare at her, his eyes hooded and heavy.

“She…she saw me next to your bed. And then….she…I’m sorry…she guessed that I was there to see you.”

A small smile appeared on his face as he stepped closer and took her hand in his. “She already knows.”

Her eyebrows shot up. “You told her?”

What? What did you tell her?

He shook his head as his smiled turned wry. “Like she needs to be told anything. She makes her own conclusions – in this case – correctly so.” His smile grew as he nudged her fingers apart with his and weaved through them in small, quick invisible threads. Like her dream. Oh Shiv-ji, she called out for mercy. Like all her dreams.

“She likes you.”

Khushi smiled at that. “It seems unlikely that she dislikes anyone.” Especially if they were to be related to you.

“Believe me, it’s quite the opposite. You should be very grateful. I am surprised she didn’t tell you to be thrilled.”

Her smile widened. “She may have implied it the first time we spoke.”

He tugged at her hand and pulled her closer and wrapped his hands around her waist, forcing her to rest her cheek on his shoulder even as he seemed to bury his head in her hair. “You should’ve have woken me up. We would have wasted a full night…I can’t believe I fell asleep…” He spoke against her hair and held her on even as she tried to straighten…expecting him to be ready to release her.

“Your sister was pretty amused about that too.” She smiled against his skin even as she tried to adjust her face so her glasses wouldn’t dig into his neck.

“Of course she made fun of me.” He whispered against her hair as his hands caressed the small of her back. “Stop squirming.” He chided softly and she stilled mid-smile and breathed in his scent. Warm, rich and brimming with fresh river air. She smiled and closed her eyes.

“You are smiling.” He said and seemed to absently rub his cheek against the top of her head. “And you were laughing with Ti-Di earlier.”

“I like her too.” She said but stayed where she was, their breathing now matched to perfection as their molded chests rose and fell together.

“What am I going to do?” He murmured as his breath grazed her scalp and his fingers brushed against the skin at her waist, bared by the edge of her shirt.

——–

Eventually, the little muttered question remained unanswered. Instead the two of them walked into the tent, one Khushi was truly thankful tonight to have all to herself, and settled down on the floor, their backs against the bed. And though he hadn’t kissed her again, it was almost as if he had taken a secret oath of constant physical contact. His shoulder stayed pressed against hers, her forearm brushing against his every time she as much as took a little breath. The first few minutes that they sat there, there was electric silence in the tent illuminated by nothing more than starlight and an amorphous moon. He picked up her Walkman and pried it open to retrieve the mixed tape that she wished she had put away earlier today. He looked at it for a long moment and Khushi wondered if he was going to bring up the topic of why she had kept it, again. So she looked at him through lowered lashes, much to her own amusement, waiting for the ball to drop. But Arnav simply turned the cassette over a few times, as if trying to savor the feeling of an object long lost. Then he slid the cassette back into the Walkman and held it out to her, the look in eyes, one so telling – like he didn’t need any answers anymore. She smiled slowly and took it from him, her gaze never breaking from his as she placed the Walkman on the bed behind her.

“I wanted Ti-Di to meet you that day,” He said softly as he reached out for her hand and threaded fingers through hers.

Khushi’s eyebrows shot up instantly. His smiled widened. “I had mentioned to her that there is a new girl in Mechanical Engineering who would easily beat her in any Bollywood quiz. She was hoping to disprove it. Don’t ask me how.”

Her brow remained twisted in confusion even as the smile on her face glittered again. “You told her about me then?” Why?

He smiled and shook his head and looked away, throwing his head back to rest against the bed. She watched as his eyes closed and his hand moved with hers and came to rest against his chest. It was an unnerving sight. Her pale wrists held in his slightly darker, more callused hands, lying silver grey against his black shirt. Through his shirt and the palm beneath hers, she could feel a steady beat that was his heart. It hadn’t been this peaceful moments ago, had it? And yet now…”You knew then that she was going to be there?”

He nodded slightly. “She called the previous evening and told me Amma and she were going to be there for my last Aarohan. And that they had a surprise for me.”

“And you didn’t guess it was about…Saira and you?” The name felt oddly uncomfortable when uttered in his presence, like realizing she had walked into the little temple area in her house wearing slippers.

He shook his head. “The summer before final year, Saira and I – we decided to take a break. We’d been fighting a lot. The situation at home had been tense and silent in my case, vocal and utterly distressed in hers. It didn’t help us. And a break – just some time to let things settle down seemed like the best idea.”

“It was yours? The idea?” She didn’t know why it was important for her to know this but the question had been asked before she could analyze its relevance.

“I was happy to go along. Final year was bound to be stressful even without all of that – I took it. If I needed to mend things with my father…I needed to work hard – get a job, admission to a good b-school – all of it- anything that would set things right between us. It was selfish. But I did it anyway.”

Khushi stayed silent as Arnav’s words sunk in. Her innards were twisting uncomfortably now. And yet, this was the bitter medicine, no a vaccine, that was critical if they needed a chance to work.

“How much did Ti-Di tell you about Saira?”

His eyes remained closed even as his fingers tightened against hers for a second before they relaxed.

She took a deep breath and straightened before she went on to lean back against the bed. “Enough to make me not want to know more.” She whispered truthfully.

“She is biased. What she told you is all she knows. I was to blame even though I know that is not what Ti-Di must have implied.”

Khushi looked up at the tarpaulin covering the tent with patches of threadbare canvas. “She seemed like she cared about Saira too. Why would she say anything just to exonerate you?”

“Because it was Saira who broke it off eventually. She was the one who found someone else and declared she was marrying him instead. If it had been me…If I had acted on…” He opened his eyes but didn’t look at her. Instead he stared at their clasped hands. “If I had done the same four years ago, then she would have hated me. But I know the truth – she may have finished what we had but I had ended it just as decisively. And Saira…she knew I think.”

“You give your sister less credit than…” She stumbled and turned her gaze to him, as the full import of his statement dawned on her. “You said if you had acted on…four years ago…” Her eyebrows were painfully arched, her throat now hurting with long withheld thirst. She licked her lips and waited as his eyes fluttered open and he turned his head slightly to look at her.

He held her fingers tight once again and refused to tear his gaze away from her. “I told you, you weren’t mistaken four years ago.” He said softly. Khushi’s heart galloped and threatened to jump out of her chest. What he was saying seemed…too good…too much. How could it be? Even if Shiv-ji was being kind to her…this was…

“But you were with someone else for so long – and committed enough to wage a war against your family. How could what happened in less than a month be the reason it all changed? Unless you…” She began and halted when she realized her voice sounded as distressed as she felt.

He straightened and let her hand go but not before she had visibly tried to pull it away. “Khushi – I’m sorry – I don’t mean to imply more than what I’ve said…I’m just…Four years ago…if I were in a position to give this,” He gestured at the space between them, “a chance – there might have been something. I know I felt something for you. I wasn’t supposed to. For more reasons than one…You…” He looked at her and his mouth tightened in a strange way. Like he wanted to say something. But before she could read more into it, he spoke again. “But I’m not surprised anymore that I still do. I’m not saying I know exactly what or where this is headed…I mean…I know where this could be….” He broke off and looked away. “I don’t know what it is…I just don’t seem to find the words.” He said wryly and then looked back at her.

Khushi took a deep breath. What was she doing? Did she want a declaration of endless love from him – on the first date – hell – this wasn’t even a date – it was just them talking…about possibly dating…Oh God. Dating? That was a word reserved for American Sitcoms and romance novels. These things didn’t happen to fat girls like her…And suddenly it felt like she was running a marathon. Her lungs hurt – physically. “You’re right…I don’t want to talk about four years ago. And I don’t want to know about Saira. I know your sister wants me to think well of you and you want me to think badly of you. But I don’t…I don’t want to think at all about what happened” She shook her head. “Instead…there is something you said yesterday. About not knowing each other…That is what I would like to fix. Can we…we can start there?” She offered tentatively. “And then…we’ll start afresh when…whenever we can…after the camp.” It also gave her time to sort things out with Arjun. She would talk to him before they left the camp – so that they could bury this awkward thing between them right here and start the new lease of life at Speed Motors afresh. She also promised herself she would tell him about Arnav. She may not owe Arjun any explanation. But Arjun was right – she never talked about her feelings – and just having had Aditi to talk to this week had been so liberating. If anything she owed her best friend that. If only she could figure out a way to tell him about Arnav without breaking his heart…

He looked at her for a long moment and then leaned back against the bed once more. This time his eyes fixed on her and a small smile tugging at his lips. “I might have gotten carried away a little at the time – when I said you don’t know anything about me.”

She suppressed the smile that was teasing her lips. “But you did have a point.”

“That kind of knowing each other comes from time, I guess.” He said with a small amused frown. “And time is…” He shook his head. “There will be time. I know there will be. Wherever they send you off to – we’ll make it work. You are not one of those people who believe long distance relationships don’t work right?”

She was the one of those people who had no clue what relationships – the kind he was suggesting – were in the first place. But she didn’t want him to think she was a complete idiot – well more than he possibly already did. So she shook her head.

“Good.” He reached out for her hand and closed his over her palm. “Where do you want to start?” He asked softly a minute later, half a twinkle in his eyes as the pad of his thumb caressed the skin between her thumb and forefinger. She blushed uncomfortably but hoped that it was only internal as she straightened her back and leaned back against the bed, his arm brushing against hers.

“When’s your birthday?” She asked him.

“Really?” He chuckled and shook his head. “That is what you are going to start with?”

Her mouth curled. “If we were in school, I’d have led with your zodiac sign.” She answered truthfully.

“March 8. Yours?”

“September 14.” She replied. “Your birthday is coming up.”

He said nothing and shrugged.

“Pisces.” She said out aloud and then smiled to herself. A few years ago, she would have stored this information in her brain with the promise of returning to her favorite Linda Goodman book and reading up on what Piscean Men were supposed to be like and what their compatibility score with Virgo women was.

‘Ti-Di forced me to read Linda Goodman once – I think I was twelve, then. Needless to say, I am scarred for life.”

She turned to look at him in surprise. Had she spoken out aloud about Linda Goodman? How had he known she was thinking…

“It’s the only thing that comes to mind when someone says zodiac. Ti-Di was obsessed with it.”

Khushi laughed. “It used to be fun in school. Though Tripti and I soon realized it was completely stupid. Because she and I are the same sun sign – just ten days apart, actually. I always hated that…Ma and Baba always clubbed our birthday celebrations and almost always on hers…” She caught herself as she realized she was offering information that hadn’t been asked for and that she was fairly sure was of no consequence to Arnav.

“Is this where you are going to say sorry?” He asked slyly and Khushi instinctively rolled her eyes.

“No.” She avowed. “How much older is Ti..I mean your sister?”

“You can call her Ti-Di. I am surprised she didn’t tell you to tonight.”

Khushi’s face warmed but she said nothing, waiting for him to answer her question.

“Seven years. And January 26, since I know you won’t ask.”

Khushi’s face lit up. “Republic day! And I would never guess she is seven years older than you….that’s almost – you must be…” She calculated on her finger tips, “1984 born. That’s three and half years older than me..So she is…ten years older than me….she could pass for being younger than me!”

“See now, I’m not even sorry,” He tugged at her hand. Before she could realize what was happening, his mouth was pressed against hers, his tongue sweeping along her lips, sending shock waves down her facial nerves extended all over her body and ending in her finger tips now curled into his. His other free hand stole up to push her hair away from her face and away from her neck even as they kissed in abandon, his gruff murmurs almost pleasurably abrasive against her skin.

He let her go as their breaths caught up with the intensity of that kiss and pulled away. His eyes continued to scan her face urgently even as she leaned away and waited with bated breath for the tense silence that had just begun to dissipate.

“Favorite color?” He asked a second later with half a helpless smile, a raised eyebrow and heavy eyes brimming with unmasked desire – a look she would remember for the rest of her life.

 

River Song, Music and Lyrics

Song Title: Chanda Re

Album: Sapnay

Singers: Sadhana Sargam, Hariharan, A.R. Rahman

Music: A.R. Rahman

Lyrics: Javed Akhtar

 

Gulshan gulshan, vaadi vaadi

Behti hai resham jaisi hawa

Jungle jungle, parvat, parvat

Hai neend mein sab ek mere siwaa

Chanda, chanda

Aaja sapnon ki neeli nadiya mein nahayein

Aaja yeh taare chug ke hum haar banayein

In dhundhli dhundhli raahon mein aa, donon hi kho

 

 

Note:

  1. Thank you all for waiting so patiently :)
  2. Next update: Monday, Nov 14, 2016, late night
  3. Please excuse typos.

462 thoughts on “Chapter Twenty One: Questions and Answers

  1. out of the world update.. loved it.. ARSHI together.. wow what a site to behold.. kissing, holding hands was a dream like situation.. thanks for such a mesmerizing beautiful update Meera :)

    Liked by 3 people

  2. I am sorry that I didn’t comment on your previous posts.
    Caught up with asli duniya & well was down with chikinguniya.
    Coming to this post , no words are to describe ur writing skills.
    Won’t say more as I usually caught in Arnav and Khushi & the feelings surrounding them.

    Liked by 3 people

  3. Khushi struck gold!!! A night of glee with Aditi followed by a night of realizations, revelations, and plenty of canoodling with the man of her dreams. “Her body existed only where he touched her. The rest of her was smoke”- from The God Of Small Things by Arundhati Roy. I presume she will float when this night is over, ‘Aaj main upar’ quite literally.

    That was a beautifully written chapter, dreamy and happy. This would be the kind of night where one can’t fall asleep because finally reality is better than dreams. This is the kind of chapter that makes you realize that Saira and Arjun are but props to this story. They are symbolic enough to tell us a story, but they are not the story. They are an extension of AV and Khushi’s personalities, giving us subconscious cues as to how to feel about them. This is not to say their lives have no meaning beyond their connection to AV and Khushi, but that to this story, they just lend enough authenticity to the reality you are portraying.

    I enjoy the quiet, mellow, but deep progression of the romance between these two. There’s no theatrics. There’s a lot of hesitance but greater curiosity. They’re so alike yet so different. Kudos to you Meera, for creating characters that are so unsure, so fair, and so real. Now if only you would spare us the any discussions about favorites (color, dessert, salad dressing, Starbucks order included) :-D

    I thought the lines that follow are so befitting this couple and their super mellow personalities. “Perhaps, after all, romance did not come into one’s life with pomp and blare, like a gay knight riding down; perhaps it crept to one’s side like an old friend through quiet ways; perhaps it revealed itself in seeming prose, until some sudden shaft of illumination flung athwart its pages betrayed the rhythm and the music, perhaps… perhaps…love unfolded naturally out of a beautiful friendship, as a golden-hearted rose slipping from its green sheath.” — excerpt from Anne of Avonlea by Lucy Maud Montgomery.

    Thank you for this lovely chapter. Have a great week everyone :)

    Liked by 11 people

    1. Kriskles,

      I have struck gold too. Second time in a row. Just kisses. Especially about the paragraph telling why Arjuns and Sairas do not matter, they do but not in this story, and not in the way it matters. :-D

      I was trying to make this point to Sohni, but unsuccessfully (I should stick to writing queries in MY SQL)

      Kisses (Three turns (of kisses) should do it)

      Madhuri

      Liked by 8 people

  4. Hi Meera,

    I have read all your work and have been a silent reader for the most part. But this Chapter just made my fingers tap. I couldn’t help but comment. It was so amazing. The characters of Arnav and Khushi, their feelings, their thoughts, emotions, desires, insecurities, hopes.. everything in this story that you have penned down is brilliant. And this Chapter was liking a delicious Icing on my favorite cake.

    It is a sheer talent of writers like you, which makes Silent readers like me express our feelings. I don’t think their has been any other chapter in any other story(of the infinite number out there) that has been as stunning as this – with all due respect to other writers/stories. This Chapter gives readers such an immense satisfaction after reading about their beloved characters. It makes us want to be a part of this beautiful moonlit night.

    I would like to Thank you for providing us with such beautiful and engaging stories. And I promise, I will no longer be silent. Your writing talent has made me work on my keyboard as well. Thank you once again.

    Liked by 6 people

  5. Some how I didn’t get the notification from WP but …..that cannot stop ardent readers away ! Beautifully penned down Meera
    It was high time for a proper conversation and the brimful of emotions to overflow ! For growth of the characters as well for the story too. The question remains now what happen after all these beautiful moments ?!! To Keep them apart for so long !!

    Liked by 6 people

    1. AV,

      (Giggles) Those are your initials. :-D

      I did not get it for a long time, and saw I missed three updates. Do “Windows Reboot” on it. That is unfollow and follow again.

      We used to say Alt+Ctrl+Del (restarting) is a key (pun unintended) to solve every issue in a Windows machine. :-D

      Love,

      Madhuri

      Liked by 5 people

  6. Dear thanks a ton for updating………….. Again a beautiful song………………..

    I am loving this time in Arnav-Khushi’s life……….. Its totally heavenly bliss………… Love is blossoming………… Its the initial stages of a relationship that is fun : knowing your partner, first kiss, first hug, first flirtatious talk, first date, first gift given to each other, first movie, first fight, first dance, first love making………………………

    I want Arnav-Khushi to experience everything mentioned above………………

    But impatient to know, if things were going fine, what went bad? ? ?

    PS: Please tell dear, when are we coming back to the present tense as in the Final Part III of story………………….

    (orchids8888 from IF)

    Liked by 3 people

  7. Nothing could be better than sitting with your loved one in a calm night and talking.. Just plain, random talking. I loved the ease with which the conversation flowed between Arnav and Khushi. And before that the kiss they shared was mind numbing and toe curling. If I felt it through your words then… Sigh!!!

    So finally they started talking and as per Khushi’s suggestion they should know more about each other. So that is definitely a start.

    Now I wonder, how the story will proceed from here as Khushi will be leaving the River is few days. She also has to come out clean with Arjun and how will Arnav and Khushi work this out.
    So waiting eagerly for the next update.

    Lots Of Love… :) :)

    Liked by 4 people

  8. After a long time Arnav – Khushi are having time for each other . This stolen moments is very romantic , Munna is drugging khushi with his kisses . It will be unfair to ask more because they have just started .
    And there is Arjun who needs to be informed about AV – Khushi’s budding relationship .
    Saira had walked away , later has found her prince charming . AV – Saira had broken up even before Aarohan . So it is like mutual break up not like AV broke Saira’s heart scenario .
    For now very happy with AV – Khushi

    Liked by 4 people

  9. Enthralling update M!! 
    The beautiful companionship formed between Ti Di and Khushi is heartwarming.
    And the “Do Dil mil rahe hai” couple r utterly endearing. They r soulmates. Period 
    I noted Khushi to be very sorted here except when she got unsettled by u know who!
    Arnav….sigh!!!! Hes almost flawless. M blinded with his chivalry n everything else.
    My views here r on a superficial level though This update is deep in its own way on many levels M. Kudos for yet another Hira update.

    Liked by 4 people

  10. Hi Meera,
    I finally caught up with the story. Beautiful writing. The words seem to flow from you without any hiccups :). The Arnav in this story is someone I would have fallen for too if I had been in college :). I am not able to visualize your Khushi that clearly though..a ‘plump?’ Khushi with glasses…hmmm. is it that she is a person who becomes attractive to someone once you know her better or is it that she doesn’t see herself as attractive enough? I would think the latter since her personality seems to have been influenced by the way she perceives herself.
    Coming to the chapter, it is finally a step in the right direction for their relationship. I would have thought that from here on their relationship could only grow. Wonder what happened that they didn’t stay together. Waiting for the story to unfold.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Tina,

      Please note at the end of page you find an option, follow blog via mail. Add the email address and click on follow. Then you will get a link in your mail box to confirm subscription. There you can state your preferences about how frequently and which content you want on mail.

      M

      Liked by 4 people

  11. Hi meera,
    Am deepika. I haven’t started reading this story yet but i have read all other ffs you have written and COTW and EIT are my favorites.. I want to read EIT again and was sending you request for invite. Please i would really appreciate if you could add me to your blog.. thanks in advance

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Hi. All my blogs are currently removed from public access for multiple reasons and hence I will be unable to add anyone (not just you) Hope you understand

      Liked by 5 people

  12. Another song for this update….needs no description or introduction! Of course, the dance is a bonus! :)

    I’ve been waiting for so long
    Now I’ve finally found someone to stand by me
    We saw the writing on the wall
    And we felt this magical fantasy
    Now with passion in our eyes
    There’s no way we could disguise it secretly
    So we take each others hand
    ‘Cause we seem to understand the urgency

    Just remember
    You’re the one thing
    I can’t get enough of
    So I’ll tell you something
    This could be love

    Because I’ve had the time of my life
    No, I never felt this way before
    Yes I swear it’s the truth
    And I owe it all to you!

    Liked by 9 people

              1. Love the picturization of this one…lol….“this is my dance space, this is your dance space, I dont go into yours and you dont go into mine..”…lol god we’ve used this dialog amongst friends all our life for different situations. :D

                Liked by 5 people

  13. Meera,
    You’ve literally worked magic in this update. I was smiling like an absolute goofball reading through this. The blossoming love story between Arnav-Khushi is the right amount of sweet. I’m so elated for them, like finally ! I’m aware I was totally an Arjun fan, and I am, I love him. I do. But maybe since he hasn’t been around during these interactions between them, I’ve kinda pretended his heartbreak isn’t in the near future.

    I think my heart fluttered at this ” “See now, I’m not even sorry,” He tugged at her hand. Before she could realize what was happening, his mouth was pressed against hers, his tongue sweeping along her lips, sending shock waves down her facial nerves extended all over her body and ending in her finger tips now curled into his. His other free hand stole up to push her hair away from her face and away from her neck even as they kissed in abandon, his gruff murmurs almost pleasurably abrasive against her skin.” So beautifully written. OH ARNAV WHY ARE SO DREAMY !

    Thanks for the lovely update, can’t wait till Monday for the next :0 (It’s what I look forward to on Mondays honestly, makes them bearable)

    [Musingsofmymind on IF]

    Liked by 5 people

  14. After reading this update many times— I did not wish to come out from this dreamy state but brutal AD forced me into reality and even though late but finally I made it here Meera. I will start with big thank you Meera for giving us many things in this update. This one not only gave me/us blissfully romantic and heartfelt feelings, but also gave us some clues about Arnav and his relationship at the time of Aarohan and The Night. However my biggest thanks is for getting that S married and out of the scene and hopefully no chance of( will still keep my fingers cross as u may give any twist in future) her physically coming between those two—- for that I can only give ❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️to you. My heart is at peace now. I can (may change my opinion again here)bear possibly any other reason for their upcoming separation in future as I will rather think about their wooing and meeting again in future as I know that when Meera is author herself— that wooing phase will be brilliantly awesome and beyond perfect. Jab tak Meera continues to write– where we all can go— we are stuck like glue to river and your writing . So I am going to say– bring it on— I am ready(Now that does not mean I will not cry buckets and post all those sad songs when that happens).

    Now update starts with their romance, he is so close to her that she even stumbles or did he do this deliberately to hold her even much close to himself— can not bear any distance—–Awwwww—love this naughty and flirty ARnav— that only took me in Lala land—and this was just beginning and you definitely made us dead in this whole update. All your readers have rightfully said that you literally seduced us with mere writing which is truly charismatic with just simple and heartfelt gestures—no big dramatic dialogues—no one can write romance like you did here.

    “I need this more. We need this more.”—- of course we need this more than them 😜.

    I have never read such an explicit kissing scene which is so sensual and simple. To tell you the truth — I felt instant craving to practice that scene( now don’t u dare make fun of me for disclosing my true feelings😅). Pagli Khushi— why she said please— Pooja romance stop kar diya– bechara AV– had to be a gentleman and stop–but that’s what classic Khushi is and that’s why my favorite.

    Their hug and closeness and completion of her forever persistent dream of their woven hands together were all drool worthy .👻🤒.

    And my most favorite line in this update was—-
    But I know the truth – she may have finished what we had but I had ended it just as decisively.
    That made me feel so much relieved and Arnav definitely redeemed himself in this chapter. All these things about him and S were bothering me and this update gave me much needed answers and peace. So he was technically not with S when he was even if unknowingly leading on Khushi— therefore I am 💃💃💃💃💃.

    Your comparison of entering temple with Slippers and vaccine instead of medicine made me laugh— that was unique, very apt and humorous— may be element of engineering as our author sahiba is mechanical engineer and her brain automatically does this type of mathematics👌👌.

    I think his knowledge plus minus encouragement to Arjun to woo Khushi is the reason along with his feeling of commitment to saira when he says this–I know I felt something for you. I wasn’t supposed to. For more reasons than one…You…” He looked at her and his mouth tightened in a strange way( he just does not wish to tread on those lines as may be he thinks it is Arjun’s job).

    And I was pleasantly surprised when they talked about Linda goodman as I was crazy enough to read both sun signs and love signs of this book and did dissect each zodiac sign in detail. I guess that was a common thing to do in India in those days. We girls were obsessive to check compatibility of future spouse by using this book . AV sir also knows about this and I like this thing that although he is typical male but knows lot of girly stuff–thanks to presence of female figure of Ti-Di at home. I always believe that boys who have female siblings at home do understand females in a better way.

    And you like to tease us Meeru Jan( as Sohni calls u– can not stop myself from addressing this way today)–you cannot blame me if I am in my own dreamland and gutter mind when you ended this chapter with these lines —

    half a helpless smile, a raised eyebrow and heavy eyes brimming with unmasked desire— haye😘😘.

    Some other Awww moments I skipped earlier were–
    His savoring that cassette without uttering a word
    His holding her hand to chest,
    his hand pressing between her thumb and finger
    and that long deep intense gaze and constant touch with her,
    His admission about his attraction towards her 4 years ago
    My heartbeat went up to sky high after reading these😍😋.

    I can not stop myself from speculating that it seems as if they will def meet again before the prologue as Khushi is going to join speed motors and she mentions in the prologue that meeting with AV has been constant fact in which has not changed in each of her new beginnings— am I right Meera.?—- is there a way you can just tell us roughly how many chapters more before the prologue. Please let me/ us know only if this indulgence does not affect the plot of the story— no pressure– me just curious.

    I have so many songs I want to post here. Some of my favorite are already mentioned, however this song is the one which came up in my mind instantly:

    Liked by 8 people

    1. Meenu :) ….I feel as if I am reading a letter addressed to Meera, it’s adorable and heartfelt!!

      Love your song selections, they are very different!! I haven’t heard this song before, good one :) and it becomes favorite because of one of the main factors ;)

      Liked by 7 people

      1. Lavs you are too good for my ego. And you said right– it was a letter to Meera for finally bringing peace to my troubled heart after telling few( enough for my grieving heart) details about Arnav and S and getting the S factor out besides a mesmerizing update.

        Liked by 6 people

        1. 😄this reminds me of my growing up years! My brother used to always open letters addressed to me and then used to apologize with – oh I didn’t realize it was addressed to u! by mistake I tore open the envelope! : it was all part of how to get back at me and gather material to take undue advantage when necessary!! I did things too… so It is all fun and good memories now 😂

          Liked by 6 people

  15. Caught up on the last 3 updates! The interlude was interesting! The whole conversation between Arnav and arjun. And then the aditi and khushi convo…I loved the title of that one. About the Saira and Arnav thing…after what aditi said Im kinda biased towards Arnav. Arshi were just awwww… So cute. They started with the birthday…😂 Arnav couldn’t keep his hands and lips off of his girl!girl

    Liked by 1 person

  16. Beautiful update Meera. And the song you chose for them is so perfect. They indeed sitting and talking for the first time. And kissing in between was cherry on the top.
    It’s like seeing Khushi with his sister so relaxed and laughing give him some relief from Arjun.
    I was just think about prologue, what happened between them in these days that they got separated. Did Khushi messed up things or it was Arjun who was responsible for this breakup?
    As story is progressing I am feeling impatient for them.
    This update was one good distraction from what is about to happen.
    I am waiting very patiently.
    Thanks for marvellous update.

    Archna

    Liked by 1 person

  17. Arnav well and truly likes khushi….more than i thought he did! I love how they are in their own bubble.

    Arjun situations does need sorting. I do wonder if thats what causes things to sour? Khushi stopped talking to Arjun for a while aswell so I assume this has a lot to do with it?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. What? 😳No chicken dance! Dekho Meeru, I didnt say it! Yeh log zabardasti muh mein words daalte hain! 🙃

      It was an innocent comment from me! It became drama because of Anu and Madhu! 😋

      WhEre did Narayan come from? Are you implying Naarad? Yaar This comment is a reply to which one of mine Anu? Thanks to WP, I dunno what you are saying ! 😃

      Liked by 6 people

              1. Has the mention of a hen(kombadi) tickled you in some way Madhu? The hen came, clucked, danced and left. But lagta hain tera dil bhara nahin!! Tu usko pakad ke baithi hain, kitna kheenchegi ?! :D
                Hogaya na yaar mazaak…..ab bass kar meri jaan!

                Liked by 4 people

  18. I actually had that book by Linda Goodman and probably still have it somewhere. Loved the chapter. Now I am really wondering what Arjun has to tell Khushi. Arnav felt that it would change things. Maybe something about it will lead to their next separation.

    Liked by 1 person

          1. पगलाय गये है, सब के सब!

            Till Meera gives us next update, we are all going to do this kind of nonsense.

            Meera,

            Sun rahi hai na tu,
            Paka rahe hai hum sab.

            M

            Liked by 7 people

  19. Ha! Ha! Ha! Linda Goodman even we use to read it. Ti di being obsessed with it was interesting and making AV read it was funny. Khushi too believes it. It was nice that Arhi have decided to start afresh lets wait and watch their romance.

    Liked by 2 people

  20. The higher you go, the deeper you fall.. lady!! What a series of wonderful updates.. I am just grinding ping my heart knowing that a heart ache is in due.. otherwise how will they split this time.. with all this romance, it’s going to hurt like hell.. not just for our khushi.. but all us readers too.. fingers crossed!!

    Liked by 2 people

  21. Sorry about the late comment… been traveling….
    It was one of the beautiful update… i got a very sweet taste of romance… and boy, do i get the feeling that tomorrow might bring something that is not nice…but now i am goin to catchup the next update….More on that one..😬

    Liked by 2 people

  22. Niceee :))

    We embark on a new journey,
    Let our travels never end,
    Keep us heading in the same direction,
    Though the track may sometimes bend,
    Let happiness be our destination,
    Let our trademark be a smile,
    Let us enjoy every footstep,
    Not begrudge a single mile,
    Let us revel in new discoveries,
    Greet each fresh dawn with pleasure,
    Let us find our inner-wealth and know…
    The true meaning of treasure.
    Clive Blake

    Liked by 1 person

  23. Aww completely romantic is where they started…

    Again made me nostalgic on star signs and Birthday and digging into Linda goodman..

    Glad he woke up and did not waste a night to start his relationship.

    He is such a sweetheart when it comes to respecting his parents, his sis or his love..completely novel 😉

    Liked by 1 person

  24. Wow! Beautiful & sweet chapter… not only in their lives but ours also.🤗🤗 they needed this time …time well spent. Zodiac signs…that’s were the conversation to begin.😜😀
    Two more kisses, she must be over the top of the moon.👏👍

    Liked by 1 person

  25. This is a lovely update. Just what is needed for the soul. But I am dreading the next one now. Judging by the prologue, something bad is ought to happen now. Can’t bear the separation again. What is there up Arjun’s sleeve? He seems to me as a bit of a dark horse… Or maybe I’m overthinking. Lack of sleep I guess…

    Liked by 1 person

  26. Awww ♡♡♡♡♡♡
    I am in love.. i am in love.. i am in love!!!! (Personally dont like tht song.. but What the… :-P)

    the easy intimacy is what surprised me… for a couple who have been fighting their feelings for a long time, passion is expected, but often leads to awkward intimacy.. but the easy way he weaves his fingers with hers and the communication .. its precious!

    Liked by 1 person

  27. awesome update yar
    their relationship is blooming…..
    They are trying to know about each other more……..
    but wat went bad again which will lead to seperation again….
    will arjun somehow be responsible for that or the aarohan night

    Liked by 1 person

  28. Arjun is still lingering at the background, as their relationship is progressing.
    Are they going to fall asleep in Khushi’s tent? Someone might barge into the tent.
    Cheers…….

    Liked by 1 person

  29. Thank god, S is married, never coming physically between them
    One gone, another one to go
    But Arjun, is still a thorn in Arshi ‘s path
    RV overflow for AV & Kavi 💕
    Loved it

    Like

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