The evening ended before she could train her mind to ignore the threat of ruin that was looming large over her heart. And yet, despite her absolute sense of despair, she couldn’t but notice the difference in the ways Arjun, Arnav and she were handling the evening. Arjun remained himself for the most part, laughing and singing even as his volume remained muted and eyes permanently averted from her and Arnav. Arnav stayed in the distance, as if to remove himself from the sphere of her presence. As for her, Khushi hoped she participated just enough to ensure that she didn’t insult Aman or Aditi – for whom the evening though just another milestone of professional success, was more important than it was to anyone else.

When dinner was done with, Khushi bid Aman and Aditi farewell, ignoring the curious glint in the latter’s eyes and hurried back into the tent. For the first and last time during her stay on the camp, Khushi remained away from the Ganga in her nightly sojourn. By morning, her bags were packed and her mind was closed to everything except the return journey. She felt the need to be connected with her sister and her parents stronger than before and looked forward to be reintegrated with phone networks, her family and the world in general – a world where Arnav Varun was just another human being who just happened to share ownership of her Alma Mater.

When she was seated in the large SUV – sans Arjun who had already settled into the other vehicle, she looked out to see Arnav standing in the distance, his hands folded across his chest and his eyes fixed on her unblinkingly. For a brief moment, she couldn’t help but wonder how this farewell might have been if Arjun had not revealed what he had. And then, it was gone, only to be replaced with acute vaccum in her chest, one that forced her to look away and urge the vehicle to move on as quickly as it could before her eyes gave up and spilled over.

—————-

The first time Arjun and Khushi spoke since their last conversation on the banks of the Ganga at the River, was three days after they had returned to Delhi and their life at Speed Motors. As predicted by Arjun, no one from the Graduate Engineer Trainee group at Speed Motors, was offered a full time role in Sales and Marketing – that is no one except Arjun himself. His project involving the revival of a dealership in Lucknow during the months before the River week, had caught the fancy of the Head of Sales who had approved an exception and recruited Arjun Agarwal as the first ever under-graduate Area Sales Manager to be based out of Lucknow and responsible for a third of Speed’s sales in the state of Uttar Pradesh.

Kaveri Gupta, on the basis of her marquee project involving identifying cost saving opportunities in the sourcing function of Speed Motors was recruited by the Supply Chain organization for their plant in Bangalore. While she had been disappointed that she had not been considered for a position in the Sales and Marketing function, the Head of Supply Chain at Speed Motors had fussed over her enough during their final role allocations for her to be convinced that she was being sent to a place where she was wanted, even sought after.

It was at the station where Khushi was just boarding the Rajdhani Express to Bangalore that Arjun surprised her with his presence and they spoke – a first among many reparation conversations that would follow over the course of the year. To say that Khushi had been thrilled to tears to see her friend handing over a box of her favorite cupcakes from a patiserrie they had discovered and patroned extensively during their time in Delhi.

“I’m sorry” they had both said together when Arjun had finished helping her put away her suitcases beneath the berths and had plonked himself on the seat in front of hers.

“When are you leaving for Lucknow?” She asked tentatively even as she tried to process just how long the journey to normalcy was going to be – especially with the distance that they were forced to deal with now.

“Tonight. I can’t believe I am going to have to stay with Mummy – Papa and you get to be in hip Bangalore. And you don’t even drink. Bangalore is completely wasted on you.” Arjun remarked with a frown. And then he shook his head once before he smiled at her. “I’ve missed you. We are going to fix this.”

She nodded, her throat choked enough to prevent her from speaking.

“I am going to get over how I feel for you. And I promise you that we will have a better friendship when I am done.”

It was then that she had burst into tears and for the first time not cared that someone was witnessing exactly how she felt when she felt it. “I promise we are going to be friends now.” She replied.

“Ek ladka aur ladki…kabhi kabhi sirf dost bhi ho sakte hain…okay?”

They had chuckled then, hers a watery but immensely grateful chuckle and his, one of such open vulnerability – Khushi wanted to give him a big hug and never let go. “We will talk about everything, you know that right? This…” She pointed to the box of cupcakes, “doesn’t mean we’ve forgotten about what happened.”

Arjun rolled his eyes. “And there she is. Spoilsport. Okay, Madam-ji. We will talk. And remember, we will talk about everything.” He emphasized.

She had known then that he had meant that they would discuss Arnav Varun. But thankfully for her, the train had given its customary pre-departure warning jerk and that had prompted her anxious avatar to take over and literally push Arjun out of the train. When the train had finally started to pull away from the station, Khushi waved goodbye to her friend with tears in her eyes and hope in her heart. The journey to Bangalore and to a future of recovery, had begun well.

———

The little farewell at the station, had been effective – the thread by which a four plus year friendship hung precariously. And while the thread had been strong to contain what might have otherwise imploded, Arjun and she had to work hard to restore some semblance of normalcy in their friendship.

The first few calls were made at distinctly long intervals. The calls themselves lasted less than a few minutes and were largely populated by extended silence. The fact that they still had a few common colleagues to talk about helped a great deal. And despite how awkward it was, both Arjun and Khushi kept up trying to fill silences with debates on film and politics and general opinions that sometimes weren’t even strong enough to defend in the first place. There was now an unspoken need to ensure effort from either of them was always in balance – something Khushi was guilty of having taken for granted in the past. On his part, Arjun was the one who initiated the conversation about the past and how he was aware of his mistakes – especially in keeping from Khushi everything that he assumed she wouldn’t like. While he did not explicitly talk about his feelings, the occasional reference to how he felt were not brushed away. Instead, the unsavoriness of those moments of complete exposure were allowed to take shape in conversations and at least acknowledged if not resolved.

The first breakthrough came when the Speed Motors Class of Financial Year 2009-10 met for the first year end party in Delhi nearly four months after their deployment to their respective functions. To say that Khushi was thrilled to see Arjun was a gross understatement. And for some reason that neither of explain the reason for, their friendship seemed to be stronger and more defined. The awkwardness Khushi thought she would feel because she knew how Arjun felt for her, dissipated in a few hours following their reunion at the Speed headquarters. Mr. Ganesh Shankar and his continued penchant for singling out Khushi in his addresses to the team, contributed significantly in this direction and both Arjun and Khushi heartily thanked Mr. Shankar for his role in their lives.

It was close to the first anniversary of their time at the River that Arnav Varun made his presence felt explicitly between them. By this time, Arjun and Khushi’s conversations had gone back to being almost carefree and unhindered – with the exception of one area – rather this one person of two aqueous names. And in one carefree moment of levity reminiscent to that from their IE-V days, Arjun – of course it had to be him to do it finally – told her that Arnav Varun had contacted him, for the first time in months.

“He called me.” Arjun had said even as the two of them had fallen into a comfortable silence following a discussion about IE-V and the many things they remembered without preamble when together. “A week ago.”

Khushi couldn’t claim that she hadn’t been expecting Arnav to come up for discussion for nearly twelve months now. And still when knowledge of his contacting Arjun came, carefully put forth and still bubbling with tension at the edges, it threw her off-course. Her first reaction, silent as it was always going to be, allowed the conversation to unfurl with little caution.

“I was half afraid he wanted to talk about you. Though, I should have known really. He was never one to talk about how he felt. All the time that he knew exactly how I felt, all I had were guesses.”

Khushi had listened quietly even as her pulse had quickened. She knew Arnav hadn’t called Arjun to talk about Khushi. He had called her himself three times in the last twelve months and after the third call, she had known that she had put paid to any future attempts of conversation.

For a second, the silence that stretched between Arjun and Khushi amidst the din of new Bollywood music that neither of them really cared for, seemed to have asphyxiated the birth of an awkward conversation. And in their IE-V or River days, it might very well have been that. But this Arjun and this Kaveri were different people. They were ones who now admitted openly that the past five odd years of IE-V and the River were hardly ones of real friendship. There had been too much secrecy, too much self conscious avoidance and fear that held them back. Those walls had been crumbling bit by bit in the last twelve months. And so Arjun had taken a deep breath and elaborated even as Khushi was about to open her mouth in obvious question.

“He wanted to apologize to me. For never having explicitly told me how he felt for you. Especially since he always knew how I felt.”

Khushi had turned to look Arjun then, once again worried as she always was in this little moments of unveiled emotion. But Arjun’s face was calm. There was none of the turbulence that had once sent her world crashing. He had changed in the last twelve months. A part of her, even wanted to believe that he had outgrown what he felt for her. Except, she still remembered just what Arnav and Arjun had both implied once – that she had miles to go to achieve the emotional maturity and astuteness that she inherently prided herself on.

“He didn’t talk about you. At all. I didn’t either. Although,” Arjun paused to look at her with a pained smile. “I think he might have been hoping I would. I mean, there was hardly a conversation I have had with him in the past that hasn’t been about you in some way.”

Khushi swallowed painfully but forced herself to keep her eyes locked with Arjun’s.

“Sorry, I don’t mean to freak you out. I wasn’t exactly declaring undying love in every conversation. Just that you were always there.”

This time Khushi smiled a little and allowed her gaze to rest on his right palm like she hoped one day she could allow her hand itself to. And then she spoke, crushing the inherent need to hide and keep to herself. It was a promise she had made to herself and to their friendship.

“He called me too. For the last time, I think.”

Her eyes flicked away from Arjun’s this time.

“He is not one to give up, Khushi.”

“Isn’t he?” She said before she could check herself. Was she blaming him for not pursuing her when she herself had made in abundantly clear that she had meant it when she had said she wanted it to end between them. “He is smart enough to not pursue something if he is convinced that there is nothing to pursue.”

Arjun looked at her unblinkingly. “He just has to take one look at you to know you still feel…”

“I have never denied how I feel about him. But I have decided it is not enough to take things forward with.”

Arjun shook his head. “Look, I am the last person who…” He shook his head. “As clichéd as it is,….” He trailed off and shook his head again, with a wry chuckle this time, “Dammit, I feel like Salman Khan of Kuch Kuch Hota Hai…And I don’t fucking remember that cheesy dialogue he had in the end.”

“Arjun,” She began.

“Fine, I’m not generous enough to belabor this point. But I think you are being stupid.”

“It was not meant to be. I should have known. I am not…” She bit back her words. “I should have never even considered the possibility. I mean look at him…I don’t know if what he felt was ever serious enough. And though I wouldn’t know serious or otherwise, he definitely did. He went through an entire relationship – almost got married and then let her go…And I…I don’t even know why he was…”

She had let the thought taper off into silence. Her mind was a whirlwind, as it always seemed to be when she thought of Arnav. And she thought of him endlessly. He sprang up in her head without warning most times and left her reeling till she physically shook her head and moved on different thinks.

“You realize that you have based this entire decision on assumptions, right?” Arjun had quipped softly without looking at her. “And hurt ego.”

She looked at him and knew that he was right. Many would easily question her decision to put an end to a relationship solely because she felt cheated… what the hell was she thinking? Why was she feeling guilty about ending something that had no basis in anything but lies and secrets – even as childish as they were?

“You forgave me.” Arjun pointed out, almost as if he could hear exactly what was going on in her head. He probably could. They had, more frequently than occasionally, been able to guess exactly what the other was thinking, feeling or about to say.

“We had a longer relationship. We had something to forgive and forget for. You forgave me too. You are my best friend. The only real friend I’ve had in a long, long time.”

Arjun smiled and looked away. “Krishna is going to be very mad if she gets to know.”

Khushi smiled right back. “I don’t know when I am ever going to get used to you calling her Krishna. It’s unnerving.”

Arjun shrugged. “It suits her. She sounds like she knows the secrets of the universe – which she probably does anyway.”

Khushi’s eyes narrowed. Not for first time, Khushi had noticed the note of something very private in the way Arjun spoke of his perception of Tripti. It was too intimate. And yet, Khushi knew there couldn’t be anything to her stupid suspicion. This was just old doubt and new guilt mixed with hope, mixing holographic ideas in her head. So she ignored it and the other conversation that had just preceded this one and went on to change the topic to something a lot more mundane and fun. And Arjun, bless his soul, complied as she hoped he would.

————-

By the time it is the third anniversary of their River trip, Arnav Varun and the week by the Ganga was a bitter sweet memory that Khushi rarely allowed herself to indulge in. Of course, force of habit meant that she still found herself scribbing the AV insignia on random pieces of paper that always ended up in the trashcan before she could be tempted to keep them safe – after all, the decision had been hers. She could hardly behave like a jilted lover.

The odd references between Arjun and her to Arnav Varun had been largely uneventful. If Arjun had felt more strongly about her thickheadedness, he didn’t let her know. Perhaps Arnav Varun would always be the character-defining crack in the ceramic of their friendship.

By the summer of 2013, Arjun and Khushi had both managed to get acceptances into three and four eminent schools of business in India respectively. That they both choose to go to the same school was no surprise anymore. However, this time, the fact that Insitute of Management, Bangalore was the ‘best’ school they both had access to, was the bigger factor in keeping them together. For Khushi, there was also the added attachment of being able to continue to stay in Bangalore – the city she had quite fallen in love and hate with.

By the end of first year at IM-B, any residual feelings of awkwardness that Arjun and Khushi carried from their River days had dissipated. Arjun had begun dating again, though his love life largely remained a secret to Khushi – mostly by design for their own individual and collective sanity and for the solidity of their friendship. Khushi’s romantic liasions remained largely non-existent even as few people managed to capture her fancy as someone else once had. She went on exactly two dates – with only one explicitly being a date that had even ended in an awkward kiss, never to be picked up again. The other was mostly coincidental and perhaps a little too dull for Khushi to pursue. Except that when it was over, those around her seemed to be convinced it had had romantic tentacles.

Whatever the case, romance of the toe-curling, film song-singing type was a phenomenon that didn’t make a reappearance in Kaveri Khushi Gupta’s life till she saw the words printed in Arial 10 point font on a crisp white A4 sheet five years after she had last seen the person behind it.

Instructor: Arnav Varun (Senior Manager, Service Area: Strategy)

 

River Song, Music and Lyrics

Song Title: Samjhawan

Album: Humpty Sharma Ki Dulhaniya

Singer: Arijit Singh, Shreya Ghoshal

Music: Jawad Ahmad, Sharib Toshi

Lyrics: Ahmad Anees, Kumaar

 

Main tenu samjhawan ki

Na tere bina lagda jee

Ve changa nahion keeta beeba,

Ve changa nahion keeta beeba

Dil mera tod ke

Ve bada pachtaiyaan akhaan,

Ve bada pachtaiyaan akhaan

Naal tere jod ke

 

 

 

—– End of Part Two —-

Note:

Here is wishing everyone here and all your loved ones – friends and family – a very very happy 2017. May the new year bring with it hope, love and laughter in abundance, strength in heaps and infinite perseverance in moments that throw the happier ones in sharp relief. Happy New Year!

It’s time again in the River’s journey to head to a dam and conserve energy for the final leg of her journey. Simply said, I will be taking a break at this point to shape and sharpen the story so that it can be told the way I had hoped to tell it. I will return with Chapter One of Part Three: Journey To The Sea on February 8, 2017.

Till then, to all those who have been here since the beginning, to those who have just joined the journey and to those who couldn’t find what they wanted here, thank you for your support and feedback. The River and I would be nothing without you

1,110 thoughts on “Chapter Twenty Five: Unfinished Business

  1. Finally a new page! which doesn’t crash! Unfortunately can’t go to the previous one and catch up with everyone because that still crashes…..sigh…..

    Roothe khwaabon ko mana lenge
    
Kati patangon ko thaamenge

    Haa haa hai jazba

    Ho ho hai jazba

    Suljha lenge uljhe rishton ka manjha

    Haan manjha, haan manjha, haan manjha

    Soi takdeerein jaga denge

    Kal ko ambar bhi jhuka denge

    Haa haa hai jazba

    Ho ho hai jazba

    Suljha lenge uljhe rishton ka manjha

    Hm manjha

    Rishte pankhon ko hawa denge

    Rishte dard ko dawa denge

    Jeet kabhi haar kabhi

    Ghum toh yaaro honge do pal ke mehmaan
    Rishte dehleeze bhi langhenge

    Rishte laahu bhi to mangenge

    Aansu kabhi, moti kabhi

    Jaan bhi maange yaaro kardenge kurbaan

    Bisre yaaro ko bulalenge
    Soi umeede jagadenge
    Ha ha, hai jazba
    Ho ho, hai jazba
    Suljha lenge uljhe rishton ka manjha
    Haa manjha…..

    Like

  2. Posted a comment….and it vanished….🤔

    Finally a new page which doe t crash!!! unfortunately can’t catch with all the earlier stuff because still can’t open that page 😢

    Roothe khwaabon ko mana lenge

    Kati patangon ko thaamenge

    Haa haa hai jazba

    Ho ho hai jazba

    Suljha lenge uljhe rishton ka manjha

    Haan manjha, haan manjha, haan manjha

    Soi takdeerein jaga denge

    Kal ko ambar bhi jhuka denge

    Haa haa hai jazba
    
Ho ho hai jazba

    Suljha lenge uljhe rishton ka manjha

    Hm manjha

    Rishte pankhon ko hawa denge

    Rishte dard ko dawa denge

    Jeet kabhi haar kabhi

    Ghum toh yaaro honge do pal ke mehmaan
    Rishte dehleeze bhi langhenge

    Rishte laahu bhi to mangenge

    Aansu kabhi, moti kabhi

    Jaan bhi maange yaaro kardenge kurbaan

    Bisre yaaro ko bulalenge
    Soi umeede jagadenge
    Ha ha, hai jazba
    Ho ho, hai jazba
    Suljha lenge uljhe rishton ka manjha
    Haa aa manjha..

    Liked by 6 people

  3. Just happened to listen to this one today….Sonu and SRK….so of course had to share 😉😛

    Dhire jalna Dhire jalna Dhire jalna
    Zindagi ki lau pe jalna
    Kaanch ka sapna
    Gal hi na jaaye
    Soch samajhkar aanch rakhna

    Hona hai jo hona hai woh
    Hone se to rukta nahin
    Aasma to jhukta nahin……..

    Liked by 5 people

    1. This film was also very good. I love folk tales. From all over the world.

      This was based on a beautiful folk tale which is from Rajasthan. I saw an old film which was based on same folk tale called Duvidha made by a film maker called Mani Kaul. Both films were good but Duvidha has poorer production values being the art film with shoe string budget it was.

      But it still retains the folksy flavour. So much that someone like Amol Palekar wanted to make another film on it. The charm of the tale as Gulzar describes in another song of this film “Deh ki reti ud jawegi, lok katha reh jawegi”

      Liked by 6 people

  4. I felt like Gabbar. I felt like shouting “aath tariqh kab hai, kab hai aath tariqh?” On the line of Holi kab hai.

    I pretended that my Navra and two cats are my daku gang and did it. Cats ran away, he has nowhere to go and after my infamous Govinda song and dance sequences, he expects shocks of this kind.

    Liked by 9 people

        1. I had never heard this one before! 😂😂. Now I am trying to imagine this song with the dance on the sofa!!!! Nasheebvan Navra aahe tuzha Madhuri! 😛😜😂😂

          Liked by 5 people

          1. Please, please tell that to him (and my evil siblings). No one appreciates my talent as much as all of you. (As of now) :-D

            Soapsuds? Is that the name I should call you with?

            Liked by 4 people

        1. My younger, pretentious, snooty self would’ve wondered how people watch this and what the others, meaning the outsiders would think of us. Now much older, not necessarily wiser, I feel, what the hell, these things make us who we are. So my friend, I would say good for you, am pretty sure you had a good time.😃

          Liked by 7 people

          1. My own younger , snooty and pretentious self was thankfully raised by parents who took us to watch everything released. And later my pretentious ass was kicked by my teacher at my scriptwriting teacher telling us that we can all watch Bergman to our heart’s content, but we have to know how to write a good Ram Lakhan.

            Liked by 5 people

            1. My friends & I, in that pretentious snooty stage, with aspirations to being intelletuals would watch all the foreign language films good old DD would show, especially during film festival time. My mom had her own theory on why they were being watched (err, eduation of a different kind😉) 😄
              And years later I had to go and fall for a desi daily soap of all things (quelle horreur! sacrilege!!!) and in the madness that struck in its wake hang out on online forums, read fan fiction, talk to strangers online😂

              Liked by 5 people

  5. Hi M! Remember me?
    I am here after a month or so. I didn’t forget river its just that AD kept me away from my escapades. Last month being the first month of the year was hectic of all. With exams and weddings there was no time for myself. That’s why the disappearance.
    Muje abhi last chapter padna hai. Let me just read that and i will be back with my comment. Last chapter of Book 2😐

    Liked by 2 people

  6. The last 5 years since book 2 was this:

    Kiska rasta dekhe
    Ae dil ae saudayi
    Meelon hai khamoshi
    Barson hai tanhai……
    Bhuli duniya kabhi ki
    Tujhe bhi, mujhe bhi
    Phir kyon aankh bhar aayi…..

    Gayi jo dori chhooti haathon se
    Lena kya toote huwe saathon se
    Khushi jahan maangi tune
    Wahin mujhe rona hoga
    Na koi tera hai na koi mera
    Phir kiski yaad aayi

    Kiska rasta dekhe
    Ae dil ae saudayi
    Meelon hai khamoshi
    Barson hai tanhai……

    And:

    Hum the jinke sahare
    woh huwe na hamare
    Doobi jab dil ki naiyya
    Saamne the kinare

    Woh mohabbat ke wadein
    Woh wafa ke iraade
    Ret ki hain deewarein
    Jo bhi chahe gira de

    Yun to duniya basegi
    Tanhai phir bhi dasegi
    Jo thi kami zindagi mein
    Woh kami to rahegi

    With just 3 days more to go are we here now?

    In dino, dil mera, mujhse hai keh raha

    Tu khwaab saja, tu jee le jara

    Hai tujhe bhi ijaazat,
    karle tu bhi mohabbat

    Berang si hai badi zindagi kuchh rang to bharoon
    
Main apni tanhayee ke waaste ab kuchh toh karoon

    Jab mile thodi fursat mujhse karle mohabbat

    Hai tujhe bhi ijaazat, karle tu bhi mohabbat

    Usko chupaakar main sabse kabhi le chaloon kahin door…
    
Aankhon ke pyaalon se pita rahoon usake chehre ka noor
    Iss zamaane se chhupkar puri karloon main hasrat

    Hai tujhe bhi ijaazat, karle tu bhi mohabbat

    Liked by 7 people

  7. And now as a reference to all the wait (for the story and in the story) and in anticipation of the next Chapter, I am back with Faiz’s words.

    Tumhari yaad ke jab zakhm bharne lagte hain
    Kisi bahaane tumhein yaad karne lagte hain

    Liked by 7 people

  8. Dear,

    How are you? Hope so you are doing fine…………

    Only 1 day to go for a new update…………… Yay…………….. Impatiently waiting……………..

    Want this new journey to begin soon in Arnav-Khushi’s life……… Waiting for them to be a couple……….

    (orchids8888 from IF)

    Liked by 4 people

  9. bas ek pal, bas ek pal, bas ek pal

    tu ek bar jo pyaar se mujhko chhu le To har zakhm bhar jayega
    Zara iltija sunle diwane dil ki mujhe apne dil se laga
    tere pyaar me aise jiye hum, jala hai ye dil ye aankhein hui nam……..

    hamare khayalon mein, khwabon mein, yaadon mein, baaton mein rehte ho tum
    badha ke mein ye haath chhuna jo chahu to pal bhar me hote ho gum
    tere pyaar me aise jiye hum, jala hai ye dil ye aankhein hui nam………

    suna hai mohabbat ki taqdeer me, likhein hai andhere ghane
    tabhi aaj shayad sitare sabhi, zara sa hi roshan huve
    mere haath ki in lakeeron me likhe, abhi aur kitne sitam
    khafa ho gayi hai khushi waqt se, ho rahe hai meharban gum
    tere pyaar me aise jiye hum, jala hai ye dil ye aankhein hui nam………

    Dil tadap tadap ke keh raha hai aa bhi ja
    Tu humse aankh na chura
    Tujhse kasam hai aa bhi ja!…..

    Tu nahi to ye bahar kya baar hai
    Gul nahin khile ke tera intezar hai
    Ke tera intezar hai, ke tera intezar hai…..

    48 hrs more!!!!!😊

    Liked by 5 people

  10. kaate nahin katate.. yeh lamhe intezaar ke
    Nazrein bichhaaye baithe hain hum raste pe yaar ke….

    Sabr ke imtehaan ka mahina khatm!
    Bas … ek aur din… kuchh lamhe …kuchh pal…aur…

    Can’t wait anymore Meeru!

    Liked by 8 people

    1. kaate nahin katate…
      Didn’t the junior Ms. Gupta want her di the senior Ms. Gupta to listen to this song, tip tip barsa pani and its ilk on a rainy evening?
      A busy AD made it easier to get through the last one month, river had become so much a part of one’s life over the last one year. I’ll have to wait till march to start rivering in earnest😄

      Liked by 4 people

            1. In 2015 when the river temporarily stopped for a few months, I read the chapters which had been posted till then so many times till it started flowing again in 2016. The story had struck a chord from the very beginning, that one went back and read, again and again, wondering what had happened to these people. I guess that’s why I remember book 1 so much😄

              Liked by 8 people

  11. My thoughts are scattered . May be because i am reading this one after a month. There is so much that i want to say but words are failing me. I think I will gain momentum after book 3. I am sorry M i was not here for a whole month but life happened.
    When is book 3 coming? Is there still time for that?

    Liked by 2 people

  12. The dreaded month of waiting is finally over!!! And I am glad for the absolute crazy AD I have had that made this month go by so quickly!!
    But now that we are here to the last 2 days of waiting — the River and more so, AV obsession has set in again!

    Cant wait for the asli story to now begin!!!

    Meera — I hope all has been well with you!! Cant wait to be back here again!!!

    Liked by 5 people

    1. Love, Love the song and the way he has sung it! Exceptional!! I cannot tell you how many times I must have listened to Papon’s version of the song! He deserved a national award for the song along with Monali Thakur!

      And I agree with dhaaga and ties with Meera :)

      PS: I was trying to email you an article but couldn’t get your email ID :), your blog is private! Let me know how to connect :)

      Liked by 4 people

  13. Yippeeeee tomorrow is the day!!!!!!! 😘😘😍😍😍😍😍
    Only I know how I managed to wait for so long 🙄🙄🙄🙄
    Just one more day… Deep breathing 🙆

    Liked by 3 people

  14. Meera.. it was a torturous jan without the river .. waiting excitedly for tomorrow.. hope you managed to get your well deserved break .. just hanging around here incasewe get a early update 😊😊

    Liked by 3 people

  15. I always wondered how come K forgave Arjun and not Arnav. Now i know. Arjun made his presence felt in her life and she herself pushed Arnav away. Knowing the fact that Arnav called her three times isn’t surprising. In Arjun’s words he is not the one to give up and he will not. But I am with K on her decision of maintaining friendship with Arjun. Friendships can’t be broken that easily. Now i am excited about the change in Arnav’s life. Is he still the same or life got him too ?

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Somehow everyone is expecting that he is waiting for her for five years in spite of knowing she has cut the relationship.
      I just wonder how much is changed and how much remained same. Khushi (however awkwardly) tried to date (and failed) and what was AV doing in all these years?

      Liked by 3 people

      1. We speculated on this with everything from dead to not so dead wife 😉😂😂…………but dil kehta hai ki while life goes on apparently as usual, he waits……until Meera says otherwise 😛

        Liked by 2 people

  16. I know there is still a day more to go…..but na jaane kyon I already find my self humming this one 🎶 🎶 🎶 😀

    Kyon hawa aaj yun gaa rahi hai
    Kyon fiza rang chhalka rahi hai
    Mere dil bata aaj hona hai kya
    Chandni din mein kyon chha rahi hai……

    Jahan tak bhi jaaye nigaahein
    Baraste hai jaise ujaale
    Saji aaj kyon hai yeh raahein
    Khile phool kyon hai niraale
    Khushbooyein kaisi yeh beh rahi hai
    Dhadkanein jaane kya keh rahi hai
    Mere dil bata yeh kahani hai kya
    Kyon hawa aaj yun gaa rahi hai,
    gaa rahi hai, gaa rahi hai……

    ……Kaisi yeh aahatein aa rahi hai
    Kaise yeh khwaab dikhla rahi hai
    Mere dil bata kaun hai aa raha
    Kyon hawa aaj yun gaa rahi hai,
    gaa rahi hai, gaa rahi hai……

    Ek din jab savere savere
    Surmai se andhere ki chaadar hata ke
    Ek parbat ke takiye se
    Sooraj ne sar joh uthaya toh dekha
    Dil ki vaadi mein chahat ka mausam hai
    Aur yaadon ki daaliyon par
    Anginat beete lamhon ki kaliyan
    Mehakne lagi hai

    Just one more day!!!!! Ah….the anticipation……

    Liked by 6 people

    1. Quoting from the end of BOOK 2:

      “Whatever the case, romance of the toe-curling, film song-singing type was a phenomenon that didn’t make a reappearance in Kaveri Khushi Gupta’s life till she saw the words printed in Arial 10 point font on a crisp white A4 sheet five years after she had last seen the person behind it.”

      Waiting for the man with two aqueous names and with him romance of the toe-curling, film song singing type to make a reappearance in Kaveri Khushi Gupta’s life….

      Just one more day to go!!!!

      Liked by 6 people

      1. Five years! So many things changed and so many remained unchanged.
        Romance!! Ah, the keyword! Lot of people assume romance and love are the same thing. :-D
        But the romance of that kind is not easy to get and not easy to forget.
        Like Pablo Neruda said, “Love is so short, forgetting is so long”

        Liked by 3 people

  17. Belated birthday wishes meera dear… wishing u all happiness in life..may god bless u dear…
    And i really liked this new look of river..having a warm feeling once the page is opened
    :)

    Liked by 2 people

  18. Oh, the theme! Beautiful! :)

    Words that come to my mind right now…

    The serpentine river, thrumming, murmuring…
    Green!….Spring!…..new life…. new turns….new days new nights…..fresh….invigorating…

    She’ll turn now…any moment…just there around the corner….and join the wild ocean, calming it …and herself too! I hope they both have their own sea-song to sing for life!

    So much to look forward to Meeru! Love the look! Absolutely love it! :)

    Liked by 9 people

  19. Meera, love the new theme…verdant rolling hills and wide expanse of serene clear river waters! New beginnings, new promises…happy days are here again! 😊
    Excitedly looking forward for “romance of the toe-curling, film song singing type…” to begin!😉😊

    For Arnav Varun and his Khushi…

    Love is in the air everywhere I look around
    Love is in the air every sight and every sound
    And I don’t know if I’m being foolish
    Don’t know if I’m being wise
    But it’s something that I must believe in
    And it’s there when I look in your eyes.

    Love is in the air, in the whisper of the tree
    Love is in the air in the thunder of the sea
    And I don’t know if I’m just dreaming
    Don’t know if I feel safe
    But it’s something that I must believe in
    And it’s there when you call out my name

    Love is in the air
    Love is in the air
    Oh, oh, oh, oh, oh…

    💞

    Liked by 10 people

  20. Jiska humein tha intezaar..wo ghadi aa gayi aa gayi.. 😊 yaaayyyy.. its finally the d-day. Meera ke update karne ka day hai.. cant hardly wait 💃💃💃

    Liked by 4 people

  21. The river is all dressed up today….and wearing a new lush and verdant look….all poised……
    Saji aaj kyon hai yeh raahein, khile phool kyon hai niraale
    Kaisi yeh aahatein aa rahi hain, kaise yeh khwaab dikhla rahi hai
    Mere dil bata aaj hona hai kya…..🎶🎶🎶

    Liked by 7 people

  22. Meera, Belated Happy B’day dear……………

    Sending lots of love your way………………

    I loved this new theme for our river……….Impatiently waiting for new phase to begin in Arnav-Khushi’s life………

    (orchids8888 from IF)

    Liked by 1 person

  23. Today, I feel like everyone who ever loved or waited or waited for their love. So here it is

    Aashiqui sabr talab aur tamanna betaab,
    Dil ka kya rang karoon, khoon-e-jigar hone tak.

    Liked by 6 people

  24. Dheere dheere machal aye dil-e-beqarar, Koi aata hai
    Yoon tadap ke na tadpa mujhe baar baar, Koi aata hai

    Mujhko chhoone lagi uski parchhaiyan
    Dil ke nazdeek bajti hain shehnaiyan
    Mere sapnon ke aangan mein gaata hai pyaar, koi aata hai………

    Liked by 6 people

  25. We all survived for long going through this Journey to the sea………………..now when it reaching we cant wait for few hours to see how the journey will be? frankly speaking cant wait more….. hope we can see it soon.
    Liked the settings specially greenary which shows positivity :)

    Liked by 2 people

  26. Now that Book 3 has started, it is safe to read the last chapter of Book 2, without having to wait for long ;)
    The heartening aspect of this chapter definitely was knowing that Khushi and Arjun have rekindled their friendship. I wanted it to happen, and at the earliest. It is evident that the duo were friends before things became shaky, and as hard as it might have been, going back to being friends was the best thing for both of them.

    Now it would have been naive to think that Arnav wouldn’t figure somewhere in their conversations. You know time could be a factor over here, but I found myself mellowing towards Arnav. I mean he’s been a jerk, but there’s so much yet to be known about him that you can help but reserve judgment. Also, knowing that he tried to make amends speaks for him.

    So we are back to the prologue and I am excited to know how the face-off will occur.

    Liked by 1 person

  27. It seems I missed your birthday. So, first of all belated happy birthday. Hope you had loads of fun .
    Finished reading book 1 and 2. One wants to read book 3 and is at the same time knows that the story will end soon. This story has been a part of our lives for quite some time and it would be tough to bid goodbye to these characters. Khushi gave up on the chance of mending her relationship with AV. Wonder what he said to her when he called her. Good to see her and Arjun making the effort to repair their broken friendship. There exists a unique affinity between these two which is rare to find and they need to remain friends for life.
    Is Tripti Arjun’s secret girlfriend? I’d be thrilled if she is.

    Liked by 1 person

  28. Caught up the second book finally! This Arjun is really some best friend, Salman Khan at the end of KKHH or not, because he has moved on from Khushi. The Krishṇa Arjun equation seems so much promising. I m already excited about it, two awesome characters in this story, almost similar notion-ed. Can’t imagine what he would think that once upon a time he didn’t want to babysit her.
    Khushi is being thick headed really , but it finally is her decision and her heart she has to deal with. So i will give her benefit of all the fiasco that happened without her but hurt her the most. She got three calls from him. Did she pick them up and then say she wanted it to end, something that didn’t start in first place? Or was it I’m not picking so you have to assume it’s over? She really has gotten a bestest friend to talk her out.
    A new beginning in her life is gonna happen. Cant wait for it to start. And now I’m happy that I won’t have to wait for the next book to start unlike others. 🙈

    Liked by 1 person

  29. Exited about moving on to book three. Meera besides Rivering your story is also an ode to Bollywood music.I love the comments and all the songs you add and also those shared by your readers.
    here goes a song for the next few years of seperations. what a song.

    Liked by 1 person

  30. Just wrapped up the part 2 of River and to say I am stunned, speechless and convinced the way story has shaped, would be an understatement😳! I have said this before and I am saying it again, you are the master of romance and story telling, it was fantastic and I am so looking forward to read more and find out how story will go from here! Amazing 👌😍

    Liked by 1 person

  31. Don’t you think khushi is biased? Arjun and arnav both hurt but she convinces herself to forgive Arjun but not once thinks about her own heart and what it wants and not giving any opportunity to arnav to express or share..

    I am sure he deserved some of it for playing her..but I guess if he truly loves her, he will win her. What say ;-)

    Looks like they meet again..will this when the river joins the ocean? Ya aise hein budde had jayange 😂

    Miss the songs meera..

    Anyways reminds me of my all time fav song
    Jaaiye aap kaha jayenge
    Yeh nazar laut ke phir ayege
    Door tak aap ke peeche peeche
    Meri awaz chal aayegi 🎶

    Liked by 2 people

  32. Phew.. made it till here finally. It’s always a joy to read your writings Meera. Each story of yours is different from the rest( i read COW and EIT, Fate IN..) and yet there’s this meera connection in all of them. I’ve few thoughts to share with you and I’ll come back soon with them. 👍

    Liked by 2 people

  33. So, like i was saying i’ve few thoughts to share. I didn’t read as many comments of yours to know the answers. So please excuse me if you have already clarified them many times.

    1. In each of your stories, there is this character Aditi which has quite a significance to it. Any reason?

    2. In mahabharath, Draupadi is otherwise known as Krishna too because of her dark skin just like lord Krishna( ref: the palace of illusions by chitra lekha. A wonderful read on mahabharath in Draupadi’s point of view). So I was waiting for that Krishna Arjun connection from the beginning and i can see it blossoming now.😎

    3. I’m a mechanical engineer too but not the only girl in my batch( 2000-2004). We were 10 in the class. Infact, there were more than 3 girls in all the senior and junior batches too. So I was wondering 🤔if khushi’s character was inspired by someone in real life. If it’s true, then poor thing might have been through hell all 4 years.

    4. You really have a way to connect the past with present in your storytelling( COW, EIT again). Truly amazing.

    Liked by 1 person

  34. Friendship is hard to find & one should hold on if found. They knew each other & found a way for them to be able to coexist. She forgave Arjun of their friendship for so long.
    Closer to the past will bring new beginnings…

    Liked by 1 person

  35. This Chapter was like a perfect wrap up for the Book 2. Arjun and Khushi trying to mend their Friendship. I am glad to see that there seems to be more transparency in their relationship in regards to each other. They have crossed the phase of uncomfortable and avoidable conversations and have moved into a more open space. There also seems to be a certain maturity in it. Khushi has taken a very wise decision of working on her Friendship with Arjun although I do feel that she could have given, if not an equal liberty as such, but a little in Arnav’s case. I really feel sorry for Arnav. He knew what he did and he accepts it. If that acceptance is enough for Khushi’s forgiveness is debatable. She had plenty of time to think over and digest the happenings, it is surprising that she is still firm on her decision in pushing away Arnav, especially when he has been reaching out to her
    This has completely skipped my observation until I read Krishna’s name in this Chapter. Krishna-Arjun, one of the strongest relationships in history. It’s no wonder that Krishna had steered Arjun on the night of Aarohan. You are absolutely brilliant Meera. My admiration for Arjun grew bounds in this Chapter. He is not only trying to win Khushi’s friendship but is also advocating on behalf of Arnav. Splendid end to Book 2.

    Liked by 1 person

  36. Meera, I completed reading 2nd book …. loved the way you snapped it
    Loved how you showed the reprocess in Arshi relationship at River.
    Loved the bond Aditi and Khushi shared…. so Aditi shared some parts of Arnav and Saira relationship with Khushi
    Ah!!!! So as we thought Arjun has feelings for Khushi from first year and Arnav also knew about it…… Finally Khushi got to know what happened at her 1st Arohan from Arjun and Arjun feelings for her and how Arnav despite having feelings for her and when he also knew what she felt for him then, helped Arjun…. poor girl her heart broke 2nd time this time because 2 important men of her life, one whom she loved and other her best friend..
    Finally Khushi is trying to mend her friendship …this time with more talking and hiding any secrets from one another ….. but I also felt that Khushi should have given a chance to Arnav also like she gave to Arju because she still loves Arnav and she could move on from him even after 3 years ….. poor Arnav he knows his mistakes and accepted it..
    Waiting to see how Arnav gains her trust again now he is coming as an instructor …

    Liked by 1 person

  37. At last, Khushi and Arjun have realised and accepted their places in each other’s lives… she chose to repair their friendship coz it was longer than her relationship with Arnav, and hence in her mind more rooted. In some ways she has been right, as it shows they have been able to reestablish a semblance of the friendship.
    Arnav pursued her, but not enuf, i wonder y… i also wonder abt the conversation between him and Arjun, both before they left The River and after tht.

    Liked by 1 person

  38. Finished reading the second book. Arnav was not in love with Saira and he admitted that he was not in love with Khushi. Not yet!!! Khushi knew Arjun for years and she had an easy friendship(she thought) and depended on him. She knew Arnav for 4 or 5 years only. And she fell in love with him. But Khushi has an image problem and cannot think that anyone could have romantic feelings for her. So she finds all sorts of excuses to break away before she makes a fool of herself. What Arnav and Arjun did was the last straw. She felt betrayed by them. So she decided to salvage her friendship with Arjun and banished Arnav from her heart but then has she?
    Thank you Meera and looking forward to reading the book 3.

    Liked by 1 person

  39. Mustering up my courage to start reading Book 3.. m excited nonetheless..

    Khushi,Arnav n Arjun have become much more than mere characters..
    I felt the same when I read ODAAT n BD by Sohni n The Me Within by Sandya..
    I feel lucky to come across these amazing writers ..
    <3

    Liked by 2 people

  40. Nice! Khushi and Arjun patched up and managed to drive that awkwardness away. AV sir has tried and looks like took a break from pursuing Khushi for a while.
    I want to say something about no mobile experience. We went on a week long holiday and decided not to use mobile phones. Icing on the cake no TV either. Guess what? We never run out of time. Never said running late and proved that we can live without mobiles.
    I try to do Whatsapp fasting. No checking Wahtsapp messages for one whole day.
    I have been reading so many Arshi tales recently, I am not able to do Arshi fasting. I have to try that once.
    Can’t wait to read Book III.
    Cheers……..

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Arjun / kh back on track
      But were away for a year
      Now back in the garden city
      Doing the right thing , our Hotwa called her thrice
      He connected with Arjun & apologized,
      Are u aware of the song
      Who’s the hero 🥰
      Who ‘s the hero
      Bol MeeraBol
      Arjun felt the same thing, kh s anger justified, but assumptions not so
      Waiting for dhak dhak & Rabba ve 💕

      Liked by 1 person

    2. I am taking a break from everything , except Arshi FF
      Binge reading River
      Wish I had been here when Meera originally posted it , many years ago
      Missed talking to all you beautiful ppl

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Even, I wasn’t there when Meera originally posted it. Just got lucky when she re-opened the blog 4 or 5 months ago. You never know, Meera might write a new story. Then we all can interact and enjoy.
        My comments are nothing when compared to other readers. From the few comments I read so far, I can say, your comments are better than mine.
        Cheers……

        Liked by 1 person

    3. I am taking a break from everything , except Arshi FF
      Binge reading River
      Wish I had been here when Meera originally posted it , many years ago
      Missed talking to all you beautiful ppl

      Liked by 2 people

  41. Would love that , yaara
    So Meera, when are you writing a new story so that we can all gossip here day after day
    Nice knowing you
    Cheers

    Liked by 1 person

  42. I anger to read Book 1 & 2 with about 3 hrs of sleep in between. I have a long evening at work coming up too. But its not the lack of sleep that is exhausting for it is the emotional pain, I feel after reading book2, that has completely wrecked me. Thank you.

    Liked by 1 person

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