A part of her never wanted to go back to the celebration. But she had spent a little over fifteen minutes outside trying to take deep breaths and draw up the courage to head back in, when Arjun called. When she answered, he simply asked her to return and that he was waiting for her at the entrance. What he didn’t say aloud but Khushi knew he was offering, was his unwavering company for as long as she needed it, to be okay with the fact that Arnav Varun was now a near-permanent fixture in her professional life – she was hardly going to quit a dream job over a man. That he was now singing songs that had nothing to do with pacts made with Arjun and still about rivers and oceans.

“Five more minutes,” She whispered to him and breathed in deeply when she heard him okay her request. However, respite was not to be hers when in less than two minutes, her phone rang again – with Raagini on the other end this time, wanting to know where Khushi had disappeared to. Steeling herself, she walked back the same way she had come in. She kept telling herself that she was overreacting. It had been nearly a decade since she had foolishly fallen for a guitar wielding senior in college. It had been nearly half a decade since she had made the decision that a relationship built on her best friend’s broken heart and her own smothered ego, was not one she wanted to pursue. What did she expect would happen? That the man she had almost cruelly kept away from herself and from the possibility of anything at all, was still waiting for her to listen to his songs about rivers meeting oceans and come running to him? No. She was being ridiculous. Did she expect him to never sing again? Or for any of his singing to only mean something to her? No.

Arjun was waiting for her at the entrance, looking somber but neither worried nor angry. Had he really moved on from what had happened so much more effectively than she had? He had told her almost a year ago that he was truly over what he felt for her. Sure, it had been a moment of careless, frivolous banter and the declaration had seemingly come out of nowhere, but did that really mean Arjun felt nothing at all? Disloyalty, perhaps? After all, Arnav Varun singing on stages or by river sides – now by both – was to him just as meaningful as it had been to her. She may have loved, Arjun had worshipped.

“Stop looking at me like that. This is not about me. Not even a little bit.” He said as they stepped in and allowed the heavy doors to close behind her.

Khushi nodded. She couldn’t begin to doubt either her own feelings or Arjun’s at the moment. Not if she wanted to get through her time as an A&M employee with dignity.

“I know you’d much rather run away and go back to your room. But you know that is not the best idea. They may not immediately realize you are missing but all it needs is for one Senior Manager or Partner to realize you are not around and it would…’

“I know,” Khushi said with a deep sigh and then gave Arjun a brilliant smile which he acknowledged with an encouraging nod of his head. “Let’s go back to the madness.”

“See, if only you appreciated the potency of hard liquor at this time.” Arjun countered as they walked back in and loud music blared through speakers lined along the entrance.

Khushi rolled her eyes but couldn’t resist wondering if her evening might have been any easier with alcohol in her bloodstream.

Unfortunately for Khushi, her mother’s frequent diatribes against the ill-effects of intoxication and her obsessive need to control her emotions, were too strongly etched in her character. Fortunately, however, the singing session for the evening was over by the time she came to find Raagini standing by a pillar looking half bored and half amused with the crowd that had now taken it upon them to assault the clunky dance floor.

“This is a bad place to stand,” She said to her new friend as she came to lean by the pillar herself.

Raagini looked at her and shook her head. “Absolutely not,” she said and before Khushi could realize what was happening, pulled her by her arm and walked straight into the swarm of unrecognizable bodies that were copying with various degrees of success, Bollywood steps that the original choreographers would have retched at the sight of.

————

By the time the DJ had switched to older songs from the nineties that Khushi infact preferred infinitely over the new age numbers, she had found her way back to the edge of the dance floor, her eyes scanning the enthusiastic dancers especially Raagini and Arjun. The pair of them was almost incorrigible as they matched their steps to each others’ and evidently sang along in their croakish voices as they measured the dance floor, fought to stay in the center of all this atrociousness and emerged victorious every single time.

Eventually however, her eyes travelled the distance from her friends to the man who still seemed to have some strange inexplicable hold over her. Arnav Varun had stayed away from the dance floor for the most part. Unlike most other seniors of Indian and foreign origin who had moved their body for at least a few beats in the last hour, Arnav had resisted all efforts and stayed amiably but firmly at the periphery, clapping softly but never joining. He had eventually, some time after Khushi had stepped out of the floor herself, walked back to the bar where he was now seated with other senior members of the A&M practice. He was evidently the youngest member in the leadership. His sober clothes and rimless glasses, hair gelled and firmly in place was no cover for his clearly early success.

A&M had to be the firm he had had an offer from all those years ago. The one that he had intended to accept and to leverage so that he could give their relationship a chance. She couldn’t help but wonder, with more curiosity than wisftfulness she hoped, how that might have been if she had been any less pig-headed about their chances. Almost as if he could hear her question or perhaps feel her eyes on him, Arnav Varun turned, rather sharply and looked directly at her. He was too far away for her to know if he was seeing her and yet she couldn’t help but feel that she had been caught staring, that it might be construed as continuing interest or at least curiosity towards him. She couldn’t afford it. Not this third time. She needed to be the smart girl she had promised herself she would be years ago. She smiled to herself, uncaring that he might think she was smiling at him, and looked away. She was going to make it and she was going to make it big in this world of her dreams. No Arnav Varun was going to distract her this time.

———

He swept his finger over the screen and looked at the app – still and unblinking with no notifications. Annoyed, he turned the phone on its head and picked up his beer to drink deeply before placing the bottle back on the paper-coaster. She really could be so stubborn when she wanted to be. How did her family deal with it? He wondered, despite having witnessed it firsthand so often in the past.

He turned the phone and brought the screen to life with his thumb. He clicked open the chat thread he had going with her and almost typed a message before cursing and deleting it. He turned the phone back on its head again, wincing as he heard the screen jar against the wood of the bar counter.

And Kavi thought guys had it easy in relationships, he laughed to himself. His friend really was as clueless as he once thought she only pretended to be. For a girl who was as smart and level headed as she was professionally, she really could be really daft with frequent bouts of self-doubt pinching that beautiful smile off her face. He closed his eyes and smiled, happy that he could now think of Kaveri with nothing but fondness and warmth. Now if only he could make…

His thoughts were interrupted by a low beep of his phone which one would think rang in his rib cage given how his heart beat picked up. Stupid, really. And it was all because of her.

He flipped the phone over with a smile which slipped only slightly as soon as he saw who the message was from. The smile, however, morphed into an indulgent grin as soon as he saw the one line against Kavi’s name.

I cannot do this alone.

Arjun smiled and typed a quick reply. Come back down. We’ll talk. And drink. He had only hit send when the reply came.

Not tonight. I need sleep.

Good night, he typed again. And then on a whim, added more words before he could let her escape for the night. Don’t dream of guitars. He realized how far they had come for her to even reach out like this. And how typically Kavi it was to have chosen the phone way to do it. Silly girl, he mused as took another sip of his rapidly warming beer. He really did love her. At last. And not the flimsy filmy love he had imagined once.

Taking a deep breath, he opened the other thread and gave in to the urge.

You are being stupid.

Surprisingly, the reply was almost as quick as Kavi’s. Like she was waiting for him to say something first. She probably was.

I know.

In that moment, Arjun really wanted to be in front of her so he could thread his fingers through her hair and pull her close enough to see that rare slip of awareness in her eyes. Instead, in his mind’s eyes, he could see her frown at her phone, her face all scrunched as she glared at his name.

Book tickets. He typed quickly. He wanted to see her again. No, he corrected himself. He couldn’t wait to see her again.

This time the response was much slower. He had almost given up when the phone buzzed again.

Abhi mood nahi hai

Arjun groaned and allowed his head to fall on the bar counter even as his stupid heart trilled. Kavi was right. This girl was going to be the death of him.

“I know that groan.”

Arjun lifted his head and allowed himself a quick smile before he turned to look at the owner of that voice. He had been, after all, waiting for this moment just as much.

He saw Arnav Varun, now changed into a t-shirt and khaki shorts, slide into the seat next to his. For a moment, it was almost like being back in college, in that auditorium that seemed to have stolen some part of their souls. Only it was nothing like. The shadow of bitter bile – the taste of what he had dramatically termed betrayal, teased the roof of his mouth. And then it was gone. Arjun was so stupid. Arnav Varun had technically done nothing wrong. Except falling in love with the same girl he once thought he was in love with. Yes, there was a time five years ago when Arjun had wanted to smash his teeth in for not telling him where things stood with him and Kavi. Oh, how his blood had boiled then!

He ground his teeth and then winced as he realized how petty this emotion was.

“I apologized, Arjun.” Arnav said softly, his eyes fixed on something in the distance – perhaps the glittering bottles or the lights that seemed to sparkle too bright at this time.

Arjun smiled slowly. “Mujhse ab pehli si mohabbat, mere mehboob na maang,” He said slowly, his lips curved in half a smirk as he waited for Arnav’s reply.

“Faiz? Really? Whatver happened to Bollywood?”

“Not all of us have the luxury of singing our way through people’s hearts.” Arjun quipped. “Or heartbreaks” He couldn’t deny that it felt good. To be this petty. He turned to look at the smile slip from Arnav’s face and breathed in deeply.

“Feel better now?” Arnav asked as he turned to look at Arjun even as the bartender placed a chilled bottle of beer in front of him.

Arjun chuckled mirthlessly. “Is this your way of telling me you are still the saint?”

Arnav took a swig from the bottle and allowed the silence to settle before he looked sideways again with a smile, “Some people are born saints, others achieve sainthood and the rest have sainthood thrust upon on them.” Then his smile slipped, “If I remember right though, someone once accused me of only pretending to be a saint”

Arjun winced inwardly but allowed his face to remain expressionless.

Pushing his guilt back, he realized that the older man was making an effort and it would be childish of him to not respond. Here was a man who had more than apologized for his “betrayal”, had only been gracefully accepting of the hurt lashings that Arjun had meted out to him in generous measures, had even this morning been the one professional enough to come up to him and break the ice…Even if he wasn’t the golden boy Arjun once thought him to be, he was something. Whatever Kaveri’s equation with him had been in the past and was going to be in the future, he – Arjun, needed to be an adult.

“I was not expecting to see you here.”

Arnav raised an eyebrow. “I thought you were the networked one.”

As opposed to Kaveri Gupta? Did that mean he had looked Kavi up? Did that mean he was still…

Arjun smiled softly at the half-complete thought and looked away. He took a sip of his beer and grimaced – The drink was now warm and bitter. He was about to indicate for the bartender to hand him another bottle when Arnav spoke again.

“Something stronger? Seniors buy at A&M”

Arjun raised his eyebrow. He was more than pleasantly high at the moment. And he wasn’t sure Arnav Varun was the senior at A&M he wanted to be piss drunk with. He was about to decline Arnav’s offer when the older man interrupted again.

“For old times sake.”

Put like that, all thoughts of refusal flew right out of the proverbial window. They settled on bourbon shots, not surprisingly both their preference over tequila which they both thoughtlessly labelled as a girl’s choice before flushing beet red at the comment. Arjun thanked his stars that Kavi wasn’t around or he would have earned an hour long lecture on how such things were all small rungs in the ladder of sexism that kept the men and women in Indian society repressed and restrained.

The liquid burnt through his throat and stung against his irises, spiking his lashes and making his blood buzz. When he turned to look at Arnav, he saw the older man almost wistfully smiling to himself, not even a little disturbed by the strength of the alcohol that was pleasantly heating his innards now.

“Shaadi kar li aapne?” He asked even as his flicked his gaze to look any signs of domestication on his face and then chuckled silently at his own thought. As if.

Arnav looked at him with a slight frown and then shook his head.

“Budhaape ka wait kar rahe hain?”

Arnav Varun chuckled. “I’m in the prime of life, my man.”

“Prime of life. I am hoping that means you are thirty one. Because the only other prime number is thirty seven and that is…?”

“Still hilarious, Arjun.” Arnav Varun commented wryly. “But yes I am thirty one.”’

“That’s budhaapa.”

“I’m not the one whose hair is greying, though.”

Arjun put his hand up to his hair and instinctively looked at his reflection in the mirrored cabinets behind the counter and the bored bartender. “My hair is not…”

Arnav laughed out aloud this time. “You really haven’t changed even a bit, have you?”

Arjun looked at him unblinkingly. “I have in some ways. Hopefully for the better.” I don’t love the girl you loved once like you and I both thought I did. I know what she wants now. And though she says that isn’t you, what if it is?

Arnav smiled. “And you? Since you are talking to me about getting married, is that what is on your mind? Was that the groan from earlier?”

Arjun took a deep breath. “Too soon for life confessions, AV-Sir.”

“Touche!” The other man said wistfully and looked away.

“Another round?” Arjun suggested this time and the two of them got themselves more whiskey to pour down their throat; loosening their tongues, stripping off reservations that had apparently been little more than dust motes floating through sunbeams.

They stayed at the counter for more than an hour. In the duration, neither of them brought up Kaveri Khushi Gupta, the girl who had once brought them together and then torn them apart. Or perhaps it was their own foolishness around and about someone – who if anything despised thoughtless ridiculousness above all.

After the first few minutes however, the temptation of bringing Kaveri Gupta into the conversation, was trampled by the rediscovery of what might have been a lasting friendship. What still could be something worth keeping for a lifetime.

The backdrop to their talk changed from the bar to the parapet by the Ganga which shimmered with a knowing smile as she sighed her way to her final destination.Fresh night air replaced the alcohol that they had been so liberal with. And conversations continued.

They spoke of their journies to the current geography and career that they found themselves in. Arjun listened with droopy eyes and an alert mind as Arnav described the goods and not-so-goods of A&M as an employer. He spoke of his own journey from Speed to IM-Bangalore to A&M with eagerness of a child to his parent, something he only realized once the conversation was over for the night and Arjun lay on his bed replaying the sense of weightlessness he felt.

“I thought you would ask for Mumbai. Isn’t your family there?”

“They moved to Lucknow a few years ago. And even if they were in Mumbai, it would have been my last option. Marna hai kya? If I live with them now, I’ll be sending you a shaadi ka card in three months.”

Arnav chuckled. “Given you asked me about that, I guessed that was an option you are open to.”

“I am. Just not to their choice.”

Arnav raised his eyebrow but didn’t ask Arjun to elaborate. Evidently, his rebuke from earlier about it being too early for life confessions had hit home.

They grew silent again as they stared at the river in front of them, the import of the evening finally making itself un-ignorable.

“When did you know that we were being hired?” Arjun asked at last.

“I saw the shortlist before it was released to your campus. I was on campus when your offers were made.” Arnav didn’t miss a beat as he replied without looking at him.

Arjun looked at him in surprise. “No, you weren’t.”

Arnav looked at him with a half smile. “I wasn’t part of the leadership at the time so I wasn’t making speeches. But I was there.”

“I was there. I met everyone from A&M. Kavi was on the Placement Committee.”

Arnav smiled but said nothing.

“What does this mean?”

Arnav Varun shrugged. “Why should it mean anything? I am the recruitment lead. IM-Bangalore is one of our key campuses. You had great interviews. I had nothing to do with that.”

Arjun turned such that he was now straddling the parapet and facing his senior. “Are you still waiting?” He shook his head incredulously. “You can’t be still waiting.”

“Too early for life confessions, Agarwal-Babu.”

Arjun let out a strained guffaw and shoved his hand through his hair. “The song earlier today – that was…for her benefit, wasn’t it?” When he had sent that text to Kavi, it had been more about telling her that he knew nothing of the song or the singer’s motivation this time. But now, no, since the moment he had seen Kavi get up and walk out, he had known he would put this question to Arnav.

“It was a song. Apparently I have the singing curse.”

“You have to stop talking in riddles. What are you saying?”

“I am not saying anything, Arjun. I am not doing anything either. I haven’t in the past, I don’t plan to in the future. You are asking questions, I am answering. That’s it.”

Yeah right. Arjun snorted in his head but was careful not to let his disbelief be evident.

Arnav however, seemed to be done with the conversation now. “I should go. I have a flight to catch in a few hours.” He turned around and jumped down from the parapet.

Arjun frowned. “You are going to Bangalore, right?” On Monday, earlier this week, he had only sardonically guessed that Arnav would be sharing the same office as Kavi and him. By Tuesday evening, he had known for sure. “Which flight are you taking? We thought there are no morning flights from here?”

“I’m headed back to the US. I’m in the middle of a project.”

“I thought you just came last night.”

“I came to Delhi on Monday. Had a few client visits. Came here and now…”

“So you were here just for a day? And you came all the way from the US?”

Arnav shook his head with a wry smile. “Aren’t you listening? I had client…”

“Perhaps I am listening too carefully. God, AV-Sir…this is…”

“Bye, Arjun. And don’t cook up scenarios that don’t exist. You may have been right once. You won’t be anymore.”

Arjun chuckled out aloud even as Arnav turned and started walking away. “Are you telling me or yourself, AV-Sir? After that song, I cannot believe you are still pretending.”

He didn’t look back.

“I told her.” Arjun shouted when Arnav was almost twenty feet away. “I told her you smoke. She hates smokers.” And I am fairly sure she still loves you. Don’t make her choose.

Whether Arnav laughed or ignored his statement or both, Arjun wasn’t sure. AV-Sir, continued to walk away and disappeared before Arjun could really process what had happened or what he was going to do now.

 

River Song, Music and Lyrics

Song Title: Chhod Aaye Hum Woh Galiyaan

Album: Maachis

Singers: Hariharan, Suresh Wadkar, Vinod Sehgal, K.K.

Music: Vishal Bharadwaj

Lyrics: Gulzar

 

Jahan tere pairon ke, kanwal gira karte they

Hanse toh do gaalon mein, bhanwar pada karte they

Teri qamar ke bal se, nadi muda karti thi

Hansi teri sun sun ke, fasal paka karti thi

Chhod aaye hum, woh galiyaan

Note: 

  1. Next update may be delayed. Please check the Index page for update schedule some time after the weekend.
  2. The last part of the River song – filmed on the visual of Om Puri and memories of violence are too raw, pure to be linked to a story as superficial as this. I must apologize to someone for taking that liberty – who better than my friends to do that amidst.
  3. Thank you all for reading! As always, I am grateful for your presence, in silence and in all your words, you make my story-telling more than anything it was ever supposed to be!

645 thoughts on “Chapter Four: …The More They Stay The Same

  1. I am confused Meera .
    What did Arnav just say to Arjun…
    “Don’t cook up a scenario which doesn’t exist … You may have been right once …”

    What does that mean …😐😐

    Liked by 3 people

  2. ok…..they have come a long way….arjun mostly….loved A&A’s easy-going conversation…
    thats all done….but what now?…I am really failing here to imagine the future…. :( I thought there might be some sort of confrontation between khushi and arnav, some actual talk rather than “welcome to A&M or thank you”….but he is going back to US now already after singing the song…did he just wanted to create tsunami in khushi’s heart by singing that song about river and ocean and leave…?!!!?..
    so I give up imagining their future……and will wait for you to shape their’s meera :)
    wonderful update…loved it <3

    Liked by 5 people

  3. The first word that came to my mind after reading the update is ‘Serendipity’ – yes, to put it in one word!

    Please tell me its Krishna that is the reason for Arjun’s groaning, can I see them together in the next update? I really want to – I know I am getting nearly obsessive now!!
    What do I say about Khushi?, I really like the maturity in her friendship with Arjun now, they really come a long way, they know each other so well that unspoken questions get answered too.

    And our Arnav Varun, what are you doing with him Meera?, what does he mean that he is not going to go after Khushi? Arjun will be left with a lot of confusion now, I guess he would share this with his Kavi this time, no secrets anymore, right?

    When are these thick-headed people going to talk and start somewhere? – for god sake, he is 31 already, don’t waste any more of his age please Meera , I am not sure any more who will make the first move, but please get us there soon, real soon!

    And get Krishna back please, I am so waiting for that. I have exhausted my words to describe your writing – but let me put it all again – the update is beautiful, heart-warming/wrenching, amazing, brilliant and more……………….

    Last, but not the least, how apt is the title ‘The More They Stay The Same’ – oh, yes, I agree to that!

    Liked by 7 people

  4. Brilliant writing … Book 3 has really turned out to be my favourite esp in the way it is written. Arjun is now turning to be as adorable as Arnav and his friendship with Kushi so cute. Many a times friendships can break when one has feelings for the other which is not reciprocated but these two have been able to get past it. To me this phase in their relationship seems more stronger.
    Arnav seems to be on a mission and this time he is going to brook no interference as far is wooing his lady love is concerned. At least that’s what it appears to me.

    Kushi – will she be disappointed that Arnav has left for the US or will she heave a sigh of relief that she has a few days to prepare herself to start her professional career with him so close.

    I loved Arjun’s remark about Arnav’s smoking and how Kushi hates non smokers . Love you Arjun

    Liked by 4 people

  5. Copying my comment from the earlier chapter that I wrote on the morning of the latest update; for I think it’s still relevant to how I feel about the river folks. And I was thrilled in some small measure to see this chapter indicate that my thoughts were not too far off from how AV has been feeling.

    Teri aankhon ki namkeen mastiyan
    Teri hansi ki beparwaah gustakhiyaan
    Teri zulfon ki leharaati angdaiyaan
    Nahi bhoolunga main
    Jab tak hai jaan, jab tak hai jaan

    Years have passed since he last saw her or spoke to her. Years that should have dimmed her memories. But no, the memories burn bright coming alive at the merest whisper of a gesture or word. Dim lights, a man wth a guitar and it’s as if the years past have fallen by. Transported back to a time when he sang and she thought it was for her. Today he did but she was too afraid to believe. What if she was wrong again? But no, he has waited – to see her, to hear her voice, to tell himself that his ‘umeed’ was not misplaced. If indeed he knew she was joining the firm, how unbearable all those moments of ‘intezaar’ would have been. Knowing he would see her, yet telling himself to not scare her away, to not give away too much, to not scorch her with the intensity of his hopes – that she may forgive him, that she would acknowledge her feelings, that she would consider giving them a chance.

    Tera haath se haath chhodna
    Tera saayon se rukh modna
    Tera palat ke phir na dekhna
    Nahin maaf karunga main
    Jab tak hai jaan, jab tak hai jaan

    It must have hurt – to be rebuffed, to be called manipulative, to see her so heartbroken, to have been unable to undo what had happened, to be unable to wipe her tears. And she wouldn’t let him. She cut him off like one would a diseased limb. She didn’t even look back – once! She who had responded with so much passion and life under a bright starry sky, now pretended she didn’t see the sun behind the dark dense rain clouds. It must have burnt, it must have hurt – much like that burn wound from the Flying Fox. But she was burnt too. She didn’t believe enough, her trust was not strong – why? because he never had given her a reason to. Eventually, calm logic and reason would have penetrated the haze of anger and hurt surrounding him. And he had crumpled enough to call her and try again and again. But maybe he had left it too late. Maybe he should have grabbed her before she left the camp, shaken her till her teeth rattled, begged her till she melted – anything would have been better than this void of her absence.

    Baarishon mein bedhadak tere naachne se
    Baat baat pe bewajah tere roothne se
    Chhoti chhoti teri bachkani badmashiyon se
    Mohabbat karunga main
    Jab tak hai jaan, jab tak hai jaan..

    And then one day he realized fate had conspired to make their paths cross again. Interestingly again a river would flow nearby. The main participants of that night from youth all in one place together again. This time rather than an enraged ocean rushing in and leaving chaos in his wake, he chooses to stay, wait for is it not the river’s fate to come meet him – weren’t the fates doing just that. So wait he will, recalling all those lovely memories of her – the way she glowed when she sang, the twinkle in her eyes, her innocence, her angry eyes spitting sparks but mostly of a night spent as lovers under the stars.

    Aditi had once said that for two people to be together there had to be at least one thing in common that bound them. And what one person likes cannot be hated by another for it would lead to conflict sooner or later. Music has been that common thread that wound itself around Arnav and Khushi, the silent magic that cast a spell on their hearts leaving them entwined in so many ways. Music that Saira couldn’t stand, music that Arjun never considered as soulful as Khushi did but music that was ruhaaniyat for Arnav and Khushi. Words and notes that once they burst forth made the world melt away.

    Silken musical threads that have become knotted by the ravages of time and human frailties. Rather than a melodious song they are more a puzzling noise at the moment.

    Yeh moh moh ke dhaage
    Teri ungliyon se ja uljhe
    Koi toh toh na laage
    Kis tarah girah ye suljhe
    Hai rom rom iktaara
    Hai rom rom iktaara
    Jo baadalon mein se guzre

    But how long can the river stay dammed. How long can she hid her true nature and stay stagnant. One day she shall rise, she shall fight and she shall be set free. She will flow again and when she does she will find her way to the ocean and his wait shall end.

    Behne de mujhe behne de….

    Liked by 18 people

    1. Just so beautifully written HAA! you said it all and said it so well. He knows what he wants now and he will wait until she knows, admits and acknowledges that it is what she wants too. He hasn’t done anything and he perhaps still won’t other than wait ( and let her in someway know that he waits) and make it difficult for her to ignore him. He sang the song about rivers and oceans for her and through it said all he is going to for the moment. Behne de mujhe behne de…………It’s her move now and he will wait patiently for her to make it. For the river to follow its destiny and flow into the ocean and be at peace…..
      In pyaar ki raahon mein patthar hain kitne
      Un sab ko hi paar kiya
      Ik nadi hoon main chaahat bhari aaj milne
      Sagar ko aayi yahaan
      Sajna, sajna aaj aansu bhi meethe lage

      Aayi re, aayi re le main aayi hoon tere liye
      Toda re, toda re har bandhan ko pyaar ke liye
      Jaan re, jaan re aaja tujhmein sama jaaoon main
      Dil re, dil re teri saanson mein bas jaaoon main
      Tu hi re, tu hi re……..

      Liked by 10 people

        1. “Will this be a beginning or an end that I have left to you” fits so beautifully for where they are at.
          The Hindi line ( maut or zindagi there haathon mein de diya re) doesn’t have anywhere near the same ring.
          But I like the nadiya and saagar analogy of the Hindi version.

          Liked by 5 people

    2. -one of the reason she did not give the relationship a chance was she did not want to build it on “her best friend broken heart”. Even today she is not sure her best friend has really moved on. Will the knowledge that her best friend now thinks that what he felt for her till 5-8 years was not really love (she will be overjoyed by his happiness/his love) make her pause and allow herself to let Arnav in finally?

      Liked by 5 people

      1. How long will she hide behind her best friend? She did that already and look where it landed them.

        She needs to up her self esteem.
        She has ego, she considers herself too good or better than most – she does not drink, does not smoke, is mature, yada yada. They are choices making people different not better or worse. Even now other than Arjun whom did she make an effort to make conversation with. It took a senior like Shyam to get her to go mingle. Would she have done the River activities in her own , no it took a mandatory course to get her to do things.
        When she knows Arjun has true love she will be ecstatic but if she realizes who he loves she will again play the you did not confide in me card. And if she does that I want Arjun to ruthlessly remind her that neither had she. What if she had told him – maybe things would never have come to such a head. But now we shall never know.
        She has been using Arjun to prop herself and now there is Ramu. Khushi likes to be the martyr, the sacrificial lamb. Then she gets to keep her good girl image. Wonder how tough it would have been for Krishna to grow up in such a shadow for that girl seems the speak her mind kind.

        I apologise for coming across so strongly about Khushi. I appreciate that she wanted to reach out to her friend when he was heartbroken and not sing ballads. But why wait to see if what he felt was true love or not. What if he did feel true love?

        Liked by 11 people

        1. :) I just wrote something before I read your response. May make sense to what I wanted to say by my cryptic comment about Arjun “true love”. Check it out. Let me know what you think
          PS. I have been wanting her to grow out of her best friend shadow forever :) No apologies please. We all see the same information differently that is the beauty of commenting.

          Liked by 5 people

        2. It’s the story telling that keeps me from tearing my hair out, otherwise there have been times when I have wanted to shake Khushi. I often understand why she reacts they way she does but that still doesn’t stop me from at times wanting to shake her 😛. But then again the story is about her journey of finally coming of age and being ready to finally embrace love and meet the ocean…….and we have to journey along with the river in all her various stages…..just like the river along the way will meander, have bends, tumble and fall…..while the ocean stays constant (of course there storms and angry waves too) and waits………for the river.

          Liked by 9 people

          1. We ve all been there and how!! — through both the books.
            So completely agree with your sentiments here!!
            And yet, when Meera reveals something — it all just comes together seamlessly and you are left wondering why those extreme reactions in the past!!!!! :)
            Have never tired of saying this time and again, — that its just the Narration of this story, that has everyone this captivated.

            Liked by 5 people

        3. Oh dear
          I never thought Khushi has that much ego :)

          Even now, I feel Khushi doesn’t take the initiative due to her insecurities that she may not be loved by Arnav

          She was so true while she shared the stage with AV during Aaroham days..her ego is hurt.. she would definitely not want to think about that day which will bring bad taste…

          Meeraji is bringing us to come out with all our views and said in prologue that this is a simple love story
          😁
          I’m still trying to find that simplicity in this
          🤔🤔😀

          Liked by 4 people

      2. Shradha — agree with your views here.
        it will play a key part in her finally moving on!!!
        Breaking Arjun’s heart truly played a huge part in breaking off with AV those years back, and once she knows that he has moved on (although it will take a lot out of her when she knows its with her sister:)), she will allow herself to move forward…

        Liked by 6 people

        1. It could be just that,Kavi. Her comment to Arnav about ever loving Saira may not be relevant to her anymore. But if it is then here will be another proof of crush and love. Or if Arjun love for her was not crush..then one call fall in love again.
          All this leads her back to Arnav and their last camp conversation.
          Ps. Commenting on phone is hard :(

          Liked by 6 people

          1. You mean if Arjun can get over Kavi and fall in love again, then so can Arnav get over Saira and fall in love again with Khushi? That is very convoluted thinking isn’t it? Although I wouldn’t put it past Khushi 😛. But then again given the way Khushi’s mind works what is to stop her from speculating that this can happen a third time around? 😛. How do you know second time is true love when first wasn’t?

            Liked by 5 people

            1. Believe it or not..I just pulled my hair ! I want to say something but cannot right now. Tonight. Biraj can you track my last comment ( not response to starcrossed) and what are your thoughts…may help understand where I am coming from…

              Liked by 4 people

          2. While breaking Arjun’s heart was a large part, the bigger part was not being sure if Arnav really loved her. Her biggest issue was —- he never told Saira he loved her but went through all that he did with Saira, because Saira wanted it. What was the guarantee he was with Khushi not because HE wanted to , but because he knew she loved him…
            Do you see the difference? Her issue was that he was with her since she was an option, a safe option– now thats how she thought… they didnt have enough time together… everything happened in 3-4 days.. It was too much too soon, without much to go by. and then she gets to know about Arohan night!!! Add her insecurities to that — obviously she bolted and didnt want to look back or give it a try even later because she was not convinced that Arnav could feel that deeply for her.

            I dont believe the issue is about whether Arjun or Arnav’s feelings could be labelled as crush or love.
            There were fundamental issues when they broke up.

            Liked by 7 people

                1. You in US right? So much strife in our adopted country..( my brains are fried hearing about Russia :) I really should have added let us focus on what we both agree on that Khushi needs to fight for her love :) Or Arnav’s pain :)

                  Liked by 3 people

                  1. Rofl !!!
                    Yes to your questions — in the US, agree that Khushi needs to fight for her love, agree on Arnav’s pain that we all feel as well!!
                    No harm in disagreement either though!!!
                    This is one story that has me oscillating from one extreme end to another, with each update!!!!

                    Liked by 4 people

        2. Was it Arjun that played the major part? When she first made the decision to walk away? I am not so sure about that at the River Camp when Khushi took that decision. Later maybe yes. But then wasn’t it in equal part hurt ego and assumption? She felt played by both and betrayed and she reacted to that feeling. She was also running scared of being hurt again. She was able to overcome that feeling of betrayal where Arjun was concerned because of the history they had and because she carried her own guilt of having used him to hide behind and of not having been upfront and honest with him. With AV she felt like she had the moral high ground. Arjun’s hurt must have come into the picture only later. At that time she took the decision based on her hurt more than Arjun’s heartbreak I think.

          Liked by 6 people

            1. Woah! when I was away so much was discussed at such a length! :-D

              I will just use my favourite writer’s words to describe the enigma that is called love.

              “Have you ever been in love? Horrible isn’t it? It makes you so vulnerable. It opens your chest and it opens up your heart and it means that someone can get inside you and mess you up. You build up all these defenses, you build up a whole suit of armor, so that nothing can hurt you, then one stupid person, no different from any other stupid person, wanders into your stupid life…You give them a piece of you. They didn’t ask for it. They did something dumb one day, like kiss you or smile at you, and then your life isn’t your own anymore. Love takes hostages. It gets inside you. It eats you out and leaves you crying in the darkness, so simple a phrase like ‘maybe we should be just friends’ turns into a glass splinter working its way into your heart. It hurts. Not just in the imagination. Not just in the mind. It’s a soul-hurt, a real gets-inside-you-and-rips-you-apart pain. I hate love.”
              ― Neil Gaiman

              Liked by 3 people

  6. Seriously what just happened… I am more clueless than ever…
    What is AV playing at…
    And what’s this two chat threads arjun has… Tripti is the other one na?
    Meera… You got me really confused here… :)

    Liked by 3 people

  7. Meera … all I can think of is this song for this update of your’s :)
    You have made a Shayar out of everyone here … I feel whatever I write will not do any justice to this beautiful piece of writing …

    “Follow the River and you will find the Sea” …
    “I am not saying anything, Arjun. I am not doing anything either. I haven’t in the past, I don’t plan to in the future…” the ocean just has to wait for the river to flow right into it now … love this ultra confident Arnav … these five years seemed to have given him a maturity , a depth and a confidence in himself … he knows … and he waits …

    Arjun is the friend everyone needs in their life … the pillar to lean on and give a nudge when needed … fabulous to see the way their friendship has evolved …
    “Parth” – Krishna used to fondly call Arjun by the name Parth. The literal meaning in Sanskrit of the word ‘Parth’ is : an archer who never misses his target… I can only think of Tripti who could have named him that ;) and their agenda or mission too seems pretty clear …

    Just loved the parting shot by Arjun to Arnav … “I told her.” Arjun shouted when Arnav was almost twenty feet away. “I told her you smoke. She hates smokers.” … :) it almost sounded like a threat …

    Can’t wait to read more Meera …

    Liked by 9 people

    1. “Have you also learned that secret from the river; that there is no such thing as time?” That the river is everywhere at the same time, at the source and at the mouth, at the waterfall, at the ferry, at the current, in the ocean and in the mountains, everywhere and that the present only exists for it, not the shadow of the past nor the shadow of the future.”
      ― Hermann Hesse, Siddhartha

      Liked by 10 people

    2. Wow, wow, wow….those words leave me stunned in my tracks, K. Kya tha woh….and the allusion to Paarth….yes, he will unwittingly be the charioteer that steers Khushi to Arnav. Playing Krishna Tripti Gupta’s agenda out, perhaps?! Nice one.🤗🙏🏼

      Liked by 4 people

  8. “I cannot do this alone” this statement rankled even though KK was reaching out to a close friend. I pushed the thought aside that it was not Khushi of the river, . It made me however re-read an old comment of mine after Book II.
    “To me this story is a journey of a young woman,her coming of age and maybe her love story. All the men are just side characters. …..” Glad I did… somewhere I had forgotten that this story (to me) is still only about Khushi.

    And all her statements/thoughts are relevant especially this one. .
    “t had been nearly half a decade since she had made the decision that a relationship built on her best friend’s broken heart and her own smothered ego, was not one she wanted to pursue. ”

    Or the one she said to Arnav in the camp
    ““Were you in love with Saira?” She said as she looked into his eyes, her wrist still caught between his fingers. “Did you ever tell her that you love her?””

    So Arjun final pairing/his true love could be anybody . But whoever it is will be relevant for Khushi’s journey . Her journey to the love of her life.

    In all these readings I forgot who was the writer :)

    Liked by 7 people

    1. Shraddha I agree with you about this story being Khushi’s journey. I think I said as much in my response to Haa. And if there was no journey there would be no story. She has to cross all the obstacles ( many to mostly do with herself and her insecurities and low self- esteem with respect to her body image issues) and navigate her way to the ocean.
      As for Khushi’s decision to walk away, Arjun’s heartbreak might have been a factor in her not rethinking or later revisiting the decision she made but I think she made that decision more out of her own feeling of hurt and betrayal and her fear of heartbreak more than on account of Arjun’s heartbreak. She felt played by both the men. She was able to forgive Arjun because of their shared history and because she herself was guilty of using him and of not being completely honest with him about her feelings. With AV she felt she had the moral high ground. She wanted to perhaps even punish him for her sense of betrayal and for tarnishing her memories of that night which she had held so dear. He was not the only guilty party but he bore the burden for it.
      As far as her lack of trust in Arnav’s feelings for her was concerned (due to his history with Saira), I don’t think it should need Arjun finding love (again) with anyone to restore Khushi’s belief in finding love for herself. This trust and belief needs to come from within herself and based on what the two of them feel for each other (Khushi and Arnav). An emotion that has lasted 10 plus years that too with nothing much to feed it can’t be ephemeral. Khushi has to believe that. She will have to make that leap of faith and believe in his love. He may have to convince her but at the end of the day this is between the two of them. Else it will be on shaky ground. At best Arjun finding love should free Khushi from guilt and set her free to seek her own love but nothing more. The rest needs to come from within her.

      Liked by 11 people

      1. -Biraj I agree that her walking away had nothing to do with Arjun or that Arjun moving on with his life should not be the factor in believing Arnav. (I am still wondering how the conversation veered here :) Are we having different conversations not sure. Let me attempt to explain what I meant quoting KK.

        The first quote ” best friend broken heart and smothered ego ” is her own thoughts today. Incorrect maybe but she believes it that she walked away from Arnav partially because of her best friend.

        Regarding ever loving Saira this was the last thing she asked Arnav five years ago before he let her go. That day she felt betrayal, hurt, anger. I remember commenting then that now Arnav knows for sure she matters to him, he will not let go, apologize, reason whatever. He did..three phone calls over a year.. maybe they spoke maybe they did not. Maybe Arnav dug a bigger hole for himself. But her stand remained the same. Her conversation with Arjun a year after the camp… was sure she still loved Arnav but that Arnav was a guy who would have married Saira without being in love with her ( Yes she does not trust him and yes she has a guilty verdict without full information). So maybe in 4 years she has given thought and realized that she gave up on Arnav only because of her best friend and her ego. And it has nothing to do with Saira

        We would agree that she is correct ( we did till this update) in thinking that Arjun has romantically loved her. (His diatribe at the camp… his few pot shots at Arnav even today). I wondered whether when she learns that what he felt for her was not love ( “once thought he was in love with” ) would she remember her mistrust for Arnav /her doubts about his affection. No cause and effect here. Just there are parallels- he may have thought he loved Saira till he did not/ or met Khushi. Arjun believed he loved KK till he met his “no name” who calls him Parth.
        Again all this is irrelevant if today she believes that the only reason for walking away from Arnav was Arjun and her ego.

        So yes these are excuses as before… for the two to take their relationship forward.. she needs to stop looking for crutches ” I cannot do this alone”, take a risk and believe a bit in herself and what she has felt for a man for 10 years. So I hope she understands what is not said and does a bit of wooing. Tall order – I hope not. I want her to do the unpredictable and meet the man halfway at least :)

        PS. ” Not a saint” or ” Feel Better ?”—– that was painful. After all that – did we forget- he did not get the girl ! Is it just me that my heart went out to not yet graying 31 year old…who drinks hard liquor with ease !

        Liked by 8 people

        1. Another brilliant comment , Shraddha — i have especially loved this interchange between you and Biraj and the arguments put forth..
          I think we all are stating the same thing — she needs to grow up, get past her own insecurities, fears, hurt ego and take the leap of faith.
          I said something similar in my one of my comments to Sohni as well — my first comment was all about the Arjun-Khushi bond and how it has matured etc etc etc — and I had to say that becos I was one person who was just so negative about Arjun in the last 2 books. So this update finally endeared him to me.
          But with subsequent numerous reads of this update — my heart went out more to AV — he has been on the receiving end every single time — from both Khushi and Arjun, not to mention Saira earlier.
          Even though he technically wasnt at fault at all. He neednt have take the high road and approached them first here , or apologised, but he did!
          I have been wanting to see Arnav sweep Khushi off her feet, but after this update, i have wished for that to be thrown out the door — instead I hope it is Khushi who does the unpredictable and takes the steps forward to meet him more than halfway — God knows, he deserves it!
          So completely in tune with your line of thought as well.

          Liked by 7 people

          1. You are the third person ( sapna said something similar) that there is melancholy in this update . Especially Arnav. Maybe I like this character a bit too much :) And you are right like many I want her to fight for him/or their love. The insecurities were good excuses when she was 23 not anymore.

            Liked by 7 people

            1. Exactly — something we ve all been harping about in Book 2 that come Book 3 we hope to see a mature Khushi who has overcome her insecurities to a large extent!!
              About Arnav — there is nothing left to say right — his actions speak for him —he knew about her, these past years (i still believe it was through tripti at IM-A — how much – remains to be seen, — a casual conversation or was it more), he has now placed himself where she cannot ignore or run away from him anymore! .
              Arguments and speculations can swing both ways — whether he will woo her or whether she should meet him halfway — — its us readers who are in for some real magic from Meera!! And she has always delivered on that promise!!!
              This book 3 will be the death of all of us here!!! :)

              Liked by 7 people

        2. Shradha,
          Read across the last few comments you’ve shared and I think I understand where you are coming from. I will try and elaborate what I have in mind about the “friend’s broken heart and smothered ego” as well as “:Did you tell her you love her”

          That night when life as Khushi knew it changed, she went into drastic self-defense mode. She was afraid to lose the one constant in her life – her friend Arjun. If you recall before this she was even willing to tell AV there could be no them for she was going to give Arjun a chance. That’s how key Arjun has been in her life. Like a river bank to a river. Always there.
          AV said he liked her and over time could love her. But he had loved Saira too or so he had given the impression. Maybe he had told Saira he loved her. But he had not. Not wholly in the 4 years of IE-V. Since Khushi came into his orbit, he was not wholly there with Saira. Yet he never confessed how he felt for her. That was the sucker punch she delivered by asking him that question. He wasn’t sure of his love for her yet he stayed tethered to her because he could not bring himself to break her heart. Were they happy, no? So why did he do what he did – was it pity, was it friendship? And while proclaiming to the world and family at being engaged and in love, he started liking someone else. Rather he entertained the notion that there could be someone else. How could she believe him, place her trust in him? What if history repeated itself with them? What if today she went ahead and gave him a chance and in time to come, he realized he did not love her but wouldn’t tell her. She loved him. He knew it. She would be all there in the relationship but he would not be.
          And that is why she walked away from him that night. All her. Not because Arjun needed her or she wnated to tend to his hurt. Because she could not trust in the future of what was happening between Arnav and her. And because he had already hurt her, she did not want to take a chance, see where things went and take the risk that she would be hurt again. So she left him and walked away.

          I understand this about her yet I wish she would take the leap of faith today. For true love’s path is never easy. It is always like the downward fall on a ferris wheel. Loads of butterflies, a feeling of spinning out of control yet soaring high the very next moment. I wish she takes a leap of faith and tries because there were 2 of them that night. She was hurt and scared but so was he. Both suffered losses. And she has been living with shadows ever since. She doesn’t trust that they could have had a future yet she is unable to live the future she chose without him (memories and AV scribbles). She thinks he would have moved on yet is happy to not see a ring. She is living a half-life. And she does not realize that. She thinks she has been mature and her life is sorted now. But the first glimpse of his presence and again she is gasping for air. AV was too important a chapter in her life to fade away. For the wound to heal, she will have to scratch it, put some antiseptic, feel the sting, shed a few tears and only then will it heal. Even then it may always leave a scar. He tried to speak to her once, he has yet again found a way to say something to her. Now she needs to say something. She needs to speak up. The river needs to flow….

          Behne de……

          To me a significant sign of Khushi making peace with herself is if she begins to sing again. She seems to have shut out music from her life. (Perhaps my imagination!!)
          Given how similar Ragini and Khushi are, I wonder if Ragini also has a broken heart in her past and how she has truly moved on unlike Khushi.

          Khushi is feigning ignorance, Arnav is being politely aloof so Arjun is going to take matters into his hands. I think his beloved has told him that unless his dear friend gets hitched, they cannot and he is now getting impatient. Shaadi is definitely on his mind ;). Arjun – “I solemnly swear that I am up to no good!” ;) ;)

          Liked by 8 people

          1. You leave me spellbound today with this comment HAA.
            Its everything I have wanted to say — you said it way better than I could have. Simply simply brilliant..
            All I can do is just nod my head in agreement — every single word!!!
            With the exception of just the second last paragraph about her shutting music from her life — didnt think of that at all..

            Liked by 5 people

          2. Thank you for the detailed response. Your initial comment ( on Arnav and also Khushi)was like many have said was beautiful. I forgot to say that before.

            In the camp too she had told Arjun that they had no future before his Arohan revelations. So yes her current belief “best friend” broken heart came later and Arjun’s rant that day,her own guilt of not knowing all must have played a role.

            Kavi said something similar regarding Saira. It just me. I think people can fall in love with more than once. One is not bigger than the other…we just may be different. Or our understanding of love. We sometimes confuse our crushes to love.
            Hence the comment that Arjun realization that his feelings was a crush would be an eye opener for her. Her idea of love is a bit naive.

            Music…yes…she may have shut it off. Hope that is revived :) But this is a battle she needs to fight on her own. Let Tripti and Arjun tell her about their love…and maybe that is all required for her to pursue her heart desire. On her own with a bit of help from the other singer. High time😃

            Liked by 5 people

            1. I dont believe Arjun’s feelings for her could be classified as a crush — he was in love with her, BUT he was also clear that if she said no then he wasnt the kinds to do a devdas on her and wait all his life pining for her! He valued his friendship with her and would not let anything impact that.
              When she did say no, and when they moved on from the camp — he accepted the fact that she could never think of him in a romantic way! And their relationship just grew on a different level altogether — he loved her but was not in love with her any longer. Which meant he could fall for someone else — and he did!!

              AV – Saira — different situation altogether!! Childhood friends, the age, hormones, not one thing in common, her hating music with a passion, her always calling the shots in the relationship et all — a recipe for disaster! Love — nahh!!
              In walks Khushi — into IE V and into his life! He struggles with what he feels for her right from day one! But cant do a thing about it. If anything, their break up at the camp and the last few years would have helped him realize the difference – in what he felt for Saira and what he feels for Khushi!! And I hope his TI-Di and J knocked some much – needed gyan into his head as well! They clearly saw what he didnt see – about his relationship with Saira, And they also saw – him with Khushi, enough to know and understand!
              And thats why == he is where he is right now — waiting for her, hamesha!!

              Liked by 6 people

            2. Hmm….
              Tell me something, the Khushi in the River lore – do you think she could fall in love or she is more in love with the idea / concept of falling / being in love?
              waddaya think?

              Also, what will it take for her to believe that someone / anyone (not just AV or Arjun) can love her – in her current shape and size and with her ideas? What will it take for her to believe that she can be the object of someone’s affections? (Do you feel that Arjun ka crush not love revelation will help with that? Or it would need a love story for Ragini for Khushi to start to believe.) I am not so convinced that Tripti’s love story will trigger it for Khushi because she doesn’t consider Tripti to be like her. Neither does she Arjun. Perhaps a hiccup / obstacle that Aman and Aditi had in their relationship. Yet again she thinks she is no Aditi.

              I am with you when you say people can fall in love more than once.

              thanks for the compliments ya! *hugs*

              Liked by 7 people

              1. Haa I am actually not sure what will do it for Khushi 🤔. I could completely get it when she was 18 or even 23. But at 28? Having survived and held her own in a competitive professional environment? Should self belief not be an internal process of learning to be comfortable with yourself? A part of growing and growing up? Should it be dependent on external events in other people’s life? I can think it comes from measuring up in one’s own eyes and not needing the constant reassurance of external approbation. It’s a chicken and egg thing for Khushi. Believing that Arnav truly loves her her will do it for her. Make her learn to love herself. But on the other hand until she does that (believes in herself) will she believe in his love or will always mistrust it in some measure (“a guy like him and a girl like her”!!!)? And it’s quite a contradiction because in all other respects Khushi’s believes in herself and if anything even feels slightly superior (like you mentioned earlier – no smoking, no drinking, intelligent etc.) . Which is actually what makes her so real rather than just fictional! The main problem is body image issues where she feels insecure and inferior. Should she continue to let just that define her worth? But then people often give body image bigger space in their lives than it needs to have and often their personalities get defined and shaped by it.

                Liked by 6 people

              2. Like all of us I am a product of my own experiences ( own and others I know well) and beliefs. I really do not know what it is like to have body image issues..not because I have ever had a hour glass figure..but because it is/was least of my concern. So maybe I have downplayed the importance to her. And just assumed that she has this squeaky clean image of romantic love..courtsey bollywood or the cheesy teenage romantic novels. Hence the comment

                Liked by 5 people

                1. about crush/love/true love. We have glimpses of her.. left to interpretations. Let us see what drives this KK today as the story unfolds.
                  PS. I knew only one size 16 woman in school- smart, accomplished very vocal but men comments of her appearance was border line mean forget about asking her on a date!

                  Liked by 4 people

                    1. True that. It is a very real issue and can define people’s sense of self-worth. It ought not to be that way but it often is. We live in a shallow world and that shapes our perception of ourselves and others. If one is “blessed” by nature or at least not “cursed” one is lucky.

                      Liked by 4 people

                    2. Yes on introspection I have been lucky. I have said enough in last few days to last me a life time in ff universe :)
                      So to all women discriminated for their skin color,shape of their eyes ,their height, weight,chest size ….some lines from a favorite Maya Angelou’s poem

                      Pretty women wonder where my secret lies.
                      I’m not cute or built to suit a fashion model’s size
                      But when I start to tell them, They think I’m telling lies.
                      I say,
                      It’s in the reach of my arms, The span of my hips,The stride of my step, The curl of my lips.
                      I’m a woman ,Phenomenally. Phenomenal woman,……..

                      Now you understand,Just why my head’s not bowed.
                      I don’t shout or jump about,Or have to talk real loud.
                      When you see me passing, It ought to make you proud.
                      I say,
                      It’s in the click of my heels, The bend of my hair, the palm of my hand,
                      The need for my care.
                      Because I’m a woman ,Phenomenally. Phenomenal woman,
                      That’s me.

                      Have a great weekend

                      Liked by 4 people

                    3. This is such a great conversation you have going. There was a time when I worked in a psych facility. I’m glad I don’t anymore. There’s a very thin line between who’s crazier…the patient or the physician. Most of the patients were girls between ages 12-19 and LGBTQ youths. Suicidal ideation, eating disorders, clinical depression being common diagnosis. The interesting thing is almost all were subjects of ridicule over their bodies. There’s obvious body image issues brought on by society. But there’s this subtle underbelly of insults brought on by their own families…by siblings, parents, relatives, which may not necessarily appear as insults but more as advice…but turn out more deathly than random ppl bringing it forth. A lot if damage is done between women to women. It’s crazy how vile it gets. So while there are days when I wake up feeling.. yikes I hate something about me today…I’m quick to look back into the mirror and say shut up woman…at least you are not dying in a clinic somewhere…or in a war afflicted country. Lovely talk girls :-)

                      Liked by 3 people

                    4. Very informative Sapna. Psych facility and underlying body image issues-did not know but not all that surprising given the hype in society. Damage done by women to women is the saddest. It never ends even when you are in your 30s or 40s.
                      PS. Have always wondered how oncologist,social workers,psychiatrist keep it together !

                      Liked by 5 people

                    5. You’re so right. This is Hollywood Shradha and it’s unbelievably koo koo, not to mention cutthroat. Very very very few make it here. The rest just struggle to breathe and still don’t get it. At that facility there were women in their 70s with eating disorders. One weighed 66 pounds. Bag of bones. Anyone would go crazy. I usually don’t swear but cannot find milder words to describe them…they were fucked up…both literally and figuratively. So I just had to leave. Just growing up in India helped, the meager nature of our upbringing. We have seen so many people who have nothing to obsess about, let alone bodies. And the wars and despair world over just puts things in perspective. Ppl have next to nothing, and here we are worrying about an extra pound. Not to say I never think about my body or hair or wtvr, the fitness/designer/cosmetic industry have made it almost impossible not to. But it’s easier to shrug it off. Appreciating the gift of life should be taught in school to nip it in the bud. It’s a twisted world I say.

                      Liked by 5 people

                    6. East coast is no different. A friend 11 year old very normal sweet daughter moved to a private school…in a few months she wanted to eat gluten free and was not happy about her mother paunch ! In a social gathering..a woman with no wrinkles must have had a botox job…or heavy woman-oozing flesh see..should eat/drink less ! Many of them participated in the women march !
                      I really not sure why age does not make us wiser.
                      PS. The workplace you describe..that must be hard on you..the behavior makes no sense. Product of our enviornment I guess.

                      Liked by 4 people

                    7. Oh no, that’s sad for your friend. GF free diets are for folks with celiac deseases. anyways, seems like the dumbing down of humanity with tmi. If adults don’t get it, how can we blame kids.

                      Liked by 5 people

                    8. This is for Sapna and Shradha. I loved that conversation of yours. You know in many ways, I was a little saddened and disappointed by the viewpoints regarding Khushi. I felt we were belittling her experience and sort of writing it off. As women if we don’t empathise with other women, its sad isn’t it. We more often than not, are more judgemental about other women, and I’ll include myself in that. You don’t realize that you’re doing it, its almost unconscious.
                      Yeah, the family is often who’ll sort of ridicule you about your body, done in the guise of jokes. One is supposed to laugh it off, because everybody is having a good laugh. Have you noticed people are very happy to point out you have put on weight, but don’t say anything when you lost some😄

                      Liked by 5 people

                    9. Priya, if there’s one thing I would have to pick that never even features in the things I wonder about in this story, it has to be Khushi’s weight. It’s never been an issue for me. All I can see its a wonderful girl that is super smart, a great friend, daughter, sister, with a gorgeous voice to top off. I mean she’s a whole package. @Meera, you have a role model for many.

                      Liked by 4 people

                    10. For me too sapna.
                      What I was trying to say was, that she has a right to feel the hurt and pain and if she took a decision purely to save herself, then that’s her right. I’ve always felt that the aarohan songs are important. The way I see it, that’s a key significant milestone in her emotional landscape, her emotional journey. If I may say so, when she crossed over in a sense.

                      Liked by 5 people

                    11. Agree absolutely Meera and if people have not been in that situation themselves—even if they say they understand, they really do not comprehend the depth of emotions and issues. I have been there in my teenage and now changed 360 degree but it took a long time. Also age is no measure for the change— its circumstances and company of people who make you feel worthy especially your true friends and loved ones along with of course willingness to change helps.

                      So even though Khushi is 28 now and accomplished professionally— that does not mean she is automatically cured of her body image issues— yes she has learnt to live with them– that is different.

                      Liked by 3 people

                2. I agree with you Shradha. I wish I was taller, thinner etc. To feel good about myself. But it’s more a casual passing thing. It doesn’t define me as person because there are many other things about me that are more important to me. But I have seen people for eg someone very short who is very forceful and can often be domineering and overbearing and wonder whether that comes from a subconscious body image issue of being too short (4ft something). Whether being aggressively assertive was a consequence of insecurities and complexes arising out of lack of height, just to give you an example. Similarly people overcompensate certain physical traits (or lack of them) in other ways and it often ends up defining and shaping their personality. I not saying that it ought to be that way. Just that it sometimes is. Because societal environment, other kids in childhood etc. can be insensitive and unwittingly cruel.

                  Liked by 6 people

                  1. Yes to all what you said. This story has made me remember a friend repeatedly. I offered a shoulder when a guy she liked said no to her…but focused more on the inadequacy of the guy. Or her plight when she described how she was displayed by her relatives for alliances as a piece of object- and my thoughts were really this happens even now in US ! I sympathized with her but maybe never really understood this need to be asked out/liked. Now that I think of it all her teenager pictures she was heavy…we never talked about her weight !

                    Liked by 5 people

          3. 🤗 I want Khushi is take that chance and make that leap of faith. She needs to that for herself more than for anyone else. She will never find her peace otherwise.

            Liked by 5 people

          4. How did I miss this brilliant comment and your take. You have literally snatched thoughts from my head and worded them just perfect as I wanted to say but never uttered since I took new year resolution to stay away from speculations in river story😜😬as I had become insane. I would rather enjoy story as I am confident that everything will make sense because Meera is THe author. However since you have written mere Mann ki baat— I can not resist staying away. I am nodding yes to each word said by you here. Knowing Meera— yes book 3 is going to be death of us.

            This is definitely journey of Kaveri Khushi Gupta to meet her ocean —- so —

            Berne do Beene do bas❤️❤️.

            Liked by 2 people

        3. My heart went out to him too. I mean there were 3 people there who were all at fault at different times in some measure but the burden of it all became his just because he took responsibility and ownership, acknowledged his mistakes and apologized for them. And we feel everyone else’s heartbreak because we have ringside seat into their hearts and mind. But does that lessen or dilute his heartbreak? He is 31, successful in the eyes of the world but yet alone and he still waits that too without any encouragement. Would a man (especially one who has everything going for him) who felt less deeply do that? And If he feels that deeply why is his heartbreak less? Just because he is a man of few words and doesn’t wear his emotions on his sleeve? So I definitely felt for him. And I think Khushi needs to make the first move. After all she was the one who slammed the door shut. He is respecting her decision. And while he maybe willing to be the one who walks in through the door she needs to be one to open it at the very least although I would want her to do the unpredictable walk halfway towards him too.

          Liked by 8 people

            1. I was on the phone and just read Shraddha first reply to what I said before and commented on that. But have just opened the browser site discovered there is whole discussion in between there which I have yet to read. I am sure all of you have said exactly what I would want to say. 🤗

              Liked by 4 people

            1. I have read the chapter just the once in the first rush immediately after it was posted. The nuances most likely escaped me. I am sure if I read it again my heart will be heavier and I will feel the melancholy even more.

              Liked by 3 people

            2. Have posted the couple of songs that instantly came to mind in the 6 week hiatus that came before book 3. The melancholy made me think of this one…..(haven’t posted this)

              wo jab yaad aaye bahut yaad aaye
              ghame zindagi ke andhere mein humne
              chirag-e-mohabbat jalaaye bujhaaye
              wo jab yaad aaye bahut yaad aaye

              aahatein jaag uthi raaste has diye
              thaam kar dil uthe hum kisi ke liye
              kayi baar aisa bhi dhokha hua hai
              chale aa rahe hain wo nazre jhukaaye
              wo jab yaad aaye bahut yaad aaye

              wo juda kyaa huye zindagi kho gayi
              shama jalti rahi roshni kho gayi
              bahut koshishen ki magar dil na behla
              kayi saaz chhede kayi geet gaaye
              wo jab yaad aaye bahut yaad aaye………

              Liked by 4 people

            3. This story has done a number on my heart and head especially with its music connection. There is nothing that I listen which somehow doesn’t circle back to this tale and of late especially a certain some who patiently and quietly waits with an air of subdued quiet melancholy about him.

              Tere liye hum hain jiye hothon ko siye
              Dil mein magar jalte rahe chahat ke diye
              Tere liye tere liye
              Tere liye hum hain jiye har aansoon piye
              Dil mein magar jalte rahe chahat ke diye

              Zindagi leke aayi hai beete dinon ki kitaab
              Ghere hain ab hume yaadein behisaab
              Bin poochhe mile Hume kitne saare jawab
              Chaha tha kya, paaya hai kya humne dekhiye
              Dil mein magar………

              Waiting for the day when they can sing
              Tere mere sapne ab ek rang hai
              Jahan bhi le jaaye raahein hum sang hai…..

              The wait for the next update will kill me even though the days have been very busy with barely time to drop in here.

              Liked by 3 people

      2. Biraj — Now this is a comment that is completely Bang On!! Every word!!
        Agree completely with what you stated —especially the last sentence — At best Arjun finding love should free Khushi from guilt and set her free to seek her own love but nothing more.
        Its one thing that will absolve any guilt she harbors — which after these past 5 years, she shouldnt. .
        Yes it played a pretty big part at the time at the river, combined with feeling betrayed by both but she still chose to mend her relation with Arjun while completely breaking off with AV.
        The rest — its for her to rise above her insecurities, her own hurt and fears, and to take that leap of faith in AV.
        God knows, she put him through hell, there is no doubt about that!

        Liked by 6 people

  9. Each time I read this book every new chapter I am in awe or the characters their struggle but I seem to be unable to predict the line of thinking for Arnav but this update sans him on Khushi and this meeting.
    Though I love ❤️ this story from a women’s perspective but I somehow want a more insight into Arnav his struggles seems to be more difficult.
    Every time he gets condemned for errors but never is given a chance to speak for himself but like always I am sure the best is left for the last.

    Iam so enjoying to see how other people or characters deal difficult situations how to maneuver in a way that doesn’t hurt all involved.

    Arnav needs a applause not a only he expects his error and apologies for it more than a couple of times he also takes the initiative to try to fix broken bridges of relationships

    Looking forward to more of the man in mystery the man with two names.

    Liked by 4 people

  10. Beautiful chapter Meera, I wish I could understand Arnav better, he is so confusing. I didn’t understand what he said to Arjun :(
    And Meera, will I ever be able to read Careless Whispers plz plz plzzzzzzzzzzz
    Do you have an E-book or something

    Liked by 4 people

  11. I always liked A&A’s convo…now is just too good…
    So Arjun knew…both of them& their feelings….too well.

    Arjun& Tripti’s love story was a way too forward huh😘
    I like it because I want Arjun to be settled😋..

    &Khushi….yar…why are U fighting within U…just go& fight with Ur AV sir…😝

    Superb update… as always💙!!

    Liked by 3 people

  12. AV in denial or is he confident about his love? Was it a random song for him? Is he waiting for her? AV is returning to US and he made it to the A&M party for just a day. His presence unleashed memories in a certain Gupta. He knows that Kaveri Kushi Gupta will come to Arnav Varun. He did feel her gaze on him and is very much aware of her. Kushi is still uncertain if Arjun has moved on. Arjun confessing that he has moved on. So, is he “Parth” to Tripti Krishna Gupta? Am i making sense?..no..just penning my random thoughts. And as always am in awe with your writing. How beautifully you bring out their emotions with words. And me on the other hand is struggling to just string words together..lol…

    Liked by 3 people

  13. Meera dear
    What’s happening to Arnav and Khushi??🤔
    Seriously!!!

    She feels she doesn’t want to give into her love towards Arnav over her close friend broken heart 😐😠When she finds out that Arjun has moved on, will she start regretting that she didn’t give Arnav a chance?? When we are seeing Arjun understanding Khushi in her every move why Khushi is not getting the message that Arjun has moved on??
    Dear if this story would have been in a book, I would have definitely seen the last page to know how the story ends 😃

    As Arnav told Arjun not to cook up imaginations from whatever happened that particular day .. – I too want to go by his word.. just bcos he sang a song with river and ocean, doesn’t mean he is pining for Khushi..
    All fine..
    but what’s wrong in these two talking to each other?? Atleast that will make them come to a conclusion if it is worth the wait that these two never moved on in these 5 years!!!

    The only person who looks to be little sane or become little matured is Arjun..i liked him in this update the way he interacted with Arnav 🤗

    I’m not surprised or even puzzled with the way Arnav behaved..

    Eagerly waiting for next update
    😊

    Liked by 5 people

  14. Meera,
    That was a superb chapter, where we get all the information we do – precious little by the way – from a few text messages exchanged between Arjun and Khushi and a spirited conversation between AV and Arjun. Parth truly is the mover and shaker here, the man of the moment as he tries to be there for his friend of decades on the one hand and jokingly spars with his one time hero, turned betrayer who will always hold a special place in his life! And his intriguing relationship with the younger Gupta sister is truly something else. They are obviously at the cusp of taking it to the next level, but not quite official yet. And Khushi herself, despite her feeble attempt at running away, seems to be a far cry from the girl who thought her life had ended when she chose to stick with her decade long friendship and let go her one true love….or did she? Today, she admits to herself at least, that she was pig-headed in making the choices she did, or who knows what might have been. So beautiful that AV chose to come all the way from the US for a day to meet her, of course he did! True love will not let one stay away after all! I do hope his effort is not in vain, and although he chastises Agarwal babu for reading more into this gesture than there actually may be, the heart wants what it wants, doesn’t it?! Cannot wait for that chance encounter between Arnav and Khushi before he heads off again….or will he? An awful lot of hope pinned on that next meeting…….Meera, we wait in nervous anticipation. 😍🙏🏼🌺🌈🏍🎉

    My song for the chappy……Deewana Dil from Pardes.

    Koi kachee dor nahee hai, mein kya karoon
    Dil pe meraa zor nahee hai mein kya karoon……

    Until next time, behenon……Milne hai nadiyaan ke paar……

    Best,
    Anu

    Liked by 11 people

    1. Dear Anu
      Nice comment as always!!!

      Mann karta hai for Arnav and khushi to meet and getting sleepless nights too.. but AV sir clearly said not to cook up scenarios which doesn’t mean anything, isn’t ??

      So decided to wait for next update before running my imagination wild 😛😁

      Liked by 4 people

  15. Another beautiful chapter. I loved the easy relationship between Arjun and AV. There’s such a deep bond in there. Both know each other better than they think and are able to gauge each other’s innermost thoughts. They are also more forgiving with each other and for some reason do not let the infamous male ego to colour their unique bond. It’s so refreshing.
    I’ve often been told that girls can’t write well about male bonding, that they lack the ability to understand what makes men bond with other men. I would send them here to the River to see how well.a girl.can capture the friendship between two guys without even once sounding corny. For that Meera, I bow to thee.
    P:S:- Did you refer to your story as superficial? I would disagree with you there. Any piece of art or writing

    Liked by 4 people

  16. Great update .. I loved the boys sorted out their differences and the chit chat. And original arnav varun style. He neither discloses anything and keeps ppl guessing. He left arjun more confused lol. Will be waiting for the next meera :)

    Liked by 2 people

  17. This was a beautiful chapter of mending bridges and rediscovering the mundane things in life that only people who know each other for a very long time can ease into. Kudos to Khushi for breaking so many barriers and letting Arjun know she’s afraid. And so much more to Arjun for hanging in there for his friend, who is obviously driving him up the wall. Well, looks like ‘tis the season to drive Arjun up the wall, considering the other gal who’s doing the same to him, who I too am guessing is Tripti, with all the little clues you are dropping. But am I the only one that thinks this is awkward, with Arjun and the Gupta sisters? But I will go with the flow. If you think Parth and Krishna should be together, there must be a darn good reason why they should be. Not the mention they will be occupying prized front row seats to witness the war of Kurukshetra between Khushi and AV. Can someone pass the popcorn please?? If there were any doubts about Arjun not getting over Kavi, his grimace at receiving her text while he was expecting one from his object of interest, must put them to rest.

    The Arjun/AV conversation was easy breezy, but also came across as subdued (and a little puzzling as far as his presence on campus almost a year back); they both withheld what was not meant to be shared. A lot of it skittered around Khushi. Yet, it’s great that they refrained from discussing her. Any conversation involving her should be had with her. I’m glad they understand this now. Hindsight being 20/20 and all that razzmatazz. I would have loved to have them acknowledge how bone headed they were 10 years ago….something along “dude, what were we smoking back then” kinda introspection. They pretty much snatched off her rose tinted view on romance and love. Poor kid, I love her 😘

    I thought this chapter was very melancholic. Many things were verbalized, and a lot more were not. Khushi and probably Arnav are prisoners of their pasts. We will just have to wait for them to wake up to freedom. They can pretend to be oblivious to one another, but I will get a bit ahead of myself and say ‘what a farce.’

    “Those who are near me do not know that you are nearer to me than they are
    Those who speak to me do not know that my heart is full with your unspoken words
    Those who crowd in my path do not know that I am walking alone with you
    Those who love me do not know that their love brings you to my heart”
    ― Rabindranath Tagore

    PS: It is quite telling when he comes back from the US for a day. I mean who does that. Go Arjun!!!

    Meera, that was amazing. I wish I knew better adjectives to describe how I feel about your writing, but even then, I know I will fall short. It’s been one of those weeks, I’m always catching up but never quite caught up..been offsite, lots of driving, nothing to la la about in this land of crazed traffic 😳. Thank you and Happy Weekend ladies :)

    Liked by 10 people

      1. With you on the melancholic part kriskles. I felt that too and was actually surprised that no had mentioned that earlier. I loved their conversation as much for the unsaid undercurrent as much as what was said. There was so much subtext. My heart went out to a certain someone 😉. The quote beautiful as always.

        Liked by 7 people

          1. I actually felt more acutely for him with this update than any other before….sigh…….although the initial discussion at the riverside was all about Arjun, it was AV who tugged at my heartstrings in this one 😟

            Liked by 5 people

    1. Kurukshetra, popcorn – ROFL
      Quote – Apt as always!!
      Arnav and Khushi – Agree!! Oblivious maybe but they don’t know any other way at this point in time I think :)

      This song was playing in my head when writing the comment for some reason….so attaching it here :)
      Toone mujhse wafa nahin ki
      Tujhko kaise wafa milegi
      Toone mujhko dard diya hai
      Tujhko kaise dava milegi

      Seene mein uthate hain armaan aise
      Dariya mein aate hain toofan jaise
      Kabhi kabhi khud hi maajhi
      Kashti ko dubota hai

      Liked by 8 people

    2. There you are Kriskles!! I was waiting to read yours and kept looking for it in the place where you first commented…
      and hence missed this one!!
      Loved the quotes!!! You have the knack of always coming up with the right ones!!!

      Oh you are not the only one who finds Arjun-Tripti getting together awkward.. There’s been comments on that as well and sure enough I was one of them too….and on Khushi’s reaction to that as well. But trust Meera to show that in a way that will make us wonder why we even thought that!! I agree, between the 2 of them, the Gupta sisters will be the death of Arjun!!!
      ROFL at “”they will be occupying prized front row seats to witness the war of Kurukshetra between Khushi and AV. Can someone pass the popcorn please??””
      But just how true!! KKG has the knack of driving people up the wall!!!!

      AV – Arjun === nodding my head in agreement!!!
      AV – Khushi === same thing !! and More..
      AV — strongly agree!!! my heart bleeds for him!!

      Meera’s writing — absolutely agree — like i said in my comment — she reveals some but conceals a lot more!!! some speculations come true but more out the door!!

      Liked by 7 people

      1. You’re sweet. I haven’t caught up with any comments :-( But it’s on my weekend to do list…my MIL is here and she’s sooo chatty…I usually stare at my phone when I see her orbiting me…it always works, she thinks I’m working…I know, I’m bad :-I

        Liked by 8 people

        1. Mine is chatty as hell too! How much gossip can one handle at a time anyway? She’s cute that way but then after sometime I open my laptop, wear my glasses and start staring at it with a frown on my face. Works every single time.

          Liked by 4 people

          1. I know right…she gossips about all the ppl in their bldg…and sometimes reviews them with me in the form of impromptu quizzes 👀. I flunk phenomenally every time…then we go through the tuition again. And that’s the exact moment I aim the belan at my husband’s head. Take it you sucker, for gifting your mom to me….on a side note her bldg folks got some serious bs going on…it’s like friggin ‘Days of Our Lives’…and I’m the one that lives in the US 😐

            Liked by 5 people

            1. I know !!!! I flunk the Kaun kiska Kya lagta hain quiz. Too many characters for my wee little brain … and worst is she doesn’t know that I don’t know the messy connections! Or let’s make it simple, the FRIENDS way..
              I know that she doesn’t know that I don’t know 😋

              Liked by 3 people

              1. 😳😳😳 Can I unlike your comment?
                Poore 5 mahine (1 .5 down 😌…always look for the silver lining)…and then I fly back with her to des…in flight training bhi hai 😏

                Liked by 5 people

                    1. Oops. Not rubbing it in. I just recalled after reading your comment how hard it is with my MIL…her comments/behavior is ascerbic…forget she sharing any stories with me. Have a good weekend.

                      Liked by 4 people

                  1. Omg yeah. Thankfully the sil is in India. Cos when they’re together I’ve always felt like a 3rd wheel. But just to be fair I’ve used the distance to never make any conscious efforts to bridge gaps…I’ll take some of the blame…that’s enuf saintliness for today. Let me put on my evil mask now. lol

                    Liked by 4 people

                    1. Have mercy ladies! I live with mine!!!!!! Of course all my own doing in one of my insane “saintly” moments of wanting to do the right” thing !!! So have to bear the cross now. I need the river not just to have my heart racing but sometimes for sanity.

                      Liked by 3 people

  18. So I have to get this out of my mind before I can comment properly.

    When Arjun mentioned about telling khushi of AV’s smoking habbit, the first thought came to my mind was that passionate kiss. Was it the same for AV???

    And I just wanna give Arjun a crushing hug for asking all the right questions he asked AV about waiting for Khushi, but wanna scold him too for not revealing that even if he marries tomorrow, it will not be khushi. Never her coz the love he thought he had for khushi was not the same AV had may-be-still have for Khushi.

    Liked by 3 people

  19. awesome update.. loved arnav arjun conversation.. wow arnav came back from US just for one day.. we are getting the hints along with Arjun ;)
    and Krishan ji used to call Arjun as ‘Parth’.. I am now more certain that Krishna is Arjun’s mystery girl..

    Liked by 2 people

  20. Arnav has no guts to speak to Khushi even after so many years and Arjun talk too much .. to me who the hell are they to decide for Khushi in the past and in the future too … only hoping for Khushi to stand up

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Woh aa gayi, woh aa gayi! Meri Priya aa gayi ;-)

      Priya, I was down with the (elusive) fever once again (They took three vials of my blood for test, those bloody vampires)., and was binge reading a new book by my favourite writer till today. Saw all the comments in the morning and so came back with a vengeance.

      Noticed that you were doing a vanishing act too. Here is the Angrezi version of our eternal love song, Elvis estyle.

      Liked by 6 people

      1. Hope you’re feeling better. Tell them vampires it’s the river fever😄
        I did the vanishing act because of my eggjam, which is officially over. Currently looking around for some sort of flower, so that I can pluck one petal at a time & go, I’ll flunk😟,I’ll pass🤓

        Liked by 6 people

        1. Eggjam done? This calls for a celebration! Complete with guitars and bourbon shots 😉. You will sail through. You have navigating rivers and oceans with aplomb 😉😀

          Liked by 6 people

          1. 🤣 ROFL!

            Jaanu, since you are in a mood of granting wishes, please get AV to stop by London on his way US…puhleez!!!!

            Woh aayenge aapki marzi se..
            Jaayenge hamari marzi se..!😋

            Waise bhi Khushi is busy avoiding and running away from him, he must have lost his patience by now 😋 That’s exactly when I should come into the scene….

            Aa jaa reeeee
            Main toh kabse khadi iss paaarrrr
            Yeh akhiyaaan
            Thak gayi panth nihaaaaar…
            ☺️☺️

            Liked by 8 people

            1. Ek aur baalika..dewidha ( geez did i get that right) itni jaldi :( you messing around with my newfound divinity. I should send him to london to meet the 21 year old Arnav who steals earrings..bur definitely not to you. Too much competition for KK

              Liked by 6 people

  21. I have no words to write literally yaar.. The New AV seems to b more calm n matured. Is he still waiting for her.. And arjun.. what’s cooking? I hope this time it happens in the proper way.. no misunderstandings no hidings. Seems that r gng to work together so khushi has no place to run again..

    Liked by 2 people

  22. She is kaveri the river
    He is arnav the ocean
    And still they are back to square one the pretend game again … today’s update him singing and she walking out as if she don’t care it all reminded me of the famous dialogue from IPKKND ” hame koi fark nahi padta ”
    Wonderful update and

    Liked by 2 people

  23. Dear Meera,

    With just so little of time on my side and too much to say about the update I will just convey my thoughts in this quote. Its a summary of this river as well.

    “We have an unknown distance yet to run, an unknown river to explore. What falls there are, we know not; what rocks beset the channel, we know not; what walls ride over the river, we know not. Ah, well! we may conjecture many things. – John Wesley Powell

    Sorry for being tardy and not responding on each chapter. Life at this end is just like your river – Unpredictable and unfair.
    But rest assured I read each update the time its released. Some mercies of life i say is the time difference that we have.

    Love
    Ami

    PS1- I am not sure if we are talking about Tripti/Parth equation here? Just wondering would it not be very tricky for the Arjun/Khushi relation?
    PS-2 Loved Agrawal/AV-sir equation
    PS-3 Loved Arjun/Khushi friendship
    PS-4 Love River BAS.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. One more thing I think we need to start the dharna for whats happening inside that shatir dimaag of AV. Its about time that we know about the man; his intensions; his everything. Where is Anjali and Aman? Is AV mama yet? I want to know it.

      Liked by 3 people

  24. I have so struggled to connect with Kavi….and understand her motivation and here it was explained.. If an emotion, love …is weighed against such measures and falls short, then it is not worth much nor worth salvaging. So in the end Kavi made the right and situation appropriate decision. She should not be looking back but look forward.

    “It had been nearly half a decade since she had made the decision that a relationship built on her best friend’s broken heart and her own smothered ego, was not one she wanted to pursue. ”

    Arjun and Krishna…..I think they will make a very cute couple.

    Arjun and AV – bromance personified and again so cute..

    AV – please please be in a relationship with someone else….

    Liked by 1 person

  25. there is no running away kushi ki bacchi…you have to face…like the friendship between Arnav and Arjun…

    thanks for the lovely update …and each chapter names its self tells more…:)))

    Liked by 1 person

  26. Will u call me crazy if I say to understand AV I just went and read all the interludes, yet I still am unsure of his motivation but all I can say like a lot many here he will be quite n waiting this time too n Khushi will have to find her own path too him

    Liked by 2 people

                1. Bhaggu humein maaf karo!
                  I don’t get it! Pehle kabhi chapter title nahin daala. Just delay news hoti thi.

                  Ab baith ke sarr khujaao! 😐 Yeh Meeru humein paagal kar ke chhodegi.

                  Liked by 8 people

                    1. If you say it, I believe you P.

                      If you say the moon was black in the story in the 29th chapter, on the 47th line of the 12th para…I will believe you bas !

                      Liked by 8 people

          1. 😂 Meera is such a tease and so finessed at it. She has sneakily dropped that teeny weeny little nugget there and then left us stew for a whole week! 😀

            Liked by 7 people

              1. Title alone has caused such a stir!! Wonder what the chapter will do when it finally arrives!!!
                PS: I have bought a new hair fall defence shampoo 😜😉😉😂

                Liked by 7 people

  27. Strange Tidings – Information shared with Khushi is strange probably…hmm…Arjun relaying information to Khushi that AV was here for a day…. Strange for Khushi not for us though! :lol:

    Arnav bumps into Khushi on his walk back to his room and shares some information with her….Best case scenario
    :lol:

    My speculations for the week :)

    Liked by 5 people

    1. Maybe they will have a conversation uninfluenced by everything that has happened until now. As if they were two acquaintances, without the threads that connect them. Should be strange enough, don’t you think?

      And hey, Bold’s good. It caught my eye. :D

      Liked by 6 people

    2. Adding a few strange speculations😄
      1) A prospective bridegroom also works in A&M
      2) There is a call from aditi bringing strange tidings
      3) He’s seeing someone/ getting engaged. Does that qualify as strange, not sure
      And then P ran off seeing the shadow of a gadha (as in weapon)……,,,,

      Liked by 5 people

      1. All strange indeed! 😀
        “Strange” tidings…..not glad tidings or good tidings or even bad ones…..just strange…..no wonder the hair loss is becoming alarming! 😂
        I had forgotten about the potential Banarasi dulha waiting in the wings 🤔
        Of course AV is returning to the US in Trump times. Maybe Border police will just send him back! 😜😜…..ok don’t throw chappals at me……the wait especially with that title is making me insane 😂

        Liked by 5 people

      2. P and speculations that’s a first :)
        1) Lovely possibility :) and strange for both KK and AV and fun for us.
        2) Nah
        3) Seeing someone.. strange just for us not for KK .. so no
        Editing and adding more P? Too few speculations !

        Liked by 3 people

        1. Priya, we had a very noisy thunderstorm here as soon as I read point number 3. 😀 Still plenty of thunder and lightning. You better be very very careful 😜😜😂😂

          Liked by 5 people

    3. “And don’t cook up scenarios that don’t exist. You may have been right once. You won’t be anymore.”
      I think Meera wrote this for us! 😛😛😉😉😂😂

      Liked by 5 people

        1. I read a lot of them although I was “silent” 😀. You got a chapter dedication for getting it right though. 😉So I need to pay particular attention to all the “strange” things you come up with 😂. Such an interesting word that….”strange”…..😂😂

          Liked by 4 people

      1. 😖😞💔💔💔💔💔💔💔💔💔💔💔💔💔💔💔💔💔💔💔💔💔💔💔💔💔💔💔💔💔💔💔💔😫😫😫😫😫😫😫

        Liked by 2 people

  28. Apparently today is International Women’s day, whatever that is. I’m the sort of person who is pretty cynical about such days. But I thought I’ll say thank you to the wonderful women I met here, my sanki behenas who often brought nothing but joy to my days and most of all to the woman who gave us this space.
    I saw this today, and thought of sharing it, seemed apt because of the conversations we’ve had here.
    http://www.huffingtonpost.in/2017/03/02/16-examples-of-weight-shaming-that-are-a-part-of-our-everyday-vo/?utm_hp_ref=in-homepage

    Liked by 4 people

    1. Haha, I’m super cynical too. All these ‘days’ seem made to order by Hallmark.
      The dads in the article you shared are creepy. The only thing I have heard from my dad ever since I turned 13 or 14 was that he could eat 10 parathas since he joined IAF and how I shame him by not eating as many 😇😇

      Liked by 4 people

      1. Sad isn’t it. Its the supposedly well meaning stuff from family that leaves a mark, with the outsiders I guess one could brush things off.
        All these days, one big marketing gimmick😄. The selling refrigerators to eskimos school of thought

        Liked by 4 people

      2. :) Hallmark days..yes. They have so many. So many parathas can you eat :)

        Just read a Humans of Bombay post.woman who was ridiculed not by family but by outsiders. ( they thought it was funny-visharjan of her during Ganpati) Sickness was a wake up call for her..she stopped caring…validation came from within…and the snide remarks fell to deaf ears. And it stopped.

        It is like she is an example of what Nora Ephron said..” Be the heroine of your life..not the victim”

        Liked by 4 people

        1. Hahaha…I would love to eat 10 if I could…but my mom is a diabetic and that puts me at high risk…so I’m unhappily careful. But 10 parathas…my dad’s bonkers. He says we need strength as we grow…I’m sure this strength argument from our parents resonates among many here…lol…such an old school argument…I have to keep reminding him now…dad, I’m 40, I can assure you there’s no more growing 😂. He doesn’t eat as many now. Not because he can’t, but because mom is done making parathas 😂 😂.
          I hope we don’t wait until we get sick to turn around our lives :-(

          Liked by 4 people

  29. Simply amazing as always……loved the new meaning of song Bhene dey in the previous chapter with AV and K…I always love Khushi …She is so real and relatable.
    Here again you beautifully described Arjun and his friendship with both KK and AV…Enjoyed reading this interesting conversation between A and AV in the end…eagerly waiting to read more from you….
    Thanks…
    Take care..

    Liked by 1 person

  30. Hell, i totally forgot about it. I dunno how, it just left my mind.🙊🙈 achanak aaj yaad aayi, nd luckily had some free time today. So read through all four chapters fast fast. And I’m floored once again. I can hear my own heartbeat. These people are love. ❤ seriously I’ve goosebumps now. I need to calm myself down and read again at leisure. It’s worth reading on and on. Nd I’m loving this phase too much already. this more mature people, the dynamics of their relationships, the new faces, the old ones reacquainting, and the most easygoing, relatable feelings thats the mostfascinating charm of A River. I’m in love, bas.

    Liked by 1 person

  31. Brilliant update meera ji…
    As much I love reading river with equal zest I enjoy reading all comments and analysis of update and characters…

    Liked by 1 person

  32. I have been reading book three sitting on the edge of my edge seat waiting for the momentous confrontation between Khushi and Arnav. The anticipation of when and how that will happen is killing me and the chapters have been at the deeply satisfying but at the same time inadequate feeling like sweet torture. I do not know about Khushi, but for me, it was important to know that Arjun has moved on. I would not have been comfortable with ‘the things remaining same in that regard’. I am not too fussed about having Arnav’s point of view because I know it is Khushi’s journey…. It is only Kushi versus Khushi. I am waiting to see how she wins.

    Liked by 1 person

  33. Ok I am really sorry for sharing my thoughts on this as well as last update very very late.
    I was very much busy with my studies going on & i am going to keep it really short.
    Well in this update I am really looking forward that how r u going to shape this up.
    Honestly speaking i am just looking forward to this last journey !!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Happy Holi everyone :)

      Aaja ree parsesi
      Main to kab se khari is paar, ye ankhiyaan
      Thak gayi panth nihaar, aaja ree pardesi

      PS: sorry for the alert guys at this hour when you are waiting for the update ;) :lol:

      Liked by 3 people

  34. Aah! This was sweet.
    Firstly , On khushi’s thought process , all the questions​ she was ruminating on , deep down she knew all the answers were a Yes. Isn’t it? But… there is nothing direct on the surface to prove. Sigh.
    Arjun n Krishna’s(?) conversation was intriguing.. Then comes the talk. It was , at this point , very overwhelming. So many emotions which crossed through Arjun, finally settled on the camaraderie , a foundation ,set today, for the life long friendship. This convo definitely is poignant in moving the story forward.

    Liked by 1 person

  35. Arnav has engineered the meeting or recruitment,he seems much more confident and despite the pretense of not that being the case. scenerio next -Arnav makes sure that they work together ,to rekindle their relationship

    but i love your feet
    only because they walked
    upon the earth and upon
    the wind and upon the waters,
    until they found me.
    ~~~ pablo neruda ~~~

    Liked by 1 person

  36. Forgot to mention….Arnav may have cooked up the visit to see both of them & how they are moving forward in their lives…one way to confirm before he pursues her. So far he knows she hasn’t married but wanted to see if she still feels for him. One way to find out was to face her.

    Liked by 1 person

  37. Khushi really has her feelings, insecurities, ego issues, hopes all tied up in knots. The more she tries to free them, the more they get entangled. I feel really sorry for her at the beginning of this Chapter. One song from Arnav and she is finding it difficult to breathe. Arnav, what have you done to her Man. Like I have said before, she is standing at crossroads completely unsure of which way to go. The only solution is for Arnav to come and make his stand clear to her. May be a verbal confession of his feelings, whatever they might be will help Khushi.
    I loved Arjun in this Chapter. His silent support spoke volumes of his friendship and character. Khushi can never get over Arnav in this lifetime, no matter how many promises she makes to herself. I am really glad that she has been able to separate her emotional side from the professional side. She very well deserves all that she has achieved and it would be sad to see her give up on it.
    After Arnav-Khushi, my favorite pair would be Arnav-Arjun. Love their talk and Arnav initiated it. Whatever unfortunate things happened in the past, it is amazing to see each of them making up for it in their own way. Arjun had all the right questions for Arnav and our dear AV Sir was as forthright and as elusive as ever.
    Prime of Life joke was hilarious Meera. How do you come up with such witty dialogues. Seriously you one of the Best writers who can induce and seriousness and humor in equal measure.
    I can’t believe Arnav traveled half way across the world to be in the same vicinity as Khushi just for a day, no matter what excuses he gives about Client visits. If this doesn’t confirm his feelings towards Khushi, I am not sure what would. Arjun’s love is a still a mystery(or not).
    Beautiful Chapter Meera.

    Liked by 1 person

  38. Hmmm.. old camaraderie revisited. I liked the more mature Arjun tho. This time he did notice and observe, but hinted if not openly say things he noticed.
    A reticent AV Sir, and a heart full of emotions. Looks hopeful indeed.

    Liked by 1 person

  39. Bohat ho gaya..
    AV n Khushi must confront each other..
    if not for their sanity,for ours at least..

    When Arjun is going to tell Khushi about Tripti…
    I hope she’ll be happy for them..

    Liked by 2 people

  40. Lovely update and lovely song. I also like the other song “Chapa Chapa Charkha Chale” from the same movie. Khushi and Arnav could not move on from each other. Their connection is too strong. Arjun is again involving himself in their matter. I won’t say interference. I hope it won’t backfire this time. I can’t believe AV is leaving. That means no more interactions. I don’t think so!
    Cheers…..

    Liked by 1 person

  41. Arnav and Arjun.. I like their conversation.. Its kinda give away many things…
    So Arjun IS with someone ( hopefully Krishna)… Arnav came for one day just to see her and convey his feelings to her with his song…
    I hope in his absence Khushi will gather herself and then they will talk…

    Like

  42. Like the whistle part in the song, somehow reminds me of a flowing river though fresh faced Chandrachur & gang sing about Gali
    Didn’t like Arjun hiding. GF Tripti s identity from kh
    She might blow the fuse or might think she can love too as Arjun has moved on
    But Arjun taunting Arnav was ridiculous, almost like Amy Adams
    Kh didn’t love Arjun , so how is that Varun s fault
    Arnav has apologized to both , has done so much for himself , is strong , in love, paved the way for kh to reach him with job offer
    He has kept his distance , even now came for a day
    Feel very sad for Arnav
    She should make the first move as she broke up with him

    Like

  43. He came from US for one day only…
    Only to see Khushi..
    Arjun now knows it..

    I m loving River more this time..
    I love Khushi,Arnav n Arjun more n more..
    I want to read about Tripti..
    Pls open the spin off ..
    I never have the chance to read even one of the 5 shots coz then I just have started River almost a year ago..

    Liked by 1 person

Say something?

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s