August 2005, Varanasi

Different people on campus were known for different things. There was Prashant Tiwari and his famous adult CD collection, of course. There was Shaurya Jaikumar who supplied to all those so inclined, the choicest high quality English erotica. Mallesh Pal was his counterpart for erotica in Hindi. And Bhojpuri. Rejji George and Susheel Pandey owned the weed supply on campus. When Holi was around the corner, they even knew to change their business to the more geographically relevant intoxicant – bhaang, supplied of course with outsourced thandai. Then there were those with the more innocuous – boring essentials as some would so refer to them – specialties to offer. Like Sudarshan Bhatnagar and his collection of English pop audio cassettes and CDs – all the way from Abba to Eminem. There was Vishwanathan R and his collection of question papers from the last two decades of semester exams and surprise quizzes for every branch.

Arnav had never really claimed the title of owning the largest collection of Bollywood music but he knew he could out bid anyone who might want to stake a claim in the space. Few people knew that they could practically expect to come up to him and ask for the obscurest of Hindi music and he would have it. His collection – alphabetically arranged, serially stacked and religiously replaced after every listening – formed the contents of an entire wooden cupboard in his room while his essentials (books and clothes) lay stuffed in suitcases and cartons.

When Arjun had casually asked him what he would put in a list for wooing a girl, the junior had no idea what he was unleashing. And Arnav himself wasn’t sure he had taken it as seriously till first realized his inability to locate one of his favorite 90s tape. Two hours of having emptied every cassette holder he could to check, was barely enough indication of his insanity when he pulled out his rarely used cell phone and placed an even rarer call on it.


“Don’t call me that” He warned running his fingers through his hair in frustration enhanced by his sister’s use of his least favorite name.

“What’s wrong?” Ti-Di asked even as she ignored his retort as always. “You never call me.”

“Do you have my Khamoshi cassette? I can’t find it.”

There was a moment’s silence. “Khamoshi? You don’t have a Khamoshi tape. You have a Best of Hemant Kumar….”

He bit back his teeth. “Not that Khamoshi, Di. The new Jatin-Lalit one.”

His sister burst out laughing. “Munna, Munna, Munna…I cannot believe that you know me so little to think I would waste any time on frivolous phuljhadi music. Why would I borrow your cassette and worse, why would I not return it to my slightly OCD-troubled brother?”

When he didn’t say anything, his mind already churning to think of other people who might have it, his sister spoke again. “I cannot believe a twenty something young boy of such intellectual capacity is agitated because he cannot find a tootie-fruity…”

“Di, I’m warning you…”

“I’m scared, Munna. I’m so…”

“Okay, bye Ti-Di.” He said and he disconnected the call. He took a deep breath and sat down on his chair. He just needed to retrace his steps. If he tried to recollect carefully, he would be able to recollect…

The phone rang sharply, disturbing his focus with what he was certain was his sister’s mothering avatar blazing through sonic waves.

“Yes, Di?” He said as he spoke absently into the phone. Had he lent it to someone? It wasn’t possible…

“How’s Aarohan practice coming along?”

Arnav blinked to push his search aside and smiled. He needed to focus on the call. When Ti-Di stopped teasing and starting asking seriously questions about things that interested him, it was time to pay attention or be subjected to the most pervasive inquisition there could be without physical violence. “It’s going well. And I am perfectly fine. So this can stop now.”

“What? A sister cannot be interested in her baby brother’s…?”

“Hardly a baby, Di. I’ve been a whole head and then some taller than you for the last six years or so.” He argued.

“Is Divya singing with you for that After-piece like last year?” Aditi pressed on again like a woman on a mission that she usually was.

Something about her question didn’t sit right in his head. But at the moment calling it out would only make matters worse. So he let it slide. “No, she is attending a wedding in Kanpur. There’s a girl who’s joined Mechanical Engineering this year and she sings well so she is…” He stopped as he realized that he knew what was wrong. “Did you speak to Sara?”

There was a moment’s silence before Aditi sighed and spoke. “I called her. She calls me every week and she hadn’t for the last two so…Is everything okay with you two?”

“What did she say?” Arnav asked. Saira and he had decided they would not share the news of their break with Aditi or anyone in the family till they knew if it was permanent or otherwise. He had specifically requested that she not discuss this with his sister. So…

“That you were busy with Aarohan and that she was busy with Mid-terms and Anatomy. Nothing that made me nervous enough to call you. ”

He almost breathed a sigh of relief when his sister spoke again.

“But now I am not sure.”

“Ti-Di, everything is fine. Just because she isn’t calling you doesn’t mean things are wrong between us. It’s all okay. She is right – she is busy with her work. I am busy with mine. The only one who seems to be jobless…” He held his words just in time as his volume trailed off. His sister didn’t deserve to be at the receiving end of his confusion.

There was silence again. But when Aditi spoke, her voice was lighter than before. His sister could win Oscars for her dramatic mood changes – mostly fake but at the moment, playing along seemed to be easy as pie. Perhaps because of the topic his sister chose for the conversation? “So tell me about this girl? Good singer? Gharana-type?” She asked. “And wait…did you say she joined Mechanical Engineering? Nikal padi tum log sab ki toh. How many ghayal so far?”

“I’ve lost count,” He laughed. “She sings well. And her knowledge of songs and lyrics is something else. You would be so jealous of losing your position.”

“Bah, I most certainly disagree. I am the queen and tum log 90s ke bachche ho. I start all the way from early eighties. But I’d love to meet this girl…maybe someday…”

Arnav smiled and shook his head.

“Munna,” She started and his smile dimmed. “I am going to talk to Papa. I think this has gone on for too long. You…Did Saira tell you about…”

“About the kheer episode.” Arnav completed. “Yes, she did.”

“I spoke to Amma too…she says Papa refuses to see reason. There is no logic to the log kya kahenge argument anyway. Raeesa Aunty spoke to Ahmed Uncle as well and he is just as stubborn. Though she thinks he will give in if Papa does. I told Amma I’ll talk to Papa when I am down in Patna over the weekend. If nothing, he will at least starting speaking to you. How long has it been since…”

Arnav interrupted. “Don’t Di. There is too much that has been said and done. Anything more will simply push everyone over the edge if they are not already there. And Papa and I are fine.” We will be.

He was not sure his sister had heard his request but he didn’t want to press the issue any more than required. So he changed the topic and asked about his soon to be brother-in-law and their impending wedding.

Much later, after he had decided, heavy heartedly to replace the Khamoshi song he wanted to put in the mixed tape with least known one from Dil Se, he found the cassette he was looking for in his music system. It was all he could do to not whoop like he had found treasure. The list he had put together was back on track and before dawn, the mixed tape had been recorded and placed in its cover. What he would do with it, he didn’t know. Having agreed to help Arjun woo Khushi, it just seemed wrong to hand it to her without telling Arjun. And yet, once he did tell Arjun, how would he explain its existence, especially given how many times Arjun seemed to come up with the theory that Khushi did infact have feelings for him?


Something had changed and he wanted to know what. She didn’t look at him anymore and it bothered the hell out of him. What made her gaze so powerful he would perhaps never know. But…he missed the way she searched his face like she was waiting for something. She was an ace at making things seem normal as long as she used her voice and her body language. When she allowed him to look into her eyes, he could see everything she was trying to hide. Or so he wanted to believe.

He ignored the little voice that told him that this was the way it was supposed to work; that this way no one would hurt because after all wasn’t he helping the only one who was any sort of certain about what was unfolding in his life?

“Iss pyaar se unki taraf na dekho, pyaar ho jayega, Babua!”

Arnav blinked and tore his gaze away from Khushi who was decidedly not looking at him. In that moment, it was almost as if she wasn’t even aware of him.

He looked up to see Prashant Tiwari grinning down at him.

“Ab aaya samajh mein, Arnavji.” Tiwari continued when Arnav said nothing.

Damn! He had allowed his guard to slip and of all the people in the world, Prashant Tiwari had been there to trap him. “Bakwaas ke mood mein nahi hain hum, Tiwari.” He bit out.

For a second, there was silence and it seemed like he had succeeded in shrugging Tiwari off. Of course, no such thing was about to make his life easier. He should have known. “I thought you were serious about that girlfriend you hide from everyone, Sant-Sahab.”

It was the edge in Tiwari’s voice, one that tore to shreds his conscience of clarity, which tugged at him. He stayed silent, knowing that what came next would not be pleasant. Perhaps that is what he needed.

“Hota hai.. That’s why being a hero is a double edged sword. There has clearly been no dearth of women who are interested in you. And perhaps committing to one so early on was too easy.” He explained as if trying to iron out the kinks in a grand plan of the universe. “Perhaps this garb of decency you wear with such ease was the wrong one to choose. You could have had a dream run here in IE-V if only you’d chosen to….” Tiwari chuckled. “You still could. Who’s going to tell…And others may say anything but Ms. Gupta maal toh hai…”

“Shut the fuck up, Tiwari.” He bit out as he glared at his friend. He pulled his clasped hands apart in his lap as he rose and decided to make things normal again. If nothing else, then he had a point to prove.

Tiwari’s laugh followed him as he weaved his way around the chairs in the auditorium to her. Tiwari was a jerk. He knew that. He wasn’t about to take his words to heart. There was nothing unsavory in what he was doing. He liked Kaveri Khushi Gupta and that was that. Why did he have to feel guilty about that?

He took a deep breath and forced himself to relax as he approached her. When he saw her, he couldn’t help smile. “You must really be stressed about Mid-Sem.”

Khushi looked up at him and for a second his heart soared as he found her gaze and saw her eyes widen slightly. Before he could shrug off his misgivings from the past few days, however, the shutters came down and something undefined glinted before she blinked and looked away.


“The text book you are holding.” He said with a nod of his head towards the Basics of Civil Engineering text book she was holding, her fingers pale at the tips that were clutching visibly harder than needed. “Upside down”

He watched as her face bloomed with warmth when she looked down at the inverted text. Her hands fumbled as she turned the book back up and muttered a quick “Sorry” as she opened the book and began to flip pages. He knew he was being dismissed and he wanted to know why. Perhaps it was the wrong question to pursue. But…

“Thank God, you said it.” He found himself saying with a smile instead. “I was beginning to worry you had lost your trademark apology already.”

She looked up and smiled bemusedly, perhaps hoping that he would take the hint and leave.

“So you are done with Electrical?” He asked as he slipped into the seat next to hers. “How was it?” He knew he was stubbornly refusing to leave her alone when she clearly wanted him to. Why? Was there any truth in what he thought he read in her songs; in what Arjun had more than hinted at?

“It was okay. Arjun managed to get hold of some previous year Mid-Sem papers…that helped.”

 “Ah the simpler times of previous year papers and expected questions. Wait till third year when open book exams are the order of the day.” He tried to keep his voice light. Perhaps banter would bring back some of the innocence that seemed to linger between them before it was all gone. Why? What had changed? And if something had, how was this entire singing for Arjun thing going to play out?

“That should be easy, no?” She interrupted his agitated thoughts and forced him to chuckle.

“You think they test you on stuff you can find in the books? Open book is worse. It basically means –Ha – let’s see what you can do. Positively evil. Professors carry a little bit of Satan in them, I think.”

He realized what he had implied as soon as her eyes widened and her back stiffened. Well done, idiot, he cursed himself before he spoke quickly to reassure her. “It was a joke! I don’t mean your parents, of course!” He held his hands held up in front of his chest in mock-defence.

Khushi blinked and shook her head. She looked away and her hands fidgeted in her lap. He saw her shift away from him like his presence bothered her. It lingered bitter on his tongue and twisted his gut. Look at me, he wanted to say so she would for even just a moment. She cleared her throat and looked to her right. Perhaps she was hoping that she would see Arjun and he would come to her rescue like he always did. And that would be perfect. That is exactly what he was hoping to help Arjun with, wasn’t he?

He needed to go. This weird sort of distance she seemed to be intent on putting between them was probably for the best. What did he want with her anyway? He may be on a break with Saira but he couldn’t ignore the underlying assumption that the break was never meant to be infinite. He didn’t do such things. He wasn’t the type of person who would break his commitment to someone he loved. And he did love Saira. He did.

Arnav took a deep breath and turned to look at Khushi who looked pale and clammy. Like…

She turned almost in the same instant, her eyes glowing behind those glasses. And for a second, there was no curtain anymore. He held her gaze and found her holding right back. Something flickered a second before she closed her eyes – a heartbeat longer than a blink and still it was enough for his fingers to curl before they lifted as if to…

She opened her eyes, blinked rapidly and stood up so quickly, the moment shattered around them like a million particles of unintended betrayal.

“Are you okay?” He asked, aware of how inane it sounded in that throaty texture his voice seemed to reflect around her.

“Is it okay if I skip our practice today?”

He had freaked her out. Shit! With all his silence the past few days and now this sudden need to be…How would he ever give her the tape? Heck, how would he even begin to tell her that he put one together with her in mind? And how the hell was he going to face her once the ridiculous singing drama for Arjun was done? Even if everything did work out for them – which he wasn’t really sure anymore it would at all?

If there was any truth in knowing when and how things between two people changed – he knew it. Tiwari was right. Fuck! The bloody pervert was right and he…he who prided himself on being decent, respectful…He stood up, towering over her as he did. He was about to take a step towards her when she continued hurriedly, confirming any suspicions he had about her altered behavior around him. “I am not feeling too well.”

She was lying. He wanted to prod and offer to take her to the clinic or back home if she preferred. Even as he struggled to find that thread of connection with her again, she took a step back.

She was running away from him. She was the smart one. He needed to be too. “Of course.” He said as he watched her turn away and hurry out of the aisle and the auditorium. The sense of loss in his finger tips was as alien as the flutter in his gut.

He swore mentally. What the hell had just happened?


River Song, Music and Lyrics

Song Title: Kabira

Album: Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewani

Singers: Rekha Bharadwaj, Tochi Raina

Music: Pritam

Lyrics: Amitabh Bhattacharya


Kaisi teri khudgarzi

Na dhoop chune na chhaon

Kaisi teri khudgarzi

Kisi thor tike na paaon

Ban liya apna paigambar

Tar liya tu saat samundar

Phir bhi sookha man ke andar

Kyun reh gaya?



Next Update: Monday, Aug 14, 2017; late night IST

Note: Like Chapter 15 in Book 1 and Chapter 23 in Book 2, this Interlude will have four parts. Two down, two to go before we get back to the present. Thank you for bearing with me while Aarohan 2005 comes full circle with Kaveri, Arjun and now AV.

513 thoughts on “Interlude X – B: The Perfect Storm

  1. I was listening to this today and now it’s no longer any wonder that everything circles back to the River.
    These words of course brought back this interlude to mind.

    Aankhon ki gustakhiyan maaf ho
    Ek tuk tumhe dekhti hai
    Jo baat kehna chahe zubaan
    Tumse yeh woh kehti hai

    Aankhon ki sharm-o-haya maaf ho
    Tumhe dekh ke jhukti hai
    Uthi aankhein jo baat na keh saki
    Jhuki aankhein woh kehti hai

    Aankhon ki gustakhiyan maaf ho

    Liked by 9 people

      1. Salman!! 🙄🙄🙄. Makes me think of the towel dance trauma in IPK. 😜.
        The words fit the scene where he is wanting to look into her eyes and she is looking down so well na?

        Liked by 4 people

  2. Posted by Biraj in a section where I cannot reply! So pasting her comment here! Hope it doesn’t cross any copying laws :D

    I agree P. But it all comes back to that sainthood comment. Yes he was the golden child. And I think from early on in his life that placed an enormous burden of expectation on him and he put too much pressure upon himself (and probably others around him did too albeit unwittingly) in trying to always live up to that. He wasn’t Sant Arnav for no reason. Everyone put him on a pedestal – Khushi, Arjun, others at IE-V, his family and even us the readers. He didn’t ask for it but he burdened himself trying not to fall off it. Yes he often didn’t say anything but a lot of it stemmed from this huge guilt he carried every time he appeared to fail to live upto it in his own eyes. And he wore his mask so well most time that we often tend to forget that he was a mere 20 year old at Aarohan time. And so much had gone on his life already by then. His relationship with Saira, his rift with his family, his break with Saira and their growing distance, his guilt about Saira having to face the family while he could escape to IE-V, his guilt over feeling relief, his burgeoning feelings for Khushi, his guilt over that, Arjun’s feelings for Khushi, their crazy plan and the unraveling of it all. It was beyond complicated for him. He was always between a rock and a hard place wasn’t he? He didn’t have the luxury of acting on his feelings for Khushi or even articulating and acknowledging them. When he and Saira became a couple she was his best friend and he did what he did to stand by her. Saira was the one who drove that relationship and probably always felt more than he did. But for him, the golden child, to fight with his family was huge. So he was committed to it. But he was too young to really know what love was. He probably always sensed something was missing without knowing quite what it was which is why he was never able to say the words to her. He began to realise the difference only after he met Khushi. I feel for him just as much as I feel for Khushi. It was just not their time. I remember writing a very long comment about this while chatting with Kavi after the Temporary Insanity chapter where he fell off his pedestal with a crash for many. Need to go back and find that. Khushi was young and in love and despite all the heartbreak that came later (multiple ones) in that moment she had the freedom to feel that love fully. To feel that starry-eyed wonder of love, to dance in the rain and dream of a kiss, to sing songs of love with all the feeling in her young heart. Arnav never had that even though he didn’t feel any less irrespective of whether he recognised or acknowledged it at the time or not (after all is said and done, the man is still waiting after 10 years, isn’t he?), the freedom to dream, to savour and bask in that moment even if briefly. Instead he always had the guilt of having failed to do right by someone or the other. Yes there were things he could have and should have said. He was misguided but he was earnest. It all comes back to that sainthood thing again.

    I was interrupted so many times while typing this that I have no idea what I ended up saying 😛
    I started typing as soon you posted it P so you can guess. Am just going to post it before I lose it altogether. 😀

    Liked by 7 people

    1. Muah! Muah! Muah! for this one Biraj!
      Your love for AV overflows and I understand why and how, I have that love for Khushi :)

      Khushi was young and in love and despite all the heartbreak that came later (multiple ones) in that moment she had the freedom to feel that love fully. To feel that starry-eyed wonder of love, to dance in the rain and dream of a kiss, to sing songs of love with all the feeling in her young heart. Arnav never had that even though he didn’t feel any less irrespective of whether he recognized or acknowledged it at the time or not(after all is said and done, the man is still waiting after 10 years, isn’t he?) – Oh Biraj! whenever you write the clarity stands out! of what you think of things and why! Love reading your perspective always!! And the way you sum it up takes the cake Biraj!!

      You make such a strong case for AV!!

      I love him too! How can I not… when he stood in front of Khushi and said the lines relating to that he is sorry for the mistakes and he will pay for it in other forms! The vulnerability stabbed me! I was moved to tears with the line – “The girl whose heart he had broken by smashing it against his own”.. .He is honest and knows what the years have done to him and Khushi…He has grown on me, I have had my own issues with him but then he has fought his way back up to top of the list ☺️☺️

      Liked by 8 people

                    1. I wanted to drown in a small mug of water (can’t do anything beyond ;) ) . Yeh sach mein ultimate catch tha :D :D
                      There’s Wiki-P and there’s P-pedia. Bas!

                      Liked by 6 people

                    2. About pratham I agree. We were all crazy at one time. As for the River we all bow to you. My second reading of Book 1 is moving at a snail’s pace much to my dismay. And the first one came over a long stretch of time because Meera was on a break in between. So I feel as if I have missed much of what I want to savour.

                      Liked by 4 people

      1. Birajwa, Lavzy, what has us so engrossed and going hammer and tongs commenting is because all these characters are so human. No body is perfect, they all have their flaws.
        Birajwa, in one of my many bak baks I remember writing how he has always been under the weight of expectations; some put on him by his family and some put by himself. When aarohan happened all of them were young, khushi and arjun even younger. This is a coming of age of all the characters even though its the girl’s view point that we see majorly. What he felt for khushi he didn’t know what to call it, not ten years ago and not five years later too, that’s why he did a runner. He had assumed that he had been in love with Saira, someone as important to him as his family. Someone who he had known all his life (then at some point realized that he didn’t really know this person, or that they were fundamentally very different), then how could what he felt for someone he didn’t know at all be love? That was his dilemma I feel, and he took a long time to get that resolved in his head! He came into himself when he joined IE-V. For the first time he could do what he wanted to, enjoyed doing, without having to face disapproval. The one thing that was fundamental to who he was, his music, especially the kind that he loved. Which his parents didn’t approve of and Saira didn’t like. Now here was this girl whose voice enthralls him and whose taste in music resembles his(that conversation he talked about when giving the tape, of obsure songs). And there was Saira his sweetheart, who he had left to face the weight of family disapproval all alone. Some where in that helping Arjun he was living vicariously. From that arjun interlude:
        ““Goodness, Agarwal. Filmy I knew. A romantic filmy…the shayar type…I would not have guessed.”
        Arjun grinned at his senior. “If romance isn’t filmy, what else can it be? I wouldn’t enjoy being any other type of romantic, would I? Would you?”
        AV-Sir looked at him quietly for the longest time. He drained his chai and ordered another but didn’t peel his gaze off of Arjun’s face. Just when Arjun was about jokingly warn AV-Sir against falling in love with him, the older boy spoke, his voice indulgent and strangely yearning. “We can still do that.””
        Something he probably felt he’ll never get to experience in his life, maybe he thought here was the opportunity to experience it even if vicariously. Khushi experienced everything first hand, yes, including heartbreak. One’s heart does go out to all of them, probably was not what they had expected love to be like.

        Liked by 9 people

                1. Totally tangential, but I must share this — Last week, during a client meeting my husband addressed a “Raisinghania” as “Raizada”. Husband ka bhi bheja fry ho gaya hai :p .

                  Liked by 5 people

                    1. Neend na mujhko aaye…… chupke chupke koi aake soya pyaar jagaye 😛😀

                      But you are right. It well past the time to hit the bed. My comments are probably incoherent by now 😛

                      Liked by 4 people

                    2. I daren’t go there 😉. I have a certain weapon bearing friend to fear. 😉😛. But GN before hamare ‘Arnavji’ concludes that I am crazier than he already believes. 😀

                      Liked by 4 people

            1. I watched today (because bitwa seemed normally dressed for a change) but not regularly. The forum I have no patience for. And the science drives me crazy. Actually too many things in that one drive me crazy 😀

              Liked by 6 people

                    1. You can get an account, you don’t have to do anything with it, and you can make yours private too. I have two handles, from one I have retweeted a few things, which can be seen only by one person, since I’ve kept it private and I’ve only one follower😂

                      Liked by 5 people

        1. P I was thinking of another angle, was reading Arjun’s Interludes… and read my comments back then :D

          Another possibility, AV agreeing to sing songs on behalf of Arjun to prove to himself that there is nothing that can draw him to Khushi anymore, he was searching for stability around her and singing songs would help him to get out of the dilemma concerning Khushi….. Long shot but still… he didn’t want to lose to the alien feelings so a resolve to help Arjun and get himself out of the equation with Khushi….

          Liked by 4 people

          1. Lavzy, in my many bak baks I remember writing that he used this helping arjun as an escape valve for the unwelcome feelings he felt for khushi. But then once he started singing (probably also because his doubts were in some ways confirmed on hearing tripti) his own feelings took over. Some of the guilt he felt later also came from knowing that he had also in some ways used arjun’s emotions for his purpose.
            P is in an angry old woman, pissed off with the world mode, so apologies if I don’t make any sense😁

            Liked by 6 people

            1. Totally agree with you P. I always felt that he agreed in the first place to try and nip in the bud what he himself was feeling for Khushi. To close off all routes to temptation /downfall I guess. He was trying to fight what he was feeling. But when the moment came he wasn’t able to help himself and sang from his heart and gave voice to his feelings through song under the guise of doing it for Arjun. That is why he told Khushi there were two people that night and probably also why he apologised to Arjun.
              I am catching up with this late so hope things and you are already feeling better by now but all the same lots of 🤗🤗🤗😘😘😘

              Liked by 5 people

              1. As its known since ages, Krishna is surely present in scenarios where things have to be maneuvered for a greater cause 😂
                Blame Tripti Krishna Tripti Gupta in the hallway on the night of Aarohan and her words to Khushi…. and AV hearing them and singing his heart out!! 😂😂

                Liked by 5 people

            2. P and Lavz, was just reading 15C Book 1 today
              “If there was ever a declaration of love with no words ever spoken, this was it.” Khushi was right. It was his declaration of love although it took him 10 more years to find the words. He then sang “mujhe raat din” When I hear the lyrics of that song and think of where we are at present in Chapter 17, they have come a full circle with that song.

              Liked by 3 people

                1. I know! I almost can’t wait. And I am sure the update will arrive just when the husband gets home from work (it usually always does) and by the time I am done with dinner and wind up it will an hour or more till I can get to it. I have been resigned to the extra wait but today I am restless. This is one I have been waiting for forever. Aarohan night Arnav ki zubaani.

                  Liked by 3 people

        2. Nodding my head vigorously at every word you’ve written here too P.
          What got me was —
          Arjun grinned at his senior. “If romance isn’t filmy, what else can it be? I wouldn’t enjoy being any other type of romantic, would I? Would you?”
          AV-Sir looked at him quietly for the longest time. He drained his chai and ordered another but didn’t peel his gaze off of Arjun’s face. Just when Arjun was about jokingly warn AV-Sir against falling in love with him, the older boy spoke, his voice indulgent and strangely yearning. “We can still do that.””

          Something he probably felt he’ll never get to experience in his life, maybe he thought here was the opportunity to experience it even if vicariously.

          So aptly put P.
          Being able to indulge in- his passion and use that to woo his lady love —- he never had that with Saira!!!
          Well — he tried to live that thru Arjun but convoluted it was..

          Back to present — here’s his chance to indulge in all that he wants to — with the love of his life —- the only one —- has me dying to know how he plans to propose!! I dont expect any grandeur (a la NK) but i know it will be something that will sweep us all off our feet too, alongwith Khushi!!!

          Liked by 5 people

          1. Haye///kavi darling ye hui na baat.I will be waiting desperately for that day already dreaming So many scenarios and I know that none of that will happen because it would be unique just like Meera darling

            Liked by 4 people

      2. Found what I had said to Kavi in a discussion with her and P when she was upset and heartbroken after the 3rd phone call and the possibility of AV having dated Divya and she was mad at him for being indecisive and unsure of his feelings. This was when AV had fallen of his pedestal for the readers with a crash landing (temporary insanity interlude) and before we revisited Book 1 through his eyes. A lot of it is pretty much what I said today.
        Copy pasting here (with all the typos included 😛)

        “Kavi only Meera has has the answers to those questions. I am not even sure that Arnav has them.
        Now I am just speculating which is really wading into dangerous waters especially considering the lesson this update has taught us about speculations.
        The way I see it he is overburdened with trying to be the prefect everything and trying to do the right things and living upto expectations of everyone and himself. Remember the line about having sainthood thrust upon him? And he tends to take the blame for everything upon himself and beats himself up over it. This is what I gathered from Aditi’s riverside conversation with Khushi. (Really need to reread this story) And he carries the baggage and the scars resulting from doing and being all of that. The 4 years after IE-V until the river were very hard on him. I remember Aditi saying this. His problems with Saira, his rift from his family after having been the perfect son, his meeting Khushi and his growing feelings for her, knowing Arjun’s feelings for Khushi and even more than that knowing Khushi feelings for him (because he did know whether he acknowledged or not), and knowing that although he made a insane plan with Arjun and was trying to hold it all together, in a moment of weakness he succumbed and though the songs were chosen by Arjun the emotions were all his ( he did tell her there were two people that night) and knowing what this did to Khushi. His guilt then of having wronged so many was so strong that he went along with Saira and allowed her to break it off eventually and entirely blamed himself for it. But the break in the last year was Saira’s idea (and Khushi was even not in the picture then). Arnav went along with it but still felt guilty and selfish for feeling relieved about having the reprieve he needed. He told Khushi that. And this was before any of the rest. So if being relieved alone made him feel so guilty I can’t Imagine what emotional burden the happenings around Aarohan put on him. Then his breakup happened and everyone at home gave him a hard time over it. Then came his professional problems. His fall from grace was complete in his own eyes from all areas of his life. He was at the river for a reason… was escape. And had Khushi’s arrival not tipped his decision who knows he may have been there even longer! Given all that he hadn’t allowed himself to even think of what he felt for Khushi if anything. And not to forget Arjun. When he saw her initially his biggest need was to explain and apologise. The night at the river came in middle of all that and before either of them could allow their feelings to blossom all hell broke lose again. It was just one night. I don’t think he had truly processed his emotions and more guilt got heaped upon him. He knew how badly Khushi was hurting. Again in the months that followed his greatest need was to explain, apologise and make it right and all he knew was he didn’t want to let her go. This was same the guy who called and apologised to Arjun. Khushi’s declaration in the 3rd phone call blindsided him. And her hurt overwhelmed him. He probably felt he didn’t deserve her love because he hadn’t done right by her and she was better off without him if he caused her so much pain. I am not sure what he felt but it was temporary insanity for sure. And the fact that he ran and didn’t say those words back to her just meant more guilt about having failed her yet another time. More self flagellation.
        He has had enough time to know he has been a fool. But the burden of guilt is still very strong. All those lines you quoted above of confusion i think are because in the intervening years he went through a period of trying to make peace with it. He felt his fear and cowardice had lost him Khushi and he had to accept Khushi’s decision with good grace and live with it rather than be the guy who can’t take no for an answer. Maybe it was his penance. With a guy like Arnav it’s hard to tell. We are second guessing all the time. Maybe he is was afraid to hope and may be he felt he didn’t deserve to hope. But despite all that he does hope deep down. He can’t help but hope. He would wait consciously if he allowed himself that hope. But yet subconsciously that is exactly what he is doing. The hope refuses to die. Hence the conflict. Depending on which emotion is uppermost in that moment – hope, despair, guilt, fear or a mix of all. Given his mindset, and given that at no point in their history did he have the luxury of feeling the things he felt for Khushi without having to pretend that he didn’t even to himself given the circumstances surrounding them at the time, save that one night at the river and even that was burdened by the knowledge of his plan with Arjun. Khushi had to deal with the worst of heartbreaks not once but thrice and yet when she first felt love she didn’t know about Saira, didn’t know about Arjun and didn’t know about the Aarohan plan. Same at the river. So at least in that moment she was free to feel fully no matter what came later. He never really was. Maybe that’s why it has taken him so long to figure out what it is that he feels if he has at all figured it out in those many words…….yet! It’s more like he knows saansein ruk jaayengi………but doesn’t know if that is love…yet! Or maybe he does now! He feels it. Whether he has said so to himself in so many words only Meera knows. If its “sirf ehsaas hai yeh rooh se mehsoos karo” then he certainly feels it. For the rest….we wait.

        Oh my god!! That is sooooooo long and I don’t even know whether it makes any sense. Time to 🤐😀
        PS: all of the above not withstanding I still want to bop him on the head! 🙄😀

        “I think the one mistake we make is that we see this story as Khushi’s journey. But it’s also as much Arnav’s journey. In the journey of the river to the sea we visibly see the moods and and phases of the river from the mountain stream, the rapids, cascades, tidal pools, the bends, the slow meandering river etc. But besides the obvious stormy turbulent ocean and its ebb and flows, even beneath a placid calm ocean there lies so much that is visibly unseen including churning underwater volcanoes isn’t? These are not immediately obvious so we sometimes forget that they exist.
        I wonder how we would see this whole story and Arnav himself if Meera were to write this story from inside Arnav’s head instead of Khushi’s. Would we then see him as human with all the human self doubts and frailties instead of as a hero and maybe see Khushi as the shining star? The golden girl? ”

        Liked by 9 people

        1. Ye ahsaas hai ruh se mehsoos karo—- bas– or kuch nahi chahiye uske baad. I am dead as this song does somersaulting of my soul from very deep. Absolutely gets lost in this song and lyrics. Birajjjjjjjj❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️.

          Now you said it so well about Arnav. I completely share that it is not Khushi’ s journey but in fact Arnav’s journey as well which is more turbulent.

          I would say many times ditto to all of your words. Beautiful seems too small a word but touched my heart .

          Tussi great ho ji.🙏🙏🤗🤗🤗

          Liked by 6 people

        2. Biraj, I never put him on a pedestal and that’s what discussion P and I had long before the book 3 :P

          Nahi! not everything you didn’t mention anything about Khushi the way you did in today’s comment :P

          I understand where this is coming from :)

          Liked by 6 people

          1. That comment was more than 3 months ago Lavs. 😉😉. The feeling is even more intense after chapter 17 (that line you quoted actually broke my heart) and the first two parts of this chapter. 😀

            And yes I know P and you haven’t put him on a pedestal in the usual way but you didn’t cut him any slack either. 😛. It was the pedestal equivalent of reverse snobbery. As in both of you thought (then) he got away relatively unscathed while the poor girl (and Arjun too because with you I can’t leave him out can I 😉) had her (and his – Arjun’s) heart broken. It was more like ‘he is everyone’s hero but a guy like that can’t be mine.’ And I am talking about then not now. We have covered a lot of ground in the story since then and know him a lot better now. But then he was an enigma shrouded in mystery. Take Aarohan for example just to illustrate what I am so convolutedly trying to say. Arjun was equally as guilty where that was concerned. And Arjun knew what Khushi felt about Arnav and he also had a suspicion about Arnav’s feelings but knowing that he still made that crazy plan. Not only that he didn’t tell Khushi about Saira even though he was aware of Khushi’s feelings for AV. He was her friend and he knew she was falling in love with AV. But he chose to be silent. But let’s give him the benefit of the doubt. Agreed he could have thought it is not for him to tell. Fair enough. But then why pick that moment to tell her? The timing of it? It was still not his story to tell if he truly believed that. And Khushi’s feelings had not changed or didn’t start from Aarohan night. What had changed was the he got an indirect affirmation of AV’s feelings after he heard them sing together and he felt threatened. So he acted as much in self interest as anything else and tried to do damage control. I don’t hold that against him because he was but a young boy who believed himself to be in love and following the old adage of all is fair in love. We all cut him slack for that. He did the same again when he picked that time at the River to confess his feelings. But we largely held AV to a different standard and held him guilty of breaking Khushi’s heart. I always felt that this was because we saw things through Khushi’s eyes and to some extent through Arjun’s eyes. So we understood them and their actions and motivations and their fears and insecurities. We made allowances for those. But we had seen nothing or very little through AV’s eyes. Especially upto end of Chapter 23 when we came to know about the Aarohan story. We didn’t know him much other than the college hero persona. We knew nothing of his fears or his feelings. And yet we judged him. Harshly at that. We didn’t cut him the same slack did we? It’s only of late after we have started seeing more and more things through his eyes that we have started to not judge him or judge him differently. So we have been guilty of either not seeing him as a hero at all or a hero with feet of clay. But we for a long time failed to see him as but a man of flesh and blood, of hurts and confusions, until much more recently. And that was what he always was. It was very revealing when he said to her “I have waited a long time to have you talk to me like you talk to everyone else – normally”. That chapter really got to me. I felt that applied to us too in a way.

            I have always felt keenly for Khushi. Because I can identify with her. And that is true for many of us. She needed no advocate because in some ways we are all Khushi. But for me a love story only works if I love both the characters equally as much. From time to time the balance may tilt more in favour of one or the other depending on the situation but essentially I cannot root for a hameshawala lau for a couple if I love only one of them.

            But why am I preaching to the converted? 😂. You already know what I am trying to say here with so much difficulty. 😂

            I have no idea whether I am making sense. But nothing new in that either 😜.

            Liked by 7 people

            1. That was some loaded with ammo comment Biraj! :P
              All sides covered haan :D :D

              I understand you have your own reasons so do I for loving a story :)
              Convered? Yeh hain kya hain!
              Initially, it was Arnav and Khushi story for me, but as I read more it became more about the characters Meera has etched rather than fan fiction characters for me. I have treated all of them equally all the three main characters, each character has their own highs and lows but that doesn’t mean I have to love all of them with the same fervor. Its a complete story for me, it was never a story about two people since the time I started commenting at least. Arnav and Khushi are a pair, they crackle when they are together how can I not love them together :)

              Liked by 7 people

              1. Was that what I typed? 😀 🤦‍♀️ Was too late at night. It was meant to be “converted” 😀. Which you are 😛
                I love all the characters too Lavs. I am talking of the love story aspect of it. Their love – story AV and Khushi’s. I can’t root for a couple if I don’t like both of them equally which is not to say that I haven’t wanted to shake Khushi from time to time or bop Arnav on the head. I have felt both of those things all too often in the past and not at the same time (though now I just want to hug them both 😛). But I can’t get invested in the love story if I am not invested in both the characters equally. Because if I don’t like both then I want the one I like to end up with someone else. 😛 I can’t root for them as a couple. Here I am completely invested in everyone as is more than obvious 😂

                Liked by 5 people

                1. Nahi! I am not converted! Wrong terminology for me! :P
                  I love the characters with every update the changes they bring in and growth I see in them :P

                  So am I invested too, but they you put it and the way I put it varies that’s all!! :D

                  Liked by 4 people

                2. Ok I went back and read. I had typed it right. I thought you were pulling my leg as usual 😂.

                  The magic is Meera’s writing Lavs that I continue to like Arjun despite the instances that I mentioned. Without ending up writing another wrong comment what I want to say is that we often ended up judging AV without knowing his side of things especially in the first half of the story. While we reserved judgement on the others because we knew them better and understood where they were coming from and all their fears and motivations. That was some skilful story telling which was meant to do just that and then teach us a lesson about speculations and the rest by making us eat our words 😜😂. Remember this one – “Don’t cook up scenarios that don’t exist. You may have been right once. You won’t be anymore. “. Straight from the author sahiba’s pen.

                  Liked by 6 people

                  1. 😂 Yes, you had typed it right but I wanted to make an exclamatory mark but screwed up the spelling! 😂

                    See what I knew little of him, couldn’t just love him for that, whatever his actions were back then was waiting to read the reasons, the more the reasons came to light, AV started growing on me :P

                    I do remember that line, how can I not! 😂😂

                    The art of story telling and Meera’s words – true that!!

                    Liked by 5 people

                  2. Uff that was meant to read as “long comment” not “wrong comment” although I am beginning to wonder whether the matter applies just as well 😂

                    Liked by 4 people

                3. I remember those discussions as well — wanting to shake khushi and wanting to whack AV — and then again wanting to hug them tight and never let go as well — becos you understand the whys and the hows behind the whats! phir se — circumstances/situations and timing!!!
                  its been one hell of a roller coaster ride!!!

                  Liked by 6 people

            2. You’ve covered it all Biraj — voiced everything I would have said as well!!! Especially about Arjun!!! Big big big DITTO!!
              From being an all out Khushi supporter, identifying with her completely (even said that in so many of my comments that I used to be a Khushi minus the weight , which is why her thinking resonates so deeply), to not really falling for AV until closer to the end of Book 2 (Arjun POV chapters tipped the scale for me), to my issues with Arjun’s behaviour , to the balance tilting differently with each chapter so often becos of what was revealed then, you’ve covered it all!!
              Moot talking about it now since so much has happened since then!!
              What just completely has me spellbound is the way it has all unfolded — the narration! We’ve lived this journey alongwith Khushi, AV, Arjun, Tripti, even Saira with this chapter!

              This one is a masterpiece === one that will remain with me for the rest of my life!! My favorite ever!!
              And for that all i can say is THANK YOU MEERA ! HAMESHA! I dont know how else to quite put it!

              Liked by 7 people

              1. Yes it’s has been quite a journey, hasn’t it? And this has been the first story which I have read real time as it’s being written. My usual fiction reading style that once I am into a book I don’t want to put it down until I am done. I get impatient waiting. So I usually wait till a lot of it is already written so I can binge read. Even with Meera’s other works that I have read I did that. But this one I started reading from the time she posted the prologue. And its the first one where I started reading the comments. Not initially but somewhere along Book 1 perhaps after she came back from her break. But I didn’t comment until Book 2 ended. Then I felt I just had to say something at least to let Meera know how invested I have been in this story. Of course there has been no looking back since then. And i have to say that discussing it with all you has only enriched the experience manifold, enough to me make wish I had started doing it much earlier. That loss is entirely mine. Thank you so much Meera. I shall cherish this one always for the story, the characters who are so real and dear to me and even more for the friends. 🤗🤗😘😘

                Liked by 7 people

                1. OK this is now eerie — I can only say Ditto ditto ditto to every word you ve written — literally –its as if i am talking about myself when i read your comment — to the extent of even reading this story after she came back from the break.
                  I started commenting in Book 2 — the earlier chapters — and I remember i started commenting becos I was so mad at AV;s interludes and I needed to let that out.. Thats when i started to comment and made the lovely friends I have here today!!!

                  I can copy paste your entire comment here — becos thats not just you, thats exactly me as well!!! Verbatim!!!

                  Muaah Biraj —😘🤗🤗😘

                  Liked by 6 people

              2. 🤗🤗🤗 you all are so kind! I am so grateful that I have such a wonderful set of people here cheering this story on. THANK YOU! Yes I write because it brings me some creative satisfaction to be able to tell a story. But it feels worthwhile when I see you all being invested praise and criticism alike, fighting for or with the characters and their actions.

                Liked by 7 people

                1. 😘🤗🤗😘
                  You probably have an inkling of our paagalpan, our sankiness, our obsession now Meera!! And believe me this is still putting it mildly!!
                  We are living this story with you!
                  There can never be any other story that will ever come close to this one –not just for the story, but from an experience standpoint as well !!

                  Stay Blessed always Meera — It has always been my biggest prayer for you!

                  And humse toh peechaa chootega nahi!! you are forewarned!!! 😋😋

                  Liked by 6 people

                2. Meera — i had to come back here and mention this —
                  Yesterday I was at the Asha Bhosle and Javed Ali concert!!
                  And Javed Ali sang — Ek din teri raahon mein ….
                  and all I could think of was AV!!! I was completely spellbound, overwhelmed and had goosebumps listening to Javed Ali singing this live!!! Needless to say, tears streaming down my face as well!!!!
                  While I have always loved this song, hearing it live — gave it such a different meaning altogether and now it will always be associated with AV — I know you used it as the song in Ch 16 In for a Penny!

                  Your choice of songs — is brilliance Meera!!! Every single time!

                  And then Ashaji sang — Mera Kuch Saamaan — enough to slay whatever was left of me by then!!! She is just magic — even at 85!!!!

                  Point I was making — anything and everything just gets associated with the River!!

                  And I wait — like never before — for you to slay us again with more of AV in the update tomorrow.. Yeh kaisa dard hai — yeh kaisi paagalpan hai!!! Qatl bhi hota hai and phir bhi humme besabr intezaar rehta hai, iss tarah ghayal hone ke liye!! Har Baar!

                  Liked by 4 people

                  1. Awwwwwww!!! 🤗🤗🤗 and you heard both Javed Ali and Asha Bhonsle!! I am so so envious :):) Cannot imagine how good they were. Both songs you mention are such favourites even if as different as chalk and cheese!

                    Liked by 5 people

                    1. 🤗🤗🤗😘😘
                      Yes, the only reason I went to the concert was to see the legend alive!!! How could I miss the opportunity!!
                      Javed Ali was a revelation!! I have watched him on TV and yet I was not prepared to be this astounded by him! I didnt even know he was the original singer of so many of the songs he sang live.

                      Ashaji — there’s nothing that any of us can say that will do justice. I recorded her singing Mera Kuch Saaman and she did that without any music!!! Pure heaven!!!!

                      Between the two of them, they simply mesmerized us and left us craving for more!!

                      Liked by 5 people

        3. This comment from Biraj had teared me up that time!!! This is the one that I referred to earlier as well!!!!
          This was one of the best ones ever!!! Those were some conversations we had!!!
          Biraj — 😘😘😘

          Liked by 6 people

            1. Even now — tears!! 😘🤗🤗
              When emotions are too overwhelming it is difficult to find the words to express all of it — thats what happens with me more often — What i end up writing barely even covers 1/4th of what i feel!!
              In AV”s case, it has happened more often than not. Not just that chapter on Temporary Insanity where I was upset. Chapters revealing what he went thru, implied or now clear — were just so overwhelming!! When you get more than what you had ever imagined — not withstanding the high moral standards you had, it just affects you that deeply and you find that even words are not enough!! ..
              And then to see comments like this where you voice my exact thoughts — – you say everything I want to but was unable to find a way to!
              Muaahhh girl!!! Big time!! 😘🤗🤗

              Liked by 5 people

                1. I had watched Sonu Nigam and Shreya Ghoshal a couple of years ago!!
                  If there is anything that can reduce me to tears its music!! Without any effort!!
                  Else i am not the kinds to shed them!!

                  Always wait for the summers when all these singers are touring the US !!

                  Liked by 1 person

                    1. Wow!! you lived in the same building as these legends!!!! 😍😍😍

                      Ive watched Shankar Mahadevan too. He is gooooodd!!!
                      Watched Hariharan and Zakir Hussain together!! They were a treat!! Have always wanted to watch Zakir Hussain.. its never enough though!

                      Liked by 2 people

                    2. Heard Hariharan sing live too. But that was at a private function not a show.
                      Must share with you one very special memory I have. I had just come home and was waiting for the elevator. Lata was waiting too. And that day she was absent-mindedly humming which she never ever did. And continued to do so as we both got into the elevator. There were just the two of us and I was standing right next to her. Unfortunately she lives on the first floor which came all too soon. How I wished it was a skyscraper and she lived in penthouse. I would have ridden all the way up just to keep listening.

                      Liked by 2 people

                    3. My biggest regret was missing out on a Jagjit Singh concert!! Never had a chance.
                      my favorite — Woh kaagaz ki kashti, woh baarish ka paani!!! 😍😍😍

                      Liked by 2 people

      3. I remember that conversation with Biraj where she wrote all this earlier as well… I also remember being equally blown away at the time!!! Some completely passionate comments/cases being made at the time!!!

        Liked by 5 people

    2. Biraj, thats your comment?? I couldnt find it hence am replying to it here.
      Kudos!!! That is one deeply insightful comment! Completely in AV’s POV…yup he had to work hard at not falling off the pedestal, didn’t he?
      Being a hero is hard work…and being a good person who is also a hero must have been an even harder one. Twenty years!!! Shoulders too young for a bhoj as difficult as what he faced! Lovely comment!! Wonderful! :hugs: :muah:

      Liked by 6 people

      1. Sandy 🤗. Good have you back. Seems like a long time. It was your words that are in one of my comments above. About him being but a man of flesh and blood. The magic is in Meera’s story telling and creating characters who are no longer fiction but real to us.

        Liked by 5 people

  3. How and How! Wow! Living his life vicariously! I cannot agree more with the reason! totally plausible!
    Next two parts are going to be hard yet this part of the why he sand will kill us for sure!!

    We had this discussion if you remember P…with you on this!

    The lines you have posted from Arjun’s interlude! I have to read it now! On it as soon as I finish here!
    Thank you!!

    Liked by 6 people

  4. It is always a pleasure to read AV’s thought…Keep it coming…😀
    So many instances where we were clueless to what was going on his head..but finally we knew…he felt the connection then even though he had his own share of guilt to deal with…that makes much more sense now…there was temptation that he might not have realized yet there was his conscience that was mocking him…only if he had his issues with Saira dealt out….But then again, this might have meant to be….or else Who else can explain this twisted tale?😍
    I saw Arjun’s part updated too…Running off to read that…


    Liked by 1 person

  5. Just ran through my old playlist….the 90’s! God, this song was everywhere!
    For AV…and Kavi!

    Come back and dry the tears I cried for you, baby
    You’ve gotta stop this heartache deep inside
    You’ve gotta help me make it through the night safely
    Come back and save me
    Where do you go, my lovely?
    Where do you go?
    I wanna know, my lovely, I wanna know…

    Liked by 7 people

      1. I’m not cringing really…the song just came on and brought back a lot of memories. I cannot believe I used to like this one though lol..but it’s still pleasant to the ears.😊

        Liked by 4 people

  6. Meera,
    Finally found the time to soak in the update. I think from Book 1, I had been wanting to view the Arohan night though AV’s eyes. What did he feel? Why did he do what he did? Of course, in Book 1 it was more ‘Why did he make eyes at KK when he was seriously involved with someone’. Would you believe if I said I was righteously indignant about the way AV was treating Sara. Truly, more than KK my heart went out to her.
    But, you can never hold what was never your’s in the first place.
    In Book 2 when you revealed a little more about the entire situation, I felt myself giving a little leeway to AV. But this…this was what was needed to vindicate him completely.
    Tiwari made me go ‘yiwueee!!!’ Actually, this update gave me quite an insight into teenage hostel dwelling boys. It was knowledge I could have done without :rolling eyes: I am sure these thoughts would haunt me when my boys are in college!!
    OC AV…hehe… I could totally relate with that. I’m the kind that worries about a missing spoon at 2 am :P
    The list he made with such thought, unwilling to examine closely why he was taking so much pains to make it, the unknown emotion gripping him when she refuses to meet his eyes, the fleeting pain he feels when he resigns himself to watching Arjun and Khushi’s relationship unfurl, the irritation when Ti-Di asks questions he doesn’t want to answer, even to himself…all brilliantly written Meera. I love how you think everything through. You put yourself in every character’s place and then write the emotions they would have felt. I am humbled, truly, to read your work. Thank you for writing. May you always write and if ever you publish any of your work, count me in as one of the first buyers :)

    Liked by 6 people

  7. I really like this song and the movie of course…..can’t remember how many times I have listened to this song on repeat mode when it came out….loved this update as usual….learning about arnav’s side more….<3 <3 <3

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Was listening to this yesterday – not a situational song, but posting it for it’s sheer beauty (Meera, hope you don’t mind :) ). “Khamosh sa afsana” from Libaas… talks of loneliness, lost chances and a second chance.

    Kitne saahil dhoonde, koi na saamne aaya
    Jab majhdaar mein doobe, saahil thaamne aaya
    Tum ne saahil pehle bichaya hota…

    Khamosh sa afsana, pani se likha hota
    Na tum ne kahaa hota, na hum ne suna hota…

    Liked by 6 people

        1. I have heard the song but dhyan se kabhi nahi 😁…. I dint know the story behind the movie release… To top it all it’s Gulzar Sahab! Have to watch it! 🙂

          Thank you for the info Vin!!

          Liked by 4 people

  9. Loved this part with some more insight of Av’s thoughts and flashbacks..He was always a mystery.Its good to know about his side of story.Thank you so much for writing this amazing story.Eagerly waiting for the next part…

    Liked by 1 person

  10. It so good to always read from Arnav’s POV and get a peek into his mind and I so much want to go back and read from the beginning to get the full picture alas asli duniya, totally loved the update!!!

    Liked by 1 person

  11. I saw the date change on my laptop, got all excited and came here to realise it’s just my horrid sleep schedule playing tricks on me. Oh Monday late night IST, come soon.

    Appy Singh! (on a tumbler of strong filter coffee)

    Liked by 2 people

  12. OMG Meera! Hats off to you! Such flow and everything is falling into place now! Love it love it love it! Cannot wait to go back to the present! xx

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Great Meera

    Thanks for giving us this interlude from Arnav’s perspective as I think it was much needed. And all of this started with that tape conversation.
    Well in the last part we got to know how he decided to make a tape with his list of songs and in this we got to see what all he had to do to get that list going!! Way to go Arnav..

    But there was a lot if confusion in Arnav’s mind regarding what he felt for Khushi coz’ this was a novice experience for him as well!! He was trying so hard to get to talk to Khushi and I remembered that update where in this convo took place. Arnav literally panicked when he realised that Khushi is in full ignorance mode!!
    Well great that you are going ro give us 2 more parts to this interlude and I am hoping that again those would be Arnav’s POV.

    Lots Of Love.. 😊😊

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Have waited for thia so long that now it feels surreal. I’m happy, so very happy to know all that khushi felt before Arohan night was not one sided. It was notthe imagination of her romantic heart which betrayed her practical mind.

    It is amazing to see AV like this. He is preparing a cassette for the love of his life with Khushi in mind. The only Saira takes entry in his thoughts has nothing to do with love. I love how he go crazy for a specific song he wants for khushi in his tape.

    Thanks meera for catering to this ever lasting craving of AV mind and heart during Arohan.

    Liked by 1 person

  15. This interludes give more life to the story .i really wanted to know AV sir’s thoughts about Khushi, especially during Aarohan . And this interlude puts light on Arnav’ s mind for us to see through his thoughts.
    Well done indeed. You write anything, i always want more😉😉

    Liked by 1 person

  16. The mixtape. The need to make one for her and no one but her was sign enough. He just couldn’t quite complete the match following between the scrambled tables of feelings and actions.

    Ti-Di. Quite invested, wasn’t she? Even if well-meaning, I wonder if despite his plea she pushed at the wrong time. How would it have changed Aarohan? Perhaps not the outcome of it, but the magnitude of heartbreak?

    Back then, we knew of her feelings, saw him through her eyes. And now when the pixels swarm in to form the other half of a memory, rendering it a new shade, it is just as sweet. So aware. She of him and he of her. However did they think they could escape from what they had.

    I loved all the references in the beginning. I can easily replace the names with the ones from my college. :) I may not have had a wall full of cassettes, but I had the question papers. (That also meant I was the most friend-wealthy person during exam time. XD)

    PS: Pah…. Arranging cassettes in alphabetical order and taking care of them is hardly OCD.
    PPS: Lesser known song from Dil Se – Are you talking about what I think you’re talking about?

    Liked by 1 person

  17. Now really M! I hate Prashant Tiwari but he may have struck a chord at that time. Everything is naming sense now. Glad to read more about Ti Di.

    Arnav was such a mess at that time. Where we were thinking that he probably didn’t care but all this time he was struggling with his feelings at one hand and with all that drama back at this home. I did said somewhere i guess, That AV was also a college boy. How could we expect extreme maturity from him. But still those times, i don’t know whom to blame. Destiny maybe?

    Liked by 1 person

  18. My heart went out for Khushi in this chapter. When I had read her version, I was, just like her not sure about Arnav’s feelings. But after reading this I felt bad for what she went through. Her initial admiration for Arnav changed into something more substantial and when she realized the intensity of her feelings she tried to distance herself from him. But Arnav tried to move into her space and with Aarohan, he got her hopes high only to be shattered later. And years later at the river when she tried to hold her self in place, he again sought her out not revealing anything about the Aarohan night(Of course, in his defense it was Arjun’s story). Again she realized that she was alone in how she felt. She really was tested too many times.

    One of the most endearing characters in this story is Ti-Di. Enjoyed reading the conversation between bro-sis duo.

    Liked by 1 person

  19. His feeling r there for all to see, yet he was in denial, due to loyalty to Saira? Brotherhood with Arjun? Or his own principles he didnt wanna overstep? :-(

    So now we know how and when the mix tape was made.. and how Aditi knew of her.


  20. sometimes we mistake friendship as love….he felt something more than friendship with saira but less than love…… only after falling in love you can realize that wat is the feeling of love…. you can’t choose love…its love chooses us…..saira was with him from the childhood as a part of him….maybe after passing time he may felt attractions towards her and he himself believed he loved her…Maybe he loved saira but not definitely in love with saira..
    both are different….

    Liked by 1 person

  21. Arnav’s plight is as heart wrenching as Khushi’s..
    It was not their time then ..
    Both of them have come long way …
    Wanna know more about Saira right now..

    Liked by 2 people

  22. What a heart breaking revelation. Both were fighting hard to get away from that pull. I think Ti-Di tried her best and she did her bit the way it seemed fit. She spoke to her father for her baby brother. What a complicated situation they were pushed in to?

    Liked by 1 person

  23. Meera, I have written enough about AV s pain
    It was hard to be a good man, hero, role model to many , living up to the expectations
    Kh was luckier I think
    One point I wanted to make is
    Tripti stage whispered kh s love which AV heard, the songs he sang with love were for Arjun to kh, so both Tripti & Arjun have been instrumental in making things much more harder for Arshi
    May be they both have vowed to bring Arshi together
    Also it clears their path

    Liked by 2 people

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