Happy 2018 to you and yours!

As a new year is born, an old story fades away. What lasts forever is the memory that every moment has been. This update goes to everyone who has been and everyone who still is a part of the River. Thank you for being here to keep me going!

 

She placed the hair brush on the dresser and glanced at her reflection quickly – just long enough to be okay with the hazy outline of her appearance and turned away. Her hair shone and her eyes sparkled with thick kohl behind her glasses. A crystal lay nestled between her breasts over a midnight blouse paired with the lightest shade of denim she owned. The effect was un-expectedly slimming and strangely pleasant for an evening under the arc-lights. Or perhaps it was the glow borrowed from a long ago time of a similar setting and the first brushes of love. In either case, she was happy she’d refused to shop specifically for the event and stayed away from braver outfits that Divya and Tripti had tried their best to coerce her into wearing. And in hindsight, she was glad she’d stuck to what she was most comfortable in. The fact that there was jewelry of some sort on her was the most she was willing to do. And of course, the dainty silver watch on her wrist. Many second thoughts later, she’d reached the conclusion that the gift wasn’t as bad as she’d first thought it to be. And that it felt wonderful against her skin, irrespective of how it looked. Anyway, she told herself again, who in the world had the time to take a look at her and ridicule the choice of watch-size on her wrist – of all things! Not even her mother was incentivized to improve Khushi this much!

Chuckling to herself at the thought, she sprayed some of her favorite body mist on her pulse and then stepped out of the small dressing area, only to almost walk into her sister. To say that Tripti glittered would be an understatement. In her deep purple halter neck top worn over indigo jeans, her recently straightened hair falling in thick sheets around her face, all the way to the beginning of her waist, grazing large silver hoops in either ear, she looked stunning. Her eyes were lined with thick kohl just like Khushi’s and her lips sparkled with a dash of the trademark Krishna Tripti lip gloss.

“You look stunning!”

“Navy is completely your colour, Di!”

They burst out laughing as they finished speaking.

“I can’t believe it,” Khushi exclaimed. “You have no suggestions on what I should do differently about my appearance?”

Tripti shook her head with a smile. “It’s like there are million LEDs under your skin. So the fact that you aren’t wearing the drops I bought you to go with that pendant, is going to be ignored.”

Khushi chuckled. “That’s mighty generous of you, sister. I must have done something right in my pichla janam.”

“This janam.” Tripti exclaimed as she rushed to borrow Khushi’s body mist and went on to spray some on her pulse points too. “You picked Arnav Varun. That’s no mean feat. He presented his argument about why a career in India is just as lucrative as a career and a life in a developed country – without Mom pointing out the fact that he had seen both and hence was allowed to make an informed choice…unlike me…”

“I think she is just trying to keep confrontation to a minimum. Future damaad and all that…”

Tripti laughed. “I know.” She shook her head again. “Ten years ago would you have imagined your AV-Sir, Mom and the word damaad in the same sentence ever?”

Khushi quelled the rush of overwhelming emotion in her chest and focused on the lightness of conversation at hand. “She always did like the achcha-bachcha boys better than she liked us. So I am not truly surprised she didn’t argue with him.”

“All the achcha-bachcha boys except Arjun,” Tripti pointed out. “That’s a mystery we cannot solve in this lifetime.”

When Khushi said nothing in return, her sister let out a sigh. “Can I not talk about Arjun without it being a declaration of something momentous? Life is not a TV soap, you know, Kaveri Gupta. Iss Pyaar Ko Kuch Naam Mat Do. And before you latch on to that Pyaar – it just seemed to fit the situation – it doesn’t mean anything.”

“Why isn’t he here today?” Khushi asked though she’d resolved she wouldn’t broach the subject with Tripti.

“I didn’t ask him not to come. If he chooses to sulk…”

“Trip – this entire being offhand business…do you really feel as dismissive about him? Because I am beginning to wonder if…”

“Seriously, Di. Let’s not talk about this today.” Tripti said in a small voice. “I want this evening to be perfect for you. We all deserve some of these days.”

“I am fine, Tripti. And irrespective of whether you talk to me about this today, tomorrow or not, I will always be thinking about you and Arjun and whatever this means.” Khushi watched her sister who was now struggling maintain contact.

“I know. And I don’t know what is keeping me from just blurting it all out. But…” Tripti sighed and then in a moment that came after many months and almost unparalleled intensity, she threw her arms around Khushi and hugged her hard.

At once, Khushi’s own eyes filled and she hugged her sister back.

They said nothing to each other but stayed still, each resting her cheek on the other’s shoulder.

“I love you, Tripti.” Khushi whispered in the same instant as her sister did. “I love you, Di.”

Laughing damply, they stepped away from each other.

“I’ll tell you once you are back from Rishikesh,” Tripti promised after a moment of evident deliberation. And then suddenly her mood seemed to change. “I cannot believe you are taking a trip with Jeej – before shaadi,” She exclaimed, “and the parents are being so cool. Why isn’t Mother Dear worried about your virginity?”

Khushi scrunched her nose. “Shut up, Tripti. We are just taking a trip, Trip. Don’t start tripping over terrible assumptions.”

“Ha! Kisi aur ko bewakoof banao. Don’t tell me you guys haven’t done it. No one shines like you do these without sex. It’s a known fact.”

Khushi stared at her sister in incredulous awe. “I don’t even want to know why you know that and what that means.” She turned away step forward so that they could head out for the evening that lay waiting. “And yes, this is me not-so-subtly telling you that we are NOT discussing my virginity.”

“Discuss, not at all. Just tell me it is a thing of history. I need to know my Di is all grown up.”

“Chalo, Tripti Gupta. We are not talking about this. Arnav said he’ll be here at eight and it’s almost eight.” Khushi said as she walked out of her room.

“Of course. Don’t want to keep your…wait a second, Di, you guys are already talking about Roka and weddings but where is the proposal story? And the ring? Please tell me there is one?”

Khushi sighed. “There is none. That we will get married was a foregone conclusion. It’s not movie-romantic but that’s what it is. And I think…I prefer it.” She said honestly.

Tripti rolled her eyes. “It’s not any type of romantic. So I am wondering if Alum Aarohan is a good setting?”

Khushi’s eyes widened. “No, please…Tripti…don’t you dare even say something like this to him. I will punch you in the face. I promise I’ll do it. In any case, I do need to repay you for that slap from back in 1999.”

Tripti shrugged. “Too late for that – it was a moment and you never have those. And I am not going to tell him but what makes you so sure that’s not what he’s thinking already?”

“Seriously, Trip,” Khushi said as she crossed her fingers. She knew she didn’t have to worry about stupid grandiose gestures from Arnav. Their moments were always strangely private. Other than the time when they sang, the presence of others around almost always seemed to activate a private mode on their emotions. Those times were always more about shared glances and smiles, short phrases whispered in low voices and acknowledged with a barely-there nod.  And yet, her heart was pounding now. She needed to find Arnav and make sure their story was always just theirs.

——–

She found him waiting at the entrance to the staff quarter, deeply focused on his phone – furiously typing away what she could easily guess had to be a work related email. Before she could say anything however, Tripti gave out a shout. Shiv-ji knew, the number of times her sister used the word Jeej, one would think her Jeej was no less than Shiv-ji himself. Sorry, Shiv-ji, she whispered with a sheepish grin.

“Jeej! Don’t you look handsome enough to be my Jeej!”

Khushi smiled and watched as Arnav looked up from his phone, putting it away as his eyes caught hers for a moment, flared and then flitted away reluctantly to find Tripti’s.

“Absolutely. I have to make the effort to make sure I don’t let down my gorgeous Saali.” Arnav replied with a smile as Tripti gave him a big hug. How her own flesh and blood was this comfortable with physically expressed affection, she wouldn’t know, but the sight of Arnav and Tripti sharing these few moments of togetherness was like a shot of adrenaline to her poor lovestruck heart.

“Tell me I look wonderful?” Tripti asked as she stepped away from him and forced Khushi to stop in her tracks behind her. She twisted and turned as if to model how she looked to Arnav, forgetting rather conveniently that she was now over twenty five and not fifteen.

“You do.” Arnav said softly and then raised his eyes to look straight at Khushi. “You look wonderful.”

Khushi smiled and shook her head. Over the last few months, he’d finally learned that she was not one who could accept compliments on how she looked without scoffing or snorting and most often both. This, she realized, was his special AV twist into communicating what he wanted to without invoking her ire and uncovering her Pandora’s box of self-doubt.

“Thank you, Jeej. You are the absolute best. Now,” She turned to look at Khushi and looked at her shrewdly, “You guys obviously want to be alone. I don’t intend to be the haddi in this s.l.o.w.-cooked-kebab. So off I go and see you guys in an hour on the stage.”

“Trip, don’t be silly.”

“Bye, Tripti”

Both Khushi and Arnav both spoke at the same time but of course, it was the discord in their responses that was most hilarious for Tripti Gupta. She laughed out aloud for several minutes before she air kissed her sister’s cheek, calling her a fattu under her breath before traipsing away under the guise of having promised to meet friends from her batch who had flown in earlier in the evening.

“How was your call?” She asked as soon as they were alone and starting walking towards the auditorium. One glance at him confirmed that Tripti had been right. He looked spectacular as always with a navy jacket and stone washed jeans paired with a white shirt. He had pushed his sleeves up to his elbow so that the gash she so loved was visible on one forearm while the other sported a large sporty watch that gleamed in the borrowed light from the halogens above their head.

“It was okay. It’s December and the strength of the practice is practically zero. And for some reason the client has decided they want to see the proposal come in before Christmas.” Arnav said softly as shifted closer to her so that his warmth was grazing her own. “But never mind that,” He said as he turned to put his arms around her waist and pulled her to himself.

“Don’t” She warned as he leaned to kiss her.

“Why?”

“Lip gloss. And I am not carrying any extra. I don’t want to look…”

“Like you’ve been kissed thoroughly?” He asked teasingly.

“Like I didn’t get what I really wanted and had to make do with just a few meagre kisses.” She shot back, without hesitation – a skill that seemed to surprise her.

His eyes widened. “I am hurt! I will have to show you how “meagre” my kisses can really be. Now I cannot wait for us to leave for Rishikesh.”

“Wait a second, we are going to Rishikesh to be able to drive up to DevDwar. That’s all. What else are you hoping for?” She asked with a sly smile.

“You’ll know soon enough, baby. I know you more than you think you know yourself.” He whispered in her ear. “I know what we both want.”

Khushi squirmed in his embrace and clenched her teeth as her body threatened to let go and give in to temptation. “You seem to be awfully sure. I am not sure I like that.” Her voice rasped against his jaw as he buried his nose in the crook of her neck.

“Be that as it may be, I have a spurned motorcycle ride to avenge. I intend to make this trip count in many more ways that one.”

Khushi raised one eyebrow in surprise. “You remember that?” She asked as he adjusted her weight in his embrace and allowed her to slide and rest on the natural bridge his arms formed in their entangled state.

“How can I forget that?” He asked seriously.

“You are kidding, right? You don’t actually mean you felt bad at the time?” She asked curiously. “I was overwhelmed with your presence at the River. And I cannot believe I wasn’t transparent enough to let you know how I felt.”

“You were angry – that was clear” Arnav agreed. “But I still felt…” He shrugged and then as if in a decision made quickly in his head, his eyes resumed their shine. “I need payback. And I know what I want. Okay?”

She pushed his arm away and stepped out his hold. “Seriously, Arnav. It may not be broad daylight but we aren’t invisible either, you know. All this talk…especially when there is so much singing to be done today.”

He laughed and turned so that they were walking again.

“So,” She cleared her throat, “there is nothing weird about tonight and how it will end, right?”

He looked at her with a quick snap of his neck. “You are asking me this?”

She looked at him suspiciously. “No would’ve been a better answer.”

He shook his head. “I cannot believe you don’t trust me!”

“It’s getting harder by the minute, Arnav. What is going on? I told you I do not like surprises. Seriously…”

He turned so suddenly, she almost tripped. Before she knew it, he was kissing her so thoroughly, she had to groan to make him realize she couldn’t breathe.

“What the fuck,” She said, her heart in her mouth and body buzzing with unsatiated desire.

“I have nothing planned.” He said to her. “Though…I did wonder if I…” He shook his head. “I know you now, remember? Trust me.”

“I do.” She avowed with feeling. “It’s just that…Tripti is an idiot. She just…”

“Yeah, she did that to me too.”

Khushi’s eyes widened and she cost her a couple of steps that Arnav took as he continued to walk.

“She told you?”

Arnav looked back and nodded his head for her to follow. “No. She asked me to.”

“To…er…propose on stage?” She offered, latching on the absolute certainty in his eyes that screamed confidence about the fact that they were infact talking about the same thing.

He nodded. “It’s the best way to round this story up – her words, not mine.”

Khushi groaned. “God, this girl is insane. She won’t tell me one bit about Arjun and what’s going on. But she just…I am going to whack her.”

“Ouch, you are worrying me.” Arnav chuckled. “Violence, Kaveri – it’s too much even for you.”

“I should be worrying her. The idiot.” She shook her head. “Seriously, there has to be some filter. My life reads like some sort of romance novel to her. It’s cra…”

“See this is really hurting,” He said.

“God, please tell me you are not doing that. I mean…please…”

“Uff, meri Ma…”

“I am not your Ma…” She quipped, still frowning at the thought of Tripti’s random nonsense.

“Okay. Uff meri Biwi…”

“I am not that either.”

“Then, I guess Krishna’s suggestion isn’t…” He trailed off with a deep throated laugh. “I may not have a ring handy but…”

“Arnav, I will kill you.” She warned. “It’s not funny.”

He curved his arm around her waist and pulled her closer as they continued to walk. “See I always knew, if you get us killed, it won’t be in road accident.”

Khushi’s cheeks burned at the memory of the dialogue he was referring to, instantly taking away the edge of the moment. Perhaps she was overreacting. So Tripti was being herself. Arnav would be himself and allow her to be herself too. She didn’t have to worry so much. God, how had she ever imagined herself to be calm and patient.

“But if and when you do get us killed, I will be happy to sing Khushi ne hamari hume, maar daala,”

She burst out laughing at that. “That was awful.”

“I had to get the making a joke out of your name given its excessive presence in Hindi movie music.” He argued matter-of-factly.

“You are insane.”

“Deewana hun main, deewana nahi” He hummed softly.

Again Khushi chuckled. “What does that even mean?”

Arnav shrugged. “It fits here and that’s all that matters.” He said as they neared the main building and turned towards the old auditorium.

By the time they reached the auditorium, the chaos of the impending session exploded in their faces. Back-slaps and half hugs were exchanged as people wondered about changed appearances and elapsed time. That the volume of Humsafar would be many times that she remembered of Aarohan, was a shock to Khushi’s system – one she didn’t have time to process as she battled exclamations from those who could figure out without being told that she and Arnav were a couple. Of course, there was much hilarious recollection of her “First-Year-Mech” title from those who were her seniors back in 2005.

It was finally a moment before they were due to be on stage, the entire entourage of them that were to sing today, when Khushi realized the others – including her sister –  had stepped away from them, leaving Arnav and her in the wings.

Before she could open her mouth to ask Arnav what was going on, he turned to her and stepped closer. “Krishna was wrong. This, is the way to close the loop on the first part of our story.”

She blinked and urged her mind to process what he was telling her.

“I added one little song for us to sing. Will you sing with me?”

Khushi swallowed as she looked into his eyes, brimming with hope and warmth. And love. She nodded, not trusting herself with words.

“I am assuming you still don’t need lyrics.”

She smiled at that and shook her head. “I still don’t need the lyrics.” She confirmed.

He took a deep breath and stepped a little closer, enough for her to see the sunrise flecks in his eyes and for their breaths to mingle. “If I forget to say it out aloud later, thank you for singing with me today.” He whispered against her mouth as their lips brushed softly. “And forever on.”

River Song, Music and Lyrics

Song Title: Main Agar Kahoon

Album: Om Shanti Om

Singers: Shreya Ghoshal, Sonu Nigam

Music: Vishal-Shekhar

Lyrics: Javed Akhtar

 

Tum hue, meherbaan

Toh hai yeh, dastaan

Ab tumhara mera, ek hai caarvaan

Tum jahaan, main wahaan

 

 

The End

(Click above to find the Author’s Note)

522 thoughts on “Epilogue: Curtain Falls and Swan Songs (III)

  1. Hi Meera. I totally forgot to share my thoughts after reading the story till the end..
    This musical is very close to my heart , as are the rest of your stories ofcourse , esp because this has been the closest to the reality I have experienced in my life. Ur writing n narration makes me fall in love with Arnav & Khushi every single time , I tell you. The subtlity n the nuances in the story gives it a special edge.
    I was immersed with exams n stuff past few months n now that I’m free , I will be reading the whole novel tight from the beginning.
    Thank u , thank u , thank u so very much for this beauty Meera.
    Tightest hugs n lots of love , hamesha. 💗

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Dear Meera,
    Happy-happy 7th (?) birthday to K. 😍 Hope all is well!
    I am not hanging around on blogs as much as I would like to, but the River and the ladies are always in my thoughts.
    Take care!! 🤗

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Every scene where he found her singing – pehla nasha to kitne bhi tu kar le sitam. I smiled through the days it took from me to get from inspiration to putting in front of all of you :)
      And of course, I giddied my way through Books 3. Book 1 and 2 were heart and heartbreak. Book 3 was indulgence and then some :)

      Liked by 6 people

      1. Meera,

        Was going thru the comments.
        Happy advanced bday wishes to your little one.
        Lots of love and blessings from my little one too..

        Vedanth and Deepa.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Dear dear dearest M,

    I somehow followed a couple of chapters but then somehow lost track yes i think i did mention that in the only other comment i made ( but believe me i was in a hurry to complete the journey before u closed the blog) but I consider myself so so so lucky that i reconnected and finished it through..
    IPKKND has been a very very personal journey for me that helped me recuperate and stand back and get on with my life and this story had the same therapeutic effect that was totally needed right now in my life … Somehow connected so emotionally to it.. Thank u so much for taking us on this ride and giving your best time and thoughts for us .. i hope to see so many more journeys like this …
    Take care thanks again and will start reading it all over again before u decide to close off the river…

    Liked by 3 people

  4. Can’t help but remember Arnav Varun and Kaveri khushi Gupta whenever I see something on mechanical engineering girl 🙈🙈🙈🙈🙈😍😍😍😍😍😂😂😂

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Dear Meera,

    Finally… Im in the river.

    Jumped from the cliff… Started to swim.
    Im struggling to cross the first few chapters as the water is engulfing me inside completely not letting me breath..
    It will take time to come out if im alive and able to survive.
    The first three chapters left me speechless. How can you write so smoothly …meaning bringing all the emotions through words poetically…
    I cannot hear the rush in words.. Could only feel the calm and melody or the soothing lullaby brought in the wind in an open field. So poetical and meaningful.

    OK… I read triptis journey first three chaps. its amazing again.

    Colors of wind in IF.. I liked the comparative plotted writing so much.

    I know im writing the comments to in bits and pieces. I really dont know to express much in words.
    truth to be told.

    Now for the main thing ….
    The prologue poem ” the origin of the river from the fountain on the mountain.. its travel to the sea and then to the ocean after it sangam..”

    My student asked me the meaning for the word perennial..
    I started explaining the meaning and recited your poem in connection.
    He went bonkers and came up with more words and our session went very interesting and interactive.

    Im pleased to say that this opening poem was very meaningful.. simple yet with very deep words.
    I skipped the last line though.. but the fellow came up with when deepa mam and Jas would become friends…

    I started laughing like crazy….

    Why im writing this is because… The child whom im metionioning here is a child who struggles from Aspergers and ADHD syndrome. To make him comprehend and learn stuff is a very difficult task. But this poem helped me a lot to get him in the groove as part of motivation as well as learning.

    Thank you so much for your amazing writings..

    I will come again once Im thru with reading the river completely.

    Liked by 4 people

    1. Oh my! I’m so glad you were able to use those words with your student. I cannot describe how you’ve made me feel. Thank you Deepa. For stopping making and adding meaning to my day

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Please dont thank me Meera. You and your words are meaningless and worthless if not used in right scenario to change lives and adorn a big smile on their faces.

        Im just an opportunist who wants to make the best of the things available.

        You are a inspirer. If this word is in dictionary. .

        You inspire people in lot many ways …

        Im blessed to come across. .

        Liked by 2 people

  6. Finally, the journey is over. I loved the story and I am so glad I came across it. A beautiful story of the river Ganga who ran through the lives of KKG and AV and everyone connected to them. Thank you, Meera.
    Ganga Aye Kahanse , Ganga Jaye kahanre.
    Laharaye Jaise panimen dhup chanvre. ‘Kabuliwala’ sung by HemantKumar.
    What a pity that the river Ganga who came from the heaven to purify our souls; give life to us, has been abused and poisoned by us. Shivji please help to bring our holy river Ganga to her former glory.
    I am hoping to find more stories written by you to read.

    Liked by 3 people

  7. I just finished reading ‘Colours of the wind’ in IF. AS I find it difficult to comment there.I am commenting here with Apologies. I loved the story. You had weaved the poems, songs, past and present of the lives of Khushi Arnav and Anjali brilliantly. Thank you, Meera and I am hoping to find more of your stories to read.

    Liked by 2 people

  8. I have just finished reading all the stories of Musings of a Muddled Mind. As all the links in IF are closed I am commenting here. I enjoyed all the stories. Thank you.

    Liked by 2 people

  9. What a beautiful story meera! Of course I didn’t expect less from you. I used to be a regular reader, sorry life happened, but now I caught up with all chapters and have a contended smile reading about arnav varun and kaveri khushi.

    I can only talk about your expertise in writing such beautiful tales. Even a mundane scene is carved with poetic essence. Unsurprisingly your stories are my favourites in arhi FFS, this tale is included in my forever. Thank you for writing it.

    Liked by 2 people

  10. This was a lovely read. I am reading your story for the first time. Actually i started reading Arshi stuff just some months back…new to Arshi FF world…But this one stands top in my list of FFs …amazing …Will really like to read your other works … i came across some links of ur works but i guess they r locked for public view :(

    River runs through it was a musical journey …indeed…after reading it i spend one whole night listening to songs mentioned in your story…

    Thank you so much for this brilliant piece of work….God bless you…and keep writing ;)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for stopping by and for such kind words. 🙏 unfortunately I’ve taken my other writings off permanently – all i can say is that no one has access to them :)

      Liked by 2 people

  11. i found this musical story a few days back….and i fell in love with this couple again. Definitely there was a very long wait before they got together. and when arjun started feeling for her….i was so upset because i cant choose between arnav and arjun. You made me fall in love with another character apart from arshi…. but i am happy that they all met their lobsters:P(true love).

    Liked by 2 people

  12. Mam I am a big fan of all your stories…the journey that you etch in words is beautiful…I have been a silent reader so far….I would love to read all the stories again…can I get the password please??

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Blissful…..wishing them a lifetime of bliss ♥️
    What am I to tell you dear Meera, in these three days not a second passed were I have not thanked you, shouted out my love for you and wish to embrace you for the beautiful works you put forward for us. Sachi…..again and again let me repeat my adhering love for you, my dear Meera.

    I’m really sorry that I couldn’t be part of this Riverian ride as I was still attached to EIT 😊. But this story of Kavery and Varun are so different. I was reliving in each moments you laid out starting from Engineering days till the Sangeet. Each songs etched in my heart. What a musical love story…. Hatsoff . Kushis emotional drive was so we’ll written, and no words will be enough to appreciate it. I etched for Arnvas POV after each chapters, and Interludes came out superb.

    In every story of yours you introduce us to new characters and we fall in love with them. Now I understood the love your readers have for Krishna and Arjun, Iam also an adherant fan of these two now. In the role of sister Trip is a biggest hift any siblings will love to have and Arjun an amazing friend in all sense. K is lucky to have them in her life. Now I shall re read their ride in Ink again with this insight.
    I loved NK and Divya Jodi. They are so cute together.

    One reading is not enough to absorb the real essence of this story, I shall re read and comment on each chapter for each one was splendid ♥️

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Meera ji, here’s wishing you and your beautiful fan following an awesome 2019! Happy new year.

    Hope all is well. See you soon, as and when your time permits. Thank you for sharing the lovely tales that we get/got to read. 😆

    Liked by 1 person

  15. Finally……finally.
    I read it till end..
    #happy

    Arnav n Khushi has come a long way..
    Now Arnav is no more a introvert ..
    Khushi ,who never approves of being called Baby as Shona n Jaanu suit fat girls,is ok with Arnav calling her baby..
    Soooooo cuteeee..

    If I absolutely love Arhi,Arjun n Tripti r also MEERI ANKHON KE TAARE ..
    Now pls open the spin off blog..
    I wanna read about Arjun n Tripti ..

    Nishant n Divya,Aman n Aditi …. n Raagini …
    They r lovely characters ..

    Now,it’s time to reread..

    Liked by 2 people

  16. Thank you, thank you so much Meera for reopening this blog and allowing me to read this wonderful story again. I am just in love with this story. I would also like to read other work of yours for which i guess you have restricted the access. I am a big fan of Arshi stories, please provide me an opportunity to read your other works. If there is any criteria to get the request, please let me know.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hey, Any chance of getting access to your other Arshi blogs. Please…pretty please… I solemnly swear i am upto no mischief or plagiarism :). I am just a big fan of IPKKND and your writing, please please consider my request….

      Like

  17. Once again three cheers to you for writing such an intense story. It was breathtakingly charming. It was as if I am watching a movies and I never want it to end. It is a tribute to beautiful and evergreen Bollywood songs. The story ended with them singing a song together where it all started.
    Thank you for reopening the blog for first timers like me.
    All the best to you in whatever you do in the future.
    Cheers…..

    Liked by 2 people

  18. And thus comes to an end this beautiful story of two people so different from one another yet destined to be together, just like how the river (kaveri) originates high up in the mountains and travels down through mountain slopes, hills and plains, gathering soil, silt, pebbles and rocks to finally meet its ultimate destination, the ocean (arnav). The ten year time frame is so apt because it shows the growth of both Khushi and Arnav from young, naive college students to adults who are sure of who and what they want in life.
    Your AV , dear Meera is out of this world. I have read many stories on Arshi where your AV has been mentioned time and again but never got around to reading The River, because it was not open . Now that i have, i know why he is the benchmark for all other Arnavs. Especially because he being the quintessential college hero and later the super successful career man, it would be most natural for him to move forward and forget the last days of college and a certain first year girl he met.
    Your Khushi to carry the flame of Arnav’s love in her heart for all those years was not unusual for a girl in her circumstances, given her insecurities. She was relatable in many ways, especially in our patriarchal society which has certain ideas about the appearances of women!
    In the end all i can say is THANK YOU for keeping the blog open for us to read your story.
    I usually move forward to another story as i finish reading one, but this time i am surely suffering from separation anxiety and want to hold on to the thoughts and smiles on my face while reading, especially Book 3 , where it was all about Arshi.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Dear Meera, its so nice to know that you keep track of who read your stories and also comment or like the comments. Reading the River has made me a glutton for more of your stories. And with the current situation in the world re Covid 19 , we are all stuck at home and i am using this time to reread some of the wonderful stories on Arshi. My regular go to blog for suggestions is the IPKKND Ficverse, the writings mentioned there are truly some id the best there is. I read about the River there many months ago and am glad i could read it. Another one of your writing , Careless Whispers comes highly recommended. I know that all that you write are your babies and whom you want to share them with is entirely up to you and while i respect that, I am taking a chance and giving you my email address with the hope that you would share your wonderful stories with me 🙂. My address is sharmeeniub@gmail.com
      Thanks

      Liked by 1 person

    2. There’s an Emerald Isle Tales.. I kind of feel so blessed that I was able to re-read it few years back.. I wish, hope and pray that I get to read that again… It’s my most favourite. I can still recall each and every moment of how khushi felt and Arnav’s silent Love. Aditi, Aman and Krishna.. God..

      Meera, it’s a very humble request.. please publish it as a book. It deserves to be read.

      My second fav is Careless Whispers then A River runs through it and word’s worth. Hope we all get to read that again 🙏

      Lots of love,
      Archana

      Liked by 4 people

      1. Oh , i have read so much about these stories by Meera. In any list of Arhi stories she is on the top! But her writings being in protected blogs has not fulfilled my desire to read them. Someday, maybe :)
        Love to you too and stay safe in these trying times.

        Liked by 2 people

        1. Yessss… Very very beautiful story. I have recently read somewhere that except for A river and stories in IF, Meera has removed all the other stories from Internet.

          Someday.. hopefully, we ll get to read those beautiful stories 😊

          Until then, we will stay safe and enjoy the available stories. 🙂

          Lots of love and prayers 🙏❤️

          Liked by 2 people

          1. Will start re-reading The River again , this time will absorb all the details. The first time i rushed through the chapters in 3 days! I just hope it does not get taken down again :(.

            Liked by 3 people

  19. Hi Meera,
    Thanks so much for giving access to this wonderful story! I love all your stories my favourite will always be careless whispers and a words worth! I really hope and pray that you will give access to read that some day!
    I love the Arnav, khushi, Arjun, for me they are not fictional anymore! Your characters are real! I am glad you did not project a hour glass figure khushi with milky white skin! Your khushi is Fat and there are so many layers to a person other than external beauty! I can very well relate to the sisters as I have one!
    I cannot thank you enough for writing such awesome stories! I am glad I finished reading this before there was any more technical problems with access! To be honest I was going bonkers! So so glad I have closure now!
    Thanks once again! 🙏🏼🙏🏼 Your forever ardent fan!
    Please continue to write! Not everyone is blessed with magic words! Stay blessed

    Liked by 1 person

  20. I rushed through this story, like I was rafting over the rapids in Part 2. Once I started, I just couldn’t seem to stop – and I didn’t want to risk it switching back to private before I had reached the end. And I can’t describe the rollercoaster of emotions this took me through, the description of the story as a journey is so apt…
    I didn’t realize when I started out on this, that I’d already had a sneak peak into this world through Sohni’s OS – one that left me wanting to know more. And I’m so glad that I got this chance… Though I think I need to go back to the beginning. Finishing this is one shot (as the bags under my eyes attest), means I devoured the story in big gulps. Now I want to savor this in delicate bites, and enjoy the music (so many favorites there) as I read….
    Thank you Meera for this lovely story. Your Kaveri Khushi Gupta, Arnav Varun, and cast of motley characters will stay with me for a long time… I hope that if/when you reopen your other stories, I get a chance to immerse myself in those as well…
    Much love…

    Like

  21. Thank you…thank you..thank you…for accepting my request. I so so so wanted to read this again and again and again. This one is the story which strings the cords of my heart. Dramatic enough, but really your arnav is my favorite fictional character and your Khushi is someone whom I can relate with. It’s the FF of love, hope, heartbreak but finally an happily ever after.♥️♥️♥️

    Liked by 1 person

  22. Hey Meera, any chances of you opening your other blogs as well for public. Love your writing. Big fan of all your stories that i have read so far :)

    Liked by 1 person

  23. It’s been five years since I first started this story.
    Every since it completed, I have read it multiple times.
    And still it feels incomplete.
    I want to remember this story just a sweet memory to look back upon,
    As if this was something which I saw happening,
    Like as if I saw the happen in front of me.
    You have put me in a fairytale from which I don’t want to awaken.
    I have my favourite sections,
    Like how he confesses about him being unable to move on, her declaration beside the river.
    There are many such scenes which rug my heart and even if some day, I forget the exact story, I will remember these scenes like a montage of pictures which happened in front of me.
    That’s how strong your writing is.
    Before this Emerald Isle was the story from which I could close my eyes and remember the scenes, but now River is up there too.
    Would love to know about Tripti and the path she takes.
    But till then Take Care,
    And may Maa Saraswati continue showering her blessings on you.
    Love and Care.

    Liked by 1 person

  24. Hi meera
    It’s been a long time.. hope you are safe and healthy wherever u are…
    Take care
    And I just finished my third reading of RIVER … during this lockdown time amidst my hospital duty😉 yeah.. it took me almost 1 week.. but it was surely worth it.. ..
    Loveya again for giving us RIVER..
    Now I want to read Careless whispers and Emerald isle again..
    Is there any possibility that I could read those..??
    Love
    Derlin / chichu1

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Hey! Hope you are well and here’s wishing you love, health and safety as you navigate the frontline :)
      The Emerald Isle blog is open – so please do read :)
      Thank you for your kind words!

      Liked by 2 people

      1. When I searched ..I realised that both words worth and emerald isle are both open.. thank u meera..
        I think I will read words worth first.. I almost forgot about that one..will refresh it first 😉
        Loveya..tc

        Liked by 1 person

  25. Der aaye durust aaye! Just finished reading this whole story. Absolutely fell in love with this. mostly for its simplicity and also how easy it was to relate with the characters in the story. I love how slowly love blossomed between the two though 10 years was definitely a huge time duration for thr same but I’m glad it happened.
    I could totally relate to this khushi. Having grown up hearing about how I should look to be more pleasing to thr eyes of people, I have that insecurity too. Don’t do well with compliments and mostly don’t believe them. That struggle is something that I can totally relate too.

    Arnav, boy he was the perfect guy wasn’t he? I won’t call him an ahole for being how he was to khushi initially, he was confused about a lot of things and that happens. I’m just glad he owned his mistakes and made up for the lost time.

    I think we’ll need a friend like arjun in our lives. Someone who we can trust and rely on without a doubt. I loved his and khushi’s friendship.
    Tripti was indeed thr best sister anyone can ever hope for. I hope her and arjun got their own happily ever after.

    Reading river was an amazing experience. I never wanted it to end. Thanks for penning down such a beautiful story❤

    Liked by 2 people

  26. Hii, just finished reading the whole story, it was such an amazing experience, loved reading it, thanks for giving such a good story & keeping it available to everyone

    Liked by 1 person

  27. Meera,
    River is complete hai kya !
    What about the Hrishikesh trip ?
    Tripti / Arjun story
    Aman / Aditi story
    Anyways thank you for opening the blog for readers like me
    IPK came at a time while I was having separation anxiety
    River came along when I was at an all time low
    It was therapeutic, I can never forget IPK or River
    Thank you Meera , stay blessed
    Cheers

    Liked by 1 person

  28. Hey sorry for leaving this River Journey midway. There is no excuse than the life itself.
    I finally completed it last night. What a beautiful musical journey it has been! You know I have always wondered about your Arnav and Khushi and how will they get back together. It was complicated for them given how entangled they were with Arjun in the middle. More than Saira, it was Arjun who was kind of between them. Not that I fault him. He is such a good friend. I really hope that he finds his live this time. It’s not fair that you have kept his story open ended. Tripti hasn’t even shared her thoughts with Khushi.
    I liked how they didn’t beat around the bush this time specially Arnav. He was clear what he wanted. His unclarity or absence of putting it in words had costed them a decade. I am just glad that he learned from his mistakes. Also Khushi was ready to listen to his thoughts. Clear communication was very much required for these two given the past. NK- Divya romance was good. I was hoping to get some closure on Ajun tripti story. But alas!
    The glimpse of the Guptas meeting with Arnav was great. How I wish I could get to see Arnav’s parents’ reaction to Khushi also. Btw I can’t believe that you made him Arnav Jha and not Raizada. But yeah it fits geographically, given he is from Bihar.
    Thank you for this musical journey once again.

    Liked by 3 people

  29. Hi Meera, this is the second time i am reading this wonderful story. It keeps you engaged till you finish it. I was as excited as I was earlier to read this story again.

    AV Khushi and the songs are stll on my mind. I have read so many FFs of Arshi but this one is the bestest …really….my favourite one.

    Thank you for writing The River and giving us the readers this journey. It was really mesmerizing.

    Radhika

    Liked by 1 person

  30. so here it is..its such a beautiful journey ended perfectly at ever so beautiful destination..i joined this journey too late but nevertheless m glad i did..so along this story,i read sumwhr why anyone wants to read this not other work which in opinion are better so let me jotted down
    1.it shows khushi’s inner turmoil of her of exterior perfectly not more not less,no one need to put u down when u dn hv confidence in urself..the years nudges,the fleeting remark,disapproving looks does it more harm than the words..people do not realise what they r doing but judging sumone is far far humiliating than anything else
    2.ur arnav is not perfect he is with ohh so hero image comes with entire package full of flaws though adorable but too laid back though understanding but sumtymes cannot read between lines though helpful but does damage in equal proportions
    3.u hv not villains no one generally born villian in common life every one is in grey shade sum more than others
    4.u created sum awesum characters who kept brightness where i felt heartbreak of khushi n gloominess of arnav they kept river going never i felt any character is forced.i love to read them as much i love to read arshi
    5.its threaded with universal language of love-music when started reading i thought it ll b till arohan but u kept this invisible connection through n closed the loop with one ,cant evn count how many times i pause to read if link is not working going to music app here that song n feel each lyrics telling the story of arshi sumtymes mine
    6.no granduor it seems its happening infront of me khushi getting on ky nerves arnav being overbearing anjali being nosy arjun being snoot tripti being extra cautious mr.gupta being extra ignorant garima being like all mothers tiwari being pain in the a** nk being sufi j being all tum fav jeejs everything is super relatable
    7.like river it tuk uts own due course to reach ocean it never felt like giving up i think i finished on binge never skipped a single line,single word,single convo,single song its not because of my reading capability its ur writing which is woven over my heart
    8.n specially i love how khushi shows arnav hee insecurity n never arnav said i m in love with ur fatty being he said to loose weight for urself n he ll love her nonetheless.. goshhh i love this man
    9.no drama of being married,divorcee,spouse got killed nothing it dint work out as simple as it is..
    10.the love of urs towards ur writing shines thru n despite having long journey,taking breaks u never dumped the story never gave up n kept it going
    i hope u ll know what a terrific writer u r not because of ur writing skills,dramatic usage of complex words,making it Shakespearean look its the love u put into ur character which is reflected..thanx for the river it ll b one of the best writing i hv ever read online going to b very close to my heart n ll get it read whatever else u wrote anytym in ur life….i know m too late i dn know whether u read this comment ir not but i cant just move away reading it silently n let it pass..too precious to fo that..offcourse m going to read tripti too

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much for such thoughtful and kind words!! I really appreciate the time you’ve taken to comment after almost every chapter! It makes me feel so happy to know that you enjoyed the journey :)

      Like

  31. Kaveri, it is a special day isn’t it? :) For the the magic that you are, for the one that we witnessed – here’s hoping it shines strong and bright, today and always.

    Like

  32. Hi M! I’m a long time Arnav and Khushi FF silent reader, and recently came across your story, so I spent the last few days reading it. I don’t if I can do justice to your story, but wow, every word, every song choice was beautifully crafted. You even made me cry! I felt Khushi’s emotions lol…felt Khushi’s heartbreak in part 1 and 2, and her resistance then acceptance of Arnav in part 3. I haven’t read an Arshi FF before that included PCOS topic, and really weight among other things….thank you for writing this FF. I can’t wait to read it again and go through all the emotions. Beautiful! :) — Milla

    Liked by 1 person

  33. What a delight! You are an amazing author. I don’t have words to express my gratitude for sharing this with us. Thank you so much. It’s a beautiful love story, the one that I know I will keep coming back to again and again. I am a girl who is 5.8” has PCOS and has had body dysmorphic issues all her life, even when I am within the ideal weight range I struggle so much, always think that I am fat and ugly. It is so refreshing to read a main lead character to struggle with something that is much more common then we are led to believe. I love how raw and real her feelings were, how the struggle did not disappear it was still there but she learned to deal with it.
    Throughout the entire story I was transported to a land where I was living with your characters. The songs, the feelings….it’s beyond beautiful as happy as I am with the satisfying end I feel this emptiness inside that this is the end of AV and Kavi’s journey. Best of luck for your future and thanks once again, it was an absolute pleasure reading your work and I look forward to reading the rest of it.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I am so glad you enjoyed the story. Thank you for your very kind words!!! As a 5’8” PCOS ridden all my life fighting with my weight girl myself – I hope I was able to stay true and not trivialise any of it.

      Like

  34. It was lovely reading this story again… This time as a complete one.. also I can relate to khushi’s problem… I have obesity issues due to PCOD and the problems that Khushi has faced resonates with mine.. may be like Khushi one day even I’ll come to accept my medical condition and learn to deal with it.. loved it di!
    P.S. do you have any plans of opening careless whispers? I remember the plot but would like to read it again 😅… And do you have any plans of starting any new story? Dying to read something that you have written 😅😅

    Liked by 1 person

  35. Hello Meera! I do not know what to say beside I am so thankful that I got to read this beautiful creation of yours. You are one amazing writer. Its a simple story but every line is so poetic, musical… and just magical. I got goosebumps when Av sir started singing Jaanam Dekh lo..Poor Khushi, no wonder she got all dreamy eyed. How much I wished I could also open youtube to check out Nk sir and Arnav’s After Aarohan jamming in Detroit just like Khushi. It hurts to think they are fictional character and not real sometimes hehe. This story is such a treat for a music lover like me and to have story woven to those music is just something else altogether. I had read this story few months ago, after someone’s recommendation, but read it in such a rush due to my own time constraint and wasn’t confident enough to post my comment. So this time I read it savoring every words and just could not not post that how thankful I am that you have opened it to us late comers. Thank you again for this beautiful story!!

    Liked by 1 person

  36. Meera!!!!

    First time when read this when I was expecting baby..now After 4 yrs i am re reading this..i usually read stories which like multiple times..now i remember why dint with this..

    My heart hurts literaly.. I want to be kushi..I want Arjun as a friend..but mostly I want AV in my life..these characters feels so real that it hurts…

    U know the “craving” when we are on diet..its the same craving if not more when I read ur work..its like it cant fullfill the thirst..and u want keep readingggg all day every day..

    Sigh!!!! There is so much I want to say but i cant find the words…
    But there is one thing I want to share which i want to really really want to share with you..but not sure how!!

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Its too personal to share here..can i dm in twitter..

        I have zero knowledge on how much dedication, effort, pain that takes to put these wordeful words together..but still asking..why are u not writing anymore meera..

        And when u writing these beautiful characters romatic or not..which are almost an illusion..how do u not wish these characters in ur life..

        For me, sometimes lines blurr b/w AD and this illusion…like I see ur tripti in my sister☺️

        Liked by 2 people

  37. Woow..meera take a bow. U wave such a magic with the words. I m speechless. U are an incredible story teller. Please please start writing again. I loved River story a lot. Finally I finished reading all the chapters. Its a poetry. I want to read it again and again. And I m sure I don’t get bore how many times I read. It looks like a new story to me. Ur AV and Kaveri are such a rare gems to read. I loved all the three books. And please let me know when u open careless whisper again . I desperately wanted to read that. Thank you meera for this beautiful river and and their songs.

    Liked by 1 person

  38. okay I don’t where to begin. Long time ago when my parents emigrated to the states they decided that no matter what their daughters would always be as close as possible to Indian culture. One big part of hat was through music as my parents had fell in love during a college concert (quite scandalous back in those days). So my parents religiously purchased and then played every single Hindi/Tamil song over the years until iPhone took over. I grew up listening to Mohammed Rafi hits, Illayaraja hits. While I’m certainly not a bollywood buff, an Indian music buff- sure I’am. So I thoroughly enjoyed the heavily musically inspired theme of this story.

    This whole series was like an Illayaraja melody from start to finish. The gentle symphonies of works, the perfect pitch of feelings and the delicate rhythm of story-telling has made this one of my favorites stores to date (even in non-IPK fiction).

    There are many aspects of this story that resonated with me- the insecurities, the close bond between sisters (I have an elder sister who is like Tripthi while I’m more like Kaveri), the feeling of heartbreak and pain and most importantly the feeling of sitting yourself so that no one can hurt you.

    While Arnav and Kaveri’s love story is the stuff of legends the most important love story of this series is the one Kaveri feels towards herself eventually.

    Bravo! Im just terribly disappointed that I didn’t discover this story earlier. I’m sure I will be revisiting this story leisurely again. And I promise you that when I do that I will comment on every chapter individually.

    Thank you so much for sharing this with us. I really hope you will be published one day.

    Mirali

    My contribution to this music fest are a couple of my favorite Illayaraja’s compositions

    Liked by 1 person

  39. Feeling so sad that the story has ended, I wanted it to never end, but what to do everything that we need we don’t get😢 Happy that you ended their story from where it started

    Like

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