"Where the hell have you been Mishra? Why was your phone switched off?" Shyam screamed at Mishra who was standing at the door with a small plastic bag looked on fearfully "Woh...sir...it was my Daughter's graduation ceremony today, so had to switch off my phone...I came here directly after that...I'm sorry sir..." Mishra said looking down...Now a days his boss was really acting like a total lunatic.
"Oh...your daughter's graduation ceremony? What's she going to be doing with a degree anyways? She has a pretty face and she's very young...if you know what i mean.." Shyam sniggered to which Mishra looked on with a confused face, "I don't follow sir...do you mean modeling or acting..?" he asked wondering what exactly his boss was implying.
"Hah! As if its that easy my man...I meant the other career in which she can use her..how do i put it? Yes...Assets and talents...I have a few friends if you or your daughter are ever interested...anyways she's hardly going to find any work without references...so let me know.." he said smirking at Mishra whose face had become red with anger..."Excuse me sir..just because i work for you...does not give you the liberty to talk about my daughter in this filthy manner...let me keep whatever respect i have for you intact" Mishra said his anger and disgust at the man showing on his face.
"Oh come on Mishra...I was just trying to help out...and don't ever raise your voice at me you ba****d! You are just my servant and you know I can do more harm than good to you and your family...so when I give free advise, take it and shut up!" Shyam bellowed getting pissed off at the audacity of his PA "Also I don't need your respect...I know you only work for me because your scared of me...and that is the way i want to keep it" he said as he filled up his glass with neat vodka.
"So now..if we are done wasting time on the qualifications and career options of your useless daughter..Get back to work. I need you to go over all the details once again..understood? Make sure the guesthouse in Bhivandi is ready for tomorrow...I do not want any mistakes!" he said as he gulped down the searing liquid down his throat. He took his phone to dial her number and saw Mishra still standing at the door "Leave you fool!..I don't want to see your face till all the arrangements are done" Shyam said turning away to go to his room.
Mishra looked on as his devil of a boss left the room, his body was strung rigid because of the anger and hurt he had just gone through. But he could not do anything but follow his orders like a dog..he sighed as he walked outside to the security guards, he took the plastic bag and gave it to them "I had got some sweets for my daughter's graduation...Boss does not like sweets, so you all have them" he said sadly as tears ran down his cheeks, he quickly got into the car and drove off.
"Get up you both!" Khushi said loudly as she started poking Anjali and Lavanya with a stick, both were too gone from last night. She took the jug of water from the side table and sprinkled water on their faces, "Hmph...what...why? Lemme sleep.." Anjali groaned as Khushi kept the jug back and jumped on the bed to wake them up "Get up!!! The mehendi is gonna start in a few hours...dadi's been asking about you both...its past 10 in the morning" khushi said getting exasperated.
"What? Shit..its mehendi today...and Sangeet later...I need to get ready" Lavanya said as she got up suddenly, but the dreaded hangover had her leaning back against the headboard "Ow..my head hurts..." she moaned as khushi poured a glass of water for her and handed her a pill "Here, take this..you'll feel better...now get up and go to your room...we had to deposit both of you here last night cause we were too tired to do this twice" Khushi said as she tickled anjali to wake her up.
"Hehe...bhabhi...ok..i'm getting up...please..." Anjali giggled as she sat up and took the pill which khushi offered "Was i really bad last night? God I don't remember anything except for that idiot Aman and my stupid brother!" Anjali said as she gulped down some water and reached for her phone "Shit! The battery's drained out...I'm just gonna put it for charging.." anjali said as she gingerly got down and started searching for her charger.
"Girls, everything else later...now please get up and get ready...we have a small pooja in an hour after which the mehendi will start...you both need to help me pick out my design..." khushi said as both the girls came and hugged her "Woo hoo! Forget the hang over...i'm so excited katya!" lavanya gushed as anjali too nodded her head "Yeah babhi..this is soo exciting..fine we'll be down in an hour..." she kissed khushi as she took her towel and ran to her bathroom.
"Katya...i'm so glad that you enjoyed yourself last night...I mean I was a bit unsure of how the clubbing will go for you...but.." Lavanya said as she put on her shoes which lay discarded from last night "No La...i'm fine now...All that was in the past...but I do need to tell you something..." Khushi said as Lavanya looked at her "I have not told his name to Arnav yet...so if he asks you anything.." Khushi said looking into Lavanya's eyes "No..don't worry...I won't say anything..promise" Layavnya said she hugged her once again before both left Anjali's room.
"What the hell!" Arnav said trying on his evening wear which mamaji had just brought in "Now can we go down mamaji? The mehendi function is over..so" Arnav said getting annoyed that he had not been able to meet Khushi since morning..it was already late afternoon and most of the ladies had left to go and get ready for the evening sangeet "Yes Arnav..we can go down now...Maya has anyways asked us to come down for tea and snacks" Mahendra said laughing at arnav's state, he looked like he could kill someone.
"And why so much impatience bitwa? Its not like you both have been following Khushi's buaji's instructions..don't think I don't know about your secret trysts...I might be old but I'm shrewd as hell!" Mamaji said chuckling as arnav's face turned red "Don't worry...If i wanted to rat on you i would have done it long ago!" mamaji said as arnav sighed in relief.
"But Arnav..I want you to promise me one thing.." mamaji said getting serious as arnav nodded his head and looked at him "Very few people are lucky to find true love...I want you to cherish this love, trust this love...and always put her first in everything you do...I don't have a child I know..but i consider Khushi as my own child...and I will wring your neck if you upset her ever...you get that?" Mamaji said as arnav gave him a warm smile.
"I promise mamaji...I can't quantify my love for her...nor can I assuage the depth of my feelings...its too vast for that...but I know this much that Khushi is my life...without her I am nothing...and yes...If i ever do hurt her or upset her, I give you full permission to wring my neck or do whatever you want with me...Scouts honor!" Arnav said crossing his fingers as mamaji came and hugged him "I'm very proud of you son...very proud" he said as both walked down slowly to the living room downstairs.
"So...i heard this tradition where i get to find my initials in your mehendi...and If i do then my wife will do anything I ask of her on our first night...I'm so looking forward to this..I totally believe in following all of these rituals" arnav whispered in Khushi's ears where she sat getting mehendi applied on her feet, she jumped as his warm breath caressed her ears "Arnav...God you scared me!...move away...Buaji might take offense" khushi said as arnav shifted still closer to her.
Khushi sighed, he was not going to leave her alone now...she leaned down and whispered back "First of all we have already have had our first night...and if you don't find your initials here Mr Raizada...then we have to sleep in separate beds for a week...and we will be cursed with 7 years of bad sex...so you better..." she started giggling as she saw arnav's horrified face "Whaat the? Who makes up such silly stupid hoaxy statements...there is no such thing...i mean..I don't believe in all this crap!" he said huffing to which Khushi laughed loudly.
"Oh really? Wasn't it you who just a few seconds ago said he was looking forward to finding your initials?" she asked as arnav's hand went around her waist "Arnav...stop it...not here" she said urgently looking around to see if anyone was watching them, "Ok..so then where? And don't mock me Ms Gupta..I will find my initials...ritual or not!" he said smiling lazily at her upturned face.
"Fine...suit yourself, but like i told you earlier...we will not be doing anything till our suhag-raat now...so don't get any ideas" she said smiling slyly at him...arnav was just about to reply something smart to that when he saw buaji coming towards them, he scrambled to his feet and walked away swiftly across the room without a second glance, Khushi started laughing watching him go as Lavanya came and sat beside her.
"Hmm...so i forgot to ask you something mrs...after you put me and Anji to sleep...what did you and arnav get up to?" she said smirking at khushi's red cheeks "Oh..uh...nothing..I mean, We went our separate ways...I mean i was so tired.." she said feigning yawning as Lavanya gave her a huge cheshire cat smile "Liar...did you know that you can't lie?" she winked at her and proceeded to tell the mehendi designer what to do and what not to do. Khushi smiled remembering last night...Oh how she could not wait for her wedding tomorrow!
Anjali sat at her table getting ready, the parlor lady had done up her hair in curls that was piled up on her head giving her a very cute look, she wore her long diamond earrings which her bhai had gifted her last month. She got up and checked herself once again before smoothening out slight creases. She took her phone off from charging and saw that she had twelve missed calls from Shyam. She frowned as she opened one of the text messages he had sent.
'Babe...please pick up my call...I need to speak to you...its urgent' she huffed reading it, why doesn't this fool understand that she does not want anything with him!, she furiously texted back 'Sry phone was on silent, busy nw..will call in few' she kept her phone on her dressing table and went down to join in the sangeet.
Arnav sat on the sofa at the front as guests came to greet him, Maya kept fussing with his hair and his collar and it was driving him nuts, he kept glancing at the other end of the room, impatiently waiting for khushi to show up "God ma! How long does it take women to get ready...i mean Anjali is still not here..." he said sipping his drink "Hmm..really chotey? You mean anji or khushi?" she said smiling at him. He smiled back and went back to sipping his drink when she walked in...his mouth suddenly went dry as he felt goosebumps along his skin. She. Looked. Divine.
The soft coral color of her lehenga did wonders to her peaches and cream complexion, the dull gold embellishments on her dress sparked from the overhead lights , the perfect sway of her hips highlighted the slimness of her waist visible just enough to cause arnav's blood to run wild. His eyes travelled from her gorgeous face marked by her natural blush and gloss on her lips to her heaving bosoms delicately encased in her tiny choli.
"Breath chotey...breath!" Maya said laughing at his awestruck face, she kissed her son on his forehead and walked away to meet Khushi.. Arnav stood mesmerized at the same spot waiting eagerly for khushi to join him. But to his annoyance she stood surrounded by a horde of well wishers and family who just wouldn't let her be. She looked around trying to catch arnav's eyes who understood her dilemma right away.
Khushi smiled patiently at all the people who would not leave her alone, old women taking off the evil eyes, young woman giving her the evil eyes, while the majority of men in the room just wanted to congratulate her by holding her hand for too long. She was desperate to get out of there. Luckily she spotted arnav looking dashing in his navy blue bandhgala. She gestured him to help her out.
"Khushi! Where have you been? We have one more rasam to finish...and here you are wiling away.." he said sternly to Khushi who looked bewildered "Sorry guys...this is a rasam my great grand father had started..and we need to get it done now..why don't you all enjoy the party? We'll be back soon..Have some of those vodka panipuri's..they are mind-blowing!" he said as he ushered Khushi away from the crowd and towards the stairs.
"Arnav...what are you doing? The dances will start now...we can't leave...Arnav.." khushi said exasperated as arnav smirked at her while dragging her upstairs. They walked along the corridor to the pool area, Khushi looked on as arnav opened the door and went inside pulling her along. He then closed the door and twirled khushi around so that her back was pressed against the door.
"Arnav...leave me...this is not the time or place for all this...seriously! Do you know what will happen if buaji find's out" khushi said as arnav held her gently by her base waist, he leaned down and nudged his nose along her throat and neck, dropping sweet kisses along her column "Arr...rnav..." khushi said breezily as his hot breath sent tingles down her spine "...I...what...ar..nav" khushi said as she gathered all the mental strength she could to push him away gently.
Arnav looked at her with hooded eyes and pressed his forehead to hers "You look irresistible khushi...i'm just human...and when it comes to you i can't help myself" arnav gave her a smile as khushi blushed furiously and licked her dry lips "Shit..don't do that if you want to get out of here in your pristine condition" he growled before he took her lips in a passionate kiss, his hands travelled along her nearly bare back, over her soft milky skin. He groaned as khushi kissed him back with equal ardor, but as he deepened the kiss she bit his lower lip "Ow...what was that for you minx?" arnav said as khushi giggled.
"That Mr Raizada is for ruining my perfectly applied make-up" she said she she pushed him further and opened the door, she looked back at his smirking form as she looked him up and down "By the way...you don't look that bad yourself!" she mused as she went forward and gave him a quick hard kiss before pulling away "I have to apply my lipstick again anyways" she said matter of factly as she ran from there towards her room.
Khushi was still smiling as she passed Anjali's room but remembered that anji had taken her lipstick earlier, she opened anjali's door and stepped in towards her vanity mirror. She looked at herself and gasped at her swollen lips and smudged lipstick, she looked around frantically for the lipstick which was stuffed amongst the other make up bits and bops, She quickly applied some again and pressed her lips together hoping they will somehow 'unswell!'
After about 5 minutes she looked presentable enough for anyone to guess otherwise, she straightened out the small creases from her dress and was just turning around to leave when she heard something buzz. She looked around to find Anjali's phone vibrating on the table. She picked it up to check but as she did the phone stopped vibrating. She saw the screen to see '10 missed calls' of someone called Shamster. She wondered if it was something urgent and took the phone along with her.
As khushi stepped out of anjali's room the phone started ringing again, she thought it best to pick up and tell the caller that anjali was busy and will call him later. She pressed the talk button and lifted it to her ear, but before she could speak a deep voice spoke from the other end "Anjali! Where have you been? Why are you not taking my calls? Please babe...i told you that i'm fine with you breaking up with me...but you have to take all your things from me..I can't bear to see them everyday"
Khushi's heartbeat suddenly started thumping against her ribcage, that voice...she thought as she felt fear prickle her skin...why did that voice sound so familiar? It sounded as if..as if..it was him. Khushi felt herself perspiring but shook her head at her stupidity, how could she even think like this, this was the scumbag who anji broke up with not him...khushi wanted to give him a piece of her mind but then thought against it.
She took and deep breath and spoke in a calm voice "um..hi, this is anjali's bhabhi...anji's busy right now...I'll ask her to call you back.." she held her breath as she heard a gasp from the other end, after a silence of a few seconds he spoke again, the voice a little more deeper and chocked
"Yeah..hi..yes she's told me about you...uh...can you please ask Anji to call me.." he asked as khushi said a quick yes, she was just about to keep the call when he spoke again "Just...uh...congratulations to you and Arnav Katya.." he said, but before khushi could say a thank you he kept the call. 'Strange! Why is this man calling anjali now?' but she was glad that anjali had completely broken off everything with him, she continued down the stairs towards the decorated hall.
"Behenji...this was such an amazing evening! I have never seen a more celebrated and lavish sangeet ever!" buaji gushed as she sat down with a satisfied sigh on the huge easy chair. Dadiji and maya sat opposite her and sipped on their late night coffee as anji and lavanya lazed on the couch with khushi between them. Arnav scowled from across the opposite end as he and mamaji sipped on their bourbon.
"Yes...i must say I have probably never enjoyed so much in my life, anji and La's performance was the best" maya said as she beamed at them "But khushi I never knew you could dance so well! I really hoped that you and arnav could have performed together...but well..." maya said as she glanced arnav's way "Shame arnav is not a good dancer...otherwise you both would have rocked the dance floor during the freestyle dancing!" she laughed as arnav got up suddenly "Oh why does she need me when she had her Raghav to dance the night away with!" he said his eyes staring at khushi angrily.
Khushi suppressed a smile as Lavnya nudged her while anjali giggled "Well...I only danced with him cause someone could not be bothered on the dance floor!" khushi said teasing arnav "So!..I'm not fond of dancing...that does not mean you go around prancing about with that Ass!" arnav said looking at mamaji to help him out but instead found him laughing at his words"Its not nice to call him an ass just because he owns a company called Asrock arnav!" mamaji chided him as arnav gave everyone an irritated look.
"Fine! Whatever...but next time no one dances with Khushi...not even you girls!" he said pointing towards Lavanya and Anji, who doubled up laughing and fell on the floor clutching their tummies "What's so funny!" he barked as Khushi got up and came towards him "jealously is not very becoming on you arnav.." she whispered in his ears as arnav's mouth thinned "I am not jealous" he said as everyone got up one by one not paying heed to his words.
"Yes yes chotey...whatever you say!...now go and sleep, you both need to be fresh tomorrow for the haldi in the morning...and khushi, no leaving the house once your haldi is done.." maya said as she wiggled a finger in front of her before kissing her lightly on the forehead, everyone said their good-nights as khushi too turned to retire to her and buaji's room. "Not so fast!" arnav said as he once again held her wrist and dragged her out.
"Not again arnav!" khushi said as he pulled her behind the pillar "This is the last time i'm playing hooky...after tomorrow, I don't care who is in front of us...I will do what ever I want with you...my wife!" he said possessively as he held her tightly by her waist, khushi hugged him as he rested his chin on her head "Promise..I won't stop you" she sighed as she buried her head in further "I can't wait for tomorrow arnav.." she said as he kissed her hair softly "Neither can i babe..neither can I!..." he said as he held her for a while longer before both went to their respective room...for the last time.
"Arre titaliya...what are still doing in the bathroom? Come and sleep now! Its past 1am in the morning...you have to get up really early tomorrow" buaji shouted as khushi finished moisturizing herself. She remembered that she had forgotten to give anjali that Shamster's message...'what an odd name! 'Shamster...like he's a sham..' she laughed as buaji's voice again carried through "I am so glad you wedding card says Khushi...like the way your babuji named you and not that silly name 'Katya!'" khushi grinned as she heard her buaji lament about her other name..she had never really like that name for khushi.
"She looked back in the mirror and thought how everyone here called her Khushi...not Katya...her identity since she was born...except for Lavanya no one called her that anymore...in fact Anji didn't even call her by her name...she had started calling her bhabhi since day one! Khushi giggled as she smiled looking in the mirror, but her face froze as soon as realization dawned on her, He had called her Katya...that man had called her Katya...Sham...she thought as her inside curled in fear and she fainted with that as the last thought in her mind.