'He wondered where the foot prints came from...it wasn't like anyone else resided in this house or even dared to venture in its eerie silence...why was it then, he felt someone's presence...the thought left a cold feeling lingering in his being...'
Arnav stared at the words in front of him...he had already reread the six chapters he had jotted down so far...but after that he had badly got stuck on the seventh...He sighed as he exited the software and shut down his laptop before leaning back into the comfortable wicker chair in the adjoining balcony
He closed his eyes as the characters in his latest novel kept revolving around his mind...his protagonist was loosely based on his personsomething which he had never done beforebut somehow it had clicked and he had been on a roll, so much so that he had finished the first three chapters in a single night!
But then things had gotten a bit difficult, because though he had started the novel on a very solid foundation and had built over it quite well, his creative juices had simple stopped flowing once he reached chapter sixthe paranormal twist in the story was just not settling well with his psyche and he had been in a fix if he was probably wrong on basing his newest protagonist on himself..he felt that the climax he had originally envisioned may not come through if he continued in this way.
He let out a long sigh before picking up the laptop and walking back into the room. He set the device on the study table to charge and switched on the lights in the now darkened room as the evening had set in...He looked back towards the balcony to witness the last visible light of the setting sun, finally drenching the valley into cool darkness.
Half an hour later he was walking out of his room to look for VK...the hot shower had done wonders to his tensed self and the calmness of the place was giving him a sense of rejuvenation. He ran his hands through his damp hair before walking slowly into the dimly lit living area
Arre sir...you are here? I was just about to come and call you for dinner VK said as Arnav nodded at him before walking towards a large showcase that held many old books, the same had intrigued him earlier in the day These are bade saabji's books...you can take them to read if you'd like VK said, looking at the way Arnav was taking a keen interest in them
Thanks...I might.. he said as he opened the cupboard and ran his forefinger along the various books...ranging from political to spiritual topics...he finally found his favorite book amongst the collection and pulled it out with a smile A Tale of two cities
That is a fifth edition original copy...1921, I think a soft voice spoke from behind him as he was leafing through the yellowed pages. He quickly turned around to be greeted by a pair of startling hazel orbs..but it didn't take him long to take in the rest of her face..her long perfect nose, high cheekbones marred by a slight blush...full plump pink lips unadorned by any artificial color and straight long hair falling in a soft cascade around her delicate shoulders
The rest of her was equally perfect with womanly curves and beautiful fair smooth skin...he knew she was the same girl he had earlier found under the sink...her still bare legs confirming his doubt Beautiful...I...I mean, this book is b..Beautiful he said as the suddenness of his thoughts spoken aloud made him stutter.
Hmm...Yes I agree...it is one my favorite booksthis one here was a gift given to my great-grandfather by the British Officer he worked under during colonial times she said walking towards him and closing the bookcase. She took the book from his hands and picked up a tissue from the nearby coffee table...she wiped the dust of the book and offered it back to him
I know we are supposed to keep these in better condition...but I had forgotten about this little treasure the house holds she said as she smiled softly, making arnav gulp at the unfamiliar feeling in the pit of his stomach...her smile transformed her face further...taking her natural beauty to another level
Khushi observed the man in front of her with interest...When she had heard his name, she had thought of an older gentleman...someone who was very authoritative and probably stern looking...she had never imagined that this man standing in front of her will be that mumbaiyya she had cursed earlier.
She had watched him discreetly for a few seconds, taking in his tall, lean frame...he did not seem like the overtly muscled types, but the way his veins stretched over his bare forearms, spoke of a well toned, maintained body...and then his face...he seemed to have a kind of melancholy around his eyes when he had looked up at her, but his rugged handsomeness had stopped her from delving too much into it.
I'm Arnav by the way...you must be babyji he said as he extended his arm to greet her... Khushi Gupta...this is my nanaji's house she said shaking his hand briefly before pulling away and stuffing her hands back into the pockets of her shorts.
They stood observing each other for a few seconds more before khushi cleared her throat Uh...was it you who came to the bathroom earlier? When I was fixing the sink? she asked him curiously only to have him nod his head at her Yes, that was me...I did not realize that was you fixing the plumbing though he told her as she nodded
Yep...I'm kind of like a DIY person...whatever I can fix, I'll do on my own...in fact its high time I fix up this place good...Its been ignored for a very long time she sighed as she slowly walked towards the dining room and poured herself a glass of water while Arnav observed her discreetly.
Anyways...I heard from chikappa that you will be leaving? I'm sorry I came in at this time, but I work in Delhi and could only take a month's time off to come and restore this place...my boss only agreed to a long break since work's not crazy busy right now...and she can afford to give me a break only when the season's off khushi said matter of factly drinking the cool water
Oh...what kind of work do you do? he asked her with mild curiosity...since she spoke of seasons. Khushi smiled at him again before slumping down ungracefully in the comfy dining chair I'm a wedding planner...I work for a company called 'Dreamz Inc'...yes I know sounds corny...but we are one of the best wedding planners in Delhi and NCR she said proudly as arnav looked at her in amusement
Sounds like a cool job he said as he too sat down and waited as VK placed dinner plates in front of them So youre here for a month only? he asked her as she served herself some pickle and salad before passing on the plate to arnav
Yes...if I can get things done before that, then Ill be gone before the month ends...Why? Are you considering staying back now? she asked him wiggling her eyebrows as he thoughtfully bit into a piece of cucumber I really don't know...see I rented this place because I wanted to do some serious writing...I wanted to be completely on my own so that I can gather my thoughts and simply write! he said as she nodded
I know...they told me you were a writer...and if you are having second thoughts, let me reassure you that I will not come in your way at all...as it is, the part of the house where you are staying will not be disturbed at all..And if you like, I can reduce the rental substantially since its only fair she said trying to change his mind...but for the life of her, she had no idea why she was trying to convince him so much...
Fine...let me re-think about it, I am anyways staying here for another two days, so Ill decideon Mondayif I want to move out...and don't worry about the money...its fine, the rent is pretty low any which ways he said as VK served him some vegetables
Sure, sounds good...trust me, you will probably only see me during meal times...Ill make sure to stay out of your way otherwise she said with a bright smile...and somehow those words made arnav feel restless instead of relief...something about her presence was very soothing...but maybe it was best to stay away from making any attachments to anyone..not even the caretaker.
So, what kind of book are you writing? And are you a published author? she asked him as he tried to come up with a reasonable answer...he had never had to answer this question to anyone before and was at a loss of words... No...Im not published yet...this will be my first book...its a p..political drama he said hoping she'll buy it
Oh...ok..i'm not really interested in politics, so I probably won't understand anything...but hope it works out for you and you end up writing a bestseller... she said as he nodded politely and continued with his dinner...he wondered what she would say if he told her the truth about his books...that every book he had ever written had been bestsellers!
The rest of the meal went down in companionable silence, and after bidding each other good night...both Arnav and Khushi went their opposite ways...one thinking about the sadness in his eyes and the other thinking about the liveliness in her hazel ones.