After having their morning breakfast Narmada Devi left from there saying that she wants to go to the temple and was accompanied by her son Rudra while Arnav and Abhishek got engaged in their talks which were as usual related to their business.
All this while Khushi was too silent, lost in her own muddled thoughts which weren’t went unnoticed by Roshni, who shook her jerking her out of her revere.
“Bhabhi! What happened? What’re you thinking?” she asked while keeping the dirty dishes aside and then taking the dishes which were in Khushi’s hand and placing them aside too.
“Ugh! Oh! Nothing Roshni,” she said composing herself.
Before she could even complete her sentence Khushi said “I think we should move out. Rest Lakhan kaka will see. Right kaka?”
“Yes choti malkin,” saying this he nodded his head in affirmation and both of them left from there.
Coming out of the kitchen they saw both Arnav and Abhishek still talking about business related issue and settled beside them.
Making a frowning face Khushi said “Don’t you guys have anything else to talk rather than this boring business of yours?”
“Madam this boring business of ours is making you do things as per your wish. Moreover, our business talks are far more-better than your illogical gossips,” said Arnav smirking.
“Haww! You said my gossips illogical?” Khuishi asked pouting.
“Don’t mind bhabhi, but gossip in itself illogical then what’s yours or what’s mine,” he said and then both the brothers hi-fived each other making Khushi angry who turn towards Roshni and asked “Won’t you say something to your hubby?”
“What should I?” Roshni asked looking down.
“Leave it! I alone am enough for both of them,” Khushi said with attitude, and then after a hiatus added “But as of now! I am not in a mood to gossip.”
“Then what’s your mood begum sahiba?” Arnav asked huskily making Khushi to scrunch her nose in annoyance and said “Well! I’m in a mood to know about the history of this house or better said haveli.”
As soon as she said this Arnav becomes a bit serious while Abhishek shifted uncomfortably in his seat.
“But bhabhi! You already got to know yesterday. Right?”
“Not really Roshni. Whatever I got to know was just the so called story of GHOST OF THE HAUNTED HOUSE, which unfortunately is the same place where we guys are living but now I want to know about this house, about the past, about Arnav’s parents. I’ve never meet them nor did Arnav. So, you see I’m a bit curious about my in-laws,” saying this she looked at the duo Abhishek and Roshni, her curiosity building like a cat fixated upon its prey.
But how can I? I mean when I was born they were no more. So how can I tell you guys about them?” Abhishek asked confusedly not knowing what to say.
“Oho! I understand what you want to say but then you’ve been living here from childhood unlike Arnav so it’s but natural that you would be knowing things more than Arnav. Right Arnav?”
“Absolutely Khushi! Abhishek, daadiji and uncle must have told you many things about them which I’m unaware of. So now please tell me. I want to hear about my family.”
“Ugh! Oh! Nothing much bhai. You know no one wants to remember those sad times when we lost them so they don’t talk much about it as it hurts them to remember those sad memories.”
“Hmm! I understand! But still there must be time when knowingly or unknowingly they’ve talk about my parents. After all we all are family.”
“Of course bhai! We’re family. Umm! I don’t remember much but yes daadiji used to say that they’re ideal couple, always together with each other.”
“Yes, I too have heard that my mother-in-law and father-in-law were very much in love with each other.”
“Yes bhabhi, you’ve heard it correct. Once I’ve also heard a villager say that they’re like Lord Ram-Sita,” said Roshni remembering that day.
“Really! Wow Arnav! I’m so lucky,” she said with a smile on her lips, looking towards Arnav whose lips also curved in smile.
“But how did they died then? I mean from what I’ve learnt no one knows what had really transpired that had lead them to their death.”
“Taiji died while giving birth to bhai,” he said sadly.
“Hmm! That I know. But what about dad?” Arnav asked with a heavy voice. His throat choked with emotions, eyes moist with unshed tears, lips quivering to form words.
Understanding his turmoil Khushi caressed his back, assuring him that he isn’t alone and she’ll be always there with him come what may.
Giving a small smile upon her assurance he look back towards his younger brother waiting for the answer to his question but only got silence in response.
“Abhishek!” he once again called out to him making him realised that he is still waiting for his reply.
“Bhai! Honestly I don’t have even an ounce of idea. Have never heard dad or daadiji talking about all this. So…” he trailed off.
“But haven’t you ever tried asking them about it? I mean haven’t you ever get curious about it?” Khushi asked surprised that no one knew about what had transpired in the past.
“Ugh! Actually bhabhi there was a time when curiosity has got better of me and I’d asked daadiji about it.”
“Then what did she said to you?” Arnav asked eagerly waiting for an answer which can put an end upon his queries regarding the past. But may be fate wasn’t in his favour.
Abhishek sighed seeing his elder brother’s expected eyes to seek answers to the unanswered questions. He can’t even imagine the level of restlessness in him to get the answers of all these questions, but at the same time he felt sorry for him as he knew that he knew nothing about them.
Drying his parched lips with his tongue he said “Well! Bhai I have asked daadiji about it but in response she’d told me to never talk about the past ever again.”
“But why is she not telling us? I mean what’s so mysterious that she’s not ready to divulge the facts,” Khushi said getting suspicious that why even the mere mention of past affects Mrs. Narmada Devi so much.
“May be because it brings many painful memories associated with it. For us it’ll be just a story which will give us the much needed answers but for her it’ll be like reminiscing all those hurtful events once again,” Roshni said leaving a thoughtful Khushi behind.
Realising that the atmosphere is getting too emotional Arnav changed the topic and they started chatting casually. Whole day passed like this and none bring that topic again to the fore not wanting to spoil their mood.
At night after having their dinner everyone went to sleep. But in Arshi’s room the scenario was totally different. While Arnav was busy in replying to the mails, on the other hand Khushi was standing near the window lost in her own thoughts. Though Arnav has seen her but not wanting to disturb her he kept doing his work.
After half-an-hour later when his work was done he closed the laptop and look towards his beautiful wife only to find her still in the same position lost in her own. Sighing! He move towards her and wounding his arms around her waist, he placed his chin on her shoulder he asked “What happened baby? What’re you thinking so deeply that you didn’t even recognise that I’m standing behind you?”
Khushi was lost in her own thoughts when she felt a hand on her waist making her jerk out of her revere. It didn’t took her long to understand that her husband has come up to her, and even before she could say him anything, she heard him.
“Huh! Ugh! Nothing Arnav,” she said not wanting him to get worried.
“Don’t you dare lie to me Mrs. Khushi Arnav Singh Raizada,” he said turning her towards him and then cupping her face asked “What’s bothering you dear? Tell me. You know you can’t hide things from me.”
Realising that he’d as always guessed her state of mind she looked in her husband’s eyes and placing her hands on his she said “Arnav! I don’t know how you would take it because I myself had no idea as to why I’m thinking like this, but then I couldn’t stop myself too.”
“Shh!” he said placing his index finger on her quivering lips and then said “You know Khushi that I trust you with all my heart and soul, and there is nothing that can waver that. So don’t think so much and just pour out your heart to me.”
Hearing his words Khushi really thanks her deity to have her blessed with a loving and understanding husband.
With a sweet smile adorning her lips she said “I know that Arnav. And that’s why I love you more.”
Smiling at his wife he asked her to say what’s in her heart and taking a deep breath she said “Arnav I don’t know the past of your family or how parents died but there’re few things which are bothering me.”
“What?” he asked.
“See Arnav don’t take me wrong but the fact that your daadiji doesn’t wants to talk about your parents is just not gelling with me.”
“But Khushi! Roshni said the reason downstairs. So…”
“I understand Arnav! And I agree with her too! But up-to some extent only.”
“Past hurts Arnav! I know it do! And especially when it has bitter memories associated with it. But one could never forget the past when sweet memories are also associated with those bitter memories. Not wanting to reminisce those memories is one thing but not even the family to know about it is a different things. We have a right to know the truth Arnav. Don’t we?” she asked looking in his eyes, expecting his response, waiting to know how will he take her words, praying that he’ll understand her thoughts and her husband didn’t disappoint her.
“Hmm! I think you’re right Khushi. But still I’m not getting what you wants to convey me,” he said in a confused tone, not understanding where all this is leading to.
Like understanding his confusion, Khushi placed her hands on his shoulder and said “I don’t know how to say it in rounds. So I’ll come straight to the point. Arnav I found something fishy.”
“What? What do you mean? I’m not getting you Khushi. Come straight.”
Sighing! She took a deep breath and said “Arnav don’t you find it all fishy? I mean first your maternal uncle wasn’t letting you come here and now when we come here we got to know about this ghost story and upon that your parent’s mysterious death and as if that wasn’t enough that now this hide and seek game of the truth. Isn’t all this really creepy? I mean everything is under wraps, nothing is out in open. Why so? I don’t know why but I feel that things are connected with each other somehow.”
Hearing her say that Arnav himself got confuse. Yes! From quite sometime he too is thinking on these lines that things aren’t really what they seems to be. But then he think that he was overdoing it. But now hearing the same thing from his wife he knew he was thinking in the right direction. He too needs to reach to the core of the truth. After all this is also one of the reason why’d he came here after so long- to know the truth and to unveil the secrets which are hidden behind the passage of time.
But what he doesn’t know is that this will not only unveil the secrets but will also bring a storm with it. A storm which’ll bring a devastating effect in the life of each and every person.
“So have you thought something? I mean what will we do? Should we try asking from daadiji?” he asked not knowing what to do next.
“I don’t think it’ll be nice option Arnav.”
At this Arnav raised his eyebrow as if asking her why she think so and in response she replied “When daadiji hadn’t told Abhishek about it. Then you think she’ll tell us when we’re directly connected to it and the past will affect us directly?” she asked to which he nodded.
“I have thought of another way?”
“And what’s that?’ he asked curiously.
“I’m thinking to visit that room,” she said a bit scared not knowing how he’ll respond to it.
“Room? Which room are you talking about?” he asked apprehensively.
“The same room which everyone here say as haunted,” she said and waited with bated breath to hear his reply.
“But that’s closed how will you enter inside? And what’ll you get from there?” he asked confused while Khushi sighed.
Here she was getting scared that god knows how he’ll react after hearing her and here he is asking her questions like a small kid. Only her husband can do this, she thought and shaking her head said “Well! Honestly I don’t know what I’ll get there, but we can at least try. And regarding the lock, then we have to break it somehow.”
“Hmm! Okay! But you’ll not go alone there.”
“Why? Are you scared that the ghost will harm me?” she asked winking.
“”I don’t know about the ghost. But I do know that I’ll not let you get hurrt till I’m alive.”
“Awe! My hubby dear!” saying this she pulled Arnav’s cheeks and then said “So let’s go and starts the Mission ‘Find the truth’.”
“What? Now? At this odd hour? I mean its mid-night Khushi,”
“Don’t tell me that you’re scared and thinking to do all this in the day-light,” saying this she rolled her eyes.
“No! I didn’t! But then…”
“Oho Arnav! Don’t be a spoilsport. Moreover it’s fun to break into our own house. Let’s do it together,” saying this she left from there and Arnav too follow her knowing that he has no other choice.
As soon as she reached near that room she remembered yesterday’s events, that strange voice that only she was able to heard making her shudder a bit, but then soon she composed herself realising that her husband is just beside her.
“So what now? How’re you planning to unlock the lock?” he asked pointing towards the door which has been locked and along with it tied with red-yellow sacred threads.
“Well! I’ll use the age old formula,” she said taking out a bobby pin from her long black hairs winking at him.
And soon she inserted the pin in the lock and tried to unlock it. After all most five-six attempts when Arnav was on the verge of giving in thinking that it’ll not get unlocked then the lock gets unlock making Khushi squealed in happiness.
“I did it Arnav,” she said at which he nodded telling her to not squeal loudly or else someone will definitely get up.
At this she murmurs a quite sorry and then opening those sacred threads she opened the door of the room and entered with Arnav making sure to place the lock and thread such that no one can recognize that the door has been opened and after entering inside closed the door and then look ahead.
Though the creaking sound of the door startled them a bit but the musty smell of a room that’d been long abandoned filled their nostrils now making them scrunch their faces. The room was dim and uninviting. The bed and two old wooden chairs along with a table in the name of furniture were placed there looking as if they would be crumbled to dust if touched. The stillness of the air seemed to suck even the sound of their footfalls into nothingness. The silence in the room was something which none of them could ever describe. It was the kind of silence that falls right before you get stabbed sending a shiver down the spine. It wasn’t feeling creepy but eerie.
“Khushi! This room is giving me a very odd feeling which I can’t describe,” Arnav said not liking the way he is feeling after entering into the room.
“Are you getting scared Arnav?” Khushi asked trying to compose herself as her heart was also beating rapidly.
“No! Not scared Khushi. But then, I can’t explain,” he sighed looking at her.
“Hmm! Maybe this room has been closed from so long. That’s why?” she said trying to evade that eerie feeling which she is getting from the moment she has placed her foot in the room.
~So now as they’ve entered in the Ghost den, then what you think will awaits for them?~
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