*Ignore typos. Not proofread*
Hearing the commotion all other members came in th
e hall with confusion etched on everyone’s face except the face of Sumit and Vishal who have an idea as to what must have happened.
“Shashi what’s happening here? And why are you bringing Khushi like this?” asked Mohiander with raised eyebrow. At this Shashi leave Khushi’s hand and looks down not knowing what he should tell his daarji or how he should tell them that how his own daughter has make a mockery out of all the relations. He has no strength to tell them the truth knowing well that the girl who till now was the reason of pride which used to shine in every member’s eye will be the reason of snatching the same. Today for the first time in his life he is feeling as a looser, who fails to instill faith in his own daughter, who fails to understand his own daughter. He was brought back from his revere with Mohiander’s next set of words.
“Shashi I am asking you something, then why are you not replying to me? And why is my Khushi shedding her precious pearls?” he asked while wiping Khushi’s tears and patting her back while Khushi is not able to even look in his eyes knowing well that as soon as the truth will be out the same loving glances will change into accusing glances.
“Daarji, actually Khushi…. Khushi…” he stuttered not able to say that aloud.
“What Khushi? Shashi tell us?” asked Vishwas getting confused as to what has happened in such a short span of time.
“Khushi is in love with someone else,” he said gathering all his courage and closing his eyes.
“What?” the hall echoed with it while all of them are just gaping at Khushi as if asking her to deny it and tell them that it is a joke and nothing serious, but when neither Khushi deny nor she looks in anyone’s eye then Daarji came forward and jerk her asking “Khushi tell us beta that it is some misunderstanding and nothing serious. Tell us that you are happy with your marriage with Vishal.”
But still upon not getting any reply from her he takes a step back and this time shouted “KHUSHI…. Tell me that whatever your father just said is not true, tell me that you have not done this sin, tell me Khushi.”
But Khushi kept mum still looking down. What should she tell them? That yes she loves someone else and that too none other than Arnav. That she has betrayed them by not telling the biggest truth of her life and let them live in an illusion that their daughter will marry the boy of their choice while here she was making the plans of her future with someone else.
But she was brought back from her reverie with the jerk she received, this time from her tauji- Vishwas Gupta.
“Khushi puttar, please say something. Don’t stand here mum just like a statue. Your silence is just making you culprit when all of us very well now that you just can’t even think about this, doing this is a far off thing. Please dear say something so that our thudding heart can calm down a bit.”
At this Khushi raised her teary eyes and look towards him and then around her only to realise that everyone is looking at her. Some with confusion, some with anger, few with sympathy.
Her throat got patched and she realised that she has no courage to even speak a single word. But at the same time she knew that she has to speak because it’s now or never.
“Aren’t you being selfish?” came a voice somewhere deep-down from her heart making her numb and guilty while tears rolled down her eyes, but somehow she composed herself thinking that if today too she remain silent then not only her but she will be playing with three life’s which she can’t do. And as soon as the decision was taken she looks upward with determination, wiping her tears and said “I am sorry tauji-, but yes it’s true that I don’t wants to get married to Vishal as I am in love with Arnav. When and how I started loving him I myself don’t know. But yes I do love him.”
As soon as she finished, sound of SLAP resonated in the air making her jerk back while everyone eyes widen upon seeing that daarji has slapped Khushi making her stumble two steps back and then shouted.
“What have you done Khushi?”
“NO…. Don’t give any justification now…. When it was needed then you don’t care and now when so much has happened you are trying to justify yourself. Have you ever thought that what will I face my friend now? Have you thought about that boy who must have till now started dreaming about his married life with you? But here you are romancing with this man. I felt ashamed of myself for trusting you,” said Daarji in an anguished voice with moist eyes.
“Daarji… Daarji… It was never… Sob… Never my intention to hurt you… Never ever…..” she said with choked voice while Daarji just looked away and said “I don’t care what your intention was Khushi? The only thing I knew is the fact that you had betray your own family for an outsider. I never thought that a day would come when I will say something like this but today you had forced me to such an extent that I am saying you all this Khushi.
“You are a betrayer, a cheater, a lier and from today onwards you have no relation either with me or this family,” he said with moist eyes and then sat on the floor with a thud cursing himself to utter those words which he never wants to say even in his wildest dreams. While all the elders ran towards him as they have never seen him so broken.
At the same time another SLAP sound echoed and this time too it was Khushi who received the slap but the person who slapped her was none other then her own mother Garima Gupta.
“What had you done Khushi? What had you done? In your blind love you have forgotten everything. Family respect, parents wish, our happiness, all this means nothing to you in front of your love for an outsider?” she asked angrily jerking her back and was going to slap her once again. But this time her hand was being stop in the mid by Arnav Singh Raizada whose face was still calm but eyes were showing a different story altogether.
Seeing his this act not only Garima or Khushi but all other members present there were also stunt.
“Who had given you the right to interfere in between our family members?” asked Garima angrily.
Arnav very politely left her hand and then bowing his head a little and with immense respect he said “No one has given me this right to interfere in your family matters aunty. But then I also can’t see Khushi being Slapped and insulted again and again that too in front of my eyes because I love her. Yes aunty I do love her the same way your daughter loves me..”
“Oyee…. Chup kar….. You have already butter us so much and we like fool also came under your influence, but not anymore. Don’t even think that we will come in your sweet honey-coated words this time too. No- never…” said Vishwas Gupta in an angry voice.
“No uncle, you are misunderstanding me,” said Arnav in a calm and composed voice knowing well that making them understand will not going to be a easy task, but was cut off in the middle by Rupa Gupta.
“Oho! Just stay out of this. I am saying this daarjee letting him stay here was the worst decision we all have taken ever. Let that Diya came and I will took her class as to how can such a sweet girl has such a cunning brother,” she said with disgust evident in her voice.
“Mom please don’t bring Diya in between all this as it was my plan,” said Sumit in a bit of frustration making every head snapped towards him.
“What? What do you mean by this Sumit?” asked Shashi trying to join the dots and fearing for the answer of this question.
“Chachaji, their love doesn’t blossom during Arnav’s stay in our house because they are in love from even before that,” he said looking down.
“You… You mean to say that they both knew each other from before and you were also aware of it?” asked daarji now standing up from his previous position while Sumit just nodded his head in positive looking down.
“So that clearly means that whatever I said to you just now Khushi was right. You are a betrayer, a lier and a cheater,” said daarji with sheer anger and hurt clearly visible in his eyes and tone.
“No daarji… It’s not like that…”
“Then what it is like Khushi?” he asked and Khushi looks down not knowing how to make them understand her perspective.
“You know Khushi I have always wanted a girl to be borne in my house and was really happy the day you were born. But today I am cursing myself that why I even wish devimaiya to grant me a granddaughter, because if one gets a granddaughter like you then it’s better to not have one,” he said while tears keep rolling down from his eyes making Khushi to flinch back. And then turning towards Sumit he said “And Sumit you, I never expect this from you. I know you love her very much and we all used to do the same, but that doesn’t mean that you will stick to her in every wrong decision of hers.”
“Daarji…” said Arnav but was cut off by an angry voice.
“DO NOT CALL ME THAT!!!!! You have lost this right the day you cheated me. Even before you could make a relationship with me or this family you have spoiled all of this. I pity you Arnav that you even thought to make a good relationship with this family when all you did to us was lying. I bet now that even Diya was not your cousin sister. Am I right?” he asked at which Arnav looks down for a good few minutes and then once again looking up he said “You are right daarji, she isn’t my cousin.”
As soon as he said that a mocking smile came on daarji’s face which was soon wiped hearing his next sentence.
“Yes daarji she isn’t my cousin, but that doesn’t mean that she is not my sister. Because for me relationships are not made by blood but by heart. So what if she is not my blood sister? I have considered her my sister by heart. She is my heart sister and I have no problem in saying that because I know that we both really considered each other brother-sister by our heart.”
After hearing him say that Mohiander stared in his eyes for few minutes and then looks away not able to say anything else after seeing the truth in his eyes which itself is speaking volume. But that doesn’t mean that he will forgive them for playing with all of their emotions and feelings, especially with his friend Teji and the innocent Vishal. What was his fault in all this? No, he can’t forgive them. He was thinking all this when he felt a hand on his shoulder. Upon looking at the side to see who it was he find his best friend Teji patting his shoulder with a small smile making him wonder that how can a person be still so calm.
“No Mohiander…. No…. It’s neither your fault nor her fault. If anyone is at fault then it’s Love only.”
“What??? How??? How can you be so calm Teji? That too after getting betrayed like this?”
At this Teji smiled a little and then said “Because Mohiander if you have forgotten then let me remind you that there was a time when I too was stuck with this Love fever, and believe me when this fever stuck then the person tends to forget his/her ownself.”
“Teji this is not a time to joke,” said Mohiander sternly.
“Yaara I too am not joking. I am telling you the truth. At least before giving your verdict hear them out for once.”
“What’s left to hear now Teji? Everything is finished.”
“Nothing is finished Mohiander… Nothing is finished… At least not till the time we know the whole truth. Remember that never judge someone just knowing the half-truth because every coin has two sides. Don’t you have any trust on your upbringing?”
But upon seeing Mohiander still silent he added “I don’t know about you Mohiander, but I trust my children and that’s why I am giving them a chance to explain everything and after that only I will tell my decision.”
“Thanks uncle,” said Arnav.
“Don’t thank me, just say the truth.”
And then Arnav narrated them how they met, their fights, their realisastion and then confession, Khushi getting to know about her impending marriage which has been fixed in her childhood, her turmoil as to what should she do? Then him getting to know about all this and deciding to come here and make everything alright like before. After hearing all this every person standing there have tears in their eyes thinking how much their gudiya has suffered.
“Hmm…. See Arnav I will not ask you that do you love Khushi, because we all can see you do. But I just wants to know that why do you love her? Is it just because of her beauty?” asked Teji.
“There is no doubt in this uncle that Khushi is an epitome of beauty. But this is not the reason of my love. I may get attracted to her for her beauty, but I love her for being her. I love her for her fighting spirit, I love her because she always stands for truth, I love her because she has this strength in her to fight against wrong. I can’t explain you uncle that why I love her, but I can just say that I love her and only her.”
Not only Teji but everyone present there were impressed by his thoughts. Teji gives a small smile to him and then turning towards Khushi asked the same question to her.
“And Khushi you? Why do you feel that he is better than my Vishal?”
“I am not saying that he is better than Vishal uncle, I am just saying that he is the one with whom I want to spend my rest of life, he is the one with whom I felt protected other than my family members, he is the one who can understand my sadness behind my fake joy, he is the one who understands me better than me.”
Every person standing there were in awe of the beautiful confession they just heard from both of them, but the question is still the same- What will happened with the boy who must have weaved so many beautiful dreams.
Teji move forward and patted her head and said “Khushi, I am very happy my child that you loves him because he too loves you the same way. You both are soulmates my child. And I will never want you to marry Vishal knowing well that your heart beats only for Arnav. But yes, I am disappointed with you. If you never wanted this marriage to take place then you should have let us know naa… I know your intention was never wrong Khushi. But see dear, today just your one mistake and you are on verge of losing all the relations you cherish so dearly.”
At this tears brimmed in her eyes and she looks down while Teji hold her chin and raising it up said “I understand Khushi it was not easy for you but if not me and your family then at least you should have told everything to Vishal. After all he was your childhood friend.”
“She had told me everything on the first day itself,” echoed Vishal’s voice making everyone snapped their heads with shock and confusion.
“What??? What do you mean Vishal? And if it is so then why you never told any of us?” asked daarji.
“Ugh! Well… Because I wanted to know who is that person with whom Khushi has fallen so hard and second- Does he even deserve an angel like her?”
“And what did you find?” asked Teji with raised eyebrow.
“That he is the one for her.”
“Then why didn’t you tell us about the same?” asked Shashi.
“The same reason as to why we were silent,” said Sumit.
“That means you all were in the plan- even Vishal too?” asked a visibly shocked Khushi.
“Yes Khushi I too was with you from the start,” chuckled Vishal.
“What??? But how??” she asked astonished. And then Arnav recounted the day’s events when he first met with Vishal.
“Hello buddy… so you are the great Arnav Singh Raizada who had stolen the heart of my Khushi,” he said while Arnav clenched his fist till his knuckles turned white hearing someone else referring his Khushi as his while Vishal continued “well to be honest I am Vishal- Khushi’s fiancé.”
And that was it because soon he staggered back and felt as if his nose broke down because Arnav has punched him hard directly on his nose and then said in a very menacing tone “Never….. never ever take my Khushi’s name with your filthy mouth. She is mine… only mine to cherish. Only I have the right to touch her, to be near her, only my name can be taken with her and you understand it better otherwise….”
“Otherwise what?” asked vishal calmly as if nothing happened with him.
“Otherwise I will kill you,” said Arnav panting in anger while Vishal was still standing calmly and all others are looking at the duo with eyes wide open just trying to grasp everything.
“Oh! You can’t Arnav because I know that you will do any such thing which my Khushi will not like.”
Hearing once again my Khushi from his filthy mouth anger coursed in his veins and he was going to once again punch him but this time sensing what’s coming towards him Vishal blocked his hand before it his face and said angrily “First time I didn’t said you anything doesn’t mean that I will let you punch me again. Don’t forget I too can do the same with you, but I am not like you who loses his calm so soon and moreover it is my philosophy to always give his opponent a chance before playing my last move and giving checkmate to the opponent.”
He said it with smirk on his face while Arnav was looking at him angrily and all the others who were standing there were just gaping at his audacity.
“How dare you? How dare you even eye my Khushi? You don’t know Arnav Singh Raizada. I can go to any extent for my Khushi. She is the love of my life. I can even die for her and you are just asking me for this challenge. Then Mr. Vishal I heartily accept your challenge as I know no one can snatch my Khushi from me.”
“So much overconfident… Huh!”
“Not overconfidence Vishal. It is my true love which is giving me strength to accept this challenge and at the same time making me believe that no one can snatch Khushi from me.”
At this Vishal started laughing and didn’t stop till the time his eyes got moist and at last when he stopped laughing he said “I approved you of being my Khushi’s husband Arnav because you and only you deserve her.”
“What???” asked a shocked and bewildered Arnav while Vishal nodded in yes and then said “Arnav I only wanted Khushi’s happiness and if that lies with you then I have no qualms in it. She is my childhood best friend. To be honest I have never seen her as my life partner, but yes at the same time I can never see tear in her eyes and I can do anything for her happiness even if it means sacrificing my own. It’s true that I never expected her to be in love with someone but I was happy when she confessed the same to me in our first meet itself. I wanted to tell her that I have no problem with it but before that I wanted to meet you so that I can be assured that yes you are the one for her, which I am after meeting you. And now the first thing I am going to do is tell her that I am out of her love life.”
“No you are not,” said Arnav.
“Yes, she deserves a punishment from hiding this from me and this will be her punishment.”
“But Arnav she will be sad then,” butted in Sumit.
“Ofo guys! The happiness she will get after this will be doubled too naa then.”
“Hmmm… Okay, So we should tell elders that the marriage will happen but instead of Vishal and Khushi it will be you and Khushi,” said Vishal excitedly.
“No, Guys I want to make a place in their hearts before all this, so…” he trailed off as an idea popped in his mind.
“So all this was plan?” asked Khushi looking angrily towards Arnav while he sheepishly nodded at her.
“So then everything is sorted,” said Teji smilingly and then added “Mohiander now spit out this anger and accept Arnav as your son-in-law.”
At this Shashi too nodded happily while the duo took her blessings which he readily gives them but not before giving a warning
“Never ever do this kind of stunt in your life.”
While both of them happily nodded at him.
“I can’t believe that everything is fine now and there is nothing remains,” said Teji.
“There is still one thing which I have hided from you,” said Vishal.
“Ugh! Actually when I was in States I found this girl and later we both fall for each other,” he said looking everywhere else except him.
“What? What is the name of that girl?” asked Teji angrily.
“If you love her then why didn’t you say the same to me?” he asked.
“That day I came to tell you the same but before even I could tell you the same you told me that my marriage was been fixed with Khushi in childhood and the time has come to marry us and Khushi will be waiting for me. So….” he trailed off.
“Do you have any photo of that girl?” he asked looking straight in his eyes..
“Then why are you humming? Show me the same,” he said furiously.
And then Vishal took out his wallet and show them her photo. He was literally shivering in nervousness not knowing what is coming next towards her. But what he heard next make his all nervousness flew away and a small smile came on his lips.
“The girl is beautiful. I think she will be perfect for you. What you say Shashi?” asked Teji while Shashi nodded in yes.
“So tell her to meet me soon as I can’t wait for my bahu anymore.”
And saying this he laughed and soon everybody else joined him.
** Anyone waiting for Epilogue?
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