Friday, February 15, 2013

SS: The Wrong Name - Epilogue

Author’s Note:

What is IPKKND without a catch and fall? And some Jadoo Hai Nashaa Hai? So without much ado, I give you, the Epilogue to the twisted take of IPKKND. Enjoy! But just remember, nothing is as it seems.
For those who still wonder why this story is called ‘The Wrong Name’: Did you really think the con scene was between Arnav and Khushi?  Read the second para of the Epilogue and you will see why it was not. 

Seriously, Ritu and Payal - you have made my life so much easier with your editing. You have hashed, questioned and suggested and most importantly, pushed me to give my best. My deepest gratitude to you both. I love you, MUAH!!

Jadoo Hai Nasha Hai

After all that had happened during the weddings, life had become much tamer in the Raizada family, rhythms had been established and relative peace had settled on the house.

Anjali had quietened down a bit; after all now, she neither had a brother who she had to needle to get married, nor a husband to cling to. She’d finally revealed to Khushi how she’d found out about Shyam’s obsession with her. It seems that in a moment of passion, Shyam had taken her name instead of Anjali’s, that is, the wrong name, in bed, while being intimate with his wife. That too, on Khushi’s Suhaag Raat.

Khushi had been disgusted, of course, but she’d wisely kept this knowledge to herself. Because if her Arnavji had found out the real reason, he’d have gone off the deep end, hunted Shyam down like the hounds of hell, and beaten him to within an inch of his life, all of which would have been good neither for him, nor his image nor his health.

Payal and Akash had discovered that being quiet did not mean no passion and no intensity, and although they still behaved like a perfectly platonic couple in front of others, complete with the ‘Ji’s suffixed to their names, Payal’s growing baby bump was testimony to the very non-platonic nature of their relationship and the fact that they were more than well-versed in the birds and the bees.

The fact that Khushi hadn’t yet conceived was the new topic of conversation in the house and right now, that was under discussion between Mami and Nani. What could be better to talk about than grandchildren on a Sunday afternoon?

‘Sasuma,’ said the former, sipping on her glass of diet orange juice. ‘Do you think Arnav bitwa will have children soon? After all, it’s almost a year since they’ve been married.’

‘I wouldn’t worry about it, Manorama,’ said Nani, feeding Lakshmi her mid-noon snack of leafy greens and twigs. ‘I am sure they will have children, they are just waiting it out.’

‘In our zamaanaa, we got married and had children right away. Look at my Akash bitwa and Khoo... I mean Payal bitiya,’ she was trying hard, oh, so hard, to stop calling her two daughters-in-law by the ridiculous names that she had given them. Although in her head, she still called them KBT and PS, she was careful around Arnav bitwa. He would not tolerate his wife being called anything other than Khushi or Bhabi or Khushiji. Even though he called her by the strange name of Khushi Kumari Gupta Singh Raizada himself.

She shook her head to clear her thoughts and went on, ‘that’s why I don’t understand why Arnav and Khushi are not having children yet.’ She leaned forward and said with a slightly horrified look on her face, ‘Sasuma, you don’t think Khushi bitiya might be...?’

Nani gave her an exasperated look. Seriously, hadn’t Manorama ever heard of birth control? Obviously, Arnav was taking his time to have kids, he wanted time with Khushi and he was going about it the right way.

‘Manorama, the children are grown up. They are married, they know what they are doing.’ She said hoping the conversation stop right there.

But Manorama was not put off so easily. Popping a laddoo into her mouth, she went on. ‘Maybe we should take Khushi bitiya to the doctor.’

‘Manorama!’ Nani said sternly.

She sank down like a wet kitten and stayed quiet for all of a minute.

Then, ‘Sasuma, where is Anjali bitiya?’ she said. ‘These days, she seems to be out a lot.’

‘She’s probably at the orphanage, Manorama,’ said Nani, referring to the foundation that Anjali had started working with, one that her brother had set up for orphan children.

Manorama nodded her head thoughtfully. She seemed to be thinking very hard and very deep. Nani looked curiously at her, ‘Is something the matter, Manorama?’ she asked.

Manorama shifted on the couch, made herself more comfortable and said, ‘No, sasuma,’ before reaching for another laddoo absent-mindedly. Strange, she thought. For the past few weeks, Anjali was often missing. She’d called her phone, but it had been switched off. She’d often receive calls on her phone, but not answer them. And she seemed to be .. happier .. these days. Something was up. An investigation was in order. What was Anjali Raizada up to?


Arnav and Khushi were taking an afternoon siesta that same Sunday. At least, that’s what they’d told the rest of the family. They lay cuddled under the covers in their clothes they were born in, lazily murmuring to each other.

Arnav had changed the locks on his door. In fact, he’d done it the very next day after his marriage. Now, if he wanted some ‘us’ time with his wife, he made sure no one and that meant absolutely no one, interrupted them. He’d also had the room sound-proofed. Although he’d briefly toyed with the idea of putting up a ‘Do not Disturb’ sign on his door, he’d discarded the idea as being a bit too much. However, the French windows and the windows would be getting the frosted treatment soon.

‘Arnav,’ Khushi murmured, drawing lazy circles around her husband’s nipples with her fingers, as he reciprocated the same action. She’d dropped the ‘ji’ in the bedroom long ago.

‘Hmm?’ he said.

‘You know, I was thinking,’ she started.

He raised his eyebrow, and looked at her face, raising his head to get a better view.

‘Why were you thinking?’ he smiled.

She thumped his chest with her tiny fist before sparkling up at him.

He chuckled and turned on his side, gathering her closer to him. ‘So tell me, what were you thinking? although,’ he paused. She looked inquiringly at him. ‘Why are you thinking when you’re with me, like this? You know, naked, after we’ve made love?’ he asked brazenly.

The red tide rose in her cheeks. ‘Oof! Arnav!’ if she could have stomped her foot she would have.

‘Okay, okay, tell me. I promise, no more interruptions,’ he said as he kissed her forehead.

She cleared her throat and began, ‘I think Di is seeing someone,’ she said.

‘What?’ he looked at her face and stared at it. ‘Khushi, what are you saying?’

She nodded her head. ‘You haven’t noticed, have you? She looks absent-minded now, but happier. She gets calls, that she doesn’t answer, she doesn’t pick up her phone sometimes...’ She looked into the distance, clasping her hands, smiling at the thought of romance for her Di.

‘And all this makes you think Di is seeing someone?’ he asked. ‘Khushi, there could be many reasons-’

She cut him off with a finger on his lips, which he automatically kissed. ‘I know, but Arnav, put them all together and it definitely means that.’

‘Okay, so I’ll ask her,’ he said.

She sat up straight in bed, quite forgetting that the sheet had fallen to her waist giving him an uninterrupted view of her gorgeous breasts highlighted by the mangalsutra on top and the waistband below. (Yes, Arnav Singh Raizada had quite a thing for that waistband and she always wore it in bed!)

‘What!’ she said, ‘you’re just going to ask her and she’s just going to tell you, huh?’ she asked.

Given the glorious sight in front of him, all coherent thought ran clean out of his head. ‘Come here,’ he said huskily, before yanking her on top of him. ‘And shut up. You talk too much!’ before claiming her lips in a long kiss.

It was much later, when he’d fallen asleep, that Khushi lay thinking. She was right. Something was up with Anjali and she was going to find out what it was - rather, WHO it was.


Anjali hung up the phone and smiled, a soft blush on her cheeks, before laying down on her bed. Tomorrow was Diwali and she was determined to make it a night to remember because HE would be here, she thought. She bit her lip in anticipation. She couldn’t wait for tomorrow.


Diwali at the Raizadas.

Like every other festival, much to Arnav’s displeasure, the Raizadas went overboard at Diwali too. This year there would be a party, like every other year, and the whole house was being decorated. Rangolis were being drawn. Diyas had already been hand crafted by Khushi and Payal. Lights had been strung up. Sweets had been made. Food had been cooked. The house was ready, almost.

Unlike previous years, though, this year, Arnav was taking an active part in the preparations, because he was under the gun from his wife. She had threatened to pull a Lysistrata on him, if he didn’t comply with her demands for him to join in the festivities. Arnav had no wish to be banished to the dog-house - or pool-side as the case may be, and had readily agreed to her.

He looked around the hall, satisfied with the preparations and walked away not noticing a patch of oil that someone had spilled on the floor in front of the doorway.

The doorbell rang, and Mamiji hurried towards the door, but HP beat her to it. He opened the door to Mamaji walking in, dragging his overnight bag behind him, his laptop swung over his shoulder. HP took the bags from him, and hurried off,

‘Finally!’ said Mamiji, looking overjoyed, as she hurried over to him. ‘You’ve come!’

‘What to do, Manno?’ he said, looking equally thrilled to see her. ‘The flight got canceled yesterday, so I took the first one baaaaa..’ he stepped on the patch of oil and his foot went out from under him. Arms flailing, he tried to stay upright, knowing that he was falling, waiting for his bottom to hit the hard marble floor. But that never happened.

Strong arms held him up, as he looked into her big eyes, the lids painted in multi-hued shades, lined by eyelashes stroked with extra-volume mascara. He looked into her eyes and couldn’t look away, his arm going around her shoulders as she held him up. A gentle breeze wafted over them, and somewhere, they heard a tune playing. She pulled him closer to her, slowly.

Arnav walked back towards the stairs and stopped and gawped at the sight before him. His Mami and Mama, in an eye-lock! His Mami holding up his Mama! He rubbed his forehead wondering which twilight zone he was in, before clearing his throat.

They started and Mami stood him upright, before saying a shaky, ‘hello, hi, bye, bye’ and walking away.

‘Mamaji,’ Arnav tried hard to keep from grinning. ‘You’re back!’ His uncle hugged him.

‘Yes, Arnav bitwa, I’m back. And don’t worry, everything is alright in Mumbai. Now let me go talk to your Mami,’ with a wink, he hurried off, following his wife to their room.


The night had fallen like a soft velvet cloak, but the Raizada mansion glittered with lights and diyas.

Arnav stood looking out over the crowd gathered in the living room as the soft sounds of tinkling glasses, and quiet laughter drifted up to him. Waiters moved around offering drinks and canapes and hors d’ouvers to the guests. The understated elegance of the gathering fit in perfectly with the ambience. He could see his Nani and Mami below, but no sign of his sister, Payal or Khushi. The three of them were dressing together, he’d been told, so he guessed they were still on their way.

He made his way down to the hall and started mingling with the guests, shaking hands, smiling, nodding. A glass of orange juice appeared in front of him. He turned around and saw Aman holding it out.

‘Thanks, Aman,’ he said, turning to him, grateful for the respite from socializing. He took a sip and said, ‘enjoying yourself?’

Aman nodded his head, ‘yes, thanks, ASR.’ He looked around, ‘I don’t see Bhabi?’ He was allowed to call Khushi Bhabi away from the confines of the office.

‘She’s ..’ Arnav stopped. As always, his heart started racing, the blood running through his veins, telling his brain that she was here. Months after they’d been married, and yet it still felt the same, every time. He closed his eyes. He could feel her around him. Rabba Ve! He spun around and looked at the stairs.

Aman looked astonished at his boss’s strange behaviour before following his line of sight.

Khushi was making her way down, followed by Payal and lastly by Anjali. She was dressed in a red saree, her husband’s favourite, embroidered with soft pastel colored silk thread work. The mother-of-pearls tone of the embroidery reflected in the sheer bodice of the blouse she wore.

She always takes my breath away, Arnav thought, moving forward, holding out a hand for her. She placed her hand in his, looking up at him, glowing in his love, as he slid his other hand around her waist, bringing her forward to introduce his wife around.


He needed a breath of fresh air and wandered out to the pool side, absorbed in the messages flashing on his Blackberry. Something made him look up.

She was sitting by the pool, lighting some of the diyas that had gone out. She looked up at him, and slowly stood up.

He was caught. Caught in the dark gaze of her beautiful eyes, her hair softly lifted by the faint breeze, bringing with it the sweet fragrance of Shalimar. His eyes traveled up her body. ,, From the tips of her toes in the elegant heels, ... up her chiffon clad body, the sari clinging lovingly to every curve, .... up the soft rise and fall of her breasts modestly covered by the pallu, ... to the swan like curve of her neck, ... to her lips. His gaze stopped there. The glossy fullness drew him in.

He didn’t even know when he’d started moving towards her. Somewhere he could hear the music playing in the background, probably downstairs. He didn’t care. He wasn’t needed there. He needed to be here now ... with her.

His eyes lifted to hers, seeing the unasked questions and the faint wonder in them. He moved forward, and she stepped back. A magical intoxication holding them in this dance. A jadoo. A nashaa. Each step bringing him closer, moving her further away. Till she stopped.

Her back was to the wall. She couldn’t move. She looked into his eyes. He raised a hand tenderly, pushing the errant strands of hair that would obstruct his view of her face. His other hand cupped her cheek, holding her as he bent his head.

He was parched, he needed to drink from her lips. He bent closer and closer, his eyes on her face, dappled with the rippling reflection off the pool. Her lips parted and her eyelids drooped as if they were too heavy for her to keep open. He closed his eyes as he felt her breath on his lips.

And his phone rang.

Her eyes flew open. ‘Your phone,’ she whispered.

He sighed impatiently and reached inside his pocket to pull it out. He looked at the number, and stepped back, raking his fingers through his hair. His look said it all. I’m sorry. I have to take this. He pressed answer and held the phone to his ear.

‘Aman! Where the hell are you?’ ASR sounded pissed.

Aman stepped back. ‘Coming, ASR,’ he replied, before ending the call. He turned to her.

‘I’m sorry, Anjali. Your brother..’ he said.

‘Needs you. I know.. go to him.’ She smiled at him. ‘I’ll be waiting.’

He kissed her on the forehead. ‘Will I see you tomorrow?’ he asked.

She nodded her head.

Aman was walking away, but then he stopped and turned. He looked at her for a long moment and said. ‘Hamari baat khatam nahin hui hai.’ He paused. ‘Baki sab Fizool Hai.’ With that, he spun on his heels and walked away.


‘What the?!’ Khushi stared at the scene in front of her, hidden behind the French doors.

She bit her nail for a while, contemplating. ‘Does Arnav know?’ she wondered.

Arnav had stood behind Khushi watching with a smug smile of satisfaction as a frustrated Aman walked away from the poolside. In your face, Aman, he thought. He put his phone back in his pocket before replying to his wife’s mumbling.

‘Of course I do,’ he said. ‘After all, I’m Arnav Singh Raizada.’ he said cockily as he put his arms around her from behind.

‘You knew?’ Khushi said. ‘Yesterday when I asked you, you knew then?’

He nodded guiltily as she narrowed her eyes. She pushed away his arms.

‘You can eat lunch by yourself tomorrow,’ she said, turning around and stalking away. She stopped at the bedroom door and turned.

‘And yes, no sugar-free jalebis for you either, Dammit!’


Thursday, February 14, 2013

SS: The Wrong Name - Part 10

The Wrong Name

Wedding Day: Morning

The Gupta household was in an uproar. It was time for the haldi and they were running late. Khushi and Payal refused to sit still. The haldi water and the joda for the girls had yet to make an appearance. Lunch would be delayed because a cow had eaten the pattals on which lunch was to be served. Although how a cow had gotten in there was still a mystery. Happyji had been sent off post haste to find some more pattals. Garima’s nerves were frazzled to bits, and her Nanad’s constant ‘Hai re Nandkisore!’ wasn’t helping her one little bit. Thankfully, her relatives had succeeded in keeping Madhumatiji out of her earshot for the last hour, but that was only a short lived peace.

‘Hai re Nandkisore!’ Buaji facepalmed. ‘Have the Raizadas sent the haldi water yet or not?’

Shyam got out of the car in front of the Gupta house. His stomach churned, his head ached, and he had to swallow the bile constantly rising in his throat. Having to deliver her clothes and haldi was making him physically sick!

‘Shall we go, Damaadji?’ said Mamaji getting out of the passenger seat.

The two of them opened the trunk and took out the shagun for the haldi as well as the joda for each girl. Shyam took the ones meant for Khushi. Mamaji took the ones for Payal - after all, she was going to be his bahu. They approached the front door which was wide open. Inside was a scene of chaos.

They stood at the door waiting for someone to see them. Garima did.

‘Come in, please,’ she said, smiling widely. ‘Is that the haldi and the jodas?’

They came in and sat down. Buaji came in bustling and sat down with them.

‘Would you like some tea?’ asked Garima.

‘No, thank you,’ said mamaji. ‘Sorry we got delayed, but you know how it is in a house with two weddings,’ he smiled.

‘Yes, of course,’ said Buaji.

Shyam looked around hoping to catch a glimpse of Khushi. It didn’t go unnoticed by Garima.

‘Kisey dhundat ho, bitwa?’ she asked him kindly. Who are you looking for?

‘Umm... no one,’ said Shyam, feeling like a boy caught with his hand in the cookie jar.

‘That joda is Payal bitiya’s,’ said Mamaji, ‘and this one is Khushi bitiya’s,’ mamaji pointed to hers.

‘Okay, thank you,’ said Garima gratefully, looking at the pile of clothes and jewelry boxes accompanying them.

‘You know, Arnav bitwa has designed all of Khushi’s clothes and jewelry,’ mamaji said proudly. Buaji and Garima nodded wide-eyed. Their damaad made women’s clothes and designed bitiya’s also?! They were in awe!

‘Come, damaadji, we should be going,’ said mamaji, standing up. Shyam stood up too, having stayed tongue-tied all this while.

They left without catching a glimpse of the elusive Khushi.


Wedding Day: Late Afternoon

Shyam walked into his room to see Anjali putting finishing touches to her make up. He smiled and walked over to her, holding her shoulders, looking into her eyes in the mirror.

‘Rani Sahiba,’ he said. ‘You look beautiful.’

She simpered. ‘Thank you, Shyamji. But why haven’t you changed yet? We have to leave for the venue in half an hour.’

‘Are you wearing this for the wedding?’

‘Yes, do you like it?’ she pirouetted for him, to show off the deep purple and green net saree she’d selected to wear for the wedding, the large peacock earrings swinging from her ears.

‘Hmmm ... something is missing,’ he said.

‘What?’ she looked scandalized!

‘Wait,’ he said, moving over to his bag.

‘What is it?’ she asked as he turned around with something in his hand.

‘Something I would like you to wear today, Rani Sahiba, so that near or far, I can always feel you,’ he replied.

She smiled coyly, eyelids lowered, as he walked around her, spritzing her liberally with the bottle in his hand. The perfume of vanilla and citrus rose in the air. He breathed in deeply. Ah! Shalimar!


Wedding Day: Evening

Two weddings. Two mahurats. The first one for Arnav and Khushi. The second one for Payal and Akash.

He watched in abject misery while Arnav leaned over and gently moved Khushi’s maang-tika aside, before filling her parting with the bright color of sindoor. A few drops landed on her nose. Arnav went to wipe it off, when Anjali teasingly said, ‘Chotey, that just shows how much you love her.’ Shyam gritted his teeth at his wife’s grating voice.

The wedding was over. Arnav and Khushi were now officially man and wife. Anjali helped them up. He gathered his wife in his arms and kissed her on her forehead, just below the sindoor that he’d placed with so much love in her parting, as the whole crowd, except one person cheered and wolf-whistled.

They stood side by side as the wedding for Akash and Payal commenced. Arnav couldn’t take his eyes off his wife, though, even to pay attention to his brother’s wedding.

She glowed in the crimson lehenga choli he had designed for her. It was all red, but her veil was a dark green, all the delicate embroidery in gold. Her jewelry was all diamonds and emeralds - interspersed with rubies, one large one at her throat. With the mangalsutra around her neck and the sindoor in her hair, she glowed as she looked up at her new husband.

Shyam glowered as he looked at her new husband. He had failed. Failed miserably. Tears filled his eyes. His life was shattered. Arnav may have made her his, but her heart would always be with him, he thought. He couldn’t help his beautiful bird now. It saddened him immensely. A sadness that rose from his gut and came up his throat. The pain in his heart was ... stabbing him.

Finally the weddings were over, the guests departed, the bidaai was over, and the Raizada clan had returned home with their two newest members.

Shyam sat morosely on a chair watching everybody participate excitedly in the games. He didn’t have the energy to play and had excused himself from them.

Anjali came over to him. ‘Shyamji, come. We have one more task left to do,’ she said, holding out her hand to him.

He sighed and got up and followed her.

They went to Akash’s room first and made sure all the candles were lit, before heading over to Arnav’s room. Like Akash’s room, this one had been converted into a room full of light and color and flowers, the reds and whites stark against the neutral tones of the decor. They lit the candles, and scattered rose petals on the bed. Everything was perfect for the suhaag raat of Arnav and Khushi. And he had a hand in it, he thought, scrunching his face with the pain in his chest.

Anjali took one last look around as Mamiji brought Khushi to the room. Shyam watched from the side as Anjali and Mami helped Khushi sit on the flower-bedecked and strewn bed, drawing her veil over her head so only her nose and chin were visible, her hands clasped over her raised knees. He took one last look at her, printing that image in his mind, before he turned around and walked away, only to see Arnav and Akash coming up the stairs to go to their respective brides.


Continuation from IF. Read on only if you're an adult.


He entered the room slowly and shut and locked the doors. The only light came from the candles, and the light above the dressing table. She sat in front of it. She’d already started taking her jewelry off, her hands raised to take off her earring as she spotted him in the mirror. She knew that dark look in his eyes and blushed as her eyes met his. He smiled and came towards her, lifting her up from the chair. Slowly he took off her earrings, kissing the slight redness in the earlobes from the weight of them. Turning her around, he unhooked her necklace, letting it slide down into his hand just above the neckline of her choli.

His heart was pounding as he slowly untied the dori at the back of her choli, Unable to control himself any longer, he placed a languid kiss on her back, his lips and tongue finding the long lines of her spine.

She shuddered at the warmth of his mouth. She loved when he did that. Her back was so sensitive, and he knew how to use it. She turned around then, reaching for the buttons on his sherwani, undoing them slowly, ever so slowly, as she held his eyes, watching his breathing intensify as her fingers brushed against his skin every now and then.

He held her hands then, stopping her, before taking off the sherwani himself, proudly displaying himself to her. The smooth chest, the rock hard abs, the sculpted lines of his pectorals. She ran her hands over his chest, looking at him, before bending down and taking one small nipple in her mouth.

He gasped. Held her head and kissed her. A long deep kiss. An open-mouthed, tongue-clashing, saliva-swapping, tonsil-tickling kiss. She groaned into this mouth, her bare breasts coming into contact with his bare chest, as he wrapped his arms around her, the muscles bunching in his biceps as he did so.

He pulled back and lifted her up in his arms, taking her to their bed, and laying her gently down on it. Quickly, he removed the rest of their clothes. Her eyes darkened and she licked her lips taking in the sight before her, hard and aroused and ready. He slid into bed beside her, holding her close, skin to skin as he kissed her again, his knee nudging her feet apart. He worshipped at the altar of her breasts, hearing the small moaning sounds she made, his head completely clouded with desire now. His hand reached down to find her core, slick and ready for him; he rubbed lightly as she gasped in pleasure. She was ready for him, so ready, he could feel her dripping off his fingers. He rolled on top of her, her legs came up around his waist, as he slid into her, to hear her keening cry.

Their arms and legs tangled, the heat within turned feverish, sweat slickened their bodies as they strove and strove together, urging each other to reach that one point - la petit mort - the little death. And as they fell over the precipice together, he called her name harshly, ‘Khushiiiii!!’

The Morning After:

Arnav Singh Raizada woke up and looked around the room. The candles had all died down sometime during the night. He stared at the flowers above his head, and his gaze shifted down to himself. Never before had he felt so comfortable in his own bed. Naked never felt so good before, especially with the soft warm body of his wife wrapped around him. He looked down tenderly at her face, as she slept on his shoulder, her mouth slightly open, the fresh sindoor smudged on her forehead, the mangalsutra glowing on her neck, her lips plump and rosy with his kisses. The sheet draped over her hips gave him a tantalizing view of the waistband glittering on the ivory of her waist, below the pink aureoles of her breasts. He smiled and sighed in pleasure. It was still too early to get up, he thought, but never too early for some morning loving. He leaned over and kissed her cheek, smiling as he felt her squirm against him and turn towards him, opening sleepy eyes to look into his. He pulled her closer before he kissed her inviting lips.


Shyam Manohar Jha woke up and lay in bed looking up at the ceiling. A small smile came unbidden to his lips. He sat up in bed and raked his fingers through his head before he caught sight of his wife, sitting at the Egyptian chair in her room. She was dressed in a bright fuchsia sari, her hair severely tied back in a plait. Her arms were folded and she was glaring at him, breathing heavily through her nose, her tiny breasts rising and falling with each breath. At her feet sat two suitcases, and by the looks of them they were packed.

‘Rani Sahiba?’ he looked at her in puzzlement. ‘What’s all this?’ he waved at the suitcases. ‘Where are you going?’

‘I’m not going anywhere,’ she said, pausing for effect. ‘You are!’


She got up and came towards the bed, picked up a shirt and trousers along the way and threw them at him. ‘Get dressed,’ she snapped.

‘Rani Sahiba, but..? What? I don’t understand?’ he grabbed the shirt and pants and quickly started dressing.

‘You don’t understand?’ she screamed. ‘What I don’t understand is how you don’t know which woman you’re sleeping with!’


‘Last night. Do you remember it at all?’ She screeched.

‘What?’ fragments of the night before came into his mind. But two and two were still not adding up to four.

‘You thought I was Khushiji? KHUSHIJI?! My brother’s WIFE?!!’ She was panting in anger now, red flags in her cheeks. She was furious. ‘My brother.. .just got married.. and you are fantasizing about his WIFE?’ She picked up a vase and moved towards him. ‘When you’re in bed with ... with ME?!’

‘Rani Sahiba, listen to me,’ he ran to the other side of the room as she followed him relentlessly, while he struggled to get his clothes on.

‘No, you listen to me. How dare you think that I would let you take another woman’s name when we are .. are ...’ she was unable to finish the sentence, and shook her head in disbelief.

‘That too, my brother’s WIFE? You disgust me!’ she screamed again. ‘You are out. NOW!!’ she said, throwing the vase at him, before pointing to the door. ‘Get out!’

He walked towards the door, still pleading, begging his case.

She came towards him, pushing him out the door.

‘Didn’t you hear me? I said GET OUT!!’ she yelled. Marching back to the room, she picked up a suitcase and tossed it down the stairs, before going for the second one.

‘Rani Sahiba!’ he called one last time, before another suitcase came flying by his head.


The crash echoed through the halls of Raizada Mansion, disturbing the early morning peace of its occupants.

Arnav lifted his head from kissing Khushi and listened. Shouting. His Di was shouting. They quickly got out of bed and dressed in a hurry, before he opened the door. Only to see a suitcase go by. He looked towards his sister’s room.

Anjali stood at the door, tears streaking her face, sobbing into her hands that covered her mouth.

Khushi and he ran to her. ‘Di!’

‘Chotey!’ she said, before collapsing against his chest. He wrapped his arms strongly around her, as Khushi rubbed her back.

Shyam stood at the head of the stairs, with a shocked look on his face. The entire family was out of their rooms now, standing around staring at the mayhem around them.

‘Hello, hi, bye, bye,’ said Mamiji, taking stock of the situation. ‘What happened, Anjali bitiya? What did Damaadji do that you’re throwing him out?’

She shook her head against Arnav’s chest. ‘I can’t say, Mamiji. But this much I can tell you, I can’t live with this ... this ... DISGUSTING man!’

Arnav’s jaws clenched. What had Shyam done that his Di was in this state? Had he told her about Khushi? His eyes met Akash’s as his brother also came and stood next to Anjali, while Payal held on to a shaken Khushi.

‘What have you done to my sister?’ he growled at Shyam, handing Di over to Akash. He prowled over to where Shyam stood, towering over him, anger crashing off him in waves.

Shyam cowered at the frightening sight of his brother-in-law in full-blown rage. He’d heard about his famous temper and seen it too. For the first time, he was on the receiving end of it.

Arnav reached out a hand, and grabbed his throat. ‘What did you do?’ he gritted out through clenched teeth, his big fingers squeezing painfully on Shyam’s windpipe.

‘No. nothing, Saaley Saab,’ Shyam whined and choked. ‘I don’t know what happened to your Di all of a sudden.’

‘My Di doesn’t do things all of a sudden, Jeejaji,’ he said the name sarcastically. ‘So how did she find out about Khushi?’ he took a pot shot in the dark, keeping his voice low so only Shyam could hear him.

‘I .. I .. truly don’t know. This morning ... ‘ he tried to swallow through his dry throat. ‘This morning, she was angry .. crazy angry about something .. I don’t know .. believe me, Saaley Saab,’ he croaked.

‘You don’t know?’ Arnav raised a disbelieving eyebrow.

‘I mean .. yes .. no .. I don’t,’ Shyam gasped.

Arnav searched his face before hls lips lifted in a cruel smile. ‘I believe I heard my sister say get out?’ his voice was soft, menacing. He turned around, ‘Akash?’ he called.

‘Yes, Bhai,’ Akash knew exactly what his brother was asking for. He handed over Anjali to his mother who was hovering at his shoulder, before heading to his room. He came back with a sheaf of papers and a pen, and held them out to Shyam.

‘Divorce papers, Jeejaji,’ said Arnav. He shook Shyam by his throat, like a lion shaking its prey. ‘Qubool hai?’ and shook him again.

‘Yes, yes,’ said Shyam. ‘Qubool hai!’ knowing that he had finally, irrevocably lost.

Arnav pushed him away, and watched with folded arms as Shyam signed the papers with shaking hands. He snatched the papers away and then said, ‘Get out ... Shyam!’ deliberately using his name, underlining that the relationship was over.

Shyam stared at him. He opened his mouth to make one last plea.

‘I said GET OUT!!’ Arnav yelled.

Shyam flinched before bending down and picking up his two suitcases. He walked down the stairs slowly, and like an old man, shuffled out of Raizada Mansion and their lives. For good.


Author’s note:

Happy Valentine’s Day, Y’all!!

‘Qubool Hai, Ritzyji!’ You’re responsible for this one!!

IPK was full of iconic moments and dialogs that even in our daily lives we are reminded of the magic that was created on screen. The idea to take on an IPK scene and twist it came naturally. How? Why? I don’t know. 

This story is twisted undoubtedly and Twisted_Beenz is my inspiration. 

We wanted more gutter in IPK, and Payal is my guide and mentor here. Need I say more?

But the final part of this story is the ultimate gutter. I’ve tried to keep it as clean as I can, so you all can enjoy it, but somethings can’t be clean. Hopefully, you will understand as I reveal why I called this story the Wrong Name. 

As this story comes to a close, I want to thank all of you who liked and commented on it. It’s incredibly satisfying and encouraging to read all that you have to say. I don’t respond to the comments simply because it would be unfair not to respond to each and every one. But believe me, I read every single one of them and I love you all for it.  

Will I be writing another IPK fan fic? I doubt it. Sorry. But I will be writing more. And I hope you will come to my blog - My Creative Outlet. The Link is below the navigator. 

SS: The Wrong Name - Part 9B

 ... is Ishq Wala Love

Shyam was slowly realizing one thing. It wasn’t going to be easy to get Khushi to be his. Arnav was the thorn in his side, the speed breaker in his road to happiness, the firewall to his heart’s connection with Khushi, and he didn’t know how to get around it. He’d just have to get Khushi to see his point of view. They were made for each other, and she had to acknowledge it.

He turned his head to watch Anjali sleeping peacefully next to him and sighed. He was stuck here in this gilded cage with a woman he didn’t want, while his jailor was keeping the love of his life away from him. Poor Khushi, he thought. Tears filled his eyes as he thought of her, being held by Arnav and who knows what else. It was intolerable. He wiped them away and sniffed, while Anjali let out a little snore.

But tomorrow was another day, he thought resolutely. I will get her out of this mess. With that thought in mind, he closed his eyes and submitted to the arms of Morpheus.



The pre-marriage ritual where a woman’s arms and feet are adorned with henna, her future husband’s name written in the intricate patterns drawn on her body. The deeper the color of the henna, the deeper the husband’s love is, it is said.

Khushi and Payal watched happily while the mehendi artists drew the patterns on their feet and hands. The girls chattered happily, surrounded by womenfolk, who all were getting their hands done as well.

Men, said Naniji, were not allowed at this function. Buaji enthusiastically agreed. Yes, of course, the boys had no business here. So Arnav and Akash closeted themselves in Arnav’s room, and attended to their real business, knowing that Shyam could not get to Khushi as long as she was surrounded by the other women. Muted sounds from the festivities downstairs drifted up to their room. Their Mamaji had arrived the day before the roka and had also joined them in Arnav’s room, more than relieved not to have to listen to his wife’s incessant Hinglish chatter.

Khushi’s feet had almost been done, when she felt the irresistible urge to use bathroom. Carefully lifting her lehenga, she made her way to the one attached to the guest room. She stepped out of the bathroom and was shocked to see Shyam standing in front of her.

‘Shyamji?’ she said warily. ‘What are you doing here?’

He looked at her intently, moving closer to her as she backed away slowly.

‘What are you doing, Khushi?’ he asked in a low voice.

‘What do you mean?’ she was surprised by this question, wondering where on earth Arnav was.

‘Why didn’t you come to me, Khushiji? If Arnav is forcing you into this marriage, then tell me, I’ll fix it,’ he said earnestly.

She looked at him like he’d grown two horns and a tail. Backed away one more step and looked him up and down.

‘Are you okay, Shyamji?’ she asked concernedly. ‘Perhaps you need some rest. Rest always fixes things,’ she smiled brightly at him, her smile as fake as the fake sincerity in her voice.

Shyam looked at her with wonder. Daiyya ho! She was concerned for him! Little birds tweeted around his head, and bees buzzed around the flowers blooming in his heart. He shook his head to clear it, although Shalimar still held him spellbound.

‘Khushiji,’ his voice was soft, his eyes tender. ‘You don’t have to go through with this marriage, you know,’ he said.

Her mouth and eyes dropped open. What was he smoking?

He came closer, his hands reaching out for her arms when the dulcet voice of Anjali came through the open doors. ‘Khushiji?’ He stepped back quickly.

She came around the corner, a green net saree artfully draped around her size-zero figure. ‘Arrey, Shyamji? What are you doing here?’ she said, surprised to see her husband.

‘Ah.. I .. um ... I was just asking Khushiji if she was okay,’ he mumbled.

‘Why? Khushiji, is something wrong?’ Anjali was all concern for her beloved Bhabi.

‘No, Anjaliji, I am fine,’ she shook herself back to normalcy. Thank Devi Mayya Anjaliji showed up on time.

‘They’re waiting to do your mehendi,’ Anjali smiled sweetly at her.

Khushi smiled, nodded and fled out the door.

‘Really, Shyamji. What were you doing here? If someone had seen, what would they have thought? Poor Khushiji’s honorable name would be in the dust,’ she admonished smilingly. Putting her hand against his cheek, she said, ‘should I feel jealous?’

‘Rani Sahiba,’ he spread his hands out helplessly. ‘What are you saying? She was looking lost, and so I stopped to ask her if anything was the matter.’ He took her elbow and led her out the room. ‘Besides, you know, I don’t really know her that well, even though she is getting married to your brother!’

‘Hmmm... That’s true. You really haven’t spent much time with her, have you? But you know what, once they’re married, you’ll have all the time in the world to get to know her,’ she smiled blissfully.

‘Do you think Saaley Saab is doing the right thing, Rani Sahiba?’ he stopped her, holding her elbows, looking deep into her eyes.

‘Why, Shyamji?’ her eyes filled with tears. ‘Why are you thinking like that? After so many years Chotey has finally found the woman he loves and agreed to marry and now you...’ she sniffled.

‘Forgive me, Rani Sahiba. But... ‘ he stopped, this wasn’t helping. A crying Rani Sahiba would mean questions. ‘Come, let’s go down,’ he said, putting his arm around her.

‘Oh! but you can’t come down,’ she cried. ‘It’s a women’s only function, silly. Come down when you’re called for lunch, okay?’ She cupped his face, and planted a kiss on his cheek, before heading down, her tears forgotten as she went to join the merriment.

Later that evening, more guests arrived. The Guptas had stayed over as the evening’s entertainment would be the Sangeet ceremony, celebrating the love of the two couples. Music rose to the rafters, people danced to the rhythmic beats of the dhol. Color and happiness permeated the atmosphere at Raizada mansion. Happy days were here again.

Arnav had been waiting to catch a glimpse of Khushi all day, and now finally, he could mingle with crowd. From his vantage point at the top of the stairs, he watched as his Khushi danced with abandon with her friends and family, both his and hers. His eyes were glued to her, drawing him to her. He wasn’t going to dance of course, he never did. But he couldn’t stay away from his beautiful heart even if he wanted to. Flicking his gaze over the crowd, he saw his brother-in-law at the other end of the room, staring. He didn’t need to be a rocket scientist to know that the object of Shyam’s attention was Khushi.

God! The man never gave up. How stupid was he? If Di saw him now... No sooner had the thought entered his head, than he noticed, to his horror, his sister making her way towards her husband. Quickly cutting through the dancers, he reached his sister’s side.

‘Di,’ he said, holding his sister around the shoulder and steering her away. ‘Come and sit. You’ve been running off your feet all day.’

‘It’s your wedding, Chotey,’ she said softly, all her motherly love shining through her eyes. ‘I can afford to work a little today.’

Khushi had noticed him with his sister and came over. ‘Di,’ she said. ‘Arnavji is right. You should rest for a bit.’

Anjali looked from one to the other. What a perfect match! she thought, smiling through her misting eyes. ‘Chotey, I know you’re itching to have some time with Khushi. Go,’ she urged. ‘No one’s looking.’

Arnav needed no other words of encouragement.

One look at Khushi’s face, though, and he knew she wanted to dance some more. She’d been enjoying herself so much, and a wedding was all about the bride. He hadn’t yet danced with his, he thought. Besides, there was Shyam. One Stone. Two Birds. He held out his hand, she put her hand in his, as he led her to the center of the floor.

The song changed to a soft one, one that spoke about a love that makes you bend your head in front of a love so divine. When all the roads in your life lead you to that one person. When all your prayers for your love are to the one you worship. When the one you love is the one you worship. Khuda Jaane!

As the chorus soared, he twirled her around, lifted her up and slid her down his body, his eyes only on her, hers only on him. Everyone stared as the passion and love these two had for each other burned in their eyes. To see the incandescence of their love was to be in the presence of something beyond just love. Garima, Buaji, Mamiji, Anjali all wiped surreptitious tears as they watched them.

Shyam threw his hands up and walked out of the room.

Akash and Payal watched him go. She wiped a tear from her face, and he turned her around, wiping her cheek with his thumb, his tender eyes asking the reason for her sorrow.
‘My sister has finally found her Rajkumar,’ she said smiling, turning to look at the couple on the floor. ‘These are tears of happiness.’

He looped his arms around her from the back and spoke in her ear, ‘And my brother has found his heart.’

Turning her around, he lifted her chin, and asked, ‘but what about you?’

She blushed prettily and in the cover of the dim light, reached up and planted a quick kiss on his cheek. ‘I found mine before she did.’

He smiled at that, content. He didn’t need burning passion and intensity. He needed the peace that comes with a deep seated happiness. And he’d found that with the woman in his arms. And as for passion? Well, Payal was Khushi’s sister, and he was Arnav’s brother. Did one need to say anything more?


Under cover of the noise of the continued celebration, Arnav was finally able to draw Khushi away from the crowds to the relative peace of the poolside.

‘Arnavji, what are we doing here again?’ she asked.

‘Khushi, I just wanted to spend some time with you. I won’t get to see you till the wedding now, you know.’

Her face fell at that. ‘I know,’ she said softly, resting her head on his shoulder, as they sat together on the lounger.

‘Arnavji, I have to tell you something,’ she said, as they came up for air after a few long kisses.

‘What?’ he looked at her.


His eyes searched her face. She played with the buttons on his sherwani as she told him about her encounter with Shyam in the guest room. He listened quietly, but she could sense from his deep breathing that he was keeping a tight rein on his rising anger.

‘That piece of scum!’ he muttered, when she finished, his hands turning into fists.

‘Arnavji. What are we going to do?’ she was starting to feel a little desperate. It wasn’t herself she was worried about. She knew Arnav would never allow anything to happen to her. It was his sister she that was concerned her. ‘How are we going to tell Di this?’

‘I’m hoping we won’t have to,’ Arnav was thinking. Somehow there had to be a way of not hurting his sister, but right now all the avenues seemed blocked. Shyam did not seem to be getting the message that they were sending out.


With a sigh he looked at her. Her eyes were round with worry. He didn’t want that, not today. He wanted his fiancee to be happy. Only one way to do it. He leaned forward and kissed her, brushing his lips over hers, until she gave in to him, her palms rubbing along the corded muscles at the back of his neck.

‘Saaley Saab? Khushiji?’

What the?! Of all the unwelcome sounds, Shyam’s was at the top of the list. Arnav stood up, placing himself between Khushi and Shyam, so that she was hidden from Shyam’s view.

‘Jeejaji,’ he said pleasantly. ‘What are you doing here?’ His smile never reached his eyes, that had turned cold and flat like a snake’s, watchfully watching its prey.

‘I just came to see where you were!’ said Shyam. ‘People are looking for you downstairs.’

‘We’ll be down soon, Jeejaji,’ he said, not moving an inch.

‘In any case, what were you doing, Saaley Saab?’ Shyam persisted.

The balls of the man, thought Arnav, gritting his teeth. ‘It’s my room, Jeejaji. I pretty much have freedom to do whatever I want to here. And I’m here with my fiancee, so do I have to draw a picture?’ The cold hostility in his voice was lost on Shyam.

But before Shyam could say another word, the door to Arnav’s room opened and in walked Akash, followed by Payal.

‘Bhai?’ Akash came to a stop when he saw Shyam there, while Payal bumped into him from behind.

She recovered quickly and said, ‘Khushi, are you okay?’

Khushi nodded her head.

Akash came and stood next to Arnav, and said equally pleasantly, ‘Jeejaji? You’re not enjoying the Sangeet downstairs?’

‘I was there, just came up for some fresh air,’ Shyam was feeling the neckline of his kurta digging into his neck.

‘Oh, then you missed Bhai and Bhabi’s dance, did you?’ Akash stressed the Bhai and Bhabi. ‘It was beautiful! Bhai, I didn’t know you knew how to dance like that.’ He clapped Arnav on his back.

‘And Khushi,’ Payal jumped in, ‘you looked like a Rajkumari in a fairy tale dancing with her Rajkumar! you both looked so good together, Arnavji,’ she gushed.

‘Thank you, Payal,’ he smiled at her.

Shyam was making gurgling sounds.

‘Jeejaji? Are you okay?’ Arnav asked, his tone full of concern. ‘Shall I call Di?’

‘No,’ Shyam was sounding like someone had their hands on his windpipe.

‘Shyamji!’ the bell like tones of Anjali’s voice came through the door, two minutes before she stepped into the room.

Arnav stood with his hands on his hips. What the?! What did people think his room was? Grand Effing Central Station? People just barged into it as they pleased? He needed new locks, he decided.

‘Arrey! you all are here?! What are you doing here? Shyamji, you too?’ she scolded prettily, trying her hardest to look angry while blinking her heavily mascaraed eyelashes. And I mean heavy in the literal sense. ‘Shyamji, come on. You are such a tease. Why can’t you leave these people alone? They need some alone time together,’ she simpered coyly. ‘Remember when we were engaged?’ She pouted, wrapping her hands around his arm and dragging him away.

The four of them let out long sighs of relief.


Arnav Singh Raizada lay in bed, wide awake looking at the moon, peeping in through the curtains over the window. He wondered if Khushi was awake looking at the moon as he was. Tomorrow, a new life starts. This time tomorrow, Khushi would be here, in this room with him, and for the rest of his life. It felt strange to him, and yet excited him as well. He looked at the ring on his finger and glided a finger over its surface. No beginnings. No end. Infinity. Like the love he had for her, and the love she had for him. No beginning, no end. Like he’d always been waiting for the love to come into his life, and when she’d dropped into his arms, it finally got underway. But it has always been there. She’d always been there. She’d always be there. He smiled.


Khushi and Payal lay in bed, talking quietly, but mostly silent. Their last day as sisters in this house. From tomorrow, they would be in another house. Starting a new life, sharing a new life. As sisters, yet sisters-in-law. Adjustments, compromise. Mamiji and her hello-hi-bye-bye. But always with their Rajkumars! All of that. And more. The thought of the suhaag raat weighed heavily in both their minds.


Akash looked at the picture of Payal that was now the wallpaper on his phone. His eyes were full of dreams as he curled up in bed, and fell asleep.


Shyam lay in bed watching Anjali sleep. His heart was heavy with despair. He had tried, so hard, but now it looked as if all was in vain. Or was it? Was there something he’d overlooked? Something he could have done differently? If only Rani Sahiba didn’t keep showing up at the oddest moments, he thought. He snorted and turned on his side away from her. He might as well get some sleep.


Tomorrow would be a long day.


Author’s Note:

Ritu, Payal, Beenz - my loves, you have kept me going and egging me on to get more and more twisted ... so here it is.. Ishq Wala Love. I love you all, Dammit!! Mujhe Farak Padta Hai!!

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

SS: The Wrong Name - Part 9A

All That He Wants ...

It was the day before the Roka ceremony. Anjali, Mami and Nani were sitting excitedly in Nani’s room, cross checking everything that needed to be sent for the brides. Shopping had been completed - well almost. There’s always that last minute thing that needs to get done.

‘Hari Prakash,’ Anjali bellowed.

The man came running to the door.

‘Hari Prakash, can you ask Chotey and Akash to come here?’ she said. He nodded and walked away.

Minutes later, the two brothers walked in, followed by a curious Shyam.

‘Chotey, Akash,’ she ordered. ‘Look through the ornaments for each of your fiancees and see if we’ve got the right ones paired with the dresses?’

There is a reason Anjali asked the brothers to look. As the owners of AR Designs, these boys knew more about accessorizing than the average hormonal lusting-over-Barun-Sobti teenagers. In fact, they could probably teach them how to dress and make Barun Sobti lust over them. But right now, the brothers examined the lehengas, exclusively designed by ASR and handpicked by Akash, for their girls respectively, and pronounced them perfect.

Arnav saw Shyam out of the corner of his eyes and said, ‘Di. this lehenga demands a waistband. Where is it?’

‘Arnav,’ she pouted, ‘you never mentioned a waistband!’

‘Why waistband for Phatti Saree ... I mean, Khushi bitiya only, Arnav bitwa?’ Mami asked, quickly covering her mistake under the glare of her nephew.

‘Mami, this lehenga has a short choli, and you’ve seen how beautiful Khushi’s skin is,’ he smiled dreamily at his brother-in-law. ‘It needs a waistband to show it off,’ was all he said. ‘Wait!’

He walked out and returned after a few minutes with a red velvet case in his hand. Flipping it open, he showed it to his sister and aunt and grandmother. A yellow gold waistband sat in it, perfectly complimenting the dark rust color of the lehenga that was Khushi’s. It was set with tiny yellow crystals that glittered in the light, the link sparkling with the dark green fire of emeralds encrusted on it, adding the accent color.

‘Oh, Chotey, it’s beautiful!’ said Anjali. ‘Did you design this, too?’

He nodded, smiling. ‘Of course, Di. Khushi’s clothes and jewelry designs are all mine,’ he said proudly. ‘After all, she’ll be Arnav Singh Raizada’s wife. Why would she wear any one else’s designs? Although I did pick out Payal’s clothes too, but with Akash’s input, naturally,’ he added, noticing the green-around-the-gills look on his Jeejaji’s face with pleasure.

She narrowed her eyes. ‘I didn’t know you had it in you, Chotey,’ she grinned mischievously. ‘And it matches the engagement ring, too!’ she realized.

‘This will look perfect on her beautiful, slim waist,’ said Naniji.

Shyam ground his teeth. ‘Why not one for Payal?’ he finally said, trying to dismiss the image of Khushi’s waist in that gorgeous waistband, and add something, anything to the conversation.

‘Payal’s choli is long, Jeejaji,’ said Akash pleasantly. ‘A waistband would be lost.’

Mami nodded her head. Her bitwa knew what he was talking about.

‘Jeejaji, why don’t you go check up on the decorations?’ said Arnav, effectively removing him from the scene.


The Roka was to be held at Raizada mansion.

The whole house glittered with fairy lights, and flowers. Everything was white. The only colors came from the flowers - roses - a favorite of both the brides. The colors however, were the choice of the grooms. Akash chose the soft pink of the Rosanna, while Arnav went for the passionate hues of the Suril red.

Family and friends had gathered there, that evening. All agog to see the new entrants to the Raizada household. After all, it wasn’t everyday that two of the most eligible bachelors in Delhi’s elite circle got taken off the market on the same day, much to the displeasure of all the aunties who’d thought their Ms.India / Ms.Noida / Ms.Gurgaon daughters were much more eligible than whoever it was that these boys were marrying.

The Raizada household waited along with their guests to greet the brides’ family. Akash wore a deep magenta sherwani to complement the dusky rose of his Payal’s dress, while Arnav decided to go with a dark navy suit, white shirt and gold cravat to high light his Khushi’s one-of-a-kind lehenga.

The wide doors of the Raizada mansion opened and in walked the Guptas. Payal and Khushi stood in front, holding hands and the guests gasped at the visions in front of them.

The boys held their breath, they had not expected to see the girls looking so divine. If this was how they looked at the less formal roka, wonder what the wedding would bring?

Shyam lurked behind Anjali as she stood ready with the thaal to complete the aarti, his gaze hungrily going over Khushi, as she waited, head slightly bowed, a soft, blushing smile on her face.

Arnav and Akash looked at each other as they saw Shyam look at Khushi. Arnav’s jaw clenched. Akash put his hand on his shoulder. Patience, bhai, his look said.

As the entourage came towards the flower-bedecked dais, they stepped forward. Each offered a hand to his intended. Khushi put her hand in Arnav’s her eyes raised adoringly to his. He lifted it to his mouth, and kissed it, holding her eyes, before turning and smiling at his sister and brother-in-law.

Anjali was all smiles, tears of happiness in her eyes. Shyam was all grimaces, tears of frustration in his.

The couples walked to the dais. Since Arnav was the eldest, it had been decided that their ceremony would be first, before Akash and Payal’s.

Shyam looked on in despair, as the rituals commenced. His face twitched with nervous energy. This was sheer torture, as he watched Arnav slide the ring on her finger, a one-carat princess-cut emerald surrounded by diamonds, matching the glittering waist band riding low on her waist. He closed his eyes. No. No! She was his! He could have strangled Saaley Saab cheerfully at this point. A hand tapped him on his shoulder, and he turned around to see one of the Aunties asking him something. Pasting a pleasant smile on his face, he turned around to answer her.

Everyone clapped as the first roka got over. Cheerful jokes and laughter punctuated the air, as a possessive Arnav led a glowing, smiling Khushi off the platform. They stood a little to the side, apart from other people, right in front of Shyam.

He watched in horrid fascination, as Arnav slid his fingers blatantly along the waistband at the back, and Khushi shivered in reaction. He could see her profile as she looked up at him, blushing prettily. Arnav stroked the band, and hooked his finger in it, lightly tugging her closer, as he lifted her ring finger to his lips.

‘Did you like the ring?’ Arnav asked Khushi in a husky, first-thing-in-the-morning voice, but loud enough for Shyam to hear.

‘Yes, I did, Arnavji,’ she said, lowering her lashes, blushing profusely at the ardent look he bestowed on her.

‘I designed the waist band for you, Khushi,’ his voice was lower, but still carrying to Shyam, who by this time was hypnotized by the scene and had edged closer. Enough to hear what Arnav said next. ‘I can’t wait to see you in that, only,’ suggestively. Khushi’s mouth opened in an ‘O’.

Shyam almost groaned, but that would have given him away. So he kept his mouth shut and wiped his face, before raking his fingers through his hair.


The next evening, Arnav rang the doorbell to the Gupta house, Akash next to him. This was the first official date that the guys would be taking their girls to, and they’d decided to double-date, except they’d extended it to a triple-date. Anjali and Shyam would be joining them for dinner as well.

Garima welcomed her two sons-in-law in, and Buaji came in bustling, blessing them both as they sat down.

‘Titaliya! Payalia!’ Buaji yelled. ‘Both the damaads have come. What is taking you girls so long? Hai re Nandkishore!’ with that and a palm to the forehead, she headed towards the bedroom, from where presumably the girls would emerge.

Payal came out in a dark green sari with a slim delicate gold border. The short cap sleeves of her blouse were made from crystals. A thin gold chain hung from her neck and tiny chandelier earrings completed her. If Akash hadn’t been besotted before, he was now.

Khushi came out from behind Buaji and Arnav lost his heart all over again. Her hair was in a lose bun, tender tendrils kissing her face. She was in a plain black chiffon saree, the pallu floating freely over her left arm. Her ivory skin and a tiny gold choli glowed through the loose fabric. The only ornament she wore was the gold waistband, and her engagement ring while her neck was empty of any adornment.

He smiled. He’d asked her not to wear anything on her neck, and she’d acquiesced to his request. She looked elegant and gorgeous!

They arrived at the hotel and took the elevators to the roof-top restaurant. Shyam and Anjali had already arrived and were waiting for them at their table. They walked in together, Payal’s hand tucked into Akash’s and Khushi’s in Arnav’s, and almost every head in the restaurant turned to look at them.

It was a mild day, and the large French windows had been left open, although very few patrons actually elected to sit outside. The Raizadas and the Jhas chose to sit inside at a round table, with a centerpiece of floating candles.

Shyam couldn’t take his eyes off Khushi. And by extension, Arnav. The man was all over his fiancee. No shame at all. He whispered in her ear, and touched her, totally inappropriately, he thought, as he watched Arnav stroke a finger along her bare arm, till he reached her ring finger, which he kissed. Really? Does he have to kiss his fiancee’s ring every two seconds? Sheesh!

Anjali was in high spirits, and didn’t notice how itchy Shyam was getting.

Payal and Akash smirked as they watched him squirm watching Arnav and Khushi.

Arnav had plied Khushi with a glass of wine, and her face was flushed from the heat of the alcohol. While they waited for dessert, he turned to her and said, ‘Khushi, let me show you something.’ He rose to his feet, holding out his hand to her. She put her hand in his, and stood up. The others watched with smiles, genuine ones on three, a grimace on the fourth face.

They walked out to the open roof top part of the restaurant that was a little dimly lit and out of sight of their table. Large potted plants offered privacy between the tables, and the area near the edges of the roof were largely empty.

Shyam sat fidgeting in his seat, until finally he could take it no more. ‘Excuse me, Rani Sahiba, I need to use the restroom,’ he said. She nodded happily and he left. Skirting around the restaurant, he finally reached the terrace and his eyes searched for Khushi. God knows what Arnav was doing to her!

They stood at one corner of the terrace, and Arnav was leaning in close to her, as her hands rested on his chest.

‘He’s here, now,’ Arnav whispered. She nodded her head. His hands dipped into his pocket, coming out with a necklace. Gently he turned her around and fastened it, brushing the back of her neck with his lips as he did so. He walked around her to face her, deliberately blocking Shyam’s line of vision, his fingers trailing along her skin, before brushing his knuckles against her chest, arranging the pendant to sit perfectly just above her cleavage. His eyes, dark and glowing with passion looked into hers, taking in the flush on her cheeks and the slightly parted mouth, her breath coming in small gasps. His fingers trailed along the waist band, moving to her belly, tugging her close. She fell against his chest, looking up at him with wide eyes, dilated with a desire he recognized only too well. With a soft moan, he closed his eyes as his lips met hers, giving in to this moment, this woman in his arms, without whom he was incomplete. Everything else flew out of his mind.

Shyam closed his eyes in disgust. He couldn’t see Khushi anymore, since Saaley Saab blocked his view. Neither could he take this anymore. He! He should have been the one there, not Saaley Saab. Arnav didn’t deserve the deliciousness that was Khushi. She was only his. But right now - all he saw was a red haze in front of his eyes. He wanted her. He just couldn’t have her right now.

He marched back to the table and said brusquely to Anjali, ‘Rani Sahiba, I have a headache, can we leave?’

Akash and Payal looked on with barely suppressed mirth in their eyes.

Anjali was all concern. ‘Why didn’t you tell me before?’ she asked. ‘Of course, we should go home.’ She put an arm on his shoulder, and he wanted oh! so badly to shake it off. This wasn’t the touch he was craving! But he had to be polite, for now.

‘I’m sorry, Rani Sahiba,’ he said.

Anjali’s eyes oozed with worry, ‘do you need a doctor?’

‘No!’ he said a little too forcefully, making her jump. ‘No. Just some sleep would help,’ he muttered.

‘Okay, let’s go. Akash?’ she looked over at her other brother.

‘No worries, Di. I’ll let Bhai know,’ he said with a straight face, and watched Anjali lead poor beleaguered Shyam away.

It was another ten minutes before Arnav and Khushi finally came back. Arnav raised his eyebrows at the empty spots. ‘What happened?’

‘They left,’ Payal giggled.

‘Jeejaji developed a headache,’ said Akash.

Khushi blew out a breath in relief. Finally, she could enjoy the evening, she thought.


Author’s Note:

Had to break this in two parts, as its so long. So Click on the link in the navigator for next part. 

First of all, this part contains a small salute to the man who made ASR come alive - Mr. Barun Sobti, with his caramel eyes, lean physique, husky voice and killer smirk, that brought that certain something extra, a je ne sais quoi to the character. 

Secondly, we all know that Red is the color for Arnav Singh Raizada. Did any one of you ever think what was Akash’s favorite color? This part reveals it. (Drum roll, please!)

Thirdly, the ‘first-thing-in-the-morning voice’ is a lead-in to my next short story. Not an Arhi story but an OS in itself, which will be posted on my other blog. (Blatantly self-promoting here!! If you want the link, here it is.)

Fourthly - For those of you following my blog - you know who you are. So glad to welcome you to my versions of the ASR/KKG love story and thank you for all your beautiful comments. 

Lastly - iRitz and Payal! You are truly ‘commendable’ for helping me stay the course as true editors would. Love you guys!