~The Bed Time Story- Part II~
Arnav was busy in reading a file, typing furiously on the laptop alongside instructing someone on the earpiece. This was the multitasker Raizada that the world knew of. His brows bunched together, his shoulders strained and the plate that was bought to his room an hour back was still untouched and cold. All these things inevitably telling how busy he was in his work.
The sound of the door opening slowly interrupted him somewhat and he heard small footsteps coming near him. A smile automatically made its appearance on his lips. He glanced at his angel with love in his eyes and found her standing at the foot of the bed, hugging his favorite teddy ‘puchku‘..staring at him with round eyes.
He signaled her to come closer and she happily obeyed..now standing inches closer to him.
He kept the file aside and still typing with one hand,he asked, caressing her curly hairs with the free one,
“you had your dinner..?.”
she nodded obediently before adding
“puchku ne bi kal liya…”
He smiled at her innocent answer and found her hugging her ‘best friend’ puchku.
Leaning forward he dropped a kiss on her forehead before replying,
“wow..puchku and aara are very good..chalo ab aap dono ke sone ka time ho gaya..come baby…”
He signaled her by extending his hand when he found her making a suspicious expression. Doing an failed attempt of lifting her tiny eyebrows.
So like khushi.
“kal wali stoly chunaaoge..?..”
she asked pointing her tiny index finger, as a way of confirming the promise he made previous night.
He shook his head still smirking at her antics. Raising both his hands in surrender, he mouthed an “OKAY!” which automatically made her jump in glee. He turned off his laptop and kept it on the side table, now that work was no longer remained important as compared to aara. Quickly sending a text to Aman instructing him about the pending work that he needs to complete, he removed the earpiece and stretched his arms.
By now, a visibly exited aara jumped on his lap,wrapping her tiny arms around his neck and kissed him on his cheeks.
He too embraced her in a lovely hug and placed a kiss on her curly locks. Scratch that..a group hug that was..aara..arnav and puchku!
“papa..fil kya hua…?…”
pulling back she shooted her first question towards him when he hadnt even resumed their ‘famous‘ bedtime story.
“fir papa ko mumma dheere dheere achi lagne lagi but papa ne mumma ko btaya nahi…”
He remembered that diwali was a time when for the first time he felt something for her..along side, their bitter sweet, pointless n silly fights he never realized when he started feeling her presence,even before she made actual entry at times..he never knew what made him share his deepest pains with her..something he hadnt done with anybody.
Toh kya vo sach me taare ban jaate hain
baat sach ya jhooth ki nahi hai..baat yakeen ki hai..
and her answer..so mature..so perfect. Her company giving solace to his distressed self.
but hadnt he ruined it all..by hurting her deliberately..just cuz he was afraid of his own feelings..just cuz he wasnt able to digest the fact that the mighty ASR too could fell for somebody..a mere middle class girl,to be more exact?
But it all crashing down on him when he came to know about her engagement..with her so-called fiance.
aap hume ye nahi pehna sakte..kyuki ye hmari sagaai ki angoothi hai..
For a moment he felt like world had stopped around him..he felt he had lost her..
and then followed the incomplete farak padta hai..
aapko kya farak padta hai..?
mujhe farak padta hai kyuki…
It was something he hadnt answered himself..he remembered the look of hurt in her eyes..the pain swarming inside there..waiting for him to complete what was to followed after that ‘kyuki’..and he held himself back. The guards were up again..the holes she had managed to make in his tough exterior were mended and he was back to being ASR again.
“kyu nai btaya papa?…”
interrupted ashi,staring at him with curiosity.
“errrmm…papa was confused and a bit idiot that time..”
he replied ruffling her hairs..placing it behind her ears.
what followed next was what ASR was being famous for..his ruthlessness. how he managed to mock her state of mind, her feeling about the engagements..how he kept humiliating by declaring his engagement to lavanya, by handling over all the responsibilities to khushi..wishing to see her finally breaking down.
agar khush nahi ho toh sagaai kyu ki
kahi aisa na ho jise tumne raees samajh ke fasaaya hai..vo is bracelet ki tarah sasta nikle
He realized the day he learned of her broken engagement..that was the day he breathed in relief..after ages.
“fir…? papa was an idiot..but your akash chachu wasnt. unhe aapki payal chachi se pyaar ho gya…”
He replied, a mischievous smile now dancing on his lips.
aara clapped in glee on realizing her favorite chachu n chachi now making an entry in this story.
“fil atash chachu ki chaadi ho dai..?”
“haan…all thanks to your mom and her ideas…”
He smirked shaking his head, remembering her so-called ‘genius’ ideas that had literally freaked him out. But before that, hadnt she flat out refused for the proposal when she learned of the fact that payal’s first marriage was broken cuz of ASR only. it was later on when she realized that akash and payal had madly fallen for each other, she stepped in..shaking hands with him..to bring both the love birds together.
what a time that was..all were unaware of the fact that amidst all these preparation..two other hearts were falling for each other too. how he stepped in as her dance partner, how he felt jealous seeing her with NK and how he was literally blind with rage when he overheard di n nani’s convo of hooking up khushi with that NK. Their silly fights going on like always amidst all this..alongwith the realization of that ‘something‘ at times. How he was literally turned into his flirtorious self..how he couldnt help but teasing her at times after trapping her or cornering her..how she never failed to amazed her with her replies. The time was purely magical.
What if i would have lost you!!
tum hamesha peeche kyu jati ho?
kyuki aap hamesha aage aate ho.
ye choodiya bikul vaahiyaat or ghatiya hai..hum inhe ghar jaate hi utaar denge
aap hamare liye choodiyan kyu laaye..
aata hai hamare naam me ‘a’..khushi kumaaari Gupta..AA!
chuda sakti ho toh chudalo..
and that kiss at the poolside…her eyes were literally out of their sockets.
and how she kissed him back the following day. Her first kiss..something which still gave him goosebumps till date.
He never realized how and when he actually fell for her..No body would have believed it if he had told it at that time. But it was his heart that told him its the best thing that had happened to him. For once he had kept his guards down letting a girl to enter what was always his territory..or was it her doing? he still couldnt decide it. ASR for the first time in his life was smitten by someone’s innocence rather that external beauty..khushi had surely done some magic on him and for once he felt like living..like loving.
until that fateful day. where one misunderstanding ripped apart his heart..his newly found faith in love..his dreams of a happily ever afters..his wish to spend his life with the person he loved the most. In turn turning him the beast..that too of the worst kinds.
coming out of his thoughts, he glanced at aara who was now fast asleep in his arms..still hugging the teddy..her arm still round his neck. He unclenched her tiny fist that was holding some of his hairs at his nape. kissing her soft cheeks once, he placed her beside him..in a comfortable position.
Leaning back,he rest his body with the support of the bedpost. One hand still caressing aara’s face, he closed his eyes. Past memories not yet ready to leave him alone now..playing in his mind…reminding him of the decisions he took..the way he judged situations..some good..some bad..some worst.
agar aapke liye ye rishta koi maayne nahi rakhta toh aap ye rishta tod kyu nahi dete..chod dijiye anjali ji ko
and his world had fallen apart. Turning him into a more cruel, more brutal and ruthless of his previous versions..all the time hurting the purest n innocent soul he had ever met in his life.
tumhe mujhse abhi shaadi karni hogi 6 mahine ke liye..haan ya naa.
janna chahti ho kyu tumhe tadapte hue dekhna chahta hu..kyuki i hate you..
and she took it all..maintaining a happy facade in front of the family. Her eyes asking the only question he was running away from.
bataiye na arnav ji humne aapko kaise chot pahuchai hai?
He kept hurting her..suppressing his feelings. Yes, they were always there since the beginning. They just kept poking their heads from time to time, to remindhim of their existence..something he had tried locking in a box in one corner of his heart..and indeed, he failed there too.
jab aap hamare paas aate ho toh hamari dhadkane tej kyu ho jati hain..?
tumhari dhadkano ke sath meri dhadkane mil jati hain..hamari dhadkane ek ho jati hain.
Their holi confession was still fresh in his mind..even though they were not in their state of mind cuz of the bhaang..but it was something both of their hearts choose to remember.
amma..arnav ji hmara bahut khyaal rkhte hain..
his eyes still closed, his mind doing time travel..his heart now feeling proud how they sticked togther during toughest of times. Maybe it was fate afterall that had bound both of them till eternity and wasnt the saying ‘love conquers all’ is true afterall!
How khushi helped him in coming out of depression when he came to know about the biggest mistake he had committed..how she forgave him at once accepting him back with open arms.
He realized she never ever rejected him..it was he who had ditched her after wrongly judging a situation, it was his mistake she took all his wraths for the mistake she never commited. It was he who had brutally crushed her dreams of indian wedding..with all the customs n rituals.
He knew he couldnt revert back anything he did in the past..but he was sure he could give her that much happiness in future which will leave no space for those ill memories to even try existing in her mind..and it was a fact that when Arnav Singh Raizada decided on something..he left no stones unturned in achieving that.
He opened his eyes and picked up khushi’s photograph from the side table. A picture of their remarriage. A smiling khushi in his arms..her eyes shining with delight, dancing with joy..her lips curled into most beautiful of smiles, the innocent types..and that was the day..he breathed in relief.
whoever had said ‘a woman’s heart is the most generous of all..‘ must be a true genius..and khushi was one pure example of that.
she filled his life with happiness, joy..once again..strengthening his faith in love and the institution of marriage. Teaching him how to love again, how to trust again.
hugging the picture closer to his heart, he closed his eyes in contentment.
she made him complete by giving him the most precious gift of his life..aara...their bundle of joy. how he was reluctanct about entering into parenthood..given his own upbringing. she made him realize the value of family. she made him trust himself..she made him hold the newly born aara first.
he still remembered that magical experience..how small she was..he still remember his entire body was shivering just holding that newly added raizada in their family..the thrill he got when she first open her eyes n looked him straight into the eyes. His daughter..his life!
He felt someone caressing his hairs..slowly..very slowly..careful enough not to disturb him and he found his lips automatically curling up to welcome a smile.
The person who had occupied his thoughts was finally here.
He opened his eyes slowly and found her staring down at him with curiosity..just like aara did..and he extended his arms..inviting her in the safety of his arms that he knew she must be craving.
and within next second she was in his arms..embracing him..hugging him..placing her head on his chest..listening to the one song she loved the most..rhythm of his heartbeats.Founding solace in the most beautiful place..his arms.
They stayed like that for next few minutes. None of them asking anything, both of them living the moment to its fullest n savoring it..with him dropping a kiss every now n then at her temple, caressing her back, giving her strength, holding her secure and with her just taking it all!
“babuji kaise hain ab?…”
He asked after few moments when he flt her heartbeats were now normal.
she replied in a voice that was just above a whisper, pulling back she looked at him with the same distressed expression that was there since she had heard the news of her babuji having a heart attack 5 days back.
those 5 days were the most troublesome for all, with all of them rushing to the hospital in no time. The case was quite critical after a day cuz instead of recovering her babuji had slipped into coma. khushi was there in the hospital all the time.,not ready to leave her babuji even for a second. It was after 5 days that she had finally came to raizada house, as payal and akash were staying for the night.
“vo theek toh ho jaenge na..?…”
she asked him the question..her ears wishing to hear only the reassurances from him.
“ofcourse theek honge..Delhi ke best doctors unki treatment kar rhe hain..or meri shaam ko hi doctors se baat hui hai..ghabraane ki koi baat nahi hai..he is showing improvement..trust me..vo jaldi theek honge”
He replied cupping her face, making her understand..assuring her.
she placed her palm above his and kissed his knuckles…all the tension of the evening now leaving her body. How he never failed in giving her much needed strengths..and then she smiled her first relieved smile of the day.
Tilting her back she looked at her now asleep daughter..she was seeing her after days.. leaning forward she kissed her forehead before replying,
“i am such a bad mother arnav ji..”
“shhh…dont you dare say anything about my wife..she is the world’s best daughter..a very caring mother and a very very lovely wife..”
He replied cupping her face in between his palms,placing her locks behind her ears. when he found that she still wasn’t convinced, he added,
“khushi…agar kal ke din agar mujhe kuch hoga toh kya aara nahi aaegi apna sab kuch chodkar mere paas…hmm?…”
That indeed brought her attention back and she placed her hands on his lips, a frown now on her face showing her displeasure,
“shhh..kuch nahi hoga aapko”
Leaning forward she placed a kiss on his jaw and hugged him tightly.
she pulled back, placing aara in her position, between both of them she covered them with the duvet.
arnav, khushi, aara or unki choti si duniya.
They both kissed the chubby cheeks of aara and chuckled when she frowned in sleep. Linking their fingers with one another, they both drifted off into one peaceful oblivion.