Memory is a child walking along a seashore. You never can tell what small pebble it will pick up and store away among its treasured things.
Clutching the file closely to her heart, khushi checked the tightness of the lunch box’s lid once again..box that contained the delicious meal cooked by her and packed for him,with all her heart you can say.
When assured that not even a drop was going to spill out of the box of that delicious arhar ki daal which was destined purely for arnavji’s stomachs’ sake and which was apparantly his favorite too,she then relaxed a bit and leaned backwards on the back seat of the car,watching the city’s hustle bustle crowd passing by in front of her eyes at peek noon hours,as the taxi made its way towards Raizada Industries.
soon, she got lost in her thoughts..her memories.
and one of the major changes among all was in her husband..the very same arnavji who once choosed to ignore her very own presence in their bedroom. That Arnav ji who had once accused her of being a gold digger.The very same man for whom it was just a marriage in name only. The man who barely uttered two line of civil conversations with her as soon as they retired in night. The very same man was now showing just the opposite traits and characteristics. Not that she was complaining. Not at all. Its just she was amused when all memories of initial days of her marriage started floating in front of her. This very man was now taking care of her and fretting over her health like a dutiful husband. The same arnavji who had consoled her with the best of his abilities, helped getting past her demons of that dreadful night. She still remember being held so possessively in his arms, with each fibre of his being silently promising to keep her safe, that it still gave her shudders just by thinking about it.
She knew whatever happened in changing his initial thoughts and apprehensions about her, that night did played its part as well. and a vital one at that. Was arnavji doing all this cause he think its his slip up that
caused that dreadful incident to take place? That he took her there against her will was the reason she ended up being assaulted in the first place. Was it guilt and remorse thats eating him up cause he held himself responsible for putting her life in danger. God, No, she can never blame him for that night. Wasnt that the other way round? wasnt it her decision to dance with that devil in the first place rather than arnavji forcing her and what was she thinking even? That Denying him will give her an upperhand in all the silent argument they were having that whole evening. How foolish she had been then. How in the hell she missed the signs that were there for her to see.So loud and clear. The way Arnavji’s relaxed posture had turned stiff the moment that guy walked into their group. She had sense it then and had ignored it altogether citing it as their past or some business kinda thing. The way her husband who was having a polite convo the whole evening with other colleages, even though he really wasnt interested in first place, outright refused to even greet him with pleasentaries. God, this is the max you can expect from her husband who was the man of few words. and then he denied his dance proposal on her behalf, wasnt that his way of keeping her safe. He coldnt be more clearer even if he wanted to. But there she went ahead against him and rest is all history she never wanted to visit again. Surely since that day as she realised he became more clearer in showing and voicing his concern. Dint he? Not that she was complaining..and what about that recent incident that took place four days back.devi maiyya, her cheeks got colored a bright shade of crimson when the memories of that day opened their lid and swam infront of her eyes. God, how embaressing all that was, she chuckled remembering that even now.
She had plopped a pillow over her ears n hidden deeper into the duvet if that was even possible. During the whole call that lasted some fifteen plus minutes, as she heard, arnavji had asked few questions of his own, rest he was just hmm-ing n listening to whatever that Seema or Reema the doctor was telling him, like a polite student. During which khushi was all dreading the moment when she’ll have to face him again. God, now after this, how will she even look into his eyes without feeling hell shy now that he knows the exact beemari she was having. So, she rather prayed goddess of sleep to come n took herinto one of those fairylands at the earliest.
So, some Twenty minutes later, a now loaded with information Raizada turned back and called her name in a low voice as if confirming she was still awake,
She feigned being sleepy and did not made a moment,not even in the slightest in case she get caught. So when there was a pin drop silence for the next two minute or so, the curiousity that once killed the cat,killed her too. Feeling partial victorious that he might have went away, she opened one eye slightly and peeked from behined the duvet to find a very relaxed, having all the time in the world Raizada standing still in front,with arms crossed now. Shit! She was blasted, now she couldnt go back to pretending or stuff. He shook his head lightly muttering nautanki or something she couldnt clearly make out before opening the bed side drawer and fishing out the medicine box.
Placing the ibuprofen on her palm, he passed her the water,
“here,take this. It’ll help you with the ache, its an anti-inflammatory med which inhibits the formation of prostraglandins n inturn reduce the pain n inflammation”
hun?anti infladseijrvkmdfs? prosperitysfrgtt? anyways whatever it was completely went over her head, shrugging her sholders she looked at the small tablet and took all the time in the world in gulping it.still a better option than facing him. She was sipping her water with utmost concentration when his voice pierced the silence again,
“Khushi you need to cut down on caffaine”
He said in that authorative head mistress tone, eyeing the empty coffee cups lying on the night stand. she have had 3 since morning and it wasnt helping with the pain.
She glanced at him this time and found a ray of genuine concern over there and despite her constant pain she felt an odd satisfaction settling in depth of her heart.
“Khushi, caffine is a vaso constrictor,it makes your blood vessels constrict. vessels that feed your uterus, and the more it constricts, the more pain you suffer from”
Arnav Singh Raizada stated the reason behind the intake of excessive caffeine during such times, in exact medical terms as the gynae had explained, which at the moment seems like was all going above her head,going by the dumbfounded expressions adoring her lovely face. Corners of his mouth lifted a bit before he spotted hariprakash passing by and immediately called him inside.
“bring a herbal tea for her”
he instructed hariprakash before turning his attention back to khushi,
“and you need to take lots of calcium and magnesium to supply enough nutrients in your body too”
to which she nodded obidiently lest he tries explaining how it plays a vital role too infront of a already concerned hariprakash who by the look on his face probably be thinking she’s kind of having some deadly disease.
After instructing hariprakash on what her meals would contain for the next couple days, he finally left for office but not before patting her head like she was some schooly kid. She plopped on the bed as soon as he was out of her sight and sighed in relief. she went through that incident all over again in her head n couldnt help that smile which slowly perched on on lips and glued permanently for the whole day. No doubt,For the next few days she only had yukky green leafy veggies and milk which she always hated since she was a child.
The suddenly applied breaks brought her out of her reverie at once and she felt a small smile still lingring over her lips. That man was so acting out of character these days and its a welcome change she must say.she’s so liking this newly version of once akdoo Raizada. The way he behaves OTT sometimes left her speechless-ed on how to react. But it surely filled warmness to her hearts contents. she wont be able to completely decipher that man for sure. But his care and concern, for whatever reason it was, was definitely making a mark and khushi had all the intentions of returning it back too. So, she had happily jumped up at the opportunity that presented itself today. Arnavji had left his file at home. Later in the day he had called in for Rakesh their driver to drop it at office. While she was searching rakesh for conveying the message she realized he wasnt home as was accopanying Mami to one of her surprized shopping trip. Since the lunch was almost ready, rather than waiting for Rakesh to come, she thought of dropping the file and his lunch together. Plus the thought of surprizing him also,fluttered inside her heart. If he’s caring for her so much shouldnt she return the favor too. The prospect of stepping into his office as Mrs ASR, plus witnessing him having his fav food in his office sounds too good to deny and so here she was. Hailing out of the cab, she paid the fare and looked above at the Multistory building. Corners of her mouth lifted on its own as the bold mettalic shining letters of Raizada Industries came into her view.
She slowly stepped into his floor and gaped at the view in front of her. The shining wide corridor without a single spec of dirt, the state of the art interior, the massive combination of huge n small abstract art pieces adoring one particular wall,and completing the looks were those floor to ceiling length windows giving the spectacular view of the city beneath, as if each n everything was encased with Raizada stamp all over.The place was screaming luxury and had she not known it before, she could have easily mistaken it for some exquisite luxurious hotel corridor. She was feeling like alice in wonderland. Devi maiyaa..it all feels too good to be true, she thought remembering her deity, still revelling in the beauty in front of her. The moment of proud she had felt when she announced that lovely model like brunette sitting at the reception that she was indeed Mrs Arnav Singh Raizada and wants to meet her husband. for a moment when she narrowed her eyes at her expecting to say ‘just kidding’ next, khushi chuckled seeing her reaction. Ofcourse, its not everyday a woman dressed in ararkali suit, carrying lunch, claiming to be his wife. and that Lunch, oh yeah, that seems to have done the trick for her. On finding the box familiar, realization dawned upon the brunette n she got alarmed the very next second. Apologizing profusely for keeping her waiting, she then gave her directions for the elevator with the passkey that was solely for the director’s benefit. n for his wife too, seems like. Her heart fluttered inside her chest against her wish, when she spotted his cabin at the end of the corridor. The black golden nameplate with Arnav Singh Raizada written over it was enough for her breathing to go millions per minute. Stop it khushi..behave!
Mentally scolding herself , she adjusted the dupatta on her side,placing her wayward locks behind her ears. Knocking once on the door that was slightly tilted, she opened it wide, but not before placing an intact smile on her face and spotted him instantly. There he was, the man concerned, working on his laptop with utmost concentration. But that wasnt the reason her eyes got fixed over there instantly. It was cause of that lady who was standing close to him, leaning over n looking into the screen herself while mumbling something to him to which he was listening intently, with a small smile on his face. The way her arm was touching his ,while she pointed to something on the screen conveyed how comfortable they were together. The fact the she was literally sitting on his chair’s arm was all it took for her high spirits
to get dampened all in a matter of few seconds and the way they stood close, better say too close for her comfort gave way to another uninvited emotion and she felt a pinch of jealousy combined with hurt rearing its head inside her at the scene unfolding before her.
May be this surprize thing wasnt worth an idea in the first place.for she just got one for her own!