she took out the fresh batch of hot piping jalebees from the oil n placed them carefully on the plate.
The kitchen was filled with its aroma.she inhaled one more time deeply,filling her nostrils with the smell that had always seemed to calm her down…ever since her childhood.
She proudly glanced at her just created mountain of jalebees one last time,before moving on to make, yet another batch.
An art, khushi kumari Gupta had learned from her mother, when she was 10.It had always fascinated a lil khushi to watch her mother making expert identical,mouth watering jalebees, in their small kitchen.
Her mother undoubtedly made the best jalebees she ever had till date.She remembered her childhood days, when her mother,Garima gupta used to place her on kitchen island n started making yummy delicious jalebees,alongside telling her some of her favorite fairy tales.
Since then, khushi too had mastered the art of making them watching her mother so intently..over the time.
so basically,Gupta Family was very well aware of the fact that whenever khushi is in kitchen making jalebees,then either she must behappy,excited,nervous,sad,confused,hurt,frustrated or in need of venting out her anger somewhere.
It was not just an activity for her..it was a process that helped her in
calming down, a process where she could buy some time to think over, to gather her thoughts, to make decisions,or to ponder over things that were disturbing her..eventually.
in short ,basically everything!
khushi kumari gupta was repeating the same process, this time in Raizada kitchen.
so,now the scene was,Her pallu safely tucked in her waist, some jalebi batter on her cheeks, few tendrils on her face escaping the hastily made bun n her thoughts...somewhere faraway.
or rather,on someone.
she pushed the curl off her face from the back of her palm,unconsciously smearing the batter some more on her cheeks.
but she was too self occupied to care about that.
Her stubborn mind playing yesterday’s incident..repeatedly.
Again n again!
And she couldn’t do a thing about it.
And each time that happened, she couldn’t help an adrenaline to rush through out her body..
And with that she got transported to her dreamland..yet again.
He was out on a business dinner,as always.She glanced at the digital table clock, that was showing 10:57 pm. She sighed heavily.Tiredness of the day was taking a toll on her already. She glanced at the bed,neatly made up with the soft comforter carefully placed over it and the scene almost tempted her to leave all other things n just dropped on it. She was cent percent sure that it’ll embrace her in a deep slumber,the moment she’ll step inside that comforter.
But he was still not home n hence,she couldn’t take that risk.
It wasnt anywhere in their contract that she’ll have to wait for him, every night.
Hell, she wasn’t even bound to perform these wifely duties inside their room..at all.
But certainly it was an unwritten rule for her. A Rule created by khushi kumari Gupta herself.
Few months ago..hardly 10-12 days after her marriage, she was finishing last of the work in the kitchen. She moved out after guiding om prakash on the next day’s breakfast menu and about to made a way to her room when she spotted a worried Anjali pacing in the hall,punching some numbers on her cellphone.
“Di..kya hua? Aap Theek hain..”
She asked with concern.
”Dekhiiye na khushi ji, chotey phone nahi utha rahe..”
Anjali replied almost complaining.
“n pakka, dinner bhi nahi kiya hoga unhone..kaam ke aage kuch dikhta hi nahi..its almost 11..” Anjali freaked some more after glancing at the wall clock that just striked 11 pm.
“Di..hum hain na..aap so jaiye..”
Khushi placed her hand over Anjali’s shoulder, giving it a slight assuring squeeze.
“Di..trust me.I’ll make sure he’ll have his dinner n meds before going to bed..everyday from now on.n agar inhone nakhre dikhaye na toh hum aapke pass aa jaenge complain karne..pakka.”
Khushi replied with a mischievous grin that instantly lighten anjali’s tension.
“Thankyou khushiji..chotey is so careless at times regarding his health you know. Now that he has got a wife like you..I can now live in peace” a relaxed Anjali grinned, before silently thanking her with her eyes.
And at that moment, Khushi just couldn’t ignore that shimmer of hope,expectation and trust in anjali’s eyes.
From that day onwards, it was an unwritten rule for khushi to stay awake till he gets home. To confirm he had his meals n meds..properly.
Arnav had told her many times not to do that, that she need not to give up her sleep waiting for him..which was completely unnecessary cuz the facade was only for the sake of their family members, according to him.
But khushi just couldn’t manage to break the trust Anjali had unknowingly placed in her, unaware of the actual truth.
So, every time, she ended up waiting for him, secretly taking the help of caffeine to stay awake, sometimes reading novels, re arranging closets,surfing channels or staring stars at the poolside.
So much to stay awake and then coming out clean by the ever ready excuse ”vo..Hume neend nahi aa rhi thi” whenever he questioned her.
Likewise, last night too,She picked up one of her yet to finish,mills n boons novel and settled on the couch,crossing her ankles..starting from where she had left last the story.
Mills n boons..her favorite books, they had always given her hope in tough times and she always fall in love with them more,after finishing yet another happily ever after love story.
Books with always the perfect end, where no matter how difficult H & h’s circumstances are, they always end up as one.
Every story, where even the beastliest of hero,when confesses his love to the heroine in the end, after going through various phases of self denial, bouts of possessiveness n jealously, always left her in awe.
and with each finished book, she had kind of started to believe that happily ever after do exist in real life too !
She was on that part of the novel where the hero was giving heroine a silent treatment cuz he spotted her with one of her male friend.
and the next moment, she faintly realized being picked up by someone.
Only to be carefully placed on the bed.
She came out from her slumber instantly on realizing the touch that sent shivers down her entire body.
Oh, she couldn’t miss his touch or his smell, anytime.
The smell that’s making her go crazy nowadays, every time he’s in close proximity..HIS smell.
and that touch ..which always reduced her into bundles of nerves and her knees into nothing more than jelly.
She was still so confused with her emotions, off lately.
She was so damn sure of following that No strings ,NO Emotional Attachmentrule, while she entered into this marriage.
It was supposed to a very simple scenario. She was to fullfill her contract term for a year, in the Raizada house.
It looked so simple at that time..so what exactly went wrong in this process..that too within 2 months?
She felt a bit more connected with the family, with each passing day.
Why ensuring that he had his meals n meds properly, was her utmost priority now?
She kept on assuring herself that she’s doing all this for Anjali Di ..but somewhere internally, she knew, this is something she wanted to do..not for anyone..but for herself.
pushing apart her inner thoughts ,she thought of opening her eyes to greet him, but in the next moment she went numb, when he carefully placed one of her tendril off her face n behind her ear.
needless to say,her breath hitched in her throat..n she stayed like that..waiting for his next move.
And then the finger that just placed those wayward fringes back to their place, started trailing a path on her beautiful face.
From her forehead, to the bridge between her nose, turning abruptly to trace that jawline too n finally,yet slowly reaching to the ultimate destination.
Her heart literally skipped a beat when he traced them and outline their shape through his thumb pad.
Butterflies started fluttering in the pit of her stomach n she was struggling so badly to maintain a straight face.
He was in such a close proximity..gosh..what if she could see his eyes?
Can she found the same set of emotions in his orbs too?
was he also affected by her presence?
Does that ‘Happily-ever-after that she’d read numerous times in her novels..exists for real?
Had they moved one step ahead..may be unknowingly..in this marriage of theirs?
Are things falling into place..slowly n gradually?
Can they really give it another chance..leaving apart that contract thing?
Tonnes of questions spinning in her mind n she couldnt answer a single one.
However, she lost her sense of thinking when his minty breath fanned her face.
hey devi maiya!!!
and before, she could pray to her devi maiya further,he touched his lips to hers in the softest, gentlest way…ever possible.
and she was left as nothing but just a bundle of nerves.
That smallest touch send a tremor of electricity down her entire spine
She used every ounce of control left in her to stop trembling her body underneath him.
her mind reveling that beautiful kiss she just shared with her husband..first time after her marriage.
and at that point khushi kumari gupta wanted nothing more than to wrap her arms around his neck n give him a beautiful kiss in return, like the one she just received.
so,needless to say, khushi kumari gupta had a very very sleepless night..she have had in ages.
Her mind showing her those very flashbacks, now when she’s making jalebees.
jalebees had kindof calmed her over exited mind to some extent but that feeling for him is still there..probably more stronger now.
She was very much thankful that he had gone to office on sunday..courtesy some meeting.
otherwise, she couldnt manage to face him..without actually remembering last night’s incident again.
Her trance got broken, when she heard anjali’s voice,
“Khushiji,chotey aa gaye hain..Pata nahi sunday ko bhi kya kaam krte hain…”
Anjali said shaking her head n continued,
“he’s having a headache..aap unka khaana unke room me hi laga dijiye…”
“hanji di..hum bas abhi lagate hain..”
Khushi replied wiping her hands with the kitchen towel.
Looking at the 3 plates, overloaded with saffron colored jalebees..she bit her lips,
But, she was much much stable now..after the act
Closing her eyes, she released a breath..a small smile playing on her lips…flashback of that kiss played again one more time.
Can they have another chance?
She whispered to no-one but herself..she could visualize a faint ray of hope entering in her for the first time after her marriage.
The kiss surely does mean somethin..!
she had somewhere internally acknowledged her side of the attraction..she just need to know whats going on HIS side.
She quickly loaded his plate n made her way towards their bedroom.
Time to face HIM, after their first-eva-kiss!
totally unaware of the fact that she was heading 4 the