SS: Start-Part 1


Theirs was an Arranged marriage.
In truest sense of the word!

Talking about Her side of the family, they were over the moon.Well, Who wouldnt be when the would be groom was none other than Arnav Raizada himself. A young, dashing entrepreneur currently ruling the business world and the sections of the media.

And,His side of the family. They were over the moon themselves as well as the ever adamant Raizada has finally changed his mind after years n years of constant coaxing. Though marriage was one institution he had least faith into, seemed like his love for his di overshadowed that faith somewhere down the line.

and so, barely two weeks after engagement, they got married.

with an absolutely non existent courtship period between them, no pre marriage outings, no exchange of phone numbers, it could very well be termed as an Blind marriage, to be honest.

It wasnt that khushi did not tried. She did tried calling him after hours of practicing in front of mirror what she’ll say on the phone but all her spirits deflated the moment he asked “who khushi?..”. Really? A moment of silence had fell between them as he waited for her answer while she was confused to say the least. It must have striked him a moment later as he finally acknowledged this strange caller. Two minutes of awkward chat and then he excused himself citing a important meeting with a client.

and that was all she got then.

That sole 2 minute chat was what khushi was playing in her mind repeatedly as she was sitting on the bed,resting her chin on top of her knees, dressed beautifully in an elegant lehenga waiting for him to arrive in what was ‘their’ room now.  Tired.Sleep deprived.Alone. Nervous!

4:00 am flashing on the clock, wasnt helping either.

*

She carefully fetched her wrinkled anarkali suits and arranged them in a stack on top of others. Opening the closet door, she inspected thoroughly from left to right and from top to bottom. For some space that he might have freed for her. But all she found was his stamp everywhere. His shirts in every shades possible of black n white, His expensive suits, his hand stitched leather shoes, his ties, his watches, his cuff links. Scrunching her nose, she shook her head. Seemed like the way this whole thing was arranged it was screaming NO ENTRY to intruders.  It was now seven days since she was married to him and this man was still a mystry to him as he was on her first night.

‘The first night’ was nothing like she had seen in all those bollywood movies. She didnt realized when she drifted into slumber waiting for him. The indent on his side of bed was the only indication he came to the room that night and left for work before she got a chance to greet him next morning and that was how the situation was since that day. Felt like she was just sleeping with a complete stranger. Sleeping would be a wrong choice of word though. Sharing a bed, maybe. It probably wasnt the rosy
picture she had always imagined where the marriage was concerned but then khushi was not the one to crib at situations. And then she thought of making the best of it. so what if he’s behaving like a stubborn child not willing to share his toys n room, somebody had to adjust and its him whose going to do that.Anyways its nothing illegal that she’s doing here. Adjustment is the key to a happy marriage was what she was listening since her childhood and now is the time to apply some of it. she then spiritedly placed all her belongings keeping in mind not to bother or tamper his stuff in any way.

Taking a step back she observed the closet now. Silently hoping he wouldnt notice her stuff hiding in there behind his.

But then it would take only a blind person to not notice those colorful attires lined with pompoms peeking behind from his black n white world.

Somebody’s gonna get pissed very soon..hmph!

*

“Lijiye..aapki dawai..”

She extended her hand holding the glass of water and the other palm with his medicines while alongside trying to hold the dupatta that chose that very moment to show some action by slipping down her sholder gradually. And here it goes, grabbing his attention to it but seemed to ignore it. she kept wondering half of the time why this man is lacking severely while displaying general emotions. Probably he dont even use emoticons while chatting was what she figured and tried imagining how seriously boring a chat would be without the use of those mood swinging smileys.  Why he dont smile like normal human beings. But then he do smile, with anjali di. And nani. And mami. And mama. That she had seen. Seems like with everyone. Except for her and that got her into a thought provoking process. Fine. He seemed like a clueless guy with this thing called marriage. May be he’s a gay and he doesnt even know yet.Yes. Can be?. Shaking her head to clear off those thoughts she waited for him to take those medicines. She found those in the bed side table while she was searching for some stuff and asked ramprakash who was cleaning the room. And it was then she came to know that her husband was a diabetic. a loud Hawww, was her first reaction as ram prakash looked at her like she had grew horns but for khushi it was a failure at her level as it was something a wife should have known about her husband since the start.

Deciding to rectify her mistake, she took it upon herself to take care of his medicine routine and here she was.

a curt “you dont have to do this” was what she got while she was hoping for a thankyou at the very least.

Not to mention, those meds got magically removed from the drawer when she looked for them next day.

*

Three weeks into her marriage and khushi was still trying to set her foot into it in order to make a genuine start but then what she could have done alone. Fearful thoughts started clouding her mind when she imagined about how life is gonna be with a man who as guarded himself this closely that it was even difficult trying to break those guards. And that overthinking had started her doubting on this thing called marriage and its sacred bond. The fact that they werent conversing at all except for those mandatory talks infront of family was what seemed to be a genuine problem at hand. It wasnt that she didnt tried. But getting dull or no response from the opposite side was what deflecting her spirits as well.

and then the day came when the dark clouds of doubt scattered away to give way for the first ever ray of sunshine. A message she has got from him to get ready for a event in the night.

and just like that, khushi was back to the old cheery spirited woman, now on cloud 9 as the driver just delivered a beautiful saree and matching jewellary. Taking extra time to get ready with the help of anjali di, her heart did skipped a beat when she saw him noticing her for a moment longer and it was enough for those butterflies to flutter in her stomach.

The event was the most lavish n extravagant thing she had seen in her entire life. She was new to it and she tried her best to present herself as the way one expected a Raizada’s wife to be. They had met several of his business colleagues as arnav introduced her to all of them. It was the best time of her life as she really was floating on clouds. He had showered his attention on her throughout. She was busy observing a cozy couple when she felt his hand on her bare waist and tightened around it, pulling her a bit closer to his form. It was the very first moment when she could actually hear her heart beating loud like a drum. Her very first toe curling moment as her heart started racing 180 miles per minute. She could very well felt her skin with a burning sensation where his hand was now resting. Her husband was finally acknowledging her and it was the best thing she could have asked for. His attention.

A woman greeted them and it was then khushi came out of her thoughts to the present. A lovely model like lady dressed to perfection in a elegant floor length gown and dipped neckline was observing them and that was enough to get khushi’s cheeks crimson as it was obvious she must have seen them and their PDA. Raizada acknowledged that woman curtly and cut her in mid when that lady was about to say something, excusing themsleves on pretext of having dinner.

They were having their dinner while a band was performing live and khushi was enjoying the most of it. He excused himself mid-meal courtesy a phone call and left the table asking her to continue. She waited for him for next 25 minutes and started worrying when still there was no sign of him in the entire room. Alone and worried khushi then left the table herself n went in search of her husband when he didnt picked the cell also.

However, stumbling upon a corner, she found him but not in a situation she had ever expected. He was with the same lady they had met just before the dinner. His hands tightly grasping her shoulders while they seemed to be thick tension floating in the air around them. He must have felt khushi’s presence and their gazes met the next second. However shocked she was to find him like that, she couldnt quite ignore the plethora of emotions she just saw in his eyes. For the first time ever. They were painful, agonized and empty at the same time. She couldnt quite missed the mistiness residing in them as he looked at her in what could be termed as shock before coming back to his senses and loosening his hold.

In that very moment few things started becoming clearer to khushi and the prominent among them was, her husband was definitely nursing a broken heart. And the other woman in the room was the cause of all the pain she just witnessed in his eyes. And then her brain started rewinding every single incident since her marriage. so, there was a reason he was behaving like this.

It would be a complete lie to say she didnt felt shattered like her world came collapsing down in that very moment,

but then, they both were hurting. Atleast something was common in them for the first time.

*

She heard his footsteps slowly approaching her from behind as she waited patiently by the car in the parking area. She didnt know how to react so she left the place in a haste. Well, how a woman was supposed to react on finding her husband with some other woman.No point saying he broke his trust and made a mockery of this marriage when there was no ‘them’ to begin with. What a complete mess of everything that one incident has created . The most trivial question that was now arising was, what now? Of course, if he is in love with someone other, how could she trap him in a loveless bond. Will he ever be happy that way? No. She needed some honest answers that will eventually decide for her now dark,gloomy and uncertain future.

“Its not what you are thinking..?…”

she smiled a painful smile at the first thing he said after their unfortunate encounter inside the hall. Was he worried she’ll started throwing tantrums and play ‘i-am-cheated-upon’ card. That moment even though her

heart was agonizing silently when her dreams got broken after experiencing a very beautiful night, she couldnt help but sympathize with him. He must be feeling that way since so long. She didnt felt right to even compare both their situations. turning slowly she faced him with a small smile on her face effectively masking her turmoil.

“Do you love her arnavji?..”

Thats all she asked with a calm serenity that had him stumbling in his path for a moment too. If he was stunned by the display of maturity n calmness in her tone, he didnt tried hiding it. May be he was expecting a dramatic aftermath and that would have been better as he seemed prepared for that scenario. But this?  Absolutely not. It had definitely caught him offguard and it was for the first time khushi witnessed him in a vulnerable state as he didnt know how to respond to that. And so she decided to make it easier for him.

“tell me the truth, please?..dont you think i deserve to know that”

the above line said in a voice just above whisper was what turned out to do the trick for him. It wasnt a demand, merely a request as he stared at her for a momet longer than usual before nodding in acceptance. In that small moment she saw a glimpse of admiration in his eyes before he diverted his eyes,

“She was the only girl i have ever loved”

He added after a pause..

“and i was the only guy she had loved..or so i thought”

“but seemed like we weren’t on the same page regarding love”
He laughed a humorless smile at the seemingly confused revelation he just made and continued even before khushi could make sense of it,

“she cheated me. End of story”

End of story?Now this was getting more confused. You dont behave like that when there’s a end of story, she thought in her mind while trying to make sense of the situation.

“Then what was that inside?..”

He raked a hand through his hair while trying to put his answer in a best way possible so it wouldnt damaged this already messy situation.

“I am not proud to say that…but”

He said, feeling a bit uncertain, before continuing…

“but..you must have figured it out by now why i paraded you here tonight. I wanted a closure and i think i’ve got that. She wanted me again. We were in mid of a argument while i was reminding her of her cheating ways when you walked in…”

“so…you dont want her…again..?..”
She asked her next question a bit hesitatingly,

He stared at her and for the first time felt guilty for the way he has been treating her since the start. It wasnt her fault at all. she had every right to create drama, hurl accusation, behave in a way he expects women to be in a situation like this. Or maybe,this woman is not from the category he has always came across in his life and that could be a good thing actually. In fact this was the only good thing in this terrible situation. It was hard facing that woman again. Not cause he was still in love with her but how foolish he had been throughout to be the victim in this situation. He devoted a year of his life with that woman and could even consider settling down with her someday. And then came face to face with the reality when he caught her cheating with a married man. Yet, he was the one who was termed as the spoiled playboy while so got sympathy from the media for being dumped by the millionaire playboy.

Exhaling a long breath, Raizada decided now was the time to rectify few things,

he grabbed her tiny palm thereby catching her off guard, enclosing it securely within his broad ones and replied in the most genuine way possible.

“I know i havent given you any reason to trust me yet, but…trust me when i say i wouldnt have married if i wanted to go back to her..”

and that was for the first time her lips slowly broke into a warm smile perfectly complimenting his own.

“and..i apologize for my behavior. You didnt deserve any of that”

it became hard for her to suppress that smile and it indeed felt like showering in rain after facing years of drought.

now, this apology? she didnt saw that coming.

“apology accepted..but you have to buy me an ice cream now. i am hungry..i left that delicious food for searching you..”
she complained in a child like tone and he couldnt help rolling his eyes trying his best to suppress that smile. It felt so light hearted after so long. Just the way it should have been.

“Sure but before that one important thing. We start off on the wrong foot, but then, its never too late…”

He continued before extending his hand while his face was adorned with a killer smile only Raizada was capable of pulling off,

“Hi. Myself Arnav Raizada. Your Husband..”

She erupted into giggles before gathering herself and maintaining a straight face, replied back with the sincerity she could maintain.

“Helllo..I am Khushi. Khushi Raizada. Your waaaifff..”

He offered his arm to her which she hooked with both of hers and they made their way to their car.

Leaving behind the demons of past to create a new future they both were uncertain of as of now. They didnt make lovely promises just the commitment to honour the sacred relation they were now into. Ready to face what fate has in store for them.

Indeed a start it was!!!

*

*

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