Sundays were the most laid back days for khushi ever since her childhood days for she had never woken up before 12 and that too after repeated insistence by her mother and her sis payal constantly as soon as the clock strikes 9. She could even happily sleep through the loud vacuum cleaner that their maid kamla used in order to clean her room. And then khushi would wake up after having her beauty sleep to the fullest and stroll around the house in her washed and faded comfort clothes that had seen some better days but now been blessed with a hole or two. And then after stuffing to the max with her maa ke hath ke aaloo ke parathe, she would happily occupy her favorite bean bag in the cosy corner with a book or her laptop with back to back DVDs of her favorite movies, followed by a long walk to the nearby park with Bruno and the world famous lucky ke chole bhature around evening used to be the perfect closing ceremony for her eventful sunday and Thats how it has been for khushi since as long as she could remember.
So what exactly khushi was doing in the parking lot of this famous Italian restaurant, drumming her fingers on the steering wheel, tapping her feet, biting her lip while trying to come up with the logical explanation of the illogical behavior she was on the verge of showing. Glancing at herself in the rear view mirror she began trying to search for the exact reason that compelled her out of the bed before 9 that too on a sunday. That action of hers had left her mother surprised and then worried that khushi might be ill or something. She felt like an alien as she woke up exactly at 8:57 and made her way downstairs only to be showered down with the shocked and surprised glares from everyone. The awkwardness felt remotely closer to having the walk of shame that the world talks about and it felt like she was a newly prisoner in Tihar jail who was about to shown his new cell. “offo maa”, She had irked in response when her mother actually felt her forehead for any sign of temperature.
She couldn’t quite decide why she had trouble sleeping last night as she kept tossing and turning in the bed, switching to the cold sides of both pillows and blankets but to no avail. She decided to blame it on the butter chicken that kamla prepared that night. But on second thoughts spared the innocent chicken aside. Dancing around the bushes for so long trying to find the exact reason for that unsettled feeling in the pit of her stomach that was directly linked to her mind, mind that was constantly bugging her about something unpleasant. And for record, khushi was so not used to feeling like this. She was a chirpy happy go lucky kind of girl and this whole thing was draining her energy. Along with the additional stuff from that particular Raizada who seemed to be having a mind of his own and as soon as the name striked her mind, the baggage along with it came crashing down on her with a lightening fast speed and additional hours of self pondering over the delicate topic, she finally zeroed in on the reason that was bugging her thoughts. A Particular Raizada in this case. And the stark realization came to her in the wee hours of the morning.
So, exactly @1 pm, she was sitting outside this restaurant’s parking in her small car, still undecided how, more importantly why she showed up in the restaurant where Raizada was supposed to be on a date with his ‘Ex‘. The two letter innocent word left a bitter taste in her mouth and she felt that same feeling sinking in her stomach again,this time threatening to disturb the geography of those aaloo ke parathe she gobbled up in a hurry to reach here.
Highly stuck in a moment of indecision of what she will say, IF,in case she’ll show up inside, Putting those thoughts aside, khushi however decided to stick with the universal formula for making decisions like this. Quickly removing a coin from her clutch, she tossed it in the air, waiting for the result. Heads being showing up to him and tails being leaving the hell out of here.
She waited some more and released a breath of air before opening her eyes.
And it was a TAIL.
That means, she should just leave from here. Anyways showing up would have been stupid and Arnav along with his Ex would have laughed at her showing up there without any reasons. Right? Right! She should leave. She decided mentally, convincing herself.
But another look at the coin and some 5 minutes later, khushi glanced at herself once again in the mirror before making her way. Inside the restaurant. Nobody saw her tossing the coin thrice again in the air till it showed up with a head. nobody,right?
Arnav tipped his head again, displaying that small poised smile at the animated conversation Lavanya was having with him. Some New York fashion week’s dress she was gushing about and Raizada feigned interest before swiftly checking his Rolex again. He could not wait this to be over. His supposed lunch date with his supposed Ex. Not exactly an Ex he would say, Just someone he casually dated a couple years back. Lavanya, a top model whom he had met with at some business party and took off together for a moment of fun. Followed by couple more times. But that was it. It was a No strings attached thing and he had made that pretty clear to Lavanya as well. Only She was insisting for another fun-filled moments and ofcourse Raizada who can sense complexity brewing up there,was avoiding it like plague.
Getting off from his train of thoughts, he focused his attention on Lavanya and realized that she was beautiful by industry standard. A 5 feet 9 dusky beauty with accent, prim, proper, not a hair out of place but still unable to hold his attention for long. He decided she’s talking a lot and Raizada for one didn’t like that. But then he was never those speak-your-heart-out kinds. He would prefer silence than having a mundane boring conversation over a silly dress, he concluded but his mind was quick enough to point all those ‘intelligent’ conversation he recently had with a Gupta creature and Raizada couldn’t help but warned his mind to mind its own business. He darted a quick glance at few of the reporters that were starting to gather outside the restaurant along with a couple seated inside.
And then he saw her.
Khushi nervously stepped inside the restaurant’s dining area still cursing herself for tossing the coin again. This was such a bad idea.What the hell she’ll say anyways. He will definitely think she is stalking him or something and that,for sure, will give his enormous ego a mighty boost if not anything. Shit shit!
She stopped dead in her tracks at the sudden realization, trying her best from toppling over and glanced around nervously like a someone caught cheating in a exam hall. Standing still like a mannequin in case her slightest movement could draw attentions, she started forming plans to slowly backtrack her way out before someone would notice her.
And just like that Khushi cursed her luck once again that has an uncanny ability of putting her in situations like this.
Um.I was just passing by. Will that work? No.
She nervously shifted from one foot to another while cursing her stupidity. Why was she so engrossed in her thoughts that she completely missed seeing him who was just sitting on the table closest to her left. Turning around she released a pent up breath suddenly feeling like her whole body was in knots. God, she can never become a good thief, she wondered. Shrugging off the silly thought she glanced at him who was now staring back at her with furrowed brows. She darted him a quick glance from head to toe. This man could look equally ravishing in a sack. Currently at a loss of words, khushi shot a glance at his company, ‘Ex’ as he had stated yesterday and felt that same sense of despair coursing through her again. Another bout of jealousy sprang inside her as she noticed how beautiful and elegant his Ex was looking in that dress with good amount of cleavage peeking out to say hello. The Ex has now turned to look at her and by the expression on her face it was clear she didn’t appreciate the interruption. In that split second all her fears about embarrassment jumped off the cliff and khushi shot to action.
“Erm. We need to talk”
Ignoring the Ex who was staring her with displeasure in her eyes, khushi addressed the Man in demand directly.
Arnav glanced at khushi, then at lavanya and then back to khushi completely at a loss. Thats not what they decided. Right!
“Arnie, who is she?”
Arnav felt khushi taking a step forward and with those expressions on her face he knew very well this isn’t gonna end the way it should and with the reporters tracking their every actions it wont be long before they all end up on page 3 again tomorrow. Hence Raizada jumped to action sooner than you say soon.
“Lavanya, Can you give just five minutes? I’ll sort this out”
and before any of the ladies could react, Raizada grabbed a disinterested & reluctant khushi out of the public to a remote corner.
“What was that?”
He asked when he was sure they were out of reach of those prying ears n eyes and shot the question directly without dancing around the bushes
khushi asked like she has absolutely no idea what he was talking about.
He just tipped his head and that famous pose with Raizada trademark all over it was enough for her to stop dancing around bushes.
“okay. Fine”, she gestured back at him now with some fire in her eyes,
“but let me tell you the plan you suggested is the stupidest ever”she declared now crossing her own arms and stomping her foot.
“Dont tell me you are serious?”
He folded his arms and lifted that brow and khushi for once felt at a loss of words.
khushi responded angling her chin up clearly letting him know of what she thought.
“Really? Isn’t that what we decided?”
“No. Its what YOU decided”
she retorted back in equal measures. what was he thinking anyways. Going on a date with his ex. What will they get out of this? and that lamest excuse that he’s kind of resuming his old relationship is with an ex will sort everything out? Won’t Anjali di will be hurt that way? Khushi nodded to herself effectively hiding the other reasons behind this safer one.
“You wanted to have a LOVE marriage”
He countered equally air quoting that word love for greater affect and it did worked as khushi backtracked a bit.seemingly at a loss for a good enough counter attack.
“h..han toh. But I won’t just sit around like a ablaa naari and take all what you are planning to dish at me. I am NOT letting you dump me, even If its fake. ”
He glared at her before he shook his head like he couldn’t believe that woman standing in front of her.
“There. Those 2 reporters overs there”, He said pointing to a distant table in the room before pointing back to her,
“They didn’t quite hear you. Please be louder”, He replied with his voice laced with sarcasm all over.
Khushi cursed herself for her stupidity but still repeated the whole line from start to end but in a voice now down to few notches.
He muttered under his breath shaking his head like he couldn’t believe this woman standing infront of him.
“Believe it or not but I am NOT letting you malign my image anymore while you enjoy with another ‘chick’. You have done enough harm to my image already with your grossed out version of our supposedly romantic ‘second union’ where you creatively dropped me in the pile of shit,Might I remind you Mr Raizada. ”
she hurled out accusation at him again ,firing through her eyes and Raizada tried his best to fought a smile at that. How can someone look adorable being so riled up was something he couldn’t answer at this point. You sure you don’t like women who don’t do intelligent conversations? His mind was quick enough to remind him and Raizada for one effectively shrugged the voice back to where it came from.
but then pondering over what she said Raizada found it way more intriguing than his Ex sitting outside must be busy hatching plans to trap him for once and all and Raizada for once jumped at the opportunity.
“and what about Lavanya?”
He asked raking a hand through his hair and khushi grinned in triumph. Now this smile combined with the mushy feeling at the pit of her stomach didn’t let her think about the real reason for this genuine happiness she was feeling at that moment as her mind quickly presented a solution for his problem.
Which saw a pouting and sulking Lavanya being escorted to her home by the Raizada’s driver while the Man himself who was used to being driven in luxury cars was given lift in khushi’s small pink colored car.
Hello All. Here comes the eighth part of compatibility.Please let me know how it was and for those who are commenting as anonymous please mention your IF names. I’ve asked a few whom I couldn’t relate by their names, please reply back to those. Thanks!
Until next time, happy reading ❤