Hamesha is a sequel of sorts to my previous One Shot : One Day
[Italics denote the past]
In the serenity of the night; Arnav sighed deeply in content as her long fingers absently caressed the overgrown strands of his hair. Smiling softly against her silken skin; his lips repeatedly met in a conversation of kisses with the growing swell of her stomach cocooning their little child.
“Who do you think he will be like Arnav-ji?”
“Like you, I hope.”
Her lips slowly bloomed into a shy but loving smile as the combination of her Arnav-ji’s softly uttered words and the tightening of his arms around her and their unborn Son caused her heart to leap in that funny little way it was often prone to in her husband’s loving presence.
“I hope he is like the both of us Arnav-ji. A little bit of you and a little bit of me.”
Pulling back slightly to reach up and gently kiss his sweetly smiling wife’s rosy lips, Arnav neither agreed nor disagreed with a very pregnant Khushi’s wishes.
But secretly, he hoped his Son would be just like his Mother.
Innocent, loving and full of unbridled mischief…
“Looking for me sweetheart?”
Sneaking a flustered Sanvi into the warmth of his arms; Aarav smiled innocently into Sanvi’s exasperated eyes whilst his distracted bronze fingers lifted to tenderly caress his fiancé’s wildly being pulse-point at the base of her now arched neck.
Devilishly exulting in the shiver visibly racing through her spine, he drew her closer into himself for what he hoped would be a series of stolen kisses.
But when had Sanvi Segal ever indulged his fanciful wishes?
“Aarav Singh Raizada! Please may I remind you that this is our sangeet and that both of our families are literally at the other side of this pillar? Have you absolutely no shame at all?!”
Her wide eyes and flailing arms elicited a slow smirk from his playful lips as he rakishly shook his head and brought her closer still.
Not that he would ever tell her this [for Aarav Singh Raizada, did actually value his life] but seeing his usually cool-as-a-cucumber and immaculately composed fiancé rattled beyond belief, filled his innately mischievous soul with a unique brand of warmth he had long ago become potently addicted to.
“You’re a complete rogue Aarav.”
As Aarav nod his head in absolute agreement; his smiling lips met Saanvi’s thoroughly irritated ones to silence her in the only way he knew how…
Khushi grumbled in irritation as she earnestly chased her roguish little five year old Son, with his tie and blazer in hand, around the laughing halls of Shantivan.
“You need to get ready for school Baacha, come back here!”
Aarav’s answering squeal caused a small smile to finally find Khushi’s lips as Arnav swept their little child into his arms and made his way towards her.
“Are you troubling your Mummy little man?”
The little boy’s prompt reply, sparkling eyes and wide grin unfailingly filled Arnav’s once stone-cold heart with an inexplicable warmth as he nuzzled his Son’s chubby cheeks with the length of his aquiline nose.
At his Son’s giggle filled response, he carefully whispered into his attentive little ears;
“Will you promise me something Aarav?”
At Arnav’s patient but intent tone; Aarav’s wide eyes carefully trained themselves on his soft-eyed Father as he attentively listened to his every word;
“Don’t ever pester your Mummy like I do Son. Promise me that you will always listen to the women you love Aarav. And never, ever disappoint them. Okay?”
With all the understanding his five year old heart could muster, Aarav nodded his head eagerly in understanding as he clutched these softly uttered words close to his little heart. Earnestly treasuring them for a lifetime ahead…
“I love you Maa.”
With the chaos of the wedding shrouding them with its vivacious colour; Khushi smiled deeply at her Son’s heart-born words as he gently enveloped her into his hold.
If her Arnav-ji struggled to piece those three words together even after thirty-five years of marriage, then her Aarav more than made up for it by reminding her several times a day just how much he treasured his mother.
When she chased after him every morning to forcibly feed him his breakfast.
When she nursed him through the nights as he battled with fever after childishly playing in the rain.
And when she made him his favourite sugar-free jalebi’s when he needed cheering up.
Her Aarav was always ready with his words of love.
And today at his Sangeet, as she hugged her child close she could not help but wonder just where all those years had gone. It felt like just yesterday when he had been playing in her lap. And now her little boy was getting married…
“Why is your Maa crying now Aarav?”
Arnav’s agitated tone and deep scowl was met with a genuinely clueless shrug from Aarav as he enveloped his beloved Maa just that little bit tighter in his love.
“I’m crying because I’m happy Arnav-ji.”
Arnav’s scowl simply deepened in bewilderment at her muffled reply as he carefully extracted his slightly red faced wife from his Son’s knowing arms to fit her perfectly against his form.
All these years later, and he still did not quite understand this whole crying-while-being-happy-thing that his pagal wife liked to indulge in from time to time.
“Har baat par rohna zaroori hai Khushi?”
Childishly pouting at her dear husband, she promptly looked towards her indulgently smiling Son for support against her ever grumpy Laad Governor.
“Tell your Papa that I will cry at my Son’s wedding if I want to.”
Arnav’s lips found that amused but loving smirk it often did in his Khushi’s presence as he tightened his arms around her defiant shoulders to bring her deeper into his hold. Kissing the parting which unfailingly supported the red of her sindoor, he carefully wiped away the lingering tears from her long lashes. His silence telling her yet again, just how he hated to see those precious pearls of salt lining the eyes which should forever be as happy as their namesake.
“I think Maa forgot that I’m not the one leaving tomorrow Papa.”
Aarav’s teasing tone had the desired effect as Khushi smiled affectionately at her Son’s teasing whilst burrowing herself deeper into her husband’s hold and inviting her Son into their paternal warmth.
Ignoring the rumbling chaos around him; Arnav held his family close and shutting his eyes on a deep sigh, secretly he too struggled to realise just when his little boy had become a man…
“I’m wobbling again Daddy.”
“I’ve got you Son.”
His little arms and legs struggled to co-ordinate themselves as a young Aarav, guided by his patient Father; learnt how to ride his first bike in the gardens of Shantivan.
“I’m going to fall!”
“I won’t let you Aarav.”
Aarav scrunched his brow in deep concentration as his legs slowly but surely found a stable rhythm, his confidence gaining a steady momentum alongside the speed of his bike, as unknowingly he independently began riding his bright blue bicycle.
Khushi softly sniffed back her tears as she hugged her beaming husband. His hands reassuringly rubbing up and down her arms as he reflexively sought to bring her deep into his hold.
“He’s riding a bike!”
“Then why are you crying jaan?”
“What if he falls and hurts himself?”
Arnav struggled to contain both his chuckle and his grin as he kissed the top of his wife’s pagal little head before meeting her glistening eyes.
“You’ve physically wrapped our little boy in bubble wrap Khushi. Even if he does fall, he will be okay.”
His heart tugged sharply at the vulnerability of her tone as he fully turned his wife’s face up to meet his. Wiping away the lingering tears, he softly kissed Khushi’s questioning lips with what he hoped was a firm sense of reassurance.
When Aarav had come into their lives eight years ago, Arnav had read every book on parenthood he could find. His own sorry excuse of a Father had filled him with the burning need to ensure that he himself would be all his Son would ever need him to be.
But never had he prepared himself for that constant realisation that came with being a parent, of the wordless desire to be the child’s everything.
Moments like this re-ignited the acute realisation in his heart of what it truly meant to be a parent, and as his firm kiss morphed into one of gratitude, he could not help but wordlessly thank the woman who had trusted him with this uniquely beautiful gift and supported him every step of the way simply by being his Khushi.
Long ago he had become her Arnav-ji from the heartless ASR.
But Aarav and Khushi had collectively made him into the family man he never knew, let alone hoped he could be.
Breaking away from the kiss, they both turned to proudly watch their giggling Son as Arnav once again found himself reflecting on that precious little boy’s happiness.
His Khushi was slightly sanki and incredibly childish to his naturally brooding ways.
But Aarav loved the fact that he had an indulgent partner-in-crime when it came to pulling pranks with his mother yet he also had the level-headed indulgence of his ever-pragmatic Father.
Khushi was the effervescent liveliness to his watchful silence.
And Aarav seemed to thrive beautifully between the two; filling in the crevices between their ever-burgeoning love as a family with his innocent humour and cheeky charm.
Between his seriousness and her pagalpan, their Son was flourishing into a promising young child who would do them proud. Of this and their love they were both extremely sure…
Aarav tied the mangalsutra around Sanvi’s neck with utter pride in knowing that this wonderfully cynical, but incredibly loving woman was his to cherish for a lifetime ahead.
Their courtship had certainly been a unique experience for a man who had never before been denied anything in life.
Sanvi was an events co-ordinator, manipulating things five years ago to ensure that after organising his parents wedding anniversary she organised every AR Event thereafter; he had tried every trick he knew to woo the woman whose steel grey eyes and equally cool demeanour had enchanted him beyond words.
If you asked him today Aarav would not be able to tell you just why Sanvi had enraptured his senses. He just knew that he wanted to meet her coldness with his warmth, her aloofness with his charm and her weary heart with his love.
She had resisted him in every which way she could, but something somewhere had made her relent.
Not knowing what that was suddenly troubled Aarav as he and Sanvi took his Parents blessings with a confused frown firmly at home on his brow.
“What’s wrong baacha?”
Not hearing his Mother’s worried whisper, Aarav turned towards his new wife who met his perplexed eyes with expectant and loving warmth in her own coal grey ones.
“Why did you marry me Sanvi?”
If Sanvi was surprised by either the timing of the question, or the nature of it then she certainly did not show it. Instead she turned to view her parents-in-law knowing exactly what she would see;
Arnav was [as always] holding onto his Khushi, and he met his new daughter’s eyes with that slightly amused glint she was now so familiar with. Whilst matching Aarav’s curiosity, Khushi’s hazel eyes were wide in silent expectation of her answer.
Smiling at her new parents, she happily dismissed the gathered families here to celebrate their day and instead focussed on her husband.
She had never believed that she would trust the honest essence of that relationship and yet here she was.
Sanvi Raizada was still the pessimist she had always been, but now she was willing to see the hope amongst the despair, and it was all thanks to the two people she could now proudly call her parents.
It had never been Aarav’s persistence that had worn her down.
It had been one simple conversation with his doting parents that had convinced her to embrace their Son’s love.
Khushi’s hands carefully held onto Sanvi’s trembling ones as she and her Arnav-ji sat in the thoroughly startled woman’s cabin.
Their Son was hopelessly infatuated with this beautiful young woman, and Khushi being her typically fiery and compassionate self, had decided to address the very reason she was seeing that hopeless sense of despair and sadness in her beloved Son’s eyes, by charging into Sanvi’s office and practically demanding to know why her Aarav’s love was going unreturned.
Whilst Arnav being his typically stoic self, had accompanied his wife simply to ensure that she didn’t overwhelm the poor child with her love.
Unlike Khushi, he had been fortunate enough to extract multiple opportunities to interact with Sanvi on a professional level. But unlike his Son and Wife, he was infinitely more patient and knew that time would allow her to recognise what he himself had once spent months denying.
It took one natural pessimist to understand another.
And he understood the seemingly aloof Sanvi Segal perfectly…
“Please open your heart to my Son Sanvi; he could love you so incredibly well if you could just give him a chance… please.”
Sanvi looked into Arnav and Khushi’s quietly expectant eyes and felt her poor little heart constrict with something it had never before had the pleasure of experiencing;
And it was those steadfast eyes and elusive determined aura surrounding them that had changed the course of Sanvi’s life irrevocably for the better…
“I married you simply because I want what your parents have Aarav. Love, understanding and contentment. I want what you grew up with; the stability of a family. I want what Maa promised me all those years ago. I wish to be loved well by a man I hopelessly love too.”
“As simple as that?”
Meeting her husband’s loving gaze; Sanvi smiled shyly as Aarav protectively folded her into the warmth of his arms.
Yes, it really was as beautifully simple as that…
“Do you think we will be good parents Arnav-ji? Do you think our Son will always be happy?”
Arnav kissed his wife’s bump one last time before rising to envelop her safely into his hold. Rubbing her aching back with his gentle hands he carefully thought about his next words…
“I hope we will be better than just good Khushi. I want our Son to have everything we didn’t. A happy childhood, I wish for him a content and loving existence.”
Pulling back slightly to cup his Khushi’s face, he softly brought their foreheads together even as their heartbeats unfailingly aligned as one.
“We won’t be perfect jaan. We’ll make mistakes, but we will learn and we will do everything in our power to always make our Son happy. But promise me Khushi; that everything we do, we do it together.”
Her teary whisper was captured by his tender lips in a kiss of absolute promise, as he wordlessly vowed his heart and soul to the woman and unborn child he so ardently loved for a happiness filled Hamesha…
First of all – thank you so much for reading. I really hope that you liked this One Shot – I’ve gone through many drafts of many different stories for this blog, and I hope this one measures up!
I also wish to thank all the wonderful contributors to this blog. From both the generous readers to the amazing writers. This blog is an amazing success thanks to your sincere input and that makes it a true Jashn in memory of a show which has captivated us all at some point in time.
Also a huge thanks to K – my partner in crime in maintaining this blog
And Ridz – For everything you have done and continue to do for this blog – I’m simply in awe! Thank you xx