How ironic it is, that a show which asked us what to name love, garnered such a huge fan following and lovers who are still around, keeping that exact same unnamed love… burning within their hearts. This madness is insane and my family and friends have so often mocked me about it. Even now, with the return of IPK with Ek Jashn… despite the fact that we got so much of flashbacks and so little of Arhi together so far, I smile like a teenager, with my heart doing dhakdhak each time I see Arnav smirking. Sigh! Iss madness ko kya naam doon?
I came across this world of Fan fictions much, much after the show was over and have missed reading work by a lot of brilliant and popular writers. So I thank S & K for giving me this opportunity to be a part of this wonderful initiative… that consists of so many writers I myself fangirl over. It is an honor to be posting a story on this special blog.
“Tera naam ishq”…. I absolutely love this song from the movie RamLeela. It talks about how a man drenched in love, changes and sees nothing other than love… in the form of his lover. Red! The color of love…passion and danger. Every time I hear this song, I am reminded of Arhi and I truly hope you enjoy my vision of how I see Arnav and Khushi… 3 years later.
Tera naam ishq…
Ye laal ishq, ye malal ishq
Ye aib ishq, ye bair ishq
Ye laal ishq, ye malal ishq
Ye aib ishq, ye bair ishq
Tujh sang bair lagaya aisa
Tujh sang bair lagaya aisa
Raha na main phir apne jaisa…
Ho raha na main phir apne jaisa..
Mera naam ishq, tera naam ishq
Mera naam ishq, tera naam ishq
Mera naam ishq, tera naam ishq
Mera naam tera naam mera naam ishq…
She took one step towards him, as he took a step backwards. How many times had they danced to this tune… even though it was mostly in the reverse order until now! “Khushi… no,” his husky yet firm voice washed over her, as she faltered in her steps. How was it possible that every time he said her name, a fire stoked in the pit of her stomach, twisting it into desirous knots? Bracing her heart, she took a courageous step forward, cornering him against the wall. His eyes widened in surprise to have been trapped in this manner… something that had been his own style.
Her eyes twinkled with mischief and happiness, as she raised her hands filled with bright yellow colour, and smeared it across his cheeks. “Happy Holi Arnavji,” she grinned like a small girl, excited to have put some colour onto her, usually living in black and white husband. Her fingers lingered longer than necessary, feeling his rough stubble scraping against her soft palms, causing a delicious friction. Yellow… her favourite colour… of sunshines and happiness… looked so good on his somber face. She felt like she had drenched him in herself, making the two of them whole. She giggled at her own romantic thoughts and blamed the endless Salman Khan movies she watched.
So lost was she in her own thoughts, that it was only when his eyes gleamed with naughtiness and his lips quirked up at a corner… that she realized something was terribly wrong. Why was laad governor smirking at her instead of blowing his fuse? And then she felt his amorous fingers skimming over her bare waist, leaving behind a trail of blazing fire. She sucked in a breath, looking into a pair of eyes that completely robbed her off her breath… even now. It was only in front of her that they weren’t guarded or stoic. They spoke to her… spoke to her the words, which remained unsaid by his seductive lips. And just like that, her eyes dropped to his lips that had given her a taste of extreme passion.
Her eyes darkened and she licked her dry lips, forgetting all about her coloured hands. Holding onto the back of his head, her fingers slipped through his soft curls, pulling him closer. Arnav groaned in approval as her eyes closed in submission. His lips claimed hers without further torture. His fingers dug onto her waist, as the other hand tangled into her open hair, scraping her scalp… just the way he knew she liked. She tasted divine and even though he had spent three years taking his fill of her, he still felt like a parched traveller in a desert, enjoying the freshness of an oasis.
Pulling away from her breathlessly, he leaned in to give her ear a soft nip before whispering, “Happy Holi Khushi.” He pinched her delectable waist, drawing her attention to it. Her eyes popped open and her kissable mouth formed his favourite O… “Hawww Arnavji, yeh kya kiya aapne?” The vibrant red colour looked so contrasting against the milky white skin of her waist. How he loved her in sarees, which gave him ample of opportunity to touch her bare skin. Red! A colour he never believed he would come to love. It was the colour he loved best on her… on her cherub cheeks, her angry nose. It was the colour that had sparked this unknown desire… all those years back on the day of the photoshoot. Khushi in a red saree… the memory itself made him harden.
“Its my favourite colour on you Khushi… jaise ab tumhari naak laal ho gayi hai,” he teased pulling her closer once again. She swatted him on the chest and tried to wriggle out of his arms. “Arnavji leave me please… We have to leave. Our family has already left,” she tried to make him see some sense, but with Khushi around him, when had good sense ever prevailed, he mused. “Khushi, stop wriggling. You are only turning me on,” he said plainly, knowing that she still struggled to deal with their mind-blowing intimacy. He enjoyed these two sides of her character in bed… sometimes shy and most of the times surprisingly bold.
“Arnavji, we will get late. Di is waiting for us,” she admonished him, blushing yet again… her soft cheeks turning pink and her eyes dancing with desire. The words that left her mouth were such a contradiction to what her eyes were telling him. However, he knew she was right, and they needed to head to Ashadaan, an orphanage that his sister worked for. The thought of her happy face, made him forget his annoyance with colours and the unending socializing he would have to endure for the next few hours. Giving Khushi one swift kiss on her parted lips, he took her hand in his and led her out of their door towards the exit. Some things would never change… like his mercurial behavior.
* * * * * * * * * * * * *
The atmosphere at Ashadaan was lively and vibrant. The shimmer of colours in the air was a proof to how much the guests were enjoying themselves. Two separate parties were held… one for the guests, the donators, the trustees and their families. While the other one was for the kids… that is exactly where Khushi headed the moment they arrived. This child woman, his wife, was so good with kids. She behaved like a child amidst them, playing pranks, giggling, laughing and having a merry time. Off lately, he had been having visions of her holding a child in her arms… their baby. Despite his hesitation and fear of becoming a father, he definitely envisioned her all pregnant and plump. It was something he had wanted to talk to her about… and maybe tonight in her inebriated state… he would find the courage to voice his heart.
“Arnavji… please make sure I don’t get drunk today. I have no clue how I manage to drink bhang instead of thandai every year… and then… and then everything seems so fuzzy. The whole world seems to be spinning like a jalebi,” she pouted cutely, clinging onto his arm. Yes, he was here watching over her, as she danced with the kids. Where else would he want to be? The people, this society… nothing mattered to him. His entire world focused and revolved around Khushi. And on this special day of holi, he made sure that her entire world spun around him. Wasn’t that why he sneakily got her drunk every year?
It began since the first time they both had mistakenly had bhang… and despite the hatred smoldering between them, their hearts had connected like never before. Those words still reverberated in his ears… in his own husky voice, voicing his innermost feelings…. “humari dhadkanein ek ho jaati hai.” It was the truth, the entire truth of his existence. He had no hope beyond Khushi, he had no happiness beyond Khushi and he had no life beyond her. He had finally realized and accepted the truth one day, like his Di had said. And then onwards had began the ritual of getting Khushi tipsy on bhang… because that was one drink, she believed was consumed by lord Shiva and hence was nontoxic. Well, who was he to correct Mrs. Khushi Kumari Gupta Singh Raizada?
“I will make sure you stay away from bhang, Khushi. I promise. Here… have some thandai. You have been dancing like a manic for the past hour,” he said sweetly, making sure to hide his smirk behind a glass of actual thandai. His wife had mastered the art of catching him lying and it was really uncanny how she got a whiff of the truth, every time he tried to give her some random excuses. He was known to be able to mask his feelings. However, with Khushi… he was unhinged and unmanned, every freaking moment he spent with her.
Taking in a large swing, Khushi was just about to put the glass onto the table, when a kid rammed into it and splattered a dish of colour all across Khushi. She bent to pick up the child and asked him if he was okay. The boy gave her a sheepish smile and a quick kiss on her cheek before running off to play again. Through all of this, all Arnav could see was the deep green colour smeared across her beige saree. The green she had worn for Akash and Payal’s sangeet… the first time they had danced together… the day she had made him laugh once again… the day her tears had pricked at an alien corner of his heart. Green… the only colour he saw; each time Khushi shared her precious laughter with NK.
Colours… that is what she had filled into his monochrome life. The flashes of vibrant chamkiley colours, which had blinded him once… were now an essential part of his life. What would he have done without them? What would he have been without them? Like the same robot, without a heart? She had made him believe in his heart… in stars… in smiles… in birthdays… in celebrations… in life… in love. She had made him a believer. “Love can reduce anyone to anything…” those were his words… yet he felt they were so untrue. He had only but ever… risen in love. Was he now dreaming like a lover… like Khushi’s Salman Khan? He cringed at the thought. Some things definitely shouldn’t change.
* * * * * * * * * * * * *
As the sun ascended the horizon, his impatience mounted. The relentless fake smiles, the useless chatter and never-ending introductions, taking a toll on him. His eyes kept flickering to Khushi, who seemed to be enjoying herself, eating a heap of jalebis and drinking her so-called “thandai.” He saw her holding Aadit, Akash and Payal’s six-month-old baby, who had made a guest appearance today. After giggling and babbling with the baby for a few minutes, she quickly handed him back to Payal, her feet swaying a little. He knew it was time for him to take her home… to their sanctuary… like a ritual of sorts. For three continuous years, he had whisked her away from the party, much earlier than necessary, to enjoy every hue of his Khushi… his happiness.
Swiftly lifting her up in his arms, despite her flaying hands and legs, he carried her amidst his snickering family and a stunned audience. The drive home was as noisy and entertaining as he had imagined, with Khushi talking about anyone and everyone she had met at the party… from Hari kaka who prepared the jalebis to Chanda, the tiny girl from Ashadaan who Khushi was extremely fond of. Lifting her once again, he carried her through the threshold of Shantivan… like he had once carried her as his bride.
He placed her gently on his lounger near the poolside… his favourite place to devour his wife, other than the bed, the bathroom, the wall, the kitchen, the dining table and his freaking terrace. As memories of their passionate encounters all around the house flashed through his mind, his smile broadened and an involuntary chuckle left his lips. “Aap hum pe hassss rahe haiiin, Arnavjiiiiiii?” Khushi slurred drawing his attention back to the beautiful face of his wife. He smiled and tucked a strand of hair that was troubling her, behind her ear.
Removing a handkerchief from his pocket, he held the back of her head in one hand, and started wiping away the colour from her face. She placed her hand on his chest and whispered, not wanting to break the silence engulfing them, “Arnavjiii… I can hear your heartbeat. Can you hear mine too?” She giggled as he placed the handkerchief away and skimmed his hand over her delectable curves. How innocent she looked like this… her eyes an open window into her soul, her flawless skin shimmering in the soft sunlight, her pouting lips beckoning him to taste them… and her kind and forgiving heart, humbling him.
How many times had he hurt her physically, pushing and pulling her… dropping her from the first floor of his office, making her sleep by the poolside… endangering her life as she fell off a cliff to save him. His heart constricted at the memories he had wanted to forget… the innumerous painful instances she had wanted him to forget. But that wasn’t all… the emotional damage was worse than the physical one. Demeaning her, labeling her as a gold-digger, his engagement to Lavanya just after almost trying to kiss her, his forced marriage, the blackmail, the emotional and mental torture… he had done everything in his might, to push her away… to give her every reason to hate him. And yet, here she was looking at him with so much love and adoration. What had he done to deserve such selfless love?
He lifted her hand to his lips and kissed her knuckles tenderly. “Khushi….” His throat clogged with unshed tears… like always, unable to voice his feelings when he knew she loved to revel in them. “Shhh… hum samjhte hain,” she said, placing a finger on his lips. How did she know what his heart wanted to say? Pulling her into his embrace he heard her soft breathing that lulled his heart. The blue water of the pool shimmered in the sunlight. Blue… another colour she had added to his life palette. This poolside had witnessed their hatred… their fights… their romance… and their love. It was their secret haven, a place sacred to him… reminding him only of Khushi.
Pulling away he cupped her beautiful face and said, “Khushi… I wanted to say… main kehna chahta hoon… I mean… I guess I am ready to be a father. Do you think we should have our own family?” His anxious question floated in the air, thickening it with an intensity so strong, that Khushi’s eyes rounded in surprise. It was the last thing she had imagined him to say. He had wanted to use her inebriated state, to voice his innermost desires… lacking courage to speak to a zealous Khushi otherwise. How did a man who feared no one, still fear the overwhelming emotions and dreams she stoked in him?
“Arnavji…” she croaked and lunged forward pulling him into her arms, running her fingers through his hair, stroking them just the way he liked. He read her answer amidst the silence; he knew that she wanted the same as he felt her tears soaking his shirt. Once again pulling away from her, he wiped her tears with the pad of his thumb, telling her silently to not cry anymore. He hated to see her cry. The only tears he could bear in her eyes, were tears of joy. A joy that arose from her smiles and seeped right into his heart, soothing it and telling him that despite everything he had done, she was happy… happy to be with him.
He lifted her in his arms and carried her back into their room, quickly drawing the curtains. Words were still very scarce for him. The only way he knew how to express his love for her was by the physical intimacy they shared. That was the language he knew best and it was time for him to show how much he loved her. Love… a word that had been alien to him till a few years ago. It was a taboo and an impossible dream. However, the moment she had landed into his arms at Sheesh Mahal, he knew it deep down in his heart, that the path they had taken… would lead them to this destination.
He had loved to hate her… but he had hated to love her even more. Despite her rebellious nature he had loved her, despite living up to each of his challenges he had loved her, despite all their fights he had loved her, despite what he thought she was doing with that scumbag Shyam he had loved her, despite her innocence drawing him in, he had loved her… he had always loved her. The lust, the desire, the attraction… was all that had led him to the word “love.” A word that was now synonymous to his wife… his Khushi. Love for him was simply Khushi. And he did not hesitate to accept this truth anymore.
“I love you,” he whispered against her ear, as he pulled away her clothes… gently, unhurriedly… savouring her each sigh, her each moan. Peppering kisses all over her bare skin, he struggled to get his clothes off… her scent intoxicating him. How did she always manage to make him lose his senses? Be it in anger or desire. She was an aphrodisiac… a drug that was now essential for his life.
Like every year on this day, he made passionate love to his drunk wife… their bodies doing all the talking… telling her how much he loved her… showing her what she meant to him… expressing his desires and his dreams that he knew were hers too. Amidst endless kisses and tangle of naked limbs, Mr. and Mrs. Raizada, fell into a deep satiated slumber, the holi colours now smeared all across their pristine silk bedsheet… the colours that had now become an inseparable part of their lives.
* * * * * * * * * * * * *
Through heavy eyelids, Khushi traced the perfect face of her husband. She smiled thinking about her acting skills. She would definitely have made Salman Khanji proud today. Her sweet adorably naive laad governor didn’t know, neither did he realize that there was no bhang at the party today. After the first year of getting unintentionally intoxicated, the last two years had surprised her… despite all her efforts of keeping away from bhang, she had consumed it and woken up with complete blurry thoughts. But this time, to make sure that no one messed around with her, she had pleaded Di to keep the party bhang-free.
She had giggled secretly, when Arnav had asked the servers particularly for bhang and had been thrust with a glass of thandai instead. She had then realized the reason for her intoxication in the last two parties. It had been him… her stoic, angry, grim husband all along. She was well aware of the workings of his shatir dimaag. Yet today, when in barely few words, he had voiced his innermost feelings, she could not keep the moisture away from her eyes. Her beloved Arnavji, whose words were rarer than pearls … always melted her heart in a puddle of mush and made her reciprocate with telling him just what he meant to her.
However, today’s words had rendered her speechless. All her anxiety, planning and plotting had ceased. The last few days that she had spent worrying about how to break the news of her impending pregnancy, had seemed so juvenile. How had she ever doubted his love for her? How had she even for a moment thought that he would not want this baby? She had known his fears and she had definitely managed to subdue most of his nightmares. Despite having awkward conversations about babies throughout this year, it had got him to get her drunk, to find the courage to tell her what he wanted. She smiled at the impossibly crazy thought and leaned in to place a tender kiss on his soft lips. He grunted in his sleep, pulling her into himself.
With great difficulty, managing to place his hand over her still-flat stomach, she whispered, “You are going to be a father Arnavji. We love you so much.” Love… the four-letter word would never be able to encompass all that she felt for him. She was consumed in love… in her Arnavji. He personified the emotion that was over-hyped in fairytales and yet in reality had a multitude of layers to it. Snuggling into his warmth, she closed her eyes, happy and content. They would finally be a small family, in their chotisi duniya… her happily ever after.