Beyond words

When eyes and souls connect

Chapter 13: The new normal

on May 14, 2013

Payal and Khushi looked at their Amma. She was busy packing and bustling around the room where her husband lay dressed and ready to travel.

“Amma, do you have to leave?” Khushi asked knowing full well what the answer would be.

Garima looked at her younger daughter her eyes misting. Life had been rough with her but she had never lost her spirit or her cheer. Payal on the other hand stayed in the shadows of her ebullient sister providing the quiet strength and sense she needed. It would be tough moving her husband back to Lucknow and taking care of him all by herself but she could not trouble jiji any more. Also, there was this medical camp near Lucknow that held much promise for Shashi Babu’s recovery. How could she not go?


“Bitiya, You know as well as I do that we need to leave. You both stay with jiji for a few more days and then we can decide what to do.”

Payal hugged her mom while Khushi held her dad’s hands.

She would miss them both but she knew she had a better chance of earning a living at Delhi than at Lucknow. The past few months had matured her beyond her age. All the dreams of a rajkumar riding a horse to carry her away had been replaced by more practical day dreams of earning a living and actually standing on her feet.

Buaji enveloped both girls in a hug as they turned inside after settling amma and babuji in the taxi that would take them home.

It was near lunchtime and Khushi realized with a start that she had to meet Shukla ji. With all that had happened, she had not had a chance to talk about this to anyone. Payal disappeared with Bua into the kitchen to set the table. Khushi decided she could not wait for lunch and followed them.

“Buaji, jiji I need to meet Shukla ji in an hour. You carry on with lunch. I will come back and explain everything.” With that, she rushed to her room and was out ready for her meeting.

Khushi walked out of the meeting with Shukla ji and Desai ji feeling very despondent. The plan they had laid out was simple. She would cook and deliver the food to Shukla ji who would take care of distribution. There was just the simple question of startup costs. Desai ji even offered his makeshift kitchen for use till she found a space that suited her.

“Devi Maiyya help me” Khushi murmured to herself as she walked out to the road and into Lavanya ji.

“Chamkili! What are you doing here? Did you come to meet me?”

Khushi looked up not really taking in what was happening. A blank look later, it dawned on her. She was still outside AR Designs and Lavanya ji was looking at her like she was an alien.

“Actually Lavanya ji, I ought to be leaving now. Buaji and jiji will be worried. I did not tell them why I came here.”

She rambled on for a bit before the concern on Lavanya ji’s face stopped her.

“I came here to meet Shukla ji. He asked if I could partner with him to supply food for the cafe…”

Khushi left the sentence unfinished.

“So what is the problem Chamkili. Your face looks so long. You love cooking. Shukla ji wants you to join. You should be happy. But you are not. Come on, now tell me what is bothering you?”

“Is it ASR? Did he forbid you from working here?”

Khushi’s ears perked up at the sound of his name.

“No. No. He did not say anything. In fact am not sure he knows. My problem is that I need money. 10,000 Rs. I have no one to turn to. Actually Lavanya ji, I really need to leave now. I will find a way.”

With that Khushi turned to leave only to find her friend holding her hand.

“Khushi. Do you think of me as a friend?”

“Come with me. Let us go some place where we can talk for a few minutes without you attempting to run away.”

With that she dragged Khushi to the cafe they had met the previous day. Without giving Khushi a chance to talk, Lavanya continued where she had stopped.

“Khushi. For the past few months, you have given so much of your time for me. Taken on ASR’s anger and hate for me. Been there for me even when I had no clue how much I needed you. All you do is give Khushi.”

“Let me help you. I know you will never ask me of your own accord. Think of it as a loan. You do not have to return it to me till you are ready. I know how you feel about being burdened with good will and I understand. For once don’t let your pride come in the way. It will make me happy and you will be on your way to financial independence.”

Khushi looked at Lavanya with tears in her eyes. Lavanya ripped off the check she had written and pressed it on Khushi’s palms.

“You are not going to say no Chamkili. You will rock. I know that. It makes me happy that I can do something for a friend who has done so much for me.”

With that, Lavanya gave her a quick hug and rushed out. “Am in a hurry but I will call. Take care now.”

Khushi sat where she was not sure what had quite happened. The last thing she remembered was invoking Devi Maiyya’s name. The rest must have been a dream. She looked at the check in her hand. It seemed real enough.

She made her way home in a daze.

2 responses to “Chapter 13: The new normal

  1. loved that she got help just hope later on la does not hold that help against her awesome update

  2. fijiankudi says:

    I am loving La and Khushi bonding . These 2 need to go into business together.

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