Beyond words

When eyes and souls connect

Chapter 19: Matchmaking

on May 15, 2013

The sun streamed in through the bay windows. Arnav squinted to look at the clock. He must had fallen asleep some time early morning. Picking himself off the bed, he debated if he wanted to be around when Khushi came. He wanted to talk to her. Needed to. That would have to wait till he could catch her alone. He would go to work after lunch.

Khushi looked at the pile of clothes on her bed. It was Anjali ji she was visiting. Why did she feel the need to impress? Staring at the pile, she picked a suit in pale pink with white embroidery. She decided to let her hair loose pinned with a small clip by the ear.

She looked simple. And sweet.

Anjali paced her room. She was excited at the thought of meeting Khushi. It was a year. A rough year that had been. Following the breakup of her marriage, she had relocated to Lucknow for a while, refurbishing and setting up their purani haveli as a vacation home. The process of giving life to a relic in ruins reminded her of the shambles her life was in. She poured her energies into it and was satisfied when the place looked airy and bright. The decor and the simple pieces she had chosen for the home gave a vibe of old world charm. She had loved it there but began missing Chottey and Nani. While in Lucknow, she had rediscovered her love for photography. The only thing of value she had from her father she thought wryly. She had gone on jaunts to nearby locales to shoot pictures and in the process shed her sorrow. Her eyes regained their shine and she learned to laugh again.

She liked Khushi. She had even thought for a while that she would have been a good Raizada bahu. She held her own against Chottey and did not think twice of telling him what she thought. She smiled remembering how she had brought Chottey down for the aarthi on Janmastami. Those were good times.

Walking down to the kitchen she checked to see lunch was ready and hot jalebis were being made. Nani ji sat in the study her Laxmi by her side. Even Nani seemed to be in good spirits. Khushi truly brought happiness with her when she came.

Mami frowned at the scene in front of her. All this circus for Khushi. That middle class girl who seemed to have every one dancing to her tunes. Not her. Not mami ji. She would show her place. That she would.

Lunch over, Arnav announced that he was off to work. Anjali looked at him in surprise.

“Chottey, I have asked Khushi to come. Aren’t you staying?”

Arnav weighed his response.

“Di, My world does not stop because we have someone coming in.”

With that he turned and left before his face gave him away.

Walking with long strides he pulled the door open to a vision in pale pink. He stopped and stared for what seemed a long time. Hearing her clear her throat, he muttered a weak “Hi!”

arnav

“Namaste!” she said clearly and smiled before she walked down the familiar walkway to the study.

He stood rooted. Recovering, he slid his aviators on and walked out the door.

Khushi slowed down as she heard the door close. Her heart threatened to jump out of her mouth. He had made a fine vision opening the door like that. She kept forgetting how much he affected her. Her heart thudded and she felt blood rushing to her face. Taking a moment to calm down, she closed her eyes and the walked to the study.

Anjali ji wrapped her in a warm hug. Bending down at Nani’s feet, she felt pure love and warmth as she blessed her. Mami refused to acknowledge her and Mama ji said a warm hello. Sitting next to Nani, she petted Laxmi and looked around.

Not much had changed at the Raizada Mansion. Hari Prakash was still there. A line of old family pictures lined the stairs going upstairs. Those pictures were new she thought. Her eyes fell on a portrait of Anjali ji’s mom and dad. They made a handsome couple. Arnav ji did look like his dad she thought before she realized color was flooding her face again.

Looking at Anjali ji, she held out her hand and clasped it in hers.

“Am sorry Anjali ji. I had no idea who Shyam ji was. I had no feelings towards him other than that of a friend.”

“Ssh! Khushi. It is in the past. I hold no grudge towards you or anyone. Shyam was a cad. He used me and would have had no compunctions using you. We are both better off without him in our lives. Let’s speak of better things.”

Khushi looked at her in admiration.

Biting into a fresh jalebi that was in front of her, Khushi went on to share what she had been   the past year. Both Anjali ji and Nani ji were very happy for her and made no bones about it. She went on to share how Payal helped her with the business and how she was thinking of expanding into other offices in the area.

Anjali ji interrupted her.

“How come Chottey never told us you were making food for his employees?”

Khushi’s eyes twinkled as she replied.

“That’s because I took good care to never to be seen in front of him. Plus Shukla ji dealt with him and not me.”

She hesitated a bit before going on.

“Anjali ji, I must tell you this. Lavanya and I have become good friends. She helped me start this business. We meet often. She is doing well and is engaged to an old friend who always liked her.”

The evening drew to a close and Khushi said she needed to leave. Nani hugged her and asked her to stop in every once in a while and Anjali ji said she would walk her to the door.

At the door, Anjali insisted on walking her to the street. When they were beyond earshot, Anjali held Khushi’s arms.

“Khushi ji, there was another reason I wanted to meet you.”

Khushi looked at her with concerned eyes.

“Payal ji. Our Akash likes Payal.”

Anjali’s eyes twinkled as she said that.

“Khushi ji, if Payal is still single I would like to help Akash win her over. I need your help.”

Khushi’s face broke out into a big smile.

“Anjali ji, I have even better news. Jiji likes Akash ji. All he needs to do is actually ask her!”

With that the two sisters hugged and promised to meet again to bring things to a head.

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2 responses to “Chapter 19: Matchmaking

  1. and the match making has started loved it and mami as always feels she is better than every one

  2. fijiankudi says:

    Arnav and Mami both need a firecracker set off on them ( u know where) !
    It was nice to see Anjali’s growth too.
    Let the matchmaking begin.
    Excited to read your version of it!

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