Beyond words

When eyes and souls connect

Chapter 24: Friendship

on May 17, 2013


Khushi woke early. She had to meet Shukla ji to let him know she would not be hands on for the next couple of months. She had reached out to other vendors to ask if they could fill in for her. She felt happy with the way her business was shaping up. She enjoyed the goodwill that came with being flexible and willing to work with others. When it came time to use her cards, she did it wisely and without coming across as a bully.

Payal sat at the table tallying her accounts and making copious notes for the woman who would be taking over from her for the next few weeks. She knew she could not be hands off the entire time but she did want Sarita to feel comfortable dealing with everyone. She needed to run to the bank and then she would have time to relax before getting ready for the evening.

Amma, Babuji and Bua sat at the table making lists and estimating what the wedding would cost. Shashi looked at his daughters with pride. In the one year that they had started the catering business, they had saved quite a bit. His girls had grown up and looked ready to take on the big bad world. His face darkened at the thought of that slime ball who had threatened rob his Khushi of her innocence. It was good that he was behind bars. He felt the rage building up inside him subside at the sight of Khushi bouncing into the room.

Garima looked at her daughter and smiled as she said.

“Be back soon. We have tons of work to do.”

“Bitiya, before I forget, your friend Lavanya had called. She seemed upset.”

A shadow fell across Khushi’s face. Lavanya and her fiance seemed to be fighting a lot these days. She wondered what was it this time. Was Lavanya marrying for love or did the break up with Arnav cause her to yes on the rebound to Anand? Well she would know soon enough.

Walking out of her meeting with Shukla ji, Khushi head straight to their favorite meeting spot, the cafe right outside AR Designs. There was so much she had to share with Lavanya.

Lavanya was already sitting by the window looking forlorn. Her eyes looked puffy and red like she had been crying. Khushi felt a stab of fear. Was she alright?

“Lavanya! Are you OK? Did you fight again with Anand?”

Lavanya looked at her and got up to collapse into sobs again. Khushi looked around. She needed to get Lavanya out of there. Far too many AR employees were filing in. Quickly dragging her and picking up her bag, Khushi hailed an auto and directed him to her favorite temple. Lavanya held Khushi’s hand as she sobbed.

“I could not take it any more. Anand was starting to physically abuse me. Each time he slapped or bossed me around, I would fight and then make up because he would come back looking all repentant and plead with me. This time something broke in me. I had to get out. He left for a meeting in Bombay this morning and he will be back tonight. I am scared to go back Khushi.”

Khushi looked at her friend in horror. She knew they had fights but physical abuse?

Getting off at the temple, they made straight for the steps. Khushi knew she had to do something and do it quick. With the engagement in the evening they had little time. Thinking on her feet, she looked at Lavanya.

“You take an auto and go home Lavanya. Payal will be home. Tell my parents that you are sick and go into my room. I will be back in an hour. Give me your home key and your cell phone.”

Lavanya looked at Khushi with gratitude. This is exactly what she needed now. Someone to take charge and tell her what to do. Nodding her head, she gave her friend a tight hug and made her way to Devi Maiyya.

Khushi watched her friend take an auto and she took one.

An hour later, Khushi pushed open the door to her home and noticed the atmosphere was subdued. Her parents and Bua looked concerned about Lavanya. They had grown to like her as one of the family. Khushi made straight for her room and saw that Lavanya was sitting on the bed. The tears were gone but her eyes were still red. Payal fussed around her. Noticing Khushi come in, Payal left, closing the door behind her.


“Lavanya, I brought some of your clothes in this suitcase. Also inside are anything of importance I could find. I left a note for Anand saying you were done with him and not to make an attempt to reach you. If he does, he will be sorry. I had the sim card changed on your phone. This gives us some time to figure out what to do next. You stay with us till we can find an apartment for you.”

“Come give me a hug. You will be alright and you were brave to leave when you did.”

The tears fell again. This time with gratitude and relief.

Khushi had Lavanya freshen up and help Payal with getting ready. She hoped it would take her mind off the morning and it did. Soon Lavanya was smiling and teasing Payal.

Khushi had hoped to talk to Lavanya about Arnav’s note. That would have to wait.

It was soon evening and everyone was ready to leave. Khushi felt misgivings at leaving Lavanya behind. They had cajoled and pleaded with her to come but she remained firm. She needed her space and the Raizada Mansion was the last place she needed to be in today.

Lavanya watched as the family left and closed the door behind her. She had hardly gone into Khushi’s room when a knock sounded. Peeking through the window warily she sighed with relief that it was only Khushi. She probably forgot something she thought as she opened the door.

Khushi slipped in, gave Lavanya a big hug and reminded her to lock the door and not let anyone in. I will be back before you know it.

“I love you.”

“I love you too.”

2 responses to “Chapter 24: Friendship

  1. so sad what happened to la so hope that annad get his dues physical abused she should have filed a fir against him

  2. fijiankudi says:

    Reading this chapter, i realized i’ve read this story before. the part about Lavanya’s fiance abusing her had stayed in my mind. though i don’t remember anything else in this story that has stayed with me and will too in future .

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