Beyond words

When eyes and souls connect

Chapter 26: Total Eclipse of my heart

on May 18, 2013

Khushi dug into her bag for a kerchief to wipe away the tears that threatened to fall from her eyes. Pulling out the pink lace embroidered piece of cloth caused a box to fall out near her feet. Wiping away her tears, she reached to pick it up. It looked unfamiliar.

Did Payal drop something in her bag? It looked too tiny to hold anything valuable. It was too dark to open it by the poolside. She moved to the windows by Arnav’s room where the light from the room fell on to the patio surrounding the pool. Curiosity getting the better of her, she opened it to find a piece of paper folded a few times over. Opening it gently revealed a single pearl taped to the note with a line underneath.

“I am sorry. Truly, Madly, Deeply.”

Khushi stared at that pearl bead for what seemed ages. It was from her dori. The one Arnav tore forcibly causing the string of beads to break and scatter all over the night she was lost at Sheesh Mahal. The image played over and over again in her head.

“Truly, Madly, Deeply.”

For a man of few words, Arnav ji seemed to say exactly what she needed to hear. She looked up, half expecting him to step out of the shadows. Her thoughts were a whirlwind. Did he hold on to this pearl from then? Why? Had he been sorry or was it a relic of his conquest?

She had little hopes of finding answers tonight. But she had to do one thing before she left. Searching in her bag, she found the thing she was looking for. Turning the note over, she wrote a reply for him and found a pin to secure her keepsake to the note. Folding it carefully, she put it back in the box and peeked into his room. She had been to his room enough times to know where to place it so it would catch his eye. She slipped away to join her family.

Arnav watched leaning against the pillar by the stairs as she came down. He ached to hold her. To wipe away her loneliness. To tell her he ached with her. As if on cue she lost her footing on the last step and stumbled. In a flash he was by her side holding on to her as if he never meant to let go. Her troubled eyes locked with his and seemed to plumb the depths. He held her gaze unblinking till the sound of someone clearing their throat caused them to jump back reflexively.


“Thank you Arnav ji” Khushi said softly and held his gaze a second longer than necessary. He remained mute, his eyes acknowledging her message.

Di watched the two of them struggling to dismiss the awkwardness of the situation and held out her hand for Khushi. Enveloping her in a warm hug she said “We are practically family now. I hope you will call me Di.”

Khushi looked at Anjali ji and the earnestness in her eyes and nodded happily.

“Yes Di.”

Arnav watched the two of them giggle and walk away and felt a lightness that he had not felt in years.

Akash insisted on dropping the Guptas home and the rest of them waved before they returned inside. All of them were exhausted and retired to bed almost immediately. Arnav stood overseeing the cleanup for a bit before heading to his room.

Lost in thought he pulled out his purple polo to change into and knocked the box Khushi had left in his shelf down. Bending down, he recognized the box. Putting it back on the shelf, he changed and remember to close his door before he sat down on the recliner box in hand.


He opened it to find the same paper except it felt bulkier. Gently unfolding it, he found a key pinned to it with a note below.

“Forgiveness is the KEY to happiness”

The key looked familiar. He turned it over a couple of times and it came back to him. His “mannat ki chhabi”. He had dropped it at the dargah. Khushi had returned it to him. The day after Diwali, she had come to return it and he had asked her to get out. She had left it behind. He had put it in his pocket when he ran in search of her. Did he lose it again at the temple? She held on to it again?


Did she forgive him?


3 responses to “Chapter 26: Total Eclipse of my heart

  1. she gave him his key back with a note so cute loved the update

  2. I love there secret messaging technique 😀

  3. fijiankudi says:

    This chapter was overflowing with emotions. I hope that box is sturdy!
    The mannat ki chabbi cannot decide who to stay with Mr ASR or Mrs ASR to be.

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