Beyond words

When eyes and souls connect

Chapter 30: Saansein ruk jayengi

on May 19, 2013

Khushi ran around making arrangements for the next day’s food before rushing home for a quick shower and change before her meeting at the temple. Bua looked askance at her when she rushed out of the home in a hurry at half past four. She opted to wear a red and white suit with simple glass bangles.

She arrived at the temple with a few minutes to spare and on an impulse rushed across the street to get flowers for Devi Maiyya. The next thing she knew she was fading in and out of consciousness and felt like she was floating somewhere.

Arnav had arrived and was parking his SUV when he spied Khushi looking pretty in red. Her bangles reminded him of the first time he had felt any stirrings of affection for her. A smile crept into his face and he reached into the passenger seat to pick a small box and a single red rose.

Walking towards her, he noticed she was making to cross the road. The next thing he knew a car turned out of nowhere and he saw a flash of red and heard screams.

He felt his chest explode as he sprinted towards her. Fear gripped him. He acted mechanically, carrying Khushi’s limp form to his car and speeding like a madman to the nearest hospital. A crowd had formed at the site and the driver of the car which had hit Khushi was being manhandled. Nothing mattered to Arnav but to get Khushi to safety.

He sat in the waiting area of the triage center at the local hospital. His legs trembled and he felt faint. His shirt and hands were bloody. His eyes scanned the room for the doctor and relaxed visibly when he noticed him walking towards him. The doctor pumped his hands and ushered him inside.

“Is she.. Will she be OK?”

Arnav couldn’t believe the fear he heard in his voice.

The doctor smiled as he reassured him.

“She will be fine. She has lost a fair amount of blood and is unconscious from shock. There is no major injury and her vital signs are stable now. We will call you when she is awake.”

Arnav felt so relieved that he felt his legs buckle. Steadying himself he asked if he could sit by the patient.

The doctor looked at him. It was not often that a major donor to the hospital made requests to him.

“Sure Mr. Raizada. We will arrange to shift the patient to a private room and you may stay with her till she recovers.”

Arnav sat by Khushi’s side. His heart beat a steady rhythm. He held her hand and caressed it. Without realizing what he was doing, he whispered softly.

“What if I had lost you Khushi? I was so scared. I felt like I could not breathe. When I left work to see you, I had no idea what I wanted to say to you. All I knew is that I needed to spend time alone with you. To ask for forgiveness for everything. For Sheesh Mahal. For treating you the way I did when you worked for me. For the guesthouse.”

At the thought of the guesthouse, his voice broke and tears fell. He continued even more softly.

“I drove like a madman that day when I realized you could be in danger. I could not even think of losing you. I am sorry Khushi. I am so very sorry.”

Tears fell steadily on his hands and made their way to hers.

“Each time I pushed you away, it was not because of anything you did. It was because I was scared of what you made me feel and the way you made me act. Every single tear of yours bothered me like nothing ever did before. I was scared of losing the control I had on my life. My feelings.”

“Remember your Amma’s payal? The one I put on your feet on Diwali night. I held on to it because I was scared of losing you. I returned it to you that night because I got to know how much it meant to you. I wanted to kiss you that night Khushi. I loved you then. I love you now.”

“What I said that night when I dropped you. I did not mean a word of what I said. I was trying hard to run away and push you away from me.”

“I am sorry. Really, really sorry.”

He felt her fingers twitch and he felt a shoot of relief and happiness go through him as he looked up and watched her struggle to open her eyes. She opened and closed them as if she were sedated.

affection

He rang the bell for the nurse and bent over to give her a quick peck on her forehead. He pushed a strand of hair that fell across her forehead and felt a rush of affection for her. For the first time since the accident, he let his breath out and slumped back in his chair as the nurse took over.

The evening passed in a flurry of phone calls and soon Lavanya and Payal came to stay with him. Akash, Anjali and NK showed up a few hours later. The hospital was soon starting to resemble a reunion with all of them cheering when Khushi was well enough to speak. She still looked dazed but seemed to be regaining her color. The doctor wanted her under observation for a day before she could be discharged and Payal stayed with her.

arnavworried

Arnav sat in his car for a long time after the rest had left. He felt like his world had turned upside down. One minute he was walking towards her not sure what to say and how to say it. The next minute he felt he couldn’t breathe. Didn’t Di say all the time that if he ever fell in love “saansein ruk jayengi”.

He drove aimlessly and without realizing it was parking near his mother’s rose garden. He went in and sat on the bench. On an impulse he looked up at the sky and for the first time since his mother’s death sent a wish heavenward.

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2 responses to “Chapter 30: Saansein ruk jayengi

  1. loved arnav confession but bloody hell could he not have waited to when she was awake glad khushi is ok awesome update

  2. Oh i had not expected something like this to happen… Loved Arnavs confession… Did khushi hear it??

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