Beyond words

When eyes and souls connect

Chapter 36: Soul searching

on May 22, 2013

Khushi sat in the auto and her phone buzzed.

“Khushi.”

She felt her heart race at the voice. Keeping her voice steady, she answered. She had questions and she had never been the one to back away from asking them.

“Arnav ji.”

“Khushi, I need to talk to you. Where are you?”

“I just left the temple. What is it you want to talk about? Can we talk when I come to your home for the dance practice tomorrow?”

“Can we meet now? Let Buaji know that I will drop you. Tell her I needed your help for planning a cocktail party for Akash and Payal. Get off at the cafe near AR. I will see you there in 10 mins”

Khushi sighed as she switched the phone and instructed the auto to change course. She called Payal and told her she was running late and would be home for dinner and not to worry.

Well! She had questions and the only person who could answer them was Arnav ji.

True to his word, he was waiting at the cafe entrance when she got off the auto. With his aviators on, she had no idea what was lurking in those eyes.

“Get in the car.”

Khushi got in and slid her seat belt on.

“Where are we going?”

“You will see”

The drive was quiet and they soon reached a dirt track. Arnav parked and led Khushi through a rusted iron gate. Wondering if she had been right to trust him so implicitly, she followed him without a word through a tangle of bushes till they came to a clearing with tall rose bushes all flowering.

khushiinrosegarden

Khushi breathed in the air heavy with the roses. She felt a peace and calm descend on her. Arnav had taken his glasses off. He looked younger and more relaxed than she had ever seen him.

Wordlessly he held her wrist and guided her to a bench under a tall banyan tree. Without preamble he started.

arnavtender

“Khushi. I know you are wondering why I brought you here. This place is very special to me. It is my mother’s garden. As children Di and I used to come here with amma often. I garden because it keeps me close to her. Someday I will tell you why I am the way I am. Today is not the time for that. But I want you to know that you are the only person I have ever brought here.”

He paused for a bit and looking into her eyes said “To meet my mother.”

Khushi reached for his palm and entwined her fingers in his. They sat together in silence for a few minutes as she took in what he had said. This was the first time he was referring to his parents to her. She knew they had died when he was a teenager and there had been something tragic about their death. She felt connected to him by the thread of grief that they shared.

Just as the sun set and twilight fell where they sat, Khushi remembered the confusion in her heart. She was not sure if this was the time to ask them. She turned her face tentatively towards him. Her eyes asked the questions she was not comfortable asking. He turned towards her, his eyes naked with grief and longing. A need to be held and comforted. She gently lifted his palm and pressed her lips to them. He leaned on her shoulders and for once in his life, let someone else share the burden on his young shoulders.

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2 responses to “Chapter 36: Soul searching

  1. loved that he took her to his mother garden so she knows now she is important to him

  2. fijiankudi says:

    Ooh Khushi’s parents are 2 twinkling stars and Arnav’s is his mother’s garden.
    Thank god they have solace.
    I lost my mom 18 months ago but the paain and the emptiness has not gone away.

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