Beyond words

When eyes and souls connect

Chapter 41: Mending hearts, building bridges

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Payal and Di heard a crash and came rushing out to find Khushi in a heap in the landing. Payal reached her first and cradled her. Anjali fetched water and they sprinkled some on her face. Khushi opened her eyes and remembered what had happened. Her eyes floated up to the picture above her and shock and grief assailed her. How was she going to live with this secret. She had known that Arnav ji and Anjali ji’s parents had died under tragic circumstances, but that her mom life was intricately tied to theirs was unfathomable.

Payal looked at her sister concern welling in her eyes.

“Khushi, are you OK? Can you sit up?”

“Jiji.” Khushi said weakly struggling to raise herself up. Payal helped her to lean against the wall. Khushi sipped on some water that Anjali Di had brought. She felt color creep into her pallid face.

“I had forgotten to eat lunch and must have fainted” she lied weakly.

Anjali asked Hari Prakash to set out some food and the two of them escorted Khushi to the table. Nibbling on her food, Khushi tried to quell the rising feeling of panic and unease in her. How would Arnav ji react to this? She had to tell him.

After resting awhile, Payal and Khushi were on their way. Khushi wondered if she should let Payal in on the secret and then decided against it. Her Jiji deserved the happiness she had now. This was something that was best left buried.

The day broke to find Arnav curled up in a ball on the floor. He woke up to pain in his back and stiff joints from the cold floor. The photo lay on the floor beside him. He picked it up, put it back in the diary and packed all his things. He needed a hot shower and some food before he could think.

Sitting in the cab back to the airport, he looked at the world around him with new eyes. How fitting was it that what had started in Lucknow ended there. He would have to share it with his Di. She needed closure as much as he did. Having walked in the same shoes as their mom she knew what it was to live with a man who hankered after another woman. Perhaps she would find it in her heart to let go of the pain they had carried for too long.

They would have to face Garima aunty. He would think about it another day. Perhaps some things were best left as secrets?

Khushi. His Khushi.

The past day had broken some of the carefully erected walls in his psyche. He had spent a good part of his life being bitter and resentful against marriage. Reading his father’s diary had given him a glimpse into his father’s life. Perhaps not everything was black or white. Perhaps his father had never loved their mother. There were questions for which there were no answers.

He had been lucky to find love. To find that one person who felt like home to him. Being in her presence made him feel grounded and secure. He would be a fool to let her go.

As the flight took off, he saw clouds with a silver lining. A warmth filled the space in his heart he had kept closed for too long. He smiled without being aware of it.

Reaching home, he sought out his Di. Brother and sister held each other as they tried to rebuild their lives from the ashes around them. Anjali looked at her brother. He looked different. As if by shaking off the past he was learning to live again. Perhaps he would find love.

Arnav sat by the poolside, the water reflecting the night sky. Instinctively he looked up searching for the brightest stars.

“I need your blessings mama” he whispered.

He felt a deep sense of peace pervade him and knew what to do.

Khushi sat by the front porch of her house, her fingers played with the glass bangles she had taken to wearing everyday. Their presence seemed to be tangible reminder of the person who had gifted them to her. Looking up the night sky, she found what she was looking for and whispered “Give me strength Amma. I am going to talk to Arnav ji.”

The day broke and Khushi and Payal left for work. Buaji, Garima and Shashi Babu sat in the living room tallying expenses and making sure everything was ready for the Mehndi and Sangeet the following day. A knock sounded on their door. Garima opened it to find Arnav standing in front of her. He removed his glasses and his eyes lingered on her and an unreadable expression came over his face.

Garima welcomed him inside and Buaji and Shashi ji made space for him to be seated comfortably. He looked at the three of them not knowing where to begin.

“Aunty, I would like to have a word with you alone before I talk to all of you.”

Garima looked at him quizzically. She turned to her husband who nodded imperceptibly. Buaji was not sure what was happening.

“Bitwa you can talk to Garima in Khushi’s room.”

Garima walked into the room and Arnav followed. He closed the door behind him and faced Garima. He walked close to her and held her hands in his.

“Aunty ji, will you bless me?”

Garima nodded not sure what he was talking about.

Arnav wordlessly removed the picture of his dad and Garima and held it out to her. He watched as her face turned pale and she looked unsteady. He held her elbow as she steadied herself and spoke in an even tone.

“Aunty, I did not mean to bring this here to intrude. When Dadi passed away, she gave me the key to my dad’s locker. I found this picture and a diary he had left behind.”

He hesitated before he continued.

“I am sorry for whatever happened. I know I cannot undo the past but I realize now that you were as much a victim as my mom. I hope you find closure in the fact that the family and children you tried to protect are doing well. We have suffered a lot in the last fourteen years but Di and I are looking forward to moving on.”

Garima looked at Arnav’s troubled eyes. Her eyes filled with tears as she reached to touch his head.

“I am sorry Bitwa. I did not know your dad was married. I would have never…”

She choked as she tried to explain what had happened. Arnav reached out to comfort her and ended up being comforted. Wiping away tears, the two of them returned to the living room.

Aunty, Uncle, Buaji, there is something I wanted to talk with you. Garima looked at him wondering what else he wanted to talk about.

Looking directly at Shashi Babu he said.

“Uncle, I would like to ask for your daughter’s hand in marriage.”

Shashi looked at the man in front of him and felt happiness overcome him. Struggling to speak he nodded his acceptance.

Arnav continued “I will ask Nani and Di to come with the Shagun soon but I have a request. Please do not tell Khushi I asked you for her hand yet.”

Khushi had a rough morning. She had trouble concentrating on the food and kept mixing up numbers. What she needed was a good session of making Jalebis. But before that she had to talk to Arnav ji. The photo was burning a hole in her conscience. She would tell him and accept whatever he decided. The trouble was where was she to find him?

Arnav’s phone buzzed even as he finished talking to Di and Nani about his visit to Khushi’s home. Nani couldn’t quell the happiness that threatened to balloon inside her. Di promised she would hold the secret all to herself but she couldn’t help smiling. Her chottey was in love. And he wanted to get married. She hugged her brother for the umpteenth time since that morning.

Wriggling out of his sisters hug, Arnav reached for his phone. A smile reached his eyes and he walked to the poolside to call her back.

“Arnav ji. I need to talk to you.”

Khushi sounded breathless.

“Are you OK Khushi. You sound nervous.”

“Can you meet me at the temple?”

“Sure. I will see you there in half hour.”

There was much he had to do before he could meet her.

Khushi sat fidgeting with her dupatta as she awaited Arnav ji. Arnav walked in and watched her from a distance before he walked up. Sitting next to her, he bent over and nuzzled her cheek.

“I’ve missed you Khushi.”

Khushi looked up in consternation. The closeness was unsettling. Moving a bit to put some space between them, she looked up at him, her face giving away the confusion within.

“Arnav ji. There is something important I need to share with you.”

She paused not knowing how to start saying what she needed to say. Closing her eyes as if she needed the strength it gave her she began.

“I found a photo in my mother’s box. Your father loved her Arnav ji. She loved him too but she did not know he was married.”

She looked at Arnav expecting the lines on his face to harden. For him to walk away.

He sat there. Resolute and unmoving. His eyes held a tenderness that baffled her.

“Khushi. I know that.”

He knew that? How? When?

“I was in Lucknow yesterday to bring my father’s belongings back home and I found the same picture. I also found a diary.”

He paused swallowing hard. Images from the previous day swum before him. He held back nothing.

Khushi reached out and held his hand as the two of them tried to make sense of what had happened and how their lives were intricately linked.

She felt a burden lift from her chest. Arnav ji knew. He was OK. He still loved her. She kept touching him to make sure this was real. He was real. They were real.

Arnav looked at Khushi with affection in his eyes. Reaching out for her hand, he held it under his.

“Khushi. Promise you will never leave me.”

Khushi looked at him, her love for him all-encompassing.

“I promise. We will be together. Always.”

As they walked down the steps, Khushi belatedly remembered the other thing she had wanted to talk to him about. She stopped mid step.

“Arnav ji. I was thinking about your question the other day. The answer is yes. I will elope with you.”

She said it with so much naiveté that Arnav melted all over again.

“Let’s go to the car” he ordered gruffly as he pulled her with him.

Once in the car, he pulled her in for a hug and looked into her eyes and a twinkle came into them.

“You never cease to amaze me Khushi Kumari Gupta. Be prepared. After Payal’s wedding. Be ready to walk out with the clothes on your back.”

Khushi nodded remembering what she had promised.

“I have one condition though Arnav ji. Even if we run away and get married, I want to get married the right way. With pheres, sindoor and mangalsutra. With a priest officiating the marriage.”

Arnav looked at his girl with amazement. He was a lucky man.

“I promise Khushi.”

With that, he threw reserve to the winds and bent down to claim his woman.

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Chapter 40: Truth and nothing but the truth

Arnav slid his aviators back on dropping Khushi at her kitchen. His eyes mirrored the torment he felt within. Why was every meeting with Khushi fraught with so much emotion? Why did the sadness in her eye permeate his soul and make him feel so little? Why did his idea which had seemed so good in isolation feel so wrong when he voiced it?

Walking into his home before his flight to Lucknow, he heard voices from Nani’s room. He paused as he heard Khushi’s name bandied about. Edging closer to hear, he spied Payal, Di, Mami and Nani sitting with an array of jewels and wedding related paraphernalia around them.

“Khushi would have loved to see all this” Payal said wistfully.

“She was the one who had grand dreams about a Rajkumar sweeping her off her feet. She always dreamt king size. And her wedding. Oh! her wedding. She used to want a big wedding with lots of food and lots of people. Between the two of us, she is the one who took enjoys the color and tradition of our rituals. She says it makes her feel connected to the generations ahead of us who stepped into married life following these very same customs.”

Payal stopped realizing she had been rambling on. Nani held her elbow.

“Payal bitiya. Khushi always has a special place in our lives. I knew the first time I saw her that she was somebody special. Where can you find such a combination of deference for our tradition and grace in someone so young?”

“Who knows? Perhaps we can find a rishta for her at your wedding. Somebody to sweep her off her feet?”

Nani smiled thinking of Khushi finding her soul mate.

Arnav felt a fresh pain at what he had asked of Khushi. It wouldn’t kill him to go through the rituals would it? Specially now that he knew how much it meant to her.

Khushi found three missed calls on her cell phone from Payal. Wondering what was the matter, she called her back.

“Jiji, Is everything OK? I saw three missed calls.”

“Khushi. Where were you? Anjali Di wanted us to stop by so she could show us all the wedding jewelry and sarees. I tried calling you and eventually came by myself. It was so much fun. You would have loved everything. I will be here another hour. Do you want to come here and we can go home together?”

“Haan Jiji. I have some banking to do and will meet you there in an hour. We can get chaat before we go home.”

Arnav reached Lucknow with just enough time to open the locker before the bank closed for the day. Retiring to the room he had booked for the night, he opened the chest. He felt a strange sensation going over his father’s personal effects. His father had been a remote man.

A camera lay with a bunch of pictures. Di would love it Arnav thought as he put it away. At the very bottom lay an old diary. He carefully picked it up and thumbed through the yellowing pages. He would have to read that the last. He next opened the envelope. In it lay property papers and other bank statements. Setting it aside, he turned his attention to the diary. It surprised him that his dad had maintained one.

The entries were verbose for a man of such few words. Arnav read it engrossed. It painted a picture of a man with a song in his soul. A poet who was trapped in a business man. A father who could not connect with his wife or children. The references to his mom, Di or him were rare and when referenced was in relation to other events. As he neared the end of the diary, it felt like his father had found a muse. A woman he had pined after.

Arnav felt the familiar anger stir. This was the woman who had torn his family apart. He read on eager to find who it was. The entries got cryptic as the days passed. It was clear his father was besotted. The final entry read.

“Ever has it been that love knows not its own depth until the hour of separation.” – Kahlil Gibran”

“She found out today that I have a family. She refuses to have me. I cannot live without her.”

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Arnav gasped.

“She refuses to have me.”

All these years, he had channeled his hate towards this unknown woman who had stolen his mother’s marriage and life. All for naught?

Was his father caught in a loveless marriage? Was he a coward who had deceived his wife and an innocent woman?

Arnav felt the room swim before him. All the years of bitterness and hate crumbled and he sobbed. Sobbed for the years lost. He sat motionless for what seemed a very long time. Images of his mother haunted him. He stood up slowly and the diary fell from him. A photo fluttered out. He bent down to pick it up.

His father and Garima aunty. He felt the floor give way under him and sank to the floor. He sat there for hours till it was dark outside.

He felt shaken and years older. Everything he had known about his life had been a lie. Channeling his hate against an unknown woman had sustained him for well over fourteen years now. Putting a face to that target shocked him for he now knew that she was as much a victim as his mom.

The phone rang for what seemed eternity till voicemail took over. He laid down on the cold floor letting the exhaustion take over.

Khushi rang the bell at the Raizada Mansion. Hari Prakash opened the door and told her that Payal ji was in Anjali ji’s room.

Walking up, she glanced at the photos that lined the stairs as she always did. Her eyes lingering on each this time with the new-found knowledge that someday she would be a bahu here. Didn’t Arnav ji say he was ready to get married to her even if it meant running away with him? The anger and the sadness of the morning had given way to pragmatism. All her life she had dreamed of a loud wedding. Lots of colors and people and food. But dreams do not always come true do they? The man she had come to love, loved her back. He wanted to marry her. So what if it was unconventional? She would meet him half way. She would tell him that she would get married in secret but following tradition. They would take the pheres together and he would apply sindoor to her and tie the mangalsutra.

She stopped at the picture of Arnav ji’s parents, smiling as she did. Her smile froze when her eyes stopped on Arnav ji’s dad. She recollected the picture she had questioned her Amma about. Arnav ji’s dad had been the man in her Amma’s past?

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Her head swum at the thought. She felt the stairs give way and collapsed in a heap.

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Chapter 39: Indecent proposal

Dadi’s passing away had put a damper on the celebrations in the Raizada household. Mami used the occasion to press to postpone the wedding as well. Nani stood her ground and the wedding was scheduled to take place as decided earlier.

Arnav threw himself into work to make up for the lost time and found himself thinking of Khushi late at night when solitude was his company. Pacing the patio surrounding the pool, his thoughts went back to what Khushi had said on their way back from his mother’s garden.

“Where is this headed? Where are we headed?”

For him it was simple. He loved her. She loved him. There was no need for social sanction for him to be able to claim her as his.

“We come from different worlds…”

They did. She believed in social sanction for him to be claim her as his.

His thoughts meandered to Di and Nani. They had accepted Lavanya at his insistence. They would be happy to accept Khushi as part of the family.

The thought of marriage brought back memories of Di’s first wedding and the the gunshot that had changed his life. Could he sit through the rituals? Perhaps he should elope with Khushi and get married? She would get the social sanction she craved and he would be happy to skip the elements that made marriage anathema to him.

Walking back into the room, he reached out for his phone and noticed Dadi’s letter under it. He would have to find out what the locker contained. He emailed Aman to get that sorted.

Khushi stared at the moon. She felt irritation creep up on her. She had missed Arnav ji. Missed him so much that she contemplated calling him at Lucknow or texting him. Something in her waited for him to reach out. And he had not.

She glanced at her phone willing it to buzz.

Garima walked into her daughters room and saw her standing by the window. Her flawless face looked worried. Standing beside her, she looked at the moon with her daughter and asked “Khushi Bitiya, are you looking at your parents?”

Khushi recovered with a start and hugged her mom.

“No Amma. I was just thinking.”

She looked around. The rest of the family sat in the living room watching TV.

“Amma, there is something I want to ask you.”

Garima nodded. “Tell me bitiya”

Khushi brought the photo she had in her almirah. Handing it to her mom, she watched her face.

Garima’s face turned pale and she held on to the window for support. She stood silent for the longest time. Then she turned, closed the door behind her and walked Khushi to the bed and motioned her to sit down.

“Bitiya where did you find it?”

Khushi bit her lip as she answered “Amma remember the day you asked me to take Payal’s kangans out? I took that box and the box beneath it fell. A bunch of photos fell out and this was one of those. I kept it aside since I wanted to ask you about it.”

She looked at her mom expectantly.

Garima drew a deep breath before she sat down and held Khushi’s hands.

“Bitiya, I had never imagined I would need to open up the past again. You are old enough to know now especially after what happened with Shyam.”

“I was 18 yrs old when I met Mr. Malik. My father worked for him. I went to their home to give something to my father and met him in passing. Over time, I found him come to our home time and again. He confessed to being in love with me.”

“Bitiya, I was 18 and naive. I was in love with him too. He wanted to marry me. I spoke to my father and found out he was married with two children. I was heartbroken. The next time he met me, I told him never to see me again. The next thing I heard was that he and his wife had both committed suicide. I could not live with myself. I repented for having ever met him.”

“When I met your dad, I told him what had happened. He said my past was my past and it would not affect my future. With you two in my life I have never let myself revisit that part of my life till you showed me this picture today.”

Tears fell steadily from Garima’s eyes.

Khushi watched her mom and silently wiped away her tears. She held her face with both hands and gently kissed her forehead.

“Amma I am sorry I reminded you of it again. Will you forgive me?”

Garima hugged her daughter tight and whispered prayers of gratitude to Devi Maiyya.

The day broke and even as Khushi got ready to head out the door when she found another hand covering hers as she opened the door. Surprised she looked up and into those brown eyes she had dreamed of each night.

Hastily pulling her hand from under his, she stuttered a “Please come in” and made way for him to step inside. He made himself comfortable on the sofa and addressed Garima who had come into the living room hearing the sounds.

“Aunty ji, I just came to drop off the wedding invites.”

He held out a bundle of deep maroon cards. Garima graciously took them from him and asked if he would have tea.

Arnav politely refused and added as an afterthought “I am leaving to Lucknow today for half a day. If you need anything from there, let me know and I can get it for you. Khushi has my number”

“I will take leave now. See you all at our home soon for the Mehndi and Sangeet.”

Khushi made to leave as he did and he looked at her with a gleam in his eye.

“Khushi if you are leaving I can drop you where you need to go.”

Khushi looked askance at her mother who nodded encouragingly. Walking behind him, she felt her nerves on edge. This would be the first time there were together after they had admitted their feelings. She still did not know where this was headed.

Getting in the car, she struggled with the seat belt  Arnav reached over with the practiced ease of a man who did this all the time and snapped it in. Feeling his weight on her and the smell of his aftershave did funny things to her. This was not turning out to be a good idea. Focusing her eyes on the road, she sat silent.

Arnav slid his aviators on and eased out of their street. Halfway to where she needed to be, she felt the car slow down and Arnav turned into a parking lot.

“Where were they?”

Arnav was out of the car before she could take in their surroundings and opening her side of the car door.

“Arnav ji where are we? I need to be at the kitchen or Sarita ji will panic.”

He walked his hand on her elbow making her keep pace with him.

restaurantdate

They walked inside the building and soon were seated at a cozy booth in what seemed a very upscale coffee place.

Khushi fidgeted with her purse snapping it shut and opening it.

Arnav covered her hands with his.

“Stop it.”

“Khushi you look beautiful when you are nervous. And angry.”

He looked at her in the eyes as he said that.

“Arnav ji, what are you doing? I should really be going.”

She looked petulant.

“Khushi listen. I thought about you, about us a lot when I was gone.”

Khushi’s sat up, her nervousness giving way to anxiety.

He extended a box to her.

She looked at it and at him. His eyes danced with mischief.

“Go on. Open it.”

She opened the box to find beautiful red glass bangles and a smaller box within. Opening that box, she found a simple pearl necklace. Her eyes welled over.

“Khushi, I wanted to get you something that will remind you of me. Even when I am not around. Do you like them?”

Khushi nodded. She looked at the man sitting across from her. This was a man who shied away from anything sentimental. Somebody who found human emotions to be a weakness

“Arnav ji. I missed you a lot too. I wanted to call you. Each time I picked up the phone to call you, something in me hesitated. I should have called. I am sorry.”

He held her hands and kissed each finger.

“You should have you know” he murmured. “I would have come sooner.”

Squinting his eyes, he kept his voice level as he asked “Khushi, will you run away with me?”

Khushi’s eyes widened and she pulled her hands away from him.

“What?” She was not sure she heard him right.

“I mean it Khushi. I love you. I can’t imagine a life without you. I don’t care about tradition. I have too much emotional baggage when it comes to the institution of marriage. I know it means a lot to you. If to have you by my side, we should get married, I am ready to do that but can’t we just elope and get married. Just the two of us?”

Khushi felt tears prick at her eyes again. She shook her head sadly. Arnav ji had come a long way from being against marriage to wanting to get married. But could she walk away from everything she had wanted? Risk being disowned by her parents and her family?

His eyes plead with hers.

“Arnav ji, this is all too sudden. Can we take some time to think about it and not rush into anything we will regret later?”

Arnav nodded knowing he had put Khushi on the spot. He stood up and came to her side to help her up and watched as she slid the bangles on her wrists and touched them lovingly.

“Thank you Arnav ji. I love glass bangles.”

With that they left the place. Khushi felt a sadness in her heart that weighed her down. Arnav wished he could take back what he said.

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Chapter 38: The past comes to haunt

The SUV came to a halt a little away from the house and as Khushi opened the door to let herself out, she felt a hand around her wrist. Turning she found Arnav ji looking at her with so much tenderness that she had to look away.

“Khushi.” He muttered softly. “Do you have to go?”

Khushi looked at him amusement creeping into her eyes. Was this her Laad Governor? Love surely was a great leveler. Pulling her arm free, she opened the door briskly and replied.

“Not unless you intend to kidnap me.”

A wink and she was gone.

Arnav sat in the car watching her walk away. His phone buzzed.

Khushi opened the door to her home and let out a shriek of happiness.

“Amma, Babuji! When did you come? You were supposed to come Sunday? How are you here early?”

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She rambled breathlessly and she gave them bear hugs and her face shone with happiness.

Garima looked at her daughter with affection. Shashi Babu held her close and hoped she would find as much happiness as his Payal did.

“Did you bring Jalebis for me?” Khushi demanded even as she scouted amongst the unopened bags her parents had in the living room.

Garima pulled her daughter close and traced the scar on her hand.

“Are you OK Khushi bitiya? We were scared when we heard of your accident. Thank God Arnav bitwa was there to take you to the hospital on time.”

Khushi lit up at the sound of Arnav ji. Her cheeks coloring, she turned away and changed topics quickly.

“Amma, did you bring Jalebis for me?”

Buaji held out a box and Khushi picked one and took a deep breath inhaling its fragrance even as she bit into it. Memories of Lucknow flooded her and she felt nostalgic. Hanging on to her mom the entire evening, she helped them unpack.

As the night fell, Garima and her daughters sat on the bed looking at the jewelry she had brought back from Lucknow. Payal tried on each set and the three of them wept with joy. It was poignant realizing Payal would soon be moving to her in laws home.

“Khushi, can you get me the small box I had put away in the bureau?” Garima asked her even as she held Payal’s face in her hands.

Khushi opened the bureau and found the box her mom asked her to get. Pulling it out caused another box below it to fall. A stack of pictures scattered and Khushi handed the box to her mom before she bent to pick them up. As she bundled them up, her eyes fell on a picture of her mom with a strange man.

Her eyes looked at the picture quizzically and looked up at her mom. Her mom was placing kangans on Payal’s hands. Deciding quickly, she slipped the picture under the clothes and put the rest away. The rest of the evening, Khushi felt disturbed. She was sure her mom had a reason she kept that picture. Who was the man in the picture? Why did she preserve it?

Night fell and the rest of them slept. Khushi lay awake. She looked at the picture again in the moonlight. The man looked familiar. She had seen him somewhere. She had to ask her mom. There never seemed an apt time to talk.

Arnav picked up the phone and her Di’s voice.

“Where are you Chottey? Please come home soon. Dadi passed away. We just got a call from the ashram.”

Arnav’s head swum.

Dadi. The woman who had left them when they needed her the most.

“I will be there Di.”

The next few hours were spent on the phone getting details and calling the Guptas to let them know that the Mehndi and Sangeet would be postponed.

Anjali, Nani and him left by the night flight to Lucknow and reached the Ashram where his Dadi had lived. They spent the next few days performing her last rites and wrapping up her finances. The manager at the ashram gave Arnav a sealed letter stating his dadi had instructed that it be given to him after she passed away.

Anjali had been the most affected by her grandma passing away and she slept almost as soon as the flight took off to Delhi from Lucknow on their return. Nani was seated a row away and Arnav reached out for the letter.

“Dear Arnav,

By the time this letter reaches you, I would have joined your dad. I am sorry for having left you and Anjali when you needed me the most. Here is the key to my locker in the bank. In it are some personal possessions of your dad. I want you to have them.

Ashirwad,

Dadi.”

Even in death, his dadi had been curt and to the point. What else did he expect? He turned over the key in his hand. He would have to deal with this another time.

With her death, Arnav had lost all connection to his dad. The man who was ready to leave his wife for another woman. The man who caused his mother to take her life. Arnav felt the old anger stir in him.

Watching the plane land in Delhi reminded him of Khushi. A smile made its way to his face. She was his happiness. His future.

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