Beyond words

When eyes and souls connect

Chapter 5: Dil and Dimaag at work

Lavanya looked at Arnav. “Give me one last hug before I leave” she said. It suddenly hit Arnav. The consequences of his anger. He began his uncertain walk towards redemption. He reached out and hugged Lavanya. A genuine, repentant hug.

“You don’t have to leave you know” he said realizing how hollow it sounded.

Tears fell freely from Lavanya’s eyes. She let them fall mourning the death of a dream. Death of a relationship that never had been. Slowly she piled her clothes into her suitcase as Arnav looked on.


“What do we tell them?” she wondered aloud. Arnav walked over and sat by her. He took his hand in hers and sat mute. After what seemed ages, he stood briskly and told her not to worry. He made this mess, he would clean it up.

As Lavanya went to freshen up before leaving, he called his family for a quick meeting. Akash was not back home. Di, Nani, Mami and Mama looked expectantly. His grave face gave no clue of what was coming. As expected, they felt crushed by his announcement.

“What do you mean Chotte that you and Lavanya are breaking up?” Di’s lips trembled as she asked. Nani look angry. “Relationships are not to be made and broken like business deals. There are families involved, feelings involved. Lavanya changed herself so we could accept her. What happened now that you can no longer proceed with the engagement?” Mami looked ready for war. “Hello hi! Bye, Bye!! Arnav bitwa what do you means no engagement?”

Arnav stood resolute. Spying Lavanya walking downstairs with a heavy suitcase, he rushed to help her. They stood side by side as partners for the first time. Sharing blame and the combined anger of the family.

Lavanya hugged Di, Nani and Mami. Touching Nani’s feet she said “Please do not blame him. We came to this decision mutually. There was no fight. No right or wrong. Some relationships are just not meant to be. ASR will get married some day.”

With that she walked out, her heart breaking into a million pieces all over again.

Di followed Arnav as he walked back to his room. “I need some time alone Di” he said. Anjali would not hear of it. “What happened Chotte? I can’t believe you and Lavanya broke up after all that she did for you. For us.” Arnav turned to his Di. “I said nothing happened. I finally realized I am not ready for marriage or commitment and I did not feel it was right to keep Lavanya in the dark about it. She deserves better than me. I really need some time alone now Di. I will talk to you later.”

Anjali watched her brother struggle with unnamed emotions. Silently she walked out closing the door behind her.

Was it relief or regret he felt? Arnav wondered.

Akash stood at the entrance of Raizada Mansion. He dreaded the thought of the discussion he needed to have with Bhai. Before he did that he needed to talk to Di. Putting his game face on, he walked inside the house. The house felt somber and bereft of emotion as he entered. Wondering if everything was OK he walked in.

His mom and dad sat in the living room unusually quiet. Di and Bhai were nowhere to be seen. Debating between going upstairs and talking to his mom, he spied Hari Prakash bring tea. Walking down, he sat by his dad. Even before he could ask anything his mom poured it all out. Lavanya and Bhai had broken up. Now Akash would never get married. Sighing in exasperation, he looked at his dad for confirmation. Mama ji nodded his head. Yes it was true. Bhai was in his room and did not want to be disturbed and Di was upset.

He knew what he had to do. Walking up, he knocked on Di’s door. Letting himself in, he sat by Di’s bedside. Holding her hand, he asked if she was OK. Di nodded turning to him. Her eyes looked red like she had been crying. Stroking her hand gently he reassured her everything would be alright. “Where was jijaji?” he asked casually. Di thought for a moment as if recollecting and said he was away on work and would return to Delhi in a couple of days. Akash felt a stab of pain go through him. How was he ever going to shatter Di’s unshakable trust in her husband? He needed to talk to Bhai. It was not going to be easy and it certainly did not look like the right time to have this conversation. “You take rest Di. I need to talk to Bhai.” With that he left the room and headed to his room.

Pacing up and down, he knew it would be a tough sell breaking his Jija ji’s facade in front of Di. Hell! it would be difficult for anyone to believe what he had just heard from Payal ji. There had to be a way. Something irrefutable without tipping Jijaji off.