‘Let’s go to Lucknow!’ said Aarav at the dining table. Everybody looked up startled. ‘What, exclaimed Arnav. ‘Yes Dad. I’ve just 15 days holidays left before my school reopens. Nani keeps talking about Lucknow, why don’t we make a visit?’ Khushi and Arnav looked at each other. Khushi noticed some uneasiness in Arnav’s eyes.
Things had settled down for a while. Babuji had recovered, he was now able to speak and walk for short distances with the help of a stick. He was able to expose all of Shyam’s untold evils which resulted in Shyam getting life imprisonment. Amma, Babuji and Buaji returned back to their home in Lucknow. Anjali Di was happily married to her second husband who was a reputed businessman in London. Arnav had made sure to carry out all inquiries about him before the marriage. Though he missed his Di very much, Arnav was satisfied that his Di was finally with a good man. Akash’s project in the US was a success and Akash and Payal were returning back next month. NK had gone back to Sydney to assist his father in business.
All of Arnav’s problems seemed to have been sorted out. But, when Aarav suggested Lucknow, he had an unsettling feeling. With Aarav insisting on making the visit, and Nani too supporting him, Arnav had to give in. Aarav became excited and hugged his Dad, but Arnav felt a certain fear lingering in his heart.
After arriving in Lucknow, the Raizada family made its way into Gomti Sadan, the Gupta home in Lucknow. Arnav and Khushi had not been to the town since the release of the video tapes to the media. So, it was a weird feeling for both of them. After the initial hospitalities by the Gupta family, the Raizadas proceeded towards Sheesh Mahal. Sheesh Mahal was under the care of a trustee for its maintenance. As soon as they neared it, Aarav couldn’t believe his eyes at the sight of the huge palatial house. He along with Nani and Khushi made a tour of the bungalow with the help of a guide. Arnav wandered about stealthily until they came back. He was lost in his memories when he heard the happy voices of his family. ‘Dad, this is so big. Is this really ours?’ exclaimed Aarav. Arnav nodded amused at the little boy’s wonder. In the evening, as they made their way back to Gomti Sadan, Arnav had a slight smile on his face and the fear in his eyes was nowhere to be seen.
After dinner, when Aarav was put to sleep, Arnav asked Khushi to come outside. When she came out, she saw Arnav sitting on her old scooter with her helmet on. The sight made her laugh out so loudly, annoying Mr. ASR a bit. ‘What’s so funny? I want to show you something. So, just come and sit.’ Khushi, knowing her husband quite well by now, decided to not say anything and sat down on the pillion behind Arnav. As they neared their destination, Khushi realised that they were going to Sheesh Mahal. It was decorated with colourful lights, just as it was on the day of their first meeting. Arnav got down from the scooter, lifted his wife in his arms and carried her inside. ‘Arnavji, what are you doing? Put me down.’ said a flustered Khushi. ‘Sshhh” was the reply. He took her to the area where Khushi had fallen into his arms the first time they met. Arnav gently put Khushi down and asked her if she remembered the place. She looked around and nodded with a shy smile.
‘Khushi, when we were coming here early today, I was afraid that all those memories which used to haunt me night and day for so many years, would return if I visited this place. I was not ready to come here. But, Aarav was so eager, that I couldn’t refuse. Khushi, as I was walking around the house, I remembered all the happy memories that I had spent here. So many memories which were dear to me came back to me. Memories of that fateful day also were there, but it didn’t hurt as much as it used to. And then, when I came here, I remembered our first meeting. That was the day you had entered my life and my thoughts. That moment became the biggest memory of my life. And I will never ever forget that. Happy Anniversary Khushi, exactly two years back on this day I found my life, you.’
He handed over a gift box to her. As soon as she opened it, she found a beautiful pearl set ‘ a necklace and a set of danglers. Those pearls brought back memories of that day and she smiled. She hugged her Arnavji affectionately. Arnav continued, ‘Thank you for coming into my life, Khushi’. ‘You mean falling?’ giggled Khushi. Arnav smirked, ‘Of course, and you are an expert in falling’. ‘And you in holding me, like always’, smiled Khushi. ‘Yes hamesha’ agreed Arnav.
Still hugging, Arnav gestured her to look up at the sky. As Khushi looked up, she saw fireworks adorn the beautiful night sky. ‘Oh, Arnavji, this is so beautiful, thank you’, that was the reaction of an exhilarated Khushi. Arnav was entranced as he kept looking at Khushi who was smiling and giggling away. He was finally at peace.