it was soft and cool against his fingers. he stroked the fabric feeling its smoothness, its supple texture. the yarn had a natural golden sheen, a deep innate gold that didn’t need to flaunt itself or glitter too obviously. it was rich and comfortable with its beauty. asr held a fistful of mooga and then slowly let it go… watching it fall.
“can you make it as light as chiffon, weave a fine transparency in? what do you think, salman?” he asked the young designer.
salman grinned inwardly. trust asr to ask for something that had not yet been attempted. yet could be… yeah, he didn’t see why not.
“i’ll set up a meeting with the master weaver and the owner of the workshop, asr…” he replied turning toward his boss.
asr was looking at the mooga again he found, holding a length up and appraising it, deep furrows on his forehead, clearly lost in thought.
“aap itne khoye khoye se kyun hain, helena ji?” khushi asked with a dazzling smile as the pachyderm extended her trunk and took another banana from khushi’s hand and put it straight into her mouth. maila had taught khushi how to feed helena and she had been sitting here for a couple of hours now indulging mr ghaznavi’s pet with all sorts of fruits and other things. elephants in general had a sweet tooth she had learnt.
(why are you looking so lost, helena?)
and helena was especially fond of sweets.
“haye, sach?!!” khushi had exclaimed when she’d heard that earlier, “then helena ji and i are going to be very very very good friends, maila ji… what’s life without sweetness and sweets! like… syrupy… crunchy… sweet… orange…” her eyes had gone dreamy recalling her favourite mithai, and she’d beamed at the mahout, “can i make some jalebis for helena ji?!”
maila had gaped and then scratched his head, then looked at helena with narrowed eyes for a while, and at last said, “of course, baideo, helena will like that, i am sure…” sounding not at all sure.
bahadur was surprised at the request, but he’d made sure the estate’s guest got exactly what she wished for. khushi had fried and dunked jalebis in syrup as kanumoni looked on astonished, never having seen any visitor cook in the guesthouse kitchen and that too with such gusto. khushi had flung her yellow dupatta with gota edging over her shoulder and tied it around her waist, then got busy mixing flour, yogurt, besan, sugar, and other ingredients. soon thick syrup was simmering in a pot and batter was landing on hot oil from a bunched up piece of cloth as khushi baideo’s hands moved deftly and really fast in circles.
when khushi had held out the first jalebi to helena, the elephant had unfurled her trunk, brought it close, paused for a moment over the orange swirl then picked it up and quickly tucked it into her mouth… less than a second later she’d been back for the next.
khushi had jumped up and twirled around in joy, “aapko pasand aaya, this is my favourite sweet, pata hai?!”
(you liked it, this is my favourite sweet, d’you know?!)
the elephant had flapped her ears and come looking for another jalebi.
after a whole tray of freshly made jalebis had disappeared, maila had patted helena’s trunk and said, “bas, helena is good girl, now she will eat good fresh fruit…”
he had told khushi, the elephant did eat some cooked food like rice and bread at times, but her main diet consisted of raw vegetables, fruit, grass, and leaves. sometimes though, helena stole modhu… honey… when shaab bottled it.
khushi had laughed, remembering how lakshmi ji liked to trot into the kitchen and swipe goodies while no one was looking.
“helena ji, you eat so much… but look at you, you’re so pretty! do you know, even i love to eat! ” khushi held out a large slice of water melon to her friend. it disappeared in a flash.
“and do you know, arnav ji also lost his amma when he was just a child,” khushi’s voice grew pensive, “sometimes he also looks lost just like you…”
helena took another chunk of water melon.
“hum kuchh kehte nahin, par isska yeh matlab nahin ki hum kuchh samajhte nahin…” she said as she held out a sugarcane.
(i don’t say anything, doesn’t mean i don’t understand anything…)
“he doesn’t like to discuss things, just like you… but when he hurts…” a sob escaped though khushi wasn’t aware, “see, he’s always had to be strong, and maybe that’s why he is a bit khadoos,” khushi paused, looked around at the green all around, for some reason a volcano came to mind, “nahiiin, a lot khadoos… like a rakshas at times… but inside… you know… hume pata hai, hum jaante hain…” he voice wobbled, she swallowed her tears, “inside he is all gold… khara sona,” she sniffed loudly and gave another chunk of water melon to helena.
(… see, he’s always had to be strong, and maybe that’s why he is a bit nasty… noooo, a lot nasty… like a monster at times… but inside.. you know… i am aware, i know… inside he’s all gold… pure gold…)
“don’t feel so bad, helena ji… dekhiye, how much maila ji loves you and also salman ji’s father. i haven’t met him but i know he must be a wonderful man…” khushi was rambling a little uncontrollably now, holding out more and more fruits to helena.
suddenly the elephant bypassed a banana and reached for khushi’s face instead. she tapped on her cheek gently, then lay her trunk on khushi’s head for a moment, before going back to eating.
“mekhela sadar, baideo,” said kanumoni when khushi asked her what the dress she wore was called.
the skirt was the mekhela and the separate piece of cloth that draped around the body and went over the shoulder was the sadar… or chadar. kanumoni’s mekhela was a in shade of pale pink with motifs in red, her sadar was white, of a lighter material and it had little tiny red tassels hanging along the edges.
khushi flicked them playfully and then showed kanumoni her green pompoms on the sleeves and yellow pompoms on the parandi on her plait, and winked, “you also like pompoms i see, kanumoni ji! stylish!”
the skirt or mekhela had to be pleated, holding it along the top edge. then you tucked the pleats into the petticoat. the sadar was like a dupatta, you fixed one corner to the petticoat over the pleats, and took it around you draping it like the pallu of a saree. khushi was absorbed trying to understand the finer points of mekhela when her phone rang.
“haylow!” she said as she held the sadar in the correct way, letting a couple of folds form at the end.
“kya kar rahi ho tum?” came a husky voice from the other side. the grain in it seemed to come through the lines and caress her. she gulped.
(what are you doing?)
“k.kya? hum? kuchh bhi toh nahin!” she tried to sound nonchalant and failed at it miserably. her heart beat had picked up. she swallowed again.
(wh.what? me? nothing at all!)
“khushi, tum theek ho!” his sounded concerned.
khushi wished he wouldn’t ask that question that way… it made her feel so so… khushi swallowed and gripped the phone tightly… no, he must never stop asking that question that way, she thought, her thoughts getting garbled… she was missing arnav ji, he had been out the whole day.
“helena ji likes jalebi!” she said without thinking.
“whaaaat!” asr’s voice shot up. there was silence for a fraction of a second, then came a burst of loud laughter from the other side.
“you fed the elephant jalebi… khushi kumari gupta singh raizada, you’re mad!”
khushi frowned darkly at this, her chin lifted, her lips thinned, all set for a cutting retort.
“and…” his voice had dropped to a whisper, “i think i’m getting to like mad.”
khushi tried to think of something smart to say, but her mind had gone completely blank. and her heartbeat was cutting out all other sound.
“very interesting, mr raizada,” tazdiq ghaznavi said as he poured a whisky for asr, “salman says you are trying to see if mooga can be woven lighter, more gauzy… i tell you just a bit of entrepreneurship… throw it in and see how our traditional skills and industries will flourish!”
“it’s a beautiful yarn, mr ghaznavi…” asr replied taking the glass from his host and raising it, “thank you for having us over, mrs ghaznavi…” he smiled slightly at salman’s mother.
“cheers… and welcome to assam!” mr ghaznavi held up his glass of soda with a twist of lime, he had decided to give up alcohol recently he’d said.
“oh please call me rehana!” simpered salman’s mother as she patted her perfectly blow dried hair and smiled at asr.
salman looked from his mother to his boss, he didn’t miss the twinkle in the perennially serious man’s face before asr replied, “thanks… and i am arnav… it’s wonderful to be here with all of you. salman has done a splendid job of finding us exactly what we’re looking for.”
“proud of you, my son!” mr ghaznavi said, throwing an arm around salman, “mrs raizada…”
“khushi…” said khushi with a smile. salman ji’s father was as easy to take to as his son she had felt when they’d met. he was a short man with a wide chest, something solid about him. his hair had gone almost completely grey though he was in his late forties only. he had a crisp, matter of fact way of saying things… and most of all she liked him because he had done what he had for helena. such a man, khushi had decided even before meeting him, could only be a good man and a kind man. “hey devi maiyya, this world should have more people like him,” she’d said quietly to herself, as usual without quite realising what it was she was doing.
most of her conversations with devi maiyya happened in this way. at times when she noted how many things she had said to her goddess in a day, she was surprised devi maiyya didn’t demand more sweets and offerings from her.
“okay, but only if you call me tazdiq…” countered mr ghaznavi, “i believe you had a good feeding session with helena this afternoon.”
“aap ko kaise pata, tazdiq ji?” khushi stared at her host, eyes widening.
(how do you know, tazdiq ji?)
“this is assam, khushi, the gardens,” salman laughed, “you sneeze here and people in jorhat tea estate will tell the doctor he is needed…”
“i believe helena loved the jalebis…” tazdiq was smiling.
“hawww!” khushi exclaimed, her hand lifting to cover her mouth.
“and if you want a nice mekhela chadar, don’t worry, i’ll take you shopping. we could go for golf tomorrow and afterwards to tinsukia, don’t you think that’s a good idea, jaan?” said rehana turning to her son… then went on without stopping, “don’t look at me like that, khushi my dear… kanumoni was so excited that baideo liked what she wore and had tried to pleat the chadar… i know! it’s bihu day after, you can wear yours then, i’ll get it stitched… did you bring a blouse?!”
asr watched the expressions flitting across his wife’s face and decided he was glad he had dragged her to come along on this trip.
“galf?” said khushi weakly, her hostess was unstoppable.
“yeah, don’t you play, my dear? even i knew nothing of it… in baroda who played golf, but in assam… everyone! it’s good fun, i’ll show you… okay, so that’s settled!”
rahana was a plump woman somewhere in her forties, and she obviously enjoyed dressing up. she wore a beautiful chiffon in dove grey with a finely embroidered border, grey beads sparkling in it. her blouse matched her saree exactly, on her neck was a twisted double string of darker grey pearls. diamond studs glittered on her earlobes. she wore pencil heels and teetered delicately on them. a bracelet with four strands of pearls sat on her left wrist just above the diamond cocktail ring on her index finger.
khushi smiled at her and clutched her red dupatta. her red and silver churidar kurta, hair left open, shining and straight, a faint pink lipstick and tiny bindi in bright pink had earned her a long slow stare from her husband. but now all she could think of was… galf? that laad governor played it sometimes, and she had no idea what it was. hoonh! why such games had to be invented… hey devi maiyya, raksha karna…
asr began to smile. brown eyes glinted, a familiar gradient sloped up. alas a pair of hazel eyes were too perturbed to notice.
salman wished his mother would curb her enthusiasm and bossiness a bit. but he knew she was lonely living here in the gardens, miles away from the next planter’s home and someone to talk to. she enjoyed having guests.
“khushi, come, let me show you the river from our balcony,” he said.
“par aapko rasta kaise pata chalega?” khushi asked, looking worried.
(but how will you know the way?)
“shh!” replied asr, “seat belt!”
when she made a face, he leaned over, pulled out the belt and fixed it for her. then he planted a swift kiss on her nose and started the car.
the open top jeep picked up speed as they drove out of the ghaznavi’s home and onto the narrow, uneven road winding through the garden. it was dark all around, over the estates and the far away little hamlet where the workers lived. khushi looked around in trepidation. darkness unsettled her. she remembered things she had no clear memory of yet they lurked. unsettling.
shaken, she looked up. and almost stopped breathing. had she ever seen such a vast stretch of twinkling, sparkling, dazzling gleaming stars?
she turned her head and gazed as far as she could to her left, then her right, she craned to see behind… nothing stopped the stars. they spread like an unending blanket over the dark.
“khushi?” asr was peering ahead at the road, there were no lamp posts, only his headlights to show the way.
“hmmm?” she replied distractedly.
“puchhogi nahin? what if we get lost?” he asked, wondering why his wife was ignoring him suddenly.
(won’t you ask? what if we get lost?)
“the forest will start soon, and who knows…” he continued, looking ahead.
“kya? forest? arnav ji! aap aise kaise kar sakte hain! it’s dark, you don’t know the way… and what if a tiger or a lion.. or a….” khushi seethed looking for a suitable animal to add to her list.
(what? forest? arnav ji! how can you do this! it’s dark, you don’t know the way… and what if a tiger or a lion… or a …)
“rhino? haan, yeh theek rahega. assam, so we could have rhinos attacking us,” he said looking at her.
(rhino? yeah, that should be good. assam, so we could have rhinos attacking us.)
“arnav ji!” khushi was aghast.
“i don’t think there are any lions around here though..” asr pressed on the accelerator and the jeep leapt forward.
khushi clutched his arm and shuddered.
“relax, khushi!” he said, “there’s only one road here and it goes straight past the river. tazdiq said, it’s a great spot… especially now with the full moon just a couple of days away… they are building a bridge… you’ll enjoy the view! now come on, put your head on my shoulder and shut up.”
khushi wanted to glare at him, but instead she sighed and did exactly as he told her to do, well she did put her head on his shoulder, but she had to mutter.
“galf? i have to play that laad governor wala game?!” she turned and pushed her face against his upper arm and put an arm around his chest.
(golf! i have to play that laad governor’s game!)
asr chuckled. he wondered if rehana was ready for the what was coming her way.
“khushi, i saw mooga today, yards and yards of it… a strange gleam in it… ajeeb…” he said, changing the topic abruptly, there was a something in his voice that made her look up.
“you know, assam is the only place in the world that makes this silk? mooga means yellow… but here it means gold…” he paused, shrugged and said, “mami ji would love that…”
khushi was about to agree when he said as if to himself, “maa loved her mooga saree…” a pallu seemed to reach out from somewhere and brush against his face.
a pale yellow moon shone in the dark rippling water. khushi looked up and there the moon was up there too. she smiled. the bridge stretched out not even half way across the wide river… its silhouette loomed in the dark. something poignant about it. on the other shore was what… she peered. was that a dense line of trees? a forest? or were they clouds? clouds on land..
asr pulled her onto his lap as they sat looking at the peaceful stretch of sky and earth, lit only by a moon daring to grow back from diminishing. he put his arms around her and let his right hand rest on her breast. khushi turned and kissed him somewhere beside his cheek, below his ear, and went back to her contemplation.
he bent down and bit her lightly on the side of her neck and let his lips brush against her skin.
“i missed you…” he murmured softly as if to himself.
she heard him of course, she turned around and drew his head to her heart.
khushi lay exhausted and happy against him, still quivering with an unnamed excitement in some part of her. his skin was damp. she put her palm flat on his navel and felt his instant response. he turned and stretched out on his back as if saying something, his body faintly visible in the moonlight stealing in through the windows. she slowly rolled over following an instinct, nothing else. she covered his body with hers, lying on him, and let her arms go around his neck, her head settled over his bare shoulder, she was ready to go to sleep right there.
“come!” his voice was a whisper, a caress, a command… he moved allowing her to get comfortable and put his arms around her. then he stroked her back as she fell asleep.
he had not told her of the real dangers of this beautiful state, where people disappeared without a trace so often, where lives had been lost for years and years without any solution to the problems, where extreme loveliness had learned to coexist with egregious loss and bloodshed…
she would worry unnecessarily about him coming here in the future… and he would be back, for after the visits to the workshops, he felt in his gut the mooga project would work out. she would lose her pristine picture of salman’s home, helena’s home…
asr held khushi tighter, then he lifted a hand and gently pushed back the tendrils off her forehead.
mad girl who feeds jalebis to elephants.
he had requested both tazdiq and salman not to mention anything about the recent kidnappings in the area to khushi.
he thought of the women making their resplendent silk. he must find a way to create a fall for western lines. they deserved so much more… the people of this land had been stymied by unrest for far too long. his thoughts drifted across what he had seen and heard over the past two days.
he took a deep breath and laid his cheek against her hair.
thanks, everyone, for you patience. and your impatience. i hope to update the next three chapters in a more planned way… every week. do tell me what you thought of this chapter. thanks for reading and letting me imagine new asr khushi moments.
ncofl: never on a new year: chapter 8
Archana popliMarch 22, 2016 at 10:17 pm
Only khushie would want to feed an elephant jelabis ,the charm of seeing a new place with all its idiosyncrasies ,and the culture ,the beauty that is India ,old and new at the same time ,hope ASR and khushie enjoy their stay in Assam .looking fwd to more
indiMarch 22, 2016 at 11:49 pm
thanks, archana, glad you are liking the stroll through assam. i have fun imagining them there. take care. see you.
ranogillMarch 22, 2016 at 10:37 pm
loved it …i think by no khushi would have learn little bit english …halow and galf does not seem right now …
indiMarch 22, 2016 at 11:49 pm
thank you, ranogill… good to see you. about the accent, you could be right, but i felt khushi has been in delhi barely eight odd months and i find accents tend to linger, sometimes in just a few words, so i let the haylow be, beside asr loves it… so 🙂 as for galf, it just came out that way. could be even because she was so unprepared for that one. sorry, this got in the way of your enjoying the chapter. take care.
KtotheMMarch 23, 2016 at 3:49 am
Loved the update
Gosh!!! Khushi is really unique, I mean the way she was talking with the elephant unbelievable, if I didn’t know from earlier that it’s an elephant I would have believed that she’s talking to a person 🙂
ASR worried about the kidnappings, hope nothing bad happens to either of them
Thanks for the update dear
Waiting for the next part
indiMarch 24, 2016 at 10:33 am
hi kiran, thank you. when i write khushi i really have to control myself, it’s so easy to get completely carried away. 🙂 don’t worry, nothing bad will happen. i will update soon. see you.
NansMarch 23, 2016 at 2:12 pm
Yesterday got to read ur FF Not cut out for love on If. & I so loved it. I love the romance between Arnav & Khushi & how they are sync with each other. I was so excited when I visited this website and came to know that you have written a sequel to it. I am enjoying reading it
indiMarch 24, 2016 at 10:38 am
delighted you found not cut out for love and read it… and loved it. thank you. i started this one on a whim too… let’s hope it’s taking the story to the right place. i am thrilled you found this one as well. see you soon… hoping to update this weekend.
SamanMarch 23, 2016 at 2:36 pm
Khushi is right! He should never stop asking… Tum theek ho? The heart does a slow roll… everything shifts, adjusts and all is right with the world. Wonderful Indi!
asr began to smile. brown eyes glinted, a familiar gradient sloped up
I could picture that perfectly… Delight at the slow smile, appreciate the glinting brown eyes and swoon like a fangirl at the arching eyebrow. Sigh! Pure perfection is your ASR. And he is so completely and unapologetically into his crazy Khushi. What did he say? “i think i’m getting to like mad.” Dreamy moment alert!
Now to business… Indi, you have got to stop scaring the bejeezus out of us. First there was that foreign sounding woman. Thank god that turned out to be a false alarm… And now this bit about people disappearing, kidnappings and he will be making frequent trips here. Now he might be keeping it away from Khushi to spare her the worry, but what about us? We worry too. So for the sake of my emotional well being, ASR ko theek rakhna, theek hai?
Loved the chapter, Indi and as always love your ASR!
Love and regards,
indiMarch 24, 2016 at 10:47 am
“Khushi is right! He should never stop asking… Tum theek ho? The heart does a slow roll… everything shifts, adjusts and all is right with the world.”
exactly 🙂 … to get that all’s right with the world i suspect i started writing never on a new year. again on a whim. when i wrote ncofl, i took a break of almost three months i think between prologue and first chapter. not quite sure if there’s a story in there. if it would scream at me to get going. then the kabootar looked at me sternly and i had to start writing.
i am hoping this time too kabootar ji will do his thing and the thing that makes never on a new year worth reading, worth feeling will come along. okay the red beady eyes are on me now… maybe just maybe, all indeed will be well.
got to stop scaring the reader? whatchousayin’… 😉 you mean i can’t do the hindi soap lemme make you feel sick to the pit of your stomach and tip of your toes just as you thought everything was fine thing? awww… now i’ll have to go and mope to helena about my predicament. and maybe a certain set of lips will slant up, slowly, very slowly.
see ya soon.
SamanMarch 24, 2016 at 12:39 pm
I wonder if this will work… If it does I won’t have to say anything…
rati123March 24, 2016 at 11:29 am
Beautiful update. I just love these Arnav and Khushi of your’s ( yes they are your A&K). I just love how you take us through all the wild thought process of Khushi. Some how it make so much sense !!
Is any one of them going to get kidnapped ?? OMG.
rituMarch 27, 2016 at 8:44 pm
In di I love how you are weaving the moonga for the girl with a golden heart in the expert hands of ASR. It is the down to earth nature of Khushi which has made her mix so effortlessly and joyfully in the simple living of the people of Assam. All the characters whether it is Bahadur, Kanumoni or Salman’s parents seem so real and they have accepted Khushi as one of their own. Even Helena has become a jalebi lover thanks to Khushi. And she understands khushis love and caring and longing for her laad governor who loves her from every fibre of his body but always prefers to keep her away from the dark ravines of his heart and in this case the dangers that seem to lurk behind the pure pristine surroundings of Assam. The chapter was beautifully written…it was happy, romantic and soulful all at once. Is there some danger awaiting Arnav? Will that make him bare his heart and soul to her without holding back?
indiMarch 27, 2016 at 10:19 pm
glad you like the assam feel, the people, the milieu… i have a feeling khushi would have liked assama nd been surprised by how different it is from lucknow and dilli. danger to asr? hmm, of course… you and i are going to kidnap him, na… 🙂 okay, confession, i have no idea what’s going to happen, but whatever it is. it will hopefully be asr khushi. i am frantically missing kabootar ji. thanks for reading, sir.
barunz4everMarch 28, 2016 at 3:00 am
Beautiful as ever !! Life is so very exciting and blissful with our crazy khushi and her handsome Rakshas 😉
The beautiful serene love that they share is so heartwarming to read and feel….Hope this enticing journey of our beloved never ends…
indiMarch 28, 2016 at 4:25 pm
hi barnuz4ever, thank you and great to see you. glad you are liking the new short story. handsome rakshas killing writer and so is crazy khushi. 🙂
SirenMitraMarch 29, 2016 at 1:44 am
Lakshmiji will be jealous cuz Khushi is getting close to HelenaJI.. Did she actually feed jelebi?? I hope ASR don’t take the kidnapping matter easy.. He’s totally lost in memories..
Amazing update as always!!
indiMarch 29, 2016 at 11:19 am
hi sirenmitra, thank you.
yeah, helena is now a complete jalebi convert. such is hamaari khushi ji. 🙂 kidnapping, assam… i am moving toward the story, wondering what’s to come. see you soon.
yoga1237March 29, 2016 at 8:02 am
indiMarch 29, 2016 at 11:18 am
hi yoga, thank you so much. 🙂
Faiqa ChoudheryMarch 29, 2016 at 9:20 am
Helenaji and jalibiji ki jodi Khuhi nai banaye…Love that part 🙂
Now Asaam , the weaving of fabric with aromatic hands under experts who hold experience of years without recognition, yeap.
Arnav is lost in her, hope he is not lost that much putting off danger alert aside…Kidnapping really but whose
Arnav, Khushi, Helenaji, Salamaji or or or Jalaibis so Khsuhi couldn’t be able to make her feed …idea bura nahin.
Asaaam main kuch bhi ho sakta hai
indiMarch 29, 2016 at 11:17 am
hi faiqa, i juuuust read the last two parts of your short story and now you are here… haye. thanks for that lovely note… yes, “assam mein kuch bhi ho sakta hai.” so glad all the jis inculding jalebi ji 🙂 are making you happy. see ya.
KtotheMMarch 31, 2016 at 5:14 pm
Stalking……… Can we expect an update anytime this week?
KtotheMApril 1, 2016 at 4:30 pm
Yippee!!! Thanks a lot dear
Will be sincerely, seriously, absolutely waiting for the update ??
indiApril 4, 2016 at 2:57 am
indiApril 4, 2016 at 2:58 am
sincerely, seriously, absolutely will try to do an update on saturday. 🙂
SoharaApril 6, 2016 at 4:38 pm
Uff Khushi is just so crazy! How could she fed an elephant jalebi! And the most amazing thing was ASR enjoyed her crazy antic. She is one of a kind who can have a deep conversation with an elephant. She even found some similarities between her and Arnav! Actually it was her soliloquy to express her feelings.
Does mooga silk only produce in Assam? India’s every state is special for it’s own heritage. Asr is very interested in this material. He got divine connection with mooga silk as his mother used to wear mooga silk sarees. Is this the reason of his interest on this material? Asr’s love for his mother is immense and immaculate.
I was enjoying reading their ride inside the forest. The whole ambiance seemed so romantic. But I am scared to know about the situation of this area. This kidnapping, disappearing, killing sounded so sinister. I hope you keep asr and Khushi safe from all this danger.
indiApril 7, 2016 at 12:52 pm
pagal ladki, which is why maybe he just can’t get over her 🙂 . you’re right, her chat with helena is really “a soliloquy to express her feelings.” there are many things she can’t say to her taciturn lover… yet she feels them… she must mull over them. she often talks to animals or her goddess… i wonder if it’s her way to listen to what her inner self is saying.
yes, mooga comes only from assam. it’s completely underrated and not really known, yet it is absolutely gorgeous.
don’t be scared. asr hain na? teehee. great to see you, sohara. we asways say the two most important people in his life are khushi and di. but really, isn’t the one who is long gone, who is embedded in him, isn’t she the central person in his life, in his longing, his hope, his reach for life? his maa. he keeps her close in known and unknown ways, and even as he tries to live with himself and his barren moors within, maybe her gentleness, the very essence of her presence keeps watering a germ of hope and faith, which is why he can allow in the girl with large accusing eyes who makes his heart go funny, why he feels her touch, its deep muted gold, even when he is scathing of anything called love. mooga… yes his mother is there in it, but that touch of it… is it like that of this pure 24 carat girl he has in his life now… the one he loves without even knowing what love is…? asr and khushi… this is such a beautiful love story, hai na, sohara ji?
linsieApril 13, 2016 at 6:17 pm
hahaha feeding jelabhi… for elephant…. sweet and then play galf!!
nice beautiful update
indiApril 14, 2016 at 3:32 pm
thank you, linsie… glad you had fun. yeah, the poor girl is threatened with laad governor type galf. tough life. 🙂
KtotheMApril 13, 2016 at 8:27 pm
Still stalking dear
Sincerely , seriously and absolutely still waiting for the update
Hope you can update soonish 🙂
indiApril 14, 2016 at 3:27 pm
sorry sorry sorry, hamesha late, this writer. didn’t you get my pm? 8 and 9 are up.
ShrutiApril 17, 2016 at 5:24 pm
Reading your updates makes my day, literally. Your words take inspiration from Arnav’s- kuch na bolte hue bhi kitna kuch bol jaate hain.
Khushi’s goodness overwhelms me. She is the only one who can feed Jalebis to an elephant or ask her Devi Maiyya for all sort of favours, none of which are ever for her ownself. I am excited to see how she celebrates Bihu and what all she finally shops for her family.
Arnav’s concern for Khushi overwhelms me. Only he can come to love madness more than anyone else or take risks in the dark of the night to show his lovely wife the golden moon that she will always cherish. Only he can look forward to a golf match not because he loves playing it but because his wife will be a participant too, though a reluctant one.
Assam is painting a picture of bloodshed and kidnapping but amidst all this, there is a picture of a blissfully satiated wife, sleeping atop her equally content husband that negates all the bad. I hope their peace and happiness inspires Assam to do the same.
I have a feeling that Khushi might become Arnav’s personal model to flaunt mooga silk ka clothes, for his passion for the material is quite similar to his possessiveness towards his wife.
Waiting for the next part.
Update soon. 🙂
indiApril 18, 2016 at 3:11 pm
thank you so so much, shruti. great to see you. and your words are of course making me grin. i must see about that shopping i am thinking. 🙂
“Assam is painting a picture of bloodshed and kidnapping but amidst all this, there is a picture of a blissfully satiated wife, sleeping atop her equally content husband that negates all the bad.” so glad you saw that, it’s really about how we view things, isn’t it… bad people, bad things, all part of the game.
see you soon.
AnnasabuSeptember 20, 2016 at 2:50 pm
Howdee? I missed some later chaptrs of this story and I am reading now. It was refreshing as always, to read beautiful stories amidst tiring work schedule , home , family etc. Like an aphrodisiac, such stories rejuvenate me and prepare me for the best. I do find solace in reading most of the time and I do have a selection of authors to indulge in and I must say you, are one of them. Since I lost track of the story, I read from the beginning for a second time and here I am.
I found the epilogue too. Thanks for the PM.
And my love remains the same irrespective of time and age.
indiSeptember 21, 2016 at 7:13 pm
hi anna, you make me smile and grin and take me into your story. thank you for reading despite the weird schedule and long gaps. i do hope the second read is really fun. these two help me deal with askli duniya too… that invitation to fly to imagination… irresistible. take care and lots of love… may it remain the same hamesha.
gprsOctober 15, 2018 at 12:59 am
Just in last chapter I somewhat mentioned about knowing better someone..This chapter seems to be the kind for me..Khushi,can this woman become more sweet and lovely than this?? Heart full of love for anything and anyone..Her talk with anything and her DM helps to clear her mind and maybe that’s a way of maintaining stressless mind and avoid loneliness..
It’s a blessing to be understood-the silence, the underlying love in covered words that too by the one who identified by her talks..What a crazy couple..The moments like her speaking to Helena, his fondness for the crazy girl making jalebis for elephant, making a effortless show for the star gazing when there were always underlying threats, protecting her goodness, not questioning her naively nature, accepting each other’s complicated&uncommon ways made me love them even more and sending you virtual hugs and kisses for it..
His mother’s memories, his pondering on the sad things happening in a lovely state-your brilliant writings about all blended perfectly in it..
indiOctober 16, 2018 at 11:15 am
“Her talk with anything and her DM helps to clear her mind and maybe that’s a way of maintaining stressless mind and avoid loneliness..”
there was always a sadness in khushi that reached out to me. that khadoos, raging man she met and clashed with, somehow reached and touched and took away some of that sadness. khushi and asr was no fairytale love, no politically correct love, it was love, the feeling, all of it. and i always felt i wouldn’t be able to catch its real nature, i never wanted to be not true to it.
glad you are enjoying them and their madness.