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Arshi OS/SS : Short and sweet

ncofl… never on a new year: chapter 11

“helena ji, nobody’s looking, come quickly, have another jalebi!” khushi thrust a crisp orange jalebi at helena and stood in front of the elephant, holding up her pale pink dupatta so a passerby wouldn’t notice what helena was up to. it didn’t occur to khushi even for a moment that her slight frame and translucent dupatta might not quite accomplish the task of “hiding” helena. helena finished her jalebi and nudged khushi with a playful trunk. “no more! nahiiin, not…

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Arshi OS/SS : Short and sweet

ncofl… never on a new year: chapter 10

the sun had almost disappeared beyond the tea estates and the faraway mountains. the last rays of light remained, there was an orangey purple hue in the air, on the green tea bushes, the winding paths, and far flung homes and hamlets. khushi’s tiny diamond nose pin glinted for an instant as she turned her face to take a look at herself. she would have walked away after a cursory glance at the mirror, but then her eyes seemed to…

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Arshi OS/SS : Short and sweet

ncofl… never on a new year: chapter 9

khushi wondered why the green looked hazy, out of focus. something warm and wet touched her cheek, her vision cleared. it was a tear she realised. that choking sensation near her throat was still there. khushi shook her head not quite conscious of what she was doing… her breathing was getting irregular again. how would she make arnav ji understand? it wasn’t safe here, anything could happen. as the words filtered through, a darkness seized some corner without name, a…

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Arshi OS/SS : Short and sweet

ncofl… never on a new year: chapter 8

kanumoni held the end of the chadar and with deft, quick fingers twisted the material. in an instant, a series of three triangular folds fell across the edge of the fine white cotton with motifs in black and red, the tassels bobbed playfully. she tucked the point she was holding from where the pleats started, into khushi’s petticoat, over the mekhela. then she leaned closer to take the rest of the chadar around khushi, letting the other end fall over…

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Arshi OS/SS : Short and sweet

ncofl… never on a new year: chapter 7

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?”…

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Arshi OS/SS : Short and sweet

ncofl… never on a new year: chapter 6

“kk! you look dazed… are you hungry?” salman asked khushi from the front seat of the ambassador car taking them toward margharita tea estate where they would be staying at the guest house. salman’s parents were at a garden nearby, he had wanted to make sure his boss stayed at the best place around here. salman had grown up in assam. he loved the place, in fact, he was almost proud of it… it’s natural beauty, the richness of the…

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Arshi OS/SS : Short and sweet

ncofl… never on a new year: chapter 4

asr felt his arms going around her slight frame and pulling her toward him, her body didn’t resist. it felt as if it moved just a fraction of a second or even a smaller count of time ahead of the pressure his palm and fingertips exerted on her back, on either side, just above the waist. his hands settled more comfortably, his grip getting firm. he didn’t notice the lightness that came into his heart, a faint memory of a…

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Arshi OS/SS : Short and sweet

ncofl… never on a new year: chapter 3

the jalebis were large with so many swirls in them, they were orange and hot and sticky. even though the tears blurred her vision, khushi was determined to count the number of spirals on the one right on top. a whole heap of jalebis sat before her. she could feel their sweet succulence, their crumbly crust she knew would crack under the most gentle pressure from her teeth and out would flow, no pop, the delicious… khushi swallowed… warm, perfectly…

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Arshi FF : Not Cut Out For Love

not cut out for love: epilogue

the lights diminished to a low almost eerie, then were completely extinguished. darkness was all around. the hum of voices died down. stillness came and settled into the black quiet space. hands reached out and fingers intertwined, pens were put down on notebooks, fingers alert on shutter buttons took a break. people were mystified, even frightened. yet there was a waiting… bated breath… a hush of expectation. sound came first, then light, reversing the order of nature. feet running… a…

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Arshi OS/SS : Short and sweet

ncofl… never on a new year: chapter 2

the pooris were heaped high on the stainless steel plate, white, fluffy and still steaming. in a bowl next to them, the potato curry looked delicious, a bright green chilli sat right on top, khushi noticed it was shining. like his eyes, she thought. she swallowed hard and tried to fight her tears. “c’mon, guys, dig in,” salman said with gusto as he swooped down on his makki ki roti and tore a piece grinning at kareena and khushi. kareena…

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