Avoiding all the brickbats and the curses coming my way, I’m still here. Yes, you heard it right. I’m alive, doing well (health wise) and not impaired in anyway.
I know that “I’m sorry” is going to sound so useless right now for having disappeared for more than a year since the last update and not having left a note either. But I do apologize for my houdini act. No reader should be subjected to such torture and I’m pretty sure, I’ve chased a lot of you away because of my behaviour. If, however, you’re still hanging around, and I haven’t scared you away, thank you!!
I hope you guys remember that I’m pursuing higher studies (MBA) and have been swamped with real life problems. Sorting out campus placements is the latest on the list. Anyway, the point of this note isn’t to bore you guys with the issues in my life, but to announce that – I’ll be returning to my stories by December 2014. I’ve already started writing in the background, but I don’t want to disappear again. So I’ve decided that I’ll start uploading only once I have a couple of chapters already finished in the pipeline – for both Taming and 101 letters.
Alternate IPK will remain on hold for now. Please understand that this is not due to my disinterest in the story (hardly so!). It takes quite a lot of time and effort to write each chapter of this mammoth production; I want to give it the time it respectably demands.
Until December then, I’d suggest you guys refresh up on the chapters 🙂
“Tell me again Khushi di,” Anu said watching her aunt pacing the room muttering to herself. “How do you go to a boring place like an antique market and still end up having a date?” she asked, her eyes shining in amusement. Khushi stopped in her tracks and immediately veered on her spot looking deranged.
“Okay, let’s get one thing straight. This is NOT a date!!” she exclaimed in frustration. “I’m only going for a… friendly meal to my client’s house, in the hopes of discovering something more about his profile.” Khushi nodded as if mentally pacifying herself.
It was Sunday already and Khushi was due to leave for Arnav’s penthouse shortly. Of course, she had narrated the entire incident about the dinner at Taj to Anu, the startling revelation about AR, and the fiasco that had followed at the antique market the previous day. Anu only had moments to digest the fact that it was Arnav Raizada, who had sent the flowers. But before she could remark on the strangeness of the incident, she had been bombarded with the details of the lunch invitation extended by the other Raizada who most probably was dreaming that Khushi was going to be part of her clan pretty soon.
“Sure di, keep telling that to yourself. Maybe you’ll start believing it after some time,” Anu replied cheekily, getting off the sofa and walking towards the fridge to get herself a drink. She couldn’t reach it for Khushi swung her around by her shoulders. Continue reading
To say Miss Khushi Gupta had been stumped for the first time in her life would be the understatement of the century. She hadn’t been able to sleep well the entire night, much to the grumbling discomfort of Anu who finally took her pillow and retired to the living room couch. She was so shaken up with the revelation of Arnav being the A.R. who had sent the flowers that she had actually forgotten everything about the real A.R. a.k.a. Akshay Rastogi whom she had blasted at like a nuclear explosion.
Khushi had been mindful of not keeping the flowers anywhere in direct line of sight from her position in her bedroom. However, their aroma had already overpowered the air in her apartment and every time she had tried to close her eyes, the vision of Arnav looking concernedly at her framed against the elevator doors came flying into her mind. Despite every mean little thing that she had done to him in the past, he had been still kind and considerate to send her flowers. And that too thinking she had actually been sick and recuperating!
Needless to say, the guilt was eating into Khushi’s conscience big time. Maybe, tomorrow I’ll call him and apologize to him, she considered. Yeah, that’ll have to do. I’ll thank him for the flowers and… I’ll apologize for my eccentricities. He’ll come around… won’t he? YES! He will! Yeah, I’ll just call him first thing tomorrow morning! And with that determination, she finally sank into a fitful sleep in the early hours of the morning.
Arnav smoothed down the front of his new crisp white shirt as he checked his reflection in the mirror. He was still in his cabin and it was already 7:30. He knew Aman would be in any minute to whisk him away for his business dinner, but he was pacing himself leisurely. Actually, his sluggish movements were because his mind was elsewhere.
The flowers had been delivered almost 3 hours ago to Khushi’s apartment. His secretary had confirmed it directly from the man who delivered the bouquet and yet, he hadn’t yet heard anything from Khushi. He had expected her to be resting and possibly recuperating, but he had been disappointed that she didn’t call him with a simple thanks. And he wouldn’t admit it to anyone, but that disappointment was growing inside him with every minute that passed.
“ASR?” Aman’s voice floated in as his smiling face appeared at the door. “Are we ready to leave?” he asked.
“Yeah, almost,” Arnav replied picking up his dinner jacket from the chair behind him. “Aman, do women like lilies?” he asked.
The smile slowly disappeared from Aman’s face and a look of surprise replaced it. “Sir?” he repeated, wondering if he had misheard his boss.
“Lilies. Do you think women like lilies?” Arnav asked again putting on the coat. Aman stared blankly, his hand still on the handle of the door as if he had quite forgotten it was there. He wasn’t really sure if his boss was actually pulling his leg, for he had never asked him such a question before. Ever.
“Huh! What?” Arnav jumped up in his bed, looking around wildly at the sudden sound that had jerked him awake. He turned sideways and fumbled with the alarm clock sitting on the bedside table. Reading the time with his bleary eyes, he cursed out aloud. It was 5:00 in the morning. Who the hell was ringing the bell at such an ungodly hour? Grumbling loudly to himself, Arnav got out of his bed and grabbed his robe.
Arnav noticed Oscar sleeping soundly in his little wicker basket and frowned. Wasn’t the calling bell loud enough for the lazy pup to wake up and at least bark a couple of times at the unwelcome company? Shaking his head in exasperation, Arnav made his way towards the foyer of his private elevator. Since it needed a code and not everyone was privy to that information, this had to be a stranger who had instead taken the stairs from the floor below. He registered a faint sense of happiness at the realisation.
“Yeah yeah, I’m coming!” Arnav growled irritably. “Keep your pants on-” he opened the door and stopped in the middle of his sentence, gaping.
Her glossy hair glimmered in the faint sunlight. Her cheerful face hovered just inches above his. Her eyes were shining brightly, almost as if they were the sun themselves. Her perfect pink lips were parted slightly to show the pearly whites of her teeth. She was gazing at him, her head slightly tilted. She was coming closer, almost as if she understood his yearning. Her nose made the first contact with his. He shivered in delight. He wondered if her momentary touch could make him feel this way then what would he feel when she’d actually embrace him? She was coming closer, her lips just inches from his and then she…
… started licking him!
Arnav snapped his eyes open in utter shock only to find a furry face inches from him, lapping up his face enthusiastically. He groaned loudly.
“OSCAR! No!” Arnav admonished and pushed the Golden Retriever pup away from him with a shove of his hand. He closed his eyes trying to identify the woman he had been dreaming about. Her soft ethereal beauty had seemed so… familiar. But he hadn’t been able to see her face as a whole. Realising his mind wasn’t going to be able to dig up her image from his subconscious, Arnav let it go.
He stretched in his spot, cracking the joints of his limbs when his mind registered the rigidness he felt in his back. “Ouch! What the hell!” Arnav groaned loudly and tried to sit up. That is when he properly noticed his environs for the first time.
“And so Mr. Raizada, according to our estimates, the Autumn Collection will be…” the associate giving the presentation faltered in the middle of his monologue. He took a wary look around at the other people sitting in the boardroom and cleared his throat, “…will be slightly delayed beyond our schedule,” he finished flat, gazing at Arnav guardedly, waiting for the inevitable bursting of volcano.
“I understand, Mehra,” Arnav replied calmly. “Can you please liaise with the Designer team and the Production team and try to get this move along as quickly as you can? Let’s try to cut losses of time wherever we can, yes?” Arnav picked up his stack of files and stood up. “Thank you for your time, gentlemen. Let’s hope we meet with some better news the next time.” And with that, he walked out of the conference room.
Mehra stood rooted to his spot, his jaw visibly dropped. Arnav hadn’t blasted off, he hadn’t shouted, hell he hadn’t raised his voice even once! Mehra wondered how the active volcano had become dormant overnight.
Arnav Singh Raizada was a restless man today. For someone who always was in control and on top of everything going around him, this new feeling felt alien on so many different levels. It had been three days since he had last heard from Khushi; actually, three whole days and three whole nights to be more precise. It was so unlike her to just disappear. Well it had seemed unlike based on the first week of their interaction. He had made excuses, he had avoided her, he had not hidden his anger tolerating her company, oh he had been quite blunt at times too. But she had always tagged along, completely immune to his displeasure. And so, yes it was unlike Khushi Kumari Gupta, that irritating lunatic of a woman, to just… disappear like this…