"Don't you dare to do the overacting again... Like child psychology don't start off any father psychology and get into trouble..."
"I know... Now do me a favor and shut up"
"You are asking me to shut up? It's better if you don't open your mouth unless required... you have a knack to open your mouth and get into trouble"
"You and your AA syndrome" She muttered as the escalator door reached their floor.
"Here we are" Arnav said as the doors opened.
As they stepped out of the escalator again, before they could realize, they were swarmed by an army of people clicking flashes on them and holding mikes in front of Arnav.
Arnav swore profanely that reached Kushi's ears. She was not surprised, she herself was in a mood to let out some curses under her breathe.
Kushi fought down an urge to pull him back into the escalator and press some random number on the escalator. She even moved a step back. But it seemed that Arnav guessed what she was about to do, for she realized that he closed his palm around her elbow and held her firmly.
"Mr.Raizada, we heard that you married rather suddenly. What was the reason?"
"Mr.Raizada, can you please introduce your wife to us?"
"How does it feel mam, to face the fire as Arnav Singh Raizada's wife?"
"You make a lovely pair, was this arranged marriage or a love marriage"
"When did the ceremony happen sir? Will there be a grand reception later?"
"Would we get a news meeting later when you would announce your wedding sir?"
Kushi was overwhelmed with the questions flying their way, she lost track of what she was being asked, she stood there like a trapped lioness, as his strong and firm grip proclaimed his need to protect her. She felt him pulling her closer to him.
Arnav then answered and his calm voice raised above all the clatter of questions and flashes.
"We are not married, she is a good friend and we have come here to visit her father who is unwell."
"But sir, we heard otherwise'"
"Whatever you heard is untrue. I would advise you people to not pay heed to sickly rumors. If you will excuse us now" he said as he moved forward, pulling her closer along with him making their way past the photographers and journalists.
"Sir, How is Mr.Shashi related to you? Is Mam here his daughter?"
"Mr.Shashi is my father's friend. I am here to visit my father's friend- there is no need to publicize and give so much weightage to this- or to read in-between the lines. Now if you will please excuse us, we need to go. " Then he saw Roy running towards him from the stairs.
"Oh my god, Mr.Raizada, I didn't know how they got a wind of these things..." he commented breathlessly.
Arnav didn't comment anything. But he was intrigued by Roy's restlessness which looked fake.
He quickly made his way out along with Kushi, taking care of her like any protective friend, until they both crossed the swarm of journalists, who were still looking for obvious clues for a juicy story.
"But sir, Mam looks newly married. What do you want to say about the garlands, sindoor and mangalsutra?"
"Are'nt people allowed to have married friends?" Roy blurted out, Arnav looked sharply at him, silencing her and then simple said "no comments" before he moved further. Roy made an attempt to ward off the photographers to leave Mr.Raizada and his friend in peace and followed the couple.
"Mr.Raizada, I suppose that blabbering lawyer of Ms. Kushi blabbered something accidently and these people got a wind of it' I tried to warn you but your mobile was unreachable"
"How dare you' Happyji wouldn't have done anything like that" Kushi hissed at him
"I didn't ask you for explanations Roy" Arnav cut him, calming down Kushi easily with a simple pressure on her elbows again "and I thought I told you that we are capable of handling Shashi's meeting ourselves"
"I heard it right the first time Mr.Raizada' I thought I could be of help, seeing that the reporters are here"
"Then be of help that way, attend to them. I will manage here. "He said and he turned around the corner with Kushi as Roy stared at them standing a little away from the reporters, who were gossiping amongst themselves.
Roy stared at the departing couple creepily and then slowly smirked to himself.
He sensed the approaching reporters and turned to address them.
"How did the reporters know about this?" Kushi asked Arnav angrily as soon as they were alone
"How in the bloody hell would I know?" he retorted back
"The way you handled them makes me feel as if you expected this'" she told him looking at him suspiciously
"Do you think it was me who asked them to come here?" he asked her incredulously.
She shrugged her shoulders
"Possibly ' who knows?"
"And what do you think I would gain by that?" he asked her in an annoyed tone
"I don't know.. May be you should be the one to answer that'"
"I don't have to answer for your stupid and baseless suspicions" he snarled at her "My casualness was the result of the fact that I am used to this kind of surprises"
"Oh yeah, I forgot" she told him, irked by that he had called her stupid' "ofcourse you are used to being discovered and clicked with various beautiful girls around your arms many times. But I do not want to be one of those girls" Kushi hissed at Arnav "Let me go" she said as she shoved his grip away.
Arnav slackened his hold on her as he realized that the reporters were left far behind.
"I had to hold you because you panicked." He explained her "If you had done what you were thinking to do' they would have spun stories around the behavior"
"How do you know what I was planning to do?"
"You were thinking of backing off into the escalator' didn't you"
Kushi was surprised at this, but still didn't give up.
"Ofcourse' I hadn't faced a swarm of people questioning and interviewing my every move like this'I am used to being free"
"Being popular and famous is not easy" he smirked at her
"You are surely at an advanced stage'"
He smirked at her.
"May be you should stop smirking and think what to do about the reporters"
"Haven't we left them behind?"
"they have clicked pictures of us"
"We will think about it later' If we react, the story would only get wilder, I will see what can be done on that"
"But still I pity you' I wouldn't like a life like that' No privacy at all' and all your actions are prone to be published- I pity the girl who would become your wife someday!" Kushi told him converting his smirk to a scowl.
As soon as they turned around the corner they saw a group of people in front of Shashi's room too and the nurse and the doctors there were chasing them off'
"Look, we tell you, this is a hospital. The man is not well- you are not allowed to crowd around here, however popular the man is ' or rather the man's relatives are. Who allowed you all to come here?- wait let me call the security" an young doctor was shouting at them as the nurses were supporting her.
As soon as Arnav saw that, his hands sneaked back to Kushi's elbows, his protecting instincts kicking back into place.
Kushi didn't take it lightly this time like the previous time, she shoved him away- gritting her teeth
"I can very well manage myself"
Arnav didn't let it go this time either with her remark about him becoming unnecessarily overprotective. He turned to her and mouthed a "shutup" as softly as possible, quieting her in disbelief.
He took advantage of her momentary shock and pulled her through the crowd of people who were again throwing questions at them with only simple statements like
"Please excuse us"'"Give us way please" '"No comments"
"Mr.Raizada" the young doctor who was earlier shouting at the reporters called him once he was inside the corridor which had heart patients "this is not acceptable- this is a hospital and these reporters.."
"I understand doctor. I didn't invite them here either'Believe me, I would be the happiest person on earth- if they left me alone" he told the doctor with a charming smile that the lady looked flushed.
"I was not able to tolerate it; I had to tell them off"
"You were right it doing that"
They were soon on their way to Shashi's room.
"Charmer!" Kushi told him
"Ofcourse I am" Arnav told her "But, Is this for real? I mean, Am I getting a compliment from the great Kushi Kumari Gupta?"
"Don't think this is a compliment' I hate flirts" she told him as she went past him pushing open her father's room door annoying him to the ends.
As soon as she entered the room, she saw her father staring at her ' the news has already reached him. The bulky old nurse friend of his was also there.
"So it is true you got married?" the nurse questioned her "Your father was laughing all this while that it should be the craziest rumor that he has ever heard"
She stood on the spot, looking at her father's questioning glance and the pain in his eyes that she decided then and there not to prolong this act. She threw away the garland that she was carrying all this while and started to say something when Arnav walked in on her. He hadn't expected her to stand at the doorway and muttered a sorry as he unintentionally shoved her forward.
"I didn't know you were this famous" The nurse whom he had met earlier when he visited Shashi told him.
"I didn't know either" Arnav half winked at her
"So u both got married?" she asked looking at them expectedly.
"Yeah, we had to' seeing that Mr.Gupta here was giving us a.."
"But why ?" Shashi asked enraged, Making Arnav raise his eyebrows. "Why did you do this Kushi? You didn't want to do this' why did you do this ' this way?" His pained expressions and equally honest tone suggested Arnav that something was amiss. He had expected Shashi to be harsh to Kushi- even angry ' or completely gloat at his aim getting fulfilled- but this agonized tone bemused him.
"Father' we we'" Kushi tried to say the lies that she had been practicing all night' But she just couldn't do it when her father was looking at her in a hurt way.
"This is what you wanted isn't it?" Arnav asked him markedly and quite uncertain with the question itself
But Shashi ignored the question.
"Why did you do it Kushi?" he asked his daughter "You said you weren't interested' you said no first ' then why now? Why all this secrecy? You eloped?"
This piece of information that Kushi didn't at first encourage the idea of Shashi's proposal to Arnav pricked Arnav slightly. Didn't you say the same thing to Anjali, Nk and Akaash too? A voice inside him accused him' So what if she said that' Koi farq nahi yet another voice solaced him. He decided to go ahead with the plan'no matter how crazy it sounded.
"Because you forced her indirectly'" he told him as he took out the document that they both signed earlier and threw it on the bed "This is what you blackmailed me with isn't it? this is what you wanted us to do'.For all that my father trusted in you' Now that you have got what you'" Before he could finish his sentence, Kushi's determined yet soft and calm tone reached him
"No father' this is all a rumor' we didn't get married" Kushi surprised not only the nurse and her father but Arnav too. He hadn't expected her to cave in this fast. He mentally smacked himself for trusting her act.
"I am sorry, I can't lie to him" she said as she looked at Arnav who looked as if he was gob smacked
"but what about the reporters here'your garland- your Mangal sutra.. the sindoor?" the inquisitive nurse asked with wide eyes
"I just put it on- myself'" she answered wearily
"Yourself?" The nurse asked her. She looked at the still red stained right hand palm of Arnav and then at her clean hands "that is something to believe'" she said thoughtfully.
"Would you please give us some privacy?" Arnav asked the nurse abruptly
"hmm. I'" the nurse started to say something.
"Mariam ji" Shashi told the nurse as he inquisitively took in the bemused faces of the young man and his daughter in front of him "Can you please leave us alone for a moment?"
The nurse excused herself regretting that she has been denied a right to be the first hand witness to this story. The door closed behind them. There was awkward silence in the room. The only noise in the room was the guilty fast breaths of Kushi.
Arnav had a rare combination of a shrewd mind and a kind and a compassionate heart- the uniqueness in them being that both were almost always at peace with each other. Right now it was one of those exceptional times when those two were at war- his heart was flashing him an instinct that he had completely misunderstood this person in front of him while the mind was trundling in a drive to use this surprise reporter's incident- to his benefit. He weighed what his next move should be- he chose the latter for he didn't really trust that his instincts were good enough- not for a person who had called him two days back with a completely different motive'
"Why this act" Shashi asked finally breaking the silence
"You should know the answer yourself'" Arnav told him "I don't understand the need for your innocent act now that we are alone in the room' you called me' you threatened me' we did it' this is very obvious ' I don't think it needs any explanations"
"But I didn't call you' this is the first time I am speaking to you' I have been waiting for so long to meet you' I .."
"Cut it out" Arnav barked at him "there is no use in lying' you called me and I made your daughter listen to your terms on this deal too"
Kushi stood there silently looking at her father who looked bewildered by this news'
"I am speaking the truth ' I never called you"
"So you mean to say that you never were in talks with Vikrant Desai as well? That he didn't come and meet you here?"
"Vikrant Desai? How do you know him? I mean how is he related in all this?"
"Why did he come and meet you father?"
"I didn't meet him either' I don't know why he came here' the Nurse Mariam told me that he had come when I had gone to take my tests' He left before I came back- Not that I complained about that" Shashi told earnestly while Kushi closed her eyes tight.
"I don't believe you" Arnav told him flatly, "there is too much of clich in your story"
"But this is true' as much true as what I had been waiting to tell you and meet you' But this act of yours was totally unexpected' This was a rash and imprudent decision- Now that the reporters have been called too' what did you think you were playing at?" Shashi's severe tone angered Arnav further.
"This is my way of getting back at you" Arnav told him pitilessly "Now that you know that your daughter is not married to me, by evening the news that your daughter has been married indeed would make its way to the gossips column. Now you have a choice to make- Give me back my property documents without any prejudice and then I shall declare in the press meet that the news was indeed a rumor" Arnav paused a little for the effect to sink in. He could distinctly hear the sharp intake of breath beside him. But he didn't dare to look that side. He had to focus now- this was the time for deals.
"Or else, this will always linger on, that she was rumored to be married for a day to a business man- not to mention that such kind of rumors always build extra horns' and I would not be responsible for any stories around it" Arnav told Shashi in a ruthless tone.
"So you planned all this?" Kushi asked Arnav in a dreadful voice "You informed the news reporters' You double crossed me? You filthy liar!"
Arnav didn't like wherever this was going'Why can't she shut her mouth for some time? He felt his rage rising against its barrier
"Think whatever you want to" Arnav screamed back at her "What did you expect from me when your father acted like a blackmailing gold digger and asked me to marry you? Eh? and then later on put on an convincing act that he never called me at all? Didn't you yourself hear his voice and witness Vikrant Desai going out of his room? If you can be this foolish to believe his plain lies' may be you can get used to my lies as well"
"Shut up" Kushi screamed at him "Don't say anything about my father .. you have no rights to say whatever you feel like' It was totally my fault' I thought that you would be a honest man' You are just like other wealthy spoiled brats"
"Oh so? what did you both think? that I would willingly marry you? This is how he pays for calling me and forcing you on me!" he shouted without realizing what he had been spurting out
This shouting match was going on between both of them, that they didn't realize Shashi's painful expressions as he clutched his chest.
He gasped as he clutched his heart and the monitor which was supposed to pick up his heartbeat rate started beeping as it went down the threshold level and he started to wheeze.
The beep however caught their attention, as they stopped screaming at each other, while Kushi lunged forward to hold her father, Arnav rushed out to bring help.
It all happened in a moments time and soon the two were asked to stay out. Kushi refused to leave her father's side.
"Please stay outside if you want us to do our job Ms. Gupta" the duty doctor to whom Arnav had spoken earlier told her.
"Kushi" Arnav whispered "come out"
"No Arnav' " She freaked "Father'"
"He will be alright'" he consoled her "you being here might not help his stress levels, let's wait outside"
He pulled her away ever so gently from the bed where she was clinging to her father's hand' Her father was still looking at the two while his face was covered with an oxygen mask. He painfully smiled at Kushi as he gestured her to go with Arnav.
As Kushi let go her grip on her father, Shashi took off his mask and wheezed a painful "Arnav"
Arnav came closer to him.
"No sir, You can talk later" the doctor told him "Mr.Raizada please wait outside. Sister, take them outside"
"No wait" Shashi wheezed as he struggled to get a key which he had been wearing like a pendant tied ot a black thread on his neck. "I might not be able to tell you much now' box number 293- Laxmi nagar metro station" he said as he thrusted the key into Arnav's hand.
Arnav looked at kushi with a bemused expressed and then back at Shashi. This time shashi was smiling at him and then his daughter. Then the nurse sent them out.
Both of them came out. Momentary forgetfulness gone with leaving the room, the fury returned back to both of them, combined with agony of her father's health state for Kushi and a baffled lot of curious questions for Arnav.
They both looked at eachother with antipathy as Shashi struggled with his life inside the room.
I feel like laughing like a villian bwahaahhahaaa... none of you had expected or guessed this MU between Arhi isnt it? ... but thats what makes them more interesting.. hai na? Oh yeah,.. there is more to worry about... Mr.Gupta's time is ticking off too... hold on... will be back with an update sooner...
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Topic started by abavi
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