Recipe for Love
She sat by the poolside staring in the calming blue water sipping her green tea with a fresh leaf of mint. Khushi smiled looking at the plants as they moved to the wind. They reminded her of life and health.
It was a strange kind of satisfaction. Khushi had made peace with the situation. She was done fighting every single day. She couldn't believe the person she had become today, for good or for worse she didn't know. The last six months had completely transformed her life, she had grown and felt like she was a different person altogether.
After spending some much needed alone time Kushi picked up the newspaper, a habit developed over the last few months, and walked inside the room. She couldn’t decide if she should have one last conversation or walk out without one. Another drama was the last thing she needed.
She scanned the room one last time to make sure she wasn't leaving anything behind. Everything that belonged to her had to be removed from this room, for it would be an insult to leave behind anything associated with her. Khushi pulled out a file from the drawer and left it on the table in front of the recliner. He would see it first thing upon entering the room.
As soon as she left the file on the table she heard the door open. As if a gush of excitement came through like a wind. There stood Arnav in all his glory. She was smitten once again, but reminded herself of the things she had to leave behind.
He was smiling, and his eyes had a strange shine to them.
“Khushi” he called in delight.
Just the sight of his wife made him happy, and filled his heart. As the days passed he only fell deeper and deeper in love with her. At times he couldn’t believe how his life had taken a complete turn. Only because of one person. Her.
“Jee?” she said with a slight smile. The smile that didn’t reach her eyes.
His expression from excited to confused changed within seconds.
What was in that file? And why was it in her hands?
“Yeh kya hai?” He said walking towards her.
“Aapki koi file hai” she said casually. Trying her best to avoid the delay of her departure.
“Aur tum kahan ja rahi ho?” he said looking at her purse
“Kaam hai kuch” she made sure she looked him in the eye. He wasn’t just confused now, as worry started to creep up.
“Kya kaam?” he asked worriedly. “Sab theek to hai? Kahan jana hai? Main chod doon?”
“Aap to already chod chuke hain” she wasn’t amused.
“Kuch nahi, main late ho rahi hoon” She said as she put on a stern face.
She started to walk towards the door when he grabbed her wrist out of anger. He closed his eyes and breathed. Anger management was something he was working on but it would take time.
Khushi yanked her wrist from his grip. She was furious now. How dare he.
“Please” he said, his back still facing her.
“Tell me, kya hua?” He turned to face her. At an instance he almost got scared seeing the expression on her face. He had never seen her this angry.
“Kyun bataon, aapko to sab pata hai nahi?” the sarcasm in her voice wasn’t missed by Arnav. He should just assume like always.
“Khushi please, tell me” he said walking towards her.
She stopped him from advancing towards her with her palm. He had no right anymore. Or rather never did to begin with.
What was he thinking? He is no longer her husband. Even if it was just on paper.
“I'm actually surprised” She retorted, folding her arms. “Aap kaise bhool gaye? Aapne to yeh 6 mahine din gin gin ke guzare honge”
He knew what was going on.
His eyes widened before he took slow and measured steps towards her.
“Khushi” he said, placing his hand on her cheek.
She reminded herself and immediately removed his hand. Emotions had be put on hold for now.
With that gesture he felt hurt. Very hurt.
“Woh eik misunderstanding thi. How can you do this to me, you very well know how much I love you and that contract doesn't matter anymore”
She looked him in the eye, surprisingly not crying. He felt as if he was talking to someone else. This was not the Khushi he knew.
“Agar kal ko koi aur misunderstanding hogi to aap kaunse naye contract mein mujhe baandhenge?”
Hurt could be felt from her voice.
“Nahi, meri baat abhi khatam nahi hui hai”
Her patience had reached its limit.
“Aur aap kehte hain pyar karte hain? Yeh hai aapka pyar? Ek misunderstanding hui to zabardasti shaadi karli and now very conveniently decided to keep me? Itni meherbani kyun?”
She demanded answers.
Arnav couldn't believe his ears. Did he even know this girl anymore?
Arnav lowered his head, his eyes started to well up.
After a few seconds she spoke.
Did he really have nothing to say in his defense? No explanations?
“Pata tha mere kisi baat ka jawab nahi hoga aapke paas, aur agar misunderstanding thi bhi to kya? Kya aapne kabhi poocha mujhse ke main yeh shaadi chahti bhi hoon ya nahi?”
His eyes shot open and he looked up.
Did it mean she never loved him the way he did?
“Lekin ab in baaton ka koi faida nahi hai, mujhe yahan nahi rehna aur aap mujhe nahi rok sakte”
Khushi had made up her mind. She started to walk towards the door.
“Kya tum mujhse pyar nahi karti?”
She stopped before she could take another step out of the room.
He walked towards her, turned her around and repeated.
She couldn't make eye contact with him and what would she tell him?
He lifted her chin and urged her to look him in the eye.
“Nahi karti kya” he was pleading.
“Kya farak padta hai” She was disappointed. These feelings didn't really matter. She wasn't sure if she was willing to let him run all over her in the name of love, again.
“Farak padta hai” he said inching closer.
“Bohat fark padta hai” he said touching her cheek. His eyes were filled with remorse.
She removed his hand and turned towards the door.
“Lekin mere paas ab aapko dene ke liye kuch nahi hai”
She walked out the door, despite his attempts to stop her. Her disappearing figure broke his heart into pieces. But he knew fully well he deserved it. How could he be so selfish? But wasn’t he always? When it came to her anyway?
He knew he had given her more bitter memories than happier ones. He could not blame her for this decision. Arnav’s palms turned into fists, turning his knuckles white. Every single thing he had ever done to her flashed before his eyes. It finally dawned on him, he no longer had any rights on her. Not after what he did anyway.
"Tumhara dimaagh kharab hai kya"
She almost yelled with frustration.
What was he thinking?!
Arnav lowered his eyes in embarrassment.
" tumhe andaza bhi hai tumne kya kiya hai"
Anjali s anger was justified. As much as he hated hearing these words he knew well enough that they were true.
" tumne to saari hadden paari kardi, sharam aa rahi hai mujhe tumhe apna bhai kehte huye aaj"
"Di please..i really am ashamed"
"Oh really and what exactly did you do to correct your mistake?"
Her tone was laced with sarcasm. Anjali was fuming. Who was this she was talking to. She couldn't believe her brother didn’t anticipate the consequences. That is not how their mother raised him.
"I will keep the marriage" Anjali left out a sarcastic laugh.
"Keep the marriage? And by that you are doing a favour on Khushi?"
"No Di i didn’t mean it-"
"Shut up Arnav"
Arnav? She was very mad.
“Bas karo ab tum”
“Do you even realize what you have done?”
The weight of his own actions didn't let him raise his head. No amount of apologies would be enough to show his guilt.
“Pehle zabardasti usse shaadi ki, sab ke samne uska tamasha banaya sirf eik misunderstanding ki wajah se?”
“Di maine aap ke liye kiya”
“Mere liye kiya tumne? seriously?”
“Bacha liya tumne mujhe yeh sab karke?” Anjali had surprised Arnav. He couldn’t believe she was not bawling while having this conversation.
“Tum itne stupid kaise ho sakte ho?” She was fed up.
Her piercing look couldn't be missed.
“Di main sab theek kardoonga...promise”
“Rehne do tum ab kuch nahi karoge pehle hi bohat nuksaan kar chuke ho”
Anjali was done with him.
“Ab kuch din at least usko sukoon se rehne do, jahan bhi gayi hai woh”
“Pyar karte ho?”
He nodded, the pain in his eyes was evident. But most importantly every drop falling from his eyes was filled with regret.
“To phir socho ke pyar kise kehte hain aur tumne kya kiya hai”
Anjali told him coldly and walked off.
Arnav fell to the floor and cried uncontrollably. All his bottled emotions came running through, the walls he had created around his heart came crashing down. He hugged his knees and cried to his heart’s content. He cried like a 7 year old Arnav did when his mother killed herself.
The desire to keep his loved ones close once again ignited and just like that day he couldn't do anything.
It felt like an eternity since she had left, at the same time it was fresh in his mind like yesterday.
Nothing was the same in this house anymore, these past few months had only made everyone distant from him. He knew he deserved it. If she can be punished for absolutely nothing then the least he could do was make himself go through the same. However he knew it could not possibly be as worse as hers. After all Arnav was all about making it even.
He turned on the radio, a habit he had picked up over the past few months to kill the deafening silence, and placed it on the table by the pool.
“Good morninnnnggg Mumbai...ek nayi subah ek naya din, main hoon aapki host Samar aur aapka swaagat hai humare show mein”
He started watering the plants, one by one, caressing the leaves ever so careful making sure not to damage anything in the process, with close to no self trust.
“ doston humare aaj ke special guests hain Khushi and Naina, beauty with brains, the power duo behind One Bite at a Time”
“Welcome to our show guys”
“Thank you for having us” Nainai gracefully replied.
“To kaisi hui shuruwaat, kya inspiration thi, what keeps you going, tell us your story”
“We started about 7 months ago, combining my love for food and Naina’s love for travel we came up with this blog, it's our baby and we have poured our hearts into it and that's what keeps us going” Khushi replied happily.
His hands stopped midway. The plant that needed a little water was now overflowing. He ached to hear her voice.
“Food and travel is an exciting mix! So tell us what kinds of cuisines you guys have tried and all the places you ve been to”
Hearing about her endeavours and successes filled his heart with pride. A lone tear rolled down his cheek. He couldn't be with her at her brightest moment, to celebrate, to cheer for her. Maybe he didn't deserve to be there when she was on cloud nine. He had only brought her down.
“Thank you so much for joining us today and answering our questions, humein bohat maza aya aap dono se baatein karke, we wish you all the best “ Samar ended the interview as the ladies shook hands and bid goodbye.
He wanted to leave everything and see her at this very moment. Arnav started walking towards his room when Anjali’s words rang in his ears.
Uski mohabat ne tumhe ek nayi zindagi di
Aur tumhari mohabat me usne sirf sazain kaati hain
He closed his eyes and tightened his fist. Did Anjali not see his guilt caused him more pain than he had ever caused her? Did she not see he had gotten his punishment? Maybe no amount of punishment was enough for what he had done, especially if he claimed to love her. What he did was everything but love.
Kya tum mujhse pyar nahi karti?
She still remembered that day just like it was yesterday. Every detail not only from that day but from those six months was very vivid in her mind as if written in a book and kept forever on that bookshelf. Something that you know is always there. This memory, she knew, was in the distant past but would forever be a part of her. But that didn’t mean she had to grief over it. Life was about moving forward after all.
Khushi took a sip of her green tea and stared out the window. Her face laced with content and calm. She smiled looking at the tiny droplets of rain running down the glass window. Just like the sky cleared after the rain, so did life. Things eventually fall into place. Life had taught her that much now.
“Khushiii” an excited chirpy voice came from the hall.
She broke from her reverie and placing her cup on her desk jumped out of her chair. Her big bouncy curls danced on her shoulders, shining against her fair skin.
“Taste test karlo akeyyy!” Naina’s voice was a mix of annoyance and urgency.
“Comingg” Khushi replied striding through her office and into the hallway. Her white knee length dress twirled with her every move.
“Try karo” Naina took a spoonful of coffee mousse and stuffed it in Khushi's mouth.
“Kiasa hai?” Her eyes gleamed hoping it would put an end to her hours of trials.
“Umm” Khushi’s eyes roamed avoiding Naina’s gaze.
Khushi being Khushi taking her sweet time devoured on that one bite.
“Kuch kami hai” Her eyebrows scrunched up as Khushi kept a serious face. Naina’s obvious state of trial and error had created a laughter riot in Khushi’s head.
Naina started to taste the mousse with her finger and got deep into thinking what she missed.
“Mujhe to theek lag raha hai...tum mujhe dara rahi ho”
Unable to control any more Khushi broke into laughter.
“Haalat dekhi hai apni? Tum to marne se pehle hi bhoot ban gayi” Khushi teased looking at Naina’s disheveled hair.
“Hilarious” Naina rolled her eyes and started to wash her hands.
“I knew acha hai, bas tumhare drame khatam nahi hote”
“Acha nahi bohat acha hai” Khushi said, giving her a side hug.
The two looked at the plate and Khushi ran to grab it.
“Mera hai poora!” and the two broke into laughter as the chase for the mousse began.
Khushi and Naina were brought out of their zone as they heard constant knocking on the door. Naina ran inside and Khushi towards the door.
She opened the door and was confused seeing the back of a masculine figure facing her.
He closed his eyes and silently prayed for courage.
“Hi” he said hesitantly as he turned around. Saying she was shocked, was an understatement.
Khushi could feel all sorts of emotions running through her.
There stood Arnav Sign Raizada.
He couldn’t believe he was finally seeing her. A whirlwind of emotions created havoc inside him. He was ashamed, hesitant, guilty, and wanted to envelope her in his arms. But he stood there frozen.
She looked more beautiful than ever. Her shiny hair sat just above her shoulders. She no longer had long hair or dangly earrings. Instead she now wore pearl studs that complimented her face. A white dress with abstract floral border gracefully hung around her petite body. He could feel the distance of months between them.
“Arnav Singh Raizada” she said as she folded her arms.
“Khushi” he said, moving closer.
“Kya chahiye” she said. The fierceness was evident in her eyes.
He stopped in his tracks.
“Kya hum baith kar baat kar sakte hain?”
“Zaroor kyun nahi lekin pehle mujhe yeh batana padega ke kaam kya haii” she wanted him to see how far she had come but he had to give reasons before entering her territory.
“Maafi maangni hai...har cheez ki” His eyes supported his words.
If there's one thing he had gotten better at over the past few months it was apologizing. He did it enough times that it no longer caused a lump in his throat.
Khushi was surprised, but then again time held the power to move mountains.
She moved out of the way and let him go inside. Khushi had the most beautiful office space. He could tell it was a labor of love. He was amazed and sad.
“Aaj main yeh nahi kehne aya, ke main tumse kitna pyar karta hoon yah mere saath chalo, na hi ke main tumhare baghar kuch nahi hoon” His eyes fixated on her hands.
Khushi looked down playing with the hem of her dress.
“Confession karne aya hoon, ke maine tumhare saath theek nahi kiya aur uske liye sharminda hoon aur meri yahi saza hai ke main tumse door rahoon”
Words that made his throat constrict, pulled her heartstrings.
“Yeh to nahi kahoonga ke maaf kardo, shayad main yeh deserve nahi karta”
She couldn’t help but think of all those moments she wished her own death thanks to the man who sat before her with his head lowered.
“Bas tumhare samne yeh admit karke apne sar se bojh utarna chahta tha, maine tumhare saath aaj tak sirf bura liya, jis din se tumse mila sirf tumhe hurt kiya”
Khushi was at loss of words.This was not the Arnav she knew. He was a changed man, the pride and arrogance was nowhere near him. He had a certain softness in his eyes, the kind of clarity that appears after a storm.
“Ab mujhse kya chahte ho?”
“Kuch nahi, ab mujhe apne liye kuch nahi chahiye bus jaan lo ke mujhe ehsaas hai ke maine kya kiya hai”
Arnav had flipped to the other side of the spectrum. Khushi could see the effect her absence had.
“Mujhe khushi hai ke tum yeh sab kar rahi ho, garv hai tum par”
She smiled looking at the colorful walls.
“Thanks” she said in a low voice, as she looked at him with expectant eyes. She wanted to hear more.
“Thanks for hearing me out, main hota to shayad bohat ghussa karta, cheekta chiaata, lekin tum to Khushi ho, mujhse bohat behtar”
He stood up and straightened his blazer.
“Ab chalta hoon, tumhara waqt aur zaya nahi karsakta” he said looking into her eyes. She understood the weight of his words a little too well.
Khushi stood up as he turned around to walk towards the main door. Every step he took held its own weight. His heart yearned for her but he could not be selfish. It just wasn’t fair.
He grabbed the door handle and froze as the words fell on his ears.
He closed his eyes, oh how he yearned to hear his name in her voice.
“Itni der kyun lagadi?”
He wasn’t sure if he heard it right. Arnav turned around to find Khushi right in front of him.
His questioning eyes urged her to repeat.
“I think you have suffered enough, saza ab khatam karo” she said touching his face.
He smiled and took her hand in his.
When you hurt someone you don’t get to decide whether you hurt them or not, whether it was intentional or not. All that matters is what you do to make them feel better. For starters, acknowledging that the damage was caused helps. Arnav understood love was the final stage, before that one had to be willing to understand, respect and give that person the chance to explain. And that was the recipe for love. Arnav’s love was pure but time had taught him what it meant to truly love in the practical sense.
Hey guys! thanks for reading :)
Wrote something after a very very long time. I used to post regularly here some 7 years ago and feels nostalgic to be back. I just had to write this as I recently watched some episodes from the show. I don't know if any of my old readers are still around, let me know if you are!
Hereee I ammmmmm
*singing here I am, here I am, how do you do?..all thanks to Ayesha -_-
Anywhoooo hayeee, the OS!
I think I'm here writing this whole thing for myself more than for you because even though I told you how I felt, it's just some therapy for me to let out what I think/feel :P
Just the sight of his wife made him happy, and filled his heart
Hayee..simple, yet beautiful thought..
“Aap to already chod chuke hain”
I cried at the pain Arnav felt through and through..but more than anything because he loved her so much that the guilt just let him be selfless and see her prosper and grow into this beautiful woman she was...
Hearing about her endeavors and successes filled his heart with pride. A lone tear rolled down his cheek. He couldn't be with her at her brightest moment, to celebrate, to cheer for her. Maybe he didn't deserve to be there when she was on cloud nine.
I think this is the worst or highest form of redemption, actually...when you want something so bad, but you let it be for it's own good because you know it's better off without you..
This was such a bittersweet one..definitely a good thing for Khushi, but overall sad too..I guess we're just so used to "happy" endings where people are together in the end, but sometimes, being content with where you are and seeing the other person where he/she is, is "happily ever after", too.Edited by OnlyHope - 4 months ago
Topic started by -Grace-
Last replied by -Grace-