A/N - well since I wrote it for 10 years celebration, thought I might as well post here on main forum. Here you go.
Second OS is in next post :)
10 years and counting…Arnav's POV
He looked at the screen of his phone which was blinking and flashing a reminder. “7 days to go” it read. It was not a reminder of any upcoming business meet nor any event which he was invited to attend but it was something personal. A change that happened with the mighty ASR over last decade, he now gave utmost importance to the events in his personal life as much as to his professional life, if not more. All thanks to a lady who walked into his life exactly a decade ago! 10 years since meeting her first, 9 years since being blissfully married to her and having 3 kids together, he still felt like he had met her just yesterday. That was the charisma of his lady love, his wife and his better-nay-best half, Mrs. Khushi Kumari Gupta Singh Raizada! Uttering it, her name woven together with his, gave him some sort of high, every single freaking time! Over the years, he had made this habit of marking the calendar for all important dates all year around. After daring to forget initial 3 wedding anniversaries, he swore not to give Her Highness any chance to complain. So he make calendar entries of ALL their special days, except her birthday and his babies’ birthdays of course. He would NEVER forget those days until his dying breath and wont ever need a reminder for those 3 dates! And the upcoming event was, 10th anniversary when his life was blessed with ‘Khushi’, when someone up in the skies blessed him with her, for God-knows-what good deed he did to deserve her!
He still remembered their 3rd wedding anniversary, 28th September 2015! The day when he dared to forget his wedding anniversary, again. But the way that evening turned out to be, he still gets goosebumps remembering it. An intimate celebration between just the two of them followed by Khushi’s confession that they indeed were going to have a baby soon, as Akash had hinted earlier. Apparently, Khushi had confided in her jiji when she missed her period and that led to Payal and Akash knowing about their ‘good news’ even before she told him. That was not a big deal though, as much as getting pregnant just a month after deciding to try to conceive was. They had decided to start trying for a baby, but he thought it will take a while before that actually happened. After all they recently went off the birth control. But apparently ,they were ‘very good’ at ‘trying’.
Their firstborn, their son, Kavish was born on one rainy morning in June 2016. Just like the monsoon season, which brings with it unlimited joy, their son did bring with him happiness in abundance. He was one happy child, he still is! At tender age of 5, his 5th birthday being 2 weeks from today, another event for which he did not need a calendar reminder ever, his son was a very understanding little person one could ever meet. And credit goes to their joint family for that. When Kavish was born, the Raizada house was already abuzz with giggles and wailings of Payal and Akash’s 6-month-old daughter, Piya. But Kavish Singh Raizada has his own charm! No wonder the media was crazy about their eldest! That was until his twin daughters arrived to give a tough competition to their ‘bhaiyya’! The media was obsessed with Raizada kids, much to Arnav and khushi's dismay.
Arnav still chuckles remembering the days prior to Kavish’s naming ceremony. So as per tradition, Anjali, being baby’s aunt was supposed to choose a name. But Anjali had asked them if they had any name in mind and she would just announce the same. Khushi was already calling him ‘chikku’, a fruit she craved during her pregnancy and ate in abundant, surging her sugar levels dangerously high, while his nani and Khushi’s buaji were calling his son ‘laddu gopal’. Only he was the one who did not have a nickname for the little guy yet. So, coming to have areal name, they were certain that they did not want anything that started with an A, since having another ASR was not something they fancied that time. Arnav had a name in mind but that was for a baby girl, for he was certain they were having a girl. But ‘mr. happy face’ proved him wrong and certainly could not be named Kavya as Arnav thought! He had chosen that name because it had K for Khushi and A for Arnav! But obviously that name was redundant now. So, after a few brainstorming sessions Anjali finally came up with a perfect name, Kavish! It also had K for Khushi, A for Arnav and wish/vish which made it Kavish, and it had a nice meaning too – ‘king of poets’!
Fast forward another 3 years, everyone started pestering them with questions on when they were planning another child. He used to roll his eyes at that while his wife would blush a shade of crimson. But the questions never stopped. Clearly the world loved to see them make beautiful babies. So much for not interfering in a couple’s private life! He used to just smile at those questions, for he knew that, ‘that’ would never happen! He was way too careful to never get Khushi pregnant again, because one time was enough to see her go through a horrible pain called labor! Over the years he was extra careful and used to keep a track of her cycle, days to avoid getting close to her, no matter how tempting it was. And if her period was even a day or 2 late, he was the one freaking out more than his wife! Those were times when Khushi used to swear by his favorite term, ‘what the’! but he cared a damn!. He would just pray for her ‘time of the month’ aka ‘aunt flow’ to start already!
His faith was another thing that changed over these years. It all started when Khushi was being wheeled inside the OT during Kavish’s birth, her cries gave him a panic attack and he automatically dashed to the Ganesha idol inside the hospital, where luckily there was a small idol of Devi Maiyya too. He realized that he was not able to write his destiny all the time after all. And so, he prayed and prayed. And finally, a night of cries, patience and prayers later, they were blessed with their son. If Kavish’s birth made him pray to Devi Maiyya for the safety of his wife and their child, Khushi’s next pregnancy made him keep ‘mannat’ for the wellbeing of his adamant wife who insisted on going ahead with this pregnancy even after knowing it was risky, given hear weak health and anemic condition! And that made him, the ASR, a staunch devotee of Khushi’s favorite deity. Though he was against them having another child and took all measures to never let it happen, but when it happened nevertheless, Khushi refused to terminate the pregnancy. He was scared for her life would have been an understatement. He tried everything, cajoling her, talking to her, begging her, blackmailing her even but she did not budge! ‘My babies won’t harm me’ she said in protest every time. So after strict instructions to take bed rest and assurance from her doctor that she was safe and it was not as life threatening to carry the babies to full term as he was making it sound like, he gave in. And finally at the end of all the tension, all the apprehensions, they got beautiful fruits of their pain and patience. How could he stay mad, when her stubbornness gave him the precious bundles of joy, his twin daughters, Arohi (aka Aru) and Shreeya (aka Shree/Pari). Arohi again was a combination of their names, Arnav and Khushi, while the name Shreeya was chosen by his nani and di, which is a name of Goddess and brought luck as they believed. The nicknames were again given by Khushi and him, they reserved those rights!
20th January 2020, the day when he was blessed with his twin daughters! 5 painful hours and his numerous prayers later, the doctors informed him that he was blessed with 2 daughters and his wife was doing well, though under sedatives. Also, one of the babies, Pari, was diagnosed with weak lungs so had to be kept under observation in NICU. He still felt flinched remembering how his heart skipped a bit at that, how sometime later when Khushi was handed with only 1 baby, she asked about the other one and how they were allowed to look at their other baby only through the glass door. Khushi was inconsolable those 3 days until they were handed their other baby. Finally, when they came home with both the babies, nani arranged a big pooja to ward off any evil and bless the new mother and kids. Though Khushi could not sit through the entire pooja time as she was still weak and had to nurse the babies time to time, Arnav happily sat for the pooja, holding Kavish in his lap. He was eternally grateful to the deities for his family and keeping Khushi and his kids safe, he would have done anything for that right now, sitting through a pooja was a small deal.
Their 8th wedding anniversary in Sept 2020, was a blissful celebration with his family, his 4-year-old son and 7-month-old daughters. Due to the ongoing Covid pandemic, he was working from home, just like most of the world and all of AR staff. He was thankful for this blessing in disguise, as this made him spend maximum time with Aru and Shree, the time he wished he could have spent with Kavish too. No matter how much he tried, when Kavish was a baby, some of his professional commitments kept him away from them for days at times. And even if Khushi understood his dilemma and did not complain much, he knew she missed him, as did he. Before the birth of his son, he never spent a day without Khushi, he always took her with him to any domestic or international travels. But since the time their eldest was born, that dynamic changed. It was not always easy to travel with an infant at toe, though they still tried to do that as much as they could.
Talking about their babies, if Kavish was a mamma’s boy and also resembled Khushi, except his eyes which was a direct copy of Arnav’s eyes, Aru was a daddy’s girl nature-wise and otherwise. Same face cut, same smile, same sharpness and same temper! Arohi was a true ‘junior ASR’ amongst his 3 kids! She kept Arnav and Khushi on toes for almost a year and if not given the attention when she asked, whole Shantivan used to get shaken with her loud cries. It would then be a task for them to calm her down. Shreeya on the other hand was a blessing, the calmest of all 3 kids, she was a true angel, a pari as he nicknamed her. They always found it cute how Kavish and Aru mostly resembled one of them, but Shree aka Pari was a perfect combination of both of them, a beautiful blend. She was the calmest baby one would have ever seen. Partly due to her weak health since birth and partly because Aru stole most of the attention. Given that she was very weak when she was born, only her mother was allowed to handle her for almost 2 months to avoid any infections. How Arnav used to crave to hold his other daughter! It was then he understood the cliché, ‘parents love all their kids equally, no matter how many’. He loved all 3 of them with so much passion that he was scared it would make his heart burst. When he fell in love with Khushi, the concept of love was still alien to him. He thought it was a fake and overrated emotion. Boy, was he wrong! Fast forward 10 years, love for him was synonym with his wife Khushi and their 3 babies! Pure unadulterated love where there was no trace of fakeness!
“Dad-a” he felt a tap on his cheek and looked at the person demanding his attention, his now 1.5-year-old daughter, Aru. He didn’t realize when his train of thought went on for so long that Aru completed her nap and was now up. Thankfully Pari was still asleep. Arnav lifted her and stepped outside of the girls’ room, so his other daughter still completed her afternoon nap while his wife and son were busy completing some schoolwork. His son, though attending school online, was a sharp boy but still needed his mamma to help him ensure his work was complete.
The week went by quickly and soon it was ‘the-day’, 10th anniversary of the first time their paths crossed. If not for the ongoing pandemic, Arnav would have planned a gate away for them or at least a fancy dinner at Khushi’s (and Kavish’s) favorite five-star diner. But the ongoing situation restricted that. That did not mean he did not plan anything though because he surely did. A 7-course dinner at home with the help of Payal and naniji, and her favorite red rose, he made sure his wife felt every bit special. And sure, she did, if going by the way she decorated their bedroom with candles and rose petals while he was reading a bed time story to Kavish, and the night that followed with the passionate love they made to commemorate the day! Whoever said love fades away with time surely did not meet Arnav and Khushi, because for them, love only multiplied with time and was going on in infinite loop!
10 years and counting… from Khushi’s eyes
Khushi looked from the kitchen counter at the father-son duo. They were busy playing some cricket videogame. Arnav was not much of a cricket fan earlier, but one would debate he knew much more about the cricket history now than he did about any other sport, courtesy his son! It was funny how Kavish, their 5 year old son, made Arnav not only sit through the live cricket matches being telecasted on TV but also play video games related to the sport. And Arnav happily gave into his demands. He no doubt was a doting father to her ‘chikku’ and to his 2 princesses. She smiled thinking about that.
“Mamma food” came a voice from behind her and Khushi turned to look at her 1.5-year-old daughter Arohi, who was sitting in her stroller and asking for her meal. Her other twin daughter, Shreeya was with nani and was probably taking a nap. Khushi often wondered how her twin daughters Arohi and Shreeya were so different from one another. Not only in looks, because that they were, Aru was Arnav’s Xerox copy while Shree was a beautiful blend of them, his eyes-her smile but they also were different in personalities. Aru was very impatient and always demanded-nay-commanded attention, while Shree was very calm, very patient child. No one would notice there was a baby around for shree was that calm. They all used to joke saying shreeya was a reincarnation of some saint or philosopher!
Khushi remembered when she and Arnav first started trying to get pregnant. It was shortly after her 25th birthday and to be honest, that was her birthday wish! Though he argued that she herself was still a baby, he eventually agreed that it was not such a bad idea. “Your wishes are my dreams” he said. Another benefit to it was he really enjoyed every bit of the process, specially the ‘trying’ part!
She remembers the days of her first pregnancy, the crazy pampering by whole Gupta and Raizada clan, specially a certain laad governor who seemed to have made his office in their bedroom to be available for her all the time. And then how he panicked when she was in labor and how half of their family’s attention went on to pacify him and tell him she was fine. He had made her swear that she will not make him go through it again, as if he were the one pushing a baby out from his body! But she understood he said all that because he was afraid of seeing her in pain, of losing her. And then there were their twin daughters. Despite him taking all precautions, they found themselves pregnant again after their yearly summer holiday in 2019. “I should have just gone ahead with the operation after Kavish’s birth” he had cursed frustrated, after she refused to terminate the pregnancy. Khushi always knew he would eventually get over his initial fear and come around. And that is what happened. Whatever little apprehensions he had about their second child; it all went out of the window the moment he held their daughters. The world watched in awe as a once dreaded ruthless business tycoon ASR tuned into a most loving and mushy as it can get, family man for his wife and kids! She would always visit AR when Kavish was little, but those trips reduced after she was pregnant with their twins and later because Covid pandemic happened. They always used to say that while 2020 might have been a difficult year for everyone, it brought them their angels. They cannot imagine their life without their daughters Arohi and Shreeya aka Pari.
Naming their kids was another story. Arnav had successfully convinced her to not name their baby boy ‘Prem’ or ‘Chulbul’, as her Salmanji’s characters names from his movies were apparently too ‘tacky’ for their son. He eventually let her call him ‘chikku’ while his official name was decided as Kavish. It’s another matter altogether that very few in their home called himby that name. He was ‘laddu gopal’ for buaji and nani, ‘champ’ for nanheji and akash jiju, ‘kishu’ for her amma and babuji and ‘kavish’ for the rest. Arohi and Shreeya’s names were decided relatively easily. And while it was decided against having any more nicknames for the Raizada kids, they still had a bunch of them. ‘Aru’, ‘Princess arohi’, ‘Shree’, ‘pari’ to name a few!
She handed the food tray to HP, with daliya for Arohi and pari and picked up Arohi to walk into the twins’ room. While she fed aru her food, kavish walked in the room. He put his arms around her neck from the backand kissed her on her cheek, something he always did to shower his love on his mamma. Khushi caressed his hair, kissed him on his cheek and head, and told himto get freshen up and come for dinner. When he made a fuss about it, she knew how to get her eldest’s attention.
“Aru, do you know I made halwa puri today? But what to do, you and pari cannot eat it and your bhaiyya does not want to eat. I will just give it all to your piya didi.” Khushi talked to arohi who understood very little and just giggled, but it caught kavish’s attention as he ran into bathroom to get freshen up and dash out for his favorite meal. Khushi chuckled at her ‘chikku’s’ antics.
When she walked in their room later that night, Arnav was feeding Pari. She doubted if he remembered what was special about next day. But given that he always celebrated their smallest anniversaries in past few years, she was sure he would remember. Besides, if he remembered or not, she had planned something for him. They could not go out for any of the birthdays or anniversaries since last year due to pandemic, including the twins’ first birthday, but that would not stop them from celebrating things!
Her mind went back to the day that was tomorrow, 10 years since the day when their paths first crossed! Most eventful 10 years! They went through so much through it all, got married, fought with each other, fought with enemies like Shyam and dadi, remarried, traveled the world, had beautiful babies and most importantly fell in love with each other more with each passing day! Sure, there were problems and ups and downs in their way, but they held onto each other.
“what are you thinking?” Arnav asked holding 2 mugs of what she knew would be ,badam-doodh, walking in their room. Since the time of her first pregnancy, when doctors told them she needed to improve her calcium intake, he had made this habit of having ‘almond-milk’ every night. She used to complain saying she did not like the taste but, in her heart, she adored him for his gesture.
“nothing much, just thinking about how our lives changed in last few years” she replied, honestly.
“any regrets?” he asked with a small smile on his lips. He knew the answer well still needed assurances from time to time
“maybe one.” There was mischief clearly visible in her eyes
“what’s that?” he asked frowning.
“I couldn’t marry Salman khan ji” she replied with fake sincerity and pout and looked at him. It took him a few seconds to absorb what she was saying and then they both burst in laughter.
A while later, as they were settled in their favorite spot at poolside (though the pool was now covered, thanks to ‘babyproofing the house’), she leaned onto him. His hands instinctively wrapped around her shoulders.
“I don’t think we can plan a lot for tomorrow” he said a little later.
“Hum jaante hain (I know) but its ok, we’ll celebrate all pending anniversaries when the world is littler safer for that” she tried to tell him that it was ok. And he knew at that moment, they had surely come a long way! She was no longer that 22-year-oldgirl who lived a little too much in her ‘filmy world’ but a 32-year-old woman, a wife, a mother, a working woman in her might and he was proud of her! Proud of them! She was still cheerful, the life of their house, the breeze of happiness in his life but she acquired few new qualities to her personality and that made her even more charming.
The next day went by rather too quickly. Having 3 kids around only gave them so much of time and to top that, they had their individual businesses to take care of. His ‘AR’ and her ‘Gupta foods’. Soon it was evening and ASR started his plan. Khushi was busy with a call with an NGO, about sending food packets to help them, when he took over the kitchen with Payal and nani’s help. A simple yet special 7 course dinner for her! She felt overwhelmed by the preparations at dinner table and blinked her eyes to stop her tears as she proceeded to sit on the table. The dinner went with chit chat and happy conversations, for it was a known fact that the whole family sat together for dinner, unless they went out or unless one of the babies needed attention and dinner had to be taken later or in the kids’ room. But she knew he was craving to spend some cozy moments with her. Through their hectic schedules, it was becoming more and more difficult for them to get some time just for each other. So, they used to look forward to special days like these.
Unknown to him, she had also planned something for him too. Their bedroom was decorated with rose petals, scented candles and the fairy lights. And then there she was, near the foot of their bed, on the other side, draped in a cherry-red color saree, her hair on one side of the shoulder, wavy and shining, and minimal jewelry, her Mangalsutra, bindi, diamond chandeliers as her earrings and kohl filled eyes! One look on his face and she knew her efforts were appreciated. And then he showed her later that night just how much he loved what she did for him.
“no one will believe you have given birth to 3 kids, Khushi” as they were lying in each other’s arms later that night, his complement on her body, made her blush a dark shade of crimson.
“can I tell you a secret?” she asked. A thousand thoughts went through his minds after that, another baby?, She planning to go to Lucknow? Anything he did wrong? But he just ‘hmm'ed’ in response for her to continue.
“I am glad I fell in your arms that day and I am glad I did not marry Salman khan ji” her cheeky reply made him sigh in relief and then pull her into another kiss which eventually turned into much more!
Their life was as blissful as it could get, and they couldn’t wait for many more of such moments to come!
Topic started by m4manju
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