Nine Years of Wedded Bliss;
Iss Pyaar Ko Kya Naam Doon? anniversary contests
~ Voting Round ~
Hello Hi everyone! Arnav Singh Raizada and Khushi Kumari Gupta Singh Raizada are about to complete nine years of domestic bliss in the IPKKND cinematic universe hopefully. In order to commemorate, and celebrate nine years of them being wedded, and rabba ves they had over the course, we're here with the submissions of an OS, VM, and signature contest on the occasion.
rules and instructions for voting:
The participants put in a lot of time, and effort to create the fan art for submissions into this contest. Every silent viewer and those who are active, are consuming fan art content because of being part of this fandom/community. Please make sure to not download any of the VM submissions, plagiarize any of the fan fiction content, or appropriate any of the signatures that the participants put their energy in creating in order for us to foster community engagement around IPKKND. Support fellow fanart! Honor the creator's efforts and wait until participants are announced to reach out to them if you want to save their work offline. Thank you!Edited by dramebaaz.af - 10 months ago
Shantivan had seen great days of plomp and galore. Crowds of elite had flocked about, with permission the paparazzis got their rare chance to capture the elusive ASR and his even more elusive smiles and above all, there were several who claimed Shantivan couldn’t see a better day than the heights of AR.
Oh they were so wrong, and wonderfully so! In the many years since Khushi and Payal’s blessed entry - though records state it was rather dramatic - Shantivan had finally become something Devyani had yearned for years. It was finally home.
“And if you ask me, Mom - I mean Amma - is the reason why this family found it’s eternal happiness. Shouldn’t be a surprise because she is Khushi.” Om Prakash burst into snotty tears as Aarav completed his speech.
“OP kaka! You’re supposed to help me-” Aarav groaned and handed a tissue to Om Prakash. He grimaced, much like his father, as OP noisily blew his nose.
“Aarav baba, this is so sentimental! You’re right - this house’s happiness lies with Khushi bhabhi and-” Om Prakash continued crying into his tissue.
Sigh, perhaps Aarav will not find anyone in this house who could review his speech without bursting into tears. Papa was right, people were oddly too emotional about things that weren’t even that emotional. Holding the older sobbing man in his arms, Aarav decided to change his strategy for his parents’ ninth wedding anniversary. He’ll save the speech for later - it was probably time to do something his favorite chachu would be proud of.
— — —
“Absolutely not!” Arnav refused his son - who at 17 nearly touched his height. Aarav raised an eyebrow and rolled his eyes. Someone needed to teach this boy manners for rolling his eyes at his father. Although at the corner of his eyes Arnav saw Khushi rolling her eyes at him.
It clearly said - Arnav ji, don’t be a grump and let’s give an interview!
Arnav glared back - Khushi, it’s weird to talk about us to our son. Actually scratch that, it’s weird for me to talk for more than three minutes anywhere.
Arnav. You know this is a sweet idea - Nanhe ji is a genius in coming up with great gifts. It’s a great thing he told Aarav to host this interview.
Yes, only your Nanhe knows that for my anniversary I’d like to talk - at length- cause I love talking, don’t I?
Arnav! Kitna mazaa ayega.
Yeh mazaa nahi, sazaa hoga.
ou do remember that Nanhe ji has helped you for the most important things in life? My birthday - which you didn’t know, your proposal - for which he found the song, and of course - the New Year.
But having me in your bed was your fantasy and doing Miss. Gupta.
“Papa!” Aarav snapped Arnav out of his mental argument,
“Papa, you won’t do this for your son?” Arnav narrowed his eyes at his son’s blatant manipulation and sighed in defeat. Khushi clapped.
“Aarav, what should I wear for the interview? Sari or Salwar? Red or black? Or maybe green?” Khushi asked Aarav on her way out.
— — —
“Love is said to be visible for all except the ones in love - to test this theory and celebrate my parents’ anniversary, we first have Badi Nani on screen - woo!”
Devyani, dressed in her favourite pastel green chikankari saree, aged as finely as wine, pondered over Aarav’s question.
When did you realise that something was between them?
“I always wanted someone like Khushi bitiya for Chotte. But apart from my wishes I was truly surprised at how easily Khushi bitiya affected him. Now now, that doesn’t mean the effect is love - but if you ask me I knew the energy Khushi bitiya and Chotte shared was different the day she stormed in to hand over her resignation.”
Arnav was shocked into silence at her rage. Every word, every accusation Khushi levied against him slapped him on his face. Arnav gripped the resignation letter in his hands, and kept staring at the door long after it shut. Her words echoed in the empty walls of Shantivan. She wanted nothing to do with him. He didn’t care if she died. The contract was not worth her life.
“Everything Khushi bitiya said was true. But the minute she said that Chotte purposely had put her in harm’s way - you should have seen his face. Something broke. And of course it was their journey to figure out what it was - but I found all my answers during Akash bitwa and Payal bitiya’s wedding! Anjali bitiya thought she was sharing some new news to me - par hum bhi Nani hai - I knew these two fools finally saw what I had seen ages ago!” Devyani chuckled.
Aarav switched off the recording and clapped, helping Nani back to her room.
“Toh Badi Nani, why didn’t you tell Papa to open his eyes and get his love! Or the same to Amma?” Devyani chuckled at his naive question.
“Beta, there was a high chance both of your parents would have my head for breakfast if I said that,” Aarav laughed, “but on a serious note. I learned the hard way to not interfere between things because I saw it better. I’ve made this mistake once - I wouldn’t ever do it again.” Devyani sighed. But time had proven to be better - Arnav had matured, Lavanya found an excellent partner herself and above all, Arnav and Khushi found each other when it was intended.
“So who’s next?” Devyani asked.
--- --- ---
“Hello Hi Bye Bye, why was Sasumaa phirst?” Manorama sniffled, careful to not wipe away her makeup under her invisible tears. Mahinder sighed and patted her arm,
“See Mannu, Aarav bitwa is conducting this interview based on age. Now you might have a few grey hairs but that doesn’t mean you’re older than her right?” Aarav nearly dropped his camera off his tripod as Manorama gasped, touching her freshly dyed hair.
“Aap toh shutupiya karo! I know I still look like Vaijanthi Mala!” Manorama checked her hairline on her mirror.
“Of course I know, who else gives this compliment to you every morning?” Manorama blushed, muttering a shyer ‘aap toh shutupiya karo’ to Mahinder. He chuckled, shooting Aarav a grin for Manorama’s tagline.
“So Dadu, when did you know that something was there between Amma and Dad?”
“I think it was-”
“Aap toh shutupiya karo,” Manorama interjected, “You didn’t know when your own son fell in love, our quiet Arnav bitwa is kidney jaisan-” “Sydney Dadi” “-yes yes, Sydney jaisan door ki baat. Ask me, I know everything. Phati S-” Mahinder coughed, “-Khusi bitiya and Arnav bitwa ke betweens main something cooking. It happened during my Akash bitwa and Bahuriya’s sangeet!”
The crowds were stunned as Arnav appeared on stage, all black, next to an ethereal Khushi in a green saree. They watched him whisper a few words to her and like a shadow and its soul, they danced in tandem. The intimacy spoke of startling familiarity, and they danced like no one was watching. This was not for competition, it was a confession. To them, to all, it was a love story between a boy and a girl, that simply couldn’t be told in two words.
“Since then I knew it was an offer - badi ke saath chotti phree!” Mahinder coughed again, “I mean we got blessed with an offer!” Manorama corrected
“Sangeet is very late Mannu. I knew something was up on the day both your parents chose to… let’s say there was a time when both your parents made a decision that drove them away from each other. And pain can be a sign of love. For Arnav it was too uncharacteristic, for Khushi bitiya her decision followed Arnav’s too quickly.” Mahinder said, alluding to when Khushi and Arnav were engaged to someone else.
Back then Mahinder felt something was off. For a woman like Khushi, her engagement would’ve followed a lot of plomp and announcements, and Arnav would’ve had a long conversation before solidifying a commitment. Yet it was his nephew's quick agreement, followed by a faster engagement once Khushi’s was around - that left him with his quiet opinions. Something was there that no one knew.
“But Aarav bitwa was asking when we definitely knew they knew when something was shared between them!” Manorama argued.
“Arrey Mannu he asked when we knew something was there - them knowing is a whole different story,” Mahinder turned to Aarav, “to be honest bitwa I have no idea when they knew!”
“Oohey! Your observations are phail! They couldn’t have anything then. I think-” Aarav crept out of their room with his tripod and camera and tiptoed to the kitchen.
--- --- ---
Now he wished he went back to Dadi and Dadu’s room considering he was not prepared for the sobbing Prakashes. They were so happy that Khushi bhabi and Arnav bhaiya got together, that they chose to express it through tears.
“I know! I felt something between them when she was playing hide and seek and accidentally ended up catching Arnav bhaiya!” Om Prakash recounted.
Om Prakash had started the Mritunjay Jaap the minute Khushi Didi had caught Arnav’s hand, and God Forbid, his cheek. However, without removing her blindfolds she stepped back - as if burned, gasping - as if aware who it was without seeing. Arnav was curious, watching her with a keen eye as she steadied herself and saw the man before her. With a quiet question, confused glance and a disapproving nod he walked away, a small smile playing on her lips and muttering something like ‘paagal’. Khushi was a terrible liar and Arnav was excellent at catching lies, so for a long time Om Prakash wondered why Khushi remained flustered and Arnav hadn’t pushed her much.
“No… it was during Barsi. Arnav bhaiya was frantic, searching for her everywhere.” Jai Prakash corrected.
Arnav spent half of the day searching for Khushi, and when he did see her he was standing in guilt, unable to do anything. Khushi was unaware that she was being watched, her red eyes and smudged kohl spoke of a recent sob.
“Please, everyone, it was when the whole family danced to Ooh La La for Khushi bhabhi. I witnessed a moment alright!” Hari Prakash said, proud of his observations.
After having recovered from the shock of the Raizada women cheering up for Khushi by dancing to Ooh La La, he watched Arnav bhaiya drop his phone and stare in shock. He sympathized with Arnav bhaiya until he saw him smiling at the scene. Perhaps this was the day for Hari Prakash to faint in shock. Except he saw Arnav bhaiya’s smile fade and stare at someone, his eyes in deep pain and grief. And the same pain was mirrored in Khushi’s eyes. Oh… when had this happened?
--- --- ---
Akash smiled hearing all the stories recounted by the dear Prakashes. Payal had a matching smile on her face. They beamed at each other as their favourite nephew asked them a question they truly had the answer for.
“Payal, you go first.” Akash said, her hand causally in his.
Aarav waited in the chair as the couple played the classic Lucknowi game of ‘pehle aap’.
“Maasi! You’re first - please, for the love of God, say when you knew something was there!” The couple blushed at being caught and Payal cleared her throat.
“When she made sugar free sweets for Diwali.”
With all the chaos in the house, and in her own life, Payal realised she had neglected Khushi’s aspect of life for a long time. So on Diwali she chose to be by her side, help her pack her things for the Raizada house. She kept the barfis carefully - for they were Akash’s favorite - but was surprised as Khushi treasured a differently packed box and kept it right on top. Khushi hesitated, flushed and admitted that it was sugar free for Arnav. And Payal had seen it right then, the first bloom of love in Khushi’s eyes. Oh Khushi! It was only when Arnav returned her wallet, speaking more to Khushi with his eyes than with the rest, that Payal feared something more had happened. Something that neither was ready to share.
“Okay… I think I know when it happened from Bhai’s end, but it’s probably not appropriate given the whole circumstance.” Akash grinned at Payal’s surprise.
“Chote Papa please, I am dying for the juicy details. Anjali Bui and Aman Phupa haven’t arrived yet, neither have Nanhe Chachu and La Chachi. So I’m really depending on you for the details!” Aarav begged.
Akash laughed, “By the time NK was around we all knew because thanks to him your father was burning in jealousy. But your Aman Phupa and I might have the same day in mind to be honest. I just arrived in the office and Aman filled me in with the information that Khushi was shooting for the calendar - I was surprised! I didn’t know she was a model. Turned out she wasn’t, so I went downstairs and I found her looking stunning in this excellent AR red saree. And trust me, I wasn’t the only one surprised.”
Arnav had stopped dead in his tracks, his hand in mid air as Khushi stepped into the center amidst the lights and fans. He had little faith in fate, but if there was he knew this moment had been conspired by the fates. She was breathtaking in red, and they both knew they were damned by the fates. They didn’t know they had an audience, watching this suspended moment with a sharp eye. For they only had eyes for each other.
--- --- ---
“So that is the legend of the red saree.” Aarav teased his parents. Khushi, wearing a similar red saree glared at her son while Arnav coughed and looked away.
“Yes, she looked like someone with whom I could fall for in a heartbeat.” Khushi was surprised at his candid confession and touched his shoulder with equal parts of love and gentility.
“But you know Aarav there’s a world of difference between knowing and accepting you’re in love versus the sparks. I honestly can’t give a date for that.” Arnav admitted.
“But I can!” Khushi quipped, “yes, as your father said the sparks - I don’t know when it started - but when I did start feeling things, things beyond my control I asked for Devi Maiyya’s signals. I believe love happens when you feel flowers raining on you, see him everywhere and you can listen to your heartbeats.” Khushi explained. Arnav was surprised, she had never told him this.
Khushi needed a signal from her Devi Maiyya, despite knowing in her heart what it was. And it happened, like clockwork she saw him in everyone, the flowers and stars rained on him and the world shut except for him and her heartbeats.
Arnav softened as her eyes glowed when she described her falling in love and the magic around it.
“All this happened to you?” He asked, his voice laced with a tinge of regret. If he only knew back then!
“We all experience love differently, Arnav ji, we experience it the way we define love in the first place.” Khushi whispered back, her cheeks rosy from her narration. Arnav nodded and looked at his son, there were so many stories to tell, so many ways to define how and when he fell in love with her.
“There is no time and moment for me because for a period of time I kept falling in love with your mother - again and again - until it broke every single barrier I built. Di knew when I was ready - she literally told me to go and confess to Khushi, but even before then when she described love - I only saw Khushi, her tears, her exclamation of going to Lucknow forever. When I thought she was in an accident-”
“He held my face, yelled for me in the middle of the streets but couldn’t complete his farak padta hai,” Khushi cheekily added. Arnav grinned.
“It’s a sentence your mother also never completed but the funny thing is, it’s less about when we fell in love and more about when we could say that we have. And trust me, despite everything there are moments when I realise that I’m still falling in love with her.” Arnav completed, looking at her eyes in wonderment that in a strange way he did end up with her despite everything in between. He looked at a quiet Khushi, surprised by her little sniffles.
“Khushi? Won’t you say- hey are you crying?” Arnav gently wiped her tears with his handkerchief as she aggressively refused her sobs. Aarav left his camera and went to his mother, wrapping her in the warmest hugs.
“Amma, do you have to cry at everything?” Aarav teased. Khushi and Arnav burst into laughter, the son and father taking great care in wiping her tears.
— — —
The family came in, giving the couple their hugs and wishes for their anniversary. With a few teases, heartfelt wishes and whistles, Arnav and Khushi celebrated their ninth anniversary.
“Happy Anniversary Miss. Gupta,” Arnav whispered, pressing a quick kiss amidst all the hoots. Khushi, grinned, eating a large piece of the cake as Aarav dragged them to the living room. He switched on the projector and played the video. They laughed at the family’s admissions and of course - Manorama and Mahinder’s argument of when Arnav and Khushi fell in love.
“Waise aren’t you glad we did the interview! It’s so sweet!” Khushi whispered.
“I know. You were right.” Arnav said.
“I am always right.” Khushi pointed out.
“Excuse me, I don’t think you can prove that.” Arnav scoffed.
“Oh I can.” Khushi smiled, pulling his cheek.
“You see, I was absolutely right in picking my life partner.” Khushi grinned. Arnav raised an eyebrow.
“Miss. Gupta, you are… unbelievable.” Khushi laughed and leaned on his shoulder, surprised at how the nine years passed by.
--- The End ---
Edited by dramebaaz.af - 10 months ago
Can pain be precious? Is it possible to hold some wounds closer to your heart and be grateful for them? Can you enjoy suffering just because it was caused by someone who you love more than your life?
According to Arnav Singh Raizada, yes. Because he holds too many of them, close to his heart.
Lying on the large king size bed, moving his fingers through his wife’s soft hair, he was lost in deep thoughts. Late night musings as some people would say. Suddenly he had an urge to write them down, to capture what his heart never wanted to forget. Slowly disentangling himself from his sleeping wife, Arnav stepped out of their bed. Opening the drawer of his bedside table, he took out the one thing he had been keeping from his wife, his diary!
Moving to the study table and switching on the table lamp, he started writing.
“I cannot believe it is our 9th anniversary tomorrow. 9 years ago, I stopped myself from making one of the gravest mistakes of my life and was rewarded with my Khushi! That reminds me, what exactly did I do to deserve her love? Especially after a spectacular job of pushing her away for an entire year..
‘Just because I kept your payal doesn’t mean it means anything to me.’ I had said and hurt her.
And then, few days later, she threw hot chai on my face. I was burning in and out, but I had felt a strange relief. Khushi does not know this, but I am thankful for every bit of misery she has put me through. Because I kept hurting her in worst ways possible, with choicest hurtful words. What was I thinking?
And then I forcefully married her! In the rage to hurt her and that criminal ex-husband of my di, I almost destroyed my Khushi.
‘I can’t believe I have to be in the same room as you, breathe in the same air as you. Disgusting!’
When the truth was, she should have been disgusted by the way I was treating her and made her live in the same house as her tormentor...
But she was a strong woman, even back then, at such a young age!
So, I feel she did right by taking my voice after that, with her macchar chaap agarbatti! She did that to annoy me, but I honestly think it was nothing. I would have done worse if I was in her place!
But yeah, I secretly felt happy with the misery she has put me through, in those initial days of our marriage and even before that. It felt like my punishment was being served when she got back to me every single time. Right from the time she threw that hot tea on my face, to accidentally slapping me, to taking my voice for a full day and to starving me until I fainted. I feel I deserved that pain and more. Half of those things she didn’t even mean to do while I was deliberately hurting her time and again. With many cruel ways and words.
Even after Shyam’s truth was out, I still didn’t stop being a rakshas
‘tum meri zindagi mein ayi hi kyun? Main tumse mila hi kyun? Tum meri life ki sabse badi galti ho Khushi Kumari Gupta’
Was there any limit to how lower I could stoop? Was there any limit to her humiliation at my hands? And for what? Just because she chose to stand by me and my family, despite all that? Just because she was an angel to my demons?
And then I chose the worst ways to bring her back to me once our contact marriage was about to get over. In my defense, I just wanted her back, by hook or crook. And crookedly is how I behaved! Making her work for me for 24 hours to earn rent money, making her sing and dance like a clown and what not! I just wanted a glimpse of my happy Khushi, but I didn’t realize I was humiliating her, again! Why couldn’t I just say, ‘you are my everything, Khushi, I want YOU back. And not just some thousand rupees, but my entire empire belongs to you, I belong to you. It's all yours to take, yours to claim’. But I didn’t say it loud! I think I did try but she was beyond listening by then. I don’t blame her.
I wasn’t kidding when I said I deserved to slip and hurt my back for hurting her. I genuinely deserved that and more. But seeing her heartbroken when I said, did she feel happy that I fell, made me drop the topic for ever saying it out loud again. How could she be so forgiving?
The only solace I have is the day we celebrate tomorrow, the day I did not disappoint her for once! Our remarriage day, real-marriage day! And that moment when I stood by her, her faith in me, in our love! And I thank my mother’s teaching a thousand times for making me realize what I needed to do in the nick of time.
‘Humein pata tha aap ayenge’
I remember the relief on her face when she saw me at door of our wedding hall. That made me realize, how cruel it would have been had I not turned up. Her love pulled me from the hell that was my past, from my sorrows and I allowed her to. I still don’t believe I deserve the heaven she has turned our lives into, but I have been trying with all my heart, with every single ounce of my blood and sweat, to be worthy enough.
‘Sorry Khushi, thodi deir ho gayi par ana toh tha hi’
Least she knows, that sorry was not just for coming late but for almost everything I had done until then to hurt her!
She touched my forehead, trying to gauge my bloody wound, but I stepped back. Not because I was unsure or trying to scare her but because I wanted to feel that pain. I felt I deserved the throbbing pain in my head for making her go through worst kind of emotional stress over and over again!
Another one of my precious wounds!
Since then, I have been trying to make amends and I have taken an oath to continue doing so till I breath my last.
I have spent every single moment loving her, cherishing her, protecting her the way she deserves.
I stood firm like an impenetrable wall between my wife and any hardships that could touch her. Sometimes directly, sometimes being in shadows. But I can proudly say I have not let any sorrow touch my angel in the last 9 years and I intend to do so till forever!
My wife still doesn’t know I don’t drink a drop of water on the days she keeps fasts. I eat bare minimum food to ensure my blood sugar levels aren’t dropping but at least I could stay thirsty, without water, right? So, I do. How could I let my body be at peace when she stays with an empty stomach?
It never feels enough though because I know it is not enough!
She has forgiven me, long ago as she said. She is too pure to hold grudges, loves me too much to punish me but I wish she did. That doesn’t mean she doesn’t fight with me over silly reasons or gets me in trouble by her sanki-ness but she in unaware that I really don’t mind any of it!
I just wish, if there is any supreme power up there, please give me enough power and strength to always keep her happy, always keep her safe! And make me worthy of the love she showers on me “
Closing the diary with a content smile, he gets up. Glancing at the clock, which shows its almost midnight. He gets on the bed, careful to not wake her. But as soon as he lies down, she senses him and moves closer, posing one of her Taekwondo poses, almost kicking him by her leg. For a moment, he feels sharp pain in his gut as her knee hits him there. Pressing his lips together, closing his eyes, he doesn’t make a sound to not wake her up. After a minute, he composes himself, takes a deep breath and opens his eyes. Looking at a peacefully sleeping Khushi, snuggled close to him warms hi heart like anything. ‘tumhara diya hua har dard mujhe manzoor hain Khushi. I love you to the moon and back. Happy anniversary!’ he murmurs as he presses his lips on her forehead and wrapping her securely in his arms, goes to a peaceful sleep.
Edited by dramebaaz.af - 10 months ago
You May Now Kiss The Bride...
Love can reduce anyone to anything! He had said that years ago, but he experienced it every day. Especially when he, the-mighty-business-tycoon-ASR, was taken to task by the one and only, Sanka Devi. What a pedagogue she was!
Like today. He could not believe what he heard. His capabilities were being questioned; his love was being questioned. And over what? writing some sentimental lines? Even after all this time and all that he had done. How could she doubt his writing prowess?
“Why can’t I? Give me one reason to prove otherwise.”
Challenging him was her second-favorite pass time. First was still non-stop chattering about any silly thing in the world!
“Challenge accepted. I will prove it to you that it’s not a big deal to write wedding vows.”
And he loved accepting those challenges thrown by her. Winning or losing didn’t matter, as “the actual prize” was always his to keep! His beautiful, amazing, crazy wife, his Khushi.
“Great to see you eager to lose Mr. Raizada. Just a small condition though, the vows must be exact 9, not one more, not one less. So, deal?“
Oh, how amazing it sounded whenever she addressed him Mr. Raizada, a huge turn on it was. And she had picked on his habits too, making deals out of everything.
“Sauda.” He imitated her younger self, the way she would reply to his challenge, “Game on, Mrs. Raizada. I will see you on the battlefield, er I mean at the altar.” Saying so, he leaned in and kissed her on her cheek, as if to seal the deal. Some things should never be changed, kissing to seal a deal was one of them!
“Oh God, these two started again” Akash who was passing by the poolside saw his brother corner his sister-in-law for the gazillion’th time in last 10 years, took his son Ishan, niece Harsha, and nephew Hridan away from there.
It all started a month ago when Arnav and Khushi had gone to attend Arnav’s friend’s wedding in Goa, which was a Church wedding. The whole experience was new to Khushi, and she curiously observed each ritual. She saw how the bride was escorted by her father and how she followed two little girls (they were called flower girls, her husband told her), who threw rose petals in the path as the bride walked to the groom. The minister started officiating the wedding by reading a passage from the holy book followed by the bride and groom reading their wedding vows for each other. Finally, they were asked if they were ready to accept each other as husband and wife to which they gladly agreed. However, Khushi was left scandalized as the bride and groom kissed each other lip-to-lip after ring exchange, in front of the whole audience.
Arnav who was still not a fan of any type of ceremonies was just busy watching his wife and her reactions to each ritual. The awe with which she watched the whole ceremony, dreamy look on her face as the couple were announced man and wife and finally shock as they kissed. And Arnav could not stop himself from teasing her, as he whispered in her ear, “That is exactly what I wanted to do in our wedding”. The delicious combination of blush and horror on her beautiful face was worth watching.
But now, a month since they returned from that wedding, all she was talking about was how lovely it was for the couple to write their vows and make those promises to each other.
So, they decided that their wedding anniversary this year would serve as a perfect event for this ‘vow writing competition’. And irrespective of the ‘results’, Arnav had decided her gift, trip to Hawaii! A much-needed romantic getaway. He was eager to see her reaction to his ‘surprise’.
On the anniversary eve, everyone was gathered in the hall which was decorated to celebrate 9 glorious years of togetherness for their beloved Chote and his gorgeous wife Khushi. And the theme was a Church wedding!
NK had helped explaining the Raizada and Gupta families about Church weddings and what it comprises of. Payal volunteered to be a bridesmaid and Akash, the best man. Little Harsha was the flower girl, while Ishan and Hridan were ring bearers.
They were all seated in their makeshift benches and looked at the dais where a handsomely dressed Arnav, in a navy-blue Ralph Lauren suit, was waiting for Khushi, besides NK who took the role of the minister. Amongst the enchanting music, Akash and Payal walked down the aisle and reached the dais. Then came the cute flower girl-Harsha, showing her dimpled smile to her father as she threw the rose petals along the walkway for her mother.
And finally, the music changed to indicate the arrival of the bride. The audience held their breath, as they saw an elegantly dressed Khushi, wearing a white gown-with-golden borders, being escorted by Shashi, slowly reaching the dais. She was glowing with happiness and Arnav felt goosebumps in his stomach to see this gorgeous woman approach him, as they set to be tied in holy matrimony, once again!
The couple now stood in front of each other, and NK started speaking,
“Dearly beloved, we all are gathered here today to witness the union of this amazing, wonderful couple, who I proudly call my family. The angry-young-man-turned-loving-partner Nannav and beautifully charming Khushiji. We will now hear them recite their wedding vows to each other. Nannav?” NK gestured Arnav to start and he cleared his throat before speaking,
“Khushi, before I met you, I was a living machine. My life was meaningless, it lacked happiness. But then you walked in my life or rather fell in my arms and literally changed my perspective of looking at things. However, looking back, I realize there are a few things I would change from our story and since I can’t go back in past, here are my promises for our future.
I promise to always trust you Khushi. First and foremost! I promise to never push you away, no matter what mood I am in. I promise to return home on time EVERYDAY and give you all my evenings. I promise to hear your stories and not make excuses and never shout at you. I promise to help you raise our kids and not spoil them, well at least not much. I promise to respect your wishes. I promise to always love and cherish you as we grow old together. I promise to stand by you in sickness and health and never leave you alone. And finally, I promise to love you till my last breath. I love you Khushi, for forever.”
By the time he was done, Khushi was already crying. However, she composed herself and started reading, “Arnav ji, I cannot begin to explain what you mean to me. You are the beat of my heart, soul of my being. You make me feel so loved, so cherished, every day. And I realize I don’t say this enough. So, I will start by saying thank you! Thank you for loving me so much, for giving me this wonderful family and for showing that side of you that world is unknown to.
Arnav ji, I promise to not keep any secrets between us and always tell you everything on my mind. I promise to always listen to you before arguing just to prove you wrong. I promise to always stand by you, no matter where life takes us. I promise to help you take care of our family and protect them from any troubles. I promise to give you more time. I promise to be your strength, your confidante, your friend. I promise to always be there for you and our 3 kids and never ever leave you alone. I promise to stand by you in sickness and health. And finally, I promise to love you in your every avatar, till my last breath. Hamesha”.
By now everyone had tears in their eyes. As this way of getting married was new to them and the whole exchange made them feel giddy.
They watched as Arnav and Khushi exchanged the rings.
“I now announce you man and wife. You may now kiss the bride”, NK who took the role to officiate this wedding, announced with a wide grin. And everyone started clapping.
But Khushi started fiddling in her place. Their whole family was around, including their kids. How could they kiss in front of everyone? ‘Hey Devi Maiyya, what should I do now?’ She nervously closed her eyes as Arnav held her hand and slightly pulled her to him. He looked at her, her eyes tightly shut, lips quivering. She was so adorable, and so his! He leaned in as she braced herself in anticipation of the kiss. However, she felt his lips touch her on her forehead, kissing her there. She opened her eyes to look at his, with overwhelming love.
“By the way Khushi, I think you made a mistake in your vows. We have 2 kids, Harsha and Hridan, not 3” he said pointing to them in the crowd, and everyone started looking at Khushi curiously.
“Nahi Arnav ji. I did not make any mistake. I meant our 3kids, Harshu, Hridu and this little one” she lightly touched her tummy
“You mean, you are-“ she wasn’t, was she? Another bundle of joy on their way?
“Yes, we are going to have a baby.” she said smiling through her tears of joy. And even if Arnav was hearing her say this for the third time in their lives now, he still felt the same amount of overwhelming joy.
“Screw Hawaii, this is THE best anniversary gift I could ever get” as he pulled her in a hug, everyone clapped and cheered for this much-in-love couple and showered their blessings on them. It was obvious who won the competition!
Edited by dramebaaz.af - 10 months ago
Arnav yawned as he pushed away his chair from the desk to get up and leave. He was unsure how work kept piling itself up day after day despite him doing his best to wrap up everything during the generally accepted work hours. He got up, slammed the screen of his laptop shut, and stuffed the folders on his desk into his briefcase. After leaving a memo for Aman on his desk, along with sending a quick email, he slipped his phone into his pocket and hurried to get back home. It was nearing midnight and he was sure that Khushi wasn't going to be too happy with his late appearance to their bed.
He had made his way halfway down the spiral staircase from his office when he stopped in his tracks and rushed back up. He pulled open the drawer on the right side of the desk to pull out a flash drive, and a jewelry box. Slipping the box into his bag, he finally made his way out of the building.
The Delhi fall breeze caressed Khushi’s face as she sat on the floor by the pool starting at the reflection of the waning moon. In few minutes it would be nine years since the fateful day of their wedding. The proper one with all the rasams and the phere. At times while recalling the day, she couldn’t believe how lucky she had felt that day and throughout the past years. There were moments when she wanted to ask him about what would’ve happened if he didn’t come but he had always said one thing, and one thing alone. To let the past remain what it was, their past. Her eyes went to the phone lying next to her to look at the time. 11:45pm.
“Laad Governor” she mumbled under her breath at her husband's absence. He had promised to be home early and here it was, almost pushing midnight. Just as she leaned against the pillar and closed her eyes, she felt the energy around her shift. She opened her eyes to see that him catching his breath whilst standing two steps away from her. He looked as if he had rushed up the stairs.
“Khushi!” He said, making her smile before looking away with a disgruntled look to show her displeasure.
He dropped his bag on the recliner alongside his coat, before walking out to sit next to her.
“Sorry!” He pulled her hands into his. “I ran a bit late.” She refused to look at him.
“Khushi! I’m saying sorry!” He repeated. She blinked furiously to hide the corners of her mouth turning into a smile. He noticed the stiffness in her demeanor and sighed before dropping her hands. She frowned and turned to look at him.
“You’re going to be angry with me today? Out of all the days?” he complained.
She glared at him, “Everyone is right when they say that husbands change after years of marriage. If it was our second or third anniversary, you would’ve been making jalebi for me after coming late. And now, you want a simple sorry to fix everything!” She lashed out.
“Khushi!” His tone was deeper and more stern.
“What Khushi?!” She mimicked his tone and pouted before looking away at the moon’s reflection again. The breeze brushed past her face again as the trees around the house made a silent rustling noise. He took in a deep breath before inching closer to her.
“Khushi Kumari Gupta Singh Raizada,” he started out ever so softly, rolling her name off his tongue in a tone he had grown to observe that she found it hard to resist, “I am so so so sorry that I came home late. Especially today! But I am not going tomorrow!”
She turned around to see him holding his ears. “Please!” He said.
“Okay!” She replied pulling his hands down from his ears and holding them in hers, “I forgive you.” She smiled at him, before throwing herself onto him, engulfing him in a hug. “You’re so lucky that I don’t throw tantrums like regular wives.”
“Oh definitely!” He replied with a chuckle and rolled his eyes at the statement that clearly contradicted her behavior.
She slowly pulled away from him, her eyes failing to leave his face with a smile that stretched ear to ear. “Happy Anniversary!” She said signaling the clock visible next to his bedside. It had finally struck past midnight.
He turned to see the time and smiled back, “Happy Anniversary!” He replied pulling his hand out hers and taking hers into his to kiss the top of her hand. He looked up to see blush fill up her cheeks and the glint in her eyes shift. Before anything else can move forward, he excused himself for a second and got up to pull out the jewelry box from his work bag. Her eyes trailed his steps, remained fixated on his back until he turned back around to come to sit next to her again.
“I got this!” He said excitedly, presenting her with a velvet box.
“What is it?”
“Here,” he mumbled as he opened it. It was a gold necklace with an oval pendant with their initials inscribed on each side. He pushed the pendant between his fingers and it opened into a small frame with a photo on each side of each of them from their wedding. She let out a gasp looking at the photos in the necklace in his hand.
“Arnav ji!” She looked at him before looking back at the necklace with a surprised grin.
“Always the look of surprise at my presents!” He joked at her reaction, pretending to be offended.
“Oh no!” She reassured before rolling her eyes at the smirk on his face.
“Why did you chose this photo?” She remarked taking the necklace into her hand, “You have a bloody forehead in this one!”
“Yeah, we had interesting weddings each time around, didn’t we?” He chuckled a bit dryly.
She pursed her lips recalling the misunderstandings surrounding their first wedding, and then their past shadowing their second but brushed off the thoughts as a hmmm escaped her lips in agreement. He unclasped the necklace and leaned to put it around her neck.
“Nine Years!” He repeated pulling her towards him so that barely an inch was left in between them as he leaned back himself.
“Yeah, nine years!” She bit her lips in anticipation of him kissing her except he pulled away and abruptly stood up. She sat shocked for a moment before noticing his palm outstretched towards her. She grumbled something under her lips before taking his hand.
“The kids, how were they today?” He inquired helping her up as they walked into the room.
“Fine!” She said, “Aarav wants to go on some trip. Backpacking or something he was saying. I didn’t understand half of it and I don’t get the point of it either.” She relented as the two walked towards the children’s room to check up on them. “—and your daughter she’s been really been testing my patience these days.” Arnav pushed open Aarav’s door to see him fast asleep. He closed it shut before opening the door next to his and seeing his daughter fast asleep. He stood still for a moment, pulling Khushi closer to him and wrapping his arms around her.
“She’s perfect!” He whispered to her admiring their five-year-old sound asleep.
“Yeah.” She nodded in agreement. “Just not when she’s awake. She’s like you! Bothers me too much!” She added.
“Oh yeah!” He teased as they closed the door behind to head back to their room. “—Are you jealous because I’m their favorite!”
Khushi glared at him.
“Go change!” She pointed before picking up a hair tie to braid her hair and settling in the bed.
He locked the door behind before going to change out of the daywear. He stepped out in few minutes to see her already lying. “Khushi!” He called her getting under the covers.
“Where’s my present? It’s my anniversary too!” He pointed
“It’s in the cupboard Arnav ji! I’ll give it to you tomorrow morning, okay!” She replied with her eyes still closed while stifling a yawn.
“No, I want it now!” He complained laying next to her.
“What?” She grumbled opening her eyes to see him in front of her.
“I don’t want to wait till tomorrow! Besides, I really liked the present you gave me before our wedding!” He added. She heaved a sigh before moving closer towards him, slowly tracing her palm over his chest before placing a kiss on his cheek and the edge of his lips before settling into his arms. “Go to sleep now!” She chided wrapping herself around him.
He sighed before giving in knowing full well that the festivities around the celebration in and outside the bedroom would perhaps be reserved for the following evening.
“I love you!” She said as she tightened her grip around him. Before he could register and respond, she had fallen asleep. He replied reciprocating her sentiment through a yawn to only hear her snore. He smiled as he allowed himself to fall into slumber. Nine perfect years had passed by, and he knew that he couldn’t wait for nine more perfect years to pass them by again!
Edited by dramebaaz.af - 10 months ago
Wohi Din, That Day Again!
Arnav Singh Raizada had been pacing in his room for the past fifteen minutes, hoping for his wife to come at any moment but it had begun to feel as if nothing he wanted was ever going to get down. He was just about to leave the room when a message popped on his phone. He picked up to see. It was from Aarav, who had returned back to the States for the new semester, wishing him a Happy Anniversary.
He smiled whilst replying back before leaving the room to search for his dear wife.
“Aaj tak much bhulne nahi diya ke mein ne pehli kuch anniversaries mix up bar dein thi aur aaj yeh khudi gaeb hai!” He mumbled as he wandered towards their children’s room to find her asleep in Esha’s room. He pushed open the door to see her asleep against the bed frame, with her hand on Esha’s forehead. His brows furrowed at noticing that the little girl’s toes were wiggling out of the blanket spread. He pressed the night lamp open to see that despite one of Khushi’s palms covering her eyes, the girl was doing her best to slowly slide her face from underneath her mother’s hand.
“Esha?” He said in surprise. If Esha was like anyone he would say it was Khushi. Not only were her eyes a spitting image of Khushi’s but Arnav had been pleasantly surprised at every turn to see the extent the little girl made everyone run after her. He kneeled next to Khushi and slowly lifted her hand off Esha’s face to see her eyes widen at seeing her father. He smiled and raised his brows at her at which she pretended to close her eyes shut as tightly as she can.
"Esha!" he called out. She opened one eye while keeping the other close.
"Mein Ma ko yahan se le kar ja raha hoon, par aap sojao! Theek hai?" he stated, hoping for her to comply. The little girl slowly nodded in agreement with a defeated frown on her face. He leaned forward to place a kiss on her forehead and stood up to pick Khushi into his arms. She was still as light as a feather in his arms. Her arms instinctively found their way around his neck, clutching onto his collar. He smiled, satisfied before nodding at his daughter and pulling the door close behind him. He felt the need to check up on Aryan, their youngest as well but with Khushi in his arms, he let the thought go and headed back to their room.
He placed her on the bed and pulled the sheets over her, knowing full well the presents he was hoping to gift to her at midnight would have to wait for tomorrow in itself.
Khushi woke up stifling a yawn to see her husband missing from their bed. Before she could process the change in setting from the one remembered last night, her morning daze was broken with the sounds of the bathroom door opening, and her husband stepping out wearing chinos and a towel hanging around his neck.
"Aare tum uth gayi!" he exclaimed as he kneeled to sit across from her. She pulled her knees closer to her chest and leaned against the headboard smiling at him. Their brief moment of serendipity was interrupted with a loud knock on their door. "Kon hai!" he yelled harshly at which Khushi tried biting back her giggle at.
"Chotte hum hain!!"
"Di?" he turned to look at Khushi again. "Itni subah?" he questioned at which she shrugged, confused just as him about the early interruption. He picked up the shirt thrown on the recliner, putting it on as he opened the door with a glare and frown settled on his face.
Anjali stood in front with a breakfast tray in her head, accompanied by Aryan, Esha, Diya, and Aditiya and a tablet facing him. "Happy Anniversary!" she chided pushing past him into the room. Their children jumped onto the bed, onto their mother, Esha settling herself in between her mother and Aryan by sitting on her brother's lap. "Hiii Maaa!!" Aarav's voice boomed from the tablet tearing up Khushi. Aditiya seated himself on the recliner, poking the wet towel Arnav had thrown there a minute ago while Diya had decided to lean
"Arre Di?" the chaos that ensued in their room with the arrival of everyone had Khushi flustered for a second.
"Hum app dono ke leye lain hain, breakfast in bed! Happy Anniversary!" she said placing the bed table, and the tray in front of them while Arnav stood with his arms crossed in the middle of the room, still appearing displeased from the intrusion this early in the morning. Anjali took one look at her brother before pulling her daughter and Akash's son away from the family to head back downstairs. "Esha, Chotte ke chotte, aap dono bhi aajaye!" she gathered the crowd before exiting while smiling as sweetly at her brother as she could.
He closed the door behind to see Khushi asking Aarav about his midterms. After hearing her advise him to sleep on time and do well, she hung up saying she'll call him after his classes end tomorrow morning. She looked up to see him and then looked at the breakfast on the tray. "Di kitni achi hain!" she exclaimed clasping her hands together just as Arnav seated himself across from her again.
"Haan subah subah, 8AM pe apne ghar se yahan aai sirf hume kamre mein breakfast dene!"
"Arnav ji!" her tone disapproved of his comments.
"Kya!" he replied admonished at her tone
"Aap kuch kehne wale the na?" she brushed off his kya by shaking her head before asking him about what he had been wanting to say earlier.
"oh haan!" he smiled moving closer to her, "aaj ka poora din, I have it planned by time so get ready, becuase hum bahar ja rahein hain!"
"Sirf hum dono?" she questioned pushing the blanket off herself to get started for the day.
He nodded, observing the apprehension on her face. Despite faithfully running her dabba service and a fine-dining restaurant throughout the past nine years, Khushi's hands-on parenting rarely let her want to leave the children behind in a house full of people. She met his eyes looking at her with anticipation and hope and smiled in agreement.
She headed to the bathroom to freshen u, walking out minutes later to see Arnav picking up a piece of toast to eat. She smiled at him as he stopped midway, "Mein tumhara wait kar raha tha par thanda ho raha tha na!" —She chuckled at his response before joining him.
Khushi instructed Hari Prakash to sent the package in the guest room to the farmhouse as she turned around to crash into Payal who had been standing right behind her, looking over her shoulder.
"Kiya ho raha hai!" she questioned, poking in her nose in matters she knew Arnav doesn't generally let get others wind of.
"Kiya jiji! Humein dara diya!"
"Bata na Khushi! Kiya diya Arnav ji ne tumhe?" she probed further
"Abhi tak toh kuch nahi!" she lamented, "par hum bahar ja rahein hain toh shayed tab!" she responded shrugging her shouders. "Acha ab humein tayar hona hai! tum bachon ka dheyan rakhna please!"
"Haan acha theek hai!"
Khushi stepped down the stairs wearing a bottle-green sari, bordered with silver and grey sequins and mirrors to find Arnav dressed in a black kurta! She stood shocked for a moment to see him wearing the kurta she had gifted him last year. He had laughed initially and only tired out for her to model but the box had been left untouched.
While Arnav had finally put his Di's given kurtas to use during festivities, Khushi's felt that her attempt had failed when he would chose an older white kurta or one of his suit over this one but standing on top of the staircase, observing the smirk at his face at seeing her gobsmacked, she saw what her Laad Governor had done. She stepped down the stairs, linking her arm into his as they walked out before finally saying what they both had been dying to say out the family or house staff's earshot.
"Aap kafi ache laag rahein hain!" she remarked just as he opened the door for her to sit in.
"Tum bhi!" he replied helping her in, leaning in to place a kiss on her cheek.
The twenty-six minute car ride was silent and radiated palpitating tension that had settled between the two. They had stepped out of the car for Khushi to see that every corner of the house was decorated with flowers and fairy lights. She gasped at the decor, however the admiration fell short when her husband came in front of her eyes again.
After being served lunch which consisted of both staring at each other, Arnav dismissed the staff present there and pulled out a packet wrapped in sparkling blue gift paper.
"Khushi!" he called after her, seeing her standing by the roses planted outside.
She walked up to him, standing so close to him that one can mistake them as being glued to each other. She looked up at him, still not over him wearing the kurta she had specifically gotten for him. She felt that all of her adoration of her beautiful husband was falling short.
"Pehle apna gift toh le lo!" he remarked seeing the glint in her eyes. Nine years of being together had Khushi made somewhat as stubborn as him when it came to wanting each other's physical presence around themselves.
"Deejiye!" she exclaimed excitedly, still not breaking away to look elsewhere with her hand forward. He placed the package in her hand.
She finally looked at the gift with crinkled brows, unsure what it could hold. It didn't look like a box with clothing nor did it appear to be jewelry that she was usually used to receiving. She raised her brows at him to ask to have him nod at the package in her hand. She was quick to rip apart the wrapping paper to find three folders inside. She opened them one by one, before looking at him in confusion.
"Woh, I—" he cleared his throat, "Ab jitne shares company mein Di aur mere hain, utne hi tumharein hain! aur yeh baqi, thats just paperwork sare restaurants sirf tumhare naam par hain. Aur yeh Sheesh Mahal ke papers hain. Yeh tumhare aur bachoon ke naam kar deyein hain!"
"Kyun ke meri jar cheez pe, tumhara haq hai! Jitna haq mujh pe hai, utna hi mere saath ki har cheez pe!"
"Par aap—" before she could start, he wrapped his arms around her waist, pulling her against himself, "mera gift kahan hain?"
She pushed his hands from around her to lead him to one of the main rooms. There it was. He looked at her confused. Never been used to getting anything too big, he looked at the square box with apprehension. He moved forward to unpack it to be shocked. It was his mother's trunk. One that she cherished so much but Chacha ji hadn't let them take it back. It was the only thing missing from the mahal once he had bought it.
"Woh vala nahi hai!" she clarified. The change in his expressions and confusion settled in the lines on his forehead. "Yeh woh, Di ne humaein kuch tasveerein dekhain thi! Jab hamein pechle saal lucknow mein wohi lakri aur karigarr mele toh humne socha—" she stepped closer to him, unsure of how to proceed forward.
He stood up and engulfed her into a crushing hug! "Thanks!" he breathed!
"Thank you so much! This is—" he broke away to look into her eyes, "this is the best present I've ever gotten!"
The two seamlessly fell into an embrace of comfort that slowly moved towards soft kisses, and a night that would shy away from talking about the kind of passion present in the air. The kurta that Khushi had been admiring for past three or so hours finally came off alongside her sari in the evening that followed.
It was nearing midnight when Khushi's phone lit with a text message from her sister showing an image of their kids at home watching a film with others. She showed it to Arnav while laying in his arms, content with the world around them, and the world that only included them!
"Happy Anniversary Arnav ji!"
"Happy Nine years Khushi!"
Another day, another year past by with more memories to cherish, and life opening doors for more love to come by!
Edited by dramebaaz.af - 10 months ago
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