Chapter Two: A Sojourn

May you never forget what is worth remembering, nor ever remember what is best forgotten – Old Irish saying

 

Lunch turned out to be a friendly affair with conversation flowing easily thanks to Mira’s and  Manorama’s banter.

 

“Khushi mentioned that you leave tomorrow? Where is home?” asked Manorama.

 

“Delhi” Arnav responded with a small smile. “Yes, I leave tomorrow, late night.”

 

“ASR,” started Mira shyly, “Are you an engineer like my Appa?”

 

“No, I am a cardiologist. Do you know what a cardiologist does?” Her cheerful smile dissolving from her face, Mira nodded slowly. “Yes, my Appa died of cardiac arrest, so I know what a cardiologist does” she said softly.

 

Arnav knew that NK had died due to complications of heart problems but didn’t know specifics about his death. Akash had told him very little. As a cardiac surgeon he was all too familiar with his role of informing his patient’s family of their death. Truth and compassion, he was taught, were the cornerstones of those conversations. No prevarications – come straight to the point and inform with kindness. But those very words of death coming from Mira’s mouth squeezed his heart. He reached out and placed his palm over her small hand to offer sympathy and support and was stunned when Mira slowly leaned into his arms. Gently grasping her small frame, he let her nestle into his embrace while he softly ran his hand over her back offering comfort. “I am sorry” he whispered to her softly. She’s not that much different from Mohan in age, especially in her slight frame, he thought as she snuggled deeper into his arms.

 

The sight of her little girl in his arms, seeking and accepting solace was too much for Khushi to take. Quickly swallowing a lump in her throat that seemed to have appeared out of nowhere, Khushi reached across to Mira, “It’s okay honey. We are okay now, aren’t we?”  Tears ran down Manorama’s eyes and she quickly looked down at her plate.

 

Mira straightened slowly, nodding and pushing herself away from Arnav. He let her go, watching as her shoulders slumped down with the weight of sorrow that seemed too heavy for one so little. She looked at her mother, drawing strength from her smile, slowly smiled back and repeated, “Yes, we are okay now mommy.”

 

It was obvious to Arnav that this family had gone through hell and was a tight-knit unit. Perhaps it was that hell that bound them together. He could see Manorama’s gentleness extend to both her girls. All three of them seemed to have borne their losses together.

 

It also seemed that every conversation Arnav had was a step on a mine, albeit unintentional. His presence was not only awkward, it was painful for this family. He bit back a sigh that was trying to work its way out of his chest.

 

Conversation slowly picked up at the dining table once again with Manorama’s next query directed at Arnav. “So, what about you Arnav? Your family?” Leaving her question unfinished, waiting for his response.

 

“Yes, they live in Delhi with me.”

 

“Oh you are married then? Children?”

 

Khushi’s hands stilled over her plate but she did not give in to the urge to look up at Arnav. She was sure that she did not wait for his answer.

 

“Yes, and no.” Shifting his eyes between Khushi and Manorama, Arnav said, “I was married, but I am divorced now. Maya, my ex-wife, and I have a six year old boy, Mohan. He lives with me in Delhi with my Naani.”

 

Divorced, an eight letter word with great import, a label that closed doors on a relationship that was meant to be forever. Not unlike widowed, a seven letter word with the same import she thought.

 

Khushi started breathing again not realizing that she had stopped while waiting for his answer. Quickly rising from her seat she walked into the kitchen to compose herself. Why should his answer make any difference to her? It doesn’t, she reassured herself.

 

“I am sorry to hear that Arnav. That must have been difficult with a small child.” Manorama offered kindly.

 

Arnav shook his head quickly. “No, it’s not bad.” He looked across the table and saw something akin to sympathy in Manorama’s eyes. It felt easier to tell her everything, but at the same time, he felt compelled to make it easy for her. She was suffering so much already.

 

“Mohan is an easy child and Naani is great with him. Maya lives in Delhi as well. So, I am not a single struggling parent.”

 

Arnav stood up to help Khushi with clearing the table. All four worked easily as if they had done this many times. Moving between the dining table and kitchen, Arnav looked comfortable helping around. All this feels very domestic, the thought flashed through Arnav.

 

Manorama looked at the quiet giant in her daughter-in-law’s kitchen moving and helping. She recognized that her usually mild Khushi wasn’t unmoved by his presence. She looked rattled and it showed on her face; a pink glow seemed to rest on her high cheekbones. She looked alive after so long, thought Manorama. After her Naren’s passing, it seemed that Khushi lost the sparkle that defined her eyes. In fact, Manorama knew that Khushi didn’t allow herself to experience anything close to happiness or joy with the exception of Mira. It seemed to her that Arnav was able to get past a few of the walls that Khushi had built around herself and for some inexplicable reason, Manorama didn’t want Arnav to leave just yet.

 

“Do you know we leave for Delhi in a couple of weeks, all three of us? Khushi and Mira are coming with me to spend some time in India. It is Mira’s summer break, isn’t it my dear?” Mira’s bright curls bobbed in agreement.

 

“ASR, you live in Delhi, can I say hi to you when we are in Delhi?” asked Mira with total lack of guile.

 

“Of course! I would love that” said Arnav smiling softly at Mira. “In fact you should stay with us while you are in Delhi. Give me your flight details, I will meet you at the airport.”

 

“Oh no, that won’t be necessary. We normally stay with Buaji” Khushi interjected quickly. Things were moving too fast for her comfort. “Thank you for offering to pick us up, but we’ll be fine on our own.”

 

She knew that she dismissed him. She thought she saw something flash in Arnav’s eyes but it was gone now. His face gave nothing away. She didn’t want to hurt him, that wasn’t her intention. But her dismissal was apparent for all in the room. Mira’s eyes switched between the three adults in the room. Trying to made amends she offered, “Can I email you my phone number in Delhi? We can stop by sometime?”

 

Arnav nodded, “Sure.” He then pulled his cell phone out to exchange numbers and addresses. It was obvious to him that there was reticence in her demeanor. He felt dismissed and for some strange reason it hurt, just a little bit. He didn’t want to overstay his welcome. Arnav took a quick glance at this watch and said, “I think I should leave now. Thank you for lunch.” Looking at Khushi, “Again, I am sorry for barging in unannounced like this. Do let me know when you are in Delhi.”

 

Khushi nodded and walked towards the foyer and Arnav followed her. Feeling a tug at his wrist, Arnav looked to find Mira at his side, motioning him to come down to her height.  When he did, she threw herself at him, winding her thin arms around his neck in a tight hug. Almost instinctively Arnav enfolded her into himself, resting his cheek on her head and whispered into her curls, “Bye for now, Mira.”

 

“Bye for now ASR” echoed Mira as if the word now held new hope for her young heart. Reluctantly she unwound her arms from his neck and gave him a smile and said, “But I will miss you.”  

 

Strange! Khushi exclaimed quietly in her head. How can she miss him when she just barely knew him? She just met him. Khushi knew that Mira was an extrovert, like NK, always ready to meet a new face and make a new friendship. But she had never seen her daughter open her heart and arms this quickly.

 

Khushi walked towards Mira and pressing against her shoulders said reassuringly, “You’ll see him when we get to Delhi, perhaps?” She knew exactly the thing that would distract her young daughter. “And you have a playdate with Sydney tomorrow afternoon. Why don’t you call Sydney and tell her you’ll be there?” She gestured towards the phone with her head.

 

Looking at Arnav over Mira’s head, Khushi said brightly, “Ok, then, it’s a date. Once we are in Delhi, we will call you and figure out how we can meet?”

 

Obviously happy with this arrangement, Mira gave another quick squeeze to Arnav’s hand and said, “A play date tomorrow and a play date with you in Delhi.” Bobbing her curls with much happiness she bounded inside the house.

 

“Nice to have met you Arnav.” Manorama smiled and followed Mira inside, leaving Arnav and Khushi alone at last.

 

It seemed that the whole afternoon had passed without the two of them exchange a word with each other. They looked at each other taking stock of each other’s presence.

 

“Thank you for …”

 

“Khushi…”

 

Both began at the same time.

 

“Can you meet me for lunch tomorrow?” Arnav asked, his voice insistent. “Please?”

 

“Er.. Mira has a playdate tomorrow at that time. We can’t make it at that time and I don’t know if Amma is free to join us.”

 

Shaking his head, “Just you,” said Arnav, not moving his eyes away from hers.

 

Khushi couldn’t look away.  Why, that one question, one word, whirling in her mind since he walked into her house this morning. Why show up at her doorstep now? Why after all these years? Why now?

 

“Just me?”

 

“Yes, Khushi, just you. Just lunch, in a restaurant.” A small smirk appeared at the corner of his smile, as if the emphasis held all the answers for her. “Since I don’t know of any good ones here, why don’t you pick one and I will meet you there?”

 

“But why?”

 

“Don’t you want to catch up with an old friend?”

 

She caught the teasing twinkle in his eyes and found a reciprocal smile tugging at the corner of her lips. Something old and familiar stirred in her, like a hint of a perfume long forgotten.

 

“For the sake of an old friend, I guess I must then!” She gave a sigh of resignation, gently teasing him back.

 

A smile bloomed into a grin. He was happy to see her smile. A whiff of a memory reawakened in him. Her smile always began as a lopsided one – the pull of her right cheek and lip.  It was only when she grinned that the other end of her lips pulled back. Shaking his head in acknowledgement, he heard her say softly, “Bye.”

 

“Text me then. Bye for now Khushi” he reiterated and stepped out of her house.

 

Her heart and her steps felt lighter but she was loathe to seek their reasons. Her face kept the remnant of the smile as she walked back into her house.

 

oOoOoOoOo

 

Later that evening Khushi walked into her room balancing her laundry basket on her hip. It was the end of her weekend and she knew that she needed to get her chores completed before the start of her work week. She was one of three speech pathologists that managed a clinic associated with the University of Virginia’s Speech Pathology department. When NK was offered a faculty position with the engineering college, she too found a position as a speech therapist in the clinic. It worked well for them especially when Mira was younger. They both managed to work with each other’s flexible schedules in order to stay home with Mira before she began school. Even after NK’s passing, working with the clinic suited Khushi’s needs, she thought; she had the freedom to schedule her hours and travel to other nearby clinics and schools to work with the local community and students. It also helped with working with Mira’s schedule during the school year, especially in the last two years when she suddenly became a single parent.

 

Single parent.

 

Tears pooled in the corner of her eyes as she sought him in her room. Their room became her room now. Slow tears soon turned into quiet sobs that slipped out of her gritted teeth as she clutched the picture of her dead husband. She missed her NK, her Naren, her friend, her shadow. She missed him like she missed breathing. Two years had gone by since his death, yet the pain seemed to stay. Taking a deep breath she looked at him, her eyes traveling to his dimples. The depth of those dimples was indicative of the degree of his mirth, she recollected. Sighing deeply she slowly brought his face to her lips and murmured softly, “You promised me old age with you, but you left me behind.”

 

A short whirr of her cell phone told her of the arrival of a new text message. She didn’t realize how long she held his picture against her face. The glass was a messy smudge of tears, tears against his dimpled smile. Like an automaton she picked up her phone to see Lavanya’s name. Are you home? I am coming over. Twins with me. Ok? Lavanya’s messages were just like her, succinct and to the point. Khushi responded, Yes, ok, and definitely ok.

 

OoOoOoOoOoOo

 

Sitting with cups of tea in their hands, the two friends watched while their children played on the carpet. Lavanya’s three year old twins were trying to balance two Lego towers they were building with Mira’s supervision.

 

“Anything you want to tell me?” Khushi asked Lavanya. That furrowed brow on Lavanya’s face was an indicator that something was on her mind.

 

“Did Akash call you?” asked Lavanya in return.

 

“Akash? No, why? He normally calls me during the week. What’s up Lav?”

 

Lavanya stood and slowly walked towards the kitchen and Khushi followed. “Where’s Aunty?” Looking around the kitchen Lavanya’s question piqued Khushi’s curiosity further.

 

“She’s out walking.”

 

“Again?”

 

Raising her eyebrows Khushi said, “Out with it Lavi, what’s going on? You are making me nervous.”

 

“ASR is in town” Lavanya said without ceremony. Not taking her eyes off of Khushi’s, she continued, “He asked Akash for your address; I am not sure but he might show up here.”

 

Looking away Khushi replied, “Yes, I know. He was here this morning.” Taking another breath, “He left after lunch.”

 

Surprise, followed by concern deepened Lavanya’s furrow. Holding Khushi’s arm to still her, Lavanya asked worriedly, “Are you okay?”

 

“Yes, I am fine. Why shouldn’t I be?”

 

“What did he want? What did he say?”

 

“He came to offer condolences for NK’s….” Khushi left the sentence unfinished. The dishwasher needed to be unloaded she thought and mechanically began putting the cups away.

 

“Khush, stop! Look at me.” Quick strides brought Lavanya to Khushi. “Just stop and look at me” she repeated, holding Khushi’s arms.

 

Schooling her face to remain calm, Khushi demanded, “What?” Softening her tone a little more, “I am fine Lav, it was fine. He was very polite and nice to Mira” she smiled.

 

“Mira met him?”

 

“Yes, so did Amma as well.”

 

Leaning her head on to Lavanya’s shoulder a little, Khushi whispered, “It was a long time ago, Lavi, a very long time ago.” Another lifetime ago, she added in her head. The two friends stayed in their hug and in their thoughts for what seemed like forever.

 

“So, that’s it? He’s gone now?” Pulling back a little, Lavanya looked pointedly at Khushi.

 

“He wants to meet for lunch tomorrow, just me.”

 

“And” Lavanya prodded Khushi gently to continue. “Do you want to go?”

 

Khushi looked away, shaking her head, “No…” Looking back at Lavanya, she said, “I don’t know Lav. Should I?”

 

Is there a guidebook for these sorts of things? Why doesn’t life come with a manual?

 

NK loved reading manuals she remembered.

 

All roads lead to NK.

 

“Which restaurant?” Lavanya’s insistent voice brought Khushi back.

 

“Why does that matter? Will it help me decide if I should go?” she retorted. When Lavanya refrained from breaking the silence that ensued, Khushi sighed and said, “He asked me to choose and text him.”

 

“So, now what?” Tenacious, another name for Lavanya, thought Khushi with a resigned shake of her head. Lavanya would not let things go, let things slide. But Khushi was grateful for Lavanya’s tenacity and strength. She had to dip into that spring many a times after NK’s death.

 

With a determined set of her shoulders, Khushi looked at Lavanya and said, “I will meet him. I have to meet him. I have to know. I have to know why he showed up after all these years.”

 

102 thoughts on “Chapter Two: A Sojourn

    1. Can u believe it?.. I was just at your blog checking on the notification settings to ensure I don’t missan update and lo n behold… Me got one 😍🤗

      NOW seems to be a prominent theme in the chapter…
      Khushi and Mira are ok – now.
      Arnav seems to be walking into their lives – now
      Manorama sees Khushi opening her emotions, – now…. albeit turbulent reactions of a heart that seems to be flitting back and forth from an unknown past to the present.
      Hence the exchange of ‘Bye for now’ between Mira and Arnav seems like an impending twist to life… It rings of hope, a new path, an adventure for Mira. A chance to know the girl behind the facade of her dotter like DiL, for Manorama. A trip down Memory lane and answers to long forgotten questions for both Arnav and Khushi.

      Amazingly worded… Concise emotions and clever play of words… Always has symbolized Second Chances amd your writing for me ❤

      Loved it.
      ..Rashmi

      Liked by 8 people

        1. Thanks dear.. U gals have taught me so much… My virtual sistershood … Make me read into a situation much better. You wont believe, i was in a bad state a few years ago… A sense of worthlessness, monotony and just taking words at face value… Reading and craft got me back on track.. I do like the revitalized me 😜

          Liked by 5 people

    1. “May you never forget what is worth remembering, nor ever remember what is best forgotten – Old Irish saying”
      Easier said than done, isn’t it. Memories can hit you out of nowhere, bringing smiles and tears too.
      And grief, how do you handle or respond to those handling grief, you find yourself useless and inadequate..
      Poignancy is the under layer to this chapter.

      Liked by 9 people

      1. True… “Memories can hit you out of nowhere, bringing smiles and tears too.”
        Those memories are what makes us who we are… However much we may love, hate or ignore our past… Its what shapes our today, nonetheless. Every little event, inconspicuous and inconsequential, as it may have been at the time, it all fits in like a piece in a jigsaw puzzle.

        Liked by 5 people

  1. There are moments in this chapter that are heartbreaking, yet at the same time make your heart soar at the strength and dignity with which they are handling their grief. A quietude engulfs the home even while the scream of memories echo in each corner.

    One of my favourite pieces of your writing, Mirabell ❤️

    Liked by 10 people

    1. True.. When you face situations as a unit… Your tend to rise out of it.. Stronger.. Be it a family, friends or even a spouse.
      The dignity and poise with which an intrusuion from the one’s past is treated and the way the recent happenings and the emotions it arose were handled by the 3 generation of women in that household was commendable!

      Liked by 6 people

    1. Your writing is so fluid.
      It is Poignant.
      A chapter about grief and loss but so beautifully penned for the family and an outsider.

      All of us-adult and children grief differently. It has been 2 years since they lost NK suddenly.
      When NK death was mentioned it was older Manorama not the eight year old Mira who showed outward emotion, she cried. Mira’s sadness was expressed by leaning towards Arnav when he consoled her and initiating a goodbye hug.
      Grief does not have a timeframe nor it does have defined stages. Like Khushi sudden remembrance and breakdown which was beautifully written.

      Just realised you did title this chapter as Sojourn. It is all about NK 😘

      Liked by 6 people

        1. The writing is nuanced. Two years to recover from a loss is not really a long time. A child may show resilience today and may appear has recovered but one never knows. There is no standard script for adults as we each handle loss differently.

          Liked by 6 people

          1. Very true.. Sometimes what we as adults cannot accept or digest, is accepted as a matter of fact by kids. And sometimes they just hold it in as something thats happening to someone else… Mira appears pretty mature in her acceptance of her grief., but her innocence shows in the smallest gestures.

            Liked by 3 people

      1. “Grief does not have a timeframe nor it does have defined stages” – how true that is Shradha. I’m looking forward to reading this story again through new eyes 🙂

        P, do you find the words now have a greater poignancy given what we now know what we didn’t the first time around?

        Liked by 4 people

      2. Since there is no direct reply option, this is for Ruchi: I think so, one felt the poignancy the first time too, the grief and hurt had come through, the grace with which it was been handled, a line which will appear in one of the chapters ahead is coming to mind, something which so beautifully encapsulated an outsider’s view of that loss and resultant grief. There is greater poignancy definitely knowing what we do now.

        Liked by 4 people

  2. It is a treat reading these chapters again. Such love and emotions all tangled and each one trying to unravel a thread and make sense.

    LOVE love love Mira and can’t wait to meet Moran again. Mirabell, thank you for Second Chances.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. this story has much of pain yet hope of smiles too.. i loving re reading it… the best thng abt ur writing here is the calmness its has even whn it deals with storms of pain loneliness struggle

    Liked by 2 people

  4. My heart broke for the three women the first time I read this and it broke again today when I re-read this chapter. But having Arnav back in her life just brings a smile on my face.

    I used to read and re-read all the chapters you had up at one time and am so happy that you have decided to revisit and finish this journey. And thank you for allowing us to come along. Can’t wait to read the rest 🙂

    Liked by 4 people

  5. This brings back such fond memories of reading this story. A brilliant one too I might add. The walk down the memory lane is special and tinged with so much sadness at the same time. You captured all the emotions, the awkwardness, the feeling of being a heel, the openness of Mira, the curiosity of Manorama and the protective side of Lavanya very well.

    Liked by 4 people

    1. Grief
      It’s just a five letter word…such a small word for something that often encompasses the being and leaves one gasping for breath.
      It’s said that there are five stages to grieving, the last one being acceptance. How true that even one inevitably accepts, grief still catches them unaware at the oddest of times.
      It was heartbreaking to see the ladies struggling with an incomparable loss.
      Compassion is not in the number of words that are spoken but in a look, in gestures…in Arnav holding Mira close rubbing his hand down her back and she leaning into her warmth.
      This chapter was wonderful, Mira. So poignant and heartbreaking at the same.
      The tiny nuggets of information you threw our way kept me wondering about the exact nature of Arnav and Khushi’s relationship in the past, but I can definitely wait for it to unfold in due course.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. “Compassion is not in the number of words that are spoken but in a look, in gestures”
        When you see that its not out of a courtesy and comes from the person’s heart, one can’t help but respond…

        Liked by 3 people

      2. “You promised me old age with you, but you left me behind.”

        I don’t know why, but my mind kept coming back to this statement. Such promises are so ordinary, for want of a better word, so normal. You are a couple, you are married, you plan for your future, you plan for retirement, you think of what you want to do once you have retired. My DH and I do it all the time,
        ‘When the kids leave the house, we should settle here…’,
        ‘Once the kids are off to college, lets come back to this place, just you and I…’
        Such utterly normal sentences…
        How difficult it must be to cope with the loss of your partner with whom you must have woven such dreams. The loss of your companion. Sigh
        This chapter hit me so hard!!

        Liked by 3 people

  6. Ooh it’s finally getting to that scene I love so much. It was brilliantly written and I can’t wait to read it again. Their emotions are so raw and real and your writing so refreshing. Can’t wait 😊

    Liked by 1 person

  7. no matter how much you try, the forgotten memories just pop out, out of nowhere…
    It is sad to see Khushi losing her husband and child losing her father, specially a mother losing her only child.
    The memories will live with them forever, no amount of time will fade those memories. we just try to live with the memories and time help to make ourselves stronger.

    Looking forward for the lunch date

    Liked by 3 people

  8. Wow this stand out so appropriately to memories can hit you anywhere anytime and sometimes it comes with tear, anger and even laughte and you find ppl around wondering if u have finally lost it. In khushi’s case her tear for the lost of her Narein.
    Lavanya is a good friend.

    Liked by 2 people

  9. It’s difficult to say whose grief is worst – a mother’s, who lost her son in his prime? A daughter’s, who has less than 6 years of her Appa’s memories? Or a wife’s, whose husband left her midway after promising a lifetime of togetherness? It’s unusual for someone as young as NK to have heart related issues. It must have come as a big blow to the family. Two years have passed, yet the pain of losing a loved one hasn’t diminished. But, I am glad they had each other to lean on to. They indeed are a tight-knit unit and brave one at that. Arnav & Mira’s interactions pulled at my heartstrings. She seeked solace in Arnav’s arms, and he was able to provide just that. Brilliant writing, Mira.

    I am curious to know about Arnav & Khushi’s past. Under what circumstances did they meet and what led to their separation. They are meeting after a decade. Looks like they knew each other for a brief time, but were quite close during that period. Khushi isn’t sure of Arnav’s age, so they probably can’t be school/college mates. But both are from medical profession. So, they probably met at work or through common friends?

    Arnav is divorced and has his son’s custody. That’s interesting. Usually the mother gets the custody of the child, especially if they are as young as Mohan. I am curious to know Arnav’s story too. From the looks of it, Arnav shares a cordial relationship with his ex-wife. So, it probably wasn’t a nasty divorce case with fight for kid’s custody.

    Looking forward to Krishnan’s trip to Delhi for more reason than one. I am not expecting Arnav & Khushi to pick up from where they left, coz that was two marriages and 2 kids ago. But I definitely sense new beginnings for them and their’s. However, before that, we still have the lunch date. I hope Khushi doesn’t change her decision to meet Arnav.

    P.S. – I didn’t get a WP notification for this update 😦 . Will try unfollowing & following.

    Liked by 7 people

    1. Lovely Gauri… Especially the beginning part.. Well put.

      Ps- I had that issue too… Thatswhat I was up to.. Fixing it when this update appeared 😁
      Its an issue from the app’s end I guess.. Coz it shows am following the blog(browser), but still asks for me to login/signup. I opened it on the browser and un-followed the followed again from there.

      Liked by 4 people

        1. Yup.. I was already following the old one… So when i tried following the new one.. It gave me a bit of trouble.. But sorted it just in time for last night’s update.. Now im getting notifications for the new blog site.. On the app 😊

          Liked by 2 people

    2. It’s difficult to say whose grief is worst – a mother’s, who lost her son in his prime? A daughter’s, who has less than 6 years of her Appa’s memories? Or a wife’s, whose husband left her midway after promising a lifetime of togetherness?
      I thought about this too…but then decided how can one person’s grief be more or less than another person’s? Hadn’t they all suffered a loss that is irreplaceable? The fact that it had been so sudden must have made it doubly hard for all of them.
      The grief in the chapter hit me so hard that the mind had ignored Arnav’s loss. But, trust you to touch upon every tiny thing said in an update. Hat’s off, Gauri!!

      Liked by 5 people

      1. I read this chapter right before going to bed, and wish I hadn’t. All I could think about is their loss and what the three ladies must have gone through two years ago. Each is grieving in her own way. The moment when Mira reached out to Arnav and the way he comforted her, kept haunting me (in a good way ofcourse! 🙂 )

        Liked by 2 people

  10. Beautiful update!

    When we met Mohan years back, I think I told you that I am a mother of a special child. But that time I was just in starting phase. Now years later, I am a bit stronger, and I think I will meet Mohan with more strength and love!

    Thank you for this story, for the characters. Mohan has a special place in my heart, and offcourse Meera too. Baaki Arnav Khushi toh kahi gaye hi nahi! ❤❤

    Liked by 4 people

  11. This is a story dealing with a multitude of emotions. And Mirabel hats off to you to do justice to each one of them.
    What can I say about Mira trying to adjust to the fact that her father is no more. It breaks my heart . I am waiting to meet Mohan now.

    Liked by 3 people

  12. It’s very saddening to hear the miss in Mira’s voice about NK. The little girl misses her father dearly and she may say they are ok but it feels she misses him a whole lot. It looks like Khushi, Manorama and Mira have a momentum in life going but there is a shake up. Monorama was very perceptive and noticed the tiny details from her daughter in law’s demure. It also feels she sees the need for Khushi to break that life and seek the happiness she deserves.

    Lavanya’s anxiety about Arnav’s appearance tells me there is more to the past and their connection. The story is about second chances and I can’t wait to see how they will move forward with all those past baggage’s.

    Mohan and Maya..lots of M’s in the story 😃

    Liked by 4 people

  13. Another update 😍😍😍
    Wow..

    The grief with which khushi misses NK makes me tear up…
    There is no bigger loss than loosing a loved one..!
    Mira is such a good kid..
    And she became an instant fan of ASR..
    Loved it..
    I can’t wait to see their meet…

    Liked by 1 person

  14. I had started loving the character NK with kushi from this story of yours. I remember crying hard for losing such a gem….it’s past. But NK in this story has a strong place in my heart.

    Mira, she’s a gem. How understanding and composed in this age. Her loss can never be replaced, still she stands strong for her mom, ie what daughters are blessed with.

    Manorama, is also another character i have loved along with Nani and Buaji. Nothing escape from her experienced age old eyes, especially her daughter in laws emotions.

    Friend like La is always a blessings.

    Beautiful update, looking forward 👍

    Liked by 2 people

  15. Hi Mirabell..what a heart wrenching and a sad chapter…but loved Manorama who is there for her grieving daughter-in-law…Lavanya is so much worried for kushi which shows how deeply she loves Kushi….Now eager to know what happened between Arnav and Kushi….Mira is such a lovely child…….we also miss NK along with them.. superb writing….stay blessed….

    Liked by 1 person

  16. What got me the most was the paragraph after the words – Single parent. Reading through Khushi’s pain seemed almost an intrusion, after all grief and mourning are very private acts.
    Mira won me over the first time and she’s doing it all over again.
    Lavanya… every woman needs a friend like her, I think

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Thank you! Grief and mourning are private and are singularly lonely. No matter how much you want to share it, halve it, it doesn’t share, and certainly doesn’t halve. 🙂

      Liked by 4 people

  17. Little Mira instantly likes Arnav..Their convo is soheart touching.. Maya definitely misses Naren .. She fInds his fether’s touch in him .. It’s amazing to see their bond building n getting strong in no time.. She is already looking forward to meet him in Delhi .. n so is he…

    Arnav wanna meet Khushi the very next day..
    What does he wanna say to her,I M SURE,he doesn’t know himself //

    Manormis a kind lady..
    She notices Khushi’s blush..
    She can’t ignore her behavior..
    It seems that she really wanna meet Arnav..that’s why she discloses her plan to visit Delhi..

    La’s concern shows her deep concern for her friend..
    Now she’s looking forward to Arshi’s lunch meeting even more than Khushi..lol

    Liked by 1 person

  18. Emotional Update

    How many years might have passed, void left by the loved ones will always be felt. Felt bad for the three women who badly miss NK. It was really heart touching to see Mira finding solace in Arnav’s arms when the adults were talking about her Appa. Khushi’s grief and breakdown seeing NK’s picture was beautifully written. Even Arnav is a single parent to his son and separated from his wife. Loved how Manoramma notices some color on her daughter in law’s face which she lost when they lost her son and she is happy to see that change in Khushi. Lavanya is worried for Khushi knowing Arnav’s appearance in her life again.
    Eager for the next one

    Thanks
    Chinnulu

    Liked by 1 person

  19. Glad to see how quickly Meera got adjusted to Arnav…loved their bonding.. “You promised me old age with you, but you left me behind.”this line made me cry Mira..it’s so unbearable..single parent , uff no words are coming to describe the grief, pain what these three ladies going through.. It will get better but grief will always accompany us, in one way or another…but it is important that we embrace the grief as you would a close friend, because another aspect of our grief is love… Arnav is divorced now..don’t know what happened between Arnav and Khushi back that they got separated and both moved on in their life with their respective partners..arnav’s answers still effects Khushi..loved Lavanya..always straight to the point..she also know Abt Arnav and khushi’s relationship back..waiting for the next chapter dear..

    Liked by 1 person

  20. Mira, you edited it!! Having read the story earlier, the reactions of each character holds a different meaning now. I know and understand that you will change the story, which I’m excited to read about but somehow I wish it doesn’t affect the undercurrent of the story. This story is very very close to me. hell! I memorized it a long time ago. Someone very close to me lived it but that second chance never fell through.
    Mira, I really look forward to the next chapters. You have me intrigued.
    Much love xx

    Liked by 2 people

  21. This chapter was as much about Khushi, Mira and Manorama’s pain as it is about their shared strength & grace in moments of pain. Moments of grief often resurface unannounced and can be quite unsettling. Battling grief alone & especially as a single parent is incredibly difficult …but to have kin like Manorama and friends like Lavanya & Akash for a support system is a blessing! Incredibly poignant chapter!

    I am in love with every single character here…although Mira is definitely capturing my heart faster than all others.

    Thank you Mira…for such a mature & beautiful story! Love!

    Liked by 1 person

  22. Rightly said, whatever Arnav says will be like stepping on a mine. Hence glad Arnav sought out the lunch date. i am able to feel the curls on Mira’s head 😛 she truly is a bundle of joy now wonder about Mohan. Lavanya too inside this mix makes interesting. 2 years may not be long but before one locks themselves up forever, this exploration is worth a shot. loving Manorama patti too

    Liked by 1 person

  23. Oh I just got to know that chapter 2 and 3 are updated
    I think I forgot to press the follow button and hence was not notified – sorry about that MB – will read the chapters now

    Liked by 1 person

  24. loved loved the Irish saying at the start of the update
    This chapter is all about about grief and loss but beautifully written…and akwardness between Arnav and Khushi.
    My heart broke for the two woman and for the little girl more whi lost her appa at her tender age.
    Loved the part where Mira expressed her sadness by leaning towards Arnav and for good bye hug.
    Wow!!! Manorama noticed changes on Khushi’s face because of Arnav’s presence which she lost after NK’s death.
    Loved Lavanya and Khushi’s talk

    Liked by 1 person

  25. Sorry MB, I was not getting updates and did not realize that I did not subscribe for the new site. So I did now and will be here to comment .

    I was with the story earlier and it’s difficult to say something without revealing anything.

    but I am reading and enjoying again.

    love
    Vandana

    Liked by 1 person

  26. I have to know as well!! I can’t believe I missed this story on IF. It’s been so long since I’ve read anything with ipkknd characters and it’s refreshing to see a new story. Thanks for the chapter!

    P.S. sorry for the awkward comments I’m still trying to figure out the ropes of the story and characters. I promise they’ll get better!!

    Liked by 1 person

  27. I Really can’t say who’s grief is more heartbreaking… A wife lost her husband who she had dreamed to be with her for the whole life… A mother lost a Son who she gave birth and brought up with so much love… A small child lost her father who should have been a solid Rock behind her back throughout her life…. But the 3 of them are strong enough to hold each other and being a unit……Sometimes we can’t let go of memories because it is a constant reminder of a story which we never expected to end……
    Mira…I just loved her…she is a small child but had something in her which can lit the world……
    It was so heartwarming to see her getting the warmth in the arms of Arnav….
    So Arnav is divorced and he has a Son….looking forward to read the meeting of Arshi on lunch

    Liked by 1 person

  28. Wouldn’t it be great to have a manual to refer when we have issues?
    Khushi wants to know why he came back after all these years. I want to know, why he left all those years ago.
    Wonderful update. I am savoring each and every word.
    Mira and Mohan. Maya and Khushi. Naren and Arnav. Oh! there is a lot going on.
    Does Maya know about Khushi? Is Khushi the reason for their separation or Maya the reason for Arshi’s separation?
    Manorama is a compassionate MIL for a change. Loving this side of Manorama. Lavanya is always a sweet heart (after she became friends with Khushi in the show)
    Cheers……

    Liked by 1 person

  29. I don’t know what to say after reading this update..
    my co- sister- in- law is standing at the same place where kushi is right now.. my BIL expired 3 months back with cardiac arrest.. I’m seeing the pain she is going through every day and night with two daughters.. it was heartwrenching to read this chapter for me..
    Why is arnav back?? This has started bothering me too now..
    Awesome update mira.

    Liked by 1 person

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