Chapter Six: Saudade, A Longing

Longing is like the Seed
That wrestles in the Ground
Believing if it intercede
It shall at length be found
—Emily Dickinson

 

It was a long day and turning out to be longer than it should for Arnav Singh Raizada. Navigating through New Delhi’s traffic at seven in the evening was a true test of his nerves and patience. He wanted to be home, in his shower, scrubbing off the disinfectant odor that he carried with him post surgery. But he knew that it would take him another forty five minutes to reach home. Containing his sigh he reached for his cell phone without much thought and checked his messages.

 

No new message.

 

Disappointment sliced through catching him by surprise. He frowned at the phone and tossed it on to the passenger seat next to him. He wasn’t expecting a message from anyone, was he? Why was he impelled to check?

 

It was more than a week since he returned to India.

 

It was more than a week since he texted her that he had reached home.

 

But she had not texted him back.

 

Shifting gear quickly, he inched forward while his mind raced back to the last time he saw her. It was a bittersweet meeting after a decade. It was awkward for her, he could tell. It was awkward for him too. He hoped he was successful at hiding it from her. They parted with a tentative promise to meet again. He remembered her text promising him to a lunch or a dinner date during her vacation in Delhi. A reluctant smile tugged at his lips. But Khushi had not responded to him since then.

 

There was no text from her.

 

A frown that had temporarily taken leave from his brow returned with ferocity. Should he call her or text her again? He had written so many messages only to delete them at the very last moment. He considered calling Akash to check on Khushi, but stopped himself again. How could he explain himself to his cousin? What reason could he give Akash, when he had never, ever, mentioned Khushi to him? Lifting his free hand to his brow, he rubbed his forehead absently. For the first time, in a long time in his life, Arnav Singh Raizada found himself unable to do much about the situation he found himself in. Shaking his head in frustration, he willed the traffic in front of him to part and move so he could go home, go back to his sanctuary.

 

Another forty minutes and some very skillful driving later, he pulled into the driveway of Shantivan. It was actually his Nani’s home that he called his own these days. After his divorce from Maya, he needed a proper place that was a home for a baby and it made sense to move back to Shantivan. His Nani had insisted that she was too lonely, living in the mansion all by herself, and invited Arnav and Mohan to live with her. She argued that it made sense that Arnav move in with her so all three of them could stay together. Sumitra Singh Raizada was relieved when Arnav accepted her invitation. The silent mansion will experience some sound and merriment yet again she said. Shantivan witnessed all the young Raizadas grow up and move out to their homes.

 

Forcing himself out of his reverie, he got out of his car and checked his phone for messages.

 

No message.

 

Cursing softly under his breath, he pocketed his phone and strode towards his house.

 

“Papa! Papa!! It’s Tuesday but Mama is here. It’s not Saturday, it is Tuesday today but Mama is here.” Two chubby hands grabbed Arnav’s legs and a smile broke on Arnav’s face. Dropping his bag to the floor he lifted his son into his arms and buried his face in his curly hair. He could sense his son’s resistance, pulling away. Kissing his head softly, Arnav asked, “Mama is here today? Is it a surprise then?”

 

“Surprise?” Mohan’s eyes widened at the idea, his gaze never shifting from the Lego plane he carried in his hand. Surprise was so much better than unexpected or unpredicted for this six year old.

 

Gently squeezing his son, Arnav smiled and repeated, “Yes. Surprise it is.” Setting him down, he asked, “Should we go inside and say hello to Mama?” Mohan nodded with his head bent.

 

Striding quickly into the house, Arnav found his Nani and Maya deep in conversation in their living room. Sumitra Raizada was a regal woman who carried herself with poise and dignity. While age marked her with grace, life did not tread lightly on her. Her heart bore her scars secretly but her eyes revealed her wounds, albeit reluctantly. With her silver hair wound in a bun and with pearls around her neck and on her ears, Sumitra Raizada was a beautiful woman.

 

Arnav’s footsteps interrupted the two women as they turned to look at him, one with a wide smile and another with a gentle speculative look. Maya walked quickly to Arnav and gave him a quick hug, her face exuding warmth as she looked up at her ex-husband. He was a gentle giant to her five-foot-frame towering over her easily by a foot and then some. She used to joke that they made a Manhattan skyline profile when they stood next to each other.

 

Arnav and Maya were friends first, two medical students struggling through their years of education. The love that she thought burned initially morphed into a stronger friendship between the two of them after their amicable divorce. This friendship surprised everyone, including Naniji. Kailash, her husband, was more accepting of this friendship, though he claimed to not fully understand it.

 

Maya was a neurosurgeon at the same hospital that Arnav practiced, opting to specialize in clinical research more than patient care, although her research was often in addition to patient care. What this meant was that Maya was often overworked and exhausted with little or no time for anything else. So, when it was time to decide on Mohan’s care after their divorce it was a foregone conclusion that Arnav would be the primary caregiver for their son. While Maya knew that it was the most pragmatic decision she had taken, it was not an easy one on her heart. Guilt and recriminations took residence in her as she lived her decision. Was she a poor mother? Did she place her career above her own child? There were nights when these demons rose to prominence; but then there were evenings like this one when her insecurities were allayed by the camaraderie she shared with Arnav as a parent. He never, not once, made her feel inadequate as a mother to Mohan nor did he pass judgment on her choices. For that and for so much more that this gentle giant brought to her life, Maya was grateful.

 

Unwinding her arms from his middle, Maya looked up at Arnav’s face. His eyes spoke of his exhaustion and something else, something that seemed to bother him. But there was a small smile on his face and she knew that it was for her. Mohan was hovering behind his legs, trying to get Arnav to carry him again.

 

“What brings you here on a Tuesday? And where is Kailash?” Arnav asked as he lifted Mohan into his arms. Raising her hand to ruffle her son’s hair, Maya replied, “Kailash is on call tonight and is at home. I was hoping to catch you at the hospital today, but you were so busy. I thought I’ll stop by and catch up with you. And you can drop me home later?” Arnav nodded his head tiredly.

 

Twinkling her eyes at her son, she asked, “Let’s get Papa to change out of his work clothes, yes? Want to play Legos with Mama?” She knew that her bait would work when Mohan nodded his head excitedly. Exchanging a knowing-parent look with Arnav, she led her son towards Mohan’s Legos. From the corner of her eye she found Arnav checking his phone and shaking his head. She was going to talk him soon she promised herself.

 

OoOoOoOoOo

 

Feeling almost human after a hot shower, Arnav walked quickly across the first floor towards the stairs. Midway through his strides he noticed that he had left his cell phone in his room. He should go back to retrieve it, he was sure he should. What if there was a message? He shook his head at the urgency that ran through him, a visceral experience of expectation soon followed by disappointment when there was no message. He stopped, closed his eyes and took a deep breath as if coming to a decision, and walked purposefully away from his bedroom and his cell phone. He was not going to wait for any message any more.

 

The dining room was cackling with laughter and sounds of cutlery as if there was a rowdy party in progress. Arnav walked slowly towards the noise and stopped short of the sight in front of him. Maya had two spoons stuck on each end of her mouth and was grunting and laughing intermittently to a solemn six year old who refused to acknowledge his mother’s crazy antics. At the head of the table was his Nani, with a look of tolerant bemusement that was particularly reserved for Maya. He could tell that Maya was trying to get Mohan to join her. But his six year old maintained his solemnity through his dinner.

 

With his eyes still focused on his plate, Mohan reported, “Mama is trying to be a walrus. But she is not a walrus. She is a human.” Unfazed by her son’s apparent lack of interest in her antics, Maya continued to grunt at Arnav, waving her head from side to side with glee.

 

“You really need to stop trying to get him to do these things, Maya. He isn’t going to join you, you know that.” Arnav chuckled as he sat next to Mohan. “But if it makes you feel any better, you are the best walrus that I know of. Isn’t she, Mohan?” Arnav now addressed Mohan who continued to eat his meal with a single-mindedness unusual for a six-year-old. His parathas were sliced into perfect squares, eight in total. There was a fork in one hand, a spoon laid out on the side next to the cup of yoghurt. Not in the cup, but next to it.

 

“Uh huh. She is not a walrus, she is a human. Mama is a human. Humans are not walrus.” murmured Mohan, darting his glance from Arnav to Maya.  He was a solemn child, quite unlike Maya, who seemed to have a personality that was electric with energy and glee. Maya gave a sheepish smile to Arnav, shrugged and said, “There is a child in this house and if it has to be me, then so be it.”

 

The rest of the dinner continued with conversations between Maya and Arnav about their day in surgery and their cases while Sumitra looked on contentedly around her table. Her eyes rested on Maya, a diminutive five-foot figure with a personality that extended beyond her physical frame. Her curly hair pulled into a firm ponytail and her eye glasses sliding down her small nose, she looked like an overgrown child herself. Sumitra had grown fond of Maya in the years she had gotten to know her and was shocked when Arnav and Maya announced their divorce. What confounded Sumitra even more was that this couple had gotten closer to each other even after their divorce. She didn’t understand their friendship, and certainly didn’t understand how Arnav and Kailash could be civil with each other. Whatever happened to bitterness and acrimony that often accompanied a divorce?

 

It was Nani’s turn to read a story to Mohan, a nightly ritual that the little one insisted on maintaining under all circumstances. As the youngest member of the family dragged the oldest to his room, Maya and Arnav settled in their usual chairs in the balcony overlooking the small rose garden that Sumitra tended with great care. Maya fished her phone to check for messages, her fingers flying as she typed her messages. Arnav’s mind raced back to his own phone that sat by his bedside table. Will there be a message from her? Should he check?

 

It was that look again in his eyes that caught Maya’s attention, a look that seemed to settle somewhere between lost and a restless yearning. She caught him at an unguarded moment, when his defenses were down. In any other moment, Arnav Singh Raizada was a master at masking his vulnerabilities.

 

“A busy day?” Maya began. She knew better than to get straight to the point with Arnav. While he faithfully followed the rule of no prevarications with others, the same didn’t work when it came to him.

 

“Yes! Two angioplasties scheduled. The first went well, but the second got complicated. We had to deal with cardiac arrest in the middle of the procedure. The patient is okay now, but for a while, it looked bad.” That explained his exhaustion, thought Maya. She nodded in sympathy.

 

“Yours?” echoed Arnav.

 

“Not as eventful as yours. My trials are going to begin soon. We were given the ok yesterday. We are already three weeks behind in our cycle.” Maya’s specialty lay in Alzheimer’s disease, and it was a subject that was close to her heart. But the research trials also meant that she was going to be on call when she wasn’t in the hospital. Arnav knew and understood the pressure that Maya lived with constantly, pressure to show positive results to her funding agencies.

 

“But I don’t want to talk about work. Let’s talk about your trip, Arnav” Maya steered the conversation with a smile.

 

Raising a quizzical brow, “It was quite good, very fruitful” he replied. In more ways than one. He looked away from Maya’s persistent gaze. It was a beautiful night, the skies replete with New Delhi’s city lights and a few twinkling stars that managed to peek through.

 

“Oh, are you playing coy Raizada? I want all the details, tell me everything that happened and all the people you met. Come on!” Swatting at his arm for emphasis, Maya pulled her chair closer to Arnav’s and opened her eyes wide.

 

“There really isn’t much to tell” he began, but Maya’s determined look meant that she will doggedly pursue this interrogation. Heaving a sigh in resignation, Arnav continued, “Well, the first two days of the conference were really interesting and quite good actually. There were really good research findings, which I think will interest you.” Maya nodded as if to ask him to continue. “I was invited to their regional conference in Denver, sometime next year?” He wasn’t sure if it would be worth his time, but there were reasons to go back to the US that weren’t there when he was invited. His heart quickened at the thought, but he squelched it quickly. “They wanted me to lead a panel discussion on new grafting techniques.” With a shrug, he paused and looked at Maya to see if she was satisfied with the degree of detail he was providing her.

 

“Well, on the third day, I skipped the conference dinner banquet and spent the evening with Akash and Pallavi. Did you know that Pallavi is pregnant with their first baby?  She is in her third trimester now.”

 

Maya shook her head and asked, “How is she?”

 

“Good. Happy. They both seem really happy with each other. Her parents live right by them and help out a lot. And Akash has good friends there. They seem happy with each other.” Arnav paused for a moment, seemingly lost in thought. His face softened and a small smile touched his lips.

 

“And?” Maya laid her hand on his arm forcing him to face her. Something must have happened to Arnav when he was in the US, thought Maya. He was not a daydreamer by any means. But his occasional jaunts into his thoughts were quite telling indeed.

 

“What? Nothing, absolutely nothing.” Arnav shook his head to add emphasis to his denial. When Maya drew her skeptical gaze at him, Arnav turned wistful and said, “I wish there was something to tell Maya.” He shook his head, “There really isn’t anything to tell.”

 

“Oh, yes, there was a reunion party sort of thing with my cardiology buddies. Remember Stokes and Gabriella?” When Maya gave a questioning look, “Gabriella? The one who dumped that ice bucket on Stokes when he asked her out on a date in front of the whole class?” Maya now nodded her head in remembrance. “Well,” he continued, “Stokes and Gabriella got married and have four children now! Two sets of twins.” He finished with a flourish. Arnav and Maya looked at each other with a grin. Yes, that ice bucket didn’t quite work the way Gabriella wanted it to.

 

“You didn’t meet Akash’s friends then? Doesn’t Lavanya live there now?” Maya asked.

 

“No, I stayed with Akash, but didn’t meet Lavanya. But I did get to meet one of his other friends.  Actually the wife of one of his friends.” Arnav leaned forward and clasped his palms together. He sighed and said, “NK.” He met Maya’s glance briefly but looked away as he continued. “Naren Krishnan was one of Akash’s best friends from Delhi.   He passed away a couple of years ago, very suddenly. It was sudden cardiac arrest. He was only thirty five. Anyway, I met his wife and daughter.” He turned to look at Maya and continued, “I don’t think you know her. Khushi and her daughter Meera.” He leaned back in his chair with a sad look in his eyes.

 

There was a stillness to Maya as soon as he finished. “Khushi? Khushi… er… Wait, is it Khushi Gupta?” Maya asked.

 

Arnav turned, surprise etched on his face. “Yes. That is her name. How do you know her?”

 

The Khushi?” Maya was relentless in her questioning. Her face had a comical look of surprise and comprehension at the same time, as if she couldn’t believe what she knew.

 

“What do you mean, the Khushi? I didn’t know that you knew her. How do you know her?” Arnav’s brow furrowed deeply as he continued to look steadily at Maya.

 

“I don’t know her, Arnav. I need you to confirm if she is the Khushi.” Maya countered. “You were the one who spoke of her, a very long time ago. Do you remember the time you got shot?”

 

When they were students in Boston, a few of their friends, Maya and Arnav walked from their dorms to the nearby convenience store. It was late at night, almost midnight. They were taking a break from their studying. After getting what they needed, everyone, except Arnav, left the store and waited outside. Just then a couple of high school kids ran into the store and pulled a gun at the store clerk to rob the cash. The hold-out went completely wrong very quickly and Arnav was caught in the crossfire between the store clerk and the two kids. A bullet hit Arnav’s shoulder just as the cops entered into the store.

 

“Yes” Arnav said rubbing his shoulder absently. “I do remember that. But what does that have to do with Khushi?” he asked perplexed.

 

“You were bleeding profusely and were down. You were passing out. Every time you came to, you would say that name, over and over. Khushi! Khushi Gupta!. No one knew who that was.” Maya looked at him squarely and said, “You kept saying that name the whole time you were in and out of consciousness, even in the hospital. But never anything else. Just that name. You obviously don’t remember? Do you?”

 

Arnav didn’t answer her immediately. His eyes stayed locked with Maya’s as if in a battle to recall something that he couldn’t believe happened. “I kept calling her name out?” he asked in disbelief. He took a deep breath and looked away. Seconds passed as silence stayed between both of them. He whipped his head back and asked Maya softly, “Why did you never tell me this before?”

 

It was Maya’s turn to look away quietly. She shrugged, but her actions belied her intent.  It looked like she was opening doors to a past that dimmed the light in her eyes. It wasn’t a moment that she wanted to relive. He was so close to dying that evening.

 

Gathering her strength said, “I asked you many times, Arnav, many times. I didn’t know who this Khushi Gupta was. You never mentioned her before, ever. Not to anyone, and certainly not to me.  And I thought we were best friends.” Raising her eyes, she looked steadily at Arnav. He could see a muscle move in her jaw, strain apparent on face. Albeit, she continued, “We didn’t know if she was someone significant,… a family? I wasn’t sure if you wanted us to inform that person. I asked you many times Arnav. I did. You never said anything except that name” She nodded emphatically.

 

“And then Akash came to the hospital and said that he would call your family. He took over. I stayed with you in the hospital. But Arnav, you were so out of it then, that I don’t think you even heard us. So, we chalked it up to delirium.” She shrugged and gave him a small crooked smile. “I don’t like to think about those days, you almost died.” She looked away from him, taking a long measured breath as if to relieve her of the pain that those memories still brought.

 

Leaning back in her chair, having regained her composure, Maya gave him a brilliant smile that noted her intent to doggedly pursue her line of inquiry. “So, tell me now, it is the Khushi that you met now, right?”

 

Arnav felt numb with shock. The sound of his own voice becoming soft in his head. He couldn’t sit anymore and he found himself leaning against the low parapet wall. What did that mean? He called out to Khushi when he was shot? He didn’t remember any of it. That was such a long time ago, wasn’t it? He felt Maya’s gaze on his face and her palm on his shoulder. He turned to look at his friend who had kept this piece of information to herself in all this time. What did that mean?

 

“Why didn’t you ask me about Khushi before today, Maya? Why did you never bring her up after that shooting?” It didn’t make any sense to Arnav, especially because right after that shooting his relationship with Maya transformed, changed from friendship to love. They married each other, not too long after that accident. That she would bring this up now, almost in passing, was bewildering for Arnav. They were married at one time, exchanged secrets between them, but had none between them he thought. He blinked quickly, wondering if he knew his wife, no, his ex-wife at all.

 

“It didn’t matter then, Arnav. You never mentioned that name before the shooting and you never said, not one thing, after you came out of your accident. So, I didn’t think much of it. Why is that important now?” She gave him another pointed look and said, “You still haven’t told me if this Khushi is that Khushi.”

 

Long moments passed in silence between Arnav and Maya. One waiting for the other to respond, while the other waiting for something that he didn’t quite know what yet. It was a long time ago and he felt like he carried the weight of more than one lifetime. Maybe it wasn’t all that important after all? Maybe it was time to reveal those secrets that he too had kept from Maya.

 

Turning his head to look at Maya, he said softly, yet firmly. “Yes it is. It is that Khushi I met now.” There, he said it.

 

“Come on, its late, let me drop you home before I get too tired to drive.” He rose from his chair and offered his hand to Maya to help her out of the chair.

 

“Wait! What did you say? Did you just say that you met that Khushi and that Khushi is the one from your past?” Maya yanked his hand back towards herself forcing Arnav to sit back in his chair with a thud.

 

“Arnav Singh Raizada! You and I are not moving from this chair until you spill all your beans.” Maya continued to mutter to herself.

 

It was uncanny, at that moment, she looked exactly like their son, Arnav thought. Or was it the other way around? He wasn’t sure. That frown and that pout. His heart tugged with intense affection for this pixie-woman with a brain to contend with. She was full of contradictions, and she was his good friend. But at this moment, she was fixated on his explanation. And from the look on her face, she wasn’t going to let this conversation go.

 

“Alright, what do you want to know?” He crossed his arms across his chest preparing himself for a battle.

 

Meeting his challenge with her own, Maya said, “Everything.”

 

Was he ready unlock his past? What would come out of it? Shouldn’t the past remain in the shadows of his memory?

 

oOoOo

 

230 thoughts on “Chapter Six: Saudade, A Longing

      1. Thanks P! It’s Vishu for you, right? Next week?

        I am in dire need of some farreys. Mira decided to stop after throwing in a tempting offer of “Alright, what do you want to know?” I may have to go back and read some parts of older chapters, before I come up with some absurd speculations.

        Liked by 6 people

                1. It is generally 14th, but some years it comes on 15th. Konna pu, for us is only in dreams! There’s one back home which must be in full bloom now. My parents get people coming in asking for them.
                  Ha, those childhood days when one used to be woken up at 2 and 3 in the morning to see the kani, when one rupee coins used to be big money😁

                  Liked by 1 person

                2. My first Vishu was 2008.. 5 months after we were married.. And it was just the two of us.. Since then Vishu tradition has been set and we follow it every year… My elder one now understands the customs.. So he gets excited.. Younger one loves her sleep.. So dunno how she will be this year 🤔

                  Liked by 1 person

    1. I really really really…like, really want to know what happened between Arnav & Khushi all those years ago. How is it possible that everyone close to these two ranging from spouse(s?) to cousins to best friends are as clueless as the readers? Well, at least some of the readers 😛 I am so tempted to give in to the generous offer of farreys 😁. Looks like Arnav & Khushi met either during school or junior college days. No wonder Khushi didn’t recognize him immediately when he showed up at her doorstep. It makes me wonder if Maya deliberately didn’t bring up Khushi after the shooting. They got married shortly after the incident. Maybe Maya already had feelings for Arnav and he started seeing her more than a friend after the incident. Perhaps, she didn’t want to take a chance by bringing up Khushi and jeopardize her chances with him.

      Today, we finally get to meet Mohan. I see an old soul in him ❤ He almost seems like a mini ASR from the show – “Kaante se hain ye, haan khaate parathe” types 🙂 Or maybe he has OCD? Either ways, he is absolutely adorable. I see why Mohan & Mira’s interaction could be a dynamite. Both are similar in some ways, yet so different. Can’t wait for their meet!

      I am also intrigued by Arnav & Maya’s camaraderie. If two past lovers can remain friends, it’s either they are still in love or they never were. They are definitely not in love now, so it makes me wonder if they were ever in love? Or atleast one of them wasn’t. I may not know the details, but from what we know so far, I think it was a brave decision to amicably end the facade of a husband-wife relation in order to nurture the other relation – their friendship. I love how the roles of a caregiver are not stereotyped and how they are so comfortable around each other and everyone involved in their lives.

      Arnav is desperate to hear from Khushi. It’s a week since he is back, which is around the same time Khushi was chatting with Lavanya about Arnav. Why do I feel that when he returns back to his room, the phone on the bedside table will be blinking with a new message? 🙂

      Liked by 16 people

      1. I feel Arnav was definitely not ‘in love’ as they say with Maya. Maybe she was but the lack of rancor about their divorce makes me feel otherwise. I get the feeling Arnav still had feelings for Khushi when he married Maya or maybe not. 🙄

        Liked by 5 people

        1. I am with you Sandya. Not able to figure out Arnav’s piece of the puzzle. Arnav & Khushi seem to have been together for a short period of time. Whether it was a casual fling or something serious is yet to be known. But that brief time was enough to leave everlasting impression on each other. Either ways, Khushi appears to have moved on with NK. But I can’t say the same for Arnav, confidently. Maybe he did marry Maya out of love, and separated later when it didn’t work out for whatever reasons. Or perhaps he was on the fence and the shooting incident must have made him realize it’s time to move on and hence got committed to Maya (who was probably harboring one-sided love). Or it could be on a rebound, like you said. Maya jaal hain, Sandya. The more I think about it, more I get confused 😳

          Liked by 6 people

          1. Itni jaldi kya hai, bas thoda intezaar 🤗🤗 😉😉

            Honestly I am dying to know too!!
            I somehow don’t think that Khushi told NK about Arnav either.. May be she wanted to close that chapter of her life for herself and never told anyone about it? May be it was some misunderstanding that separated Arnav and Khushi with a bitter fallout after an intense but brief relationship?

            I am just trying to provide more entertainment now 😁😁 Chalo sath mein pharrey khate hai 😉😉

            Anagha.

            Liked by 5 people

            1. Intezaar hi to nahi hota Anagha ji! 😀

              Arnav knew NK as Aakash’s best friend. NK and Khushi, I am guessing were classmates/college-mates. I doubt they were more than friends when Khushi & Arnav were “together”. Coz, Khushi doesn’t come across as someone who would get involved with another if she has a BF. My gut says (with so many gut feelings, I am sure to have a leaky gut syndrome!) NK knew about what transpired between these two. My guess for A & K separating is that they wanted different things in life at that point. But I could be running in a totally different direction 😛

              Liked by 5 people

                1. Khasi aa rahi hai.. Buaji ka kadha pilaun😉😉
                  Ek toh hamari phooti kismat that we don’t know the story, Oopar se aap naje le rahe ho!! Not fair!! 😭😭😭

                  Like

        2. That’s the thing na Sandya.. We store so much by ‘falling in love’ that falling out of it seems like a failure.. But if it is amicable and accepted for what it is, a situation that can be solved, it wouldnt seem impossible to be friends with an ex-spouse

          Liked by 7 people

      2. Hehhhe… Shaanth Gadaadhari bheem… Bachche ki jaan logey kya 😉😁…
        But seriously hats off.. The sense of excitement and the anxiety to know the story behind the story, leaps from your words!!!!

        Good catch abt the relationship that ASR and Maya had… “it’s either they r still in love or they never were” … “… If they were ever in love? Or atleast one of them wasn’t ” 🤩

        And totally agree.. Implications of a waiting msg 😉😍… Kaash 😁

        Liked by 5 people

        1. Yeah, this excitement is getting out of control now hehehe.

          I can totally relate to Arnav’s restlessness waiting for the message…typing and deleting and wondering why she hasn’t responded. Been there…done that! And it’s not a good place to be. Hopefully Khushi puts him out of his misery.

          Liked by 7 people

  1. Res

    What was really interesting in this chapter is the way you introduce us to Maya. In her own words, with her own thoughts, with an intriguing glimpse of her through Sumitra Raizada’s reaction, with Arnav’s very apparent fondness for her, and yet at the end I’m left with a puzzle with so many pieces missing.

    Mohan is ❤️ and even without anything else I would loved this chapter 🤗

    Love the way you’ve woven Arnav’s longing throughout the chapter. It had got me wanting to ask him to check his messages between the times that he was doing it anyway!

    He had called for her in his unconscious state all those years back? He’s doing it again today, isn’t he. It’s not always about voicing it right?

    Liked by 14 people

    1. Calling out for her in his unconscious state (when he’s not in control of what he portrays), in a sense its as if a part of him has always been waiting to hear from her, isn’t it? “Arnav Singh Raizada was a master at masking his vulnerabilities”, a telling line I felt. Even though its not the first time I’m reading this, but I felt a sadness, a heaviness in my heart, when I read about him calling out for her in that unconscious state, in a state between life and death. “It was a long time ago and he felt like he carried the weight of more than one lifetime.” That’s another fantastic line.

      Liked by 10 people

        1. True.. The emptiness in a room full of people, can only be understood by one who has everything that destiny could be kind enough to bestow, except the one thing that would make his heart beat again!

          Liked by 4 people

      1. Both the lines you have picked portray Arnav Singh Raizada so well. They make you want to peer into the life that has made him into the man we see today. I had read these lines a while back…

        Ho gaye dafn hazaron hi gul-andaaz iss mein
        Iss liye khaak se hote hai gulistan paida
        -Imaam Baqsh Nasikh

        Liked by 3 people

        1. It’s as if everything got distilled into those two lines…
          Strangely it brought to mind lines from a malayalam movie song which crudely translated: there are some seeds that sprout only with rain, deep in the soil’s heart; and there are lamps of life that burn only with love in the heart/soul

          Liked by 4 people

            1. It’s my language, but I just realized reading, writing ( which has been nil for a long long time) and speaking doesn’t really equip you for translating! And I don’t read in it at all these days, nothing serious or literary that is, so it’s almost as if it’s a foreign language. That’s sad!

              Liked by 3 people

    2. Maya and her chatacter is a complete opposite of her child, and that with the indulgence she is bestowed with by both ASR and Nani are a great testament to the relationship they all share. Like they say, not everything needs to be dissected, some things are just accepted 😀

      Liked by 5 people

    1. Longing, pining, a state pregnant with possibilities… fits our state too after each update!
      Something hidden away in that secret corner of one’s mind, like that seed in Emily Dickinson’s poem, an almost serendipitous meeting has led to its discovery. Can one long or pine without knowing that we’re doing so? Does it come out at unexpected times like saying someone’s name, over and over, while in a delirium of sorts?
      I admire that relationship between Arnav and Maya, a friendship that triumphs over divorce. What does it take to do that, does it take special kind of people, a special kind of friendship to be able to reach such a stage? Or is it that they loved each other (still do as friends) but were never in love with each other?

      Liked by 10 people

      1. Special kind of people. WE don’t know right how long these two were married right,?
        I think Maya re-married right after the divorce. That is a tell…Right. Arnav seems not to hold it against her though? Speaks volumes about his personality.

        Liked by 3 people

      2. can one long or pine without knowing that we are doing so?

        Absolutely! I definitely think so. Isn’t that the feeling of restlessness that sweeps one at times? An yearning for something/someone from the past, nostalgia for days long gone…aren’t we pining then?

        Liked by 6 people

        1. I agree Sandy, absolutely, sometimes one may not be able to define it clearly, but it is as if there is something missing…
          Nostalgia for days long gone could be something positive, something that brings joy, unless one’s present is really bad. But this sort of longing or pining when one doesn’t really know what, or one doesn’t want to accept something, then there’s a sadness to it.

          Liked by 5 people

            1. I need to look up the pronunciation of this word. In my mind every single time I have read it elsewhere, I read it as Hindi – sauda de… ek haath sauda de – ek haath sauda le.
              Has Sandy used this word for one of her chapters? Or am I imagining things?
              Its a beautiful word though. I am glad someone came up with a word for a very difficult to explain kind of feeling or human emotion.

              Liked by 3 people

      3. A strong affection can often be confused for love.. Doesnt mean you do not care for the person.. You do, may be more than you would a normal friend.. But that infatuated feeling doesnt last, what it can leave nehind is a soft corner if cherished, or a sour/bitter regret, if abused.

        Liked by 5 people

        1. That’s so nicely put, I agree. I wonder if we are so hung up on this idea of this one love, that we are so ready to judge anything that sort of falls short of that ideal. I have often wondered how much popular culture plays a part in that.

          Liked by 4 people

          1. From experience, I know that you can move on, you can fall in ‘love’ again… All it needs is acceptance.. Of yourself, your feelings and the situation. Its all in the state of mind: acceptance opens it to new possiblities and if dwelt upon and stewed.. It can turn into an unbearable thought, some tend to forget and some hold on through their lives.

            Liked by 6 people

            1. Depends on the person. We are so conditioned to view and see things a certain way, if a person is able to break that and open themselves to new possibilities… otherwise like you said you’ll hold on to things and let it stew, making yourself miserable.

              Liked by 5 people

            2. I like this thought, though I do agree with P. It does depend on the person and their ability to let bygones be bygones. Also, somehow I think even when a person does move on, the first intense feeling of love he or she felt for another would always remain as a bittersweet memory in the mind. One may not pine for that lost love day in a day out, but, there may be times when unwillingly thoughts of that special person may drift in till the mind consciously puts a stop to it. Maybe that’s what happened to Arnav? Is that why he decided to see Khushi when he learned of her loss?

              Liked by 4 people

              1. I remember having a similar conversation on Anu’s blog, there was something one of her character’s had said; one doesn’t stop loving someone when you separate, it might just change, or one realizes that its better to be apart, but it still sort of remains, even if one goes on to find love again.
                But here I agree with what Shradha had said, that it feels like he met her to see if she’s OK, because her loss was a shock and painful, and not for any “selfish” (for lack of a better word, I don’t mean it in a negative way) reasons. As if he couldn’t bear to think of her having gone through something like that…

                Liked by 4 people

      4. Can one long or pine without knowing that we’re doing so? Does it come out at unexpected times like saying someone’s name, over and over, while in a delirium of sorts?

        wow P ..

        Liked by 2 people

  2. Not that I remember all the words of the story but I think it’s the same overall. No big changes or surprises.

    I enjoy it reading again. Did I say that already?!!
    Well , I can’t resist to say it again 😊😊

    Liked by 4 people

  3. It’s beautiful to see that Arnav and Maya has preserved their friendship amid I am sure was a very testing time for both.

    And Arnav thought of Khushi when he was most vulnerable. That something!!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. The update has so many thoughts swirling in my head. I will start with fun and easy one. Both kids have curly hair !

      Loved how we are given a glimpse of Arnav’s life, the important people Mohan, Nani and Maya. Glad that his divorce was not acrimonious and his ex wife is a good friend still. I am going to ignore Maya motivation for not revealing to him that he had asked for Khushi when in delirium. It would have been important before maybe but the two are now divorced in does not matter. Glad today she is a good friend and thinking for his welfare/happiness.

      There were hints before that Mohan may be a special needs kid. This chapter confirms it with him avoiding eye contact, not reacting to Maya trying to imitate a walrus or the need to have paratha cut in perfect squares and obsessive interest in Legos. He is autistic or something in those lines I assume.

      Arnav yearning for Khushi or at least need to have some contact with her comes through beautifully. Both have not found it easy to just text or chat with each other. Last chapter we had Lavanya questioning Khushi about Arnav and in this Maya is doing the same. Somehow I feel both of them will not reveal much to their respective best friends.

      Beside curly hair the other thing that stood out was a) Arnav has not talked about Khushi to Akash but in last chapter Akash seems to be aware that there was something between the two. If Lavanya does not know about what happened between the two,Khushi could not have told Akash- was it NK or ? b) Arnav met Khushi in Delhi 10 years ago and was a student in Boston.

      You must be thinking what am I doing- I am trying to figure about Arnav and Khushi !!! So I am guessing that either Arnav a student was visiting from Boston when the two met in IIT. Also it was just a fling (nothing serious and mutual) and only NK knew the details of it because either he was a close friend of Khushi or her boyfriend.

      Liked by 9 people

      1. Arnav remembered Khushi in his semi conscious state, which makes me want to believe it was more than a fling. I am also stumped on how they met, when they met and why doesn’t anyone know about them. Arnav referred to Khushi as NK’s wife. So my guess is Aakash introduced him to NK as one of his friend. And maybe Khushi was NK’s friend from college. That’s how they got introduced. I am kind of sensing a Arjun-Kaveri-AV Sir feel to their equation, where she ended up with her best friend after a brief intimate period with Arnav

        Liked by 7 people

        1. The way they met in first chapter ..The split was not acrimonious. So whatever happened between the two was very short and the ending was mutual. It was physical for sure she mentions having measured his symmetrical face..he the number of flecks in her hazel eyes. The two did not date or the friends would know. It appears to be a fling. But the two are still affected after a decade so more ..That is unusual. Whatever the two shared decade ago affected them but chose not to take it further or Khushi had someone in her life. We will know. The story just started 😀
          I don’t think this is anything like the river though

          Liked by 7 people

          1. I agree. It’s nothing like River. I meant I sense a love triangle where NK seemed to be aware of whatever happened between Arnav & Khushi. They are “two strangers who shared intimacy” which hint towards a fling, but my gut tells me it was more than that. I think they chose to go separate ways due to conflict of interests. I don’t think either of them was committed when they were together. But again….these are just speculations.

            I think I have provided enough entertainment for people who already know how the story pans out 😀

            Liked by 9 people

                1. 😂🤣
                  मोरा गोरा अंग लई ले, मोहे शाम रंग दई दे
                  Go on ask MB the raaz behind that, see one free farrey for you😝
                  Nahi tho यूँ तो सोलह सावन आये गये….

                  Liked by 2 people

                2. So far there has been no out of syllabus😝😁
                  This feels like the hey days of the river. I remember lavzy with some narad muni work from me sending poor Anu to find, read and like a non-existent comment!😂

                  Liked by 2 people

          1. How are you?
            Not absurd!
            Even though I know some of the details, there were still some things which were not clear at the point Mira had stopped before. So its going to be fun to read all the thoughts going forward😁

            Liked by 5 people

      2. A deduction indeed… Wow… Thisbshows how you have read the story and read the easily missed implications.. Go girl! Love love loved ur questions.. And am looking forward to your reactions to the answers when u find them 😍😀🤗

        Liked by 3 people

          1. Hehhe.. Indeed.. But am glad to have u gals along the journey.. The gist we remember.. But the particulars.. We r reliving it alongside u… So its a potpourri of emotions for us too 😊

            Liked by 5 people

    1. Society has a set of rules on how relationships must be viewed and it’s wonderful when you breakaway and define your own rules. I love the friendship that’s between Arnav and Maya.

      Hi Mohan, long time no see.
      I missed that boy💕

      Liked by 3 people

  4. I have always loved the ease that Arnav and Maya share in this story. Normally divorce makes the couple hate each other or at best be cordial for the sake of the children. But here they are very good friends who seem to share everything which is very endearing

    Liked by 4 people

  5. I will never forget the relationship Arnav and Maya share because it is so precious and beautiful. It definitely has to do with how smoothly the narrative between them flows to the point that they can be best friends without remembering their past as a couple. And Arnav’s impatience for Khushi’s text is endearing. Can’t wait to read the part after this!

    Liked by 4 people

  6. Wonderful Chapter
    Loved it

    Arnav is eagerly waiting for the text or call from Khushi but not finding it he was disappointed. It was surprising to see Arnav and Maya sharing a good relationship between them even after their divorce because of usually a divorced couple will part ways having bitter memories or try to be cordial because of kids. But here they are, good friends, and also Arnav and Kailash have a cordial relationship between them. Arnav himself is surprised knowing he was remembering Khushi in his most vulnerable state when he got shot. Mohan is more mature for his age who is smart and introvert by nature. Now very eager to know Arnav and Khushi’s past and what made them part ways.

    Eager for the next one

    Thanks
    Chinnulu

    Liked by 4 people

    1. Saudade – A feeling of intense longing or melancholy. A longing, pregnant with possibilities and hope. Very telling that he is disappointed when there is no text from Khushi. Had he been pining secretly for her all these years? That is more than a bit heartbreaking.
      Did her marry Maya on the rebound? Is that why there seems to be no feeling of ex-love with Maya and no rancor regarding their divorce? I found him taking Khushi’s name in an unconscious state very, very revealing and yet very confusing 🙂
      Speaking of Maya, I loved the relationship between Maya and Arnav. Such a welcome change from the usual bitterness between ex-spouses we usually see. They are friends and that friendship comes across so beautifully.
      Mohan-the shying away from a hug, the cutlery arranged precisely, the cutting of the paratha into eight perfect squares, the lack of laughter, all point to a special needs child. Was this guess correct? Is that why he wanted to get in touch with Khushi? She is a speech therapist who works with special needs children primarily, right? I found him a darling though.
      The timeline is confusing me a bit. Its been ten years since Arnav and Khushi met last or was it ten years since NK and Khushi got married? I am assuming when Khushi and Arnav met, Arnav was already in medical school and Khushi was doing her undergrad. Did I get the timing right? Then what stopped them from getting married to each other, assuming they were in a relationship. Could very well turn out that Arnav nursed a one-sided love for Khushi and maybe what I originally read as resentment on Khushi’s side is actually discomfort?! Am stumped…but I loved reading Arnav’s feelings. Shall be back with more if and when I have something more to add 🙂

      Liked by 9 people

        1. I got the feeling that they both hadn’t kept track and didn’t know what the other was doing professionally. When they met for lunch is where they share details of their professional lives.

          Liked by 7 people

        2. I agree. He probably reached out because he wanted to see her and offer his condolences to her. He didn’t know about her profession then, remember? I meant when he wanted to meet her for lunch. I got the feeling he wanted to ask her something but decided not to when she broke down.

          Liked by 4 people

          1. Yeah maybe you are right… I don’t remember the sequence. I thought that
            was nuanced writing….A decision we all make sometimes not to talk what ails us as that takes away the attention from the other person. He seems very aware and sensitive if I recall during lunch downplaying his divorce aftermath for Manorama sake

            Liked by 4 people

  7. Mirabell,

    Ooh, we are just coming up to the bit where the floodgates open…..cannot wait for all those memories of the past to come barging in and captivate Arnav Singh Raizada again! Love his friendship with Maya, his pillar of support at home – Naniji, and the meticulous and particular little Mohan. I told you on your first telling of this story and will do so again – the attention to detail sets Second Chances in a league of its own. Maya might seem elfin, wonderful and fun and I am sure these are all facets of her personality, but her keeping that vital piece of information about Khushi Gupta and the fact that he called out for her when he was shot, is telling. She certainly staged her own bit of manipulation to marry Dr Raizada….hmm…Makes one realize that there is perhaps a time and place for everything. While Arnav may have had pretty deep feelings for Khushi Gupta ten years ago, she perhaps did not feel as strongly….and she was of course destined to go through her own great love story with NK first…..

    Loved the paratha cut into eight precise squares and the spoon beside the yoghurt not in it. Beautiful rendition of the life of a child with asperger’s syndrome – today people are even more aware of the condition than the first time you wrote this story….and I remember thinking even then how well researched this tale was.

    Finally, and yes,I saved this bit for the end as it is my favourite aspect of this chapter, Arnav Singh Raizada’s longing, yearning, saudade – for his dreams to come to fruition, for a closure or perhaps for a new chance with the beautiful girl from the past that he has never really let go of. You scripted his yearning perfectly. He is wondering about her apathy, her not having texted him, her apparent indifference. So beautiful, take a bow. Enjoying the second reading of Second Chances so much more….perhaps the anticipation of knowing what is to come and how beautiful it is!

    Best,

    Anu

    Liked by 12 people

              1. It is totally fine if you spill the beans. 🙂 It is just a matter of chapters before these get revealed anyway. Both of you – please don’t worry! ❤ I would rather read your thoughts.

                Liked by 3 people

  8. The interesting part about this update is the close bond between Arnav and Maya. There are many ex-spouses that are cordial, friendly even to a certain extent. But what is shown in this story is something I never thought existed in real life. Or perhaps I did not see it yet. I wonder if any good comes out of being that close to your ex that you share your deepest secrets with them. But again, that is why this story appeals to me. Love your characters and how truly unique they are.

    Liked by 4 people

  9. I guess, Maya was selfish at one point. even if she says that it was of no important, being a medical student I guess, she should know how it important this person be to Arnav when he repeatedly called her during that critical time of his life.

    Liked by 2 people

  10. This was a great read…
    Mohan is such a wonderful child.. Special and cute ❤
    Maya is one character I adored always..
    She is really something…
    Being such a good friend with her husband even after marriage..
    Sharing their son with such love…
    She truly cares for Arnav and it shows..

    Lavanya and khushi’s part got me sobbing really.. 😓
    Loved the update di

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Wonderful chapter and lovely narration.
    Let me first speak about Arnav and Maya’s divorce. If Maya and Arnav were in love with each other, there is no reason for them to get a divorce. If only one is in love and the other is not, then when and how did the other find out about it?
    The one who found out (I am sure it is Maya), how did she manage to get a divorce without revealing the truth and still stayed as a good friend and a very good mother to their son?
    How did Kailash come into picture and why did he agree to marry Maya as soon as the divorce is finalised?
    That makes me wonder, what else is Maya hiding?
    Can Maya hold Arnav responsible for not mentioning Khushi’s name when they were in a loving relationship as husband and wife while she herself hid the fact that he blurted Khushi’s name in an unconscious state even before they got married? Can she say, she gave him enough time to tell her about Khushi before they got married, to justify her case?
    I have a feeling, Arnav blurted Khushi’s name once again in a life altering situation and may be Maya felt guilty and has decided to go from his life without revealing anything. She may be genuinely waiting for Khushi to come back into Arnav’s life.
    Only time will tell. Read Mira will tell when time comes.
    Khushi moved on, met NK, married him and had Mira within 2 years after they parted ways a bit more than 10 years ago. There is nothing wrong in moving on. If there was something so strong happened between them all those years ago, how did Khushi move on so quickly? I have a feeling, (please bear with me and my feelings) the shootout at the convenience store has something to do with it. May be Maya was shown in the news clippings as a girl friend or beloved, so, Khushi thought to move on. Indian student getting shot at a convenience store in Boston must be on the news everywhere right?
    Is Mohan Autistic by any chance?
    Cheers…

    Liked by 6 people

  12. Aww Meera u definitely knows the every nerve of ur readers..how to strike a chord with ur readers..uff so beautifully written Arnav’s turmoil , state of mind of not seeing a single message from Khushi..loved it..the way u describe his situation in ur words my heart skips a beat there..trying for any messages from Khushi every now and then and frustrated not receiving any message , throwing his mobile and leaving that in his room oh..gosh..so felt in real..Mira take a bow dear..u r an excellent writer having immense talent ..u r a pro in writing emotions of each character..aww cute Mohan loving him ..but seriously Mira how a divorced couple will be this much friendly in talking terms? I didn’t get that still…I mean they r so good..why did they separated and divorced? Maya asking Abt the Khushi? So she knows the Khushi from arnav’s past..I m loving there camaraderie between Arnav and Maya..so now will they both ready to tell their share of past to their respective best friends parallaly? Or do we have to wait still to know what happened between them to get separate ? Loving this slow pace Mira..thank you for the update..now again eagerly waiting for the next beautiful chapter..

    Liked by 2 people

  13. I am loving it all over again…having read all this long time back and now re reading it is a pleasure in itself…I almost forgot about the conversations and dialogues except for the basic story line…I guess that’s normal to forget the details…but now I am getting a chance to read it all again …
    Waiting for more….
    Continue soon

    Liked by 2 people

  14. Lovely update MB
    Arnav’s eagerness and longing to see a message from khushi is very well depicted
    Maya and Mohan has stolen this update – they are the stars of this update – lovely characterization- nani too has played her part in this uodate well
    Super duper update – wrong place to stop dear – arnav, we want to know everything soon

    Liked by 1 person

  15. Hi.

    I so desperately want to know what happened between Arnav and Khushi now… I swear if you take one more chapter without revealing it, you will have repercussions!!😁😁😁

    Sorry, I know I said I will comment later on earlier chapter but never got to it. Frankly it was too painful to read Khushi’s loss.. Having seen 2 dear aunts widowed in a young age, with children, this was too close to reality.. I had so much impact of that chapter, even though it has been many years from those events.. It’s strange how memories are stuck in the mind below seemingly endless layers but come up with just one pointed prod.. I am glad Khushi has a wonderful support system in her friends and family. 👍👍I totally understand her hesitation in taking any initiative or giving response to Arnav even though her heart somewhere wants to.. NK has been an amazing husband, it must almost feel like travesty to move on..

    Arnav and Maya have really become good friends. I wonder if you will also write about why they had a fallout. Maya is quite practical person, any decision about kids is always tough, so she is in a good place by being objective about it and maintaining good relationship with Arnav..
    That brings us to the man of the confused moment.. He had no idea he was uttering her name when unconscious! How deep the suppression must have been of his memories.. Was it something that intense that he never mentioned it to anyone? I am pulling my hair now.. I am telling you, you better post next chapter soon!! 🤗🤗😘😘

    Anagha

    Liked by 8 people

    1. Hugs Anagha… It sure was emotional reading it.. But must have been more so for you as you have seen it in your family.. Strong women are not just stuff that are made up in stories.. They are all around us… In us.. We just dont recognize them often enough.

      Liked by 4 people

    1. and I pressed the reply too soon😄😄
      I love the status quo of all the relationship that you have shown in this chapter. Arnav-Maya is the relation which can be considered as a text book relation.
      Sumitra is the another character that is not just wise with age but is regale and a woman whose eyes has seen a lot.
      Mohan- I can not wait for Mira to be here with him. He is cute and lovable❤️.

      Arnav – Oh he did what? Took Khushi’s name in the state of unconsciousness and now consciously is waiting for a text.
      Since you are re writing can we have their back story already? Both Lav and Maya along with all us readers are waiting 😄😄

      Thanks for sharing Mira,
      Ami

      Liked by 4 people

    1. Aaj bhi woh ek pukaar k intezaar mein,
      Baitein hain hum, aankein moondh ke.
      Bas itni si hain fiqar …
      Ke koi manzar se hum aapke woh pukaar na kho de.

      … Random words that come to mind… Plz ignore grammatical errors.. I’m not too well versed with Hindi 😁

      This chance meeting.. (i still say destiny) has brought out that teenage angst in them both.. Something long forgotten.. Almost like that little exclusive bit of themselves that they had locked away.. Before moving onto their next relationship. This tiny locked part that now refuses to simmer down and is taking up their conscious world again.
      It may not just be the intimacy, or love, or even a situational thing… This curiosity that they have, stems greatly from the indicated fact that they knew a very raw and pure version of each other.. And now are subconsciously eager to reacquaint themselves with the new version of each other, after their individual journeys over the last decade.
      I’d still say, despite the indication that they had a deep relationship.. This eagerness and longing for a message is an innocent heart reaching out to another who it knew it the best.

      Mohan is a darling… Am so happy to read him in your words Mira.. A cherubic face comes to mind.. Just as clearly as u get a sweet little pixie with the description of Meera… 😍

      Maya is a dynamic and energetic character.. So much a child.. And one senses a fondness that Arnav holds for her… Something thatvhe always has. This is not an adjustment to having divorced or her having moved on.. It seems a genuine fondness he has always held for her. Makes us wonder, what was it that made them get together in the first place… I do sense an old infatuation from Maya’s side… Which may have subconsciously supressed her from bringing up the old incident. And even now, it is the name that triggered it out.. She sensed back then and does so now, that the name has a huge bearing on his emotions. Waiting for the memories to flood out. 😁.

      Am loving it.. Sorry if comments seem disjointed.. But trying not to go back read and edit.. Wanted to try and write the flow of thoughts 😉

      Liked by 7 people

      1. Kindred spirits? May be I need to 🤐😁
        I had found that quite telling about Maya when I read it first too, that she never brought it up. He had been calling out this name over and over, but afterwards she never thought to ask him about it, purely going by the fact that he had not spoken about it before. She knows that he’s not the kind to talk or open up about himself a lot. Even then…I’m looking forward to seeing if that will be addressed going forward.

        Liked by 5 people

  16. wow wonderful.. there lavanya and here maya both are grilling their friends to know more about the Arnav-Khushi.. loved the update.. Thanks Mira ❤

    Liked by 1 person

  17. Wonder what made the divorce each other if they had so much in common? As for maya not talking about khushi to Arnav and falling in love after the so called accident, was it jealousy or something else.

    Liked by 1 person

  18. An update which brings up a lot of could have beens. So much longing and wistfulness experienced by these wonderful characters. I felt like crying and hugging them. Will we finally have that full backstory of Arnav and Khushi!! Ps – Arnav send HER that text you know want to😉

    Liked by 1 person

  19. Akash n La knows about Arnav n Khushi..
    Did NK know it already??

    Maya is too excited to hear Khushi’s name n asks–is it THAT KHUSHI..

    It’s really a big thing that Arnav called Khushi’s name when he was not conscious..

    Mira…
    Now u’ve to unfold all the secrets from past..

    Liked by 2 people

  20. Hi Mirabell….what a lovely update….getting more and more interesting….seems to be one sided on both the sides….Arnav more into Kushi and Maya more into Arnav….Eagerly waiting to read the mystery behind Arnav and kushi….. very well written…..It is a pleasure to read

    Liked by 1 person

  21. What a beautiful chapter Mira! I love the way you keep layering every paragraph with information -about the character, about the story and about the pulling-my-hair-out-what-happens-next wala suspense. Unravelling at its best! There’s not a lot to speculate for me right now because I know what happens (Unlike some who don’t have a clue .. tch tch tch!)

    For some reason, I can’t recollect reading about this bit about he being shot and calling out her name. But I know and am excited because it’s come to that point where the — oops. Okay, I will shut up.

    I have loved the story, every bit of it — but you know how you like some bits of the story more than the others? I have quite a few besides the seriously favourite ones which I am waiting for like a kid on Christmas eve :p Especially that bit where Khushi goes to biurfhi niewhiuh hygeyf when Arnav uehfiuewh bruhf and jefiuwh iurhfuiehf !!!! You know what I mean? 😀 Oh, the bit that follows is even more amazing!
    Fine! I won’t say more, zipping it! 😀

    But seriously, no kidding Mira! When we get there, I know I will go on and on about how brilliant those chapters and scenes are in spite of the fact that us (KNOWERs) are still in suspense about the real watershed of the story just like the others (UNKNOWERs) 😛 I promise to let you know.

    Do you know HOW much I am enjoying this bit of the advantage over a few who don’t know what happens next? I mean I know they don’t know what comes next, and I know they know that I am going to keep poking them with it! Grinning like a shot fox right now! 😛

    This one was a beauty, Mira. Absolute beauty.

    PS — After we finish SC, I want to talk to you about the relationship between Arnav and Maya. How on earth have you come up with something like that, I really need to know!
    PS1 — PS (on repeat) 😀

    Liked by 3 people

    1. O Zaalima!!! कुठे फेडणार ही पापं ??

      “Khushi goes to biurfhi niewhiuh hygeyf when Arnav uehfiuewh bruhf and jefiuwh iurhfuiehf !” << This is third degree torture ya 😫😪😥

      I am like –

      Liked by 2 people

          1. Arey Gauri, knowing me, I’ll sink the business overnight. I’m pathetic. Dunno the B of Business ..but yes to B of Bohni, only cus it rhymes with Sohni 😛
            Sorry that was a sad one 😛

            Liked by 2 people

    2. God I’ve missed this! These comments from you😁( Reminds me of the time a certain ji had slept off😂)
      Coming back to SC, you remember that —-ing? I still remember every line of that chapter! can’t wait for that to come.
      narayan, narayan…
      P.S: Seriously, I remembered the shooting incident, because I had wondered then too why Maya had not mentioned it to him at all.

      Liked by 2 people

  22. in this ff one thing i have always waited to read is Arnav’s emotions.. clearly ..after khushi, after maya, with mohan ,,still dealing everything n understanding alone.. always dealing it alone.. he appears to b such a sorted person n thn whn i see arhi like .. its jst..

    i know im getting impatient … bt i so want to reach thr n read..will b waiting

    this ff is full of such high intense emotions..its really like ocean… peaceful yet full of storms

    Liked by 1 person

  23. Like others I am also confused about Maya and Arnav’s relationship….They were certainly never been in love…I am not saying he was in love with khushi but he was not in love with maya….May be something more than friendship at that time but not love…. But on the otherside khushi had move on from Arnav….I really don’t think khushi and Arnav had spend long time together..but wat ever it is they had great impact on each other

    Liked by 1 person

  24. You left us on a cliff.
    I’m loving all the relations in this story as I told you in my previous comment mira.. your characters have so much of love in them, I’m wondering whether I can find these people in Asli duniya. no bitterness in any relationship even for their ex.. hats off to you..
    Arnav is waiting eagerly for the message but no luck.. I guess kushi has not messaged him even after lavanya’s advise..
    Eager to read next and know their story..

    Liked by 1 person

      1. You are a blessed writer mira. Very few writers like you can make a reader feel all the emotions the characters are going through in the story..
        Stay blessed dear..

        Liked by 1 person

  25. I wonder why Maya didn’t mention Khushi’s name before .. I don’t know why I never warmed upto Maya of your story even though you portrayed her and Arnav’s relationship beautiful and very friendly

    Liked by 1 person

  26. I love this Chapter 💕
    How well you penned down everything di….. Simply touching ❤️ all strings of heart 💗

    I really love this particular fact , The Realtionship ARNAV & MAYA have maintained even after divorced. I’m surprised mainly because in almost all cases of divorce, the ex’s didn’t even want to hear their partner’s name, forgot having a cordial realtionship.
    But here I’m so pleased to see ARNAV & MAYA , being divorced , but they like a good, SENSIBLE human beings, ….have maintained their Realtionship as ex- partners to now Friends…..who respect each other so much.
    I really love this ❤️ Their Lovely Friendship & mutual respect, understanding for each other.

    I’m so curious to know, what has happened between ARNAV KHUSHI in Their Past , Curious like Maya 🧐?
    What was Happened Between them ?
    What is it ? 🤔

    As, I want to say so many things about your Heartouchingly Amazing Writings, it gonna probably turn out in a essay for sure, for which you must be feel irritated to Read, & I don’t want that 😆
    Di…… You are BRILLIANT WRITER DI, SIMPLY SUPERB , more than words can say ❤️
    Thanks di 🙏🏻
    Lot’s of love ❤️ Hameshaa 😘💕

    Liked by 1 person

  27. Mira this chapter bought in various aspects of friendship to me..the one he has with Khushi and one with maya. Two different people having their own space in his heart.

    Maya and his friendship survived probably because of their maturity and understanding at a point they are better off being friends than husband and wife. Hopefully you will tell us how Kailash came in and swept maya away.

    Arnav is committed and would have continued with the relationship but would have strained friendship with maya have they decided to continue.

    Coming to the chapter- his anxiety to see why Khushi has not messaged shows there is more to it. They have a history and feeling sorry they did not end up together for reasons yet to be known. NK on the other hand is also love of Khushi’s Life and for one thing I can’t imagine anyone yet as her soul mate. She immensely misses him, but curious to see how Arnav comes in for their second chances.

    Sorry took me forever to come back and comment.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I wish I could edit…Arnav remembering Khushi in his subconscious mind says somewhere he let his ego take over and let his heart break? He seems shocked when maya reminds him of it, wish he was more conscious about what he felt or wondering why Maya never shared that with him earlier? Lots of layers to peel.

      Liked by 1 person

  28. this to much… she did reveal such important message to him…
    but she wants to dig it now…

    well.. truth.. she has more impact on him…
    and he is waiting for her message

    there khushi is still in confused mind

    Liked by 1 person

  29. Both Lavanya and Maya realised that there was some history between Khushi and Arnav and they want to know what happened in their past.
    Mohan is autistic and even Khushi realised there was something about him by seeing his picture.

    Liked by 1 person

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