Chapter Ten: Betwixt

Often the object of desire, when desire is transformed into hope, becomes more real than reality itself.
——Umberto Eco

 

 

The shift in the roar of the jet engines marked the end of their seventeen-hour journey across oceans, continents and time.  Khushi could sense a collective heave of sigh that seemed to echo through the cabin. There was a sense of urgency among the cabin crew, with their practiced maneuvers around impatient bodies and cramped aisles. 

 

This was the moment that most travelers seemed to wait for, the moment that often began with the idea of going to or returning from a place,… a destination. That moment when the destination seemed to be within hand’s reach when breaths were bated as necks craned to look down the cold fogged windows from the clouds to see the lights of their favored lands.

 

Mira’s cold palms clutched her mother’s and Patti’s as the plane began its descent. She was not a fan of take-offs and landings. She used to climb into NK’s lap and burrow into him, and NK would wrap his arms tightly around her as if to absorb her into himself. It was her favorite sight, two heads of curls huddled together, their curls seemed to twine together. But now she was a few years older and much taller. Even though Khushi offered to hold her in her lap, she insisted on just holding her mother’s and Patti’s hands. Her eyes softened as they ran over Mira’s rumpled curls and her sleep tired eyes behind her glasses. There were no dimples in sight at the moment. Khushi knew that Mira was tired and exhausted, but willing to put up with the discomfort for just a little longer. She removed the hand rest between their seats and pulled her child into her arms.

 

“It’s alright. Just lean on mommy with your seat belt.”

 

Mira snuggled into Khushi’s arms and promptly fell asleep. Manorama saw the exchange with a smile of her own. It was a long journey for both of them she realized, not just in terms of the distance they traveled, but that they traveled without him. Her heart warmed at the sight of the young mother cradling her child in her arms.

 

After what seemed like eons, the plane touched down and slowly taxied to the bay. Within minutes, muted lights brightened in the cabin and the roar of activity replaced the quiet somnolence. Passengers who were patient for hours on end, had little of it left and were lined up in aisles to disembark. Khushi sported a sardonic smile at her fellow travelers opting to rush to the closed doors while she waited. She knew that it was going to be a while before the doors were opened and the entire slew of passengers got to get out of the closed confines of their plane cabin.

 

“Is Nandu coming to the airport, Khushi? It is too late for her. Poor thing. I asked her to send a driver and not show up.” Manorama and Nandini Buaji had come to be more than just relatives, especially after NK’s father died. Both women, although living in different parts of India, became anchors for each other, called each other often, visited each other frequently and even traveled together. It appeared that widowhood helped form a close sisterhood for these two, offering quiet companionship and surprisingly, freedom and autonomy as well.

 

“No Amma. She insisted on coming. So, she is probably here waiting.”

 

“Did you give your friend our flight details like he asked?” Manorama’s brow furrowed briefly and she shook her head, “I don’t remember his name. Have you heard from him? Is he going to be here as well?”

 

Khushi was surprised that Manorama remembered her conversation with Arnav about their travel. But then, she shouldn’t be surprised, she realized. Both NK and Manorama had incredible abilities to recall. Her skin felt suddenly tight on her bones, a discomfort at the uneasy juxtaposition of NK and Arnav, in thought. She could feel a warmth rise from her core to the tips of her ears and forehead. She grit her teeth to maintain her eye contact with Manorama.

 

“Yes, I did send him our flight details and he offered to pick up Buaji and then pick us up. But I asked him to not bother coming to the airport.”

 

She did send him her flight details, after waging an emotional war with her heart and mind.

 

“It’s just a kind and a friendly gesture Khushi, why are you making more out of it than it really is?” Lavanya had challenged her, “Unless it is more than what it is.”

 

Fair enough, she thought. Instead of texting him, she quickly emailed him her itinerary. Surprised to not hear from him, she wondered if she had sent it to the wrong person. 

 

It was when Arnav texted her and asked if her flight details were a state secret that she realized that he was expecting her to text, not email him. 

 

If your flight details are indeed a state secret, then you leave me no choice but to commit all kinds of crimes to acquire it. 🙂

 

Crimes? Although the temptation is quite strong, I would hate to see a friend in hot water. Sadly it isn’t a state secret, and neither are my email messages. I sent you my itinerary, a couple of days ago. Check your email. 🙂

 

Khushi remembered that it was late at night, the night before her travel. She should have been in bed, asleep. But as always sleep was elusive. So, she waited for him to respond, although, she rationalized, waiting was just accidental if one was waiting for sleep. The words on the book she held in her hands blurred themselves, unable to hold her attention. It wasn’t long before her phone vibrated.

 

Ah email, of course! Sorry, didn’t think of it. Looking forward to seeing you again Khushi. Safe travels.

 

Please don’t bother to come to the airport so late in the night. In fact, I am asking Buaji to send our regular driver with the car that we rent. We can make our way home without inconveniencing everyone.

 

There was silence from his end for a while. She was sure he wasn’t going to respond. She tried to go back to the book that she was struggling to read.

 

No way I am waiting another ten years. See you soon.

 

Her heart plunged to her stomach reading that cryptic sentence and then started to race.

 

What did he mean by that?

 

Khushi was brought out of her reverie when Manorama shook her shoulder to point to the now empty aisle for them. She woke Mira gently and gathered their carry-ons along with Mira’s violin. Her little one had decided to bring her violin so she could continue playing while on vacation. She signed internally, like father, like daughter. Their music followed them wherever they went.

 

It was another good two hours before Khushi, Mira and Manorama walked towards the exit doors of the airport. Khushi could see eager eyes and broad smiles on the faces of people waiting to see their loved ones. Khushi’s eyes scanned for Buaji when Mira plaintively asked, “Mommy, can you see Bua-Patti? Is she here? I want to go home, I am really tired Mommy.” 

 

“I am looking honey. Just a few more minutes and then we will be in the car. Can you hold on for just a little longer?”

 

Mira nodded her head and held on to Manorama’s hand. Khushi looked at her mother-in-law, whose gait seemed to shift to a small limp, favoring her right knee. These long flights seemed to take a bigger toll on her every time she traveled, especially with her arthritis.

 

“Amma, do you need a wheelchair?” She quickly scanned the large lobby of the airport and said, “Amma, why don’t you sit down with Mira and stay with the luggage, let me find Buaji and will come back to get you.”

 

Manorama gave Khushi a grateful look for being so sensitive to her needs. Who said blood was thicker than water? She is my daughter, through and through. “It is alright Chellam, if you go out of this lobby, they may not let you back in. I can walk. Let’s find Nandu.” 

 

Now all three of them looked, scanning the crowds to find this elusive Buaji. 

 

But Khushi’s eyes were surreptitiously seeking a tall figure in the midst of the crowd. What was going on with her? He was being polite at the very least and friendly at the most. There was no way he was going to show up at the airport. She quietly reprimanded herself for harboring fancy hopes. That was that. But her eyes seemed to have a will of their own, moving, searching the crowd.

 

“Didi! Didi! Khushi-Didi!” 

 

Two lean arms took over the luggage cart she was pushing. It was a diminutive man, shorter than Khushi, probably in his late twenties. Khushi expected to see their Buaji’s usual driver, Ahmed-Bhai, but this was certainly not Ahmed Bhai, grabbing her cart from her. 

 

“Namaste Khushi-didi” he started, turned towards Manorama and repeated his greeting, “Namaste Auntiji. I am Gangadhar, Raizada-house driver. Arnav Bhai sent me to pick you up from the airport.” He made a quick namaste with his hands and resumed ownership of the cart. “Come this way please. Your Buaji is waiting in the car. I didn’t want her to stand, so I was waiting for you here.”

 

He didn’t come to the airport after all.

 

Khushi’s eyes remained fixed on Gangadhar as she let the knowledge of Arnav’s absence sink keenly into her.  Disappointment sliced through Khushi so fiercely that she found herself closing her eyes tightly. It knocked the wind out of her body.  It took her a few moments to calm herself down. 

 

She was shocked that there was a small part of her that had hoped and wanted to see him at the airport. She was so sure that she had walled herself within reason and prudence that his presence at the airport was not necessary.

 

Lost in her own thought, she felt a tug on her wrist. Mira pointed to Gangadhar walking ahead of them with their cart. 

 

The man simply took over. Khushi and Manorama were left standing, gaping at the speed with which Gangadhar maneuvered them around crowds, navigating their way past haphazardly parked carts, people hugging, and even small potholes. Within minutes he had them walking briskly towards a white SUV parked with Buaji waving her arms with great joy.

 

Moving like automatons, Khushi and Manorama looked at each other as if to check their sense of reality was still intact. But when they saw Buaji rushing towards them, Gangadhar was momentarily forgotten.

 

“Oh my dear Mano!” Buaji grabbed Manorama’s wrists and pulled her slight body into a hug. She exclaimed her name yet again, paying no attention to Manorama’s reciprocal greeting. 

 

In the next breath she cried, “Oh! My dear darling Bacchi!” Buaji’s ample arms pulled Khushi into Buaji’s ample bosom. Being a few inches taller than Buaji, Khushi had to bend down to be in that embrace. The discomfort of the hug was insignificant to Khushi as she found a home in Buaji’s arms. Fat tears rolled down on Buaji’s face, as she gathered her niece into her arms. This was Khushi’s first trip since NK’s passing and although Buaji was in constant touch with Khushi and Mira via Skype, it wasn’t quite the same as having the child in her arms. Buaji was wont to let Khushi go, sniffling loudly into Khushi’s bent neck.

 

Manorama’s eyes moistened in empathy, but she noticed that Mira’s patience with the travel was wearing thin. She saw that Gangadhar was gently coaxing the little girl into the SUV, along with her violin case which she refused to part with.

 

Manorama then moved closer to Khushi and Nandini and said, “I think we should get into the car before we get a parking ticket. Let us get going Nandu.” 

 

Manorama’s coaxing got Nandini to let Khushi out of her arms, but she held on to her wrist as they ambled towards the SUV. 

 

There were too many emotions coursing through Khushi that she found herself letting go, of having to manage the luggage, the child and all that came with being the one holding it all together. This was India and she was certain that her Amma and Buaji were more than capable of taking her and Mira home. She settled in the back seat with Manorama and with Mira in the middle while Gangadhar helped Buaji into the front passenger seat.

 

It was almost dawn when the SUV coasted along the now near-empty Delhi roads towards Buaji’s house in Lakshmi Nagar. The dark skies infused with street-light-orange seemed to give way to light blue in the visible city horizon. The last half hour of her travel felt surreal for Khushi as she leaned back on the plush leather headrest. 

 

He did not show up, but he sent his driver? And Gangadhar picked up Buaji?

 

Khushi realized that there were so many small kindnesses wrapped into these two statements. She was grateful, she felt grateful. But she had specifically asked him not to bother. She informed him that Buaji organized these trips to and from the airport every time they traveled. But Arnav had insisted on her travel itinerary, said something about not wanting to wait another ten years. Then he sent his driver. She shook her head silently, unsure if she knew what was going on with her and with him and with them together.

 

As Buaji and Mira reacquainted themselves with the help of Manorama, Khushi looked out of the window, not really paying any attention to the passing scenery.

 

“Khushi-Didi, here is a packet that Arnav Bhaiya asked me to give to you.” Gangadhar handed a small brown package to her turning partially to reach her in the back seat. “He had to go to the hospital, there was an emergency.”

 

“Is that from your friend, ASR?  Mommy? Is he in the hospital?” Mira asked looking concerned in spite of her exhaustion.

 

Before Khushi could respond, Gangadhar piped in, “Oh no no! Arnav Bhai is a doctor. He had to go to the hospital to take care of someone.” Looking onto his rearview mirror, Gangadhar reassured Mira. With a nod, Mira slid against Khushi and closed her eyes. But in the next second, she opened her eyes and said, “What is in that packet Mommy?” Her eyes moved from the packet to her mother’s face. “Aren’t you going to open it?”

 

Khushi quickly opened the package, aware that there were three sets of curious eyes watching her. 

 

It was a cell phone with a note stuck to it. 

 

Why would Arnav give her a cell phone? She had a phone with her. What is going on here? He sent a car, and now he was giving her a cell phone?

 

Khushi stared at the cell phone with a complete lack of comprehension. Before she could form another thought, Buaji chimed, “Oh what a lovely and thoughtful gift. I wondered why Arnav asked me about your cell phone details while you were in India.”  Buaji shifted in her seat, now facing the rear, said, “You know, Mano, he is such a nice young man. He called me this morning to ask for my address, reassured me that I didn’t have to rent a car for tonight.” Now she turned to Khushi and asked, “Was he your friend when you were in Delhi? I don’t think you mentioned him to me ever.”

 

“Mommy, what is on that note?” Mira reminded everyone of the note that lay inside the box unread.

 

Khushi answered Buaji’s question first. “Remember Akash, Buaji? My friend from IIT? Arnav Singh Raizada is Akash’s cousin.” Buaji nodded slowly, her memory slowly filtering into her face. “He visited us when he came to the US recently.” Now Khushi looked at Manorama as if to seek approval of this memory. Manorama gave her a small smile and nodded her agreement to Nandini.

 

“What does that note say Mommy? The note?” Mira’s curiosity was unrelenting, her tone short of patience. 

 

Khushi made a point of looking and reading the note, even though she didn’t need to. She read it out loud for the entire group.

 

“I am not sure if your phone from the US works here. I am sure you could have gotten one yourself, but here is one for you. Talk to you soon – A”

 

She looked up at everyone and said, “That’s what the note says.”

 

Buaji nodded benignly while Manorama gave Khushi an inscrutable look. Mira lost her interest in the conversation and slid towards Khushi to lean.

 

Khushi switched the phone on without another thought. She decided that she would deal with the phone and the folks around the phone later. As soon as the phone came on, Khushi noticed an unread text message.

 

This phone is not a big deal, Khushi, so I hope you will not make it as one. 🙂 I didn’t want to be too presumptuous, so I didn’t add my number to your contacts. But you have mine now. I will leave it up to you to decide. This phone number is yours and your call-information is also solely yours. The bills are yours as well. 🙂

 

Khushi tried to hide a small smile that hovered over her lips. 

 

He knew her. Even after all these years. 

 

It was an uncomfortable place to be; that he knew her and that she was aware of his knowledge. There was an intimacy to this thought and Khushi wasn’t sure if she was comfortable with that intimacy. 

 

A deep sigh slipped through her as she placed the phone back in the box and leaned back in her seat. Exhaustion crept over her body and mind like darkness after twilight. Her mind was comfortably numb, a pause button pressed to her thoughts and the roiling emotions beneath. A cool breeze blew through the open window, punctuated by an occasional horn sounded by trucks zipping past precariously. 

 

It would be good to be back in Buaji’s house. It was her home for a decade and then some. Locked up memories will not remain remanded, but will demand freedom soon, she knew. But not for a little while longer. Another sigh found its way out of her.

 

OoOoOoOoOoO

 

Arnav walked out of the OR, pulling his surgical cap off and tossing it in the sterilization bin, ready to meet with the anxious family members. Today he had some good news to give the family. His patient will recover, he was sure, if no other complications set in. With a practiced kind smile on his face, he walked up to the family to share the news of their relative’s hopeful prognosis.

 

Leaving behind a happy family to experience their joy and relief at the good news he gave them, he walked into his office to retrieve his watch and his wallet from his desk. But then, he knew that there were occasions when he had lost his patient and had to deliver the saddest news to that patient’s family. 

 

Not all come through as successfully as this patient did. Immediately, he was reminded of Mira’s tear-filled eyes and her need for solace when she leaned into his arms. He was reminded of Khushi’s red rimmed eyes, with her tears coursing down her face in that restaurant. As a physician he realized that he was not privy to the events that unfolded with the family members, after his delivery of bad news. While he was aware of it, he felt it more keenly when he saw it in the eyes of that little girl with hazel eyes. He sighed quietly.

 

Dawn was making its presence felt in the sky with the pink streaks fading into the bright blues and yellows alongside the cacophony of vehicles on the roads making their presence known, or more appropriately, heard. The supposedly silent zone around the hospital was not entirely immune to the loud blaring of horns on the street. Arnav checked his watch again, this time noting that it was almost seven thirty in the morning. He needed to get home and check on Mohan. 

 

They must be sleeping in Buaji’s house. They were in the same country and same city as he was. They were in the same time zone finally damn it!

 

The knowledge thrilled him. He had to acknowledge that thought that had been swirling in his mind for a while now. He was not able to go to the airport as he wished. Perhaps this was better for all of them. It would have been awkward for her. Her mother-in-law was traveling with them. He knew that she would probably be upset with him about the cell phone he sent her. 

 

Will she text?

 

History proved that she would take her own sweet time to text him. His impatience could not be contained any more. 

 

Should he call her? 

 

What would be the reason for his call? He shook his head silently. He turned into a blithering idiot in seconds where she was concerned.  Sporting a sardonic smile, he laughed at himself. She will call, no doubt at all, he knew that. He will wait for her call like he had been doing the last few weeks, he decided.

 

_______________________

A quick note:
I apologize for this long silence my dear friends.
Too many reasons, too much to tell.
Too much travel as well.
I am trying to write when I can
So, bear with me and my silence?
This story will be written
This story will be told
I hope you will read it
And walk with me till the end. ❤

76 thoughts on “Chapter Ten: Betwixt

          1. Stew toh I will. I am so jealous of you guys 😡! You already knew Arnav won’t be there at the airport, while I was busy cooking my khayali pulao on how would they react seeing each other. I even imagined Arnav singing “Gali mein aaj chaand nikala” (reminiscing a certain scene from different AU)

            Liked by 6 people

              1. Count me in too in this Beautiful Journey of SECOND CHANCES 😊. The pleasure is all us , for The new Readers, because we are getting a precious chance to be part of this Journey , To feel & experience The beauty of Your Writings Mira di 🤗
                Always going to be Grateful To you 🙏🏻
                Feeling Blessed 😇 To have you di Thank youuuuu ~ Infinity Times 🙏🏻😘❤️

                Liked by 1 person

    1. A trip to motherland is taxing as it is, but when it’s accompanied with emotional baggage it’s even more challenging. The already tiring journey seems never ending when there are so many memories to mull over and nothing but time to keep company.

      The way you described everything about the flight was so relatable. The collective heave of sigh when we hear the final call for landing, the air of impatience when the plane finally reaches the gates, the rush to leave the aircraft, the search for your loved ones at the arrivals and finally the pappis & jhappis. Brought back so many memories!!

      Khushi might be disappointed at not finding Arnav at the airport, but I was downright devastated. Aisa koi karta hain kya?! After promising to be there, he had cold feet? 😡 But when Gangadhar provided the reason for his absence, I felt extremely guilty of doubting Arnav. Poor guy, he was saving someone’s life while I was cracking knuckles in frustration. BTW how did Gangadhar recognize Khushi? I wonder if Raizada carries her old pic or maybe a recent one?

      Arnav & Khushi are walking on eggshells around each other when it comes to exchanging information or reaching out. She more than him. The only time they drop their inhibitions is when they text. So I admire Arnav’s shaatir dimaag when he gifted her a phone. Apart from the fact that it was a very thoughtful & practical gift, he also made sure that they both can stay in touch with each other via a medium they both prefer. Loved Mira’s enthusiasm over the note. I was also right next to her (in spirit) dying to know what’s written in the note 🤓 And once Khushi read the note, I was like…Leh! This is the kind of note Modi would write to Trump, if he visits India LOL. I wasn’t expecting a love note, lekin it could have been a bit, uh…casual? But the very next moment I realized, I should exercise patience when it comes to Dr. Raizada. His text was awesome. It more than compensated for his formal note. He probably knew everyone in the car would be peeping over Khushi’s shoulder when she reads the note. So he must have added the fun element only to the text message. I hope he has subscribed to an unlimited text plan…kyunki maamu, bohot text exchange hone waale hain 😉

      I hope Khushi calls him or atleast texts him. If not for his sanity, atleast for mine! Well, for her sake too. Warna, who knows, he might show up at Buaji’s doorstep. After all, he does have her address. But, I don’t think he will. He wouldn’t want Khushi to be in an awkward situation, no matter how desperately he wants to see her or talk to her.

      It warmed my heart when Arnav realized “they” were in the same timezone. Not just “her”. Looks like the little girl with hazel eyes is as dear to him as her Mom ❤ That brings us to my recurring question – When is Mohan-Mira meet happening?? The elders can take their own sweet time to text and revert, but let’s have some fun with legos & violin already!

      P.S. – Please don’t apologize for the delay. I appreciate all you writers who take time from your busy schedule to write such beautiful tales. I am just glad that you are writing 🙂

      Liked by 11 people

      1. “ditto as Gauri”!
        Ha ha.. I knew it will be easy to comment after yours!! I was so totally looking forward to an awkward meet at airport with 3 sets of eyes observing them! Lekin khwab toot gaya.. 😁😁

        Totally agree that Meera Mohan meet is eagerly awaited!
        Dr. Raizada is being very smart.. Gifting a phone under pretext of saving SIM change 😉😉 Hope their not so formal texting continues!

        Mira, love the poem at the end of the chapter! We love your writing and are ready to wait as long as you want!!

        Looking forward to next one! Hope you are not going to stretch our and their patience, jaldi se mila do!! 😉😉😘😘

        Anagha

        Liked by 5 people

    1. This was kinda bittersweet, personally for me. I left home for the first time!!! Lord help me!

      They know each other regardless of what happened.. I love Manorama in this, she is so strong and there for both Mira and Khushi. Its refreshing.

      Every. Single. Time..what’s the hurry to get off?! I get it, too many hours in a metal tube, but wth!!

      No worries, you can take your time. We are going to be here..hamesha!

      Liked by 2 people

    1. Travel is never fun and especially these long distances are killer with food and congested space and for Khushi traveling without NK and his memories along must be painful. It just pinches my heart. Mira is the shining hope in her life and probably a reason for her to smile every now and then. NK and Mira’s memories when he held her so close during travel tells how much he loved his daughter and wanted to take away and edgy feeling the kid felt flying. Manoram’s feelings towards the two and reciprocating with proud feelings always surprises me because she herself is dealing with a loss of her son. Kudos to her for being their with Khushi and treating her like her daughter.

      Arnav knows Khushi irrespective of how much time has passed between them, they both have a level of understanding already and probably feeling anxiety about their friendship which is starting to bloom. With past and their own relationships that has left them with memories and scars, they have a long way. But I am glad Arnav and his positivity always brings back the hope it will be better. He will No way wait another 10 years but for what? It will be interesting!

      Looking forward to the story!

      Liked by 9 people

    1. “Arnav had insisted on her travel itinerary, said something about not wanting to wait another ten years. Then he sent his driver. She shook her head silently, unsure if she knew what was going on with her and with him and with them together.”
      There in those line above is the crux of the story, tightly woven in. How beautifully that anticipation, the doubt, knowledge of a certain knowledge came through, with both of them. What went wrong, from whence comes that knowledge, one is left pondering and impatient to know.
      I remembered the numerous journeys to the des over the years. That impatience to get out of a plane. Its been a while since I’ve been to Delhi, was trying to pull up the airport from memory. I remember a trip from the airport when a family member amidst all the chattering going on in the car, cheekily telling me in a serious manner, pointing to an official residence “look at this place, this person apparently used to sell tea at one time, see where he is living now”!!🤣😂
      P.S: There is no need to apologize for the delays. We all have a life which takes precedence over the SKD. Some of us will always be here with you, till the second chances are found and peace is made with it.

      Liked by 10 people

  1. Let me begin with the end.
    This story will be written – We will read
    This story will be told – We will listen
    I hope you will read it – Of course will
    And walk with me till the end – Rest assured, we are more than willing to walk with you till the end.

    The flight journey, the airport formalities, the wait for the loved ones at the exit gates. Just as we experienced. Wonderful narration.
    Khushi was really weighed down with so many emotions. First trip to India without NK, making Mira and Manorama comfortable, trying to explain Buaji.
    Amidst all this the million dollar question of “will he will he not”? Mr Raizada unknowingly pushed himself into a position where he will be damned if he does and damned if he doesn’t.
    The phone with Indian SIM was a very nice gesture which Khushi appreciated (I think!).
    We struggled a lot at the beginning. Now we got a SIM of our own and to keep it active, we send text messages to India.
    Waiting for Mira and Mohan to meet. I know and Arnav and Khushi to meet as well.🙂
    AD is important. Take care.
    Cheers……

    Liked by 9 people

  2. You don’t need to apologize di .
    & I’m extremely , genuinely SORRY for pressurizing you di 🙏🏻 . How can I not understand , Sometimes Asli duniya caught us in its Web completely. We all know the Wierd workings of Asli duniya. I should know it better myself ! I guess a selfish part of me took over, for which I’m feeling very SORRY di 😢

    I didn’t get a chance to read your Stories when you first started Writing, I didn’t even know about this World of Fanfictions exist , I was clueless back then 😩
    …….But you have given me a “SECOND CHANCE” to read , feel & Experience your Beauty of Writing. To Experience this Journey of Life & emotions through Your Heartouching Story “SECOND CHANCES” ❤️ I’m truly very Grateful to you di 🙏🏻
    & This Time , I’m not letting it slip from my hands. Not at any cost ,It means a beautiful chance for me .

    & Mira di , update it, per your Convenience , there’s no pressure at all. I understand it completely di .
    & Me , this Reader of Yours is going to keep hanging with you till the last moment …… No matter what ~ Always 🤗 Pakka 💓

    Respect & Love you Mira di ~ Hameshaa 😘
    Take care 💓

    So ,

    Liked by 6 people

  3. Here too, 😊😊. I
    am in love with all the characters… Naren is still here and very much active character.

    I am also excited as they all are under the same sky and in same time zone.

    Mirabell, I am with you in this journey till the end. Please update whenever you can . We readers can understand words as well as silence . After all we are in same AD with you.
    Please take care .
    Love always
    Vandana

    Liked by 3 people

  4. Loved the Update

    Khushi’s turmoil traveling without Naren was described beautifully. Memories of Naren and her daughter cuddling to each other during landing was emotional. Love how Manoramma always feels proud of Khushi and support her in every way she can even though she herself mourning for her loss.
    Though Khushi asked Arnav not to come to the airport to receive them, one part of her heart was longing to see him. Khushi and her buaji had an emotional reunion after Naren’s death. Was wondering what did Arnav meant when he said he doesn’t want to wait for another ten years.

    No matter after a long time both Arnav and Khushi meet who moved on to live their separate lives, Arnav knew Khushi well and also know her perspective of receiving any favors from the opposite person. Though Arnav was impatient to talk to Khushi, loved how he decided to wait patiently till Khushi gets in touch with him again and not pressurize her.

    Eager for the next one.

    No need to apologize for the delay.
    We can understand everyone has to deal with their AD and might be busy in that.
    Take your time and give us an update at your convenience.

    Thanks
    Chinnulu

    Liked by 5 people

  5. Loved the way you narrated this whole journey. The emotions she felt while travelling for the first time without NK. You described it beautifully. Manorma is such a strong support system to her..
    Arnav didn’t come.Along with Khushi I was also disappointed 😅. I know he will never do that deliberately. It was so sweet of him to gift her a phone. Now can’t wait to see their conversations.I know they are going to meet very soon.. Excited to see that..
    I really really happy that you are continuing this story so you can take all the time you need. We will wait..

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Mira ..
    I can cry every time u writes about NK..
    He’s dearly missed by a mother,a wife n a daughter ..
    He can never return to them n it breaks my heart..

    On the other hand,I m eager to see them near,nearer n nearest..even more eager than Arnav n Khushi in this matter…
    They r taking baby steps ..
    The awkwardness is stopping them..
    It might be because of their shortest relationship in the past..
    It might be because of other persons around them..

    But one thing is clear..
    Arnav loves Mira n will make a perfect father like NK ..
    Mohan-Khushi .. I do hope their bonding will be perfect also..
    However,Meera-Mohan meet is the most awaited,no doubt..

    I’ll be there till the end of the journey,InshaAllah…

    You r one of the most amazing writers I’ve come across recently..

    IPK007,Fe-en-dios,Arshi Hamesha,rima,charlotte,toxic-love .. n now Sohni,Meera,Sandya,Anu n YOU..

    ❤ ❤ ❤

    Liked by 2 people

  7. Welcome back dear😘😊! Very refreshing and exciting to see you back in action. We’re so dependent on your story to make our day, that is unbelievable. You’re such a talented writer that we miss seeing you on a weekly basis.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. How much time you wanted to take with this story to tell we will be with you.. This story of yours need to be told to everyone I would say. Love the update, new journey begins now.. Can’t wait to read more

    Liked by 1 person

  9. “They were in the same country and same city as he was. They were in the same time zone finally damn it!” My thoughts exactly, now for the meeting. So looking forward to it. Yes it was awhile since the last update, but this one was worth it. Hope things are fine at your end and Also hope we get quicker updates. Thanks

    Liked by 1 person

  10. As usual a beautifully written chapter.The story moves slowly but surely in the right direction.
    Of course take your time
    Of course the story will be told
    Of course you will find me here till the end….and beyond❤️❤️

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Loved Khushi’s desperation to see Arnav and her heart’s battle to admit that she was disappointed when he didn’t show up. It’s so beautiful and understandable and their relationship is balanced on such a thin line it’s hard to stop thinking about them. Alas, I’ve waited for and imagined the end to their journey for years now and will continue to do so. Thanks for the update and hope all is well with family! ❤️

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Mira don’t worry about the delays dear.. we understand.. you updating the story is important and that you are doing.. About walking with you till the end that we will for sure as want to know so many things about ArShi and their past.. so fikar not..

    Awesome update.. Khushi felt bad not to see Arnav at the airport but he did make things easier for them.. Arnav is right about being at airport Khushi was travelling with her mother-in-law, mother-in-law who is a mother to her now.. but for Arnav it could have been awkward and he still have to form that kind of bond with Manorama to be at ease around her.. loved reading this awesome update.. Thanks Mira ❤

    Liked by 2 people

  13. Mira don’t worry about the delays dear.. we understand.. you updating the story is important and that you are doing.. About walking with you till the end that we will for sure as love this story so much and also want to know so many things about ArShi and their past.. so fikar not..

    Awesome update.. Khushi felt bad not to see Arnav at the airport but he did make things easier for them.. Arnav is right about being at airport Khushi was travelling with her mother-in-law, mother-in-law who is a mother to her now.. but for Arnav it could have been awkward and he still have to form that kind of bond with Manorama to be at ease around her.. loved reading this awesome update.. Thanks Mira ❤

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Like the Long fight.. Landed in homeland.. The chapter feels like that..The. Way kushi thinking about him in the airport to welcome her and her family was so understandable.. She want her friend ..the disappoint look was so sad.. Like always Arnav surprise us like wt he did now..Calling buaji..car..gift..he also knew her like evrything.. Let’s wait like Arnav..bz I know that you will update..so thank you

    Liked by 1 person

  15. Awesome update….you beautifully described each and every feeling khushi is going through….without Naren everything is very difficult for her especially when every moment makes her realise his void….I can imagine her painful feeling when she saw her daughter and thought how it was when Naren was there……
    But anyway the whole family is a support for each other….
    Khushi really wanted Arnav to be their but he didn’t came because of hospital emergency…..he wants to talk to her but dnt know how to start it

    Liked by 1 person

  16. What an Awesomely good Chapter it is 👏🏻👏🏻
    Loved every
    AIRPORTS –
    What an Wierd place this is ! Ajeeb right ?
    This place which distanced people from each other & this is too the place which brings people come close to each other !!
    Here , the Miles of distance is fading bringing close ARNAV to khushi , khushi to Arnav !

    I love Arnav Khushi Exchange of Messages so so much 😊. I can go about it , on & on 💁🏻‍♀️
    ‘ No way I am waiting another ten years ‘ …… The cryptic hidden meaning behind these Words of ARNAV is saying a lot , you can’t hear it saying but you can sense it . There’s something more to it !

    Witnessing The Relation , the endearing Bond Manorma & Khushi shares With each other is so Heartwarming 💙.
    You wrote it so right Meera Di – ‘blood was thicker than water’ …… True that , there’s some Realtionships, Which isn’t tied by blood but it develops from one’s love & understanding for the other that Bloom’s into one Strong , close Rishta To You 💕

    Not just KHUSHI, but I got disappointed too when ARNAV didn’t show up at the airport 😔. But later relief washed on Khushi’s being & on me as well , learning the reason why he didn’t came up !
    But in all these, KHUSHI how much deny & Keep telling herself That ARNAV’s is an being closed chapter in her life , there’s nothing to him , to them . But her heart is not ready to accept what she’s feeding in her mind !
    Dil ki alag hi baat hoti hai , jispar aapka zorr nahi chalta hai ❤️
    The way her eyes holding a glimmer of hope frantically searching for his lean , Tall figure in the crowd , explained Her Heart’s condition & her Thoughts which she is keen to push back ! But Ah ! Has some other plans !

    Manorama, Buaji & KHUSHI , these 3 women are so strong . Strong in Way , That they provide a rock solid pillar of strength to each other 💙.
    The thing that I most Love about KHUSHI’s Characterization is That……. She don’t Take anything for granted. She find small KINDNESS, moments of Happiness’ in smallest of moments. & We all should never take even a word of appreciation or love coming from anyone for granted. Once you took lightly, didn’t value other emotions or love for you for granted , it will disappear before you even can sense it . Ah ! Life has its way of making you realise importance of thing’s/emotions/people , & when you realise it , it’s gone leaving the looming feeling of Regret ! IT’S BETTER TO APPRECIATE & EMBRACE others Lov & Feeling’s for you , before it’s late , gone !!

    What an Thoughtful thought of ARNAV of giving an cell phone To Khushi with an Indian sim , knowing her US wala no. Won’t work here !
    & This line had me grinning so much 😄 – ‘The bills are yours as well’ ! 😂
    Oh ! ARNAV 😅
    There’s something in the way , The way ARNAV knows Khushi, understands her in a way sometimes she even can’t herself. He knows her too well , even so many year’s have passed by , a deep kind of knowledge of her Dil ~ isn’t ! ❤️

    Liked by 2 people

  17. ‘ It was an uncomfortable place to be; that he knew her and that she was aware of his knowledge. There was an intimacy to this thought and Khushi wasn’t sure if she was comfortable with that intimacy ‘ !

    These lines above 🖕 is so deep , something so significant , that I’m literally not finding appropriate words to describe my feelings of what I’m feeling reading it ! On a serious note, I know I’m not BRILLIANT like you with words, but I have been re- reading these above para for so many times & each time , & whenever I’m reading it , it stirring something deep insides my heart , Every time …….
    It’s a unnamed emotion that Holding Both Arnav & khushi Together in its grip. An emotion, a Feeling that is pulling them towards its side , screaming them to give it a chance to bloom, something that is meant for them to embrace , to hold ❤️
    You are BRILLIANT , MIRIDICAL Writer Di 🙌🏻👏🏻✍🏻👏🏻

    You have bring out Arnav Khushi’s Feeling’s so well . Penned down their Emotions so beautifully . It’s the first time KHUSHI had to manage all Things on her own without NK , a void creeping in heart ,
    But The Realization of a certain Feeling is what has stunned her to an extent.
    Khushi had thought, made her mind that ARNAV was a Chapter in her life , Which has been over now , Nothing related to him will affect her anyone,
    But her heart has a different story to tell. Not just an chapter , ARNAV Singh Raizada is a whole Story emerging infront of her eyes, an Ocean of long lost feelings that coming back , drowning Khushi in it , the ocean called ARNAV ❤️.

    The disappointment in KHUSHI’s eyes not finding Arnav at the airport , the Realization hitting her hard discovering her feelings for Him , which she had thought she has Buried deep insides of her heart , with no question of popping up. But was hell stunned , those feelings without seeking her permission coming rushing back to her , this Time with an Determined force , unsettling her entire being !
    ARNAV-
    The Smile on his lips , knowing khushi is finally in the same country, in same town….. With a glimmering determination shining brightly in her eyes , stating he is not going to let go his KHUSHI , his Happiness slips out of his hand , this Freaking Time !
    &
    I’m so freaking curious , so so curious To know what had happened between them years ago , which has separated them !
    This Story & your Writing has gripped me completely in your Magical spell ✨which you have casted upon me ✍🏻👏🏻. Your Way of Writing holds a Power of Art to deeply move a person ❤️

    Thanks so so very much MIRA Di 🙏🏻🙏🏻 ~ Infinity Times.
    Love you Hameshaa di 😘
    Take care 🤗❤️

     

    Liked by 2 people

  18. This words of yours Somewhere touched me deeply :-
    When you said –
    🔹This story will be written – Yes,, I have Full faith in you di ❤️
    🔹This story will be told – No doubts at all , it will be ❤️
    🔹I hope you will read it – For the Life of me , I can’t simply afford to miss of your Writings at any cost , So a Bigggg Yesssss ❤️
    🔹And walk with me till the end – Just End , No To End & Beyond . To Infinity & Beyond , I’m with you MIRA di , no Matter what happens ❤️🤗

    Di , I completely understand , Asli Duniya didn’t go through per our plannings. How much you planned thing’s , life has a way of throwing us off the track ! This & That always Keeps happening. I understand your situation . So no Worries at all .
    Di update The chapters per your Convenience. Take your Time. No pressure at all ❤️
    &
    You should know this di –
    That I’m & all your reader’s are with you . Second Chances means more than a Story to me , & I’m always here waiting for you MIRA di 🤗.
    As you know, I’m a new reader. I didn’t know about your beautiful Writings , nor the World of Fanfictions. & I missed reading SECOND CHANCES the first time , you have Wrote it .
    But I consider this Sheer Goodluck of mine that you decide to post it again. Giving me this precious opportunity to Read , feel & experience the Beauty of your Writing & this Amazing Story SECOND CHANCES 😊.
    I can’t express
    the amount of GRATITUDE I hold/feel for you di , the kind decision of yours to post SECOND CHANCES again & giving me so much of Happiness’ ❤️ through your Heartouching Writings /Stories 😘
    I’m & will be Forever Thankful , Grateful To you di 🙏🏻 Thank you dil se 🙏🏻

    TAKE care Di 🤗.
    We maybe miles away , but I’m always keeping you in my prayers 🌸. You my , di , deserves all the Happiness 😊
    Love you MIRA di ~ Hameshaa 😘 ❤️
    Your Loyal Reader, an Ardent Fan of yours ~ For life 🤗 – A .

    Liked by 1 person

  19. Oh it was SO beautiful!

    I am absolutely sure I’m not the first one to tell you this, but I am equally sure that you deserve to be repeatedly told that your writing is wonderful.

    This story has left me with too many feelings and l feel like I’ve personally been through so much right now. Your Khushi has the whole of my heart for the helpless suffering she has had to endure that you have so beautifully captured, and also has in equal measure my respect and admiration for the sheer will power and strength in her to pull herself up, and give life a second chance. The chemistry between the leads even at this initial stage is palpable, and has left me yearning for more. Every character has been fleshed out so well that there isn’t a single bit that I’d rather give just a perfunctory skim through.

    I feel sad that I didn’t get to be around when the story had been initially posted (since I am now too curious to know what happens next 😛 ), but there is certainly a whole other joy of being part of an ongoing journey, and I’m really looking forward to this one.

    With patience, I’ll hold my breath for the coming updates.

    P.S.- I’m a huge fan of poetry and Khushi’s grief over her loss reminded me of one of Ghalib’s celebrated poems where he says-

    “Jaate hue kehte ho qayaamat mein milenge,

    Kya khoob, qayaamat ka hai goyaa koii din aur”

    Translation:

    Departing, you say that we shall now meet come doomsday,

    How strange, as if this day (of losing you) is anything but akin to a doomsday for me

    Liked by 2 people

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