(Unforgettable) Part 23: The Veil Lifts

Arnav rushed into the room as soon as he could, angry and irritated with the world around him. First NK and Payal had sent him away for dinner and medicines. Then, after NK’s call, Mami and Di had stood guard over him, not letting him get up till he had finished, knowing full well that Khushi was awake, he had even heard them tittering as he ran out. And then the infernal traffic… Arnav rushed through the never-ending corridors of the hospital. Khushi’s room was just around the corner. He was greeted by sounds of laughter outside the room. ‘Why not? After all that NK is there….’ he scowled.

Three beaming faces turned towards Arnav, inviting him to join in the charmed circle of joy. Without a thought, his face relaxed into a smile. He rushed to Khushi’s side.

Tum Theek ho, Khushi?’

Khushi nodded, smiling at the man she had been waiting for.

‘So now you believe me, Nannav. See, Khushiji is ok!’ NK piped in.

‘I had to find out myself…How can I believe a man who thinks 15 minutes is immediately?’

‘Nannav, my dear brother, even if I had called you in 2 minutes you would have told me I was late.’

‘Because you said you would call me immediately,’ for a moment Arnav’s answer stumped NK. Was he serious? Indeed he was.

NK shook his head. ‘I will go and get coffee. Bhabhi, please tell Nannav about khushiji’s  medicines. He will have to cross-check with the nurse as well.’

‘Shut up, NK’ Arnav drawled even as he turned to listen to Payal. He would have to cross check secretly.

Arnav’s smile grew as he heard the doctor’s words, Khushi would be completely ok, even the limp. They could go home in two days. His hand tightened around Khushi’s.

‘See, I told you so,’ he turned excitedly.

‘Yes Arnavji, so I have decided tochange your name – from laad governor to Pati parmeshawar? Jo aap kehte hain wahi hota hai,’ Khushi joked.

Arnav’s smile slipped slightly. Main apni takdeer khud likhta hoon. He pushed back the words from his mind as he composed himself and smiled back.

‘Nahi, I am not God, Khushi.  But I believe that your Devi Maiyaa is kind….and forgiving,’ he said softly. The words faded at the end and he sat silently, his eyes closed, his hands clutching Khushi’s, thanking the almighty for giving him this chance and time to earn forgivenss. There had been design in everything…Despite his cruelty, Khushi’s Devi Maiyaa had not overlooked his pleas for redemption.

As Payal watched Arnav and Khushi, she felt the burden lift finally, leaving her lighter, happier. The worry of the future left her…everything was going to be fine. The last shadows of guilt and anger that still gnawed her inside finally faded away. She had been wrong about Arnav, she acknowledged it now. Payal saw the man emerge behind the mask of ruthlessness that he always wore. She had not believed Aakash and Anjilidi when they told her that Arnav was not as he pretended. Now she saw that herself. Khushi, her sister was going to okay, she felt with a certainity that had been absent till now.

**************

The hope and happiness, the complete and utter perfection of the days that followed the surgery was too good to be true. Later, when she was alone, Khushi often wondered if she should have known then. Such contentment was too good to last for a lifetime. But she had known even then. She had been seeing life at the surface. Time and again something shook the placidity of the calm surface.  The unplaceable emotions, the troublesome ones  –  the fear, sadness, guilt – time and again often left her confused as they permeated through the atmosphere of the Raizada house.

She sensed them shifting and changing around her – the anger that simmered in her Jeeji’s eyes when she was with Arnavji; these days it had changed into a grudging acceptance. Nanheji had also been withdrawn and cagey initially; now he joked more freely. And Anjili di constantly hovered around her when she was with the family, as if she partook in her brother’s guilt and happiness, looking after Khushi’s comfort when her brother wasn’t around, trying to emphasize how much her Chottey had missed his Khushi when she had been gone for a year; it was surprising that she bore no grudge against her…had it always been like this?

At the center of it all was Arnavji, her husband. He had admitted that he had made mistakes and he was out to set them right. She understood his sorrow and guilt. Khushi desperately wanted to believe that all was fine. That apart from disagreements and minor arguments which were a regular feature of any couple’s married life – all had indeed been well.

So Khushi believed all of them …not only because they seemed sincere. But also because she had been starved…starved for safety, lonely, with no hope and no resource to turn to. When Arnav Singh Raizada had appeared at Sheesh Mahal, she had been wary yet fascinated … but with his unstinting attempts to care of her, the wariness had been lulled to sleep and the fascination had turned into acceptance, and acceptance was soon shifting to affection. Khushi often thought that had she not been so vulnerable she would have put up a greater resistance ….asked for more clarifications…probably she would not have felt so badly betrayed and hurt then.

But as long as she was at the Raizada Mansion after her surgery, she had felt blessed – blessed and grateful to feel the love being showered on her. The entire family, including her amma, babuji and the buaji had gathered together to welcome her back from the surgery….as if she was once again returning from a long absence. The lunch had been a little feast; Di had made sure that there was everything that Khushi liked. Khushi had been embarrassed when Arnav had carried into the house, but there was little she could do with her bandaged leg. Payal Jeeji and Akash Jeeju had followed them beaming. In the days that followed, it became so common sight that the teasing looks were replaced by welcoming one. She only had to move to draw attention and someone would rush to ask if she wanted something. She even got irritated when Arnavji kept moving the position of her leg, when she winced slightly and thence followed an argument…about his decision to stay at home for a week till they next visited the doctor and the therapy began.

Even then there was no respite…he hovered as the therapist helped her exercise. The therapist would come everyday in the morning and Khushi was told to follow the same exercise schedule in the evening, on her own. But that was not to be, she discovered the first evening. For Arnav was ready to help her exercise, on a stool in the front of her in his waistcoat, shirt sleeves rolled up. Never mind that she needed no aid, forget it that she had been doing some of these excercises for a year. Arnav had decided that the limp had to go and he was going to see to it himself, Khushi thought in loving exasperation, as he held her leg like a piece of porcelain china and winced dramatically with every movement. So much for the man who showed no emotions….

And what about Arnav? He saw the old Khushi, his Khushi as she emerged and merged with the new one. Though she slipped back and forth in time so often, ever since she had called him Arnavji on the plane from Lucknow, the shell of amnesia had been loosening steadily. It had not been a deluge of memories as they had anticipated, but a slow and steady realization.  These days Arnav saw her often, in her quips,  in her toothy grin, in her eyes as she rolled them at him. The Khushi of his memories merged seamlessly with the new and mature Khushi. She has grown up, he thought. And at the heels would came the painful thought….it should have taken years, long and beautiful years and they should have grown old together. But she had been forced to grow up too soon, too painfully…. and he was the reason behind it all. And with a renewed vigour he would set out to alleviate her pain, look after her, comfort her, woo her.

She had said that she might have loved him….he would prove worthy of it this time.

************

It was during those days of bliss that Khushi decided to call Lavanaya. It had been a long time. She had called Lavanaya a day after her return to the Raizada house, assuring her friend that everything was indeed fine. Khushi had sounded excited and eager as she told Lavanaya about Payal, Aakash, Nani, Buaji, Amma and Babuji, even Arnav Singh Raizada, her husband who had tried his best to allay her apprehensions when she had broken down at the poolside the first evening. And Lavanaya had been convinced. Khushi had finally reached where she belonged.

Now in the restful days after the surgery, Khushi remembered her friend once again. She must speak to Lavanaya immediately. Arnav agreed. The chat was long overdue, he said mysteriously. And if she got well enough, she could even visit Lucknow soon, he promised…Only if he had known then…

This time Lavanaya was as excited as Khushi…both friends sure that their news was greater. The call was interrupted with shrieks and exclamations, as both girls struggled to talk simultaneously.

‘Haan Lavanaya, the surgery was successful. I don’t even feel that pain as I did earlier. It is receding…but you know the best part…’

‘Quick Khushi, tell me….I can’t hold my news back any more…jaldi batao.’

‘The limp…the limp would go soon. The doctors are sure, after some physiotherapy…’

‘Thank God Khushi. I am so happy. Everything has turned out for the best. Marriage has been good to you…hasn’t it? That is sooo reassuring….’

‘True, but I don’t understand, reassuring?…’

‘What is there to not understand? It’s simple…I am getting married, Khushi …’

Khushi shrieked ‘I knew…I knew…he was always your Mr Mathur.’

‘No, he wasn’t …but he is now…’ and thus went the next hour as the two friends shared the details. Later Khushi sat smiling at phone., She was happy, happy and proud. Lavanaya had mentioned his name in gratitude. Khushi remembered how Arnavji held Lavanaya’s hand and thanked her. It was not a show, it had indeed been heartfelt….why would he do so much for Lavanaya and Aman Mathur and not even let her know. She thought about the happiness in Lavanaya’s voice when she told her.

‘Six months…six months of doing nothing Khushi…can you imagine? After the hard work of months here? ASR had made a contract…We are going to be on a paid leave and then join again after six months. We signed it…who wouldn’t? He told Aman to take it as our wedding gift. Even the wedding will be held at Sheesh Mahal. It is still two months away…but how I am looking forward to it! Khushi, Khushi, I am so happy…’

Her mind full of Lavanaya, Aman Mathur, the wedding in Sheesh Mahal and her husband’s role in it all…She couldn’t wait for the evening…she couldn’t wait for seeing him again….her husband…

***********

Letting himself into the room, Arnav paused at the door. He was surprised by the darkness. Eversince Khushi had been back, there had been no room for darkness. He usually came back to a room full of light and music of her anklets as she rose to meet him. Why was it dark today?

‘Khushi?’ he called out. She was somewhere in the room, he knew.

He was 15 minutes early, Khushi thought irritatedly. She had planned it all so well. Hariprakashji and Nanheji had been so nice to help her. All she had to do was wait ….and all he had to do was come home on time. Khushi had been patting herself on her back as she looked forward to surprise her husband. And now…She saw him move towards the light switch…. ‘wait!’ Khushi yelled from her perch on the poolside. She had to stop him before he switched on the lights. First he comes home early and spoils her plans and now lights! ‘wait Arnavji! Leave the lights. We…we need to talk’

Arnav moved towards the poolside, puzzled at what Khushi was upto.

‘Talk?’ He asked as he stepped out. ‘What do you want to talk about in this darkness, Khushi.’

Khushi heaved a sigh. The man always threw her plans haywire.

‘About Sheesh Mahal?’ she whispered. ‘And the marriage…and the 6 months of contract you offered…’

Arnav felt his flesh go cold, as his heart beat came to a grinding halt.

‘No…no Khushi…it …the contract….it was a mistake. Our marriage is real,’ he rushed on urgently. He had to make her believe. He had done it so many times in the last few weeks. He would do it again…make her believe in him again. Nothing was lost. ‘Khushi, you are my wife….in every way that matters.’

The voice undid the last knot. Something shifted inside her and Khushi felt it happen in slow motion…a sudden iciness and utter confusion as she tried to make sense of his words, of the misunderstanding…which did not seem like a misunderstanding but more like déjà vu. ‘Hamara vishwas kijiye’ she saw herself. And then not a deluge, but a slow…a painfully slow replay of the images that had been long buried. Only the positions were reversed.

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84 thoughts on “(Unforgettable) Part 23: The Veil Lifts

  1. arshi4ever says:

    finally khushi knows the truth of their marriage …..
    how is she going to react…. though arnav’s love was immense….. is it going to suffice this time so that khushi would not leave him ….. started waiting for the next part already…..

  2. naushi78 says:

    Vishwas hi tu chahiye!

  3. jabb12 says:

    Oh finally Khushi has remembered . wonder how will she react …..

  4. maddy1270 says:

    Arnav’s eagerness to get to Khushi, on learning that she had regained consciousness after her surgery, is endearing, especially when he kept insisting that NK should have called him immediately as promised. NK knows him well enough to know that his concern for his wife would make him double check all the instructions, conveyed by Payal, regarding the intake of medicines… quite moving. Main apni takdeer khud likhta hoon. ‘Nahi, I am not God, Khushi. But I believe that your Devi Maiyaa is kind….and forgiving,’ he said softly… what a sea change in attitude! Payal’s change in opinion about Arnav and willingness to accept that he deserved redemption and forgiveness is a touching moment. Like the fact that, despite the love and happiness permeating her life now, Khushi isn’t oblivious to the fact that there are undercurrents and that everything isn’t as blissful as it seems… she questioning the past and people’s attitudes is the right thing to do. The Aman-Lavanya relationship came as a surprise though shouldn’t have been so, given the concern both had for Khushi. So Khushi was speaking of the contract Arnav had given Aman and Lavanya and Arnav mistook her to have meant their 6-month contract… well, he seems to have paved the way for his own downfall as her painful memories unravel at his words. Khushi often thought that had she not been so vulnerable she would have put up a greater resistance ….asked for more clarifications…probably she would not have felt so badly betrayed and hurt then… will his love for her and her budding one for him be enough to overcome her sense of betrayal? Looks like things are about to fall apart! Eager to know what happens next!

    • Hey Maddy,

      I have really fallen in love with you comments. You pick the nuances so well that it seems my entire nitpicking with each part was well worth it!!

      Yes there is love and warmth and yet Khushi knows there is more. For me, she was always a pretty perceptive girl despite her overt child-likeness. She was mature and understanding. remember her with Arnav when she tells him that his mother is watching him from the sky…that is my Khushi…trusting, naive and yet mature.

      Aman and Lavanaya – is it a surprise? I did hint at it quite openly in the beginning. But here we were lost with our characters so much and even I had forgotten about them!!

      Yes, there is going to be a sense of betrayal…not so easy to overcome this time…

      Thanks again…your comments make all this worthwhile.

  5. soppymalhotra50 says:

    I am soooo excited!!

  6. Hydsri says:

    Loved it. I hope Khushi and Arnav can get thro this hurdle too.

  7. loved it arnav misunderstanding her about the six moth contract and spilled the beans on their sim moth contract oh lord and it has unlock the past for khushi wonder if she will remembered the present now that her memories has been unlocked and did khushi do the room in sr night that why she did not want him to turn on the light awesome update rocking

  8. adhiti says:

    oh God, that was painful. All he did now was something good for Lavanya and Aman and here he has landed up in trouble!

    I know this was long overdue. But then….hmm!

  9. Gia says:

    Finally Kushi finds out. Cant wait to see her reaction

  10. akaps123 says:

    When things were returning to normal, it seems Arnav’s words regarding contract have shaken her memory.

    Nice.

  11. amri174 says:

    OH. MY. GOD.

    What a brilliant update.

    So fate once again turned spoilsport for Arnav and Khushi.

    Just when things were getting to normal and Arnav was dreaming of spending the rest of his life with his ladylove.

    Is this what retribution looks like?

    Update soon:)

    • Hahaha…you did jinx it!!! 😀

      As I said in in one of the comments earlier…the course of true love never did run smooth…things would turn normal but just some more time.

      This indeed is retribution!! we all wanted that, didn’t we. But I feel he ahd traversed quiet some ground . Now is the last leg.

      Will update as soon as I can!

  12. Farheen75 says:

    Arnav’s impatience and struggle to get to the hospital ASAP and the new meaning of the word immediate was just adorable, a blind person could see that he’s got it bad, the love bug has bitten him hard and now he is ready to do anything to keep Khushi happy and secure.

    I am just happy that finally Khushi could feel loved and protected and knows that she doesn’t have to endure anything alone bcz she’s got her whole family and more importantly her Arnavji with her to comfort her.

    I got really sad at the end that fate always conspire against these two and doesn’t miss a chance put them in a dilemma all the time, finally when they were happy and content together and were trying to move on and Bam it strikes again, but I really want Khushi to forgive him, I know its very hard to forgive a person bcz of whom u have to go through a living hell but sometimes in life forgiveness proves more lethal than the punishment and in Arnav’s case that’s exactly the case.

    Farheen75

    • Hi Farheen!

      Yes, our dear Arnav is a thoroughly reformed man. And I really feel that anyone could fall for him at this time!! So does Khushi despite her still persistent misgivings.

      But the truth has been long overdue! Khushi will forgive him…but eventually. She has suffered quite badly …just wait for some more time….

      And thanks for writing in….always. Regular comments – they spur me on like nothing else does!!

  13. badfaith4u says:

    Thank god the surgery was successful
    I wonder what Khushi has planned

  14. fiza says:

    ohooo….. arnve mis understood now the veil will be fully off…
    great …

    pls do update the other one too

    • Yes… its off! lets see what happens

      Shall I finish this one first and move on to the other one or work on them simulteanously…I have been wondering…

      But there will be an update soon!

  15. aayt says:

    OMG he ruined everything khushi came to know the truth of her marriage
    I was not expecting this way he lost it again
    looking forward

    • Yes…the irony of it all…he himself ruined it. But then he should always have been the one to tell the truth.

      But all’s still not lost. Just stay along with me till the end 🙂

  16. Phew! The last two parts were like a whirlwind. So much happened!

    So Arnav is finally busted. I shouldn’t really, but one can’t help feeling bad for him. He has restored her confidence, her sense of security, even healed her limp. Yet, his love remains selfish. She is his wife in “every way that matters”, but can she say the same about him? The truth matters to her most of all, and he has hidden it from her, deliberately misled her. & it is ironical that his own words triggered her memories of what he had hoped she would never remember. Can Khushi forgive this? Can’t wait to find out.

    • Yeah…I also felt that. After going so slow initially, i kind of hurried it up in the last two parts. But it was becoming kind of repetitive and I felt the need to push the story a bit.

      And yes, ironically he busted himself. He is still selfish. I think that he had changed a great deal…but you are right, the ‘me first’ attitude is still a problem! He has to outgrow that selfishness.

      Khushi will forgive, of course, but it will take time!!

      Vann

  17. vidyasanjay says:

    It seems like their happiness so near yet so far.
    I hope these memories of Khushi does not let their painfully built trust and love for each other crumble.

  18. Boss says:

    oh my god! Khushi is remembering everything? Can’t can’t for the next update!!! continue soon!!

  19. piyasahay says:

    Wat an update….. Khushi gets well….

    Will khushi remember evrythng.?

  20. dmgview says:

    hope Khushi doesnt leave soon and gives Arnav a chance..

  21. Atyay says:

    Brilliant update! So, now the most troublesome part is coming.
    Looking forward to the next already.

  22. Michealle Niaz says:

    Wow! Each one of ur updates are worth the wait
    Waiting waiting waiting

  23. Hina69 says:

    Finally Khushi knows!!! Unintentionally Arnav triggered it and hawww vann you stopped it there not fair 😦

    Plz plz Update soon….Pretty plzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

    And Update IHTW too 😛

  24. savy.fernis says:

    Amazing

  25. lsavitree says:

    wonderfull update love it

  26. arshina223 says:

    Arnav unknowingly spilled about their contract and khushi finally remember everything!

    awesome.!!!

    • yes. that is how planned it long time back….it was Arnav who had to spill the beans and since, as a character, I knew he was manipulative, he would never do it knowingly…so here it is.

      glad you liked it Arshina!

      • arshina223 says:

        Yeah! He is a manipulative bastard… But hey, we liked him like that only! Waiting to see khushi’s reaction..I am scared for arnav . 😛
        Waiting for the update.

  27. ritu3kumar says:

    Oh no she was talking aabout lavanya and he thought about their contract marrige. ?.dont separate them please
    IF rskumar

    • Hi Ritu. yes she was talking about Lavanaya and he misunderstood. Probably because that contract is stuck in his mind ….that is what I always meant. the memory for him is a curse, his punishment. For Khushi amnesia has been a blessing…

      Separation? hmmm…well, let’s see…;-)

  28. sfghfj says:

    nice update. Wonder how khushi is going to react on remembering d truth of their marriage. Pls continue soon

  29. javeria3991 says:

    Awesome update.
    The veil is going to be released from the darkest and most horrible memories of khushi’s past. I can’t predict what can happen and how Khushi will react. She has seen Arnav love but is also aware of Arnav’s worst.
    Next update will be very interesting. Update soon.

  30. finally the missing part will come back

    will she truely forgive him??

    i sure hope so

    next update will be very interesting …pls pls update soon

  31. rati123 says:

    Oh God ! So she will now remember the most painful part !! Just when Arnav was successful in earning her trust !! But I guess he has to go through this test for all that he did to her.

    Wonderful update. I felt as if it would have really happened this way if Khushi would lose her memory and Arnav was to find her.

    Thanks for the wonderful story !

    • Yes…now is the last trial before there is peace adn they live happily ever after.

      It might have happened this way… but amnesia is so cliched and most of the times, people shy away from cliched plots. But one thing I have always felt abotu cliches is that they are cliches because they work so well…’Unforgettable’ has worked well for me. So many of you have liked and commented. thanks for being here….will continue this one and next asap.

  32. ranogill says:

    at last khushi remember….every thing in the open….wonderful story read from start

  33. summaiyasayed says:

    superb update

    summaiyasayed (IF)

  34. priya300 says:

    Fantastic chapter
    Loved it
    Oh god arnav mistakenly thought something else and let the truth out himself ….
    Khushi was planning something for him god all is mess
    Please let khushi do realise that arnav repented his mistakes badly
    Please don’t let khushi leave him

  35. Anita says:

    OMG, so did not expect this!!!, oh my how am i going to pass time till your next update, wanna know what’s going to be Kushi’s next move?!

  36. anamnoor says:

    Khushi knows d truth know
    Y did u stopped at this point
    Continue soon wat will she do now

  37. sanasafina says:

    Awesome update….
    Arnav desperation to reach khushi in hospital, the way he took care of her, his every action showed her his love…. And after a long time she felt secure, protected, loved….. but fate had something else for them in store….
    Hearing the word contract Arnav’s worst fear came in front of him… Desperate to make her believe of his love every coherent thought took a back seat…. and once again their past is going to play a cruel game with them…. Can’t wait for khushi’s reaction….

  38. amus5 says:

    coming to this update…..well the last para had the power to wipe out all the thoughts that was coursing through us till that point……when arnav uttered those words and khushi felt deja vu ……it felt that the whole scene had just frozen and a splash of cold water was felt …. and the scene was total darkness which depicted the darkness in khushi’s mind where she was seen groping to be grappling with all those happening around her trying to overcome the conflicting thoughts and present times….the whole scene has just frozen out there at that particular point and all thought and emotions simply wiped out……

    now the question is how this situation will proceed….I’m simply keeping my fingers crossed …..

    thanx for the update…..pls continue soon 😀

  39. meenu10 says:

    ohh no……..there it cames…….the contract thing….and its surprising tht khushi didn’t remembered ant of it her self but arnav got to remind her of tht…..

  40. samyxx says:

    Ming blowing chapter…

  41. amri174 says:

    Waiting for the next chapter. I KNOW it is going to be a roller-coaster ride;)

  42. neha2014 says:

    Nice update…
    Oh,Oh…Kushi had planned a surprise..but evrything is gonna turn topsy turvy…

  43. hey dear – when can we expect a update??

  44. addicted25 says:

    Hi just to say I love this story. I kerp trying to leave comments but this tablet keeps crashing :(. The story is so original im astounded at the way its developing. Just brilliant!

  45. corie2 says:

    Wow he himself let out the truth. He did not listen to her fully before talking. She is suppose to be devastated and in shock.

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