Chapter 17

Nandkishore Malhotra a.k.a NK has always been jovial and charming man who believe to enjoy each and every moment of his life fully and to make sure that the people around him be always happy and have a smile on their faces even if he have to make fun of himself in front of others by speaking wrong hindi in his autrailian accent or by presenting himself as a fool. He believed he could make anyone smile but that was until he met his cousin Arnav Singh Raizada.

His parents have come to india in a rush as they heard about the horrible tragedy that had taken place in Mausi’s sister in law’s house. He was happy to know that he will be able to visit india and be able to see his lovely anjali di’s wedding whom he never met or talked to but has always heard from akash about how loving his di is and he already began to love her but his bubble of happiness of meeting anjali di on her marriage burst as his parents apologised of not being able to attend the wedding to Mausi and Shelja aunty due to
heavy work load but on di’s marriage day his parents informed that they were going india on that night . His child brain made the obvious assumption that they were going to meet anjali di atleast after her wedding to congratulate her and the family but he got the shock of his life as his mother told him very calmly why anjali di’s marriage never happened and that their parents were dead. She hide the suicide part for obvious reasons from him.

He could never forget the sight of a numb anjali di in her bridal wear siting next to two dead bodies covered with white cloth.

Mausa arguing with a man at the corner, mausi trying her best to console a broken nani and his mother trying her best to bring anjali di out of the shock when he entered sheesh mahal for the first time. He found akash who sat with a boy who he recognised was his cousin arnav. He saw arnav devoid of any emotion. His face was blank . No pain , anguish, sorrow reflecting on his face. He was like a stone but as he look at
Arnav eyes his insides shook. He saw rage, murderous rage, hurt of betrayal, and immense pain residing in his eyes which were devoid of tears.

Nk just sat beside arnav in silence. He realised that arnav was not even aware of his or even akash’s presence beside him who was trying hard to make him say something from a long time and he was staring at that man with whom mausaji were arguing. Nk had no idea of what he should say to the person he never met so he just sat in silence with arnav.

After that day his parents and him were staying at mauji’s house for some days when one day naniji and mausaji brought arnav and anjali di in a very bad condition in the house. Naniji was crying heavily clutching anjali di’s hand who was supported by arnav. Later he got to know that the man with whom mausaji had been arguing was arnav’s chacha and he threw arnav and anjali out of the house some days back and they were suffering on the roads.

It was clear to every one that arnav was very protective of anjali but that day Nk felt a new emotion inside him. He felt protective of arnav who was presenting himself very strong but inside he was hurting very badly and was very vulnerable. He became very protective of his brother arnav, yes brother not cousin, who was 1 year younger than him and that time he become a protective big brother.

During his stay in india Nk tried to befriended with arnav but arnav always got angry or irritated with him. Nk irritated him to no end but he knew his brother too liked to get irritated by him and Nk was satisfied with that because both knew that it was just their unique way to intract and they like each others company very much.
They had a very unique bond which was not visible to others and they never felt the need to show others or to each other but they new it in their heart.

Nk came out of past as he stumbled on shyam on his way. Straightning himself he apologised.”Oh sorry jijaji. You okay..??”

“Its ok Nk bhai. I am fine” shyam replied in his
usual honey dripped voice which made nk cringe inwardly as for the first time he realised how fake his looked.

Wanting to confirm his doubts nk stopped shyam as he was about to go.”So jijaji how was trip..?? The work got completed for which you have to go to lucknow so suddenly..??”

“It was good nk bhai.” shyam replied the smile intact on his face. “The work cannot be delayed. It was very important.” Nk saw a maniac glint in his eyes as he said that.”So have to leave urgently otherwise i would have never left all the family in this state.”

“Its ok jijaji. Every one have each other for the support and ofcourse all the familiy members are there for khushiji specially nannav but di needed your support at that time.” Nk said casually but he didn’t miss the slip of the smile from shyam’s face for a second at the mention of arnav and khushi together.

“But saale sahab have work how would he be able to take care of khushiji. Work always came first for him” shyam said.

“Wrong jijaji. Khushiji comes first for nannav not work. He loves khushiji so much. Everybody in the can see that. ” Nk said chearfully.

Shyam felt anger inside him rising at dangerous level listening to saale sahab’s fake love for khushiji. Not able to listen to this more he excused himself.”Nk bhai excuse me i have to go.” saying that he left.

Nk noticed shyam anger at the mention of nannan’s love for khushiji. His doubts just got strong and now he have to confirm them from nannav.

When Nk entered arnav’s room he saw payal already in the room waiting impatiently for arnav to finish feeding khushi.

Arnav stoop up from the bed and was surprised to see Nk in the room. He knew payal would be here to talk to him after shyam’s arrival but one look at Nk and understood everything.

“Arnavji i want to talk to you” payal said. Nk looked towards her confused.

“Nk lock the door.” said arnav , turning towards payal he replied before she could say anything.”Nk will also be there.”

Payal was slighty apprehensive but nodded. Arnav walked towards the poolside ,Nk and payal following behind. Closing poolside door he turnem towards them.

“Arnavji i am worried about khushi, he is back. Please do something. I cannot let anything happen to my sister.” payal voice was filled with worry for her sister.

“Who is back..?? Who want to hurt khushiji…??” Nk enquired. Arnav smiled slightly ,he knew that nk was aware about whom they were talking.

“Tell him payal.” arnav said.

Payal looked at him for a second then replied.”Sh..shyamji.”

Nk look at arnav who was already staring at him. His doubts were confirmed. He was right shyam has a role in this but why would he want to harm khushiji.

“Jijaji..?? Why would he want to hurt khushiji..??” Nk asked.

“Tell him everything payal.” arnav said.

As payal started to tell him everything nk just stared at arnav. He was confused if shyam was reason behind khushiji’s suicide attempt then why arnav told him that he was the reason behind khushiji’s state. Was he blaming himself for not being able to protect her or could it be…?? Damn you arnav!

After payal narrated the whole story arnav ressured her.”Payal he cannot do anything. I will always be there with khushi and if not then make sure you or Nk should there with her. She should not be alone even for a second. We cannot let shyam know that i or nk know about him , so behave normally.” payal agreed but nk was just waiting for a moment to be alone with arnav.”Now you should leave payal, we cannot let him get suspicious.”

Payal left. Arnav looked at nk and said.”You must have many questions to ask me nk.”

“You bet Arnav Singh Raizada.”

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