“Let it be. Because, sometimes only time can answer your questions.” ~ Unknown 

 

“I’m home.”

 

Arnav announced his arrival after letting himself in, shutting the front door behind him. After quickly slipping off his loafers, his feet took him towards the delicious aromatic smell emanating from within the house. His timing was perfect this evening allowing him to partake in the savory desi dinner being prepared. 

 

His mouth watered even before he turned the corner to the kitchen, where he found his grandmother standing in front of the stove, expertly stirring the subzi. From what he was able to see from across the island, it was one of his favorites, bhindi masala. There was also dal chawal on the menu, slowly cooking on the back stove burners.

 

He inhaled deeply then shifted his gaze from the pots on the stove to the woman who he identified as the epitome of elegance. 

 

His heart paused, then smiled, marvelling at how gracefully she moved around in a mint green saree. 

 

The years might have come and gone with them relocating from Delhi to where they were at present, residing in one of the most affluent towns in Long Island, but there would always be this one constant in his life. His family home, and his loved ones greeting him whenever he walked through the door.

 

“I thought I heard you but then thought it was your father with the exhaust fan on. What are you doing here, Baccha? On a Wednesday?” 

 

She placed the utensil on the spoon rest, and swiftly wiped her hands on the towel. Her eyes curiously looking at him still dressed in his navy suit then over his shoulder. Confirming that he indeed was alone, she stared at him, seeking answers. But that would have to wait until he properly greeted his grandmother with a wide smile.  

 

“Hello, Gorgeous!” He engulfed her in a tight embrace, dropping a kiss on top of her head. “Dinner smells yummy. I picked the right night to drop in to see my family.” He winked, then walked up to the stove for a closer look at dinner.

 

“If I knew you were coming, then I would have prepared something other than the usual weeknight simple meal.” She frowned, looking over at the refrigerator, no doubt thinking of what else she could whip up now that he was going to have dinner with them. 

 

“From everyone, you know that I don’t need an extravagant spread, Dadi.” He gestured over to the vegetable sautéing in the kadhai, “Bhindi masala is my absolute favorite. Pair that with your soft hot roti with ghee, and I am content. It reminds me of when we lived in our small apartment, and you would make that with dal makhani whenever I won my game. You couldn’t make the rotis fast enough the way I would gobble them down, sitting on top of the counter with my plate. Don’t tell Ma, but sometimes I would rather just have a normal meal than all that fancy stuff she makes.” 

 

His mother loved cooking, and would often pull together a complex menu consisting of a huge spread from different ethnicities whenever guests would visit. Which now included him as well, since he wasn’t with them here every day. But more often than not, he preferred moments like this, being surrounded by a sense of normalcy. That’s what he had been accustomed to growing up… a much simpler time. 

 

“Your mother means well, and she adores you. So, it’s natural for her, as it is for me, to want to spoil you any chance we get. Which isn’t often, you know. Arnav, you might be all grown up, living on your own, but to us, you’ll always be our nunna munna baccha.” She sang, caressing his cheek. With a sly smile on her face, she added, “Which is why I know there’s something going on with you. Arnav Singh Raizada just doesn’t drop in unannounced during the middle of the week. But, no rush, I can wait. I’ll let your mother drill it out of you later.” She shrugged, then went back to stirring the subzi. 

 

After a quick glance over at the empty great room, and noticing the silence in the house with the television turned off at a time when his father would be watching the evening world news, he asked, “Where’s everyone?”

 

“Rayu won’t be back till late, she’s going out after work with Harsh. And, your parents have gone out for evening tea with one of your father’s friends and his wife, Raviji, not sure if you remember him from Elmhurst. He wanted Ashvath’s advice on some potential business opportunities. They should be back in an hour or so.” After stirring the dal, she looked over at him. “Food is almost ready, how does dinner for two sound?”

 

“You don’t want to wait for Papa?” He raised an eyebrow at his grandmother, who often made sure the family ate dinner together. 

 

“It’s alright, I am sure they’ll end up eating with their friends. You coming here ensures I don’t have to eat alone.” She pulled the cover off the large mixing bowl, pushing her hand down on the dough to knead it before beginning the process of dividing it. “How lovely, my grandson and I are having dinner together. It’s been so long with just the two of us.” 

 

Ready to assist his grandmother, he took off his suit jacket, then hung it on one of the island stools. He rolled his sleeves up to his elbows as he walked over to his grandmother’s side. 

 

“You must be hungry, why don’t you sit, and I make you fresh rotis.” She motioned to the kitchen table, but he shook his head, taking the roti tawa from the counter, and placed it on the free burner.

 

“You roll, and I’ll cook.”

 

“But…”

 

He interjected, wrapping his arm around his grandmother’s shoulder, “Like old times, Dadi. I might not be able to roll the perfect round roti, but I can make them fluff all the way. And, this allows me to spread as much ghee as I want.” He laughed, then began to set-up for his part by grabbing the cooking tong. 

 

“Here, let me at least grab an apron for you, so your clothes don’t get dirty. Wait, unless you want to go to your room and change?”

 

He took a hold of his grandmother’s hand stopping her, “I’m fine as is. Now, let’s get this done so we can have our dinner for two, and talk about our favorite person. Wait till I fill you in on the latest about Khushi’s interview with the New Yorker yesterday.”

 

That was all it took for them to fall into a nonstop conversation, not just about Khushi but just about everything for the next hour enjoying each other’s company. 

 

His grandmother was right about one thing, it had been way too long since the two of them had spent time together. There was a time when he was younger, and his grandmother and he would cook and go on walks together. Perhaps once Khushi and he get settled in their new home, his grandmother could come spend a few days with them. That’s if she was comfortable with him being in a live-in relationship without the official stamp of a marriage.

 

He would find out soon enough, he mused, hearing his parents’ arrival just as he was loading the dishwasher with their dirty dishes.

 

“Arnav’s home! When did you come over? Is everything okay?” His mother’s concerned tone had Dadi and him turning to face her just as she came in their view. 

 

Harika swiftly walked over to him for a closer look, while his father looked on from the entrance to the kitchen area.

 

“Figured I would stop by to help my Dadi, who seems to be taking on more than she should be with all this cooking. Didn’t we discuss that you would hire someone to help with all of this?” Arnav threw the question more to his father than the women, who he knew would object to the idea that he had been pushing on many occasions.

 

“Don’t look at me, Son. Your Ma and Dadi refuse to let anyone inside this kitchen to cook for us. At least, they allow a cleaning lady to do the daily chores.” He raised his hand defeated by two strong women possessive over their home.

 

“I already told Arnav that Harika does most of the cooking when she comes back from the office, but today I thought I would help out since you both were out,” Dadi explained.

 

Harika glanced around the kitchen, noticing everything had been taken care of from the food to the clean-up, including the dishes with Arnav washing his hands after closing the dishwasher.

 

“Some habits don’t change, kyun? Dadi’s Ladla, helping her since you were this little.” Harika put out her hand to her waist level measuring out Arnav’s height as a child. 

 

“You better not say that out loud in front of Nugget, otherwise you’ll confirm that I am my Dadi’s favorite.” Arnav winked teasingly, then went to embrace his mother. “You look very pretty tonight. Make any deals?” He questioned, letting go of his mother, then side hugged his father as he joined them.

 

While his father filled his grandmother and him on catching up with their friends, Arnav felt his mother’s eyes on him the entire time. His grandmother might have been polite in not probing him about his unannounced drop-in, but his mother was waiting for his father to finish up. She stayed by his side as they walked over to the great room. His father and grandmother went to their usual spots, while his mother sat next to him on the sectional.

 

“Where’s Khushi?” Harika asked once her husband was done speaking.

 

“She’s seeing her father tonight. NK had to leave town on business Sunday morning, and came back today.” Before he could say anymore, his father spoke.

 

“It was nice to finally meet NK, actually, all of the Guptas, on Friday at the opening. They were all extremely friendly, and down to earth. Which reminds me, NK and I spoke about getting us all together soon. What do you think about lunch or dinner, maybe in the next week or two, before the commotion begins with Aseem’s wedding next month.” 

 

“I don’t see why not. I’ll speak with Khushi about it, and we can arrange something…” Arnav replied, then paused for a moment, before he added. “Maybe, Khushi and I can host it at our home.”

 

Arnav allowed his gaze to sweep from his Dadi to his father then to his mother as no one said anything for a long moment. It wasn’t as if they needed him to spell it out further on what he meant with his last two words. They knew. The silence only confirmed it. And, while his parents chose not to say anything, his grandmother did. 

 

“Khushi’s moving in with you…”

 

“No.” He smiled, “We’re buying a penthouse together in Rose Hill, it’s about ten minutes from where we are now. The closing is next Friday.”

 

“That’s next week.” Ashvath’s eyes widened in surprise, then asked. “How did you arrange it so quickly?” 

 

“It’s one of ARG’s listings, and with the building being new there’s immediate availability. Aseem helped push it through with all our contacts. We went to see it on Sunday evening, and Khushi and I both loved the place. The best part is that it’s fully furnished and move-in ready, and there’s not much for us to do other than take our things over. Khushi doesn’t have much…”

 

“I’m sure she must be excited.” Dadi pronounced, then uttered, “After seeing her loft on Friday, I can’t believe she’s been staying there for the past few months. The poor thing, with everything that she’s had going on, it must have been tough on her. And, I bet her father must be relieved with her finding a new place.” 

 

“NK has never liked her living in the loft. If it was up to him, she would be living somewhere else from the get-go.”

 

“Then perhaps he should have insisted his daughter stay with him at their home. It isn’t as if there’s no room in their penthouse or mansion.”

 

“Harika!” Dadi admonished, shaking her head.

 

“What did I say that was wrong, Maaji?” Harika questioned, then continued without needing a response. “Fine, I understand that like Arnav, Khushi is an adult, but if NK was that concerned, then perhaps he should have done something about it.”

 

“It was Khushi’s decision to stay there, she’s said that to us. And, don’t you think NK must have tried to make his daughter live with him? What father wouldn’t? You shouldn’t make assumptions without knowing the facts. It’s their family matter, not ours.”

 

“I don’t agree,” Harika countered her mother in law, “It concerns us now that Khushi is moving in with Arnav.”

 

“She’s not moving in with me…” Arnav stepped in to clarify, “We are doing this together, as equals.”

 

“Like roommates?” His mother scoffed in a sarcastic voice.

 

“What?! No, we’re going to be living together in our home.” He clarified once again, not hiding the incredulity in his tone at where his mother was taking this conversation.

 

“I’m not stupid, I know all about live-in relationships and what that all means,” Harika answered back, locking her gaze with Arnav’s. “But, I wasn’t expecting this from you so soon.”

 

“Why not, Ma? Would you react the same way if I was here to tell you that we have decided to get married?” He challenged, “Don’t answer that, I already know. It’s okay to get married after meeting someone a couple of times, like you and Papa, or in Dadi and Dadaji’s case, who never even spoke to each other when their rishta was finalized. Yet, somehow, Khushi and I are wrong?”

 

“What’s wrong is that you’re against marriage. And while your father might be hopeful that you’ll change your mind one day, I know better.”

 

“That’s enough, Harika,” Ashvath said firmly, standing up from his chair. “Didn’t we decide to let him be?” 

 

Harika also stood, going face to face with her husband, “How can you be okay with this?”

 

“Arnav is not a child, you can’t force our beliefs on him. You’re only going to push our son away.”

 

“It’s our responsibility to teach him what’s right and what’s wrong. Clearly, we have failed.” Harika stared at her husband.

 

“What you think is wrong, is right to me.” Arnav stated firmly as he stood after having heard his mother. “I don’t need a piece of paper to prove that I am committed to Khushi as she is to me. I love and stand with her every step of the way, and that’s all that matters.”

 

“Tell me, Beta, how do you plan on introducing Khushi to the world for years to come? What am I supposed to tell people in our family, our social circle, that she’s your girlfriend?”

 

“I don’t know, and I don’t care about any of them. If the label girlfriend bothers you so much, call her my life partner.” He ran his hand through his hair out of frustration, “Ma, why is it always about what people will say or what people will think…”

 

“You might not care, but as a woman, it matters. Especially in our very traditional social circle, which is very different from the high society that the Guptas are acquainted with.” She asserted a fact that he couldn’t overlook, or at least she hoped so, trying to get through to her son. “As a man, you’ll be able to get away with living with a woman out of wedlock. No one will say anything to you. But, do you have any idea what society labels a woman?”

 

Ashvath’s eyes flickered at the harshness of his wife’s words, while he  had refrained from saying anything prior, he knew he needed to step in.

 

“We should…” Ashvath placed his hand on his wife’s arm, but Harika shook her head.

 

“Please, don’t stop me, Ashvath. Not today, my son needs to hear this, better from us than outsiders.”

 

“What would that be, Ma?” Arnav said with a flash of annoyance, “That all of the sudden like the rest of the world, you see Khushi differently now? What’s next, you want me to break my relationship with her?” 

 

Harika glanced around at everyone, then looked at Arnav, and let out a disbelieving laugh. 

 

“You have it all wrong, and you have no idea how much I admire and feel for that girl. I’m on her side. And, as I’ve told your father and your Dadi, Khushi is perfect for you, and our family. We all love her as if she’s one of us.” Harika’s voice came out soft, yet impactful.

 

“Not as if, she is a part of our family, like you and Rayu.” Dadi said gently, expressing her feelings for Khushi to her grandson. 

 

“As a mother of a daughter, I will tell you that you are being unfair to Khushi by not giving her her rightful place in your life by marrying her.”

 

“It would be unfair if I was forcing my opinion on her, but that’s not the case. And just so we’re clear, like me, she could care less about others opinions that aren’t our immediate family. Khushi’s strong enough to face the world with me by her side.” 

 

“For now, this arrangement might work for both of you, but what happens when someone else is added to the equation?” As Arnav’s eyebrows shot up at her question, she clarified. “What happens when you decide to bring a child into this world? Whose name will he or she take? Baby Gupta or baby Raizada…” 

 

“I don’t know, and it’s a bit too soon to be speaking of babies.” He shut his eyes, and clenched his fist tightly feeling his anger rising.

 

“Obviously it isn’t, given you’re both committed to each other, and will be living together as a couple. And here’s something else for you to think about… you do know what they call a child born outside of a marriage, right?”

 

His fury intensified, clashing his gaze with his mother’s, and he did nothing to conceal it “Mother, don’t say it!”

 

“I won’t, neither would anyone else here, but the world won’t be kind to our Khushi or your future child.”

 

He had heard enough, and couldn’t take anymore. This was a battle he knew he could never win with his mother or the traditionalists of the world. 

 

“We will have to agree to disagree on this topic, Ma.” He might have addressed his mother, but he also looked at his father. “Our decision stands, and Khushi and I will be moving into our new home once the closing is done next week. I hope that my family will be happy for us as we move forward in our relationship. But, I’ll understand if you don’t.”

 

He had said all he needed to say, as had his family. With nothing else left to say or hear, he made his way back to the city. 

 

Even if he tried to brush his mother’s words aside, he couldn’t. He had been unprepared for the surge of emotions that accompanied him emerging from what his mother had expressed. As well as the unspoken words that his father held back, doing his best to stay neutral. 

 

He should have predicted this would be the outcome with his parents, specifically his mother, given their ideology of marriage. For as long as he could remember, his family constantly talked about his future, one that included him married with children.

 

His intentions were never to hurt his family or disappoint them in any way, and yet, he had. 

 

Why couldn’t his parents accept his decision?

 

Was it too much for them to see beyond the institution of marriage, where it was either everything or nothing for a couple in love and committed to each other?

 

When he staggered inside his home close to ten o’clock, Khushi was still out with her father. Seeing that she wasn’t back yet, he took it as a sign that maybe her conversation turned out better than his. 

 

The first thing he did was grab himself a much needed strong drink with his mood as black as the thunderous clouds outside. Soon the heavens were going to open up with an impending storm looming on the horizon. 

 

He slowly walked over to the window in the living room, and made himself comfortable, sitting down on the floor up against the window. With a drink in his hand and a bottle of scotch next to him, he waited for the storm to make its debut.

 

A moment later, the arrival of rain, steadily drumming against the window, caught his attention. He held his hand to the cool glass, watching his breath condense around his outstretched fingers. 

 

There was something about the rain that comforted him. The patter of the drops tumbling from the dark grey skies, bringing serenity along with them no matter the chaos around him. 

 

Just like the melodious voice of the woman standing over him.  

 

“I’m a dance in the rain kinda woman, but I don’t mind being cozied up with my love to watch the rain. Can I join your party?”

 

He flashed her exquisite reflection a smile, “Sweetheart, you don’t need to ask.” He turned, extending an outstretched hand with the need to have her next to him where she belonged. “Come, please.”

 

Despite the long row of windows with plenty of room, he leaned against the wall of the corner, and spread his legs out for her to lean up against him. She sat comfortably in between his legs, and tilted her head to look up at him.

 

“I’m sorry,” She whispered, “I wanted to be back here in time for when you got home, but Daddy and I had gone to Society to meet up with the twins for a late dinner, and drinks, though nothing strong like what you’re having.” She looked at the almost empty glass in his hand, “When you texted saying you were headed back to the city, we were in the middle of dinner.”

 

He placed the crystal tumbler on the floor, then slid a hand into her hair and pulled her head back.

 

“There’s no need for an apology or an explanation, just kiss me.” 

 

She arched against him, her back to his chest, offering all she had, and he was one selfish bastard, kissing the hell out of her until they needed to pull away to catch their breath. 

 

Not wanting any distance between them when she shifted slightly, he possessively tightened his arms, and buried his face in the crook of her neck.

 

“I am not going anywhere.” She said softly, placing her hand on top of his resting on her waist.

 

“You promise.”

 

“Yes, Love, I am right here with you.” She tilted her head, and kissed the side of his forehead. “Now tell me, what happened with your parents. Seeing your somber mood, I am guessing all didn’t go well. Did they not approve of us living together?”

 

He lifted his head as she sat up, turning to face him. There was no delaying sharing what had transpired with his parents.

 

“It’s the whole notion of us not getting married  which they don’t agree with. For them, it seems to be the holy grail. I realized today, that they’ll never understand where I’m coming from.” Feeling exhaustion catching up with him, he drew his knee up, and closed his eyes for a second. “You know, I expected your father to be the one that would potentially have an issue with us living together, but it turned out to be …” His words trailing seeing her bite down on her lip as she looked away. “What’s the matter? Did it not go well with NK?”

 

“The good news is that there was no objection from him with us moving in together. In fact he was completely fine with the idea…” 

 

“And, the bad news?”

 

“Like your parents, my father also wants to see us formalize our relationship.” She said with her shoulders slumped. “He doesn’t like the fact that our decision is final. Guess, he would like for us to keep our options open for, if and when, we want to start a family of our own.”

 

The sheer guilt, the helplessness in her tone pricked at him as he found himself abruptly standing up.

 

“Is that what you want now, Khushi? For us to get married.” He snapped.

 

She sat there quietly for a moment before her own anger spiraled and she stood, “Arnav, you’re taking everything out of context. You wanted to know my father’s opinion so I told you.”

 

“Why do I sense that you agree with them? My mother, your father…”

 

“Everyone has their own view, and I have to respect that. And, it doesn’t mean I agree with my father or your mother. As parents, they want the best for their children, us. So, I feel for them to see one of their dreams for us being shattered with our decision. That’s all there is to it.”

 

“And, what about me?” He said quietly but sharply, “Do you really understand my stance or are you sacrificing your dream, your future for me?”

 

“It’s been a long evening, Arnav and I really think we need to sleep on this.”

 

He shook his head, and grabbed her arm, “I need to know now, Khushi.”

 

She flinched as he gripped her tightly, “We have already spoken about this, and came to a conclusion together to not marry. I am with you that we don’t need a piece of paper to define our relationship. A decision that I am sticking by. That’s final. But, what I would like to know is, why are you second guessing yourself?”

 

He said nothing, but firmly stood there with his gaze fixed on her. 

 

Everything seemed to be crumbling from where he stood, and while Khushi had answered him confidently, deep down he was left with his mother’s words… 

 

Was he being unfair to Khushi?

 

 

There you have it, the Raizadas reactions 😉 I would love to know your thoughts… 

 

As always, it’s a pleasure to have all of you along on this journey ! 

 

Love always,

Jigs

 

141 thoughts on “Chapter 43

  1. ❤️

    He held his hand to the cool glass, watching his breath condense around his outstretched fingers” – A metaphor for where he is today. His happiness vaporising around him as he reaches to grasp it, feeling as fleeting as the breath he takes.

    Harika has every right to voice her feelings openly to her son. This is the way things are in society. Whether they ‘should be so’ or ‘shouldn’t be so’ is a moot point here. This is the way they are. Her views and thoughts are conditioned by the life she has lived, the environment she has lived in. Arnav needs to understand and respect that. And I’m sure he will come to see that. We have to live with the choices we make, and she was merely pointing out the consequences of his.

    I can understand Arnav’s frustration. Isn’t it the case when there are elements of truth in what is being said to us? What will be interesting to see is how Harika is with Arnav subsequent to this conversation. This will determine how it will affect the mother son relationship going forward.

    I loved Dadi here. Moms go straight for the jugular, while grandmoms may say the same but somehow it’s not so hurtful. The difference between one who has to discipline plus love and one who can focus on the loving!

    Ashvath is Switzerland in the Weetabix and Beanz debate 😉

    And Arnav, it’s not okay to get angry with Khushi the way you did. The choice to not marry is yours. Yes, Khushi has agreed with your choice of her own free will. That is the choice she has made. Not under duress, but because she loves you. Respect that please.

    And Harikaji, society judges you based on how you present yourself. If you confidently stand by the decision your son has made, it diffuses the impact of the gossip mongers. If the barbs don’t find a home, they die a natural death.

    Liked by 22 people

    1. Ruchiji waiting for your in depth analysis 🥰

      My two cents- Harika went a bit too far for me. Khushi is rt we need to understand everyone has their pov & have to respect them but this doesn’t apply to kids only.. parents needs to understand this too. Yes parents wants best for children but all i heard from Harika is society, circle, people & duniyadari. Now let’s talk about this society. They don’t respect relationship without name, child out of wedlock but what about divorcee? Or children coming from divorced parents? Do society not judge them or pass taunt on them? Although here relationship has a name, when child was born parents r married than why judge them? Does women not get judged in divorce? Chalo lets talk about marriage. Society judge rt from wedding function to living conditions. So when does this society doesn’t judge? Who among us is successful in making society happy? What Harika should have done was concentrate on d happiness of her son. Yes being a traditional & older generation, her misgivings was totally understandable & expected. But where she went wrong was playing guilt card on Arnav- humari parvarish main kami rah gayi, haye hum fail ho gaye, Mrs. Gupta kya bolegi. I mean does upbringing solely dependent on marriage? Is it d only criteria of deciding whether a person is from good home? Wow.. I have done arrange marriage, can’t get more traditional than this but still i believe in today’s world live in is not d end of world. Gosh its no life or death matter. Duniya khatam nahi ho jati🤦🏻‍♀️ Future is very fickle, no one can predict what will happen after few days. Did anyone one of us predicted covid? Did anyone one of us thought ki one day being a social animal will b our biggest problem? No na. So how come Harika is so sure ki Arnav will never marry? Arrey bhai i have seen many couple deciding after marriage that children r not for them & they will not have them. Now what will parents do than? Point is as parents we need to balance too. We r like your frnd bol dene bhar se aap dost nahi ho jate ho. Family should b a place where we should feel confident ki yes no matter what these ppl will always b with us. Its not like Arnav has become some criminal. But look at how dejected Arnav is, he knew his family won’t understand & support & Harika proved him rt. As far as Harika taking khushi’s side, i have one point to make here. Harika very easily said u r being unfair to khushi, did she have a chat with khushi? Did she know what khushi want or not? Making such impactful comment on d basis of generalization, now that is unfair. Kyunki if every women think alike, their wishes r same than why does we have women or mothers like Mahini or Samiara? Maa ka anchal toh hamesha apne bacche ke liye hota hai na, mamta toh har aurat main hoti hai toh why these two women in khushi’s life r not like this??

      I m really feeling for Arnav here. Parents in their bid to do what they deemed rt, what society seem rt, have unintentionally put strain on this budding relationship. Shaq ka ek beej bhi kafi hota hai & Harika’s words have done that. & As a parent this is exactly what i will want to avoid, hopefully i can do this. Yes i know whats rt for my daughter but at d end of day i can give her advice & hope whatever she will decide wil turn out well. Most importantly i never want my daughter to feel like Arnav is feeling now, ki family will never understand & support me. Coz that is most shit feeling to have.

      My hope is in all this Arnav doesn’t loose d sight of what’s important in his & khushi’s relationship- trust & honesty. Trust that khushi will never lie to u Arnav just to appease u & honesty that she will tell u if her opinion on marriage changes. What Harika said or assumed was her pov, it doesn’t mean khushi is thinking like that.

      & Yes i will say this, hope Harika give a once over on what she has said to her son & see where she went above d line & understand how it can impact her son’s most important relationship. Parents need to evaluate too, Kyunki galati unse bhi ho sakti hai.

      Liked by 9 people

      1. I think Prachi. Khushi too saw (Like most people) future married and having a family.
        When Arnav proposed they moved in together but no marriage as he did not believe in marriage, Khushi agreed because she loved him and wanted to be with him. It will be interesting to find out why is he averse to marriage as his parents are happily married , his Gorgeous Dadi too had a happy marriage. His little nugget is also getting married to the man she loved.
        Khushi has more reason not to get married as her father’s both marriages were not happy.

        Liked by 8 people

        1. Hello ji🥰.. well maybe there is no solid reason, just that Arnav didn’t want to get married. Sometimes its about what we feel & its not necessarily means that something bad would have happened to make us feel so. Regarding khushi, i think she didn’t give it as much thought as Arnav did but yes its not like she hates marriage because of her father. I m hoping whatever it is, both of them remain honest with each other, as they have been uptil now

          Liked by 8 people

      2. Wah
        Prachiji 👑
        Aapko Kya Hogaya
        Nutramul peeya? 🤪

        Aye saala
        Abhi abhi hua yaqeen,
        Ki aag hai mujh mein kahi
        Hui subah main jal gaya
        Suraj ko main Nigal gaya
        Ruu ba ruu roshni heyy

        This beautiful Naresh 😍number is my dedication to you , my sherni
        ARRji don’t come after me

        I can understand Harika
        Weren’t we all in Arnav ‘s shoes , once upon a time 🙃
        Except one or two, I have ticked all the boxes , that parents, in-laws, acquaintances, neighbors, society
        demands of a woman
        Yet am I happy ? Content ? Peaceful ?

        Ok ok, can see jigs scratching her head in frustration

        Let me focus on hotwa
        Harika for all her good intentions was rude, very rude
        Her tone, sarcasm, judgemental attitude , not toning down even after
        being told by dadi & Aswath
        Also what her middle class friends would say , as opposed to high society Guptas
        Totally uncalled for
        Did she even talk to NK before judging him .?
        Though she spoke in support of khushi, it seemed that kh could be
        family if & only when she is married to Arnav
        Emotional blackmail has been most tried , tested , foolproof universal method
        to toe kids in line
        yet the children resent , sometimes even outright reject the so-called societal norms
        via parents

        Kuch toh log kahenge
        Logaane kaa kam hain kehna

        If family cannot understand , support, stand by us who else will ?

        My one grouse is that Arnav has never hid his aversion to marriage
        while Kh even after seeing papa ‘s marriage falling apart twice
        wants shaadi & bachche

        Just because he found The One 💝 is he supposed to change his opinion
        overnight ?

        Things will smoothen out,
        he would give up his ideal for the sake of khushi , the love of his life
        in the meantime , it is better to just wait & watch
        instead of pushing him

        Whenever I go into my Purana B&W flashback
        my baby shuts me up , saying ,
        Oh no , not your childhood story,😱
        Mujhe kya karna hai ?

        GTG
        Yours truly
        Leeji ❤️

        Liked by 7 people

        1. Hahaha Leeji.. thanks for this basanti dedication 🥰.. my grief with Harika, is also her rudeness & this humari parvarish main hi kami rah gayi hogi jaap🤦🏻‍♀️. Also, its not like Arnav na hua Lakshman hua, ki ek baar rekha khich di toh u can’t cross it, arrey bhai samay bada balwan hota hai, na jane aane wale kal main kya ho😉

          Liked by 6 people

          1. You are welcome ji 🤩
            Arnavrekha😬super cute ☺️
            Was reminded of Arshi sharing a single bed in GH , ASR trying & miserably failing to protect himself from sankadevi ‘s taekwondo 🤪

            True that
            Change is constant , with time , Arnav might def change

            Even if you cannot change all the ppl around you
            you can change the ppl you choose to be around

            Peace ✌🏻

            Liked by 6 people

    2. Dearest Ruchi, 🤩
      Waited so long here , 😂
      socha tha ASR ki help maangu for a penthouse in Rosehill 🤓
      Harika though right , was too hard on her laadla🤨
      Arnav , on the other hand just attacked khushi , for no fault of her ,
      almost threatening if she
      is with him or wanted out
      Khushi though wouldn’t have had it easy with NK,acted with restraint
      Disappointed with ASR 🥲
      Happy Sunday 💕

      Liked by 3 people

      1. Switzerland 🇨🇭 is synonymous with Sri
        ( acc to me ) disclaimer 🤓
        Kabhi main Kahoon
        Kabhi tum kaho
        had her in white ( a personal fav though the movie was panned )
        crooning in Alps

        Liked by 3 people

    1. This is a careful line to thread on! Yes, as part of this generation we can say “hey it’s a piece of paper” but, their parents aren’t wrong either. They are looking out for thier kids and I wouldn’t say it’s wrong.

      Also, as much as Khushi keeps saying yes, we are in this together! I feel deep down she has kept aside her dreams. Her happiness is with Arnav not denying it. Getting married also has been one of her dreams I’m guessing. I could be wrong.

      Nice. So let’s see how this goes on from here. I’m looking forward to reading this. I’d love to see your take about this from here. 😁

      Cheers

      Liked by 9 people

    1. I missed out on commenting on the last chapter, for that, so sorry 😦 But, I must say, you have left me speechless with these two chapters with NK and Harika’s views on Arnav and Khushi living together. I have often swayed towards Arnav’s beliefs in the institution of marriage. Does one really need that piece of paper formalizing their relationship in the eyes of the law and the world? No, I don’t think so. Society be damned. By getting married, it changes nothing between them. Their relationship is built on a strong foundation filled with love, trust, and respect. Many marriages don’t even that. However, as you dissect this so-called taboo topic specifically in our culture, I am can see both sides.

      The difference between how NK handled it versus Harika was shown really well. NK has learned over the years on listening to his daughter and giving her the space to make her own choices. While he might agree, he will respect Khushi to do the right thing. She most certainly has with her career, so why not with her personal life. Harika spoke out as a woman, who has seen enough in her life to know exactly what Khushi is going to have to deal with. While her delivery could be handled differently, I respect the passion in which she tried to get through to her son. She’s his mother, and knows that her son is firm on his decision. Now, if she could only understand him, and maybe with time, she will.

      You can see why Arnav is frustrated after coming back home, while deep down he knew how his family would react, but hoped that after his last conversation on the marriage topic, they would see where he is coming from. But now that they haven’t, and learning NK is also not in agreement, I hope he’s not second guessing himself now as Khushi also questioned. The two really need to talk through this openly, and I look forward to the conversations to follow.

      Jigs, the way you have presented us on both sides, makes you see that they are all right in their place. Thank you for this thought provoking topic! 🤗😘

      Liked by 5 people

    1. A thought provoking chapter, Jigs. Was waiting for it.
      I love the Arnav-Dadi relationship, love it when both are together.
      I never expected Harika to be so agressive in the way she spoke to Arnav. She might not be wrong in the way she spoke but she could have toned down her words. We as parents need to be careful when we speak to our children on important issues which have a direct impact on their lives. We have to be supportive and even if one might disagree with them, one has to go about it calmly. Such disagreements have an impact on the relationship and are difficult to forgive and forget.
      Feel for the two. The world is changing and we are too. Is marriage so important! Their might be close minded people around who will talk, but why let them effect our personal relationship.
      Arnav needs to calm down and remember that Khushi is not the one at fault. And I too really want to know why Arnav is so against marriage! Hope to get the answer soon!

      Liked by 4 people

  2. I totally understand where his mother and also NK is coming from. We cannot ignore the world, society that we live in. It is what it is. And women always have to bear the brunt of what society throws at us. Men can get away with many things, but not a woman, as sad as it is to say it. It was lovely to see his mother speak as a woman, a mother of a daughter. Like Khushi said, you see where they are coming from and it is coming from wanting the best for your child as a parent. I think this is something that they both need to navigate together, whether they need that piece of paper so that it keeps everyone happy, and when they want to bring a child to this world, its parentage won’t be questioned.

    Liked by 11 people

    1. I loved this update – so emotionally intense! Didn’t we all expect this to happen? Funny how the clouds of emotions bursting inside them is being depicted by the nature too. Interesting how life works sometime!

      I didn’t foresee Harika to be the one being so harsh but then, as a traditional family, her mindset makes sense. The topic of marriage (supposed to be happy one!) is now becoming bone of contention, especially for Arnav. His love for Khushi, which right now is making him question if he’s being fair to her, will be the same force that hopefully will find a solution to this. All they can do right now is to “Let it be”, as you pointed out. ❤

      Dadi-Arnav's scene was heart warming. I could visualise it entirely – Arnav cooking rotis and Dadi rolling them – très adorable! ❤ There's something serene about such simplicity and simple environment. Feels so clutter-free. Let's hope Arnav can sort out his turmoil too whichever direction it leads to!

      Hope you're all staying safe, Jigs! Lots of love!

      -V

      Liked by 7 people

  3. Awesome update, I loved the Harika today, she just nailed it and is successful in sowing the seeds of rationality in arnav, although they are dormant right now. By gruelling the khushi again, arnav is really being unfair to her. Let’s hope he doesn’t get break up from khushi now by thinking of being unfair to khushi but he just correct himself and marries her on time.

    Liked by 6 people

  4. Recently we (my husband and me 😉) celebrated our 18th wedding anniversary….but still this question run in my brain what’s with marriage? Does a piece of paper really required. When I voice out this question people around laugh at me and says I’m nuts. I have never got an answer for that yet
    But I’m sure for one thing in my life , I shall be a mother that will let her daughter live her life she likes…with or without marriage though my husband blast behind my back even now hearing this even when our daughter is only six 😄

    Liked by 7 people

    1. Congratulations , my friend 🎉🎊🎁
      I get you , have always wondered why is it so important to get married 😛
      Have never questioned my parents ( they would have considered it blasphemy)
      hubby would have counter questioned , why did you marry then ?
      Does a piece of paper has more value than love, commitment , companionship , promise of lifetime of togetherness ?
      Eagerly waiting for jigs’ take on
      To be or not to be
      Take care
      Cheers 🍻

      Liked by 6 people

  5. I remember, my friend crying last day stating the frustrated marriage she was trapped onto. Today she was complaining about her brother in law and his girlfriend’s’ decision of not getting married. The complaint is that their grandmother is over 80 and wish to see the marriage before something bad hppens…..good Lord all I can do was 🙄.

    Liked by 6 people

    1. I do agree with Harika that Arnav is definitely not being fair..forget all that he heard or what people said, at the end he suspected everything they both decided and at the end it was sounding like he was looking for an out?

      Everyone has been understanding and giving them space and I think they all are doing their best to give them space and letting them decide the best for them..but at the end Arnav is missing the long term consequences. Khushi is deeply in love and she will do everything to support Arnav and may never act like her mother or step mother for sure but life has been always hard on her and she has realized it’s in her control especially that which matters related to her happiness and her happiness today is Arnav!

      There is no doubt Arnav loves her the same or more but yet to understand his hesitation about marriage..he has wonderful parents as example..it’s not just about paper is it? Sigh tough days ahead and I almost thought they dropped the idea of moving in together and her comes heartbreak. Let’s hope not..

      Happy Friday!

      Liked by 7 people

  6. As much as I feel OK with Arnav & Khushi living together in a Live-in, I do agree with his mother as well, when it comes to having kids & give them a solid name on the name of relationship. But I would also not want them to jump into marriage just for the sake of it or for the family. I guess living together will make it much easier for them to figure this out in a better way and they should take their time…like his father, his mother should support in that. She could have said it in a softer tone & in a better way than being angry about this whole scenario…nonetheless seems like his Mother’s point of view did hit him somewhere & by the time he is ready to have a kid…he will opt to give this relationship a definite name…
    Beautifully laid out the whole scene…loved it and waiting eagerly for the next update…❤👍🤗

    Liked by 5 people

  7. I have to agree with NK and raizadas on this…may be my upbringing is such a way that I cannot assume living together without a marriage..good read as always my dear writer..

    Liked by 5 people

  8. It’s too soon… everyone needs to understand thy wil go step by step … going towards making him feel guilty or how unfair or not caring ..it’s not the way.. he is rite n his stand on this believe is too long .. at least I hoped that his family will understand or know… bt it went very badly thr.. I think everyone needs to give him space n time … live in is n was the next step regarding babies … when it will happen thn only let them take decision
    Sumhow I see everyone here is making him sound like selfish n stubborn uncaring person .. accusing him left right n telling him he is wrong he is villain .. it hell wrong .. he was open abt his views since all can remember… so this kinda harsh reactions r unfair to him .. this not going to help him make right decisions… nobody is actually trusting … none r believing in his love n commitment for her.. that’s unfair n that’s disappointing

    Wonderful update makes u angry n lost 😞

    Liked by 4 people

  9. Amazing Update

    As Khushi said we need to respect other’s POV whether we agree with them or not. No matter what kids think, Parents will always wanted the best for them. Though agree with Arnav and his view about no piece of paper will define love, honesty, commitment, and loyalty towards each other but also living in a society where it is not accepted and will always be ready to blame them mostly badmouth woman’s character should also be taken into consideration. Each person is entitled to have their own opinion. Can understand Harika’s concern and though she had been harsh on Arnav, loved how she took Khushi’s side and try to make Arnav understand what all she had to go thru being a woman and also in the future what their kids will be called if they are born into this world out of wedlock. Looks like Harika’s words made a deep impact on Arnav’s mind which is why hearing Khushi sticking to their decision making Arnav think about whether he is imposing his decision on Khushi regarding marriage.

    Eager for the next one.

    Thanks
    Chinnulu

    Liked by 5 people

  10. Arnav perhaps underestimated how vehemently his mother felt about him not getting married. The Raizadas would love Khushi to come into their family but they would love to have them marry. Harika told him what happens when they have a child? Does he know that that would be called? Arnav is sure he does not want an official stamp of approval to his and Khushi’s life but does he have a right to bring a child into this world, where he will be called names? Even Aswath had hoped that Arnav will change his mind about getting married.
    Perhaps they will decide not to have a child and Khushi will go along with the idea but he knows that Khushi had dreamt of marrying and have a family of her own.
    Khushi told Arnav that her father was ok with living together but hoped that in future they will marry. He has the same concern as Raizadas about bringing a child into a world where the parents are not married. Sure these days many couples decide to have children without getting married but what about the stigma they will carry all their lives.
    Arnav knows that Khushi loves him and wants to be with him, marriage or no marriage. But Arnav is now wondering if he was being unfair to Khushi.
    Thank you Jignasha for the update.
    Hope you had a great time blowing balloons for your son’s birthday. Wishing him a wonderful Birthday.

    Liked by 7 people

  11. I love the moments between Dadi and Arnav so heartwarming.

    Let be real we can live our live whichever we want but this society we live in won’t let that happen and we all know some kids can be so mean to other kid, not only kids people talk especially to women who have relationships without the so called paper marriage, even kids are not spared but sadly as it is men walk away unscathed and it’s not fair but it is what it is. The parent both want what’s best for them and their anger is justified based on their culture and background, didn’t Both Arnav and Khushi reacted the same way when they were asked do they know what they call the child out of wedlock? We all know that Khushi had dreams of a wedding and starting a family but now she is holding back that dream of marriage because of Arnav and that might bring resentment in the future because one day will come and she will regret it, and it will be the downfall of this relationship.
    Now Arnav trying to get into a argument because of his anger for not being able to justify his stance to his mum.
    Wonder what was khushi’s answer.

    Liked by 4 people

  12. In a way I’m glad Harika at least brought it up. It’s something for them to think about and be prepared for. But hoping this doesnt cause any issues for our gorgeous pair :(( thank you for a Friday update ☺️☺️

    Liked by 3 people

  13. I read this twice to soak it in. Once from a parental perspective and then from Arnav’s.
    Only to come to a conclusion that your ff pens down some beautiful, kind hearted, empathic men.
    It’s a trend I tend to see in all of the ones I’ve read till date and it melts my heart. Now, coming back to this update screw the society and the bloody log Kya Kahay Ge. Heck it’s ruined more lives than we all have even accounted for the amount of generational trauma that we all tend to carry is crazy. It’s crazy how a piece of paper is used to actually define a women’s life more than a man, like does every sense of responsibility have to be on the women’s shoulder ? I wish the world in this case the parents looked beyond the underpinnings of patriarchy.

    Liked by 4 people

  14. Dearest jigs,
    The update started beautifully , thought Arnav was going to invite his ppl over
    Why the sudden visit on Wednesday ! 😃
    Could almost envision Arnav lovingly cook rotis, while gorgeous woman in mint green
    ( hope she matched it with multicolored Kutch blouse ) rolled them out
    The simplicity & domesticity of the scene made my Dil go hmmmm❤️
    Hotwa didn’t want to change, rolled up his sleeves
    , cleaned the counter
    to loaded the dishes
    in the washer 👍🏼
    He is a keeper👌, khushi is lucky 💕

    Harika became a lioness who goes all out for Arnav ‘s blood , almost like kali maa
    a total 360’ turnaround from the loving, pampering mother India
    we are used to seeing
    Traditionalist, as much as dadi or Aswath would want , but she was vocal
    Arnav needed to hear the hard truth
    She had the best interest of khushi at heart
    What will ppl call khushi
    or their unborn grandkids
    It is normal for parents to be concerned

    But found it strange , when she unnecessarily blamed NK for allowing kh to stay alone
    in the city
    & also accepting the no marriage pact , as he was a Gupta
    without even knowing NK ‘s views on both
    She also spoke about the class difference
    was too quick to judge
    Also her words for khushi ‘ like family ‘ was totally uncalled for
    Isn’t khushi family , like dadi pointed out 😳

    Khushi might have had tough time with NK too
    But Arnav yet again put her on spot by questioning her decision
    Though kh might have agreed
    she like NK had always dreamt of family & kids
    It is really unfair to her & the future kids ,like the elders feel

    Arnav on the other hand has always been open about his opinion on commitment
    & marriage
    It is not like they were shocked to hear
    nor did he cheat anyone

    Suddenly everyone seems to gang up on him
    Feel for him & khushi

    Hope you can provide us with answers
    my dear jigs

    Happy belated bday to your son 🎊🎉🎁🎈🎈🎈🎈🎈🎈🎈
    Wishing him the best & may all his dreams come true

    Lots of love ❤️
    Hugs 🤗
    Cheers 🍻

    Liked by 5 people

  15. In recent years, the gap between two
    consecutive generations get wider in terms of expectations from life. Like mentioned in Barun’s first instagram post ‘Change is the only constant.’ So both NK and Harika should understand that their children have different way of thinking and ignore the society effect.

    I am mad at Arnav for manhandling Khushi both physically and emotionally. He is being unfair to her for not forcing his opinion about marriage on her but taking his frustration caused by his own mother out on her.

    Liked by 3 people

  16. I think both parents are right marriage is just not a piece of paper but a legality of a relationship and the new generation might not agree but its important and I totally agree with Arnav’s mother point of view that khushi and their children will be subjected not him we live in a society where we have to oblige certain rules and marriage is one of them.

    Liked by 4 people

  17. Arnav has to realise that swimming against the tide is always going to tough. Whether he agrees it or not, humans are social beings and we live in groups (societies) and we are interdependent. And our lives are also intertwined with the general practices of the societies we live in.
    I do not agree with him that arranged marriages are bad. Most couples in India have had arranged marriages till almost few years ago. There have been bad marriages but many have been good marriages too. That is true for any marriage, be it love or arranged and that is true for any relationship too.

    As much as I agree with him that he and Khushi should be allowed to live like they want and a paper should not dictate how they live, yet this decision would also bring a lot of (unnecessary) challenges in their lives. Why does he want to pick unnecessary battles to fight? Maybe time for him to think about it.
    If he thinks he is ready for those battles, then he should really not worry so much. But is Khushi ready for these challenges?

    Nice update Jigs.

    Liked by 5 people

    1. I usually don’t clarify but I wanted to one of your points, I do not agree with him that arranged marriages are bad, Arnav wasn’t saying that arranged marriages are bad, his point was that with marriage rishtas in our culture are accepted and celebrated easily, whereas what his announcement isn’t being embraced or accepted. If he would said that Khushi and he were getting married, they reaction would have been different. Thank you Kavi!

      Liked by 3 people

  18. Fire 🔥 update Jigisha, You have written perfectly.

    We all can see where Harita & NK has point
    Kushi just want be happy with Arnav.
    I am glad Harita is on Kushi’s side

    Relationship don’t come with guarantees. It is you and your partner make that guarantee success with trust and honesty with each other.

    Stay safe
    Happy Valentine’s Day 🤗

    Liked by 3 people

  19. Loved the chapter, brilliant. I was expecting this as Arnav family is traditional. Every parents want a happy married life for their child, but the adult makes the choice. An interesting dilemma Arnav is in on fairness, has Khushi really given up the dream or is she there due to hope? Every marriage or live in has good and bad, people can walk out of both at any time, I have married and live in friends who have either adjusted or walked out, the impact is on the children, their security.

    Liked by 4 people

  20. Wow, all the above comments are as tantalizing as the chapter itself. Jigs way to go to get our neurons all fired up.😜
    I too had an arranged marriage and now have kids who had their live in and my son just got married to his girlfriend . Having gone through and still in it with our daughter, I relate both to Harika and Arnav.I don’t know the reasons for Arnav’s denial of marriage, but I am sure they will both work it out in the end. I believe that as parents, I have given my kids enough knowledge to grow and be successful individuals. They are adults now and we must support the decisions they make. It is their time to learn from their mistakes but we should always be their to catch them if needed. I am sure they will find their way in life.

    Liked by 4 people

  21. A double edged sword ! Wonderful chapter, capturing the differing opinions. Ah I’d really like to know why he is so against the ‘ kazak ka tukda’ khushi’s I can understand where she is coming from but Arnav ka I want to know what’s stopping him.

    Liked by 4 people

  22. Dear Jigs – sorry for stopping by so late. Been very hectic at work.
    This was such an intense chapter, and I must say, you handled the content amazingly well. Last week we saw NK’s emotions bubbling up, only to eventually calm down when he realized what all he had lost in life and what remains, has to be cherished. I had obviously expected disappointment from the Raizada’s too, on the step taken by their laadla . But this took a different turn. Do I disagree with Harika? She was blunt, she did not mince words, but she had a point. We are entitled to have our own opinion as adults, but as parents, they still hold themselves responsible to show the path to their kids. It would eventually be the kids’ decision to follow that path or not to. As a mother, Harika losing the cool, would be justified, mothers are emotional, aren’t they? As a woman, she siding with Khushi, to get her a respectable name in the society is justified.

    Arnav himself knew his traditionalist family’s views on the subject. But he may have expected them to come around, when he “announced” his decision. And when that did not happen, so began his emotional turmoil. He couldn’t quite handle the disappointment from the visit to his family. That, primarily, was the reason for him questioning Khushi, despite her sensible choice of words describing her own meeting with her daddy.

    We began the chapter on a high note where Arnav saw love and warmth surrounding him throughout his life… all thanks to his “family”. I think that feeling is what will make him realize what would work for him long-term. Aseem and Leia’s marriage is another event, I expect to show some more light in this direction. Going against the tide is not easy. Self-doubts (which already reared their ugly heads) would mar the decision often, unless he and Khushi can stand firm.

    Jigs – you handled this sensitive topic so well. I am unable to find words to describe all the feelings I went through, in this chapter. Kudos to you!

    Have a great long weekend!!

    Love,
    Vini.

    Liked by 6 people

  23. Arnav doesn’t want a piece of paper to dictate his & Khushi’s relationship. It’s not entirely wrong of him to not want to legalize their marriage. Whatever his reasons are, he is entitled to decide for himself. Khushi also agrees with him. So if two people in love have decided to stay together without getting married, why should the rest of the world be bothered? But unfortunately, we live in a society where this piece of paper is given more importance then what two people feel for each other. I feels Arnav needs to think about it objectively. The whole “getting married” may be BS in his books, but not getting married just because he finds the legal binding pointless is also not serving any purpose. Harika didn’t say a single word that wasn’t true. In fact, I loved the way she spoke in favor of the daughter-in-law she would never have. She managed to paint a picture for Arnav that would be his & Khushi’s reality in few years, if not months. Is Arnav ready to accept the consequences of his decision? It’s easy to say he doesn’t care for what people have to say, but will he be fine with people gossiping about his Khushi and calling her all sorts of names? I think what Harika said to Arnav touched a raw nerve. Never getting married is essentially his decision. Khushi has agreed to it, because she loves him. Marriage may not be important to her, but the man is. She made a choice. She doesn’t have any regrets about the choice, but she can see how people close to them are unhappy because of their decision. And for what really? I guess, Arnav has started seeing the unfairness that Khushi will have to deal with as long as she is with him. He sounded edgy when talking to Khushi. I hope he doesn’t make another decision that is detrimental to them both.

    Liked by 6 people

    1. Dear G ,
      Excellent last line 👍🏼
      Arnav ‘s hard question to kh , was it one of self doubt
      or was he trying to goad her ( kh was super restraint after her TALK with daddy , kudos to her )
      for an easy way out
      I shudder to think
      Will wait for jigs to answer
      Take care 🤗

      Liked by 4 people

        1. No marriage pact was his , not khushi ‘s
          She went along with it as she loves him
          That snapping was totally uncalled for
          Happy Valentine ‘s Day, dear G ❤️💕😍

          Liked by 4 people

  24. Harika is soooo worried about what will people say. And what will name his child or a woman who lives him with our marriage …. but by thinking and asking this question to her son she indirectly became one of those person ……
    but yes I feel her just the way khushi did … no matter how modern or which country we live in but at the end of the day certain Indian society don’t except this ….

    Liked by 3 people

  25. Arnav’s mother is against no marriage . As a mother she is worried for Khushi’s future . Live in will work perfectly until they don’t have a baby . I like how Arnav’s whole family is standing for Khushi’s rights .
    Khushi has agreed for living in arrangement because she loves Arnav . Even NK pointed out how Khushi always dreamt of marriage and having babies .

    There is no pressure on either of them to get married immediately . I kind of feel Arnav is being unfair with Khushi . If he is ready for life long committment why not marry and legalise their relationship . This will avoid unnecessary confusions and what if’s later .

    Liked by 3 people

  26. Lovely update.
    Harika put her point forward just like NK. Dadi and Aswath were OK.
    Coming to the reality of this issue,
    Many young couple are actually giving a combined last name (family name) to their kids in stead of just giving father’s last name.
    Couples who are in live in relationships are giving mother’s last name to one kid and father’s last name to the other kid.
    I know majority are still succumbing to their parent’s wishes and getting married after living for 5 or 6 years together.
    In my opinion this doesn’t really matter. Didn’t NK suffer? He wanted to give his last name to the kids when Mahini got pregnant, so he married her. Khushi suffered then and NK is suffering now. So, it is obvious marriages don’t fix everything. They can create problems too!
    Cheers…..

    Liked by 4 people

  27. Please help me understand what’s wrong with getting married if it makes the parents/grandparents feel more comfortable?

    If it is just a paper to Arnav, then why can’t he just sign that piece of paper and make his family happy? I mean, he plans on staying with Khushi for the rest of his life, taking care of her, etc. so it’s not like it’s any different from marriage, right?

    (I’m not married, so I’m genuinely asking this question and trying to understand this debate.)

    I agree that you shouldn’t do things for society or log kya kehainge. So, if Arnav wants to be alone for the rest of his life, or have a girlfriend and not move in together, then he shouldn’t get married to make his family happy. But in this case, I feel like he’s doing everything that a married couple ideally does (Ex. Lifetime commitment, living together, being part of each other’s family, thinking of having kids – maybe, etc.), so then getting married, even for the sake of family, isn’t a big leap.

    Liked by 3 people

  28. I am so sorry I am so late. Work is super hectic and now we are back in lockdown…..

    Oh wow Harika! damn she made so many valid points. Its true right that our society points fingers at the woman always. But I really want to understand Arnav’s reasons for not getting married. Is it just because its societal expectation or he really doesn’t believe in it.

    Do you think someday in the future people will live as they want and not worry about “log kya kahenge” coz everyone is busy in their own world. Or is it human nature to be nosy forever.

    Also a Partner sounds so good – gender neutral and so much more meaningful I guess, I really like that.

    Love❤

    Liked by 4 people

  29. Wow, Harika does not hold back at all! Now I see where Arnav’s got his clear-and-transparent-communication genes from!
    This is a classic example of a generation gap. Arnav is not wrong in defining rules for his life, but he should also be mindful of his parents roots. Not only have they lived in a different era, their foundational years passed in India (in an otherwise traditional and conservative society). And I also realize how a class difference does play a role in acceptance here. For eg, NK who is privileged and has had more exposure does not immediately worry about “what will others say”. He has seen and lived through worse.
    This is such a delicate situation!

    One thing I loved is how Arnav clarified more than once that he and Khushi are “living together” and that she is “not moving in with him”. It clearly communicated that they are partners, equals and one is not above the other.

    But Arnav really (really really) needs to stop second guessing!

    Liked by 3 people

  30. Dearest jignasha
    They invented hugs to let people know
    you love them , without saying anything
    Love & hugs to you & all the lovely ladies at Listed
    Happy Valentine ‘s Day 💕❤️💝🎉🎊🌸🥰

    Liked by 3 people

  31. Well, Arnav’s parents’ reaction was somehow I thought how it would be. While Dadi had voiced out her opinion nicely and not really hurting Arnav about it with Ashvath being Switzerland, Harika’s strong reaction was something I understood well. While a live-in relationship is a very normal thing in the west, it is somehow looked down on by the Asian society in western countries. Harika did raise a very valid point about society’s (Asian) thinking and labelling a woman (especially an Asian) for being unmarried and having a live-in relationship with a man. And she rightly pointed out that society would let the man get away easily while the woman is the one to suffer and being labelled with all kinds of names. And it is worse when a child is in the picture… he or she will forever be tagged as a child of wedlock. “What happens when you decide to bring a child into this world? Whose name will he or she take? Baby Gupta or baby Raizada…” This is one subject that Arnav (and Khushi) should seriously think about and consider.

    While it is comforting and pleasing to know that Khushi has been accepted by the Raizada family, I wonder how their behaviour would be the next time they meet again. Would the decision of Arnav-Khushi living together without marriage somehow affect their relationship with their family?

    As for Arnav, it’s not right or fair of him to be angry at Khushi for being honest when he asked for her answer. He should be more understanding when she responded about feeling kinda guilty for letting down their parents with their decision.

    Was he being unfair to Khushi? I can’t help feeling that he is.

    Excellent update, Jigs… and looking forward to more. 🙂 Wish you and all the readers a wonderful weekend. 🙂 *hugs*

    Liked by 5 people

  32. Harika was straight to the point…and we do have a strong patriarchal society…and it saddens me that even women also partake in the gossiping about other women’s life and their decisions…🥺

    Liked by 3 people

  33. Arnav needs to understand that it was his decision not to get married. Khushi went with it because she loved Arnav. As parents it is natural to want to see your children get married and as parents they are entitled to their opinion. But what is important is what the 2parties involved feel. Arnav is clear on “no marriage” but is having doubts of being unfair to Khushi . Also I feel he is apprehensive of a child out of wedlock. Khushi would have definitely wanted marriage but has gone along with Aranav’s decision.
    It is important now for them to sit and talk what exactly Arnav has against marriage. While a piece of paper might not be more important than what they mean to each other, but if they mean so much to each other is a piece of paper going to stand in Arnav’s way.

    Liked by 4 people

  34. It was kind of expected how Raizadas are going to react, especially Arnav’s mom…as a traditional family and as mother Harika and her thoughts about marriage and the society make sense and she was not wrong…
    After hearing from Khushi about what NK said it seems Arnav is in dilemma about if he is imopsing his decision on Khushi unfairly….
    Hoping against hope that he is not going to break up with her for this…
    Thanks a lot Jigs 🙂

    Liked by 4 people

  35. One thing is clear while reading this story that Khushi has hundreds reason why she shouldn’t marry . But what reasons Arnav has . Here Khushi’s stance is softer as if Arnav wants she can marry him. I think Arnav ‘s mother is right he is unfair to Khushi.

    Liked by 4 people

  36. awesome update.. though the final choice for marriage or no marriage is for arnav and khushi to make, I think arnav’s mother and family want him to think through this properly.. the society will remain the way it is but if arnav and khushi are taking a decision, they should not regret about it in future listening to what society might say..

    Liked by 4 people

  37. Didn’t like the way Arnav behaved with Khushi😐 or i should say i didn’t understand why he behaved like that. When they decided to move in together, it was a mutual decision. Khushi, ofcourse might have compromised on a few future dreams for herself but she made this decision knowingly and whole heartedly and told him so. So why and what is he actually accusing her of?
    And he already must have had a hunch on how his family would take the news, right. So why bother about it now?
    Everybody has opinions based on their own life experiences. So nothing wrong with Harika posing some very valid questions although a bit too judgemental .
    Ashwath is surprisingly such a cool dad.
    I am keen to see what side of the bed Arnav wakes in the morning 😋 is he still rattled about everything going forward or would try to diffuse the situation with oth Khushi and his mom.

    Liked by 3 people

  38. Hi …
    My God… Harika was blunt and came straight to the point without mincing words. And all her concerns are valid from her viewpoint.
    The relationship of Arnav and Khushi has grown steadily and progressed well with maturity and understanding.
    They both have got into the relationship with eyes wide open and understanding what the other needs from this relationship.
    The idea that people get into live in relationships instead of marriage, just so that they can leave whenever they want, is actually a very primitive one( my personal thought ).
    All relationships require the same amount of commitment and willingness to go ahead with their choices.
    Arnav’s perceived guilt is what has made him lash out at Khushi. He feels he has deprived her of the right to marriage and is not able to bear the thought of denying her anything.
    Now , waiting for Arnav-NK meet and Raizada family-Khushi meet.
    Hoping for lots of fireworks.😉
    Lovely update.
    Regards….Anita.

    Liked by 5 people

  39. Completely agree with Arnav’s mum, it’s always harder for women when it comes to society. Hopefully he’ll think about it if and when they are thinking about having kids atleaste.

    Liked by 4 people

  40. Arnav is 2nd guessing but trying to put it on someone else 🤦🏻‍♀️ the parents are right and just like Khushi said they believe its right for their children. Lets see how the moving to onw house goes or if it will go ahead or not.

    Liked by 4 people

  41. Hi Jigs….a very thought provoking update….Harika is from old school…she can’t talk for Kushi without knowing about her stand in this relationship…Kushi is such an open minded person that she will not agree for anything under any obligation…But Arnav’s reaction to Kushi is wrong..He can’t imagine that Kushi also wants marriage but agreed to live with him because of her love…Hope they will not drift apart because of this small misunderstanding caused by the family..If they move apart then I will feel sad for kushi because from the beginning she was very open and very frank in this relationship..Eagerly waiting for the next one…Take care and be safe

    Liked by 3 people

  42. Hi Jigs, beautiful chapter. First I should praise you for your excellent writing.
    In this I’m fully with Harika. What ever said and done why the whole world recognize and celebrate marriages and weddings. This is not a tradition among our Society but among all the societies. There is a reason why these traditions were introduced. It creates new relationships among people.
    As Harika said, how is she going to address Khushi’s tomorrow?

    As a parent it’s your duty to tell your children what is right and wrong. But shouldn’t force them to choose our decision.

    I feel Khushi’s would have loved a very romantic marriage proposal from Arnav than his request to move with him and never to get married. She is sacrificing her desire to please him because she loves him so much.

    Arnav senses it and his guilt is making him react this way.

    Waiting for the next chapter to see how is this progressing.

    Liked by 3 people

  43. Dearest jigs ,
    Hope you & your family are safe
    My prayers & wishes to all the readers of Listed in 🇺🇸
    Stay safe
    🙏
    Do you have electricity ?
    Lots of love & warm hugs 🥰

    Liked by 2 people

  44. Classic Jignasha ❤️ Always presenting an argument in a way that makes readers think!
    The age old generation gap is at display. We have all experienced it growing up no matter how open minded our parents were and we experience it with our kids too!
    I love the simple kitchen conversation between dadi and her favorite grandchild.
    Wonder which direction this argument will go🤔

    Liked by 3 people

  45. Everyone is right from each one of their point of views and reasons.. Agree with Khushi it is Arnav who is having second guessing about their decision following his mother’s words… NK’s point is also right in suggesting that they don’t have to make this as their final decision instead should keep their option open.. enjoyed seeing dadi and her nanna munna baccha helping and having dinner together.. awesome chapter.. loved it.. Thanks Jigs ❤

    Liked by 3 people

  46. Harika said exactly what Arnav’s father and Dadi feel. It was harsh but at least he got it from home. That said the Raizadas should support him. Their relationships are more precious than what the society thinks. It was unfair for Arnav to pressurize Khushi about this. She had in her mind to get married and have a family someday. Yes she is with him but her stance was never as inflexible as his. He must say why, this I just don’t want marriage is not exactly fair to Khushi. If it’s just I don’t need a piece of paper then it shouldn’t matter either way as in marriage or no marriage.

    Liked by 3 people

  47. Superb.. as expected the discussion went hot in his home and his mom’s point is right but they can give arshi some time I am.sure they know what they are doing..

    Why suddenly arnav is so angry

    Liked by 2 people

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