Monday, 6 February 2012

OS: Get Out

OS: Get Out
(Version of the post-Nainital 'get out' scene.) 

Like every other time, one minute into the drive, Arnav slammed on the brakes. What is it with her, he thought? Why does every single damn emotion of mine get multiplied into unimaginable volumes when it comes to her? Anger, hatred, stubbornness, guilt, happiness, laughter, love.. OK stop, he chided himself, closing his eyes. Again, he had acted like an irrational jerk. Why does she do this to me? Why am I so incapable of curbing or even controlling my emotions when it comes to her? After all, I've had a lifetime of practice. And here she is, walking into my life and shattering all that practice so effortlessly and making me rise up to react on every single occasion. She is sick, now has a wound on her head, is dressed in a bridal gown, has no money on her, has never been to this part of the world and I just stranded her there. Guilt and concern washed over him as he punched the steering wheel, saying "damn it!" Inevitably, he reversed and turned the car.

In the meanwhile, Khushi stared incredulously at the back of the car as Arnav drove away and disappeared at a turning. She couldn't believe it. Phir se? she thought. She tried to ignore the feeling of hurt that was bubbling up in her throat. He acted like an absolute jerk, and all she felt was hurt that he didn't care about leaving her alone in the middle of nowhere. Why the hell should he care about me anyway? Will I ever be able to understand that man? She could still hear the concern laced in his voice as he had seen her in the pit and asked "Khushi, tumhe chot toh nahi lagi?" and the desperation in his voice as he said "Paagalo ki tarah tumhe dhoondh raha tha." On one hand, when she thought he would've tried to murder her when he found out that she was responsible for this mess, he didn't really even raise his voice at her. Then, after telling her to get the hell out of the dhaba before he woke up, the next thing she knew was him nursing her. She shivered lightly remembering the way he thrashed the guy for having pushed her lightly. "Haan maar daalunga. Isski himmat kaise huyi tumhe haath lagaane ke?" he had said dangerously. And now, when she didn't even really understand what the hell she had done, he asked her to get out of his car. She was still weak from the fever and lightheaded from the injury. She knew nothing of this place and had no money on her. To top it all, she was still dressed in her bridal finery. And he knew all of this, she thought bitterly. Yet, he let his anger over-ride everything and left me here. Fine, I don't need him either, she thought, starting to walk in the direction they came from.

Arnav saw her walking in the opposite direction. He screeched the car to a halt next to her. She jerked away and looked at the car. She could see Arnav sitting at the wheel staring straight ahead. She just moved away from the car and kept walking, increasing her pace. Arnav brought the car forward and jerked it to a stop next to her again and rolled down the window.

Still looking ahead, he said in a controlled voice "Khushi, andar baitho."

Khushi, without even looking at him or the car, increased the pace. Hitting the steering wheel with his hand, Arnav got out of the car and slammed the door shut. He strode to Khushi and grabbed her elbow, turning her around roughly. Khushi wheeled around and grabbed his other upper arm to stall the motion.

"Maine tumse kuch kaha. Get in the damn car, Khushi" he ground out and pulled her towards the car.

Khushi stopped and pushed at his chest with all her strength. He stumbled back a foot at the unexpected force. He looked at her in disbelief. Deja vu, was the fleeting thought that was running through both their minds at that time.

"Aap samajhte kya hai apne aap ko? Aapka jab mann ho tab aap hume nikaal denge aur jab mann ho vaapis bulaayenge? Jab aapka mann hua aap badtameezi karenge aur jab mann hua baat karenge?" Khushi didn't even notice her eyes tearing up as she shouted at Arnav.

Arnav couldn't believe her gall as closed his eyes briefly, trying to control the temper that he felt rising. He ground out "Mai tumse keh chuka hu ki maine abhi tak koi badtameezi ki hi nahi hai. Tumhe yaad hona chahiye ki hum iss waqt yahaa tumhaari vaje se hai. Ek toh tumhaari vaje se meri gaadi band ho gayi. Upar se mai jab nikalne ki koshish kar raha tha toh apne ghatiya naatak se tumne mujhe rok lia. Iss sabke baavjood mai tumhe lene vaapis aa gaya aur.."

Khushi was past caring as she shouted "Vaapis lene aaye! Bahut bada ehsaan kar rahe hai? Humne nahi bulaaya aapko vaapis! Kyunki aap humpe yahi ilzaam baar baar laga chuke hai, hum aapko bata de ki humne aapki gaadi se petrol nikaala toh woh apne liye nahi aapki khushi ke liya tha! Taaki aap Lavanya ji ke saath thoda waqt bita sake! Aur kal bhi humne kyu roka aapko? Subah hi aapki tabeeyat kharab thi aur aap khaana bhi nahi khaa rahe the, bina phone ke kahi aapko kuch ho jaata toh kisko pata chalta? Ye humne apne faayde ke liye kiya? Ya issliye ki hume aapki fikar thi?"

Arnav took a step forward as he said "Maine kahaa tha tumse meri fikar na karne ko"

"Sahi kahaa aapne! Nahi karenge hum aapki fikar. Aapko jo karna hai kariye, jaha jaana hai jaayiye, nahi khaana hai toh mat khaiye, hume koi fikar nahi aapki. Aur aap bhi humaari fikar mat kijiye. Hume jo karna hai hum kar lenge aur khud hi chale jayenge!"

Arnav balled his fists as he said "Bina paiso ke kahaa jaaogi tum? Nautanki karna band karo aur chupchaap gaadi mei baith jaao. Don't test my patience, Khushi."

"Aapko isse kya? Aur hum kyu baithe aapki gaadi mei? Taaki jab aapko fir se paagalpan ka dohra pade toh aap hume fir se nikaal de? Filhaal toh kam se kam sadak par hai, kya pata agli baar jangal ke beech utaar de humko?! Aur vaise ek aur baat aapko bataa de. Hum aapki biwi nahi hai jo aap har baar har cheez ka gussa hum par nikaalte rahe aur baad mei ye soche ki hum aapki baat maanenge"

Arnav grabbed her shoulders to pull her closer as he hissed into her face "Kya kaha tumne?"

Khushi's fists too balled into his shirt on his shoulders as she said "Wahi jo aapne suna. Aur ye bhi sun lijiye. Hum paidal chale jaayenge, kisi aur se madad maang lenge, waapis dhabe mei jaayenge, kuch bhi karenge." She paused to look into his eyes clearly and said "Ya phir yahi pade pade mar jaayenge. Lekin aapke saath nahi aayenge"

They stood like that, faces inches apart, breathing heavily against each others' faces, holding each other tightly for a few moments.

Khushi saw something change in Arnav's eyes as he said softly "Achcha? I don't think so. Tum bilkul chalogi. Kyunki mai tumhe leke jaa raha hu."

Before she could react, he picked her up in a swift motion, and dumped her into the passenger seat. Her breath hitched as he fixed her seat belt, his eyes flitting between her eyes and her lips inches away from her own. By the time she pulled herself together, he was in the drivers' seat, having secured the central lock, and they were already speeding away.

They spent the next few minutes in complete silence, each trying to calm their emotions - anger, guilt, concern, care, and then something that they didn't want to name or face.

"Har baar aapki hi manmaani chalegi na?" said Khushi, breaking the silence.

"Haan" he replied "Jaise gaadi kharaab karna. Phir dhaabewaalo ko apne aapko tumhaara pati bataana aur phir wahi ruk jaana. Har baar meri hi manmaani."

"Humne kahaa naa aapse, woh humne issliye kiya kyunki hume aapki.." she trailed off realizing what she was saying. She was mortified as she realized that she had already said it once when emotions were running high. Now that they were back to normal, she wished she could crawl under the seat before admitting how much she cared about him.

"Tumhe meri kya?" said Arnav softly.

"Kuch nahi" she said looking outside the window.

As Arnav Singh Raizada's lips curled into a small smile, he mused that that was something he had been doing often when around Khushi Kumari Gupta.

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