Chapter Five: Yaariyan

You didn’t either.

 

Her words hung in the air, heavy with lost promises. “Even… even when my book was published.” She added as an afterthought, whispering it to herself. He stilled, stunned by the hurt in her voice. She clearly hadn’t intended him to hear the last part, as she leaned her head against the cool window, her breath fogging it up.

 

“I didn’t think you wanted me to call.” He replied, his voice gruffer than he had intended. A slight grin tugged at her lips.

 

“Haven’t I told you that women never say what they actually mean?” He could hear the slight hitch in her voice behind the mirth, and knew that she was trying to hide the hurt that she had revealed. He stared out at the straight road, his voice soft when he spoke next.

 

“Perhaps you should say what you mean then.” She turned to look at him with an unreadable look.

 

“Perhaps I should.” She said quietly.

 

They didn’t speak for a long time after that. He looked over at her occasionally as she stared out of the window, her eyes following the rows of corn.

 

He leaned his head against the seat, his foot driving into the accelerator a little more. Her words echoed in his head, forcing him to confront what he had ran from for three years.

 

He hadn’t thought she cared. He had never been able to give her the silent treatment when they were dating because she had never let him. She would pester him until he finally gave in out of sheer annoyance. She would attempt to hide the smile tugging at her lips, the happiness that he had finally spoken to her evident on her face.

 

She had never been able to hold herself to giving him the silent treatment either.

 

He had expected her to call after she had left that night, at least once. He had expected her to try one more time, push him into letting go of his anger the way she always did.

 

But she had never called.

 

He hadn’t focused on it explicitly but it was always there, the emptiness sitting at the back of his mind. And now that she was back it had all come rushing back, every emotion that he had suppressed.

 

He hadn’t called her either.

 

“I’m sorry.” He said quietly, keeping his eyes pointedly on the road. She stilled, her heart stopping.

 

“I… I was hurting. I know it doesn’t… change how I reacted. But… I should have heard you out.” He took a breath, running a hand through his hair. Her gaze was pinned on him but he didn’t meet it, preferring to focus on the open road ahead. He swallowed audibly, his Adam’s apple bobbing.

 

She shook her head. “No, Raj. I shouldn’t have done what I did. We both made mistakes.” She paused. “It’s in the past. There isn’t any point talking about what we can’t change, other than to recognize that we both made mistakes.” He looked over at her, giving her a surprisingly warm smile. She smiled back at him before turning her gaze back to the window.

 

“So are you writing another book?” She nodded, excitement lighting up her eyes. “I am. Remember how I talked about writing a real romance? That’s what I’m doing. It’ll be a series of three books, where I steadily build on their relationship.”

 

“Yeah, I recognized some of the things we talked about in Isabelle and Andrew’s friendship, where you removed the cliches and replaced them with reality.” He said, not noticing how her eyes had widened in surprise. When she didn’t respond, he turned to look at her questioningly.

 

“You read my book.” She said, in almost disbelief.

 

He looked at her for a long moment, surprised that she didn’t think he had. “Of course I did. Did you think I wouldn’t?” He asked.

 

She hesitated, before nodding slowly. “I didn’t think that after what happened… you would want to.”

 

He remained quiet for a moment. “I did read. I promised you I would, didn’t I?” She met his gaze, recognizing the familiar support he had always given her. Her heart warmed.

 

“Thank you.” She said sincerely He looked over at her, and she smiled, trying to convey her gratitude. “It means a lot to me.” She didn’t tell him that the memory of his support was sometimes all that had pushed her through writing the book.

 

He flashed her a smile, a mischievous glint in his eyes. “Although… I think you owe me something for it.”

 

She raised an eyebrow. “Owe you something? Please, tell me what I owe you.”

 

He considered it for a moment. “As yet, my book is still unsigned…” He said seriously.

 

She broke into laughter, shaking her head. “You want my signature? Really Raj?”

 

He shrugged. “Hey, if you get famous, I sell the book and get rich.”

 

“Who said I’m not already famous?” She said impishly. He simply shook his head, unable to hold back the chuckle. His heart felt lighter as allowed himself to let down the guard he held up around her, dipping his toes into the friendship they had once shared. Their laughter died down slowly, lingering in the air.

 

“What have you been doing over the last couple of years?” She asked, curiosity getting the better of her.

 

He shrugged. “Nothing much, really. I’m halfway through my PhD.”

 

“Are you still doing blood-brain-barrier research?”

 

“Yes, actually… I partnered with a pharmaceutical company to work on modeling drugs after nicotine, since it’s one of the few substances that can make its way through the blood brain barrier. You’re also working with Promega, right?”

 

“Yup. My mom was correct about writing being a difficult career path… so I’m doing research at Promega.”

 

“I take it that mollified Amma a little?” He asked dryly. She rolled her eyes. “Yes, since I have a real job now.” He only shook his head, amused by the familiarity in Radha Iyer. She hadn’t changed one bit in the last three years, from what he garnered.

 

“Eh. A halfway real job, anyway. Going into medicine… now that would have been a real job.” He said, tossing her a wink. Ananya laughed, throwing her head back. He couldn’t stop the smile that spread across his own face, joining her. Her shoulders shook, her face growing flushed as her laughter became silent.

 

His heart skipped a beat. It wasn’t a particularly funny moment, maybe not even funny at all, but all that mattered was that she found it funny and was laughing. He couldn’t help the soft warmth that spread through him at the realization that he had made her laugh.

 

All these years later, and she could still make him feel…

 

Her laughter slowly faded away, her cheeks darkening when she felt his gaze. She cleared her throat, offering him a slight smile.

 

“You should smile more often.” He said, the words out before he could think to hesitate. He drew in a sharp breath, realizing how easily they had slipped out. The air around them grew thick, as if both of them were holding their breaths.

 

He hastened to lighten the atmosphere, discomfited by the way his heart pounded in his chest.

 

Agar mere paas dil hota na, toh tere smile pe pakka aa jata.”*

 

She laughed lightly, shaking her head in amusement.

 

“Quoting cheesy Bollywood movies now, Malhotra?” She teased nervously, trying to ease the tension.

 

Naam toh aisa hi hai. I should just quit grad school and go into acting. I’m practically fated for it.” He joked.

 

“I told you right when I met you. You’re meant for Bollywood. All you need is a runaway train and a girl who’s about to miss it, and you’re all set.”

 

“I have you, don’t I? You’re already captive for the next half an hour.” He winked. She rolled her eyes, ignoring the little skip in her heartbeat at his glib statement.

 

“No thanks. I’ve already got enough scandal as a romance novelist. Becoming an actress would probably lead my mother to bypass Kirron Kher as the most dramatic mother of all time. Right now they’re just tied for the position.” She said dryly, earning a laugh from him.

 

The remaining half an hour passed by relatively quickly, with conversation flowing easily. She barely realized when they had pulled up to the Summerfest grounds, his car grinding to a stop. They sat still in the car for a moment, surprising themselves with how easily they had slipped back into their familiarity.

 

She glanced over at Raj. He gave her a quick grin, one that didn’t quite reach his eyes. She could see that he was unsettled, the lines tight around his mouth.

 

“That wasn’t half as bad as I expected it to be.” The right side of his mouth quirked up as he took off his shades, cleaning them. He shrugged, a slight twinkle in his eyes.

 

“I guess I’m just delightfully pleasant company.” She smiled, this time genuinely.

 

“Yeah, I guess you are.”

 

They stared at each other for a long moment, oblivious to the crowds around them. She was surprised by the intensity of the tug she felt towards him, her blood rushing through her ears. She found that she was unable to look away, her skin tingling pleasantly.

 

The mike squeaked loudly, breaking the haze. Her eyes widened and she hastily tore her gaze away, nervously brushing her hair behind her ear. She pulled at her t-shirt, the hot air seeming even muggier as it sweltered up from the ground.

 

“Shall we go?”

 

He nodded, gesturing for her to step before him. He watched her walk ahead for a little bit, her hair falling out of her braid and sticking to her neck in the heat. He swallowed, closing his eyes and letting out a breath.

 

So much for distance and time fading feelings.

 

He couldn’t believe that she still affected him this much.

 

He opened his eyes to realize she was waiting for him, squinting into the sun. He exhaled sharply, shaking himself a little before sliding his shades back on and following her to the stage. They pushed their way through the crowd towards the front where Anand had kept space for them. Even though Anand was just beginning to find his footing, the crowd was large, since Summerfest was the biggest music festival in the world.

 

“Anu!” Pooja bounded towards them as they came up to the stage, grasping Ananya’s hand and tugging her forward.

 

Raj stumbled into Ananya as they came to a stop, muttering an apology. She shook him off, clearly excited as she looked up at the mike check.

 

“Hey guys!”

 

Natasha turned away from her conversation with Aman to give them a wave. Ananya smiled back, her eyes lit up. He couldn’t help but smile at her childish excitement as she stood next to Pooja, staring at the stage in wonder. He knew she rarely attended concerts, and the whole atmosphere was completely new to her.

 

“We’re going to go get some snacks and drinks before the concert starts.” Pooja informed them, taking some bills out of her wallet. “Does anyone want anything?”

 

“I’ll have a diet Coke.” Natasha handed her a bill, and Raj shook his head. Pooja waved to them, followed closely by Ananya and Aman as they disappeared into the crowd.

 

Raj turned, feeling Natasha’s gaze on him. Natasha simply raised an eyebrow when he met her gaze, curiosity bubbling out of her. Raj pointedly ignored her, staring at the stage.

 

“So you and Ananya made up?” She asked directly. He glowered, but she wasn’t fazed, pinning him with her gaze.

 

“We agreed that the past is the past.” He said curtly. Natasha regarded him for a moment.

 

“That quickly?”

 

He glanced at her. “Weren’t you the one lecturing me to put my resentment aside and get closure and all of that?”

 

“Yes. But three years of resentment solved in a one and a half hour car ride?”

 

He shrugged. “I apologized, she apologized, it’s done. We both made mistakes.”

 

“Really? That’s… surprisingly mature of you.”

 

“I’m always mature, Natasha Kaur.” Natasha shot him an incredulous glare, rolling her eyes. She didn’t let him off the hook, however, and he groaned when she continued to stare at him pointedly.

 

“Look, it takes a lot of work to hate someone you’re forced to spend one and a half hours within a contained space. It was just easier.”

 

“You didn’t seem to have a problem with that before.”

 

“I also wasn’t sitting in a car in our previous meetings.”

 

“Why did you agree to give her a ride anyway?” Natasha asked. Raj didn’t answer, hating the way she had pinpointed exactly the question he didn’t want to answer. She remained undeterred by his silence, carrying on as she kept her eyes on him. “It’s not like you had to. There was the bus. She could have asked to borrow her parents car-“

 

“Her dad needed it.”

 

“That still leaves the bus.” Natasha pointed out.

 

Raj sighed heavily. “Maybe I just agreed because I’m a nice guy. Force of habit. We’re going to the same damn place anyway, we might as well carpool.”

 

“Or maybe you like her more than you let on.”

 

He flinched, remembering the way her laugh had made his heart lurch the same way it had three years earlier. She still had that effect on him, no matter how much he tried to push it away.

 

“Are you sure that you’re not the romance novelist here, Natasha?”

 

She wasn’t amused by his deflection, choosing to ignore it. “Look, Raj. The tension in the room when you two are around skyrockets. You both clearly still have unresolved feelings for each other. Maybe you should talk it out.”

 

“We’re barely friends, Natasha. We’re friends by circumstance, because we had to sit in the same car together for an extended period of time with no one else for company.”

 

“You’re not denying it.”

 

“I’m not confirming it either.”

 

He remained frustratingly stubborn, refusing to admit to what he knew was true. Natasha sighed, shaking her head.

 

Men.

 

“Ananya Iyer is my ex-girlfriend who dumped me when I was going to propose to her, Natasha. I’m hardly inclined to be best friends with her, nor am I inclined to get into that boat again. I’ve had enough. We made conversation because were forced to, and that is it. There’s nothing more to it.” He said, taking a deep breath at the end of his rant.

 

But Natasha wasn’t looking at him, her concerned gaze focused on someone behind him.

 

He didn’t have to look back to know who it was.

 

“Here’s your diet Coke, Natasha.” Ananya said, her voice subdued as she handed it to her. Natasha took it silently, looking between the two of them. Raj could feel Pooja’s fierce glare on his back, her disgust for him barely concealed.

 

He turned slowly to see Ananya’s guarded expression, the light from her eyes gone. He wanted to kick himself for being insensitive, opening his mouth to explain what had happened. But before he could say anything she moved away, resuming her animated conversation with Pooja.

 

He closed his eyes, his heart surprisingly heavy as she avoided talking to him. He heard the strum of a guitar and reluctantly turned to the stage just as Anand walked on, catching him winking at Natasha.

 

As the concert began, Natasha turned to him, her perceptive gaze on him.

 

“Still just a matter of convenience?” She asked quietly.

 

He didn’t respond, choosing to ignore the statement and the dullness in his heart, focusing on the stage instead. But they wouldn’t be ignore, pressing at the back of his mind for him to pay attention.

 


 

“You don’t have to give her a ride home, Raj. I will.” Pooja said as the concert came to a close, her irritation with him poorly concealed. Ananya didn’t object, standing next to Pooja as she gave him a half smile.

 

“Thanks for giving me a ride here. I appreciate it.” She said politely, her voice devoid of the light teasing that had been there earlier. She turned to leave, following Pooja. Raj’s heart squeezed as she left without another word, her polite demeanor unnerving.

 

It wasn’t like she had expected them to be friends, was it?

 

He stared at her retreating figure for a long moment, before breaking into a jog. He easily caught up with them, grabbing Ananya’s arm.

 

“I owe you an apology.” He said quietly, tugging her to a stop. He could see Pooja waiting up ahead out of the corner of his eye.

 

She simply looked at him, shrugging. “It’s no big deal Raj, I get it. I deserve it. I hurt you badly, and I understand that.” She tried to leave but he pulled her back, bothered by her calm acceptance of the matter.

 

“No, Anya, I don’t mean… I didn’t mean… look, it came out badly, okay?”

 

“Alright, that’s fine.” He looked at her with a gaping mouth, unsure of how to deal with her. She was worryingly calm, not a sign of anger on her face.

 

“Fine. That’s it? You’re not upset? I was a jackass.” He probed, trying to get a response. She smiled tiredly.

 

“I have no right to be, Raj. I know I hurt you. I can’t change what I did. I get it, we’re not friends, we probably never will be. There’s too much between us.”

 

The inevitability she placed on the situation was surprisingly painful. His stomach clenched at the idea of them never even being friends again.

 

Wasn’t that what he had wanted though?

 

He had thought that he didn’t want to see her again, hear from her again, or ever have to deal with her again.

 

So why was the idea of that so upsetting?

 

Had he expected something… else?

 

He realized she was about to leave and he hastened to respond, insistent. “But I was a jackass. I shouldn’t have said that.”

 

She stared blankly at him, unable to comprehend him. “Do you want me to be mad at you?”

 

Raj ran a hand through his hair in frustration. “I just… I just wanted to apologize.”

 

She regarded him quietly. “Alright. I accept your apology.” She paused. “Is that all, or was there something else you wanted to tell me?”

 

Their eyes met. He could see the anticipation in her gaze, wondering if he would admit what they both intrinsically knew. He pressed his lips together, slowly shaking his head in the negative. He saw the twinge of disappointment in her eyes as she gave him a nod, turning to walk over to Pooja.

 

Pooja wrapped an arm around her, giving it a squeeze before they slid into her car. Ananya stared out of the window, catching sight of Raj’s disappearing figure in the window. She sighed heavily, rubbing her fingers across her forehead.

 

“Why didn’t you just take the bus this morning?” Pooja asked.

 

Ananya shrugged. “I thought I would try his number.”

 

Pooja hesitated, but her frustration boiled over. “Why are you doing this to yourself Ananya? He’s a jackass.” Her voice had an edge to it, the boundary clearly crossed by Raj’s statement from earlier.

 

“He’s not, Pooja.” Ananya said quietly. Pooja didn’t bother restraining her huff of irritation.

 

“Would you care to fill me in on why? Because right now, I’m a little baffled. I mean, it’s your life, but… I’m your friend and I care about you, so I’m just trying to understand why.”

 

Ananya stared out of the window, silent for a long time. She took a deep breath, turning to Pooja.

 

“Raj and my mom never got along. My mom thought he was a bad influence because he encouraged me to follow what I actually wanted to do and to stand up to her. He thought she was bullying me into submission, and never quite understood that it was just her parenting style. He was right to an extent, but…” She trailed off, swallowing painfully.

 

“Anyway. Shortly before Raj was going to propose, they got into an argument that just blew up. I… couldn’t handle it. It was too much, and I was tired of being in the middle of their tug of war. So I told Raj I needed a break, and I left for Columbia Med School to appease Amma.” She paused, thinking. “My parents are the only family I have. I didn’t want to lose them.” She added softly.

 

“He said I was throwing in the towel on four years of our relationship. That I couldn’t just leave when things became difficult, that we could work through this but I just… couldn’t, not right then, anyway. I never intended for it to be permanent. I just needed some time. But he was furious with me. Understandably so.”

 

Ananya gave Pooja a regretful smile, shrugging sadly. “So it ended up being permanent.” She became quiet, looking out of the window again.

 

“He has every right to be mad at me. I was a coward. I should have believed in us, and I didn’t.”

 

Pooja reached over with one hand, squeezing Ananya’s. Ananya gave her a wan smile, blinking back tears.

 

“I fucked up.” She said simply, regret evident in her tone. Pooja shook her head.

 

“No, you’re human. You made mistakes. But you owned up to tend. You’ve got to stop living with the weight of them on your chest, or you’ll never be happy, Anu.”

 

“Easier said than done, Poo.” Ananya said, the dig with her nickname lightening the sobering conversation.

 

“Will you ever stop with that damn nickname?”

 

“Nope.” She paused. “Have I told you I love you lately?” Ananya asked. Pooja shot her a grin, warmth in her eyes.

 

“Eh. Once or twice. I love you too, Anu. But do us all a favor and stop living in the damn past, will you?”

 

She met Pooja’s gaze, sighing heavily. “I’ll try.”

 

Pooja smiled, squeezing her hand reassuringly again. “Good. Want to stop for bad Italian food at Fazoli’s?”

 

Ananya grinned and nodded, turning her gaze out to the passing road.


Song: Yaariyan (Reprise)

Artists: Mohan Kanan and Shilpa Rao

Movie: Cocktail (2012)


* Quoted from Yeh Jawani Hai Deewani.

Note: And that’s it for today! I hope you enjoyed it –Yaariyan happens to be one of my favorite songs, so I was excited to use it. Please do let me know what you think, I love reading your comments 🙂 As usual, follow buttons for both email and through WordPress are on the right side — if you find that you aren’t getting notifications, try following and unfollowing.

–MN.

58 thoughts on “Chapter Five: Yaariyan

  1. Ohh.. Raj..that was meanly done… Understand his frustrations.. But still…
    Poor Anya… She is hurting like hell… 😦
    Btw.. What’s up with Natasha? Why is she so much into raj’s life.? I am not getting her… Pooja is just as good a friend as her .. But she backs off when she feels ananya is not comfortable… But Natasha?

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Oh wow it started so beautifully..
    N u need some one tompress ur buttons .. Right or wrong.. U need someone to take the journey forward..

    Liked by 1 person

    1. The fire is still very much there but the egos are preventing them both from looking beyond their noses!!!
      The car ride was good … finally they both are at least talking to each other politely which was a step better than the last time they met …
      But all they need is a trigger to get all defencive and blame each other for their break up … that is exactly what Raj did today unfortunately Anya heard the comment and got all bottled up again …
      All Raj needs to do is take her in his arms and kiss her hard … all the past grievances will be in the forgiven and forgotten … 🙂

      Hamari Adhuri Kahani‬ Lyrics

      Paas aaye..
      Dooriyaan phir bhi kam naa hui
      Ek adhuri si hamari kahani rahi
      Aasmaan ko zameen, ye zaroori nahi
      Jaa mile.. jaa mile..
      Ishq saccha wahi
      Jisko milti nahi manzilein.. manzilein..

      Rang thhe, noor tha
      Jab kareeb tu tha
      Ek jannat sa tha, yeh jahaan
      Waqt ki ret pe kuch mere naam sa
      Likh ke chhod gaya tu kahaan

      Hamari adhuri kahani..
      Hamari adhuri kahani..

      Liked by 6 people

  3. I was thrilled while reading the first half of the chapter, but really sad during the second part. Looking forward to their relationship blossoming again.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. It started off so well between them..
    finally they talked it out…
    surprisingly Raj apologized…
    Ananya did too…
    ut seemed all good between them…
    atlest they were being cordial with each other…
    their eye locks are amazing u know..
    gives the depth of feelings they have for each other….!!

    But then Raj lost his cool… why is Natasha pushing his wrong buttons.??
    Can understand the frustation…
    but what ever he said was very hurtfull…
    Again m glad he went behind her to clear it out….
    but that Hurt in Ananya’s eyes… God..!
    I loved pooja btw… she is really a good friend of her….❤
    great update dear…
    so loved it…
    wished to read more and more of this story….😉

    Liked by 2 people

  5. A very beautiful emotional story well written. Love the way they interacted and especially loved it when he did stop her to apologize.

    It was sad to see two people who loved and still love each other is separated due to other pressures. But I do not blame Raj as he is very much hurt.

    Liked by 2 people

  6. Oh, now they are talking. Talking about some real things. I am all anticipatory. About the time they say sorry when they truly mean to understand the previous chapter and move ahead, unafraid of the past. But that’s easier said than done. Always.

    Lovely update.
    Love,
    Reveur.

    Liked by 4 people

  7. I loved the update…………. Its heart touching…………

    I can relate to Raj…………… He loved Ananya truly & he wanted her to pursue a career of her liking………. He did not want to create a rift between her & her parents……… But Ananya chose to take her parents side & decided to break up with Raj……………. Raj was shattered at that time…………..

    In the past, Ananya should have apologised & tried harder to get him back but she chose to let him go……….. Now if she is regretting her decision, then she she own up to her follies & request Raj to give another try to their relation………………

    Its never too late to accept your follies & try & try till you get the one you love, back in your life, if you are sure that the one loves you truly……………………

    Please dear update quickly………..

    (orchids8888 from IF)

    Liked by 3 people

  8. I was expecting it to reading their conversation…that was so good..both apologized to each other…The entire conversation is beautiful. the hurt, the teasing everything is amazingly written..
    Raj just lost it..what can he do in such situation..some outbursts happen at wrong timing in the presence of someone not supposed to hear..
    Both were important for Ananya..she could’ve tried to explain it to Raj instead of broke up..but past is past..they accepted and apologized..Raj couldn’t see the hurt and silence in her..she too is hurting..past have the power to keep us in pain..moving on and recreating the lost connection will only give them peace..

    Thank you:)

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Hello.

    Stumbled upon this story accidentally under the recommendation listing and can’t seem to thank my luck enough for the same.

    What a talented writer you are and how realistic are each characters emotions. True no just the story and situation but to their own characters. How beautifully you are developing the different relationships we share in life. Some chosen, some not so….and some just meant to be……

    Although this Isnt Arnav Khushi story,….ur Ananya is so Khushi like. While reading I can only visualize Khushi…..the tightening of the eyes the facial movements….and nervousness….the hesitations….confusions….what a treat it is to read Ananya……

    I esp like Pooja…..she’s one friend every girl should have,…inspite of knowing Ananya messed up,…..she didn’t waver from feeling protective towards her. And Natasha inspite only knowing about Ananya via Raj,…..I see a tiny little bond growing btwn Natasha and Ananya….maybe cuz she’s also a romantic at heart and wants to see her colleague happy…..

    I am enjoying every facet of this story as it unfolds and can’t wait to read further on Raj Ananya….or Arnav Khushi…😍

    Ur FF is a gem in million other stories. I have followed ur blog but WordPress had its own set of issue with my email account so mostly don’t get notified,..🤔 Any other way u notify ur readers about updated blog….and also do u have a certain pattern u probably follow to update the blog?

    Can’t wait to read the next chapter. Please update soon.

    -Avni 😊

    Liked by 4 people

    1. I’m so glad to have you join this journey, and I’m thrilled that you’re enjoying it 🙂 I do tweet about it, so my Twitter will have a link to the update (@chotidesi). You can follow me there. Otherwise, I generally update once a week, usually on Thursday or Sunday.

      Like

  10. I am actually heartbroken after this chapter! The sort that leaves you heavy lidded and droopy mouthed.

    Dear friend – I cannot tell you how much I admire your taking your wings and flying in the real world. No ArHi training wheels for you and in my head you are Ananya – the reality romance author I cannot wait to see on the books stands soon! But then don’t let my limited dreams stop you – if you are thinking Man Booker – amen to that!

    Liked by 6 people

      1. Thank you, thank you ❤ It means so much to me — especially since writing a story without ArHi has proven to be a challenge. It is that support that keeps me going 🙂

        Liked by 3 people

      2. Well.. cannot speak to a writer transitioning from a Arshi to others. But for a reader looking to read a good story, names hardly matter. A rose is a rose ☺☺☺

        Liked by 1 person

  11. I am not here often, with every chapter, commenting. I am saving my words and sentiments…

    This story, to me, is like a road trip (you know where I’ve been lately LOL) and I am not able to sit back and ruminate at each stop. I want to experience the entire journey… take pictures, chronicle every bump on the ride.

    That is not to say that I have little to say… I have a lot.

    I am left with things feeling…. I cannot finish them. I want to savor my incomplete thoughts…feelings…

    So many ellipses…

    That is what this story is to me at the moment. I am stopping. I am taking pictures. I am documenting. I am here and I know you know that. ❤

    –M

    Liked by 4 people

  12. Beautifully written girl, perfect words that encompassed the past and present state brilliantly.

    In a funny way I am liking Natasha ;-). Khushi is being hard on herself understandably so.

    Truth has to be told before I close here, I probably am an younger Radha Iyer ! 😐

    Liked by 4 people

      1. Hahaha! I think every mother has a bit of Radha in them — but not in a bad way. They truly want the best for their child, and while that sometimes conflicts with the child itself… I think the intention behind the actions is what makes it understandable. And I’m sure that if Ananya had her own kids… there would be some Radha in her parenting too ;P

        Liked by 4 people

  13. Choti, you already know what I feel about your writing. What do I say here? I’ll no more take sides and now believe that both Raj and Ananya were victims of circumstances. Ananya still loves him but had the difficult choice between him and her parents. She ditched him, which is her cross to bear. Hopefully, now both with find it in their hearts to forgive each other and themselves and move on!

    Liked by 4 people

  14. Was reluctant to read a non arhi story, thought will read a chap and quit …but i apologize for thinking that way…
    Its a beautiful story , feel like am on a beautiful journey…
    Thank u for this beautiful story…
    Both raj n anu r right n wrong in their own way…
    Waiting eagerly for the next stop in their journey

    Liked by 2 people

  15. Awesome update. ..
    Its easy said than done… what ananya said is true. … I feel we can never forget the past but we try to convince ourselves that we have moved on…
    Raj’s “jackass” was apt for him… he was frustrated with natasha’s probing and was trying to shut her mouth, instead he ended up hurting both anu and himself with his oral diarrhoea…
    Both of them thought that they can give a closure by apologising but what they didn’t know was that they are freshly reopening everything…
    So, the reason for their break up was not what she gave it to raj… she thought of taking a break and he gave up completely on her… poor girl…
    Waiting for the next choti…

    Liked by 3 people

  16. Ah – teenage years and young love can be painful too sometimes and they had hurt each other! But their inherent feelings for each other peeked through during that car ride and they both apologized! But Natasha’s questioning, though well meant, brought all the insecurities and hurt right back up and he just lashed out.

    It will take more than a couple of hours and an apology to get over all that pent up hurt. I guess that will happen eventually and how they get there is going to be interesting ….

    Liked by 3 people

  17. “Haven’t I told you that women never say what they actually mean?” – Raj, however, proves men don’t either. Yaariyan proves to be a lot tougher to digest when there is so much unresolved hurt and love. Beautifully written.

    Liked by 2 people

  18. Amazing part.
    Loved it a lot.
    They talked but Raj ended up hurting Ananya with his words and apologized for that too……but they need to talk…a real one if they want a proper closure……
    Waiting for the next one
    Thank you 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  19. Very well written MN!
    Their love is so there for everyone to see! They are both frustrated and hurt. And to top it all people never seem to stop interfering! I understand her mom – she wants the best for her daughter, but why is Natasha being so nosy?

    Liked by 3 people

  20. Loved the chapter.
    Want to say so much more but I couldn’t right now.
    Did you write any other story before?if yes please do let me know. I would love to read that.
    Thank you

    Liked by 1 person

  21. First of all, I love this song and it might sound weird but it’s on my workout playlist. Something about it that makes you want to push yourself to move ahead and forward. Ajeeb, I know.

    This chapter, Writer ji was in a class of it’s own. Brilliantly portrayed… Where it started out and ended for Ananya and Raj. The wounds have been gushed open to reveal what they have been trying to mend on their own by coming to terms with the break-up. But they never did heal, because they never did get over each other. I do love how she points that out. This by no means was only her fault. She might have called it off, but he didn’t try saving it either.

    Very much looking forward to seeing how they move forward.

    Liked by 3 people

  22. Guys never learn do they?! Even after hearing explicitly that girls don’t mean what they say…. something about Mars and Venus I guess 😀

    Silent treatment – I know that! Isn’t that sometimes closely linked to one’s ego? In this case, looks like lots of hurt supplemented Raj’s ego to remain silent for whole three years. On Anya’s side it is probably the guilt and a need for the much-needed space for self-discovery, that made her uncharacteristicly reluctant from making amends.

    It is amazing how easily these two oscillate between remorse and easy camaraderie. I guess, it comes with that strong bond they share.

    Well… what can I say about the confused Raj today! Poor thing! Let us give him time to come to terms with what she means for him. Hoping it happens soon. But it is reality right – years of hurt don’t disappear in a few days…. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  23. I am back as promised, but I do apologize for the delay.

    This chapter left me feeling so much; I’m not sure I can express them all but I know I do feel them.
    I liked the moments where there was an easy companionship and the flow of pleasant memories. But breaking the tension that resides between them was like watching them play – one step forward and two steps back. Just as soon as it dissolves, memories creep up and with them creep up hurt.

    Pooja and Natasha both have different ways of dealing with their friends. While Pooja may give Anya the space she needs, Natasha grabs persistence to question Raj on things that he tries to shove away, perceptive of the denial that keeps him away from happiness. I guess he’s irritated with the fact that Anya still affects him as much as she did and that he never really moved on. The frustration was probably the reason for his outburst. Years don’t really stand in front of love that remains strong and deep.

    They need to find their footing, but love is never easy. As they say –
    Dil hai toh phir dard hoga
    Dard hai toh dil bhi hoga
    Mausam guzarte rehte hai

    If I haven’t said this enough already, I’ll say it again – realism reflects so strongly in your writing MN, and that’s beautiful. 🙂

    Like

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  25. Aww..i thought the chapter will move ahead..i guess in order to move ahead they have to acknowledge their feelings first…and he snapped as natural way of being a human. Looks like ananya has matured over the years and it is obvious how communication can be so cruicial and how it can leave one with assumptions.

    Like

  26. Oh wow!
    Let me just get it off …, it was super awesome!

    The way the chapter went from an emotional acceptance of the past to a careful testing of new waters of a possible friendship, to careless words uttered to brush of annoying(and perceptive) interferences, to unacknowledged expectations from each other.

    The hurt on not being able to say what his wants to say (coz he cant get a grip of what he wants it to be), and the hurt she feels when he cant say it! Beautiful! ♡♡♡

    Like

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