The reason I've updated this week is because I've just realised I'm probably not going to update any of my stories until mid/late January because of my exams and coursework. Also the last chapter was a bit short so I thought I'd update this week. I'm sorry but I'm not going to be back until mid/late January. As always the bold bits are meant to be Hindi. Until I see you guys again, enjoy :)
Chapter 15: Identification and Permission
Arnav saw Karan standing outside the haveli and approached his way. He tried to walk past Karan but he blocked his way. He tried again but again he was blocked. Arnav gave him an irritable look but Karan stared back at him calmly. The man looked some what familiar to Arnav.
"Who are you?" demanded Arnav.
Karan decided to play with him a little. "I should be asking you that sir."
"I'm Arnav Singh Raizada. Now answer my question."
"Karan Singh Malik."
"Let me pass Karan."
"I'm afraid I'm going to need some identification and permission from Mr Gupta to let you in."
"What nonsense! Mr Gupta knows me. I'm his son-in-law's brother."
"Sorry sir, I need identification and confirmation before I let you in." Arnav sighed and handed Karan his drivers licence. "Meena!" A little girl came running from inside the house. "Take this to uncle and ask him whether or not I should let this man in."
"Ok Karan Bhai."
While they waited for Meena to come back Arnav decided to have a staring match with Karan but Karan refused to participate. Arnav hadn't blinked or looked away whereas Karan was blinking freely and looking around. Finally Meena came back and whispered something in Karan's ear. Karan widened his eyes in surprise and scrunched his forehead.
"No problem Bhai." She then ran off.
Karan turned to Arnav. "It seems that sir is coming down to speak to you personally."
Sure enough a few minutes later Sashi Gupta had come to the front door. He hugged Karan.
"Thank you for doing this Beta."
"It's no problem at all. In fact I'm thinking of hiring some proper guards for the haveli."
"You don't have to do that beta."
"Of course I do."
Sashi then turned to Arnav. "I only have one thing to say to you. Stay away from this house and stay away from Khushi." He didn't wait for Arnav's response, he just turned and walked inside the house.
"You heard the man, leave."
"Yeah and I also heard the conversation between you and him. If you're not a guard who are you?"
"I'm sort of like a guard."
"You look familiar."
Then it a light went on inside Arnav's head. "You're NK's Karan."
"I'm no one's Karan. But I do know NK."
Then another thing clicked into place. "What are you doing here?"
"Have a guess."
"You and Khushi live together in England."
"Ding ding ding, you're almost right. We used to live together but the house was getting too small as our kids were growing up so I moved a street away."
All Arnav heard was "live together" and "our kids" and he saw red. Before Karan could react, Arnav punched him square in the jaw. Karan landed on the floor and before he could get up, Arnav punched him again and again. After the 5th punch, Karan had managed to flip them over and was beating the shit out of Arnav. Arnav rolled out from underneath Karan and staggered to his feet. Karan also got to his feet and they were about to start fighting again when someone grabbed a hold of Arnav. Before Karan could comprehend anything, he was held in a headlock and forced into a kneeling position.
The adrenaline had finally died out and the fog had cleared. Karan saw that Akash was holding Arnav and trying to calm him down. The grip loosened on Karan's head and he was finally able to get up. He turned to find his captor was Amba. He looked around his surroundings to find Payal, Khushi, Garima and Buaji staring at them.
Karan closed his eyes and sighed. "Shit!"
"Dad what the fuck is going on?!" demanded Amba. "Why were you hitting Mr Raizada?"
Karan turned to Amba and whispered in her ear. "How much did everyone see?"
"I think Akash uncle and Payal aunty saw everything because they were already here when I arrived. I took an earlier taxi than mum, grandma and Buaji because I thought I was going to be late. You have no idea how long these poojas last." Amba whispered back.
"Believe me I do. How long have Khushi, Masiji and Buaji been here?"
"They literary just got here."
Khushi had had enough of the suspense and ran to Karan to make sure he was ok. This built up the rage inside Arnav once again; thankfully Akash was still holding him.
"Karan what happened?" Khushi asked.
Arnav couldn't take how much care was in her voice when she asked him that and this made Karan smile. "I'm ok. I thought Payal's Jeetji was a thief or something so I beat him up. I acted irrationally." He turned to Arnav. "I'm sorry man, honest mistake."
Arnav glared at him. "It's fine. I was just passing by and then you attacked me so I had to defend my self."
Khushi turned to Karan and scolded him. "That was incredibly stupid of you."
"Well you can never be too careful."
She then turned to Payal. "Well introduce me to everyone."
Payal didn't really want to but she had no choice. "Umm Akash, Arnavji, this is my sister Khushi. Khushi this is your Jijaji Akash and my Jeetji Arnavji. Well we have to be going-"
"Hold on!" yelled Khushi and put her hands together. "Namaste. I'm sorry I don't remember you guys but it's because of my accident. I'm sure Jiji's already told you."
"No problem Khushiji. Take your time and recover. I'll bring our kids over so you can re-meet them." Said Akash.
But Arnav saw an opportunity and took it. "Why should you bring the kids when she can come to the kids Akash?" Everyone turned to glare at him but he continued talking to Khushi. "Our niece, Neha, is getting married. Why don't you come over for all the rituals and celebrate with us? In fact the sangeet is in 4 days time."
Khushi's eyes lit up. "A wedding? I love weddings! Jiji why didn't you tell me?"
"There was so much to talk about yesterday and so little time." Mumbled Payal.
"Of course I'll come, but only if I can bring the whole family."
"Bring anyone you want." Said Arnav.
"Eeep thank you!" Khushi was going to go and hug Arnav but something held her back. She didn't know what it was and put it down to the fact that so many people were around. She reddened at the thought of what she was going to do and turned and ran into the house.
Arnav stared at the running wistfully. He was about to leave and get into his car when both Karan and Akash cornered him.
"What the hell is wrong with you?" asked Akash.
"After everything Payal said, you're still willing to risk it."
"Nothing bad happened and I didn't do anything to remind her of the past."
Karan turned towards Akash. "Akash I beg you, let me finish this guy."
Akash looked like he was actually going to say yes but the voice of reason won in the end. "Sorry Karan but violence is never the answer. No matter how much you might want to use it to solve things."
"Fine, you deal with him." He turned to find Amba staring at him with an eyebrow raised. "Aren't you going to be late for your meeting?"
"Considering that you beat up my client, I don't even know if I have a meeting anymore."
"I know Arnav Singh Raizada. Trust me, you still have a client."
"How exactly do you know him?"
"You're getting late."
"And why did you beat him up? Don't give me some bullshit excuse about him being a thief; you just said you know him."
Karan thought for a moment. "Let's just say he and your mother used to date."
"So why do you hate him?"
"Is he a rapist?"
"Any criminal records?"
"Not that I know of."
"Then he can't be that much of a bad person. And since you don't want to tell me the full story, I'm going to assume that he is a good person until proven otherwise." With that Amba stormed off to get ready.
"Amba!" Karan called after her and ran to keep up. They stopped outside Amba's room and before she could slam the door in Karan's face he managed to slip in. "Why won't you try to understand?"
"I'm sick and tired of being understanding."
"Amba you're acting like a child."
"I don't care and you can't make me understand anything because you're keeping major secrets away from me." She walked away and began to take her business cloths out of the wardrobe.
"Do you think I want to keep things from you?"
She turned and snapped, "Then why won't you just tell me?!"
"Because I promised your mum dammit!" he roared.
Amba's face softened. "You must really love mum."
He sighed. "Yes I do and I love you too. I have spent a good 23 years hiding things from a lot of people simply because your mother asked. And I want to tell you everything honey, I do, but I want your mother to be there too. It's her story to tell, not mine. Plus I pinky promised that I wouldn't tell a soul."
Amba smiled at the last comment. "Fine. No more resistance from my side."
"That's a first."
Amba hit him lightly. "Now go, I'm getting late for my meeting."
"Promise me you'll be careful around Arnav Singh Raizada."
"I promise. Now go."
Meanwhile Akash had managed to take Arnav back to the car without hurting himself and now he was on his way to the office. But Arnav wanted revenge on Karan. So he decided to make a few calls.
"Arman." Aman had long ago moved to a new job and after him had come many many new assistants but Arman was the best he had so far.
"I want you to find out what Karan Singh Malik does."
"I want you to find out what he does and convince his employer to fire him."
"I don't want to hear it. I want it done. Oh and prepare the conference room."
"It's already done sir."
He cut the call just as he pulled up outside AR. He went straight to his office and viewed the schedule for the day. He was immersed in work when Amba arrived, exactly 5 minutes before the meeting. He had Arman lead her to the conference room and help her set up. He then entered 5 minutes later.
"Mr Raizada." She said as she extended her hand.
"Ms Amba Singh Malik I presume." He said as he shook her hand.
Amba looked confused for a moment before she remembered that she had to pretend to be a Malik. "Yes, you finally got my name right. Before we begin I want to apologise for my father's behaviour this morning. It was totally uncalled for and he isn't normally like this."
Arnav nodded. "I understand. If you don't mind me asking Miss Malik, is Khushi your mother?"
Amba looked Arnav right in the eyes and lied. "No she isn't, she's my aunt."
Arnav let out a sigh of relief and relaxed. "Shall we begin?"