Wounded the Wounded
Note: Khushi and her family in this story are not my imagination but they are real living characters.
St. George College of Arts and Science. Delhi.
Students of the college gathered in the playground shouting Arnav….Arnav…. Arnav…..
It was a final match of the Cricket tournament. St.George College Vs CCR College. That was the final over and St. George College needed six runs to win. The guy whom students called Arnav was on strike.
A girl was rushing towards the ground dragging her friend to catch up the final over of the match from the other side of the college.
Girl: Come fast Khushi or else we will miss the finishing.
Khushi: If you want to watch the match then you go Payal. Why are you dragging me like this?
Payal: What a girl you are? Don’t you want to see our College winning the match?
Khushi: I’m not fond of games.
Payal: It’s ok. Won’t you come at least for me?
They reached the ground exactly at the same time when the first ball of the last over was bowled. The ground went pin drop silent when Arnav hit the ball. Everyone’s eyes were on the flying ball. It hit the forehead of Khushi before touching the ground and her delicate skin got torn. She sat on the ground pressing her forehead where blood was oozing. Umpire declared it as SIXER and St. George College lifted the Championship Trophy.
All the students started the celebration. But the one who hit the ball felt sad for the girl. He was about to go to her but his buddies lifted him and started throwing him in air. He went looking for the girl after the prize distribution ceremony. It was not hard for him to find her because he saw Payal with her. Payal is none other than his cousin brother Akash’s girlfriend. Akash belongs to Lucknow. He got admission in Arnav’s college. So he was staying at Arnav’s place for the past five years. Payal joined in their college when Arnav and Akash were in their last year of UG. Akash liked Payal and they were in a relationship for three years. Arnav knew Payal very well. So he believed that he would find the girl easily.
Arnav went to the sports room. That was the place where students were treated for their wounds. He was right. There he saw Payal and the other girl sitting facing her back to him. Payal was cleaning her wound with antiseptic lotion. Arnav approached her.
Arnav: Payal… how is she?
Payal: yeah, She will be all right.
Arnav: Hey… I’m sorry. I just….
His words got tangled in his throat seeing the enthralled beauty in front of him. Arnav Singh Raizada got “clean bowled” in the first ball seeing her. He could say she should have cried. Her eyes and face looked red. He composed himself.
He took the cotton from Payal’s hand and started cleaning it. Khushi was embarrassed by his action and Payal as well. Khushi was looking at his face who was cleaning the wound with a feather touch. He applied a gel and put a band-aid on it.
Arnav: I’m sorry.
Khushi: It’s ok. What was your mistake? Did anyone hit intentionally?
She said, not looking at him that she was about to leave. Arnav blocked her way.
Arnav: I’m Arnav.
Khushi( looked at him bewilder): Jee.
Arnav(smilingly): If anyone says their name then you also should introduce yourself and definitely if it is your SENIOR.
Khushi (panicking): I’m Khushi. Khushi Gupta.
Arnav: Khushi… I’m “Khushi” (happy)meeting you Khushi.
Khushi nodded yes and went from there followed by Payal. Arnav looked at her smilingly. He couldn’t believe she is studying in the same college that too final year UG. How he missed to see this girl before? Their blocks were different as she was in her UG and he was studying MBA. But he never saw her before with Payal. He went thinking those in his mind. Arnav saw Akash and Aman coming towards him.
Akash: Did you see Khushi?
Arnav nodded yes.
Aman: How is she?
Arnav: She said that she is fine. But I don’t think so.
Aman: How could she be? Your hit was like that.
Arnav: Do you know her? but I had never seen her before?
Aman: She leaves the campus before we leave our classroom. That’s why.
Akash: She won’t roam like we do. She won’t come out of the class if once entered.
Aman: Yes. Her car will be waiting at the right time. She will get inside the car exactly after ten minutes from the last bell.
Arnav: I can’t believe she is Payal’s friend.
Akash: Payal joined in this college leaving her foreign college admission just because of Khushi.
Akash: They are best buddies from school.
Arnav: Where is she from?
Akash: I don’t know more than that. Payal just said this long ago. That’s all.
Aman (teasingly): What’s the matter dude suddenly our College king is asking a lot about a girl?
Akash (smilingly): if you want to know about her then I will update.
Arnav: Nothing like that. She looked pity with the wound. That’s all.
Aman: Ok buddy relax. You will see her today evening as we have no classes.
Aman put him in curiosity and Arnav didn’t fail him. He waited to see the girl. As Aman said Arnav saw her coming exactly at the tenth minute, after the last bell. But there was no band-aid on her forehead which amazed Arnav. Why did she remove it? She went hurriedly to her car and got inside. Next minute her car went gearing up. Arnav saw Payal coming.
Payal: Hi Akash.
Arnav: How is your friend?
Payal: She is fine.
Arnav: Why did she remove the band-aid?
Payal: Her mother will scold her if she sees it.
Arnav: Scold? But why? It was not her fault.
Payal: Because her mother loves her so much. That’s why.
Arnav raised his eyebrows amused.
Khushi entered the house hiding her wound. That’s when she heard.. “Waaaait”. She got rooted in the same place horrified. Garima, her mother reached her and turned her towards her.
Garima: What’s that? She asked pointing at her wound.
Khushi: I…I slipped from the stairs and banged on the pillar Amma.
Garima slapped her heartlessly.
Garima: where was your concentration? Haan? Whom you were looking for? Your studies, your luxuries dresses, everything is only for our status. Not for you. Be careful. If you do anything “smart” then I don’t know what will happen. I will kill you stepping my foot on your neck. Understood?
Khushi nodded yes while her eyes poured.
Garima: Go to your room. Don’t you dare come out and show your face.
Saying she went to Ladies club to do “Social Work”. This is the “LOVE” what Payal told about. Shashi Gupta her father number one businessman who owned “Pure Sandal” soap industry. He was so familiar with his ruthlessness and arrogant deeds. In fact that’s the reason for his No one position. He never cared about truth, loyalty, honest… but only money. He never hesitates to use short cuts to get success. And his wife Garima, she gives more attention to social attention over her family.
Getting beaten up from her parents was usual for Khushi. Right or wrong no matter she was beaten by her parents. It’s not a big deal. It’s because she is a GIRL. Her parents never wanted a GIRL CHILD. Unfortunately, Khushi took birth in that house to the Heartless people like Shashi Gupta and Garima Gupta. She never got “LOVE” from her parents but only hate. Her support in this family was her brother Rishi. He was a small boy who is studying in eighth grade. He has a superpower in this family because he was a BOY. Khushi was frightened to ask food to eat while Rishi got toys in thousands of rupees. This was her condition at home.
Payal was the only friend who was with Khushi from her childhood. Payal refused to go to London for her higher studies just to be with Khushi because Khushi had no one except Payal.
That’s why Khushi looked at Arnav without blinking when he treated her wound because that’s the first time she had seen “concern” in someone’s eyes for her after Payal.
As our HERO gave entry into her life, let’s see how will he bring her out of this hell and show her heaven.
To be continued……..