The Truth and the Trust

Chapter 1

Arnav was walking on the streets of Lakshmi nagar towards the market searching for his wife while watching the children playing cricket on the streets, few ladies standing near the water pump with their buckets, a crowd near the golgappa stall etc when a lady fondly called as Vimala mausi in that area approached him knowing him to be the damaad of the Gupta parivaar, Arnav babua as Buaji addresses him.

As soon as she approached near him his hands automatically went to his cheeks saving himself from the pulling of cheeks gesture by the old ladies of that area.

Vimala mausi passed a full fledged smile to Arnav and said, 'Arre! Arnav babua, what are you doing here on the streets in this scorching sun? Is the new AC that you have ordered which consumed the electricity of this whole Lakshmi nagar not working?'

Arnav as expected said his famous words 'What the..! The AC is perfectly fine and I am here on the streets because your laadli who happens to be my wife Khushi had gone to the nearby market and I came in search of her.'

Vimala mausi: Acha? But I just saw her going towards the sweet shop asking for her ever favourite Jalebis!

Arnav gritting his teeth muttered, 'This girl and her obsession towards jalebis! There she left me to repair all those things brought by the neighbours and she happily left to have her favourite sweet'

Listening to his muttering, Vimala mausi laughed a little and said, 'Babua, Khushi is a very sweet girl who has always kept her family and loved ones before herself. I may not have the right to tell you all this but I just couldnt stop myself from telling you that always keep her happy. She doesnt prioritise herself but please make sure that you give her the importance and priority that she deserves. I have never seen her happy and smiling from the heart. She always hides the hurt of losing her parents at a tender age. Now it is your responsibility to keep her happy and I wish you both a very happy life ahead. I can see that you too love her a lot and that is the reason you are here searching for her as she is a bit late in returning home. I don't know what would have happened if she had really married that Shyam', sighed Vimala mausi with an angry look on her face.

Arnav was actually not paying his complete attention to all those she said as his eyes were constantly searching for Khushi but the last sentenced immediately drew his gaze upon her.

Arnav asked 'Shyam?' with a frown.

Vimala mausi: Haan, wahi jo shaadi shuda hoke bhi hamari khushi bitiya se sagai ki hai (yeah, the one inspite of being married got engaged to our Khushi)

'He was married?' asked Arnav not exactly knowing this complete story. He had known that Khushi got engaged to some guy but he did not remember his name and the truth about his marital status. All he knew was Khushi crying on his shoulders saying that her engagement is broken.

When he was in these thoughts, Vimala mausi continued, 'He portrayed to be an orphan and stayed as a paying guest in Madhumatiji's house and cheated that family. Thank god our Khushi bitiya got saved even before something major happened. I don't know what the education is for if there is no manners and discipline among people. He called himself to be a lawyer and he did such a cheap act. Anyways all that is past, now Khushi bitiya seems to be happy in her marriage and her sasuraal', smiled Vimala mausi heartily.

This time Arnav did not miss her conversation and was listening to her very keenly. The moment she mentioned Shyam to be a lawyer, somewhere fear crept inside him imagining the Shyam she mentioned to be his brother-in-law. And that's when Arnav tried to connect the dots. The period Vimala mausi mentioned was exactly the time when Shyam was out of city and now he could recollect that Shyam and Khushi never came face to face in Raizada mansion. So that meant either both the Shyams were the same person and Khushi was innocent or Khushi and Shyam were cheating as he knew. But somehow he wanted to believe the first possibility to be true and at the same time the probability of Khushi being innocent created a lot of fear and guilt inside him as he made a mistake by not trusting her and married her forcefully.

That was when he realised that Khushi is still unaware of the real reason behind their marriage and his cold reaction towards her. His guilt increased many folds that he literally felt his throat choking. But all that had to wait. First he has to dig deep into this and find out who the person Shyam was whom Khushi got engaged to. Hence he requested Vimala mausi whether she can identify Shyam if shown a photo.

'Of course bitwa! I can definitely identify him. Afterall he was regarded the most sweetest person in Lakshmi nagar before his actual truth came out. Every person in Lakshmi nagar knows about him and his wrong deeds to Gupta family', said Vimala mausi.

Luckily Arnav had a photo of Shyam in his phone that was taken in one of the parties he hosted and showed it to Vimala mausi.

The expression Vimala mausi made on her face after seeing the photo almost confirmed Arnav's doubts to be true.

'He is the one bitwa!' cried Vimala mausi and Arnav felt the ground shaking under his feet. He did not know whether he should be happy or not. He was happy because his Khushi was innocent (yes! HIS Khushi! Afterall he loves her) but his fear and guilt raised so much about Khushi's reaction if she comes to know the truth about their sudden marriage.

Vimala mausi exclaimed, 'But babua, how come you have his photo in your phone? Do you know him?'

Arnav hesitated and replied, 'No mausi, this one is from a party and since he is a well known lawyer, I just had a doubt whether it was him.'

Vimala mausi sighed and said, 'Okay bitwa, its getting late. I have to leave now. Your Khushi might be on her way to home.'

The way Vimala mausi said YOUR Khushi automatically brought a smile on his lips and he thanked her and left from there. But that smile dint stay for long. Guilt overpowered it. He was angry on himself for making a huge sin. He shouldn't have married her forcefully.

But wait! The reason he married her was the scene he saw on the terrace. What was that? Why was Khushi telling that scumbag to leave his Di?

'Chod dijiye Anjaliji ko'

Why did Khushi say that? Did he get to know only the half truth? May be she was saying something else. Dammit! He should have stayed there for longer and heard their full conversation. His impulsive nature made him take hasty decisions and now he is surrounded with nothing but guilt.

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