“Hello everyone. Thank you all for being here to celebrate this mile stone with us and share our happiness.”
Aaliyah gasped as she was pushed away from the microphone.
“Yada yada yada Ali! I’m sure you are putting the guests to sleep!” Rahul rolled his eyes. “So peeps, getting down to business, the drinks are on your left and food beside that, enjoy and most of all, have fun! That’s a requirement…ouch! Ali!”
Aaliyah was twisting his ear, and standing with her other hand placed on her waist, while giving him a stern gaze.
“Ouch ouch ouch Okay! I’m sorry! You’re the most interesting person on this earth!” he rolled his eyes again, earning himself an even powerful ear twist. “Ow! Let me go! I’m sorry! Really!”
The guests chuckled at the siblings banter, over the years, they had not only gotten used to it, but also started looking forward to this.
“Good” Aaliyah took back the microphone.
“So as I was saying before my brother so rudely interrupted.” She glared at Rahul again, for good measure and went on. “Thanks for being here. Now I’d like to invite the two most important people in my life, to join us. Maa and dad, please join us.” she said with a beaming smile.
Everyone looked at the stairs to see the couple descend the stairs, as beautiful as ever, as right for each other as ever.
Khushi was adorned in a red sari, her husbands favorite color, and looked a dream. No wonder Mr.Raizada couldn’t take his eyes off her, even while stepping down the stairs.
And Arnav was no less, he was dressed in a black Armani suit and looked as dashing as ever. He was one of those men that got more handsome with age.
They both walked to the center of the room, and Arnav looked away from his love for a second to signal his son, who was smiling at his parents.
“Dad picked out the song for mom.” Akhil said. “We love you.”
“Yeah! Mamu is a big romantic at heart!” teased Ashu, “We just don’t get to see it, haina maasi?”
Khushi smiled at her and turned to Arnav, with a questioning glance.
Remember when I was young and so were you
And time stood still and love was all we knew
You were the first, so was I
We made love and then you cried
Arnav took Khushi into his arms, and stated slow dancing with her.
“Arnav?” she whispered, with a smile on her face. “What is all this? I thought you don’t like dancing?” she teased, remembering his aversion to anything remotely entertaining.
“And who was it that danced with you to teri meri.” he smirked. “You’ve always been the exception Khushi, and you know that.”
She flushed at the memory of their dance. Even after all these years, she couldn’t help but blush at the reminder.
” And remember the dance on our honeymoon?” he whispered in her ear.
And she smiled shyly and nodded. How could she ever forget that?
“Arnavji?” she asked when he took her onto the dance floor in the restaurant. “Arnavji! I don’t know all these dances!” she panicked.
“But I do.” he whispered in her ear, making her blush.
He pulled her close to him so that her body was aligned with his, and then lifted her by her waist and placed her feet on his.
“Arnavji! What are you doing? I am quite heavy! I’ll crush your feet!” she cried.
“Shush Khushi! You weigh as light as a feather.” he shut her up with a kiss to her cheek.
They danced like that for what felt like hours, caressing each other, teasing touches, flirty smiles, suggestive eyes. And when they couldn’t take it anymore, he carried her to their cottage.
They made love that night, for the first time.
Each touch promising their faith in each other, each kiss reassuring their trust, and each whisper pledging their undying love for the other.
Remember when we vowed the vows and walked the walk
Gave our hearts, made the start, it was hard
We lived and learned, life threw curves
There was joy, there was hurt
“And our second wedding, do you remember that?” he asked kissing her forehead.
She looked him in the eyes with her love shining in hers and that was all the answer he needed.
“Khushi?” he whispered, as they lay in each others arms after another night of lovemaking.
“Hmm..” she hummed, unable to talk, still.
“Marry me?” he asked.
She stopped her caressing hands, and pushed herself up an her hand to look at him. “Arnav, we are already married, remember?” she asked with amusement.
“No, Khushi, I married you, forcefully.” he whispered in a chocked voice. “Will you marry me? By your own choice? Now? For our first anniversary?”
She smiled through her tears and nodded.
And they had gotten married with all the pomp and circumstance Khushi had wanted.
Another mistake was corrected, and another foundation for their relationship was built.
Remember when old ones died and new were born
And life was changed, disassembled, rearranged
We came together, fell apart
And broke each other’s hearts
Their eyes met, and they both remembered the hard times they’ve been through.
Nani had died a couple of years after Rahul was born. She passed away peacefully, knowing all her grandchildren were happy.
Anjali married Abhi, who she had met during a volunteer project she had started up after recovering from Shyam’s deceit. She had come out a stronger person, learning to see the world outside of her rose tinted glasses.
Arnav and Khushi had fought a lot too, but they had come out stronger with each fight, secure in the knowledge that their relationship was stronger than any of the fights they ever had or will have.
Remember when the sound of little feet
Was the music we danced to week to week
Brought back the love, we found trust
Vowed we’d never give it up
“Rahul! Get back here right now!” Khushi was running behind her youngest son with food, trying to get him to eat.
She had just put a sick Ali to sleep, and was exhausted.
She saw Arnav enter the house and sweep his running son up into his arms, throwing him in air and catching him, causing their whole house to reverberate with his laughter.
“Don’t pamper him, Arnav!” Khushi yelled “He has been a little menace all day.”
Arnav looked at his son and asked very seriously “Were you trouble today rahul?”
And Rahul, of course, oh so innocently shook his head in negative.
“See Khushi, he wasn’t trouble at all” Arnav said pointing at his son.
“Oh! Of course! I am the delusional one! Dad and son are just sweethearts!” Khushi huffed and turned away.
Arnav came close to her and wrapped his other hand around her waist, and kissed her cheek, whispering “I love you.”
Rahul too, imitating his dad, kissed his mother’s cheek and whispered “wuv you” causing Khushi to smile and forget all about her anger.
Remember when thirty seemed so old
Now lookin’ back, it’s just a steppin’ stone
To where we are, where we’ve been
Said we’d do it all again
“I turned thirty today Anrav! I am old!” Arnav had woken up to her sniffling.
She was as crazy as she was at eighteen. He sometimes couldn’t believe that she was a mother of three, she behaved like such a child herself.
“Khushi, why are you worrying. You were fine last year.” Arnav sighed.
“Yeah, but I was still in my twenties then! Now I’m old, you’ll find someone young and attractive and leave me for her!” she cried.
“What the…? Khushi! You are nuts!” he yelled.
And she cried some more.
He had later pacified her saying she was the only one for him, to which she replied.
“Of course, if I’m thirty, you’re 38! Old! No one, except me, is going to love you anyway” she said flippantly, causing him to go “What the…” again.
Remember when we said when we turned gray
When the children grow up and move away
We won’t be sad, we’ll be glad
For all the life we’ve had
And we’ll remember when
“So? Do you still love me Mrs. Raizada? I am old now.” he teased her.
“Hmmm…” she pretended to think. “It is quite hard to stay in love with such an old man, but what to do, I, unfortunately, fell for your non-existent charms, so yes, I guess, I do still love you.” she said with a mischievous smile.
He pinched her waist discreetly causing her to gasp.
She punched him in the chest for his cheeky efforts.
He held her close, wrapped his arms around her and kissed her head. She closed her eyes in bliss.
“I love you” she whispered.
He reveled in her love for him, and closing his eyes, whispered “I love you too.”