SS: I-4: Amidst Sound And Silence.

 

Khushi clicked on the next patient on list to access his electronic chart. He was new. Her eyes skimmed over the history of presenting illness, entered earlier by the triage nurse, before flicking to the past, social and medication histories. She gathered wheat from the chaff, so to speak, a skill she’d learnt, and continued to learn, from not only years of rigorous training but each experience as a practitioner as well. It was a skill she’d gradually begun to operate at a subconscious level without realizing.

After one last measured glance at the vitals, she rose from her chair to head to the examination room.

Fever. Tachycardia. Low Pulse Ox. Productive Cough x 3 days. Chills. Headache. 35 year old. Smoker.

She knocked and entered the exam room, going over the ‘smile, self introduce and hand shake routine’ with mechanical precision, a part of her brain noting a clammy palm and sickness glazed brown eyes.

What with Mr. Garcia’s broken English and Khushi’s rusted high school Spanish, communication proved to be a bit of a challenge, which was luckily not insurmountable; and by the end of a meticulous auscultation of lungs, Khushi had a presumptive diagnosis of Community Acquired Pneumonia in mind.

Contrary to what medical dramas and their spectacular success would have us believe, one of the commonest maxims ingrained in the minds of medical students the world over is the absolute need to think horses and not zebras upon hearing hooves beats. Irrespective of how tempting delving deep into the ocean of medical knowledge or how liberating letting one’s mind wander in the locales of rare and exotic diagnoses might seem.

After verbally ordering a Chest X-Ray with two views, Khushi went back to her office. She pulled the next chart, a 19 year old with burning during urination. She was still being triaged and not yet ready for her. It seemed like a clear cut case of UTI and Khushi rested her back to steal a moment, the first since morning, to relax. It had been non stop since morning…or ever since she joined this hospital based practice a month ago. But despite the workload being just short of overwhelming, like she’d fully expected it to when she first joined, her new job had several aspects, besides excellent pay and benefits, that worked in it’s favor. A modern well equipped office. Well trained and amiable supporting staff. It’s commitment to medical ethics and evidence based medicine.

Also, setting all these worthy cerebral reasons aside, there was her new colleague, Dr. Das, or Debanti, as she now called her pronounced the correct way, who contributed significantly in making her work environment a space she liked stepping out of her apartment for each morning.

They shared many interests besides an office and many a minutes between patients were spent on bursts of inconsequential chatter on topics as varied as politics to medicine to husbands to television.

“Dr. Raizada”, an MA called from the nursing station, “The X-ray’s up”.

Khushi walked over to the digital X-ray monitor, her eyes flickering with surprise as they stilled over the unexpected. A hilar mass and right upper lung atelectasis or collapse.

So yes, once in a while, one does get surprised with a zebra, or at least the possibility of one, as well. Exhaling sharply, she headed out to do what was still one of the least favorites things about her chosen profession. Again, contrary to what many medical dramas would have us believe, it’s widely acknowledged that most doctors find it difficult to stay emotionally detached from patients to the extent of only viewing them as subjects. And provided these emotions are not paralyzing, like they rarely are, no merit has ever been found in keeping a natural empathetic response and it’s resultant melancholy suppressed. Rather the opposite.

After calling his girlfriend from the waiting room, she gently broke the news, watching as a familiar spectrum of emotion- from shock and denial to anxiety and hope- flitted across their features. The heaviness in her heart was familiar too as she let herself out of the room after a while, quietly closing the door on the young couple.

There was no time to ponder upon mortality and existence however as she arranged for hospital admission for further diagnostic workup. A process that is normally straightforward was complicated in this case by Mr. Garcia’s uninsured status. It took Khushi twice as long because not only did she have to contact social work for financial assistance but also convince him of the absolute necessity for hospital admission. Irrespective of how straitened his circumstances were at the moment.

 

After sending them off to the hospital and seeing a couple more patients, she sank deep in her chair, slipping her pumps, pointy toed Pradas she’d recently splurged on in a rare self indulgent moment, off and sighing audibly. It was lunch time. It was signaled by an anticipatory rumble in her stomach.

After picking her phone and quickly checking for updates on real and virtual worlds, she slipped her feet back in shoes and rose, looking soft, chic and professional in an off white long sleeved ruffled blouse and black trousers. She shrugged her lab coat off, placing it next to the stethoscope that rested on the mahogany surface of the table before her.

Her lunch, packed and brought from home, waited in the office fridge and she was on the way to get to it when a sensation akin to a cool breeze, a silken cloth brushing across her heart, made her footsteps pause. Her lips curved on their own accord, amused at her own reaction. With Arnav’s office just a few blocks away, it wasn’t as if it were the first time he’d unexpectedly dropped in on her.

She could hear him just outside the door talking to Debanti. Her mind listened to his voice without paying attention to the actual words.

The humor of it’s cadence.The gravel of it’s timbre. The brevity of his sentences.

Was it normal that after months of being together, unexpectedly hearing his voice still sent a frisson down her veins? Still brought the butterflies back to the pit of her stomach? Did he feel the same too?

Her lips widened when he appeared at the doorway and greeted her with a cheeky wink that tugged at her heart in inexplicable ways. A treat to the eyes in a blue shirt that he’d recently bought for him, black trousers and silver tie, her eyes flared a tad lustily as he crossed the room to reach her.

Her eyes widened in protest as he pulled her flush against him, holding her way too intimately than the situation warranted, his hands resting possessively on her derrière.
His eyes danced with mischief as he met her eyes. Their underlying happiness didn’t fail to make her heart dewy as usual.

“Erm…Dr. Raizada, this is my office…”, she began to be interrupted by him leaning in to let their lips meet.

“I’m sorry, Dr. Raizada”, Arnav said appearing deliciously unrepentant as he released her after a quick kiss, “I didn’t mean to embarrass you but you have no business looking so damn sexy. I was wondering if I could take you out to lunch”.

“I have to be here by two”, Khushi replied smiling at the Lipotor wall clock, “I don’t think I’ll be able to get back on time”.

“There’s this Italian place right around the corner that somebody told me about, Khush. I promise to bring you back in time for your next patient”, said Arnav seriously with a subtle shift in demeanor.
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As he drove to the restaurant in his black beamer, she sat relaxed in a cocoon of his cologne, presence and filtered sunshine. Her mind, working on subconscious connections, wandered to the patient she’d seen earlier in the day. Mr. Garcia. His girlfriend’s bewilderment at life that changes in the blink of an eye floated before her. She wondered what they was doing at that same moment of time. She thought about time and the way each moment brought different things to different people. It was unfair. It was unpredictable. It was life.

After a short drive of less than five minutes, she found herself seated in a small but critically acclaimed Italian restaurant, waiting for their order.

 

Arnav held her fingers across the table, caressing them gently with his thumb as they rested on the table. Khushi smiled into his eyes, her soul instinctively recognizing, for that moment at least, the blessing moments like these were.

His eyes flickered as a memory, several memories, from last night suffused them, slowly spiking their caramel with a hint of satin and vodka. A tiny smile lifted a corner of his mouth. She read his eyes and a furious red color spread across her cheeks. Her long lashes curled against her cheeks as she was unable to stop herself from blinking and averting her eyes.

Geez. What were they even thinking?, she mused. Her mind traveled back to a conversation from last night. It had begun on a light note amidst much laughter and derision directed at a popular albeit braindead movie playing on cable…progressed to silliness on bed and ended with a half-serious experimentation in soft domination- submission that they surprised themselves by actually kind of…liking. Although they were too well adjusted with themselves and with each other to be shamed by it.

As images of unprecedented boldness on her part flooded her mind, her cheeks reddened with a fresh surge of color. She looked up when he called her name. Her name. His lips made it sound like a caress. It was interesting how his lips made it sound different at different times, depending upon the emotion and mood it emerged in. A caress. A temptation. A plea. A command. A prayer. A benediction.

His eyes were somber even as his fingers weaved lightly with hers. “Khushi, promise me something”.

“What?, she asked intrigued by the sudden seriousness in his eyes, the bobbing of his Adam’s apple.

“That you’ll never allow me to do…or coerce you into doing something…you don’t want to. On the bed or elsewhere. I know I can get…carried away sometimes”.

It was only when Khushi assured him with dignity that she rarely let people do that to her and had no intention of letting him get away with it either that Arnav relaxed and smiled, disentangling their hands when the server showed up with their orders.

 

 

Khushi took another bite of her Chicken & Shrimp Carbonara, spending a moment or two in pure gastronomic heaven. Taking a sip of Diet Sprite, she remembering something. Something that had never forayed too far from consciousness anyway.

“Tomorrow is Friday”, she said, her voice a little high pitched with barely concealed excitement.

Arnav nodded smilingly in acknowledgement, polishing off the last of his entree when Khushi wasn’t even close to being half-way through. The restraint in his nature was like a beautiful foil and balance for her effusiveness. Pushing his plate back, he linked his hands on the table and looked at her. A ghost of a smile played silently on his lips while his eyes whispered of sunshine, sea and promises…

They were leaving for their long overdue honeymoon the following day…a week long vacation on a small private island in Florida Keys.
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In sharp contrast to the heat and light of Florida but not unexpectedly so, Ohio groaned under bucket loads of snow, ice and slush. A few lonely snowflakes still spiraled down from a gray sky at will, splattering onto a dirty windshield before being swept aside by a squeaking wiper.

Anita, her cheeks pink and slightly chapped from snow, drove her father to a doctor’s appointment and she did not look forward to the visit at all.

Although it were Aman’s father who was her dad’s doctor, Aman worked in the same office and chances of not running into him were slim to say the least.

“Maybe he’ll be rounding at the hospital or something”, she thought with her eyes brightening before reprimanding herself for being a coward, “Why should I be embarrassed to meet him? I have less, if not nothing, to be ashamed of anyway”.

She realized her father was asking her something and blinking, she glanced sideways with a blank quizzical expression in her eyes.

“Will you come to Sameer’s engagement this weekend?, Navin repeated the question. Sameer and Anita had been in the same schools from Kindergarten onwards and their parents had been friends for almost a decade longer than that. Despite their parents’ attempts to get them to forge a friendship or perhaps because of it, they had never been able to stand each other as children. Their fights were the stuff legends are made of and as they grew older, as is often the case, they just disappeared from each other’s orbits, putting on veneers of social affability upon increasingly infrequent collisions.

“I don’t think so, Dad. I have lots of assignments due and I’m feeling really stressed out”, she said with her eyes on road.

“And it’s not even like he’s going to miss me or anything”, she added with a cheeky grin.

“And that might be the understatement of the century”, said her father with part horror, part amusement, “Remember that party when you locked him in a bathroom after a…scuffle”.

“He wouldn’t stop making fun of Di’s insulin pump”, Anita cried with an unrepentant twinkle in her eyes, “And that was him in a nutshell at that age. A mean, annoying bully. And just when I thought he was finally growing out of that phase, high-school happened…making him meaner, weirder and full of pretentious twaddle”.

Navin, who disliked back biting on principle, frowned mildly in disapproval. Anita got his silent drift and smiled. “Don’t get me wrong, Dad. That’s not the reason I’m not coming to his engagement. I wish him all the best, I really do, but I have a lot of do”.

Turning her Honda Accord around a corner, she asked mischievously, “So are Uncle, Aunty happy with his choice?. His blonde and blue eyed would be fiancée had also been his high school sweetheart and someone Anita didn’t care for any more than Samir. It was truly a match made in hell, she was tempted to think but didn’t. Almost.

“I think we both know the answer to that already”, Navin laughed, “But what can they do…they’ll just have to grin…and bear it, I guess. But I’m sure they’re hoping it works out for them and they have a happy life together”.

While Navin reflected upon the various intricacies that went into making the navigation of an inter-racial relationship even more difficult than what it is for most relationships these days, Anita, for no particular reason, pondered along somewhat similar lines as well. Her thoughts, safe in the privacy of her own mind, were unfiltered by societal expectations and unfettered by a need for political correctness.

“I can never imagine myself falling in love with a person from a different race. Period. And it’s not about skin color. Nope. As horribly prejudiced as it may sound, it almost seems, to me at least, that their souls are a different color too. Why else would looking inside their eyes seem like traveling through a foreign terrain sometimes? When there is little you can recognize. When there is little that is familiar. When there is little you can connect with. Enough for friendships definitely…but love? Not too sure about that…But I’m sure that’s just me because it happenes with other people all the time”.

She wished souls knew what their colors were.
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What color…is the color of your soul?
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Arian wore a UF Gators T-shirt, it’s gray, orange and blue colors blending with that of twilight falling around him. He was on the deck of a rental home their band usually used for practice. It belonged to their bassist Daniel’s step dad. It was falling to pieces but since it was free, no one really cared.

They had a couple gigs on the road coming up that weekend and irrespective of whether they caught the eye…or rather ear…of an indie label producer they’d been in touch with or not, he couldn’t wait to get started on the rehearsals.

He could hear sounds coming from the garage as they got ready to play, equipment being moved around, cords being plugged in, strings being plucked for tuning.

A surge of adrenaline shot through his body as he played the strings in his head. With an eye on the horizon, he leaned an elbow on the rotting wood rail and raised his Budweiser to his lips. A pair of arms reached him from behind, coiling themselves around his body.

His nostrils flared as he recognized that smell wrapped around her usual floral scent. He shrugged her arms off and turned around to face her.

“Why aren’t you in the garage with everybody else?, she asked. He could read a subtext of defiance in her sentence.

“Because I can’t stand the smell of that potent shit you were toking in there. And you know it”, he said, his stubbled jawline taut with restraint.

She rolled her eyes and laughed at him. It infuriated him like only she could.

“You’re such a buzzkill”, she said.

Their eyes clashed before he turned away sharply to go inside, the adrenaline in his blood mixing with fire and shadows. Even before he’d slung his guitar across his body and felt it’s coolness under his fingertips, he knew he would give his best, his face melting best, that evening. For some reason it had ceased to matter like it used to..
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The palm leaves were gray shadows and silhouettes with light from half a moon shifting and rolling like quick silver in the breeze.

The sky was the densest black they’d ever seen, far removed as they were from civilization and by extension any artificial light to mar it’s darkness with. It was weird to think that the dim light from the Tiki torches on the deck was the only light within miles of the ocean that surrounded them.

They lay on a hammock on their backs with Khushi nestled between his legs, his arms folded over her. They gazed at the sky in silence, at the stars that appeared unnaturally large and close…at a vision that was aesthetically appealing…at inanimate celestial objects that stirred souls in unfathomable ways…at a vastness that aligned unasked questions with undefinable but satisfactory answers.

Khushi raised an arm to the sky. “I could almost pluck them off the sky if I wanted to”, she said with childlike glee.

“And I’ll take them from you to keep in my pocket”, said Arnav somberly.

“In your pocket?, repeated Khushi, her teeth gleaming in the dark, “Why?

“I’ll save them to make sure your eyes never run out of them”

 

Aap ki aakhon mein kuchh meheke hue se raaz hain,

Aap se bhi khoobsoorat aap ke andaaz hain.

 

 

A/N: Thank you so much for your kind feedback 💕. I hope you’re still enjoying reading my ramblings about these characters and their lives 🙂

Next Chapter: Next Friday.

Love always,

Jenny

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130 thoughts on “SS: I-4: Amidst Sound And Silence.

  1. Amazing update. Loved the Anita and Navin friendly conversation. Considering the present mindset of Anita let’s see how Arian and Anita fall in love.

    Arnav and Khush enjoying their honeymoon loved the Arnav words.They are in so much love with each other.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Jen… Loving Arnav and Khushi as a married couple! Blissful 😍

    Nice, Honeymoon also happening… So happy their getting all the happiness! Love their conversation on the hammock, both are adorable👌

    Fabulous update 👏👏👏

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Wow! Jen this is a beautiful update😘 The song is soothing and you are certainly a wonderful paediatrician and amazing writer😘👍

    Arnav and Khushi are madly in love…their romantic moment over lunch break and staring the sky to capture the stars were mesmerising😍😍😍 guess both of them deserve this happiness after all that they’ve been through. Hope they’ll share more and more of these sort of moments as time goes.

    Anita and her father’s convo was good. Somehow I feel that Aman is the best match for her…let’s see how it goes.

    Will wait for the next update eagerly dear. Thanks!

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Firstly, lovely chapter as always Jenn… Life’s just gotten so busy suddenly, leaves me hardly any time to sit & write.

    Secondly, it just broke my heart reading about Mr. Garcia… Life’s way too painful at times. Sigh!

    That is why, like Khushi, it makes me want to cherish & thank the Lord for the blissful moments in their lives at the moment. We & they all know how fleeting happiness is… One should forever be grateful for all the blessings (big & small) in our lives. You never know, it might all get snatched away in a moment’s notice… 😢

    Now to the yummy parts…

    ❤️❤️ Aap ki aankhon mein kuch maheke hue se raaz hain – 2

    Aap se bhi khoobsurat aap ke andaaz hai

    Aap ki aankhon mein kuch maheke hue se raaz hain ❤️❤️

    Hadn’t heard this song in a long, long time, thanks for bringing it up here in this chapter Jenn. 💕 This song just wants to make me swoon away…

    And these lines were playing in my ears when the suave & sexy Dr. Raizada entered & greeted his absolutely svelte & delectable wife with a cheeky wink & grabbed her possessively by her derrière. 😜My, my what an absolutely display of affection from this incredible beautiful couple, they make me teary eyed. 💞Meri nazar na lage inko.

    So, naughty Dr. Raizada has been up to his tricks again… 😘 Poor Khushi, she’s so embarrassed just remembering a night full of bold explorations… But fear not dear girl, when you have an absolute darling of a husband to experiment with & provide you the loving encouragement & support to make you feel absolutely comfortable & confident to boldly go where you have never gone before… 😜 And he is absolutely adorable to want to make sure, you won’t ever let him cross the line & make you uncomfortable with anything, although, with a thorough gentleman like that, it is hard to imagine, why any lady ever would…

    Anita… Aman or not Aman… That’s the question plaguing her as always… And it doesn’t help when her heart goes pit-a-pat at the mere prospect of seeing him again after so many months… My two cents, it would do her a world of good to meet Aman in person… A much-needed break from all the roller-coaster of emotions that she had experienced before will certainly help put things in the right perspective this time… Is she really over him & immune to him as she claims to be or not??

    Lastly Arian, I seem to like this guy more & more each time… Yeah, stay away from the evil stuff & all the people associated with them… This is a guy, who certainly has a head above his shoulders & puts it to good use… I wonder how Anita will still explain her views when she begins to like this guy a lot?? 😜

    That’s all for now Jenn. Lovely chapter… 👌

    P.S. Thanks a bunch for including their professional life in this chapter as requested, it made a huge difference. ❤️

    Secondly, phirse honeymoon?? What were they doing for six months in Srinagar?? Not that I’m complaining… 😜

    Thirdly, why Dr. Gupta & not Dr. Khushi Raizada?? Don’t tell me she is one of those female libs after all… 😒

    Liked by 3 people

  5. Lovely chapter Jen. Hats off to you for juggling so many things – makes me feel bad when I crib about my day even though I have grown up kids.

    Always used to wonder how you write the medical stuff and just realised you are doc. Great

    Arnav seems to still harbour a fear as far as his relantionship with Kushi is concerned . Probably it is b’cos of his bad experience in the past and he doesn’t want to screw up this one as it means a lot to him. I liked with way Kushi reassured him.

    I am looking forward to Anita’s love story – not a fan of Aman though

    Liked by 2 people

  6. All that khushi thought of life and its way of surprising us was so her. She can never be detached if othere misery even if she tries for her profession.

    “Khushi raised an arm to the sky. “I could almost pluck them off the sky if I wanted to”, she said with childlike glee.

    “And I’ll take them from you to keep in my pocket”, said Arnav somberly.

    “In your pocket?, repeated Khushi, her teeth gleaming in the dark, “Why?

    “I’ll save them to make sure your eyes never run out of them”.

    Oh my Arnav just stole my heart all over again with these lines.

    Ain’t Anita running ahead of herself and predicting of future and the way a heart works? She needs to live a little, again, and live in the moment.

    Her reaction to how that sameer bullied her di was so like her. No one hurts her di and get away with it.

    Arian, seems to be a responsible guy. One who indulge in life for adventure but doen’t turn his life into one.

    Liked by 2 people

  7. This update was so beautiful it had so many layers yet it was just beautiful
    Ooo Anita I think your going to think to your own words soon 😉😏 I really can’t wait for Anita love story to start she deserves it but will it be with Aman or Ariana sorry for the late comment

    Liked by 1 person

  8. WOW…another beautiful chapterJenny…loved the way you described Khushi’s work experience and her point of view regarding patients. Nice fantasies by Mr&Mrs Dr. Raizada.
    Anita and Navin conversation was interesting to read.
    You are not only a brilliant doctor but a writer too.

    Liked by 2 people

  9. lovely chapter…feel good to read about kushi and her work experience previously we read about Arnav what a fine ophthalmologist he is…and now kushi. the way she is taking care of her patients and her keep her emotions well balanced.. as an young doctor she is balancing very well.. love the way Arnav stop by for lunch.. so MR nd MRS Raizada work places are very close by…love their moments they needed it after all they went through… jenny no materr how many time we read you always makes each and every moment of Arnav and kushi special…

    Anita poor girl she is searching searching…I guess aman is waitng for anita tooo.love the conversation between anita and her father…

    last part is intereresting can not wait to read more…

    thank you for the update….

    cheers.if id kushiarnav1.

    Liked by 2 people

  10. what an amazing update…
    “I’ll save them to make sure your eyes never run out of them” superb line

    both of them working.. wow the way she took care of her patient shows how good she is

    loved the surprise visit by Arnav at lunch time, benefit of having their work place is nearby

    Anita too good..

    looking forward

    Liked by 2 people

  11. I just loved the adorableduo of Dr,Raizadas…
    Though Khushi pleases him per his wish,he deosn’t want her to do anything if she doesn’twanna do..
    She assures him..rather promises him that she won’t do it..
    They r LOVE ❤

    Waiting for further updates..

    Arre..what about Khushi's dream..
    I hope nothing bad will happen …

    Liked by 1 person

  12. I simply loved this – What color is the color of your soul?
    Such deep thinking by little Anita! I think she has grown up in the past year because of all the things that their family went through!
    Arian is such a grounded person trying to make his mark in the big bad world! It takes a lot of discipline and determination to do that!
    And what are the Raizada’s upto? Experimenting and all😉
    Love the respect they have for each other!
    Do we get to see more snippets from their honeymoon?
    Beautiful update Jenny!

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Silver Sands is such a soothing story to read. You really do have a way with words, I am always left with a smile on my face and peace in my heart at the end of every chapter Jenny.

    Arnav and Khushi have come such a long way, they’re enjoying this beautiful blissful phase of love, intimacy, romance, intensity, togetherness. As a reader I feel so content. Because we have been following them since SF, and after the struggle they faced, they definitely deserve this happiness. They seemed to have indulged into something new gathering from this update 😉 I feel cheated now!

    Just when I think Anita and I could not be anymore similar, you throw in another layer.The statement she made, regarding loving someone from a different race is a question that runs through my mind every now and then.

    The more I read about Arian, the more I seem to be falling in love with him. I think I might be rooting for him and Anita. I can’t say, but it will be quite interesting to see their equation if they do get together, especially after what Anita has said.

    The last bit stole the update for me. Arnav and Khushi enjoying their honeymoon.

    Beautiful chapter.
    Looking forward to the next one.

    PS: yet to catch up with the latest chapters of ALS, will do that soon, my schedule is slightly hectic at the moment.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I love your comments Vani, they’re always so beautifully eloquent and lucid! Glad you’re enjoying both stories..,I always look forward to your comments dear friend but no worries..,AD is far more important. Hope it settles down soon 🙂

      Like

  14. Awesome updates.. So ARSHI have finally moved in their new home and Arnav cooking food was lovely thing however his dear wifey is amazing distraction for him. ARSHI have set in their usual routine life with both working and spending whenever they get time together and wow now they are on honeymoon.. They both seems to be enjoying it to the hilt.. Anita’s words were surprising what is she meant by it.. Loved the awesome update 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  15. oh dear Lord!!! Could they be any more romantic??? I guess yes..in the next update…How do u do it? I am so glad to read the update each time…Arnav and khushi breathe for each other….such a blissful romance….
    As much I love them, I guess I am equally waiting for Anita to have her share of love…ANd oh boy, did u mention Aaron??…I so want them to meet, already….
    Goin to be so interesting….
    As always, a beautiful update 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  16. ❤ Wonderful chapter Jen. I have a lot of thoughts on key issues you have brought up in this chapter and will be back tomorrow to comment. Love that derriere squeeze!!!!
    Good night for now.
    Hugs!!!

    Liked by 1 person

  17. Finished reading all the chapters.
    Can’t express in words how I’m enjoying this story!
    It’s just wonderful to see progression in Arnav and Khushi’s married life, how they are adapting each other’s habits, getting used to with each other’s life. But at the same time to make their life sizzling they are dating like GF-BF. And now they are honeymooning in Florida keys. I’m enjoying it even more as they are in my home town. Couple of my friends live in those bay, inlet or ocean front high rise building. The ambiance of those apartments are actually very romantic and absolutely perfect for our hot couple. No wonder why Arnav burned the food on his first day cooking. Anyway their pizza and wine was even more exciting than desi dal-chaul,

    Anita is still in the trance of Aman! poor lovelorn girl! she also has very low self esteem, what made me sad actually. I’m sure she is a very attractive girl. But her thought on relationship between different race made me laugh. Cause I can anticipate she will soon be in love with Arian. Arian seems an amazing guy.

    Waiting for some hot carnal romance on the private beach.

    Liked by 1 person

  18. Jen, made it before the next update….. 😆 ❤

    This chapter has a lot of underlying ”life happens” intense realities embedded in a fictional relationship saga and I love your choices of phrases and words you bring back to memory.

    “Toking”, time flies….last used/heard, college memories. Whether one ”tokes” in the legal with warning or the banned substance, both equally stinky, disgusting and deadly hazardous to life, not just to one’s self, but also for the people that love them and are left helpless. Mr. Garcia is a prime example stated here.

    Reality check….“hear no evil, speak no evil, see no evil”….well……just like premarital sex happens; so does “toking”. College campuses are fertile land for lots of forbidden apples!!! Just saying…my thoughts.

    ”Gather wheat from the chaff, so to speak…”, need to practice more of this myself….haha!!! 😉 😉

    I truly hope, one former Dr. Khushi Gupta has put her foot down and BANNED the cigarettes from Arnav.
    Speaking of which, is Khushi keeping her name for the professional aspect of her life? Would be an interesting notion and wonder what Arnav would feel deep down. I saw a mix of Dr Gupta and Dr. Raizada for her. 😆

    Kindness, compassion and a human feeling doctor is/should be a must for everyone and I am delighted once more that you have shown that interaction with your brilliant example of a diagnosis of a rather ill patient and his doctor. The compassionate lingering thoughts of her patient that remain with Khushi in her blissful moments are priceless.

    Will come back to Drs. R last… visualizing that derrière squeeze… 😆

    Anita – Jen, what have you done!!! 😆
    You have created a pretty complex young lady here. You have made her a Gemini, getting over a youthful crush on a slightly older man formerly intended for her sister, a new friend in the making, closer to her age, but with a new array of soul searching. So looking forward to her journey and musings. She will challenge us all!!
    She wants to maintain a distance from Aman, I don’t blame her. Given that it just may be impossible at times, being he is Navin’s doctor’s and friend’s son plus connected to her cousin plus being in Cleveland. The run-in will happen when it is destined and while it will most likely be uncomfortable it should go drama free….me thinks!!
    Racial differences, will keep my thoughts for later on in the story, but for now…it is so easy to see the difference when it’s so obvious a difference as is the case with Sameer and his Lady, but what about the ones in the diverse “Homeland” where there are the likes of …say…three Indians Amar, Akbar and Anthony.
    Navin is a fair person, but how will he think when and if the situation arises with Anita. It’s easy to remain indifferent when it is someone else’s issue.
    Again these are my thoughts, observations and opinions and not meant to hurt anyone’s feelings. Love to all. ❤

    Arian – Practical, grounded, solo rider, not a crowd follower, will go after what he wants with full gusto, but will not sell his soul. He may not be too tied down with hard-nosed, societal and familial do’s and don'ts, but he most definitely will have his own beliefs, wants and desires that will not be that different from a worthy adversary he may face in the future.

    Now…Drs. Raizada – aren’t we all always reliving our own loves and passions!!!
    When you think back, Khushi and Arnav never had those easy going dating days and moments early on in their relationship. The way I see it, they are doing that now without any kind of hindrances holding them back. They have their own cozy home, fresh start in a new sunny environment, nice jobs, discovering each other and just overall basking in their love.
    Arnav will always be cognizant of what life dealt him for his past rash self indulgent decisions that he will hold on tight to his security blankie, his teddy bear 😉 and be worrisome for possibly forgetting some celebration (last chapter) .
    Physical intimacy, sensuality, passions and exploring pleasures….it’s all about giving and receiving with full TRUST and ACCEPTANCE. Be bold I say….looks like Khushi took the lead ….well done Khushi and Arnav for making it memorable.
    He was still on his euphoric high and simply had to see his bold and beautiful wife, grab that delectable derrière in his big warm palms and reassure her and himself that all is well. ❤
    His cute blushing bride, the twinkle in her eyes….. damn right he is going to save all the stars in his pockets for her!!!
    Honeymoon on a private Island in the Florida Keys…..now that’s more memories to savor Amidst Sounds and Silence. These two will always be on a honeymoon of their own kind…not the run of the mill thing for them.
    Beautiful sensuous hummable song…..love it. ❤

    Tried to keep it brief….but alas!!!
    Love and hugs. ❤

    Liked by 3 people

  19. Remembered….putting the stars in the pocket…..it’s in the movie Love Actually..the Christmas Pageant at the school.
    It’s a Perry Como song from the 50’s….

    Catch a falling star and put it in your pocket
    Never let it fade away
    Catch a falling star and put it in your pocket
    Save it for a rainy day
    For love may come and tap you on the shoulder some starless night
    Just in case you feel you want to hold her
    You’ll have a pocketful of starlight…..

    Liked by 2 people

  20. I read some of the comments and now I don’t know what to say that hasn’t already been said. I knew there was a reason why I comment first and read other comments after that.😉😉

    Another awesome chapter – Arnav is completely smitten.💓
    The attraction between them is so sexy.
    Love the comfort level and trust they’ve got to experiment and be secure to express themselves with reservation.
    To just be.

    Love the song ……Mehke hue khawb hai….

    Anita’s introspection is interesting especially as we know she’s going to be challenged on her belief.

    Arian is the new character and you’re building a picture of a mature, grounded and talented young man – unlike the usual stereotypical struggling singer.

    And lastly, I didn’t know you were a pediatrician. How do you manage work, AD with a pre-schooler, writing and reading / responding to your readers??

    Hats off to you Jen.🙌

    Now let me go and drown my inferiority complex in a glass of wine before I go to chapter 5.😈😈😈

    Liked by 1 person

  21. Anita has grown up here right? Surprised that she thinks she can only fall in love with someone from her own race ? She still exploring or her beliefs are set in stone. Know more as the story progresses.

    Arian..his band members smoke pot..but he does not. He is a undergrad…does not give in to peer pressure or girl friend. Considerate and sensitive of Anita’s privacy when they first met. Grounded he is different.

    The newly married couple…in love Arnav will hold stars for her 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  22. Arnav and Khushi are really very cute.. n their ankhon hi ankhon main Ishare at the restaurant was so romantic.. Him coming to surprise her at the hospital was.. they are so much in love wid each other ❤️ 💝💕 .
    Anita says she cannot imagine falling for a foreigner.. but y do I feel that something is gonna happen wid both of them.. but wat will be the scene wid Aman??
    Can’t wait for the story to progress..

    Liked by 1 person

  23. Arnav and Khushi are enjoying their blissful married life and are so in to each other❤❤
    Loved the way Arnav respected Khushi and kept respecting her wishes😍
    As far as Anita goes she’ll figure out the things that she is in middle of.
    She is introspecting and things will come out well for her.

    Liked by 1 person

  24. Errr i will be Honest that 3- three paragraph went above my head But i tired to understand And Then I love How Dr Kapoor compliment yet steal Kiss in Dr Kapoor’s Cabin 😍😍😍😍😍😍😍😍😍😍their Romantic moments Staring at Sky Together Evrything is so Mesmerizing

    Anita Oh God I am Fan of her Now “What color is the color of your soul”
    Jumping to new chapter hope i will able to finish soon and Join You all to latest update

    Liked by 1 person

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