For The Love Of A Man

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Yet another deep sigh made it’s way towards Arnav as he tried to concentrate on the delicate task of pruning his prized batch of winter roses. The frost clinging determinedly to the glass panels of his conservatory wasn’t being particularly kind to their future prospects of continued existence.

 

“Where’s the bloody engineer, dammit? He is intending to turn up this side of Christmas, isn’t he? Why did this stupid heating system have to shut itself down right now?” Muttering all sorts of dire consequences he wanted to mete out to the company in question, he turned towards the adjoining drawing room, and shouted.

 

“Khushi!”

 

“Khushi!”

 

“Khushi!”

 

“What_the … her head’s stuck in that damn laptop again. I can’t believe I’m having to compete with that … that thing for my wife’s attention! I’m going to have to get Aman to track down this Vijay bhaiya she keeps thanking and give him what for! All thanks to him, her obsession with that dratted serial continues unabated. And there are thousands of them like her out there, apparently. Unbelievable … !”

 

Walking up to where his wife was glued to her computer, sighing constantly and shaking her head at regular intervals, he opened his mouth to continue with his tirade, when he saw a tiny teardrop at the corner of her eye, debating it’s next move. He instantly reached out and obliterated it’s existence.

 

Feeling her Arnavji’s feather light touch, Khushi jerked out of her despondency and turned to look up at him.  

 

A … aap? When did you come in?”

 

“I’ve been trying to get your attention since ages Khushi. Kitni baar bola hai tumhe, that when I’m talking to you, look at me”.

 

Haan woh hum bas … “ She began, trailing off with yet another sigh.

 

Seeing her eyes glisten with the evil sprogs of that earlier teardrop, Arnav, felt his insides twist. If there was one thing that was guaranteed to unman the mighty ASR, it was the presence of tears in his wife’s eyes.

 

Hunkering down next to her, he gently cupped her face in his hands (well he did have a lot of experience of that, thanks to Di!). Drawing tiny soothing circles on her cheeks with his thumbs, he snagged her eyes with his.

 

Tum theek ho, Khushi? What’s the matter? Talk to me sweetheart.”

“It’s nothing Arnavji … just … waise bhi humme faraq nahin padtazyaada nahin anyway …  If I can’t, I can’t I guess … but if only I could … but it’s not practical … I know that … but phirbhi … “

 

“Okay stop! Take a deep breath and start again. What is not practical? And what is it that you can’t do? I thought Khushi Kumari Gupta Singh Raizada kuch bhi kar sakti hai?!”

 

Her husband’s warm teasing tone brought a small smile on Khushi’s face. How could she tell him what she wanted? He really would think she was paagal. But she knew her Laad Governor was not going to let go until he got to the bottom of her wistfulness. Mustering up her courage, and sending a quick prayer to her Devi Maiya to take care of his what_the’s, she told him exactly what her problem was.

 

Scrunching her eyes shut, she waited for the explosion … and waited …. and waited … Slowly opening her eyes one at a time, she glanced at him apprehensively. Was he so furious that bolti he band ho gayi?!

 

“So, what’s the problem? If you want to go, go. You could leave this thursday night, stay for the weekend and get back by monday morning. The meeting with Mr Singhania is scheduled for 11 o’clock, so that won’t be an issue. And I’ve already warned HP not to touch the files in my study, so no fear of them being misplaced.” he quipped.

 

Shaking her head in disbelief at this calm person sitting in front of her, she blurted out, “Humme chimti katiye! Kya hum SKD mein hain? What have you done to my Arnavji?!”

 

Giving her an amused look, well a slightly puzzled one as well at the SKD, Arnav took her hands in his.

 

“Khushi, much as it pains me to accept it, I know you are more than a little obsessed with this .. this .. Sobti chap. And if you want to go watch his movie then by all means go. I want you to be happy. I want you to follow your dreams. And if one of them is to watch his first film on the big screen, then so be it. It’s highly unlikely it’s going to be released in London anytime soon … “

 

Her outraged cry of “Arnavji” merely resulted in a raised eyebrow and a quizzical look by the man in question.

 

“Be realistic Khushi. It’s not happening. And it won’t be showing when we go back to Mumbai at the end of the month either. So, go now and stop with the sighing. Although all that hot air is good for my roses” he continued with an audacious wink.

 

Before he could say another word, Khushi had leapt on him causing him to fall back on the carpet, and was raining kisses all over his face. Now that wasn’t an unusual position for them to be in, but before he could pull her further into him, she had scrambled up and was opening her laptop hurriedly. No doubt to share her joy with the virtual world at large.

 

Arnav had tried, he really had, to understand the attraction of both Sobti and that serial which started it all. But, to no avail. He continued to be baffled at the hysteria it had generated. Sigh … love really can reduce anyone to anything. Here he was, actively encouraging his wife to fangirl over another man! He looked at his beaming wife as she tapped away on her laptop and her phone simultaneously. Her entire being vibrating with excitement. But that love can also fill your heart to bursting at seeing your beloved so happy. Besides, Khushi may fangirl over that man, but love, she would only ever love him. Of that, he didn’t have an iota of doubt. After all, he was Arnav Singh Raizada. And, hadn’t he already seen off that Salman Khan!

 

Khushi was sure she was going to faint with excitement. Her friends’ eeees and OMGs and OMFGs were feeding her frenzy. She couldn’t believe Arnavji had actually said she should go. As in, go all the way to Mumbai. From London. For the weekend. Just to watch a film. Barunji’s film! And off her brain went again, tripping over itself in elation.

 

She looked over at where her husband was speaking on the phone. No doubt instructing Amanji to book her tickets. A feeling of overwhelming love filled her. Arnavji showered her with so much love and care that she sometimes felt almost unworthy of it. She knew that somewhere in himself he hadn’t fully forgiven himself for the way he had mistrusted and ill treated her. He was always harder on himself than on anyone else.

 

Walking over to him, she hugged him from the back, sliding her arms around him and leaning her face on his shoulder. Hanging up immediately, Arnav turned around and took her in his arms. His husky whisper sending goosebumps down her spine.

 

“I love you.”

 

Hum bhi aapse, I love you dammit.”

 

“Have you spoken to Di to let her know you’re coming?”

 

“Not yet. What do I tell her though? That I’m coming to see Barunji’s film? She’ll think I’m crazy!”

 

“Well … I think she has an inkling you’re crazy anyway … “

 

“Di would never think that of me! I know, I’ll ask her to come with me.”

 

“Sure, and Mamiji and NK and Aarav and Naniji and Aakash and Payal and Bubbli and of course, Laxmi … “

 

Arnav’s eyes danced mischievously as he reminded her of that epic date that wasn’t quite a date. An involuntary answering smile made it’s way to Khushi’s face at that memory.

 

“I’ll go speak to Di.” she said making her way to their room, instructing HP on the way to bring down two suitcases from storage. Uh, it may be just for a weekend, but you need to have options okay! Just in case of … of … oh, just in case bas! Anyway, she needed to be perfectly dressed for going to see Barunji’s film. Hugging herself as another wave of exhilaration shot through her, she called Anjali in Mumbai.

 

“Di, aap kaise hain? Woh … hum .. I thought I’d come down this weekend to see all of you.”

 

“Is everything alright Khushiji? Is Chote okay? Have Chote and you fought? How come all of a sudden? Humme chinta ho rahi hai.”

 

Arrey nahin Di, aisa kuch bhi nahin hai. We are both fine. Bas, I was missing all of you so I thought I’d come for the weekend. And we could have some fun while I’m there. There’s a new film that’s releasing this friday … I think it’s called Main aur Mr Right or something …  we could go watch that if you like … “

 

“You mean Barunji’s film Khushiji?” teased a laughing Anjali, as realisation dawned on her.  

 

Aap samjh gaye Di. So much for my attempted nonchalance.”

 

“I’ll send Mohanji to buy the tickets. Shall we go on Saturday evening?”

 

“Umm, we could even go on friday afternoon if you like … on the way home from the airport even. I won’t be tired at all, I’m sure …” She said, trailing off.

 

“Accha baba, I’m guessing you want to see it first day, first show, kyun?”

 

A thoroughly embarrassed Khushi finished the conversation and turned her attention to packing. And to continue debating on the point which was going round in her head. Should she ask Jalebiji if she would like to meet with her and watch the film together. She was utterly delightful and they had been fangirling over Barunji on the CC and talking about the film since ages. But, would it put Jalebiji in an awkward situation if she asked to meet?

 

Deciding to message her before departing and leaving it up to her to decide, she spent the next couple of days in a surreal daze and non stop chattering with her CC friends.

 

Finally, she was winging her way towards Mumbai and Barunji. Practically bouncing with excitement, she made her way out of the airport to be engulfed in the waiting arms of Di. And to the ping of her Inbox with a message from Jalebiji.

 

“What time does your flight land? I’ll come and fetch you and we can watch the film together. I’m already half way through it!”

 

Regretting not having messaged her earlier, Khushi spoke to her fixing to meet up that sunday, to watch the film again. An amused Anjali looked on in amusement at her paagal but cute Bhabhi. She wished for Khushi’s sake that the film was good. But, the lack of too many people at the cinema, didn’t bode well. Far too overwrought to tuck into her standard cinema fare of samosas and bhel and corn, Khushi rushed straight to her seat.

 

As the lights dimmed and the movie began, she let out a contented sigh. This, this is what she wanted to feel. Him filling the movie screen with his presence. The husky timbre in his voice enveloping the viewer. Drawing them towards himself (which was just as well in this particular case!).

 

And she got to do it all over again. With Jalebiji. Although, they nearly had to buy extra tickets to make sure the film was shown! But, Barunji ke liye kuch bhi.

 

Her phone pinged with a message from Arnavji.

 

“Khushi, iss pyaar ko kya naam doon?”

 

oOo

 

Note:

 
Happy Birthday Barun Sobti! This is a small tribute to the man who has enthralled and enraptured so many of us. He has been part of a phenomena which has given me dear friends who I would never have met otherwise. He continues to wield his magic over us, even as we attempt to wield a pair of scissors over him! The man who stepped out of that chopper all those years back, lodging himself firmly into our hearts, continues to reside there unshaken and unstirred. After all, the Munda is desi daarutoh nasha toh banta hai!

106 thoughts on “For The Love Of A Man

  1. Damn, I love this man and… YOU!

    This right here was such a heartfelt wish and tribute to the man that truly has given us so much. His on and off screen persona that made us fall for him, might I add fall really hard for him. I for one, had never thought I would be a phanki over an actor, that alone one of a desi drama actor. But Mr. Barun Sobti stole my heart forever, or shall I say Hamesha! And it is because of him, I have gained so much that would not have been possible. The amount of hours I have obsessed over the show with my dear virtual friends is enough to add me on the list of crazy people. In fact my family have declared me as such. But I wouldn’t change it for the world with my dear friends fangirling away with me.

    This entire OS brings a wide smile to my face written in classic Ruchi style. The memories it brings back of the good old CC days. All of us were ready to line up to view it first day, first show, until we found out it was being shown in Indian only 😦 But you my love, lucky you, went to see for all of us aboard! I lived it through you as you gave me a play by play during your visit to see our boy on the big screen. He finally did it! What an amazing experience!

    Here’s wishing to many more moments for Barun Sobti to grace his presence all across the world for his fans to see him on the big screen with a big hit. At this point, I will even take him on my TV at home, gotta put that 80 inch 4K TV to use!

    Happy Birthday to Barun, here’s wishing you a lifetime of happiness and success! Lots of love from this paagal phanki!

    *GIF credit to uploader*

    Liked by 15 people

  2. Nice of Arnavji to let Khushi fangirl over Sobti without getting jealous. Anjali even goes along with her to watch the movie.. so understanding. Pagal is the world over for Barun Sobti.. but as pointed out by Khushi’s Arnavji.. iss pyar ko kya naam doon

    Nicely written, as usual. And lovely tribute to him for his happy wala birthday!

    Liked by 5 people

  3. Happy Birthday Barun Sobti!
    The man who has stolen million hearts💕💕💕
    Though I missed the chance of meeting him when he was in my city this month, I hope I will meet him the next time he is here later this year! 😀

    Liked by 7 people

  4. Oh Ruchi, this was so so wonderful! Nothing is more beautiful than a wish that comes straight from the heart for the man who stole millions of ours, gently placed himself in them, hamesha. Every single thing about him is swoon worthy and then some.

    Arnav Singh Raizada wouldn’t be the magnificence he his if it wasn’t for Barun. And of course he is to thank for providing us SKD, friends and fandom love like no other.

    I absolutely loved this shot! I was unconsciously mirroring Khushi sighing at the laptop screen as I was reveling in this. So many feels.
    Thank you for sharing this tribute Ruchi. I hope someday if not now, it reaches the man.

    Liked by 8 people

  5. This was a perfect treat on a Sunday morning:) Thank you so much for sharing! I wish him all the success he truly deserves !! I think I ( maybe we all) owe him a really big thanks for all the beautiful stories we read and the awesome friends online and this whole new virtual dreamland which has become a very intrinsic part of my daily life which I cannot imagine not being part of ! Thank you once again!

    Liked by 9 people

  6. Ruchi this was perfect ode to the man we all are crazy about. I just had one hour discussion with my roomie about Barun and the serial. We have had confusion about him being a father and I hav been denying it altogether that I am cray about him and more closer to madness than she could ever imagine. Well nobody knows about me reading fictions on Arnav and Khushi😁😂. So yeah help me ladies, is he a dad already?

    As for the shot,it was fabulous. You have well depicted our feelings for tha man and the way we all were for watching his movie and the upcoming too and anything he ever does! His magnificence on screen made us fall in love with the character ASR and his personality. I love him bas!

    Happy happy birthday Barun! Wishing you the best in your life. ❤️❤️❤️❤️

    Liked by 9 people

  7. Ruchi girl,

    Better late than never…though better never late…sigh…long day at work, so been snatching moments to check back on Twitter and IF and what have you…Mr. Sobti’s birthday and we are all abuzz! Thank you for this eternal tribute to the only man I have ever fan-girled over! I swear…there may have been the Pierce Brosnans and the Aamir Khans and the Bradley Coopers and what have you…but this single minded obsession to the point of being declared instance by family and friends alike….well, it had to be Barun Sobti and his Stella’s performance. Actor extrodinaire, human being exemplar, why am I drooling in French today…..haha, seems to be the Sobti effect and that musical language….sigh….the point I am making, and I am sure each and every one of your readers and the rest of Mr. Sobti’s fandom believe is Barun is a one-off, a phenomenon and definitely I hope the only one for a space! I would not be able to handle another obsession like this one….

    Onto the story itself….Ruchi, a lot of jaadu kee jhappis for what is one beeyootiful story, girlfriend! This story is quintessential IPKKND….you have the super sexy Arnav growing roses or whatever in his conservatory, Khushi a few years into their shaadi who is laptop savvy and obsessed with our show (!!😆🙌🏽) spending several hours in a virtual web drooling and lusting, the possessive husband’s plaints (haha, even autocorrect here is registering that as ‘plants’ not plaints – knows our Arnav ji too well!) and above all the eternal, hamesha wala love of Arnav and Khushi. Loved all the stock phrases….so, so adored the ‘haan woh hum bas….’ And ‘how many times have I told you to look at me when I am talking to you’ bits…all too beautiful. Ruchi, start writing a long story immediately! So that I can start stalking and demanding updates etc! Imagine the fun.

    This was pure bliss! Take a bow, girl! 💐❤️🎉

    And a happy wala birthday to hamara Arnav ji! Barun Sobti, you are a star….God bless! 😘🎉😎

    Liked by 11 people

  8. Very nice tribute to our Barun . This is not the first time i wonder , why am i a Barun addict ? Their is something about this man , i am still not over with ASR uffff…..
    Happy Birthday Barun Sobti , Love youuuuuuuuuu…………….
    Thank you for writing this OS in honor of Barun . Loved it.
    I really hope Barun’s movies become super hit and he become a successful star in Bollywood .

    Liked by 7 people

  9. Ruchi, this is a beautiful tribute to a man who breathed life into ASR making him a larger than life persona, capturing our hearts and making us his paagal, sanki fans forever.

    I can’t thank Barun enough for making my SKD colorful and for introducing me to some delightful FF’s and a wonderful sisterhood of amazing virtual friends.

    I wish Barun happiness and success in all his endeavors with a fervent wish that his drool worthy visage lights up a movie and/or tv screen in the not too distant future.

    Ruchi, thanking you for sharing this lovely homage to our favorite caramel-eyed heartthrob !!😘

    Liked by 9 people

  10. Ruchi, what a beautiful birthday gift to the person who with his jadoo made all of us his fans. Who with his mesmerizing aura made us drool over him for months and years and whose magic is only increasing by the day.
    Sending my best wishes to him and hoping that his career takes off in a better way in the years to come.
    Nice OS Ruchi. You should seriously consider writing a short story now.

    Liked by 7 people

  11. What we don’t do for the love of this one man!!!!
    Thank you for writing this beautiful and cute OS. This reminded me of the time the movie was releasing and I was busy planning with whom to watch it ( so as to watch more than once). And how sad I was when I couldn’t watch its first day first show as I was down with chickenpox ;(. But I still bought tickets to contribute.
    Barun Sobti makes us do all sort of crazy things. I have friends from virtual world who traveled to another city because they wanted to watch it with a friend they had promised years ago (movie took such a long time) 😀
    Happy Birthday to this handsome, down to earth, adorable man who made us seethe in anger like Khushi at times with his effective impersonation of ASR.. God bless!!

    Liked by 5 people

  12. How utterly adorable you made Arnav ! Anything for his wife…

    And you gorgeous writers indulging us crazy ladies too … hoping this love and admiration for Mr Sobti never dies.. much to the chagrin of our husbands. You made me grin like school girl..
    thanks Ruchi xx And thanks to the all the friends I’ve made along this wonderful journey..

    Liked by 5 people

  13. Hehe! Jalebi too made a special appearance here! Loved this mélange of AD and SKD.😉
    Does the guy even have a notion of how much he has affected the lives of so many people and the kind of fan following he has? Wish he’d make some good decisions and do some roles worthy of the talent he has. He needs a good manager. Anyone ready to apply for the post and be with him 24/7?
    Loved this tribute to the guy, Ruchi. A loveky gift for his undying fans. Thankyou.

    Liked by 5 people

    • I don’t think he fully comprehends the extent of his fans’ paagalpan. He always appears slightly surprised when confronted with excited and excitable pankhis.

      Sigh … there is a huge pool of expertise available for him for free. Would that he would tap into it …

      Liked by 4 people

  14. This was sooo cute! I legitimately squealed when I read this — your Khushis are just so damned endearing that I just want to squish them. I started laughing when he said he has a lot of practices cupping faces from Di xD It’s the little things like that that make your writing special and so much fun to read. Your characters are just so very likable, and you have this subtle sense of humor that sneaks itself in when you least expect it.

    Pls to write an FF now. A and I await.

    Love always,
    Choti.

    Liked by 5 people

  15. Ditto … Ditto … Ditto … to everything above 😉
    Thank you Ruchi for giving us this wonderful piece of writing …
    What a phenomena has been created by the makers of IPK … I wonder if BS has any idea … I personally think that Barun Sobti should change his name to Arnav Singh Raizada for good …

    Liked by 4 people

  16. Hello Ruchi

    This this – the story, the way you develop your characters, that little reference to seeming nonchalance on Khushi’s part and her Di’s understanding (… and this totally got me by the way) and Arnowji cupping Khushi’s face (thanks to all that practice)…is so very you!

    You don’t forget birthdays, you don’t miss a greeting, your emoji’s warm me …. This is you – that you mark the Man’s birthday with a story that captured so many hearts and fired so many imaginations (I cannot count those aane do’s inflections… DYKWIM?) and made writers out of so many!

    You have me with your words… Your innate grace manifests itself in your writing.

    (Did it work? The link?)

    Liked by 1 person

    • Mirabell, thank you ☺️ 🤗

      His intonations, his inflections, his lopsided smiles, his glittering eyes, that slight tilt of the head as he stares at his Khushi, his loping stride … sigh… everything is swoon worthy 😍

      The link works perfectly 😘

      Liked by 1 person

  17. Lovely tribute to Barun Sobti!
    ASR is an iconic character and the credit goes to this man who played it to perfection! I do owe him a lot for all the wonderful stories I have read so far and the amazing authors who have written them!
    Love the title of the story! The little details were very cute…I am still giggling…

    Liked by 1 person

  18. ‘For The Love of A Man’ should have meant ‘For The Love of The Man’, Sapon ki duniya mein hi sahi! Ultimately, his portrayal of the character left a lasting impact, did it not? The transition from ASR, the Laad Governor to Arnav ji had fans drooling, no wait, dreaming ever since. I wouldn’t be surprised if girls wanted someone like him in real life. Of course, his reel and real life are miles apart, but thanks to the SBS we know “everything”.

    What makes him even more lovable is his portrayal in the FFs, OSs, SSs. Wait, is it Barun or ASR that I am talking about? Most of time I believe they are one and the same. He lived the character on the show and we get to live the same through reading the numerous tributes, aka stories, he has been, rather still is, a part of. All you writers out here, take a bow! It is no easy task to indulge in making/keeping ASR alive, no wonder the love keeping increasing multifold. Munda sona hai, which helps reel in fans but even then, his acting prowess doesn’t get to beat the portrayals of the ASR’s you guys create.

    Ruchi di, sacchi sacchi batayie, if your boss had declared December 12, 2014 a holiday and sponsored a ticket, would you have travelled or not? Please tell me he read this OS and sent a private message thanking you.

    Now we need to have a part 2, what say ladies? Khushi gets to meet Barun ji at the shoot location while Arnav has planned a surprise visit. Chaliye likhna shuru kar dijiye ab. Party-warty khatam ho gayi hai.

    P.S – Bhabhi ji must be furious after reading all the comments showered here. Laughing.

    Liked by 1 person

  19. OMG. I had such a goofy smile on my face as I read through the update. Is this how you convinced Mr. R, Ruchi? Because, damn. I have to give him props for being so calm and collected. 😂 I guess he might have come to the realization that if five years, countless dramas and long absences cannot diminish our love for the show and this man, nothing can, eh? If you can’t fight them, join in. Or in this case, shake you head privately and let them do what makes them happy.

    I am glad you got to experience the movie on the silver screen. Like Barun said “I am so sorry” it had to be that movie, but still…AND, because of this you got his cute apology when you met him so it all worked out, didn’t it? Haha.

    Loved it.

    Ridz

    Liked by 1 person

  20. Fuck, Ruchi! This was something else altogether! And I swear, we could kill for this Inception, couldn’t we! After all, Munda is desi daaru, to nasha to banta hai! ! Hell yes! Is that a line you carved! It’s fucking amazing!

    And this one shot, oh, God. It is in a rib-tickling-cum-mushy-love-cum-what-not category! You took care of everything! Everything! And this is exactly what happens when you are living in your writing! This was fucking amazing, girl! Un.Fucking.Real.But.Seemed.Fucking.Real.

    Love, and loads of hearts!
    Reveur.

    Liked by 1 person

  21. Lol ..Lol.. Lol !!!
    Ruchi..
    Kaise ker leti ho ye ..
    That fazool movie couldn’t lessen fan’s love for Barun n now he’s done really good work..
    Aur waise bhi.. Once a fan is always a fan..
    I kept on smiling reading the OS ..Crazy Khushi,doting Arnavji,sweet di ..awww

    Btw,who’s Jalebiji ??
    Pls tell na ..

    Liked by 1 person

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