s&k ficverse adventures

adrift in a turquoise sea 1

The idea of a physically imperfect Arnav has intrigued me for quite some time. How would his confidence and pride translate in such a situation? This piece of writing is my attempt at tackling the concept. It’s broken down into 4 mini-parts since its difficult as hell to write. 😀

Let’s go have an adventure!


 PART I

He felt the hum of anticipation under his skin as he walked along the shoreline, his bare feet sinking into the wet sand. This was his last day on the island. It was fitting to spend it in the place he’d loved exploring as a child.

Diving cleanly into the pristine turquoise water, he swam easily past the reefs, until he reached the site of the steamship wrecks. Marine life was vibrant around the wreckage, creating an unusual beauty that needed to be seen to be believed. The feeling of wonder hit him as hard as the first time he and Akash had discovered the spot. Amongst the rusted giant propellers, the sun shimmered through the clear water as fishes of all colors darted around. Orange, pink, yellow. It’s almost like someone was splattering paint on a blue canvas all around him.

There seems to be a lesson here that such splendor could co-exist with human destruction. He allowed himself a few extra minutes to watch the anemones sway in the gentle current, taking in how the skinny eels weaved through nooks and crannies. He reached a finger out to lightly touch the iridescent starfish clinging to the ruddy rocks. This was goodbye.

With a minor pang he turned away, swimming back to the top. Gulping in fresh air, he made towards the shore, sinking down onto the inviting white sands to soak in the last rays of the afternoon sun.

Five generations of Raizada men have made this place their home. Five generations of seamen who left it to travel the world, yet always returning to settle down once the urge to explore left them. They were born here. They were buried here.

He, Arnav Raizada, was about to break tradition.

Once he left, he had no intention of every coming back to these shores. To Maliku.

An island at the southernmost atoll of the archipelago of Lakshadweep, India. At a mere ten kilometers in length and roughly one kilometer wide in its broadest area, it was nothing more than a blip in the vast ocean.

Eighteen years he’d lived on this small crescent-shaped piece of land. Most of his youth spent climbing the palm trees, exploring the lagoon, and learning to fish. It was an idyllic life, a simple one. And he couldn’t understand why the men in his family ever came back.

The island was tiny, stifling. Sure it was picturesque, but he itched to explore the world beyond these waters. The only time he felt true freedom was on his Flying Fifteen keelboat, a gift from Pop for his thirteenth birthday.

Nothing could ever beat the feeling of sailing across the water, when the wind causes waves to swell and sea spray hits your face…In those moments, he felt completely alive.

And he wanted more of that feeling, more of that excitement. It was time to pursue it. To see what the world’s oceans had to offer.

He was going to have his adventure and he was never coming back.


7 years later

Cruising World News: Fatal accident ends three year championship streak of the Raizada brothers

Wired: ISAF World Cup accident raises safety concerns on sail racing practices

Reuters: High winds serve a crippling blow to Sailing World Champ Arnav Raizada

Sail World: Olympian Akash Raizada’s death sparks investigation over sailing safety

Lighthouse Digest: What Went Wrong in the Deadly ISAF Sailing World Cup Crash?


4 months later

He was back. Not exactly triumphant, and more than a little bruised. Would battered be too dramatic?

The island hasn’t changed. It was the only thing that hasn’t.

Reality of what he had lost in the accident hasn’t really sunk in yet. His big brother’s death was still too raw to penetrate. He didn’t want to know what life was going to feel like when it finally did.

Why didn’t the sea take him as well? It would have been more merciful.

No, he was left injured just badly enough to come crawling back to a place he swore never to return to. Back to lick his wounds.

He sat watching the blue-green waves roll onto the blindingly white sand. The gulls swooped in and out of his vision, their high-pitched cries piercing his ears. A bitter smile tinged thin lips. Best get to use to it. His future will be marked similarly, endless days of doing nothing more than observing the waves and listening to the muted roar of the surf.

Once, the waves had called out to him, the promise of adventure in every roll and ridge.

Akash’s gentle voice sounded in his ear, “We have the sea foam in our veins little brother, Raizadas were born to understand the language of the waves.”*

He had believed it, taking it to heart as he chased one adventure after another. Then he’d gotten cocky. Thinking he had mastered the sea. But the fucking bitch wanted no master. He hadn’t understood that until it was too late.

Every successful race had added to his arrogance. Winning the World Cup has made him overconfident in his skills. Akash had warned him he was becoming reckless, taking too many unnecessary risks.

A warning he hadn’t heeded.

He hadn’t seen the ragged line of rocks thrusting out of the water, gaining height and power. By the time he did, nothing could be done. Then there was only searing pain.

He had been captain of his ship. Now he was simply adrift, a useless log floating aimlessly in the water with no shore in sight. Lost. Hopeless.


His days were marked by the rising and setting of the golden orb that controlled the island and its inhabitants.

Each morning he sat and watched as fishermen rush out to greet the pre-dawn, preparing for the day’s catch.

As light danced over the water, transforming the dark depths into shimmering blue, enthusiastic surfers would come to ride the waves.

He spent the afternoons observing families play in the hot sand, noting how the tourists were quick to leave when the sun sunk into the water, turning the sea briefly into liquid flame.

In the twilight hours, he watched lovers stroll along the shore, bathed in the soft glow of torch lights. He hated that the most.

He sat in the same spot each day, not leaving until the sky finally catches up with his mood – turning black as night.


Something was different tonight. There were no stars, but the moon appeared impossibly round, an irritating lamp in an otherwise pitch dark sky.

He neared the end of the wooden ramp and came to an abrupt halt. For a few surreal seconds, he wondered if he still lay in his bed in the cottage, sleeping. For the girl before him was something from a dream.

She twirled on the beach, an angel forged from moonlight. She appeared transported by her dance, at the mercy of the movement compelled by some invisible force. Her body was gracefully delicate and exquisitely proportioned. Arnav could easily make out the lithe outline of it, scantily dressed as she was on the humid summer night.

His eyes traveled from her bare feet up to the bikini top. Her hair was straight and long. The ends of the tresses swished against her naked waist in tune with the light breeze. Her skin flickered in shadow and silver light as she moved in solitary magic.

A tingling sensation buzzed beneath his skin as he watched her arched her back, her long hair nearly touching the sand, her arms gliding through the air, her breasts thrust forward, as though she was seducing the moon itself. He couldn’t tear his eyes off the vision of beauty. Her arms stilled and she held the pose for a moment, while his breath burned in his lungs. Then her curving back straightened and he realized with sharp disappointment that her dance was complete.

Unable to help himself, he moved towards her. Suddenly dark hair flew about her shoulders as she spun around in alarm. She looked towards him in the shadow for brief moments before she turned and ran inland, quick as a startled deer. He resisted the urge to go after her. Not that he could even catch up with her. Still, as he watched the darkness claim her an odd yearning pierced through him.

The island held magic Pop had once told him. Arnav had always scoffed at the idea.

Was the dancing angel a figment of his imagination?

Was his mind as broken as his body?


*adapted from Le Testament d’Orphée by Jean Cocteau


PART II

A sailboat, as brightly colored as a butterfly, caught his attention today. He watched as it lazily tacked toward shore, not realizing his gaze held longing.

He was so engrossed in watching the boat he was unaware of someone approaching until the vibration of the wooden planks alerted him. His entire body was suddenly coiled, he didn’t want visitors, had made it very clear.

He looked up. A woman, young and very pretty. His face hardened, too fucking bad he wasn’t in the mood for pretty.

So his voice was cold when he addressed her, “This is private property and you’re trespassing.”

“Hi! Are you a guest? I have an open invitation from the owner,” her tone was annoyingly cheerful. It was also melodious, if you enjoyed the soprano variety. Arnav hated it.

“I’m the fucking owner, and sweetheart I would’ve remembered if I issued such an invitation to you.”

She blinked at him, surprise clouding her eyes, a soft flush coloring her cheeks. Taking her from pretty to fucking gorgeous. Great.

“But Pop…”

His frown deepened, of course Pop.

His grandfather. Wily old bastard.

“Pop’s in town.”

“Oh! You must be his grandson… the one who doesn’t visit.”

He heard the reprimand in her voice, but chose to remain silent. Silence made people uncomfortable. And it made them go away.

3…2…1…

“I’ve baked some lemon cookies, you mind moving over? I’ll just leave it in the kitchen.”

“Can’t.”

Her lips turned down, “Can’t or won’t?”

Furious, he reached for her hand, yanking down hard until she was at eye level, “You blind or just stupid?”

It was then that she realized that he was sitting in a wheelchair. She hadn’t noticed. Too busy taking in his jet-black hair, it was lush and seriously untidy. Sleep-tousled her wayward mind decided. His nose had been broken at some point, lending masculine character to his angular face. But up close she could see the tautness of his feature, the burn in his eyes. This was a man in terrible pain. It went far beyond the physical. She blanched.

Arnav took in the pleading eyes and pale face, she was genuinely distressed.

How had she not noticed the chair? After his accident that was the first and often the only thing women noticed.

“I’m so sorry,” she whispered.

It was his turn to cringe. Sorry. He hated the word. Everyone was fucking sorry.

“Don’t you fucking dare, I don’t want it. I’m sick to hell of everyone’s sorrys. It doesn’t change shit,” he shoved her back, “Now get the fuck off my property. Next time you want to be neighborly – call first.”

She took a deep breath, it would be wrong to yell at someone so vulnerable, even if he was acting like an ass. “I am sorry. Sorry to have bothered you. However your grandfather called yesterday to invite me over. I’m here as his guest. And you’re just rude.”

He registered mild surprise over her snappishness and raised an eyebrow. Pretty came with a backbone, huh.

“Name?”

“What?”

“Your name sweetheart.”

“Why?”

“I don’t allow strangers into my home. You wanna leave your shit in my kitchen, give me a name.” He folded his arms across his chest in what she supposed could be viewed as a civil gesture. But it also looked challenging, and that, she mused, was probably closer to his intention.

She looked at him suspiciously, and then grudgingly gave in, “Khushi.”

“Figures,” he muttered, then looked straight into her eyes. Khushi forced herself to meet his gaze. Despite his arrogance, he had a disconcerting way of staring. His expression was shaded with enigma, giving no indication of what he was thinking.

“Well, go on then.”

“You’re still in the way.”

“You always like this or am I getting special treatment?”

“No, I’m usually pleasant and well mannered. I only serve rude to the deserving.”

“You wound me.”

“I doubt I have that kind of power.”

“All women think they have that kind of power.”

“You must have a small circle of acquaintance then.”

Then to his surprise, she moved around him, hopped onto the window sill and placed her basket onto the counter.

“There, no need to bother you further. Goodbye, Arnav.”

With that she spun around and left, missing the lip twitch that graced his face for the first time in months.

It wasn’t until much later that he realized she knew his name.


Seasons bled abruptly into one another after a man reaches a certain age. Spring fading to summer so swiftly you hardly see the flower bloom before they withered. Without family, without the love of them, the passing of time would be a kind of loneliness.

Paranjay Raizada, Pop, to his loved ones, stood looking out the window of his family home. It had started as a cottage and they still called it as such. But every generation of Raizada had added to the structure, the result now a comfortably large lodge home with enough space to raise a family.

He was grateful for the life the island had bestowed upon him. For the fine woman who’d spent all the passing seasons by his side until the day she had to leave. The children they raised, the babies those children gave them. When a man’s been given such bounty, he was responsible for caring for them.

He had thought nothing could hurt more than when he buried his wife. He learned differently when the sea took his son and daughter. Now, he was still reeling from the heavy blow six months ago when he buried one grandson and took a broken one home.

The sea gave and took. It was nature’s cycle. A man could either drown in it, or learn to live with it. Arnav was drowning. For the first time in his life, he felt completely helpless. His old bones were too weak to pull the boy to safety. He could only toss him a lifeline, hoping it will be enough. It had to be enough.

“I met your Arnav yesterday, Pop.” He turned to look at the young woman he had come to love like a granddaughter. She was a rosebud still, when she bloomed to full womanhood, she would be an incomparable beauty. But it was her unaffected manners and open heart he was betting on.

“What did you think of my boy?”

“He … umm,” she struggled to find words that wouldn’t offend.

“Arrogant, Sarcastic, and Rude?”

“Well… yes. It’s rather unfortunate that the Raizada charm skipped a generation.”

He tilted his head back and laughed heartily.

Khushi smiled as she watched him. She certainly hadn’t expected to ever find herself in love with a eighty-year old man. But three years ago, when her family moved to the island, she fell, head over heels for Paranjay Raizada.

His mind was a razor, his heart sentimental mush. An irresistible combination. He was also a hotheaded rogue, and Khushi delighted pitting her own temper against an equal.

Her parents were loving and affectionate, but with both grandparents dead before she was born, Khushi never had the pleasure of being a granddaughter. She cherished the day ‘Mr. Raizada’ became ‘Pop’.

She felt a pang as the older man’s eyes darkened.

“It’s understandable,” she rushed to add.

“No it isn’t. It’s been half a year and he’s moping. Thinking his life is over because he can’t sail off into the sun. God has his reasons for taking that from him. But I know, the key reason was that he needed to come back to the island.”

“Why do you think that?”

“There’s a treasure here waiting for him.”

Khushi looked up and had the unnerving thought that Pop meant her. “Pop…”

“Khushi, have I ever told you who you remind me of?”

“No, you haven’t.”

“Kallol, my wife.”

“Really?”

“Really. She shared your love for life. How she embraced it! She saved me you know.”

“How?”

“I saw a lot of things when I left the island. Things that turned me bitter, I would have stayed that way if she hadn’t found me. Raizada men are a suspicious lot. It takes a strong woman to bring out the better man.”

“You miss her,” she said softly.

“Every single day. She truly was my better half.”

Khushi placed a gentle hand over his. “I’m glad you had that.”

He turned to her, old eyes crinkled with joyful sorrow. “Yes, I was lucky. I want the same for my grandson. Arnav’s a fine boy—sharp as a whiplash, if a bit temperamental. Handsome, too. Looks a bit like I did at his age, so he doesn’t lack for female companionship. That’s part of the problem, as I see it. Too much quantity in his life and not enough quality. He’s not the friendliest man you’ll meet, but very true once he lets someone in.”

“Pop, I’m not sure what you’re trying to say.”

“Save my boy, Khushi.”

“I… I don’t think I can… or know how to.”

“Be you. That’ll be enough.”

“I’m not what he wants, Pop,” she said seriously.

“No, but you’re what he needs.”

She looked startled by the thought. After long minutes, she gave him a small nod. A promise given.

The tension eased from his body, he gave her hand a soft pat. He had prayed for his grandson to come back to the island. This wasn’t how he wanted it, but he had never been a man who bemoaned how fate dealt her cards. He’d learn to play with the hand he was given, and this time, he held an ace.

He turned to the sea. Not long now darling, just need to set our Arnav on his course.


He sat alone, a solitary figure against the silvery mist that sheathed the tides in the early morning.

As Khushi approached, his eyes narrowed, “Bored little girl?”

“Would you like to go for a walk?”

She winced when he stared pointed at his legs. Squaring her shoulders, she continued, “You look like you could use some fresh air.”

“Ocean’s about thirty feet away, I think I have plenty of fresh air.”

“But you haven’t left the house in weeks!”

Arnav felt anger course through him. Of course, his fucking matchmaking grandfather probably roped the poor girl into this.

“I don’t want nor need your pity.”

“It’s not pity.”

“Leave,” he bit off.

“Arnav…”

“Know when you’re not wanted sweetheart.”

She turned and walked away.


1 week later

She marched right up the ramp and plopped down beside him. For a time, both sat quietly. The night had cloaked the sea, only the crash of waves revealed her presence.

“You’re a very determined woman.”

“Thank you.”

“I didn’t mean it as a compliment.”

“I know.”

He stared out as though he could penetrate the darkness and see the surf. Khushi gave him this time. If he was balancing the pros and cons of a decision, she wanted to say nothing that might tip the scales against her.

He was quiet for so long, she was about to admit another round of defeat when he broke the silence.

“I hate the island.”

“Why?”

“There’s only loss here. It took my grandmother, my parents. I can’t understand how Pop can still love it.”

“He sees the beauty.”

“He’s in denial.”

“Fine, think that if it makes you feel better. I came to make a deal with you.”

“No wonder the old man likes you. What do you want?”

“Spend a day with me.”

“I told you before I don’t want your pity.”

“And I told you it’s not pity.”

“Why the hell would a girl like you, want to spend time with an old man and a cripple?”

“Stop it! You’re not a cripple!”

“Why, the fuck, do you care?”

“I don’t know! I don’t know why I care! But when I see you, it hurts me!”

He reared back, shocked by the unexpected confession.

“I’m sorry about your brother, I’m sorry about your loss, but you’re still alive, Arnav!”

“Maybe I’ll be better off otherwise.”

Khushi was startled by the rage that swept through her. “What a stupid thing to say! Do you honestly think that you’d be better off dead?”

“Yes,” he said bitingly. “Better that than being a useless cripple for the rest of my life.”

“Who says you will be? Your spinal cord wasn’t severed. I know people who’ve had suffered worst injuries and they’re far from useless. They’re productive human beings with jobs and families. It’s all in the attitude you take.”

“Will this lecture cost me?”

“No, it’s gratis for the stupid, for the ignorant, for those with bad attitudes!”

“The doctor told me I may never walk again.”

“That doesn’t mean you won’t ever walk again, Arnav.”

“Yeah, he said pray for some luck.”

“Would it be so bad to hope?”

“Yes! It fucking hurts to hope, because it makes the inevitable even worst.”

“We all die eventually, Arnav,” she said softly, “but while we’re still alive, shouldn’t we at least try to live to the best of our ability?”

“I can’t exactly get up and do the fucking tango.”

“No,” she acknowledged, “but there is so much you can still do.”

“Yeah? Like what?” he challenged.

“You have two capable hands, Arnav. And a working mind. I’m sure once you’re ready to end your pity party of one, you’ll discover something useful to do,” Khushi bit down on her lips, afraid she’d overstepped.

Arnav surprised her when he didn’t immediately give her a verbal flaying. Instead, he looked… was that laughter? The sound wasn’t bitter, it was startlingly rich.

“You don’t hold back when you’re riled sweetheart,” he stated.

“I didn’t mean to imply that you’re… not useful.”

“Yeah, you did,” he gave her a grin.

A wall had tumbled. How exactly did it happen? She wasn’t sure, but her heart felt lighter.

They sat in front of his home and talked, of everything and nothing. Arnav realized that he had never taken the time to have a real conversation with a woman before. It was enlightening.

But he was a man. As the night draped them in intimate darkness, he became increasingly aware of her. The slope of her shoulders, her firm breasts. In the dusky shadows she was … familiar. Was she the dancing angel he’d seen on the beach? His body stirred to life, and cursing it he finally gave in to her request just so he could send her home.

As she turned to leave, it occurred to him he spent a great deal of time starring at her back. The stubborn chit had a very nice backside.

Entering the house, he met Pop’s raised eyebrow.

Impossible old man, he thought, but a smile hovered on his lips.

At two in the morning, he was still too restless to sleep. His mind skipping like a stone over water. He wheeled towards his desk, firing up the laptop. With a frown marring his brow, he began to type.


Thoughts? 😀


Click here to continue to PART III & IV

113 comments

  1. Oh S…. this reminds me of everything I loved about your Splintered Skies. The way you’re able to set tone and create a sense of place are things I have much admiration for.

    I love how much story you were able to convey in 5 brief headlines. It’s a refreshing approach – me like. ^^

    So here’s what I got: Arnav obviously got his adventures. He’s a damn good sailor, enough to be a World Champ alongside big brother Akash. But in one race, it’s all over. We have a dead brother and an injured Arnav. But just how bad?

    Terrible obviously. Enough for him to return to a place he swore not to return to. (Why?) Hmm… he’s SITTING and observing the world pass him by, clearly he’s wheelchair bound. Ouch, this will kill, especially for a man who craves action.

    And at his lowest point, an angel appeared straight from a dream 😉
    Ok, you hooked me with the set-up. Now give me the meat for the sandwich! 😀

    1. Don’t mention SS! I feel spasms of guilt whenever I think of it. Ugh… Rangrasiya’s stupid ending just killed all my desire to finish it.

      Thought you might like that headline approach 😀

      Meat, Lettuce and Sauce will be fully delivered next week!

      On a more serious note, thanks K, for the chats, for the support, for the acceptance. There’s only one you, and I feel lucky as hell I can call you friend. 🙂

      1. Oh you. What thanks is necessary between us? 😀

        Although, this TS is like you waving the red flag – I totally need to up my game!

        On Part II —
        I like Khushi’s island girl vibe. Considering how readily she agreed to save Arnav, I’m assuming there’s a crush hidden in the back story.

        Pop is irresistible, what a cupid! ^^

        I rather adore your prickly Mr. Raizada. He’s hurt, but that sharp tongue hasn’t suffered at all. 😉 Onwards to the courtship!

  2. Well…i can’t wait to see what happens next ..to know if that was kushi.. if she was just a magic nymph or a reality …
    And more about Arnav….it would be definitely something as his physical perfection has always added on to his pride arrogance and confidence. .now he is back battered and broken….but i doubt if he will fully shed his ASR attitude ..

  3. You have a certain way with words S. This is shaping up beautifully!
    I already like Pop. He’s like an older version of FWN’s Aman 😀
    I really like how all the Raizada men in your stories are a nosy group looking out for their own.

    This is an interesting approach. An athletic Arnav having his legs be taken away, being forced to come back to a place he hates, but it’s something all the men in his family have been doing for generations.

    I like how you’re exploring his despair, his sense of hopelessness.

    This Khushi is perfect for him! Sunny but with a bit of spice to her. No wonder his grandfather wants her for him!

    I’m eager to see how you tie up this story. Thanks S! 🙂

    1. Thanks Pyre! hahaha yeah.. I can’t seem to avoid nosy Raizada men 😉
      This was really challenging for me, and the next part even more so. But appreciate your kinds words, and hopefully you’ll let how I tie it up!

  4. I loved both of the parts… I adore the way your words can basically set up the entire scene in my mind with ease. I loved the way Arnav’s despair is portrayed here by his words and behaviour and I completely understand why Pop wants Khushi for Arnav, she is just what he needs, a person filled with love and hope and that can answer him back 😀 Eager to read the rest of the parts 😀

  5. Loved that post…kyaa thaa woh…and if one imagines an Arnav Singh Raizada who is fully physically fit is the only big draw, they definitely have another think coming. Unbelievably sexy in any avatar….and cannot wait to see Khushi steal into his black dreams and fill his world with colour. Super se ooper….but definitely! Take a bow, S!

  6. And I then realized I hadn’t read part two after all….super…love how she tries to transform his bad attitude into an accepting one…maybe a winning one?waiting to see the shifting dynamics between them. Love pop for being the amazing grand dad everyone wishes they had! Waiting for three and four!

    Best,

    Anupama

    1. Thank you Anupama! I too think he’s sexy in any avatar 😉
      But for the longest time, I wanted to explore a broken Arnav. I know my limited writing can’t possibly do it full justice, but I do enjoy trying!

      I hope you’ll enjoy 3 & 4!

  7. Loved it. I love the feisty Khushi and the brooding Arnav Singh Raizada. they say life ain’t always fair but we still have to play with whatever cards we get, isn’t it?
    Everyone wants to grow and do what they feel like. I won’t blame Arnav for feeling and doing the same but he obviously hadn’t taken his fate into account. He was meant to return to the sea and his homeland.
    Losing a brother and being unfit has turned him bitter and left him with no hope. Broken dreams do that to people sometimes but we shall still hope.
    Although I’m happy that Pop is so concerned about Arnav and asked Khushi to give him a chance even when Arnav was being rude with her I would have felt more at peace if that decision was entirely Khushi’s. I mean Pop making her meet him was fine but anything more should have been left upon them.
    Anyways right now I’m very excited for both of them. To see how their first date goes 😉 and where it leads them to.

    1. 😀 Loved reading your comments – thank you! I don’t think I can write anything BUT feisty Khushi 🙂 And brooding Arnav… well irresistible would be a good choice of word. 😛

      Regarding the burden Pop placed on Khushi… heh heh, remember she’s known him for 3 years, don’t you think in that time span he would have spoken about Arnav? 😉

      Their first date… 😀

  8. First of all, I really found the title and also the idea behind the story very intriguing. Well, then I dissected the title a little with the help of Google. From a negative perspective, the meaning of the color turquoise relates to being either over-emotional or non-emotional, lacking communication skills, being unreliable and deceptive. And some synonyms of adrift are free and detached. So basically this story is about a journey of man learning to free himself of the turquoise nature of the sea which made him relish his highs but also made him drown in the abyss from which its hard to return. (This synopsis was just a shot in the dark. Was I in anyway close to the plot?)
    The accident that happened seemed to not only bring his body in the crippling state but also his mind. It seemed as if he is not ready to see any optimism in his surroundings, in his life. It seemed that the accident had made him adrift from hope. The ending of part 1 indicated the presence of an angel, which,maybe, is the hope which he was missing in his life, personified.
    Yet to read part II. Will post my thoughts on that soon..

    1. Thanks Rainy! Hahaha, can I just say I love the fact that you googled turquoise? It makes me happy to know how engaged our readers are. Makes the hours of research worthwhile 🙂
      Yes! There are many layered meaning to the color and it’s purpose in this one shot. Very good of you to focus on the negative perspective! I’ll just let the next two updates answer your shot in the dark. 😀

  9. Loving this story!

    A true take on life which each individual does go through at some point in their life, but in this case from Arnav’s perspective. How Pop is trying to infuse life back into what now Arnav takes as a meaningless state after loosing Aakash and how he misses what he was doing away from this place. And most important Khushi bringing in life to both the men’s life. But there is a story behind her as well is it not. Though she is a happy and full of life but she has learnt to be that way inspite of some loss – is it not.

    Looking forward to the rest of the story.

    1. Thank you damjar! As much as I would love to also explore Khushi, this one-shot will focus mainly on Arnav. I think you’ll understand Khushi’s purpose much better once part 3 & 4 are up. 🙂

  10. Very nice subject and im loving it. But i cant come to understand what made khushi say yes to pop in a jiffy. Its the decision of her future, her life. How can pop just ask her to save arnav, who is in a wheel chair n may not ever walk either. Isnt pop being inconsiderate to khushi’s feelings. If he had infact forst seen something between them n then asked her, i think it wud have made more sense..

    1. Completely understandable quibble.
      But keep in mind two things – Khushi knew Arnav’s name without him telling her at their first meeting. She has also known Pop for 3 years. 😀 Part 3 & 4 will (hopefully) address Pop’s reasons for asking so much of Khushi, and her reason for accepting. 🙂

  11. Poor Arnav…he really lost all hope
    Khushi is the only one that can bring the Khushi back into his life (that was really cheesy if me to say)
    I love pops…he is a sweet old man

  12. S – do you know how much I hate you right now?
    What a way of creating vivid pictures with words! I’m a fan, but you already know that. 😀

    A damaged Arnav is always hard for me to handle, but I do like how you decided to balance his dark with Khushi’s light. They are truly yin and yang aren’t they?

    I loved the moonlight encounter. It seems a touch dream-like. And made even better when their first ‘real’ meeting turned into a sparring contest. So Arshi. 🙂

    1. Thanks Mel!
      This one was really hard to write. Distressing almost.
      I’m also nervous as hell about the second parts… but I guess that’s what I enjoy about writing – nice to challenge oneself. 😀

      I swear one of these days I will attempt a non bickering Arshi.

  13. Brilliant writing !! The brooding angry Arnav is really attractive and the innocent khushi is the perfect antidote for him. Really romantic setting and fantastic storyline. Perfect new year gift !! 😊 SO looking forward to the next updates. 😀

  14. S, I am enjoying this OS. I will come back to comment after reading all parts. Thank you for writing and sharing it with us S. 🙂

    Okay, so I obviously posted the comment under the wrong tab earlier. Please feel free to delete the one on the main OS index. Thank you.

  15. You bring back so many great memories with Turquoise sea of an island where I spent my childhood with water so blue that you don’t know where the sky ends and the water starts. I was like him, counting the days when I could escape to the big world outside the tiny island in the Indian Ocean. Now that I have been here this long, I wish to go back and do what he is doing watching the day goes by on the beach. Enough sentimental.
    I love this because your characters are so down to earth with flaws and insecurities. However good, the man may look it is this animalism or sexiness in him that attracts me. Being in a wheelchair does not take that away from him. He is allowed to indulge in some self pitiness but he needs to snap out of it like she said. While you still have a breath in you, you cannot give up – especially with a dimaag like him. So glad stuck around and got through his fat bruised ego. Glad to see him going to the computer. A start of a new chapter in his life? I guess the biggest challenge for him will be addressing whether he is man enough for her and I hope she kicks him hard enough to realize that even though his legs are not working, all the other parts of him are. Can’t wait to read the concluding parts of this story.

    1. 🙂 The best kind of compliment. Thank you!
      What island was it? (if you don’t mind my asking)

      Right on the nose! I think men gets hit a bit harder then women when it comes to physical prowess. Let’s see what it’ll takes for Mr. Raizada to get a full wake up call 😀

      1. Mauritius. I love that he is a sailboat racer – never came across one in all the ffs I have read and it definitely appeal to the island girl. This Kushi also embodies the carefree attitude of people on the islands and I feel this will greatly help him come out of the brooding mood he has been it. Your words flow really well in your stories. Cheers!

        1. Mauritius is stunning! I wouldn’t mind spending a good year there just soaking in the rich waters and island life. Although, I can understand how it would feel stiffing over time.

          Thank you for indulging me with this story. I hope you’ll enjoy part 2!

  16. First of all: I am so sorry for this ungodly delay

    Happy new year S, I hope you had a good one :]

    Coming onto the OS, it was simply fabulous! Arnav was once so perfectly at one with the sea, in light of his name he truly embodied the Ocean. He moved, rose, fell, glided with sea until it one day violently broke him. The volatility of such a calming entity echoes beautifully in his character. One who feels so deeply for his loved ones, yet his acerbic tongue keeping everyone at bay. Only the brave would attempt to conquer the sea. Those who have the strength and faith to realise the beauty behind the unpredictable nature of a broken Arnav

    :]

    1. Same to you Manreet!
      Thank you! And beautifully said. 🙂 I was angling for the sense of oneness with the sea. It hits him hard since the very thing he loves betrayed him so terribly. I’m glad that came across.

      Now, I just need to take this to the finish line. ugh…. pressure.

  17. This is so beautifully written.
    Dear writer, every line of the story reflects your unmatchable talent. How beautifully you have woven the words that every emotion is heartfelt.
    Congratulations on the amazing work and thankyou for writing this!

  18. What ??????
    Like really,what ???????
    HOW ON EARTH DID I MISS THIS ALLL ???
    This blog,these stories ??
    Where d hell was I :O
    Ok,K and S I am extremely sorry for being in my own world and missing this treasure of you both ladies.
    I would hve still not found about this,if I had not taken a look at the weekly recommendation section in fanfraction.
    It’s gona take me some time to go through this blog.
    But I promise I’ll be around soon.
    Till then,sorry again *lowers eyes*

    1. Oh no don’t feel bad. We have been stealthy about our pr for this site 😀
      Welcome to our adventure land gmsk!
      Glad you decided to join us, and hopefully you’ll enjoy the offerings!

      1. I have no doubts that I would 😉
        But it’s gona take me some time to get familiar with the blog as my AD is getting very hectic due my last sem.
        Please excuse me for this.
        As soon as I get some time for my self,I’ll catch with all the offerings here 🙂

  19. I somehow missed reading this story and just came across it. What a beautiful story! Kudos to u for setting such a tone and place… every description of the island n the thrill of Arnav’s adventures to his sorrow is so detailed, I feel like I’m right there alongside watching their story. Love Pop, wish we cud have him in an ss or ff n read more abt him, for once no nani n di but a grandfather…very refreshing. i like Khushi the resilience. I didn’t know what to expect of a less than perfect Arnav from ur synopsis, but u captured his true essence n I fell in love with this broken sensitive Arnav who didnt mind showing his tears to his love. Thank u!

    1. Thank you for reading and also for leaving me with such wonderful comments! Always appreciated 🙂
      This one was quite a challenge for me as a new writer to tackle, but Arnav was simply irresistible. I’m glad you enjoyed reading his journey as much as I enjoyed penning it.

  20. This really is different. I’m happy Arnav is not the perfect Raizada is every way. And now he has met his happiness. I’m sure she’ll change his life.

  21. First of all, sorry for being so late on commenting on this! I’ve been traveling for the last few weeks, so wi-fi has been… pretty much non-existent lol. But it was exciting to come back to so many updates!!! This story was beautiful– I loved the way you stayed true to the original characters but made them your own & added new dimensions to them at the same time– it’s something really difficult, but you guys do it so well! It’s hard to pinpoint what exactly I loved about this story… I felt like it was an ode to the connection between Arnav’s personality and his name, if that makes sense. It’s the type of story I’ve been looking for awhile, but didn’t realize it until I read it! And of course, Khushi was the perfect foil for Arnav–she pushed him when he needed it, backed off at the right places, but didn’t ignore her own feelings or insecurities. And I loved Pop’s character! I liked that he was a combination of roguish ex-sailor and sweet old matchmaking grandmother–kind of like he was channeling his wife & doing both their jobs! Anyways, like I said, I loved the story, and I hope there are more short stories & one-shots to come!

    1. Lovely to have you back with us 🙂 Work travel or pleasure travel? 😀

      Thank you! This only became a pleasure upon the warm reception from so many wonderful readers, I was rather miserable while writing it. 😛

      It definitely makes sense. Arnav and the ocean is so intimately connected in my mind. There is such a scope for metaphors!

      Hahaha, I didn’t think of it that way, but you’re not wrong. His beloved wife is such a part of his thoughts, Pop easily channels both responsibilities without conscious thought!

      We have a lot of ideas…. it’s really going to come down to the leisure of time. 🙂

      1. Pleasure travel, luckily! I finally got to do some sightseeing in India! 🙂 Oh no, why were you miserable? That sucks, although, for this type of story, I guess it worked out, it makes the angst more authentic, right? Haha. Hopefully you felt better after writing, and not worse!

        1. Lucky you! I’ve never been to India, it sits at the #2 position on my travel wishlist. Someday…. Hope it was a fabulous trip!

          I love writing, but when I write, moodiness descends. 😀 This piece in particular was difficult as I’ve never challenged myself on such a raw emotional level before. I felt drained, but also very free afterwards. Hard to explain, but overall, a good feeling. 😛

  22. Hi!

    This was amazingly written! First off, I would like to commend you for writing about a disabled/physically imperfect Arnav. In all my time on IF, I remember only two other instances wherein I read something on these lines.

    Sailing and Arnav! Well after reading Meera’s Emerald Isle Tales, anytime Arnav and the ocean are mentioned in a story, my mind just can’t help but go down that lane! I hope you have read it, it is a Masterpiece B)

    The emotions that you have portrayed, whether they be Arnav’s or his Pop’s or even Khushi’s are so spot on and well defined. I mean to say that you have gone in to the details of their thought processes very beautifully. The pain and anguish of Arnav on having lost the use of his legs, the hopelessness that Pop feels on seeing his grandson losing himself to demons, the persistent efforts of Khushi to get through to the man that everyone knows Arnav is, is just a treat to read!

    Your descriptions of the island, the beach and not to mention their idyllic lives has me longing for a vacation by the beach! Your writing has managed to provoke me into thinking about and feeling for these characters and that is the hallmark of a great writer!

    The way Arnav hesitates with his feelings for Khushi, his inner turmoil, her grief at being kept at an arm’s length, their struggle with his therapy, his rising like a phoenix from the ashes of his past and getting over his handicap. All of it, just stunningly written. I feel my words are inadequate in letting you know exactly all that I went through on reading this story.

    I am truly glad I came to your blog!

    P.S. LOVE the pics of Barun & Sanaya that you have used! Not to mention, the other pics and banners you have used all over!!!!

    1. Now this was really lovely to wake up to 🙂
      Welcome to our rabbit hole breeze!

      Please, meera’s EIT was epic, my little TS can’t compare. However, I genuinely appreciate the kind words and soaked it all up with greedy zest 😀

      We are happy to have your company.
      Enjoy and don’t be a stranger!

      1. Are you guys on IF ?? Or is all your work over here only? Would love to read more! Actually I came here to read FWN on a recommendation but found the first chappie down for editing hence read the OSs and you guys just blew me away! Hence am asking about any other works of yours that might be on IF. Would love to read those as well. 🙂

  23. it’s so easy to become hard and bitter when fate deals with you like that. and Arnav has the immense guilt of surviving his own brother which is eating him alive. but Pop acting as a cupid to unmend his broken heart and lead him to a reason to live is what was needed.
    love the zest which makes khushi essentially her, the spirit of accepting challenges thrown at her, her giving nature.
    they are made for each other. it took arnav time to accept the inevitable, stop feeling undeserving of the life and love been offered to him, but when he does, he loves best.

  24. Different. What amazes me when I read stories that don’t at all follow the original plot is that all it takes are the two names to give the story a good jumpstart but is the writer’s creativity and finesse which either carries it or lack thereof that sinks it. This one has definitely caught me. Cant wait for the rest.

  25. While waiting for the FWN update, reading this OS and its amazing. Arnav character reminded me of ‘Lieutenant Dan’ in the Forest Gump movie.

  26. Quite a intense start. Didn’t exactly expect a tragedy to strike after he left the island. Awesome story and well written.

  27. Arnav in any form has to come with his attitude. I guess otherwise I may not recognize him.

    What a great start, beautiful backdrop to a heart wrenching tragedy. What gets me each time that though ipkknd has been over for long time, just these two names Arnav and Khushi is enough to set everything right.
    Lol… I tell my 8 yearold nephew named Arnav, that i will call his wife Khushi regardless her real name. Keep writing beautiful stories.

    1. Hahaha, poor niece-in-law. But so cute!
      Exactly! Something about the name…. so many years and here we are. I’ve always wondered if the ficverse would still be thriving if the show didn’t go down such a shitty path. Silver lining?

  28. Wow this is beautiful dear. I have read only one story in which Arnav was not physically perfect. And now yours too touched my heart. Life is hard we all know but for some it’s very hard.
    When something happened with you like Arnav, you bound to feel lost and defeated. As if life is lost or no more. They want to die.
    But like pop said everything happen for a reason which is unknown to us. Here even if he think he has no life or he is of no use to life, he could do some great work and put himself in some use.
    It takes great heart to be with person like Arnav, when girl like Khushi could get what ever she wants. But she seems to be different kind of girl who value people not their physical or outer beauty.
    Lest see how far she goes in her mission.
    Thanks for writing such a beautiful story.
    Sorry I am late in comment. I am on holidays for two months in different country, so I might take some time in reading.

    1. Thanks for sharing your thoughts! I wrote this so long ago, but it’s close to my heart.
      Suave confident Raizada is a turn on for sure, but I’m helplessly drawn to the wounded.
      What I love best about Khushi is her capacity for love. For a girl name Happiness, she keeps very little for herself. That generous heart is beautiful and such a shame it was wasted by the CVs.

  29. read it again….one of my favorite stories…
    just can’t get enough of it…
    Thank you for penning it down and giving me a chance to enjoy it….again…

  30. Hi S !

    The persona of ASR we’ve seen is such that we think there’s either nothing or very little that can mar his perfection. So a physically imperfect Arnav must’ve been difficult to write, but it stirs intrigue instantly.

    Everyone has big dreams; to make it large outside the land that sheltered them until now. Arnav is no different. But the deep, seemingly-unmendable gashes in his heart carry the scars of a tragedy; a lost life.

    It isn’t easy to come to terms with the loss of someone who’s played a significant part in life; losing a sibling would’ve only equalled to losing half the heart, if not more. That paired with his current state, a result of nature’s fury has rendered Arnav bitter, internally broken, with hope abandoned and a deep feeling of worthlessness.

    Did Khushi realise it was Arnav she saw that moonlit night, even as he reached towards her mesmerised by her dance? Why did she run away? I think that first meet was destined, regardless of Pop’s not-at-all-subtle manoeuvre.

    Khushi’s the embodiment of all that’s missing right now in his life. The much needed breath of fresh air. Her spark, compassion, and ability to give back as good as she gets makes her perfect for Arnav.

    She’s managed to reach the opening of his damaged soul, and will bring down the walls surrounding his heart, I’m sure. Him being able to share things with her, is definitely a new start. Though his self-worth has taken a beating, he doesn’t seem to have lost all of his arrogance.

    I’m glad that Khushi made him see that all’s not lost, giving rise to a small steady flame glowing in the darkness of his night. I’m presuming Arnav will become a writer ?

    Very beautiful S ! 🙂

    1. I believe that’s why we’re drawn to certain people. The ones holding the missing pieces of our soul. Friends and lovers who connects the dot with their bit of magic. It makes life’s journey endlessly fascinating doesn’t it?

  31. happy to see different arnav…one can easily understand what arnav feels in this helpless situation…this kushi is a darling…i loved pop..it is really lucky for arnav to have these two beautiful souls…inner beauty is important..the back drop is very nice…

  32. Ok I need time to think….I have in laws with me, ramadan going on, guests coming over after and even moving to a new place in july…Oh and did I add a teething 9 month old to the mix. …yeah that’s life at the moment. Can I take a rain check and come back to comment??

    I know comments are the lifeline….promise to come back

  33. Wow. Just chanced upon this. I could feel the ocean and smell the salty wind… Beautiful. Made me want to dosr through the oceans.

    Did not expect him to be in a wheel-chair. But what is life, a story, without surprises and a series of shocks.

    Loved her fiery spirit.

    Hope to read more stories by you… On a quest of my own now. To find your stories and read them.

    Thank you.

  34. NOW how did i miss this? LIKE NOOOOO
    this is serious!!!
    Always trying to find awesome ts’s, os;s that show a realistic story where both leads dont have to be perfect.
    And after so many boring, unrealistic ones i finally come to this
    Its like now i understand how important persistence is!
    PLEASE LET ME IN THIS PLACE WHERE YOU WRITE AND I READ AND CONTINUE TO BE SPEECHLESS
    AND why have you not published this?????

  35. HI S&K this is third time I am reading this awesome storiy never commented though. such a lovely feeling when reading such stories. very nice with words. all of your stories i read you bring the characters to life with your words.
    Swapna
    sw

  36. I love the setting of the story and the link of Arnav name with his admiration and love for the sea. Khushi was awesome. I enjoyed a lot reading this story.

  37. Ok…. today i finished reading this story for the third time… wen i am reading this one again n again… i feel like i am getting more n more attached to this version of arnav, who is physically imperfect… wen i read this story for the first time, i cudn imagine at alll that arnav was handicapped… it was too much to bear… but later on that feeling slowly dissipated n paved way for something more intense… hats off to u yaar… for writing such a wonderful stuff.. everytime wen i read dis story… i will plan to write to u… but somehow it didn happen until now… i am a doc mom … so i hope u will understand my situation…. reading is my fav past time… so i really really hope that i will continue giving us such wonderful arshi stories which we all will relish for a lifetime…

  38. First time I’m reading a story where Arnav is true to his namesake. Sometimes, in life, you are too focused on the path that you have determined to take that anything untoward happens, you feel everything is lost. But here Arnav lost his dear brother and his guilt don’t allow him to come out it seems. Khushi seems to be his equal who won’t take his bullshit and will give him back tit for tat.

  39. A very unique and intriguing storyline.
    Loved it.
    A physically helpless arnav is the first time I am reading .very beautifully written .love poo character and the way he is trying to bring arnav back to life with help of khushi

  40. It is interesting to read about a physically imperfect Arnav. So Arnav is a world famous sailor same as his brother. But the tragic death of his brother has forced him to return to the island where he promised not to return.
    For a man who thrives on action and adventure, it is definitely heartbreaking to be bound to a wheelchair. The death of his brother along with his battered soul and injured self has made him quite cynical.
    The dancing angel waltz into his life and slowly tries to break the walls he has built around himself. Khushi is full of positivity and life. Not to forget stubborn.
    The good ol’ man Paranjay Raizada picked a gem for his grandson.
    How did Akash die? Has Arnav got to do anything about his brother’s death?
    Can’t wait to read more. Off to reading the next part. 😃

  41. Never thought that. physically disabled Arnav could still exude such sex appeal and make ones heart go dhak dhak. Feisty Kushi is just what the Doc ordered for Raizada but wondering what it is in it for her . Loving foward to reading the next part

  42. Very emotional and soulful writing and I applaud yu for yur exceptional talent. Love is beyond physical and wordly boundries and yu proved tht in this story. Though i love arrongant raizada anytime but this man is too beautiful with his imperfections. Would love to read more of your work. God bless yu dear:)

  43. Loved it….
    So true it’s hard to master the Ocean……
    One thinks that Yes they have done it…
    with the flip of the coin it turns….
    Turns showing….roaring…..storming….
    He is in control…..
    Yet sun…& the moon….dance away to the rhythm of those waves…
    The waves serenades one…
    Love the banter between Khushi & Arnav…..
    Look forward to the next chapter….

    saffron’s Ramblings….
    ❤s

  44. Couldn’t imagine arnav handicapped. Everyone should have a person like pop in their life.All your character are well written waiting for more

  45. Hmm A Arnav on a wheel chair , but same arrogance attitude and greek god face ,khushi in character Miss sunshine and happiness enjoying this story . pop sounds like an incorrigible lovable rogue

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