Expressions Unfettered -Chapter 7-By Diyaa

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Chapter 7

Aashi went to look over the boutique site with Priyanka and Shikhar on Friday . As Shikhar had predicted, Aashi thought the remodeling and decor of the place would take roughly a month and a half, maximum.

“Which means that I need to immerse myself in preparing for my opening.” Priyanka said thoughtfully.

When she heard nothing in response she turned to look at her companions and realized that both were looking at her with masked worry.

” No, don’t worry. I got hyper last time but now I am getting excited. I have already sketched ten good designs in the last three days.”

Both Aashi and Shikhar looked a little relieved to see her smiling and happy.

“I’ll go home.” Priyanka said. “Both of you come when your work is done.” she said as she walked to her car.

“Bye Prinku. We’ll see you in the evening.” Aashi called after her while Shikhar just looked on. Both waved at her as she left and walked back to Shikhar’s car to go back to their office.

“She has come such a long way in the last three years. That one decision to join fashion school changed her life. Om always wonders how she realized that that is what she wanted to do as he considers, and rightly so, that realization to be the root of her happiness . Now she is a self-assured person, but for Priyanka of three years ago to realize her passion was a stunning thing. What an amazing girl.”Aashi kept talking in praise of Priyanka.

“Yes. Quite amazing.” Shikhar said quietly very aware of the silent drumming in his chest. “What would Om think if he comes to know how she reached that realization. Clearly she hasn’t shared it with anyone in spite of having confessed it in front of me more than once. What if…” his train of thought continued to saunter on its own track.

“Bhaiya?”

Shikhar came out of his reverie . “Yes. Yes?”

Aashi gave him a piercing look. The siblings looked into each other’s eyes for a couple of seconds and just like that, without a single word having been spoken, no secret remained between them.

Aashi took a deep breath. ” Let’s go. We have to finish our work quickly so that we can go home. I am glad you will be there for the next couple of days.”

“Yes. Me too.” Shikhar replied as he got behind the steering wheel and started the car.

” You know bhaiya, it’s amazing how a brother, once he realizes where his sister’s happiness lies, will do all in his power to ensure that she gets to that place. You have done it for me all my life and when Om pursued his relationship with me, he was confident that he would have your support. But if he hadn’t pursued me actively, I don’t know where we would have been today. Definitely not this happy.”

“Hmm. You are absolutely right.” Shikhar said thoughtfully as he drove and looked ahead.

Aashi turned to look at his profile. His entire life of self-control and self-denial,for her sake, went by her eyes in a flash. She saw her brother, who was now trapped in his long-practised, self-imposed restraint. She felt his loneliness and his melonchaly and it brought tears to her eyes and an ache in her heart. She looked back to the front to get a grip on herself. ” I have learned from my experience that in order to be happy and make one’s loved ones happy, one must pursue one’s happiness actively and not be a passive onlooker.”

Shikhar turned his head sharply to look at his sister. The flash in his eyes indicated that he had understood perfectly what she had meant. He looked ahead again. ” I agree with you.” he said in a low but clear voice.” There is a right time for everything. And that is why I am very happy that Priyanka is pursuing the passion that will finally make her happy; her dream of proving her worth to herself by successfully opening her boutique. Until then, anyone who loved her, wouldn’t want her to get lost in any other distraction.”

Aashi gasped at Shikhar’s statement as her eyes became very wide. Then slowly a smile crept on her lips. She felt exhilarated and like a thousand butterflies had been set free in her head and her heart. She saw her brother’s happiness glimmering just a little distance away, almost within reach now. With a refreshed sense of inner peace she nodded, “Yes, until then.”

The next several weeks Priyanka dived earnestly into preparing for her boutique opening. Her days were consumed by preparation of a clothing line fit for a gala opening and visits to the boutique site with Aashi to overview the designing and decor of the show. Shikhar was immersed in his work from before. As work on his NGO, Aasha, progressed, it demanded more of his time to ensure that it shaped up according to his vision for it. With so much work and activity, time acquired wings and flew by as if in the blink of an eye. And just like that, two months went by.

“Yes Aai. I have boarded the plane. As soon as I have net everyone at Oberoi Mansion I will leave for Pune. Dadi said she has already arranged for my transportation. I’ll see you in a day Aai.”
Soumya said barely able to control the emotion in her voice.

“Yes, beta. I’ll see you soon.” Ranjana said in an equally emotional voice. ” Hang up now; you have boarded so you will be asked to switch off your phone. Just relax now.”

Soumya hung up the phone with a big smile on her face. There were so many emotions wreaking havoc in her mind. She sat back relaxed in her seat and closed her eyes. The image of her mother’s smiling face loomed in front of her. Next she saw Sameer, her older brother with his usual charming smile. It reminded him of two faces at once, Om and Shikhar. One was similar in temperament to her late brother while the other in both temperament and boyish good looks. Once her mind had passed through several other loving faces, it fixed upon the one that had given her strength in her weakest moments. Rudra. Her pillar of strength when she had felt weakened by her mother’s anger due to her accidental wedding. Rudra, who had ensured a normal environment for the two years after her wedding with him so that she could study hard and do well. Rudra, who had encouraged her when she had wanted to apply to American universities for higher education. Rudra, with his idiotic jokes and deep thoughts that popped up out of nowhere and were always compensated by a stupid joke right after. Was he still the same? In her mind’s eye he looked handsome as ever and smiled his sly smile while his eyes held the same innocence and purity as ever. A person full of contradictions so that you could never have a set theory about him. She had changed a little. Would he have any opinion about that? Did he have a new girlfriend? Soumya’s eyes flew open at that. She ran her hand through her dark brown hair that reached till her mid back. She took out the novel she had brought and started to read it to distract herself.

Ranjana looked at her phone thinking about her conversation with Soumya. “She said she would go to Pune as soon as she had met everyone at Oberoi Mansion. She is so excited. I hope she won’t be too shocked. What do you think Om?” Ranjana said turning sideways.

Om smiled at her. “She will be pleasantly surprised Aai. She should have her entire family together so that she can be with them all after such a long time. So your agreeing to come with me to Mumbai was the right decision. We will go together to the airport tomorrow to pick her up.”

Ranjana smiled and turned the other way to look at Rudra who sat there listening. Ranjana felt a pang looking at him. How he had faced all her anger three years ago so that Soumya could pursue her dreams. And how well had he fulfilled each promise he had made to her. A wishful thinking passed through her thoughts but she kept it to herself.

The next day was a busy one in Oberoi mansion. Everyone was excited about Soumya coming back. Except Tej, Pinky, and Shakti, all understood what the real importance of this day was. At about nine at night, Om, Rudra, and Ranjana left for the airport.

Once there, they stood in the designated area waiting for her. Ranjana stood covered by Om and Rudra, who stood in front of her. The T.V. screen in front of them showing flight status indicated that her flight had landed a while ago. “She willโ€‹ be here any minute now.” thought Rudra. His eyes looked with anticipation towards the stream of incoming travellers. He felt a little blinded by staring so hard at such a crowd.

All of a sudden he saw a petite, curvy girl, dressed in a powder pink loose ,long sleeve top, black leggings and low heeled black shoes, pushing a couple of suitcases on a cart. Her straight, long, brown hair framed her breathtakingly beautiful face as her eyes searched the crowd in front of her. Rudra was stunned. “This was Soumya? What had happened to her? Where had his chubby Sumo gone? Who was this curvy yet svelte, woman who looked all around her unaware of the glances she was attracting from the men passing by. ”

“Soumya!” Om shouted as Rudra had apparently lost his voice.

Soumya heard her name and looked in their direction. Here entire face lit up and her lips stretched in a full smile doubling her beauty. She pushed her cart to her full capacity and almost ran towards Om and Rudra.

“Bhaiya!” Soumya shouted as she set her cart aside and hugged Om tightly.

Om hugged her back and kissed the top of her head. “How is my little sister? God! We’ve missed you so much.” he said blinking back the tears that had sprung up in his eyes.

Then Soumya turned to look at Rudra who was quite white in the face. He looked like the wind had gone out of his lungs. Unable to control her emotions, Soumya said “Hi Rudra.” and hugged him tightly too.

Rudra felt like his entire body had been connected to a hundred live wires. Bracing himself he hugged her back briefly brushing his lips on her hair. “Hi Soumya. How are you? We missed you.” he said letting go before he did something extremely awkward.

“I missed you too. All of you.” She said still smiling while tears streamed from her eyes.

“My God!” Rudra thought. ” I remembered her being beautiful, but was she always this beautiful. Anyway, control. Time for her surprise.” he thought and turned to look at Om.

Om smiled. “We have a surprise for you Soumya.” he said as he moved away to create space between him and Rudra.

Soumya’s face looked thunderstruck as her eyes fell on Ranjana. “Aai!” she whimpered and broke into a sob as Ranjana stepped forward and gathered up her daughter in a loving embrace.

They stayed like that for a few minutes until Rudra cleared his throat. “Can we do the rest of the hugging session at home?” Then feeling conscious he added, ” I mean you and aunty. Not to mention all the other people at home who are going crazy with anticipation at this very moment.”

Ranjana let go of her daughter as they both wiped their tears and laughed.

“Yes, let’s go.” Soumya said. ” I can’t wait to see everyone, especially Saahil and Anya. She was a baby when I last saw her.”

“Oh then brace yourself.” Om said laughing. “She is a package of full-time entertainment now. I wonder what name she will give you.”

Soumya laughed as they started to walk towards their car. Om held Ranjana’s hand as they navigated through the crowd of people. Soumya walked right behind Om with Rudra walking beside her pushing her cart. The two looked at each other briefly, each wondering if the other could hear their wild heartbeat.

_______________________________________________

Thanks for reading Everyone. I hope this won’t disappoint. Please do leave a comment if you can. ๐Ÿ™‚

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46 Comments
  1. Awesome

    1. Diyaa

      Thanks Bhavana ๐Ÿ™‚

  2. Expressions unfettered is no longer a serendipity now because it isn’t a surprise its an addiction now. I am awestruck by your Om even more….. How he’s just perfect in every relation of his. Not to forget Shikhar who is confused about confessing himself as well as impatient for not being able to do so. Aashi is noticing changes but is not hastily assuming things just what Om is doing. Hope they both support and help the latest pair in becoming a stronger couple. I know they would. Rumya are on the next level of controlling emotions for each others progress. The nearest part of your story is that its toooooo relatable and realistic and also gives me some sibling goals each time I read it. Keep rocking with your mindblowing ff as you always do without fail.

    1. Diyaa

      Thanks so much Sanjukta. Your comments really encourage me. I can’t help bringing in the siblings relationship even in primarily romantic stories. Maybe because that’s what I have read mostly in classics and I thought the stories had more dimensions due to that. So it is heartening to see that , that element is appreciated in my stories. Thanks again โ˜บ

  3. Kiki

    Very nice. Waiting for the next update

    1. Diyaa

      Thanks Kiki.โ˜บ

  4. Fantastic epi dear….eagerly waiting for next…..

    1. Diyaa

      Thanks Lilly ๐Ÿ˜Š

  5. * besteeeeeeest part of your story

    1. Diyaa

      Thanks dear. Much appreciated โ˜บ

  6. Awesome….

    1. Diyaa

      Thanks Shivika โ˜บ

  7. Hi diyaa, I am now at hospital for my sister in law’s delivery… waiting for arrival of a new addition in our family…. meanwhile waiting for that I read ur ff… I am all the way smiling while reading this… you’re amazing as always. The way you portrayed the relation between the characters is really commendable…. awesome yaar. Waiting for the next best episode…..

    1. Diyaa

      Wow Katz!! Congratulations on the new addition to your family. Many many best wishes flying your way. Thanks for reading and commenting. I am so happy that my writing is appealing even though it progresses slowly. Really appreciate the encouragement.โ˜บ

  8. Gosh.. both stories are progressing so well.. when it comes to maturity.. it feels like shikar prinku are like THE pair!!
    And our pyaari sumo is back!!
    And she is petite? Any intention behind this diyaa?

    1. Diyaa

      Hey Anu. Thanks. Yes, Shikhar has practised maturity from a young age and is kind of an expert in supporting unsure young women achieve confidence and success. He did it for his sister and he wouldn’t want any less for Priyanka either. Since the character of Soumya is a short girl (if I am not wrong ๐Ÿค”), I wrote petite. It simply referred to her height. She is still very curvy though much more toned having had to live a very hectic and completely self reliant life for a year and a half. I’ll specify that in the next update. Thanks again for your observation.

  9. Suchitrasai

    Everything was wow aashi and shikar’s conversation may be a light one but the way aashi understands her brothers inner feelings was wow. Saumya returning back to Mumbai, Saumya thinking about Rudra and thought of him having a girlfriend itself making her frightened. Om being himself giving importance to Ranjana. Ranjana thinking about rudra. Aashi expressing how supportive shikar was and able to guess what her brother was going through. Everything was wow. I want Ranjana and Rudra to have some conversation. Everything was perfect โค loved it ๐Ÿ’š

    1. Diyaa

      Hi Suchitra. Thanks for sharing your insight. I am really glad you are liking the development of this story. Yes, I will include some interaction between Ranjana and Rudra. Thanks again โ˜บ

  10. Waiting for the next epi…slow n steady waaaa its jus amazing

    1. Diyaa

      Thanks so much Prajna. Really appreciate it ๐Ÿ™‚

  11. Am I assuming things or did you just make Shikhar accept her feelings for Priyanka in front of Aashi.WOW.What he meant was so deep yet he presented it so simply.You have depicted sister-brother love in true sense.Shikhar-Aashi,Om-Prinku and Om-Saumya ,all three in one go. I’ve always enjoyed reading but your ff has made it more enjoyable.Thank you so much for such a lovely ff….eagerly waiting for next part.

    1. Diyaa

      Hey Tanz! No, you were not assuming things. Shikhar and Aashi are connected through their shared experiences of deep pain and love. Due to their past, they can understand each other through non-verbal cues. So Shikhar understood that Aashi wanted him to follow his heart as far as Priyanka was concerned. And he confessed indirectly that he would but at the right time as he wanted her to stay focused on her goal at such a critical time in her life. The siblings understood each other perfectly as I have seen and experienced siblings usually do whether they acknowledge it or not. Thanks again for your lovely comment. I’ll update soon โ˜บ

  12. This episode was WOW. Lovely
    Next part plz include Anya

    1. Diyaa

      Thanks Fffan ๐Ÿ™‚ Next part coming up soon.

  13. Wow love rumya part

    1. Diyaa

      Thanks Taspee. Glad you liked it. Next part coming up soon โ˜บ

  14. Gayathri.visu

    Wow…..di!!! Siblings understanding and caring for each other is clearly visible in Aashi-Shikhar convo….. She is able to understand what is her brother thoughts & feelings…. And I wish I want to this Prinku in IB!!! Yippee…. Sowmya is back!! Her thoughts about Rudra and her fear….this says that she also has feelings for him…! Now Aai is truly respects Rudra…. And last but not least… Om!! He is perfect son(Jhanvi, Ranjana),perfect brother(Shivrupri & Sumo), perfect friend & brother-in-law(Anika,Shikhar) and perfect husband….. And haan I like the last line di…. Eagerly waiting for next one..!

    1. Diyaa

      Hi Gayathri! I am so happy that this chapter appealed to you. Yes, I wish they had given some meaningful story to Prinku in IB so that Subha Rajput wouldn’t leave. You are right, the siblings in this story share a special bond. Thanks so much for commenting. I really appreciate it. Next update coming up soon โ˜บ

    1. Diyaa

      Thanks Alekhikaโ˜บ

  15. It is awesome dii…. Rudra expression on seeing soumya is nice… Aashi shikhar conversation is also awesome.. Waiting for the next update please post ASAP and lots of love dii…

    1. Diyaa

      Thanks so much Nikita. I’ll update soon ๐Ÿ™‚ Lots of love to you too.

  16. Overall u made me spellbound as always
    Rudy’s expression on seeing soumya,
    Ranjana,OMS bond everything is perfect.

    1. Diyaa

      Thanks so much Charitha. Really appreciate it. Will update soon ๐Ÿ™‚

  17. Samm

    how crazy is it that i can actually hold back my squeals now?!! rudy!!! and sumo!!! why aren’t they hugging for longer? my shipper heart can’t take more of this. please make ranjana and dadi play matchmaker between these two and let them get married, again. can’t wait for the proper happily-ever-after-romance of rumya past this shy-cute-smiles-and-hugs-phase! dear diyaa genie, please grant my wish!!! ๐Ÿ™‚

    1. Diyaa

      Hey Sammie ๐Ÿ˜€ Diyaa genie…Hihihi…I am kind of excited now to explore the romantic phase of grown up Rudra who is fully aware of his love while Soumya is just becoming fully aware of hers. Your wish is my command ๐Ÿ˜‹

  18. Amazing update… Eagerly waiting for the next episode.. plz post soon…

    1. Diyaa

      Thanks so much Ankita. I will update soon ๐Ÿ™‚

  19. Neha-17

    Wow! is the first word when I read your FFs…Great! I am loving this a lott…I loved the way you enchanted Soumaya’s entry. Even the bonding between Aashi and Shikar is exploring more and more. Waiting for the next! The hug session was also great. The best part is Rudra is so sensible.Love ya!

    1. Diyaa

      Thanks so much Neha! Glad you are liking this version of Rudra๐Ÿ˜Ž. Will update soon.

  20. bit by bit the story is turning captivating
    the sibling bond is amazing
    enchanted to know that Rudra-Saumya are in love
    their distance increased their love and passion making their bond unbreakable and inseperable
    eagerly waiting for the next update

    1. Diyaa

      Thanks Aashi. Yes, the seeds of love were sown in their hearts and now they just need to let it flourish and bring it to a completion. Will update soon ๐Ÿ™‚

  21. Jerry_36

    Hey Diyaa di !! It was just amazing. The way you described rudra in the first half of the section was spellbound. Soumy is looking attractive to rudra not bad… Shikhar and Aashi are so good at understanding each other. When soumya hugged rudra I really felt happy, the hug you described was spectacular. Loved it. Post soonโ˜บ

    1. Diyaa

      Hey Jerry. Thanks so much for your comment ๐Ÿ˜Š Yeah, beauty lies in the eyes of the beholder and Rudy boy is in love๐Ÿ˜ Will update soon โ˜บ

  22. Ria

    Diyaa di,
    This was spectacular! ๐Ÿ˜ I’m loving it, over all. Everything is explained so nicely and descriptively. I love descriptive writings!
    Well, I’m glad to see Soumya back. Rudra’s reaction on seeing Soumya was very well portrayed. Soumya has changed? Let alone Rudra, I didn’t expect it either. ๐Ÿ˜› But all together, I’m really liking this story. Although, Aashi and Om continue to be my favourite, but probably, I could share the place with RuMya too. ๐Ÿ˜‰
    And Om’s last line ๐Ÿ˜ Full time entertainment pack! Waiting to see what she’d name you! ๐Ÿ˜‚ True, even I am.
    Hope you can post soon enough, I’m looking forward to it. ๐Ÿ˜€

    1. Diyaa

      Hi Ria. Thanks for commenting. Yes ,with the passage of time and hectic life, Soumya had changed a little but not much. It’s just that Rudra is now completely in love with her and knows it and he is seeing her with renewed perspective. I am excited about Anya scene too๐Ÿ˜‚Will try to update soon.

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