The days flew by but Khushi was worried. She was past 24 weeks (of her pregnancy) and had been waiting excitedly for her own special ‘earthquake’. But then the days passed yet there was no movement. Khushi’s heart sank and she was filled with dread.
She sat panic striken and lost in her fearful thoughts as Arnav came into their room, “Khushi,” he called, she looked up and met his concerned eyes, unable to control her emotions; she burst into tears and was quite inconsolable.
It took a long time before ASR could identify the exact problem was and then of course he too was very worried. He stared in consternation at Khushi at a loss for words. Strangely, ASR’s contrary reaction helped Khushi calm down. To tell the truth, Khushi had been dreading Arnav’s reaction as well; she had been quite sure he would throw a tantrum, yell at her and possibly even blame her. “Never mind Arnav,” she consoled him as he sat there silently, nervously clenching and unclenching his hands, “I have fixed an appointment with the doctor for tomorrow morning and she did say aisa kabhi kabhi hota hai and I checked on the net too; so there is not really anything to worry about,” she clasped his hands and said even as her voice broke, “Its just that Devansh was so active and was always kicking me,” tears clogged her throat, she attempted to rally around, “Perhaps this one is not a football player,” but the tears spilled over. Arnav slid his arms around her to just as much to draw comfort as to offer comfort.
It was long sleepless night for both of them and they presented to the doctor’s clinic well ahead of time.
The doctor did a thorough check up; while she could assure them that the baby was fine, she did express concerns and reservations about the growth of the baby which was less than satisfactory, “Khushi,” she said, “Even though you maybe 24 weeks as per our calculations, the baby size indicates that it is just 22 weeks,” she looked at them squarely, “Either you got your dates wrong or the baby is not growing too well.”
Khushi and Arnav looked at each other in alarm, “I think the dates were correct,” Khushi murmured reluctantly, “Par kyon?” burst out a very worried Arnav.
The doctor shrugged, “There are several reasons for poor growth of a baby, but in her case,” she nodded to Khushi, “I think it is because of poor nutrition.”
“Poor nutrition?!” Arnav was astounded.
“Yes, Mr Raizada,” nodded the doctor, “Your wife hasn’t put on adequate weight, in fact she hasn’t even regained the weight lost in the first trimester and I doubt if she is eating well?” She looked at Khushi, who looked at the floor; she could feel Arnav’s glare boring into her back, “Khushi,” he bit out softly, “The doctor asked you something.”
Khushi reluctantly looked at the doctor, “Nahi,” she denied, “I am eating, but,” she hesitated, “Strangely even though I don’t have such strong likes and dislikes as I did during my earlier pregnancy, I just don’t feel like eating,” she said in a small voice.
“Khushi,” said the doctor gently, “You need to understand, food is very important, not only for the baby but also for you, already I am not too happy at your having another baby so soon and if you don’t want any further health complications you need to pay extra attention to your diet,” she handed her a leaflet and said briskly, “Here is a rough guidance of how much and what you should eat, try to maintain a chart and we will again follow up after two weeks ok?”
Arnav grabbed the leaflet and helped Khushi, “Thanks doctor,” he said as he led her out. Once outside, Arnav barged back inside, “Doctor, but otherwise Khushi is fine right?”
He couldn’t really hide the faint note of panic in his voice, the doctor nodded her head reassuringly, “Nothing to worry about Mr Raizada, but she is underweight and malnourished, she really does need to eat and put on some weight.
He nodded grimly, “You got it doc,” and strode out, ASR BG full on, Khushi took one look at his face and rolled her eyes mentally, ‘tu toh gayi Khushi,’ she put a protective hand over the gentle swell, ‘ab dekhna tumhare pyaare babuji humari khabar class lete hain,’ she reluctantly followed him.
She got into the car and sat quietly beside ASR and meekly swallowed all that he threw at her the rest of way back to RM. Thankfully ASR was driving, or perhaps the driver’s absence let the ASR throw all ‘lihaz’ (not that he ever had much) out of the windshield, “Malnourished, malnourished MALNOURISHED,” he screamed and banged his hand against the wheel, and stepped on the accelerator, “Delhi’s most successful businessman for the last 3 years in a row and his wife is malnourished, I have never been so insulted in my life Khushi!” his fingers gripped the steering wheel so tightly that his hands turned white. Khushi clenched her jaw and firmly hung on to the handle as the car swerved dangerously and weaved amongst Delhi’s notorious accelerator-happy drivers; she looked worriedly at his furious profile and said soothingly, “Isme insult wali kaunsi baat ho gayi?”
“Insult hi insult hai, people living in slums are malnourished, and look at you ASR ki patni aur malnourished, what the hell Khushi, what are you trying to prove? Ki tumhe khana nahi milta, ki main tumhara dhyan nahi rakhta?” ASR took his eyes off the road to turn his blazing eyes on to her; if looks could kill she would be dead by now.
Oh well, 6th June 2011 to be precise and of course on countless dates ever since eh?
Khushi pressed her lips together tightly and rolled her eyes, ‘baat ko kahan se kahan le jana toh koi inse seekhe’, “Kya Arnav aap bhi na,” she said very sweetly, “Kuch bhi bol dete hain, Poo bhi toh rehti hai humare saath, is she malnourished or what? It is just my condition which…”
“Condition,” ASR snapped it up like a starving lion and chewed it up viciously, and spat out,“CONDITION!” And why are you in this condition if I may ask?” Khushi sighed and mentally smacked herself, hey DM yeh kya bol diya humne, “All because Sankadevi forgot to take her pills and now she is in this C.O.N.D.I.T.I.O.N,” he snorted derisively, “kuch toh socha hota pehle nahi toh ab! Apna khayal nahi toh kamse kam baby ka toh khayal rakh sakti ho na?”
Khushi looked at him from under her lashes and pouted, “Hume kya zaroorat hai apna dhyan rakhne ki?” she twinkled at him, trying to tease him out of his ill humor, “Aap ho na humara khayal rakhne ke liye!” she smiled at him cajolingly,” she drew back in alarm and looked around in surprise.
The car had screeched to a halt, “Get out!” he yelled, he face blacker than ever before, Khushi got out of the car, mystified, ab kya ho gaya inhe? She wondered, he violently wrenched the RM door open, and glared at her, “Theek hai,” he nodded his head threateningly, “Main tumhara khayal rakhoonga, yaad hai mujhe Devansh ko kaise pakad ke khana khilati thi, bas ab wohi hoga tumhare saath bhi! HP!” He shouted at the top of his voice, “Khana le aao, jaldi,” he ordered curtly.
HP looked at him blankly; it was 11 am, “Khana?” he squeaked confused and looked to Khushi for help, she nodded reassuringly, “Haan get..,” she hesitated, ‘sach main kuch bhi khane ka man nahi kar raha, par’ she shot a resigned look at the Laad Governor ready to go on a rampage, mana toh karke dikhaye, nothing he would like better, ufff, she shuddered mentally, “Milk and cornflakes,” HP gratefully hurried away from the line of fire while ASR strode off upstairs without even waiting for Khushi.
Nani came and stood at her elbow, “Ab kya hua Chotte ko?” she wondered aloud, “Bitiya doctor ne kya bola?”
Click here for Chapter 229