Just as things had settled down on a new work life balance along came a little hurricane, Yash, throwing everything out of gear.
The moment Yash (Payal and Aakash’ son) was born, life at RM changed forever, and the entire focus was now on Yash, much to Arnav’s disgust and secret annoyance. After having been the center of attention for so long, it was rather difficult to let go of one’s seat of honor. But of course nobody asked for his permission, it just happened naturally. The little one’s arrival was a double blow for Arnav as that meant Khushi spending ‘his time’ with the little one. The fact that both Payal and the baby were unwell didn’t help matters; Khushi was all the time busy taking care of either her jiji or the baby or both, she disappeared for hours during the night as well trying to soothe a colicky baby while her exhausted Jiji attempted to snatch a few winks.
Arnav really had no choice but to swallow and adjust to the situation as best as he could, though unfortunately for Khushi, who had been secretly hoping that Arnav would become more kindly disposed towards the idea of a baby of their own; a cranky wailing baby did not enamor ASR at all and all but put a full stop to Khushi, Naniji and Anya’s collective dreams.
At least for the moment.
Anya was of course ecstatic at having her dream of tying a Rakhi to her brother fulfilled. She couldn’t stop skipping with joy and nagged to be sent over to RM at the every feasible opportunity.
On Rakhi, Anya ran into RM and threw herself at CSR and squealed, “Mamu!!! Guess what! You are going to be a real Mamu!”
Arnav gathered Anya with ease and looked at his glowing Di and a sheepish yet proud Khsitij. “Di!” Arnav rushed forward and hugged his sister and there was burst of joyous celebration on this ‘pavan’ occasion. Everybody moved forward to congratulate and bless the expecting happy couple; both Nani and Khushi had tears of joy streaming down their cheeks.
Arnav moved out of the ecstatic mob surrounding his Di and pulled Anya to him and shook a warning finger, “Anya I will be terribly annoyed if ever again say something like that again!”
He looked so fierce that Anya was quite taken aback, “Say what Mamu?”
“That now I will be a ‘real Mamu’. Just like Di is the eldest Raizada daughter of our generation, you are and will always be the eldest Raizada daughter of your generation. Do you understand?” CSR was justifiably upset at this revelation of Anya’s innermost thought processes of which perhaps she herself was not aware of.
Anya’s face lit up with pride and joy as she hugged her Mamu hard, “Oh yes! Thank you!” hardly knowing herself what she was thanking him for, yet even in her childish innocence, in her heart she felt wholly and completely loved.
Arnav’s eyes sparkled with unshed tears, he looked up to find Khsitij looking at him, his eyes too wet with tears, he nodded his thanks; Arnav looked away, embarrassed.
Little Yash outgrew his cranky wailing status and found his heartwarming bewitching smile. He was particularly fond of his ‘motai’ and ‘mota’. His love and affection was returned in full measure, if not more by his Motai, but Mota was a harder nut to crack. But crack he did, slowly bit by bit, who after all can resist the uninhibited untutored joyous welcome of a gurgling baby, agitatedly determinedly flapping his arms till he was picked up by his Mota and the smile, ooh even the teen naam wala rakashash fell like a besotted neighborhood aunty; his day was incomplete without swinging the little champ up on his shoulders and a walk through his garden, tickle or two, a catch and throw, a giggle or two. Khushi watched her Arnav get entangled in the gentle soft yet unbreakable bond of love for his young nephew with a misty smile and a budding hope, maybe just maybe, he would…hey Devi Maiyya, she prayed hard and often.
But then Di had a difficult pregnancy, her blood pressure shot up, she swelled up and suffered from what is known as toxemia of pregnancy, and the doctors were worried about the advisability of continuing with the pregnancy. She put her foot down, hang on till absolutely essential, Chotte was of course kept out of the loop, till things became very bad and she was advised bed rest. She stopped going to the office and Arnav’s blood pressure shot through the roof, he came charging to GM only to find his arguments thwarted at every step by a sweet yet steely Di who refused to even entertain any question regarding her health. She laid aside the nearly completed (finally!) baba suit she was knitting and affectionately pulled Chotte’s cheeks, “Kuch nahi hoga Chotte, humara dil kehta hai.” Any other objection was met with a pitying “Chotte tum bhi na.”
He stomped off in anger, while an ecstatic glowing Di lovingly caressed her growing (also finally!) belly ‘Tumhare Mamu bhi na…Mamu ke tarah gusse wala mat ban na.’
Thankfully for Kshitij, who was still at work, he was spared the task of crossing swords with his salababu. Bechari Khushi had to bear the brunt of his unspent anger, to be fair to Arnav, he had tried to work off his emotions by tending his plants; but then they needed clipping and he had shears in his hands when Khushi came in blithely and asked brightly, casually, “You had gone to meet Di na? How is she?”
“Tumhe isse kya farq padta hai, Di kaisi hai, tumhe toh bas baby chahiye na? Koi mar bhi jaaye toh isse kya, baby zyaada important hai na? Par sirf tumhe hi kyon bol raha hoon! (phew …finally Arnav seemed to have learnt something, anything you say in a fit of anger may be held indefinitely against you for the rest your life![err not just by Khushi but the much of fandom), Di bhi kuch kam nahi hai. And tumhara bhai, what about him? [That’s right Arnav, if you can’t attack your wife attack her brother, that will endear you to her] He is crazy about Di right? Yeah right, he is crazy, period, koi paagal hi apni biwi ko aise haal main aane dega! Di ko kuch ho gaya na to keh deta hoon, main Khsitij ko chhodonga nahi.” Arnav went on a rampage as he randomly used his sharp shears and cutting tongue on the plants and Khushi, unfortunately not always, respectively.
He waved the shears dangerously close to Khushi who in turn was agitatedly waving her hands in an effort to calm him down and explain that things weren’t as bad as he thought they were but then history repeated itself; except that instead of cutting himself (though beats me how did he manage to cut himself) he slashed Khushi.
Click here for Chapter 102