Anya held up her left hand, even in the darkness Anjali could see the last two fingers crossed, “Kya hua?” Anjali was immediately worried.
Anya shook her head, “Nothing Anjie,” she hesitated and then said in a rush, “ever since I got to know, I crossed my fingers, hoping for a baby girl!”
Anjali was hard put to control her laugh, thankfully, Khsitij peeped in, “Is this a private party or can anyone join in?” he asked casually.
“Private of course!” Anjali said with her nose in the air, “But for you we can make an exception. Right Anya?” she giggled.
Anya nodded her head.
“So what’s cooking,” Khsitij probed gently.
Anjali laughed, “We are just chatting and I am glad you came, see what your daughter is saying.”
“And what is she saying?” Khsitij asked as he entered the room.
“She is asking me tie up her last two fingers,” because of the darkness Anjali was unaware of Anya’s agitated silent demands for secrecy, “Anya crossed them because she is hoping for a baby sister.”
Khsitij switched on the bedside lamp and squeezed in next to Anya, “Sorry sweetheart, I am afraid that whether it is a girl or a boy is already fixed by now,” with great difficulty Khsitij restrained himself from adding ‘didn’t your guruji tell you that?’ and thereby revealing that he had been privy to the much of the, if not the whole, conversation.
They put a disappointed Anya to bed half expecting to be pestered for a baby girl. Anya was in a sort of a Catch-22 situation, she desperately wanted a baby girl and it was too late to wish for one and now she couldn’t even ask her parents to fulfill her wish! Damn it! She brightened up, oh well she would wait for the little one to be born and then if it was a boy, she could pester Anjie for a sister (that was different from pestering ones parents she felt), she fell asleep with a smile in her heart, finally able to appreciate her bestest birthday gift ever wholeheartedly. She couldn’t wait to tell Aisha and the others, HSR was going to be a daddy and she a Di all over again!
“Want to bet that if the new entrant is not a baby girl, Anya will sooner or later, no matter how babies are made, pester you to fulfill her desire for a sister?” murmured Khsitij as they went to join their guests.
Anjali giggled and said, “Khsitij tum bhi na.”
Anjali caught Khushi’s worried eyes, she smiled and shook her head, at another corner, Arnav too caught the by-play between Nand and Bhabhi and went back to the exciting football game on TV.
Relieved but curious, Khushi came over to Di, “Kya hua Di?”
Anjali giggled and cupped Khushi’s cheek and said, “Woh kya hai na, humari Anya ab badi ho gayee hai, she knows how babies are made!” she looked meaningfully at Khushi; Khushi stared at her and then blushed a tomato red, “Di!” she said scandalized.
Anjali clapped her hands together and laughed, “Yes Khushi, but don’t worry, she is actually very thrilled with the news, she wanted me to tie up her fingers together so that they would remain crossed and her wish for a baby girl come true!”
“Kya hua Khushi?” Arnav too turned up, unable to bear the suspense any longer, “Tumhare gaal itne laal kyon hai?”
Anjali bit her lip and moved towards Khsitij who had gravitated towards the TV, “Haan Khushi tell him why your cheeks are red, just like Anya’s were,” looking back with a wicked grin on her face.
Arnav raised his eyebrow, Khushi finally saw the humor the the situation, she too giggled, “Di was talking to Anya, you noticed didn’t you how surprisingly she wasn’t exactly thrilled about my much awaited condition?”
Arnav nodded his head, “And?”
“Oh nothing,” Khushi said airily, “It seems that now Anya knows how babies are made!”
Arnav’s expression lightened as his face cracked, “Oh so that’s the reason, she was looking so ill at ease! I must make the most of this opportunity and settle a few scores of my own; I haven’t forgotten how that chit of a girl had doubts about my general knowledge not to mention my capabilities,” he too grinned wickedly.
Khushi glared at him, “Khabardaar! Don’t you dare say anything to her, poor thing is so embarrassed as it is and now she can’t even demand that we have a baby girl! Don’t forget, she is at such a delicate age too!”
Reluctantly Arnav let go of visions of teasing Anya, “Yeah you are right.” He muttered.
Khushi grinned mischievously, “We will remind her on her wedding day!” they both laughed.
They joined the gang who were making preparations for Skyping with the Raizadas in Mumbai; they had all wished Anya earlier in the day but now they wanted to share the ‘good news’ with them as well. Predictably everyone in Mumbai (the Raizadas I mean) was thrilled with the news, yes even Mamiji who couldn’t stop gushing over Arnaw bitwa’s bitwa; she was shoour it was going to be a bitwa, she could tell by just looking at Khoosi bitiya, like she had always known in case of Payal bitiya.
Mamaji came online and warmly congratulated them both, they smiled and exchanged greetings, while Arnav nudged Khushi and murmured for Khushi’s ears alone, “Khushi, they ALL know how babies are made.”
The conversation went nowhere from there as Khushi blushed, fumbled and mumbled; Arnav had to pick up the threads and channelize the discussion to business but he quietly slipped his arm around Khushi and held her captive beside him in front of the laptop. She wriggled and squirmed covertly trying to escape, but his iron clasp held her firmly beside him, she could feel his body shaking with laughter even as he competently carried out a business discussion with his Mamaji. The Laad Governor clearly won this round as sitting in the middle, the cynosure of all eyes, she couldn’t even glare at him lest she be asked the reason for her annoyance.
Khushi was glad when it was all over and she could hide her blushes in the arms of her Laad Governor under the cover of darkness by their poolside.
“Arnav!” she attacked him at the first opportunity once they were in the privacy of their room, “Did you have to say that!”
“Say what?” Arnav was all innocence personified, then he relented, “Oh you mean how everyone knows how babies are made? But it is true,” he protested.
“Haan but still, it was so embarrassing,” Khushi put her hands to her hot cheeks.
“Embarrassing! Really! Agar Nani se baat kar sakti ho toh….” Arnav gently mocked her while she was even more embarrassed, ‘hey DM, yeh humne kya kar diya, I behaved no better than Anya while I poured out my woes to Naniji.’
Arnav laughed devilishly as he enjoyed Khushi obvious discomfort, then taking pity on her he said comfortingly, “Khushi, you are forgetting something, everyone else too has had a baby and that too in the same way!”
Khushi looked at Arnav, punched him and buried her face in his shoulder, feeling slightly better.
Click here for Chapter 124