Khushi thoroughly enjoyed the movie and declared herself a big fan of the new hero perhaps even more than SK! She unabashedly drooled all over him, no wonder fans were going crazy, she would be sure to come and see it again, well ok if Arnav wasn’t going to be so accommodating, she would go with Ramiya, she was sure that Ramiya would mind seeing it the 31st time!
ASR grudgingly accepted that the movie was decent enough, not those song and dance types and he liked cricket and the guy, what was his name, yeah Barun Sobti, wasn’t too bad, ok ok, pretty good and impressive in some scenes, though he did look like a scrawny chicken in some of the scenes (Hey, don’t shoot the messenger, aisa ASR ne bola! 😉 ). Squabbling and bickering, in deference to Nani, they got some Italian food packed and went back to RM for their dinner. Khushi excitedly described the movie to Nani with dialogues, expressions and even some action, but observing LG’s darkening brow she curbed her theatrical instincts; Nani was much charmed and to Khushi’s delight expressed a desire to see it, bas phir kya tha, Khushi instantly agreed and she had a date the next day with Nani. Nani too liked the movie and convinced Anjali to go and see the movie, who in turn took Anya along; after that the movie broke DDLJ’s record and Aisha broke Ramiya’s record.
As the first trimester drew to a close, Khushi’s extreme sensitivity to aromas and flavors eased and she could stand in her kitchen without wanting to throw up, though, much to her disgust she still couldn’t stomach her favorite dishes. Khushi began training her staff to handle her business in her absence. But the accounts and business management aspect still bothered Khushi, she spent hours poring over the numbers till she was seeing double and almost went crazy, was she winning or losing? And who was paying and who wasn’t? She tried to rope in Arnav to help her and he did try his best tohelp her but she was rather resistant to innovative (and complicated) suggestions of his and often led to ‘tu tu main main’ between them; Khushi often wished she could clone Ramiya, as she had more or less taken over the kitchen and even learnt to make jalebis to her satisfaction, but bechari she could hardly be expected to take over the management and accounts as well. How will I manage my business later? She worried.
Arnav would often drag Khushi to eat at an Italian joint but then sometimes Khushi won because she didn’t like leaving Nani alone and Nani wasn’t too keen on eating out, so they compromised and ordered in. With at least one meal being retained fully, the color returned to Khushi’s cheeks and she stopped looking as if she was going to collapse any minute and Arnav’s mood improved as well.
Khushi gorged on pasta, all the while moaning, “Yeh hum kya kha rahein hai, sab aapki galti hai, yeh koi khane ki cheez hai” etc etc, while Arnav looked on indulgently letting her rant while he plied her plate with more helpings. Nani looked at them, smiled and shook her head. Strangely enough, Arnav could no longer match Khushi’s appetite for pasta; in fact he had taken to snitching roti sabzi from Nani’s plate whenever he ate pasta to give Khushi company. He could appreciate Khushi’s annoyance with this craving, once in a while pasta was good, but daily naaah.
The second trimester passed smoothly enough with Khushi putting on weight with a nice little baby bump, she glowed and epitomized ethereal beauty and Arnav couldn’t stop ogling her at feasible opportunity (possibly that added to her glow).
Arnav kept a strict watch on her diet and blood pressure; he was constantly worried that Khushi would go Di’s way and thankfully over the course of time, his fears proved to be baseless. But of course he didn’t stop nagging her to take it easy, finally Khushi gave up and threw at him, “Come on Arnav, I am pregnant, not terminally ill!”
Arnav had the grace to blush though he protested, “Haan toh maine kab kaha, waise bhi your sister is more hardy and robust in comparison to you, look at you, all pale and so delicate.”
Khushi smiled mistily at him and hugged him awkwardly, “You really have double standards don’t you?”
Then one night while they were sleeping Khushi suddenly woke up, “Bachao bachao bhookamp ayaa!”
“What the!”Arnav sat up with a jerk; he switched on the table lamp, “Khushi! Kya hua?”
“Arnav! bhookamp ayaa!” Khushi urgently shook him hard.
Arnav was still dazed with sleep, “Bhookamp! What’s that!”
Khushi fumbled and then finally said. “Woh kya kehte hain, earthquake, earthquake!
Arnav wearily rubbed his eyes, “Come on Khushi wake up! You must have had a dream!”
Khushi shook her head violently, “I am awake! I am not dreaming, I am sure there is an earthquake going on! Let’s go out!” she made to rush off the bed, but Arnav held her back, “Relax Khushi, you must have dreamed it, there is no earthquake, look, look at the fan its steady, if there was an earthquake it would be swinging right?” he gently tried to pacify and convince her.
Khushi looked at the fan doubtfully, true but she could have sworn and yes there it was again, “Phir se ayaa jhataka, dekhiye humne kaha na! Didn’t you feel it?” she asked Arnav excitedly.
Arnav shook his head and stared at the fan, “Kahan Khushi, stop imagining things,” sleep overcame Arnav and he lost patience with the antics of his crazy wife, “Go to sleep,” he ordered peremptorily as he rolled over and sat up with a start as Khushi shrieked, “Aya phir se aya, I felt it in my stomach! Hey DM, baby toh theek hai na!” she froze and stared at Arnav, “That was our baby, our baby is kicking me!” she laughed delighted at the wonderful experience, sleep forgotten Arnav kept his hand over hers and waited patiently for almost half and hour before his or her Royal Highness decided to reward Arshi with a mindblowing kick! Arnav and Khushi had their first experience of a sleepless night in honor of the coming guest, a first of many, especially for Khushi.
After that initial jhatka, Khushi quickly got used to the little kicks at odd hours and in fact looked forward to them, her heart sang with joy and she often stuffed herself in the hope of getting an extra dose of those awesome thumps dhum dhum dhum dhum. Khushi giggled to herself as she recalled Ankit’s expression.
One day, Di had come over in the evening and they had been sitting in the lobby and generally chatting of this and that, Ankit had wanted to clamber on to Khushi’s lap but was unable to and annoyed at obstruction, he tried to push her tummy in, he froze and jerked back his hand in alarm, “Chuha!” he yelped.
Khsitij often played a game with him where he would shape his handkerchief into a mouse and with a smooth sleight of hand he would make the ‘mouse’ jump on to Ankit and Anya. Ankit loved the game but he would yell with fear whenever the ‘mouse’ would actually land on him but would go off into gales of laughter whenever the ‘mouse’ jumped on his Di which was often.
Everyone laughed while his Di came skipping forward, “Not chuha another Mankie!” she put his hand on her tummy again, emboldened by his sister’s support, he pushed his tiny hand again with all his might and sure enough he got an answering kick, ‘hey watch it Big Bro, that’s my mom and my home you are encroaching upon!’ this time Ankit was ready, he loved it and clapped his hands in glee.
Arnav too was frequently woken by the jhatkas when he dared to venture too close for comfort towards Khushi, an immediate strong protest would invariably shock Arnav out of his slumber and the trademark ‘What the’ would burst out and Khushi would shush him, shhh don’t use such words in front of the baby! Arnav was like ‘seriously?’ and try to doze of a little away from Khushi, but then her nightly Taekwondo classes would commence, Arnav sighed, ‘Kick all you want buddy,’ he muttered as he pulled Khushi back in his embrace.
Click here for Chapter 129