Rather ungracefully Khushi scooted away from him but Arnav was quicker and pulled her back before she could get off the bed, silently she pushed him, refusing to either look at him or speak to him.
“Kh..khushiii” he murmured huskily his breath fanning her cheek, she turned her face away and closed her eyes, determined not to let him win so easily, “Khushi, I am sorry, I…I really am, pata nahin kyon itna gussa aa gaya tha mujhe, Khushi please just look at me, please?” he put a hand on her chin and attempted to turn her face towards him, he was met with stiff resistance, “Ok Khushi, I will do anything, I promise kuch bhi, just talk to me please, at least look at me,” committed Arnav rather recklessly.
Khushi grimaced and turned her head and glared at him, “Let me go.”
Arnav sighed in relief, “Haan of course Khushi, let’s just sort this out first.”
“Again you are breaking your promise, didn’t you just say ‘kuch bhi’, I am looking at you and speaking to you, now let me go,” Khushi’s cold harsh impersonal tone cut through Arnav, his grip loosened in surprise, she made haste, that is as much as was possible in her condition, and escaped from his clutches and locked herself in the washroom; she spent much of her time in there crying her eyes out, samajhte kya hain apne aapko, she thought dully, spent and exhausted from all the emotional upheaval.
Arnav started knocking on the door after about 5 minutes when his patience ran out, then he got worried as there was no response, finally he said, “Khushi open the door dammit otherwise, I swear I will break open the door,” to prove that he was serious, he heaved his shoulder against the door.
Reluctantly, Khushi opened the door, but she was fuming mad, every time he wins by sheer brute force, he forcibly picked me up and brought me here and now he threatens to breakdown the door, if only I was strong enough, I would have shown him, she grimaced angrily, “Kya hai, what’s your problem, can’t I have any privacy, not even in the washroom? She spoke bitterly.
“Khushi,” Arnav spoke in a placating, soothing tone, “I was worried.”
That annoyed Khushi even more, “Oh really! Worried were you?” Where was your worry 4 days ago, or did you forgot it in Mumbai and now it has come back with Nani’s luggage,” snapped Khushi sarcastically.
Arnav looked away, embarrassed, “Khhushii, I can understand you are angry, but I am really sorry, maine socha nahi…”
“Socha nahi! Woh bhi aapne! Kyon aisa kya hogaya ki Mr Arnav Singh Raizada sochna bhool gaye, after all, poore duniya ka brains aap hi ke pass toh hai.” Khushi sniffed angrily.
“Nahi Khushi aisa nahi hai, I am not justifying, but that day I was very tired and irritated because a deal I had been working on had gone wrong and then I saw you, and I just lost it completely,” Arnav muttered and then hurriedly added, “But, but I know I was wrong and I am sorry.”
“Sorry!” Khushi was not in the least bit mollified, “Angrez chale gaye par ek Laad Governor aur ek yeh ‘sorry’ chhod gaye! Do you think a sorry can make a dead man alive?” Khushi challenged Arnav.
Arnav fumbled and mumbled something but Khushi wasn’t done yet, “Aap ko kya lagta hai, ki har baar you will hurt me, cut me to pieces, and with a sorry, I will start dancing ‘Teri Meri’ with you! What do you think I am – a toy? Jab man kiya tab khel liya aur jab nahi toh utha kar phek diya? Do you have any idea how I spent the last few days?” Khushi was shaking with anger, “But aapko kya farq padta hai, aapko toh lambe baal se zyaada matlab hai na! Apna gussa zyaada pyaara hai na! Toh theek hai, rahiye apne ego aur gussa ke saath. Hume akela chhod dijiye!” she shouted and thrust him away with a force that shocked Arnav. He let her go, afraid for her, the violence and intensity of her anger stunned him, he bit his tongue and stamped down on his ego and let her win this round. Perhaps, that she would make her feel better. And he did deserve all that she dished out.
Khushi went downstairs to find Nani talking on the phone, soon she finished her conversation and she smiled at Khushi as they both moved to the dining table, “Kaisan ho bitiya?”
Khushi flushed, “Hum theek hai Naniji, woh…kal raat ko, humara matlab hai ki Arnav…”
Nani smiled and patted her cheek, “Itna sharmane ki kauno zaroorat naahi hai, I know, Chotte picked you up and took you to his room!”
Khushi turned a brighter red, “Aapne dekha! Toh phir roka kyon nahi?”
Nani smiled and shook his head, “Miya-biwi ka mamla hai, hum kyon beech main bole, aur tab jab itne dino baad kuch sahi karne ja rahe the! Chotte kahan hai?”
Khushi made a face, “Hume nahi pata,” she shrugged and looked away.
Nani opened her mouth, then wisely kept quiet.
“Naniji, kiska phone tha?” Khushi diverted the topic just as Arnav joined them on the breakfast table.
Nani nodded to Arnav and said, “It was my friend from Lucknow, she is in Delhi so I invited them over for lunch today,” then said wistfully, “they are going to Vaishno Devi tomorrow; pata nahi kab Devi Maiyya ka humare liye bulawa ayega?” she sighed and shook her head.
Khushi clasped Nani’s hand and said, “Naniji aap ka mann hai toh aap apne dost ke saath Mata ke darshan kar ke aayeeye,” she shot a brief glance towards Arnav without actually meeting his eyes, he perked up, “Haan Nani, agar aapka mann hai toh I will get your tickets booked.”
Nani looked hopefully at both of them, “Achcha,” then she shook her head and sighed, “Naahi naahi, I can’t risk it again so soon, look at what happened when I was away for just 4 days, pata nahi ab kya ho jayega,” she glared at Arnav.
“But Nani,” protested Arnav, “I am perfectly fine, look I am talking to Khushi,” he smiled as he looked at Khushi, neatly boxing her into a corner. Khushi glared at him, he really was incorrigible, always manipulating situations to his convenience, “Haan Naniji, koi aisi baat nahi hai, don’t worry about me, I am fine, and kuch hi dino ki hi toh baat hai, aap ho kar aayeeye, aur Mata ka ashirwaad humare liye bhi le kar aana,” Khushi too reassured Nani, “Aur sab theek thak ho jaye toh Devi Maiyya ki marzee ho toh hum bhi jayenge unse milne,” she muttered as she shot another sidelong glance towards Arnav.
Arnav finally in tune with this his wife’s wishes, nodded his head with alacrity, “Sure, why not?”
The clutch on her heart eased by a fraction; zyaada khush mat ho Khushi, she cautioned herself, let me see if he does actually take me, she thought to herself.
Nani was really tempted, she hesitated then picked up the phone and talked to her friend, who gave her the details of the flight to Jammu, after which they were traveling by road. Arnav called up Aman to book a ticket for Nani. Nani sighed happily and thanked Devi Maiyya.
Breakfast over, Khushi offered to help Nani unpack her Mumbai stuff and pack for tomorrow’s trip, but Nani refused, “Nahi bitiya, you take rest, you hardly get anytime to relax and I have called people over for lunch as well. I will get Shakuntala to help me.”
Conscious of Arnav’s triumphant smirk and not at all keen to go back to back to the lion’s den Khushi protested, “Naniji, hum theek hain….”
Nani raised her hand and caressed her and said gently, “Nahi bitiya,”then as her face fell, she relented and said, “Achcha theek hai, you go to the kitchen and discuss today’s menu with HP and Shakuntala, HP can then go and shop and afterwards both HP and Shakuntala can cook lunch. But mind you,” warned Nani sternly, “you are just to give instructions, you are not to cook anything; in fact I don’t want to see you in the kitchen after 10-15 minutes ok?”
Khushi reluctantly nodded her head, whilst behind her back, Arnav exultantly clenched his fists. The back of her neck prickled warningly, ‘hey DM, aap phir unki side le rahe hain,’ she complained, ‘aap humari dost hain ki unki?’ she huffed as she walked to the kitchen.
Anyone interested in Lovely and Sonu ka continuing saga? Chapter 8: A tête-à-tête
Click here for Chapter 136