Peace, silence and RV (the happy one) reigned for a while, but it was all too short (of course depends on whose side you are on, short if on ASR’s side and too long if on Khushi’s side) as the severity of his crime compelled sanity to raise its ugly head and Khushi started off again, “You always win with brute force” she wagged her finger angrily, “if I were physically strong, I would have picked you up and tied you to the chair at the poolside and kept you captive and on a ration of only water and roti-sabji till you saw reason,” she waved her hands agitated; a faint smile tugged Arnav’s lips as he found himself back on terra firma, his tigress was back, looking at him, snarling at him (her cold silence had nearly killed him), “True,” Arnav murmured as he tried to look appropriately apologetic but failed.
Khushi glared at him, he hurriedly straightened his expression and said cajolingly, “I am sorry Khushi I hurt you,” he shrugged rather helplessly, “I didn’t mean to, pata nahi kya hua…”
Khushi raised her hand, “Rehne dijiye rehne dijiye, hume toh pata hai na, aap aise hi hain, aur aap kabhi kuch jaan kar nahi karte,” she mocked him angrily, “waise bhi, hume adat hai aapse chhot khane ki, galti humari hai, har baar sochte hain, ki yeh akhri baar hai, par phir pehle se bhi zyaada chhot dete hain aap, pata nahi hum kab samjhenge,” to her horror, her anger deserted her and she burst into heartbreaking sobs.
Arnav too was horrified, he quickly gathered her into his arms and shushed her while she finally yielded to the luxury of doing what her heart wanted, to cry in his arms.
They stood there for a long time, as Khushi cried buckets and Arnav attempted to soothe her, “Khushi I am sorry Khushi, I really am, I was wrong, mujhe itna gussa nahi hona chahiye tha,” he wiped her tears and kissed her wet cheeks, “please Khushi, stop crying please, if not for my sake or for your sake, at least for our baby, socho woh kitna pareshaan ho raha hoga,” he once again manipulated Khushi’s sensibilities.
Khushi sniffed and glared at him and controlled herself, Arnav tenderly cupped her face, “Tum theek ho?”
She hiccupped and sniffed, “Haan hum theek hai, aapki wajah se nahi, par aapke bavajood bhi hum theek hain,” still not ready to completely forgive him.
“Uchit hai,” he sighed unhappily.
A giggle escaped Khushi, his heart beat back on track, Arnav grinned disarmingly, “Dekha tumhare sangh reh kar main bhi serials ki bhasha bolne laga hoon, woh bhi Mahadev ki!”
“Uchit hai!” mumbled Khushi as she giggled into his shoulder, he held her tenderly in his arms, relief flooded him. He tipped up her chin and scanned her tear ravaged face regretfully, he would make it up to her he vowed, he wiped away the remnants of her tears as he racked his brains, “Bolo kya gift chahiye tumhare godh bharai ke liye?” he asked.
Feeling much lighter and happier than in days, but still determined to have her pound of flesh, she shrugged his hand away, “Hume maang kar lene main mazaa nahi aata, aapko khud kuch soch kar dena chahiye, hum kyon batayen?” she crossed her arms in a huff.
Arnav nodded his head resignedly, “Ok fine, but that will take some time and planning, abhi ke liye kuch kar sakta hoon? Kuch chahiye?”
Khushi shook her head mutinously and then suddenly wore an impish naughty look; Arnav sighed in relief yet he couldn’t but feel faint flicker of trepidation, now what!
“I want golgappas,” she demanded imperiously, her nose in the air.
“Golgappas! What the!” Arnav was taken aback, what is she planning, he wondered suspiciously, she couldn’t be letting me off the hook so easily, he thought rather uneasily.
“What the nahi, golgappa aur abhi,” Khushi struck up an pose, Arnav resignedly nodded his head, “Yeah yeah, sure,” he shrugged and dug out his phone and called up Aman, “Haan Aman just send me,” he looked at Khushi questioningly, she held up two fingers, “haan 2 golgappas,” he looked askance at Khushi who had smacked her head with her hand, ‘two plates’ she motioned urgently with her hands, “haan 2 plates of golgappas and make sure it is from that Def Col chappie who makes it with Bisleri water,” Arnav again stared at Khushi, “uh hang on a minute, Aman,” he put his phone down, “Kya?” he asked Khushi.
“Bolo zyaada theekha wala chahiye,” Khushi said, Arnav viewed her concernedly, “Are you sure Khushi, it may not suit you, already you have acidity and digestive issues,” but Khushi was adamant, he shrugged and put the phone to his ear, when Khushi suddenly had a change of heart and she agreed to less theeka.
Delivery took an hour or so, which Khushi gainfully occupied Arnav in massaging her aching back, well he did offer and she condescended enough to grant him his dearest wish, she sighed in relief. And got angry again, itne din waste kar diya ainvai gusse gusse main. Laad Governor kahin ke.
The GGs arrived just in time for Arnav and he was saved another round of recriminations and aapki himmat kaise hui and all that, immediately her mood improved vastly and she drooled excitedly while Arnav over saw the unpacking of the various accompaniments to the GGs and then waved HP away, he helped Khushi get off the bed and led her to the mound of GGs laid temptingly on her table. She closed her eyes, inhaled deeply and said blissfully, “Hai golgappe, thoda meetha, thoda khatta, thoda theeka!” She swallowed hard and clasped her hands in ecstasy.
Arnav watched her expressions with wonder and joy, crazy didnt begin to define his wife and he loved her dammit, she looked so dammed cute with her short curls framing her face; he wondered for the nth time, why did I get so mad in the first place!
The preliminary visual feast over, Khushi quickly picked up a plate and put a GG on it and expertly made a neat little hole on top and filled it with all the delicious stuff that went in and finally filled it to brim with the ice-cold tamarind water, stared happily at the perfect ball with all its goodies floating in the green water, inhaled deeply, swallowed and offered it to Arnav.
“What the!” he backed away hurriedly, “No Khushi, it’s for you, you have it, I don’t want it!”
Khushi shook her head, “No you have to eat it, I won’t be able to keep it in, but you can eat it, after all hum dono ek hi toh hain, hai na?” she batted her eyes at him.
Arnav looked at her wryly and said, “Achcha toh this is my ‘punishment’! Okay,” he shrugged, “if it makes you happy,” still looking at her he bent his head and ate the golgappa from her hand, she hurriedly wiped the juice dripping from his chin with the edge of her palm. He chewed it and swallowed it as if savoring the taste and when he was done he opened his mouth for another. Khushi was staring at him as if dumbstruck, “Kya hua?” he drew in his breath sharply and made a whistling sound as the spicy condiments seared him; he looked at her and murmured softly, “Achcha hai, par khilaogi tabhi khaaoonga.”
After a long long time, their room was finally echoing with the happy RV. Flustered, Khushi prepared another one and fed it to him, this one also he seemed to enjoy every bite all the while looking at her, Khushi melted and her eyes softened, after the fourth one, she held back and said softly, “Rehne dijiye, aapko problem hogi.”
Uncaring, Arnav held her hand and insisted on eating that one as well, unable to resist the warmth and love shining in his eyes Khushi allowed him pull her into his arms and leaned against him gratefully. He sighed and hugged her tenderly, “Thank you Khushi.”
Khushi withdrew from him and stared at him, “Kis liye? Humne abhi bhi maaf nahi kiya hai aapko.”
Arnav stared at her with an inscrutable expression and then slowly shook his head, “Kam theeka wala golgappe mangwane ke liye, aur,” he hesitated.
“Aur kya,” demanded Khushi.
“Do plate khilana tha and you let me off the hook after 4 GGs,” Arnav’s eyes spoke volumes.
Khushi blushed and looked away, “Haan woh…woh…I didn’t want to jeopardize the health of my baby’s Babuji, aap zyaada bhav mat khaiye,” she made a quick recovery.
Arnav looked at her with his heart in his eyes and sank down on his knees in front of her and hesitantly picked up her hand, unsure of her reaction. When she didn’t jerk his hand away, he tenderly clasped it in both his hands and said emotionally, “Galti ho gayi Khushi, maaf kar do?”
Click here for Chapter 139