Anjali and her family had been pleasantly surprised to see Khushi’s new look, and everyone congratulated her warmly and teased her about her smart chic look. Khushi blushed and smiled happily while Arnav looked on indulgently.
Though to be honest, Ankit wasn’t too happy, he circled his Mami from afar and muttering confusedly, “Coochie? Coochie? Coochie?”
Everyone laughed, understanding his dilemma, Arnav picked up the little boy and swung him like an aeroplane and took him towards Khushi, “Yes Ankit this is indeed your ‘coochie’!” Ankit laughed in glee as Khushi smiled and pinched his nose and he could finally recognize her, ‘Coochie’! He declared confidently and stretched out his arms to go near her but Arnav quickly distracted him by swinging him away from her and around RM. Ankit’s cup of joy overflowed.
Nani and Anjali were busy discussing the GB ceremony and were planning to call up Khushi’s parents as well as the Raizada gang at Mumbai; hopefully Mamaji would be well enough to travel by then. Then there were gifts to be decided, what to give Khushi, what would make her happy and more importantly what would she like to eat? Earlier it had been so easy, just give her jalebis and GGs she would be thrilled but now, poor thing, Nani shook her head, “Roz toh pasta khati hai, godh bharai par bhi pasta khayegi kya! Sab log kya sochenge?”
Anjali giggled, “Sab Chotte ki galti hai,” she shook her head as she looked affectionately at him, “Chotte bhi na.”
Seeing his Di looking at him and evidently talking about him, he put down Ankit and walked over to them, “Kya hua Di,” he asked.
“Kuch nahi Chotte, we were just talking about overwhelming Khushi’s desire to eat pasta,” she wrinkled her nose at him and said, “Chotte tumhe pata hai, when I was carrying Ankit I used to get a craving for jalebis! Though of course never as much as Khushi has for pasta, after all the relationship is a bit distant! Of course Khsitij too likes jalebis but of course not as much as Khushi does!” they all laughed.
“Achcha Chotte, bataiye have you thought of a gift for Khushi?” Nani asked him.
Arnav wore a trapped expression, “Gift?” he muttered looking confused, “Yeh toh Khushi ka department hai,” he said lamely.
“Haan gift Chotte,” Anjali scolded him affectionately, “Just because Khushi is so undemanding and understanding you can’t escape your responsibilities! Usne tumhari aadat aur bhi kharab kar diya hai, waise bhi you were never a ‘gifted’ person aur ab toh,” she shook her head, and cupped his face, “Kuch achcha socho, kuch aisa ki Khushi bilkul khush ho jaye, samjhe?”
“Yeah yeah,” muttered Arnav beginning to feel the pressure, he turned away.
“Aur Chotte!” Di called him back, “Remember, all the others will be giving her clothes and jewelry, you know the mundane stuff, you have to think of something different.”
Arnav rolled his eyes as he looked over towards Khushi as she sat on the sofa talking to Ankit, while Khsitij sat a distance away hiding behind a newspaper, Anya was nearby, hunting for a ball which Ankit had just kicked away.
Well into her seventh month, Khushi did indeed look as if she had stuck a football to her tummy and Ankit was fascinated by the ‘fooball’ and he had again let his foot fly. This time Anya saved Ankit a thrashing from his Mamu who had observed with foreboding the little Mankie’s suspicious preparations and had made a dash towards Khushi. Arnav would have been late but thankfully for the continuing unity of the Raizada khandan, Anya, more in tune with her brother’s activities, stepped in neatly foiling his yet another attempt to score a ‘goal’.
A panicstricken ASR gave a loud yell, “ANKIT!!!” And the RM lobby echoed with his roar, “DON’T YOU EVER, EVER DO THAT AGAIN! Understand!!” Arnav thrust his angry face into Ankit’s face as he blasted him.
Ankit astounded at this ‘changeover’ in Mamu and frightened out of his wits, burst into loud inconsolable wails. Anjali and Nani came rushing from the kitchen while Khsitij removed the curtain of newspaper, “KYA HUA?!!!”
Anya came rushing and pulled Ankit into her arms and turned to her beloved CSR and blasted him right back looking remarkably like a lioness protecting her cub, “How can you yell at Ankit like that! He is just a baby! He does know any better, leave him alone.”
It was quite a sight to see, Anya fiercely hugging a crying Ankit whilst she yelled at CSR in the middle of RM lobby.
Arnav realized he had over-reacted (as usual) but he was dammed if he was going to take it from a chit of a girl, “If he doesn’t know any better, it is time someone told him so,” he snapped back and then in a softer tone, “And for you he will always be a baby.”
Khushi heaved herself to her feet, “Ankit darling come here, your Totte didn’t mean anything,” she gently pulled the still crying little boy from Anya and glared at Arnav, he rolled his eyes and sheepishly took the crying boy into his arms, “Hey big guy,” he hugged him and consoled him but made it a point to reiterate again and again that his Mami was not carrying a ‘fooball’ and he was not supposed to kick her. Happy to be in his Mamu’s good books he nodded his head several times and slipped his little arms around Arnav’s neck and put his head on his shoulder, still sniffing.
Anya was not so easily mollified and walked off in a huff and refused to look at CSR. Anjali smiled and shook her head, “Chotte kya kam tha ki Anya bhi na.” Anjali tried to pacify Anya but she wasn’t convinced and sat with a sullen look on her face.
Arnav sighed and made Ankit sit next to Khushi after warning Ankit to behave himself and Khushi to be more careful, he went over to Anya. Anjali smiled at Arnav, cupped his face and then for saftey’s sake went and sat next to Khushi holding Ankit on her lap, one hand securely trapping his legs.
Arnav sat beside Anya and cleared his throat, “Hey Anya, come on, what’s the big deal?” he said gently.
Anyone up for the Ugly Truth – Chapter 9 in the Sonu and Lovely saga?
Click here for Chapter 142