Anya crossed her arms and pouted, “How can you yell at Ankit like that, he is just a baby and doesn’t know anything and besides there was no harm done,” she listed CSR’s transgressions.
CSR sighed and put his arm around Anya, “Yeah, you are right, Ankit doesn’t know anything and thankfully no harm done, but it is time he knew what is acceptable and what is not, besides, this is not the first time is it? He needs to be taught that this is wrong, he is too young to be convinced by logic and reason so I have no choice but to put the fear of Mamu in him,” he smiled at Anya.
Anya was still upset for her darling brother, “But there was no need to yell at him so loudly was there?”
CSR nodded, “Yeah again you are right, but you forget, even adults are human and we make mistakes, I shouldn’t have yelled so loudly but the truth is I was scared and I just reacted. Do you have any idea how disastrous it would have been if you had not stopped Ankit in time?” Arnav looked away, “If Ankit’s foot had found his mark and as he is now a big sturdy boy, your Mami could have had a miscarriage, and we could have lost both the baby and,” he swallowed, “and even Khushi.”
Anya stared at Arnav horrified, her eyes round as saucers, “Really! Oh I didn’t know that!”
“Yes, really, you know pregnancy is a very delicate condition and so many things can go horribly wrong, like your mother had a very tough time while she was carrying Ankit and Ankit too was very unwell and was born prematurely,” Arnav’s fears surfaced.
Anya listened to him wide-eyed and whispered worriedly, “I hope Mami and the baby will be fine?”
Arnav nodded his head gravely, “I too hope the same.”
Anya hugged CSR and said sincerely, “I am sorry CSR for getting angry with you, I didn’t understand, I will go and scold Ankit,” she vanished before Arnav could stop her.
Then began Ankit’s training classes on dos and don’t around Mami. Ever ready to please his Di, Ankit caught on after a few repeats and soon the moment he would spy Khushi, he would violently shake his head and hands in a crossing motion, and chant, ‘Mami no fooball mami no foobal’ and back off. Well that episode ended well, but Anya suffered serious backlash.
She began worrying about Anjie, what if she got pregnant again, she didn’t even know she had been so seriously ill last time or that pregnancy was such a risky business and she had more or less forced Anjie into getting pregnant. She worried and fretted, even requested Anjie to sleep with her at night. Anjie agreed the first night, as she took the request as a casual one off request, girls night out kind of idea of Anya’s but then she soon realized that there was more to it than met the eye and gently pried out the details from Anya.
Anya clung to her weeping, “Anjie, I am so sorry, I don’t want a baby sister, please please don’t die, don’t get pregnant please, please Anjie.”
Anjali was aghast, “Anya sweetheart, what happened? Come on tell me what happened, now stop crying, I promise I won’t die,” Anjali promised rather recklessly.
Slowly, bit by bit, Anya calmed down enough to be able to explain the whole situation to Anjali and Anjali was, to tell the truth, quite put off with her brother, Chotte bhi na, she fumed silently as her heart went out to the little girl, “Anya darling, don’t you know your Mamu, he really likes to make a fuss about my health for little or no reason and the same goes for Khushi as well, don’t worry, every thing will be fine. I did have some problems but nothing as bad as your imagination and besides good doctors are available to take care of such situations.”
Anya wasn’t too convinced; “You lost your first baby too,” beginning to cry again, “why couldn’t the doctors do anything then?”
Anjali was in a fix, she could hardly tell the little girl the whole sordid story, her very faith in humanity would be shattered, she swallowed and smiled, “Darling that was an exceptional case under exceptional circumstances, so don’t count that, look I was pregnant, I had problems but now I am fine and so is Ankit right? Similarly your Mami will also be fine as will your cousin, just pray to DM and relax, ok?”
Anya reluctantly nodded her head, but then she said, “Anjie but are you taking any protection, I really don’t think you should get pregnant again!”
“Anya!” Anjali squeaked, half scandalized, half amused, “I don’t think you need to bother your head about that!” Seeing that Anya was not ready to leave it, Anjali said slyly, “Maybe you could discuss it with your dad?”
“Dad!”It was Anya’s turn to be scandalized, “Are you kidding me? One doesn’t talk to one’s dad about such stuff!”
“But does one advise one’s mom about protection!” Anjali asked wryly.
Anya flushed a bit and then said, “But you are my friend Anjie as well!”
“And your dad is a doctor as well!” Anjali shot back rather triumphantly.
Anya fumbled for a moment or two and then said airily, “Ok MOM, I will talk to Dad if you insist,” then she shot Anjali a side-long glance and said slyly, “I just hope he doesn’t faint at my topic of conversation.”
Anjali made a face as she stared at Anya with mixed feelings. Kitni badi ho gayee hai humari Anya. She could talk so casually about such a delicate topic. Yet she felt proud and humbled, Anya did indeed consider her as a friend and that is why she was able to speak so frankly! She was touched and a new fear clutched her heart. All too soon they would have to get her married and then she would leave them and go away, tears clogged her throat, she swallowed hard.
Anya stared at her and shook her, “What happened Anjie? Are you ok?”
Determined to enjoy the present, Anjali nodded her head and said brightly, “Yes you are right your dad would probably faint! Achcha baba let’s leave him out of this discussion.”
Anya grinned triumphantly at Anjie, “Ok ok, but Anjie you will be careful right, I really don’t want a sister!”
Anjali hugged her overwhelmed, “Oh you are a darling Anya, I promise I will be careful,” she blushed and put her hands to her hot cheeks, “I don’t believe this, am I talking to my daughter or to my mom?!”
They both laughed together.
After the conversation, Anya felt a bit relieved about Anjie, but then she began having nightmares about the safety of her Mami and the baby, she began calling up RM at odd hours to enquire if they were fine and often nagged Anjali into visiting them at RM to reassure herself. Her prayers to DM increased, with a bit of editing, “I don’t care if it is a girl or a boy, let them both be safe please DM.” she prayed long and hard.
Khushi blasted Arnav for forgetting that Anya was just a little girl, he shrugged helplessly, “I forgot, she talks big,” then, “Tumhari galti hai, she talks just like you,” he defended himself rather lamely.
“Achcha,” Khushi said rather sarcastically, “Woh English main baat karti hain aur hum Hindi main.”
Arnav shrugged again and looked away guiltily.
Click here for Chapter 143