All too soon it was time for the visitors to leave and as expected, the parting was full of rona-dhona. To reduce the pain of parting, the visitors had left in batches, the Mumbai party left a couple of days earlier. Khushi missed Yash and her Jiji terribly but since her parents were still here she could bear it with fortitude. She took the last couple of days off from work so that she could spend the maximum time with her family. It was a big solace to Khushi that her Amma had promised to come over and be with her at the time of delivery. In fact Buaji had wanted Khushi to go over to her ‘maternity home’ for maternity purposes, but of course ASR would have none of it and graciously but firmly vetoed their request and ultimately it was decided that Amma would come down for a couple of weeks or as many days as was required.
Khushi was a bit morose after everyone had left, but Arnav went all out to cheer her up.
He sat with her, chatted with her, cajoled her into eating, massaged her back, tended to her nocturnal leg cramps and even watched ‘Hum Aapke Hain Kaun’ on TV with her.
During a break, Khushi asked Arnav, “Achchi movie hai na?”
Arnav nodded and pursed his lips, “Yeah, ok I guess, too many songs, but the girl is pretty, who is she?”
“Achcha! Toh woh sundar hai!” Khushi huffed.
He looked at her surprised, “Haan Khushi, she’s really beautiful, don’t you think so?” he said rather blandly, “I am amazed Khushi, I thought you would agree with me, I think this is the actress whole of India and even neighboring countries were once gaga over right? And as you told me this was a super duper hit? I am not surprised, she looks amazing and I can understand people flocking to the halls just to see her, I wish I could have seen her on the big screen, must have looked gorgeous eh,” He carried on blissfully unmindful of his wife’s black looks.
Khushi switched off the TV, “Kya hua Khushi?” Arnav asked innocently, “Oh! I get it, you are jealous, right, but Khushi, you praise Salman Khan so much, ‘hum kuch kehte hain kya’?” he mocked her.
Khushi made a moue, “Humari baat aur hai,” she sniffed.
“Kyon, and who has double standards now?” he murmured softly.
“Double standards ki baat nahi hai,” Khushi said dolefully, “Ramiya had warned me, when I cut my hair and you were so angry with me, I think she guessed and she made dire predictions about men and how they lose interest in their wives after they get pregnant and they become fat, puffy and then always have a cranky wailing baby in their arms,” she buried her face in her hands and burst into tears.
Arnav was aghast, “Khushi!!! Sweetheart, come on, I was just joking, I was just pulling your leg, honest, I promise,” he forcibly raised her red face, only to find her eyes sparkling mischievously, “Hum bhi toh joke hi kar rahe hain!” She fluttered her eyes at him, “Bhool gaye kya aap hoshiyar hain toh hum usse bhi zyaada hoshiyaar hain!” She put a hand on his shoulder, “Kya hua, bolti bu….” Arnav didn’t give her a chance to complete her chant as he swallowed up her taunt.
He raised his head, “But Khushi, she is beautiful.”
“Haan toh?” Khushi switched on the TV, “Par humse badi ‘deal’ toh nahi hai na?”
Arnav’s lips twitched, he looked her over, “Tumse bigger deal kuch ho sakta hai kya,” she preened and went back to the movie. Soon it was time for ‘Didi tera dewar dewaana’, Khushi flicked a sly glance at Arnav, he looked at her wryly, “Achcha toh yahan se chori kiya tha!”
“Chori!? Isse chori kehte hain aap?” Khushi started off again, “Pata hai lyrics par kitna time laga tha!” she twinkled mischievously, “Aur mazaa bhi ayaa tha!” Arnav rolled his eyes; but the worst was when Arnav said, “Pata nahi Khushi why you like this guy so much, quite idiotic I must say!” Having said that he leaned back and waited with pleasurable anticipation of the coming fireworks, she didn’t disappoint him; all in all, it was an enjoyable evening for both.
However, jahan ASR ho, can a simple event like watching a movie be really that simple? Clearly not and true to tradition, the outcome of watching ASR watching HAHK with his pregnant wife had far-reaching and long-standing consequences.
For Arnav being ASR, over-reacted to the way the protagonist’s sister died in the movie and insisted that they shift to the ground floor. Khushi was aghast! “But why?” she wailed, “I love this room and the baby’s room is also next door and now you want us to shift downstairs?”
Arnav was adamant, “I don’t care, you keep falling as it is, upar se pregnant ho, I can’t be with you all the time, nahi I am not risking it, in any case, not an easy task for you to go up and down so many times in a day, and it is going to get more difficult in the coming weeks, so that’s decided, we are shifting back to the ground floor,” he decreed.
“But Arnav,” Khushi tried to reason with him, “Aisa real life main thodi na hota hai, and she was wearing a saree….”
“And you are never ever wearing a saree,” Arnav cut in peremptorily.
“Arnav!” Khushi begged, pleaded, cajoled even shed a tear or two, but he was unmoved, within no time, all their stuff was in the ground floor room, and quite lost his temper with her, “Oh come on Khushi, the way you are going on as if we are leaving RM!”
Khushi sniffed dolefully, “Aapko nahi pata hume toh aisa hi lag raha hai.”
Arnav saw she was genuinely upset and depressed, he melted and yielded (that is marginally), he pulled her into his arms, “Come here you crazy woman, look this is only for a couple of months ok, we did stay here earlier didn’t we and it wasn’t so bad was it? I promise we will go back upstairs once you are well enough to climb stairs after the delivery, ok?”
Khushi leaned against him and reluctantly nodded her head, “But the poolside?” she brightened, “Couldn’t you press some secret button and the poolside could magically appear here as well?” she looked hopefully at the mighty Arnav Singh Raizada.
He shook his head ruefully, “Your wish is of course my command but yeh tumhara koi Hindi movie or tele-serial nahi hai! I could get a poolside here no doubt, but by that time we would be back upstairs! Toh abhi rehne dete hain theek hai?”
Khushi had no choice but to give in.
To tell the truth it was a good decision and strain on Khushi’ back eased considerably, strange how she had never realized how many trips she did have to make up and down the stairs. She sighed in relief and loss, never mind, we will soon go back to ‘our room’ no, ‘our rooms’ she happily corrected herself.
Click here for Chapter 156