About a week later
Arnav and Khushi had finished their dinner and it was around 10 pm when Khushi lay back on the bed with a sigh of relief, knowing all too well the relief was only for a little while as no position was comfortable for more than an hour and a half. Arnav came and sat beside her, “Tum theek ho?”
Khushi rolled her eyes, “Ek kaam kariye, aap hospital main jaa kar humara intezaar kariye!”
Arnav looked at her ruefully, “Theek hai, par yeh toh bata do, tum hospital kaise aaogi? Drive toh kar nahi paaogi, you won’t fit behind the wheel!” he chortled with glee.
Khushi glared at him, “Very funny,” she said sarcastically.
“Yes isn’t it,” Arnav took her seriously, “No wonder Ankit calls you fooball, you know Khushi you do look like a football,” he mock ducked under her fierce glare, and raised his hands in self-defence, “a beautiful football! Maybe I should call Ankit over to kick you all the way to the hospital,” he cracked up at the image, Khushi tried to maintain her dignity but the sight of Arnav laughing, even if it was at her, tickled her and she joined in his laughter and froze.
Arnav too froze, “Kya hua Khushi?”
She looked at him dazed and whispered, “I wet the bed!”
Arnav leapt up as if stung, “What the!” and gazed in astonishment at the spreading stain.
Khushi was horrified, and burst into tears, Arnav rushed to console her, gingerly avoiding the rather large wet patch on the bed, “Hush Khushi, its ok, never mind, come let me help you change,” suddenly Khushi stiffened and clutched his hand fiercely and gasped with pain, and then sighed in relief as the spasm wore away, “Oh DM ka lakh lakh shukar hai, I didn’t wet the bed, sab apke bachche ki galti hai, my water broke.” she smiled tremulously at Arnav.
It was Arnav’s turn to squeeze Khushi’s arms bruisingly as the import of her words sank in, he paled alarmingly, “Your water broke!” he stood up suddenly in panic, “Hang on, let me get you to the hospital!” he hurriedly got up to get her suitcase from the cupboard and in his rush and carelessness he tripped over the leg of the table and fell in a heap at her feet and banged his head against the bed.
“Arnav!” screeched Khushi and with great difficulty bent over and shook him, he lay unresponsive; Khushi froze in terror and then gasped in agony as another wave of spasm swept through her, she bit her lips to prevent herself from screaming out on agony. After a while the wave of contraction passed and she was able to breathe, “Arnav, Arnav!” she called urgently from where she had sunk down on the bed unable to sit on down on her haunches. Hey DM, raksha karna, she pleaded, thankfully Arnav moaned and sat up with a groan, “Wha….”
“DM tere lakh lakh shukar hai!” Khushi thanked her best friend, “Aap theek toh hai na?” she said concerned, He nodded his head and winced, damn his head hurt, so did his left foot, “What am I doing here?” he muttered dazed, suddenly everything came rushing back and he paled again, “Khushiiiii, your water broke! We have to go to the hospital, come on!” he lumbered to his feet with a stagger, Khushi looked at him worried, he looked so pale and in so much pain, “Aap baitiye,” she pushed him on to the recliner, he sat down with a thump, he really was feeling woozy and dazed, he rubbed his temple which was throbbing and a lump could be seen (making him look a bit like Tom! [arre nahi samjhe…Tom and Jerry wala Tom]) He shook his head, “Chalo Khushi there is no time to waste…”
“Nahi, we can wait awhile, there is no rush, hum theek hai, 15-20 minutes here or there is not going to make much of a a difference, waise bhi I need to change, I can hardly go in these soiled clothes, maybe take a shower….,” Khushi broke off and gasped in pain as another wave of contraction hit her, thankfully it subsided soon enough and Khushi could breathe again, but the damage had been done.
Arnav hobbled to his feet, “What the! There is no rush! Paagal ho gayee ho kya? Chalo, hurry up!” he barked but Khushi hurriedly backed away, she was feeling too icky to go anywhere like this and vanished into the washroom, Arnav grimaced angrily and clenched his hands, frustrated. He dug out his mobile from under Khushi’s pillow and called up the driver but he didn’t pick up the phone and worse after a couple of rings the phone was switched off! What the! Arnav was thrilled, he finally found his scapegoat he let loose his pent up emotions and taking advantage of Khushi’s absence swore long, hard and fluently at the unfortunate driver, called him some very very unprintable and perhaps even hitherto unheard of names, spent a few minutes pleasantly outlining what he would punishments he would like to heap on the hapless chap should he ever dare to cross his path.
Feeling slightly better, he called for a taxi and then called up the doctor to complain about Khushi’s tardiness, she gave him instructions to take Khushi to the hospital and yes, Khushi was right 15-20 minutes wouldn’t make that much of a difference, waise bhi traffic main hi itna time, if not more, lag sakta hai.
Arnav put the phone down not at all reassured, traffic! Yeh toh soch hi nahi, oh but it was past 11.00 pm, the roads should be clear by now and the rain, had it let up? He peered through the window; yes thankfully it was just drizzling silently now.
Arnav was standing by the washroom door holding her case in his hand, not willing to entertain any further delay in reaching the hospital. His ankle was throbbing as was his head, but he ignored these minor distractions focusing on his wife and child. As soon as Khushi came out he hustled her out of the room and to the waiting cab.
Woh kya kehte hai, ‘jo hota hai achche ke liye hota hai’ toh achcha hi hua ki ASR gira 😀 Chill people chill! Agar nahi girta toh pucca Khushi ko utha kar le jaata aur is haal main bahut gadbad ho sakti thi. ASR ke haath paeir thande ho rahe the aur landing par barish ka paani bhi tha, agar GH jaise gir jaata toh bahut bada kaand ho sakta tha! Kyon sahi bola na 😉
Arnav and Khushi were in a dilemma about whether or not to inform Nani and they had a brief squabble on the way to the car, with breaks in-between in deference to contractions gripping Khushi now and then.
Kya nahi samjhe? Achcha toh the conversation went something like this:
Arnav: “Khushi, just sit for a second here, I will just inform Nani and come back in a jiff.”
Khushi, clutching Arnav’s arm, “ R….rehne dijiya, why disturb Nani, thak gayi hongi, waise bhi unki tabiyaat kuch…”
Arnav: WHAT! Tabiyat! Nani ko kya hua Khushi, tumne bataya kyon nahi?!!!”
Khushi, “Nani ne manaaaaaa, ohhhhhh” she gasped as a spasm hit her, “Khushiiiiii” hissed Arnav is empathy, they stood in suspended animation while the impatient new member made its presence felt, acknowledged and due respect given to its supreme status as ‘top priority.’
“Chalo Khushi let’s go,” Arnav got antsy, but Khushi said, “HP ko boldijiye, Nani ko subah bata dega aur woh aapko phone karlengi….ooooo,” in tune with her to be offspring’s impatience, she started waddling leaving Arnav to do the needful.
Arnav mulled over it for a few precious seconds, Khushi was right, it was late, why disturb her sleep, she couldn’t do anything but worry, but she may feel bad that she was not informed, and worry if she got to know they weren’t home, but then they did have a habit of going out late at night for a drive, so ultimately he went with Khushi’s suggestion and gave instructions to HP to tell Nani whenever she got up and asked about them that they had gone to the hospital and that she should call up Arnav.
That sorted, he caught up with her in a couple of easy strides, despite his injuries, “Khushi, Nani ko kya hua?”
“Haan, Nani ka BP thoda high ho gaya tha, she didn’t sleep well last night as well, let her sleee…” she froze while Arnav did an impatient jig around her, “Khushi come let me pick you up, it will be quicker that way,” he put his arms around her, but Khushi thrust him away, her face screwed up with obvious discomfort, “Ji nahin” she muttered through pale lips, “Hum theek hain, but look at you, jaaiyee, you can hardly walk,” she peered doubtfully at his pale stressed face and insisted that he take the pills Khsitij had prescribed; surprisingly Arnav gave in without much of a fuss, possibly because he wanted to avoid another delay in their transfer to the hospital.
Arnav helped Khushi into the cab and then started the second phase of the argument, whether or not to tell Di et al. Arnav was not at all keen to disturb them but Khushi was not so confident of Arnav being able to calmly handle the crisis on his own and over-ruled him and called up GM, “Kishu Bhaiyya, hum Khushi bol rahe hain, I think I am going into labor so we are going to the hospital, can you come to keep Arnav company?” she shot a glance at Arnav’s expression warring between anxiety and annoyance.
Khushi rolled her eyes, hey DM inki raksha karna, pata nahi kya haal hoga inka while I am in labor! She quickly and surreptitiously dashed off an SMS to her brother ‘Hope your anti-anxiety medicine works!’
Click here for Chapter 162