About 2 years ago continued
“Signed, sealed and delivered?” Khushi repeated confused, Arnav nodded his head and spread his hands and shrugged, the glint was back in his eyes.
Khushi stared at him suspiciously, she didn’t trust that look of his one bit, and yeh look bahut dino se dekh rahi thi, pucca something was afoot, she looked around and back at him wonderingly as his self satisfied smirk grew broader and broader, “Kya yeh sab aapne kiya?” she said wonderingly as he continued to gloat over some private victory letting her work it out on her own, and suddenly she was sure, “Yeh sab aapne kiya,” she accused hotly, he waited happily for the fireworks which were not long in coming, “Hume aise dara kar! Aur aap hans rahe hain!” she pushed him fiercely, “Aapko pata hai hum kitna pareshan the aapke sehat ko lekar?” she pushed him again, he caught hold of her arms and pulled her into his arms, miffed at his high-handed sneaky behavior, she struggled against the restraining grip of his arms; but he just held on to her tenderly unyielding. After a while, realizing the futility of her actions, relieved and thankful that he wasn’t ill, she gave up her struggle and hugged him back hard, “Devi Maiyya ka lakh lakh shukr hai ki aap theek hain! Pata hain hum kitna pareshaan the?
Arnav smiled and hugged her closer (if that were possible!), “Shhh, shhh” he murmured.
But Khushi wasn’t so easily pacified; after a few moments of peace she started off again, “Par aisa koi karta hai kya? It’s like…like,” she fumbled for an analogy, “Like kidnapping your own wife!” she attacked.
A crack of laugh escaped Arnav, he loosened his grip slightly, “Toh main aur kya karta, tum sun hi nahi rahi thi, maine toh seedhe seedhe bola tha chalne ke liye, par tumhare pass toh mere liye time hi nahi hai,” he counter attacked, his lips twisted, “Aur sab ke liye hai, sirf mere liye hi…”
Khushi stared at him struck, he was right! All the self-righteous anger vanished in an instant. Mixed feelings assailed her, on one hand, her heart soared; he loved her dammit! And yet guilt racked her, how could she have been so insensitive to Arnav’s needs and wishes, she put her hands to her ears, “Hume maaf kar dijiye? Galti ho gayi, hum samajh hi nahi paaye aapko, aapke zaroorat ko, meri priorities ko, Nani ne bhi samjhaya tha, aage se dhyan rakhenge, promise.”
Arnav took away her hands and said with a superior expression, “Aaage se kyon, abhi se dhyan rakhna hoga, that first and foremost tum meri biwi ho, bola hai na, first refusal mera hai?”
Khushi nodded her head ruefully, and folded her hand obsequiously, “Ji swami?”
His smirk broadened, “Remember that for the next fifteen days I am your boss, tum mera koi bhi kaha nahi mana kar sakti, aur tum mujh par gussa bhi nahi kar sakte, hamesha smile karogi,” he listed her duties and responsibilities, “And now since I am your boss, you can call me….”
She glared at him, but failed to pull it off, her eyes sparkled mischievously and her lips quivered, “Ji Laad Governor ji, hai na Laad Governorji?”
“Actually,” Arnav moved forward and tucked a stray curl behind her ear and then tenderly cupped her face, “I wouldn’t mind agar tum mujhe apna Swami maan lo toh!”
A laugh escaped her and she barely had time to mutter, “You got a hope!” before he swooped and found his target, his timings and strategy considerably improved over the years.
That sorted, Khushi looked around and admired the exotic villa and its surrounding and preened, “Waise achcha hi hua ki hum itna busy the, pata toh chala ki hume itna miss kiya jaata hai,” she clapped her hands and pouted, “Warna aap kabhi bhi hume humare kehne par yahaan par kabhi nahi laate aur woh bhi itne dino ke liye! Kyon sahi kaha na humne?” she challenged him.
Arnav looked at her ruefully and looked away, “Shut up Khushi.”
“That means I am right!” Khushi clapped her hands, Arnav rolled his eyes and shut her up in the only way he knew how.
Khushi was very eager and impatient to explore the inviting beach as the incessant crashing of the waves called her but Arnav overruled her, “Pehle unpack karo, change karo, phir jayenge as the sand will ruin your clothes.”
Reluctantly Khushi agreed; she had brought hardly any clothes, how would she manage for fifteen days! She sighed; well she would have to buy from the local shops, would sure to be so expensive, oho he wouldn’t even let her speak a word about expenses. Laad Governor kahin ke, she sniffed as she finished unpacking and putting away her overnighter.
Khushi then turned her attention to Arnav’s cases; Arnav shifted to get a better view of her expression, it was all that he had expected and more, she stared at amazement at the contents of the case, she hurriedly opened the second one and was equally astonished, “Yeh kiske kapde hain? Aapke kahan hain? Did we pick up somebody else’s cases by mistake?”
Arnav crossed his arms and smirked, “Unpack toh karo.”
Suddenly she caught on as she recognized them as the dresses she had tried on while shopping with him, he had evidently packed them all and he seemed to have purchased even some of the stuff she had rejected outright, “Yeh bhi!” she squeaked at the swimsuit, “Humne mana kiya tha na?!” she protested scandalized.
Arnav raised his eyebrow and his lips curled as he declared rather arrogantly, “Achcha toh tumhe kya laga, tum mana kar dogi aur main maan jaaoonga?” She glared at him, “Hum nahi pehnenge yeh!”
He shrugged, “No stress Khushi, don’t wear it if you don’t wish to,” he grinned and winked, “actually there is no need to wear anything, this is a private beach, there is nobody but us.”
“Haaw!” Khushi glared at him and walked off to change into a pretty flowered dress. Smirk now a permanent fixture, Arnav too changed and they went off hand in hand to the seaside, the sunhats firmly in place.
Khushi was terribly excited by the waves and jumped and ran about in childish glee till she ventured a bit too far and clashed with an equally if not more exuberant wave, she toppled over and got a dunking, she squealed blue murder as she came up with a mouthful of salt water, Arnav’s laughter echoed over the vast expanse of the Indian Ocean. Infuriated she pushed him; he too went down taking her with him. All in all, it was a pretty enjoyable afternoon and Khushi refused to come out of the water for hours; finally Arnav picked her up and dumped her on the hammock which hung invitingly nearby under a shade. Exhausted by their frolic and the fragmented sleep of the night before, lulled by the sway of the hammock and the song of the sea, they dozed off in each other’s arms.
Click here for Chapter 173