Khushi and Devansh were well enough to be discharged in a couple of days and they were brought home on the fourth day with much fanfare. It was decided that they would continue to stay on the ground floor as that would be easier for Khushi, what with her stitches and weakness still in residence, besides Khushi couldn’t care less. All she wanted was the impossible, to sleep but that was clearly out of stock and wasn’t expected to be replenished any time soon.
A small puja was held on the 6th day, where the baby was formally named Devansh Singh Raizada after which the Mumbai and Lucknow gangs went back to their respective homes, except of course Garima. She stayed back on the behest of Arnav and Naniji, “Chaalis din toh poore ho jaane dijiye?” she graciously agreed.
Arnav was excited to have his family back with him in the bedroom; it was an oddity for Arnav to be at RM and Khushi be missing, usually it had been the other way round, and now that she was back in his room, with their ‘ansh’ in tow, he was over the moon.
But not for long!
He fussed and hovered around them like a worried mother hen flapping its wings ineffectually about its recalcitrant brood.He offered to hold Dev while she went to the washroom, but then Dev didn’t much care if that were his one and only Babuji, he wanted his amma and stiffened alarmingly in Arnav’s arms and daddy dear was quite terrified of dropping him, “Khushiiiiiiii,” he croaked fearfully, naturally she came charging out. And of course he hurriedly backed off when nappy changing time came.
And raat ki toh bas poocho mat; he had dozed off, as was usual, holding Khushi in his arms, a fast asleep Devansh ensconced in the baby cot (Arnav ka idea tha even though it was a tough task for Khushi to bend over and pick him up, for her it was easier if he was on the bed but then LG nahi mana), “Whaaaa!” Arnav woke with a yell, startling Khushi and Devansh who then began wailing in earnest and poor Khushi had a tough time settling him back, “Kya hua, why did he scream like that?” Arnav was worried.
“Kuch nahi,” Khushi hissed at him, “he does this every hour, are you going to scream like that every time and scare him like this?” Arnav was abashed, he looked away, “Bola tha na, Amma ko rehne dijiye yahan par, aap so nahi payenge?”
“Sorry Khushi, woh first time tha na, that is why I was startled out of my sleep and worried, ab nahi hoga,” he assured her and attempted to go back to sleep while Khushi nursed Devansh. But of course that was easier said than done, and after being woken up every hour, on the hour, the whole night, Arnav was ready to scream and wail like Devansh; he had an important telecom and a deal to finalize which he almost slept through and if it weren’t for Aman would have missed a crucial fine print.
So ASR graciously agreed to let Aunty stay with Khushi while he went back to their room upstairs, “Haan yehi theek rahega,” Khushi supported him wholeheartedly, “I can’t imagine managing two cranky babies at the same time,” she taunted rather bitterly.
To be honest one couldn’t really blame her, here she had undergone a surgery, a life changing experience, huge hormonal upheaval, little if any sleep for the past 5 days and what does the proud dad say after being woken up for the 4th time?
He gave her lessons in management, “You have to feed him every 2 hours right? When you get up to feed, change his nappy then, or make him wear those long lasting diapers, why do you have to change him every time he yells? Khushi you have to learn how to manage, aisa kab tak chalega?”he exhorted her.
Khushi was astounded, “Kya baat kar rahein hain aap, geele main rehne doon isko?! Thand lag gayi toh! Aur nappy rash ho gaya toh? Kitna chota hai yeh abhi; jaaiye aap upar kamre main ja kar so jaaiye, aapse nahin hoga,” Khushi was disgusted with him, he sighed and rolled over grumbling, “I was just trying to be helpful.”
“Bahut bahut shukriya aapke ‘help’ ke liye, apne pass hi rakhiye apne yeh ‘help’, hmmph,” but she was talking to Devansh as his babuji was fast asleep, “Yeh lo! So bhi gaye aapke babuji, ab aap bhi kasht karenge sone ka?” she nuzzed him gently.
But things were better with Amma around, at least Khushi didn’t have to get off the bed and Amma was ever ready to change the nappy and rock him to sleep, so Khushi managed to snatch a few hours of sleep each night, kyonki feed toh usse hi dena tha na! Nani insisted on taking over for a couple of hours in the mornings and late afternoon while Garima slept for a couple of hours.
The days passed agonizingly slowly for Khushi, thankfully Devansh remained healthy and Khushi’s stitches also healed well and were taken out in a week’s time. That was the only time Khushi stepped out of the house, a visit to the doctor, the rest of the time she was bound by an invisible chain to her little boy and the only time she had to herself was in the washroom sometimes not even then. AKC was a distant mirage and she didn’t even have time to login and frankly she couldn’t be bothered.
But there were decisions to be taken, advice to be given; Ramiya could and did somehow manage the first ten days or so without disturbing Khushi, but then a crisis of sorts arose and it was imperative to consult Khushi, but then she caught Khushi at an inopportune moment and there was an ASR-Aman moment (oh about a 100 degrees less) and while she got an earful for her pains, Ramiya’s dilemma continued as she was not authorized to take a decision on the issue, yet a decision had to be taken and soon; unsure, she fell back upon Aman to advice her as to the best course of action and Aman in turn leaked it his boss ASR.
And ASR being ASR lost his temper, and na aav dekha na taav, “Khushi,” he blasted, “How can you be so unprofessional! You can’t go on like this, kuch toh time management seekhna padega, multitasking karna padega, AKC is your baby too, why can’t you take a simple decision and be done with it, itna bhi kya kaam hai baby ke saath ki tum ek ghanta bhi nahi spare kar sakti?!”
Arnav, now a permanent resident of their poolside room, was miles away from reality, he woke up each morning fresh and charged, ready to face the day, looking forward to clinch another deal, make another mark in the fashion industry, add another feather in his cap, his heart swelled with pride and joy, each evening he spent a couple of heartwarming hours with his beautiful loving wife and angelic son, life was just great. He felt on top of the world, there was nothing he couldn’t do if he wished to do. And if that is how he felt, no doubt Khushi should also feel like that, hence he was rather disappointed at Khushi’s poor management skills and rather unprofessional behavior.
But for Khushi, in ten days, her life had undergone a sea change, nothing remained the same, in fact she wasn’t even Khushi, she had no need no desire, no ambition, no purpose, no role except as a mother (dairy!). She was 24/7 involved with her little ‘Gablu baba’ her Guddu, her Anshu, nothing else mattered, not even Arnav. Whatever little time she could spare was reserved for sleep. Yet, sleep, for Khushi was an almost unheard of luxury, all she could hope and expect was short cat nap here and there; the ideal plan would be to sleep whenever the baby slept including the day time, but it rarely could be managed that way, there were chores to be done, somebody or the other kept dropping in to admire and bless the Raizada baby and often while Devansh slept, Khushi couldn’t help drooling all over him, admiring him, as love overflowed, his chubby cheeks, the long eyelashes, the pink lips, the tiny perfectly shaped ears, the crop of hair, and his feet awww she couldn’t just stop kissing them; so it wasn’t really surprising that Khushi, sorely in need of time, space and energy was depressed and irritable.
And into this simmering sleepless hormonal cauldron of weak, exhausted, cloistered, beleaguered emotions, Arnav dropped his thoughtless accusation of her being ‘unprofessional’.
Click here for Chapter 180