Devansh was now about 3 months of age, he could hold up his head on his own and loved to sit up on somebody’s lap. He would look around his head bobbing up and down like an old man’s while his tongue hung out giving him a slightly foolish look; he smiled very often but the best and the most brilliant smiles were reserved for his amma, his eyes would lit up like a thousand diyas, his smile stretched from ear to ear while he thrashed his chubby arms and legs in an agony of excitement as if given a chance he would fly into the arms of his amma.
Khushi would often put him on his tummy on the bed where he would indulge in regular exercise and raise his head to get a better view of the world. He spent hours on his tummy swimming on the bed and drooling away as he chomped on a pudgy fist or a toy. Bath time was his favorite time and he wouldn’t ever want to come out of his tub, merrily splashing the water about, protesting loudly as he was ruthlessly plucked from the water and draped in a soft towel and then by the time he was dry and changed he would be famished! He would grunt, snuffle and nuzzle around excitedly for his brunch.
Both Nani and Khushi loved this daily routine, in fact Nani would be quite annoyed the day she missed the scene. Khushi would call out to Nani that she was taking Anshu for a bath and Nani would rush through whatever she was doing and land up in the baby room; they would go gaga over the little boy playing excitedly in the tub, laugh at his protesting wails, cuddle him and then wait for his agitated hunt for his meal. The more Khushi would direct him to his source the more excited he would become and turn his head to the other side, snorting in rising impatience and desperation, both Nani and Khushi would be in fits, “Arre baba, udhar nahi baba idhar, arre Guddu, suno toh sahi, amma ki baat sun lo, abhi se apni man mani kyon kar rahe ho!” then suddenly he would latch on and he would greedily hysterically suckle with his arms and legs stretched out in ultimate ecstatic bliss, bathed and clean, in his mum’s arms doing pet pooja, what more could a 3 month old ask for! Both Nani and Khushi would look at him misty eyed.
But then his hunger would last for only about 10 minutes and sleep would overtake him and he would doze off on his mother’s breast. And then would begin the ‘Devansh jagao abhiyaan’ an almost impossible task (after all beta kiska hai) the doctor had advised Khushi to attempt at least 20 min of feed time to ensure adequate nutrition and a full stomach enabling a gap of at least 2 hours between feeds. But that was easier said than done! While he would scream blue murder, his face an alarming shade of red if his meal wasn’t available at the first wail, but and then after initial excited greedy gulps, he would get bored and just doze off! Khushi would then gently nudge, poke, even snap her fingers at his heels hoping to wake him up, often with little success. She would sigh and give up and it would be hardly anytime before he would be hungry again! “Hum amma hain aapke, koi gaye nahi, bas yehi kaam reh gaya hai kya humara!” Khushi grumbled to her son, her heart full as she watched him suckle contently, “Abhi so mat jaana, poora dhoodh pikar hi sona! Samjhe aap!” she rolled her eyes exasperated, “Hum koi lori suna rahe the kya jo so gaye.” She burped him and then lay him on the bed and leaned over him, unwilling to let him go, “Kam se kam woh Laad Governor hume first refusal toh dete hain, aapne toh poora baandh liya hai apne saath! Aur khud, khud so gaye!” she kissed his tiny cute feet, he looked so cute while asleep!
Devansh slept most of the time, and when awake would lie quietly in his mother’s arms or whoever was keen to hold him. He had a particular affiliation for the TV and would often swivel his head to face the TV and jingles would particularly attract him and he would excitedly flap his arms as if he would like to fly into the screen! His parents never tired of watching his antics and sometimes Arnav would switch on the TV just to elicit a response from a dull DSR.
Devansh was also content to lie on his back and play with his toes and his hands which fascinated him; he would move his gollu mollu hands and blow bubbles. He had started trying to turn to his side and was sure to be a chatterbox! Left alone he could be heard gurgling loudly, chatting to himself, drooling away. He was really a big drooler, his bibs would get wet and had to be changed every so often, even his clothes would be soaking wet, “Pata nahi Khushi bitiya ka khane ka man tha jo nahi khaya jab aap pet se thi,” Nani rued, “Tabhi toh itna laar tapakta hai iska!”
“Kya Nani, I wanted to eat jalebis aur golgappe, par issi ke wajah se toh hum kha nahi paaye aur ab yehi itna drama kar rahe hai! Unbelievable!” Khushi swung him around in her arms and nuzzled his stomach.
Slowly Khushi began picking up the threads of AKC, usually she would log on to AKC in the mornings when it was Arnav’s turn to keep his son company for an hour or so before he left for the day. This was a task that he really looked forward to; father and son had a great time and the poolside would echo with Devansh’s childish gurgles and Arnav’s deep baritone and Khushi would often look up from her laptop to smile mistily at the sight of the two enjoying each other’s company. Arnav loved to throw him up in the air and catch him and another favorite was wrestling with the little one’s arms and legs while he lay flat on his back. However, Arnav still balked at changing the diaper, much to Khushi’s disgust. Then one day, she got really mad and insisted that he at least watch her change, “Pata nahi kis din you are alone with the baby and tab kya hoga?”
Khushi dragged a reluctant Arnav to the bed and placed Devansh on the bed, “Aap yahin rahiye hum samaan lekar aate hai.”
She went to get a fresh nappy and some cleaning material, just then Arnav’s phone rang, relieved he turned away to attend the call, Khushi collected the stuff and was coming towards the bed, when she dropped them all with a squeak and ran to the bed at top speed; she reached just in time to catch Devansh as he chose this moment to turn over! “Deva!” Khushi sank down by the side of the bed and held him close her heart thudding in fear, hey DM tera lakh lakh shukar hai! She glared at Arnav who in turn was glaring at her, he attacked first, “Khushi kitni baar bola hai, put him in the middle of the bed! Dammit kuch ho jata toh!”
“Ji haan kuch ho jata toh! Aapko bola toh na tha usse dekhne ke liye! Par aapke liye toh phone zyaada zaroori hai na! Ek kaam nahi kar sakte theek se, Laad Governor kahin ke!” Khushi muttered angrily while Arnav’s face became redder than before, “Khushi!”
Not liking his father’s tone while addressing his beloved mother, Devansh let out a wail which put an instant end to the verbal duel (though the silent battle continued).
Click here for Chapter 183