“What the!” Arnav sat up, sweating profusely, “AC kyon bund kar diya! Electricity toh hai na?”
“Shshshhhh!” Khushi shushed him agitated, “Kitna mushkil se soya hai, aur aap hai ki!”
“AC ko kya ho gaya?” Arnav hissed.
“Humne bund kiya,” Khushi lay back wearily, “Aap itna thanda karke rakhte hain kamre ko, humari toh kulfi hi jam jaati hai, pata nahi Gablu ka kya haal hota hoga! Waise bhi I can’t risk him catching a cold.”
Arnav rolled his eyes, “Why don’t you cover him with a thick blanket? AC bund karne ki kya zaroorat hai?”
Khushi sat up, “Aapko kya lagta hai, I don’t cover him up or what? Within a minute he kicks it off! And that is why…”
“Ahaaa!” Arnav crowed triumphantly, Khushi glared at him and shushed him again, he hurriedly lowered his voice, “Dekha yeh tumhara vehem hai, he feels hot that is why he kicks off the blanket, yeh mat bhoolo ki woh mera beta hai! Just because you feel cold, you are using him as an excuse to switch off the AC!” Arnav accused Khushi.
Khushi was cut to the core, she glared at him rather impotently, she was sleepy and tired and instead of having Devansh’s comfort and health on his agenda he was busy accusing her of getting her way via Devansh and she couldn’t even yell at him for fear of waking the sleeping baby!
She switched on the AC and scooped up Devansh who was beginning to get restless and walked off to the adjoining room with her nose in the air, “Aaram se soiye Laad Governorji, AC full blast par hai aur bed bhi poora aapka, hummpphh.” She (most unsatisfactorily) hissed her last words.
Arnav sank back on to the pillows with a sigh, the cool blast rapidly improving his mood, he knew he was being unreasonable, well he would just go and get Khushi back, in just a minute, let me just cool off…zzzzz he was fast asleep.
And Khushi fumed as she paced the floor rocking Devansh gently, hoping that he would soon doze off, “Hmmphhh Laad Governor kahin ke, samajhte kya hai apne aap ko?” she knew that Arnav couldn’t stand the heat, he would immediately be sorry and he would come in just a minute to call them back. But she waited in vain, after a while she peeped back into their room, “Lo yeh toh aaraam se so bhi gaye!” She was thoroughly disgusted, “Tumhare Babuji bhi na hadd karte hain kabhi kabhi,” she informed her peacefully sleeping son, “Ab hum kya karein?” she looked around the room, it was just 1 a.m., she could hardly spend it standing holding Devansh in her arms, she yawned, and sighed. She put Devansh reluctantly on the baby cot and pulled it near the couch and attempted to find a comfortable position on it.
Arnav woke suddenly a couple of hours later, he looked around in confusion, what was it that had woken him, yes the stillness, the silence, the yawning space on the bed, “What the!” he sat up in alarm, “Khushi…,” he walked to the adjoining room and leaned against the door sleepily, his lips twisted, there she was half on the couch half on the floor, one hand on the baby cot, fast asleep.
He went and switched on the baby monitor, caressed his son’s soft cheeks and picked up Khushi and bore her back to their bed, leaving the connecting door open.
Khushi stretched languidly feeling refreshed and comfortable after ages, she shivered and snuggled closer to Arnav and then froze; she sat up with a jerk, “Guddu!!!” she looked around panic striken, Arnav too was rudely awakened from his pleasant dreams, “Whaaa?”
Khushi clutched him fearfully, “Guddu kahan hai, Gudduuu!” she threw off the covers and got off the bed, as if on cue, he answered with a wail, the baby monitor making his cry sound distorted and loud, she ran helter skelter and thanked DM before scooping him up in her arms and hugging him in relief and joy. Arnav rolled his eyes and sank back with a thump on to the pillows.
Khushi wiped her tears and came charging back clutching Devansh close to her, “Hum yahan kaise aaye aur Devansh wahan…?”
“Obviously main laya hoon tumhe yahan,” Arnav cut in, “Tum wahan aadhe sofe par aadhe zameen par ghode bech kar so rahi thi, Devansh was comfortable in his cot, so I switched on the baby monitor and got you here,” he shrugged, “This arrangement is perfect and he should now sleep in his own room…”
“Ji Nahin!” it was Khushi turn to cut in, “Hum aisa nahin hone denge, kitna chota hai yeh abhi,” she nuzzed the now fast asleep baby, feeling guilty and as if she had deliberately abandoned their baby, “Aap aisa kaise kar sakte hain?” she attacked Arnav.
He rolled his eyes, “Come on Khushi, what’s the big deal, you are behaving as if I went at left him at the railway station! Bagal wale kamre main hi rakhha tha! And the baby monitor was on, we could hear every rustle, every snuffle and you do agree he is too little to get off the cot and wander off to the poolside! I really think it is high time that he started sleeping on his own bed.”
Arnav laid down the law.
But Khushi objected and overruled the Laad Governor; she protectively clutched her baby closer, “Nahi, it is not time yet, humara dil nahi maan raha, abhi thoda aur bada hone dijiye ise, aapko chinta karne ki zaroorat nahi, hum wahin soyenge couch par, I don’t have any problem,” she huffed and turned to go back to his room, Arnav caught her by the arm and swung her round, “Khushi,” he murmured huskily looking into her eyes, she stared back her eyes soft and tender, “Arnav,” she too breathed huskily in reponse and leaned closer head angled for his kiss, but then the referee blew his whistle with a suddenness that they were rudely jerked out of their own little private world, Arnav rolled his eyes, “Oh there comes the party pooper!” he tightened his arms around them and kissed the little boy as Khushi straightened him in his arms, almost instantaneously Devansh responded by gurgling and flailing his arms excitedly ending up smacking both his parents, they laughed and hugged him and kissed his cheeks, “isse kehte hai kabab main….”, but Khushi cut in, “Ji nahin, ise kehte hai haddi main kabab!” she showered kisses on her son.
“ Yeah right!” Arnav rued as he hugged them both and nuzzled his soft cheeks, Devansh’s cup of joy overflowed as did his nappy and Arnav jerked away with a “What the!”
Khushi couldn’t stop giggling, “Bilkul sahi kiya aapne Gablu baba, AC bund kar diya tha na! Aapko akele sone diya tha na! Ab bhugto,” she crowed happily as she changed him.
That night Arnav again woke up sweating, but having learnt his lesson, he didn’t kick up a fuss, he just rolled off the bed with his pillow and went to the adjoining room switched on the AC there and dozed off on the couch.
And that is where Khushi found him the next morning, feeling equally guilty, she gently shook him awake, “Aap yahan so rahe hain…”
He looked up drowsily up at her, “Toh aur kya karta, tum toh sun hi nahi raho na meri baat,” he reached out and pulled her on top of him, she sighed and held on to him dearly to stop herself from rolling off, “Arnav,” she murmured huskily as she breathed in his scent, almost like a distant memory, the recent past being a hectic roller coaster leaving them absolutely no time or inclination (at least from her side), “I am sorry, but you do understand don’t you woh abhi bahut chota hai…”
Arnav tightened his arms around her, “Achch toh bada kab hoga, give me a time,” Khushi’s eyes flickered as she hesitated, bada kab hoga indeed, she kissed Arnav to distract him but he was not so easy to beat him at his own game, he enjoyed her attention and then got back to his grouse, “Give me a time Khushi,” he insisted, “kab bada hoga tumhara baby?”
Click here for Chapter 185