Khushi made a moue and got up, he sat up and pulled her down beside him, and tipped her face up, demanding an answer, reluctantly Khushi said, “At least till his first birthday?” a catch in her heart and voice but there was loads of time yet she consoled herself; Arnav sighed, “Theek hai, first birthday hi sahi, but I am warning you Khushi, no extensions huh, remember after his first birthday he will be sleeping here?”
Khushi’s heart sank with dread, her eyes flickered and she looked away, “Khushi, kya hua?” But then Arnav immediately caught on, he turned her to face him, he scanned her face while she tried to move away, suddenly his eyes softened and he tenderly gathered her into his arms, “Aww sweetheart, love this plumper version of my Khushi, the mother of my child, more beautiful than ever before, more for me to love!” he hugged her tightly, she gasped and blinked away her tears and shook her head and disclaimed instantly, “Nahi hum toh Devansh se alag hone ki baat soch kar pareshan ho rahe the.”
“Liar!” he accused softly, she flushed and fumbled embarrassed at being caught but then she rallied around, “Tab tak aap yahan soyenge kya?” she asked.
Arnav looked at the couch and shrugged, “Yeah why not, waise bhi adat hai mujhe, bhool gayi kya, kitne din recliner par soya tha?” he shook his head, “Pehle tumhare liye, phir tumhare bête ke liye,” he shook his head mournfully, “Kya kya sehna padta…” Khushi pushed him, “Achcha ji!!! Ulta chor kotwal ko daante! Sab aap hi ki galti…” Arnav sighed and decided enough talk, too little time as it is and kissed her, Khushi yielded, but only for a few blissful moments, she suddenly stiffened; she jerked away and dashed off to the next room as her baby began wailing in earnest, “Party pooper!” Arnav lay back on the couch and relived his days on the recliner. At least we were in the same room then, ab toh Guddu Raja ne kamre se hi nikaal diya, hmmphh, HEY wait a minute, what did I just say ‘Guddu Raja!’ what the! No way! Arnav Singh Raizada apne bête ko Guddu Raja bulayega! Over my dead body! Guddu Raja indeed, he dozed off dreaming of his son’s first birthday, clutching a cushion for comfort.
Bechara Arnav. Uski toh bad luck hi kharab thi 😀
It was a happy noisy time at RM, with its mysterious complicated corridors echoing with the laughter and pitter patter of tiny feet. No not of Devansh, at least not yet, but Di’s kids were often over at RM and Devansh’s gurgles and babbles were at par with the laughter of his Di and Bibro. He had recently formed an attachment to his Bibro as well who too had decided that he wasn’t that bad! After all who could resist a toothless baby whose face would instantly split into a huge delighted smile on seeing them and that too one who would bob excitedly up down, his arms flapping like an agitated bird in his hurry to meet and greet them. He would watch his dad and Bro play football around the lobby and soon learnt to emit an ear piercing shriek, just as Ankit often did while playing excitedly with his Mamu. Devansh couldn’t wait to join them and it was quite a task to hold him still and safe in their arms!
Then one fine day, Devansh started crawling while attempting to keep up with his Bibro! Everyone was stunned, apart from Khushi of course who had been observing him crouching up on all fours and rocking back and forth as if waiting for the whistle to blow! And once Deva got the hang of it, there was just no stopping him, he began crawling with remarkable speed and it was tough for Ankit to play football at RM because Deva would be constantly getting underfoot and he was afraid of trampling him.
It was a sight to be treasured, Devansh crawling away rapidly chortling with glee and triumph at having escaped his mum, whom he could hear coming with a bowl of curd as she whipped the sugar and curd, at intervals he would stop to look back and check if she was still coming and whether he was winning, his face flushed with happiness and eyes bright with mischief. Other times, his hundred meter crawl would cause his nappy to become undone, unmindful and dismissively, almost regally, he would carry on crawling at top speed, nappy trailing with his cute bums jiggling for all to see! At other times, Devansh would crawl away and then stop at a distance to face the gathered crowd and sit on his chubby legs and flap his hands up and down and entertain them at the top of his voice mouth wide open, “aaaaa aaaaaaaaaaaa aaaaaaa aaaaaa aaaaaaaaaaaa”
RM would echo with his song and Nani would often get tears in her eyes at witnessing these heartwarming scenes and invariably both Anjali and Khushi followed suit and Arnav would roll his eyes and moan, “Tell me guys, har baat par rona zaroori hota hai kya?”
Khushi noticed that Devansh was quite the ‘dramebaaz’ but nobody really believed Khushi until she proved it to the entire RM-GM clan gathered at the RM lobby. As usual the kids were playing, that is Anya was trying to cuddle Devansh while he attempted to wriggle out as he wanted to join his Bibro fooling around with a football. Escaping the clutches of his sister he hastily crawled at top speed towards Ankit, who unmindful of the approaching missile tripped him up and Devansh fell flat on his face and burst into loud wails.
Khushi rushed to pick him up, no major harm seemed to have been done so she took him near the French windows and attempted to distract him, but he continued to cry, Khushi cuddled him and soothed him but to no avail, she sighed and went back to the group and murmured, “Watch this” she went to Ankit and shook her finger angrily at him and scolded him, “Ankit! Yeh kya kiya, you hurt your brother!” and miraculously, Devansh stopped wailing, just hiccuping now and then avidly listening taking in the blasting his Bibro was getting Yay!!! Finally uske kiye ki saza mili aur Devansh ke kaleje ko thandak mili!
Khushi laughed triumphantly as she cuddled him, “Bola tha na nautanki karta hai!”
Arnav nodded his head and said wryly, “Of course, tumhara beta hai na!”
Khushi was astonished, “Achchaji! Ab yeh humara beta ho gaya! Jaise aap toh koi drama karte hi nahi!” she swiveled and walked off to the French windows while the others laughed.
Arnav was affronted, he followed her and charged her, “Nautanki aur main!” He turned her around, “Give me one example!” he challenged her.
As Devansh wanted to go his dad Khushi let him go, “Aap bhool gaye kya! Mauritius wala drama!” she spoke softly, his eyes softened, he ran his finger down Khushi’s cheek while she blushed and shot a look at the people in the lobby, thankfully sab apne main mast the! “hmm,” Arnav murmured softly, “Phir kuch socheka padi!” he hugged and kissed Devansh, who gurgled and babbled happily.
Ah well sochne main kya jaata hai right!
Devansh grew in leaps and bounds, each day was a wondrous discovery for him and he learnt new tricks picked up skills on almost a daily basis. His family watched him entranced and utterly captivated. He could recognize familiar faces with ease and in the evenings once Arnav returned from office, he instantly would jump into his arms and would not get down for at least one hour. And during that one hour, he would give Khushi the royal ignore, no matter how much she called him or attempted to play with, offer to take him out, he just wouldn’t budge from his babuji’s arms, much to Khushi’s disgust, “Achchaji toh ab hume pechante hi nahi!”
Arnav would smirk superiorly and victoriously bear his son off to the poolside.
Click here for Chapter 186