It was a happy but exhausted gang that returned to Delhi. Unfortunately for Khushi who looking forward to ‘some’ rest at RM, Devansh caught a bad cold upon return to Delhi; possibly because of the ‘sardi-garmi’. Well whatever the cause, it was a bad time for the whole RM gang, particularly Devansh and Khushi. Devansh was cranky, irritable, off food, wanted only his mum, wailed through nights because the blocked nose didn’t let him sleep etc etc. Khushi coped as best as she could, while Arnav slept in the adjoining room, after blaming Khushi, “Bola tha na, mat le jao Devansh ko? Par tum meri sunti hi kahan ho?!” and stayed at office for as long as possible.
This was good in a way, after all Arnav didn’t really have much of a role in taking care of Devansh as all he wanted was his mum and if Arnav did stay there he would just yell at poor Khushi for every sniffle, every cough and every wail. And when he would see Khushi’s pale unhappy exhausted face he would get even madder and yell at her for having no stamina, no time management skills and what not. So you will agree that it was better Arnav stay away, but yes he could have stayed away without making Khushi feel guilty and worse. At least he could have let her know that he didn’t really blame her, that he wasn’t really annoyed with her, just upset about the ‘halat’ but then he didn’t really care what she was going through, because he was himself so worried about Devansh and so preoccupied in dealing with his own worries and concerns that he didn’t spare a thought for Khushi.
Devansh took a long time to recover from this bout of illness as just as he was getting better, he developed a stomach infection, possibly as an adverse effect of the antibiotic or that he was ‘teething’. Arnav was no longer the ‘spare wheel’ and had to rush Devansh to the hospital in the middle of the night, twice. Both of them were so worried that they didn’t even have a single nok-jhok! Arnav began appreciating his standing as the spare wheel and hoped he would be relegated to that status very soon.
Devansh took almost another week to recover from this but was totally off food for almost 3 weeks. As a result, he lost a lot of weight and was no longer the chubby gablu baba or even remotely like a lalaji, much to Khushi’s sorrow. Buaji kept chanting ‘HRNK’ all the way from Lucknow and then unable to stop herself, she personally came over to check up on Devansh. She first cried buckets and then declared, “Bachche ko nazar lag gayi hai!” she burnt red chillies and much to her satisfaction, the kitchen was free off any noxious pungent fumes, “Dekha! Bahut buri tarah se nazar lagi hai bachcha ko!”
She stayed for over a week, regularly indulging in the de-nazorofying business with mirchi (of course taking care to do so after Arnav bitwa left for the office) till one day the whole kitchen was enveloped in a cloud of smoke and everyone was coughing. Buaji was ecstatic, her eyes streaming she declared confidently, “Ab koi buri nazar nahi hai ab humra Babua bilkul theek hui jaaye.”
But of course that was meant to be, regardless, but the process, Buaji’s support and faith were all a source of comfort to both Khushi and Naniji. As Devansh fallen ill, Naniji too had become upset and disturbed, she had gotten used to watching the little one play around her feet but now that he was ill, he neither crawled around nor did he chortle with glee, she was very sad and lonely. Buaji with ther OTT behavior was a welcome diversion and exchanging stories of Lucknow helped her while away the time which hung heavily upon her hands.
Anyway, things slowly limped back to normalcy and Khushi could take a breath without feeling as if she were slowly being suffocated, though she still felt like crying whenever she saw how thin he had become. Every time she picked him up, her heart broke, he was so light! Light as a feather.
She was so worried about his health that even when Palash (yes another boy!) was born on 20th Feb 2019, she didn’t even consider going to Mumbai. Naniji did try to convince her, but half-heartedly as she too didn’t want to risk Devansh falling sick again and of course Arnav hadn’t wanted them to go the last time either. Besides, to tell the truth, Khushi was more apprehensive about Arnav’s reaction, in case she went and then something did happen to Devansh, “Woh toh mujhe kachcha hi kha jayenge,” she confided in Di, who nodded her head, “Haan pata hai mujhe, mana nahi karega, bas yeh kahega dekhlo, tabiyat kharab na ho jaye, taki baad main bol sake maine thodi mana kiya tha; ya phir, mana kiya tha na par tum ho ki! Isse kehte hain chit bhi meri pat bhi meri!”
Khushi and Di spent a few pleasant moments discussing just how bossy and irritating their respective spouses were and who had the worse horror story, “Arre Khushi, Chotte toh kuch bhi nahi, apne Bhaiyya ki suno,” Di settled herself comfortably, “A couple of months ago, Vimla had wanted to go to her village for a couple of days to attend a wedding so I said ok, but then it was rather difficult to manage without out her and Kshitij really blasted me, ‘kya zaroorat thi chutti dene ki, akele manage nahi kar sakti phir bhi chutti de di, you females have no sense of staff management, kya kya nahi sunaya uff,” Di shook her head, “And then last week, Vimla again wanted to go home for a few days because she was worried about her mother who had undergone a surgery, so I told her ok, but first talk to your bhaiyya and guess what Kshitij said?” Khushi shook her head, “He said ‘haan haan jao jao, jana hi chahiye isme poochne wali kaunsi baat hai!’ and she was planning to go for 3 days and he told her to take the week off!!! Can you imagine, earlier I wasn’t even going to office, now Ankit goes to school, they have to be given lunch, I go to office, but yeh bhi na!” Anjali shook her head as Khushi laughed, “Aur pata hai, he didn’t event let me keep a temporary help citing ‘security issues’!” Anjali laughed and clapped her hands, “Par hum bhi kuch kam nahi hai, I asked HP to send his brother to help out!” she crinkled her nose.
Khushi rocked Devansh and lowered her voice as he seemed to be dozing off, “But Di, Bhaiyya toh khana banate hain na, aur help bhi karte hai!”
“Haan of course, and cooks very well too, BUT then he messes up the kitchen which he refuses to clean up! He just coolly forgets about it and since I am so paranoid about cockroaches and stuff, I stay up late cleaning up. Itne time main toh main khana bhi bana loon aur clean bhi kar loon!” Anjali rued and shook her head.
Even though Naniji went over to Mumbai with Di and her family and even Arnav went for a couple of hours, Mamiji wasn’t too happy. “Itna bhi kya ho gaya!” echoing Payal’s private thoughts, “Bachcha parties aalwayj falling ill, big deal!” she sniffed despite Di, Naniji and Buaji trying to explainiya the gambhirta of the situation. But then Khushi came on Skype and they saw how thin and scrawny (he looked like a plucked chicken with an oversized head) Devansh had become, they were horrified. Not one to admit to her emotions, Mamiji got up, “Whatebher!” she rolled her eyeej and swished away.
But then she didn’t pass anymore taunts or barbed comments and was mollified with all the attention her newborn grandson received not to mention the praise and oohs and aahs. Palash was a cute little boy who found favor even in Yash’s eyes simply because there were chances of playing some hardcore manly games, though of course Anya rolled her eyes and threw up her hands in resignation, “I still don’t have anybody to play with my dolls!”
Click here for Chapter 191