She picked up his hand and clasped it tightly closed to her heart, she looked into his eyes, he was rather reluctant to meet her eyes, she said softly,“Aapko pata hai, why Sheena expects such things and why Vipul gives into her demands?” ASR shrugged uncaring.
“Waise toh hume bhi nahi pata,” Khushi acknowledged with a mischievous smile, “But I strongly suspect it is because, he doesn’t really care for her and in her heart she knows it. But she tries to cover up her need for emotional fulfillment by demanding and expecting gifts. She needs to have at least some obvious tangible expression of his ‘love’ and ‘care’ for her. She uses the material value of that gift as an objective measure of his ‘love’ for her, the more expensive a gift is the more is his love,” she raised his hand and kissed it warmly, she clasped it tighter and before, “But DM ke kripa se, I have the ultimate gift, the gift of your unconditional love, love for me as I am.”
Arnav shook his head, “Khushi, main….”
“Shhh,” She put a finger on his lips, “Humari baat khatam nahi hui hai,” she swallowed hard, “Waise toh it is wonderful, when you do come out and say ‘I love you Khushi’ but honestly speaking, you don’t really need to even say that,” she looked at him, “Kya aapko pata hai kyon kehne ki zaroorat nahi hai?”
He shook his head silently, clearly in the grip of strong emotions.
“Woh issliye,” Khushi pushed him on to the recliner and sat down beside him, “ Because even if you don’t say the words, I can actually hear you saying, ‘I love you Khushi’ in a thousand ways, not just your eyes, but your stance, the way you enter the room, your gestures,” she frowned at him, “Kaise bole the subah? HP ko chutti mat de dena!” she imitated his deep curt voice,” she relaxed and smiled at him, “Par hum samajh gaye the, yeh aapka pyaar bol raha hai, aap toh aise hi jatate hai apna pyaar, jaise,” she thought for a moment and said, “the way you breathe heavily over my shoulder while I am working on my laptop and then leave silently without disturbing me,” she smiled at him mistily, “Yeh humare sms ke tarah hai, ‘Kya kar rahi ho Khushi? Busy ho? Kaam kar rahi ho? I miss you Khushi, I love you Khushi, koi baat nahi Khushi, kaam kar lo, woh bhi zaroori hai, main intezaar karoonga, hamesha,” a tear slid down her cheek, huskily she continued, “everything, all this just ‘speaks’ to me, and screams you love me, in a million different ways, tell me what material gift could compare with that feeling and what is that one day in a year?”
He swallowed and said huskily, “Kkhhushi…”
Khushi sighed blissfully and hugged him tightly, “Aur har baar aap aise humara naam lete hain na toh it is as good as saying ‘I love you Khushi,’ she leaned back and twinkled mischievously at him, “Aur itne saal baad bhi, humare dil main kuch kuch hota hai,” she batted her eyes at him.
His eyes crinkled as he hugged her back, “But ek mushkil hai,” Khushi warned him, “You will never be able to fool me into believing something, bina kuch kahe hi hum samajh jayenge ki aap humse pyaar nahi karte, phir aap kitna bhi gift de ya phir bole, I love you Khushi, hum nahi manenge, bach ke rahiyega, cheating nahi chalegi humare saath!” she shook her finger at him.
“Din main sapne dekhna kab bund karogi Khushi!” Arnav finally found his voice and scope to enter the conversation, and scoffed at her, “Itna sab kuch main kehta hi nahi hoon!” he vehemently denied allegations of being an emotional romantic softie holding silent conversations with her.
Khushi rolled her eyes and put her hands on her hips, “Hum sapne nahi dekh rahe hai!” she shook her finger at him, “Hum aapke fooling tactics ko bahut achche se samajhte hain! Yeh ‘din main sapne dekhna bund karo’ wala dialogue aap pehle bhi keh chuke hain, tab toh humne maan liya tha, ulloo bhi bana diya tha, par ab nahi,” she mocked him.
A faint flush stole up his cheeks, “What rubbish Khushi, tumhe kaise pata main kya soch raha hoon?”
She slid her arms around him and murmured, “Yaad hai aapne bahut pehle humse kya kaha tha?” she deepened her voice and repeated from memory, “Jab tum chup hoti ho Khushi Kumari Gupta Singh Raizada, tab tumhari aankhen sab sach sach bol deti hai.”
“Haan toh,” Arnav shrugged, “tumhari aankhen sach bolti hai, meri nahi.”
“Oh really!” Khushi raised her eyebrow, an art she had finally mastered after years of practice, “Hume toh chup hona padta hai tab jaakar humari aankhen sach bolti hain!” She laughed teasingly, “Aap toh kuch bolte bhi rehte ho toh bhi aapki aankhen sab sach sach bol deti hain!”
There was no doubt about it, Arnav Singh Raizada blushed a beetroot red; Khushi crowed and clapped her hands happily, “Oho Arnav Singh Raizada ko sharmana bhi aata hai!”
Embarrassed, Arnav looked at her glowing happy face her eyes bright with mischief and so much more, it suddenly struck him they had spent eight years together! Such a long time! Pata hi nahi chala!
And yet had it really been just eight years, he couldn’t remember a time without her, he couldn’t imagine a life without her, emotions clogged his throat, he raised his hand to her face as if he wished to capture the moment forever, “Happy anniversary sweetheart, thank you for being you,” he managed to whisper huskily.
Khushi the chatterbox, seemed to have lost her voice, she couldn’t utter a word as the words got stuck in the huge lump in her throat, “Mujhe wish nahi karogi Khushi?”
Finally the lump eased, and she managed to reciprocate, “Happy anniversary Arnav,” she hit him gently on his chest with her closed fist, “Pata hai kitne saalon baad wish kiya aapne! Humne toh subah hi wish kar diya tha! Aapne suna nahi toh hum kya karien!”
“Maine bhi wish kiya tha! Tumne nahi suna toh main kya karoon!” Arnav shot back.
Khushi laughed and hugged him happily, “Hume koi shikayat nahi, iss anniversary ke yaad main hum agle dus saal guzaar lenge!” she looked at him speculatively, “Waise ek baat pooche?”
“Poocho,” Arnav nodded indulgently as he crossed his arms.
“Humara birthday toh aapko yaad rehta hai, gift bhi milta hai, Aman ko thank you bolna chahiye kya?” she waggled her eyes mischievously at him.
He looked ruefully at her, “Apne aap ko bahut smart samjhti ho na! I don’t need Aman to remind me of the day when my life’s biggest deal was born!” he said rather arrogantly.
“Hmm,” she murmured thoughfully, “Agar aisa hai toh jab biggest deal aapki hui woh celebrate karne main itna aitraz kyon hai,” she looked at him curiously and then rushed in, “Hum shikayat nahi kar rahe, na hi koi zor daal rahein hain celebrate karne ke liye, bas thoda aur samajhne ki koshish kar rahein hain.”
Arnav suddenly looked uncomfortable and ill at ease, he shuffled his feet, cleared his throat and said, “Arre Khushi, main toh bhool hi gaya tha, ek surprise hai tumhare liye!”
Khushi narrowed her eyes and looked at him suspiciously, “Kya chupa rahein hain aap? Surprise ko hum baad main dekh lenge, pehle humare sawal ka jawab chahiye,” Khushi insisted, kuch toh baat hai, she had assumed that he was generally averse to celebrations for wasting time, ordering of emotions etc etc, par yahan toh lag raha hai ki kuch aur wajah bhi hai for not wanting to celebrate their anniversaries!
Click here for Chapter 213