Nani went to Mumbai for Palash’s birthday and at their insistence stayed for a week or two. And that had repercussions at RM, Khushi could no longer be so sanguine about leaving Devansh while she went off to AKC. After all Poo was still very young, what if, nahi nahi, Khushi couldn’t focus on her work and ultimately would either not go at all or if absolutely essential would leave them both at Di’s place (much to Devansh’s delight) in the afternoons when the kids were home. But all this meant additional work for Khushi and she was constantly exhausted as it is.
Then Devansh started his new nocturnal nautanki. He would get up in the middle of the night and instead of crying out, he would silently play in his cot and the monkey that he was, he learnt how to climb over the cot and go to his parents’ room. He would then haul himself on to the bed and land up between them, “What the!” Arnav woke with a yell as Devansh’s head crashed into his stomach; Devansh burst into tears and Khushi woke up with a start.
It took quite sometime before everybody could settle down to sleep. But then Arnav got worried, what if Devansh crashed into Khushi’s tummy, so he insisted upon re-jigging their positions (90 degree turn) on the bed so that Devansh could sleep on one side near the headboard while Arnav slept in the middle.
But then Devansh didn’t much care for the arrangement and whenever he woke up (which was usually early morning), he would pat Arnav’s cheeks and unimpressed with the stubble, he would then crawl over Arnav’s head in his haste to reach his mum; quite oblivious of the fact that he was placing his hand or knee over Arnav’s nose or throat.
Bechara Arnav was nearly strangulated and couldn’t even say ‘What the!’
After a couple of days of this, he had had enough, “Ek Taekwondo expert kam tha ki ek aur karate kid aa gaya!” he grumbled. He hit upon a solution bought another bigger cot for Devansh, which was too deep for him to negotiate and thus put an end to his nocturnal wanderings. Though now Khushi would have to get up to console Devansh as he still woke up but since he was unable to indulge in monkey business, he would begin to wail.
Well, Arnav ko koi khas farq nahi padta because he would sleep through this particular nautanki.
And that suited everyone fine, particularly Khushi. Khushi preferred this scenario as it was infinitely easier to tackle a cranky wailing Guddu than a sleepy irritable LG yelling at the top of his voice, scaring the little boy so much so that he wouldn’t stop crying at all. Ufffff.
Thankfully, Devansh got his groove back in a week or ten days time and Khushi could again sleep nights.
Nani came back and the days also got back to the earlier routine. Khushi again started going to AKC and sab kuch badiya chal raha tha ki there was bad news, from Lucknow.
Garima had been running a temperature for a few days and despite several investigations no diagnosis could be made. Khushi was out of her mind with worry, “Arnav, I want to go and meet Amma,” she knotted her fingers in agitation.
“Khushi,” Arnav tried to calm her down, “Relax, sab theek ho jayega, Khsitij is going, he will handle it, tum wahan ja kar kya karogi?”
“Nahi, hume jaana hai, I want to take care of Amma, bechari kitni bimaar hai, aur Buaji kitna karegi akele? Aur Babuji bhi kitna pareshaan hain,” Khushi just couldn’t stop worrying.
“Achcha,” Arnav nodded his head sarcastically, “Tumhari tabiyat toh bahut achchi hai na?” his lips thinned and he declared, “Tum kahin nahin ja rahi ho.”
“Par,” Khushi wailed her protest, but Arnav wouldn’t hear a word, “Why do you always have to worry about the others? Is Payal going? Tell me?” He challenged.
Khushi looked down at her hands, “Bechari jiji has so much responsibility as it is, she handles everything on her own at Mumbai, woh kaise ja sakti hai?”
“Aur tum ja sakti ho? Who manages everything here? How will you take care of your mother and manage Devansh? And what about AKC? And to top it all, you are pregnant as well,” he shook his head and softened his tone, “Try and understand Khushi, you have be practical not emotional in such matters,” the practical one intoned unemotionally.
Khushi looked at him in dismay, “It is just a matter of a couple of days, AKC can run on its own, and I won’t take Devansh along with me,” she knew she was clutching at straws, what if Devansh threw a fit in the meanwhile? Anya was busy in her exams, what if it was too much for Nani to handle, ghar ka saara kaam dekhna, Devansh ko dekhna and then at night he probably wouldn’t let Arnav sleep, phir kya hoga? “Par hume jaana hai,” she protested, more to herself than Arnav.
Arnav sighed and tried to rein in his temper, “Come on Khushi, thoda toh socho, kya karogi wahan ja kar that too for a couple of days, you will be tired with all that travel and then they will be busy in your khatirdaari, and you think Buaji or your mother will let you work? You will just increase their workload, waise bhi, what she needs right now is good medical support, Khsitij will take care of that…”
“Par hume jaana hai,” Khushi wailed.
Arnav had had enough of the conversation, he was running late and he could see that woh aise nahi manegi, desperate times called for desperate measures, “Theek hai,” he nodded his head threateningly, “Tumhe jaana hai, tum jaao, but you are not taking my baby anywhere!” he grabbed his bag and vanished before the broken record wailed again.
She looked at the empty doorway and whispered, “Par hume jaana hai,” she flopped down on the bed unhappily; she knew that all his arguments were valid but still she yearned to go home, see for herself. She sighed, she really had no choice, hey DM amma ko jaldi theek kar dena.
The next few days were very stressful for Khushi and Arnav, perhaps regretful of his high-handedness, was very solicitous and caring, he even offered to go to Lucknow if she so wished, she shook her head, “Nahi rehne dijiye, aapki khatirdaari main hi sab pareshaan ho jayenge,” Arnav nodded his head ruefully, “Yeah I know, that is why I didn’t offer earlier, but if you are so worried….”
“Par hume nahi jaane denge?” Khushi interrupted.
He sighed, “Come on Khushi, still at it?”
Khushi gave up and leaned against him, “Nahi, I know you are probably right but it is unfair, to not be able to take care of those very people who have taken care of me, I feel so selfish and guilty.”
Arnav put his arm around her consolingly, “You know you care too much, kab samjogi tum sab kuch nahi kar sakti, ab tumhara ghar, tumhara responsibility yahin par hai…”
“Achcha toh humari shaadi ho gayi hai toh hum amma babuji ko bhool jaaye?” Khushi was instantly up in arms.
“Khushi,” Arnav hurriedly tried to explain, “Mera woh matlab nahi tha, right now your child is young, you are pregnant, it is a matter of priorities, later when the kids are older, you can go as you wish, theek hai?”
Khushi nodded her head reluctantly, and looked at him sad, “Par hume…”
Arnav placed his finger on her lips, “Shhhh.”
Click here for Chapter 218