Khushi continued to be stressed and worried for the next few days; but then Khsitij went over to Lucknow and got tests done, put her under the care of a proper doctor and finally a diagnosis of typhoid was made. With appropriate antibiotics, she made rapid recovery. Everyone heaved a sigh of relief, including ASR. He so hated to see a depressed Khushi and of course he yelled at Khushi for over-reacting, for being over-sensitive, his lips thinned and his nostrils flared whenever he saw her moping and it was all he could do to shake her out of her stupor. Devansh was the only one who could cheer her up or distract her.
“Khushi,” he sat down beside her and put his arm around her, “You really do worry too much you know, ab toh theek hai na, she doesn’t have any fever for the past couple of days. Then why are you still so upset?”
Khushi looked down unhappily at the floor, “I am just missing her so much, she has done so much for me,” she shook her head, “Just a month ago she was here, taking care of me and now when she needs me I cannot do anything for her, I wish I could meet her, see her, I keep feeling she is more unwell than she is letting on,” she bit her lip and stifled a sob.
Finally ASR yielded, ‘Tell you what, I will go and see your mother, theek hai? Maybe you can Skype with her?”
Khushi looked at him with hope, “Oh yeh toh bahut achcha hoga!” she smiled at him, Arnav’s lips twisted, oh how he had missed her smile, he took her into his arms.
He went to Lucknow and was shocked to see Garima; no doubt she no longer had any fever and was off medications, but she had lost so much weight she was almost unrecognizable. Khushi must have sensed something from her voice no wonder she had been so worried. How could he Skype? Khushi would get even more worried and upset.
The Lucknow gang was extremely touched that their damaadji had taken time out from his busy schedule and Buaji couldn’t stop HRNKing; embarrassed Arnav burst out, “Buaji main toh Khushi ke tassallee ke liye aaya tha! Woh bahut pareshaan thi issliye, aap meri itna tareef mat kariye,” he cleared the picture.
Shashi smiled gently and said softly, “And that makes it even more laudable! I am proud and happy to have a son-in-law who cares so much about his wife.”
What Buaji’s innumerable comments couldn’t do, Shashi’s single observation did, Arnav blushed.
Garima smiled weakly and said, “Khushi theek hai na, uski toh adat hai sabki chinta karne ki,” she leaned forward and pressed his hand, “I am sure she must have pestered you and I am glad that you didn’t give in and allow her to come, it is not good that she travel in this condition. I am much better now, and will be back on my feet in a couple of days,” she nodded reassuringly at him.
Arnav shook his head ruefully, “Woh aise nahi manegi, Skype par ase dekh legi toh aur bhi pareshaan ho jayegi and if I don’t Skype she will be suspicious,” he frowned, “I have an idea, how about if you come over to Delhi for Holi? There is still time,” he checked his mobile, “Almost three weeks, tab tak aap theek bhi ho jayengi and Khushi will have something to look forward to; I will make the travel arrangements.”
Garima looked at her husband and Buaji, “HRNK, kitna paresaan kiya hoga Titaliya ne Damaadji ko!” Buaji snorted, “Saadi ho gaya, bachche bhi, par uski sanak abhi tak gayi hi nahi HRNK, aain Garima, tum chal sakat ho toh chali chalna Holi par, naahi toh ooo Parmeswari kisi din yahin par tapak padegi!”
So that was settled and they agreed to come over for Holi. Relieved Arnav came back and gave Khushi a doctored health update and fobbed her off, “Haan internet chal nahi raha tha toh Skype nahi kar paya, waise bhi Holi par sab aa raha hai,” he casually said.
He got a tight hug and several kisses for his pains. Her amma couldn’t be all that ill if she agreed to come for Holi, the tight band around her throat eased. She felt she could breathe again.
Holi was a gala affair this year what with not only the Lucknow gang but the entire Mumbai gang turning up in full force. Khushi had been overjoyed to finally meet her amma after such a long time; Khushi had been shocked to see how much weight she had lost, but then slowly she was convinced that Garima was otherwise fine. She conveyed her heartfelt thanks to DM and concentrated on making the most of the moment. All her loved ones under the same roof – agar kahin jannat hai toh yahin hai, yahin hai, yahin hai!
Palash was just over a year old and he too had started walking. Everyone at Delhi went gaga over him, while the Mumbaites rooted for Devansh. In fact, Payal had landed in Delhi a couple of days in advance along with Palash; Yash was now a big boy (almost 6 years of age) and would be coming later with the rest of the family just ahead of Holi. Err he didn’t want to miss out on school, ok ok fine! A school trip to Khandala.
“Bahut accha kiya Jiji jo aap thoda pehle aa gaye!” Khushi hugged Payal happily, “Kitne saal ho gaye hume aise aaramse baat karte huye,” she looked down fondly at the now fast asleep little devils; recharging their batteries for the evening! Poor things were really tired out after all that running around RM the whole morning. Buaji and Garima had also been packed off to rest.
Payal nodded and said morosely, “Tumse baat toh door, apne liye kuch bhi kare huye kitna time ho gaya!” She looked at Khushi and said softly, “Sach kahe Khushi, hum toh bhaag aaye apne ghar se! Lag raha tha ki hum toh paagal hi ho jayenge!”
Khushi was worried, “Kya hua Jiji?! Aap toh bahut pareshan lag rahein hain?”
Payal attempted to smile and make light of her emotions, “Kuch nahi, bas wohi chakki peesing and peesing,” she gave a hollow laugh, “I guess this is life! Life is so monotonous and boring, wohi subah utho, bachcho ko taiyyar karo, nashta banvao,” she swallowed, “Maji ki taane suno.”
Khushi was horrified, “Jiji!” she put her hand on Payal’s shoulder; Payal shrugged and said even as her voice broke, “Kabhi kabhi toh hume lagta hai hume shaadi hi nahi karni chahiye thi,” she got up and shut the door, “Devi Maiyya ne kitne isshaare diye, humari pehli shaadi toot gayi, doosri bhi hote hote tootne wali thi, yeh sab DM ke isshare nahi toh kya? Par hum hai ki,” she fell silent as she blamed herself for the mess she found herself in.
“Par Jiji,” Khushi too got up and came near Payal, “Aap aur Jijaji toh ek doosre se pyaar karte hain na?”
Click here for Chapter 219