Arnav spent almost an hour wondering how to cheer up his wife without having to actually apologize. After a lot of thought and consideration to this tricky problem, he arranged for the telecast of a couple of Salman Khan movies to his home theatre system; since he wasn’t sure of the time he took the rights for the entire weekend [oho you forget this is 2020 (when i wrote this in 2013, 2020 seemed far far way!) kuch bhi ho sakta hai – such as individualized cable telecasts – kyon?!] That would surely cheer her up; he smiled to himself and walked into RM with a jaunty step. Khushi was waving goodbye to Devansh who was going to a birthday party in the neighborhood with Poo as his companion.
He too waved at Devansh and offered a smile to Khushi as well. Unimpressed, Khushi sniffed haughtily and walked off to their room with her nose in the air, he raised his eyebrow in disbelief, ‘oh so she was going to be difficult about it was she?’ he muttered to himself, main bhi Arnav Singh Raizada hoon dekhta hoon kitni der she can be ‘difficult’ about it!
“Khushi,” he called huskily, “Tum se kuch baat karni hai,” He looked at her with an intense brooding expression; Khushi stared back at him expressionlessly, “Boliye?”
Arnav’s eyes flickered, clearly Khushi itne aasaani se nahi manegi, “Di,” he offered; Khushi snapped it up, “Oh Di?” She raised her eyebrow, “Sab theek hai na?” she asked facetiously.
Arnav looked at her ruefully; she wanted him to grovel or what? He stiffened, itna bhi kya ho gaya! “No everything is fine,” he snapped and turned away.
“Haan theek toh hoga hi, jab kuch galat kiya hi nahi,” Khushi’s voice stopped him in his tracks; he turned around, ‘ab aya na truck pul ke neeche’ (both thought!), she squared her shoulders snootily, “Aur waise bhi, hum jab koi ‘galati’ karte hain, anjane main hi sahi, or even if humari galati na bhi ho; hum usko sudharna bhi jaante hain,” she said in a rather convoluted and obscure manner.
Arnav looked at her confused, “Excuse me?”
She sighed pityingly and showed him her hand, “Khush ho jayeea, humne Mrs Mehta ko mana kar diya.”
Arnav was even more confused, “Mrs Mehta ko mana kar diya!?” he echoed, “Who the hell is Mrs Mehta and kya mana kar diya?”
Still on her high horse, Khushi said loftily, “Mrs Mehta wanted me to ask you to arrange for a job for a cousin of hers, kaise dandanate huye bole the uss din,” she sniffed resentfully, “Humne toh saaf saaf mana kar diya that it is not possible to do any such favor, phir aapki daant kaun sunega!” she attempted to sneer like ASR, rather unsuccessfully.
Arnav still looked extremely confused, “But WHO is Mrs Mehta?”
“Mrs Mehta,” Khushi enunciated clearly and slowly as if speaking to a very slow and dull child, “has a boutique at the mall near AKC,” she closed her eyes exaggeratedly at his still blank look, “her husband works in the Ministry of Textiles,” having conveyed her message she turned to leave.
“What!!!” Arnav was furious, he swung her around, “Tum paagal ho gayee ho kya?!”
Khushi jerked her hand away and rubbed the place where his fingers had bitten into her arm, “Lagta hai, aap paagal ho gaye hain!” she shot back equally heated, “Bhool gaye kya, kaise Buaji ke rishtedaar ko job ke liye mana kar diya tha! Hum toh nahi bhoole,” clearly woh pal bhi sort of chhap kya tha Khushi ke man main!
Arnav aggressively thrust his finger into Khushi’s face, “Oh really! Agar aisa hota toh you would have also remembered that I also said, How can you take decisions on my part? You should have talked to me first! Kaha tha ki nahi?” he bit out.
It was Khushi’s turn to be confused and taken back enough to stutter, “ Ha…haan but,” she fumbled and mumbled as she attempted to scramble back on to her high horse, “Usse kya faraq padta hai? Aapne toh mere kehne par kisi ko job nahi denge na?” she threw at him.
“Haan,” Arnav agreed instantly, “Tumhare kehne par nahi doonga, but,” he raised his hand, “Mrs Mehta ki baat aur hai, and you have no idea how much of a disfavor you have done me by refusing the favor to Mrs Mehta,” he glared at her his lips curled, “Dammit Khushi, ek baar pooch toh liya hota! Oh forget it, tum nahi samjhogi,” he turned away disgusted.
Khushi stood frozen by this unexpected vitriolic outburst, but not one to be so easily cowed down, she recovered enough to hold him back, “Nahi, aap aise nahi ja sakte, uss din bhi aapne samjhana zaroori nahi samjha aur aaj bhi wohi galati kar rahein hain, shayad uss din samjha diya hota toh aaj I would not have done this disfavor.” Khushi still refused to accept that she had in any way messed up things and insisted that he come clean; according to her he was still on his high horse and was just being contrary.
“Mrs Mehta’s,” It was Arnav’s turn to emulate Khushi, as he slowly and clearly spelt out, “Husband works in the Ministry of Textiles and we have several dealings with the ministry and often require clearances etc from them, and if your pea-brain can see it, it works in our favor to be on the right side of officials in the Ministry and certainly doesn’t hurt to be able to do be in a position to do a favor or two, whereas it might be counter-productive and have serious repercussions for our business to refuse such a minor request,” he threw up his hands, “You are so naïve Khushi that it is unbelievable! I know the Mehtas very well; they are petty puffed up Government officials who take such things very personally. It is not that I am the the only one who can do this favor for them! There are several people who would kill for such an opportunity aur tum ho ki! Oh forget it!” He walked off to the poolside.
Khushi stared at him in consternation with a sinking feeling, ‘iss baar shayad galati humari hai’ she reluctantly admitted to herself although she was loathe to admit that the Mehtas would react in a manner as Arnav predicted, he was just being negative about it, she told herself as guilt clawed at her; yet she was deeply hurt, he had no qualms about making adjustments and compromising for the sake of his business but not where she was concerned! And that rankled, her position was even lower than she believed it to be, Di, Nani, kids she had accepted, but wasn’t she the biggest deal? Humari request ki koi mayne nahi hai unke liye? Tears clogged her throat; how she got through the rest of the evening she had no recollection and she spent a sleepless night tossing and thrashing around, alone on the huge bed, for Arnav slept on the couch.
Click here for Chapter 236