Anya came rushing from nowhere and took the two naughty boys off with her to teach them some manners or probably save them from Arnav’s ire. Nani in turn went off to save the boys from Anya’s strictures, bechare bachche toh khel hi rahe the! Oh perhaps she thought it prudent to give the two star-crossed lovers some space to patch up what was very obviously a massive lovers spat. Uff yeh dono bhi, jitni jaldi they patch up the better it was for her; nahi toh Chotte’s ‘goodnights’ were very perfunctory and almost rude and Khushi’s attempts to maintain a happy façade was painful to watch to say the least. Nani gave a long suffering sigh as she adjusted her pallu and gracefully swished away.
Deprived of his rightful targets, Arnav directed his missile to Khushi, even as his arms cradled her tenderly, gently, “Koi bhi kaam theek se nahi kar sakti kya! Dammit kuch ho jaata toh!”
His unfortunate choice of words, his nearness, the warm feel of his loving touch, the whisper of his breath on her face, breached the flimsy dam, her face crumpled and she burst into tears; loud gut wrenching sobs wracked her slender form, “Kkhhusshiii,” he breathed huskily as he gathered her into his arms; he gently set her on the sofa and sat down holding her close to him, attempting to shush her.
“What the!” burst out Arnav as he was rudely thrust away from Khushi by a couple of puny nonetheless relentless arms.
“Mammaaa” Devansh wailed, “Bad Daddy!” he said fiercely to Arnav who was taken by surprise and moved away. Seeing his chance, Devansh hurriedly climbed on to his Dad’s lap and from his vantage point, he hugged his mother, consoling her. Arnav steadied the little boy even as he muttered disgustedly, “Yeh achcha hai! He is the one who scared her in the first place and I am bad! And to top it, he pushes me away, sits on my lap and hugs my wife! Hudd hai!” he shook his head incredulously.
Khushi sniffed and valiantly tried to control her emotions but with little success, hearing the commotion Nani, came to the scene of the crime. She took stock of the situation, “Ankit,” she called him who was standing there wide-eyed taking in the scene avidly, “Ankit, take Devansh around the house on the tricycle.”
Nani knew that there was nothing better that the two kids liked! [pssst here’s an insider news – Actually the tricycle was a state of the art tricycle complete with gear, power button which allowed it to zip around RM at high speeds, and Arnav secretly coveted this ‘trike’. He often rued the fact that he never had such a cycle in his childhood and given a chance would squeeze himself into it, his legs outstretched parallel to the ground (hogging up both the driver and pillion rider’s seats) while Devansh would climb on to his back and cling on for dear life. Arnav would put the trike on the highest gear and press the power button to top speed and whoosh around RM with Devansh screeching his and his dad’s exhilaration!].
Anyway, Ankit immediately brightened and dug out the tricycle and zipped around the lobby showing off his driving skills. Devansh was torn, trike or mum? Should he, could he leave his mum to his Dad’s mercy? But the cycle, oh the cycle was a favorite treat especially with Ankit in the driver’s seat, he drove so fast, just like Daddy! Poo was such slow driver, no fun at all (well not Poo’s only fault was that she used to run it on the slowest speed); he could run faster than that! He looked longingly at Ankit hooting the horn, Khushi smiled and solved the little one’s dilemma, she pushed him, “Jaao Guddu,” he needed no further encouragement and ran off to do his mother’s bidding. He was a very obedient boy, as you can see 😉
“Ka hua bitiya?” Nani asked gently, Khushi scrubbed her face and shook her head embarrassed, “Kuch nahi Nani, bas aise hi, thoda thak gaye hain….”
Just then, Poo burst upon them and uncharacteristically, let the cat out of the bag, “Bhabhi aapne aaj khana nahi khaya kya? Aapka lunchbox toh poora bhara hua hai!”
She hadn’t eaten anything the whole day, she suddenly realized, she had been so upset that she had felt as if she couldn’t swallow anything; nahi nahi, Ramiya had forced her to eat a banana and she had had some juice as well at Mrs Mehta’s she recalled. Khushi flushed guiltily as all eyes swung to her, “Haan woh…bas aise hi kuch kha liya tha office main,” she muttered and closed her eyes, and waited resignedly for the tandav nritya to begin.
Well it was all his fault, she thought resentfully, first he hurts me, attacks me, then doesn’t even bother to make amends and then he expects me to eat; samajhte kya hai apne aap ko! Kuch bole toh sahi, hum aaj unko chhodenge nahi, hmmph Laad Governor kahin ke! She snorted to herself, and bolstered her defense even though her heart sank!
But for once, Khushi waited in vain, for Arnav was strangely silent. Perhaps he too realized his own complicity; he knew that it was his insensitive and boorish behavior that had probably added to Khushi’s inability to eat. He felt guilty and worried, so much so that he couldn’t even dredge up the angst to blast her; or perhaps he felt he had lost the right to yell at her when he was the one to put her in this condition in the first place. He just sat quietly next to Khushi on the sofa as Nani gently scolded Khushi for her ‘laparwahi’; Poo rushed up with a bowl of fruit custard which Khushi willingly accepted.
“Anya bitiya, come call the boys as well to the dining table, Ankit ko custard khana tha na?” Nani again considerately left the two alone as she walked away to the dining table while Anya skipped away in search of the two monkeys.
Khushi finally dared to shoot a sidelong glance to Arnav, wondering what was up with him, trying to decipher whether it was the sad RV or the happy RV aur inhe kya ho gaya! Is he so mad at me that he won’t even yell at me! Her heart sank, definitely the sad RV, but no then he wouldn’t still be sitting next to me, the tempo of the RV changed hesitantly; her heart fluttered with hope and then went dhak dhak, he raised his eyes and their eyes met.
The world faded away, the lump in her throat vanished as her heart soared, the blood in her veins gushed and rushed in tune with the celebratory RV, washing away her hurt, nothing mattered, if he would just look at her like that, sit by her side, her lashes fluttered, he gently slipped his arm around her shoulder, a tear slipped out; he tenderly brushed it away, and raised the spoon to her mouth. Khushi hurriedly gulped down the delicious custard suddenly feeling ravenously hungry. She ultimately had three bowlfuls of custard, before she felt sated enough.
She sighed in relief as she felt strength returning to her limbs and then froze. She reached out and picked up Arnav’s hand and put it on the swell of her abdomen; his fingers twitched as he felt the tiny ‘tremblor’; his arm tightened around her as he pulled her toward him and placed a swift kiss on her head. She sighed and slipped her head on to his shoulder and sat there in peaceable silence enclosing their baby within the warm circle of their linked fingers and hearts.
Khushi shifted to lean comfortably against Arnav as she soaked in the blissful RV softly teasing her senses interspersed intermittently by the childish treble of the two boys squabbling as they sat at the dining table with Nani and Anya wielding their authoritative sticks. Neither felt the need to say anything – Arnav was never ever keen on saying sorry in any case and besides he did think it was but obvious that he was sorry, while Khushi, she could read his silence better than his words. In any case, she wasn’t too keen on a post mortem of the past events for she realized her own complicity in escalating the MU and also accepted that to expect Arnav to be rational where Di was concerned was like asking the Sun to rise from the West.
She sighed and let bygones be bygones – once again. Possibly she was loathe to drag the matter further and risk disturbing the fragile peace that enveloped them both as they sat in companionable silence.
A/N Time to put on your thinking caps friends! Aapko kya lagta hai? Would love to know your thoughts on this and since many of you seem to be loathe to show up in the CB, another debate session to tempt you to speak up and be counted – apart from my regular companions of course, who don’t have a choice in the matter – for them it is a given 😀
- Khushi was wise to let the matter rest and let bygones be bygones
- Khushi should have steeled herself for a post-mortem
- Khushi is a fool to let Arnav off the hook so easily
- It was Khushi’s fault in the first place, especially the second incident, she created the mess for herself – Arnav is the the one who is letting her off the hook easily
- Fifth (any other) option
Well did you find the chapters without the links at the bottom of the page or did anyone miss me? No? Dammit.
Click here for Chapter 238