Khushi wiped her eyes; she straightened up and said in the same spirit, “Achcha! Pointing fingers at my man is it!” she was up in arms in defense of her beloved Laad Governor, “Toh who is THE man, if I may ask your ladyship?”
Anya froze and shrugged, “Hai koi!” she skipped away to join the masked man and his two squealing prisoners, yelling blue murder.
Khushi looked at her thoughtfully as her heart sank; something was pucca brewing! No doubt about it, but what? Probably nothing serious; did Di know? Surely if it was something serious Anya would have talked to Anjie her best friend? She nibbled her finger worried and to be honest, curious.
Clearly ‘inbestigation karika padi!’
It was a jolly party that sat down for a late breakfast, with Ankit taking the lead in masti with Devansh valiantly trying to keep up. Khushi rolled her eyes and said in a sotto voce, “Dekha Nani, look at the way Guddu is staring at Ankit’s antics! He is seems to busy gulping them down and storing for later use! Aapko pata hai, just a while ago what these two monkeys were doing?”
Nani shook her head as she took a satisfying sip of her adrak wali chai; Arnav shamelessly eavesdropped on their conversation, “Ankit found my box of chanas near the bed and he decided to show off his new-found skills of catch and eat! He threw up chanas and attempted to catch them in his mouth but of course most of them missed his mouth and now the room is littered with chanas! Uff,” moaned Khushi, “Aur toh aur, he started aiming and throwing them into Devansh’s mouth with greater success, nearly choking him in the process,” she shook her head helplessly, “I can’t leave them unattended for even a single minute!” She suddenly turned and glared at Arnav, “Him included,” she hissed.
“Chotte?” Nani was surprised; she glanced at Arnav, who was suddenly shifty eyed, “Usne kya kiya?”
“Poochiye mat!” Khushi sighed, “He was the one who taught the game of ‘basketball with chanas’ to Ankit!”
“Nani, please pass the toast,” Arnav hurriedly intervened, Nani shook her head as she picked up the plate, “Hey Anya, how come so quiet?” Arnav looked to her for the much needed distraction.
Anya gave a quick distracted smile and went back to ogling her phone; she brushed the crumbs off her face, “I am done,” and excused herself from the table. She paused a while in front of the French window to pat and smoothed her hair, before proceeding to flop on the lobby sofa with her mobile. Arnav raised his eyebrow questioningly at Khushi who shrugged her ignorance.
Clearly not a girlfriend and given by their earlier conversation, not a ‘boyfriend’ either, very likely to be some ‘man-friend’. Khushi bit her lip in sudden worry, she was probably over-reacting; Anya was just chexting, for DM sake! Drop it Khushi, she told herself sternly, don’t go around poking your nose everywhere, Di will be back soon, you can just let her know your suspicions, in any case she probably knows about it, she consoled herself. But somehow her earlier conversation with Anya, the image of Anya’s simpering smile, the posturing, the make up so early in the morning, the almost constant preoccupation with the chexting, gave Khushi an uneasy feeling.
“Nani,” Arnav spoke up, “I am afraid I have to go to the office for a couple of hours for a meeting,” Nani nodded her head understanding, “ Khushi see me off will you?” Arnav rose from the table, while Khushi followed, surprised, “Ji.”
“Khushi,” Arnav nodded towards Anya, “What’s up with Anya? What or who is she so busy with?” He clearly shared Khushi’s doubts and Khushi’s heart sank further. It was bad enough to deal her own concerns without having to soothe Arnav as well, “Kya Arnav,” she tried to brush it off airly, “ Lagta hai, that you are feeling jealous at being ignored and sidelined,” she batted her eyes at him, “hai na?” she teased him.
To her surprise, the tips of Arnav’s ears turned red even as he denied her allegations, “What rubbish Khushi, I am just concerned and a little worried at the extent of her preoccupation with her phone,” he shrugged, “I mean she is normally such a chatterbox and ever since she has come, she has hardly spoken more than a few words!”
“Haan toh?” Khushi too shrugged, “Isme surprising kya hai? She is after all growing up, and it is quite natural for her to become quieter, learn to control her unruly tongue…”
“Oh really?” Arnav raised his eyebrow in exaggerated surprise, “So are you saying as one grows older, one talks less?” he looked pointedly at her, she blushed, “Or is it that some people who still talk a lot have yet to grow up?” he jeered softly.
Khushi squared her shoulders, “Hum toh aapke entertainment ke liye bolte hain!” she sighed piously, “Theek hai agar aapko pasand nahi hai toh…” she made a zipping motion on her lips and clamped her lips tight.
Arnav looked down at her amused, “Ohh! Toh tum meri TV ho!”
Khushi opened her mouth and then hurriedly shut it, Arnav angled his head and looked at her quizzically, “Hmmm… toh yeh baat hai, tum ab baat nahi karogi?”
She grinned mischievously and shook her head.
“TV ka remote control toh mere pass hai,” he said with a rather superior air while she sniffed and crossed her arms silently.
“Main jab chahe tumse bulwa sakta hoon aur jab chahe chup bhi kara sakta hoon!” he declared arrogantly.
Khushi’s eyes sneered their disbelief at his tall claim.
“Lagi shart?” he murmured softly.
Khushi nodded her head violently.
“Great!” a broad smile split Arnav’s face as he slowly walked forward, Khushi looked around in alarm and moved back; he relentlessly, stalked her, smirking all the while, till she hit the pillar behind. She looked around agitated, wasn’t that HP’s footsteps? She hurriedly pushed him, ineffectually.
He ignored her and instead, he grabbed hold of her arms and hauling her close to him, that is as far as was possibly without squeezing the baby too much (didn’t want to risk any well aimed kick or two I guess eh?), Khushi, struggles intensified, “Yeh aap kya kar rahe hai, chhodiye hume!” she burst out, he laughed and immediately, effectively, shut her up.
“So Khushi Kumari Gupta Singh Raizada,” Arnav raised his head and murmured softly as a breathless Khushi smiled at him tenderly, he stole another unresisting kiss, “Toh shart main jeeta right?!” he declared triumphantly.
Khushi laughed, “You and your sharts! Actually,” she murmured and batted her lashes provocatively at him, “I let you win! Aapko pata hai,” she fiddled with his collar and peeped up into his face, “Devansh always starts crying when he loses the Candyland game, just like his…” Khushi left the sentence hanging; she pressed her lips primly, her laughing eyes giving away her thoughts.
Arnav’s eyebrow shot up, “What the! Main Devansh ke tara rota hoon! I will make you pay for that just you wait….” His phone rang; Khushi grinned in relief, “Aman ka hoga!” she said mockingly.
Arnav looked at her ruefully, “Haan Aman, I am coming, I am coming,” he barked and disconnected the phone, he leaned forward, “Itna khush mat ho Khushi Kumari Gupta Singh Raizada, I will make you pay for that… tonight,” he promised dangerously, Khushi’s eyes fluttered, he flicked her nose, “Aur yeh mat bhoolna ki mere TV ka volume control sirf aur sirf mere haath main hai!”
He strode off, “Talk to Anya,” he adjusted his remote settings just as he left; she made a face as she shut the door, the RV still humming faintly in her heart.
Click here for Chapter 240