Khushi looked at Anya, “I know all relationships are special and different, isn’t your dad’s and mum’s relationship? Take mine and Mamu’s for that matter, but age is a huge factor which you cannot discount!” Khushi got up and walked about restlessly, wishing she knew what exactly the right thing to say was.
But then she did admit, there was no shortcut to growing up, to heartbreak, to life, it was a trial by fire and Anya would have to learn to take whatever life held in store for her. But hey DM wasn’t 14 too young? Just like…nahi nahi, she swallowed, my poor little baby! It is so not fair! Can’t you do something! She pleaded with DM.
How old were you when your parents died? The voice in her head reminded her; Khushi’s shoulders drooped, her heart broke for Anya, she wished she could wrap her in a protective blanket and shield her from all the hurts that lay ahead.
But then she squared her shoulders, she had survived, so would Anya, they would, could make sure of that at least. But first things first.
“Anya, sweetie, don’t blame your parents please; it is pointless, for not only are they hurt and upset but you are too!”
Anya suddenly turned away; Khushi forced her to look at her, Anya’s dimples were in full view, her throat worked convulsively as she tried to hold her emotions in check.
“Anya,” Khushi shook her gently as Anya refused to look at her, “Perhaps you are right, perhaps you are justified in thinking they don’t understand you, but the question is do you understand them? Are you old enough, mature enough to understand their fears and concerns?”
Anya looked at Khushi in surprise; Khushi nodded her head for emphasis and continued, “For if you were old enough and mature enough, you would understand them, and if you did understand their viewpoint, then you wouldn’t be mad at them!”
Khushi neatly put the onus on to Anya, who stood frozen, thinking, hearing assimilating, digesting, “and if you don’t understand them, then well,” Khushi shrugged, “that means you are exactly what we think you to be, too young!” Khushi effectively drove home her point.
Anya looked at her struck, Mami was right she thought grudgingly, if they didn’t understand her, she too didn’t understand them, or rather hadn’t bothered to understand them. It wasn’t as if they didn’t love her, it was just that they were guilty of being over-protective and caring. And she too had been guilty of thinking of only her own feelings.
As understanding flooded her, suddenly Anya felt free, happy, like the sun had broken through! She had hated to be angry with her parents, it was a terrible lonely feeling, the feeling of betrayal had been almost unbearable; but now suddenly, she just felt loved, cared for, she threw her arms around Khushi, “Thank you Mami, love you Mami,” and gave resounding crushing smacks on her cheeks.
Khushi giggled and squealed in protest, her heart overflowing with relief; this was the Anya she knew! Shukriya DM!
Khushi pushed her luck; she hugged Anya and said, “I want you to promise that you will never think of us adults as your ‘enemies’! You must know that we just want you to be happy,” she said emotionally, “and whatever the issue, never close us out, we are always there, come and talk to us, no matter what, I am sure we can sort it out!”
Anya smiled self-deprecatingly, “Yeah, I guess you are right, thanks Mami,” she said softly and hugged her.
Khushi looked at her thoughtfully, oh well in for a penny, in for a pound, “Also promise me that you will never lose focus of your goals, your career, studies will take precedence over any other relationship; remember that this time, that you have, will never come again, so make the most of it for you have the rest of your life to build relationships,” Khushi exhorted, even though she knew, it was easier said than done, “And if you ever find that he distracts or diverts you from this path, he is not the man for you, understood?” Khushi looked at her seriously, trying to gauge if her message had reached Anya or if she needed to spell it out more clearly.
Anya nodded cheerfully, “Sure of course I know that, I am not going to jump into bed with him or anything like that! I am not that naïve or foolish, even though some of the girls in my class are!” she said scathingly. Then in a burst of confidence, “You know the other day all the girls were discussing that men have only one thing on their minds, even Aisha thinks so! But I don’t think believe such rubbish, besides Sherry has never given me any indication that he has ‘that’ on his mind! We share a very ‘intellectual’ relationship!” she said rather loftily and then suddenly without any warning, “Tell me Mami, what you think? Do you think men only have one thing on their minds, did Mamu too have only one thing on his mind?” Anya dropped her bombshell.
Khushi stared at her stumped, hey DM this Anya was really too much, how did we come to this point she wondered rather wildly and what could she possibly say to this?
Say no and then Anya would take that as tacit consent and crow, ‘See I told you not all men are same and Sherry too is different!’
Say yes, she blushed to say it, how could she say it, they were talking about her Mamu for DM’s sake and she couldn’t be so blasé about such a topic, especially not to her 14 year old niece! Besides, she wasn’t really sure if he did have that….
“Come on Mami!” Anya exhorted, “Now please don’t go all shy with me! Just a while ago you were ruing my reticence weren’t you?” she said slyly as Khushi shook her head trapped, “Come on Mami, you owe me, I was honest with you wasn’t I?” Anya insisted.
“Haan toh big deal,” Khushi tried to brush it away but Anya was having none of it,
“Mami! Are you blushing? I do believe you are!” Anya clapped her hands
Khushi put her hands on her hot cheeks to cool them, “Nahi toh, aisa kuch nahi hai, it’s just that your Mamu and I had a very different and unique relationship where this did not come into play so the question doesn’t apply to us, perhaps you can ask Anjie?” Khushi neatly squiggled out of the tricky situation.
But then Anya was not so easily distracted, “Sure I will,” she said thoughtfully, “but then didn’t you just now say every relationship is special and I want to know about yours. And I always did wonder about the ‘rajkumar’ and the ‘rakshash’ bit.”
Khushi’s eyes opened wide, “You remember!” she gasped.
Click here for Chapter 244