“But Mamma!” called Chotti urgently, “Daddy never picks up his phone,” complained Chotti, “Yesterday I called so many times but he didn’t pick up, HPji and I checked the telephone directory but we couldn’t find the office landline number, finally I googled and got the number,” she concluded rather proudly, “But what happened to your phone? Dikhao, pucca aapko use karna nahi aata hoga!” she said in a condescending tone.
“Phone? Haan woh your Dad,” Khushi firmed her lips and looked at Arnav who hurriedly poured out some juice for himself; she was strongly tempted to show Chotti the phone, “Your Dad,” she coughed; Arnav’s startled (and slightly panic stricken) eyes swung to meet Khushi’s, she paused deliberately letting him sweat for a bit before continuing, “has already seen it, and don’t worry, he will pick up the phone, pucca, no matter what number you call from,” she said in a steely voice and looked at Arnav who strangely flushed, “Achcha abhi late ho raha hai, bhaago jaldi, nahi toh you will miss the bus, and don’t forget to give the note to the Principal,” she called as Chotti dashed away.
Khushi swished away upstairs, fuming khud phone uthaye na uthaye, I should always be connected – uff Laad Governor kahin ke.
This wasn’t the first time that they had this kind of ‘phone-y’ fracas – remember when he had dashed her phone to pieces in the office storeroom? And then of course when she walked away from RM evidently very upset and she wasn’t picking up his phone – that’s when he had unleashed his fury and concern – don’t you ever ever do this to me, samjhi tum etc etc and then when again – ohh perhaps aap log iss particular kisse se waqif nahi hain – so here goes:
A couple of years ago, Arnav had been unable to contact her from either his phone or his office landline while she was at work.
Finally he contacted her over her office landline, “What the hell happened to your phone!” he immediately attacked.
“What the!” Khushi glared at the phone, “Kya hua?”
“Kab se phone kar raha hoon! I am not able to get through – kya ghatiya network liya hua hai,” he charged as if that too were also her fault.
“Wohi hai jo aapka hai,” she shot back sweetly, “By the way, why were you calling me up?”
He ignored her, “Phone check karo, theek hai na?”
“H..aaan phone? Ph…one ko kya hoga, phone toh the…eek hi hoga,” she airily brushed his question away.
But it wasn’t so easy to fool ASR, “Call me from your mobile right now, I am holding this line as well,” he warned.
Khushi made a face, “Thee…k hai theek hai,” she blustered, “Thoda hang ho gaya tha phone…”
“Dekhaaaa!” pounced ASR, “Bola na kuch toh gadbad zaroor hai, how can you be so careless Khushi, suppose there was an emergency? You should make sure your phone is working all the time,” his tone brooked no argument.
“Achcha,” Khushi snapped, shaking her head, “Aur humare paas koi kaam nahi hai, bas phone hi check karte rahenge ki phone theek hai ki nahi, network aa raha hai ki nahi,” she fumed.
“Haan,” asserted ASR rather arrogantly, “isse zyaada important kuch bhi nahi hai,” he rang off.
What the! Khushi fumed as she stared at the dead receiver in her hand, Laad Governor kahin ke, pata nahi apne aapko kya samajhte, is this even feasible practically, she snorted disbelievingly to herself, and to top it all, he didn’t even say why he wanted to speak to me! Uff, she rolled her eyes, was probably checking if I am ready and waiting ‘at his beck and call’ or not, she grumbled to herself.
Her mobile rang, “Ab theek hai phone?” he asked rather redundantly.
“Hmm,” Khushi grunted.
“Achcha yeh batana tha ki I will be late for dinner,” he rang off.
Khushi made a moue and sniffed suspiciously – oye kuch toh jal raha hai, uff yeh Arnav ke chakkar main… she dashed off to do damage control and salvage her sabji.
That evening, Arnav had bought her a new phone with a Nuphone connection, “Best phone and connection in the world,” he had boasted as he had handed the ‘gift’ to her.
Pouting, she had turned away, “kya hua? I got it for you,” he coaxed and then spoilt it by saying, “I don’t want you to have any excuse not to pick up my calls.”
Khushi swung around with her mouth a round O, “Yeh achcha tanashahi hai!” she retorted, “one rule for you and another for me?!” she was evidently mad about something.
“Kya hua kya?” Arnav was totally at sea (kitna sahi naam rakhkha tha na uska 😀 ).
Khushi squinted her eyes and glared at him, “I called you so many times this afternoon but nahi, you didn’t pick up a single call of mine and neither did you call back?” she accused him hotly, “I could be dead or dying for all you know,” she fired another salvo.
Arnav had instantly dug out his mobile and checked, “Tumhara koi missed call nahi hai,” he said dismissively, “See?” he waved his phone at her tauntingly setting her teeth on edge.
She grabbed hold of his phone, “See, these missed calls, so many! And you say koi missed call nahi hai?” she lashed back.
Arnav shrugged uncaringly, “I don’t pick up calls from unknown numbers,” he said arrogantly.
“Whaaat!” Khushi’s face was a round O; she gritted her teeth and rolled her eyes, “Wohi toh mera phone tha! We were returning from Guddu’s football practice, when the car broke down,” she said in a long suffering tone, “Chotti was irritable and cranky so as the driver had gone to call a mechanic, I thought of asking you to send your car, but there was no network on my phone, so I requested a passerby to let me call you, but nahi, aap toh unknown number se phone nahi uthate na,” she gave a mirthless smile.
“But as a matter of principle, I don’t pick up phone from unknown numbers, bekar main disturb karte hain,” Arnav was unrepentant and in fact arrogant about it.
“Not even if it is from the same number over and over again? What if it is an emergency dammit,” Khushi was justifiably incensed, having to drag two young kids, probably carrying one of them in the heat all because of the Laad Governor’s weird logic and ‘principles’, “Emergency hoga toh unknown number se hi phone aayega na? Suppose Guddu wants to call you, he knows your number, aap hi ne sikhaya hai, but then since he doesn’t have a phone, he would obviously call from an unknown number?” Khushi sketched a possible scenario.
“Haan Dad,” piped up Guddu lolling about on the bed apparently unmindful of their conversation, “I called you that day from Tarun’s house because I couldn’t get through Mamma, but you didn’t pick up my phone either,” he said reproachfully.
Arnav’s face was a study. That’s when he had compromised and bought another phone whose number was available only to his family members with the promise to pick up any call that came to it. But since a couple of years had passed uneventfully he had gotten into the habit of putting that phone in silent mode during meetings as well. Dammit, galati toh meri bhi hai, if that other phone was not in the drawer, Angel would not have had such a tough time contacting me – but woh bhi kam nahi hai, he thought proudly, she found a way to contact me!
Click here for Chapter 385