Khushi turned to find Arnav standing holding a carry bag in his hand. He was dripping all over the kitchen floor. Khushi switched off the gas and charged towards him, “What’s wrong with you, you are totally drenched and you are standing here, smirking away! Go up and change and dry up immediately, I don’t want you to catch a chill…:
“Kyon? Tumhe kya faraq padta hai?”
Khushi was now madder than a wet hen. “What the…are you mad, is this any time to throw your favorite dialogue? Faraq isiliye, because if you fall ill, I will have to do a lot of work…now go and give me that bag…what’s in that?” She was curious.
ASR pulled back the bag. “Oh no no, that stays with me, okay I am going upstairs, bring my pasta and hot tea, some plates…”
Khushi, hands on her hips, “Aur kuch Laad Governor ji?”
Her Laad Governor looked at her, turned and squished away up the stairs.
Khushi cleaned up the mess while rabba veying.
She made a pot of ginger tea and took it up along with the pasta to their room. Arnav had changed and was fiddling with the remote while reclining on his side of the bed.
Khushi again sniffed the air, “Strange, I made pasta and yet I can smell pakoras and even jalebis, must be my subconscious desire speaking, the weather is just so right for pakoras” she pouted.
Arnav smiled at her and brought up the carry bag he had refused to hand over downstairs and offered it to her.
Her smile burst forth like the sun, and without taking the bag she threw herself into his arms, “I knew it!”
Arnav returned her hug, moved away still holding her in the circle of his arms and raised his eyebrow, “Knew what? That I had gone to buy pakoras and jalebis?”
Khushi pertly shook her head. “ Nahi, that my nose couldn’t be wrong,” she reached out to take the bag from his hands, but he was faster and held it away.
“Yeh chahiye? Toh tumhe meri ek shart manni hogi”
Khushi, rolled her eyes: “Oh please, not that old thing again, theek hai,” she swiftly moved forward and planted a full firm kiss on his lips and moved away before he could reciprocate.
“What the…!” ASR was irritated. “Are you setting a World record for the shortest and most unromantic kiss or were you a hen in your last life, pecking at me like that! Besides I simply refuse to be a ‘hen-pecked’ husband.”
“Say what you like, but I won and don’t you cheat now, you lost the ‘deal’. Come let us eat, everything is getting cold.”
She settled down on the bed beside him and unpacked the goodies and served him the pasta. She then poured the tea and sighing she dug into the pakoras with a blissful expression. They ate in companionable silence, enjoying the sound and light show playing near the poolside, hosted by nature.
After they finished eating, she cleared up and moved to take the tray away; he held her dupatta and shook his head.
“What are you doing? Let me go.” She frowned.
“Leave that and come here. You cheated and I was hungry so I ‘let’ you win; now it is payback time.”
Khushi sighed, banged the tray on the side table and grumbled,” Always you have to win, why can’t I win some times?” Willingly she slid into his waiting arms and he proceeded to break his previous record.
“Who won now?”
Khushi laughed and hugged him hard and got up to do her household chores, he again held her back and whispered gruffly,” Khushi, I am sorry, I forgot about the movie…”
Unbidden tears sprang to Khushi’s eyes and she swallowed hard to keep them from rolling down, but he saw them.
“Khushi,” his soft gruff whisper was her undoing and her tears spilled over.
He wiped them gently and said, “Sorry bola na.”
Khushi, shook her head and smiled tremulously, “It is not that, it is just that, it is been so long since you bothered to….” She trailed off.
Arnav regretfully nodded his head, “I know, come here” and then after a while he said, “actually, I did remember, but you went and donated the tickets…so technically,” he grinned at her, “it is your fault we are not watching the movie right now.”
Khushi moved away. “What! My fault huh? What rubbish, you come so late and you think the movie will wait for you, you know I hate it when we even miss the advertisements. Can’t even apologize properly, Laad Governor kahin ke….hmmpphhh. And why did you get so many pakoras and jalebis? You not only forgot about the movie but also that I am nearly 50 years of age, all this kind of oily food doesn’t suit me anymore. Now I will have to take an antacid.”
ASR sighed and said, “I can never win can I?” And then said, “Okay okay, take your medicine and come here, I got another surprise for you.”
Khushi settled down cozily beside him on the bed while he switched on the TV and Khushi jumped up in wonder, Dabbang 2 was playing!
He laughed at her joy and said, “Dekha, I deliberately missed that movie, so that you could see your favorite star, Sal…”
Khushi clapped her hand over his mouth and said softly, “Mr Arnav Singh Raizada.”
Arnav rolled his eyes and removed her hand, “Khushi, you are so filmy!”
Khushi grinned and said, “Shhhh….let’s watch the movie”
Khushi drowned herself in the movie, thoroughly enjoying herself; just then her phone blinked.
A message from Di. Howz d movie?
Khushi smiled; trust Di to be thinking of her. Khushi turned and looked at Arnav and her smile widened. He was fast asleep. Tenderly she caressed his face, so dear to her.
Khushi switched off the TV and snuggled up to him.
Anjali’s phone blinked: Awesome.