Khushi shrugged, “Too late, its already done and you can’t forbid it, because as per the rules, Di and I together have veto power over your ‘discretionary’ powers and both of us vote to do what is necessary to save A&Ddesigns,” she raised a hand, “Even if I dispose off 10 % of my shares,” she paused, “as does Di, who has also offered her shares in case of any shortfall, that’s not going to alter the functioning of A&Ddesigns as you will still be the major shareholder and we don’t want to change that,” she looked at him in the eye, “when the tide of fortune turns back in our favor we can get them back, aur DM ki marzee hui toh aisa zaroor hoga,” she blinked at him.
Stunned he sank back in his seat and stared at her, warring between hope and despair, “Khhhusshi,” he cleared his throat, “But Khushi what about…
Mr Roy jumped in, “ASR I think you should take the deal, I have seen the papers and indeed all the costs would be covered and in fact I don’t think we would need to sell off Mrs Anjali’s shares for Khushi has gotten a very good deal for AKC, go for it ASR,” he urged.
Arnav dithered and protested, but then Mr Patel pushed back his chair and heaved his portly figure to his feet, “Sounds good to me,” he mumbled, “If Khushi has no problem I don’t understand what your problem is, besides my vote goes with Khushi and Anjali, so you are in any case overruled and permission to sell off your stocks in the company is denied,” he looked at his watch, “Well I will be going now, let me know if my signatures are needed,” he waved his hand sort of signaling the end of the meeting. As he walked out, the others too took their cue and followed him.
“Aman!” Khushi called urgently and held out a file to him; Aman took it and nodded reassuringly, “Don’t worry I will go through the file and draw up necessary papers with the lawyers and accountant,” he shut the door on his way out.
Arnav shot to his feet and caught hold of Khushi by the arms and shook her, “Khushi! Tum aisa nahi kar sakti, what A&Ddesigns is to me, AKC is to you,” he protested.
Khushi pushed him away, “Nahi Arnav, what I feel for AKC is not even one millionth of what A&Ddesigns means to you,” she shook her head, “Frankly AKC is too big for me now, besides I am tired of running always, of having to choose between work and home,” she shrugged, “I have over the years been wanting to back out and have regretted at having bitten off more than I can chew but then it’s a responsibility that I cannot just throw off like that so I carried on as best as I could,” she paused and cleared her throat, “As fate would have it I have been in talks with an interested party who is keen to take it over AKC in totality including its staff and today I just clinched the deal.”
“But Khushi I can’t let…” his phone rang, “Haan Di?”
“Chotte!” Anjali’s voice squawked, “Yeh kya chal raha hai! Aise koi kaise kar sakta hai? Itna kuch ho gaya aur bataya bhi nahi? I would have come but Anya ko kuch complications hai because of the twin pregnancy…”
“Kya hua Anya ko?” interrupted Arnav.
“Kuch nahi, abhi theek hai, but I can’t come to Delhi now, probably I will be staying on at Bangalore for the rest of her pregnancy, but just listen to me, I have talked to Khushi, just do what she is saying, tumhe meri kasam,” she rang off.
Defeated, Arnav sank back into his chair and buried his head in his hands, “This isn’t right, yeh sahi nahi hai,” he mumbled indistinctly.
Khushi stood there stiffly, her heart going out to the desolate lonely figure of ASR unable to come to terms with his ‘failure’ of having to take help from another even if it was her; she swallowed, “Yehi sahi hai Arnav, what I said earlier is the absolute truth, for the past couple of years I have been feeling the heat and pressure of running AKC, I feel terribly guilty about neglecting home aur waise bhi did you not hear what Di just said?” she clasped and unclasped her hands, “Di has been planning to stay at Bangalore with Anya ever since she got to know of the twin pregnancy and she had already requested me to look after her business as well,” she waved her hands, “I have been feeling overwhelmed, Nani, children, AKC and ab Di’s business, itna sab kuch how could I manage? And jaise DM ki marzee everything just fell into place as if it was meant to be,” she smiled wanly.
“Par Khushi, I cannot just ask you to sacrifice your business for the sake of my…”
“Of course you cannot ask me to sacrifice my business for the sake of your business!” Khushi was suddenly spitting fire, “but you can ask me to break off our marriage, now that is perfectly ok hai na?”
Under fire, Arnav quailed a bit, “Nahi Khushi, mera woh matlab nahi tha,” he said weakly.
“Toh kya matlab tha?” Khushi asked challengingly her hands on her hips yet her voice shook as emotions and horrific memories of the days gone by assaulted her. She gritted her teeth and sought refuge in anger, “And since when do we have mine and yours between us? Is your business not mine, is mine not yours too?” her voice broke.
Arnav fumbled, “Nahi woh…matlab…what I meant was…” he petered out.
“Kya hua? Arnav Singh Raizada ki bolti bund!” Khushi’s eyes opened incredulously as rage course through her veins giving her strength, “Aisi kya baat hai, hum bata dete hai, aapka kya matlab tha – what you meant was Khushi I know you to be a mercenary avaricious and covetous sort of a person and now that I don’t have any money, you will wish to get out of my life so before that I am throwing you out of my life, hai na?” Khushi was all worked up and agitated.
Arnav looked at her shocked and muttered, “Nahi Khushi,” but his voice lacked conviction.
Khushi’s throat worked furiously but no words came out, she turned away and clenched her fists, “Khhushiii,” Arnav murmured huskily in her ears from behind and was her undoing – well almost.
She jerked away and strode off pausing for a few brief moments by the door to control her emotions and then walked out her head held high.
“Aman,” she cleared her throat, “is everything in order?” she asked, “Do you need anything from me or can I leave?”
Aman got to his feet, “No Bhabhi,” he gestured with his hand, “We are still going through the files, your accountant is here so I don’t think you will be needed, you carry on, if needed I will contact you, Sir toh yahin hai na?” he looked around.
ASR was just a couple of paces behind Khushi, “Haan Sir yahin hai,” Khushi jumped in before he could say anything and walked off.
Click here for Chapter 408