A slow flush suffused Devansh’s cheeks as the penny dropped, and Khushi felt terribly sorry for him – to be thus manipulated by a chit of a girl and to get to know of it from his baby sister – no doubt a huge blow to his ego.
“Kya Chotti,” she jumped right in, “Tum bhi na, making a mountain of a molehill,” she tried to make light of it, “she must have just said it like that – that Guddu is not into frivolous stuff and is not at all grumpy or snobbish,” she looked meaningfully at Chotti, trying to get her on the same page or at least get her to drop the topic, but Chotti carried on blithely, “Oh no Mamma, now you are being naïve and innocent, Kritika really does like Da just like so many girls in my class,” she declared with a hint of pride in her voice, “they keep asking me to introduce them to him,” she looked critically over at him and said doubtfully, “pata nahi what they see in him, mere ko toh he looks like a fossilized dinosaur,” she gave a squeal and dashed away at top speed with Devansh in hot pursuit.
“Arre kapde toh badal lo, khana toh kha lo,” but Khushi was talking to thin air. Nani shook her head, “Yeh Chotti toh bahut hi badmash hai aur yeh Guddu bahut hi seedha aur bhola, pata nahi kya hoga iska.”
Khushi sighed and sank back in her seat, “Sab theek ho jayega Nani, aap chinta mat kariye,” she smiled affectionately at her but with a sinking heart – Nani looked so frail and old, “Ab kaisi tabiyat hai?” she asked worriedly.
“Aisan hi hai,” Nani leaned back wearily, “I am old, it will take time for this cough to get better.”
“Aur fever?” asked Khushi.
Nani adjusted her pallu, “Fever theek hai,” she muttered without looking at Khushi.
Instantly suspicious, Khushi placed her hand on Nani’s forehead and sat up in alarm, “Nani! Aapko toh high fever hai!”
“Nahi nahi,” mumbled Nani, “Itna bhi nahi hai, I am just going to take the fever medicine,” she brushed her concern away.
Khushi shook her head, “Yeh toh galat baat hai Nani, you know what the doctor said, fever kam nahi hota toh you have to go to the hospital? Aur aap yeh baat chhupa rahein hain?” She looked at Nani reproachfully.
“Arre naahi naahi bitiya aisan kuano baat nahi hai,” Nani defended herself, “All these young doctors are big alarmists, zara sa kuch hua nahi, bas admit kardo, aaree baba, I am old, bukhar hai, time toh lagega na?”
“Ji Nani, but so much time? And you are already on antibiotics for more than a week now, you should have been better,” Khushi shook her head and suddenly looked suspiciously at Nani who was wearing a cagey expression.
“Nani?” Khushi looked at her closely even as Nani turned her face away, “Nani,” Khushi was exasperated, “You haven’t been taking the antibiotics have you?!”
“I don’t like to have such big tablets,” Nani whined, “Munh ka taste bhi kharab ho jaata hai,” she grumbled.
“Oh Nani! Please you are behaving worse than Chotti,” Khushi groaned, “Abhi doctor ko phone karti hoon,” she called up the doctor ignoring Nani’s protests.
“Hum naahi jayenge hospital,” Nani said sullenly.
“Arre Nani, antibiotic nahi lena, hospital nahi jaana – kaisi bachchon kaisi baatein kar rahi hain aap,” Khushi reprimanded her gently but Nani was adamant. She dug her heels in and repeated like a parrot, “Hum nahi jayenge hospital.”
“Chotte ko phone karein kya,” Khushi said feeling frazzled.
Instantly Nani’s eyes filled with tears, “Haan haan call him up and tell him so that he can yell at me, aur hum toh kahin aur ja bhi nahi sakte, apna beta hi humri khabar nahi lewat,” she sniffed unhappily.
“Aww Nani,” Khushi melted, she came over and hugged her, “Don’t think like that! Mamaji is busy and he also doesn’t keep too well hai na? Aur waise bhi I am not that crazy to call up your Chotte,” she shuddered theatrically, “Aapko pata nahi kuch bolenge ki nahi, he will surely chew me up! Ab chaliye lets go to the hospital,” she coaxed her.
“Hum nahi jayenge hospital,” Nani fussed.
“Oho Nani, not necessary they will admit you hai na? Just come for a check up and see if you need any change in medicines, theek hai,” Khushi spent over an hour trying to convince Nani just to visit the doctor – if only she could pick up Nani and forcibly carry her to the clinic just as one would a baby – Nani sure was behaving like one, Khushi rolled her eyes.
“Mommm!” Chotti came rushing upto her, “Are you going somewhere?”
“Haan Nani ko doctor ke paas, kyon?” Khushi asked as Chotti’s expression fell.
“Ohhh my friends were coming over to practice for the the dance we are preparing for Tanvi’s sister’s wedding, remember I told you and you promised to teach us?” Chotti protested.
Khushi started guiltily, she had completely forgotten! “Oh yeah of course, just…just keep them entertained for a while, I will be back soon, HPji!” she called, “Kuch khane ka arrangement…”
“Mommm, please everyone is busy and coming just for this and now you are not going to be there,” Chotti complained.
“Haan Khushi bitiya rehne dete hain,” Nani immediately perked, “No need to go to the doctor, hum theek hai,” she straightened and smiled.
“Ji Nani,” Khushi rolled her eyes, “Chotti pucca I will be back in a jiffy but if you can do call up your friends and ask them to come about an hour later…”
“I told you! Everyone is busy and have jam packed schedules, we can’t reschedule!” Chotti stamped her foot.
“Ok ok,” Khushi placated her, “Here’s what we will do, let them come, I am sure they wont all come on time, but when they come all of you can check out youtube and shortlist at least three songs which you think you would like to learn and when I come back we can directly take up one of them, that would save time ok?”
Chotti reluctantly nodded her head, “jaldi aana par,” Khushi nodded and hurriedly hustled Nani out, “Leave a message for Guddu will you Chotti that we may be a little late in picking him up after football practice and that he should just hang around the gate not disappear with one of his friends and even if he does he should text me, I don’t want to have to spend hours trying to locate him, abhi toh phone bhi nahi uthayega,” Khushi called out instructions even as she got into the car, “Talk to HPji and fix up what you want to serve your friends.”
The visit to the doctor wasn’t too good, especially for Nani who got a major blasting from him, which was precisely the reason Khushi had been so keen to consult him. Nani wasn’t going to listen to her pleadings and she very well couldn’t yell at her but the doctor didn’t have any such compunctions.
“Aap aise kaise kar sakte hain! Don’t you want to get better? Ya phir sabko ghar par pareshan karna chahte hain? Is this your way of getting attention?” the doctor didn’t mince any words.
Nani fidgeted uncomfortably, “Nahi aisa nahi hai but I really get a bad taste in my mouth, I feel so dizzy and I also cannot sleep…”
“That’s because of the infection not the antibiotic,” the doctor interrupted wearily, “Theek hai, Khushi madam, let’s admit her and she will receive medications under supervision that way we can be sure she has taken her medicines aur tabhi theek hongi,” he shook his head, “Nahi toh she is going from bad to worse.”
“Nahi!” Nani clutched Khushi’s hand, “hospital nahi.”
Click here for Chapter 416