Khushi looked at him stiffly and then angled her head to one side and held out her hand, “I want 25,300 rupees.
“What!!!” Arnav stunned, “25,300 rupees?”
Khushi aggressively waved her hand, “Haan 25,300 rupees, and bheek nahi maang rahe hain naahi udhar, I won the bet and so I want you to give me exactly this much money.”
Arnav worried, “Khushi, I transferred one lakh rupees to your account just last week, have you spent it all? waise bhi you have our joint account ATM card, if you need the money why did you not take it from there? Tell me Khushi why do you need this money?”
“I dont need to tell you anything, just give me the money or let me go.” said an uncooperative Khushi.
Arnav sighed in frustration and worry, then he went to the cupboard and opened the locker and took out a bundle of cash and gave it to Khushi, “Here, take this, 50,000 rupees.”
Khushi handed it back to him, “I want exactly 25,300 rupees only.”
Arnav glared at her, then diligently counted the money and handed it to her and deposited the rest in the locker.
He turned around to see Khushi counting the money with concentration, a bit of her tongue sticking out from one corner, his heart went out to her; he wondered if she was in any trouble, he hoped not a moneylender. But why not take it from the bank account, he sighed, would he ever be able to keep pace with his ‘mad’ wife’s thinking process?
Khushi finished counting, she then took out her purse and handed him 200 rupees and said “there were 200 rupees extra in this bundle.”
Arnav raised his eyebrow and graciously pocketed the change and said, “Thank you,” with just a hint of sarcasm, “and now what will you do with this money?” he asked.
“For a long time I have owed this money to a khadoos businessman,” She waved the notes with a stern glint in her eyes, “it has been really bothering me, now I can finally return it to him and be debt free,” there was a glow of relief and triumph on Khushi’s face.
“Kisko?” Arnav asked, clenching his hands, who dared to bother his Khushi, uski himmat kaise hui? “Just tell me his name,” he growled.
“Mr Arnav Singh Raizada,” pat came the reply as Khushi offered the money back to him.
“Poora boliye na, what the,” Khushi exaggeratedly batted her eyes, finally enjoying herself. YES! She exulted.
“Are you crazy Khushi? You take money from me to pay me!” ASR was stunned.
“Excuse me,” said Khushi with her nose in the air, “That is my money, I won it fair and square and now I am returning it you, Mr Arnav Singh Raizada.”
“But, but what money are you talking about, when did you take 25,000 rupees from me, oh sorry, 25, 300 rupees?” Asked Arnav, all at sea.
“You may have forgotten, but I haven’t, after all hum ek halwai ki beti aur ek businessman ki patni hai” said Khushi her head held high, “25,000 is compensation which you demanded for damaging your car and 300 is for the money I borrowed from you on Holi.”
Arnav looked at Khushi wryly, holding the bundle in his hands, “Oh so finally you decided to clear your debts, but what about the interest? It has been so long,” he looked mournfully at her “Chalo interest on 300 rupees I can waive off,” he said grandly, “after all that was after we were married, but 25,000? Uska interest ka kya?”
“Interest?!” Khushi was shocked, “There was no talk of any interest!”
“Come on Khushi, as a halwai ki beti and businessman ki patni didn’t you read the fine print? You should know that no money transaction occurs without interest?” Arnav smirked.
“What kind of a man are you Mr Arnav Singh Raizada, you expect to extract interest from your one and only wife?” Khushi attacked.
“I am a kind and just man Khushi; that is why I waived the interest on 300 rupees of my one and only wife, by the way how do you know you are my one and only wife?”
She ignored his last comment and focused on the interest, “Why not waive the interest on 25,000 as well?”
“Oh but you weren’t my wife then were you? And besides the interest on that would be quite a bit,” he shrugged regretfully, “after all I am a businessman and I am very particular about extracting my dues, my full dues,” he waggled his eyebrows suggestively.
She glared at him, and then said triumphantly, “Oh but you forget, I didn’t borrow 25,000 from you, it was the cost of repair of your car, which you must have already paid, so where does the question of interest arise?”
Arnav raised his eyebrow, “Not bad Khushi Kumari Gupta….now Singh Raizada, but you forget, I had to pay 25,000 then and but if you had given me the money then, I would still have had my money which would have earned me so much of interest by now, so I am afraid, interest toh dena padega,” he insisted.
Reluctantly Khushi gave in, “Ok fine! How much do I owe you now?”
Arnav looked at her unfathomably and said, “Hmmm let’s see, considering interest, inflation and delay in payment, I think a round sum of 25, 000 is fair for both parties. Not too much for you, considering your current status as Mrs Khushi Kumari Gupta Singh Raizada?”
“25,000!!!” Khushi was stunned, “are you crazy…you… you… Shylock!”
Ahh his tigress was back! he did so love her, he shrugged, “Well business is business, but why are you so worried, your husband has a lot of moolah, just take it from his account, I am sure he won’t even notice.”
Khushi glared at him, “Nahi I can’t take it from him and waise bhi I am sure he keeps track of every penny spent from his account, Laad Governor jo hai, and stingy too, can’t even buy himself a pair of socks, hmmphh.”
Arnav hid his smile, “Toh ab kya karogi Khushi Kumari Gupta Singh Raizada?”
“Aap ko kya? I will manage, first you tell me, I have to pay this amount by what time, the penalty clauses, fine print etc, aisa na ho, this becomes 50,000 by the time I manage to arrange your ‘interest’,” she charged angrily.
“Very good, Khushi Kumari Gupta Singh Raizada, you are a fast learner,” Arnav clapped his hands, “hmmm now let’s see, roughly taking into all factors and the including a discount for the fact that you are my wife, I would say an increment of 5,000 rupees every month is reasonable don’t you think?”
“An increment of 5,000 rupees every month!!! Including a discount for your wife! I wonder how much you would have charged if I not been your wife!” Khushi was aghast, “Is this how you run your empire, like a blood sucking vampire?”
A laugh escaped Arnav, he hurriedly coughed and shrugged, “Main aisa hi hoon, take it or…”
“Or what? That is what I want to know”, Khushi faced him, hands on her hips.
Arnav shrugged, “Or nothing, just that you will have to stay under the psychological burden of an unpaid debt.”
“Theek hai, you wait here, I will go and arrange for money just now,” Khushi turned to charge off.
Unable to hold off any longer, Arnav grabbed her by the arm and forcefully swung her back, into his arms, “Itni raat ko?!! Waise bhi I cannot let you fall into the clutches of another blood sucking vampire,” he gently bit her on the neck, “Woh sirf aur sirf mera haq hai.”
Khushi shivered and melted but then controlled herself just in time, “But I refuse to remain in your debt,” she clung to her anger.
“Ok” Arnav compromised, “I have another deal, 25,000 in cash right now or…”
“Or what”, Khushi looked suspiciously at him.
“Just give me a smile Khushi, forgive me Khushi,” he said gruffly as he opened his arms wide.
Defeated, Khushi sank victoriously into his embrace.
Click here for Chapter 43