Khushi got up, “Main jaakar dekhti hoon usse,” she went off in search of Anya.
“I am sorry Chachiji,” Anjali bit her lip and apologized abjectly to Sunita, “Pata nahi isse kya ho gaya hai,” she shook her head, “It is very strange to see her behaving so childishly, when she was just a little girl tab se she used to talk like my amma, aur ab pata nahi kya ho gaya!” she marveled.
Sunita smiled, “Oh don’t worry dear, thoda toh bachpana hai hi,” she dismissed, “but Sheru ko bhi samajhna chahiye and behave with more sensitivity, he shouldn’t have brought those guests, or teased her about her diet and it was foolish of them to try to manage two toddlers without any sort of help,” she shook her head.
Anjali put a hand to her throbbing head, “Ab kya hoga Chachiji?”
“Kuch nahi, just give it some time, I am sure it will blow over, in the meanwhile, maybe Anya should stay here for a few days, get some rest, talk her out of her diet, which,” Sunita rolled her eyes, “is probably what’s making her so irritable in the first place!”
Anjali and the others nodded their heads gratefully at Sunita’s patience and understanding, “I will tell Sheru to arrange for help and maybe Anya should start going out for a couple of hours everyday, maybe take up a part time job or just join the gym, I am sure she will feel better,” Sunita paused, “Maybe I will go and stay with them till things settle down.”
Anjali reached out and hugged Sunita, “Haan Chachiji aap sambhal lijiyega,”
“Of course, tum chinta mat karo,” Sunita returned the hug, “but I will be able to go only later in the month, abhi bachchon ke exams chal rahei hain.”
“Oh that’s ok Chachiji, I can also go over for sometime,” Anjali stepped up.
“Chalo that’s settled then,” Nani said comfortably and heaved a sigh of relief, “Now if only Anya and Sherry don’t get on their high horses!”
Khushi found Anya in her room, sobbing hysterically, “Arre Anya kya ho gaya! Why are you crying? Ab toh sab theek ho raha hai na? Just calm down and relax, try to sleep, things will look better tomorrow, you are simply overtired,” Khushi diagnosed the problem.
Anya sat up her flushed and disheveled her face blotchy with tears, “kya theek ho raha hai?” she challenged aggressively, “Aapko pata nahi hai, how autocratic and dictatorial Sherry is and egoistic ka toh poochiye hi mat,” she wiped her face and blew her nose, “Didn’t you see? He can track us with the GPRS device but ek phone nahi kar sakta! Naak nahi kat jayegi?!” Anya fumed.
Khushi’s lips twitched, “Tumne bhi toh phone nahi kiya?”
“He should have called me rather than go about this roundabout way,” Anya said obstinately, “He is such a control freak I cannot tell you, everything has to be as per his plan and wishes, mera toh kuch bhi nahi chalta,” she turned to Khushi, “Aapko toh pata nahi hai na just how suffocating and irritating it can be!” she said rather enviously, “you have such a cool headed, cooperative and considerate husband like Mamu.”
Khushi choked and sputtered before going off into a fit of giggles. Just then her phone rang – think of the Devil!
“Hello,” she managed to say.
“What the hell Khushi!” he instantly snapped, “Abhi tak koi feedback nahi! Don’t tell me abhi tak koi baat nahi hui?” his voice was clearly audible to Anya despite the fact that it was not on speaker, “Dammit kuch bolti kyon nahi?”
Tears streamed down Khushi’s cheeks and she choked on her giggles while she tried to stifle them, “Answer me dammit Khushi, Khushiiii Khushi tum theek toh ho na? Everything ok?” his pitch rose, “FINE I am coming over then,” he threw his Brahmastra (err of a different kind :P).
Khushi violently shook her head and pleadingly held out the phone to Anya, “Hello Mamu,” Anya reluctantly took the phone also in giggles as she couldn’t help but be infected seeing Khushi’s plight, “no need to come over now, everything is fine, I will see you later ok?”
“What’s happening Anya?” ASR asked suspiciously, “Where’s Khushi? Usne phone tumhe kyon de diya?”
“Nahi, kuch nahi,” Anya fumbled and cast a helpless look at the still hysterically giggling Khushi rolling on the bed clutching her tummy, “Err she…she is busy,” she said wildly.
“BUSY!” ASR’s temper shot through the roof, “What the hell! Too busy to even talk to ME?” he was incredulous, “I don’t care if she is busy with the Queen of England, just give the phone to her will you?” he bit out viciously.
Anya sobered up and urgently motioned Khushi who shrugged and mouthed, “Tum baat kar lo after all he is your cool, calm and collected beloved Mamu,” she went off into another fit.
Anya sighed and said, “Mamu, Mami can’t talk right now because, because she is busy…busy giggling,” she settled for the truth.
“What the ****!” burst out ASR, “Phone dena usko, better still put it on the AV mode” he ordered peremptorily, “Khushi?” he asked.
“Mmmfff,” Khushi mumbled, she hurriedly wiped her eyes and desperately tried to achieve a semblance of self-control as his image zoomed in on the screen.
“What’s the matter? Have you completely lost it? Yahan I am almost going crazy worrying and you are busy giggling?” ASR ka bas chalta toh he would have strangled her through the phone.
“Haan woh Anya just told me that one of the reasons why she walked out on Sherry is because…because,” she choked and gasped trying to control her wayward emotions, “he is very autocratic, dominating and controlling,” she went off into another paroxysm.
There was silence and ASR’s face, as he digested that bit of information, was a study, “And…and that I wouldn’t know anything about it because Anya’s beloved Mamu is so cool, level headed, considerate and cooperative,” she managed to utter.
“I have a meeting,” ASR gathered his dignity and said with icy politeness though his lips twitched the faintest bit, “We’ll talk later and make sure you are home by the time the kids come back from school,” he waited for her “Ji Laad Governor ji,” before disconnecting the phone.
Exhausted, Khushi leaned back against the pillows, “Kya samjhe?”
“Kuch nahi,” Anya drew patterns on the bed a bit shame-facedly, “grass is always greener on the other side of the hill?”
Khushi nodded and raised a hand, “And better an evil you know than an evil you don’t know!”
They fell into each other’s arms laughing and looked up as a shadow fell over them.
It was Sherry staring incredulously and furiously at them, “What the hell! Koi mazaak chal raha hai kya yahan par?!” he turned on his heels.
Khushi urgently pushed Anya giving her scope to think or reflect, “Sherry!” Anya was beside him in a trice, “You here?” she said lamely.
“Oh I was just passing by and thought of dropping in to say hi to Di,” he bit out sarcastically.
Anya stiffened and her expression closed up, “Your ‘Di’ must be in her room, if you will wait in the drawing room, I will fetch her,” she said with icy politeness.
“No thanks,” Sherry spat, “I can find her myself,” he strode off.
“Dekha Maami,” Anya’s lips trembled as she slowly walked back to the bed, “na koi smile, na hello, seedhe seedhe bas ‘what the hell’!” she whined, “yeh koi tareeka hai baat karne ka?” she snorted superiorly.
Khushi cleared her throat, “Umm, I didn’t hear you say hello and you didn’t smile either?” she said softly, “did you?”
Anya flushed, “Well he could have,” she said obstinately, “I am the injured party over here,” she declared huffily.
“How did you arrive at that conclusion?” Khushi raised her eyebrows; “You walk out of home, with his children, without his knowledge and make your personal life a dinner table topic, force him to come over to Delhi half out of his mind with worry only to find you laughing and giggling, and yet you say are the injured party?”
Click here for Chapter 430