“How can you be so rude!” snapped Sherry.
“Rude!” Anya sat up bolt upright, her eyes blazing, “When was I rude?” she snapped back, “I just said I am not hungry that’s all, what’s so rude about that?!”
“Well it is rude not to eat when someone invites you over for lunch,” Sherry growled at her.
“I came to meet the kids not to have lunch,” Anya put her nose in the air, “besides tumko khaana hai khao, how does it matter whether or not I eat? Hamesha bas khana khana aur kuch nahi,” she crossed her arms and sat mutinously.
“Khana nahi khati ho toh mera dimaag jo khaati ho,” he shot back instantly.
“Oh really?” She fired up instantly, “Hote kahan ho jo ki tumhara dimaag khaoon?” she hit back with equal force.
“Oh grow up for heaven’s sake Anya,” sighed Sherry wearily, “What do you want me to do? Drop all work and sit at home and hold your hand and whisper sweet nothings to you all day long?” he sneered.
Tears instantly crowded her eyes, frustrated he hissed and turned away, “Who said anything about the whole day? But surely you can spare a few minutes?” her voice wobbled self-righteously.
“Dammit Anya,” his voice rose, “We have been over this a zillion times, I am just starting my business, I have invested everything I have into it and I got to make this work, I have you to think of and now the twins, their health, education,” he ran a hand through his hair in agitation.
Anya shot to her feet aggressively, “And I have also told you a zillion times that you are over-reacting, sab manage ho jayega, relax and take it easy, the children are growing up fast, they need you, miss you and this time will never come again, money can always be earned…”
“How…how? Sherry thrust his face angrily into hers, “Just tell me how? I know,” he nodded bitterly, “by living off your parents hai na?”
“Not living off them!” protested Anya, “Just a loan to tide over any imaginary crisis that is there and besides they are not just my parents, she is your sister too,” she said tearfully.
“I don’t care,” Sherry was furious, “It doesn’t matter if she is my sister,” he raised his hand, “Or my mother, my duty is to give not take, so that is out of the question and I will thank you to drop this discussion for I don’t want to make a spectacle out of my financial status as well as my marital status,” he said coldly.
Anya dropped on to the chair and buried her face in her hands and burst into tears. Sherry shuffled uncomfortably around her, clenching and unclenching his hands, “I know I made some crucial bad decisions and have failed you and the girls,” he said jerkily, “I understand if you don’t want to stay with me, I won’t ask you to come back to Bangalore with me, stay here where you will be happier amongst your own people, where they can give you company and all the material comforts that you deserve,” he paused, “As it is I am going crazy and half-out of my mind with worry at this sudden diet fad of yours,”his lips twisted, “I wake up sweating dreaming of your your pale gaunt face, that you have contracted TB again” he closed his eyes and shuddered, “I can’t risk that again…”
Anya stood up with a crash and caught hold of his collar, “Don’t you get it dammit, I don’t care about material goods! And for God’s sake Sherry dieting doesn’t necessarily mean an invitation to TB,” she screamed, “I miss you, I miss Sherry, it’s as if he has vanished! You are always so cold and so withdrawn and I feel so helpless, I don’t know what to do to bring you back and the girls take up all my energy,” she drooped and leaned against him wearily, “that day was the last straw, I was hoping to get you alone, maybe leave the girls with Nisha, go out with you, talk it out, try to get a glimpse of my Sherry and then you landed up with friends all so bright and fresh, I just lost my head,” she sobbed on his shoulder.
“Don’t cry sweetheart, please don’t make me feel worse than I already am feeling,” Sherry held her close, “that day I was trying to atone for being such a boor,” he admitted sheepishly.
Anya raised her tear-drenched face to stare at him in shock and both of them burst out laughing.
“Khushi,” hissed Arnav disapprovingly, “stop eavesdropping on a private conversation.
Khushi shrugged him away as she intently focused on the pair downstairs from her vantage point unwilling to miss any word.
“Khushiii,” Arnav tugged at her arm insistently, he lowered his voice, “Do you think Sheru has business troubles?” he said worriedly, “should I offer financial assistance?”
Khushi glared at him in a resigned manner, “Achcha aur abhi jo keh rahe the ki private conversation hai? Uska kya?” she waggled her eyes at him, he looked away embarrassed at being caught, “Maine kya kiya, they were both shouting at the top of their voices,” he said in an injured tone.
“Exactly,” mocked Khushi, “Aur suna nahi aapne, Sherry aap hi ka bhai hai, who should know better how he may react?” she crossed her arms and turned to face him, “Aap hi bataiye how you would have reacted if Kishu bhaiyya or for that anyone had offered to help? Humara karna abhi tak aapko digest hua hai kya?” she asked penetratingly.
He flushed a deep crimson and said defensively, “I mean diplomatically,” he brightened, “I could say I want to invest in his business,” he said with a triumphant air.
Khushi rolled her eyes, “Puleez aap toh rehne hi dijiye, let them sort it out, at least they are talking,” she spared a glance for the now closely entwined couple and began pacing the lobby restlessly chewing her lip, “If only Sherry had not relocated to Bangalore and stayed in Delhi, everything would be fine, expenses would have been less as they have a house here and between Chachiji and us we could have managed the kids and Anya could have taken up a job and Sherry wouldn’t have been under so much pressure,” Khushi rued, “lekin ab karein bhi toh kya karein?”
Arnav turned on his heels and strode off, Khushi stared at his retreating back, “inhe kya ho gaya?” she wondered before rushing off behind him, “Arnav,” she hissed urgently, “Please remember ‘diplomatically’ haan? Aur khana toh kha lene do, nothing as bad as an empty stomach to worsen perspectives,” she warned, “Kisi ne sahi kaha hai, it is very difficult to be angry on a full stomach,” she disappeared to the kitchen sending up a heartfelt appeal – sambhalena Devi Maiyya!
Click here for Chapter 435