Arnav’s eyes shot daggers at her, she just grinned cheekily at him; he turned to Sherry, “Have you thought of relocating to Delhi?” he asked.
Sherry shrugged, “That was the plan and by now I would have shifted if this whole thing had not blown up in my face,” he said stiffly.
“Come with me to office,” suggested Arnav, “let’s discuss this thing and weigh our options, I am sure something can be worked out.”
“You mean you will bail me out,” said Sherry rather bitterly and stiffly.
Khushi sighed and came over to Sherry, “And would that be so bad?” she asked gently, “Is your self-respect and ego bigger than your marriage?”
Sherry looked down on his clenched hands.
“Pata hai Sherry, toofan toh har ek ke zindagi main aati hai, but in a storm the tree which is bends and sways under the force of the winds survives better than the one that stands tall and unyielding,” Khushi nodded her as Sherry finally looked up and met her eyes, “For that tree is more likely to snap and break.”
Seeing that Sherry was wavering, Khushi pushed him a little more, “Come on Sherry, just talk it over with your brother, isme harz hi kya hai?”
Anya slipped her hand into his and squeezed, “Please Sherry, mere liye, hum sabke liye?” she pleaded, “I really don’t want our children to be brought up away from the family,” he squeezed her hand back, “Theek hai baat kar leta hoon Bhai se par,” he raised his free hand warningly, “No charity huh, a clear cut business deal ok?”
“Sure,” shrugged ASR, “Don’t you worry I will only put in money if I am convinced that it will good investment for me,” he emphasized and got up, “Come on we are getting late as it is.”
“Di! Jiju!” Screamed Chotti in excitement as she entered RM just ahead of Devansh, “Oh when did you come, where are the babies? Can I hold them? Have they started talking?” Chotti threw herself at them and fired one question after another. Devansh was more restrained in his approach but nonetheless pleased to see them.
“Hello Chotti hello Deva!” Anya too greeted them, “Oh my both of you are so grown up and you so tall Deva, taller than Mamu even,” Devansh smirked proudly.
“So Devansh you want to do aerospace engineering is it?” Sherry said heartily, “And then what NASA?”
Devansh shrugged self-deprecatingly inarticulately but Arnav butted in like a bull in a china shop, “Then MBA so that he can join me at A&Ddesigns,” he declared.
Devansh stiffened and opened his mouth but shut it when his mother frowned at him.
“Hang on,” Anya swiftly dug out her mobile, “I want a picture of you guys, before you leave for the office; unbelievable how similar they look hai na Mami?”
Khushi rolled her eyes.
“What about me?” wailed Chotti.
“Of course you too darling,” Anya hurriedly clicked hers as well, “But you know I want one of yours with Mom, both you look so much alike!” Chotti was mollified, “With Keira and Maira! Can we go over to Maami’s place Mamma,” she pleaded.
“Don’t you have to study?” Khushi looked at Devansh, he nodded reluctantly, “Yea I got a test tomorrow, let Chotti go,” he offered generously and then spoilt it immediately by saying, “Waise bhi there’s going to be only baby talk,” he rolled his eyes, “What am I going to do amongst so many ladies?”
“Achcha we are leaving then,” Arnav had walked off; Sherry followed taking a few moments to share a few words with the kids promising to catch up later.
“I’ll just change and freshen up Di,” said Chotti as she ran up the stairs.
Anya looked at Khushi with a dawning expression, “Mamu and Deva at loggerheads over career choice huh?”
“Loggerheads, period,” sighed Khushi, “Jab ghar main do sher ho toh…” she shrugged and spread her hands expressively.
“Really!” Anya was surprised, “Maine toh kabhi nahi dekha,” she protested.
“Haan, its only lately that sparks have begun to fly,” admitted Khushi, “Guddu is growing older and has an opinion of his own, but Arnav still thinks of him as a baby, differences are bound to crop up, ab driving lessons ko hi le lo,” Khushi shuddered, “I finally banned Arnav from sitting in the car if Guddu is driving, no doubt his driving is still very kachcha but the way Arnav yells is bound to make the most seasoned driver lose focus aur Guddu bhi kuch kam nahi hai, ek toh galati karta hai and then he hates it being pointed out and will argue for hours on end just to pander to his own ego.”
“Achcha toh Guddu raja has a big fat ego does he?” Anya wrinkled her nose affectionately and then pulled a face, “Just like his royal highness Sherry maharaj,” she grumbled.
“You aren’t being fair to Sherry,” said Khushi reprovingly, “He isn’t that egoistic,” she said firmly.
“Oh please Mami, aap toh rehne hi dijiye, you don’t know him like I do,” Anya retorted.
Khushi smiled a small smile to herself and shook her head pityingly, “Arre tumne dekha hi kya hai? At least Sherry came to Delhi tumhare peeche peeche? Moreover, he bothered to hunt out Putti, apologize and bring her along for your convenience, koi aur hota toh,” Khushi clammed up.
“Hmmph he did all that to create a good impression on his family and because he didn’t want to lose the girls not for me,” Anya sniffed.
Khushi shrugged, “have it your way, if it makes you feel better, but remember, jo bhi wajah ho, he came, which is more than I can imagine for,” Khushi caught herself short, “Arre yeh Chotti kahan reh gayi, we are getting late, suppose the babies wake up?” Khushi fussed and changed the topic, “Chottiii jaldi karo,” she called.
“Da you sure you won’t be lonely with all of us gone?” Chotti mocked him as he dashed up the stairs two at a time.
“Pssttt,” he lowered his voice and leaned towards her, “I will let you in on a secret if you promise not to tell anyone,” he said looking around conspiratorially.
“Oooo!” What?” Chotti looked at him in pleasurable jealous excitement.
Deva straightened and shrugged nonchalantly, “Ahh no I can’t risk it, pucca you will tell Mom and then the whole thing will blow up on my face,” he turned away, “Let’s let’s just drop it ok?”
“Daaaa!” Chotti wailed and stamped her foot, “You can’t do this to me! I promise, pucca promise cross my heart and hope to die, I wont tell anyone, tell me pleaaaseeee,” she begged curiosity almost killing her.
Deva looked at her consideringly his head tilted to one side, “Hmm and remember, if you break your promise, you will die and become a ghost and haunt the corridors of RM and be chased by all the other ghosts that roam its corridors in the dead of night,” he said in a hushed voice.
“Daaa!” Chotti siddled closer to him as she looked around fearfully, “Aise mat bolo please,” she was almost in tears.
“Ok,” he said generously and began walking, “Better change quickly and go, they are all just waiting for your royal highness.”
Sure enough Khushi’s voice floated up to them, “Chotttiiii, jaldi karo!”
“What!” Chotti ignored her mom’s call and instead ran behind Deva, “Aise kaise, batao toh sahi secret kya hai?”
“Oh secret? Rehne do, jaan kar kya hoga, its not that important,” he shrugged.
“Da, now you are really irritating me,” Chotti shook her finger threateningly at him, “Abhi toh maine promise kiya na that I wont tell anyone, now you fulfill your end of the promise,” she demanded.
Click here for Chapter 437