“Haan Di, woh I..I wanted to discuss something important,” Arnav waved the file he was carrying, “with you and…Kshitij,” he hesitated, and said looking at his Di and Kshitij, “I hope it’s ok if I call you that?
Di opened her mouth to object but Kshitij forestalled her, “Sure…CSR,” he winked.
Arnav nodded his head resignedly, “Yeah, yeah. Di, Kshitij, here are some brochures, I was hoping you could go through these and chose a house that you liked; I want to gift it to you both as a wedding present.”
There was silence; then Kshitij spoke, his dimples in full view, “Wow! Thanks Arnav, but I am afraid I can’t accept the generous ‘gift.” He extended his hand, “But I would be happy to have a look at the kind of house you think your sister deserves to live in.”
Anjali snatched the file away from Arnav before Kshitij could take it, “Koi zaroorat nahi hai Chotte,” she snapped. She softened her tone, “Chotte, Kshitij was just telling me that he intends to look for a bigger house.”
“Haan toh theek hai na Di, he knows that he needs a bigger house and I intend to give one as a wedding gift, so what’s the big deal, let me buy it for you, as a wedding gift,” Arnav insisted.
The dimples were back in an instant. “Whoa Arnav, I already said no thank you! Of course you are more than welcome to give anything to your Di,” Kshitij stood his ground.
“Haan Chotte, he has already said no, why are you insisting?” Di too was a bit short with Chotte.
Arnav grimaced angrily and walked away.
Anjali looked woefully after Chotte’s retreating back. Kshitij shook his head, “Anjie you hurt him by taking my side.”
Anjali dolefully nodded her head, “I know, but what could I do? Here you were getting so annoyed and he was insisting and if I had not taken a stand, the argument could have gone on all night.”
“Poor Anjie,” Kshitij commiserated, “We are yet to be married and the sparks between saala and jija have already started; waise bhi double rishta, so double dhamaka, right? But Anjie, you should go and talk to him, it was a thoughtful gesture.”
Anjali looked at Kshitij knowingly, “But you didn’t like it did you?”
Kshitij shrugged rather helplessly, “Of course I didn’t like it, I got the impression that he thinks I am not capable of taking care of his precious Di, and I didn’t like it, possibly because he is right. After all I can hardly maintain the same standards as the great Arnav Singh Raizada!”
“Why are you saying that?” said Anjali near tears, “you think all this matters to me?”
“Come on Anjie, now don’t twist my words out of context, when did I ever say that? I was stating facts! if I believed that it mattered to you for even for an instant, I would have never proposed to you,” Kshitij reassured her.
Anjali’s eyes misted over, and she nodded her head.
“But I can appreciate his love and concern for you can’t I?” smiled Kshitij, “it is natural for him to worry about you, he has been looking out for you for years now and you can’t expect him to drop that habit in an instant, especially when he still has not completely accepted me,” he said ruefully. “Go and talk to him, otherwise he will feel I have stolen his Di and will resent me even more.”
Anjali looked at the file in her hand, smiled and said, “I will, later.”
“Anjie”, Kshitij hesitated, “I really have no objections if he wants to ‘gift’ you with anything, but I am afraid I cannot accept something that I may not be able to match or offer in return. I hope you understand?”
Anjali smiled through her tears and said in a choked voice, “I appreciate it Kshitij.”
After everybody had left, leaving Khushi to clear up, Anjali went looking for Chotte carrying the file with her. He was in his room working on his laptop with a grim expression.
“Chotte!” Di called him affectionately.
“Hmm,” he said without looking up.
Di sighed and sat on the bed facing him, “Chotte tum gussa ho?”
“Nahi kyon?” Arnav said working away busily on the laptop.
“Don’t lie Chotte, you are not even looking at me,” Di accused him.
“What right have I got to be angry with you Di? Hota kaun hoon Di? Everything has changed Di.” Arnav got up restlessly.
Di’s eyes filled with tears, she sniffed, “How can you say that Chotte? And you are making such a big issue of nothing.”
Arnav turned angrily upon his Di, “Big issue of nothing! You always support him! Even when I said let’s all stay here, you just brushed off my suggestion and now when I want to buy you a house then also you take his side and not only that you snap at me as well. There was a time when you could never refuse me anything and now,” he clammed up.
Anjali walked up to him and caressed his face, “Sorry baba, galti ho gayi maaf kar do? Please?” she peered into his face pleading, “Woh kya hain na Chotte, when I saw you both together, I instantly got an image of a couple of tigers snarling and readying for a territorial fight and reflexly I attacked the cub; probably because I have known the cub ever since he was born and I know he will understand his Di,” she explained.
Arnav made a face, “Di…”
“Achcha Chotte I have seen this file and very nice houses you have chosen. I was thinking maybe you could buy this one or this one, or even this one,” Anjali pointed out her choices and then said, “but I would like you to buy it jointly for me and,” So Kshitij did ‘allow’ himself to be persuaded, Arnav thought cynically, “Khushi.” Di completed.
“Khushi?” Arnav looked blankly at Di.
“Haan Khushi, after all you haven’t given her any wedding gift to her have you? And you married her twice!” Di reprimanded her brother.
Arnav moved forward to hug his Di, “I will miss you Di.”
“I will miss you too Chotte, but never think that anything can ever change between us; just like nothing changed when you married Khushi, nothing will change once I get married, theek hai?”Anjali hugged him back.
Arnav nodded his head, more relaxed, “Theek hai Di, I will buy the house for you and Khushi. Why don’t you and Khushi decide which one you like best? By the way, where is Khushi?”
“Oh Khushi is clearing up downstairs,” Di said.
Arnav immediately stiffened, “What!” and charged off.
“Ab kya ho gaya?” Di muttered mystified.
Click here for Chapter 47