“You can’t scare me with that,” she glared back fiercely at him, struggling to break free, “Chhodiye hume, chhodiye, hume dard ho raha hai,” she complained.
He let her go with a jerk and ran a hand through his hair, “Aise kab tak chalega Khushi,” he asked jerkily.
“Kyon maine kya kiya? Ghar par sab kuch toh clockwork ke tarah chal raha hai na, so what’s your problem?” she challenged.
Arnav looked at her resignedly, “Tumko pata hai,” he said flatly.
Khushi shook her head vehemently, “Nahi, nahi pata.”
Arnav shrugged, “Well if it pleases you, tum khush nahi ho, the sparkle in your eyes is missing…”
“Toh? Toh kya hua, aapko isse kya farq padta hai?” Khushi threw at him defiantly, hastily interrupting him, afraid that she would burst into tears in a moment.
“Farq toh padta hai na Khhushi,” he said huskily, coaxingly.
Khushi wavered but instantly hardened her heart, “Agar meri khushi se aapko farq padta toh you would have been more careful while talking to Devansh,” she accused him, “Meri chhodiye you couldn’t even put your son before yourself,” she railed.
Arnav’s face closed up, “Devansh? Kya…kya kaha maine and tum toh aise accuse kar rahe ho as if he is my stepson or something,” Arnav retaliated.
Khushi shook her head pityingly, “Ab bhi apni galati nahi manange? Phir there is no point in having this conversation,” she turned away.
Arnav grabbed her hand and pulled her back, “Look Khushi I don’t know what he told you but aisa kuch nahi hua that you should be so mad,” he insisted.
Khushi shook her finger warningly at him, “Now don’t you dare say that he misinterpreted what you said,” she paused, “when it’s actually you who made a fuss about nothing, lagta hai it was your guilty conscience speaking,” she accused him flatly.
“Kya matlab Khushi?” demanded Arnav.
“Yehi that he showed me his call record and yes there were two missed calls from you one in the middle of the night and one early morning,” she ticked off on her fingers, “And he showed my call records as well, at least 5-7 missed calls ka ek return call,” she looked at him, “itna toh leeway you will give him na, new place, new pressures, phone back nahi kiya doesn’t mean he is deliberately not picking up your calls,” she raised an eyebrow, “unless you suspect that you may have done something to justify his doing so?” she challenged.
Arnav looked away and thrust his hands into his pockets, “Maine kya kiya?” he said defensively, “he was the one who was so contrary and rude, he insisted upon going to college alone, then he wouldn’t let me even visit his hostel or his college,” his voice rose in indignation, “aur himmat toh dekho,” he ranted, “Keh raha tha that I embarrass him I embarrass him,” he repeated furiously.
Khushi crossed her arms, “And in retaliation you won’t pay his fees? You will cut him off from your will?”
Arnav stiffened and looked at Khushi warily, “Maine aisa toh nahi kaha,” he protested defensively.
“Then why did Guddu ask me these questions?” Khushi finally came to the point, “Kuch toh kaha hoga na aapne for him to make these…” she waved her hands about agitatedly, her voice breaking, “these awful accusations?”
“I really don’t know,” Arnav denied flatly, “Tumhara ladla hai, tumne hi bigada hai usko,” he coolly lay the blame at her door.
“Haan, sab humari hi galati hai,” Khushi said bitterly, “Aapki toh koi galati nahi, kyonki aap toh aise hi hai, aap kabhi kuch jaankar nahi karte hai na?” she lashed back.
Arnav’s face was dark and drawn, “Aur tumhe toh bahut mazaa aaya hoga na to be able to exchange notes with your son, about how horrible I am, what a monster his father his and how lucky he is to have escaped his clutches,” he thrust his finger into her face and accused hotly, “You you are responsible for misleading and alienating my son.”
Khushi stared at him aghast, “Aap aisa kaise keh sakte hain?” she whispered through a painfully constricted throat. Hey Devi Maiyya, yeh kya ho gaya hai Arnav ko, why is he behaving in such a manner, “Aur main aisa kyon karoongi?”
Arnav just stood there with a closed bullish expression.
She stiffened and rallied, “And you don’t have any duties do you? You just have rights?” she accused hotly, “You didn’t think once from his perspective, bachcha hai, naya naya josh hai, new place, nervous aur tense hoga, let me calm down and attempt to make things easier for him, nahi instead of doing this what do you do? You threaten him,” she said with intense scorn.
“Don’t talk nonsense Khushi? Maine kab Devansh ko threaten kiya?” Arnav stiffened.
“After all the money won’t last forever,” Khushi repeated softly, dangerously, “Yehi kaha tha na aapne usko?”
Arnav blinked but then immediately relaxed. He shrugged casually, “Isme itni kaunsi badi baat ho gayi?”
A hot rage engulfed Khushi, ek toh galati karte hain aur maante bhi nahi hai, “Yehi toh problem hai Arnav, you treat everyone as your employee, but you forget, Devansh is not your employee and aap hi ka beta hai,” she looked at him full in the eye, “Aapko pata hai, the weekend I was in Mumbai, he didn’t come over to Jiji’s place, because he had an interview for an Assistantship in his college?” Arnav stared at Khushi who nodded emphatically, “Haan he got the job, and now he will have to juggle work and studies, just because you decided to show him his aukat,” her voice broke the faintest bit, he didn’t even spare his own son, “And now he is hell bent on proving his independence.”
“Toh isme bura kya hai,” blustered Arnav, “Achchi baat hai, that he is trying to become independent, this way he will learn the value of money among other things,” he declared superiorly and then mocked Khushi, “I don’t understand Khushi why you are so upset, tum hi toh kehti ho na its not good for children to be handed everything on a platter, and that they should know that money doesn’t grow on trees,” he rubbed it in.
Khushi looked at him sadly, “Haan achchi baat hai, I am proud of my son,” she swallowed hard, “but the reason why he is doing the job is not right,” torn between the two men she loved with all her heart, her voice broke, “That his father should taunt him in this manner, that he should want to ‘show’ his father that hum kissi se kam nahi,” Khushi walked off before she broke down completely.
Click here for Chapter 470