“Arre koi batayega bhi, hua kya hai?” Anjali interrupted the clash of the Titans. “What mistake?”
“Mistake was that instead of giving the fever medicine to Maira, he gave it to Keira and coolly went back to sleep. When I got up later, Maira was burning up and quite unresponsive. She had such high fever. Anya shuddered. “Bechari. Suppose I hadn’t woken up?”
Sherry wore a sheepish look. “Yes I admit I made a mistake. It was dark and late, and I…I was sleepy, anyone could have got confused, but that doesn’t mean I don’t care about them or that I will do the same thing again!” His voice rose in indignation. “I have said sorry a thousand times but she just doesn’t listen!”
Anjali and Khushi were taken aback. “It is a big mistake Sheru,” Anjali said reluctantly, “but Anya, galati toh insaan se hi hoti hai na. He accepts his mistake and of course will be double careful, if not triply,” she looked warningly at Sherry who nodded vigorously, “Of course Di. It was a one-time occurrence. Actually I cannot still believe that I made such a big mix up! Actually dekha jaye toh, there is no proof I gave the medicine to Keira. Just that Maira had very high fever so Anya promptly deduced that I must have given the medicine to the wrong baby. Aisa bhi toh ho sakta hai that Maira didn’t respond to the medicine?” he pleaded.
Khushi nodded thoughtfully. “Yes that is possible. Waise bhi Anya they are both fine na? Why are you being so paranoid?”
“Yes Bhabhi, please samjhayie na isse. She is carrying the paranoia thing too far. Aapko pata hai, she has stopped relying on Ma and Putty as well. Now she insists on doing everything herself.”
“Don’t exaggerate Sherry,” Anya’s eyes shot daggers at him. “I am not there in the afternoons am I?”
“Wohi kasar baaki hai. She gives them a bath, feeds them, takes them to the park. Everything! At this rate she will soon chuck her job and sit at home.”
“Haan toh?” Anya shot back aggressively. “If necessary I will do that as well. They are my babies…”
“Aur hum unke dushman hain?”
“Stop it you two.” Kshitij cracked his rare whip. Everyone turned to him in surprise.
“Anya, Sherry is right. No doubt he made a mistake and I am sure he learnt his lesson. But you are really carrying things too far. What will you do when the girls grow up and start going out on their own?”
“When they grow up, why would I worry?” Anya shrugged. “I wouldn’t bother then!”
“Oh yes you would! Because they will never grow up for you, there will always be something or the other that needs looking after. Didn’t your mother just now offer to keep the kids while you took some rest?” he looked at her knowingly.
Anya flushed. “This isn’t fair Dad. Sherry should be the one who should be pulled up not me.”
“Pulling up is needed for the person who doesn’t accept his fault. He accepts it. Is sorry for it. Promises to be more careful next time. But you don’t even see anything wrong in your attitude!”
Anya wore a closed expression as she sat stiffly. Anjali shook her gently. “Your father is right dear. You cant be everywhere all the time.”
“Yes Anya.” Khushi butted in. “Aur jo hona hota hai woh toh hoga hi right? Who can fight kismet? Kya kehte hain que sera sera. You have got to loosen up, relax and let go. Whatever happens, happens for the best.” Khushi dumped all feasible quotes onto Anya.
Anya made a face. “Okay okay fine. I will give them cold water baths, let them play in the blazing sun, allow them to cross the road on their own…”
“Anya, now don’t be difficult about this…” Anjali looked heavenwards for some patience.
“Good idea Di,” Ankit suddenly joined in, “you have my full support. I think you should do exactly that.”
Anya stared. “Are your crazy?”
Ankit shrugged. “What’s crazy about it? Millions of children around the world live in such adverse conditions don’t they? And if you cannot follow what you say, why say it?” he added slyly.
“Oh leave me alone!” Anya flounced off.
“Anya!” Anjali started up but Kshitij held her back. She looked at him pleadingly but he shook his head firmly. “No, let her be.”
“But Kshitij, she is so upset and hurt. Sab ussiko daant rahe the…”
Kshitij smiled and shook his head. “You are doing exactly what we were scolding her for!”
Anjali frowned at him.
“Arent you being overprotective? Let her think it over. Give her time. She will come around.” Kshitij sighed. “Don’t you have any faith in Anya?” he added slyly.
“Haan haan theek hai theek hai,” Anjali pouted and turned away.
The others grinned except for Sherry who fidgeted. “Maybe I will go and check,” he edged towards the door but Kshitij called him back. “Sherry, let her be.” He looked exasperatedly at Anjali and Sherry. “Both of you are responsible for spoiling her. She was never this unreasonable or immature.”
Sherry subsided meekly wearing a guilty expression.
“I think we should leave,” Arnav said.
“But why?” Anjali said while Khushi looked at him askance, “today is Sunday.”
“Yes, but I have some work.” He shot a look at Khushi, “Waise bhi, yesterday was wasted, kuch kaam nahi hua.”
Khushi’s indrawn breath was quite audible. She snapped her brows and stood up with a jerk. “Haan Di, we should leave now. Bahut der ho gayi hai.” She said stiffly. Anjali stood up and put a hand on her shoulder. Khushi softened enough to give her a hug and mutter, “Say bye to Anya from us and tell her to call me when she feels like talking okay?”
Anjali nodded. Khushi quickly took her leave from the rest, exhorting Ankit to visit her soon. She stalked off before Arnav and was seated in the car before he was.
“Phew it’s hot!” Arnav muttered in a sotto voce.
“Haan toh?” Khushi snapped irritably, “in summers it will be hot na?”
“Why are you so irritated?” Arnav looked at her askance. “Because I said yesterday time waste ho gaya? I was joking Khushi.” He added in a placating tone.
“I know that,” Khushi huffed as she looked determinedly out of the window.
“Phir?” he cast her a keen look.
There was silence.
“What was the hurry to go back home?” Khushi finally burst out. “The whole week I am alone in any case. After a long time we met and today also you have work.” She grumbled.
Arnav shrugged. “It wasn’t an excuse you know. I do have work. I didn’t plan on staying till evening in any case. I thought just lunch and be back. Now I will have to work till late.” It was his turn to vent.
“Work and work and work. That’s all you do.”
“Maybe you should also join some work to keep you busy. It’s not healthy you know to have so much free time on your hands. Ab toh bachche bhi nahi hain. Tum karti kya ho saara din?”
Click here for Chapter 500