Buaji sat with Garima and Shashi babua fondly surveying the scene and HRNK-ing every now and then, “HRNK, by his blessings everything turned out so well! I was never really very worried about Payalia, she is so beautiful, quiet and steady, anybody would have been happy to take her as a bride and Kishu, he is so qualified and educated, he is of course a prize catch, par yeh Sanka Devi! She is such a crackpot; one never knows what she will do next! I have spent so many sleepless nights worrying about what will happen to her, who will accept such a madcap in their lives!” Buaji raised a relieved hand to her head, “HRNK, that is why they say, whatever happens, happens for the best; because of the galatfehmi, at least she got married; Arnav babua is a just man and he did the right thing by marrying her again, bless him; I hope Khushi realizes just how lucky she is and is properly grateful to him, HRNK.”
“Nahi Buaji,” Arnav’s voice cut in, his voice like a cold sharp sword as he stepped into view, “Aapko galatfehmi hai, I would have married Khushi regardless, sooner or later; and another thing I should probably make clear, I didn’t re-marry her because I wanted to correct a wrong or do the right thing or even that she loves me, I married her because I am a very selfish man, because I love her, because I cannot live without her,” His lips thinned even more. “She has nothing to be grateful to me for, instead I will eternally be in her debt.”
Buaji paled and muttered, “HRNK, babua humra oo matlab naahi tha.”
But before Buaji could soothe his obviously raised hackles, Arnav nodded curtly and vanished in the crowd.
The next couple of months were a blur of activity, a hectic rush of planning, hiring, and delegating. Under the watchful eyes of the highly successful businessman ASR, KKGSR got a hands-on invaluable training and practical experience in time management and organizing an event.
Of course, all this came at a price, tongue lashings were par for the course and Khushi took to avoiding Arnav; but that too became rather a taxing affair.
And one day the inevitable happened, a distraught Khushi appealed to Di. “Please please Di, please samjhao inhe, I am really very exhausted,” said Khushi looking extremely frazzled and near tears.
“Kya hua Khushi?” said an extremely concerned Di.
“Exactly what I have been warning her about, she is exhausted aur kya,” Arnav popped up behind them.
Khushi rolled her eyes, “Di of course I am exhausted, and sick and tired, but of his hounding! Di you won’t believe it, he watches me like a hawk, waiting for me to just flag a bit, yawn a bit or just stretch a bit to ease any muscle kinks bas he pounces on me and blasts me for over-exerting.”
Di rolled her eyes, “Yeah tell me about it! I am so glad that finally his attention is divided,” she affectionately caressed his cheek.
Khushi clutched her head, “Di, I am feeling petrified, abhi toh aap ho to yeh haal hai, once you leave, ALL his attention will be focused on me. Di either you convince Kishu bhaiyya to come and stay here or take your brother along with you as dahej,” she glared at Arnav.
He glared back at her, “If I go with Di as ‘dahej’ don’t forget you are coming with me.”
“Uff Di,” Khushi moaned, “The muscles which are most tired are my cheek muscles, I dare not let my smile slip even for a second for he will be onto my case in an instant. Di he is harassing me…”
“What rubbish,” Arnav scoffed, “Di if I didn’t keep an eye on her she would have fallen so many times I can’t tell you.”
“That is because you pop up so suddenly from strange and unexpected places and obviously I get startled and I trip,” Khushi rolled her eyes, “You know Di, I would be happily humming and taking out flour from the container to make puris and suddenly without any warning he would materialize from nowhere and bark ‘what are you doing’? bas that would be the end of the flour, the container and the puris.”
“But Di,” Arnav expostulated, “I don’t get it, why does Khushi have to make the puris, why can’t someone else do it, why can’t she delegate the responsibility to somebody else, there are so many people hired for just this purpose?!”
“Pata hai Di,” Khushi turned to her, “Whenever your Chotte is home, all the hired help suddenly vanish; their phones are also unreachable, that is if they want to keep their jobs,” She scowled at Arnav, “He dismissed one because it seemed as if he had not bathed, sent off another to cut his nails, yelled at one because he was over smart and back talked the mighty ASR, the fourth one got so nervous upon seeing him that he dropped the flower pot and he went off without even waiting to collect his dues, Di the list is endless.”
“Oh really!”Arnav raised his eyebrow, “The kind of nincompoops you guys hire is unbelievable! The other day an idiot was trying to change a light bulb and the holder broke free. I blasted him and got up on the ladder to repair it. Now just picture the scene, I am on top of a tall stool, my arms outstretched trying to fix the holder when I asked the fool to hand me the screwdriver. He looked blankly up at me, ‘isscrewdribher?’
I said ‘yahaan kahan dekh rahe ho, peechche dekho’ and would you believe it? This moron he patted my rear!!”
Khushi and Di clapped their hands to their mouths in an effort to stifle their giggles.
“Wait it isn’t over yet,” Arnav continued narrating his woes, “I naturally yelled at him, ‘yahan nahi apne peeche dekho’ and guess what? he patted his own rear! I really lost it then and spelt out clearly, ‘look on the table’; he picked it up and handed to me and said as cool as you please ‘oh tabool ke upar? toh aisa kahiye naa’!!!”
Di and Khushi rolled over the sofa clutching their stomachs; Arnav dug out his mobile and swiftly captured a priceless picture of the two laughing hysterically.
“And that HP, he really needs to be taken down a peg or two,” Arnav started off again.
Di wiped her eyes, “What did he do?”
“There was another cartoon, he came down the ladder without cleaning the fan, when I pulled him up, he looked at me pityingly, “Ka faraq padta hai Chotte bhaiyya, Hari Prakash Sir kahe rahe ki fan ko phoolo se sajaaenge; toh safai ki kono jaroorat naahi hai na?”
They fell about laughing again, while CSR maintained a firm check on his expression, “All your fault Di,” he expostulated, “How many time have I told you not to call me Chotte in front of them?”
“Sorry Chotte,” Di hurriedly straightened her expression and said, “Khushi give him some task, something he can do,” she suggested.
“Haan Di, diya tha,” Khushi grimaced, “Yesterday, he kept getting in the way so I handed him the guest list and a bunch of invitation cards hoping he would be busy addressing them, but no, the pen wasn’t smooth enough, the table wasn’t of the right height, finally we managed to find a pen and a table which were considered suitable for his highness; then he criticized the quality of the paper used for the invitation cards, found a typo error, after great debate he agreed to correcting it with (an elusive) black pen, then he had problems with the guest list, he kept calling me back to criticize each one and ask whose idea it was to invite so and so and then one by one he started crossing people out until less than a dozen were left; when he finally got down to writing the addresses, pata hi nahi chal raha tha Di ki shaadi ka invitation hai ki keede mokodo ki baraat!”
Di burst out laughing while Arnav seethed.
“You know Di I had to do the whole thing all over again; after he fell asleep,” She glared at him.
Arnav glared back at her and then sighed, “Fine! I am going to the office, its better ki main kaam karoon, yahaan toh kuch samajh hi nahi aata hai, if I don’t care, I am heartless, if I care, I am a bother,” he snorted and walked away.
Di and Khushi giggled albeit nervously. Khushi rushed after him to placate and soothe him with the news that NK and Lavanya had both confirmed that they would be attending the wedding and even promised to come a week or two in advance to help out with the arrangements. Grudgingly he allowed himself to be persuaded and even offered to stay and ‘help’ Khushi, but an acute sense of self-preservation nudged Khushi to sweetly pack him off to Aman.
Click here for Chapter 51