SP (Surya Prakash), the new hired help for HP, with a vacuous expression came an informed all concerned, “Bhabhi ka samaan NK bhaiyya ke kamre main rakh diya hai.”
There was an embarrassed silence, Khushi hastily corrected him and directed him to take La’s stuff to the other spare guest room where she would be staying.
NK limped along with him, Lavanya rushed to help him, they slowly walked together. Di opened her mouth to call HP to help NK, but Khushi violently shook her head and waggled her eyebrows mischievously at Di.
Di giggled and nodded her head.
Ultimately it was SP who played cupid (under the direct supervision and guidance of Devi Maiyya, of course) albeit inadvertently. He grabbed hold of a couple of bags and without a care for maneuvering space, swung around hitting Lavanya who lost her balance and fell against an already shaky NK.
In true ostrich style – what I can’t see couldn’t have happened – SP vanished from the scene.
I wouldn’t go so far as to say an RV moment occurred but yes as they fell on the bed, together, their eyes clashed, a gentle wind blew in along with strains of ‘Ooh la la’ and NK completely lost it while La was not unaffected. She got up slower than one should have but faster than if she had totally lost it (ah well I seem to have totally lost it with these two). She finally extricated herself from the tangled heap on the bed and left him staring mesmerized at her; to his eternal relief (he was chanting palat, palat palat…ahem did you know NK was a DDLJ fan?), at the door, she did turn back for a final glance.
NK began making plans for a gala Valentine’s Day celebration. His bubble broke, Valentine’s Day was so far away, she lived in London, he in Sydney; he brushed away such trivial issues and concentrated on replacing Buaji with Lavanya in his recurrent nightmare.
A while later, when he dug out his suitcase to unpack his stuff, he nearly died and went to heaven, he had yet to finish swapping pictures in his favorite wedding nightmare, so what were these itsy bitsy teeny weeny stuff doing in his bag?
Only it wasn’t his bag, must be hers, he thought coyly, while his heart sang ‘ooh la la’ loud and long.
He braved his injured knee to limp to Lavanya’s room; hesitantly he knocked on the door. She stood at the door, his face a fiery red, he handed the suitcase over to her and in his haste to pick up his own and leave the room, he tripped and there was a repeat ‘ooh la la’ performance within a span of 30 minutes.
NK felt faint and breathless; he hoped and prayed he was not the only one on this particular boat. He dashed off, that is as much as is possible for a man with a bad knee to dash off.
Lavanya too felt flustered and disoriented, but unlike NK, she was not so keen to replace the photo in her dream wedding (despite knowing the futility of it all). She quickly changed and went looking for the original.
Unable to find ASR, she questioned Khushi, who was in the kitchen. Khushi directed her to the poolside from where ASR usually ran his office during weddings and other family functions.
Lavanya found ASR busy working on his laptop.
“Oh hi ASR,” she smiled, “I didn’t get a chance to talk to you properly earlier so I thought I would catch up with you.”
“Sure,” Arnav offered her a seat. He looked ill at ease and uncomfortable.
There was silence for a bit. Then both spoke together, the ice broke as they laughed. Arnav invited her to speak first.
“Congratulations ASR, finally you did manage to marry the right person,” Lavanya said, not without a tinge of bitterness.
“Look Lavanya,” Arnav said regretfully, “I…I am really sorry, I treated you very shabbily, I am very ashamed of my…”
“No no ASR,” Lavanya spoke hastily, “I didn’t mean it that way, I am genuinely happy for you and Cham…Khushi is just right for you, she is the only one who could ever stand up to you.”
“Yeah,” Arnav nodded his head resignedly, “but still that doesn’t absolve me of doing you an injustice, I…I did use you unfeelingly and callously as a pawn in my game of ego and denial.”
“True,” Lavanya nodded her head sadly, “but it is also true that I did know you were never emotionally involved with me, even then I blundered on, hoping against hope, that perhaps, just perhaps one day…”
Arnav reached out and clasped her hand.
Khushi was in the kitchen cooking lunch when NK limped in his adrenaline gush depleted.
“Nanheji! kya hua?” said a very concerned Khushi.
“Khoooshiji kya bataaoon, kuch kuch hota hai (on second thoughts SRK-Kajol fan I think),” said NK soulfully
“Achcha!” said a visibly excited Khushi, “kahan, er..matlab kyon, kya hua?”
“Pata nahi Khooshiji, unse mili nazar toh yeh josh ud gaye (ok a general Bollywood fan),” NK waxed eloquent.
“Josh ud gaye nahi Nanheji, hosh ud gaye,” Khushi corrected NK “aur josh aa gaya hain na Nanehji?”
“Bilkul sahi bola Khooshiji, kya cheese hai yeh ladki, ekdum ooh la la, woh hai meri fantasy,” NK’s eyes were closed and he had a beatific smile on his face.
Khushi rubbed her hands in glee and sent up a quick prayer of thank you to DM. Di entered the kitchen with HP, “Aur kya ho raha hai NK bhai?”
NK blushed and limped out of the kitchen.
Di looked at him amazed, “What happened to him Khushi?”
Khushi clasped her hands, closed her eyes and swayed gently, “Aap nahi samjhenge Di, kuch kuch hota hai.”
They laughed, “Really!” said Di, Khushi nodded her head and they did a high five.
“How dare you Khushi,” Arnav came charging snorting away like an angry bull.
“What!” Both Khushi and Anjali were taken aback.
Seeing that HP was also in the kitchen Arnav controlled himself and dragged Khushi to their room.
She jerked her hand away, “What’s wrong with you, Arnavji!?! Sab ke samne?”
“Woh sab chodo Khushi, how could you mislead me like this, I don’t believe this Khushi, itna bada jhooth and the money? WHERE did you get that from? Don’t tell me you borrowed it from a money lender or,” Arnav clenched his fist and looked ready to burst a blood vessel.
It was déjà vu for Khushi; this had happened before and in all likelihood would happen again, she thought resignedly, him blasting away without telling her what the matter was or even giving her a chance to put in a word edgewise.
She took a deep breath and shouted, “ARNAV! Relax! Will you please tell me what are you talking about?”
Click here for Chapter 53
Some useful links to soothe the frazzled nerves 😉
- From DM’s Desk
- Khulasa Times.
- Bunch of Short Stories
- Click and Pics especially my favorites The Amazing World of Trees and Just 4 Fun