It was woe time at RM as well. Arshi were by the poolside and there wasn’t any scope for any sort of BG score because ASR was on a roll, a rampage so to speak. He held a sheet of paper in his hand and was clearly annoyed and disgusted with whatever he saw on it and alternately waved the paper or waved his finger threateningly at a very (uncharacteristically) subdued Khushi who stood docilely in front of him.
“What do you have to say about this Khushi?” a red faced ASR yelled as he waved the paper “Ab chup kyon ho, waise toh you talk nonstop, what happened now?”
Khushi wrung her hands agitatedly and said guiltily “Nahi woh….”
“Woh? Who kya Khushi? How can you be so careless and irresponsible Khushi? I didn’t expect this,” he waved the paper again, from you, “I have been warning you again and again but no…when did you ever listen to me,” he sighed and frustrated, ran his hands through his hair as he restlessly paced the poolside.
“Arnav,” Khushi tried to placate him, “it is not such a big deal…”
“Not a big deal! How can you say that Khushi? Tumhe shayad farq nahi padta hai, par mujhe farq padta hai dammit!” Arnav aggressively shook his finger, barely restraining himself from shaking her instead.
“Acha acha, I am sorry, I promise the next time…” Khushi tried to hug him.
“Next time? Arnav thrust her away angrily, “How can I trust you Khushi, if this time….?” ASR was unconvinced.
“Humari baat toh suniye Arnav,” Khushi pleaded.
“Mujhe koi excuse nahi chahiye; and since when have you known about this?” He suspiciously waved the paper again.
A guilty flush gave him his answer, “I see,” he hissed, then “Theek hai,” he nodded his head threateningly, “I have news for you, this,” he shook the paper again, “may be acceptable to you but it never will be acceptable to me Khushi Kumari Gupta Singh Raizada,” he snarled as he threw the paper the table and charged out of the room (ASR BG finally audible full blast).
Khushi stared after him unhappily is baar galti humari hai.
Anya was the first one to recover; she straightened, wiped her tears and then wiped Anjalis’s face and even Khsitij’s! She smiled and said, “Today seems to be ‘Goyal Crying Day!’ You know I even cried in school today.”
“Hey Bhagwan! Kyon?” Anjali was instantly all concern and worry personified.
“We had a class race and I fell down and got hurt, look,” Anya lifted the edge of her skirt to reveal a bandage around her knee then she proudly showed off a couple of scrapes and scratches on her arms.
Anjali’s lips drooped even further, “Oh poor baby, does that hurt?”
Anya shook her head cheerfully, “No not now, but then it did hurt and I cried a lot, I was taken to the sick room where the sister cleaned me up and bandaged me. But I still kept crying because I was last in the race and all the other girls were laughing at me. Then Heena maam came and consoled me; but I was very upset and said I will never race again. And you know what she said?”
Anjali shook her head, Anya looked at her dad, but he too shrugged, “What did she say?”
“Heena maam said, ‘in a race, everyone cannot win, one person will come first and one person will come last, the important thing is you tried’ then she told me the story of ‘Robert Bruce, a king of Scotland who had lost many battles and was ready to give up; then he saw a spider trying to weave a web, but she kept falling down till she succeeded. He was very inspired and he decided to try again and this time he won the battle.’ Suppose he had not tried again, he would never have won the war right Daddy?
Khsitij looked at Anjali and then nodded his head; he understood only too well the direction of this thought process. He marveled, not for the first time, the maturity and wisdom of his daughter far beyond that befitting her age.
“So Anjie,” she smiled brightly at Anjali as she again wiped the remaining traces of tears on Anjie’s cheeks, “I have decided I am going to again run the races, till I win or till there are no more races to be run! She hugged Anjali and said pleadingly, “And Anjie will you try for a baby if I promise not to be sad if there is no baby? Please Anjie?”
Anjali looked helplessly at Khsitij, his arm tightened around her comfortingly, “Anya, let your mother be, it is a big decision, don’t force her to say yes or no right now.”
Anya reluctantly agreed, but then she brightened, “But Anjie you have to shift to Daddy’s room because Aisha told me that mummy and daddy should be sleeping in the same room, that you will agree to, won’t you?”
Khsitij started laughing rather helplessly, “Anya you don’t let any grass grow under your feet, do you?”
“Grass?” Anya looked down confused, “There’s no grass and why would anybody let grass grow under their feet, in any case, grass wouldn’t be able to grow under anyone’s feet would they?” Anya pointed out with irrefutable logic.
Khsitij shook his head, ‘what Anya taketh away, she giveth back’ he thought still smiling, wondering what Anjali’s reaction was; Anjali was studiously avoiding Khsitij’s eyes, half hoping Anya would have forgotten her request in the meantime, but once Anya had a bee in her bonnet she was not so easily fobbed off (a genetic disorder I believe), “Anjie, don’t worry, I will shift your things to Daddy’s room”, and vanished before any grass could grow.
Khsitij saw his opportunity and kissed Anjali till she was too breathless to protest or run after Anya. He swung her up in his arms and walked to their room and said, “Welcome home Mrs Goyal! Better late than never, right Anjie?”
Anjali yielded to the smile and love in his eyes and nodded but said, “Put me down Khsitij, Anya will be along any minute, what will she think?”
Khsitij shrugged, though he did put her down he kept her close to him, “What would she think? She would probably be thrilled that we love each other, and are busy making babies, no need to make any excuses either!”
“KHSITIJ!” Exclaimed a scandalized Anjali and jerked away just as Anya entered with a bag carrying her things.
Anya looked worriedly at her mum and dad; she handed the bag to Anjali and pulled Khsitij to one side and said in a loud whisper which easily carried to Anjali as well, “Daddy we have a problem.”
“A problem? Really! What sort of problem?” Asked Khsitij.
“I think Anjie is scared of you, remember the first time you met her? You were so mean to her and that is why she is still scared of you,” Anya scolded her dad.
“Is that so?” Khsitij looked at Anjali with a glint in his eyes; Anjali instantly made a sad face and looked away enjoying herself.
“Yes,” Anya vigorously nodded her head, “It is so, Daddy you have to do something to make sure Anjie is not scared of you anymore, otherwise how will I leave her in your room, suppose she can’t sleep and is sad, what will I tell..?” She stopped short as she dragged Khsitij over to Anjali.
Click here for Chapter 69