It was a happy fun filled Saturday morning at RM; since Vimla was there to help out in the kitchen, all the ladies of the house were free to gossip and catch up.
Payal was showing and glowing; she was inundated with queries from Anya. Payal answered them as best as she could while a tense Anjali breathed a sigh of relief that none appeared to be directly related to the ‘making’ of babies. Anya bhi na, she shook her head.
Khushi had spent a productive day at the library and was feeling top heavy with all the knowledge she had determinedly been stuffing into her head the past couple of hours or more; she hoped and prayed it would all stay put and show up on her mark sheet, nahi toh that Laad Governor would pucca have her hide this time; Hey Devi Maiyya raksha karna.
Pata nahi if he was still mad at her, her heart sank, she wished she could meet him just now; maybe she could go over to his office? She nibbled her fingers debating with herself; reluctantly she decided against it, he wouldn’t like it, especially if he was still mad at her and what if he yelled at her in front of everybody? Aaj toh important meeting bhi hai. Gusse main toh woh kuch bhi kar sakte hain, she sighed and desultorily trudged back home in her Mercedes.
On the way back she stopped at a shopping mall to pick up a few things. Attracted by a store of knick knacks, Khushi browsed through the store and chose some hair clips for herself and unable to resist, some cute ones for Anya as well, she bought a teddy bear shaped purse and put them in it. Feeling loads better, she went home.
She pushed open the RM door and stood still in surprise, had she gone back in time? Di here? A small bundle crashed into her, “Chotti bua! You are back!”
Another round of hello hi, laughs, smiles and hugs followed; and as expected Anya was ecstatic about her gift; she insisted Khushi put them on for her right then. Khushi had absentmindedly kept her own clips in the teddy bear purse, when Anya saw them she made her dislike very clear, “Choti bua these are not nice,” she wrinkled her nose.
Khushi smiled, “Never mind dear, these are for me.”
Anya frowned, “Nooo, these are ghastly! You are so not wearing them,” she stood up on the sofa and pulled out even the clips Khushi was wearing and said, “There you look so much better without those clips.”
Khushi stared at her in surprise; Anjali came forward and said gently, “Khushi, Anya is right, you look better without the clips.”
Khushi looked doubtfully at Di, “Ok if you say so, but maybe I should ask Arnav as well…”
Anjali smiled and cupped Khushi’s face, “Achcha baba pooch lena, not that it matters, Chotte toh drowned in your eyes and that too long ago, aur kuch dikhta hi kahan hai use?”
“Di!” Khushi was embarrassed yet happy to see this teasing side of Di, “Aap aise kaise keh sakte hain?”
“Of course, I can say that; Nani, remember what kind of clothes Khushi used to wear earlier and even though Chotte’s business is clothes, phir bhi he slipped and fell at Khushi’s feet.” Di teased Khushi.
They all laughed, except Anya, “What! CSR slipped and fell, when chotibua! Did you trip him up?!”
“Aur ka, tumri choti bua bahut hi expert gamewa khelat hai, kabhi she fall then he too falling, and then both falling so much ki bedwa hi toot gaya,” Mami rolled her eyes and waved her hands wildly in her attempt to explain the CSR-chotibua love isshtory to Anya who struggled to keep up with Badi Mamijii’s special brand of Engliswa.
Anya was worried, this was worse than she thought, chotibua had tripped up CSR and at other times chotibua had fallen; must have gotten hurt and then must have fought, now how will they ever have babies? Good thing she came here, she would have to speak to them, make them shake hands; she cheered up.
It was a jolly party which sat down for lunch. Though Anjali protested she wasn’t hungry and then rather than break their hearts she sat down with them and nibbled at her food.
“Di aap theek toh hain na?” Khushi asked. “Or you don’t like our food anymore?” she teased her.
“No choti bua, actually mamma has a lunch date with daddy, right mamma?” Anya let the cat out the bag; Anjali blushed.
Nani smiled and said, “That’s nice dear! You should have told us we could have had lunch later. When is he coming?”
“Nahi Nani, you have your lunch, it is already way past your lunch time. Bas he must be coming Nani,” Anjali said softly.
Khushi and Payal nudged each other and giggled like schoolgirls (and amma-buaji did while Khushi fed ASR the thoda khatta thoda meetha thoda theeka – dash it now I am dying for some GGs!!!!! 😀)
Just then Khsitij landed up, a third round of ‘you know what’ followed along with some xtra khatirdari (read chai paani, nashta, khana etc etc) for damaadji; he demurred, they insisted, he refused, they continued to insist; Anjali served him some kheer and offered it to him, he accepted, everyone nudged each other and giggled like ‘you know who’.
Nani shushed them and said, “Bas ab bahut hui gawa, ab jane toh inko, don’t tease them or delay them,” she scolded the giggling bunch, then mischievously, “After all pehla lunch date hai shaadi ke baad kyon Anya?”
Anya nodded and did a hi-five with badi Nani.
Anjali reddened and said “Nani aap bhi?”
Anya piped up, “No mamma, you got that wrong, its ‘Nani aap bhi na’!
“Anya! Whose side are you on?” Anjali pouted.
Anya said “Of course Raizada side, but only for today and tomorrow, bye go have your lunch,” she hugged her parents and whispered to her daddy which thankfully carried only to her mamma, “Daddy take care of mamma; make sure mamma doesn’t miss me too much!”
Khsitij solemnly promised, “Scouts honor and you behave yourself young lady, one complaint and all your future sleepovers are cancelled.”
Anya rolled her eyes, “And what if Anjie complains?”
By mutual consent, both Anjali and Khsitij hurriedly bid goodbye, claiming that their table booking would be cancelled if they delayed any longer; he shook his finger warningly at Anya as she skipped around them near the RM exit door, “Anya think before you speak.”
“But Daddy I always think before I speak,” she pouted.
Khsitij shook his head ruefully, true, she probably thought too much!
Lunch over, Anya cornered Khushi and revealed her zoological (well some of it anyway) plans; Khushi was of course thrilled at this plan but then was worried; Arnav would again yell at her for wasting time. She discussed her problem with Anya, after a bit of thought, they decided the best course of action for Khushi would be study some more right away so that she could impress upon CSR that Khushi had already done her share of studying for the weekend and deserved some time off. “Haan yeh theek rahega,” Khushi went off to study while Nani took Anya along with her for some rest.
Click here for Chapter 73