“Choti Bua!” Anya jolted Khushi out of her ramblings through RM and the past, “Come and see these pictures of Badi bua’s wedding, where is your wedding album? I want to see that too.”
They sat cross legged on the bed looking at the pictures of both weddings sharing their favorite munch, chanas; since both were chatterboxes, it was difficult to make out who spoke more, but definitely Anya raised the questions while Khushi attempted to do justice to her innumerable and diverse queries.
She was very curious about the photograph where Khushi was holding the bangles in front of CSR’s face while he looked away, irritated yet embarrassed.
Khushi grinned, “Oh I was teasing him; he had bought those bangles for me but refused to admit it.”
“But why,” Anya was surprised, “Why did he not want to tell you that he had bought the bangles.”
Khushi smirked, ego aur kya, naak nahi kat jayegi? Laad governor kahin ka, she thought fondly but shrugged her shoulders, “Who knows what these guys think?”
Anya looked at her doubtfully and would have pursued the matter but she was awestruck by Khushi’s dance photographs, “Chotibua you are looking gorgeous! Wow I wish I could have seen you dance then and look, both of you are looking so nice together.”
Khushi’s eyes misted over, yes they did look good, but he looked so dashing, her heart skipped a beat as she remembered the unexpected way he had come to her rescue that day. Funny she had never bothered earlier whether he was handsome or not, but now she felt a clutch in her heart whenever she looked at him. Did she or did she not find him handsome earlier she wondered; strangely she couldn’t remember thinking anything of the sort. Though she did recollect drowning in his eyes, not to mention all that acidity and dhak dhak, she smiled to herself.
“Choti bua, he is so handsome,” Anya stared mesmerized at Arnav’s photograph in the teri meri dance sequence, she leaned forward and confided, “You know Chotibua, CSR is the almost most handsome guy; the most handsome guy is of course daddy!”
Khushi laughed and hugged her, “Of course!”
“Choti bua,” Anya pointed to a photograph, “Why are you dressed like a bride at Badi bua’s wedding? Look there is another wedding photograph of yours! And look here you are looking so sad when CSR is carrying you and at this place you are looking so happy? Did you get married twice?”
Khushi swallowed, “Yes, sweetie, we got married twice.”
Anya stared at her wide eyed, “Twice! Both times to CSR?”
Khushi nodded but then shook her head, “No first time I got married to the Rakshash and then I got married to the Rajkumar.”
Anya stared at the photograph of the Rakshash, he looked so angry, so scary, “But why did you agree to marry the Rakshash?”
Khushi was trapped, she and her big mouth, kuch bolne ki kya zaroorat thi? Now Anya wouldn’t rest till she knew the whole story and she could hardly explain to the little girl about the complexities of human relationships, emotions and ‘halat’.
Khushi made a dramatic pose, “It was entirely my fault, I made the mistake of plucking a rose from his garden without his permission and he got angry and sad; voila! He turned into a Rakshash.
“Oh” Anya was enthralled, “Just like the Beauty and the Beast! But Chotibua you shouldn’t have plucked the rose without his permission.” Anya reprimanded her bua.
Khushi shushed Anya, “Shhh listen, the Rakshash was very angry indeed and insisted I marry him as punishment.”
‘Then?” Anya was fascinated.
“Then I agreed to marry him,” Khushi continued with her theatrical narration “because he looked so angry and threatened to eat me up if I didn’t marry him; then slowly slowly the Rakshash realized that I had not plucked the rose, I had just bent down to smell the roses. Once he understood, he was very sorry about the misunderstanding; he instantly turned into Prince Charming and we got married again.”
Anya sighed and clapped her hand, “How nice, just like a fairy tale. So you mean to say that since the Rakshash turned into a Prince, now there is no Rakshash, right?” she looked hopefully at her bua.
Khushi made a wry face, “Well to tell the truth, sometimes the Rakshash does come out, but don’t worry, I now have magical powers and I can turn him into a Prince, well sooner or later anyways,” She grinned mischievously.
“Oh!” Anya digested this new piece of information, “but I have never seen the Rakshash,” Anya moved closer to Khushi and whispered, “I hope he will not suddenly appear?”
“Oh don’t you worry dear; the Rakshash makes an appearance only in special circumstances,” Arnav spoke from the shadows by the pool side.
[Pool side! You ask, and I say ji haan pool side, ASR was late in coming home, and was rather keen to meet Anya, (not to mention his paagal but cute wife whose beautiful face he had not seen for more than 22 hours 37 minutes and 43 seconds) so he rushed up the stairs and in his rush, he overshot his own landing and reached the terrace and then, rather sedately came back down to his room via the pool side, samjhe ke naahi?]
Startled, they both looked up to Arnav leaning against the open sliding door, he pushed himself away and strolled leisurely inside and said, “So what’s cooking here?” without looking at Khushi.
“CSR!” Anya gave a squeal and jumped up on the bed and flew into his arms, Arnav neatly caught her (practice does pay), Khushi grimaced and looked away, so he was still in a huff, well two could play the same game; Arnav saw his chance and drank in his fill of her averted profile over Anya’s head; he stared, she looked different, he wished he could see her properly. But she refused to look at him, he sighed, perhaps he had been too harsh on her, but if he hadn’t yelled at her she would have happily continued in this vein and such grades were definitely not acceptable to him, he stiffened.
“CSR, Chotibua was telling me the story of your fairytale wedding, two weddings! You know till now I have heard of people getting married twice, like Daddy and Mamma, but they got married to different people, but you got married to the each other twice!” Anya marveled.
Arnav put down Anya and sat down with his back to Khushi and said, “This is what happens when a normal regular guy meets a Sanka Devi.”
Predictably Khushi came charging around to glare at him, “Yeah right! Normal regular guy my foot! Bachche ke saamne moonh mat khulwao mera,” she wagged her finger threateningly.
Arnav stared at her, ah! There she was, somehow prettier than ever before (if that were possible); something about her hair was different, “What have you done to your hair?” he said abruptly.
Khushi put a hand to her hair, confused, “Hair, kya hua?”
Anya tapped Arnav on his shoulder and said, “I got her to take off her clips; doesn’t she look pretty?” She whispered in his ears.
“Doesn’t she always,” he whispered back, “So it takes a 6 year old to give you fashion tips,” he said mockingly.
Khushi glared at him and said sweetly, “You could have told me, after all you are in the fashion business.” She turned to go, “You must be hungry, I will go make arrangements for dinner.”
Arnav stood up swiftly, grabbed her by the arm and swung her back into his arms (you guys know the drill right?), Khushi struggled and pushed him and hissed, “Kya kar rahe hain aap chodiye hume, bachchi dekh rahi hai”
“Dekhne do,” muttered Arnav, “biwi ho meri, haq hai mera.”
Anya looked on unabashedly interested in the recent developments, she shifted her position to catch a ring side view of the happenings, Khushi noticed with considerable alarm; her struggles intensified, unfazed, Arnav continued, “Kya rahi thee, fashion mera business hai, true, but all your fault,” he looked down into her eyes and murmured softly, “your eyes captivate me so much aur kuch dikhta hi kahan hai.”
Khushi froze as the Rabba Vey reached an ear splitting crescendo and enveloped even Anya; Khushi came back to earth with a jerk to meet a pair of bright curious eyes staring interestedly at them, she pushed Arnav away and rushed away before he could react.
“Oh! Why did you let her go,” Anya was disappointed, just when things were getting interesting.
Click here for Chapter 76