Anya again nodded her head, albeit a bit sadly, “Just as I thought! Neither of you know how to make babies. Never mind, I will tell you after all neither of you has been married before, of course you have been married before, but only to each other and if you have never made any babies before, how can you know how to make babies?” said Anya becoming rather confused and involved herself.
Khushi opened her mouth but Arnav pulled her close and squeezed her warningly, “Yes Anya, do tell us, tumhe toh sab pata hai na, just like your bua told me about the wedding rasams, you can tell us about the er, the baby making procedure.”
Relieved to have such willing students and more than happy to share her new found knowledge, Anya pulled Arnav and Khushi and made them sit side by side on the recliner.
Anya draped Arnav’s hand over Khushi shoulder and pushed Khushi’s head onto Arnav’s shoulder and critically viewed them with her head angled to one side, looking only partly satisfied; Arnav took his cue and hugged Khushi closer and kissed her on the forehead, Khushi blushing at his forwardness in front of the child, looked at him whilst he looked down at her. As both were lost in the intensity of moment, Anya heaved a sigh of satisfaction, finally things seemed to moving! She clapped her hands in delight.
They both turned to look at her and seeing her entranced expression, Arnav much like Khsitij, murmured, “This is how babies are made?”
Anya smacked her head, “Nobody knows anything, neither Mamma nor Daddy, just imagine, even though Daddy is a doctor and also has a baby he still doesn’t remember how babies are made. Only Aisha knows. She told me you need both a mommy and a daddy to make babies,” she recited from memory, “they should sit together, talk to each other, eat with each other, love each other.”
Arnav’s shoulders shook slightly as he tightened his grip on Khushi, “Dekha Khushi, I have been telling you for days, something is wrong somewhere, par tum ho ki…always fighting with me,” he shook his head sadly at Anya.
Overcome with emotions Khushi took the only option available, she buried her face in his chest and giggled silently, till tears came out.
Arnav the Cruel, tipped up Khushi’s face from its safe hiding place and said very solicitously, “Don’t cry Khushi, there is nothing to cry about, look Anya will teach us the ropes, right Anya?”
“Yes! Of course Choti bua, don’t cry, even mamma didn’t know that to have a baby mamma and daddy need to sleep in the same room, after I told them, she agreed to sleep in the same room with Daddy,” Anya revealed the GM inside story.
“But,” she tapped her cheek thoughtfully, “You are already sleeping in the same room, and for so long too! So you should have had a baby by now; so I asked Aisha and she told me you have to sleep on the same bed with the door locked. So from now on you should sleep on the same bed and lock your door ok?”
Arnav solemnly nodded his head, “Anything else Anya,” he asked with admirable gravity.
But Khushi, not having years of practice at controlling her facial muscles, was desperate as the waves of laughter threatened to overwhelm her, she attempted to escape to the washroom as the other option of seeking refuge in Arnav broad shoulders, seemed quite inadequate for the purpose she had in mind; but the newly evolved avatar of Arnav the Cruel, refused to let her leave, his grip tightened and he gently reprimanded her, “Where are you going Khushi? Can’t you see Anya is giving us such an important lesson? Or do you not want a baby?” he asked rather blandly.
Horrified, Anya swung around to focus on Khushi while Arnav’s shoulders shook alarmingly, “Chotti bua!” This had not even occurred to her! “Don’t you like babies?”
Khushi turned to glare at a suspiciously innocent looking Arnav and attempted to speak with a semblance of normalcy, “Of course I love babies Anya, in fact it is your CSR who can’t stand little babies. According to him babies are nothing but ‘loud wailing machine emitting foul smelling stuff every other minute or so’, she quoted with relish. She turned her big innocent eyes on to Arnav and said sweetly, “Sahi bola na…Swami?”
Arnav shrugged casually as his eyes promised all kinds of retribution, as a trailer, he loosened his grip on her shoulders and caressed the back of her neck, sending shivers down her spine; heavy lidded she looked half warningly half pleadingly at Arnav. Undeterred, Arnav the Cruel kept up his assault on her senses, as he looked deep into Khushi’s eyes and said huskily, “True, but then everybody else loves babies, Anya, Nani, Di even you. So in keeping with the popular demand, I for one am willing to undergo any hardship to fulfill this desire for a baby. Carry on with your lesson Anya,” he exhorted.
Reassured, Anya continued, “Most importantly (yani sabse mehtvepoorn),” she cautioned them both as she looked from one to another, unable to clearly read their expressions and drawing her own conclusion from her rather limited repertoire of emotions, “You MUST love each other, no fighting,” she wagged her finger much like a school teacher, “if you keep fighting like this how will God give you a baby and in fact no baby will every want to come to you!” She stamped her foot in annoyance.
“You are right Anya!” Said Arnav much struck, “Khushi fights too much! But don’t worry from now on I will make sure that there is no more fighting we will only make l..er babies. Right Khushi?”
Khushi sat, a helpless mute spectator, captive and slave to the bubbles of laughter rising up her throat and a different kind of sensation rising up her spine, she raised her eyes to him. Arnav’s breath stuck in his throat, his teasing banter forgotten as the open invitation in her laughter filled eyes melted his bones, unable to resist the deadly combination he tightened his grip on her neck and pulled her forward and left a trail of kisses on her cheek moving dangerously close to the corner of her lips.
Khushi waged an intense but brief battle with her ‘sanskar’ and a call as old as life itself; she stood up in agitation and put her hands to her hot cheeks. Hey Devi Maiyya, bachchi ke samne hi!
Even Arnav had the grace to look a bit abashed, for a moment he too had forgotten about his audience, “Anya,” he said gruffly, “Er thanks for the valuable lesson we will remember and practice later. Er…Your Choti bua is feeling the heat a bit I think,” Tongue firmly in cheek, “and besides we do have to go to the zoo right? Why don’t you go down and have breakfast, we will be down in just a bit.”
Satisfied with her morning’s work and excited at the thought of the zoo, Anya skipped away happily.
Arnav swiftly shut the door and locked it for good measure. He looked at Khushi and opened his arms and said softly, “How about some net practice?”
Khushi ran into his arms, more than willing to oblige.
Click here for Chapter 82