It was relatively relaxed (especially now that he was fed) Arnav who returned to RM. In fact, now that he was sure Sahil would recover with little or no lasting complications and the fact that most of the costs for the damages could be recovered through their foolproof insurance investments, he was feeling quite charged and raring to go at this new challenge that awaited him. ASR BG blared loudly and triumphantly in the background as he strode into his room.
He froze in his tracks at the sight that greeted him.
Khushi zipped up the last of the suitcases and smiled at him cheerfully, “Oh good! You are back! So glad you had dinner at Di’s place, you must have been so hungry and Di ko bhi achcha laga hoga, hang on, I will get your medicines, the new lot, trip ke liye mangvaye the, that is lying downstairs.” She rushed away.
Arnav stiffened as the other reality came crashing down, he had totally forgotten about it. Tomorrow they were leaving for their honeymoon to Mauritius, for 10 days! How could he forget! How could he go? How could he tell Khushi, the first time she had asked him for something! Khushi had been so excited about their trip, her first ever to the seaside. He clenched his hands and gritted his teeth as he walked to the poolside.
Arnav’s dimaag raced picking and discarding possibilities, should he ask Khushi to postpone the trip? No, Payal’s baby was due, the AR Designs would take at least another 3-4 months before it could be totally functional, crucial decisions would have to be taken at each juncture; Khushi too was planning to kick start her business in a few months time, and she had enrolled for a distance MBA program, time was in short supply; it was now or never!
Till how long after a wedding was a ‘honeymoon’ a ‘honeymoon’ one part of his dimaag wondered idly, any trip after a wedding should count right, he argued; Should he delegate the responsibility of AR Designs to Aman (or perhaps send Aman to Mau…Nooo…what was he thinking…(ooops sorry that Khulasa Mami slips out now and then!)?
No! This was his baby, his passion, he just couldn’t trust somebody else to take care of it at this critical stage, AR Designs needed him in now, he would never be able enjoy at Mauritius, but Khushi ke khushi ka kya, doesn’t she deserve better? Why should she always have to sacrifice? Hadn’t she done enough already, now again she would have to play second fiddle? First to his ego, pride and prejudice, then to his Di and her baby and now to AR Designs!
He sighed frustrated and ran his hand through his hair, what to do dammit! He prided himself on his decision making abilities, his fairness and sense of justice; why did it always have to falter where Khushi was concerned? No he couldn’t do this to her again, he turned and looked at the neatly lined up row of suitcases, he grimaced, Khushi was so set on going, she had been so happy the whole of last week, so excited, her brilliant smile, her childish exuberance with which she planned their whole itinerary, her sudden shopping spree every little bit came back to haunt him, taunt him; that’s right, do it again Arnav sneered at ASR, ‘break her heart again, this should be easy, you’ve had so much practice.’
ASR nodded grimly, ‘yes I will tell her, but I won’t break her heart, you will see, main samjhaoonga usse, she will understand, she would never want to do something that I wouldn’t want to…’
Arnav sneered, ‘yeah sure, go ahead, you selfish brute, why does she always have to ‘understand’ why does she always have to take a backseat, why can’t you for once think about her feelings, it’s not like AR Designs would fall apart if you are not there, accept it, there is nothing to fall apart, how much work can get done in a week-ten days? Aakash and Aman are capable; but you won’t delegate will you, just because you are such a control freak’ Arnav attacked ASR.
ASR’s lips thinned, ‘ok ok here’s the deal, we will go to Mauritius but only for a couple of days, maximum four days, I don’t care, that’s my last offer, take it or leave it.’
“What happened? What are you thinking?” Khushi stood concernedly at his elbow, “Office ko le kar pareshaan hai?” she asked sympathetically as she put down the tray on the table and hugged his arm, “Don’t worry Devi Maiyya sab theek kar dengi; sabse mehtvapoorn nobody was mortally wounded, suppose this short circuit had happened during office hours?” she shuddered as she hugged him closer, “Rahi baat office ki, hume bharosa hai aap par, in no time you will have it up and running,” she smiled confidently at him.
Arnav (goaded by ASR – tell her now dammit, go for the kill, this is right opportunity, go on, what are you waiting for you idiot) looked at the packed suitcases and then looked at her with deep regret, “Khushi, I know you are looking forward to our trip to Mauritius, and this is the first time you asked me for something, that too at my insistence, but I am really sorry, I won’t be able to go…” he faltered as hurt flashed in Khushi’s eyes before she masked her shock.
Arnav rushed in, “Ok Khushi don’t be upset we will go, but we will just go for 4-5 days ok?” he put his arm around her comfortingly.
Khushi jerked his arm away, cut to the core; tears sparkled in her eyes as she stiffened her trembling lips and glared at him, “Aap samajhte kya hain apne aapko?”
“Khushi,” ASR tried to placate a clearly upset Khushi, “Please try and understand…”
“Nahi” Khushi raised her hands and jerked them down in strong negation, “Nahi, hum nahi understand, humari aukat hi kahan hain understand karne ki?”
ASR closed his eyes in frustration, “Come on Khushi, aukat ki baat kahan se aayee?”
“Aapne abhi ki, you just showed me my place, my status in your eyes, and let me tell you Mr Arnav Singh Raizada, nothing has changed since 2011, to have come so far and yet realize nothing has changed, “ Khushi’s voice rose and then broke as tears rained down her cheeks.
“Khushi” Arnav said huskily as he raised his hands to cup her face, but she was having none of it, she pushed him away, wiped her tears and opened her mouth to continue her tirade, just then there was a knock at the door.
“Khushi Bhabhi,” called HP.
Click here for Chapter 91