The morning passed in a hectic blur of meetings and negotiations, but first all the workers had to be addressed, assured, reassured, tasks assigned, manpower re-deployed, sent on leave or simply allowed to leave; Arnav was at the center and thick of things with no time to breath or reflect, he just went with his instincts and the need of the hour.
It was about 2 pm when there was a knock at the board room door (btw this too no longer had glass doors, perhaps Arnav was hopeful that Khushi might turn up one day and who knew what may lead to what 😉 Arnav looked up to see Khushi standing there hesitatingly, she said, “I got food for everyone, I thought…” she trailed off unsure of his reaction and still upset (but food was her dharm and kartavya).
Arnav’s grim expression lightened, the constriction around his heart of which he had not even been aware of suddenly relaxed and his heart soared, what a sight for sore eyes, he nodded affably, Khushi’s expression too lightened and there was a murmur of appreciation amongst the starved staff gathered in the board room. They hurriedly left the room giving the couple some much needed time and space while they indulged in some pet pooja.
Khushi put down Arnav’s lunch box and slapped his medicines on the table and said without meeting his eyes, “You forgot your medicines.”
Arnav shook his head as he leaned back to ease his aching back, “Nope, you left without telling me, I left them deliberately. I knew you would bring them.”
Khushi said stiffly, “Aapko kaise pata? What if I had not gone home and not seen them lying on the table?”
Arnav shrugged and said, “I dunno, I just knew, by the way did you go home?” he looked at her keenly as a faint flush stole up her cheeks and she looked away, he nodded, “You were busy shopping for vegetables and then cooking, you asked HP and then sent the driver right?” ASR could clearly visualize the sequence of events.
Khushi opened his lunch box and served him, “I have a lot of work, eat up quickly and then take your medicines.”
Arnav gratefully attacked her delicious offerings and spoke through his full mouth, “I thought you were not going to cater to AR Designs?”
“I am not,” Khushi denied huffily, “I was just testing out my new kitchen and I made loads of food, so I thought of bringing it here as a sort of a pilot project.”
“Make sure to send the bill,” Arnav goaded her.
Khushi finally looked at him and glared, “Don’t worry, I will and I will include a 10 % first customer discount and another 10% discount on compassionate grounds too,” she threw at him.
He looked mournfully at her as he massaged his neck, “What! No family discount! You are really an out and out hardcore businesswoman,” he looked admiringly at her.
Khushi made a moue and pushed his hand away and gently kneaded his neck, he sighed in relief and shifted to give her easy access to his back. He closed his eyes and leaned back till he was leaning against her, they stayed there for some time, Khushi gently massaging his forehead and shoulders, soothing away the kinks until Arnav’s phone rang, “Yes Aman, bring everyone in 5.” Khushi moved away.
He looked at Khushi who was packing up his now empty lunch box, she handed him his medicines and quietly left, “Khushi,” he called softly, she reluctantly looked at him, “Buaji galat kehti hai, tumhare haatho main hi nahi, tum main hi kuch jaadoo hai.”
Khushi tried her best to purse her lips, but her smile slipped out and lit her face as his eyes held her captive. He blinked lazily; she flushed and hurriedly left the room as his staff trooped in; but they stopped her and thanked her effusively for her thoughtful and tasty gesture, she smiled away their thanks while Arnav watched with a self-satisfied smirk.
A voice piped up, “Bhab…I mean madam, the sweet dish was particularly nice!”
“Meetha!” Arnav perked up, “Khushi mujhe nahi diya?”
Khushi glared, then hastily collected herself, she said sweetly, “Aapko meetha mana hai na?”
“Toh mere liye special bana deti?” He said blandly, “Okay keep a double dose ready as my post dinner sweet dish.”
She turned away with a last glare; on her way out, her phone beeped; it was an sms from Arnav ‘make it a tripe dose, kal raat ka bhi due hai’ this time she couldn’t hold back her smile.
But alas, as the long suffering viewers of IPKKND know only too well, what RV proposes, halat disposes.
It was late by the time Arnav came back to RM and Khushi who had been up and about since 5 am (sabzi mandi for fresh and sasta vegetables) was fast asleep. She had dropped in around 8.30 with more food, though only the top brass were still at it. She found ASR busy in a brainstorming session trying to chalk out a list of clients who would cooperate and who would insist on timely delivery and how best to negotiate this tricky situation. Deeply involved in the task at hand, ASR barely had time to acknowledge her presence and rather than break up the meeting, he just grabbed his share and dug in while continuing the discussion. Taking their cue from ASR, the rest too dug in, they were hungry, besides it would save time.
Khushi had mixed feelings; it really felt good to feed people, an immense sense of satisfaction stole over her as she saw them chomping away with gusto on her creation (pasta in white sauce with garlic bread and caramel custard (sugar free – as a message from her to him- don’t think I have forgiven you), yet she felt slighted and hurt at the way he ignored her, yet a corner of her heart knew that this was natural, AR Designs was his priority now, he couldn’t see anything beyond it; after their fight last night he had been worried and concerned about her and that is why he had indulged her earlier in the day; but now that he knew she wasn’t that mad at him, he put her on the back burner and focused on his work. Aur sahi hi hai, she told herself firmly, AR Designs jal kar raakh ho gaya and what were you expecting? That he would start romancing you? She castigated herself, phir why were you so mad at him for presuming you would want to go to Mauritius? She pulled a face as she made her way back, but phir bhi am I some ‘kichdi’ that he can put me on the back burner, she thought resentfully. She had her dinner by the poolside with her parents and in-laws for company (since her husband didn’t indulge her secret expectations), after chatting with them and on a full stomach, she felt more kindly disposed towards her Laad Governor; bechara, kitna kaam karna pad raha hai, aur hum hai ki, she let go of her grudge. But she missed him dammit.
Desultorily she changed and sat down at her desk with the aim of planning for the next day and write up her accounts for the day, as they had been taught in class. She yawned about a zillion times as she looked at the clock about a hundred times, 10 bajgaye, 11 bajgaye, by 12, Khushi was fast asleep at her desk.
A/N Toh kaisan lag raha hai Arnav aur Khushi ki married life ka dastaan? Kuch dum hai ki naahi? Why so silentia? Kuch to kahi ka padhi. And what about all those links I’ve been leaving you dammit? Dont care for flash fiction eh? Okay fine so here’s a sequel to Sonu ke Titu ki Sweety 😀 I am serious – check this out. Sonu aur Titu ki Lovely
Click here for Chapter 93