Achcha hai Devansh ke saath USA ja rahi hai, she would see the world, see how things have progressed, learn something, be inspired, shayad take up something, be independent, be busy and leave him and the kids alone.
Beats me how she spends the whole day doing nothing. No wonder she is so lonely and clingy. Well he had no time to pander to her emotional, hormonal upheavals. Perhaps this USA trip would do the trick.
Par akeli jaa payegi kya? Kuch akele kiya bhi hai kabhi? Aur uske upar se Deva. Nahi Deva was more reliable and independent that Khushi, kum se kum 5 saal akele Mumbai mein reh kart oh aaya, apne liya scholarship ka jugaad bhi kiya. He would have to trust Deva to take care of that confused and accident prone biwi of his.
Ek aur tension.
Documents sab sambhal payegi kya?
Aur USA mein bore ho jayegi, Devansh toh NASA jayega, kitna khana banayegi. Phir akele ghoome nikli aur kho gayi toh? He broke out in a sweat thinking about it.
Kuch toh karna padega.
Mana kar deta hoon.
Par Devansh chahta hai, toh. After all Ma hai uski, haq hai uska.
Par Khushi ko kaun sambhalega?
He felt shaky.
Main bhi chaloon?
Haan yehi sahi rahega.
Tickets book kar deta hoon.
He was back on solid ground.
But two important court cases were scheduled to be up during that period. What if they lost? He would have to file an appeal.
Documents sign nahi kar payega.
Not fair to give her so much stress. She was best handling the creative side.
Nahi, he couldn’t go.
He was back to shaky ground.
GPS patch order kar deta hoon.
Both Devansh and I can keep an eye on her.
Haan yehi theek rahega.
Abhi se order kar deta hoon, jab tak USA pahunchenge, wahan delivery ho jayegi.
He was back on terra firma
Sab control mein hai. Like he liked it.
Bachchon ko toh nest fly karna hi hai, like it or not, but Khushi bhi…
And jo bhi ho, the show must go on.
Thankfully the one month had whizzed by without any hitches, except for that one hiccup. But to be honest, he was feeling relieved that she was going to be back within reach.
Even though he wasnt in Delhi when Khushi landed but it was amazing how relaxed he felt the moment he got the notification.
Grand. Just grand. Now he could focus on this tricky deal. So they thought they could pull a fast one over ASR did they? Woh uske shatir dimaag ko nahi jaante. Abhi maza chakhata hoon.
Khushi ko call kar leta hoon…
Chodo kya kahoonga? Kaise ho? Pata hai. Kal hi text kiya tha. Deva ne bhi bataya, Di ne bhi. Upset hogi ki main nahi hoon wahan par. Rehne deta hoon. If she started crying he would lose focus and sight of his goal. Khushi ko baad mein samjha doonga. Waise bhi samajhdar hai woh. She’s on my side.
He went off to single task.
Chalo yeh deal bhi crack kar diya. A cakewalk. Woh toh hona hi tha. After all main Arnav Singh Raizada hoon. But the court case was turning out to be messier than he had anticipated. Wapas jaakar usko sort karna padega. Lawyers ke saath paperwork karna padega. That was the problem, you couldnt trust anybody to do the work without sitting on their heads. Business had expanded but not trustworthy hands. Aman and Punya werent enough. He needed more. If only Khushi would take the hint. But she was determined to hang on to her first unfortunate experience at the office and shut doors on that feasibility. But if only she would join office all her problems would vanish. She would understand why he was always so busy, she could reduce his workload plus they would get to spend time together – that’s what she wanted, wasnt it? A win-win situation for all concerned. Par woh mane tab na.
His phone buzzed.
Khushi ka googly!
She was off for a holiday to Kerala!
Aur woh bhi mujhe bina bataye?
A smile tugged his heart.
Yeh hui na Khushi wali baat. She was not one to let grass grow under her feet. Pata nahi itne dino tak kuch nahi bol rahi thi? He was getting worried. But ab sab theek hai. Khushi was well and properly mad at him. He grinned.
His smile faded. Waise achcha hi hai that she wasn’t here. He had some tricky negotiations coming up and he had no time to really focus on manaoing Khushi which she was clearly expecting.
But then when had he ever danced to her tunes?
Not if he could help it!
So she was pulling his strings was she?
Well he would show who the real LG was. His eyes crinkled. She could go wherever she liked because he still held the reins firmly in his hands. Jaana hai toh jaye, jab man karega he would pull her back, he exulted.
Waise bhi, achcha hi hai, that she go.
Jab tak vacation se aayegi, everything in the office would be sorted and she would also be calmer. Or madder. He laughed. But that was also okay. In fact, better. More fun.
Besides, he knew which buttons to push.
Haan yehi theek rahega.
He strode down the office corridor without acknowledging the people on either side wishing him, getting to their feet.
Ab time to focus on the task on hand. These people were getting on his nerves, kya socha tha, ASR ko itne aasaani se….
“Hmm?” He halted in his tracks. “Oh sorry Di. I didn’t hear you.”
“Kahan khoye huye ho?” Di wrinkled her nose at him and she cupped his cheek. “Khushi ki yaad mein?” She smiled.
“Haan wohi toh hum keh rahein hain. Khushi thenga dikha kar chali gayi isliye you are upset?”
Chotte gave her an impatient look.
“Karela kadwa Chotte.” She linked her arm with his as she walked with down the office corridor. He slowed his stride to suit hers. “Suno, while Khushi is away, you will stay with us.” She raised a hand. “Bas humne keh diya. Tumhe meri kasam.”
“Again Di? I think I should go home.” He raised a hand. “Perhaps for a few days. Have a look at the plants. Kuch repair work bhi karwa tha. Usko bhi dekhna hai. Get a change of clothes…”
“But koi zaroorat nahi hai. Khushi ko bol kar tumhara saara samaan pack karwa diya.” She paused. “A tiny overnighter. For two weeks. Really Chotte.” She shook her head. “Itne saalon mein kuch bhi nahi badla.”
“Badal toh sab jaate hain Di. Nahi badalna hi ek art hai, ek uniqueness…”
“Ji nahi. Somebody, I forget who said, if in the last few years, you haven’t discarded a major opinion or acquired a new one, check your pulse. You may be dead.”
“Ha. Ha. Funny.” Chotte said with a sour expression. “Waise Di, that is about an opinion not…”
“Haan, haan theek hai, theek hai,” Di gave his arm an affectionate squeeze, “But kya change hua hai, bata do?” she challenged.
“Kitna kuch change hua hai, Di.” Arnav was getting irritated, “Devansh is moving out, Angel is studying away from home…”
“Woh toh situation ki baat hai, circumstances, hum aapki opinion ki baat kar rahein hai.”
Arnav rolled his eyes. “Di aap bhi pata nahi kya…”
“Nahi.” Di was adamant. “Bataiye.”
Arnav shrugged helplessly. “I didn’t believe in marriage. I got married.”
“But that was nearly three decades ago. Abhi recent ki baat ho rahi hai.”
Arnav sighed. He couldn’t snap at her warm affectionate teasing beloved face. Khushi hoti toh ab tak haath jhatak kar chale gaye hote. Sudden guilt assailed Arnav. Clamping down on it he focused on the issue at hand. They were getting late for the meeting.
“Devansh ko jaane de raha hoon na…”
“Isme jaane dene wali kaun se baat hai? Koi prisoner hai kya?” Di asked with an amused expression. “Uske jaane ko lekar apna opinion badal diya hai kya?”
“Di please, meeting ke liye late ho rahein hain.” He grimaced. “Aur waise bhi, by your logic, suitcase mein kitne suits hain, is not a matter of opinion, is it?”
“Yeh bolo ki kuch bhi nahi badla.” Di started walking. “Aur thoda bahut jo bhi badla tha, Khushi ke tumhare zindagi mein, woh sab back to square one ho gaya hai.”
“How can you say that Di?” Inexplicably Arnav was hurt.
“I am sorry Chotte,” Di stopped and turned to face him. “But yehi sach hai. I think you are old enough and smart enough to know that I am right. Aur isi liye bhi bura laga. The truth hurts, doesn’t it?”
“I don’t know what you mean,” Arnav began walking and would have walked away but for Di who held on to his arm, “Isi ki toh hum baat kar rahein hai. You are not available emotionally. You are busy in work. What about Khushi?”
“What about her? She’s fine. She went abroad…”
“She misses you Arnav. The kids have left home and you aren’t there ever…”
“Oh so she’s been crying on your shoulder.” He sneered.
“She didn’t need to cry Arnav. I can see the loneliness in her eyes…”
“Toh kya karoon? Ghar par beithkar ghar ghar kheloon?” He snapped. “Kitni baar bola hai that she should engage herself, find something to occupy herself, but nahi. Usko toh ghar par beithna hai, iski sewa uski sewa, isme main kya kar sakta hoon?”
“Come on Chotte! It’s not like I or she is asking you to sit beside her 24 hours! Even a few hours a day, a week, a…”
“Please Di.” Arnav was annoyed. “It’s not like I am romancing some other woman and whispering sweet nothings to her. Mein kaam kar raha hoon. Business it peaking, there is so much to be done. And one tiny mistake, one tiny slip up, you know how disastrous it can be? Remember the incident with the Singhania project? Just because of one typo error we could have lost crores. If I hadn’t been obsessive about checking and rechecking….” He shook his head. “Aapko toh sab pata hai. Phir bhi aap…”
“I get it Chotte. But there is something called work life balance. Suna toh hoga?” She twinkled up at him.
“Di app toh jaante hi hain, main aisa hi hoon. I am happiest and most comfortable cracking deals, taking up new challenges, the riskier the better.
“Agar tumko yeh nahi dikhta ya phir dekhna nahi chahte toh hume aur kuch nahi kehna hai.”
Ab Di ne bhi give up kar diya hum kya kahein?! Problem kya hai na, you all have too much faith in Arnav/ASR. Sach toh yehi hai, woh apne duniya mein mast hai; kabhi kabhi ek aad twinge hota hai, but work is a good panacea for such kind of transgressions. Hence, jo bhi karna hai, Khushi ko hi karna padega. Toh chale wapas rehearsals par?
Click here for previous Chapter 510
Click here for next Chapter 512