Joined: 03 November 2010
The idea of a jealous Arnie is so irresistible, I decided to write an SS. Hope you guys like it. PMs later.
He that is not jealous is not in love. ~St. Augustine
J is for Jalebi
He sat at the table, ignoring the laughter and chatter around him. His head was pounding.
"Chotey, are you OK?" asked Anjali, worriedly.
"Fine, Di." He said in his usual clipped tone.
"Why aren't you eating then?"
"I'm not hungry. Actually, I have a headache," he confessed, relenting at her perturbed look.
"Oh! Why don't you go upstairs and rest. I'll bring you a tablet and send your snack upstairs too. We need you fit and fine for the evening," said Anjali.
"OK," he didn't argue. He just walked off quickly. Anjali and Naniji exchanged furtive smiles. They knew why he was so upset. They'd broken the news to him a few hours ago that they were considering asking for Khushi's hand in marriage'for NK. His face had fallen ludicrously in the space of the few seconds it took for him to comprehend that they didn't mean for Khushi to marry him, but NK. Then he'd reverted to his usual insouciant self and offered no opinion beyond saying that NK was an idiot. They'd left him pacing his room, convinced he was upset. And upset he was. Only they didn't know how upset. Arnav Singh Raizada was jealous. He'd almost worn a hole in his carpet with his pacing thinking about the many moments he'd seen Khushi and NK share. Khushi and NK talking. Khushi and NK laughing. Khushi and NK dancing. NK admiring Khushi. NK leering at Khushi. Khushi preening for NK. It had given him a headache.
Khushi examined herself in the mirror. She was ready for the pooja. She'd worn a sari the same shade of deep green he'd said suited her 2 days ago at the Sangeet. She'd hadn't let her hair loose though. Her Amma had protested, saying they were going for a pooja and she needed to fasten it. So, she'd worn it in a bun, hoping the sari at least would please him. She bit her lip, when she looked at herself in the mirror and wondered why she wanted to please him. "I won't do it!" she said. She scrambled out of the sari and rummaged around for another one. Her Amma and Buaji shook their heads when they saw her. Sanka Devi had finally lost it, they thought. She was wearing her Mother's sari. Her real mother's sari. It was a purple Banarsi sari with gold brocade work. It was beautiful and appropriate for the occasion. Only with her hair up and the heavy shade of the sari, she looked about 10 years older.
Arnav walked down the stairs to the living room that had been cleared for the havan. His eyes searched for hers automatically. He saw that Payal and her mother were there already. Buaji appeared to be talking to Naniji as well. "Where is she?" he thought. He wanted to talk with her. Desperately. He didn't know what he wanted to say, but he wanted to speak with her.
Khushi was in the kitchen helping out, as usual. She hadn't spotted him anywhere, thankfully. After this morning's Kiss she didn't quite know how she was going to face him again without blushing. She'd done it on impulse, of course. Khushi Kumari Gupta never planned anything. She jumped in, headlong. And in she'd delved today. By the pool. With that kiss. In front of his Aunt and Sister. And Gradmother! Her cheeks reddened at the thought.
"Khushiji!" a voice called. "Can I help you?"
"Oh! Nanheji! No thanks, I'm fine!" she turned to see NK standing right behind her. He'd spoken almost in her ear, startling her. She'd been frying Jalebis (what else!).
"I've heard you make the best Jalebis. May I try one?" asked NK, pointing to the tray of piping hot jalebis that she'd removed from the syrup and was draining prior to serving.
"Go ahead," said Khushi, smiling. She liked NK. He was friendly. And kind. And relatively normal. He didn't make heart go dhak-dhak. And he didn't creep her out like Shyam. Apart from her Jijaji to be, he was the only other normal Male at the Raizada homestead, she thought. NK popped the Jalebi into his mouth. 2 bites, a swallow and he was done.
"That was good Khushiji!" he said brightly. He didn't really like Jalebis. He thought them too sweet and too sticky. But for her, he was prepared to pretend.
"Oh No Nanheji!" said Khushi, looking annoyed. "That's not how you do it!" she exclaimed.
"That's not how you eat Jalebis," she explained. "You have to savor them. Watch," she said. She picked up a Jalebi and broke it in half. She popped one piece into her mouth and closed her eyes, chewing slowly. The look on her face could only be described as, well, orgasmic. She looked blissful as she chewed slowly, then she swallowed gracefully, letting the twisted golden syrupy pieces fall slowly down her throat. NK looked at her elegant neck as she swallowed. Then her closed eyes. She looked so lovely, he thought. He wondered if this might be the right time to make a move on her.
"Don't even think about it," a steely voice whispered in his ear. NK jumped as if he'd been electrocuted. "Na..Na'Nannav!" he cried. "What are you doing here?" Khushi's eyes flew open, Jalebified ecstacy forgotten. Arnav stood there, looking none too happy. He smiled unpleasantly at NK. "Di's calling you NK," he said.
"Oh, what for?" asked NK, still unwilling to yield his ground.
"I dunno. She said something about Pooja thaalis. You better go see," said ASR, eyes gleaming.
"Oh, maybe I should go," said Khushi, seeing a potential escape route here.
"Stay where you are Khushi. NK, you still here?" he growled. NK scarpered. He knew when he was beaten.
And you. If you're finished giving people Jalebi eating demonstrations, would you please finish the task you've been given," said Arnav angrily. Khushi quickly popped the other half into her mouth and swallowed, trying to ignore the dhak-dhak that was manifesting itself again. Arnav stood there as she finished eating, then washed her hands and resumed the Jalebi making.
"Are you just going to stand there and watch?" she asked crossly.
"You want I should do something else?"
"You could leave."
"I could." He didn't budge.
"What is your problem?" she asked. He smiled. She was flustered. He liked that. When she was flustered, she got angry. And when she got angry, he could usually get her to speak the truth.
"My problem? I don't have a problem," he leaned against the counter, hands folded, eyes half lidded, watching her intently.
She snorted inelegantly. "He doesn't have a problem, he says," she said only half under her breath.
"I do have a headache though," he volunteered.
"Oh! Should I play some loud music? Maybe jump around a little. Make some noise. Make your head explode," she offered kindly.
"I really do have a headache," he said looking wounded.
"Yes, well. If you go around threatening people all the time, some bad vibes will come your way," she said, still unrelenting.
"I could have a brain tumor. I could die. Headaches can be serious," he said, trying to needle her into a response.
"Oh shut up. We both know you don't have a brain tumor," she said, now really annoyed.
"How do you know?"
"Because tumors, like everything else, run scared of you Mr.Raizada," she said plonking a dish down in front of him with excessive force, making him wince. "Eat!" she commanded.
"It's called food."
"I'm not hun.."
"Yes you are. Don't lie. You skipped lunch."
"How did you know?"
"Your Di told me," she snapped.
"Aww. And you want to feed me. How sweet. Careful Khushi. I might think you actually, you know, care for me," he said, picking up a spoon and dipping it into the daal, repeating his line from 2 days ago.
"I'd feed anyone who's hungry. Not just you. Now eat." She resumed making the Jalebis. He ate quietly. When he was finished, he put the plate in the sink and turned to her.
"Oh. Go away!" she swatted him away when he put a hand into the Jalebi tray. "You can't eat that Arnav!" she said sternly.
"Arnav? What happened to Arnavji?"
"OK. You can't eat that Arnavji." She said exaggerating the Ji and rolling her eyes.
"I don't mind. You can call me Arnav," he broke the Jalebi into 2 and was about to pop a piece into his mouth when she snatched it away from him and popped it into her own mouth.
"Stop being a child," she said talking and chewing simultaneously.
"I'm craving something sweet today, and after I saw you eat that Jalebi, I wanted one too," he explained contritely. Her face softened. "I'll make you something sweet with a sugar substitute tomorrow," she said.
"What about today? I want
something sweet now!" he said pleadingly. "I'm pushing all the right buttons,"
he thought doing a mental jig."She's gonna melt like an ice-cream on a hot summer day."
"Oh! Poor baby. Here, let me help," she took the other half of the Jalebi from his hand and ate that too, then she licked her fingers clean of syrup.
"You're mean," he pouted.
"You're pretending," she said shrewdly, "You're not actually craving something sweet."
"That's not true. I am craving something sweet. Just not of the dessert variety," he winked. She rolled her eyes. "I already kissed you in front of your family, what else could you possibly want?" she sighed.
"A peck on the cheek is not a kiss."
"It's what you gave me."
"That can be rectified."
"Not tonight, it can't." she slipped underneath his arm.
He pulled her back against his front. "Did you wear your hair up just to annoy me?" he whispered into her ear, his breath tickling her neck.
"Are you annoyed?"
"Very!" he breathed, "On the other hand, all the better to kiss your neck with Red Riding Hood!" he said, bringing his lips down to the side of her neck and kissing and biting her neck lightly.
"OK, Big, Bad Wolf. Playtime's over," she pushed him away and turned off the gas. "I gotta go to the pooja."
"I don't think Devi Maiyya's going to be too happy with you tonight Khushi Kumari Gupta!" he said.
"Well, you're going to be
sitting in the pooja, thinking of me kissing your neck, and wondering if you'd
worn your hair down where else I might've planted my lips. Not very religious sentiments, those!" he said.
"I am not!"
"You are now. By the way, I think I gave you a hickey." He laughed.
"You did not!" she looked horrified. She rushed to a bathroom to look. When she came out, her hair was down. He had given her a hickey. Luckily it was tiny and almost at the back of her neck.
"You did that on purpose," she said, looking at him standing there looking extremely proud of himself.
"I did." He agreed without a qualm.
"I wanted your hair down. And I wanted to mark you. You.Are.Mine." he said quietly.
"Couldn't you for once behave like a normal person, instead of an animal? People will wonder why I changed my hairstyle half way through the evening."
"Tell them the tight bun was giving you a headache," he said nonchalantly.
"And what if anyone notices the hickey?" she asked worriedly.
"Tell them the Big, Bad Wolf did it."
"But you still love me?"
"What do you mean, No?"
"I mean No. I don't love you. And giving me a hickey doesn't make me yours. God. You are so insensitive. Nanheji has more brains than you," she walked off huffily.
Arnav looked at her retreating back angrily. The idea that his behavior could displease her didn't occur to him. That she even considered NK as competition irked him beyond measure. "NK. You're a dead man," said Arnav illogically.
Let me know your thoughts peeps. To check out my other works, please see my Index.
Part 2: E is for Exacerbation
Part 3: A is for Agneepath
Part 4: L is for Love-bite
Part 5: O is for Outrageous
Part 6: U is for Uh-oh!
Part 7: S is for Siren
Part 8: Y is for..
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