Posted: 06 September 2012 at 7:53pm | IP Logged
Mommy's Little Princess.
Khushi sighed with sudden resignation as she plopped herself on the bed. "That child will be the death of me." she murmured to herself. She couldn't understand why exactly the mother-daughter relationship between herself and Aisha was getting to be so difficult. Okay, true, she was sixteen; true, her personality was exactly like that of her father's, true, she was the princess of Shantivan despite being the oldest... But all this did not mean that she was always to have her own way.
"Aisha..." Khushi sighed again as she reached for the bedside drawer for an aspirin.
During the pursuit, her eyes fell on an old album. It had a red velvet cover,which was decorated with glitter and flowers. And on top of that, written in gold, we're the words...
THE LIFE AND TIMES OF AISHA SINGH RAIZADA,
DAUGHTER OF ARNAV SINGH RAIZADA
KHUSHI KUMARI GUPTA SINGH RAIZADA
Immediately, a smile of recognition formed on Khushi's beautiful face and simultaneously, her eyes brimmed with tears. She was about to open the album when she heard a knock on the door. She looked up, only to see Arnav leaning on the doorframe. Eventhough his body language was casual, a sense of apprehension displayed in his eyes.
"Hey..." he said
She nodded. He walked towards her and sat on the bed. He took her hands and clasped them between their own. "I'm sorry, Khushi"
"Why're you sorry, Arnav??" this was puzzling
"Because of Aisha. Her behavior was preposterous."
Khushi gave him a withdrawn look. "It's not your fault, Arnav." she said "I'm equally responsible too."
Arnav didn't reply at once. He was trying to register what Khushi just said. "YOUR fault?" he asked incredulously "How are you at fault? Khushi, you've always,ALWAYS tried to keep Aisha happy, given her what she has ever wanted. And in this pursuit, you've even tried to get her acquainted with the basic adjustments of life. You wanted her to have the best of both worlds; yours and my own. If she's such a sweet, lovable girl, then it's only because of you."
Khushi laughed "Well, i must admit that you're the one whose spoilt her rotten.
"Well, she IS daddy's little girl."
"She's also her mamma's little princess." Khushi's gaze riveted toward's the album. "And the evidence if me pampering Her Highness is right over here."
Arnav, who had followed Khushi's line of sight, was mildly surprised. "Aisha's photo album?" he looked back at his wife. "You still maintain it?" Khushi nodded.
Arnav grinned in response. "Wanna go through it again?"
"Why do you think I took it out, dummy?"
Thus, they cuddled together to take a trip down the memory lane.
"Bua , its not FAIR!!!" the sixteen -year-old Aisha exclaimed, stamping her foot in order to emphasize her displeasure. "Mom never lets me do anything!!!"
Anjali looked worriedly at Payal, whose face reflected the latter's reaction. "Aisha, child, you shouldn't be so angry at your mother." Payal sai d firmly, hoping to register Khushi's good intention inside her niece's head.
But Aisha had, unfortunately, inherited her mother's obstinacy, along with her pretty face.
"No, masi!! Mamma has never, ever given me the liberty of doing anything on my own. It was always Daddy. Daddy gave me my first toy car, HE'S the one who got me my own credit cards, HE'S the one who bought me my first iphone."
"In sixth grade that too."Payal muttered.
But Aisha was in no mood to stop her soliloquy. "He's always made sure that the world lay at my feet. Anything that I wanted would've to me without uttering a single word. He's the one..."
"Whose spoilt you so much, that you actually had the audacity to quarrel with your mother today."
Nothing, absolutely NOTHING but Anjali' sharp tone could have stopped Aisha's ranting.
The other party was flabbergasted.
"Bua..." Anjali raised her hand and stopped her.
"No, Aisha. Enough is enough." she was literally spitting fire at her beloved niece. Aisha, on the other hand was shocked see her sweet, patient bua, so angry.
"How could you behave so badly with your mother?" Anjali continued."Do you even know how hurt she was when you said all that to her? Arrey,it's obvious that there's a valid reason why she isn't willing to send you on that trip to France. And please," she said, stopping the latter before she could say anything. "You KNOW why you're mother refused to consent to this. You've never been out of the boundaries of DELHI without either of your family members. Would you have been able to handle yourself in Europe, that too with only your friends? Of course not!!"
Her face softened as she saw Aisha's morose expression. Clearly,she felt guilty. "Aisha..." she said softly, pulling her niece closer. "Your mother loves you a lot, and you, of all the people, should be knowing that better. She scolds you, shouts at you, nags you about everything, I agree; but that's only because she's concerned. You're her first born, her everything. Should ANYTHING happen to you, she'll die. Do you know why is she so over-protective about you?"
Aisha shook her head. "It's because she nearly lost you once. When you were born, the umbilical cord had twisted around your fragile throat. Lightly, but definitely twisted. The doctor's didn't know how to revive you." she paused, shuddering at the memory. "Chote was terrified. He was willing to have the best pediatricians from all parts of the world, just to save his baby, provide everything that money can buy. But it just didn't work." "What DID work was your mother's faith. Khushiji, despite her delicate health condition,kept a fast for you for three days, surviving only on water. She was chided vehemently for her actions, but nothing would waver her from her decision. She was willing to do absolutely anything for her precious baby."
"And then, the miracle happened."
"You began to grow stronger. The choking had made you unconscious, but you lived. And so did your mother."
Anjali looked directly at Aisha, straight in the eye and added with finality."Next time, you have the urge to fight with your mom, think about this story. Then maybe it'll teach you to think before lashing out.
" Aisha felt ashamed of herself. "So now, what do I do?"
"Yes, apologize. Go say sorry to Khushiji. And if you feed me that cheesy line of you being AISHA SINGH RAIZADA and not apologizing to anyone, then, I swear, I'll carve my name on your chest with a butcher knife and NEVER speak to you again!!" .
"Hey Devi Maiyya!! Aisha was so cute when she was a kid!!" Khushi exclaimed, pointing out a picture in which her three-year old daughter was sitting happily in her new toy car.
"That bloody Ferrari cost me 2000$!!"
"We bought it in New York, right?!" Arnav nodded.
"Now this custom-made Ferrari is gathering dust in the attic."
Khushi turned a few more pages. "Arnav, remember this doll house of hers??!" she sai d, pointing to another photograph.
"Hmmm...seventh birthday, wasn't it?"
"This was our gift. Equally split decision."
"I remember. You chose the house and I chose the dolls. There were nearly six hundred of them, all almost the same size as Aisha herself."
Arnav nodded. "We nearly lost her in that house, remember?"
"Obviously!!" Khushi replied. "It was the same size as our room!!!"
"Yeah..." he said. "God, Khushi, you've kept a picture of every age?"
"Yup!!" she answered, still going through the album. Eventually, she closed it and put it aside. Tears were shivering off her face. "Each year that passes na, Arnav? It reminds me of how beautiful, intelligent and sophisticated our little girl's growing up to be." She paused to wipe her tears. "It also reminds me of how distant we're growing from eachother."
Arnav put an arm around her. "No, Khushi , baby. Aisha NOT going anywhere away from you. She's just a bit..."
"Unbearable? Insensitive? Spoilt ROTTEN by the best parents in the world??" said a high soprano voice from the door.
Arnav and Khushi's heads snapped up quickly, only to find their daughter leaning on the door, just the way Arnav had done a few minutes ago.
"Like father, like daughter." Khushi thought to herself.
Aisha reluctantly stepped inside. Khushi ignored her, unacknowledging her presence.
"Hi, daddy. Hi mamma..."
Khushi didn't say anything.
She still refused to look up.
In an instant, Aisha 's volcanic temper shot through her head.
"Mom!!" she said loudly. " Look at me!!"
"Aisha , I listen with my ears, not eyes."
"But I still want you to LOOK at me"
Khushi suddenly felt her husband's hand on her own. She sighed and looked up at Aisha. "What is it??"
"I want to tell you guys something."
"I'm..."she began to say. Unfortunately, the next word got stuck in her throat.
"What?!" Khushi asked innocently, although she knew what exactly the subject matter was.
Khushi raised her eyebrow. Arnav was trying very hard to ccontrol his laughter. The expression on Aisha's fact WAS rather comical.
"Ss-s-s...what?" Khushi asked "Stupid?"
Aisha shook her head. "Then?!"
Finally, her resolve broke. "AAARRGH!!! I'm sorry, okay!!?"
Khushi's face broke into a smile. "What did you say, Aisha dear? I didn't quite get you."
"I said, I'm sorry."
"I'm sorry, Aisha , I still can't hear you."
"Jesus Christ!!" she muttered, rolling her eyes. Then suddenly, she erupted "I'M SORRY,I'M SORRY, I'M SORRY, I'M SORRY, I'M SORRY! I'm so..." "Jesus Christ!!" she muttered, rolling her eyes. Then suddenly, she erupted "I'M SORRY,I'M SORRY, I'M SORRY, I'M SORRY, I'M SORRY! I'm so..."
"Okay, okay, baba, enough!!" Khushi laughed. "Come here"
Aisha came and sat on the bed. Khushi looked at her lovingly and smiled. "Do you know how cute you look when your face is all scrunched up like that?". Aisha gave her father's trademark smirk. Arnav, on the other hand , looked happily at the two most important women in his life.
"So,mum? Do you forgive me?"
Khushi thought for a minute. "Weeelll..." she said tauntingly. "Provided I get something in return for my forgiveness."
"Now what?!? I said I'm sorry!!"
"Yes you did." Khushi replied "But I still didn't get any sugar."
"Yuuup!!!" and saying, that the mother stretched out her arms. "Sugar...the codeword for a hug, invented by the tiny brain of the six year old Aisha."
Aisha burst out laughing and jumped on her mother. Khushi placed a big smackeroo on her daughter's forehead. "Eeewww...MOM!!!! Aisha exclaimed, disgusted " SUPER, SUPER GROSS!!!"
"If you think thats gross, Princess, then watch this!!". With that, Arnav gave Khushi a naughty look. She got the message.
"Ready, Mother of Aisha?"
"As always, Father of Aisha!!"
And saying that, they both jumped on their daughter and placed a big, sloppy, wet kiss on each of her cheek as Aisha screamed "NOOO !!!! "
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