Hello people ! Thank you for the wonderful comments ! Here's the next part, dedicated to my dear Faiza aka our Fan_ipkknd1. Sorry for making you wait so much love ! Won't happen again, pakka promise ! Here's to make it up to you !
TS : Double Trouble Part 2
"GOOOAAALLL!!!" screamed 3 voices simultaneously in victory - my Asha, my Khushi and well...me. And though Asha had been waiting for this match since like forever, and her team had won thus winning her many bets with friends, all of it lay forgotten as she stared open mouthed at her mamu (Yes, ME ) her expression mirroring her mami's. Yes, 'O's.
"Why am I the only one who gets these looks ?!" I cried out incredulously. No, I mean seriously ! I had never seen them giving this look to anybody else damn it ! And once in a while was still fine, but recently I had been getting these a bit too frequently, I had to let it out man ! What in the world was their problem ?!
At this, both of them composed themselves, looked at each other...and burst out laughing.
"What the..?!" was an instant reaction, which somehow made them laugh even harder.
Khushi was sitting on the sofa while Asha and I were by her feet, on the ground. But of course, lost in the match, Asha had gone 4 feet toward the TV. They were still laughing hard and suddenly decided to hi5 each other. I have no idea why they do that though..
So, both tried to move toward each other, Asha dragged her laughing self along the floor while Khushi getting up. She was wearing heels as we had gone out to a very important party. On the way back, we had also had a wonderful helping of paani poori thanks to my pregnant wife's untimely cravings. And as soon as we returned home, Asha had dragged us to the TV room to watch a- no wait, to watch THE soccer match for which she had apparently waiting for since a month.
So, as Khushi tried to get up, she suddenly jerked, lost her balance and fell back on the sofa.
Both of us cried out simultaneously. We were by her side in no time.
"Khushi ! Why the hell did you need to wear heels ? Is this the time to wear heels ? What if you lose balance ? NO ! You're NOT wearing heels anymore ! UNDERSTOOD ?!"
But Khushi still looked dazed and had her hands on her stomach. Asha had put her hands on Khushi's. The kid was amazing. Such a sweet silent gesture.
"Khushi, it's fine. Our baby's fine jaan, it's okay" I whispered into her ears.
She didn't reply. She just looked at me with big happy moist eyes filled with wonder, took my hand, and put it on her stomach.
"Khushi what's wro-" and I stopped abruptly.
Asha gasped too. Khushi's smile just grew wider as I understood why she jerked back, that dazed expression (umm..maybe I mean the one on my face now) and the happy moist eyes filled with wonder (..yes, fine ! Mine were too !) And so were Asha's. Her big eyes looked at her mami, full of wonder.
"The baby kicked" Khushi whispered, and Asha leapt up in joy, shouting "He's gonna be a soccer player !! YAYYY !! Mummaaa !!" and she left, looking for her mother.
My hand was still on her stomach, so I felt the baby kick yet again.
"Kahi dono jhagad to nahi rahe hai na ?" asked Khushi, suddenly alert. Now it was my turn to laugh. I hugged her, kissed her on her forehead and carried her to our room, my ear on her stomach as soon as I put her down on the bed. That was when I saw she had replaced the picture of baby Salman Khan that I had brought for her with a picture of baby...me. I couldn't resist a peck before going back to our angels.
Next day saw an overly happy Shantivan again. It happened too often now-a-days (Author : touchwood). Amidst the commotion and God Bharai preparations, no one noticed the 2 dozen pairs of designer flat footwear of all colours and types make its way to a certain Khushi Kumari Gupta Singh Raizada's room. No, she hadn't fallen because of the heels. But why take the chance ?
The sound of music and laughter echoed through Shantivan. It was Khushi's God Bharai function going on in full swing.
It wasn't that I wasn't enjoying it, but come on ! Khushi was 6 months pregnant, she needed rest ! How can people not understand such a simple small thing ? The function had been going on since hours ! I decided it was time she took a little rest.
"Chalo now Khushi" I said, holding her shouldes and helping her stand up.
"Bas thodi der aur Arnavji please !" She said, clapping and enjoying the performance going on.
"Nahi. Abhi. Let's go." I said. I held her by her shoulders and led her up. She kept on looking back at the performances.
"Khushi aage dekh kar chalo varna gir jaogi"
"Nahi girenge Arnavji, aap hai na" she replied with a smile.
In return, I picked her up in my arms to carry her up the stairs. Bingo ! Eyes as big as flying saucers, mouth a perfect capital 'O'.
"Arnavji ! Ye aap kya kar rahe hai ? Hume niche utaariye ! Itne saare log hai yaha, koi dekh lega to ?!"
"To dekhne do. Apni biwi ko utha ke le jaa raha hoon, kisi what do you call it ? Haan, kisi paraayi aurat ko nahi !"
"Aap humesha apni manmani hi karte hai na ?" she pouted as I laid her down on the bed.
I stole a quick kiss and replied "Haan. Koi problem ?"
"Haan ! Problem hi problem ! Aisa koi karta hai kya ? Aur vaise bhi, aapko to koi kuch nahi kahega ! Sab hume hi chidayenge !"
"Aur tum apni iss" I flicked her nose with my index finger "naak ki tarah laal ho jaogi. Right ?" I smirked.
"Haan. Aap bas maze lijiye. Humaari to aapko bilkul fikr nahi hai. Shaadi bhi aise hi kari thi na ? Bas apni manmani. Aur kisiki sunna to jaise gunah hai !" she was fuming.
"Khushi ?" I frowned, clearly hurt.
She gasped and put her hands on her mouth...and suddenly started wailing loudly. Hunh ?? Wasn't she just boiling with anger ?
"Arnavji ! Humaara vo matlab nai tha Arnavji ! Humaari shaadi to badi khoobsoorat thi ! Vo humaari zindagi ke sabse suhaane lamho me se ek tha ! Pata nai humne aisa kaise keh diya ! Hume please maaf kar dijiye na Arnavji ! Please !" She pleaded.
"Shh Khushi, its ok.." I hugged her, holding her close. More for my sake than hers..
"Ek baat bataye hum aapko ? Pata hai, kabhi kabhi hum sochte hai ki jo hua na, bohot achha hua." I didn't understand. I pulled back and looked into her eyes. There was mischief written all over it. Wow. Again. Crying hysterically to mischievous in a second...Khushi ! "Sacchi ! Achha hi hua jo aapne us din humse shaadi kar li. Varna to pata nahi kya hota. 'Sorry' aur 'happy birthday' bolne me arsa laga diya to 'I love you' to hum buddhe ho jaate tabhi kehte aap !"
"What the !"
"Kya what the ? Sahi to keh rahe hai hum !" Suddenly she gasped and looked at me with accusing eyes. "Matlab agar us din vo sab nai hua hota to aap humse kabhi 'I love you dammit' nahi kehte ? Humaari kabhi shaadi nai hoti ?" Horror was evident in her eyes as well as tone. "Itna satate hume ? Bohot bure hai aap ! Bohot bure !!" She now had tears in her eyes. What in the world ? And crying again ?
"NAHI ! Kuch nai sunna hai hume ! Bohot bure hai aap ! Bilkul laad governor ! Akdoo sadu ! Itna koi kisi ko satata hai kya ?!" And back to boiling with anger mode...*sigh* Mood swings.
She then fiddled with her saari. "Kitni bhaari hai ye. Badalni padegi.."
"Kaho to main madad kar doon ?" I smirked devilishly.
She turned red, half blushing half puffing with anger. She went to the bathroom, changed her clothes and lay down on the bed at the edge of her side facing away from me. Oops. She was really angry. Damn these mood swings !!
Knowing there was absolutely nothing I could do, I sat on the recliner and started working on the laptop (More like grinding the poor laptop keys..). I kept the phone off incase it disturbed her.
Suddenly, my crazy wife, who was currently and suddenly quite sleepy too, came, settled herself in my lap earning a confused 'What the..?!', put her arms around my neck, head on my shoulder and snuggled in comfortably.
I suppose my expression then would have looked somewhat like how she looks when she's surprised - all 'O's. A look at my face and she answered, "Bas apni sautan ko jalane ka man kiya"
That did make me laugh. I closed my laptop i.e. her sautan, laid back on the recliner and put my arms around her. "I love you" I said. I hadn't planned it. It just came out. It felt good, telling her I love her even though I knew she knew..she smiled, replied "Hum bhi aapse I love you damn it" and went to sleep. So did I, happy and content.
Oh God, I am so dead today ! So late ! Damn Mr.Malhotra ! Jab site itni door thi to vahan le jaane ki kya zarurat thi ?! Aur bata bhi to sakte the itni door hai ! Bas 10 min aur, b
as 10 min aur kar karke raat ke 12 baja diye ! That idiot, doesn't he have a wife ? Uhh...yeah, maybe if I had a wife like his even I'd be running from home. But I don't ! I have a very sweet, loving, caring, beautiful wife who's pregnant ! And so I should be with her ! Ek to vo ziddi pagal ladki soyegi bhi nai till I'm not back home. Why doesn't she understand she's pregnant and needs rest ?!
As I neared my room with these thoughts, I heard her voice. My Khushi's voice. Who was she talking to so late in the night ? I thought everybody was asleep. Even Lakshmi !
"Dekho, aisa bilkul nahi hai ke woh hamaari parwah nai karte !"
What the..! Who thinks I don't care about her ? How dare he/she ! I fumed.
"Woh to humse bohot pyaar karte hai !
A smile danced on my lips as she said that. Gosh, I do love her ! And then the 'pata hai na aapko' registered. WHO is she talking to ? I went closer to the room.
"Arre woh kaam mein phas gaye honge na ! Itni si baat to samajhiye !" she said. Here I was, wondering she might be angry, while she is defending me even though I'm at fault. Pagli.
The door was slightly ajar. I tried to peep in, see who exactly was questioning my love for my wife. (Author : Beware dear whoever you are or you might not be able to see the beautiful sunrise tomorrow..)
"Nahi, hum unki side nathi le rahe hum to bas-" Unbelievable. Khushi, you're my wife. You have fully justified rights and reasons to take my side !
"Nahi ! Kaam humse zyada zaruri nahi hai ! Par koi mushkil aa gayi hogi na !" Nothing in the world mattered more than Khushi. NOTHING. How dare he say that ?! Whoever it is inside is up for serious questioning from THE ASR. Do anything and I might forgive you but NEVER question my love for my Khushi.
I could see her feet, the recliner and the rest of the room. No one was there. Which meant whoever it was was too close to my wife. No, I'm not uncomfortable ! Who said so ?
"Dekhiye, wo laparwah bhi nahi hai ! Unhone phone kiya tha na hume ? Woh aate hi honge." What the ! I'm irresponsible ? And this is my room ! Why the hell am I peeping in my own room ?!
"Dekhiye, aap log gharwalo ki baaton par itna dhyaan mat dijiye ! Woh bas humaare liye kuch zyada hi fikr karte hai ! Ek min"
After the 'aap log' I couldn't take the suspense anymore. There was more than one person ? I opened the door and entered just in time to see Khushi close her eyes, take a deep breath, give her million dollar smile, put her hands on her stomach, and say "Kaha tha na humne ? Aa gaye aapke papa !"
The AR office or any of its clients didn't see even the shadow of ASR for the next 3 months.
"OMG that's beautiful ! What..."
"He has gone mad after seeing this in the advertisement..."
"This is so soft ! She'll love it ! How..."
"No ! Not calcium ! Iron ! She needs..."
"This can hurt him ! Don't you have a better design ? The one..."
"That bottle's perfect ! My..."
I felt like I was drowning in the sea of voices trailing all around me. Here I was, standing like a complete idiot unable to decide, or rather, understand where to start, while all these people were busy chatting and bargaining.
Where was I ? Well, in the biggest baby shop in Delhi. 'Biggest Baby Shop'. Ironic much ? Okay, so back to the point. I had no idea where to start looking. Rather, I was totally clueless as to what to look for either ! Well I knew one person who could help me.
"Uhh Muski, a little help please ?"
*A while later*
"You jerk ! You useless dog ! First, you talk to me after two whole damn months and ofcourse, BECAUSE YOU NEED MY HELP !!"
I took the liberty of looking a bit, a very very very tiny bit sheepish. But being ASR I soon composed myself.
"Let's see how many times you call me in the next 8 months" I smirked as Muskaan flushed.
"Shall we get going ?" She managed to say.
"No no, don't you want to scream at me ?"
"Should I leave ?"
"Hey ! No ! Help Muski pleasee !"
"Okay ! So let's start with...Soft toys !!"
And we went on a shopping spree. Soft toys, bottles, pacifiers, diapers, sleepers, some medical stuff, lots and lots of blankets and what not.
Finally we entered the stroller section. I liked a design but they didn't have a double stroller in it, so I decided to get one made.
As I talked to the attendant about it I saw Muskaan admire a stroller. Well well, we have a gift now Khushi !
I booked the stroller without Muskaan getting a whiff and we headed home.
"Where's Khushi ?"
"At buaji's" I replied and winked. "C'mon interior
designer, work your magic ! Khushi and the kids should LOVE this room !"
What followed could probably give many-a-people heart attacks. The high and mighty Arnav Singh Raizada was being ordered around to do things like "Shift the crib a little to the left" and "Carry the cupboard to the other side" etc etc..Oh well, did I forget to mention he painted the walls too ? Sorry..
And finally, a beautiful colourful room was ready for my Khushi and our kids. One look, and I was sure she'd love it.
"You're almost as good as your husband" I smirked.
"Well, you're nowhere as good as your wife !" she shot back.
She was a lot like me. This is how Aman can handle me so well. Practice.
We then brought Khushi back, blind-folded her and took her to the room. The happiness on her face once she saw it made the whole thing worth it and more. Muskaan was so totally unaware how grateful to her I was - "You're welcome" whispered Muski in my ears -...or maybe not..
"Ye kitna khoobsoorat hai ! Ekdum perfect." said Khushi, awestruck and amazed. "Muskaan ! Hum aapka shukriya ada kaise kare ?!" She said, oblivious to Arnav's 'What the..?!' expression. But Muskaan was not. She burst out laughing.
"Ye saara plan A ka tha Khush." Muskaan whispered in her ear. "Shopping bhi usne khud ki aur ek ek cheez apne haatho se sajai hai. Yahaan tak ki deewaro par rang bhi usne khud lagaya hai. Main to bas naam ke liye yahaan thi, taki koi uske kaam ki taareef kar de" she winked and left the room (Unaware I'd heard it all) she tilted back at the door winked at me and closed the door...(or maybe not..again)
Hmm..after that, I did receive a very generous 'Thank You' from my lovely wife. What are you smiling at ? It was damn well-deserved !!
Khushi was now forbidden to even get up from the bed. She had gone all hysterical and panicky the other day, roaming about in the children's room, moving things from here to there and back again, chiding me for bringing closets and cupboards with sharp edges that could hurt the kids. I had to call the carpenter and get the edges smoothened there and then ! Plus though pains had had subsided a little, she felt very tired very often. Also, her insomnia had increased.
"I look horrible don't I ?" She asked.
A basketball+ sized stomach, puffy eyes with dark-circles under them, swollen body and what not. Yet she failed to look anything other than "Beautiful" I replied truthfully.
Doctor's visits had become more frequent and I stood at her service 24*7. As the due date was nearing, the doc had said contractions would start. She had also taught them a breathing technique.
As I was feeding her soup, Khushi suddenly held her stomach and started screaming. I put the bowl away and held her.
"Khushi ! Kya hua Khushi !! Khushi !" She held onto my collar tightly.
"Aaah ! Arna-aaa ! vjiii, con-aaah-trac-Arnavjiii !" She was in pain and having trouble breathing.
"Contractions ! Contractions ! Khushi ! Shh ! Breathing ! Haan Khushi ! Breathing ! Breathe in" I took a deep breath "Breathe out" I exhaled and repeated the cycle a few times - "Breathe in, breathe out, breathe in, breathe out"
Khushi looked at me. "Ar-aah-navji, aapko na-aaa-nai hume-"
"Right ! Right ! Tumhe ! Breathe in ! Breathe out !" And it continued for a while...
We had many such encounters in that last couple of weeks. People had actually started wondering exactly who had contractions...
I had called over Muskaan for help. Aman looked after the office, Muski helped me with Khushi. Sometimes I did wonder what I'd have done without them. I owed them a lot more than they could ever imagine.
"Don't you dare go all senti on me A !" Muski warned.
"Yes I can read your maaaind" she said animatedly.
I raised a brow. "Ohk fine ! Your tactics on you. Won't work. I know ! Atleast don't ruin the fun for me !" She stuck her tongue out at me.
"Now I see why Khushi and you get along so well. Kids tend to gel well." I said and in a faint whisper added "Even though they're soon gonna have kids themselves.."
"I heard that. Now go to her and tell her a good bedtime story so that sweet little kid can sleep"
"Here's a book. This might help you" she said, an evil smirk on her face. See what I meant by 'like me' ?
As I went in and lay beside Khushi, she put her head on my chest and held the collar of my shirt with a hand. "Arnavji, aap jab chhote the tab aapne bhi to shaitaniyaan ki hogi na ? Hume bataiye na, kya kya kiya tha aapne ?"
And we fell asleep talking about our childhood, our mischiefs, little secrets, little shararats..
I paced along the corridor restlessly. Khushi had gone into labour earlier today and was in the OT right now. Both our families were here, everyone's eyes glued to the door of the OT. Suddenly the door opened and I heard a baby crying..no ! There were two ! I rushed forward and nearly banged into the doctor.
"Whoa whoa whoa simmer down Mr.Raizada !"
I tried to look through the open door "How are Khushi and our kids ?" I asked the doc.
She smiled. "They're fine Mr. Raizada, they're absolutely healthy" she said walking upto Asha. She knelt beside her and said "Wish fulfilled little one ! You now have one chhote and one chhoti !"
Everyone nearly hooted with joy. Gasps and hugs were exchanged. Just when I was thinking about marching right through the doors, a nurse came out and handed me two little bundles of joy. Beautiful. "You can meet her now..she's awake."
I went inside in a trance, mesmerized by the sheer innocence and beauty of our new-borns. I looked at Khushi. She was looking at us with moist eyes. I wanted to thank her, to tell her how grateful I was but I didn't have words. Even if I did, I wouldn't succeed in saying it anyway because my throat suddenly seemed all choked up.
I looked at our kids and her again, tears in my eyes too. For once, I didn't care to hide them. I sat beside her, handing her one kid. She smiled as her eyes flowed. "Arhaan Arnav Singh Raizada" she whispered. "Ariana Arnav Singh Raizada" I whispered back. I put an arm around her. My family.
The others soon came in having lost their patience and 'Ooh'ed and 'Ahh'ed and 'Aww'ed at our kids.
"Thank you" I managed to whisper.
"Aapko bhi thank you" she replied.
I hugged her. "Theek to ho na tum ? Kahi dard to nahi ho raha na ?"
She shook her head and smiled. "Ho bhi raha hota to aap teeno ko dekh ke gayab ho jaata"
"I love you Jaan"
"Hum bhi aapse I love you dammit" she giggled.
"Bacche aa gaye phir bhi bacchi hi rahi tum !"
"Aap dusht dadaji jo thehre !" She laughed.
I didn't know about fairytales, but the 'I love you dammit' was certainly a story our kids and grandkids wouldn't hear the end of.
Our kids. I am never getting used to this !
As they returned home, they found the house beautifully decorated with Aman and Muskaan waiting. Both took one kid each as soon as we arrived.
"Congratulations Sir" said Aman.
"Badhaai ho Khushh !" Cried Muski hugging Khushi.
"You know, sometimes I actually wonder who I'm more lucky to have - you or Muski."
"It was a couple package A. You had no whatsoever choice."
I couldn't help but smile. In that moment I realised I had the whole of my family with me right then - Nani, Buaji, Amma, Bauji, Mama, Mami, Di, Aakash, Payal, Aman, Muskaan, Asha and my own little world - Khushi, Ariana and Arhaan. And the little bundle of joy en route.
Festivities and celebrations continued in Shantivan for a long time then. Apparently there were birthdays or anniversaries every fortnight !
Hope it was long & good enough to make up for the delay !