Arnav cursed under his breath as buaji's voice sounded more satanic, like a devils knoll "Arre, open now..i want to sleep next to you tonight. We have soo much more to catch up on...why are you taking so long?and why did you think it was arnav! Khushi?? aye khushi? Open up!" khushi got up with lightening speed and donned her discarded clothes, she stuffed her torn panty in one of the drawers before picking all of arnav's clothes and pushing him inside the bathroom.
"Coming buaji...i just got out of the shower...give me a few seconds to dress" khushi shouted as she pleaded arnav "Just stay inside till i go ok...i'll take her back to her room...leave after a few minutes" she said as she turned to close the door, arnav held her hand and pulled her back to him "No khushi...just make up something...you can't leave me like this" arnav said in an angry irritated voice.
"Arnav try and understand, she knows me too well and i can't lie to her...just tonight ok...please baby, won't you do this much for me?" khushi whispered coming close to arnav and placing a small kiss on his rough cheek. Arnav held her tight and nuzzled her neck "hmm...khushi...can't you come to me after she falls asleep?" arnav pleaded and looked hopefully at khushi who smiled at him and pushed him away "I'll try...but now i really have to go" she shut the door before her own resolve could fall apart.
She quickly looked at herself in the mirror and straightened her hair, she placed her cool hands against her burning cheeks and opened the door. Buaji stood there with a weird expression on her face "Khusi...were you talking to someone?" buaji said as she pushed her aside and walked into the room. Khushi shook her head "N..no buaji...i was talking to you only...i mean i was singing earlier in the shower..but now i'm not!" khushi said laughing awkwardly at her.
"Oh ho! I really do not understand your madness sometimes!...and why are all your buttons messed up?" buaji said as she came and straightened khushi's buttons, khushi flushed a deep red and panicked as her eyes kept darting towards the bathroom door "Um..that...oh yeah...i was getting ready in a hurry since you were at the door...so i guess i messed it up" khushi said grinning like a mad woman.
"Anyways buaji...lets sleep...but in your room" khushi said pushing her towards the door. Buaji held her hands and made her stop "Why? I like this room...it seems nice..why don't we just sleep here?" buaji said walking to the bed to sit down as khushi quickly came and stopped her making her get up and stand "N..no buaji...the AC is not working and i sweat at night...in fact i was coming to ask you if i can sleep with you...so...thats why.." she said quickly making the first excuse she could think of.
"Oh..ok titaliya..no problem...lets go to my room then" buaji said giving her an odd look. She glanced around the room as she walked out with khushi who switched the lights off before walking to her bua's room but buaji stopped just a few steps later and turned towards her "Arre khusi...i forgot to tell you about Lavanya...did you know she too is coming down soon?" buaji smiled warmly at her niece.
Khushi started panicking when buaji stopped suddenly, she did not want arnav to step out while they were standing there, she held her buaji's elbow and started guiding her towards the other end of the corridor "Oh..ok buaji, thats nice but can we discuss this in the room? Everyone must be sleeping now...and the voices echo here" khushi said frantically as her eyes kept darting towards her door, praying to God that arnav won't come out at the wrong moment.
Buaji felt like something was wrong when Khushi did not react the correct way after knowing about Lavanya's visit "What happened khusi? Is everything ok with you and Lavanya? I thought you will be so excited about this news!" buaji said as khushi felt sweat beads form on her forehead "N..nothing buaji...i'm so very happy!! yay!! but i think its best we talk inside the room...i have soo much to discuss with you!"
"Ok bitiya..you are right, lets go but i need some warm water for my throat so that i can gargle..can you get me a glass? Buaji smiled at khushi who breathed a sigh of relief "Off course buaji..why don't you go to your room..i'll get the water" khushi turned her buaji towards her room while she started walking briskly towards the stairs hoping against hope that arnav does not step out till buaji is well out of sight.
As she was walking along the corridor, she heard a click and saw her room door opening, she looked back to see buaji's retreating back had now turned the corner as arnav stepped out, his chest bare and his pajamas riding low on his hips. He looked up throughly surprised to find khushi standing outside staring at him "Wow! That was quick! She slept so soon?" arnav smiled as he came towards khushi.
"No arnav...she has jus gone to her room...don't just stand there, go now...i'll try and come later...and why are you not wearing your t-shirt?" khushi said as she stepped back from him looking back to see of buaji had come back, she calmed down as arnav chuckled and walked backwards towards his room looking at her "Because you tore away my t-shirt remember? My little minx!" he grinned as he turned and bumped into a large body, that shrieked a loud 'AAA'
Khushi's eyes turned round like saucers while she felt her mouth drop down to the floor, never in her life did she think she would ever be in such a situation which was not only difficult to explain but comical to witness, her body froze as the scene unfolded in front of her...arnav teasing her about tearing his t-shirt...buaji walking out of the shadows right behind him...arnav bumping into her and arnav's large feet once again pressing buaji's sore feet! God! Why????!!
"Shit, buaji...I am soo sorry...did i hurt you?" Arnav asked as the momentary shock left his system, he was horrified and scared to see buaji limping around holding on to the corridor wall while khushi gaped at them like she had just been electrocuted! "Off course I am hurt you fool! Or do you think you have fairy feet?" buaji scolded him with murder in her eyes. It took her a while to steady herself before her eyes trailed his naked torso.
"What is the meaning of this shameless act of yours! I know this is your house but is there no decency in you!" buaji's voice roared aloud and several lights switched on in the house as maya, dadiji and anjali spilled out of their adjoining rooms "What happened behenji?" dadiji asked buaji as she saw her leaning against the wall, her face flushed and angry staring at her grandson.
"Arnav! What is going on? And where is your shirt?" maya asked as she came forward and stood between buaji and him..Arnav was just about to open his mouth when buaji's death knoll started again "Arre! Ask what did not happen...your son walked out of my niece's bedroom devoid of his t-shirt which apparently khusi tore! What is going on between these two kids? I knew something was wrong when khusi tried to hurriedly take me out of her room!"
Buaji then turned her ire on poor khushi who was standing in the same position, shock and embarrassment evident on her crimson face, anjali was holing her hands as buaji came and stood in front of her "Aye titaliya! What is all this shamelessness? What was he doing in your room huh?" buaji asked a stunned khushi, she looked at arnav for support, but knew that as always he'll just turn away..leaving her to explain everything!
She looked down and opened her mouth to speak when she felt arnav stride straight towards her and stand next to her "Buaji, its not what you think! My bathroom got locked and I had only come to Khushi's room to freshen up..but when i was inside the bathroom, you knocked on the door. Khushi panicked as she did not want you to get a wrong impression...so she told me to stay inside till you both leave, She was only trying to avoid an embarrassing situation, but looks like this was meant to be.." he sighed dramatically with his palm on his heart as buaji looked at him with a confused expression.
Khushi looked up with wide eyes at arnav, who so smoothly lied to her buaji..she blinked a couple of times to make sense of the bullshit he just fed her, her irritation at his lying growing ten folds, when buaji turned towards her and tapped her shoulder "If what he is saying is true, where is his shirt? Why did he say you tore it! Khushi answer me! I'm talking to you!" buaji said in a loud but less angry voice.
khushi looked back at her and lowered her eyes, she had to know the truth "Th..that bu..buaaji...i..i" khushi stammered as arnav once again piqued in "She did not tear it on purpose, when i came out she pushed me back inside the bathroom...you know since you were outside...thats when it tore as it got stuck on the door ledge...i thought it best to leave it in there..." arnav said with a straight face, not a single expression of his betraying the fact that he was blatantly lying.
"Hmm...fine but next time Khusi I don't want you lying ok! I understand that both of you are engaged, and if you would have explained the situation to me i would have understood" Buaji sighed as she finally calmed down, she looked at the others assembled and joined her hands together "I am so sorry for creating this ruckus, but i was just taken by surprise.."she said looking down.
Dadiji came and held her hands "No no behenji, its fine..we completely understand and I think its best that you and Khushi remain in same room so as to avoid any more misunderstandings" dadiji smiled at buaji as she turned towards arnav giving him a stern look. Arnav started at his dadi..'what the hell did she mean!..there was no way he was staying away from khushi..' he opened his mouth to speak when maya stepped next to him and held him hard by the shoulders.
Arnav felt his mother grab his shoulder as she shook her head at him, he nodded and kept quite as buaji and khushi wished everyone a good night and went to buaji's allocated room, the latter giving him a disgusted angry look. He saw dadiji and anjali walk to their room while maya stayed put. Arnav felt his irritation rise up at buaji and his heart get heavy due to Khushi's disappointed face, he had no other choice but to lie he thought miserably.
"Chotey!Buaji may have fallen for your lies but I certainly haven't...i won't question what you were doing in Khushi's room as both of you are mature adults, but you must understand that buaji is from an older generation like dadiji...and you still need to win over her...so I think its best if both of you keep your distance in front of her...I hope you understand?" maya said softly before kissing him lightly on the forehead. Arnav saw her retreating back and opened the door to his room...he needed a cold shower!
Khushi stared at the ceiling as her buaji snored away to heaven, she sighed as she turned on her side and snuggled into the comforter..she wished she was in arnav's arms instead. She looked over her shoulder at the peaceful sleeping form of her aunt and was relieved for two things, once her buaji's peaceful sleep and two for the lies which Arnav had made up.
She had thought about it long and hard and her initial annoyance and anger at him for lying so blatantly to her buaji's had eased up..she knew how delicate her aunt's health was and the last thing she wanted was to trouble her more by blurting out the truth of what exactly they were doing in her room when she knew how old fashioned she was.
She already felt guilty for lying about her job and then hiding her engagement which had put her aunt through so much trauma! And if she had come to know the true nature of arnav's being in her room, it would make it worse. She suddenly felt restless like she had to see arnav and talk to him...things were left very awkwardly earlier. She slowly pulled the comforter away from her body and got up from the bed tiptoeing silently towards arnav's room.
Arnav was standing by the large french windows...it was past 3am but sleep was miles away from him. He was desperate to see Khushi..he felt horrible about lying to buaji and deserved the angry disappointed look he saw in khushi's eyes, but it was all a spur of the moment thing..he sighed as he turned to return to bed but stopped in his tracks as the door slightly opened and his thoughts walked in gingerly towards him.
"Khushi? What are you doing here?" arnav asked as he came and stood in front of her, unsure if she would blast him or hit him...but he was ready for both. He started at her small form and was pleasantly surprised when she leaped forward and hugged him, her arms going around his waist as she held him tight, he smiled as he crushed her against him and buried his face in her fragrant hair.
They stood like that for some time before khushi slowly pulled away and smiled at him. She held his face in her hands "Thank you arnav...for making up that story..I love you soo much for it!" she said softly as arnav's face scrunched up in confusion "What? Wait pinch me...I thought you were angry with me cause i lied to buaji...what happened?" he asked taking her hand as he led her to his bed, they both sat down facing each other.
"I was angry when you lied earlier and made up that story...but then i thought that it was the right thing to do...buaji is all about traditions and old customs...she could never stand the fact that we have a physical relationship before our marriage...and we still need to get her to like you!" her full mouth turned down in sadness as she leaned onto Arnav's shoulder, holding his hand close to her "What should we do arnav!" she whined as arnav chuckled deeply.
"You really are mad you know that!" he said as his arms went around her shoulders pulling her in closer to him "We'll figure it out and if we need to keep our distance in front of her, then so be it..I will do anything and everything to get her approval" he kissed her softly on her head as he got up and pulled her up "And for me to keep up that promise...its imperative you leave right now...otherwise God only knows what i'll end up doing!" khushi smiled at his new resolution, her love and respect for him growing even more if that was possible.
She leaned in and pecked him on his cheek before turning towards his door "Good night baby.." she whispered as she closed the door softly to his smiling face and walked soundlessly back to buaji's room, she sighed in relief as she saw her buaji's snoring form and slid silently into bed, her face glowing in a huge smile, she hugged the extra pillow and fell into a blissful sleep.
'Hi..meet me tomo @ noni's cafe, 12 noon. C ya' Shyam looked at the sms he had received from anjali for the 50th time since that evening...he smiled as he muted the TV screen as the evening news came to an end. He tutted at the daily news which stalk of the the same old murders..extortion..kidnapping...rape..yada yada! He thought of all those innocent and not so innocent victims who fell prey to such evils..
"I want everything ready by noon...no mistakes" he said coldly on the phone before cutting the call and un-muting the TV. His face twitched as the excitement of his win made him smile, tomorrow if things went his way there would be one more news on the channel..a news which will make all the news channels go in a tizzy...after all it wasn't everyday such things happened to a well known prominent personality's sister!