Embarrassment to the power of Infinity'
'What was I thinking!' khushi thought as she walked briskly back into the ball room. She was blushing furiously remembering what had transpired between her and arnav just a few seconds ago. She started walking towards her table while mentally slapping herself for giving in to arnav's charms so easily when she bumped into someone..Someone small.
"Anaya?" she exclaimed in surprise and delight to find her little student gaping at her "Ms Gupta…wow! You look so pretty" Anaya said excitedly as she hugged khushi, holding her waist. Khushi gave a big smile and hugged her back "What are you doing here?" khushi asked her as Anaya left her and smiled widely "Pa got me here! I'm his date!" she said sweetly to which khushi's eyes widened.
'Arnav had got Anaya as his date? Then who was that woman?' she started thinking, but her thoughts were broken by a small hand pulling on her fingers "Come Ms Gupta..you have to meet Pa" Anaya said as she pulled her towards the same path she had just walked away from. She tried to protest but it was too late as arnav and that woman walked in at that point.
"Pa! look…ms Gupta is here too!" Anaya said loudly as she went and stood next to her father. Arnav looked at his daughter and then at khushi who was very expertly trying to avoid looking at him "Uh..yes, I saw…nice to see you here Khu…Ms Gupta" arnav said lightly trying to control his voice.
"Isn't she looking pretty pa? Look..we both are wearing red" Anaya said pointing towards their dresses. Arnav smiled at his daughter as he observed his two favorite girls in his favorite color…wait..when did khushi become his other favorite girl' he thought as he saw Anaya giggling at something khushi said to her 'So, she's back to being normal..Why did she run away like that? And was that embarrassment he saw in her eyes..'
"Arnav! Hello…did you again get lost in your dream world? Seriously…what more changes am I going to see in you!" shelly said laughing at his confused expression "Anyways…I gotta go…My husband must be wondering where I went! lets all catch up soon ok?" she said as she turned towards Anaya "Anu..don't trouble your pa ok? And if you need to go again just call me out" she said as she quickly hugged Anaya. She gave a warm smile to khushi before walking off towards the dance floor.
As soon as shelly left, arnav turned towards khushi but before he could speak he was interrupted again "Mr Raizada!" Mr Shergill called out as he walked towards them. He smiled at Anaya and khushi as he playfully slapped arnav on his back "Such a lovely family you have Mr Raizada…it's a pleasure to meet you Mrs Raizada" he said as he looked at khushi and smiled sweetly at Anaya "Such a beautiful child…what's your name beta?" he asked Anaya who answered him pretty quickly while looking at both her father and teacher.
Arnav looked at a shocked khushi before clearing his throat "Ah..Mr Shergill…she's..uh…she's not…" he started saying when Mr Shergill suddenly remembered something "Oh..I completely forgot. The Greeks are here..I was actually looking for you for that reason..can you come along to meet them?" he said as he dialed a number to get his assistants to get a table cleared for them while arnav tried to find words…any words.
"Wha..what? Oh..yes..Ok" he said as he looked at Anaya who smiled at him serenely "Don't worry pa…I'll be with Ms Gupta..you go ahead" she said sagely when he shook his head "Anaya…I think Ms Gupta has other things to do…you can come along with me" he said as khushi quickly spoke up "Let her stay…I'm pretty bored myself..so it will be fun" she said as she smiled at Anaya.
Arnav looked at her once before nodding his head. He bent down and kissed Anaya on her forehead "Don't bother Ms Gupta ok? I'll be back quickly" he said as Anaya nodded her head while holding on to khushi's hands. Khushi looked away as he walked towards Mr Shergill. She was trying to control her blush and her raging heartbeat;She was addressed as Mrs Raizada…
"So Anaya…what's your best friend's name?" Shilpa asked the little girl who seemed to be glued to khushi..the latter not minding a bit. She had questioned khushi about her, but khushi had changed the subject saying 'She's just my student..the same one I'm councilling "I don't have a best friend…or any friends.." Anaya said gloomily as khushi widened her eyes at shilpa "Oh, she'll make lots of friends shilpa di..just you wait and watch" khushi said encouragingly to which Anaya gave her a shy smile.
"Oh, Ms Gupta…do you know what happened today?" Anaya said excitedly, to which both shilpa and khushi looked on eagerly "What?" khushi asked as Anaya sat up and leaned forward towards them "Today morning..Pa came to my room…to say bye!" she said smiling broadly, khushi could make out that Arnav had probably done this after a very long time to excite Anaya so much
"And that's not all! He then kissed me on my forehead and called me baccha!..." she said, her eyes twinkling in happiness "Ms Gupta…pa hasn't called me baccha since such a long time..and then he brings me for this ball! I'm soo happy" she said enthusiastically clapping her hands. Khushi felt tears in her eyes watching anaya's happiness, she bent forward and hugged her to which Anaya responded equally.
"I'm so glad to see you this happy Anaya..I hope and wish you get all the happiness in the world" khushi said as she pulled back and wiped the tears from her eyes. She laughed as Anaya came forward and kissed her cheek, but before khushi could react there was a flash of light and a photographer stood with a photo of them "It was such a pretty sight that I could not help but capture it madam" he said as he handed over the picture to khushi.
Shilpa leaned forward to whisper in khushi's ear "Quite a show of tenderness and love for 'Just' a student isn't it khushi?" shilpa said as khushi glared at her "Oh shut up shilpa di" khushi said as shilpa burst out laughing to the amusement of both khushi and Anaya, both of whom joined in as they sat talking, eating and gossiping like three old ladies.
Arnav's eyes once again went to the table where khushi and Anaya were sitting, they looked so much like a mother-daughter pair, no wonder Mr Shergill thought of khushi as his wife…the thought made him break into a cold sweat and excited at the same time. He could hardly concentrate on the meeting..this thoughts were still on the terrace..if shelly had not come…then they definitely would have.. "Mr raizada…What do you think is the best solution for this? I mean we have to do something about competition" Mr Shergill's asked arnav.
"Kiss…" arnav said without thinking…his mind still picturing those perfect pink plump.. "Excuse me?" Mr Shergill's surprised voice brought him crashing back. Arnav looked around at surprised and shocked faces of all the people seated at the table..he quickly composed himself and cleared his throat "I mean..Kiss and make up…you know…lets shake hands with them, it's a pretty huge project anyways and instead of us doing it in four phases, we might as well join forces with them..both of us will benefit, plus we don't have to worry about any unpleasantness from them and we can concentrate on other projects at the same time instead of focusing completely on just this one" he said, as everyone around him agreed..arnav took a deep breath and looked once again at their table…'Ms Gupta…we need to talk'.
"Oh look, Pa is finally done" Anaya said gleefully as khushi looked up to find him coming towards them..he looked like a panther, slowly making his way.. "May I have the pleasure of this dance with you pretty lady?" arnav drawled sexily to which khushi's eyes went wide with shock 'Besharam...he's actually asking her for a dance in front of his own daughter!'..she was just about to reply when Anaya jumped out of her seat "Off course pa...i promised you na, that i'll dance with you!" she said as arnav smiled warmly at her and led her to the dance floor, leaving a confused and embarrassed khushi behind.
Arnav smirked as he looked back to see khushi's flushed cheeks..he knew she thought he was talking to her..but he had genuinely asked anaya to dance..he knew that asking khushi to dance would have been sudden suicide, she would have probably lectured him on his conduct and manners towards his daughter. He laughed as he danced to 'Walking on sunshine' with anaya..how he had missed all this. Once the dance was over they went back to khushi's table where Navin and his wife shilpa were waiting for them.
"Mr Raizada..you both danced terrificly!" Navin said good naturedly as arnav smiled at him, 'he liked this guy...now'. He thought as his gaze once again flitted towards khushi, she was smiling and laughing with anaya..'can she once look at him?' he thought as a photographer came towards them "Can I take a picture of you all?" he asked as everyone turned towards him. Khushi tried to step out but shilpa held her back.
"Uh..can I have one with my husband only?" shilpa asked pulling her husband away from the group. The photographer turned towards them and clicked a photo; at the same time Anaya held khushi and arnav's hand and pulled them towards the photographer "Uncle..please take our picture as well" she said smiling widely to which both the adults wanted to protest but looking at her exuberance, they let it go...the camera flashed at that moment...capturing the warmth that shone in both their eyes towards anaya..
"Wow! I love this picture..." anaya gushed as the photographer handed over the polaroid to her. Arnav looked at khushi who had an unreadable expression on her face, as if she wanted to say something to him...her eyes were sparkling giving him some kind of unknown hope...He opened his mouth to speak to her when shilpa spoke "Time to go guys...anaya, you should come over to my house soon! I promise i'll make my vanilla cake for you" shilpa said warmly to anaya as khushi looked on.
"I will aunty...and thanks for telling me all those wonderful stories!" anaya said as she quickly hugged shilpa, she then turned towards khushi and hugged her around the waist "Bye Ms Gupta..i'll see you on monday" she said sweetly, khushi hugged her back and said her goodbye, she then said a soft bye to arnav before the three of them left the ball..khushi turned around once to find both father and daughter looking at her..she felt like she was missing something already...what she could not understand.'God..why was life so complicated!'