Whirlwind of surprises...
"Arnav...why are you avoiding my question?" dadi-bua asked in an agitated but whispered voice as arnav served some rice to anaya and looked her way with an exasperated look "Anju bua..this is really not the time and place to have this conversation..." he said gesturing towards anaya with his eyes; he saw the older woman sigh and take a long sip of water.
"I think this is the perfect time to talk about this...after all, she will also be affected by this decision.." she said as arnav narrowed his eyes at her, pleading her to stop, which she blatantly ignored "Anaya...wouldn't you like to have a new mummy?" anju bua asked anaya who stopped mid-way from eating her food, she looked with a bewildered expression, first at her father and then at her grand mother "I...I..." she said as arnav shot a dirty look towards anjali devi.
"Sweetheart..its ok...dadi-bua is just asking out of curiosity" he said as anaya slowly nodded and looked at arnav "but, will you get a new mummy for me pa? I mean...its not like I need one...I have you and maggie and now i also have ms Gupta!" she said gleefully to which arnav felt a warmth seep through him, he smiled at her while dadi-bua started another rant.
"Does not want a mother! You'll know one day why a mother is important...who will teach you everything necessary to be an ideal daughter-in-law? Your father? Or the help??! Just you wait...i'll be damned if i don't get the perfect mother for you and the perfect lady for this house...after all, we need someone of pure royal blood like us to..." anju bua started saying to which arnav shouted a loud "ENOUGH!"
Anjali devi really did shut up this time while anaya got up...they could hear her soft sobs as she even pushed maggie out of her way and ran up the stairs to her room. Arnav gestured maggie to go after her while he turned his blazing angry gaze towards the woman who now sat quietly eating her kheer "What the hell is wrong with you? What are you? A bloody malfoy?" he asked amazed at the incredibility of the woman sitting at his dining table.
Anju bua turned confused eyes towards him and asked in a very normal calm tone "What is a malfoy?" to which arnav ran a frustrated hand through his hair...that was the first thing which jumped in his mind when she spoke of pure bloodlines and whatnot! Thanks to his daughters obsession with Harry potter!.. "Never mind that bua...I will not tolerate you speaking such rubbish in front of my daughter!" he said sternly to which anjali devi simply kept her spoon down and looked at him.
"Why should i not? She should know how rare her bloodline is...after all we are related to the rajput princes..and someone of a similar background should be the mistress of this house...Now your blood, I cannot change...don't take it personally...I mean, I am grateful for you to take up the responsibility of anaya but even you know that you are a nobody...I mean, even though you may have adopted anaya...you are but a mere guardian..." she sneered at him to which arnav closed his eyes and took a deep breath.
"Who the hell are you to tell me what anaya is to me? and let me clear this once and for all...she was not someone who was thrust on to me...i willingly and with all my love adopted her...in fact she was as much my daughter as akash's since the day she was born...and you...you think you have a right to tell me my place and ridicule people who are close to anaya, only because you are related to her by blood?" he thundered as anju-bua went red at his outburst.
"Oh..don't change the topic so randomly arnav!" she said waving her hands..she knew she had spoken too much and wanted to avoid getting into it "Lets just get back to the real topic of you getting married...Now I have shortlisted some women who are of the right caliber and..." she started saying when arnav came right in front of her and said in a slow but cold voice "I will not marry anyone who you choose...If i ever do get married, she will be my and anaya's choice...so please, stop this non-sense at once...and seriously! Do you even have a heart beating inside you? How can you be so cold!" he asked her as she proudly looked up.
"I don't care what you think of me arnav...I have always shown my dislike towards my brother preferring a drivers son...but well, thats how yash was...But i will not let my only grand-daughter be bought up by someone of common blood...so you will have to marry someone i choose...I will not take no for an answer!" she said stubbornly. Arnav did not know what to make of this woman..how can someone be so shallow?!
"I will only marry someone after consulting with anaya and that someone will be the one I choose..don't think you have a right to choose my life partner and a mother for anaya when you grace us only once a year for a week without having anything to do with us for the other 51! and as for the poor drivers son...don't even go there...because you know better than me who pays for your lavish lifestyle.." he said as anjali devi fumed in anger.
"Oh! I know what the problem is...you like some girl don't you? Some common thrash! Who is she? Tell me!...wait, is it that teacher who came by today? You both seemed to have spent an awful lot of time in the gym...and when she came out, she did not look the same...it is her isn't it?" she asked him in an accusing voice to which arnav looked her straight in the eye and said in a calm voice before he walked away "Maybe it is...but i will not give any justification to you because you don't deserve any...now if you don't mind; I need to go and talk to my daughter"
Arnav sat by anaya's bed as she pretended to be asleep "Anu...i know you are not sleeping...please get up baby...I need to speak to you" he said softly and sighed with relief as anaya finally came out of the blankets and sat up in bed. It hurt arnav immensely to see his baby's eyes moist with just shed tears, he quickly swung his legs on her bed and pulled her into a comforting side hug.
"Pa...will..wi...will you be getting mar...married to s..s...someone dadi-bua ch..chooses?" anaya stuttered as her eyes once again filled up with tears, she snuggled her head inside arma's armpit as he slowly stroked her soft hair "Na baccha...i am not getting married...not yet...and when ever i do, you and I will choose the lucky lady together!" he said in a mock serious tone to which anaya giggled
"Really pa? Do i get to choose my new mommy?" she asked innocently...wonder and glee flashing in her light brown eyes, Arnav gave her a warm smile and nodded "Yes you do...I will only marry someone once you approve of her" he said as anaya forgot her earlier fears and sat up in the bed clapping her hands happily.
"Oh wow! Then pa..i know the perfect girl for you!" she said as she kneeled in front of him..her eyes dancing with mirth as she looked at her father. Arnav raised one eyebrow and acted as if he was thinking very deeply "Hmm...you have, huh? Ok..lemme guess...wait...is it katrina kaif?" he asked with a huge 'O' to which anaya squealed in laughter "No pa! Not Katrina...!!" anaya said as arnav again pretended to ponder "Hmm...I don't know...who can be more prettier than Katrina kaif!" he said as anaya slapped her head.
"Really pa...you na! She is much more prettier than Katrina kaif..." she said as arnav showed a shocked face "Is it Aishwarya rai? But she is already married and has a small baby...but...well..I don't mind...I guess, I could always talk to Abhi.." he started saying when anaya put both her tiny palms on his mouth and looked at him as if he had lost his mind "No pa...she is single...and beautiful and the most amazing person...after you and maggie off course" she said as arnav raised his eyebrow again...wondering who his little girl was talking about...he pulled her tiny hands away gently and was about to ask her when she looked at him serenely and said "I think you should marry Ms Gupta"
"Oh god Khushi! Really! Tu toh na haddh kar deti hai (You are the limit)" shilpa said in an irritable voice as khushi went around the kitchen cleaning it "I'm so confused di! I mean...i don't want to take anything forward till the time anaya is not comfortable about this..." she said biting her already raw lips...she was feeling better after sharing her vastly confused mind with Shilpa di.
"Beta...try and understand...You and Arnav are both adults...and I get the fact that you want to make sure anaya is ok with this...but just speculating and worrying will not help" shilpa said softly as she brewed some chamomile tea for both of them "I know you like him a lot, but do you know if he is really serious about this? I mean he is well known as a casanova!...trust me behen...I will be the happiest if things work out between the two of you...but God forbid it doesn't...how will anaya take it?" shilpa asked her as khushi stirred her tea, frowning about the arnav and casanova part.
"I know di...i love anaya...and i know she likes me too...but i get your point...till the time we are not sure of this...this things between us..." khushi said as shilpa shook her head "Relationship khushi...don't call it a thing! And for your kind information..even a blind person can see what you both feel about each other...hell your sexual tension made me hot for my husband at the ball!" Shilpa said winking as khushi blushed furiously.
"Seriously di!...ok fine. I'm going to talk to arnav...i really like him and I'm not afraid to tell him that..in fact i indirectly did..." she said blushing as she remembered the hot encounter in the gym...she had come straight home after saying a quick good bye to everyone and gone for an ice cold shower to cool down her heated body. She swiped her phone to read the message arnav had sent her as she had stepped out of the shower 'everything about you makes a difference'she smiled as shilpa snapped her fingers in front of her
"Back to earth Khushi!" shilpa said laughing as khushi slapped her hand away "I need some time di...i'm gonna talk to arnav about this tomorrow and we..." khushi started saying as her door bell rang loudly. She and shilpa both looked at each other with a bewildered expression wondering who had come at ten thirty at night. Khushi quickly got up and gestured shilpa to keep sitting "Must be the watchman or neighbor" she said as she opened the door with a safely lock and was shocked beyond her wits to see the person standing impatiently at her door.