“Khushi can you quit being stubborn and finish the damn fruits!” Arnav reprimanded her as he tried to shove the health food he had decided she would resort to down her throat.
About a month ago, the doctor had been summoned following a rather taxing night of love making for Khushi, and Arnav had been scared witless by the information that he had been imparted. The poor doctor had meant no harm when she had informed a worried Arnav of his pregnant wife’s fragile condition. But the information that her body weight was not what it ought to be, and that excess physical stress could be harmful had set off his protective instincts, and Arnav Singh Raizada had since then been a force to be reckoned with.
That morning he had marched into the kitchen and given everybody strict instructions about Khushi’s diet. Making it clear that she was to follow it to the letter ‘cause that’s what she should be eating in her condition.
The doctor had told him that Khushi was much too frail to indulge in heavy intimacy. Hence, other than cuddling at night and tender kisses here and there, there had been absolutely no passionate displays of love. And the few times when Khushi had tried to initiate it, after telling him over and over again that she was absolutely fine, he had merely smiled at her warmly and given her a peck on the lips, pulling her into his embrace and telling her to get some sleep. She was actually rather annoyed of it now. What with her pregnancy hormones going wild, she was desperate for some release. But it seemed that her otherwise savage husband had sworn himself to chastity.
It had been suggested by the doctor that she had probably been taking too much stress and not taking care of her diet, due to which she had gotten weak, and her weight gain was not sufficient for her stage of pregnancy. This had given Arnav an instant panic attack, and before anybody knew it, he was shouting orders and drawing up diet plans, charts and routines for Khushi to follow.
So now he sat at the dining table, oblivious of the slyly amused Raizadas and two Singhanias, trying to get a reluctant Khushi to eat a variety of fruits he had commissioned for her.
“Quit being a Laad Governor Arnav! I don’t want to eat this stuff! I’m perfectly fine, the doctor over exaggerated the situation. Now can I please have my Jalebis back!”
“You are not eating those despicable Jalebis! Do you hear me!”
“Well there isn’t a chance in hell that I’m eating this fodder you’ve been shoving down my throat these past month!”
“This isn’t fodder Khushi! It’s health food. Fruits and boiled vegetables. It’s good for the baby. Now cut the tantrum and eat!”
“Only if you promise to have sex tonight.”
Akash, Arjun and Mamaji spluttered over their tea while Mamiji choked on her food. Payal dropped the plate of rotis she was carrying while Nani smirked silently to herself.
Arnav gaped at Khushi, flabbergasted. The spoon in his hand forgotten as his mouth fell open.
“What! What are you gaping at me for? We haven’t had sex in a month, and my pregnancy hormones are driving me crazy!”
Aranv grabbed Khushi’s hand while he glared at her, trying to signal her to shut up.
Picking this as the perfect opportunity to put his plan into action, Akash cleared his throat.
“What!” Khushi screamed at him, clearly annoyed now. “It’s not like you don’t do it with Jiji every night!”
“Khushi shut up!” Arnav whispered urgently.
“I know that it’s not any of my business to poke my nose into your love life, but I just wanted to remind you that you have a husband who wouldn’t be too happy about what you guys are doing here.” Akash spoke slyly to a confused Khushi.
Arnav’s head snapped up at what Akash said, and dread filled his being as his brother continued.
“All I’m saying is that Dhruv would be home by Holi, and would make sure that none of this went on any longer.”
“Akash!” Anjali reprimanded him, enraged at his audacity to actually go through with the plan he had proposed about a month ago, that she had specifically told him to drop.
“Oh, come on Di! Don’t tell me you think what they are doing is right! I mean, come on Bhai, Khushi is Dhruv Bhai’s wife. Your own brother’s wife! Don’t you in the least feel that what you’re doing is wrong…”
“Enough!” Arnav bellowed as he got up with a force that sent his chair skidding across the floor. Everybody at the table fell silent as they watched his powerful persona shake with a rage.
Arnav grabbed his hair in his fists painfully as his body shook with the tremors of uncontrolled fury. Fury at his helplessness. Fury at the sheer audacity of the situation that he now found himself in. For all of last month, he had completely switched his mind off to keep himself from pondering over what exactly was going on. He had listened to Khushi, and abandoned himself to the present, the present when he was happy with her. No questions asked. No strings attached. And the month of taking care of her, pampering her, protecting her and the child inside her had been sheer bliss. Loving her bereft of physical satiety, knowing that she was with him, that they were together, was enough to keep him at peace, and keep his world moving. But now, hearing what Akash had said, reality came crashing down upon him. The truth that he had buried in the recesses of his mind had risen from its ashes, only to hit him with twice the force.
He fought for control, buy all in vain. And then, he snapped. Everybody watched as Arnav bent down and turned over the entire dining table in his state of madness, and stormed out of the house.