A First Tale
— A little imagination, a little reality, a whole lot of love
A little Context before you read 🙂
I had written this to thank Jigs and Choti for a beautiful story they had penned for me, Chalte Chalte – http://www.india-forums.com/forum_posts.asp?TID=4410678
It was their faith in me that gave form to my thoughts, their support that gave me the confidence to post my first Drabble all those months back.
It gives me great pleasure to be able to share it with all of you again. A little imagination, a little reality, a whole lot of love ❤
My darling Jigs and Choti,
You have both left me in tears at the sheer sweetness and love apparent in every word you’ve written. The warmth, the happiness you’ve always showered on me moves me deeply. It’s a blessing to have such caring, loving friends who’re there with you and for you always. To share my happiness, to worry about me, to cheer for me, to empathise with me, to guide me, to laugh with me, to make me laugh at that what can’t be cured.
A zest for life, a profound sense of commitment, an unwavering determination, just some of your admirable qualities which reaffirms my belief in the goodness of people.
You have always asked me to do something, so this is for you. And it can only ever be for you. Thank you … dil se
Love you both hamesha
A chota sa “kuch bhi” mere Jigs and Choti ke naam …
“Arnavji!” An excited Khushi burst into their room at her usual crazy speed, nearly tripping over a pigeon feather lying on the carpet.
He looked up from his laptop at the whirlwind zipping in. She appeared ready to burst in her effervescence. Even as his resigned dil prepared to switch off his laptop, his valiant dimaag attempted to fight a rearguard action.
“Later Khushi, dekha na I’m busy?”
“Uff woh sab chodiya, pehle hamari baat suniye.”
(“Uff forget about all that, first listen to what I have to say”)
Bowing to the inevitable he slammed his screen down “Bolo, kya hua?”
“Accha aap pooch hi rahein hain toh hum bata dete hain, humme Amreeka jaana hai, abhi“, she said giggling.
(“Oh well since you’re asking, I may as well tell you. I want to go to America, now”, she said giggling.)
“What?! And what’s with this incessant giggling you’ve taken to lately?” he shot out. He knew his biwi was a bit ajeeb and her mind moved in mysterious ways but this was a bit way out even for her.
“Khushi, the States is not Lukhnow where you can just sit on a train and go! You need a passport, visa … but wait why do you want to go there suddenly?” he quizzed, bemused at this bizarre, even for her, desire.
“Woh kya hain na Jigsji aur Chotiji wahan hain aur unhone humein bulaya hain. Toh humein unse milne jaana hain.”
(“The thing is that Jigsji and Chotiji live there, and they’ve invited me to come over. So, I want to go and meet them”)
“What_the?! Who on earth are they? And how do you know them?”
“Mere sabse pyaare dost hain woh Arnavji.” Khushi said smiling fondly.
(“They’re my dearest friends, Arnavji”, Khushi said smiling fondly.)
Hearing this caused further bewilderment to Arnav. “But you’ve never mentioned them before. I don’t know them.”
“But they know us very well Arnavji. They’ve written a biography about our life and have even published an excerpt. Haye reading it brought back such happy memories. How we met … Wait! My Jaanu, why can’t I ride it anymore? Bablu will give it back to me. I’m sure he’ll understand. Hamari kamayi ki thi woh scooty. Aur Happyji …”
(That scooty was bought with my own hard earned money. And Happyji … )
“Shut up Khushi, I want to know about Jigs and Choti” he ground out attempting to stop Khushi from veering off into pastures new.
“Arnavji, they understood our feelings so well. They even knew how you were feeling! And that is amazing na?! Aap dil ki baat kabhi kehte hi nahin. Aapne khat likha tha kya unhe, lekin apke keede makode wali likhayi unhone kaisi samjhi? Accha aap ne voice recording bheji hogi. Is that …”
(“Arnavji, they understood our feelings so well. They even knew how you were feeling! And that is amazing na?!You never say what’s in your heart. Had you written a letter to them, but your handwriting is like drunk ants crawling across paper, how on earth did they understand it? Aaah, you must have sent them a voice recording. Is that … )
“Khushi, I’m warning you. Get to the point. How. Do. You. Know. Them?” he ground out.
“Hum unhe shaadi mein mile the. Woh kya hain na Baaraat mein hum sab saath the, aur baat karte karte hum bohot acche dost ban gaye. Humari khoob saari baatein hoti hain din bhar. Toh I want to go on a mini vacation with them. I love them dammit” she finished triumphantly.
(“I had met them in the Shaadi. The thing is, we were all together in the Baaraat and as we nattered away, one thing led to another and we became the best of friends, chattering nineteen to the dozen all day. Toh I want to go on a mini vacation with them. I love them dammit” she finished triumphantly.)
At which point Arnav quickly realised he needed to handle this carefully. His wife was serious and once she had a plan in her head … her Devi Maiya herself would be unable to dissuade her.
“Khushi … ” he began cautiously, “why don’t we discuss this properly later…”
“Nahin! kuch discuss karne ki zaroorat nahin hain. I want to go bas. Aap hamari itni si baat bhi nahin maanenge?” she pouted, with a slight catch in her voice. A single tear all ready to roll down those porcelain cheeks.
(No! There’s no need to discuss anything. I want to go, bas. You won’t even indulge me in my teeny weeny request?” she pouted, with a slight catch in her voice. A single tear all ready to roll down those porcelain cheeks.)
Much as he tried to keep it at bay, a swirl of Rabba Ve rose to a crescendo around them.
“Khushi tum … ” he began huskily reaching out to cup her face.
“Rehne dijiye, hum khud kar lenge. Hamare paas dupatta … uh roomal hai” she sniffed, turning away dejectedly.
(Leave it, I will do it myself. I have my dupatta … uh handkerchief” she sniffed, turning away dejectedly.)
Dammit, how dare she walk away when I’m talking to her?! Even as he opened his mouth to remonstrate, his inner voice cautioned – Control Arnav control, this needs to be handled delicately. Lambi saans andar …
“Khushi why don’t we go together once I … ”
“Such mein Arnavji? Yay! Let me go Skype them the good news!”
‘You know how to Skype?!” he asked incredulously.
“Ji, hum Chotiji ko poochte hain aur woh kuch karti hain aur phir hum Jigsji aur unki awaaz saath saath sun sakte hain. Kyon? Aapko nahin aata?”
(“Yes, I ask Chotiji and she does something and then I can hear Jigsji and her together. Why? You don’t know how to?”)
“What_the! Of course aata hain. I’m Arnav Singh …!”
Khushi interrupted his infamous pompous statement with a “Pata hain, Pata hain” while dashing off to unearth her phone from wherever Laxmiji may have buried it.
Arnav promptly strode after her determined to get to the bottom of this, with his inner voice snickering away – You were Arnav Singh Raizada old chap! As you had once proclaimed, love can reduce anyone to anything … right? Joru ke Gulam Raizada?
Brushing it aside furiously, he reached the poolside to find Khushi whispering on her phone.
“Hamara plan successful hua! Arnavji ne haan kehdi! Woh hamare saath aayenge! Ab hum jee bharkar unka makeover kar sakte hain. Baal kaat sakte hain. Woo hoo!!!”
(“Our plan was successful! Arnavji has agreed! He will come with me! Now we can indulge ourselves to our heart’s content. Doing his makeover. Cutting his hair. Woo hoo!!!”)
Khushi knows how to woo hoo?! thought Arnav feeling more and more like things were slipping completely out of control. He hit the speed dial on his blackberry. But before he could say anything, Aman leapt in,
“It’s all arranged sir. As per Ma’am’s instructions, I’ve booked both of you on the morning flight tomorrow for Chicago. Have a good vacation sir. Jigsji and Chotiji are amazing people. You will really like them sir.”
“You know them Aman?! Seems like everyone but me is privy to the goings on in my wife’s life!”
Before he could continue with his rant, Khushi rushed up to him.
“Arnavji, hum aapse bhi, I love you dammit” and planted a soft kiss on his stubble. By the time it struggled through the maze of hair to reach his actual cheek, and Rabba Ve began its journey through his veins, his biwi was already long gone.
Peering into her phone, tapping away furiously with a silly look on her face …