Pragya came home from work the next day, thoroughly exhausted.
So many activities at school… and she was in charge of three of them!
The only good thing was that they weren’t too close together, so she had a fair amount of time to get everything organized. Still, it was a lot of work.
She walked into the hall, greeted Dadi and both Daasis, and then made her way upstairs, hoping to take a little rest before she began her evening tasks. As Pragya walked in the room, she was caught totally off-guard by a big white blur and a “Boooo!”, causing her to let out a short scream.
She looked up to find an amused Abhi standing there, holding a huge teddy bear. “Mehra! What the hell is wrong with you?!” she yelled at him and then hit him with her books. “Ouch!” he winced as the item made contact with his arm.
“Sorry Fuggi.” He apologized and held out the bear to her.
He doesn’t look sorry to me, Pragya thought as she took in his still grinning face.
She shook her head and walked past him to drop her bag and books on the sofa, when she felt him grasp her free hand. “I’m sorry.” He said in a solemn tone and she turned to face him. “It’s fine. My heart rate is back to normal now.” she joked, trying to lighten his mood, but it ended up falling flat as Abhi’s expression remained the same. “I wasn’t referring to that.” He clarified. “I’m talking about yesterday.” “What about yesterday?” she asked.
“I hurt your feelings, and that’s not ok.” he said. “Tell me how I can make it up to you.” “It’s ok.” Pragya told him. “Just forget about it.”
“I can’t!” he whined.
“Stop behaving like a baby!” she scolded. “I’m okay. I don’t want anything. If I do I will let you know, ok?” “Promise?” he asked.
“What?” she replied in confusion.
“Promise me that if there is something you want, you will tell me.”
“Why are you taking this so seriously?” she asked.
“Promise me” he said, ignoring her question and held out his pinky finger to her. Pragya rolled her eyes at him.
“This is so damn childish!” She remarked.
“Fine. I promise.” she said and locked her pinky finger with his. “Good girl. Now hold Boo-Boo.” he said, holding out the bear to her.
“Boo-Boo?” she asked, taking the bear from him.
She had a little trouble holding “Boo-Boo” because he was a little too big for her.
Abhi saw her struggle and took the bear from her, resting him on the bed. “Yeah, that’s his name.” Abhi said and Pragya laughed out loud.
“That’s really cute, Mehra.” she said with an even cuter smile.
“He was my back up plan in case you were still mad at me.” Abhi said. “Only, he was so adorable, I made him Plan A.” “I love him. You should screw up more often, Mehra.” she teased.
“Ha- ha. Very funny.” he said, but then a smile lit up his features. “Let’s hope it’s the same when you make a mistake.” “Oh please!” she huffed. “Tell me, when have I ever made a mistake? Not including our wedding day. That was different.” Abhi tried his best, but nothing came to him at the moment.
Excluding their pranks and petty mistakes, Fuggi’s margin for error was extremely low. “Ok, I’ll give you that one. Your mistake quota is kinda sparse.” He said. “But sooner or later you are bound to screw up.” Who was he kidding? He’d wait forever and that might never happen.
Fuggi was a very careful individual.
Making mistakes didn’t come that easily to her.
“Yeah right.” she said, smiling at him. “I seriously doubt that, Mehra.”
“We’ll just have to wait and see.” He said to her, just for the sake of argument.
Pragya just shook her head at him.
“I’m going to change.” she announced.
“Ok, and then get some rest. You look tired. I’m going to check on the young ladies downstairs.” Abhi said. Pragya nodded and then he left.
The next day, Abhi sat in his office working, when Purab came in.
“Hey” Abhi greeted him. “Thought we weren’t going to see you today.”
“Yeah me too.” Purab replied. “But I had some files to drop off. Plus, there’s something I need to run by you.” “What’s that?” Abhi asked.
“I’ve been informed by Ruhi that calls have been coming in non-stop from various Magazines and Television stations. The media are getting pretty impatient waiting for an interview.”
Ruhi was their Public Relations Officer. All dealings with media personnel ran through her first.
Final decisions were left to Abhi and Purab.
“Do we have time for all that?” Abhi asked. “We are already booked up with concerts and charity events for a while.” “But we’ve been evading them for more than a month now.” Purab stated. “It won’t look good seeing that we will need them to highlight our charity causes.” “Ok then.” Abhi said thoughtfully. “But only one…until our schedule clears up a bit.” “Ok” Purab replied. “Just let me know when both of you will be free.”
“Both?” Abhi asked in confusion. “Who else will be at the interview?” “Your wife.” Purab stated.
“Fuggi?” Abhi asked. “Why?”
“You’re Abhi the Rockstar. Superstar in the eyes of all.” Purab said. “So naturally they want to know about every aspect of your life, which includes your better half.”
“You’ve been hitched for more than a month now and the world has yet to meet the woman you married.” Purab added.
Abhi hadn’t even thought about that.
No one really knew the woman he had married.
He guessed it was only natural that the media and fans would be curious about her. He had no issue with that.
The only problem was Fuggi.
She hated publicity and all the attention being on her. She always chose to stay on the sidelines, even when she had accompanied him to concerts. “You think she will agree?” Purab asked. “You know how your Di is about these things.” Abhi said. “She dislikes any situation where the attention is on her.” Purab nodded.
“Yeah, but you will be there with her. So that should ease her tension.” he said.
“I hope so.” Abhi said. “The biggest hurdle will be getting her to agree to it.”
“Well good luck with that one, my friend.” Purab stated. “You’re gonna need it!”
They outlined a few more details about the interview, with both of them agreeing that it should be as soon as possible so that they could get it out of the way and concentrate on more important things.
“Ok, well, I’m out of here!” Purab declared. “Dinner with the in-laws tonight!”
“Situation getting better?” Abhi asked.
“Not really.” Purab replied. “Bulbul hates me for forcing her to spend time with them.”
“Can you blame her after what they have put her through?” Abhi said.
“No, I don’t.” Purab said, “But I don’t want her hold that grudge for the rest of her life.” “They still think you’re after their daughter’s money?” Abhi asked with a grin.
“Yep…and I don’t even care!” he said. “I just want her to reach a stage when she can be around them without wanting to lose her temper. That’s all I’m hoping for right now. And they do seem genuinely remorseful about what they did.”
“Yeah. Well atleast I think so. But my main concern here is my wife so I’ll be monitoring them very closely to make sure that sort of thing doesn’t happen again.”
Abhi laughed. “Looks like you’ve got your work cut out for you.”
“Yeah.” Purab agreed. “Well I should be going.”
“Good luck with the parents!” Abhi said.
“Good luck with the wife!” Purab replied as he made his way out the door.
Abhi went home that evening in search of Pragya.
She was neither in the hall, kitchen nor their room.
Eventually, he found her in kids’ room reading to the twins.
She had both kids on her lap, showing them pictures of various animals from a book.
The expression on their adorable faces was one of excitement and Abhi’s heart melted at the sight. Pragya turned and saw him at the door.
“Hey, you’re home!” She said, a smile lighting up her face.
“Yeah” He replied, walking further into the room, scooping up his niece into his arms. “Hi Angel.” he said, gently pinching her chubby cheeks. “What are you guys up to?”
“Reading.” replied Babli in her cute little baby voice.
“Where are Bhaiyya and Bhabhi?” He asked Pragya.
“They’re on a date.” she replied.
“A date?” he asked.
“Yep. They’ve been busy lately, juggling work and kids, and hardly made time to spend together, so I shoved them out of the house and told them I would look after these little darlings.” Pragya said, pulling Bunty into a hug.
“Well that’s good.” He responded. “It has been a while since they went out, just the two of them.”
Abhi ended up spending the rest of the evening with them.
They drew pictures, coloured, and were now playing hide-and-seek. It was the twins turn to find both of them.
Bunty and Babli stood facing the closet door, their eyes closed, counting from one to five. “1…2….” They began, while Abhi and Pragya scampered off in opposite directions looking for a place to hide. Abhi went behind the floor length curtains, while Pragya chose under the bed, only to realise afterward that this was the first place they would look. “3…” The children continued.
She got out from under there looking for a better spot to hide.
“4…” Abhi heard them call out.
He wondered where Fuggi was hiding.
He moved the curtain slightly and peeking through, he saw her creeping on all fours beside the bed. This Fuggi na! He chuckled to himself. She instantly became a kid whenever she played with them. Judging by the gladdened look on her face, she was having alot of fun too.
Abhi loved seeing this side to her. “5!” The kids called finally.
Too busy looking out when the twins would turn, Pragya didn’t realise when Abhi ran out, grabbed her hand and pulled her with him behind the curtains.
“What the -” she started to say but he placed his hand over her mouth before she could say anything more. “Shhh” he said to her, before removing his hand. “You would have gotten caught the minute they turned around.” Abhi peeked out again to see where the kids were.
Abhi turned back and found her staring at him.
“What’s the matter?” he asked.
“Nothing.” she replied immediately shaking her head.
“Then why were you looking at me like that?” he asked.
“I thought I saw something in your hair, but it turned out to be nothing.” She lied. “Oh.” He replied, not really sure what to make of her explanation, but didn’t press any futher.
Phew! Pragya breathed a sigh of relief. That was close.
They could hear the kids talking, trying the figure out where they were hiding.
“Not under the bed.” They heard Bunty saying.
“Maybe they’re hiding in the closet.” Babli suggested.
Then at that moment, Abhi’s phone rang and both Abhi and Pragya looked at each other. They would definitely get caught now.
“Chachu’s phone is ringing.” Babli noticed.
Then after a couple seconds, the curtains were pulled aside and there they were.
“Yaayy! We found you!” They squealed with joy.
“Yaay!” Pragya said. “You found us! Good job, Babies.”
After they finished playing, Abhi helped Fuggi take care of the kids.
Dinner, bath time, and then both of them tucked Bunty and Babli into bed, where Pragya read them a bedtime story. Abhi looked across at Fuggi as she read the story of ‘Jack and the Beanstalk’ and smiled to himself. She would make a great mother someday. He could definitely see her having kids. With you? Or someone else? Came the thought out of nowhere.
What the hell was wrong with his brain?
His mind was treading on dangerous territory.
What dangerous territory? His thoughts argued. She’s your wife!
Yes, but not a wife in that sense.
She was his best friend and wife in-name-only!
This was not real. They were basically just ‘playing house.’ Pragya turned and saw the expression on his face.
“Are you ok?” she asked, eyeing him carefully.
He hadn’t realized the kids were asleep and her attention was now focused on him.
“What? No…I’m fine.” he replied.
“Sure?” she asked. “Cuz you seemed a little distant there for a while.”
“I’m fine.” he said clearing his throat. “Um, I need to make a call.”
What’s the matter with him? Pragya wondered as he got up in a hurry and left the room.
Raj Bhaiyya and Mitali Bhabhi came home a little while later from their date.
“Were they any trouble?” asked Mitali Babhi.
“Actually, they were perfect little angels.” replied Pragya and went on to describe their adventures, while Mitali Bhabhi filled her in on their evening. When they were finished chatting, Mitali and Raj went to check on the twins.
Precap: The Interview
As usual, sorry for being late.
Mokshi, Anjali, Tajh, Di, Saranya and Reshma…love you 🙂
I found this epi to be a little boring, but changing it meant you wold have had to wait alot longer.
Will try to make the next one more fun.
Still, I would love to get your feedback, so let me know what you think.
Till next time…take care!