Hey guys…….Bela is back with the next update. So we had Ranveer and Ansh in grave danger in the last update. Let us see what happens now…………
I tried to put some Raglak scenes too but now the story needs to move forward. Hope you all understand.
“And why are you guys not understanding? Okay, fine. Call him. Call Ranveer. If he picks up the phone, okay. But if he doesn’t……..we are going to go and look for him.” Ruhaan said as he looked at us pleadingly.
I looked at Sanskaar who was worried. Ruhaan had created a ruckus when he shouted out that he had felt Ranveer was hurt. All of us subsequently came to know that Bade Papa had sent him to get some medicines and apparently, Ansh was with him too. If Ruhaan turns out to be right, then both my children were in grave danger.
“It must have been a nightmare Ruhaan. It happens. You are so stressed about your parents and with the pressure of Boards, these things happen.” Pari Bhabhi said to him. Ruhaan eyed her angrily.
“I can FEEL it. My twin is in danger. I am experiencing the pain and whenever I close my eyes, I see blood. I even hear sobbing noises in my head. And only one person can communicate like this with me. Ranveer. Aren’t you scared? Your son is with him too………”
Pari Bhabhi went pale. She looked at Adarsh Bhaiya who seemed to be pondering over Ruhaan’s words.
“Papa……..I think that we should take this seriously. If you sent Ranveer and Ansh an hour ago, they should have had returned by now. And even if they have stopped somewhere, Ranveer is a responsible kid. He would have called anyone and informed him. I think we shouldn’t take this lightly.” He said. I smiled in approval.
“I will come with you. I want to see Ranveer.” Ruhaan said and dragged Adarsh Bhaiya outside. I followed with Sanskaar.
Throughout the ride, Ruhaan was really agitated. He was sweating profusely and muttering to himself. I felt really sympathetic. I had been in a similar state when I was informed that Ragini had gone missing. And I knew how close these two were. I had taken it okay, but Ruhaan was a child. He was clearly disturbed.
“Oh God! Look, Ranveer’s bike!” Sanskaar said in alarm and we looked ahead. Adarsh Bhaiya stopped the car and we came out and saw the broken, battered bike. Ruhaan gave a cry of anguish and ran towards the site. He stopped abruptly and turned to us.
“Blood!” He whispered. We came forward and truly, saw a lot of blood on the road. My heart sank. Ruhaan had been right. Something had happened to Ranveer and Ansh.
Adarsh Bhaiya called out for Ranveer and Ansh and then quickly whipped out his phone and called the police and the ambulance. He looked at us.
“We will have to search for them in the forest.”
We were all laughing. Swara, Sanskaar, Lakshya and I were sitting on the grass while our children were playing. Sanya was having a tea party with her dolls while Suhani, Ranveer and Ruhaan were playing frisbee. Ranveer hit Ruhaan on his face and started running away, laughing. Ruhaan followed him, clutching his nose and shouting ‘Tu to gaya!’
Suddenly, there was a blinding white light. Ranveer started moving towards the light. Just before he reached it, he turned around and smiled. He waved his hand sadly and stepped back towards the light, still looking at us. And as he moved back, the white light swallowed him and he vanished……….
“RANVEER!” I shouted as I woke up in a sweat. Beside me, Lakshya woke up and looked at me worriedly. “What happened Ragini? Had a nightmare?”
My heart was beating erratically. “Lakshya….Ranveer….my son……gone. Gone.” I fumbled as I tried to recall my dream. I was sweating profusely and my breathing was ragged.
Lakshya looked at me with concern. He rubbed my back soothingly. “Burra Sapna Ragini. Bad dream. Forget it.”
Tears started coming from my eyes. I had never felt so restless in my life. These nightmares………they meant something. Was my son alright? Was Ranveer okay?
Lakshya pulled me into a hug. “Ranveer must be sleeping. No, he must be mapping our exit. So that we come out of this forest quickly. He must be safe at home Ragini. It was just a nightmare. Sleep. We need to go back tomorrow.”
I nodded and wiped my tears. Lakshya made me lie down. He stroked my hair comfortingly and I closed my eyes slowly, telling myself repeatedly that my children were fine. They were safe and okay.
And I didn’t notice Lakshya looking up at the sky worriedly, keeping a hand on his heart and muttering a prayer. If I had, I would have known that Lakshya shared my worry. That something was wrong.
I ran along the trail, the huge trees looming over me. The forest was dense and since it was nighttime, it gave a very spooky ambience. And I was scared. But not because of the darkness. I was scared for Ranveer.
Mom always used to say that our intuition works when our loved one is in danger. We feel it. And I was feeling it. I knew Ranveer was hurt. I was desperately trying to communicate with him via our telepathy. But there was no response. It was a dead end. And this was making me really worried. Where was he?
I paid no heed to the scratches on my face which came due to the branches. I ran ahead, my eyes looking around desperately for a sign of my brother. Sometimes, I thought that I saw him. He was lying on the ground, covered in blood. I ran over to him but he would vanish. I was hallucinating. Wishful thinking.
“One day, I won’t be around to save your ugly butt and then let’s see how you survive!”
His words rang in my mind. Tears rolled down my eyes. No Ranveer. NO! You can’t just hide away. I will find you.
“You have buttons for eyes. Even spectacles won’t be able to help you get the power of actually seeing!”
I smiled as I remembered his words. It was true. And for the first time in my life, I wished that I had an acute vision. A vision that could help me find my brother.
My phone rang. Mausi was calling. I picked it up eagerly, my heart beating at an alarming rate. We had decided to call each other only if we found Ansh and Ranveer. Mausi must have found them!
“Haan, Mausi. Did you find them?”
There was a pause. I waited. Finally, she spoke.
“I have found Ansh.”
I smiled widely. She had found……..Ansh. What about Ranveer?
“Ranveer is with him, right?”
There was a pause again. I waited with bated breath. Somehow, I wasn’t getting the right feeling.
“Ansh was lying in the forest. He is soaked in blood. And Ranveer……….is nowhere to be found. He is missing!”
Dawn has broken. It is seven in the morning. Ansh was found at about one in the morning, half dead. He had lost a lot of blood and his chances of survival were very less. And he even had a rare blood group, to make matters worse.
But what worried me was Ranveer Bhai. He was missing. It had been 11:50 when Ruhaan Bhai had told everyone about his worry. And it was 7:00 am now. More than seven hours had passed. And still, he was nowhere to be found. The police were worried that considering the time that had passed, it was possible that Ranveer Bhai was…………no more.
Ruhaan Bhai had had a nervous breakdown and had fainted. He was admitted along with Ansh in the City Hospital.
Just a few hours ago, everything had been brilliant. We had been expecting Mausi and Chachu back, we all had been so happy and excited and now, everything was a mess. One son was in the ICU, one was unconscious and one was missing. And presumably dead. Everything was crumbling.
“As soon as dawn breaks, I will start flying the drone again. I instructed Mom to follow it. They will be out within four hours.”
Ranveer Bhai’s words came to my mind. The mission! I wouldn’t let it go. Ranveer Bhai was missing and Ruhaan Bhai was unavailable. It fell on me to complete the task. And I would do it.
I took the tablet and started functioning the drone. Mausi and Chachu were awake, the camera showed. They spotted the drone’s movement and started following it. I felt heaviness in my heart. Their hearts would break as soon as they came out and found out what all had happened.
“You know what? You are a Dumbo! Arrey listen, it is just a matter of five days. It isn’t my fault that I got a fracture, I was also supposed to come to the camp! And don’t you dare say that you won’t go! You will go.” Ranveer said to me.
We were supposed to go for an NCC camp and both of us had been selected but a few days ago, Ranveer got a hairline fracture. The doctor advised complete bedrest and so, I was going alone now. How would I survive?
Ranveer clucked his tongue disapprovingly. “Learn to be independent Ruhaan. There will be times when we both will have to be separate. If you keep throwing a tantrum every time it happens, how would you survive?”
I don’t WANT to live without him. I needed him. It is hard. Very hard. How would I do it?
“You aren’t used to it Ruhaan. Once you adjust, you won’t even wish to be in my presence!”
“NO! There will never be a time when I would not wish to be with you.”
Ranveer looked at me strangely. “And what would you do if I am not there? Suppose, I go missing?”
“I would lose my mental balance. And I would dig up the earth if I have to find you. You won’t be able to get rid of me!”
I opened my eyes slowly. This memory. It was one of my most special memories with Ranveer. He is so rude. Always sadoo. I try to be so friendly to him. He always dismisses me. But he loves me. Right? But if he does, where is he? Doesn’t he know that I can’t live without him?
“Ruhaan?” A voice came to my ears. I looked beside me. Ranveer was smirking, looking at me. He stepped forward and tsked.
“Tch, tch! Look at the stud! Lying on the hospital bed. So uncool na?”
I smiled. He is trying to tease me. Let him do it. He won’t be able to get a rise out of me. I won’t let him.
Ranveer kept his hand on mine. “Won’t react? Trying to act mature? Well…….I have a way to irritate you.”
“You will not be able to get a rise out of me while you are here.”
“Who said that I am here? I am not here. It is all in your head.”
I frowned as I saw Ranveer smirking. He started fading in front of my eyes. I widened my eyes in horror as I saw my brother vanishing before me.
“RANVEER! Tu kahin nahi jaa sakta! You can’t leave me and go you douchebag! Come back now. I need you. Come back! I will cry. Look, I will start a cryfest here.” I threatened him but he didn’t respond. He was already gone.
“Ruhaan. Hosh mein aao! He has taken leave of his senses! Call the doctor, quick! His pulse is falling.”
My eyes started closing. I smiled faintly as I imagined the look on Ranveer’s face when he would get to know that my pulse was falling. He would go berserk. He would start crying. Good, serves that bastard right………………….
“Mrs. Maheshwari? You here? You may take the reports. They are ready.” The nurse said.
She had taken Ansh’s DNA test yesterday. I rubbed my arm, where I had been injected to donate blood to Ansh. I nodded to the nurse and followed her.
“The doctor isn’t available. But I think the reports are clear. If you still wish to consult a doctor, let me know. I will talk to the doctor.” The nurse said as she handed me the reports.
With shaking hands, I opened the file. And what I saw made my heart stop.
It was positive. Ansh was MY son.
I looked up in rage where Pari Bhabhi was standing. I wouldn’t leave her………………….
I looked at Ansh as he lay on the hospital bed. Damn it, he was alive! Almost dead, but still. I had specifically asked for him to be killed. And that Ranveer……………….WHERE WAS HE?
I called up Hira and thoroughly cursed him for his failed mission. I told him to start searching for Lakshya’s boy. Meanwhile, the time was ripe. Ruhaan and Ansh were in front of me, both vulnerable. I had a chance. And I don’t waste chances. Ever.
“Ji suniye……..Sanskaar wants to talk to you.” My wife said to me. I nodded to her and went, wondering what he had in mind now.
I watched Ragini as we walked ahead. She was visibly shaken. After the episode last night, she was really restless. I was worried too. Somehow, even my heart was getting restless. But I couldn’t tell her that. She would freak out. I had to divert her mind.
“Ragini, you remember that night? When you got drunk?” I asked her with a smile, hoping it would have the desired effect. It did. Ragini smiled. I smiled back, recalling that night.
“Lakshya?” Ragini’s sweet voice came to my ears. I looked behind and saw my wife standing happily with a bowl of cream of mushroom soup in her hand.
I am in love. Not with the soup, with her. I am in love with Ragini and well……………..I am scared. I know she loves me too and is in fact, waiting for me to move on but I am scared that her feelings may have undergone a drastic change since that day when I tried to…………..bump her off.
“And I have put the right amount of cheese and oregano in it. As you like. Taste and tell me how it is…..” She finished her rant and passed the bowl to me. I smiled and tasted the soup and found it to be as delicious as anything else that she cooks. I told her so and a beautiful smile made way to her face which made my heart pop.
A few hours later, I was working on my laptop. The whole house was asleep, save for Ragini who was slogging it in the kitchen as usual. I heard the chham-chham of her payal and she soon came into my view, with a red nose.
“Lakshya, I have caught a cold. See, my nose is running!” She whined as she moved her face closer to mine to show me. I sighed and stood up. I went to the drawer, took out the tonic and gave it to her.
“Take two teaspoons of it. You will feel better.” I told her and she nodded like a little kid who was being told that 2+2=4.
Ten minutes later, I heard the chham-chham again. I was almost finished with my work and I smiled as I thought of how cute Ragini looked with a red nose. The woman came inside the room, swaying her hips from side to side.
“Sau tarah ke rog le loon
Ishq ka marz Kya hai?”
She sang as she came inside moving her hips in exaggeration. I frowned at her weird behaviour. She turned to me and grinned like a maniac.
“Tu kahe to jaan de doon
Kehne mein harz Kya hai?”
She started rotating her head madly, as the dhongi babas do. Her hair moved along crazily as she started dancing to her song. Her voice was unusually…………..bad.
I moved towards her and inspected her. She smelled of alcohol. I widened my eyes at her.
“Ragini. You are drunk! Tumne pi hai?” I asked her. She giggled and shook her head.
“Oh no, no.
Maine pi nahi hai, Maine pi nahi hai
Maine pi nahi hai. Haan Ji mainu
Pila di gayi hai, pila di gayi hai”
She danced like Kapil’s Dadi as she moved her legs and started pumping her fists madly. I watched in horror as she skipped like a monkey.
“Chadhi mujhe yaari Teri aisi
Jaise Daaru desi!”
She started doing Kathak on the song. I watched on as I tried to come to terms with the fact that my wife could be drunk. But……….how?
And then realisation sank in. The tonic. Oh Shit! I remembered how I had replaced the medicine in that bottle with whiskey so that Ragini wouldn’t be able to catch me drinking alcohol. And I had given the bottle to her. And now she is drunk. f**k!
Ragini had changed her dance form to Kathakali. She was doing a mix of Kathakali and Lavani and the result was hilarious. While I was thinking of how to get the situation under control, I couldn’t help but enjoy this new side of my wife.
Suddenly Ragini stopped. She crossed her arms in front of her chest and gave a pout. “It is no fun dancing alone! Dance with me.” She said to me. I shook my head in alarm. Ragini gave me a menacing look which reminded me eeringly of Swara.
“If you don’t dance with me Na, I will divorce you! On the grounds of cruelty! You are torturing me.” She said and burst into tears.
“Okay. Okay. I will dance with you. Don’t divorce me. Who will live with me then?” I said dramatically. She giggled as I stretched my arm to offer her a dance. She accepted as gracefully as a person who had just consumed a full bottle of whiskey could. And then, we started.
“Jumma Chumma de de………
Jumma Chumma de de Chumma!”
Ragini croaked like a frog as we started doing salsa. I rolled my eyes and started singing a more apt song.
“Kuchh khaas hai, kuchh pass hai.
Kuchh ajnabee ehsaas hai!”
I sang as I rotated her in my arms. She went far and started doing gestures of shooting.
“Tamanchey pe disco! Tamanchey pe disco!” she squawked as she attempted ballet and fell on her bum.
I pulled her into my arms and started dancing and singing again.
“Ek baat kahun Kya ijaazat hai?
Tere ishq ki mujhko aadat hai!”
I sang as I twirled her. Ragini huffed in indignation. She pushed me and gyrated her hips.
Then suddenly, Mrs. Maheshwari started doing flamenco. She raised her hands up like a Spanish woman and started tapping her feet madly. I laughed and joined her.
Next came belly dancing. I was fascinated while watching my beautiful wife do the Arabian dance as she moved her hips seductively. As I watched transfixed, the dance form changed and she started doing bhangra.
Then, apparently tired, she sat down. I smiled and her and went forward. However, she stood up with a jerk and looked out.
“You are no fun! I will dance with Swara. She dances very well. We will have loadssssssss of fun.” She slurred as she chham-chham-ed her way out of the room. I slapped my forehead. This woman would get me killed today!
“Nagada Sang Dhol baaje, Dhol baaje
Dhaayein dhaayein dhaayein dum dhaayein
Nagada Sang Dhol baaje, Dhol baaje
Dhaayein dhaayein dhaayein dum dhaayein!”
She sang madly as she started doing garba. I ran after her to catch her and then, my breath stopped.
She was peeping through Swara’s door’s keyhole. Oh God, NO! I dragged her away and turned her to face me.
“Ragini, what are you doing? You can’t do that, it is bad manners!”
Ragini made a sorry face and held her ears and pouted. “Sorry Lakshya. I was just seeing whether Swara was asleep or not. We need to dance na, isliye!”
I sighed with frustration. I pulled my hair and held her shoulders tightly. “Why do you want to dance with Swara? Am I not enough? Tell me, why am I not enough?” I asked her, but this wasn’t about just the dance. It was the question I always wanted to ask.
Ragini looked at me. She cupped my cheeks and said softly, “You are enough. You are who I want. You will always be enough. But Lakshya, you dance very well. I want someone who dances as crazily as I am dancing. Swara dances like that na. Isliye.” She said and skipped away, doing baraat dance.
I let out the breath I didn’t know I had been holding. Just for a moment there, I had thought that she was answering my innermost question. From her heart. But I should not be expecting anything, she is drunk. And she is not in her senses. I looked in her direction and promptly froze.
Chachi was making her way up from the kitchen. At this rate, she would soon meet a very drunk Ragini who was hell bent on making it to Dance India Dance. And it won’t bode good. At all.
I sped up and caught Ragini and yanked her towards me. She collided with my chest with a ‘umphh’ and I went behind a wall, spying on Chachi. I looked down at Ragini and found her looking at me adorably with her big eyes. I smiled at her as I got lost in her magnificent beauty……………..
And she giggled. I widened my eyes as I looked at Chachi, praying she hadn’t heard. But it seemed that fate wasn’t on my side today. Chachi had heard the giggle and stopped. And she was looking back.
“Kaun hai? Who is there?” She asked as she looked around.
Ragini smirked and in a ghostly voice, started singing.
“Aami chhe tomar, shuddho chhe tomar.”
I shook with fear as I watched my wife singing like Monjulika like a maniac. Chachi had a similar expression on her face.
“Who is it? I am asking who is it?”
Ragini cackled madly. “Aami Monjulika!” She said in another voice. I stifled a laugh as I saw Chachi’s eyes widen comically.
“Mmmm….Monjulika? Bhoot? Why are you here?”
Ragini looked at me with a grin. I shook my head at her pleadingly, wishing that she would just keep quiet. But my wife was in full form. She refused to get my signal.
“I have come to take Ram…..my life! My Ramprasad.” She said and I widened my eyes in dread.
Then, to give an effect, Ragini started her chham-chham-img. The sound of her payal, along with her maniacal laughter created a spooky environment. I was half worried that she was actually possessed.
Chachi shrieked and ran all the way up to her room while Ragini continued laughing. After a while, even I joined. This was hilarious. I had never seen Ragini like that. I had never known she could actually do this.
“Ang laga de………..mohe ang laga de
Main to Teri joganiya, Tu jog laga de!”
Ragini sang softly as she twirled around in the corridor. I followed her closely, trying to steer her towards our room. She entered the bedroom and plopped on the bed.
“Sau…Dard Hain. Sau rahatein…….
Sab Mila dilnashin, ek Tu hi nahi……”
She sang painfully as I watched her. Her hands were making various gestures above her as she laid on the bed and continued singing with tears in her eyes.
She stopped abruptly and turned towards me. “Hum bohot burre Hain!” she said decisively.
“No Ragini. You are very nice. Very good.”
Ragini shook her head violently. “Nahi nahi. I am very bad. I tried to kill my sister.”
I took a sharp breath as I heard her. I went towards her and took her hands in mine.
“Ragini, it was a mistake. You…..you were wrong. But it doesn’t make you bad.”
“Shut up! I am saying na, that I am bad. Very bad. My poor Swara trusted me so much, and I pushed her into the river. Like this!” She said and gave me a demo by pushing me so hard that I fell off the bed.
“Par Ragini, she has forgiven you. And you have said sorry na? Then it is okay.” I said to her as I rubbed my elbow.
“And have you forgiven me?”
I looked up at her and found her looking at me intensely. I furrowed my eyebrows at her in confusion.
“I ruined your life too Lakshya. See na. Along with Sanskaar, I tried to ruin your reputation. Sent you to jail. I didn’t want to but Sanskaar said that it was for your good. And then I ruined your dreams. Your dream of marrying Swara. I ruined your life too Lakshya. Even though I didn’t want to.”
I looked at her with tears in my eyes. She was the first person who actually understood MY pain. When Ragini had been exposed, everyone was concerned about Swara. How wronged she had been, how she had been betrayed and all. No one thought about me. The fact that I had been cheated by the woman I considered my friend. That I had been ditched at the altar. That I had been used. That my life was ruined. My dreams were crushed. And ironically, the only person who saw my pain and suffering was the one who inflicted it on me.
“You have had to suffer so much. All because of me. I did not want to make you suffer. I just wanted to be with you and keep you happy. But what I did was so wrong. So, so wrong. See na, I married you by force! And I took advantage of your trust on me. I am bad. Very bad.” Ragini said tearfully.
I went up to her and hugged her tightly. “It is okay Ragini. I think it happened for the good. I don’t think Swara and I are meant for each other. We never were.”
“But all the 36 stars of your kundli match with hers. The panditji said so.”
“And yet, I cannot tolerate her for more than 36 seconds! And Swara and I both say so.”
Ragini giggled. I smiled at her as I kissed her forehead. She snug up close to me. “So it means that you have forgiven me?”
“Of course I have. Believe me, I couldn’t have asked for a better life partner. You silently bear with me and do all my work. You always care for me. What else does a man want?”
“You make the best food in the world! Better than my Maa. Really. I love your food.”
Ragini smiled softly as she kissed my hand. Butterflies fluttered in my stomach. That is why I fell in love with her. Because irrespective of what she is going through, she always has my best interest in her heart. Maybe at the back of her mind, she had sensed already that Swara and I had no future. Maybe that, combined with her love, gave her the strength to do what she did.
Ragini pushed me away and rolled towards the other side. “Hum aapse baat nahi Karte! I won’t talk to you!”
I widened my eyes. What happened now?
“Kya hua? Why won’t you talk to me?” I asked her cutely. She looked at me with her lower lip jutted out.
“Arey……you are also bad! You also kidnapped me and tried to kill me Na! And you broke my heart and used me. I don’t like you. Stay away from me! I will divorce you!” She said as she moved away. Somehow, hearing the word ‘divorce’ made my heart sink and my blood boil. Ragini wouldn’t leave me. I won’t let her.
I scooted closer to her and shook her to tell her so but I found her soundly sleeping with a thumb inside her mouth. I shook my head with a smile on my face and switched off the lights. I hugged her tightly as I closed my eyes, dreaming of a night when I wouldn’t have to hug her only if she was asleep.
***END OF FLASHBACK***
“I realised that night that a drunk Ragini is a fun Ragini!” I said to her as she whacked me on my arm lightly.
“Aap bohot burre Hain!” She said to me with a cute pout as I pulled her towards me and kissed her soundly, showing her how really bad and wicked I was.
I watched as Chachu and Mausi came nearer to the border. Papa was beside me, having left the hospital to assist me in receiving Mr. And Mrs. Lakshya Maheshwari.
And then, I caught sight of them. I smiled widely while Papa gasped. The faithful drone was coming closer towards me and it finally hovered above us. But our attention was on Ragini Mausi and Chachu. Who were standing before us, glowing happily.
I ran ahead and hugged both of them tightly, sobbing. Chachu rubbed my hair fondly while Mausi gave me a kiss on my head. Papa hugged Chachu and Mausi. And then, the dreaded question came.
“Where are Ruhaan and Ranveer?”
“Apni bakwaas band karo! You mean to tell me that these papers are fake? Haan? That the DNA test is wrong?” I shouted at Pari Bhabhi who was pale.
The entire family was standing around us, shocked to the core. I had confronted Pari Bhabhi. And it was decidedly unpleasant. She was denying the fact that I was Ansh’s biological mother. The nerve of this cheat!
“Je ke Keh rahi hai Tu Swara? Are you okay? Ansh is Parineeta and Adarsh’s son. What has happened to you?” Mom said to me. I looked at her with determination.
“If you want proof, here are the papers. I had had a DNA done on Ansh when I was informed that there was a possibility that he could be mine. Mom, Bhabhi and I went into labour together. And well, I have proof to show that she cannot conceive. Ever.” I said as I eyed Bhabhi angrily.
Everybody gasped. They looked at Pari Bhabhi who was pale with fear and was sweating. I walked up to her and shoved the papers on her face.
“Read them out. Aloud. They say clearly that Ansh is MY child. And if you doubt, I can arrange a meeting with the doctor who did the test. She works here.” I said as I glared at her.
Pari Bhabhi bowed her head down. Badi Maa came towards her and pulled her chin up to make her face herself.
“Swara is lying, isn’t she? Tell me, is there any truth in what she is saying? Ansh is your son, right?” Badi Maa asked her in a broken voice. Tears started rolling down Bhabhi’s eyes.
“Swara is right. Ansh…….is her son. Pari never had a child. She was never pregnant. We did a drama and on the day of the delivery, paid the nurse to steal Swara’s child and keep it in Pari’s room and inform everyone that Swara’s child died.” Adarsh Bhaiya said abruptly.
A crunching sound followed this statement and everyone looked on as Bade Papa slapped Adarsh Bhaiya. Badi Maa looked at her son disgustedly and then shook her head at Pari Bhabhi who was crying.
“I cannot believe this! Scandalous! How shameless you are! How could you do this?” Badi Maa moaned as she fell to the floor crying. Tears rolled down my eyes.
“Swara?” A sweet voice came from behind me. My heart skipped. A smile came to my face as I turned around and after ten days, found Ragini standing behind me, with tears in her eyes which reflected sympathy for my situation.
“HOW THE HELL DID THIS HAPPEN?” Lakshya shouted in anger. I was feeling numb. Ranveer was missing. Presumably dead. Blood. He must have lost a lot of blood. And Ruhaan? My baby………..he has lost his mental stability. Swara says so. Swara never lies. Never.
Lakshya was meanwhile screaming his head off at everybody, demanding to know how this all happened. But I didn’t want to know that. I did not want to know how it all happened. What I wanted to know was where Ranveer was now. And what would happen to Ruhaan?
“Listen, Dad. I know you have never liked me much, God knows why, but I am telling you that if anything happens to either of my sons, in my eyes, YOU will be the one solely responsible for this!” Lakshya shook his finger at Papaji who had his head bowed down. Maa was crying a lot. Suhani had pressed her face to the glass of Ruhaan’s room and was sobbing uncontrollably. She went away somewhere, wiping her eyes. Meanwhile, I entered my son’s room. Seeing him, my naughty son who was so full of life, lying on the bed unconscious, a fresh wave of tears came to my eyes.
I felt a hand on my shoulder and I found Swara behind me, her eyes moist. She sat beside me and hugged me tightly.
“I can understand. The pain. The fear of losing your child. Because I have gone through it once and now, I am going through it again. In the room next to your son’s, lies my son. Critical. Swinging between life and death. And you know what? I didn’t even know he was mine……….” Swara said as she broke down. We hugged each other tightly, crying in each other’s arms, praying to God to give us the strength to fight.
I watched on calculatingly as she walked towards her car. Good. Let her drive some miles away from human civilisation. I would pounce on her unawares. She may not be the reason behind my anger but I was angry. Angry as hell. And poor Kavya Malhotra would have to bear the brunt of my anger.
I asked the driver to follow her car and not let her escape. I would carry on the mission. In memory of my Ranveer Bhai. Yes. In his memory. As much as I did not want to believe it, the police, after a search operation of about twelve hours, had declared Ranveer Gadodia, aged 16 years and 11 months, as dead. The family had broken down when they said so. Chachu was still fighting with the police about their verdict while Mausi was shattered. And I shuddered to think of how Ruhaan Bhai would react to it once he wakes up and is informed about it.
I watched with narrowed eyes as the small SUV drove ahead. “Overtake Kar lo!” I said to the driver in a cold voice. He understood that the woman in the car ahead was going to face a tough time and knew that I was in a mighty foul mood. He obediently overtook the car and as soon as he stopped, I came out of the car and walked up to her.
She would have to cough up the details today. Or I would make sure that she is never able to open her mouth again, without remembering today. I walked up to her car and knocked on the window. The glass rolled down and she looked at me in anger.
“What the hell? What is your problem? Who the hell are you?”
I smiled creepily. Teri shaamat. I put on my most polite face and asked her pleasantly, “Kavya Malhotra?”
She frowned and nodded. I grinned at her and offered my hand for a handshake. “I am Suhani. Suhani Sanskaar Maheshwari. Daughter of Sanskaar and SWARA Maheshwari!”
And I watched with a smirk, her eyes widening and her face paling. She tried to roll up the windows but I stuck my hand inside and grasped her neck. She tried to drive the car in reverse but my faithful driver had already stuffed a cloth in her smoke pipe. Kavya Malhotra had no choice. She couldn’t escape. She was totally at my mercy. But I am a fourteen year old girl. A fourteen year old girl whose one brother was dead, one was on his deathbed and one who had lost his mental stability. A girl whose family was crumbling into pieces. A girl who was really VERY ANGRY. And ready to strike. And as old and experienced a player this Kavya was, she was no match for me. I smirked as Kavya choked and finally opened the windows. Good. The mission was going great. Step one, done!
I watched on with tears in my eyes as Ruhaan lay before me, breathing heavily. I had known something was wrong. I had told Lakshya. He hadn’t listened to me. See, I was right. A mother’s intuition never fails.
I saw Ruhaan stirring a little. I drew everyone’s attention to it as I lightly stroked his hair. His eyes opened slowly and he blinked up at me. I smiled and he smiled in return. I helped him sit up on the bed and noticed him looking behind me. I looked back and saw Lakshya standing with tears in his eyes.
“Arrey, Ranveer. Tu aa gaya? Saale Harami! Where were you? See, I got so worried that I ended up in a hospital bed. No girl would want to marry me if she gets to know this!” Ruhaan said to Lakshya. Tears came to my eyes.
“Wo Dad Hain. He is Lakshya. Not Ranveer.” Swara said to him gently. Ruhaan furrowed his eyebrows.
“Stop this naatak! You guys take a great advantage of our resemblance. He is Ranveer. My brother. Okay? Dad is not here, he has gone to Mumbai for his latest show. Stop trying to make a fool out of me! Aur Tu sunn! Tera nahi chalne waala!” Ruhaan said to Lakshya who was sobbing now.
I touched my son lightly on his face, crying heavily. My poor baby, he always took separation between him and Ranveer rather badly. He was losing his senses and I did not want to lose my son. Not when I had already lost one.
“Beta, he is Dad. Ranveer………he……”
“See Ranveer! They are saying that you are Dad. This shows how old you look! Like some 40 year old, instead of a 16 year old. Haha haha. See, I told you? They are making fun of you. Why don’t you quip a remark now? Haan?”
Lakshya was sobbing uncontrollably while everyone had tears in their eyes, seeing Ruhaan’s condition. Swara placed her hand on Lakshya’s shoulder and looked at him tearingly. He gave her a small smile.
“I am sorry for you. At least I got to know my sons. You…….you had no idea about Ansh………..” He said to her. She broke down in his arms while he steadied her, crying.
“Abbey yahan aa. Come here and sit with me. I need to knead you into a dough! Left me alone and scared the shit out of me!” Ruhaan demanded while Lakshya looked at him with tears.
“HE ISN’T RANVEER! RANVEER IS DEAD! SUNA? HE HAS LEFT US!” I shouted angrily, slapped Ruhaan and fell to the floor, crying my eyes out. Ruhaan glared at me.
“You really believe that shit? Come on Mom! Do you?” Ruhaan asked me. I shook my head. No. My son wasn’t dead. Whatever anyone says, he isn’t dead. My heart refuses to believe.
“Well, are you Ranveer or are you Dad?” Ruhaan asked Lakshya who mouthed ‘Dad’ to him. Ruhaan’s eyes watered and he slumped his shoulders in defeat.
I looked up at my son as he stared into space. Only one person could put everything right. Where are you Ranveer?”
“Haan. Toh. We are playing Kaun Banega Crorepati! And the million dollar question is, WHAT HAPPENED THAT NIGHT AT THE HOTEL?” I snarled at Kavya who was sitting in the backseat of her car, scared out of her wits.
I had managed to overpower her with the help of Driver Uncle and had confiscated her phone too. And now, I was playing KBC with her.
I stretched my legs and looked at her through narrowed eyes. She gulped in fear and I smirked.
“What is your age? Haan? Is this the way you talk to an elder? Doing gundagardi!” Kavya said. I raised an eyebrow and poked my cheek with my index finger. “Time out!” I said, clucking with disapproval.
“So, Badi Maa paid you…..what? The sum? In lakhs? Come on, be honest. I have evidence. One call to the police and you will be finished!” I said to her with a smile. Kavya paled.
“Ten lakhs. She paid me ten lakhs for my job and three to Karthik.”
Aha. Karthik. Good, I was on the right track. I smiled at her in approval and gave her an Oreo biscuit as a reward.
“Karthik? That man who tried to act as my Mausi’s paramour?”
Kavya nodded. “He is my brother.”
I nodded in understanding. This time, I gave her the entire packet.
“I will give you twenty. Tell me what happened that night. The truth.”
Kavya looked away. I felt rage boiling over me and I snapped at her, “Look here! My family is crumbling. My brother is on his deathbed while Lakshya Chachu’s one son is dead and the other has gone crazy! Tell me the truth or else I have saved the police’s number………..”
“Parineeta paid me to lie!”
I stopped and looked at her with interest. Lie? Yes. That was what Ruhaan Bhai had said. To lie.
“I…….I am Lakshya’s ex girlfriend. I left him to marry a rich man but after two years of being used, I was thrown away like a doll. I needed money and then…….Parineeta came to me with an offer.”
“I had to act as if Lakshya and I had slept together.”
I took a sharp breath. Act? Shit! This means that………….
“I agreed. On that night, Lakshya was brought in drunk to the room. As soon as his family came, I changed into my lingerie and acted as if Lakshya was cheating on his wife with me. That is it. Karthik was paid for his acting as Lakshya’s wife’s lover.”
Rage built up inside me. “Do you have any idea that your actions caused my Chachu and Mausi to divorce and separate? Mausi was pregnant with twins! She and Chachu lived away from each other for sixteen years and my cousins grew up without a father! Because of you!” I shouted at her.
Kavya was sobbing. I felt pity on her. I was disgusted to the core. I threw her phone at her, stood up and walked away.
“You promised me something in return for this information.” She called out. I turned back and gave her a packet of Parle G biscuits. She looked at me in confusion.
“What is this? Where is my money?”
“What money? I promised you ‘twenty’. Twenty what? Twenty BISCUITS! This packet of Chhota Bheem Parle-G biscuits has twenty biscuits in it. See. I fulfilled my promise!”
Kavya looked at me with shock while I smirked and walked away. I quickly entered the car. I looked at my driver.
He smiled at me. “Haan beti. Recorded every single thing. Lakshya Baba is innocent. We can prove it now.”
I smiled at him and stuck my head out. “Kavya? Just a piece of advice. Eat them with milk. They taste better!”
And as my car moved away from her, I started laughing uncontrollably. I am so smart!
Haha haha. Suhani is so smart! I love this chick! Let us see how the story unfolds now. Just two or three chapters more.
Do comment and tell me how you liked it
Up Next: Suhani reveals the truth, Pari thrown out. Ansh wakes up while Ruhaan senses something. The culprit strikes again. A sneak peek at Ranveer.
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