So we people are writing such intense, serious stuff over here and the makers are well, making a “pappu” out of us! I can’t help but laugh. Tia is turning positive , Shivika And Rudra have a hand in the memory loss drama, so many loopholes!! I just hope the writer ties them all firmly with logic. While all of us here, the writers as well as the commentators, continue with our random stuff
Well, that was a quick exit. I’m sure Mita will eat me alive otherwise. Truth be told, today is hot. My own scooter can’t bear the brunt of the heat. I whizzed past the streets, considering that there was absolutely no person on the road, who did not have an impatient, angry friend waiting to research some random case.
And wonder of wonders, what did I see? My friend was sitting on a table, comfortably under a banyan tree and sipping cool sherbet. So much for fainting in the heat! Even a person with a fainting spree couldn’t faint in such heavenly conditions. I almost swore to myself that if she hadn’t fainted yet due to the heat, I’ll make her faint by my own powers.
Akira: Oh hello, Mita! And here I was, like a fool, rushing to pick you up, leaving my sister in the lurch so that you do not get boiled. And when I reach here, I can very well see that you have already become an omelette!
Mita: Patience, Akira. (Sipping the sherbet ,while ordering one for Akira)Three facts:
One, I was here fifteen minutes ago and would have truly been boiled in the heat.
Two, you come somewhere urgently only when you get an ultimatum.
Akira: And the third?
Mita: Sherbet is ekdum jhakaas; man .It’ll be a sin not to try it.
Shunning all my inhibitions and my silent plans to assassinate my friend for her crime I sipped the cool sherbet, relishing the effect it had on me. And as we drifted into a relaxed mode, Mita gave me the specifies.
Mita: Okay, this case is between Mallika Siddharth Rana and well, Ravish Raichand. Actually, this is regarding the plot of land which both of them claim ownership on.
Akira: How much land are we talking about?
Mita: About 30 acres..
Akira: Is this a case where the agreement wasn’t drafted properly?
Mita: That’s exactly where the catch lies. Actually, Mallika is the daughter in law of the Ranas, you must know, specifically, the wife of Siddharth Vikram Rana. They hatched upon a very clever plan of getting the land for a lease, up to three years. After the demonetization crisis, the real estate sector has gone down, so they thought buying the land at a lower price. Ravish agreed and money was paid to him, however, Malika in desperation for the land, didn’t care to draft a proper agreement.
Akira: Why does Mallika Rana need so much land for?
Mita: She’s an architect by profession. This land is pretty near to the Rana’s office building. She plans to make a new, sustainable apartment nearby, preferably for accommodation for the Ranas’ employees. Mind you, this will be, by no means, cheap. She also plans to create a green space there. If this building is constructed, it will get a LEED Platinum rating.
Akira: Isn’t that supposed to churn more profit for the group. Wow! Where exactly is the problem here?
Mita: Mr. Ravish is. He refuses to accept that he cannot stake ownership of the land,worse,he wants to be paid more than the Guideline value.
Akira: You mean, black money?
Mita: Yes. Actually, The Oberois and Ranas are very respected groups in Mumbai, though not always considered clean. Mallika, new to the family wants to prove herself and this muck could only have negative effects for the group. This is where we come in. We are going to meet her today and if possible, churn out something from her not known till now.
They reach Mallika’s comfortable workspace; get into comfortable conversation, finally after the initial briefing, when it is time to go.
Akira: Ma’am, pleasure talking to you. Will be a pleasure, working on your case too, I guess.Will you please give me your husband’s or your phone numbers ?
Mallika: No Ma’am and all, just Mallika. Here are our contact numbers. I just want this case closed with no raitha spreading around.(She breaks into a wide smile)Sorry, I was reminded of a very close friend who used this lingo. It somehow, seems familiar, talking to you.
Akira(Smiling):- Aha! This is my sister’s lingo too. People who affect us a lot do make their way into our conversation. Nice meeting you, Mallika. Bye!
Annika ,after a hard day’s work, reached home ,only to find Badi Maa, laughing ,hearing her almost incoherent babblings about Billuji.
Jhanvi: Annika, you are at it again. You both were the most compatible couple I had and have, maybe will ever see! It was nice talking to Shivaay after so long. I was laughing till now, thinking of his narration of what OmRu did all these days.
Annika: And you will laugh even more when you hear about the Siyappa he did today!
Jhanvi lay on the cosy bed, drew the blanket towards her and proceeded to hear Annika’s humorous narration. By the end of it, she was shaking so violently with laughter that she could no longer lie down and stood up.
Jhanvi: I will not tell you to return back to him, Annika. But Shivaay hates any sign of awkwardness or going out of his way to please others. You are special to him, that is why he tried so much, ended up insulting himself in the end. He loves you, I will tell you again, but don’t you return till you fell there is equality, self-respect and trust back in your relation. By the way, our next door neighbour wanted to talk to you urgently about something. He sounded very grave, Annika, you must go now, after all we owe a lot to him.
Annika: Nishaad, what about him? I know why he would’ve been so grave Badi maa, the child must have made him change his diaper again. We know he hates that. But it is hard, raising a child without its mother.
Jhanvi: It is hard, raising a child without its mother.
Annika rushed to the nearby apartment while Jhaanvi proceeded to call Shivaay from her phone, holding back laughter.
Nishaad sat tensely, holding the baby in his lap and singing the lullaby continuously ,though the baby was asleep. I was shocked, he was usually very attentive to his baby’s needs. Today, he seemed immersed in his own world, very sorrowful. I admired him for his level headedness, he had lost his wife, a month ago, worked in a store to earn for his small family. There, however, he was lucky, he earned a hefty 80,000 for his work in that store, though I had no idea what he did. How powerful money was, one could judge seeing him. I was sure money was again the reason for his sorrow. However, his eyes drifted to me and for once I could see a faint of glow of peace in them. I smiled. I offered to carry the baby who, I was fond of and who was also fond of me.
Nishaad: How was your day today, Annika? All good.
Annika: Yes, till now. Your sad face just upturned it now, my next door neighbour. What happened?
Nishaad: A lot has happened Annika. How eventful the day has been. It seems God developed a special dislike to me since the day I was born. First my wife, my one month old son, my family…..
Annika: God has a special dislike to all people in this apartment, Nish. But come on, who the hell are you? What happened to my chirpy, optimistic, perfect neighbour-cum-father?
Nishaad patted the infant’s head, as if assuring himself that he’d always be there.
Nishaad: Life happened, Annika. Life happened. This time, it stuck a death knell!
Annika: Come on, this negativity doesn’t suit you. You have faced many problems in life no one would’ve ever dreamt of, and so bravely. Whatever be your problem, we are always with you.
Nishaad: Are you?
Nishaad: I have been diagnosed with malignant tumour,aka,cancer.I can’t hope to survive for more than, let’s say ,a year, because I refuse treatment. After that I’ll go, join my wife in our heavenly abode. I just got to know of it today.
Annika was shocked, beyond words. She held the infant closer to herself, closing its ears too.
Annika: Shut up Nishaad. Your baby is sleeping, don’t crack such bad jokes now!
Nishaad: No one jokes around with Cancer,Annika!It screws you!I’m perfectly serious.
Annika: Don’t you worry ,Nishaad. We are always with you, behind you. Go for treatment, I will support you. We’ll look after the baby and we’ll make things better for sure, Nish. Keep faith in me.Do you get it?Get admitted, now..!
Nishaad: And ,drain your already just stable economy ?No, this time it’s time to give up. What I’ll ask of you now, is more than all the debts you think you might owe me. But I have no option nonetheless,Annika will you marry me?
Annika stood stumped, staring idiotically in the empty space in front of her, unsure of what she was hearing was right or whether it was just her fancy. She recollected her energies and managed to ask him again.
Nishaad: When I go, there will be no one to take care of this baby. I know no one responsible enough except you. And if you are my legally wedded wife the time I die, no one can easily snatch my child from you. As far as I know, you love my baby too and have no plans of settling down to start a family. So,I have gathered all my courage to ask, Will you marry me and look after our child for the rest of your life?
Annika registered the gravity of the situation finally. She decided to take her own time to answer the question ,however. Nishaad sat down, understanding what she was doing and offered her all the time in this world to get her answer.
Shivaay: Hallo,Badi Maa?
Jhanvi: Hello, Shivaay! How was the espresso in Annika’s restaurant?
Shivaay: Rudra told you so soon?
Jhanvi: No, Annika did.(Laughing into the phone)
Shivaay felt very embarrassed but was happy hearing her laugh for so long.
Jhanvi: I just called to talk to the four of you. It has been long.
Shivaay and Jhanvi talked for some time and then he handed the phone over to OmRu and Prinku, who were animatedly chatting with their mom. Looking at them thus, filled him with happiness and peace.
I will have to make the family complete again, he resolved.
Annika mind, flashed before her, bringing Shivaay, the whole family, all sad, happy memories in front of her and finally ending on what happened today. Suddenly the baby seemed heavier. It was the weight of responsibility, she reasoned. She surely didn’t want to go back to the Oberoi Mansion, not as yet. She looked at the baby, soaking in the peace and the boundless love she felt for the tiny being in her arms. If she refused, he would go to an orphanage or a home, where he would neither be wanted, nor be cared, or loved for, that matter. He would grow up, craving love, turning ruthless and materialistic .If she took the responsibility, she would have someone to take care of, giving her purpose, all her life. He would be better off along with her. Her decision was taken.
Shivaay: Will I be able to bring my Uncle’s wife and my wife back to this bereft home?
Annika: Yes!I will.