The Eleventh episode.This is so fabulous, I never thought I’d take this so seriously and write.Without any further ado, lets start.
A wave of silence greeted me.
Disbelief was the first emotion I registered.
No way,My brothers would never do that to me.
But like many other situations,my gut churned,telling me what I was dreading,was infact,the truth.
This called for Confrontation.
Om: I can’t believe that Mr.Oberoi, is back to his old game again.And that Akira,well,nothing of her I almost expected her to be so.
Rudra: You used to call Bhaiya judgemental, consider yourself balanced but you are doing the exact same thing with Akira didi,just because she doesn’t fit in with your ideals?
Shivaay(Walking in): Yes, Om.When it comes to your own principles,you fail to be unbiased yourself.
Om: No, Shivaay.Her profession is based on lies.Why didn’t she atleast tell Daadi that she was a Chadda?Your livelihood decides your character in a way,Shivaay.It changes you that way.
Shivaay: She never lied,Om.
Om: What are you saying?
Shivaay: She only delayed the truth,Om.She didn’t lie.Its her truth and your lie,which she didn’t let you know.
Rudra: Do one thing.Both of you change your names.Bhaiya,you change your name to Baba Bhagad Billa and O,you change it to Lambe Baalwala Baba Omkara.
The mention of Bhaagad Billa reminded me of the task in hand.I had to confront them,without actually confronting.
Shivaay: She just delayed the truth,Om.Who knows, even you or Rudra or me would have done it someday,or will do it in the future.
Om immediately went silent. Rudra gave me a blank expression,which I found,meant he didn’t quite understand.
Shivaay: And even when you do that,I will not be angry or judgemental about you.I will know what actually happened.I will come to our room,just as I have come now,to ask you the complete truth and I’m sure,you will answer all my questions,then.
Om stared at me,wide in shock before replying.
Om: We knew Annika was coming to the function,Shivaay.She too knew we would come,but was sure you wouldn’t come for the event.She said you would think this as a “2 Rs job”.But then,you came along Shivaay.
Shivaay: I knew it, Om.The moment Rudra said,” Finally,they have their emotional siso moment” ,I understood that you people already knew about her, where she was all these months.You didn’t even ask Annika to come and talk to me,nor was any surprise seeing her.But this part of truth,I already know Om,tell me the part I don’t know.
Om: What Shivaay?
Shivaay: Tell me that you know where Annika lives.
Tell me that you know where another important Oberoi lives.
Tell me that Badi Maa and Annika are living together.
Rudra came,enclosing his Bhaiya in a bone crushing hug.
Rudra: Bhaiya,yes,we knew were Annika didi lived.We knew in what great turmoil you were.But we couldn’t tell you where she was,because Mom asked us to keep it a secret.She didin’t want Daadi to come to her and begging her to come back in Mr.Oberoi’s life again. She asked such a small thing of us and we promised her,Bhaiya.These 2 months, bhaiya, she actually spent a lot of time with us.And all these days,Annika didi,kept her very happy ,bhaiya.Mom almost glowed with happiness when we saw her last week.We knew we were going to tell you where mom was,bhaiya,trust us.What we did,was it wrong?
Shivaay: No.I knew it,I knew my brothers wouldn’t do anything against me bereft of reason.
Om: Shivaay,you probably want to beat me to death,now,but can I ask you for an Obro hug?
Rudra: Without the most important Oberoi of the house?
ShiOm: Who is that,Rudra?We don’t see anyone important here.
Rudra: I love you guys.
And an inevitable Rudy style,O bro hug followed.The brothers smiled seeing their love and happiness in each other’s eyes.
What they didn’t see was that someone had heard their whole conversation.
More than anything else, what Tej Singh Oberoi felt at that moment was pure disgust, all aimed at himself.
Akira: Didi,didi,didi,didi…Oh God! How lovely it sounds.
Annika: My ears are full of this lovely sound,chutki.
Akira: You aren’t happy as I am,Didi.
Soumya: Akira di,she is.Its just that she is completely exhausted with all that happened that she can’t even react properly.
Annika: What am I to react with,Chutki? I may as well,dance.But I love you,chutki.I will always,even though our childhood,teenage was without each other,I will spend the rest of my life with you, that is ,until you get married.
Akira: Which I am not going to.Because men in romantic relationships,are always a problem. An obstacle,to your passions,to your career.
Daadi: It is not always that way,dear.Sometimes,they may be the same person who let you follow your passion.All it matters..
Priyanka: Is that you marry the right person?
Annika: Which is..
Akira: Quite impossible because..
Soumya :According to a survey By Huffington Post, the happiest married men in the world,don’t want a wife who works.That is, 61.61%of them.
Akira: Exactly and rather than searching for that one man in38.39%…
Annika: Its better to not marry at all!!
Daadi smiled and looked at them. Here she was ,conversation ,with her granddaughter,her ex-grandaughter-in-law and something in her told she was looking at her future daughters-in-law.She felt grand,like those proud old people in films and serials,inspecting their family,with happiness while walking in the corridor of their house.
Presently,Annika’s phone rang.
Annika: I’ll just be back.(Walking away)Yes, Badi Maa.I’ll just come in an hour.I have Nishaad to look after our home.Please stay inside and wait till I come.I have something big to tell you today.
Jhanvi:Hmm..The poor guy is caught between looking after our apartment and his one month old son. Annika,dear,Om,Shivaay and Rudra called.Shivaay got to know where I live.I’m not surprised,his presence of mind is astute.Today,I actually understood how much I miss them.
Annika: So did I,Badi maa.I am with the other part of your family.I am with Priyanka,Soumya,Dadi…
Jhanvi wailed softly ,then vigorously for a full 3 minutes.Annika too,felt her eyes heavy.
Jhanvi: But whatever happens,..
Annika: I cannot go back…
Jhanvi: Exactly,but if Shivaay has come to know where I live,he knows where you live too.
Annika: He dare not force me again,Badi Maa.I will never let him do that.
Jhanvi: Come home quick,I’ll be waiting.(Cuts the call)
DaadI: Annika,dear,are you done with the call?Let’s all go home,its late already.
Akira: Daadi,nowhere,I’m going to stay with my di.Your baba grandson,wouldn’t like me coming home.
Daadi: Nothing new, Akira puttar.You challenged his ideals,no one likes that.
Annika thought of those words are looped them in her mind with some minor changes “ You challenged my ideals,I hate that,Shivaay Singh Oberoi”
Akira: He was giving me a very angry look,now I understand why.He thinks I lied to him,no him,especially to you ,about Arnav Chadda being my ADOPTED dad.
Daadi: I’ll tell him what the truth is.Not only him,now I’ll have to tell his brothers too.But you will have to come with me.
Annika: I have to go back to my home.A person is waiting for me there.
Akira: A person?Or a very special person?(In a teasing tone)Waiting for you at home?
Annika: Yes, but not the sort you think. Bahut raitha phail gaya hai,lekin kal sametne zaroor Oberoi Mansion aaungi.(A lot of raitha has spread,but I will clear up the mess tomorrow,I will come to the oBeroi Mansion)Till then Akira, you go with Daadi.I’ll tell you what to do tomorrow.Please,trust me.And Daadi,please tell me the time,when he is not at home…..
Akira: Now who is this “he” ? Everyone here is playing chuppa-chupi(Hide N seek),Hiding things from each other.
Daadi: Yes, Annika putthar.
Annika: Wait till tomorrow,Akira.
Akira: I’m surely not going to sleep today.
Annika: Yes, you will.Trust me.(Giving a quick deep hug to Soumya and Priyanka)You have no idea I missed your company,Prinku and Sumo..Er…Soumya….And you(Pointing to Chutki)..
Staring at her sister for sometime,she prepared to give her a hug but again stopped midway and stood smiling at her.
Akira: Ugh! Didi…Such a melodrama queen !!(Hugging her tight and giving a deep kiss on her cheeks)I can do so much more that what you do in the same time,didi….Bye!!!
And after taking daadi’s blessing,Annika returned homeward.
There was so much to be done,so much to be told,so much to be revealed.
And the happy Ladies-of-four returned back happy,everyone for a different reason,to the place that was their home for atleast,the time being.
THE OBEROI MANSION.