Sumi’s eyes dropped more tears as she looked at her kids. They were facing the opposite but crying equally. It squeezed her heart more.
“Sumi” she heard that soothing voice. “Everything will be alright” Shekar assured her and she hugged him. “Promise?” she asked and Shekar tightened his hold on her shoulder. “Promise” he kissed her forehead.
“Maa” little Vikram spoke and she came out of the hug and knelt in front of him. “What happened to Bacha and Lado?” he asked innocently.
“They are fine baby. Just some injections and they will be alright” Sumi kissed his forehead.
“No…” Vikram screamed and ran towards the nurse who was taking the babies. “Don’t hurt them with injections please. They will cry” his eyes smeared with tears as he requested the nurse.
The nurse smiled at him. “Nothing will happen to your sisters. They will be fine” the nurse walked inside the operation theater. The red light turned on and indicated the onset of operation.
They had no hope. Doctor had assured the survival of only one kid. Saving both the kids who were conjoined with the very important organ always came with the condition of one kids survival.
But in case of Kumud and Diya it was different. Rather than sharing the same organ they had each developed an individual heart but were conjoined before birth.
Shekar and Sumi never would have wanted to separate the kids if it wouldn’t have risked the kids life as they grew. But one wrong inch of the skin could cost one babies life.
It wasn’t any easy decision. But they had to be selfish to save either one of them rather than losing both. The operation went for hours.
Vikram threw the ball towards the ground. “Diya catch” Diya heard a scream and shuddered. She closed her eyes and the ball was about to hit her. But she was pushed by someone.
“Kya hai Diya? Can’t you catch a ball?” Kumud who got up brushed her clothes. “Lado. Are you okay?” Vikram walked to them and analyzed the Diya. “Bhayyu I fell down not she” Kumud complained.
“But bacha. Diya was scared. I had told you she can’t play this. We will play some small game where…” “ Where there is no running, no jumping and no rolling” Kumud completed Vikram’s sentence and he grinned at her.
“Fine” she rolled her eyes and they walked towards home to play some other game as Diya was not that active like other kids of her age. Her heart was weak compared to Kumud’s and still the muscles were healing.
“Mumma” Kumud squealed hugging her mother. Sumi smiled and kissed her cheek.
Shekar walked inside and collapsed on the couch. Sumi walked to him with a water glass. “You look tired. Too much work is it?” Sumi asked as Shekar took the glass and sipped the water.
Shekar nodded his head. Vikram came and pressed his legs and Kumud and Diya pressed his hands on the other sides. Sumi smiled at her kids. She walked and pressed Shekar’s head as he was shocked admiring his kids shocked.
He smiled finally when his body surely did not feel the comfort but his heart was full with the love his family showered.
After the dinner the Sumi walked to their room after making the kids sleep. She glanced at Shekar’s sleeping form. Caressing her belly she smiled as she thought of sharing the news with Shekar about the new member who will be arriving in their family soon.
As they wake up in the morning the new day looked indifferent. Shekar got ready and was about to leave to work.
“Baba” he heard Diya’s voice and closed his eyes. “Sorry Lado. I had forgotten” he said and held his ears apologetically. Sumi brought his lunch box and he took it and lifted Diya in his arms.
“I am taking her for the last injection. I will get her in the evening” he kissed Sumi’s forehead and walked out. Sumi stood at the door admiring her husband and Diya’s backs.
It had been late night. Sumi looked at the clock but her anxiety only grew. She looked at the door again. But there was no trace of her husband or her kid. Kumud sat continuously crying.
Her connection with her non identical twins heart was stronger and faster. She already had guessed the situation. Vikram tried consoling her but it did not work.
Sumi went and sat beside Kumud and consoled her. “Diyu” she cried. “Nothing will happen to Lado” Sumi kissed her forehead. But she herself had no assurance.
“Sharmishta Behen” she heard her neighbor Khan’s voice. “Khan Bhayya” she rushed to the door. “I had been to the factory Shekar was working. It is completely demolished. And I have heard some angry mob is heading towards this way. We have to vacate this place” he said. His bruises said it all.
“But if Shekar Ji comes searching us?” Sumi asked worried. “Trust me Behen. There are no survivors in that huge blast. And people are angry and insane. They can go to any level to harm the other community. Think about your kids” Khan requested her. She looked back at her kids.
She had no time to think. She wiped her tears and packed some necessary stuff and walked with Khan to the nearby railway station. He bought her a ticket to Mumbai and she started her new journey of life which was uncertain and unclear.
But she could get herself a hold and look after her kids whom she could save. Her heart did not agree that her husband and Diya was no more. But the news after that about no survivors and charred bodies at the accident spot made her mind to convince her heart that it was the fact and as soon as she accepts it her life will start moving.
What she did not knew was Shekar had returned after some days from the shelter he hid himself and Diya and found their home wrecked into ashes. As none of the neighbors were aware of Sumi’s departure told him that his family was burned alive.
As Khan was also killed by some mob the same night neither Shekar knew about Sumi and his kids survival nor Sumi knew about his and Diya’s survival.
Shekar moved to Puna where he met Pari and Anjali’s family who considered him as a member of their family and he got himself a hold and started raising Diya alone.
Can life turn just 360 degree and bring back what is lost. When you are defeated thinking you have lost every damn person of your life and then you see your family back surely you cannot define that moment. Shekar was in a similar state.
As the confusions cleared he hugged Sumi tightly and she let out all her held emotions. Her heart broke into pieces when she learned about Diya’s death and so was Shekar when he came to know about Kumud’s death.
The conjoined twins had left the world leaving everyone behind and also at almost the same time. May be it was destiny which brought them together and could not tolerate their separation too.
Vikram collapsed whom Ragini held. She looked at him helplessly. “She was alive bacha. She was alive” he said holding his tears.
“She is still alive” Laksh placed his hand on Ragini’s shoulder. “Here” he pointed at Diya’s heart which was transplanted to Ragini.
“Now I know why she always used to run back to you” Sumi said controlling her emotions. Vikram looked at Ragini and hugged her.
“Not because she had Lado’s heart maa. Because she loves me more than any of my sisters” he said and Ragini smiled through her tears. “It might be Diya’s heart but the emotions are my Ragu bacha’s” he kissed her hair and Ragini closed her eyes letting down the tears.
The guest started arriving and there was new glow of happiness on everyone’s face. It was not just Sriti and Vikram’s reception but also the happiness of getting the family back.
The moon was shining outside the window. Sriti was sitting covering her face behind the long ghungat in between the jasmine flower garlands which were forming a cone across the bed.
As the door opened her already nervous heart took a high leap. Vikram walked to her and sat beside her.
“Um” he cleared his throat. “I wanted to confess something” he said and Sriti lifted her ghunghat.
“I…” he said and gulped the saliva. Sriti gave him a questioning look. “I..” he said again. “Have you forgotten J K L M… I will tell Ansh to teach” Sriti said annoyed.
“I… I mean” he said and Sriti huffed. “Finally you said a word beyond I” she rolled her eyes.
“I’m sleepy” he said closing his eyes tightly fearing Sriti will feel bad. “So?” Sriti asked and he opened his eyes and looked at her.
“Sleep” she lied on the bed. “Okay. This was easy” he smiled and placed his hand on the pillow. Sriti held his wrist and he looked at her.
“Where are you going?” she asked. “To sleep” he said. “Why are there any thrones here?” she signed to the bed. “No but I thought you will not be comfortable” he said. Sriti facepalmed.
“You did not grow your brain right?” she asked and he looked at her puzzled.
She dragged him holding his hand and he lied on the bed. He looked at her shocked. “For your kind information. We are married Mr. Asthana. And beyond this your Bacha is not gonna help you” she said and Vikram smiled at her weakly.
She moved near him and placed her head on his shoulder. Vikram’s heart took a high leap and he felt it will jump out from his mouth.
He controlled his growing excitement and finally sleep covered them.
Ragini sat on a chair lost. Sahil saw her and walked to her. “Now what plans are you making to make my life a hell?” he asked and Ragini raised her head and there was no frown but a blank expression.
“Hey” he knelt in front of her. “Do you also think I am like this because of Diyu dee’s heart?” she asked and her eyes developed tears.
Sahil smiled at her weakly. “You need that heart for only one purpose Ragini. To pump the blood to your body. You are you. Ragini. Nobody else. What you feel and what you are both are from your soul. Not because of your heart” he caressed her cheek.
“So I love everyone through my soul?” she asked innocently.
“I don’t know how people love or which organ makes them feel. But I know that the emotions and feels are important than who develops them. Your Diyu dee never loved Sanskar the way you loved. Nor she was so bonded with your Bhayyu this way. It is you Ragini. And what you feel is for yourself not due to that heart of your Diyu dee. It is keeping you alive. Not living your life” he said and Ragini smiled at him weakly.
“But still you can’t match my sarcasm” he said proudly and Ragini teased him showing her tongue. Sahil ran a bit and saw Ragini still sitting on the chair.
“I thought you will chase me” he said confused. “I can’t give more reasons to Dumbledore to worry about my health” she pointed at her belly.
“Oh yess. That means for nine month I will be the winner without competition” he spread his hands proudly. Ragini threw the wooden piece which was on the table towards Sahil and it hit his head. “In your dreams. The competition is just paused. Not ended Sadu Sahil” she smirked while Sahil rubbed his forehead.
He saw Ragini chuckling and a wide smile spread on his lips. Ansh ran to her and kissed her cheek. Ragini hugged him lovingly.
“Its time to sleep” Sanskar lifted her in his arms coming there. “Oh ouw Dumbledore what are you doing?” Ragini dangled her hand across his neck and looked at him with surprise.
“Marriage over. Jumping running and rolling over. It is only Dumbledore rule now” he walked towards Ragini’s room. Sahil watched them and Ansh hugged his legs.
“Chalo champ time to sleep” Sahil picked Ansh in his arms. “Dad. Lohri” he whined. “But I will wake up the demons with my singing” Sahil pouted and Ansh giggled.
“I will sleep with mumma” Ansh pointed towards Sanskar who was carrying Ragini. “Mumma needs rest baby. For some days you have to manage my nightingale voice only” Sahil pulled Ansh’s chin. Ansh pouted.
“Sanskar one minute” Ragini stopped him. She told him to turn. He turned.
“Ansh baby come” Ragini called. Ansh got out of Sahil’s arms and ran towards Ragini.
“What if Maasi Maa sings lohri today for Ansh?” Ragvi asked standing on the way. Ansh looked at Ragini.
Ragini drifted her gaze from Ragvi to Ansh. She looked at Sahil who was watching them.
‘May be Ansh will bring them together’ she thought. But she felt a pain to let go of Ansh. He was dear to her more than anyone. But for Sahil’s happiness she had to let go of Ansh.
He in a true sense belonged to Ragvi. But how could she make her feelings understand this. She controlled her emotions and smiled at Ansh. She signed him to go with Ragvi.
Ansh sadly looked at Ragini. It was clear that he himself was not ready to go with someone other than her. Sahil watched it helplessly.
Ragini looked up at Sanskar after Ragvi took Ansh to her room. She smiled but Sanskar guessed her pain. He kissed her forehead and walked inside her room.
He placed her on the bed and covered her with the quilt. He sat beside her head and patted her head. A tear tripped her closed eye.
“Hey Biwi” he whispered worried. “I’m okay” she said in low tone. “I know it is difficult for you to let go of Ansh. But he had to get used to stay with her. If you want Sahil and Ragvi to move on in their life you have to do this” he kissed her forehead.
“I know. But I feel that pain when I even think of it Sanskar. He has been an integral part of my life. I don’t know I will love my kid also to that extent but I love Ansh more than my kid” she caressed her belly.
Sanskar placed his hand over her hand and caressed her hair with the other hand. “You are doing it for his good. Wherever he will be but he will be your son only Jaan” he said and smiled at her. Ragini turned and hugged him. He rubbed her shoulder to make her feel light.
Ragvi walked with a tray of break fast and juice to Sahil who was on the dining table reading news paper. He folded the news paper and looked at the plate and then at her.
“Will you stop doing this?” he looked at her coldly. Ragvi looked at him confused.
“What are you trying to do? Do you think with all this you will make me fall for you? If you try to be Ansh’s mother and do all things a wife does I will feel for you?” he fumed.
“Sahil what are you talking?” Ragvi asked him confused. “I have made myself clear that nobody can take Kumud’s place in my life. And you are trying to do the same thing. And in the process you are trying to separate Ansh from his mother. Remember one thing I will not tolerate it” he showed his index finger.
“Shut up” Ragvi screamed. Ragini and Sanskar walked out of the room and looked at them.
“Last night I took Ansh with me because Ragini needed rest not for snatching Ansh from her” Ragvi looked at him with teary eyes.
“I very well know Mr. Raheja that not only me nobody can take Kumud dee’s place in your life. If I wanted to do that I would have done it long back. And regarding Ansh I know he is Ragini’s son. I am still his Maasi Maa I don’t want to take Ragini’s place also in his life.” she looked at him helplessly.
“Dee” Ragini moved to Ragvi. “I’m sorry. I shouldn’t have come back to mess it up like this” Ragvi looked at Ragini and ran to her room. Ragini felt bad for her.
“What the hell is wrong with you Sahil?” Sanskar asked standing in front of Sahil. “Mumma” Ansh came there rubbing his eyes.
Ragini wiped her tears and walked to him. She took him to get him freshened up.
Sahil collapsed on the chair. He pulled his hair.
“I don’t know. I feel like my emotions are changing Sanky and I don’t want them to change” he said helplessly.
“You aren’t a stone Sahil. You cannot stand when the time is trying to pull you along” Sanskar said and Sahil looked up at him.
“You are hurting her and you are hurting yourself also. Clear this confusion. It is better for both of you. You cannot keep hurting her like this. If you have forgotten. She is your friend also. I don’t think you want her to go through all this” Sanskar walked from there leaving Sahil in his thoughts.
Happy Diwali guys
Hope I haven’t bored you with this long chapter.
Do let me know how was this.
Once again happy and safe Diwali.