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” What mistake?” asked Omkara with more curiosity as he stared at Ishana’s picture…
” She fell in love” replied Chacha jii.
Love?! Why was that a mistake for Ishana? wondered Omkara.
” Falling in love was something that transgressed Thakur Kamal Singh Rathore’s boundaries. Ishana fell in love innocently and she didn’t know that her father didn’t like that. Ishana would only marry someone who he approved of. And of course the man that Ishana fell in love with five years ago, was out of her reach… the sad thing was that she could never tell the man that she loved him more than her life.” said Chachajii
” Who was the man?” asked Omkara. “She only knew his name. She never told anyone… not even her friends. Even I don’t know his name beta” replied Chacha jii.
” Why and how did she die?” asked Omkara. ” You ask a lot of questions beta” joked chacha jii. ” I need to know chacha jii…” said Omkara. ” Ishana beti was right, Omkara was exactly the same… no change had been brought in him.” thought Chacha ji.
” Kamal got to know about Ishana’s affair through a picture of that man under her pillowcase when she was sleeping and he had assumed that they both were going behind his back, so the hot blooded thakur he was, he confronted his daughter. Ishana couldn’t lie to her father… and she only admitted it to him.” I love him so much papa !! he is my life… my love… I can’t live without him…” And that was the day that all hell broke loose in this haveli. He grabbed his daughters arm and threw her on the floor. He was yelling at her, ” YOU DISRESPECTED OUR FAMILY… YOU TARNISHED OUR HONOR… DAARJI WAS RIGHT… I SHOULD HAVE BURIED YOU, THE MINUTE YOU WERE BORN… DISRESPECTFUL WITCH !! YOU WRETCH…” said Chacha jii
Omkara felt a little angry in his heart. He knew that he didn’t know Ishana… but those comments were something that he couldn’t bare.
” Ishana beti only rebelled back and she said, ” BURY ME NOW IF YOU WANT…”
Saab ji got even more angry with her and he said, ” NO…THE ONLY WAY TO GET RID OF YOU IS TO MARRY YOU OFF…”
And Ishana beti only yelled and screamed this…
“NO PAPA… I LOVE HIM… PLEASE… I ONLY WANT TO BE WITH HIM…”
” And her brothers heard of it and they were angry. They were on saab jii’s side and they tried to find that man… and what I’ve heard is that they got rid of him permanently” said Chacha jii. ” So what happened after that?” asked Omkara.
” Thakur saab only forced Ishana to marry Thakur Dev Singh Ranawat and Ishana was helpless. She didn’t have anyone to help her… so she only had one option… to kill herself..” said chacha jii.
” Why?! couldn’t she tell the man that she loved him?” asked Omkara. ” She couldn’t beta… he was out of reach for her… only a dream… the way she got his picture is through her friends…” said Chacha jii.
” So on the wedding day, Ishana had dressed in bridal attire and she only came to me and said, ” I need some air chacha jii… can I go outside?”
“I only agreed because I felt bad for her… so I snuck her through the back doors. And then saab jii called me in and I had to rush… I told her not to go anywhere but I had to go…” said chacha jii.
” So then Ishana looked around and ran into the forest with her bridal attire still on… she ran through the forest and then approached this lake… and she cried her eyes out… and Ishana beti didn’t know how to swim. She went into the lake slowly and went to the deepest end and she threw herself in. She drowned herself in the deepest end of the lake.” said Chacha jii.
” What did her father do?” asked Omkara. ” We all went crazy trying to find her and we went upstairs to find a letter on her bed which basically said that she is committing suicide because she couldn’t get the man she loved… and that her father was marrying her off to a man half her age”
” Saab ji was broken… and we looked everywhere for her body… or even her. A week later, we found her body at the shore of the lake… and saab ji cremated her body with his own hands… Saab ji was broken… his respect tarnished. A month later, saab ji died of a heart attack, leaving Arjun and Raj. We thought that they were going to be heirs in inheriting this haveli and other property equally. The selfishness and greed showed in the brothers. They grew to hating each other and were at each other’s throats for the property. One day they had a big argument regarding the haveli and the two decided that they would kill each other for it if they wanted it for their own. It ended up in a blo*dy war between the brothers. Raj killed Arjun and then I had came with the police… but as the police arrived, Raj was so scared that he would be in jail and no one would bail him out… he shot himself in the head.”
” And that was the day when the Rathore haveli lost all its inhabitants… and I was the only one left. But saab ji knew this was going to happen, so he entrusted the haveli with me” said Chacha jii.
Omkara only looked at chachi jii intently and said, ” So why did Ishana show up in front of me at the dargah?”
” Allah jaanay beta… I don’t know why” said chacha jii. Omkara was confused… but he felt so sad hearing the story of Ishana Singh Rathore.
“Thank you so much for telling me the story of Ishana chacha jii… you cleared all my confusions about yesterday” smiled Omkara. Chacha jii only patted his back and said, ” You are welcome here anytime beta”
Omkara smiled… and then Chacha jii said, ” Main tumhare liye kuch khaanay kay liye bejhta hoon”
” Nahin chacha ji-” began Omkara. Chacha jii only smiled and nodded and quickly hurried off. Omkara just looked around the room and he looked at Ishana’s picture again. She was so beautiful. She was so lovely… but he didn’t know why… but he felt like he knew her. Some where or another.
Just then Omkara smelt the jasmine scent getting stronger and he turned around and looked everywhere. Omkara’s heart started to beat hard and his eyes frantically looked for her again. Just then he heard the same song in the same sweet voice, ” Suna Suna… Lamha Lamha… meri Rahein.. Tanha Tanha… aakar mujhe… tum thaam lo”
His feet took off before he could think and he followed the sounds into the deep hallways. He walked down the hallways looking for her… the scent was getting stronger… and the voice a little louder… His heart beat even faster.
TO BE CONTINUE….