previous episode-Episode 11
They were interested only in the transactions of a particular time period… after Asavari Kapoor left. Three files lied in front of them. Rana Kapoor had asked the Oberois to check the files in front of him. It was not that he doubted them, instead all his hopes lay on the Oberoi kids and he could afford no negligence. Rana Kapoor was surprised that in all these years, he could not come up with this idea, which the Oberoi kids could, in days.
Three brothers took one file each and went through them thoroughly. Soon they realized that the file in Shivay’s hand was the important one, since the other two files consisted of records of the time period much before Asavari left.
Three heads bent down onto a single file now, while Anika, Rana Kapoor and Renu sat idly with anxiety.
Anika felt she saw a sudden shock in Om’s face while rest of the two brothers frowned more and more.
All three of them looked up and radiated confidence with a smile. Om’s smiled tightly though.
I couldn’t believe it. How could it be? But then why couldn’t it be? Was that a mere coincidence? Maybe I …
Shivay’s voice broke into my reverie
“Bareily, it is”
I already got that from the file, but once again when Shivay declared it loud and clear, a chill ran through my spine.
Right when I had heard the name ‘Gauri’, my mind had gone back to Bareily. But not even in my wildest dreams had I felt that she’ll be the one. But then there can be more Gauri-s in Bareily.
No! I had once ignored the thought of this girl, thinking it could be any Gauri. Now, Bareily is the place where it all comes down. Anika bhabi is more important than my personal feelings. There should be no stone unturned. Yet my heart said, the Gauri I knew was the one.
[I had described the character Gauri before but just for readers’ convenience, I’ll repeat… Gauri is the girl Om met in Bareily, exactly in the way shown in the original track. But then, no Thakur is present in my track. Only the character Gauri with whom Om had a fight over his land and her shop.] Coming back to reality I realized, others had already started planning how to search for Gauri and Mallika in Bareily.
I spoke up…
Shivay turned at me and asked “What are you whispering Omkara?”
I looked up at him realizing I was barely audible…”I know a Gauri in Bareily”
Now everyone heard; all eyes in the room were staring at me.
“And you think she’s the one?”
I looked straight into Renu’s eyes to reply her
“I KNOW, she’s the one”
“How…how are you so sure?” Anika asked in a mild voice
Good question. I myself had no idea how I was so sure…or did I?
“I just do…” I stood up to avoid eye contact with anyone and focused my stare at nothing, to continue…
“She’s… she is like you bhabi… Stubborn, brave, taribaaz” I couldn’t believe I was actually half smiling while describing her…“She’s not one to back off, and fights for something she feels is right”
Finally allowing myself to breathe I found Shivay standing right by my side.
I felt his eyes almost piercing into mine “We need to find her. Now”
That was it. Soon our cars had hit the road to Bareily. Instead of Rana Kapoor’s heart melting pleadings we couldn’t let him come with us, owing to his health.
It was just the Oberois making their way now.
There was pin drop silence in the car until Om spoke up suddenly
“Wait. She has a mother.”
Their car screeched to a halt.
“Rudra… watch it!!” Shivay shouted
“Sorry bhaiyya, but it’s not my fault. Om suddenly scared me”
They all sighed. “Fine” Shivay patted Rudra on his shoulder from the back seat while Anika focused on Om
“What did you say Om?”
“Bhabi… as much as I remember… Gauri had said that she needs her shop for her mother’s treatment. “
Shivay couldn’t believe it… not again… he couldn’t afford another hope of a lead to get shattered just like that. But he knew something was wrong. The Gauri they were searching for is supposed to be an Orphan, just like Anika. How come she has a mother? Does it mean… does it mean Anika’s mother is still alive? The thought thrilled him. But then again… he knew this Gauri could be someone else. Looking out of the window he thought of Anika’s words…“I saw my mom dying. I don’t remember her exactly… but I know that she died in front of me.”
Something was not right…
Looking at his brothers’ thoughtful looks Rudra started driving again.
After hours of silence, Rudra spoke up “So Om, we are in Bareily”
“Yeah. I can see that.”
“O… I meant, you know where we will find Gauri. I need directions.”
Om looked at Rudra in confusion and then at Shivay… “Are we still going to Gauri?”
Before Shivay could reply, Anika spoke up…”I think we should. I mean even if she is not the one… she knows Om, so hopefully she’ll help, and getting someone local to help will be good for us.”
They all agreed except Om “Anika Bhabi, rest of that was fine, but you shouldn’t expect her to help us because she knows me. Rather, I would say, you should expect the opposite”
“What do you mean?” Shivay asked curiously.
Om sighed and narrated his first meeting with Gauri
Shivika looked at each other. If it wouldn’t have been such a serious situation, Shivay could almost swear that he would’ve teased Anika about Gauri being her sister lost in any fair in childhood. But this was no joke.
He realized why Om had been so sure about this girl.
They had to meet her.