Ishita ran away successfully and didn’t stop till she reached her house. Madhavi answered the door and hugged her. She hugged her back. ‘Where’s Pihu?’ she asked. ‘Sleeping, I m so shocked that why didn’t she save you from going to jail,’ Madhavi said taking her inside. ‘After all she loved Shagun more than me, she’s a child,’ she said and went to Pihu who was sleeping. She sat by her side and caressed her hair. ‘Shagun mumma,’ she said and kept her head in her lap. ‘Wrong, I am your Ishi maa,’ Ishita said and she looked at her.
She sat up. ‘Why? What crime have I done? You know very well that who killed Simmi and Mihika right? Then why? Why didn’t you told them?’ Ishita said a little angry then sighed and calmed down. ‘Beta Pihu I care for you, there was some medical problem with me, that’s why when you just took place in my womb, you were shifted to Shagun’s womb so she became your surrogate mother but I am your real mother, but I will keep waiting that when will my baby keep her head in my lap and listen to my lullaby and stories, when she will accept me as her mother, when she will accept the reality, and moreover, when will she tell police about me being innocent.’
Ishita said to her with silent sobs and tears and a longing to take her daughter in her arms. She stood up going away with slow steps with a hope that she will stop her and hug her. She looked back at her teary eyed but then turned her head away and went from there outside in the hall and sat on the couch. She was shedding tears on her fate and slept there.
Next morning, she woke up and saw that the police was there at her house. She stood up and looked around, her eyes searched for Pihu. Everyone was there but not her. ‘Inspector, I won’t come, I told you I am not guilty, did you found any fingerprints on the knife? Then how can you arrest me?’ Ishita asked angrily. ‘You’re under arrest for running away and doing two murders,’ said the inspector and the policewoman came and handcuffed her. ‘I haven’t done anything, I won’t come. Pihu!’ She shouted as she was taken away and everyone just watched helplessly.
Ishita felt her hand being held by a little hand and she looked down to see Pihu. ‘Inspector please stop,’ Ishita begged. ‘Ishi maa, aap jaldi se wapis ajaogi na?’ Pihu asked and Ishita looked away cryingly. ‘Pihu, for what are you giving me punishment? Why don’t you understand that Shagun is just using you? She will take you away from whole family, Pihu your Shagun mumma is dead, baat ko zara samjho! She will take you away to a place where you’ll once go and will never be able to come back, you’ll lose all your loved ones, damn it!’
‘Why did you call my Shagun mumma dead? She’s not dead, she’s alive and she comes to me daily,’ Pihu said. ‘Pihu,’ Ishita started speaking and was about to touch her but her hand was jerked away throwing her away on the floor. ‘Haww,’ she said in pain and stood up. ‘Now you believe me? There is Shagun and I didn’t do all this,’ Ishita said and they went apologizing to her. Ishita sat on her knees in front of Pihu and was about to touch her but moved away her hands and stood up and ran away cryingly.
She went to her room and closed the door of her room and sat down on the floor. ‘Mata Rani, why is this happening to me? What have I done? You are everyone’s mother please listen to this mother, don’t turn away your face from me. Please don’t, please show me a way,’ she said praying to God and cried vigorously. There was a knock on the door and she stood up and opened the door. It was Toshi. They sat on the bed. ‘Forget what happened and think what to do further, go see some psychiatrist for Pihu, she needs to get over all this, maybe a psychiatrist can help in explaining her,’ Toshi suggested.
Ishita hugged her. ‘Thanks for believing me,’ she said. Later, Ishita and Pihu sat in the waiting room of the doctor’s office. Ishita had got her some chocolates to keep her calm and to take off her mind from Shagun. When they were called, only Ishita went inside and settled on the chair in front of the doctor. She had handed her phone to Pihu so that she keeps herself busy in playing games and till then she can also talk to him peacefully.
‘My story is a bit long if you don’t mind,’ Ishita said. ‘Please proceed,’ he said. ‘My husband was a divorcee when we both married, they had two children too, Adi and Ruhi, she used to be with me and my husband but Adi was with my husband’s first wife. I and his first wife had a bitter relationship and somehow I got her son too, after a long time, we had patched up and she did surrogacy for me as I was infertile, for seven years I was away from my family as we believed Ruhi is dead and they blamed me for her death, after long time she returned, she forgot our bond and refused to call me her mother, but slowly everything was OK and in these seven years, Pihu was born.’
‘Pihu thought her biological mother to be Shagun but she didn’t knew I am her mother, and I got to know Shagun had died before these seven years, but now Pihu says she has returned, she wants to take Pihu with her, she is dead but Pihu doesn’t understands this, we hid it from her that she’s dead, I need your help, please,’ she said.
‘Do one thing, for now, take her for vacation, both of your minds will refresh,’ he suggested. ‘Thank you so much, it means a lot,’ Ishita said and went and took Pihu from there. They hired a cab and sat inside. ‘Pihu we’re going on a vacation,’ she told her. ‘Yayyy, we will go on a vacation, but where?’ Pihu asked excitedly. ‘We’ll decide at home,’ she replied and hugged her. They stepped out at once as they reached the house, Pihu ran inside and she followed her. ‘Dadi, Dada, we’re going on vacation,’ Pihu told. ‘But where?’ Toshi asked. ‘Dubai, I know it’s not even a week that Simmi and Mihika passed away but psychiatrist suggested me for this,’ Ishita told them and they agreed.