EPISODE 20: LUCKY
While driving back, I noticed the morning sun shine through the leaves in indefinable patterns, as if playing an inaudible music on the winds. I hit the brakes and walked to the front of the car. Perched on the hood, I slipped into the same thoughts that had kept me awake all night.
I had had countless discussions with countless people on this forever conflicting topic of truth vs. lies. Everyone I had come across had a different take and belief about it. Some believed it depended on the situations which force them to lie; others believed that as long as it’s a harmless lie that brings about something good, it’s nothing to be bothered about. There were others still who fell in the category of hypocrites. They believed that they were invincible to being lied to, but had enough power to get away with it themselves. One of those people was Mr. Oberoi.
I thought about Ishu’s words again. If a person’s job is to lie and he earns an honest living with that, does that make him a dishonest person? On the other hand, if that person chooses to deceive other people even in areas out of his professional sphere, wouldn’t that make him a liar?
The point being that it was the first time I was thinking of this with people at the fore of my mind. It doesn’t matter whether a person chooses truth over lies, or otherwise. It doesn’t matter what situations force them to take the path of dishonesty. What matters is the person.
As long as you maintain your objectivity, you can always hope to make a judgment. But when you factor in the face of the person, everything goes down the drain. I wondered briefly if I would be able to forgive Shivaay or Rudra if they lie to me, and I realized that I could never hold it against them knowing that they’ll never do anything wrong or anything that can harm others.
My thoughts drifted back to Ishu and I wondered if I would hold it against her if she was the one lying to me, like her sister had. Something deep down in my stirred as I realized I cared for her too much to be angry with her over such trivial matters. I would obviously listen to her and try my best to understand her side of the story, just like I would do for my family. Equally comforted and agitated by this thought, I got back into the car and drove home.
Throughout the way, I was thinking of what she had told me about her past last night. How could anyone suspect that beautiful little girl of anything bad like that? I had a strong sense of protectiveness towards that girl which I didn’t identify with. She was obviously strong and capable enough to protect herself. Why would she need my protection? The idea was beyond funny, it was downright ridiculous.
I finally reached the Oberoi Mansion and taking a deep breath, prepared myself for the emotional onslaught awaiting me. And just as I had imagined, Mom stopped on her way to turn and look at me with brimming eyes. I felt so guilty at putting her through that, but I put on a bright smile and hugged her tight.
“Mom, why are you crying? I wasn’t out on a battlefield!” My poor attempt at humour was met with giggles and undiluted happiness on my mother’s part. Chhoti Maa also came and in her loud and vivacious way, she said, “Oh my Maata! Om, you made us all worried. How can you just leave home like that? You should have thought about your mothers, at least.”
I sincerely apologized and explained that I needed it. Then I quickly changed the subject to where my brothers were.
“Speak of the devil!” Shivaay said as Rudra waved at me from the corridor near our kitchen. I walked towards them and pulled them both in a hug. Rudy was the happiest with this unexpected O Bro moment while Shivaay looked at me with concern. I nodded at his unasked question of whether I was okay and he seemed relieved. After some time I remembered what I had to ask Shivaay and turned to him.
“Why did you call me over suddenly? I was planning on coming back in a few days.” My words sounded dejected and I was surprised by it. Shivaay, however, was a little hesitant. After extracting a promise from me to not overreact at all, he indulged me with the secret.
“The Chhaddas are coming over for lunch. Just meet them once. If you don’t like the girl, no one will force you to agree. Okay?” He spoke carefully, as if he was scared of angering me. I immediately felt guilty about my behavior earlier, which had led them to be on an edge around me.
“Sure, anything that you say”, I said with a reassuring smile. He visibly relaxed and smiled back. Little did I know that Mr. Oberoi was listening in on this exchange; until he made his presence known, that is.
“Wow! When Shivaay says it, you obey without a fight! And when I say it, my son leaves the house. How interesting!” he scoffed at me. For the first time in my life, I didn’t have a comeback right away. I was too busy thinking of Ishu’s words again.
“He told me you are his life. He thanked me for saving his life by saving you. If that’s not fatherly love, then what is?” Her words sounded convincing and I wondered if that was true, or did she just say it to make me come back home? I was suddenly aware of Shivaay and Mr. Oberoi’s surprise on not hearing my retort. I looked at them and realizing what they were waiting for, I simply said, “Brotherly love.” With that I walked off, leaving them questioning my sanity. It wouldn’t be shocking to me if they interrogate Ishu about what she had done with me!
I chuckled at my own imagination as I pictured Ishu kicking and punching them when they ask, “What have you done with my brother/son?” I doubted that she would actually do something like that, but it was fun to imagine, nonetheless!
SNEAK PEEK: Rudra cries and says to Shivaay, “O has even broken my record in case of girls! Bhaiya, what will I do? Where will I go? He has stolen my only talent!” Shivaay looks on in shock and replies, “Yes, it looks like it!”
So guys, thoughts? 😉 😀