Hello everyone 🙂 I’m so sorry for not being able to comment on the ffs I read in the last few days, but I was so busy that I couldn’t find time to login. 😐 Diyaa, Kehkasha, Renima, Janvi, Kavya, Shubhadra, Dreamz and everyone else, you guys are as awesome as ever! 🙂
Thanks a lot for your comments on my last episode guys. I still think it didn’t feel complete, but you guys still made my day by liking it. Love you all a lot. 🙂
Link to last episode: http://www.tellyupdates.com/lucky-shivaay-anika-om-ishu-episode-29/
EPISODE 30: LUCKY
“Ishu, are you okay?” I heard a worried faint sound from far away, but I didn’t pay any heed to it. Images flashed in front of me like lightning. The pain grew multifold and I gripped my head between both my hands, shouting out words that I doubted had any meaning. The light was blinding, but I strove to see through it. This was more urgent than any kind of pain or light. A woman’s scream pierced my ears although my surroundings were more than peaceful. She hit her head against something black and another shot of pain pulled me into the darkness.
REWIND TO ALMOST 15 HOURS AGO
I slipped out of the Oberoi Mansion quietly so that I couldn’t be persuaded into staying this time as well. I had made it to the lawn when I heard a familiar gruff voice. “Can I drop you somewhere?” I spun around to see a smiling Tej Uncle. He walked to me at a casual pace while I smiled and waited. “Why are you sneaking out?” he asked amusedly. I allowed myself a small laugh and waved a hand at the empty lawn, “I wasn’t exactly sneaking out, but yeah, I was just leaving for home.”
He cocked his head to a side, trying to decide on something warily. I raised my eyebrows with honest curiosity and he told me, “If you don’t want to stay, no one will force you, Ishu. But you don’t have to slip away like this is a prison!”
I let his poor attempt at humor slide, sticking to the polite manner for my host. “It’s not that Uncle.” Before I could say more, he cut me off, “It’s okay. I’m not here to stop you or anything! I was wondering if we could talk for some time. Perhaps, I could give you a lift?” he sounded rather kind, unlike his usual self. It was true that I could send him to the hospital without a scratch on my body, but I didn’t want every other person on the road to know my address. On second thoughts, he probably knew it already. However, I wasn’t ready to trust him.
“It is fine, Uncle. I can manage on my own. And I really don’t want to be a bother.” My short speech didn’t have any effect on him. Instead, he used Om as a screen. “I know it doesn’t seem like it, but I really care about Om. And since he likes you, I would like to talk to you about him. Do you mind?” He held out a hand towards where his car was parked. It didn’t look like he would take a no for answer. So I asked him to drop me at the academy with the excuse that I had some important work there. As we left, I didn’t notice the pair of dark eyes watching us from a distance.
Inside the car, he didn’t speak for a long time. At last, I had to ask him myself, “So, what did you want to talk about?”
“What? Yeah.” He seemed disconcerted at my very normal question but collected himself quickly. “As you know, Om and I are always at loggerheads, never agreeing on anything. We truly are poles apart in every sense. But the last few days have been so… different.” He lapsed into silence again and I wondered what had gotten into him all of a sudden. Finally he spoke again, this time with a hint of real emotions stirring beneath the tough façade. “It’s after a long time that Om and I agreed on something. Do you remember last night we were talking about hope? Well, I don’t know if Om actually believes in what he said last night, but I used to be one of the few who believe hope is a good thing.” The past tense didn’t escape me, but I waited for him to continue. After another long pause, he said, “But now, I find myself wondering if Om was right. What do you think?”
Did it really matter what I thought? I asked the polite version of my usual question in such awkward situations, “Do I have to answer that?” He took it in the positive sense and thoughtfully replied, “I guess not. You made your opinion quite clear yesterday.” A softer tone crept into his speech as he continued, “Speaking of which, you are so well-read. I wonder how it’s even possible for such a young girl as you.”
I gave a small smile at the compliment, reminded of my sudden transformation into the girl he described. “My parents were academics. My Mom was a professor, actually. We have tons of books at home.” He nodded at this bit of information with interest. But I could see he had caught the past tense as well. Fortunately, for him, he didn’t give me any more reasons to suspect him by asking something too personal.
“Well, families can affect people like nothing else!” he drawled. It didn’t sound like he was talking about anything or anyone in particular, but I still gave him a confused look. He glanced at me once and elaborated, “For example, look at me. I usually don’t think of much besides my business, my profits, etc. I have always known my responsibilities and duties, but I never really acknowledged them. Instead, I chose to blame my wife for something that was completely my fault. I changed myself for my reputation and bank balance, but I distanced myself from my family to the point where I don’t even trust my brother. I valued money over everything in life; I still do. But after everything I did, at the end of the day, my family is all I have. Even if I’m not courageous enough to admit my wrongs, I still want to tell them I love them and that I’m sorry. Does that redeem me of my sins?”
Although I had no idea of what he was talking about, I felt as if the question was directed at me. Why would he ask me to redeem him of his sins? Was he admitting to kidnapping my parents and sending over money as compensation? I worked to keep myself calm and not jump to unbelievable conclusions. I thought of other ways to interpret this speech and decided he wanted me to help with his family issues.
“If you tell them yourself, if you are willing to admit everything honestly and bear the consequences of your actions, I think they would definitely forgive you. And your family’s forgiveness is your only salvation.” What a moral answer, Ishu! You deserve a pat on the back!
He appeared satisfied with my reply too and the tensed look faded away from his face. After some more silence, he said, “You must be wondering why I’m talking to you about things that have nothing to do with you. Right?” His tone had a hint of both, amusement and apology and I pondered if it really didn’t have anything to do with me. I only smiled politely as he continued, “Don’t get me wrong, but you have one of those reassuring types of faces. You know, the kind which feels warm and welcoming and you could feel comfortable around them?”
Umm… Okay. I didn’t know how to respond to that, so I took a moment to frame the words in my head. “I’m glad I could help in any way”, I said at length. Finally we had reached the Action Academy and I hopped out quickly as if my life depended on it. Before I could close the door, he called out, “Ishu, thanks for taking care of Om when he left Oberoi Mansion, even if it was for a few days. And thanks for today too.”
Under normal circumstances, I would have been polite and said things like ‘no problem’ and ‘you don’t need to thank me at all’. But since that would only prolong the discomfort, I simply nodded and smiled at him.
Watching him leave from the sidewalk, I thought back to the time I had seen that familiar piece of paper on his table. I had deliberately kept myself from finding any clue about how it came to be there, just to spend more time with them. I was amazed with myself for admitting the truth that I wanted to spend more time with everyone in the Oberoi Mansion, and not just Om. But Tej Uncle hadn’t been at the top of my list either. Unlike his cute, simple, straightforward and down-to-earth sons, Tej Uncle was so complicated that I never knew what to make of him. Today’s drive had given me a different image of Tej Singh Oberoi to consider and I thought about my answer earlier.
“If you tell them yourself, if you are willing to admit everything honestly and bear the consequences of your actions, I think they would definitely forgive you. And your family’s forgiveness is your only salvation.” What I hadn’t added was: “If it had only to do with your family and not mine.”
My eyes moistened and my jaw hardened as I wondered what I would do if his words did actually have anything to do with me?
Why did Mr. Oberoi drop Ishu here? She could have gone home directly. And what had he said to her when she was leaving? She had held the door and leaned in to listen to something, so I couldn’t even see her expression to take a guess. She was still standing at the footpath, gazing darkly at the empty road. Presently, a few guys came out and it looked like they were her team mates. They spoke for a while and Ishu left towards her house.
I let the car idle for some time and then decided to follow her on foot and see her home safely. It wasn’t all that far from her place anyways. I could have covered the distance between us in four to five long strides, but somehow I was afraid she wouldn’t like that. While walking, she kicked pebbles aside like a kid, her open hair swaying to the sides with the motion. We walked quietly, one behind the other, on the almost deserted road. It was funny how even the little distance between us felt close to me and at the same time it was too far.
Soon, we reached her flat and I stood behind a wall so she couldn’t see me. I expected her to go inside right away, but she surprised me. She went straight to a suspicious looking bag and unzipped it. Looking inside it curiously, she produced a small piece of paper. Whatever was written inside it clearly confused her. She held up another piece of paper which looked like a photograph and looked around, trying to match the photo with the surroundings. Before I could think of any possibilities, she ran away. Literally.
She went around the building to the deserted space behind. It was dense there with lots of plants and creatures crawling around, but she fearlessly, or rather desperately, pushed the branches away, trying to locate something. She finally came to a big tree. I could see houses with lighted windows and balconies from here, but I was sure no one could see us. She was frantically digging through the dirt with a stick and her hands. As if electrocuted into place, I could only watch her frenzied actions.
Hunching over the little mound of soil she had dug out, she curled in on herself like a ball examining whatever was inside the pit. Looking at Ishu’s stunned and pained posture, I decided to make my presence known, but she ran off again. She ran all the way to her own apartment, fumbling with the keys at the door. She finally managed to get it opened and went in. I stood rooted to my spot, wondering at what was happening. What was in that bag? What was inside the pit?
After two beats, I heard Ishu shout in pain. The light wasn’t switched on, so I fumbled around in the dark until I found the switch. The sight that met me was heart wrenching. Ishu lay curled up on the floor with her head between her hands. Her eyes were squeezed shut and only weird sounds came out of her mouth. It could have been a cat crying in her place and no one would know the difference!
“Ishu are you okay?” I asked worriedly, knowing that she wasn’t. I touched her shoulder, but she shook me off, curling in on herself. I crushed her to my chest, caging her within my arms, just like I had done in the hospital ages ago. She held onto me like I was her lifeboat, all the while crying terribly. I caressed her hair, comforted her back, called her name, and did everything else I could. But she wouldn’t stop crying in pain. I assumed her head was hurting and wanted to get her some painkillers, but she wouldn’t even let me go a centimeter away from her.
I held her for the time being, trying to get her to calm down. She did calm down after an hour or so. And then she saw me through misty eyes and fainted.
SNEAK PEEK: Om says to ShivRu, “She’ll never hurt me. But the question is, do I want her to stop?”
So guys, thoughts? 🙂