Sanchi was feeling suffocated in that room. She went to the balcony of the room. It was a garden balcony. The floor was covered with fresh green grass and the dew drops from the grass wet her legs as she walked. The railing was covered with creepers in a beautiful design. The corners had been occupied by the flowering pots. The vision soothed her racking nerves for some time. There were two chairs in the balcony. She sat on one of them and began to stare at the sky. After sometime she closed her eyes and placed her palms over her face only to breath in the smell of her mehendi. Her mind was lost in the thoughts of the time when she was applying this mehendi on her hands. How she was teased by her friends and how she blushed reacting to their comments. How she used to adore her mehendi in the free time thinking about her life with her would be husband. How once Vikrant had found his name in the mehendi and kissed her palms. She cried as all of these came in her mind. She also had the flashes of the black day of her life that had led her to this place. She laughed sardonically at her fate. Her tears were continuously falling from her eyes down her cheeks and onto her palms. Soon she could not sense any wetness on her palms. She looked down and noticed fair old hands stretched out to hold her tears. She slowly looked towards the source of the hands and it was none other than Mrs.Webber.
W: don’t cry my child.
S: if you don’t mind then may I ask you a question?
W: yes. Please.
S: why do you stay here with these bad mafia brats?
W: no dear. They are not that bad as they seem to be. You have been brought here in this condition and hence you consider them bad. Don’t take me wrong but they are one of the most helpful people I have ever seen.
I lost my husband when my daughter was very small. We were living a miserable life. I used to work on daily chores to meet the expenses but still I could not give my child the basic necessities. Once I was walking alone on the street and some people came from nowhere. They tried to molest me. I screamed for help but none came there. Suddenly out of the blue two young, very young only about 18 to 19 years old boys came to my rescue. They were small but strong. They killed the goons and took me home safely. I thanked them and they came to know about my situation and hence offered me to work with them. I was afraid at first but they assured me that they would spend the expense of education of my daughter. I was overwhelmed and agreed readily. Since then I have been staying with them and working with them. They are really nice people. The two boys were Kabir and Veer. They are really good hearted people.
Sanchi was lost in her thoughts as she tried to recollect the things that happened to her because of these devils and the contrast story of Mrs.Webber. She was not able to believe that people related to underworld were also humans!
W: the dress you are wearing is of my daughter.
Stated Mrs.Webber, happiness and a bit of sadness audible in her tone. Sanchi was distracted from her thoughts hearing Mrs.Webber.
S: where is your daughter now? Asked Sanchi out of curiosity.
W: she is no more. She died a year ago due to brain tumor. We tried to save her but it was her fourth stage.
Sanchi was sad hearing this. She cursed herself for asking such a stupid question.
W: but god has sent you to me. See you are just like my daughter.
Sanchi felt a connection with Mrs.Webber. She had always strived for motherly love and affection. She never thought that she would get it where she least expected it. Sanchi instantly hugged Mrs.Webber and began to cry her heart out. She felt secured in her embrace. Sanchi told everything to her and she listened to Sanchi patiently. Sanchi felt much relieved after blurting out her thoughts to someone whom she had known from just few hours and with whom she felt a good connection. Breaking the hug, Mrs.Webber wipped off Sanchi’s tears and said;
W: now no more crying ok. Come and eat something you must be feeling weak right?
Sanchi nodded and soon she was led to a small teapoy arranged with dishes full of different cuisines. The teapoy was surrounded by an L shaped sofa which was lower than the normal height to match the level of the teapoy. Sanchi seated herself on one side of the sofa and Mrs.Webber sat on the diagonally opposite end. Sanchi served herself with the food but could not eat as the flashes of her marriage came into her mind. Mrs.Webber tried to convince her but Sanchi was stubborn and she did not eat. Mrs.Webber gave up and covered the food and told Sanchi to eat it when she feels to. As soon as she finished, the door burst opened and came in Veer. Seeing Veer Sanchi went on a silent note as she was not at all comfortable with anyone else other than Mrs.Webber. Veer sensed Sanchi’s uneasiness and placed something on the bed and went out without muttering anything. Mrs.Webber looked at Sanchi and gave her a pleading look. Sanchi was confused and her eyes followed Mrs.Webber’s to reach the bed. There she saw her wedding dress dry cleaned and folded neatly. Before Sanchi could ask she heard Mrs.Webber speaking something.
W: I’m sorry my dear but I had only this one dress of my daughter. Your wedding dress has been washed and you have to wear this only until you don’t buy clothes of your choice.
S: its ok Mrs.Webber. I will wear the dress. You don’t worry.
Soon Sanchi headed to the washroom to take bath. Even the washroom was a royal one. It had a large bathtub and all the types of liquids arranged properly in the rack besides the bathtub. She was pleased to see this as she made up her mind to have a long bubble bath to get off the tiredness and laziness. She switched on the tap and warm water flowed out. She poured some rose liquid in it for the bubble bath. She saw her face which was drained as she had cried a lot for god knows how long time. She soon took her bubble bath which lasted for at least half an hour. She felt refreshed and relaxed. She came out of the washroom in her wedding dress and began drying her hair standing in front of the dressing table. She saw her reflection in the mirror which reminded her of the helplessness she had been through yesterday. The reality about Vikrant and her father still didn’t pass through her. She still was not ready to accept that Vikrant and her dad were involved in mafia and she was just considered as a deal for everyone. Unconsciously tears built in her eyes and began to flow down. Her trance was disturbed when the door opened abruptly. Sanchi thought it to be Mrs.Webber and turned herself smiling weakly. Soon her smile was broken as she saw an unknown figure of a man approach her. She knew only Veer amongst the men then who was he? Before Sanchi could confront him he said in a low and husky voice full of lust.
M: Oh my my! You are much more beautiful than I heard. You are full of nectar and with those wet hairs and bare waist you are alluring me my baby…..
Saying this the man came to Sanchi in few strides. Sanchi trembled in fear. She wanted to scream but words did not make way through her mouth. She was scared to the core. She did not know the man and how dare her barge in the room like this?
The man came closer to Sanchi. With his one step ahead, Sanchi took her steps back only to hit her back to the wall near the dressing table. The man pinned Sanchi to the wall and began digging his nose deeper in her neck to take in the smell of the roses. Sanchi pushed him with all the efforts she could summon and started screaming for help. She ran to the door but before opening she found the man in front of her.
M: oh come on darling don’t tease me. If I will be rough then you won’t like it you see. Well your smell is so much addicting. Don’t worry I will not give you more pain just come to me my baby.
Sanchi was disgusted with his talks. She slapped him hard on his face. She expected him to be angry but he just laughed. He abruptly stopped his laughter and began shooting angry glares at Sanchi. She gulped down the fear and started to run to the farther most corner of the room. The man was fast than her and he held her but she somehow got out of his hold and started to run again. There were scars on her hands as a consequence of the attempt she did to free herself. The man caught hold of Sanchi from her waist and pushed her on the bed. Sanchi’s cries did not lessen all this while. She began to wail and begged to be left out alone. The man was going to touch Sanchi again when the door burst open and entered Veer.
V: Sidhant what are you doing here?
(So the man is Sidhant or Sid. He has a very lusty mind and he does not respect women. He just fakes his respect as he wants to be in Kabir’s troop)
Sid: she was trying to escape. I stopped her……
Sid was cut out in the middle by Veer.
V: you can go now.
Sanchi broke down into sobs. She hid her face in her hands while crying. This was the time when Veer got a clear view of her hands which were red due to the scratches she got. He gritted his teeth and turned towards Sid who was on the door till then.
V: don’t hover around her in the future.
Veer’s voice commanded authority and stern strictness. Sid nodded and left the room cursing under his breath. Veer looked at Sanchi’s shivering form on the bed. He bent forward to touch her but she drew her knees closer to her chest and pushed herself into the wooden support of the bed. Veer gave up and sat next to Sanchi.
V: I was an orphan. I used to live in an orphanage. The people and the children of the orphanage were very weird. There was only one whom I respected a lot and her name was Riya di. She was a teacher in the orphanage school and very good at heart. I used to share everything with her. She was just like my mother. Once she came to know about the organ trafficking racket that the orphanage was running. They wanted to sell my kidney and Riya di overheard their conversation. She took me with her and we ran away from the orphanage. We reached here in Mumbai and started our new life. Our relation was just like that of a mother and a son. One day the orphanage people suddenly came to know about our house in Mumbai. I was 15 then. They came home with the goons and Riya di hid me in a secret place. I could see the happenings in the main hall. The goons threatened her but she did not speak up that I was with her. They beat her in front of my eyes and I was helpless. They beat her mercilessly without considering her gender. Due to internal bleeding she died. I was still there in the place hiding. The goons searched me but could not find me. They left from the place. I cried and cried but there was no one to console me. After some time I stopped crying. My eyes were swollen and red. I was determined to take revenge. Then I met Kabir. He helped me to find the people and kill them all. We also saved the innocent children of the orphanage and from then I’m with him.
Sanchi was undergoing a mixture of emotions hearing his story. She could not imagine the pain that he must have gone through every second to see his loved one dying in front of his eyes. She did not know what to do and hence she leaned her head on his shoulder. His voice was devoid of any emotion when he spoke about his past. It seemed like he was talking about anything that was of least importance to him.
V: I don’t know why I’m telling you all this. I felt like saying this to you and thus I did. I want you to get over your past. It is not easy but accept it and move on. You can do much more things in your life rather than giving your important time to useless people.
S: I was hurt Veer. They sent me with anyone just like that? Am I a thing for them to trade? I don’t cry for them but over my fate.
Saying this Sanchi again started crying. Her tears wet his shoulders but he did not move an inch. He allowed Sanchi to pour her heart out. Sanchi clenched onto his arms more as her cries began to grow louder. Sanchi’s heart told her to trust Veer. Her cries slowed down to sobs and then to hiccups. Soon Sanchi dozed off on Veer’s shoulder. Veer lay Sanchi down on her bed, covered her with the quilt, switched off the lights of the room and went away.
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