Avni rushes to Neil who was grimacing in pain, but still managing to smile at the sight of his beloved.
AVNI: Are you alright? We were so worried for you.
NEIL: I am fine now. This is nothing.
AVNI: I know how much a bullet hurts, Neil. DD, how did this happen? Who did this to him? [hears a sigh of pain from Neil as he grabbed Avni’s arm with his right hand] Neil..
NEIL: Avni, calm down. We will find out.
AVNI: I’m sure it is the son..
NEIL: Shhhhh.. Calm down, Avni. Please.
SHWETA: Tillu, I can’t bear this sight. How did all this happen? My boy..
NEIL: I am okay, mom. DD and I were following a case, and these things happen. This is part of a cop’s life. [Shweta won’t hear that – she can’t have her her son – cop or not – be hurt]
PRAKASH: What did the doctor say?
DD: He is out of danger, sir. Needs some rest. He will be discharged in a day or two, the doctor will assess again in the morning.
PRAKASH: Thank god.
A nurse arrives and requests everyone to move to the lounge, barring a bystander. Avni gives a beseeching look at Shweta who nods, pats Neil on his arm.
SHWETA: Avni, stay with him. I will be back soon, and let me arrange for some food – you both haven’t eaten anything. [walks out after the others, and closes the door]
AVNI: I won’t let anything happen to you Neil, and I won’t forgive anyone who hurts you.
NEIL: Avni.. Avni.. Nothing will happen to me, and you will not do anything rash. [holds her hand, though it hurt his shoulder to do so]
AVNI: [noticing that he is in pain, calms herself down] I won’t. I won’t. I’ll be here. With you.. You take rest. [rests his palm down]
Neil noticed the beautiful red spree she had worn for Karva Chauth. She looked adorable. So beautiful, that he wanted to take her into his embrace and never let go. He couldn’t take his eyes off her.
AVNI: Neil, yeh ghoorna bandh karo.
NEIL: [still looking at her and capturing her beauty in his inner eye] You look so beautiful today. Avni..
She didn’t know what to say, or what to do. She felt all her saag, her singar, and her self – were all for this moment. For her beloved’s eyes to cherish. She looked back at him with all her love.
Neil realized it was late in the night. Avni must have been observing her fast all day, and this mishap has ruined her Karva Chauth. He wanted to break her fast and give her water with his own hands, and the word just came out his lips.
AVNI: One moment. I’ll bring water.
She found a jug of water and a glass on the table. Wiped the glass, poured some water. Came and sat beside him, holding the glass close to his lips while supporting his head with her other hand. He forced his hand up, albeit in pain, and moved her hand and the glass closer to her lips.
NEIL: I don’t think we can see go see the moon, given where we are, but I want you to complete your first Karva Chauth. [moves the glass closer to her]
AVNI: [fighting her tears back, takes a sip of water and closes her eyes momentarily] Neil, mere chaand mere bhagvan say tum hi ho. I’ve seen you, I don’t want to see anything else. Here.
She moved the glass closer to him, and helped him drink some water. He nodded as though to say ‘bas’, and Avni drank the rest of the water.
NEIL: Where’s mom? I’m hungry. And it looks like you are going to have to feed me by hand today, wifey! [that brought a smile to Avni’s lips. he was glad – his love was with him, and nothing would separate them now]
AVNI: Wait.. Let me go find her.
Meanwhile, when Shweta and Prakash reached home to get food, there was an unexpected visitor there – Riya.
SHWETA: What have you come here for.. again..
RIYA: I came looking for Ali, he left the cafe in a hurry. I found out he came here.
BEBE: Shweta, our Tillu is fine, isn’t he? How is he?
SHWETA: He is fine Bebe. Avni is with him.
RIYA: That cursed girl Avni with him – let’s see how long he is going to remain fine. It is her ill-fortune that has brings perils to Neil in the first place.
SHWETA:Our kids have not had anything. We came to bring some food back for them.
BEBE: Yes. I have made their favorite dishes today. I’ll bring them now, and some kheer for Bahu.
RIYA: Yeah. Feed the venomous snake, so she can kill your…
SHWETA: Not another word, Riya. I won’t take another word of your nonsense about my bahu. Even if they have any bad fortune, I will go to the priest and do everything to protect them. And you may please take your leave.
Riya gives a devilish smile, turns around and leaves.
No sooner did Avni step out of the room than Shweta return with food. Shweta walks up to her, hands her the food.
SHWETA: Bebe has sent food, and some kheer. Go break your fast with your husband. And tomorrow we will go to the priest together. We will do all the pujas we need to so no harm would come to you both. Go now.
Next morning, Prakash asked the ladies to go back home, freshen up and come back before the doctor came in, and so they left. Shweta’s mind couldn’t shake away Riya’s words from the evening. Is Avni really carrying a curse, that would kill his son? No. Her son has finally found his happiness with Avni, and she Avni has put her own life on the line for him. On the way back, they stopped at the preist’s and consulted him about Neil and Avni’s horoscopes.
SHWETA: Panditji, please tell us if there are any remedies we need to do to make sure no harm comes to my son and his wife.
The preist looks at the horoscopes and turns to Shweta.
PREIST: How long has your son been married?
SHWETA: Six months now. And there have been several unfortunate events in this time, that have..
PREIST: [raises his hand] I can see death hovering around your son all the time.
AVNI: No Panditji. Nothing can happen to him. I won’t let anything happen to Neil.
PREIST: And you are..
AVNI: I am his wife.
PREIST: Your husband? What has happened to him?
AVNI: He.. got.. shot… [Avni’s eyes drown in tears.]
PREIST: Tell me. Where are your parents, kanya?
AVNI: I lost both of them when I was a child.
PREIST: Any other relative?
AVNI: My brother.. We got separated. He is back now.
PREIST: And where is he now?
AVNI: He is… he is… in… pris..on [tears started rolling down her cheek, and she could barely speak]
PREIST: You see young girl, misfortune follows you, and hurts the ones closest to you. I am sorry to tell you, kanya. It is destiny, and destiny can be delayed, cannot be denied. From the moment you entered his life, death has started following him. [Avni’s heart sank. Shweta was in tears too. ] Lord Maheshwar’s grace that your husband is still alive. It is a miracle he survived the very first night you lived as husband and wife.
SHWETA: Any remedies, Panditji? We will do anything.
PREIST: I would suggest you do a mrityunjay havan as soon as possible for your son. [turns to Avni] For you, kanya, I have no remedy. Pray to the Lord. So this curse wouldn’t follow you in your next life.
NEIL: [puts his arm around Avni and pulls her closer] You are the cure for my pains.
AVNI: [steps back] No Neil.