Hey guys……Bela here. Thank you all for your love and support.
To all those who want to know if the CVs have any plan of giving Raglak equal importance, I don’t know. But I don’t think they would. Swasan, as much as we sulk and make a chaos, are their main focus. Always. Raglak have been reduced to mere side characters who fare better than the other supporting cast. And frankly, they didn’t deserve it. I wish that Rashmi Sharma knew how to deal with two major couples. Because let us admit it, Swasan may sell, but Raglak fandom has the power to shut down the serial. The past two months, since that Sahil drama, has seen a major fall in Swaragini’s TRP. Which proves that there is something wrong in what the CVs are doing. Let us just hope that Namish returns from his holiday soon and Raglak get a proper story. The writers have a chance of redemption this time. Hope for the best.
Let us continue………and end this story.
I looked at Ranveer’s picture as I sat in my room. My son. I cannot believe he isn’t alive anymore. No, a mother’s heart can never accept this.
Ranveer……………my first son. My pride. My arrogance. He was perfect. Absolutely perfect. He spoke less but spoke sense. He ate less but ate healthy food. He never raised his voice, never threw a tantrum, never became rebellious. He was a good boy, who silently bore with grace the pity thrown at him by the society, determined to show them that he was NOT to be pitied. He was an obedient son, listening and following everything his mother said. He was a fantastic brother, looking out for his brother and always worrying about him. He was the ideal boy who ate all the carrots and peas in his plate, washed his own underwear, cooked the food when his mother wasn’t home, and studied regularly without giving anyone any trouble. He never gave me a reason to worry. Up until now.
I had seen Ranveer first, among my boys. He was given to me first. And the moment I saw him, I could see that he was his father’s shadow. Those eyes, that nose, those lips, everything about his appearance screamed Lakshya. Yet, yet. There was something. Something decidedly different which made him a level apart from every other child. He had opened only one eye to look at me, smiled a little and closed his eye and gone to sleep. It was as if he was aware that I was too tired to pay him too much attention. It was as if he had sensed that I was hooked to him. It was as if he knew that he was the elder son, the one who was supposed to be responsible.
When they had been babies, Ranveer never gave me much trouble. He would lay on the bed quietly and watch with his half hooded eyes as I would calm down a bawling Ruhaan. He would patiently wait for his turn at having milk. He would smile now and then in a reassuring way, which always made me feel as though he was a soulmate, rather than a son. A support, rather than a responsibility.
I guess I have been lucky in the matter of my sons. They are perfect. People dream of having children who are respectful, understanding, mature, polite, clever and intelligent and I had them. I, Ragini Gadodia, who had proclaimed myself the unluckiest person on this earth. I had lost a mother, lost my love and even my family. And yet, I had been the one who got the best sons in the world. I should have known that the happiness was only for some days. I should have known that God couldn’t have been so kind to someone like me, someone who had tried to kill her own pure hearted sister.
Ranveer’s death has created a void in my life. I continue living but somehow, life has lost its meaning. The mother who has to see her child’s demise is the most cursed mother indeed. Ranveer was a boy. Just a young boy. He didn’t deserve to die. Why is it that evil people like me, who do wrong things are pardoned while people like my Ranveer are given such a fate despite being such innocent souls?
Tears rolled down my eyes as I reflected on the recent events. I haven’t even seen his body, if he is dead. Tell me, which mother would believe that her son is no more when she hasn’t even seen his………….body. I wouldn’t believe it. Never.
“Missing him?” Lakshya asked as he entered my room and sat beside me. I nodded through my tears, hugging the picture to my chest. Lakshya wrapped an arm around me and pressed his nose to my cheek.
“I wish I had been able to spend more time with him. He was my son. And I didn’t even get to know him.”
“All because of me. I took your children away from you. I am sorry.”
“RAGINI! For the last time, stop blaming yourself. It was Pari Bhabhi’s fault, Swara’s fault and anybody’s fault but not yours. You did the only right thing given the situation. Tell me, did you know I was being framed? No. Did you know that we were being conspired against? No. Then how can this be your fault?”
I sobbed as I leaned against his chest. He engulfed me in a big hug and I felt his tears fall on my head.
“How was Ranveer as a child Ragini?”
“Very smart. Very responsible. Very mature. Very caring and protective. Very understanding.”
“All that I am not?”
Lakshya chuckled. “He was like that even as a child?”
I nodded mutely, remembering my son’s childhood. His fascination with books and gadgets. His absolute disdain for people who ill-treated Ruhaan and failed in tests. His love for logic. His bluntness, his inability to understand hidden emotions which created humourous situations. My boy Ranveer was unique.
“Ranveer was a topper na? With a high IQ?” Lakshya asked. I nodded again. He sighed.
“How in the world did my blood and flesh turn out to be so perfect when I am myself such a flawed creature?”
“You aren’t flawed Lakshya. Or maybe you are. But I like you the way you are. You are perfect for me.”
Lakshya kissed the top of my head. “I really wish I could go back in time and save Ranveer. I do not want him to die. I…….I…..” Lakshya choked as finally all his pent up emotions came out. He shook as I hugged him.
“He was a child Ragini! He hadn’t even seen the world properly! He hadn’t even seen what a family is! It is unfair, unfair. Why couldn’t I die in his place? Why him?” He gasped out as he cried. Tears rolled down my eyes too. Maybe both of us were paying for our sins. Maybe Ranveer had to pay with his life because of his mother’s bad deeds.
A knock came at our door and wiping our eyes, we went to open the door. Swara stood with a blank expression on her face. However, her eyes were stormy. I knew instantly that something had happened.
“Pari Bhabhi tried to commit suicide. She jumped into the river!”
“Boss, work is done. Done. I pushed her into the river after calling her, posing as her husband.”
“Shut up you fool! She has been found by some people who have admitted her to the hospital. God knows, if that woman doesn’t die na…….I will kill you myself!”
I slammed the phone against the wall in anger. Suhani came inside the room and looked at the phone lying on the ground.
“What happened? Everything fine?” She asked worriedly. I smiled.
“Haan beti. Everything is okay. Actually, I slipped on the floor and the phone flung on the floor.”
Suhani smiled amusedly. “Bade Dadu is waiting for you downstairs.”
“Coming right away. I need to see Pari………..whatever she did, she did mean a lot to me.”
Suhani smiled again and nodded. She went away while I breathed a sigh of relief. I picked up the broken phone and took out my SIM. I put it in my pocket and went out of the room.
I did not notice a dark shadow looming outside my window, hearing everything I had said and smirking to itself.
I frowned as I heard Ranveer’s voice in my head. I was alone in my room.
“Abbey saale BAHAR AA!”
There. I heard it again. I wasn’t hallucinating. I was really hearing it. He is alive! And he is here. He has returned! Oh my God!
“Don’t tell anyone and make sure no one sees you. Come out secretly.”
I looked around in the corridor and found it empty. I put pillows on my bed and covered them with a blanket and sneaked out of the room. I tiptoed my way towards the main door. It was ten pm. Everybody was in the hospital to visit Badi Maa while Suhani had been left in charge of Sanya. I was left alone to my own devices.
“Come to the garage. The one where I used to keep my bike.”
I went to the garage and opened the door and went inside, closing the door behind me. I switched on the lights and turned.
Ranveer sat on a stool behind me, his arms and head heavily bandaged. He smiled lopsidedly as he watched me.
Tears came to my eyes as I saw my brother, my life in front of me. I rushed to him and engulfed him in a strong hug, sobbing. He patted me on my back awkwardly as he stood up.
“Umm…….you have nosey coming out of your nose and falling on my shirt. Which isn’t really my shirt, I borrowed it from someone else.” He said. “Chup Kar kutte.” I replied. I felt him smile.
“I missed you a lot. Like A LOT. My life was actually on hold for all this while.” I said to him as we continued hugging.
“I didn’t miss you at all. I wasn’t conscious naa, isliye.”
“Tu chup rehta hai ki phod doon?”
I was shaking. My hands were shivering and I did not want to let go of him, fearing that he would disappear if I leave him.
“I was so worried. The police had declared you dead and everyone believed them but I didn’t. Cause I would know when something wrong happened to you. The time was torturous. Don’t ever leave me again!” I said as I pressed my cheek to his.
Ranveer wrapped his arms around me and sniffed me.
“How long has it been since you have had a bath?”
“Six days. I had not been bathing earlier and I was scheduled to bath today morning but I had a breakdown and was sent to the hospital.”
“YUCK! GET OFF ME YOU SWINE!” Ranveer said horrified as he tried to push me away. Tried. He was weak while my desperate iron grip was strong. No match.
“I won’t let go of you, you freak! Where the hell were you?” I demanded to know as I pressed him tighter to myself. Ranveer pinched his nose in disgust.
“I was at the Goenka house.”
“Which hospital is that?”
“It isn’t a hospital. It is a house.”
“Abbey gadhe, Goenka house!”
“Who is Goyinka? Is she hot?”
“If you are turned on by women who are our mother’s age, then definitely yes!”
“You spent the night at an older woman’s house? Chhee, chee! If you are so desperate, I could introduce you to some good girl.”
“I like Angel.”
“Abbey harami! Stay away from her!”
“If you are done with the bakchodi, can we talk work?”
“Why work? What work?”
“I think I know who is the mastermind behind this mess.”
I stiffened. Ranveer thinks he knows. And when he THINKS he knows, then he DEFINITELY knows. And he is always correct.
I finally separated but I didn’t leave his hand. He sat down again and I sat beside him. I told him all that had happened in his absence and Ranveer nodded satisfactorily when I told him that Ansh was Mausi’s son.
Ranveer told me all about how the Goenka family saved him, how Durga Aunty advised him and what all he did. He showed me the papers and as I looked them over, I realised that it all made perfect sense.
“But Veere, he could be the one too, you know?” I said as I pointed to the name at the left corner. Ranveer shook his head.
“I thought so too, earlier. He was one of my prime suspects. But after Ansh’s truth came out, I have realised that he was a mere pawn. A pawn in the dangerous game being played by HIM. Plus, he was speaking to his man on the phone before he left and I heard his entire conversation from his balcony window.” Ranveer replied as he pointed to the name encircled with red in the centre. I nodded darkly.
“I can’t believe HE would do this! Bade Dadu would be heartbroken.”
“What has to be done, has to be done. He has already attacked Badi Maa. He is on a rampage. First Mr. Basu, then Nivedita, then Ansh and I and now, Badi Maa. He is a dangerous criminal and even if we are related to him, we need to expose him and bring him to justice.” Ranveer said as he stood up with some effort. We turned around a bit and our hearts stopped.
Suhani stood behind us at the door, shaking, with tears falling down her cheeks. We looked at each other. Suhani came up to us and engulfed Ranveer in a bone crushing hug. She felt the bandages on his arms slowly, moving her fingers over them and feeling them.
“Bhai, let us destroy him. He would pay badly, even if I love him. He isn’t human, who tries to kill children. He would have to pay for his sins.”
“She is stable now. But critical. She is breathing but it is laboured. We don’t know if she will survive the night or not.” The doctor said as she moved forward.
I was standing along with the rest of the family, shocked and worried. We had no idea Pari Bhabhi would take such a step. Though at the back of my mind, a sneaky voice screamed that it could all be a farce to gain entry back to the house.
Sanskaar wrapped his arm around my shoulder. “Everything would be fine Swara. It wasn’t your fault. It wasn’t.” He said as he looked at me. I smiled back and nodded and kept my head on his chest.
Something terrible has befallen our family. An evil eye is cursing us. The relations have gone kaput, we have two members in the ICU, one dead and another in shock. This was the ‘bad time’ that everyone talks about. The low point.
“Ji, hum Keh Rahe the ki why don’t we do a Greh Shanti ki pooja again? Someone has put kaali Nazar on our household.” Badi Maa said to Bade Papa who nodded. Behind me, Lakshya muttered to Ragini, “Dhat Tere ki! Again I would have to provide new clothes. How many free Indian ensembles should I give to the family from my collection? My business would get ruined!”
Ragini giggled a little while Lakshya sulked at the prospect of having to distribute clothes for free, cause who charges from family? Sanskaar chuckled softly and whispered a ‘He won’t change.’ fondly.
“Jiji, main to na wo hari sari pehnungi! It will go good with my complexion.” Mom said.
Lakshya snorted. “Chachi, it is out of fashion!”
Mom looked perplexed. “Ke bol raha hai Tu chhora? I bought that sari a few months ago only!”
“From the ‘End of Summer Sale’ no less, no doubt to save money. It was the fashion in summers, and that too, of the year now almost over. It is the month of December, and plus, there is a new trend now.”
Bade Papa glared at a moaning Mom and Lakshya who looked scandalised at the thought of a member of his family wearing an outdated trend. Badi Maa tried to pacify him while Sanskaar shook with laughter. Dad quietly gave his debit card to Mom, knowing she would demand a new sari now. Mom loved wearing trendy designer saris and was supported and encouraged by Lakshya. Ragini came up beside me.
“Thank God Adarsh Bhaiya isn’t here. It would have seemed so insensitive, with his wife in the ICU………….”
I smiled at her and pulled her to me. We all stood there, waiting for any news. Sanskaar turned to me.
“How about we check on Ansh?” He suggested and I nodded. We walked over to meet our son.
“They are coming home. In ten minutes.” Suhani said as she put down the phone. I looked at her then at Ruhaan who had a mad glint in his eyes.
“Aane de. Daboch lenge!”
I snorted in amusement. Ruhaan and Suhani had christened this mission as “Mission Pardafaash”. Suhani was looking at the technical side of it whereas Ruhaan was giving me ideas on how to make it more dramatical. The ideas were all shitty, mind you.
“And then you cackle madly and point to him and say, ‘Isne maara mujhe. Yeh hai khooni. He will have to pay for his sins.’ Just like Deepika Padukone in Om Shanti Om.” Ruhaan said. I rolled my eyes.
Ten minutes later, we heard the cars in the driveway. Suhani peeked out from behind the curtain and did a thumbs up to us. Ruhaan nodded to me.
I saw him standing beside Dad. My eyes narrowed. He is a traitor. A sneaky snake who was trying to bite our family, slowly spreading his poison.
Ruhaan and Suhani went downstairs. Suhani had made the house dark and sent Sanya to the Baadi. I heard Mausaji calling for Suhani. They went to the hall and Suhani informed everyone that there was a power cut.
The phone rang. Mausi picked it up and after a few minutes, gave a cry. Everyone became worried. She looked up with tears in her eyes.
“Ansh……..he……he didn’t make it!”
I smirked as I saw his face. His eyes had gone red. Payment time, Mr. Maheshwari!
“Arrey aisa kaise ho Sakta hai? How is this possible? He was alive and stable, the last time we checked.” Mausaji said. Mausi broke down in his arms.
Mom ran towards her to console her. It was time. I contacted Ruhaan through our telepathy from where I stood, telling him to move forward with the plan.
“That makes the causality of that accident two. Ranveer and Ansh, both are now dead. It was expected, I guess. I mean, the truck had knocked them off and crushed their bike too……..” Ruhaan said.
“Arrey it wasn’t a truck. It was a car.” Chhote Dadu said in irritation. I smirked deeper. Trapped!
“Dadu, how do YOU know that it was a car, not a truck?” Suhani asked quietly. Everyone stood gaping, looking at Chhote Dadu curiously.
He became pale, and started sweating. Ruhaan whipped out his handkerchief and gave it to him. “People find it hot even in December. No worries.” He remarked. Suhani’s lips were set in a thin line.
“Dad, Suhani asked something. How did you know it was a car? I mean, the impact was so forceful that it had to be a heavy vehicle like a truck or a bus.” Mausi said. Everyone was looking at Chhote Dadu.
“Woh……woh….I just…..guessed. It came out of my mouth…….” He stammered.
I walked downstairs. Everybody saw me and there were collective gasps. Suhani had made it quite dark and the only source of light were the candles on the tables which illuminated my silhouette as to give a spooky effect.
“It was a car Chhote Dadu. A black car. Screened glasses. It was very fast. It hit us even though I had turned the bike to the side. It was Murder. MURDER. And now Ansh is dead. DEAD. MURDERED!”
Chhote Dadu was trembling as he looked at me. My hands were in my pocket and I was wearing my bloodstained clothes from the accident. Ruhaan had even removed my bandages to ‘give effect’. Seeing Chhote Dadu’s face, I had to admit it was a good idea.
“Nahi, nahi. No. I didn’t want to murder him. I did not want to………”
“But it has been done. Ansh is dead. Somebody wanted to kill us. And he was successful.”
“But I didn’t want him to die! Not when I got to know that HE was my grandson. My male line. I didn’t want to kill him. It was a big mistake.”
“But Chhote Dadu, I never accused YOU of murdering Ansh. I just said that he was murdered!”
Chhote Dadu looked at me, stumped. I knew that he knew that I had cornered him. He had just indirectly confessed that he had killed Ansh.
Bade Dadu came to him. “Ram……what is happening here?”
Chhote Dadu looked at me angrily. I smirked. Suddenly, he came forward in a flash of a second and wrapped his strong hands around my neck and began throttling me. I choked and gasped for air as I heard everyone shouting and rushing to stop him. My eyes rolled back as my mind stopped working. My limbs suddenly felt nerveless.
The next second, I was released and I fell in a pair of strong arms. I opened my eyes a little and saw Chhote Dadu on the floor, with his hands on his head, writhing in pain while Chhoti Dadi stood before him with a wooden vase in her hand, glaring at him.
“Aapne kiya ye sab? Hain? You? I cannot believe you!” She screamed and hit him again on his head with the vase. She was stopped from repeating it again by Mausaji, who was looking at his father with disgust.
Chhoti Dadi shook a finger at her husband. “Stay away from my children. Stay away from my Ranveer!”
Bade Dadu slapped his brother hard and broke down in Badi Dadi’s arms, sobbing. Chhote Dadu sat up and placed his head in his hands.
“Yes. I did this. I paid my man to hit Ranveer and Ansh as I did not know that Ansh was MY grandson.”
Bade Papa looked at him. “If you are confessing, confess all your crimes. Or shall I do the honours Chachaji?”
I moved forward, having regained my senses. I looked back at Dad who had been holding me and smiled. He nodded to me encouragingly.
“Allow me Bade Papa. I shall start this story. Correct me when and if I am wrong.” I said to him and he nodded to me.
“The year 2010 was a very tumultuous one for the Maheshwari family. Sanskaar Maheshwari had been thrown out of the house by his uncle for having a relationship with a Bengali girl named Kavita. This action caused his parents to harbour a deep disliking for Bade Dadu.”
Bade Dadu looked at Chhote Dadu with tears in his eyes while Chhoti Dadi looked down.
“Fast forward to the year 2015. Lakshya Maheshwari, son of Durgaprasad Maheshwari was set to marry Ragini Gadodia. However, he had some issues with his father and left home to live with the Gadodias after his alliance had broken off. There, he fell for his ex fiancée’s elder sister and his elder cousin, Sanskaar Maheshwari returned as a mentally challenged man with the hidden purpose of revenge. What happened after that, everyone knows.”
Everybody nodded and looked at me to start the main part. I took a deep breath and continued.
“Fast forward to when Mom and Dad resolved their issues and fell in love. A few months down the line, she became pregnant. This caused Badi Maa utmost jealousy as she was infertile and incapable of ever becoming a mother. She was worried that with the birth of Mom’s baby, she would lose her standing in this house. Her position was threatened, so she decided to abort Mom’s baby. Unfortunately for her, Dad had grown really berserk about the fact that Mom was pregnant and was refusing to leave her side even for a moment.”
Dad smiled faintly and wrapped his arm around Mom’s waist and she leaned closer to him. I smiled at them and continued.
“She found help soon though. There was someone else who had major issues with Mom’s pregnancy. Chhote Dadu. He did not want Mom to provide potential heirs to the house. Not before his own daughter in law, Mausi had done so.”
“He found out Pari was infertile. He then approached her.” Bade Papa said. I nodded.
“He used his smooth skills to convince Badi Maa that she was really threatened. By that time, it had come out that Mom was pregnant with twins. There was a high chance that either could be a boy. The heir. Both conspired and created situations so that Mom and Dad separated. And they did. So effectively, it was the teamwork of only Badi Maa and Chhote Dadu that led to Mom and Dad’s separation. Bade Papa had no idea.”
Dad hugged Mom even more tightly and she placed her hand on his. Tears were rolling down their eyes.
“Two years later, Mausi gave birth to a girl. Suhani. It was okay, there was a chance that she could give birth to a boy later. Yet, what Chhote Dadu hadn’t foreseen was that Badi Dadi, who was heartbroken over her missing grandchildren, now wanted Badi Maa to give her a grandchild. She started pressing Badi Maa for a grandchild. And from there, started a problem.”
I had everyone’s undivided attention. Everybody was curious to know how the events unfolded.
“Almost a year later, Mausi became pregnant again. This time, it caused Badi Dadi to become more desperate. Her need became unbearable for Badi Maa who talked to Chhote Dadu. Together they hatched a plan. Badi Maa would fake a pregnancy and give ‘birth’ to a child. But after Bade Dadu and Badi Dadi’s demise, they would give up the child. Badi Maa couldn’t ask for anything for that child as it wouldn’t be a Maheshwari. Badi Maa convinced Bade Papa, saying that it was only to please his aged mother. Bade Papa, deeply concerned about his mother and very much in love with her, agreed to this sham just for his beloved mother’s sake.”
Badi Dadi gasped as she looked at Bade Papa with tears in her eyes. His head was bowed down. She walked up to him and engulfed him in a hug. Bade Dadu signed me to continue.
“On the day of the delivery, Badi Maa came to know from her paid informer that Swara Mausi, who had gone to labour an hour before her, had given birth to a baby boy. Now let us remember, Badi Maa was a typically jealous woman. She had tried to bump us off earlier too. Hearing that Mausi had given birth to the heir, her position was again threatened. She decided instantly that she would take MAUSI’S baby and show it as her own. Again, she trapped Bade Papa and lied to him that there were no babies available at that moment. Bade Papa was naturally scared and it was then, at that moment of vulnerability, that Badi Maa suggested that they steal Mausi’s baby. Left with no choice, Bade Papa paid the nurse to steal the boy and put it in Badi Maa’s room and declare that Mausi’s child was stillborn. However, consumed with the guilt of having betrayed his own brother, he has worked hard to give Ansh the best life, as we all know.”
Bade Papa was sobbing. “I did not want to do it. But Pari was insistent. She made me imagine the scenario of what would happen when Maa would come to know that we lied. She made me recall the day Maa had a heart attack when Lakshya was arrested. I was scared witless.”
Mausaji held his hand and they hugged. I continued.
“However, both were afraid of what would happen if Chhote Dadu gets to know of this deception. They told him that they were sorry for Swara Mausi and that, this child had been arranged from a poor woman. Chhote Dadu had no choice but to agree.”
“Had I known, I would have killed that witch earlier! When I got to know today, I arranged for her to be killed. See, she is lying in the ICU!”
“Your worst nightmare came true when Ruhaan and I popped up from nowhere. You were in a very comfortable space, your grandchildren being the only left Maheshwari heirs, since you believed Ansh to be adopted. Our entry ruined everything. And plus, you had no idea that Bade Papa was trying to secure Ansh’s future and portion in the property. You had already been trying to kill Dad for his portion, and for some personal reason too, and after getting to know that I was the heir, you started the tricks with me too.”
Chhote Dadu snapped angrily. “Yes! I was trying to kill Lakshya. I wanted to kill everyone, save my line. After Lakshya, it would have been Adarsh. Then Parineeta. Then Ansh. I would have wiped off anyone who came in between my heirs and the property. God knows where you both came from, I had to shift focus to Lakshya.”
“Which is why you contacted Mr. Basu. His daughter Nivedita, a gold digger, was a perfect bait. The plan was to get Dad and her married and get Dad’s portion transferred in your name. You fooled her into believing that you would leave Chhoti Dadi and marry her when it is all done. After the plan was hatched, you took the proposal to Bade Dadu who agreed to it to just rid himself off Dad.”
“You had an affair with Nivedita?” Dad asked Chhote Dadu incredulously. The latter nodded and received a tight slap from his broken and disgusted wife.
“I guess you killed Mr. Basu and then his daughter, fearing they would expose you. And then you planned to kill all of us.”
Chhote Dadu nodded again. Chhoti Dadi dropped to the ground, crying. “Why Ji? Why did you do all this?”
“I hate Bhaisaab! Because of him and his tyranny, we had to be separated from our son for five long years. Remember Sujata? Those painful nights when we would cry in each other’s arms, mourning for our son who we thought was dead? I wanted Bhaisaab to feel the pain. See, I succeeded. Bhaisaab and Lakshya were separated for sixteen years. And about all this, what wrong did I do? I know the feeling of being the second son. The one who gets the leftovers of the elder one. I didn’t want such a fate for my grandchildren, since I couldn’t help Sanskaar. I just wanted my grandchildren to not have to depend on their elder brothers or sisters for bheek.”
“Par Chachaji, what did I do? What was my fault?” Mom asked him tearfully. He looked at her.
“Your fault is that you love Lakshya too much. I wanted him to suffer without a family, like my Sanskaar did for five years. And for him, YOU had become his family. You had to go. Especially, as you were pregnant. I couldn’t take chances. And then later, Mr. Basu felt that your presence was ill for our plan. He paid goons to kidnap you so that you wouldn’t come in between our plan. My plan, actually. He was a fool. Thanks to me, we wouldn’t bear him now. ”
“Ranveer Beta, how did you come to know of all this?” Bade Dadu asked. I went over to where Ruhaan and Suhani stood.
“The three of us were investigating Mom’s disappearance. During our investigation, we came upon a lot of things which shocked us. Our initial suspects were Badi Maa and Bade Papa. However, after my accident, I was at the Goenka house. Durga Aunty had saved me. She said something which set my mind to work. I revisited all the events with a third person perspective and made a list of who gained and lost what from all the events. You were also a suspect as you had sent me to get medicines.”
“I hid them. The plan was made, we Just had to get you out of the house.” Chhote Dadu said. I nodded to him.
“I gathered as much later. Anyways, I made that list and then, on a separate sheet of paper, I MADE A FAMILY TREE. I made the initial tree, where Ansh was Bade Papa’s son. And when I saw that tree, I realised that the trend was that only Bade Dadu’s line was being targeted. Mom, Dad, Ruhaan, Ansh and I. Of course, it could have been Bade Papa too, but he stood to lose a lot by Ansh’s death. Yet the accident happened while Ansh was with me. No one from Chhote Dadu’s line was in any harm. And my suspicion naturally went over to the two men in the other line. Mausaji and Chhote Dadu. I realised that Mausaji couldn’t have been the culprit as he was actively involved in finding Mom and Dad and plus, he had been with me the entire day when Mom was kidnapped. So the only left person was Chhote Dadu. With Durga Aunty and Dev Uncle’s help, I nabbed the nurse who did the exchanging the babies.I have been here for about three hours now. I was keeping tabs on him and confirmed my suspicions when he called up his man and scolded him as Badi Maa had survived.”
“Ram…….I didn’t expect this from you. I have often admitted that it was a big mistake to throw Sanskaar out of the house. I have repeatedly apologised.” Bade Dadu said. Chhote Dadu scorned.
“Suhani and Sanya would have the same fate as my Uttara. An unwanted person in the house. They don’t deserve it.” Chhote Dadu replied.
“Even my Ranveer and Ruhaan didn’t deserve it. They have lived without their family for years now. Can you give them their childhood back?” Badi Dadi retorted. Chhote Dadu looked at us. He turned away.
“I have lost my grandson. So sorry if I cannot sympathise with yours Bhabhi.”
“Ansh is fit and fine. In fact, he woke up while we all were coming here. I was acting along with Sanskaar. Ruhaan and Suhani requested us to.” Mausi said. Chhote Dadu’s head shot up. He looked at her. “I should have guessed. You like dramebaazi and nautanki a lot anyways.” He said.
Chhoti Dadi entered the room. “I have called the police. They will come here in a few minutes. Jiji, we need not have a pooja now. The evil eye will be removed.” She said as she looked at her husband acidly. He slumped his shoulders in defeat.
I watched with amusement as Ragini thrust a spoon of rice in Ranveer’s mouth and Swara piled up his overflowing plate. Ruhaan was looking longingly at the plate and seeing him, I burst out laughing. Ranveer glared at me.
Sanskaar Bhai came inside. “I am sorry Lucky. For what Dad did.”
Everybody stopped and looked at us. I looked at my brother. I was surprised and even angry that he felt the need to apologise for what he had no control over.
“Mausi, I am sorry. For what Dad has done with you all these years.” Ruhaan said to Swara who smiled at him. Sanskaar understood the reference and smiled too. Ragini looked at everyone and said, “Everything is fine na? Now let us focus on the food. See, I made veg biryani!”
“Biryani? Did anyone say biryani? Haaye haaye! Now that I am alone in this world, and my husband had turned out to be a criminal and is in jail, I shouldn’t be thinking of delicious food. But what to do? Ram spoiled his own life, why should I spoil mine?” Chachi entered and said. She dug into the food. We knew she was hurting. She was heartbroken. But it was her way to cope with it, and she is a strong woman. She would cope well and come out of it.
I cleared my throat. “Ahem. Just an announcement. My girlfriend and I are planning to get married. I have even proposed. She said yes.”
Ranveer spat his food out and looked at me incredulously while Ruhaan looked at Ragini worriedly. Ragini smiled at them. “Even my boyfriend asked me to marry him and I said yes.”
Ranveer looked at both of us. “You guys are getting married to each other? Bhaisaab, how many times will you marry? Hain? You both are already married! And tell me, what is this Boyfriend-girlfriend thing? Some new idea to resurrect your jawaani?”
Chachi looked up. “Boyfriend? Main bhi banaungi! Someone like Hritik Roshan!”
Ruhaan looked at her with a smile. He winked at her and she giggled. “Hritik or maybe……….Ruhaan?” She said and Ruhaan nodded eagerly. Suhani slapped the back of his head in a friendly manner. Sanskaar Bhai looked at Ruhaan. “So you are my new Papa?” Suhani followed with a “You are my new Dadu!”
Ruhaan paled and bolted out of the room with Chachi following him with outstretched arms, calling him back to accept her. We laughed as we heard her. Ranveer hugged Ragini and then me. We kissed him on his cheek. Ruhaan came in a second later and leaned in for a kiss too. We had a family hug and then Ruhaan rushed out again as Chachi advanced on him. Ragini and I had an eye lock and smiled at each other happily. We were coming closer…………….
“Ae Ragini? You are seriously marrying this chimpanzee? Sure na?” Swara asked her. Our eye lock broke and I glared at Swara who smirked back. I gave a sigh of defeat. This Swara always comes in between. Ragini and she were gossiping about something and seeing them so, an overwhelming sensation gripped me. This was the life I had wanted. This was the life I had dreamed of. And this was the life I was going to get.
I knew that all was okay.
And it was Ramprasad Maheshwari! Congrats to all those who guessed it right.
I guess this is the end. I would think of an epilogue or maybe a Season 2 but not now. Phone zapt, Bela bye bye.
Do comment for one last time, I will try and reply to each one. I am leaving Tellyupdates.??