Hey guys……Bela here. Now, now…..such a wonderful response. Seems like people are really worried for Ranveer and are hell bent on killing DP and Adarsh and Parineeta. It is the month of October guys. Gandhi Jayanti waala month. So no violence……LOL!
You all are right on one point though. That Kavya was DAMN lucky to have received two packets of biscuits……..I get only 2 to eat with my tea or milk.????
Let us stop the bakbak and move on with the story…………..
I was waiting. For the right moment. Making a scene at the hospital wouldn’t be right. Ruhaan Bhai would be getting discharged in a few hours. When everyone goes home, I would reveal it to everyone. And then we will see. Badi Maa would have to pay for all of her sins today. All of them.
I looked at the recording again and smiled. That had been rather smart. What did that greedy woman think? I was going to give her money? Is she so dumb as to think that a fourteen year old girl could be carrying twenty lakhs with her? Stupid bint!
As the video ended and I closed it, I saw the wallpaper of my phone. Ranveer Bhai, Ruhaan Bhai and I were smiling on the screen with lollipops in each person’s hands. I smiled as I recalled that day.
Ruhaan Bhai and Chachu were definitely up to something. They were hiding behind the wall of Bade Dadu’s room and whispering amongst themselves.
I went up to them and stood before them. They pulled me behind the wall and before I could say anything, Bhai clapped my mouth shut. Both of them put a finger on their lips. I nodded.
“Listen. Top secret mission. We need to get Dadu’s permission to go for a picnic. All of us. And we are trying to find a way.” Ruhaan Bhai said. I looked at Chachu warily and replied, “If he goes inside, success probability would be in the negative!”
Chachu sniffed a little and looked away. Ruhaan looked at me gratefully. “Arrey haan! I didn’t think of that! Kaand ho jaata! Thanks.” He said and gave me a peck on my cheek.
“Toh ab Kya?” Chachu asked and we started thinking.
Bade Dadu remains a bit ill so it is almost impossible to take him out. He always complains of a headache, feet pain, and other such ailments. But we wanted to go. What to do?
The solution arrived. Walking down the stairs. Ranveer Bhai passed us whistling, hands in his pockets. Suddenly, he stopped abruptly and looked behind at us. Ruhaan Bhai waved to him and he walked over to us. He raised an eyebrow.
“Why did you call me?” He asked Ruhaan Bhai and then I understood. They have a telepathic connection. Ruhaan Bhai must have called him to help us.
“Abbey kuchh soch. The goal is a picnic while Bade Dadu is the defender. You be our striker.” Ruhaan Bhai said. Chachu added, “Papa won’t agree. He feigns illness and feels it is all a waste of time. Useless, I tell you! Doesn’t enjoy and doesn’t let anyone else enjoy!”
Ranveer Bhai smirked. He told us to go and sleep peacefully and leave the work to him. Tomorrow’s morning would bring the news of the picnic.
At night, I went to Ranveer Bhai’s room, anxious to know what he was planning. He and Ruhaan Bhai were discussing something in hushed tones. Ruhaan Bhai was giggling with pleasure. They looked at me and smirked.
“I knew that your ultra detective mind couldn’t let you stay away. Well, you can join us and see what happens.” Ruhaan Bhai said. I grinned and joined them as they went up to Bade Dadu’s room.
Slowly, Ranveer Bhai tiptoed inside the room and picked up the water jar. He sprinkled a few drops of water on Dadu’s face and rushed out of the room with the jar.
Bade Dadu woke up and started looking for water as he was thirsty. On finding the jar missing, he got out of the bed and went towards the kitchen to fetch one.
I looked at Bhai in awe. Bhai is a genius! He sprinkled water to wake up Bade Dadu and sprinkled it on the areas that Bade Dadu is most likely to sweat. And everyone knows that if he wakes up between the night, then he surely drinks water. And Bhai had taken the jar. But what was the plan?
We quietly followed Bade Dadu to the kitchen. Ranveer Bhai grinned and told us to stay hidden. We watched as Dadu entered the kitchen and switched on the lights. And found a plate of Jalebis kept on the counter.
Now let me tell you, Bade Dadu LOVES Jalebis. More than he loves even his own sons. But a few years ago he was diagnosed with diabetes and now, everything sweet is off limits for him. Naturally, seeing his favourite food lying ‘laawaaris’ on the kitchen counter, with no one around proved to be too tempting to Bade Dadu who lunged for the plate. As soon as he picked up a piece, Ranveer Bhai walked into the kitchen with water jar and gasped fakely.
“Dadu? What are you doing?”
Bade Dadu looked as a child looks when he has been caught stealing candy by his mother. He blushed and fumbled around. Meanwhile, Ranveer Bhai continued acting.
“What are you doing Dadu? You are diabetic! You aren’t supposed to be eating this! I will tell this to Dadi who will speak to you……….”
“Arrey beta you are getting me wrong………”
“I am not a kid Dadu! You were about to gulp that piece down. And everyone knows how much you love Jalebis. So no point lying. I am going to tell this to everyone in the morning. I didn’t expect this from you!”
“No. Don’t tell anyone, please! I will do whatever you say, I will give you whatever you want. Please stay quiet.”
“Are you trying to bribe me? Back in Delhi, corruption is a crime. This is so wrong!”
“Beta, listen. I was ABOUT to eat it, I didn’t actually eat it! And everyone would get worried unnecessarily. I will give you whatever you ask for. Just don’t tell this to anybody. Please?”
I looked at Ruhaan Bhai who smiled widely. This was the plan. Wow. Simple yet wonderful.
Ranveer Bhai acted as if he was thinking. “Hmm. You have a point. Everyone would get worried. Well, I won’t tell anybody anything. But you have to agree to my demand.”
Bade Dadu nodded like a child. “Yes yes. Anything you say.”
“Ruhaan and I have come here for the first time. We want to enjoy with our family, with you all. Can we all just go for a holiday? Only a day if it is of any problem to you. But together, out?”
Dadu nodded. “Haan. We will go to our farmhouse in the weekend. Nearby is an adventure park. You kids can play there while we elders can relax at the house. Okay. Done. Just don’t………….tell this to anyone.”
Ranveer Bhai nodded and smiled while beside me, Ruhaan Bhai did a victory dance. Even I was very happy and very impressed.
Ranveer Bhai snatched the plate of Jalebis from Bade Dadu and said, “You can’t eat that. Let me take it with me. Okay?”
Bade Dadu nodded and Ranveer Bhai came out. He grinned at us and ushered us up to his room quickly.
We ate all the Jalebis by ourselves and laughed over our victory all night. The next morning at breakfast, Bade Dadu cleared his throat.
“Ji kahiye?” Badi Dadi asked him. He looked at Ranveer Bhai and then at everyone. Chachu looked at Ranveer Bhai quizzically who smirked. Chachu smirked back.
“I have been thinking for a few days and I have realised that this is the first time in so many years that our entire family is together. I think we should all go out to celebrate this. You know, for an outing so that we can spend some quality time together. What do you all think?”
Ruhaan Bhai, theatre wannabe, looked at Bade Dadu a little too much innocently and said, “As in…..a picnic? Haan Dadu?”
Bade Dadu nodded and everyone’s faces broke into wide grins. Everybody started planning and it was decided that since today was Friday, the ladies would prepare for the trip while the men would complete any work they had in the office. We would sleep early and then start off for the farmhouse early tomorrow morning. Chachu pronounced Ranveer Bhai as the ‘most competent boy ever’ while Mausi looked on proudly but clueless as to why her son was being praised so much.
We reached the farmhouse at ten the next morning. It had been kept ready by the staff for our arrival. Everyone went to their usual rooms while I gave my elder brothers a tour. Ranveer Bhai again mapped the place while Ruhaan Bhai watched the house in awe.
“Haan….you are a young boy na, that is why you want to go to the adventure park? Vain creature! It is for the KIDS!” Mausi’s voice came as all three of us came back to the drawing room.
Mausi, Maa and Chachu were having a verbal spat while Papa was sitting nearby and sniggering. Maa and Mausi had their hands on their hips and looked identical while Chachu’s hands were stuffed into his pockets nonchalantly.
“Toh Ragini, what is wrong in that? Lakshya is a kid only! Look at his actions. They are similar to what my Sanya does. And Sanya is seven.” Mausi said as she looked at Chachu disdainfully. Chachu stuck his tongue out at her and she smirked and said, “I told you so!” to Mausi.
“Arrey, Dad must go! Even Mom and you and Mausaji! ‘Family time’, remember? And plus, all of us are minors. One adult needs to go with us to supervise. And one adult alone would get bored. And also, I want to spend time with my family. All of us must go. Except for the ‘Dev Anand’ generation! I hope you get what I mean!” Ruhaan Bhai said as he winked at Ragini Mausi who giggled.
Chachu’s chest rose proudly and he looked at Maa with satisfied condescension. “Bilkul, bilkul. That was what I was saying, but your mother refused to hear. But I am sure she would think of it NOW at least. What say Ragini?”
Mausi looked at Maa who sighed and nodded. Mausi turned to us and whispered an ‘okay’ which resulted in her being kissed soundly on both of her cheeks by her two enthusiastic sons. Chachu suspiciously looked as if even he wanted to do the same but I could be hallucinating. But I do find them cute. They must have made a wonderful pair once. And the chemistry between them is still mind blowing. Mausi is very beautiful and VERY cute. Chubby face, what is normally called a ‘baby face’. And even I feel like kissing her repeatedly. And Chachu was her husband once. And they do have two children together. I can understand how hard it must be for him.
Ansh, Sanya, Ranveer and Ruhaan Bhai, Chachu, Mausi, Maa, Papa and I went to the amusement park. Bade Papa and Badi Maa had refused to come as they were tired. We entered and started the day with white water rafting.
It was fun. We all had a lot of fun but I think that it was Chachu who had the maximum fun amongst us all. Because whenever the boat would rock, Mausi would clutch the person next to her tightly and strategically, it was Chachu who always sat next to her. Every time Mausi would hug him, his face would break into a stupid, goofy grin and he would look as if he had climbed the Mt. Everest. It was rather fun watching them.
Next came rock climbing. Ansh, being the fuddu he is, chose to sit down and watch as we all started climbing. Ruhaan Bhai climbed the rock with an agility that matches that of a monkey while Ranveer Bhai lagged behind him, still doing much more brilliantly than the rest of us. Sanya gave up midway and joined Ansh in finishing a bag of chips and watching while I soon picked up speed. When I reached the top, I found Ruhaan Bhai laughing while Ranveer Bhai was looking down and smiling. I joined them in looking down and found out what was so amusing.
Mausi was having trouble climbing. She was about to slip twice or thrice but got saved my superhero Chachu who would ‘pull’ her towards him. Pull hard so that she would collide with his chest and he would encircle his arm around her waist. And smile crazily every time. I giggled as I saw a very red Mausi looking at a very pink Chachu and both looked down at a very green Papa(who looked ready to puke) and an extremely purple Maa.
After rope climbing, in which surprisingly Chachu won (Papa says that he has experience in climbing the pipe of the Baadi), we sat down for lunch at a small alcove. Mausi had cooked excellent light food for us in the form of sandwiches, salads, paratha, juices and such stuff. Maa and Mausi were giggling and whispering to each other while Chachu was trying his best to hear them. And failing.
We enjoyed a lot as we did trolley riding, motorbike racing, bicycle racing (I had no idea Maa could beat EVERYONE in that) and shooting. Ranveer Bhai was definitely the best in that. We did boating and finally got tired after a trip of eight hours.
Papa bought us kids cotton candies and lollipops and finally, we reached home to see a very homesick Bade Dadu who immediately stopped his lamenting when he saw Ranveer Bhai smiling with a raised eyebrow. He smiled back and pronounced that he was fit and fine again!
It was a blissful weekend. For once, I actually enjoyed with the ENTIRE family. I got closer to my brothers and developed a bond with my Mausi who I very much idolised. It was my first family holiday.
***END OF FLASHBACK***
I looked at the picture as tears came to my eyes. Ranveer Bhai. Abhi to mile the. Aur Abhi………chale gaye. Hamesha ke liye. Please come back. Somehow, somewhere, I feel that you are alive. If you can hear me God, please grant me this wish. Bring my Bhai back.
I watched as Ragini fed that son of hers with her own hands. Her ONLY son, I thought with a smirk. All thanks to me, Ragini and Lakshya were now parents of just one child. Maybe they can feel my pain now. The pain of insecurity for your only child left. I have gone through it for years. And now, it is their turn. But not for too long. Lakshya and Ruhaan are part of the family. So I will make it easier for them.
I called up Hira. I said something to him and I heard him laughing at the other end. I smirked. Hira is my most trusted man. He would surely complete my work. Parineeta is not needed. Not anymore. Goodbye Parineeta.
“I wanted to tell you all something. Hope you all would listen calmly.” Suhani said as we sat down after bringing Ruhaan back. Ansh was stable but still unconscious. It was a miracle that he was alive.
“Kaho beta. We are listening.” Papa said to Suhani. I watched as she looked at me nervously. I gave her a small smile.
Suhani is a darling. She may be Swara’s daughter but for me, she is my niece. My Bhai’s daughter. She is a polite girl with a sound head on her shoulders. I have to give it to Swara that she has raised her children brilliantly. Just like my Ragini.
I looked at my ‘girlfriend’ who was looking at Suhani expectantly. Cutie. I have been trying hard to keep her spirits up after what happened. She is broken, I know it. Even I am. Ranveer was a child. He had his whole life in front of him. And………..
I think Ragini knows that I am hiding my grief. Maybe that is why she is also doing the same. We have to be strong for Ruhaan. He has withdrawn into a shell. We need to bring him out of his trauma and for that, we need to be strong.
“I wanted to show you all a video.” Suhani said. Papa gave his permission and Suhani connected her phone to the TV. And the video started playing.
I watched with goosebumps on my skin as Kavya admitted that she had been paid to act as though she was my lover and Karthik, Ragini’s. I watched with tears in my eyes as she admitted that I had been brought drunk to the hotel. I had always said that I didn’t remember how I ended up in that hotel. And now, Kavya confirmed my statement. I looked at Ragini whose mouth was covered with her hands and her eyes were red. Tears rolled down her cheeks. Everybody was looking at me sympathetically. I looked at Pari Bhabhi in rage.
“Kyun? Why did you do that? Maine aapka Kya bigada tha?” I asked her. She looked away.
I watched as Maa slapped her so hard that she fell to the ground. “You witch! You did all of that? Why? You made us all believe that Lakshya was a philanderer and Ragini was characterless! That the children in her womb weren’t Maheshwaris! Why? What did you achieve?”
Pari Bhabhi looked down with tears in her eyes. Papa slapped her next. “Bolo. We are asking you something.”
Swara went up to her and pushed her to the floor. “Ye aisi hi Hain. She won’t open her mouth so easily. Sanskaar, call the police. Tell them that we have a child kidnapper amongst us.”
Pari Bhabhi looked up in fear. “NAHI! No. Please Swara. I will tell you everything. I…..I am infertile. I couldn’t give birth ever. Even after more than three years of marriage, I hadn’t conceived while Ragini became pregnant only a few months after she and Devarji patched up. I was worried she would take over the house. So I did all of this. And about your child……………Maa had been pressuring me. We had decided to adopt an orphan earlier but then, that night when you went into labour, we couldn’t find a child that quickly. And you already had a daughter, so we took yours. It was a son, so it made my rank better. I became the mother of the sole Maheshwari heir. That is, before Ragini came with her kids.”
I felt disgusted as I heard her. What the heck? How could she stoop so low? Which orthodox mindset is that? She separated Ragini and me and my children has to live alone all this while. And Swara………..she was made to suffer so harshly. Pari Bhabhi didn’t deserve anybody’s forgiveness. She had crossed all limits of humanity.
I walked away angrily and came to my room. I started throwing all my stuff in anger as I pored over her words. I thought of her as an angel who was sweet natured when in reality, she was a monster. I felt a hand on my shoulder and saw Ragini looking at me tearfully.
“For what? Why are you saying sorry Ragini? Pari Bhabhi should be saying that. Not you. Mera bacha…….had to live alone and rear up our kids by yourself!” I said to her as I hugged her. She broke down in my arms.
“Sorry for not trusting you. If I had been trusting, maybe we could have have avoided what happened.”
“No Ragini. I wasn’t to be trusted so easily after what I had done to you. It is okay. Acceptable. Even I didn’t trust you Ragini. I believed in that Karthik drama when I should not even think about you cheating on me. Not after I know to what extent you love me. Sorry.” I said as I held my ears. She smiled softly and pulled me into a hug.
“Ragini………I……I wanted to marry you.” I said to her, feeling shy all of a sudden. Come on, it isn’t as if I have done it often!
Her soft brown eyes met mine. They were shining. “Neeche jaaiye. Go down on one knee and propose properly. I have always dreamt of that.”
I smiled and went down on my knee. I held her hand as I had done all those years ago, when we had consummated our marriage. Suddenly, I felt like a twenty four year old nervous man who was worried he would be rejected. Who had hopes from life. Who had found the love of his life and dreamt of a blissful future with her.
“Ragini Gadodia, you are like a star which shines in my darkness. You are the smile that people look for on my face. You are the breath of fresh air who brings life into this body. Will you do me the honour of joining your name with mine for eternity and make my favourite food? Will you volunteer to wear my latest clothes? Will you smile whenever I come near you? Will you be my life partner, my wife, my soulmate?”
Ragini nodded a yes tearfully and I pulled her into my arms and cried. Sixteen years. My wait was over. I had my Ragini back.
We went downstairs and saw Papa throwing Pari Bhabhi out of the house, just like I had been once. The only difference was that I had been innocent. Pari Bhabhi, on the other hand, was guilty of a lot of sins. She deserved it.
Papa looked at me shamefully. “Hum……hum sharminda Hain.” He said as he bowed his head. I went up to him and hugged him tightly. We sobbed as we hugged each other. I drew apart with a smile.
“At least now wear clothes from my collection!”
“You know what Swara? I have given up. I have no idea what I should be doing. I have no idea whether I should believe the police, who say that Ranveer is dead or my own heart which says that he may be alive. I don’t know whether I should mourn my dead son or console my distraught one.” I said to Swara as we both looked at Ruhaan, who was sitting on the bed with a distant look on his face. We were sitting in his room as he had just been discharged and come home.
Ruhaan had withdrawn after his meeting with Lakshya. He was not talking to anyone and was not paying attention to anything. We had been trying desperately to attract his attention but he wasn’t responding. He was just sitting idly and staring into space. At times, he would smile and laugh a little. Doctors were saying that he was in shock and would require counselling sessions to cope with his twin’s death.
“I am glad though that Ansh is out of danger. He is still unconscious but doctors are saying that he would wake up soon.” I said to Swara who nodded absentmindedly.
“He is our only hope at finding out where Ranveer could be.” Swara said. She closed her eyes in tiredness.
“This truth about Ansh has brought a huge strain in the family relations. Sanskaar refuses to even look at Adarsh Bhaiya. Dad is also very shaken. Meanwhile Mom is happy she has a ‘live grandson’! I have no idea how she comes up with such stuff even at such trying times.” Swara said indignantly. I smiled at her.
“Do you think that Ranveer is alive?” I asked Swara. She shook her head.
“I don’t know. I don’t think so. Because he would have been found by now. The police suspect that he fell into the river near the forest and since the current was fast, he must have been washed away. As much as I want to believe that he is alive, the circumstances are too much against our wish.” Swara replied with tears in her eyes.
She was correct. It was 6 in the evening and despite trying everything, the police hadn’t been able to find Ranveer. All had lost hope. To be honest, even I had.
Lakshya entered the room and smiled seeing all of us. “I am so glad that you are finally home. I wanted to tell you that Ragini and I want to marry again. You know…….I love her.”
Ruhaan, without looking up, said, “You both are already married. The divorce never went through.”
I looked at him in shock. What was he saying? Beside me, Swara stiffened. I looked at her and found her looking at me nervously.
“Is this true Swara? What is he saying?”
Swara shifted her glance towards Lakshya who was looking at her with wide eyes. We heard a sound and saw Ruhaan chuckling humorlessly.
“You both did not get divorced because you didn’t come to the court again after six months. You are still legally married to Dad, though it can be called void because you have been living separately for so many years. Ranveer and I, we are legal heirs of Dad. Maybe that is why Ranveer was………………….” Ruhaan choked up as he said the last sentence.
I looked at Swara for confirmation who nodded her head slowly and sobbed. I looked at Lakshya with tears in my eyes and found him shaking. Ruhaan was staring at a picture of him and Ranveer when they were both babies. They were smiling identically and thrusting their fists at each other, lying on the bed with only their diapers on. Lakshya walked towards him and said lightly, “That is even more brilliant na? See, Ragini and I are already married. And you are our son. We will all live together happily.”
“And Ranveer? What about him? Even he wants to come back desperately. He is in so much pain. He wants to be here too.” Ruhaan said.
Lakshya’s eyes watered. He patted Ruhaan’s head. “How do you know that?”
Ruhaan looked up and his eyes bore into Lakshya’s.
“Because he told me that himself!”
(And now we come to the most important part of the episode. The most awaited POV.)
“Where are you Ranveer? Come back please!”
I am trying to come back Ruhaan. I don’t know where I am. My head is hurting very badly. I am trying yaar. I am trying.
“Mom and Dad have returned. Both of them want to get married!”
Huh. They are already married. Kitni baar shaadi karenge? Specially Dad. Seems like he thinks that he is the only model left to showcase his bridal men’s collection. So he ends up at the mandap to show how good clothes he designs!
“Abbey yaar……they don’t know that they are married. I have told them though. Mausi to gayo!!!”
Definitely gayo. As you sow, so shall you reap.
“Suhani exposed Badi Maa. Apparently Dad never cheated on Mom. That Kavya was paid. And Karthik is her brother who was paid to act as Mom’s lover. And by whom, I won’t even give you an award to guess!”
Bhai Saab! Sachi? Suhani rocks, Badi Maa shocks! What the hell is Badi Maa’s problem anyways? Where is she now?
“Thrown out. Pehele Swara Mausi exposed her then Suhani. Bhai, Maa-beti ne laga di! Badi Maa to already gayo!”
YES! Serves her right! Poor Dad, he had been living with the guilt that he was a cheat! And Mom………..is she okay?
“Missing you. I told them that I can hear you. Ab to aaja yaar!”
I opened my eyes slowly as I adjusted them to my surroundings. My head was paining very badly. Very very badly. I tried to hold my head but found that my hands were connected to a drip. I tried to remember what had happened.
I was driving the bike with Ansh behind me and then…….OH SHIT! I had an accident! Ansh………where is he? I tried to move my head but a searing pain gripped me and I fell back to the bed groaning.
“Aha…..he has woken up. Durga…….see. The boy is conscious now.” I heard a deep voice say. There was some shuffling of feet and a warm soft hand was placed on my forehead. The hand stroked my head and I opened my eyes slowly again after the pain subsided. Two green eyes looked at me, filled with concern. She was a fair woman with brown hair which had a few silver strands in them. She was strikingly beautiful and must have been as old as my Mom.
“Beta…..can you hear me? Haan? You know Hindi?” She asked gently and I nodded. She smiled and continued, “Beta my name is Durga. Durga Dev Goenka. And this is my husband Dev Goenka.” She said as she pointed to the man whose voice I had probably heard earlier. He smiled warmly and I smiled back weakly. With their help, I sat up in bed with a lot of cushions.
“I am Ranveer Gadodia. I………I had an accident. How did I come here?” I asked.
“We found you near the banks of the Kalighati river. We were doing a pooja for my departed father there. We brought you here to nurse you as it was closer. But I have talked to the hospital. They are going to send an ambulance soon.”
Kalighati river? Near the Kalighati forest? I had been so close to Mom and Dad! Oh God!
Dev Uncle looked at me curiously. “I think I have seen you somewhere.”
I smiled as I answered, “I am Lakshya Maheshwari’s son.”
Durga Aunty and Dev Uncle looked at each other and then at me. “Your parents must be looking for you. We have no idea though, we haven’t gone out of the house since we brought you here.”
I nodded slowly. I relayed the events of my accident and Durga Aunty nodded. “Hmm……..it could have been an accident. But you are the son of one of the richest men of the country, so it could be a planned thing as well. I know of a lot of people who do such disgusting things.” She said with anger and her husband patted her on her shoulder.
“Since you are okay now, let us get you something to eat. I will ask the servant to bring you food. Durga, I will be in my study if you need any help.” Dev Uncle said as he stood up and walked out.
Durga Aunty looked at me and smiled. “I have a son and a daughter too. Both are younger than you of course. They have gone to Mussoorie to meet their Dadi. I miss them a lot. Devika and Dhruv. Having you here is refreshing.”
“Durga Goenka neé Thakur. Director of Thakur Group and the city’s biggest philanthropist. I have heard a lot about you, even though I am new to the city.” I said to her as I watched her in awe.
She smiled softly. “Baba was a doctor while I always had a wish to do something for the society. I combined the two and of course, Dev helps. Though quite a lot of my philanthropic work is overseen by my sister Payal.”
I looked at her. Durga Goenka was a motivational speaker too. She was one woman who the entire Kolkata looked up to. A mini celebrity.
My mind went back to what happened. I had moved the bike aside. Still the accident happened. No. It was not an accident. It was definitely planned. I had anyways had the feeling of being watched. Someone had been waiting for me to come out. And he or she would strike at the right moment. Ansh and I had been deliberately hit and that too, by someone within the house. Someone who knew I would be out. Only Bade Dadu, Ruhaan and I knew, apart from Ansh. But what if Ansh had informed someone?
“Shall I ask Dev to call up your family and tell them that you are here? Or maybe they must be at the hospital, you said that your cousin had been involved in the accident too. We could meet them there when we take you.”
“NO! DON’T CALL ANYONE!” I shouted in panic. If what I was thinking was right, someone from the family wanted to bump me off. And I couldn’t tell that person that I was alive. Not before I knew who he or she was.
Durga Aunty looked at me, taken aback by my sudden outburst. I relaxed. “Beta, is everything fine?” She asked me.
“I……I will meet them on my own. You both have already done me the biggest favour by saving my life. I couldn’t bother you more.”
She looked at me critically. She was a smart woman who I knew wouldn’t really believe this lame excuse. “You do know that I could help you with anything you would want me to.” She said to me.
I decided to take her help. I had read about the infamous Shaurya Goenka Rape case. She did help in solving a rape case years ago, maybe she could help me now. I wouldn’t wash my family’s dirty linen in front of her, just ask her opinion vaguely.
“Tell me Aunty…….what would you do if you want to know who doesn’t like you?”
She raised her eyebrows. “Doesn’t like me? There are a lot of people in this world who don’t like me. And you just know. You get the vibes.”
Umm………she was right. My question had been too vague. I decided to try a different approach.
“Okay. What if you had enemies but you didn’t know who they were? How would you identify them?”
She looked at me. I knew that she had guessed that it was related to my accident but she wisely chose to remain silent about it. I felt really grateful to her.
“It is a severe disadvantage if you have no idea who your enemy is. Because in that way, you have yourself at the mercy of that person. You are vulnerable. But you should have a remote idea.”
“I don’t think I understand you ma’am.”
“Sometimes you don’t need to know WHO the person is. You just need to know WHY that person is your enemy. The reason. The real question has to be why you are being targeted. When that becomes clear, the picture becomes clearer. Things start falling into line. It is like a jigsaw, to be honest. One piece in the right place can help you complete the entire puzzle.”
I thought about it. She is right. It was right now important for me to find out what was the reason behind all this mess.
“You have maths?”
I looked up and frowned. How does that question seem relevant? But still I nodded.
“Then consider this: have you studied the elimination thing in solving equations? You know, just eliminate everything that don’t matter? You do it in competitive exams as well. It reduces the number of options left and you are able to get the answer easily. Same is with this thing. If you have a doubt on some people, start eliminating the least possible ones.”
I smiled as I nodded to her, understanding what she meant. But the problem was that I had no idea who was on my list. I was facing a faceless enemy. I think she understood that because as the food tray came inside, she stood up to go out to give me some space. But before leaving, she whispered to me, “Sometimes the answer is right in front you. Try to find them in the midst of all this confusion that is being created to divert your attention.” With that, she left.
I asked for a pad and a pen and I started my work after having my meal. I chalked out the entire sequence of events. I made a list of all the family members on another sheet and marked who gained and lost what in each event. No one was spared, neither my parents, nor Ruhaan and I. Not even Sanya. After this elaborate planning, a wild thought struck me.
I took out another sheet of paper and wrote something on it. I compared this sheet with the other sheets and as I looked, the answer became clear to me. I knew who was behind this. I just had to prove it.
“Beta Ranveer? The ambulance has come to take you to the City Hospital. You sure you want me to inform nobody from your family?” Dev Uncle asked as he entered. I looked up.
“Can you take me to Maheshwari Mansion?”
There there. Ranveer, our genius boy has solved the mystery. Done. With the help of the beautiful Durga Dayal Thakur Goenka, for all those who watched Ek Hasina Thi and know how smart she is. Let us see who it is…………
Up Next: Ruhaan meets Ranveer. Mystery revealed.
Maybe the next part will be the last. Let us see.