Hey guys, Bela aa gayi phir se update lekar 😝😝😝😝😝
Mazza aa gaya. On the occasion of Namish’s birthday, I ate a chocolate cake and gol gappas. Haaye! Thank you to all the readers and those who comment. Even the silent readers. If I have any left. Thanks a lot. Keep smiling. Keep reading. Keep commenting.
I massaged my temples. When the hell would the police find Ragini and that stupid man? CID is so much better, at least the entire mystery gets solved in one hour! Even I would have done a fantastic job, had I been allowed to. Unfortunately, Sanskaar was keeping an eye on me. Ugh……this is so frustrating!
And then that Pari bhabi. God knows what happened to that woman! All she cribs about is the money, the hissa, the jaaydaat and how my Ragu’s sons are snatching her son’s haq. Bullsh**! The only respite I have these days is seeing my children bond so well with Ruhaan and Ranveer. Suhani has gone to a camp which was necessary. She would be returning today. I have to go pick her up, and with all this tension…………….
“Swara Bhabhi….your family has come to meet you.” Kaka came and said. My headache increased. What have they come for now? It has been three days since Ragini has gone missing and they are coming NOW. Brilliant. I nodded to Kaka and told him to feed them. I would be coming in a minute. When he was gone, I looked at myself in the mirror. You can do it Swara. You have to do this. For your Ragini.
On my way, I requested Ranveer and Ruhaan to pick Suhani from her school. The boys agreed immediately and set off. Aww, they are so sweet! Just like my baby Ragu. Not like that devil father of theirs. Great!
I came downstairs after five minutes and found the poor boys stuck saying Namastey and answering the stupid questions that everybody were posing. I decided to rescue them.
“Ranveer, Ruhaan! You guys haven’t started yet? Suhani would be waiting. Go fast!” I said. They looked relieved and ran off, and Ruhaan winked at me. I winked back with a smile.
“Arrey Shona……kahan bhej diya unko?” Maa asked me. I told her about Suhani’s camp.
“Arrey thaare ko ke zarurat thi usko bhejne Ki? WO bhi jab Laado……..” Dadi was saying but I narrowed my eyes at her and she went silent.
I hate her. I hate this woman and her son, my so called Baba because of whom my Ragini had to leave this city. They spurned her during her toughest times and now they have the gall to speak her name!
“You are saying as if you actually care a lot whether Ragini is dead or alive Dadi…..” I said in a menacing tone. Dadi glared at me and Baba reproached me, “Is that the way you would talk to her?”
I turned to him. “And you care a lot, don’t you? I mean, you did give her an extra bag to put her stuff in when you threw her out!” I said to him. He quickly shut up.
“Why are you repeating those things?” Maa asked me.
“Because I hate their fake concern for Ragini! She has been missing for three days Maa. Three days! Why didn’t these people come earlier? If they really cared, where were they? Police has found out no clue where Ragini is. We don’t know where she is, how she is, whether she is alive or…………” I choked. Maa patted my head as tears rolled down my eyes.
“Ab sab uske kiye Ka hi fal hai. She snatched Lakshya from you and then lost him herself. She tried to portray you as missing, now she is missing herself. She tried to kill you and who knows………..” Baba said. I banged my hand on the table in anger. Seeing me, he went silent.
“I ask myself sometimes how is it that you are capable of being called a father. I mean, you were never there for Swara. And even if you were with Ragini, you played no active role in her upbringing. So how is it that you can be called a father?” Dadaji asked quietly. I looked at him in thanks and he smiled sadly.
Sixteen years ago, when Ragini was about to leave Lakshya, she went to the Baadi for help. She told everybody present about her condition and what Lakshya did with her. Dadaji agreed to take her in, feeling upset for his Laado. He went to Bikaner for some work the next day. When Ragini left Lakshya and came to the Baadi, only Dadi and Baba were present. They refused her any help, saying that she was a ‘kalank’ to their name and was hell bent on ruining their respect. She had been left by her husband and now she was leaving him and that too while she was pregnant. They told her that they will not help her if she doesn’t go back to Lakshya. Baba gave her a bag and told her to go away. Ragini, broken, left the city. When Maa came back from her shopping and Dadaji came back from Bikaner, they were informed. Since then, the relations between the Gadodias have been rocky. On one side are I , Dadaji and Maa who were crying about Ragini and her condition while on the other side are Dadi and Baba who feel that they did the right thing.
For all their hypocrisy, they are in awe of Ruhaan and Ranveer. They think that the boys are well-bred, well fed, polite, Sanskaari and bright. And I keep on flaunting them in front of them, taunting them that Ragini could bring up her children alone and that too, fabulously.
Meanwhile, there was a cold war going on. I made a fist out of my hand. I want Ragini, not these people and their stupid beliefs. And Ragini, I would get. I have a plan.
“Abbey udda……..abbey udaa…….arrey udda!” Ruhaan kept on saying excitedly as Suhani watched in awe.
We have included Suhani in our plan as she is our best friend and a very resourceful informer. She was awestruck by the drone and was looking at it and at me continuously. We were test flying it while trying to see if the camera works properly or not. As I had said, it flew OKAY. The height wasn’t much. It was only about eight feet above the ground. It could go higher but unnecessary battery would be wasted. Ruhaan was jumping up and down in excitement.
“I guess our Air Drone-I is ready for attack!” I said. Both of them smiled widely and gave a high five to each other. I brought the drone down, checked its batteries and connection and the camera again. I attached a tracking device which I had smuggled from somewhere and then, after ten minutes, our ‘Mission Finding Raglak’ was on.
We watched through my tablet as the drone went forward. We could see the forest and the leaves. It was working fine. I had chalked out a plan. I had made arrangements for the footage of this camera to be recorded. In the mornings, Early Bird Ruhaan would watch. In the afternoon, it was Midday Suhani’s turn. And at night, Nocturnal Ranveer, would preside. We have multiple power banks and we would keep charging those which were used up by the tablet. But this project would be done seriously. It was the matter of my parents.
“Bhai dekho. Chachu’s dupatta.” Suhani said. I found Dad’s maroon dupatta lying on the ground. Ruhaan’s eyes watered. I hugged him sideways. “Good. It means we are on the right track. Now let’s go back home before Mausi smells something fishy.”
“But Mom has stopped eating fish since she married Dad.” Suhani said in confusion. I patted her head and gave her a ‘Beta Rehne De’ look while Ruhaan smiled through his tears. We sat in the car as I drove and Ruhaan kept on staring at the screen, hoping that he would get a glimpse of any one parent. Or both.
“Shona……..you need to calm down! Please beta. Calm down. Why are you so angry with your Baba and Dadi? Ragini is back and even if she is missing, she will be found. Forgive them and forget the past!” Maa told me.
We were sitting in my room. I was ranting against Baba and Dadi. Maa was trying to soothe me.
“I cannot forgive them Maa. Because of them, my Ragu went away. I had sent her away from Lakshya with such hopes………………” I stopped as I realised what I had just revealed. But Maa had already caught it. She gasped and gave me an unbelievable look.
“What are you saying Shona? You seperated Ragini and Lakshya? Answer me! Did you?” She asked me sternly. I nodded my head in resignation.
She slapped me hardly. I fell on the floor due to the impact. I clutched my cheek and looked up at her in shock. “Don’t you have any shame? Why did you do such a thing?” She asked me.
“I will tell you everything Maa. Everything.” I said.
I walked through the corridor. Lakshya has brought Ragini back. Thank God that he has finally acquired his brains and left me alone. I am glad that he is focussing on Ragini.
I entered the kitchen and then quickly hid behind the wall. I peeked out and saw curiously the scene before me.
Lakshya was bent over a bowl of dal and putting in huge amounts of salt in it. I frowned. That dal was made by Ragini. Why was Lakshya spoiling it?
Lakshya straightened up and smirked. “Now see, dear Ragini, how everybody curses you for this!” He said and laughed. My eyes widened in horror. Oh My God! He is trying to defame her! Why? Hasn’t he forgiven her yet?
As soon as he went away, I went and checked the dal. It was really salty now. I quickly searched on Google to find ways to fix it. A way was to make balls of aata dough and put them in the boiling dal. I switched on the gas, started boiling the dal and put the balls in it. Sometime later, I checked the dal. It was okay now. Still a bit more salty than we are accustomed to. I added water to the dal and cooked for a while and then switched off gas. I tasted the dal. It was brilliant! I smiled and went away.
I was on my guard now. This incident had made me question Lakshya’s motives. I watched him like a hawk. And then again, a few days later, something happened.
I saw Ragini bringing a pile of washed clothes and putting them on the hanging for them to dry. She went to bring some other stuff. Meanwhile, Lakshya came up from behind and soiled the clothes and smirked. He was definitely doing it on purpose to trouble my Ragu. But wait and watch Lakshya! I am Swara and I will not let anyone trouble my younger sister in such a manner.
I took the clothes to a launderer quickly and asked her to clean it as fast as she could. She removed all the stains and gave me the perfectly washed clothes in an hour. I paid her extra and then sneakily put the clothes back. I had a fun time watching Lakshya’s face when these clothes were given to everyone.
And then, came the final straw. I saw him coming from the garden, looking smug and I instantly smelled something fishy. When I went to the garden, I found worms on the rosebed. I asked the gardener to dig it out at night and plant roses. What happened next made me cackle with glee.
I knew Lakshya was trying to defame Ragini. Trouble her, to possibly throw her out. I wanted to tell her but my poor baby sister was so happy that I just couldn’t. But I started hating Lakshya.
***End of Flashback***
Maa wiped her tears. “But they were so happy Shona. Lakshya did mistakes but he realised them. They had moved on. And even later, Ragini was willing to give him a chance. Why did you send Ragini away?”
“HE DIDN’T DESERVE HER! He didn’t deserve my Ragu. He betrayed her! He accused her of cheating and refused to acknowledge his own kids. So I told her everything. Yet, that foolish girl was still ready to give him a chance. But I explained to her that she was wrong. Lakshya didn’t love her. He never could. He was a selfish man………………..
Ragini was crying excessively, sitting on my bed. I patted her head in sympathy.
“Ab hum kya karein? What can I do Swara?” Ragini asked me.
“Leave Lakshya. Go back to Baadi and live with your children. That man doesn’t deserve you. You did so much for him and you forgot all your relations for him but he has no heart. You don’t deserve this.” I replied.
“But I love him Swara. How can I leave him? And what about my children? How will they grow up without a father? My recent sonography reports have confirmed that I would be giving birth to twins. How will I raise up two children on my own? And how will I live without Lakshya?”
“Ragini, even Maa brought me up alone, with only Dida’s help. You would have everyone beside you. And tell me, can you live with a man who wants you to abort your children? A man who cheated on you and has the gall of accusing you of cheating? Who doesn’t want to take responsibility of his own children? Can you? Are you this weak?”
“But Swara, I love…………….”
“RAGINI! Hosh mein aao! That man doesn’t deserve you. Today he is asking you to abort your children, what if he kills them himself tomorrow? He can’t be trusted. I had always thought that you were too good for him. But love is blind and you succumbed to it. But you have a chance to leave all this negativity behind and give your children a positive home environment. Think of your children Ragini. Not yourself, but of your children. Will you let them be born and brought up in a place where they have a father who hates them? What kind of values will they have? Please Ragini. You deserve better. Your children deserve better.”
Ragini seemed to be pondering over my words. Thank God! She would stay away from that jerk. After a few minutes, she wiped her tears away and looked ahead in determination.
“You are right Swara. I won’t waste my life and ruin my children by staying with him. He has no sense of right and wrong but I won’t let his presence affect me and my children. Tomorrow, I would go to the Baadi and ask for help.” she said.
“I would take care of the divorce proceedings and alimony. Make Lakshya sign them without arousing his suspicion and then, after the formalities are completed, leave him and go back to the Baadi.” I said.
“I don’t want his money. You just give me the divorce papers. Hum apne bachchon ko apni zaat par paalna chahte hain. I won’t take even a single rupee from him.” Ragini said in determination.
I felt proud of her. Thank god she saw sense. I would have to thank Pari Bhabi later who showed me Lakshya’s true colours. But right now, I had to help my sister.
***End of Flashback***
“I sent her away to you with the hope that she would be well taken care of. But Baba and Dadi threw her out, even in her condition, and the poor girl felt alone and betrayed from all sides. So she left Maa. Do you know how hard I had to work to trace her? And when I asked her to come back, she refused because she didn’t want to face anyone, especially not Lakshya. And I had to spend sixteen wretched years of my life without my Ragu….” I said, crying heavily.
I looked at Maa. But she wasn’t looking at me. She was looking behind me with a pale face. I turned around and went rigid with shock.
Ranveer stood at the doorstep with a glass of water in his hand, shocked to the core and with tears in his eyes.
I ran faster. The sun was bright today. I don’t know why but I was feeling energised. I kept on running and looking for Ragini.
Again, my mind went back to the memory when I realised that I was falling in love.
“Ye kitni gandi hai, hum saaf kardein?” Ragini asked me. I looked at my shirt in her hand and nodded. She smiled and put it in the washing basket. Seriously, she smiled because I let her wash my shirt? Huh.
“Ae Ragini……….chal gossip karte hain!” Swara entered and said happily. I sighed in frustration. Why does this woman keep on entering my room? Chep! This is scandalous………….
With a jolt, I realised that this was Swara. My love Swara. I was irritated because I didn’t want to be in her presence. What? How can this be? God damn! I love her………….do I?
She entered chirpily and then saw me. Her face darkened while I smirked. Good. Her exuberance gives me a headache.
“You don’t go to office?” She asked me. “Today is Sunday.” I replied. She scowled while I smirked deeper.
“Swara……I need to go shopping today. A sari and a gift, Lakshya’s friend has thrown a party tonight and we have to go. Will you accompany me?” Ragini came back to the room and asked.
“Hmm…….okay! Sari? We will buy a Satya Paul sari. Or Masaba. Something designer and chick, okay? Not that studded Marwari sari……..” Swara said and shuddered. Hey, shut up woman! Ragini looks beautiful in a Marwari attire. Unlike you, who looks like a ball of……………….
“Par Swara, I have to use that sari later too. So I must buy something which I can use later.” Ragini reasoned. Right! That is called a brain! Which you unfortunately cannot gain. Humphh…..
“Ragini……..the sari would be simple. And about the blouse, you can always change it later and match it with some other blouse!” Swara chimed in. Shut up, I am warning you…….shut up!
“Let’s do one thing. Let us buy you a dress! You know, a long floor length gown. It may not be used later but it would look classy. And you can save on that fight with her.” I said to Ragini, pointing at Swara who was glaring at me.
Ragini looked perplexed. “Hum dress pehenenge? Par kaise?” She asked me innocently. I motioned with my hands to show her how to remove a sari and wear a gown. Swara screeched “Chheee!” and hit me with a pillow while Ragini smiled at my antics. Leave Swara, the smile on Ragini’s face was making me very happy…………
“Don’t make her uncomfortable! She cannot wear a dress! She would be conscious the whole time. Leave it!” Swara said. Woman, can’t you just shut up?
“Hum pehenenge. Dress pehenenge. I will go with Swara and buy a dress. Okay?” Ragini asked me. I nodded happily and gave a thumbs down to Swara who was glaring daggers at me.
I don’t know what has happened. But everything has changed. Swara seems to trouble me now. There was a time when I kept on thinking of ways to woo her, and now all I could think of was how to make Ragini smile, ask her to cook for me something delicious and then flirt with her. Oh God! Have I started liking Ragini?
Later that evening, I got ready in my tux and was setting my hair. Ragini was in Swara’s room, dolling up. As I gelled my hair and slicked it backwards, Ragini made an entry. And I almost got a heart attack.
She was looking angelic. She was wearing a strapless black backless gown with a sweetheart neckline and which flared out in ruffles and gained volume below her waist. Her brown hair was curled and arranged in a half up, half down manner. The upper portion was styled in a chignon while the lower portion was left curled and to fall freely along her creamy back. She had put on black eyeliner and was wearing a cherry red lipstick. She wore no neck piece, just large silver earrings and a bracelet and our wedding ring. Her hair pins were also silver. She looked like a diva.
For a minute, I blinked repeatedly, wondering if this was indeed Ragini. I confirmed her identity when she looked down at herself and then at me and asked innocently, “Hum achche nahi lag rahe?” I smiled at her. Acche? Abbey gorgeous lag rahi Hai! Ekdum beautiful! “You are looking very very very beautiful Ragini.” I told her. She blushed and smiled happily. “Aap bhi.” She said shyly. I raised my eyebrow. “Kya? Beautiful?” I asked her with a teasing smile. She giggled softly. “Nahi. Handsome.” My heart started beating faster. I held out my arm and she locked hers with mine and we left together for the party.
Ragini was an instant hit with all my friends. They were so used to seeing bold and show off girls that a girl as beautiful as Ragini who was so shy, innocent and sweet, seemed fascinating to them. Ragini is intelligent, so she was able to keep up with the conversation, even if she was shy. The wives of my friends were all over her and Ragini looked at me with her large eyes, asking for help to relieve her of them. I went to their side and said smoothly, “Hey ladies! So you ditched Mr. Maheshwari in favour of Mrs. Maheshwari?” The girls giggled and Ragini smiled at me. I smiled back. One of them remarked, “You two look so cute together. Amazing!” We thanked her and after a few minutes of conversation, I led Ragini to the dance floor. Dil Ibadat started playing.
Ragini and I danced beautifully together. All the while, my eyes were on her and no one else while she, as usual, was blushing and looking at me. I smiled at her and she blushed harder. Aww………..Mera bachcha!
When the dance ended, I escorted Ragini to a table. “Want a drink?” I asked her. “Paani.” She said sweetly. I smiled in amusement and went to take our drinks.
When I came back, I found her in a very dangerous position. A friend of mine, obviously very drunk, was trying to hold her hand forcefully and was leering at her.
“Hey baby……you are so beautiful and se**! Want to spend some time with me?” He slurred. Ragini looked ready to burst into tears any moment. Seeing the scene, I went mad with fury.
I slammed the drinks down on the table and held him up with his collar. I looked at him with rage in my eyes. “Gaurav Sharma! Stay away from my wife, get that? She is MY wife! I will not tolerate anyone’s presence near her. Get that? Now f*** off and don’t you dare to ever show me your face again! GO!” I screamed at him violently. Ragini was rubbing her eyes and I felt really bad for her. I offered my handkerchief to her and she took it and wiped her tears with it. The host friend apologised on Gaurav’s behalf but seeing Ragini’s condition, I decided to take leave. Ragini and I thanked the hosts and left.
“Saala, ulloo! That bas****! How dare he touch you? Doesn’t he know that you are my wife? You are mine! How can he even touch you?” I spoke in anger. I turned to Ragini and saw her looking at me strangely. I realised what I had spoken. What? Mine? Is Ragini mine? Am I being……….possessive? But why? Am I falling………for Ragini?
***End of Flashback***
I smiled. Ragini had looked so beautiful that night. She always looks beautiful but that night, I opened my eyes to see her. And they haven’t closed since then. That woman really ruined all other women for me. I took a deep breath and froze. I just heard a sound. I turned back slowly and widened my eyes in horror.
A man in a police uniform was holding a gun to my head, smirking. “Lakshya Maheshwari? Isn’t it? Well, nice to meet you. Myself Ranjit Das. Your murderer.” With that he pressed the trigger………………………..
I had planned to end here. But keeping in mind my dear readers’ demands😝😝😝, here comes the most awaited POV:
I ran forward and hid behind the large bush. I could hear them. They were four to five in number and were looking for me. I gritted my teeth in anger at the person who I knew had sent them. I just prayed that I would come out of this place alive and punish them. Would anyone be looking for me? Swara? Sanskaar? Ranveer and Ruhaan? Lakshya?
With a pang, I realised that he must have gotten married by now. Married and off to his honeymoon. I had warned him against her but he had brushed off my concern. I wondered if he knew what she had done.
I drew my knees close to my chest and rested my head against the bush. I recalled the memory of how Lakshya and I met sixteen years later………..
“Kolkata. The place where I was born. The place which snatched a lot from me. I am back to my soil after sixteen years.” I muttered to myself as I saw the landscape.
I took the cab I had pre hired and went to the Great Ambience Hotel which was a five star hotel. I was to stay there for three days and then shift to the flat which I had rented for a week. The earlier tenants still hadn’t vacated so I had to stay at this hotel.
It was almost 8 pm when I checked in. I was shown to my room and after a quick meal, I went to sleep as I was tired. I would call up the kids tomorrow and tell them that I had arrived early because the women at JCT threw me out. I chuckled. They would be hell surprised.
I woke up at midnight to the sound of soft breathing beside me. I froze. Who was in my bed? I turned around slowly and saw a naked male back facing me. I shrieked and the man woke up and jumped off the bed too. I started screaming ‘Rape!’ and he pulled me towards himself and placed his hand on my mouth. “Keep quiet you foolish woman!” He said gruffly. I froze. This voice………………..
The only source of light was the moonlight shining through the window. I looked up to see his face and was shocked to the core. Lakshya…………………..
He was seeing me too, shocked equally. He was holding me to his bare chest with an arm around my waist and a hand covering my mouth. We were very close.
Tose Naina…….Jab se Mile.
Tose Naina………jab se mile.
Tose Naina, jab se mile.
Ho sudbhud khoyi Hai khoyi Maine
Haan jaan gawayi gawayi Maine
Haan tujhko basaya Hai dhadkan mein
Tose Naina………..jab se mile.
Tose Naina………..jab se mile.
“Ragini!” He whispered. I kept on staring at him. My love. He looked the same. Same black hair, same deep black eyes, same long nose, same stubble and same skin. He was a bit more muscular now. He looked good. Of course, he is a famous designer now, after all.
“Ragini!” his voice came to me again. I regained my senses and pushed him back. “You?” I asked him venomously. “What are you doing here?” I asked him.
His eyes hardened. “What do you mean by what I am doing here? I have paid for this room so I was using it. And you? Availing services for free?” He asked me with a sneer on his face. My blood boiled. Does he mean to imply that I am Muftkhor?
“Excuse me! Stop lying! I know it is your old habit and old habits die hard. But let me tell you that I have paid for this room! And that too, for three days’ worth of stay. So just get out! Or else, I will be forced to call the security!” I said angrily. He looked at me in rage. “I have paid for this room. You are lying. You always do. Check you track record before accusing me! And you get out! NOW!” He growled in anger. I huffed in annoyance. “Fine! Let’s go to the reception and ask them whose room it is.” I said. He sneered. He put on a shirt, and I couldn’t help but notice his abs. Then, we went downstairs.
Apparently, the receptionist had made a mismanagement. The room was already booked in my name, it was room number 9. The room hired by Lakshya was number 6. Since these numbers seem similar if either 9 is inverted or six is inverted, she gave the keys of my room to him by mistake. I glared at her while Lakshya looked ready to sue her in court. She looked at us sheepishly.
“Are you mad? You gave me a room with this woman? This…….woman. She is my EX-WIFE! Can you imagine how uncomfortable it was? And now you are saying sorry while she has already accused me of raping her!” Lakshya shouted at the receptionist, who looked scared out of her wits.
“Excuse me! Speak of me with respect! I am the mother of your children! Even if you refuse to acknowledge them as your own, but that is your own issue, the entire world can see whose blood they have in them! And I didn’t accuse you of rape! I just…….reacted naturally to the situation. I come from Delhi where I always have to be on alert! It was a reflex action. You can’t defame me!” I screamed at him. Lakshya looked at me in anger.
“You cannot talk to me like that! I am Lakshya Maheshwari!”
“Even I am Ragini Gadodia!”
“How does it matter who you are? Who knows you?”
“Our children do. And they will love you a lot when they come to know how you treated me!”
“Don’t bring them in between!”
“I will. They deserve to know what a jerk their father is!”
“They already know what a witch their mother is!”
“How dare you call me a witch, you monkey?”
“How dare you call me a monkey? You are a………mosquito. A leech. You suck blood!”
“You suck! You actually suck and you are the worst man I have ever met!”
“That is why you reproduced two children with me, isn’t it?”
“You vile, disgusting, vulgar, shameless………….”
“ENOUGH! STOP IT! This is a hotel, not your home!” a man, probably the manager yelled. We went quiet. The manager looked at us angrily.
“Leave the hotel right now! I will return your full payment but just leave from here. You two have created such a disturbance with your screaming match. Our reputation as a perfect hotel has been ruined because of you both. Take your money, pack your bags and leave!” he said. My jaw dropped.
“Where will I go? I am so sorry, please don’t throw us out! The issue has been resolved, his room is number 6 while mine is number 9. We will go to OUR rooms and stay there. I am new here, I have nowhere to stay. Please!” I said desperately.
The manager shook his head. “Are you stupid? Don’t you get it? I have seen women like you, claiming to be destitute. Go with this man, your ex husband. Go anywhere. Live or die. I don’t care. Get out of here! Now!” He said.
Lakshya bristled at his tone. He went to the man and lifted him up from the ground by his collar. “How dare you talk to her like that? As long as she is in your hotel and you haven’t refunded the money, she is still your client. Is this the way you people treat clients? My, my. The owner will be displeased, I am sure. Even we have no wish to stay here with you all.” Lakshya said to him.
“I will call the police! You are threatening me and defaming our boss.” The manager said in anger.
Lakshya smirked. “Who? Omi Singh? He is my childhood friend. One call, and you, my dear Mr. Manager, will be out on the streets. I am Lakshya Maheshwari. I can do anything. So now, if you want to save your sorry self, apologise to her. Now! I won’t tolerate anyone trashing her in my presence like you did. Had she still been my wife, you would have been dead by now!” Lakshya growled at him. I looked at him strangely. Was he…………..supporting me?
The manager apologised. I forgave him quickly. But I still had my ego. I refused to stay there for even a minute more. I would sleep on the streets but not there. We were returned our full payment, minus the booking charges and an hour after the whole tamasha, I found myself on the streets. I was already ill, I had just recovered from a fever a few days back. Being thrown out in the month of November was making my health deteriorate. I sneezed and looked around.
“Are you okay?” Lakshya asked me. He also had a bag with him. I ignored him and kept on looking at my phone, checking for an online reservation for a hotel.
“Ragini, I asked you, are you okay? You seem to have a cold……..” Lakshya asked again. I moved away from him and ignored him. Suddenly, I was pulled into his arms by him and he squeezed my arms and looked at me angrily.
“I. Asked. You. If. You. Are. Fine. Are. You?” he asked me, emphasising on each word.
“Does that concern you? Mind your own business! Stay away from me!” I snapped at him. I tried to move away from his grip but his grip on me tightened. I was seeing black dots everywhere. I knew I was about to faint. My eyes started closing. The last thing I heard before sinking into the pit of unconsciousness was his frantic voice, “Ragini? RAGINI!”
I woke up the next morning lying on a soft bed. As I fluttered my eyes opened, I heard my sons’ voices.
“Oye Maa ko hosh aaya!”
“I can see that too.”
“What do we do now?”
“Party……..let’s celebrate! I will call up every friend while you call that girlfriend of yours…….what is her name?”
“Angel. And she isn’t my girlfriend. Although I would want her to be. But I want to focus on studies.”
“That is a first. Mom would be so happy to see that her son Ruhaan has finally grown up!”
“Would she make badam Ka halwa?”
“Umm……..children. She is waking up. Bring a glass of water at least.”
“Why don’t you bring it yourself Swara? Behen sewa and all….!”
“Shut up Lakshya. I didn’t ask for your opinion.”
“You can’t even ask. Because you cannot afford it!”
“Shut up you both. Ruhaan has gone to bring water. Stay silent or get out. I don’t want Mom under any stress.”
“Then ask this man to go away. Ragini would feel stress on seeing him!”
“Well, she would be seeing the boys, who are my carbon copies. So how does it matter if she sees three faces instead of two?”
I opened my eyes fully. Surrounding me in a circle were Ranveer, Swara, Ruhaan and Lakshya. Ruhaan gave me the glass of water while Ranveer helped me to sit up on the bed. I drank a few sips. Everyone was watching me anxiously.
“Hum kaun hain? Kahan hain? Aap kaun hain Didi? Humein theek nahi lag raha……….ek hi chehra teen teen baar dikh raha hai!” I made a crying face and said. Everybody panicked. Ruhaan looked ready to faint while Ranveer stared at me as if I said that I am his foster mother. Swara looked as if she was ready to fall in front of a diya and do a saas bahu serial Ka drama. And Lakshya? He was the best. He looked as if I had shaved his hair off!
“Haaye……….inki to yaadaash ghum ho gayi! Ab kya karein Ranveer?” Ruhaan asked his brother. “No party!” Ranveer replied. Ruhaan made a show of beating his chest. “Lut gaya, barbaad ho gaya, awaara ho gaya!” He was moaning. I knew that the boys had detected that I was faking a memory loss. I hid a smirk but Ranveer, my dear boy, detected it. He smiled at me.
“Hum yahan kaise?” I asked. “Ye Jo buddhay uncle Hai na? He brought you here. In his arms. Bridal style.” Ruhaan said to me sweetly. I smiled at him.
Meanwhile, Lakshya was fuming in anger. “Who did you call old? Buddhha hoga Tera baap…….!”
“Exactly! That is what I am saying! You, my dear daddy are old!” Ruhaan cackled while I suppressed my laughter. “Ruhaan, stop it.” I said to him. Swara, who seemed to have gone in shock, revived. “Ragini……my baby sister! You are okay?” She asked. I nodded and smiled. I was seeing Swara after so many years. We hugged each other tightly as tears flew from our eyes. For effect, Ruhaan started singing ‘Ye bandhan to……..Pyaar Ka bandhan Hai’ from Karan Arjun while Ranveer pulled at his hair in frustration. Lakshya looked ready to shoot someone.
***End of Flashback***
How I wish we could have lived like that forever. But now, it was just a dream. I misunderstood Lakshya for so long and now, I know the truth but he must have married Nivedita already. I had lost him forever. Tears rolled down my eyes as I thought about it. My heart ached.
Suddenly, the peace of the forest was disturbed by a loud noise of gunshot! I froze in shock. It had been loud. Meaning that it was coming from nearby. But who did it?
“Bhai, do you think Ranjit found that man……..what was his name?”
“Lakshya Maheshwari. I guess he did. He had to be killed. Boss was angry that he was looking for his laila in the forest!”
My heart stopped beating. Lakshya had been looking for me? He was in the forest? And now………..had he been shot? Tears flew down my eyes. I suppressed a sob. Unfortunately, it was heard by one of the men. Soon, I was being dragged by my hair to the place where apparently Lakshya had been shot. I closed my eyes in pain. Maybe we would unite in death………..
Done. Ragini Ka POV bhi done. Liked the reference _Angel_? Please comment and tell me how you liked the episode.
Up Next: Ranveer and Ruhaan discuss Swara. Suhani finds something. Raglak meet!