Hello People, Bela is back and that too, with Sakhi Saiyaan, last updated in June. I know it is rather cruel of me but I am deeply sorry for it. Life hasn’t been too nice to me in terms of workload and assignments. Plus I have increased my own issues by simultaneously trying to juggle 3 stories together. Forgive me please.
So here we go, with Sakhi Saiyaan………..
I smiled benignly, as I stood behind the sofa, gauging everyone’s reaction. Badi Maa and Bade Papa were looking resigned, Mom and Papa Ji were trying to console them, Sanskaar was sitting with his head in his hands and Adarsh Bhaiya and Pari Bhabhi were switching between consoling the elders and looking shocked. Ragini sat before me on the sofa with a faraway look on her face. Meanwhile the subject of everyone’s distress i.e Lakshya, was crying sitting on the floor.
The truth had come out. Lakshya, it seems, is NOT Badi Maa and Bade Papa’s son. Even Mom and Papa Ji knew about it. He was the son of Bade Papa and Papa Ji’s dead sister Lata Maheshwari. She had been married to an alcoholic who used to torture her for his carnal pleasures and exploit her for money as well. As a man who had multiple debts, he was killed in a street brawl over the same, leaving his wife poor and pregnant. She had been taken in by her brothers where she delivered Lakshya and died in childbirth, taking a promise from her brothers that they would bring up her son as their own. Well, they certainly did. Maybe his father’s bad blood made him turn out the way he did.
“I……..I cannot live here anymore.”
I smiled widely as I looked at Lakshya who was looking at Bade Papa and Badi Maa as he made the above statement. His eyes were bloodshot and his nose was leaking. Eeww.
“What do you mean son?”
“Don’t call me that please, it hurts. I cannot stay here anymore, not after knowing who I am and where I exactly deserve to be.”
“Please MAMA JI. I know exactly where I belong to. You all are kind hearted, you brought me up as your own, but to be honest, I cannot EVER change the fact that you are not my parents and this life is not what I was meant for. It wasn’t mine, I have been given this life in charity. And I refuse to take this.”
Seizing the opportunity, I spoke. “And since you are not exactly who you were supposed to be, even your divorce with Ragini can be finalized without any interruptions.”
“SWARA!!” Sanskaar roared at me. I took a step back in surprise, flinching at Sanskaar’s tone. He never raised his voice on me, what was the matter? He was looking at me with rage in his eyes and for the first time, I found that I couldn’t face him.
Lakshya nodded at me. “Leave it Sanskaar. We all know that this is what she wants and this is what will surely happen in the future. Why should Ragini suffer with me in my grief? I will start the procedure now itself.”
“No! No need to rush the proceedings.” Ragini spoke for the first time since the reports were read out. We all looked at her in surprise. She took a deep breath and spoke with determination. “If Lakshya rushes the proceedings, he would have to answer on which grounds he wishes to do so. His truth would be out and it would impact the reputation of this family and the share value of the company. And even Lakshya himself would have a terrible time. I don’t think it is feasible.”
I looked at Ragini in shock. What was she even thinking? If Lakshya left, would she go with him?
Bade Papa nodded. “You are right Ragini. Absolutely correct. It is bad in general for the family if the truth comes out. There is no need for this conversation to go out of the four walls of this house. Let the months pass.”
“But I won’t live here anymore. I just cannot.” Lakshya said. “I cannot live here, knowing that it wasn’t mine. Had I been with my own parents today, I would have been living in some slum with a troubled household. I have been spared all that but the truth remains. I am leaving now itself.”
“Don’t be silly Lucky! Where will you go? How will you live? The world outside isn’t a bed of rose, as it looks like. I know for a fact, I too was thrown out five years ago with nowhere to go and I know how I survived till Mr. Kapoor picked me up from the streets and helped me establish Karma Industries.” Sanskaar said.
“I will think of something. I cannot live here Bhai, I am suffocating here!”
I looked at Lakshya with a bored expression on my face. Now wonder, he must be doing some other drama to gain sympathy.
“Bhai, I am serious. I feel suffocated here now. Knowing that nothing here is mine. All that I have enjoyed is nothing but…………charity.”
“is nothing but…………charity.”
My heart ached as Lakshya gently whispered out the last word. He was in an obvious distress and only a blind person(or Swara) would disagree. I wanted to go to him and comfort him but it seemed impossible, considering our relationship. All I could do was just look at him with sympathy as he sobbed.
“Lakshya, please beta. Just think about this. Am I not your mother? Who says so? I may not have given birth to you but I have fed you, I have brought you up and I have loved you. Please don’t do this to me, forget this morning and stay here please.” Maa cried.
Lakshya looked at her painfully. “I know you have done a lot for me. And in retrospect, I may be your son. But this is not my place to be. You aren’t understanding, I don’t think I DESERVE to be here. I would have been rotting somewhere but you have saved me and for that, I will always be thankful. But I have done nothing for this grace. Whatever I am, I am because you have posed as my parents, not because I deserved it all. I have no merits of my own, the only one I thought I had was that I was Durgaprasad Maheshwari’s son, which I have turned out to be not. I am utterly ashamed of having wasted the opportunity I was given. I wish I had been a better son, a better student, a better man! I want to stand up on my own two feet, with the knowledge that I am not some rich man’s son, just a young orphan who was taken in by his wealthy and kind relatives. This knowledge has humbled me and I wish to lead a life I deserve to live.” he said.
I felt proud of him at that moment. It seemed as if he had grown up in the hour that had gone by. He had become a man responsible for his mistakes and this was a great improvement. I choked back my own sob hearing him.
“Lucky, think about it please. This is not as easy as you think it is. Do you even know how to go around the city without a car or a bike? What is the price of the vegetables, which transport takes you where, and what are the rents? You may think everything is a cakewalk but remember, if you leave the surname Maheshwari behind, life will cease to be the bed of roses you think it is.” Sanskaar said, in one last attempt to make him stay.
Lakshya faced him. “Then let me learn. It is a shame that I have grown up with a silver spoon in my mouth when it would not even have been fed, had I been with my own parents. I love and respect you all for all that you have done for me but understand, I myself cannot stay with you all. My conscience won’t allow it. No more discussion, I am leaving. I want to stand on my own feet, even if they get scrapped and cut in the process. I want to be my own man.” he said.
And right after finishing his speech, Lakshya stood up and started walking out, making me fall more for him, with each step he took. I heard people around me pleading for him to stay, while some rued that he was right. Lakshya softly kissed Maa on her forehead, hugged his brothers and sister and folded his hands in front of everyone, sobbing heavily. But I knew that nothing would have an impact on him now. He was going, and taking a part of me with him as well.
Ignoring the pleadings of my family, I took the final step out of the house and out of being a Maheshwari. As the full impact of my decision and predicament fell on me, I started crying heavily. I didn’t stop walking though, the others were following me outside. I had to go, I couldn’t remain the burden I was on them.
“Do not ever return Lakshya, if you ever cross the gates!”
I smiled sardonically as I heard my adoptive father’s command. This is how he always is. For the first time in my life, I didn’t mind his attitude. I turned around, smiled, folded my hands and replied, “I am leaving to never return. Not till I have become something without your help. Bless me, I have set out on a path which is tough.”
“You don’t have to do this Lakshya. We have legally adopted you, we have brought you up, you are our son. Don’t feel as though you are infringing on anyone’s rights, these are yours too.”
“But Pa…..Mama Ji, I am not your own flesh and blood. I am the son of your destitute sister who passed away giving birth to me. I am haunted by thoughts of how much I have troubled you all. You aren’t understanding, I CANNOT BREATHE. You have no idea how wrongly I have used my status as your son many a times. I have distributed alcohol, I have disobeyed traffic rules, I have bailed my ‘friends’ out from jails, Hell, I have even kept a mistress…………..”
I stopped short as I saw the expressions on the faces before me. I could see shock, surprise, disgust, anger and sadness in them. I looked around but found that the one who really deserved to judge me for it was not present. Ragini had not come out to stop me. A strange unsettling feeling gripped me when I thought of it.
“What are you saying Lakshya?” Ma…ami Ji asked. I bowed my head down.
“He was with his mistress last night. His ‘friend’, as he had informed Ragini.” Swara said spitefully. I squeezed my eyes shut.
“This is disgusting Bhaiya! You were having an affair with someone?” Uttara asked me. I wanted to shoot back a reply but I knew that nobody would understand my need to have a paramour.
“I feel as if we have done a major disservice to Lata by raising you up the way we did. She was plagued by a cheating, alcoholic husband and look at fate, her own son is like her husband and her daughter in law is facing the same fate as her!” Chachi Ji said.
I stood rooted on the spot in shock as I looked at the elders. They were busy in shushing Chachi Ji……Chhoti Maami, but no one saw what effect her words had on me. I hated myself for what I did now. I may not have had an idea earlier but now, I felt that I had not just insulted Ragini, but also my own mother by getting into a relationship with Kavya. I wanted to apologise to both but my courage failed me.
Controlling my tears, I joined my hands together. “I am very sorry for all that I have done to hurt you. I am leaving, please don’t stop me anymore. Please forgive me, if possible.”
With that, I turned and walked away, without looking back, steeling myself for what I knew was a dark and uncertain future.
It was just beginning to become dark. It was 5 pm already and God knows where I have been walking for five hours now. A storm was coming and I was feeling very cold but I knew that I couldn’t stop. I would have to take shelter for tonight somewhere but where? That was the question. The road was deserted and there was no sign of life.
Chhan. Chhan. Chhan. Chhan.
I gulped in fear as I heard the noise of payal behind me. It was reminding me of those B grade Bollywood horror movies but it was scaring me as well. I didn’t even dare look back.
Chhan. Chhan. Chhan. Chhan.
I took a deep breath to calm myself down. I was just imagining the sounds. That’s it.
The noise became quicker and seemed to be coming closer. I started jogging and the sounds continued increasing.
Oh damn, this ghost knows my name as well? How?
“Lakshya, please stop! I can’t run in a sari na!”
Good for me, I don’t even want you anywhere close to me, you witch!
“Lakshya, please. I know you don’t want to be with me but I can’t help it!”
What does this ghost even mean? She probably died by falling down the stairs or something, hurting her head in the process, which is why she is talking nonsense. But why is this voice so familiar………..
I felt a hand jerk me back and I yelped as I dashed into a soft feminine body. The very familiar scent of roses filled my nostrils and for a single fraction of a second, I felt like I was home…………
The woman in front of me, bearing the name Ragini Lakshya Maheshwari, steadied me as she straightened up. She was significantly lighter, she had removed her jewellery and was wearing a simple yellow suit. With her, she carried a medium sized bag. She smiled at me sweetly.
“Ji Lakshya. It was getting so tough, finding you. Had to track your mobile phone.”
I looked at her blankly as she proceeded to explain how she quickly packed her important stuff and set out behind me. I had been gone already so she tried to search but finally realised that I was carrying my phone which she could get traced. She did it and here she was now.
Ragini smiled up at me brightly, waiting for a reaction. As soon as I realised what was happening, I burst out at her in anger.
“What the HELL are you doing here?”
Ragini flinched at my tone and replied, “You left the house na, and I am still your wife and we have to live together………”
“We do NOT have to live together. I don’t care anymore! I am not a Maheshwari, use that and get a divorce single sided! Stop stalking me woman, stay away from me, get it?”
“No buts! I don’t even want to see your face. At least let me live in peace NOW! Who told you to follow me? Did I? No. Did anyone else? Probably not. So stop following me. Go, live your life the way you want to.”
“Fine. Stop shouting at me, you don’t have the right to. I was just trying to complete my wifely duties………”
“Damn your wifely duties……..”
“I HAVE NOT FINISHED YET LAKSHYA! DO NOT INTERRUPT ME!” Ragini screamed in anger. I instantly stepped back in fear.
“I have absolutely no interest in sticking to you, I made that clear already. I was genuinely worried about you but it seems you would rather become a beggar than take my help. No issues, if you don’t want my help, do not bother. I will leave from here. Thanks for the very warm welcome and good bye!”
With that, Ragini picked up her bag, called for an auto and boarding it, went away, giving me a last glare. I stood rooted to the spot, wondering what exactly happened here.
The nerve of that man! How dare he talk to me like that? Who does he even think he is? Am I his slave that I will bear his rudeness? Humph. To think that I fought with Swara to follow him.
A very upset feeling gripped me. I had planned on joining him in his self imposed vanvaas but it seems that this will never happen. I had packed so quickly, ready to step into a life of bare minimums with Lakshya to support him but all he can do is shout at me for no reason. That’s it. I am officially FED UP. Henceforth, unless he himself begs me to, I will not come into contact with him. I have my dignity and self respect and I will not be insulted thus.
A sudden wild thought came to my mind and I smirked. Leaning towards the auto driver, I asked, “Can you take me to the bus station?”
“Ji madam. But you were going to Maheshwari Mansion, why do you want to go to the bus stop?”
“I want to take a holiday dada. A well deserved holiday.”
“Achha. But where will you go?”
His last question made me stop. The wild idea of going on a trip without informing anyone was amazing, but where would I go? And could I pull it off?
“Anywhere. I don’t have a destination in mind. Let’s see where life takes me.”
“You should go to Darjeeling. Very beautiful place. Khoob bhalo!”
I smiled as I thought of the advice. Darjeeling, hmm. Not bad.
“Chalo dada, let us go to Darjeeling only. Thank you!”
I smiled as I leaned back against the seat, closing my eyes. This would be fun!
Ye Ragini toh Nikal gayi holiday manane, leaving Lakshya behind to starve! And to think that everyone believes that she has gone with Lakshya ???. I said na, she is going to be savage. Now the question is, how will this story proceed?
Oh and by the way, BKG next❤