Saathiyaa: A Journey towards you!
When I initially watched Dil Boley Oberoi, I had thought of writing a GauriKa journey in Bareilly. With the current Bareilly track in DBO, I tweaked my fictional story a little bit to match the current DBO plot. Imagine this story beginning 2 weeks after Omkara [Om] arrives in Bareilly looking for Chulbul. Gauri is 12th pass in this story, hence has better English speaking skills.
When Om first arrived in Bareilly, Kali Thakur[ KT] had allowed him to meet Chulbul once. On that day Chulbul had told him to go back to Mumbai and forget about him. He had said that KT was taking care of his mother’s hospital bills, so he was now KT’s servant, and choosing to stay in KT manor voluntarily.
Om doesn’t believe that Chulbul would change loyalties so quickly. And he wanted to prove Gauri’s words about Chulbul wrong. He trusted Chulbul’s friendship for him, and had a gut feeling that Chulbul was too afraid to tell him the real reason for staying in KT manor.
Om finally figures out that Gauri is Chulbul, after having kept tabs on Kali Thakur’s manor and having detectives follow Chulbul, KT, Gauri, KT’s brother and KT’s henchmen. [The details are best left for another story].
With the help of some actors, Om manages to kidnap Gauri one day when she is on the way to the local temple. The actors pretend to be a part of a devotional group deeply entranced in singing and dancing to their devotional songs. *Imagine your favourite devotional song*. They manage to separate Gauri from the KT goondas [henchmen], who are always guarding her, by coming between her and the goondas and creating a fake commotion.
Om pulls Gauri away hastily and starts running with her. Gauri protests and tries to wrench her hand free, for a second, before realising that it’s her Omkara ji trying to kidnap her. She keeps staring at him in amazement and shock. *Imagine Om’s Background music* He pushes her inside a waiting car parked around the corner of the temple and starts driving away. Gauri wants to know what’s going on and shouts- “Omkaraji what are you doing? Where are you taking me?”
Om says, “Gauri, I know that you were pretending to be Chulbul. I just found out a few days back. I don’t have time to explain much, but we have to go away from Bareilly as fast as we can. Please let me concentrate on driving.” Om drives the car for almost an hour before Gauri gathers up the courage to speak up again.
Gauri, “Omkaraji please stop! My head has been spinning with what you are trying to achieve by kidnapping me?” She looks at him with bug eyes! “And why are you trying to do this? We are an hour away from Bareilly, so KT’s goonda’s aren’t nearby. Can you stop the car and can we talk?” She says pleadingly.
Om doesn’t look at her and keeps driving.
Gauri, “What’s the point of taking me with you? He will come after you in Mumbai, like he did previously? There is no point is taking me with you? And what about my ma, I can’t leave her in Bareilly. And what about Bua ma, do you know she has been kidnapped by KT?” She is almost hysterical thinking of the consequences of Om’s actions on her and Om’s life.
Om looks deeply in Gauri’s eyes and explains, “Don’t worry about your ma, I have been cautious. I don’t want any harm to come to you Chulb…..er Gauri…[He says sheepishly]. Gauri, I have already taken your mom away from Bareilly secretly, and she is going to be living in Kolkata from now on under a different name. KT will not be able to find out about your mom. I made arrangements to ensure that he thinks her to be dead from her TB complications.”
“And for Bua ma, I had bugged KT’s house, so I know where she is. A team of police collaborating between Mumbai and Bareilly has been sent to KT manor to rescue her and arrest KT. We have enough evidence to arrest him. So hopefully he will be too busy with his case to pursue us soon. Rudra is on the way to Bareilly right now, and he will escort Bua ma home after she is rescued. ” He says calmly.
Om, “As for us, that’s what we have to decide now. Where do you want to go Gauri? Do you want to go live with your mom in Kolkata? Do you want to leave the country? I can help you in any way you want? Shivaay wants me to start working on an international project, so I will be leaving the country soon. This way KT will never be able to reach me. And if you are in Kolkata, or abroad, I will make sure that your real identity is always hidden and you are protected from KT.”
Gauri, gets a bit disappointed that Om doesn’t want to be with her. *Imagine sad Saathiya* But then she tells herself, ‘Gauri Kumari Sarma, be grateful that Omkaraji is doing all this for his friendship to Chulbul. You always knew that he doesn’t love you and will never accept you as his wife. So no point on being bawari [crazy] and dreaming of spending a lifetime with him.’
Gauri says, “Thanku [like Chulbul used to say]! I am grateful to you for having rescued me and my mother from KT. I would like to go live with my mother in Kolkata.” She says with a low voice.
She adds, “I am glad Bua ma will be rescued today and Rudra ji will be there to take care of her.” She says with a fake cheer, in order to hide her feelings about separating from Om.
Om, “OK. That’s great! I have already made a false passport for you, under a new name, Astha Dey, so that we could have a new identity for you, where ever you decided to go. After we reach Delhi, we will book a flight to Kolkata under Mr. and Mrs. Shlok Dey. And after safely settling you with your ma in Kolkata, I will head back to Mumbai.” He pulls out a plastic pouch with her new passport, from the car dashboard and puts it on Gauri’s hands.
Gauri’s silly heart starts beating harhariyke [rapidly] rejoicing from the happiness of getting to spend a few unexpected hours with him, and that too as his pretend wife, so she doesn’t grab the passport. *Lost in Saathiya song and past memories of Om*
Before the passport can slide to the floor, Om quickly grabs the tail-end of the passport pouch and puts it in his coat pocket. In these few minutes of handling the passport, he gets momentarily distracted and he fails to see a car heading in a high speed, towards them, as it appears suddenly around the bend of the mountain road they are driving in. He barely manages to avoid hitting the oncoming car. But having applied brakes suddenly, the car skids on the sloping bend of the road, and falls off the cliff. The car windshield gets smashed on the fall down the cliff, and the car crashes into the river below.
As soon as the car hits the water, Gauri and Om both try desperately to open the car door, but it’s impossible because of the water pressure. They both turn towards each other in worry about how to leave the car? Out of concern for each other, they briefly touch each other’s arms and question silently whether the other is alright. Gauri wishes that, despite impending danger, this moment of brief concern of Om would stay in her life forever. She prays silently to Shankarji [Lord Shiva] to help them in their moment of need.
She stares concernedly at Omkara’s bleeding face, where the windshield glass has injured him. She is similarly injured. They struggle to get out of their seatbelts. After unlatching the seatbelts, Omkara points to the front shattered windshield and assists Gauri in getting out from the car through the gaping hole. Once she is out he gets out, just as the car gets almost submerged with water.
They both surface to the top and start taking gulping breaths of fresh air. In their rush to the top, Gauri realises that her bangles have got entangled with Om’s floating jacket. She tries to disentangle her jewellery from Om, so that they can both swim freely. The current of the river Ganga is so strong that the water sweeps them away downstream rapidly at an awkward angle. She thinks, while struggling to get the bangles out of Om’s jacket, ‘Why isn’t Omkara trying to stop us from being dragged by the flow of the river by helping me?’
While trying to stay afloat and also free her hands, she shouts looking at Om- “Oye Jatadhari hippy! [Oh, the person with hair tied-up like Lord Shiva!] Please help me…!” She stops midway as she realises that Om is actually unconscious. She didn’t realise that Om has a deep head injury from a huge piece of the shattered windshield glass of the car, and he passed out soon after surfacing up to get some air.
Seeing him unconscious she panics, but at the same time, she realizes she is the only one who can save the two, so she tells her mind and heart- dil iitna harharayike dhadakna band karo [heart relax, please stop beating so rapidly], and mind please relax and think calmly. As she breathes to get calmer, and thinks I will panic later when all this trouble is over. She eventually manages to free her hands from Om’s jacket. She immediately uses her right hand to keep hold of Om, so that he doesn’t get swept too far away from her in the river.
She searches desperately for any large rocks or branches that can help stop their rapid movement downstream. With one hand holding Om’s wrist in a tight grip, and trying to swim for two with the other, she starts getting tired. At that moment she spots two men fishing on the banks of the river a few meters away from them. She starts shouting, “Help! Help us get to the banks! Please help!”
The men spot the two figures getting dragged downstream and jump into action. The older man helps Gauri swim ashore while the younger man helps carry Om. As soon as they reach the bank of the river, Gauri starts crying inconsolably both at the unusual circumstances of the day, and at the fact that they got saved. The older man checks on Om to examine where he is injured and notices a large gash at the back of his head that is bleeding profusely, now that he is out of the cold water. And his right arm also looks a bit dislodged. He tells Gauri gently, “I am Vivek Mishra and this is my son Abhay.”
Gauri stops crying and looks at two men and says- “Vivek and Abhay ji thank you for helping save us. We would have died today without your help.” She starts to wipe away her tears, and calms down seeing the efficiency of the two men. Abhay nods in acknowledgement, while quickly loading their fishing gear in the men’s jeep. In the meantime Vivek is busy tying up Om’s head wound with a handkerchief, and Gauri looks at Om worriedly. Vivek assures her, don’t worry about him. We will take you two to our doctor.
At the Mishra household, Lakhimpur, after the doctor visit. Omkara [Shlok] is in Abhay’s room, still unconscious. The doctor has plastered his right arm that is fractured, and stitched up his head injury.
Abhay, Vivek and Gauri [wearing Mrs. Mishra’s saree] are sitting on the dining table as Mrs. Anjali Mishra serves them lunch. Mr. Vivek Mishra says to Gauri [Astha] “Astha, the doctor said that it will take Shlokji at least a month to heal his fracture. And if he doesn’t gain consciousness soon, we may have to take him to a hospital. Do you have any family members we can call? Your families must be worried about you both missing since morning.”
A scared Gauri answers, “I can’t call my family, because we have run away and they cannot know where I am staying.” She thinks, ‘Thank god for the fake passports that Omkaraji had made for us. Seeing the passports from Om’s jacket, they now think I am Astha and he is Shlok.’ Gauri decides to go along with the Shlok and Astha name, because she thinks they will be safer as Mr. and Mrs. Dey. She hopes that once Omkara is awake they will leave and go to Kolkata, and then go their separate ways as planned.
Vivek Mishra says kindly, “Don’t worry beta [child], you can stay with us for now, and use Abhay’s room since he is going back tonight to his engineering college in Delhi, and he won’t be back for another 3 months. And once your husband gains consciousness, we can decide what to do next.
Mrs. Mishra bids goodnight and tells, “Astha beta, call us if Shlok wakes up.” Gauri spends the night sleeping on the floor and occasionally keeps checking up on Om to see if he is awake. At almost 4 am, when Gauri has barely drifted off to sleep she wakes up when someone stumbles and falls on her. A brief eye-lock between GauriKa. *Imagine Saathiya song*
Few mins back****
Omkara having woken up with a terrible headache and thirst for water gets up from the bed. Everything is dark. He searches the room and can faintly make out the door. In his hurry to reach the door he stumbles on Gauri sleeping on the floor. And he stares at her pretty eyes in the dark, while Saathiya plays.
A startled Gauri pushes Omkara away and says, “Kya kar rahe ho aap? [What are you doing?]”
Omkara winces and says sarcastically, “What am I doing? What are you doing sleeping on the floor? What sane person sleeps on the floor instead of a bed?”
He rolls in agony [because Gauri’s push hurt his fractured arm] and sits upright on the floor. Gauri gets up from the floor and switches the lights hurriedly. She rushes over to Omkara and looking at his arm, apologises to him. “Sorry for pushing you, I forgot about your arm!”
Omkara gives a blank stare to Gauri. “Do I know you? What are you doing in my room?”
Gauri puzzled, “Of course, you know me! How can you forget the girl who is responsible for your broken arm Omkaraji?”
Omkara, looks at his arm, then at Gauri and then at his arm in surprise, “How did I fracture this?” He says with dripping sarcasm, “Are you a professional thug? And why do you call me Omkara ji?”
Gauri unsure, if Omkara is kidding? “Don’t you remember anything Omkara ji? We met with an accident and our car crashed into the river yesterday? I am Gauri, your wi…friend…”
Om, “I don’t remember anything?”
Gauri, now frustrated, “Can you tell me what is the last thing you remember. I will tell you the rest after that.”
Om, looking sheepishly at Gauri, “Eh, I don’t remember anything. You keep calling me that name and that sounds, unfamiliar. You keep telling me about a car accident and river, but I don’t recall any of it. Even this room, I have never seen it in my life before. Though what has happened in my life before now, I can’t say.”
Gauri is shocked now, “What you don’t remember anything? Not even your name?”
Gauri is too shocked to respond back. Omkara gets up from the floor and starts heading out to get his water. Gauri stops him and asks, “Where are you going? You are supposed to rest as per the doctor’s instructions.”
Om says, “I need some water, my throat is parched.”
Gauri, says, “You rest. I will get it for you. Also its time to give you your antibiotic and pain meds. In the afternoon, we barely managed to give you one dose.”
As she is heading towards the kitchen. She worries on what she should do next. She doesn’t want to go back to Mumbai with an injured Om who doesn’t know anything. Plus she is afraid that Kali Thakur’s men will surely be looking out for her in Mumbai. She doesn’t know of anywhere else to go, except Kolkata, but she couldn’t just leave Om here by himself in Lakhimpur, to fend for himself. She also doesn’t know how or when she will be able to find her ma in Kolkata, since Om is the only one who knows her ma’s location. All these thoughts scare Gauri and she runs to the other bedroom in the house and knocks to wake up the Mishras.
She tells them that Shlok isn’t able to recall anything from his past. She wants them to call the doctor immediately and starts crying copiously at everything that has gone wrong.
Mr and Mrs. Mishra try to calm her down. Mr. Mishra says, “It’s too early in the morning to call Dr.Manohar. We will call him in a few hours and till then, why don’t you both rest. Maybe when Om has had some rest and food he will start remembering things.”
Mrs. Mishra, pats Gauri’s back to console her and takes her to the kitchen. She prepares a plate of left-over food from the previous night and says to Gauri, “Shlok hasn’t eaten anything since yesterday, why don’t you take this rice, daal [lentil curry] and sabzi [vegetable curry] for him?”
Helping with a chore, helps Gauri calm down. She heads towards the room, with food and water, finally remembering the water that Om had asked for earlier.
Om looks at Gauri and says, “Oh food, I am so hungry. Thanks for getting the food and water for me.” He takes the glass of water from her, using his left hand, and gulps it down entirely. He asks for more water. Gauri places the plate of food on the bedside table and heads back into the kitchen.
When she comes back she sees Om struggling with balancing the plate with his injured hand, while trying to eat with his left hand. She rushes to him and snatches the plate away. She says, “How can you heal, if you keep stressing your hands by holding this heavy plate of food? Let me help you.”
The Mishra’s enter the room. Anjali says, “Yes, let your wife help you out Shlok beta.”
Vivek says, “We just came to see how you are feeling? We are happy to see you fully conscious. Both of us were worried to see you unconscious for so long.”
Gauri keeps feeding Om with her hands, and silently thanks Lord Shiva for allowing her the small mercy of feeding her love and for Om having gained his conciousness. [Sathiyaa plays.] She is totally in own world, and excludes the chatter of Mr. and Mrs. Mishra.
Anjali wants to ask Gauri a question, but seeing Gauri in a trance, she decides to wait and pulls Vivek out of the room, saying, “Let’s talk to them after Dr. Manohar’s visit.” She whispers, “We need to give them some privacy. After all they have been through a lot. And Astha may want to talk to Shlok about what happened yesterday.”
After the meal, she gives Om his medications and heads off to the kitchen to wash the utensils. When she returns, Om is fast asleep under the influence of his meds.
In the few minutes of walking to and from the kitchen, she resolves that she will ask Mr. Mishra if she can do any work in the Secondary school where he is the principal. She decides that living in Lakhimpur, until at least Om’s fracture is healed will be the best option for now. Not only will she get time to think of a plan to get Om home, without Kali Thakur’s knowledge, but it would bring her some income, since she doesn’t want to be entirely dependent on the Mishra’s good natured help.
During the 1st week stay in Lakhimpur, Om/Shlok is heavily sedated by medications throughout the day. So all of Om’s and Gauri’s interactions happen when she either feeds him his meals, or helps him wear his clothes after a bath, which makes her cheeks cherry red daily [Blush, Blush]. She finds work as a substitute teacher, in Mr. Mishra’s school. And in the evenings she starts taking private 1hr dance classes for interested students in the school’s premises.
During Week 2: Shlok asks Astha to tell him about his past, since he is puzzled as to why they can’t go back home. Astha tells him a fictional tale of eloping from her home. And says she doesn’t know where Om lives, so temporarily they have to stay in Lakhimpur until he can remember his past. Gauri wants Om to remember the past, but doesn’t know how to tell the entire complicated three months of their past history.
One day after dinner, Om observes, “I see that in the past 2 weeks, you have been sleeping on the floor. Why don’t you sleep here with me on this bed?” Gauri, says, “I want your fracture to be healed soon. When sleeping, I spin around in the bed like a chakra [rotating spherical firework]. I don’t want your already fractured hand to have multiple fractures because of my kasrat [gymnastics] in bed.”
Om says thoughtfully, “But you are my wife, I am sure, I know how to handle your kasrat in bed and protect myself from any injury by now.” Then batting his cute eyelashes, says, “ Nothing doing, I am almost healing quite well and the doctor said from tomorrow, my pain medications dose will be reduced further. So I think I can take the good and the bad from your sleeping here.”
Gauri, just doesn’t know what to say. If she says now about their past animosity and his unacceptance of her as his wife, it could create trouble between them. And if the Mishra’s come to know of their deception, because of any fights between her and Om, she is unsure of how they will react. So she thinks the best thing would be to sleep on the bed without a protest. She just goes to the sofa in the living room and brings some cushions to separate the two sides of the bed.
She tells Om, “Ok, I’ll sleep here like you requested, but to protect you from my midnight sleep kasrat, these cushions will hopefully keep me from moving too much.”
Gauri thinks silently, ‘I have to slowly start telling Om about our past. But in a way, he doesn’t figure out that it’s our past.’ As she starts laying the cushions on the bed like a divider, she says, “Shlok, remember what we used to do nightly before sleeping?”
Om, jokingly says, “Why are you pulling my leg? You know I don’t remember anything.” Getting a little flirty, and with twinkling eyes he says, “But maybe you can refresh my memory.”
Gauri looks away to get away from his mesmerising stare. And sits down on the other side of the bed. She says, “We had a bet that I will have to entertain you every night with a fascinating tale. And if at the end of each night’s story, you want to hear more, then I win and you will get me a gift of my choice the next day. And if you dislike that night’s story, then you win and I will have to gift you something of your choice.”
Om is intrigued and says, “Oh so we have an ‘Arabian nights’ kind of a theme going on between us!” He says jokingly, “Does it mean that if after the numerous days of your story telling I am displeased, I get to behead my Scheherzade? And by now, how much of a kangal [pauper] am I?”
Gauri, thinks pensively, ‘Well not exactly Arabian Nights, but after the end of the story you may decide to separate us, and that will surely be the death of me.’
She says cheerfully, “Let’s see after my tale is done, who gets to behead whom, and who is the prince and who is the pauper.”
“So are you ready for the tale. My current story is about two strangers who meet unexpectedly one day near a Shiva Temple in Bareilly. Their names are Omkara and Gauri……”
Thus she begins the nightly recital of their past history, while Om is unaware that he is listening to their story. Every night before sleeping Gauri recites to Om incidents of their journey together. And before falling asleep Om gets to tell her his thoughts on the story and whether he liked it.
Many times he sympathises with Gauri, and at times he sympathises with Om’s journey. Since, he is unaware that it is him in the story, he also many a times calls out Om’s cruelty and unfairness towards Gauri. Most days he loves the story and wants to keep hearing more of it. So daily in the morning if he liked the story from the previous night, he starts gifting Gauri small treasures. Some days he gifts her a rose from the Mishra’s garden, while on other days he takes his wife for a walk around the park to enjoy her company. Gauri starts treasuring, each rose gifted by him and starts storing them in her favourite book as a keepsake of her treasured memories with Om.
On the days Om hates the GauriKa story, especially when Om is needlessly cruel to Gauri, Gauri gets to be the one to gift something to Om, according to his wishes. By now Gauri helps out Mrs. Mishra with her cooking. So Om has his list of favourite dishes made by Gauri. So the days Om dislikes the GauriKa story, he tells her to cook her signature chicken seekh kababs or her jalebi rabdi. Other days he asks her to tell stories about his family.
Every night they come closer and closer to each other, and they fall asleep like little kids do after a great heart to heart talk with siblings and friends during sleepovers. Some days during the storytelling, when Gauri is reliving the pain she had gone through during Kali Thakur’s torture, tears start streaming down her face. And Om is always so intently watching her during the stories, that any tears on her eyes, moves him to hold her hands and wipe away her tears. He can’t decide on those days who he sympathises with most, this sweet person for crying over Gauri’s pain or the fictional Gauri, whose story of heartache and sacrifice, makes him admire the fictional girl and her fortitude and loyalty.
4th WEEK in Lakhimpur
Gauri has to substitute teach Geometry to 10th students the next day and she is really poor in Geometry. While trying to get a grasp of a Geometry problem, she shouts out in frustration- “Mua [Darn] Pythagoras, why did he have to come up with such theorems, to complicate our lives!”
Omkara who is getting bored endlessly with nothing to do except read the newspaper or watch the news, starts listening to Gauri’s mutterings of frustration with mild amusement. Eventually after hearing 10 mins of her cursing every Geometry theorem she knows about, he goes to her desk and takes the pencil from her hand. He stalls her hand and leans over her shoulder to read the problems she is solving.
With Om’s nearness to her, Gauri’s heart starts beating harhariyke. She tries to calm her nerves and concentrate on his words while he is explain the current problem on paper. But fails in her resolve to be calm, her thoughts start wondering, ‘If only my Geometry teacher was as cute as Om, I would certainly have loved Geometry more in school.’
Since she already missed Om’s explanations, she clears her throat and says, “Umm, I know that for the past few days, you have been driving Anjali ji crazy at home with your restlessness. If you like this subject, I think you should be the one taking this class in school tomorrow.”
Om, looks at her, with mischief and says, “You think so? Then what will you be doing tomorrow, if I take this class. “
Gauri gets flustered seeing his twinkling eyes, “I have two other classes to teach tomorrow too.”
She quickly gets up and walks as steadily as possible, to grab another chair for Om. They both sit side by side on the desk and start working on their lesson plans for the next day, while secretly stealing glances at each other. When Anjali enters the room to ask them to come over for dinner, she beams at the two and thinks, ‘Both Shlok and Ashtha look like college going kids and this is how my Abhay and his friends used to sit together and work on their assignments during their college days.’
After dinner, they both sit up until midnight preparing their coursework, because unknown to the other, half their thoughts sitting side by side on the desk, is about the other, rather than about their class the next day.
When its midnight, Gauri, finally jumps up from the desk, ‘I think I am done with my lesson plan, I am going off to sleep. If you have more work, let’s skip our story telling tonight.”
But tonight the pull of Om towards Gauri is so strong, that he stalls her, holds her hand and says, “I don’t think I can ever stop listening to your GauriKa stories. I wish your stories will end up being longer than Scheherzades’s 1001 Arabian night ones. And that you will always be there besides me to tell these tales.”
Gauri, takes a deep breath and sighs, “Shlok, that’s my wish too that I can tell more than 1001 days worth stories to you, but unfortunately tonight is the last night of the GauriKa tale. And it will be up to you tomorrow, whether you want me to tell you another story or not.”
They both head towards the bed, and get in their daily routine of the past few weeks of arranging the sofa cushions between them.
Om says, wistfully, “If this may be your last night of story, can we keep the barrier of cushions away tonight, I want to savour every expression on your face as you tell your tale. Tomorrow the doctor is going to take away my plaster, so my hand is almost completely healed.”
Gauri, thinking that this may be her last night with Om, nods in agreement. They take the cushions from the bed and put them back in the living room and sit down on the bed with their backs resting on the headboard of the bed. Gauri begins the story of Om’s visit to KT manor searching for Chulbul.
Since they began the storytelling late in the night, in the middle of the story Gauri falls asleep. Om stares at her for a long time and for some reason the GauriKa story, has started feeling very real to him in the past few days. He slides Gauri down from her awkward droopy position on the bed and places her head on the pillow. He holds her right hand with his left hand, and drifts asleep. In the morning Gauri is the first to wake up and sees that they have slid towards each other in the middle of the night and are enveloped in a cosy hug. She treasures these moments for a few minutes, and thanks Shankarji for this opportunity to have spent a whole month with a non-worried, sensitive and sweet Omkara. Her reverie is broken by the morning alarm clock. She quickly jumps up from the bed, before Om can wake up and rushes to the bathroom to get ready for the school.
Om had been awake the whole time Gauri was awake and wonders, “Why don’t we ever share such hugs? Is there something about us that Astha is not telling me, because of which she keeps a distance between us always?”
They spend the morning taking classes in the school and after lunch, they head to Dr. Manohar. He takes off Om’s plaster and says that today is the last day they will see him. He declares that Om is fit now, and that he could see a physiotherapist for hand coordination exercises, in-case his hand movements are restricted because of the injury.
In the evening, Om asks Gauri to go for a walk with him after their dinner, since she doesn’t have any work the next day, which is a Sunday. Tonight while walking unknown to them, as they walk, their hands get slowly intertwined and they stroll hand in hand around the local park.
Om says,“Astha tonight, will you tell me the conclusion to the GauriKa story while we walk.”
Gauri, says“ So where was I, can you refresh my memory please?”
Om reminds her, “The last thing you said was the temple, where Gauri was walking to do a Shiv Puja before her marriage to KT.”
Gauri continues, “Ok, so Om snatches Gauri using the commotion of the singers as a bait for the goondas……………And suddenly in an instant their car swerves and falls down the cliff. The windshield shatters….”
Om stops her, by putting his right index finger on her lips, and says allow me, “They struggle with their seatbelts in the car, and Om pushes Gauri out of the broken windshield hole, before following her out. After many agonising minutes for Gauri, they are rescued by Vivek & Abhay Mishra. Am I right?”
Gauri is shocked that Om knows this part of the story, and stares at him, “How do you know this? Why do you think that Vivek & Abhay Mishra rescued GauriKa from the river?”
Om, looks deeply into Gauri’s eyes and, puts his finger on her chin, so that she can’t turn away from looking into his eyes, he says, “Gauri, I know you are Gauri. Since morning, I was getting a sense of Déjà vu, when you started telling me about the Bareilly journey of Om, Chulbul and Gauri. I seemed to see flashes of a woman in a red and purple saree, who looked quite like you. I started imagining a boy like person Chulbul wearing Harry Potter like glasses, and I also saw a menacing man in my imagination, when hearing your story in the past few days.”
“All these seemed too much of a coincidence to me. So after my math class, when you were still in school, I decided to go to an internet café and see if there were any news articles of Gauri, Om and Kali Thakur.”
“And to my mild astonishment, I saw an article on how a man named Kali Thakur had put up missing reports of a person named Gauri, who looks exactly like you. And there was another article that talked of a person named Omkara Oberoi, who was presumed to be dead from an accident of a car that was recovered in the river a few hrs away from Lakhimpur. Omkara was the last registered driver of the rented car, and because of the damages to the car and because he was missing for many days, it was concluded that Omkara had died. And to my surprise, this Omkara, looks exactly like me. Well almost a hippy version of me, since he has longer tresses than mine.”
“Gauri, tell me I am right? You and I are the unfortunate lovers that we have been talking about these past few weeks. Isn’t that so?”
Gauri, has silent tears running down her cheeks as Omkara questions her and shakes her shoulder. She doesn’t know, what’s going to be the outcome, now that Omkara knows the truth. She just nods in agreement and barely whispers, “Yes, we are Gauri and Om.”
Om, envelops Gauri, in a big hug and tells her, “Gauri, I am so happy to know the truth about how we met. You don’t know for weeks, I have been wanting to ask you about us, but I held back, thinking we must have had some major fights or something else had happened, that had put this distance between us after the accident.”
“Gauri, I realise the truth now. And I want to tell you how sorry, I am for all the insults & misunderstandings that happened in Bareilly & Mumbai. Now that I know your side of the story, I can’t believe, how cruel I was towards you! And to top it all, you have been immensely selfless in taking care of me all this while, despite knowing our past. I didn’t know these weeks who I was falling in love with more, the fictional Gauri from your stories or the real Astha in front of me, who was endlessly caring & compassionate towards me. Now I am glad that I don’t have to choose between the real and fictional person anymore.”
“Gauri, I have fallen in love with you and I know that I want to continue our journey together. Won’t you lead a life together with me, instead of going to Kolkata and living with your mom?”
Gauri, with tears and laughter shining in her eyes at the same time, hugs him back and secretly whispers back her words of love….