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Back to Present:
Now I know why is Tara so close to my daughter Deepika because Deepika was her daughter in her first birth and I was her aunt but Tara will have to go back one day. Tara has told me everything about the first birth. How to make my daughter sad? If I say that maybe she won’t play with her again so that Deepika isn’t pained by her sudden absence one day. All of a sudden, she also vanished. ‘Tara!’ I said a little louder to stop her. My sister left me once again, I miss her as she didn’t just told me about the past, she made me re-live them through a small fast forward dream. I sat back on the bed lost in thoughts. Why has Tara come alone? Why Virat didn’t come? They always wanted to be together, why she left him and came here? I brushed off my thoughts.
I slept back. The alarm rang and I got off the bed waking Deepika as well as it’s her school today. The biggest coincidence was that I had admitted her in Bombay Model School. I had a little strange feeling about this. I prayed to God for her protection. She woke up and went to freshen up, when she came out, I went and when I came out, I saw her sitting on the cupboard looking at me angrily. “Deepika, what are you doing there? Come down”, I said trying to get her down. “I am not Deepika”, she said in a ghostly voice making me jump.
“What are you saying?”, I asked shocked. “I loved Tara, I really did”, she said glaring at me. “Deepika”, I heard Deep call her and her expression changed from angry to happy. “Yayy, papa woke up”, she said in a normal voice. “Why are you both up? Anything special?”, he asked. “She has school today, so I woke her up and when I came from washroom, she was on cupboard”, I replied. “Deepika, don’t trouble your mumma, get down, Aarohi, do it”, he said to me and I lifted her and put her on floor.
“I don’t remember how I reached the cupboard”, she said. “Leave it, come let’s have breakfast else you will be late”, I said. “Are you sure you will drop her?”, Deep asked opening his one eye. “Yeah I will, c’mon Deepu”, I said taking her out of the room. She had her breakfast and we both headed to her school. We took an auto to reach there and soon we reached, the moment I entered with her, she stopped at the entrance. “Hello uncle”, she said looking around. “Who are you talking to?” I asked.
“Nothing, that uncle, I think I know him,” she said pointing outside. We got out of the auto. “Sometimes it feels like that, now let’s go find your class”, I smiled and said although no uncle was there, but my mind was telling me she’s right. I dropped her till her class and waved her bye. I could see my past in front of me, i got teary eyed but then smiled and I went back to Dream Villa and drowned in my thoughts that how Deepika spoke to me in morning, this wasn’t Deepika. Her voice was different, she said she really loved Tara. This must be Virat who captured her body. But why? He was a really good man, why he did that?
I was going to my room when I collided in a rock hard body and it was Deep. “Where are you lost?”, he asked raising his eyebrows. “Nothing”, I said trying to go but he held my arm. “You can tell me”, he said and I narrated everything to him. He started laughing. “I used to tease you that whenever you’ll cough, the sleeping souls will wake up, you took me serious”, he said laughingly.
“This isn’t a joke, it’s about our daughter and you are finding it funny?”, I said angrily gritting my teeth. “You are imagining things”, he said. “Oh, then why don’t you come and see what I saw and heard, come on”, I said pulling him upstairs but he yanked my hand. “Hey, it’s nothing ok”, he said. “I am telling the truth, ghosts live here, do you remember that soft music? Tara was playing it”, I said. “Take some rest, maybe you’re stressed”, he said and went downstairs while I kept calling his name but he said he’s getting late for his job. I stormed off to our room and felt dejected that my husband is not believing me.
At afternoon, I went to pick Deepika and there she stood lost in her own thoughts. On seeing me, she ran to me. “Mumma, I told you I know that uncle, he was there in the classroom the whole time watching me but everyone were laughing on me as if I m mad”, she said and I cupped her face and kissed her forehead telling her it will be OK. But still she was sad.
“Deepika, let’s go home and discuss all this”, I said and took her out of school, we sat in auto and went from there. “Mumma”, she said sitting next to me in auto looking up at me while the auto took us towards our house. “Yes?”, I asked. “Can you see that uncle? Why were everyone laughing at me when I was watching him?”, she asked the second time. “You trust me?”, I asked her and she nodded her head in positive. “I will tell you everything”, I said and she hugged me.
Later at night, I was sitting on the railing of terrace looking down to have a view of the road. I felt two hands grab me. “You will fall”, said the voice, it was Deep. “Leave me, you don’t believe me right, get lost”, I said jerking his hands. Just then another hand grab me with a different touch, I turned to see Deepika, her hair were open blowing behind her. Her eyes showing anger and I got scared as she held my neck lifting me off the ground away from the railing about to throw me. I screamed.
“Deepika, leave me, what are you doing?”, I asked. “Leave her Deepika, she’s your mother”, said Deep. “I am not Deepika, I am Tara, ask her why she took my place else now she will be killed “, said Deepika as Tara in ghostly voice while I continued shaking my legs that she will throw me off the balcony. She was out of control.