*The chapter begins*
Tarun and jojo stood frozen in their positions not knowing where to begin to explain themselves now that their secret was out. the usually quick witty response jojo was dumbfounded, this time her sharp tongue had proved blunt as she could not even gather the courage to make a single sound, let alone construct a sentence in their defence while poor slow witted tarun could not mentally comprehend his predicament as he stared at the faces of his most loved ones, the looks of shock, anger, hurt and disappointment on their faces absolutely broke his heart.
king was the most hurt out of the trio, he did not know what to say or do. the hurt he felt learning that his only brother, a boy he’d watch grown into a man and shared his deepest secrets and pain with, a boy he would readily take a bullet for, that same boy who never hid anything from him no matter how insignificant, was a man standing before him making the biggest decision of his life without so much as informing him. king was teary eyed, he fought his hardest to hold back his tears as he felt his throat close up, he was on the verge of crying when he felt pragya intertwine her hand in his which gave him the strength to hold back the tears.
Dholi was no different, she felt like someone had put a steak through her heart, her little boy took such a big decision in his life which she as a mother always looked forward to making with him, to council him and guide him on his journey into the next phase of manhood, she dreamed to fulfil a right of passage on behalf of her husband whom she lost before he could see his son become a man, to pass down the mantle to him as she did with her older son king, but all these dreams came crashing down in this single moment hearing her beloved son’s plans to elope and she stood there with tears streaming down her face in absolute shock’
pragya who was just as hurt as king and dholi was the only one of the three to try and see beyond her pain in discovering that the boy she loved like the baby brother she always wanted was planning a whole wedding without telling his di. she was just as shattered by this revelation and furious at him but also knew that tarun was too innocent to have had any intention of hurting his family, she knew there must have been some very important reason why he felt the need to keep this hidden from the people whom he loved and loved him the most. so pragya being the only one of the trio to be able to compose herself gathered the courage to break the deafening silence that held the room and walked towards the kids and spoke with a chilling sternness in her voice
Pragya : Explain
tarun and jojo exchanged a glance nervously trying to decide which one if them would answer the question which simply infuriated pragya even more and she shouted
Pragya : I asked you a question damnit!
tarun had tears flowing from his eyes now, he had never seen his di so angry before, it sent a chill down his spine when he saw the coldness in her eyes and behind it pure hurt and pain. so he decided to take the bull by the horns at speak up but before he could get a word out jojo spoke first
Jojo : it was all my idea!
the trio were taken aback by this, they knew jojo was a wildcard but this? why? while tarun was equally disarmed by jojo’s statement, she continued
Jojo : it was all my fault, the wedding, the flying back to india. it was all my idea so please don’t be angry with taru, I am the one who planned all of it, punish me, I-
she was about to continue when tarun held her hand and signed her to stop, he had enough of the lies and did not want her to take responsibility for his actions, she tried to protest but in vain as tarun had already made up his mind. meanwhile the trio where completely thunderstruck hearing jojo mention “flying back to india” so much so that everything else jojo said after that statement fell completely on deaf ears. tarun stepped forward knowing full well that his family were still lingering on that onr line, he knew what he had to do and spoke
Tarun : i’m sorry
at this he held both his ears and knelt on the floor, he could barely speak because of the tears but nonetheless continued
Tarun : mom, bhai, di. I know I have broken your hearts today, please forgive me. I did not mean to hurt you, you are my family whom I love most.
finally king gathered the strength to speak and he roared
King : then why! why did you betray us like this taru?
tarun was afraid of his brothers anger, it was no secret that king had a nasty temper, sure he was slow to anger but when he was mad, he was like a fierce lion with a mighty roar that cleared everything in it’s path. but tarun was prepared for this wrath as he knew that king would find out eventually so he braced himself and began to speak again
Tarun : yes bhai, I have betrayed you, I am sorry bhai, please forgive your foolish little brother. I thought I could do this without hurting you but I was wrong, I thought that by doing this I would spare you the pain and suffering, that I would bring my love to our family and keep living happily as we have.
tarun broke down in tears as he spoke and jojo quickly knelt beside him and tried to console him while the trio were fighting the urge to pull him into a warm embrace and wipe his tears, they could not see their cheerful happy taru in this state. tarun finally composed himself and continued.
Tarun : I remember bhai, di. I remember even though i was young i remember, the reason why we’ve never gone back to india
the trio looked at each other in shock, they had no idea that tarun knew everything about the past, they thought they successfully kept it hidden from his innocent little mind at the time and now they did not know how to react.
Tarun : I know you must be wondering how I know this because you did your best to keep it from me as I was a child, but I actually only found out by accident when I overheard shrishti di shouting at the lawyer who brought the divorce papers to sarla mom’s house one day when I went to visit them with bhai. that day I learned everything that you went through at hands of your ex husband and his family di.
pragya was now fully crying as well hearing that her innocent baby brother learned at such a young age about the horrors she suffered at the hands of that evil family. she closed her eyes as she couldn’t bare that thought, now she understood why he did what he did, he was just like his brother.
Tarun : I did not want to ask you to go back to that place again di, that is why did this. I love her di, I really love her and you told me that when I find that person whom I truly love I should never lose her, that I should fight for my love. so I decided to fight for my love di, but in doing so I had to go to india.
Tarun : but I knew it would hurt you if I asked you to go there, so I thought that if I fulfilled her dream of getting married in the sacred temple in India we would quickly marry and come back home where we would explain to you why we eloped and then have a Grand wedding here with all of you. I’m so so sorry
Tarun wept in pain and sorrow when he suddenly felt two arms surround him in a tight embrace, he was stunned for a moment realizing it was pragya who had hugged him, he hugged her back and cried his heart out. After some time they both got up from their knees as well as Jojo and then both king and Dholi also wrapped Tarun and Jojo in a loving hug, they wiped their tears and spoke.
King : I’m sorry I misunderstood you Taru, you would never do something like this for no reason. I’m so proud of the kind and considerate man you’ve grown to be
He said with tears of pride in his eyes with his hand on Tarun’s shoulder, he hadn’t realized just how much this boy had grown into a gentleman, a man emotionally conscious to such big decisions to protect his family, it felt like just yesterday he was teaching him how to shave his little beard and now, where did the time go?.
King stepped aside and Dholi also came forward and cupped her son’s face with the look of a mother’s pride in her eyes, she spoke
Dholi : your father would be so proud of the the man you’ve become, you are just like him my son
Tarun was emotional hearing his mother talk about his father, he was very small when his father died and he did not remember much of him, he felt so happy knowing that his father would be proud of him, he gave a warm smile and thanked bus lucky stars for having such a sweet and considerate family and he hugged all three of them tight. Jojo stood behind them with a wide grin on her face as she watched the happy family, she was also shedding tears of joy at this sight and feeling a little left out. She turned and was about to leave to give the family some privacy when she heard pragya call her name.
Pragya : and where do you think you’re going, you’re family remember. Get in here
With that Jojo happily joined in the family hug and all five of them shared in the warm loving embrace, each being very thankful for this family they found. After some time the broke the hug and shared a laugh about what had happened, king went over to Tarun’s wardrobe and was shocked to find such a mess, his OCD and Germaphobia kicked in and he could not help but start neatly folding each an every peice of clothing which made Jojo giggle and the rest of the family sigh. Jojo spoke
JoJo : Taru I think our biggest blunder was keeping this from King Bhai, we could have used his OCD skills and have finished packing in seconds
They all laughed at kings expense and he gave a cute pout in annoyance, he glared at pragya who quickly stopped laughing as soon as she saw him glaring at her, she tried to suppress her laughter but failed and burst out laughing harder at his cute little angry bird face which made her walk up to him and pull his cheeks. She thought to stop teasing him now
Pragya : Aree, leave my baby alone na, I like him like this
King faked being angry but was low-key blushing which did not go unnoticed by everyone else. Suddenly Dholi asked something that had just struck her mind
Dholi : Wait a minute, How were you going to pull off this little stunt of yours anyway?
King and pragya also were curious and asked in agreement with Dholi. Tarun and Jojo looked at each other and smiled sheepishly, then Jojo began narrating how everything started and their “escape” plan.
The trio listened in amusement at the crazy plan the kids came up with
Meanwhile in Mumbai India
A beautiful luxurious mansion is shown, on the front main gate a nameplate is shown that reads “Arora’s” Inside an elderly looking woman is seen sitting in the living room with a restless look on her face, she seemed stressed an worried trying continuously to call someone but they did not answer the phone calls. One of her housekeepers came to her with a cray of different slices of cakes for her to taste as samples, but she noticed that her boss was looking worried and she asked her about it
Housekeeper : Sarla ma’am, is everything okay?
The woman was revealed to be Sarla who looked up at the lady and gave a fake smile then responded
Sarla : “everything is fine Laura, I’m just a little tensed that a can’t reach pragya or king. I even tried calling Dholi but she isn’t answering either”
Laura : don’t worry about that ma’am, Mrs Singh is probably busy at the University and Mr Singh is most likely at his studio. I think Mrs Dholi is sleeping because remember there’s a time difference as they are in London so it must still be evening over there.
Laura said to try and calm Sarla’s nerves which sort of worked and she became a little more relaxed but that feeling still did not leave her.
Sarla : you’re right, I should not worry so much. Anyway are these the samples for the new recipes were trying out for our bakeries?
Laura : yes ma’am, the chef just dropped them off for tasting.
Sarla : Alright then, sit down, you don’t expect me to eat all these by myself do you?
Laura smiled and left to get a plate for herself as well. As soon as she left, Sarla’s fake smile faded and the look of worry was back on her face again.
“I don’t understand why I’ve been having this feeling all day, I tried to ignore it but it just got worse and worse. I called Preeta and Shrishti to tell them about it but they both told me that I was just feeling this way because I’m missing Pragya, but this feeling is not missing someone, no, this is a mother’s intuition and it is telling me that something big is about to happen in my family. Please lord, keep my children safe from all evil eyes.”
*End of P.O.V*
Sarla continued praying internally in her heart and did not even fully concentrate on the tasting after Laura came and joined her, she just pretended to be fine but was still tensed about that feeling she couldn’t shake off.
Back in London
Dholi, pragya and king all sat on the bed after listening to Tarun and Jojo’s tale, they were quite impressed that the two of them came up with such an elaborate plan and admired the resolve the two had to implement it, how meticulously they planned every single detail to perfection with multiple contingency plans if any of them went wrong. The were in awe at how much this meant to the kids and the looked at each other as though telepathically communicating about something while the kids were also anxiously waiting to hear from them. The trio all nodded in agreement without uttering a word and king rose to speak.
King : well, I think it’s obvious what we have to do now.
Tarun and Jojo gulped in fear not knowing what their decision was, they held each other’s hands and braced themselves for what would come next.
Pragya : yes, it’s pretty obvious
Dholi : I second that
Then they exchanged a glance one last time and spoke in unison
Kingya/ Dholi : WE’RE GOING TO INDIA!
So that’s it y’all, have a good read and please leave a comment so I know you’re there😅