Two updates in a row. Happy reading!
Link to the previous update :
Riddhima stood frozen to the ground on seeing her father in front of her. She pinched herself twice to make sure this wasn’t a dream.
Holding her breath, she went closer to him and reached out her hand to touch him, trying to make sure that he was indeed real and not just a mere illusion.
She frantically caressed his face with tears of joy streaming down her face.
“Papa!” She hugged him as tight as ever.
Meri zameen aasmaan, mere papa
Main hoon jahaan hain wahan, mere papa
Ruthun jo main tumse
Kitna darte ho
Rab ki tarah zidd meri
Puri karte ho….
Hone na dein kabhi mujhko giley
Main chand kahu mujhe chandini dein
Kaise kaise jaadu kare
Mere papa, mere papa
Ishaan too ran up to them and joined the hug. His condition was also similar to his sister. His heart was also overflowing with happiness, but he also had this deep fear for all of this to to turn out to be nothing but his imagination.
Sushant cried softly wrapping both his children into his embrace. It had been almost two and-a-half months since he had seen them, had felt them close to him.
The rest of the family looked on, some of them happy to see the reunion, while others had a neutral expression on.
Anupriya’s excitement on seeing Sushant back, knew no bounds. She tried to go up to him, but Vansh stopped her with his hand, giving her a piercing look. She obliged unwillingly.
Looking at her father’s dilapidated condition, Riddhima started panicking. “Papa, are you okay? Where were you all these days? And how did you get these scars and wounds? And…”
Gayatri intervened, “Riddhima beta, enough of your questions. First, bring him inside and make him sit down. Look, how weak he looks!”
Riddhima nodded and tried to escort Sushant inside. He had not even walked two-three steps ahead when his trembling feet gave way and he was about to stumble down.
But Vansh came forward and caught him in time. He supported him and helped him sit on the sofa.
Riddhima felt touched by his gesture towards him. For a split second, her gaze met with that of Vansh’s, until he looked away.
She knelt down beside Sushant and looked at him painfully. The very person who had held her finger and taught her to walk, had become so weak and powerless today that he needed someone else to support him. Who had done this to him, and why? She needed all answers.
After having made him drink some water, she grasped his hands in her’s.
“Papa, where had you been for these two months? And how did Vansh find you?”
Sushant inhaled deeply. He shut his eyes and began narrating.
“It all happened on that fateful day when we went to Waves Mall on my birthday. Remember how your Dinesh Chachu and Tripti Bua had called me up to meet them outside the mall? I used the relatively secluded emergency exit instead of the main one, expecting it to help me reach them quicker.
But on my way, someone hit me on my head and I fell unconscious. I don’t know what happened after that, but when I woke up, I found out that….”
He paused for a while before continuing again.
“I found myself to be held as a captive by Pathak.”
Riddhima was absolutely shocked to know this, and so was the rest of the family too.
“I knew that Pathak was Vansh’s biggest and oldest enemy. I had had one or two encounters with him when I had been helping Vansh to set up his business many years back.
In order to take his revenge from Vansh and destroy his business, Pathak decided to use me against him. I was the one who had guided Vansh in his initial business endeavours, and therefore I knew many of the intricate and secret details about his shipment business. And Pathak wanted to extract all those information from me in order to defeat Vansh.”
“I outright refused. I always considered Vansh as my son, and I could not bring myself to betray him in this manner. But…” Sushant started cracking up at this. “Pathak threatened to kill me. I still remained unfazed because I’d rather accept death, but not betray someone.”
“But things went out of hand when he said that he’ll harm my children instead, especially you Riddhima….”
A lone tear escaped his eye. “I had gotten the news that Sunidhi, your mother, had passed away. This made me even more worried that without anyone to look after you both, it would become very easy for Pathak to harm you.
I knew all about Pathak’s corrupt and lecherous ways, how could I ever bring myself to allow such a man to ever get close to my beloved daughter?”
“Pathak had cleverly hidden this matter from me that Vansh had taken Riddhima and Ishaan under his wing. Because if I had known that Vansh was protecting both of you, then I’d have never given in to his demands….
Feeling utterly helpless and with a heavy heart, I started leaking out important details about Vansh’s business one after the other.”
“But Pathak was not satisfied with causing such minor losses to the VR Empire. He wanted to do something really big. He found out that if he managed to lay his hands on some important and secret documents, Vansh’s business would suffer very heavy losses.
I knew the location of those documents and the manner in which those could be obtained. But I had had enough of all this and decided to not tell him anything about this at all.”
“Pathak started threatening me again, and even tried to severely wound me. But I had made up my mind to remain tight lipped till the end.
However, Pathak began to use my weakness for my children yet again. And this time he crossed all limits by talking such things that no father would ever want to hear about his daughter.” He started tearing up. “Unwillingly and with a lot of guilt, I told him everything about those documents too, and he managed to steal them effortlessly.”
“But Pathak wanted to teach me a lesson for trying to stand up to him, and he also wanted to show me what he was actually capable of. So he got Riddhima kidnapped….”
Riddhima recalled how Pathak had abducted her and told her that he was doing this in order to teach ‘someone‘ a lesson for not abiding to his orders immediately. She could never possibly imagine that the person that leech had been talking about was her own father.
Choking upon his tears, Sushant said, “I can’t tell you how helpless I felt that day. I was locked up and tied in a room where no one had any entry to, and there was no way I could help my daughter escape from his evil plans. That day, I even felt ashamed of calling myself a father…”
“But as if miraculously, I got the news that Riddhima had managed to escape from his clutches, safe and sound. I was so elated to hear this, that all the wounds that Pathak inflicted upon me later to vent out his anger on me, did not seem to pain me at all….”
Riddhima cried as she finally realized the reason behind the many scars that covered his face and body.
Ek shikanj chehre par
Seh na paate ho
Mere liye kismat se
Bhi lad jaate ho...
Mere pass koi dukh aa na sake
Koi mujhe murjha na sake
Mera saaye ban ke chalein
Mere papa, mere papa…
Now turning towards Vansh, Sushant sobbed, “But the pain of guilt that was eating me away, was much more than the physical torture that I endured. I know what I did is unforgivable.” He folded his hands and pleaded, “Please forgive me. If you want I’m even ready to touch your feet….”
Riddhima could feel her soul burning from inside. Her Papa was her pride. And today seeing her very pride bow down to someone else made her hurt in a way that she could not explain.
But swallowing all of her dignity, she remained silent. She knew Vansh hated betrayers.
Vansh knelt down before Sushant and stopped him. “What are you doing, Uncle? You don’t have to apologize, because you weren’t at fault. Whatever you did, you did that to protect your children. Had anyone else been at your place, he’d have done the same too.”
Vansh became emotional noting the stark contrast between Sushant and his own dad. “Riddhima and Ishaan are lucky to have you as their father. Otherwise, some fathers are so careless enough to leave their children by themselves.
“Plus, this business belongs to you even as much as it does to me. Whatever my company and I am today, is all because of you….”
Riddhima looked up at Vansh with tears and gratefulness in her eyes. When he turned towards her, she found his eyes welled up too.
Facing her father once again, she asked, “But how did Vansh find out that Pathak had held you captive?”
Sushant shrugged. “I don’t know….”
“I’ll tell you all about it,” said Vansh, his voice so loud and clear, that it echoed through the mansion.
“No doubt that Pathak had been my enemy since I started my business. But since the last few months or so, Pathak had gone a step ahead to even carry out many murderous attempts on me.
Riddhima, do you remember that incident where you had saved my life from a dangerous man who had been hiding inside my car?”
Riddhima remembered that very well. That was the very first time she had met Vansh.
“Then another attempt was carried out when I was travelling in my personal yatch. Thank God, that I had got the hang of the situation and saved myself.
All this was getting on my nerves. So I decided to send one of my men, Sunny, as a spy to join Pathak’s gang. Under the pretext of working for him, Sunny was actually passing important information about Pathak to me all this while.”
“When Riddhima had gone missing from the party suddenly, it was Sunny only who had informed me about Pathak’s involvement behind this. In fact, he was the one who even informed me about her location, and that was how, I had managed to reach her on time.
If I had it my way, I’d have loved to finish Pathak and his men off then and there for even trying to touch my Riddhima….”
“But I couldn’t do that. First, I had to find out about the person who was leaking the confidential information to Pathak. For that, I created certain situations by which Pathak started trusting Sunny more and more.
It was only yesterday that Pathak brought Sunny to a cold, secluded room where no one was granted entry usually. There he saw Sushant Uncle confined inside.”
“As soon as Sunny told me this, I decided that it was time for action. I took some of my trusted men, and we carried out a sudden shootout at their hideout, taking the entire gang by surprise. After capturing Pathak and his men, we rescued Sushant Uncle from there too.”
Riddhima stared at Vansh feeling extremely overwhelmed. She guiltily remembered how she had talked so harshly to him…
“I promise you, Riddhima, I will soon find your father for you,” Vansh had said.
“I don’t need your charity! I’ll find my father by myself!” she had snapped at him.
Coming back to reality, she found her heart overflowing with even more love, respect and admiration for Vansh.
She wanted to fling herself in his arms wanting to thank him for each and everything he did for her and her father, but she was weary of everyone watching her.
Out of the blue, Ishaan went up to Vansh and clung onto him.
“Thank you so much, Jiju. Thank you for saving our Papa.”
Vansh initially was taken aback, but later patted his head. “It is okay.”
Rudra who was quiet until now, spoke up, “How dare that Pathak do this with our families! And how dare he eye our innocent Riddhima!”
“Innocent, my foot,” Chanchal muttered under her breath, but it was loud enough to be heard by Rudra who was standing right beside her. He shot her an angry glare and she shut up immediately.
“Don’t leave him, Vansh,” Rudra further said.
“Of course, I won’t Chachu. Trust me on that,” Vansh replied with a dangerous tone. “But before that, there are some more things that need to get cleared up….”
Looking into Sushant’s eyes, he said, “Won’t you speak up even now? Till when will you keep protecting them?”
Riddhima stood up suddenly, looking clueless.
“What are you talking about? Who is Papa trying to protect?”
“You are smart. You can take a guess,” remarked Vansh.
As realization dawned her, she let out an exclaim, “Dinesh Chachu and Tripti Bua! They are also involved in all this?”
Vansh exhaled sharply. “Yes, they are the ones who initiated all this. Apparently, they paid a large sum of money to Pathak to kill Sushant Uncle off. But Pathak backstabbed them by keeping Uncle alive when he realized that he could use him to destroy my business instead.
“Dinesh and Tripti Sinha became extremely furious as in spite of paying the money, their work wasn’t done. So, they started pressurizing Pathak.
Now Pathak was in a fix. He didn’t want to return their money back, nor did he want to get away with the golden opportunity to destroy me. So he made a plan. A very, very smart plan.
“Remember the body that the police had found on the highway and had mistaken it to be Sushant Uncle’s? It was all staged by Pathak, in order to shut everyone’s mouths, especially Dinesh’s and Tripti’s.
“Pathak had bribed a poor man having similar measurements as Sushant Uncle from a local chawl. He was supposed to burn himself to death in exchange of which, his wife, Kamala Devi would get a large amount of money.
When the police found Sushant Uncle’s wallet next to the burnt body, they immediately assumed it to also belong to Sushant Uncle. Since the body was so badly burnt, even fingerprints couldn’t be used to identify the body.
But in his overzealousness of course, Pathak forgot all about the DNA test though. When the police conducted the DNA test, they found out that the body wasn’t Sushant Uncle’s. And all his plans to portray Sushant Uncle as dead in front of everyone, failed terribly.”
Riddhima was shocked to know that her own uncle and aunt had played such a big game to get her father killed. Even though she had had a high suspicion on them from the starting itself, but still she had half hoped that she was wrong.
And they did all this for what? For a stupid and worthless piece of ancestral land? She could throw thousands of such lands over their faces, but how dare they harm her father? Her father, who always kept forgiving his siblings’ mistakes, one after the other….
But she wouldn’t make the mistake of forgiving them. Never.
“They’d have to pay for what they did to Papa,” she thought determinedly.
Sushant was shifted to one of the guest rooms. Riddhima and Ishaan having found their father after such a long period of time, did not want to leave his side even for a second.
“Come on, take some more,” Riddhima forced a spoonful of food into his mouth.
“I can’t eat more. I’m completely full,” Sushant protested.
“No you cannot possibly be! You haven’t even eaten half of what was in the plate. And let me warn you, I’m not going to let you off so easily unless and until you finish it all,” said Riddhima. “You know how stubborn I can get.”
“That is why Ziddhima name is apt for you!” laughed Ishaan.
Riddhima glared at her brother. “Excuse me? What did you just call me as?”
“Ziddhima!” Ishaan repeated with a grin. “And don’t shout at me, huh. The sole credit for this name goes to Jiju.”
She became even angrier. “What? Vansh calls me that behind my back? How dare he!”
Sushant couldn’t help but smile looking at this banter.
Riddhima placed some pills in his palm and ordered him to have them.
Ishaan interjected, “Yes, now you’ve to listen to her at any cost. After getting admission into one of the best medical colleges in the city, she has started considering herself nothing less than a full fledged doctor!”
“I know, JC Medical College, isn’t it?” said Sushant.
Riddhima was surprised. “How do you know that when none of us have mentioned it to you yet?”
“Vansh did, while driving back to VR Mansion,” said Sushant. “And not only that, but he also told me how you have bravely handled everything all alone. I am so very, very proud of you, beta.”
Saying this, he placed a kiss on her forehead.
“Oh! So Jiju only praised Dids in front of you. He didn’t say anything about me? As expected! All he sees in front of him is only her, be it day or night!” Ishaan continued to pull her leg.
Riddhima flung a cushion at him, but it missed him. He stuck out his tongue at her.
“By staying with Sia and Ishani, Ishaan is also slowly turning like them,” Riddhima scolded. She also felt a little embarrassed about how Ishaan was teasing her by taking Vansh’s name in front of their father.
Sushant patted Riddhima’s head. “Vansh also told me about his and your engagement. But I want to ask you if you are happy in this relationship?”
“Happy? She is exceedingly, tremendously, supremely, outstandingly happy!” giggled Ishaan.
“You won’t keep quiet until you get a spanking from me, right?” asked Riddhima scrunching her nose.
“Papa, you just ignore him. He has this habit to always keep blabbering. You need rest too and you should go to sleep immediately.”
Trying to stifle his laugh, Sushant obediently snuck under the duvet, and Ishaan followed suit.
“I’m going to sleep next to Papa, not you!” He snuggled against his father and showed her a thumbs down instead.
“Fine. But let him sleep and don’t keep him engrossed in your lame jokes for the rest of the night,” she warned before switching the lights off.
When she came out of the room, she found Mrs. D’souza waiting for her.
“Vansh Sir wants to meet you. In the outhouse.”
Riddhima realized that this was the perfect opportunity. She couldn’t speak to him much in front of the family, but in private she’d make sure to thank him profusely.
In the outhouse, she found Vansh comfortably sitting in his chair with his legs spread across the table in front, like a king.
“Vansh, I really…” She began to say but Vansh shushed her up.
He snapped his fingers and two persons seemed to enter inside. Riddhima was shocked to see that they were none other than Tripti and Dinesh themselves.
She felt herself raging from inside. Had murder been legal, she would have killed these two monsters right away.
“Did you bring that along what I had asked for?” asked Vansh in an intimidating tone.
“Yes, yes. Here it is,” said Dinesh quivering with fright. “These are the papers of that house that we had snatched from Sushant Bhai. And these are the papers that belong to our ancestral land. We don’t want any share from it. We are ready to give it away and transfer everything in Riddhima’s name. But please,” he joined his hands. “Forgive us and let us go.”
Riddhima could not believe their insolence. After doing so much they expected her to forgive them?
“Listen, I’m not interested in those stupid properties of your’s….”
Vansh signalled her to keep mum, which she immediately did.
“And what about your own respective houses? I had asked you to transfer those also in Riddhima’s name….” Vansh said sternly.
Tripti asked, “If we give away our own houses too, then where would we live?”
“I don’t blo*dy care!” roared Vansh. “You may sleep on the roads or in one of those shelter homes. If you both did not even think twice before robbing Sushant Uncle’s house, then why should I?
And if you people don’t comply with my condition then….”
A paranoid Dinesh interrupted, “No, no! We’ll give away even our own properties. Here are those papers.”
Vansh collected all the papers and handed them over to Riddhima.
“Your culprits are standing right before you. Now, it’s upto you to decide what you want to do with them. Do you want to send them to prison, or torture them until death or something?”
Tripti snarled at him, “This is not fair, Vansh! You had promised us that if we transferred everything in Riddhima’s name, then you’d pardon us. But you turned out to be nothing but a blatant liar!”
Vansh got up from his chair and walked closer with his eyes shooting her a death stare.
“Woman! Speak properly to me or not at all. You might not know but messing with VR will only get you in further trouble!” said Vansh menacingly.
Dinesh fell at Vansh’s feet and started pleading to him, but he kept a bored expression on instead.
Tripti walked towards Riddhima.
“If you won’t forgive us, what would happen to our children?”
“And did you once think what would happen to me and Ishaan before making this murderous plan?” she screamed at the top of her voice, her emotions getting the better of her.
“I don’t understand what kind of a sister you are! As a sister, I would even lay my life down for my brother, but you….you on the other hand wanted to take away your own brother’s life just to satisfy your greed?”
Her voice began to shake as she remembered the ordeals that her father and his family had to go through because of them.
“My Papa always kept forgiving you all, he never raised a single question even when you snatched our house from us! He always believed in keeping all relations intact, no matter what. If you’d have asked him, he’d have happily given away his share of the land to you both, too!”
Tripti said, “Of course, Sushant Bhai would give away the land to us willingly. But would you and your vile mother let him do that…..?”
Smack! She felt a hard slap across her face. For a moment or two, she just stood there completely aghast. She had not expected her niece to raise her hand on her.
“You s-s-slapped me?” Tripti asked still not out of her shock.
“Yes. I’d have wanted to choke you to death, but I cannot take law in my hands,” said Riddhima trembling with temper. “But you both will surely be sent to prison now.”
Tripti was about to lift her hand to slap her back, but Vansh threatened her.
“Don’t you dare touch her even! Now, you only have an attempt to murder case running over you. But if I want, I’ll add many such cases over your head that will further prolong your imprisonment.”
Tripti rolled her eyes at them. Turning towards her niece, she said, “After getting such a wealthy and powerful man as your fiance, you have started flying high up in the sky and your tongue has become even sharper!”
Riddhima huffed. “My tongue was always sharp. Did you forget how I had insulted you and even shown you the doorwhen you had come over to fight with me?”
Tripti swallowed hard as she remembered that incident.
With a snap of fingers, Angre was called inside.
“Make all the necessary arrangements to send them to jail,” said Vansh menacingly. “And make sure that they get the maximum punishment possible.”
“You wish is my command, Boss.” Angrw bowed before him and with the help of some other men, took Tripti and Dinesh away from their sight.
Riddhima wiped her tears away and composed herself. She tried to talk to Vansh, but he left for his room citing some urgent work.
Riddhima being her regular adamant self, decided to follow him into his room even.
However when she entered inside without any knocking, she was left shocked.
Hello everyone! That is it for today guys.
Also, I know that this chapter might seem very confusing to all of you with all the information being dumped like that. So really sorry about that.