For those of you who have missed the 11th chapter, here is the link :
The lectures for that day had been cancelled and therefore Riddhima decided to return home. After meeting Kabir, a sense of relief had engulfed her heart. Finally, she wouldn’t be alone. Since he himself was in the police, he had promised her to find her parents’ culprits.
When she reached VR mansion, she saw Vansh berating Nandu. The poor girl had tears in her eyes and she was trembling in fright.
“How dare you Nandu? I’ve never felt so embarassed in my whole life, but because of you today I got humiliated in front of your teachers,” growled Vansh.
“I’m….i’m s-sorry Papa,” said Nandu crying uncontrollably.
“You have been dozing off in your classes since the past one week! Is this what I’m sending you to school for?” said Vansh.
“I won’t…..r-r-repeat it again Papa,” said Nandu.
“I try so hard to teach you discipline, but no, you won’t ever change. So that is why, you will be punished,” said Vansh coldly.
“Noooo! Please don’t punish me,” cried Nandu.
Through tears, Nandu spotted Riddhima standing in the hall. She ran to her and flung her arms around her legs. “Riddhima Aunty, please save me from Papa. Badi Dadi is also not at home, she has gone to the temple. There’s no one to save me right now.”
“Nandu! Come back here at once!” said Vansh.
“No, I won’t. Else you’ll start yelling at me again,” said Nandu still hugging Riddhima.
“If you won’t come here right now, I’ll come there instead,” said Vansh.
“No, Mr. Raisinghania, you won’t. Stay back where you are,” said Riddhima sternly. Riddhima was furious at how Vansh was behaving with the little child. He called himself a father, and yet here he was acting completely oblivious to his daughter’s sensitivities.
“You better stay out of it,” said Vansh irritatedly. “You have no right to interfere.”
“Just let it be, Mr. Raisinghania,” said Riddhima. “She only slept off during her classes, which is not such a big thing. It’s not like she hit her classmates or misbehaved with her teachers. And….”
“How dare you Riddhima? She is my daughter and I know very well how to deal with her,” said Vansh moving a step closer.
“No one is denying over here that she is your daughter. But let me tell you one thing Mr. Raisinghania, that this is no way to behave with a child,” said Riddhima.
“I see, you seem to know a lot about handling a child,” said Vansh moving closer.
“Yes, I know how to behave with a child, because I was a child myself few years ago, and my parents, especially my father never behaved this way with me. I also made many mistakes throughout my life, but my Papa was always understanding, calm and patient with me. Unlike you,” said Riddhima.
Hearing them argue, Ishani and Aryan also arrived into the hall.
“Oh my God! What is this girl doing? Someone go and stop her, or God only knows what Bhai might do with her,” said Ishani.
“Looks like she has a lot of guts,” said Aryan. “Finally there’s someone in the house who can stand up against this dictator.”
“Shut up Riddhima!” said Vansh. “Not a word more or else….”
Riddhima looked at him challengingly. “Else what?” she said.
“Papa, please don’t shout at Aunty,” said Nandu.
Vansh stared at her angrily. Turning towards Riddhima he said, “It’s been less than a day since you arrived here, and my daughter has already started disrespecting me in order to defend you.”
“Why do the elders always think that the younger ones are disrespecting them when they are just voicing their opinions out? That’s unfair,” said Riddhima.
“Mrs. D’souza! Take Nandu to her room,” ordered Vansh. “And as far as you Miss Sinha, be ready for the dire consequences.” Saying this, he stormed off to his room.
“It’s okay Nandu. Go to your room now,” said Riddhima caressing her face.
“Thank you Aunty. Whenever Papa scolds me, it is always Badi Dadi who saves me,” said Nandu wiping off her tears with the back of her hand. “But today she wasn’t there at home. And I prayed to God to send someone to protect me from Papa’s anger. And that’s when he sent you.”
Riddhima smiled at her. But deep inside, she could feel herself burning in anger. How dare he behave with his daughter like that?
Couldn’t he see that that how rude and emotionless behaviour with her was tarnishing the little girl’s self-confidence?
Even though Riddhima was weary that Vansh might do something nasty in his ego, the rest of the day passed uneventfully.
But the next morning, Riddhima was in a rude shock when she couldn’t find her scooty in the VR Parking Lot.
“I had parked my scooty here itself,” she said to one of the guards. “Then where is it?”
The guards looked at each other uncomfortably. Finally one of them spoke up, “Boss had asked us to lock your scooty up in the garage.”
“What do you mean? I need to go to college right now. We are already very late,” said Riddhima looking at her watch. It was already 8.30am, and Ishaan had to reach his school in time by sharp 9am for an important inter-state basketball tournament.
“I’m sorry, but that is Boss’s order,” said another guard. “Why don’t you speak to him directly about this?”
“Did anyone want to speak to me?” a deep voice spoke from behind.
“Mr. Raisinghania, why is my scooty in the garage?” asked Riddhima.
“It has been confiscated,” said Vansh. “Until further notice.”
“May I ask why?” asked Riddhima.
“For breaching my rules,” he said casually.
“Excuse me, what rules did I exactly BREACH?” she asked angrily.
“You dared to interfere in my personal matter. Haven’t you read the rule-book? It clearly forbade you to do that,” said Vansh.
Riddhima couldn’t believe the audacity of this man. Punishing her for trying to correct him when he was clearly wrong?
“But today is Ishaan’s important basketball tournament. Even if we were to hire a taxi or an auto, we would have to walk at least 2 kms to get to the main road. And we are already very late for that,” said Riddhima.
“That’s not my problem,” snapped Vansh. “Also don’t have any misconception that either I or someone else would offer you a lift or something. Because I have clearly forbidden the others to do so.”
Riddhima tried hard to suppress her anger. “But why should Ishaan suffer for my mistake?”
“As I said, that is not my problem. Sorry Ishaan, but you definitely need to put some sense into your sister’s head, or else you’ll always have to suffer for her mistakes,” said Vansh. “Driver, is the car ready?”
Before sitting in the car, he turned towards Riddhima and Ishaan and gave them a smirk.
After he had left, Ishaan started scolding his sister. “What was the need to get into a brawl with Vansh? Because of you, I’m going to be late for the match. How embarassing!”
“Ishaan, we’ll find a way out,” said Riddhima.
“What way? Of course that one where we would have to walk almost 2 km, which itself is going to take 20 minutes! And I have only half an hour left to reach in time.”
Just then, Aryan came in, driving his black Mustang. “Need any help?” he asked lowering the windows.
“Yes,” said Ishaan. “Actually…..”
Riddhima cut him midway. “No, thank you very much.”
“But I’ll miss the match! And then my school will never in my life ever choose me to play for them,” said Ishaan.
“It’s okay Riddhima. I’ll give you guys a lift,” said Aryan. “I know Bhai has punished you and I know how it feels. Don’t worry, he won’t get to know about this.”
Riddhima thought for a while. “But if Vansh….,” she corrected herself. “I mean….Mr. Raisinghania gets to know that you helped us, then he’ll punish you too. He has already cancelled your credit cards for three months, what if he extends it for a longer period time? I wouldn’t feel good at all thinking that someone got punished for helping me out, you know.”
“But that is what friends are for? They help each other in difficult times,” said Aryan. “So I also want to do the same.”
“Friends?” asked Riddhima.
“Yes, friends. I don’t know about you, but I definitely consider you as a friend,” said Aryan.
Riddhima saw Ishaan pleading with his eyes. She thought, “I know this flirt is just trying to impress me, but I have no choice right now other than to befriend him.”
“Alright, friends then,” said Riddhima extending her hand.
“Friends, then,” said Aryan grasping her hand into a handshake tightly. Actually way too tightly.
“Riddhima why don’t you sit in the front while Ishaan sits, uhm, behind?”
“Flirt,” Riddhima muttered under her breath.
“Aryan, why don’t you drop Ishaan to his school? I’ll manage on my own,” she said.
Aryan tried to protest. “But Riddhima….”
Riddhima said, “No, Aryan. I don’t think Mr. Raisinghania will have much problem if you give Ishaan the lift, since he hasn’t done anything wrong. But if he comes to know that I have taken the lift too, then he might become angrier. And to be honest after what happened yesterday, I don’t want to mess with him further.”
Aryan made a face. “Fine,” he said resignedly. All his plans of going on a long drive with her had gone to the drains.
After they both drove off, Riddhima miserably stared at the long path in front of her that she had to undertake. “I am definitely going to miss the first two lectures. And it’s all because of that egoistic Vansh Raisinghania!”
It was 4pm in the afternoon when Vansh heard Angre knock at the door of his cabin.
“Boss, the 5pm meeting we had with the Mehtas is cancelled.”
Vansh looked up at him questioningly. “Why though?”
“Boss, apparently sudden riots have sprouted up in Nehrunagar, and that was exactly the place where the meeting was supposed to be held,” replied Angre.
“Damn!” said Vansh. “I just hope that this delay doesn’t cause the Mehtas to change their mind. You know right how important this deal is for us. We just cannot afford to lose this.”
Just then, Vansh’s phone starts buzzing.
“Hello, Vansh. There’s a huge problem over here.”
“What problem Dadi?” asked Vansh sitting up straight.
Gayatri said worriedly, “Riddhima has not returned home yet. Her phone is also out of reach. Her college is close to Nehrunagar. I’m worried what if she got stuck up in the riots.”
“Dadi, don’t worry. I’ll call up her principal and try to find out if she’s still in college itself,” said Vansh.
“No Vansh. Ishaan called up her friend Ashima, and she said that Riddhima left college half an hour ago,” said Gayatri. “Plus shaan was telling me that she didn’t even take her scooty today. I don’t think she’ll be able to get any auto or taxi amongst these riots.”
Now it was Vansh’s turn to get worried. He recalled how he hadn’t given her scooty back to her inspite of her requests. What if she falls into some huge trouble because of his small mistake?
“Angre, we need to go to Nehrunagar right now.”
“But Boss, riots are in full spring there…..”
“I don’t care about the damn riots!” said Vansh. “I cannot let anything happen to that girl, especially when it was entirely my fault that she’s not home now. So stop arguing with me now and go and arrange two cars and few men to search for her.”
“Ok Boss,” said Angre taking his leave.
“Oh my God Riddhima, where the hell are you?” Vansh wondered.
“Boss, we cannot take the car further than this,” said Angre.
Vansh along with his few trusted men had finally reached Nehrunagar, and it was a frightening sight to behold. Panic stricken people were running helter-skelter. There was a blazing fire in the distance that was slowly spreading to engulf the surrounding areas. Loud shrieks echoed into the ears. Windows of few standby cars had been broken. Few injured people lay on the roads, groaning in pain, while few lay motionlessly.
But Vansh wasn’t moved by this scene, because he had seen far worse situations than these….
“Boss, it’s not safe for you to venture outside in this condition,” said Angre. “You stay here itself, while I ask the other men to go and look out for Riddhima.”
“No, Angre,” said Vansh slowly. “I need to go as well. If anything happens to her, I would fall in my very own eyes. Unfortunately, she’s in this situation because of me only. So it would be only fair, if I make a sincere effort to find her as well.”
Vansh continued, “And don’t worry about me. I’ll wear this mask and step out so that no one identifies me. I also have my revolver with me. Angre there’s no network over here, so we need to contact each other on walkie-talkies. I’ll head south, while you and the others try looking for her in other directions. Also, if I don’t return within half an hour, assume the worst.”
Vansh started heading south, hiding his precious identity with the mask. His eyes would stop at every girl he seemed to spot on his way, half hoping that it turns out to be Riddhima. But then disappointment would creep over him when he would realize that it wasn’t her. An unexplainable fear started gripping his heart, as the time passed by, and she still could not be found.
“What if she has already been killed or even worse…” Vansh couldn’t even bring himself to complete the sentence in his own mind.
Just then, a familiar voice caught his attention. At that point of time, that voice seemed as the sweetest thing ever, and he could recognize that voice anywhere in the world. It was Riddhima’s voice. And she was safe.
Her hair was disheveled, her face was covered with soot, and her full sleeves had been torn that exposed a deep wound on her right arm. But it looked like she was least concerned about her appearance, as she was busy catering to the wounds of the other battered people.
Vansh was left speechless looking at how Riddhima was casually sitting in the middle of the riots and nursing the injured, especially then, when they all had been worrying like hell for her. He made up his mind to give her a good scolding, when through the corner of his eye, he saw a huge mob of rioters approaching in their direction.
“Shit!” he said. He grabbed her by her arm, and pulled the two of them out of the view of the mob just in time.
Riddhima attempted to scream, but a strong hand belonging to a tall, masked man was placed over her mouth. She thrusted her teeth into his hand, only for him to let out a scream. Riddhima recognized that deep, husky voice.
“Mr. Raisinghania, is that you?” she asked. “What are you doing over here?”
Vansh rubbed over the place where she bit his hand and said, “This should actually be my question. What the hell are you doing over here? Have you got any sense or not? Instead of finding for a safe place to take shelter in, you are standing right in the middle of the unrests thinking that you’re doing social service, when in reality you were simply making yourself look like a tempting cake waiting to be eaten!”
Riddhima let out a gasp. “Wait, you did not just say that! I am mortified. I cannot believe your insolence, you are venting out your anger at me, when it was wholly your fault that I was stuck in this situation in the first place. Had you not seized my scooty, I wouldn’t have had to hire an auto, and that stupid driver wouldn’t have left me here in the middle of these riots to fend for myself.”
“You don’t want to waste any opportunity to argue with me, right?” asked Vansh. “If you want, we can continue this bicker when we reach back home, or even on the way in the car, for that matter of fact, but can we please for heaven’s sake leave now?”
Saying this, he placed his hands on her arm, and she flinched. It was the same wound he had seen before, that gaped right through her torn sleeve.
Vansh asked worriedly, “How did this happen? Did someone try to…”
“No, no. Actually there was a thorny bush that grazed right past my arm when I was trying to help someone,” she said inspecting her own wound. “Don’t worry, it doesn’t hurt at all.”
Vansh did not say anything and quietly escorted Riddhima to his car. Since Angre and the rest of his men sat in the other car, Vansh and Riddhima were left to themselves with an awkwardness that crept over them during their drive back to home. Throughout the journey, Vansh kept stealing glances at Riddhima who sat beside him in the car. He was surprised to see how unfazed and raw she was, she wasn’t even a bit bothered by her ripped up dress, or her unkempt appearance. He had never seen a girl like her. Just then, she caught him staring at her, and he quickly moved his gaze away.
“What on earth are you trying to do Vansh Raisinghania?” he thought to himself. “You are trying to stare at a girl whose sleeves are ripped apart! Just hope that she doesn’t misinterpret you as a creep who had been staring right through her bare skin.”
But he didn’t have to worry at all. Because she knew. She knew he wasn’t that type of a guy who would go on ogling at other women. It felt strange, but she wholly trusted him on that.
Precap : Riddhima asks Vansh to make a promise to her.
The police ring up Riddhima telling her that they have found a body and they think it is Sushant’s.
That is it for today guys. If you guys liked it, do not forget to comment below. (I think you guys would be happy now as there wasn’t any Kabir at all in this update). Questions for you all :
Do you think Riddhima was right in interfering between him and his daughter?
Do you think Vansh was right in punishing her for a small mistake like this?
Do you think Vansh has started to fall for Riddhima? Whom do you want to fall in love first – Vansh or Riddhima?