For those of you who have missed the 14th chapter, here is the link :
“Here Riddhima, meet Angre,” said Vansh. “I know you already recognize him as my personal assistant, but what you don’t know is that he runs his own detective agency too. Right now, I don’t think I can trust anyone else more than him, so it would be fair enough if he himself investigates your parents’ case. Will that be fine with you Riddhima?”
“If you seem to trust him this much, then I have no problem at all,” she replied.
Vansh said, “Alright then Riddhima. It’s too late and I guess it would be better if you retired to your bedroom. I’ll give Angre all the necessary details that you provided me with. Just do one thing. Tomorrow morning, hand over a photocopy of the FIR and rest of the important documents to Angre so that he’ll be able to start working on it from tomorrow itself.”
“Ok, I’ll do that,” said Riddhima preparing to leave. “Goodnight.”
“Wait! Did you by any chance inform the police that you are staying at my house?” asked Vansh worriedly.
“No, I didn’t. I’m not that dumb. I know what to say to which person,” said Riddhima. “I just told them that I’m residing with my mother’s distant relative. I know you don’t seem to like me much, but don’t underestimate me like that. It hurts.”
Vansh realized that this conversation was beginning to head towards another argument. He decided to cut it then and there.
Riddhima sighed. “Goodnight Mr.Raisinghania.”
The next morning, Riddhima hurriedly left the house to meet ACP Lakshya. But unfortunately for her, when she reached there, she did not find him.
“Due to a sudden family crisis, he has gone out of town,” said Kabir. “He’ll return only after 2-3 days or so.”
“Ohh,” she said disappointedly.
“By the way, the DNA test results are here. Of course, the body’s DNA doesn’t match either with that of yours or of your uncle’s and your aunt’s. Also, your DNA matches with your uncle and aunt. Which proves that you are indeed your father’s biological child,” said Kabir.
“I had no doubt about that. But hopefully that will be enough for the ACP to realize that my mom was indeed a chaste woman,” said Riddhima.
The peon entered, bringing a tray of two cups of coffee.
“Here, have some,” said Kabir pushing one of the cups towards her. “Less sugar and less milk. Just the way you like it.”
Riddhima nervously fidgeted with the cup. “Kabir, I need a favour from you.”
“C’mon Riddhima! You don’t need to be so formal with me. You know I am always ready to do anything and everything for you,” said Kabir smiling.
“You can do anything for me? So can you close this police case forever?”
Kabir almost spat out the coffee in shock. “What are you even talking about?”
Riddhima took a deep breath. “Kabir, I am literally fed up of all this. From the past two months, each day I’ve been living with this dread that God knows what stupid accusation will the police now throw at my family. Please shut this case and give me some peace.”
“Are you out of your mind?” said Kabir. “The investigation is still going on and we cannot close a case like this. And what about the justice for your parents? Don’t you want their culprits to be punished?”
Riddhima said, “Kabir, in the ACP’s absence, you are in charge of this case. And don’t give me this lame excuse that you cannot close any case like that. I myself came across some news where the police did exactly this to hide the culprit. So I don’t think it would be as difficult as you are proclaiming it to be. As far as the justice for my parents is concerned, I have already started to believe that my mom indeed committed suicide and my dad indeed ran away.”
“But Riddhima, this is not possible…..”
Riddhima clenched her fists in anger. “You know what Kabir, you’re literally all talk and no show! Time and again, you have always used mighty words to profess your love for me, but whenever the actual time came to really do something for me, you always turned up an excuse. Is your love for me so weak, that you can’t even fulfill this small wish of mine?”
Kabir looked at her with a sense of shame and guilt. It was true that he had never really been able to do anything for her. But he was also feeling equally hurt that she was pointing fingers at his love for her.
Riddhima on the other hand was also feeling bad for trying to manipulate Kabir in this manner. But this was the only option left, and she had no other way out.
After a long silence, Kabir finally gave in. “Ok Riddhima. I’ll do it, but only for you.”
“Oh my God! Thank you so much Kabir!” Riddhima hugged Kabir excitedly.
“Yeah, yeah, it’s okay,” said Kabir pulling away from her. “I’ll start with all the necessary formalities right away. It will almost take a day or two. But remember one thing Riddhima, once you close a case, it is not very easy to reopen it. So think carefully before taking any hasty decision.”
“I’ve thought about it well enough, and now there’s no backing away from it,” she said.
“When ACP Lakshya gets back and comes to know about it, I’m sure he’ll kill me,” said Kabir getting a little annoyed. “But for you Riddhima, I am ready to go through any trouble. Just for you and your happiness.”
“Interesting, very interesting. I’m really amazed as to how you could convince the police in such a short span of time,” said Vansh.
Riddhima didn’t want to disclose about her relation with Kabir to him. She didn’t know how he and the rest of the family would take that. “Uhm, I just followed your advice by stroking his ego at the right places.”
“Smart,” said Vansh proudly.
Riddhima couldn’t help but smile at this compliment. For some reason, she had started to observe that Vansh wasn’t acting very rude towards her. In fact, all of a sudden he had started behaving really sweet and polite with her. She wondered why.
Later that afternoon, she got a call from Ishaan’s sports trainer. Apparently, Ishaan and his team had won the state-level basketball match held two days ago. Not only that, but he had also been selected to play for his school at the national-level tournament. But for that, he would have to go to Delhi for a minimum period of 8-10 days.
“Ishaan has plainly refused to participate in this tournament,” said the sports trainer. “When I asked him why, he told me that he cannot leave his sister to fight with all the troubles alone, while he goes to Delhi.”
Riddhima was touched on realizing how mature her baby brother had become and how he was willing to compromise with his sports career just for her happiness.
The sports trainer continued, “Riddhima, I understand that you both have been going through a lot since the past few months. But trust me when I say that this is one in a lifetime opportunity for Ishaan. He is a very talented fellow, and he shouldn’t let his abilities to go waste like this. Moreover, his mind will also get distracted from all the worries when he goes far away from here.”
“Don’t worry, Sir. I’ll talk to Ishaan right away and convince him to agree for this,” said Riddhima.
“What is this Ishaan? How could you hide such an important matter from me?” scolded Riddhima.
“Haha! You’re saying as if you’ve never hidden anything from me,” said Ishaan.
Riddhima rolled her eyes. “There is a difference between me and you hiding. You won the damn match that day! And now you are asked to play in Delhi. You cannot miss this amazing chance.”
“But I cannot leave you like this,” said Ishaan getting a bit emotional. “All by yourself.”
“I am not alone here. Gayatri Nani is there over here to take care of me. And so is Mr. Raisinghania,” she said remembering about all the thoughtful things he did for her. “Wait! I’ve an idea. I’ll also accompany you to Delhi. What say?”
“But then you would have to miss your lectures….”
“Haha! Don’t worry about that as Ashima always has my back! I’ll ask her to give my proxy attendance just like how she used to do before,” said Riddhima.
“Okay, I think that would be fine then,” said Ishaan.
“Alrighty! I’ll go and speak to Mr. Raisinghania about this straight away.” She sounded far too excited beyond words.
She goes downstairs to his study but it was locked from outside. “He locks his study when he is not using it? Strange,” she thought to herself.
On the way, she met Angre who informed her that he was in the basketball court. When she went there, she found Vansh playing basketball all by himself. His back was turned towards her.
“Tell me Riddhima what brings you here?” he asked without even looking. But this time Riddhima did not get surprised, as she now knew that it was her perfume that always gave her away.
“I hope you are not busy. We can talk later….”
“Not at all. Shoot.”
Riddhima cleared her throat. “Actually Ishaan has been selected to represent his school at national-level for a basketball tournament that will be held at Delhi in few days’ time. But he would have to go to Delhi atleast 7-8 days prior to the D-day. I cannot send him alone, so I was thinking of accompanying him too. The school won’t be paying for my expenses obviously, so I need some money.”
“You are NOT going anywhere,” said Vansh sternly.
“What? Excuse me, but Ishaan has never stayed far from us. He is not big enough to be sent off to a far-off place all by himself,” said Riddhima.
“All by himself? Like seriously!” laughed Vansh. “Won’t the school coach and the entire team be accompanying him? You know what Riddhima, I feel you are getting too possessive about him.”
“Possessive? Hell no!” she said.
“Ohh yes! I’ve always observed how he’s overtly dependent upon you. Just yesterday, you were getting worried as to how he would be able to survive, lest something happened to you. And here you are, tying him to yourself and not allowing him to grow enough,” said Vansh.
Looking at Riddhima’s apprehensive look, he said, “Don’t worry. One of my trusted men, who also works as basketball instructor, will go along with Ishaan. He plays and teaches basketball amazingly, and that would be of much help to Ishaan. Also, what would you do by bunking your college and going there? You won’t be of much use to Ishaan, assuming that you wouldn’t even know the ‘B’ of basketball.”
Riddhima gasped. “Excuse me, what did you just say? I might not be a champion at the game, but I’m pretty good at it.”
“Okay prove it then.” Saying this, with a sudden force he threw the ball towards her, but she managed to catch it in time.
“I don’t like how you are imposing all your decisions upon us,” said Riddhima irritatedly.
“Oh is it? Then why don’t we have a basketball face-off? If you win, your decision would be the final one and if I win, the vice versa. What say?” asked Vansh.
“Alright! I’m ready for it,” she said tying her loose hair into a ponytail. She threw the ball in the air.
“One, two, and three,” they counted in unison waiting for the ball to bounce thrice. Before Vansh could know it, Riddhima had already taken the ball away and was heading towards the basket. Vansh blocked her way, grabbed the ball from her and effortlessly threw the ball into the basket from such a long distance.
“What the…!” Riddhima could just say.
In the succeeding rounds, Vansh made another two baskets, while Riddhima still stayed at zero. Looking at her disheartening face, Vansh decided to let her score two goals each in the next rounds. The score was 3-2.
Now it was the last round. Either Riddhima could lose the game or tie it up. As Vansh began to take the ball towards the basket, Riddhima managed to sneakily snatch the ball away from him. But before she could know it, the ball was already gone from her hands. She turned back to see Vansh dribbling the ball and simultaneously giving her a smirk. She tried to snatch it again, but he kept on passing the ball around himself in such weird ways, making it almost impossible for her to get it. Suddenly without even looking, he threw the ball behind him and it straight away landed into a basket. Riddhima could just stare in amazement.
“So since I won, my decision would be the final one,” said Vansh pompously.
“It’s not fair that you are so tall and I’m so short. That is the sole reason you won this game,” said Riddhima sulking.
“Whoa! As I won, it is unfair and had you won it would have been fair? That is unfair,” said Vansh.
“Fine! I admit that you are a better player. Actually you are a pro at this game, while I’m a complete noob,” she said.
“If you call me a pro, I don’t know what you will call Marc, since he plays so amazingly well. Just imagine how brilliantly he’ll be able to coach Ishaan and simultaneously monitor over him too,” said Vansh.
“I guess you are right,” said Riddhima.
“Actually, I am always right,” said Vansh smirking.
Anupriya was watching all this. She didn’t quite like how Vansh was giving this much unwanted attention to Riddhima.
The next evening, Riddhima had sent Ishaan off to Delhi along with Vansh’s trusted man and basketball expert, Marc. Even though only an hour had passed since he had left, she was already beginning to miss him. She was feeling so low, that she decided to sit in the garden to relax her mind. The fresh breeze played with her hair while she sat on the bench. She stared at the beautiful stars in the sky, and suddenly wished that she was a star herself.
“Are you missing Ishaan?” asked Vansh suddenly disturbing her from her thoughts.
She quickly moved away to give some space to Vansh to sit beside her. “No, not really.”
They both stayed in the same silence for a while before Vansh suddenly spoke up. “What are your future plans?”
Riddhima was taken aback by this sudden question out of nowhere. “What do you mean?
“I mean, what do you intend to do after your MBBS gets over?” asked Vansh.
“Ohh. After MBBS, I need to clear the entrance exam yet again to get into specialization. After specialization, I want to work under a good senior doctor for a year or two. After that I want to do super specialization after which I’ll….”
“After which you will…??” asked Vansh
Riddhima bit her lips. She had decided to get married as soon as she got admitted into super specialization, but she found it uncomfortable to discuss about her marriage plans with Vansh out of all people. “After which I’ll…I’ll try to opt for permanent job in a reputed hospital,” she said instead.
“Hmmm,” said Vansh. “Riddhima, earlier you had told me that you will be staying here till your MBBS gets over. But now I want to tell you that you can stay here till your higher studies are completed. I’ll personally finance everything. And not only yours, even Ishaan’s. When I asked him earlier, he told me he wants to study engineering. I’ll not only take care of his education, but I’m also willing to offer him a job in my own company after his studies get completed.”
“Wait. But that is not needed. Because we will find Papa soon and then we will obviously move out,” said Riddhima.
“Yes, of course. But even if he returns, I’m sorry to say this and you might feel bad, but I don’t think Sushant Uncle would be in a position to pay off for your higher education. And it won’t be good to put such untoward burden upon him. So it will be better if I handle all this.”
Riddhima looked towards him. “But why do you want to do all this for us?” she said slowly.
“You know the answer,” he said softly.
“Because you really look upto Papa, and want to do this for him?” she asked.
Vansh sighed. “Yeah, something like that.” But deep down, he knew that he didn’t want to do all this only for Sushant. There was another reason too.
“Let me think about this,” said Riddhima.
“Okay, take your time. Anyway, it’s almost 10.30pm, and it’s time to sleep.” Vansh was about to leave when Riddhima called him out from behind.
“Yes?” he asked.
“You know what Mr. Raisinghania, you are a really nice man,” she said smiling and looking into his eyes. As she said this, Vansh felt a sudden wave of emotion pass through him. People, especially the women that he had met, often called him dashing, hot, smart, arrogant, cunning and filthy rich, but no one had ever called him ‘nice’, except her of course. It kind of felt weird to be called nice.
Unbeknown to them, Anupriya had seen them through the balcony and this made her really angry. When Riddhima came back into the house, Anupriya sternly asked her as to what Vansh was talking to her about.
Riddhima understood her intentions. “Aunty, why don’t you ask Mr. Raisinghania himself about this? After all, you are his mother and you have full rights to question him. But as for me, unfortunately you don’t have any specific relation with me, so therefore I am not bound to answer you. Good night Aunty.” Saying this she scoffed off.
“Oh my God! Look at the audacity of this girl!” she muttered under her breath. “Ohh Vansh here you come beta! May I know what were you talking to Riddhima about? I saw you both in deep conversation….”
“Mom, you know very well that I don’t like it at all when someone questions me like that,” said Vansh irritatedly. “Anyway, Good night Mom.” He left for his room, leaving a raging Anupriya behind.
Precap : Ishani tells Anupriya that maybe this is all part of Vansh’s gameplan to get close to Riddhima for some unknown goal.
Anupriya decides to do something big to remove Riddhima from Vansh’s life.
Vansh and Riddhima have a dance together at a party.
That is it for today guys. Hope you liked it. If you did, do not forget to comment. Also, I’m really sorry that I couldn’t reply individually to all your comments, but trust me I loved them all. Question for you : Do you think that this is all Vansh’s plan, or is he really falling for Riddhima?