For those of you who have missed the 1st chapter, here is the link.
“Ishaan! Ishaan! Are you even listening to me? This is almost for the hundredth time that I am calling you, and yet here you are, stuck up in this stupid game of yours,” growled Riddhima. “Ishaan?” She called him out again but yet he didn’t budge a bit. She came and stood in front of him thinking at least that would bring his attention to her, but no, his eyes were still fixated down upon his phone. That’s when she snatched the phone away from his hands. “What the hell?” cried out Ishaan. “How dare you do this?” “Of course, I can. Don’t forget I’m older to you, so yes I definitely can,” said Riddhima matter-of-factly. Ishaan accepted his defeat, afterall it was almost impossible to win an argument against his bossy sister.
“What were you calling me for?” “I need you to get down that box for me,” she said pointing to the box on the top of the cupboard. “It has all the party decorations that I need for arranging the special birthday surprise for Papa.” “So why can’t you do it yourself?” “Because I’m too short to reach so high up,” said Riddhima making a face. Ishaan giggled. He wanted to tease her more about her height, but refrained himself from doing so thinking she might give him a nice hitting in return. At 15 years of age, he stood tall at 6 feet. Riddhima always felt envious of his height, while he felt envious of her academic performance. She was a topper, while he struggled with scoring a little above average. But inspite of the differences between them, the truth was that they both loved each other dearly. He knew that if time ever arose, Riddhima could even lay her life down for him. And as for him, he would do the same.
Handing over the box to her, he asked her about how she was going to get about her surprise plan. Riddhima excitedly started discussing about her plans. “We’ll decorate the whole living room beautifully. I’ll wrap up the gifts while you’ll be making birthday cards. At exact 12 am, Papa will cut the cake, that will be specially baked by me.” At the mention of cake, Ishaan facepalmed. Riddhima was not a very good cook, and he still could not forget how bad her noodles had tasted just a few days. He hoped nothing would go wrong this time.
When Sushant returned from work later that evening, he observed a hush-hush atmosphere at home. Dinner was served quickly, after which he was asked to retire to his bedroom immediately. He smiled quietly to himself as he understood that they were planning a surprise for him. Like an obedient child, he listened to all their commands and left for his room, so that the kids could carry out the preparations outside. As he was busy scrolling through his phone, Sunidhi came up to him. “Today we met Gayatri Bua,” she said softly. Sushant looked up at her surprised, after which she narrated the entire story of how they met her and got her to come to their house. “Well, what can I say then,” remarked Sushant. “I’m happy that you guys met.” “Yes,” she said. “Bua is happy too. So much so that she wants us to attend Vansh’s party tomorrow.” She waited for him to say something but when he didn’t, she continued. “This party is in honour of Vansh’s new successful venture. It is at Golden Tulip Hotel. Bua has asked us to bring the kids along as well.”
“You know its not possible, Sunidhi. Don’t you remember that we are supposed to meet Tripti and Dinesh with our respective families at Waves Mall tomorrow evening?”
“Of course Sushant, I haven’t forgotten anything. Just like how I haven’t forgotten how both Tripti and Dinesh, your own siblings, had backstabbed you and grabbed our mansion from us by mere cheat. I haven’t forgotten, and nor will I ever forget.”
“Just stop it Sunidhi,” said Sushant angrily. “They are my siblings. I know they have done wrong things in the past, but I don’t like dwelling in the past. Moreover they are really sorry for they have done and want to patch up with us. I’ve already forgiven them and expect you also to behave cordially with them when we meet them up tomorrow.”
He continued, “I’ll call up Gayatri Bua now itself and inform her that we won’t be able to come tomorrow.” “Wait,” shouted Sunidhi catching him by his arm. “Before you call her up, there’s something else I need to tell you.” “What?” asked Sushant impatiently. Sunidhi took a deep breath. “Bua has asked for Riddhima’s hand in marriage for Vansh.”
An awkward silence lasted between them for two minutes. Sushant was shocked beyond words. He literally didn’t know how to process this information. He had had the opportunity to get to know Vansh very closely few years back when Vansh as a young lad had lost his father in an accident, and needed Sushant’s help to launch his own business. He knew that Vansh was an intelligent and hardworking man who loved his family dearly. But he also found him to be really unpredictable and moody. Plus, Vansh and Riddhima were poles apart and had very different temperaments.
“How can you even think of this Sunidhi?” He blurted out looking visibly unhappy. “Why not?” asked Sunidhi. “You know how smart and talented our Riddhima is. She too deserves a partner who is atleast as intelligent and able as her, if not more. Plus…..”
“Look at the age difference between them, its just too much. And our Riddhima hasn’t even entered graduation and you want to get her married! A very juvenile idea indeed!”
“Don’t worry about Riddhima’s education. I’ve already spoken about that to Bua, and she has assured me that they are ready to wait until Riddhima’s MBBS gets over. Until then, we can just fix up their alliance or at the most get them engaged.”
Sunidhi takes a breath before continuing, “As far as the age gap between them is considered, I think we can overlook this one flaw for the other good things. Plus,” she takes a pause before starting off again. “You should be the one who should be the happiest with this arrangement. Considering how you are eagerly waiting to get your freedom from our relation as soon as possible.”
Sushant looked on for sometime quietly. “Yes, it is true that I want to get rid of this marriage. But not at the cost of my children.”
“But hadn’t we decided to allow our children to get settled in their respective lives before we get separated? Plus I really want Riddhima to get married before she comes to know the truth about our relation. If we fix her alliance with Vansh, then we can get her married to him immediately after her studies get completed, without having to wait any further.”
“But will Riddhima agree to this alliance, especially now when her primary focus is her career?” Sudhir asked getting doubtful. “Yes, and that is why Bua wanted us to come to the party so that both Riddhima and Vansh would get the chance to get to know each other, and who knows they might even start liking each other?” Sunidhi continued, “Don’t worry, the final decision would be Riddhima’s only and nobody would pressurise her.”
A few kilometres away from Mumbai’s coastline, right in the Arabian Sea, a lone yatch was sailing peacefully. The only people aboard the yatch included its owner, Vansh Raisinghania, and one of his fellowmates. Little did they know, that they were being followed stealthily by a lone snorkeler. He was in fact an enemy, who was waiting for the right time to climb aboard and kill Vansh. He laughed in his mind, thinking about the well hatched plan he and his boss had made. Vansh had no idea that the person accompanying him on his leisure ride was actually a traitor, who was also involved in this murderous plan.
But now the snorkeler was getting worried. It was high time that his teammate on the yatch gave him some kind of signal or atleast helped him climb upon the yatch. He had been swimming for more than half an hour, and he was growing tired and anxious. All of a sudden through the corner of his eye, he spots a giant shark approaching him. He feels a chill run down his spine. He decides to steer away from the shark’s sight and swim in the opposite direction, but all his efforts to distract the shark from following him seemed futile. Just then, as if miraculously, a rope ladder is thrown towards him from the yatch itself. He becomes happy thinking this is done by his teammate. He is able to get away from the shark and quickly climb the ladder. Once aboard the yatch, he gets the shock of his life to see his teammate lying lifeless in a pool of blood, and the Vansh Raisinghania standing in front of him smiling menacingly.
“Stop looking at your teammate, man,” spoke Vansh. “He has been dead for quite sometime. I was the one who saved you from that shark. But my dear friend,” he said while looking right into his eyes and pointing towards himself, “who will save you from THIS shark?”
Precap : Riddhima’s parents cannot be found. She worriedly tries to ask other people about them, but no one has seen them.