CHAPTER 25: Friends among rivals
(Day after Ishu and Om found the number from Tia’s contact information)
Om and Ishana were sitting in the Om’s art gallery waiting for Dushyant Rana…. After many discussions turned into arguments the previous day, they had come to the decision of talking to Dushyant about the matter…. Ishana was not at all convinced to take any favors because of Om’s acquaintance with the Ranas…. So after a lot of convincing from Om that Dushyant would be the best person to talk to considering the bitter relation between Shivaay and Siddharth…. Ishana had agreed only after Om had promised that this would be the last time he will be using his power in solving the case….
Om had noticed the change in Ishana’s behavior since the morning…. She had not spoken a word with him throughout their journey from her house to the gallery…. Om had initiated a few conversations but had only received silence from her end…. Om had understood that he had to persuade her lot to make her talk to him again…. He did not know why but her talking to him seemed more important to him than anything at that moment…. He was determined to make her understand that she was right but he was not completely wrong….
Om was brought out of his thoughts by Dushyant’s arrival…. He walked up to them and took the seat opposite to Om…. Both Om and Ishana could understand that something was wrong with him…. He was looking different…. Pale face, swollen eyes, messy hair, improper clothes…. Om and Ishana looked at each other seeing Dushyant’s state…. They could clearly feel that something had happened that he was in this state sitting in front of them….
Dushyant: Om, you said you wanted to talk about something important, what is it?
Shivaay and Siddharth had become rivals even before entering the business world owing to the old rivalry between Oberois and Ranas…. Dushyant and Om’s relation was different…. They had met on several occasions and had developed a good bond…. Even though they were not best of friends but friends enough to help each other in their hour of need….
Omkara: Dushyant, are you not keeping well? You look like you….
Dushyant: Look like what Om, broken? Devastated?
Dushyant let out a small laugh…. Om and Ishana did not understand the meaning behind his words…. They looked at each other confused…. Dushyant was lost in his own world….
Ishana: Mr. Rana, if you are not well, we can talk some time later. You should take rest.
Dushyant: Rest, what will rest do, it won’t bring back what I have lost, it won’t bring back my happiness, it won’t change anything, it won’t.
Omkara: Dushyant, we do not understand anything, what are you talking about? What has happened that you have turned yourself into this?
Dushyant: What do I tell you Om, and even if I tell you, will you be able to understand what I am going through?
Omkara: Then I guess you have to tell me to find out; I cannot understand and help you if you do not tell me what the matter is?
Dushyant: I lost my wife few days ago, I lost my reason to live, and my world came crashing down with her going away from me, forever. I have nothing to look up to now, no one to care for, and no one to share my pain with me.
Om and Ishana were shocked hearing him…. As far as they had known Dushyant was not married to anyone…. Ranas had only one daughter-in-law, and that is Mallika Rana, wife of Siddharth Rana…. Dushyant being married and his wife passing away were matters completely unknown to the world….
Omkara: What are you saying Dushyant? Wife, when did you get married and to whom?
Dushyant looked at Om and passed a faint smile…. What was he going to tell Om…. What will he say that his brother’s fiancée was his wife…. The would be daughter-in-law of the Oberois was the daughter-in-law of the Ranas….
Dushyant: Never had I thought that I would tell you the truth like this.
Omkara: Tell me, who was your wife and how did she die?
Dushyant: Tia, Tia Kapoor, your brother Shivaay’s late fiancée is my late wife.
Shock would have been and understatement to what Om and Ishana were going through…. They both looked at each other…. They could see the same shock on each other’s face….
Om could not believe what he had heard…. He had known both Tia and Dushyant for many years…. Never had he thought that he would ever hear something like this…. Tia, the girl who was so excited to get married to his brother Shivaay was already married to his friend Dushyant…. Never had he felt that Tia was not hiding anything from them…. Never had Dushyant told him anything about Tia and him…. Never had he thought that the person staying with them was cheating upon his brother and family…. Tia was so happy with the alliance, so was all that…. A lie…. A deception…. Was everything that Tia was showing fake….
Ishana looked at Om and she could understand what was going on in his mind…. Tia was going to get married to his brother and now after her murder, they had found out that she was already married…. She kept her hand on Om’s hand and he looked at her…. He could understand that she was trying to calm his mind that had many questions…. He tightened the hold of their hands…. Ishana signed him to calm down and talk to Dushyant…. She also had many questions in her mind but knew that this was not the time for that…. They had to first know the entire situation and then come to a conclusion….
Ishana: Mr. Rana, I know that I don’t have the right to ask about your personal life, but still, will you tell us everything, as in everything?
Dushyant: After all that has happened, I think I owe this to our friendship Om. I’ll tell you everything and I am sure you’ll handle the matter wisely.
Dushyant looked at them and took a deep breath and began narrating….
Tia and Dushyant had met in London around three years ago when she had gone to attend her college reunion…. Shivaay was busy with some business deal so he couldn’t go…. Tia and Dushyant met their several times during their stay and instantly liked each other’s company…. They were in touch even after coming back to India…. With time they fell in love with each other…. Two years ago Dushyant proposed to Tia and she was more than happy to accept his proposal…. Romi was the first one to know about their relation…. Everything was going well until the day when Mrs. Kapoor told Tia about Shivaay’s alliance…. Tia rejected the alliance and told her mom about Dushyant…. Mrs. Kapoor rejected her relation with Dushyant as she could not lose the deal with the Oberois…. Mrs. Kapoor also warned Tia that if she did not break her relation with Dushyant, she would get Dushyant killed…. Being worried for Dushyant Tia agreed to marry Shivaay and break her relation with Dushyant…. However Dushyant was adamant and did not agree to Tia’s decision…. After Shivaay and Tia’s engagement Dushyant came up with the idea of secret marriage…. He asked Tia to get married to him in secret and then marry Shivaay according to her mother’s wish…. After the deal is done for the Oberois and Kapoors, Tia and Dushyant would reveal everything to Shivaay…. Tia agreed to the plan and they got married in secret….
Dushyant: And before we could reveal anything to Shivaay, all this happened and Tia left us forever.
Omkara: Only if Tia had revealed everything to Shivaay earlier, maybe things would have been different.
Ishana: Some things are not in our control; life has her own plans to make certain things happen.
Dushyant: Om, I am really sorry that I could never tell you the truth. I am really sorry.
Omkara: It is okay Dushyant; I can understand that it was not easy for you to tell the truth.
After talking for some more time Dushyant left from there…. Ishana and Om also learnt that it was Dushyant who was using the number from Rana Group of Companies with whom Tia was in constant touch…. They were again back to square one, with no clue leading to Tia’s killer….
Ishana looked at Om and saw him lost in his thoughts….
Ishana: Om, I know this is a lot to take in, but you have to compose yourself, for your family.
Omkara: How will everyone react when they’ll get to know the truth? I know Shivaay was never in love with Tia, but still he’ll feel betrayed and then he would make everything about revenge from both Kapoors and Ranas.
Ishana: Then we have to keep this a secret at least till the time the case is not solved. I don’t think we want more problems for your family.
Omkara: You are right; we cannot afford any other mess. This case is enough.
Ishana: Om, I think you should go home; this is more than enough for a day. You need some peace of mind.
Om looked at her and she gave a smile…. Ishana got up to leave but Om held her hand…. She looked at him surprised….
Omkara: Will you stay with me for some time, please?
Ishana could see that he needed someone with him…. She gave a slight nod and sat beside him…. Om put his head on her shoulder and closed his eyes…. Ishana was hesitant at first but seeing Om closing his eyes, she thought to stay calm…. She had forgotten that she was upset with him…. At the moment, being with him felt like the most important thing to her…. Om did not understand why but her being with him gave him peace…. The peace he had been longing for from the past few years….
Hello everyone, I hope you all are doing well.
I have been super busy last few days and would be for the coming month. Since I have written few chapters in advance, thought to post this update for all my dear friends and loyal readers.
I know all are excited for Shivika and Shivaay meeting Sid, and I promise you’ll get it in the next update.
Keep reading and smiling!!!
Take care and stay safe!!!