Monday, 30 January 2017

part 28 : Arrange Marriage - Backseat to dreams or the Driving seat

Ridhima was standing on the other side of the door of her di’s room when she heard her di shouting. Thinking it might be some personal husband wife stuff ridhima was about to go away from there but call of her name gain her attention causing her to stop right out there eavesdropping on their conversation.

Unknown of the presence of one more person other than them keerti Shubhankar keep talking or rather fighting. “Are you happy now to see you brother in this condition Shubhankar. Are you happy to see him distant from everyone building a shell around himself not letting anyone near him.” Keerti accused him but all he said gain him more accusation looks from keerti “I have nothing to do with this. He will be fine” shocked by his ignoring attitude towards his own brother keerti spoke up “Have you seen his mental stability Shubhankar. Have you seen he have lost his stability to much extend all thanks to all of you people. He is on verge to be mad” she blasted on him. Getting frustrated with all the accusation and his own guilt he said “He haven’t went mad na.!! He is sane still then why the hell you are making so much issue out of this” keerti was too much in shock to that her legs give up and she fall on the bed in sitting position with thud “I can’t believe you are same Shubhankar I meet with before getting married, the one who have nothing in his life as important as his little baby brother Armaan was. Are you the same person who keep talking about your brother even on your meetings to me because whom I am seeing right now seems to be heartless to me?” Shubhankar didn’t paid attention towards keerti’s talk ignoring her he moved to pick his court from couch lying in room “I am getting late all because of your useless talks, I am going for meeting will be late.”

Ridhima heard her jiju’s words from start till he said he is going, hearing him ridhima moved away from the door not wanting to show she heard it all. Shubhankar left from there but Ridhima keep standing there only in hidden place behind curtains for few minutes. Getting herself settled Keerti came out to go down to do some work when she notices ridhima moving with baby step lost in her thoughts. Reaching up to her she asked “Ridhi what happen to you. Where are you lost? Are you okay. Any problem?” but ridhima shake her head before hugging her dearly keerti was left confused but without giving it much attention she too hugged her back. Both sister felt somewhat peaceful in each other’s embrace. Ridhima parted from her giving a fake smile to her di while keerti caress her face with her palm looking at her like a mother look at her child. Both of them didn’t spoke a single word ridhima didn’t knew how to say anything to her di while keerti was in dilemma of what to say as she already knew but that’s unknown to ridhima so she didn’t want to make it awkward wanting ridhima to come up to her speaking her heart out on her own. With silent emotion exchange both moved towards their own ways ridhima moved to her room and keerti moved to do some work.

As soon as ridhima reached her room she saw her Jiju standing on his knew on the floor near where armaan was resting. He was caressing his face with so much care that it might not hurt or wake him up. She tried to look at her jiju’s face but his side back was towards door showing his face just a bit. But she noticed tear dropping from his eyes.

She moved near them without making her presence felt to Shubhankar who was speaking his mind out while crying “I am sorry armaan. Please forgive your bad brother. Please armaan. Whatever I spoke few seconds back was like I was saying it with death welcoming me. I was some road side boy when papa took me in. it was not just him but you to treated me as your own brother, you have so much love for me that even real brothers didn’t have. I know I promised you I will be there with you whenever you will need me, what if ansh wasn’t there I will be there always but I broke my promise. You brought me into you priorities list doing so much for me but I failed you armaan. I failed my baby brother. I failed you today. I am sorry armaan. Armaan I knew if you would have been my place you would have find ways to save everyone but your this brother was so weak that I could save just one. I saved maa but I wasn’t able to save you. I am sorry armaan” Shubhankar was crying, caressing armaan’s face with love. Taking his guilt out when he heard gasp from behind.

He turn back to see ridhima standing there with shock face. Shubhankar was surprise to see her there and the look on her face suggested him that she have heard it all. Getting up from earlier position Shubhankar reached up to ridhima. He kept his one hand on ridhima’s shoulder calling her out as she was looking in space “Ridhima” but all he got to hear in response was a whisper in questioning hint “Maa..!”

Shubhankar just nodded his head giving her his agreement over her obvious thought that would be making their way in her mind with the way her whisper called for Nandani Maa. Ridhima looked up at her jiju’s face “How jiju. How and when. Why Maa.”

“I don’t know ridhima. I don’t know how but I know why and when only.” Her replied to her to gain another question “When and why” ridhima asked him with the fear worry and desperate look on her face. “The day I was going to apply for visa after a week of every event that take place with you both. I was going when I got a call from papa calling me back for some reason without applying for it. While I was on my way to return back home I stopped at signal when someone open the backseat door sitting in he pointed a gun at me asking me to drive somewhere in lonely area where no one can see us. As soon as I parked there he left dropping a package in the car, I opened it to see the proof against armaan being behind all this. I was about to destroy them when I got a call that they were the duplicate copies to warn me not to make any arrangement to help armaan in anyway. I don’t wanted to believe them so I tried secretly to help but they got to know somehow and they planned a accident for Maa. Somehow she was saved without getting suspicious of anything but I have to drop every effort I was making as I don’t wanted to lose Maa once again. She was the only one who gave me so much love a child what from his mother even when I was not their own blood. I knew armaan to would wanted me to say maa before doing anything. Isn’t it…?”

He looked at ridhima with guilty pleading eyes to tell him he did it right while saving maa. To tell me he wasn’t that selfish person. He wanted a confirmation of his deed in past was justified or not.  Ridhima have nothing to say to him she herself was shocked to respond to anything. Shubhankar called her out again to know what she thought of him but all he gain was a blank look from ridhima seeing which he lost hope. Turning around to leave the room he saw nandani standing on the door. He tried to act normal predicting himself that she haven’t heard them but when a tear appear in her eyes with arms moving up in air as if calling him in for hug he couldn’t control himself. Moving with large steps Shubhankar just hugged his Maa and cried his heart out taking out all the pain he was holding within him from so long along with guilt. Nandani keep soothing him caressing his hairs while he didn’t left her. “Why didn’t you tell any of us about it Shubhankar? Why you keep bearing the pain within yourself without spilling it out. Why”

While crying he spoke with cracking voice he explain her his deed “They told not to maa. They aimed… aimed you Maa. I can’t…. can’t lose you maa. You… you are everything maa. You gave me all the love a moth... mother gives to her child… you gave me that love even… even when I wasn’t your blood” nandani parted him from her to see the scared expression clouding on his face “Who said you are not my blood… Is there a relation of blood only… you are as mush part of me and our family as much armaan is. Never say that again else I will slap you without looking that you have grown up to be a man not a child anymore.”

Shubhankar cried more to hear his maa chiding him for considering himself adopted but not chiding him for not helping armaan or saving armaan ridhima. “I love you Maa. I love you so Much, I can’t imagine to lose you” he confessed looking at her face before hugging her back. Ridhima was standing there and seeing all this without saying any word in between.

Ridhima just without speaking moved towards armaan sitting beside him she caressed his hairs moving them back from his forehead. She was staring at his face not know what was happening with their family and how should she be reacting to it. Thought it was all the past now but this past surly left a great impact on all of them. She isn’t in state to say or do anything, she have suffered too she also meant to be in her own pain she can’t be strong for everyone.

On the other side when keerti moved down stairs to do some work she heard as if someone is sniffing thinking it might be because of cold she keep doing her work but when the sound reach her ears without break make her think again if it was really from cold or someone is crying. With the different thoughts coming in her mind she made her way in the direction of the sound, following which she reached nandani’s room. She tried to know the door but it fell open she moved in to see darkness in the room, she was about to return back to her work not getting anyone in darkness even the sound came to halt for a second. But as she turn to go she saw a figure standing near window keeping a finger on the switch she press on the lights to lighten up the room to find karan standing there. Even with the change in surrounding karan didn’t make any efforts to look back to see who came in which seems a bit odd to keerti making her walk up to him.  Reaching up to him keerti called him but he didn’t turned neither he spoke up least wanting to be betrayed by his own emotions and voice.

Keerti moved little more standing beside him she saw him wiping the side of his eyes she was dumb found at his action. Putting a hand on his shoulder she lightly pulled his shoulder trying to make him turn towards her simultaneously with her call “papa” karan turn around wiping his other eye too faking a smile. But the trace of dry tear line on his face give away his little secret. “Papa you were crying” with these words out of her mouth she grasp.

“What happen papa why were you crying papa” karan looked at her still faking his smile unknown to the fact of the tear’s left behind trace “Do I look like I will cry. I was not crying I pulled the curtain a side when something fell in my eyes bringing water. I wasn’t crying and what will a cry for” not wanting to beat around the bush keerti straight forwardly said to karan “Seeing your children suffering” these words as soon as travel from karan’s brain made his brain flow a signal towards his eyes muscles to tear up which was instantly obeyed by them and water leaked from his eyes. He tried to look away from keerti but wasn’t able to as she hold his shoulder “Why you too never moved or did anything to help armaan ridhima papa. I never asked you this question but today I can’t hold it anymore. Tell me papa… he is your own son even then you let them suffer not taking efforts in helping him. How can you do this papa to you own son, leave ridhima she was all new to this family but armaan. You loved him so much then how could you leave him on his own when he needed his family the most. The time he needed you the most to support him to help him out at that time you settle back not wanting to help them. And even you said rather I say warn us not to take his name even in the house. Why papa... Why you did this to him to ridhima. To us and even to yourself. Tell me papa”

Karan turn away from her not wanting to look in here face being guilt ridden. But keerti came facing him once again wanting all her question to be answered today. “Please papa tell me why you did like all that. Why” he turned once again and keerti moved to face him once again and this time catching hold of his hand she put it on her own head “Please papa say it today please… you have my swear please.”

With this act of keerti karan was left with no option but to spoke up the truth “For you” keerti was confused with his words “Me” karan just gave his nod on keerti’s repeat. “How and why” she questioned him “You remember the day I asked Shubhankar to go and apply for the visa so that I can go there to help armaan ridhima. That day I came home saying not that no one will take armaan’s name in the house and now onwards it will be Shubhankar only as my son” she gave a nod to him looking at which he continued. “That day I got a call from some private number saying not to find ridhima or help armaan with any means. And If I keep trying then they will kill you making it look a natural death that they you were in mall in day time for which I received a clip where you were having a shopping time with nandani. They aimed at you”

“Still you should have tried papa. How can you gave up just like that papa he was your son and I…” her words got stuck in her mouth only as karan spoke “I am aware he is my son but I am also very much aware of this that you are my daughter. I can’t put my daughter’s life at stake to save my son, I can’t do an exchange offer on my children’s life anyway.” He confessed his mind and pain in front of keerti “But why papa. I am wife of your that son who doesn’t have the decency to look after his brother he don’t care for anyone still you choose his wife to save then your own son. You said not to apply you have reason but he gave up on just one word from you as if he have no relation to armaan. Why papa” keerti was accusing Shubhankar for his words that he spoked to her in their room tell karan about his deed.

“He wasn’t ignorant to armaan ridhima, keerti. He was constantly trying too. He loved armaan as his own little son, may be more than me and nandani it’s Shubhankar who loved armaan. He was the one with whom armaan came back from his depression when we lost Ansh. Shubhankar was the one who hold armaan back then bringing him back to life made him what he was, it was him that armaan have grown up in such gentle person he is. Keerti sometime we hide number of things from the house people just to see them smile and living if not happily at-least a bit peacefully and the person holding only something unshared to his family keep breaking within oneself while fighting with himself constantly within with guilt, pressure of surrounding not knowing what one can do. So was Shubhankar keerti so was he doing.” He paused giving a look to her he saw he in confused yet blank look on face staring at him wanting him to continue.

“Just like me he too received the threat beta. I was breaking within just like me but I wasn’t able to do something in that matter that’s what made him so rude, aloof, irritated soul that he is now a days. I don’t know how and when he receive the threat all I know is that I got one. One day he left a meeting room in middle first I was confused why as he wasn’t like that to leave in middle of anything but then when I replay the last few moments than I figure out that it was mention of armaan’s name that made him to get up and leave. I excused from meeting and followed him to his cabin but I found him missing I was about to move back to meeting when the restroom attached played some sound from inside. I eavesdrop to hear his Remorse. Later I tried to figure it out but by coincident I received his mobile bill on my desk instead of mine I go through detail to see the same private calls, that made a clear picture but I didn’t confronted him as they were keeping an eye on us and they have earlier warned us not to say to anyone. So we both keep shut within ourselves. So to keep him busy I made him work double so he can have his mind set on something else, which helped a bit”


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