Friday, 13 July 2018

part 40 : Pehchan

It is an old maxim of mine that when you have excluded the impossible,

 whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth.

-Sherlock Holmes


She came to some conclusions-

 -the nurse did not have good intentions

-she was trying to overdose him on pain medication

-overdose with pain medications could kill someone like it happened with Michael Jackson!

-that someone was after Armaan's life


The very thought left her in a cold sweat. She started at Armaan's unconscious body, aghast that someone was still planning to hurt him when he was helpless and badly wounded.

"I need to complain about Sister Lovely," she picked the phone and asked the receptionist to page Dr. Pathak as soon as possible.

Dr. Pathak and the nurse manager were at Armaan's bedside within minutes. Both were amused by Riddhima's narration of events. Dr. Pathak checked Armaan out and reassured Riddhima, "he is just fine…no need to worry Mrs. Malik. I think this incident has affected you quite a bit. Why don't you try and get some rest?"

"Do you not believe me?" She was baffled by the incredulous looks on their face.

"Well…Mrs. Malik, Sister lovely is not on duty right now. She left at 10 pm last night," the nurse manager stated, "I am pretty sure, there has been a mistake. I understand you have gone through a traumatic experience; your husband is still unconscious…it must be all hard for you. Aisi halat mein kabhie kabhie dimaag theek kaam nahin karta hai…ajeeb sapne bhi aate hain….I am sorry Mrs. Malik."

"I DISAGREE!" Riddhima felt slighted, "I am pretty sure, Sister lovely came in a few minutes ago with the intention of hurting Armaan. I was not dreaming. If you want you can check my husband's monitor readings….when she was here, the monitor beeped several times….then you will know I was not imagining this."

"That won't be necessary!" The young, but overworked neurosurgeon said irately, "Mrs. Malik, I can arrange for a Psychiatrist if you want. He can prescribe some sleeping pills for you. I think you just need some rest. Your hubby is just dandy….don't worry about him. Our nurses will attend to him closely and make sure he is well taken care of."

"Dr. Pathak!" Riddhima was almost in tears, "Please believe me….someone in this hospital is conspiring to kill Armaan. The bullet might have failed, but the culprit has not….please believe me….even Dr Jiya saw Sister Lovely before she left."

"Who is Dr Jiya?" The doctor sounded exasperated.

"Sir, Dr Jiya is the patient's sister in law. She used to work here a few years ago." The nurse informed him.

"So, do you want me to talk to a doctor who is not even employed here?" Dr Pathak shrugged his shoulders.

"Never mind doctor," she sensed his irritation, "I will talk to her myself."

"Ok, Mrs. Malik," the doctor sighed and tried to pacify Riddhima's concerns, "I will call the police…they will arrange for extra security for your room…and you can report this incident to them. I have full confidence in my staff. No staff member would want to hurt your husband."

Riddhima was left behind with Armaan and another nurse, while Dr. Pathak and the nurse manager walked away, shaking their heads at another 'demanding celebrity spouse.'

The hospital security personnel and another local policeman came and asked routine questions. To Riddhima's chagrin, Yuvraaj was in Ranikhet and not available on phone either.

"Yuvraaj sir abhi off duty hain madam….bataaiye, kya report likhwaani hai?" A disinterested police took out his note pad.

A few minutes later, another sleepy doctor walked in- the Psychiatrist on call from the hospital. He promptly made a diagnosis of 'post traumatic stress disorder,' wrote down some prescriptions for Riddhima, 'aap yeh dawa din mein teen baar lena Mrs. Malik….you will feel a lot better in a few days."

"Thanks!" Riddhima replied curtly and swallowed her tears. She had never felt so lonely and helpless in her life. Even that night when Armaan had asked her to leave his house, she had not felt so abandoned. Yes, the hospital had saved Armaan's life, but their unwillingness to pay heed to her concerns was disappointing.

Besides herself and her faith in her love, there was no one she could rely on at that moment.

No one was ready to believe her story; she threw the Psychiatrist's prescription in trash and stayed up, vigilant and watchful at Armaan's bedside. The nurses on duty frequented Armaan's bedside to check on him, but not without explaining what they were doing or medications they were giving him. She didn't care if they had all labeled her as a 'difficult spouse, very demanding, a pain in the b**t or a complete deewani." There was no way she could take any chances at this point.

"Armaan, yahan sab mujhey deewani samajhte hain….pagal samajhte hain," she held Armaan's hand and complained, "lekin main jaanti hoon mera pyaar aur vishwaas sachcha hai….aur is pyaar ki raksha ke liye main kuch bhi ban ne ko tayyar hoon….pagal….deewani…kuch bhi."

'teri deewani' by kailash kher

Original video:

AR VM by Dhrashti

preet ki lath mohe aaisi laagi
ho gayi main matwaali
bal bal jaaun apane piya ko
he main jaaun vaari vaari
mohe sudh budh naa rahi tan mann ki
yeh toh jaane duniya saari
bebas aur laachar phiru main
haari main dil haari - 2

tere naam se jee loon - 2
tere naam se marr jaaun - 2
teri jaan ke sadke mein kuchh aaisa kar jaaun
tune kya kar dala marr gayi main mitt gayi main
ho ri ha ri ho gayi main
teri deewani deewani- 2
tune kya kar dala marr gayi main mitt gayi main
ho gee ha gee ho gayi main
teri deewani deewani - 2

ishq junoon jab hadh se badh jaaye - 2
haste haste aashiq suli chadh jaaye
ishq ka jaadu sara chadha kara bole - 2
khoob laga lo pehre raste rab khole
yahi ishq di marzi hain
yahi rab di marzi hain
yahi ishq di marzi hain
yahi rab di marzi hain
tere bin jeena kaisa
haan khudgarzi hai
tune kya kar dala marr gayi main mitt gayi main
ho ri ha ri ho gayi main
teri deewani deewani - 4

oh ho oh hoohhhh...

he main rang rangeeli deewani - 2
ke main albeli main mastani
gaaun bajaaun sabko rijhaaun
he main deen dhram se begaani
ke main deewani main deewani
tere naam se jee loon tere naam se marr jaaun
tere jaan ke sadle mein kuchh aaisa kar jaaun
tune kya kar dala marr gayi main mitt gayi main
ho ri ha ri ho gayi main
teri deewani deewani
teri deewani deewani
teri deewani deewani
teri deewani deewani...

She couldn't wait to confront Jiya in the morning. As she tried to put the pieces of the puzzle together, her trust and faith in Jiya hit a major speed bump. Jiya, the mysterious woman that she was, knew too much about Riddhima, was overly friendly and way too understanding. Why had she kept her connections with Aashirwaad a secret from her in laws? Hopefully, Yuvraaj could shed some light into Jiya's past. As soon as Yuvraaj would get there, she would notify him all about Sister Lovely, Jiya and their camaraderie!

 Now that Riddhima knew that Armaan was the target, she felt bad about blaming Shashank for the attempted murder. Even if Shashank had a grudge against her, she knew he adored Armaan, and would never want to kill his own flesh and blood.



Padma and Shashank were the first ones to arrive in the morning. Padma brought some breakfast and hot tea for Riddhima. Riddhima's relief had no bounds as she hugged and cried on Padma's shoulder.

 Even though, Shashank and Padma had stayed away from the hospital, they had spent the last few hours arguing, talking and conjecturing. Shashank had apologized for his insensitive remarks about Padma not being related to Armaan by blood. He had even confided that he had tried to blame Riddhima for Armaan's accident. When Padma had lashed out at him for being such a selfish and egocentric person- and that she wanted to walk out on him forever- he had fallen on his knees and begged for forgiveness. At that moment, he confessed to keeping Armaan and Riddhima away from each other by asking Riddhima to leave them all forever. Padma was sickened when she found out how Shashank had kept Riddhima's visit to Mumbai a secret.

"Shashank, ab bhalai isi mein hai ki tum Riddhima ko poori tarah accept kar lo. Hum sab chaahte hain ki Armaan jald se jald theek ho jaaye…aur wo zindagi bhar khush rahe. Hamari khushi Armaan mein hai, aur Armaan ki khushi sirf Riddhima ke saath hai. Agar tum apna beta paana chaahte ho, tho Riddhima ko bhi apnana padhega."

As always had been the case with Shashank, Padma's words had lit a light bulb in his egomaniacal mind, "you are right Padma. I should have never tried to separate them."

Riddhima narrated the events from the night to Padma. Shashank listened in to their conversation and felt guilty about accusing Riddhima for the attack on Armaan. If it were not for Riddhima's astute presence, he would have lost his son for sure.

To Riddhima's surprise, he placed a soft hand on her shoulder, "I am proud of you beta. Tumne sach much bahaduri dikhai aur hamare bte ki zindagi bacha li. Tumhara pyaar sachcha hai. I know you both love each other. I hope you can forgive me for keeping you both apart for the last one year."

Riddhima was flabbergasted by Shashank's U-turn. She glanced back and forth between the woman she respected like her mother and the man she had lost all respect for , "a-aap mere saath mazaak tho nahin kar rahe hai na?"

"I know I have been very selfish and self centered beta…lekin Padma theek kehti hai, ab hum sab ko ek hona hai…Armaan ki khatir….after all he is dear to all of us," Shashank choked with emotions, "we know Armaan's happiness resides with you beta. Jaanta  hoon Armaan ko jab pata chalega, wo mujhey kabhie maaf nahin karega…I- I hope you can forgive me beta."

Riddhima couldn't hold her tears, "Armaan ka dil bahut badha hai Mr. Modi," she sniffed, "wo apno se zyaada din naraaz nahin reh sakta."

"Dad! Please call me dad or daddyji as you used to address me. Tumhare mooh se Mr. Modi bahut formal lagta hai," Shashank placed his hand on Riddhima's head, "beta…we are all going to face this crisis together…as a family."

Riddhima gave him an appreciative nod.

To their relief, Yuvraaj and his sub inspector joined them in the room.

"Hi Riddhima! How's Armaan now?" Yuvraaj asked as he walked in. He looked tired and worn out himself.

"Thank God you are here," Riddhima was happy to see her friend, "Armaan is fine…I think he likes having all his family around him," Riddhima smiled at Armaan, "that's why he has been sleeping peacefully. The doctors are happy with his progress."

Yuvraaj nodded with a smile. "Great! So, I heard there was an incident last night?"

Riddhima narrated the Sister Lovely episode in detail. Yuvraaj looked worried and wrote down Sister Lovely's name. "So, the culprits were really after Armaan then? I will have to track this lady down…something is fishy here."

"I am glad you believe me Yuvraaj." Riddhima heaved a sigh of relief, "warna hospital waale tho mujhey pagal samajh rahe the."

"Riddhima…har pyaar karne waale ko duniya ne hamesha pagal hi samjha hai," he smiled wryly, "waise I have some good news…..we found the gun used by the gunman!"

"REALLY?" Everyone exclaimed, "kahan?"

"It had been abandoned in the bushes near the orphanage by the culprit." Yuvraaj shook his head, "not a very smart gunman in my opinion….unless of course, someone intervened and took the gunman away….maybe there was a struggle between the gunman and his boss……kuch bhi ho sakta hai."

Riddhima was elated with the news, "you won't believe it Yuvraaj!" She walked to the drawer and pulled her bag of dirty clothes, "here…here is the bullet!" She recounted how she had stumbled upon the bullet in her clothes.

Yuvraaj's eyes were dancing victoriously, "wow…what a coincidence? Now we can nail the culprit for sure. Ramdev…send this bullet," he placed it in a plastic bag, "to forensics and have them match it to the gun we found….and then we have to find who this gun is licensed to."

Riddhima, Padma and Shashank were thankful for the recent revelations; hopefully they were close to nabbing the culprit now.

"Yuvraaj….kal raat Jiya had introduced us to Sister Lovely," Riddhima hesitated, "I know Jiya is your childhood friend….lekin kya wo? I mean, do you think she could be a part of this conspiracy?"

Yuvraaj's face stiffened, "I'd rather not comment on that…Jiya is capable of anything," he mumbled softly, "I am on duty….so I can't say much about her….I don't want my personal biases to interfere in this case." He averted his gaze.

Riddhima sensed that there was more to the Yuvraaj-Jiya past than met the eye- were they lovers at one point? Did Jiya betray Yuvraaj? She respected Yuvraaj's need for discretion and turned towards Padma, "Maa….mujhey Jiya ke baare mein bataaiye please……I am having doubts about her now."

"Jiya?" Padma was surprised, "why would she want to hurt Armaan?"

"Remember early this morning before you all left, she introduced Sister Lovely to all of us? The hospital staff denies that Sister Lovely was even here past 10 last night."

"Haan..haan…jaanti hoon….lekin iska matlab yeh tho nahin ki Jiya ne Sister Lovely ko bheja tha?" Padma was perplexed, "lekin Jiya doctor hai….sirf uska dimaag hi chal sakta hai aise….hey bhagwan…kahin Jiya hi tho nahin?"

"Why did Jiya marry Abhimanyu?" Riddhima asked bluntly.

"Well….after your divorce and Abhimanyu's near fatal assault, Abhimanyu went through a very rough patch. He almost lost all his mental balance. Jiya was his treating Psychiatrist. Bas, wahin se dono mein pyaar ho gaya. Jiya is a very private person, but I know she really cares for others…she has helped Abhimanyu stand on his feet again. Abhimanyu had gotten into a bad habit of drinking and gambling. He lost a large share of the telecom business because of his gambling habit. Jiya rescued him from these addictions. In fact, she is the one who encouraged Abhimanyu to help Armaan in his business….why would she want to jeopardize Armaan's life?"

 Yuvraaj replied angrily, "Kahin usey Abhimanyu se zyaada uski daulat se pyaar tho nahin? Armaan ka business agar Abhimanyu ne sambhaal rakha hai, tho Jiya ko pata hoga ki Armaan ke finances kahan kahan hain? Once she realized Armaan and Riddhima are together, maybe she felt threatened that their source of income might get diverted elsewhere?"

Everyone was taken aback by Yuvraaj's sudden outburst. They stood silently and tried to make sense of Yuvraaj's statement.

"Then she should have targeted R-Riddhima?" Padma asked hesitantly, "why Armaan?"

"Maybe Abhimanyu still harbors some animosity against Armaan? Maybe Jiya feels Armaan is responsible for Abhimanyu's mental imbalance? Kahin wo Armaan se apne pati ka badla tho nahin le rahi?" Riddhima conjectured, shuddering at that thought.

"Well….let's stop speculating," Yuvraaj took a deep breath, "let me perform my duty….filhaal main is gun ke license holder ko dhoondta hoon….aur Sister Lovely ko bhi." He turned around with a stern expression.

"And Jiya?" Riddhima asked.

"I will keep an eye on her," he reassured her, "if she is guilty, she can't escape the law!"

"Thanks Yuvraaj."



Yuvraaj's statements about Jiya had thrown Riddhima into a vortex of confusion. As she sat next to Armaan all alone, she tried to make sense of Jiya's motive behind the attack on Armaan. If Jiya was the mastermind, then who was the gunman she hired? Why did the gunman abandon the gun so carelessly? Was Jiya interested in Armaan's wealth or was she a co conspirator with Abhimanyu?

Padma and Shashank had gone to their hotel to get some rest.

"Armaan….do you think Jiya is the mastermind behind all this?" She caressed his hand and asked him, "tumne uska kya bigaada hai? Kyun wo tumhari jaan ke peeche hai? Agar yeh sach hai tho main us aurat ko zinda nahin chodungi!" She gnashed her teeth angrily and rested her head next to his arm.

Mrs. Saxena stopped by to visit Armaan and Riddhima later that afternoon. After exchanging pleasantries and information on Armaan's recovery, Riddhima couldn't resist asking, "ma'am….Jiya ke baare mein aapka kya khayal hai?"

"Jiya? She is a very sweet girl….bahut nek ladki hai wo…..she is like another Mother Teresa you know. She always wanted to serve the people of Nainital," Mrs. Saxena's eyes lit up as she spoke about her former student.

"Mother Teresa? Who lives in Mumbai with one of the richest families in India?" Riddhima chuckled sardonically. She mumbled to herself, "she has managed to dupe a lot of people then."

"Haan beta…jaanti hoon wo ab Modi family ki bahu hai lekin wo phir bhi logon ki seva zaroor karti hogi. She has always taken the extra mile to serve people…logon ki help karna tho uski aadat hai….jiska koi nahin hota, Jiya usey apna banaa leti hai," Mrs. Saxena replied, "she is an amazing girl."

"Ma'am," Riddhima hesitated, "what was her relationship with Yuvraaj?"

Mrs. Saxena's color faded, "kya matlab?"

"Kya Yuvraaj aur Jiya ek doosre se p-pyaar karte the?"

"Sirf Yuvraaj," Mrs. Saxena hung her head, "Yuvraaj ko Jiya se bahut pyaar tha…but he never expressed himself…chup chup kar chaahta tha usey….phir ek din achanak Jiya Nainital chhod kar chali gayi…Yuvraaj bhi police academy chala gaya….usey bhool gaya…bas itna rishta tha dono mein….one sided love."

"So, Jiya never loved Yuvraaj?"

"No she didn't! She told me before she left Nainital. I think she knew Yuvraaj loved her like crazy….shayad wo isi liye uski zindagi se door chali gayi….mujhey bahut pasand thi wo," Mrs. Saxena lamented.

"But you just said she loved helping people…why did she not care about the man who loved her?" Riddhima was baffled, her doubts about Jiya reinforced by Mrs. Saxena's story.

"Main nahin jaanti," Mrs. Saxena got up, "beta, I need to go back to Aashirwaad…tumhare bina sab chaos ho raha hai wahan…ab main chalti hoon."

"Sorry ma'am….I will be back as soon as Armaan is well…..aap tho jaanti hain na?" Riddhima apologized.

"Of course beta…Armaan ke saath tumhara rehna bahut zaroori hai yahan….Ok, I will come tomorrow…kuch chaahiye ho tho bata dena…theek hai?"

"One more question ma'am," Riddhima stopped her, "when Yuvraaj and Jiya met last night, there was no awkwardness between them…that doesn't sound natural."

"Beta…that's because I had told Jiya that Yuvraaj is over her….in fact he is in love with someone else now….Jiya ko wo kabka bhula chuka hai," Mrs. Saxena smiled.

"Oh," Riddhima had a faint smile, "Yuvraaj has never told me about a woman in his life."

"Wo aisa hi hai….keh raha tha ek din usey dulhan banaakar ghar laayega phir hum sab mil sakte hain uski sapno ki rajkumari se," Mrs. Saxena chuckled, picked her purse and left.

Mrs. Saxena's impression of Jiya was way divergent from her son's views about her. Jiya, was indeed a mystery- was she really an angel, or a demon in the guise of an angel? Who was right- Yuvraaj or Mrs. Saxena? She trusted both, but at that moment, could trust none other than her own gut feeling.



Riddhima woke up with a jolt when she heard a woman's voice in the room. She had fallen asleep despite her best efforts to stay awake. She rubbed her eyes and saw Jiya talking to a nurse in the room.

"Great! That's wonderful news sister!" Jiya commended the nurse and then looked at Riddhima, "wake up sleepy head…..I hope you got some rest," she smiled and sat next to Riddhima.

"Your sister Lovely has made sure that I never sleep soundly again," Riddhima answered sourly.

"Oh…what happened?" Jiya asked innocently.

"Jiya….kya dushamni hai tumhari Armaan se?" Riddhima asked directly.

"Kya keh rahi ho Riddhima?" Jiya became pale.

"Why? Why? Why did you want to hurt him?"

"Are you crazy Riddhima?" Jiya touched Riddhima's hand but she pulled away.

"Don't you dare touch me Jiya! Tumne hi kal raat Sister Lovely ko bheja tha na?"

"Of course not!"

"Jhooth mat bolo! Kyun Armaan ki jaan ke peeche padhi ho?"


"Abhimanyu aur tum dono…haina? That makes even more sense now," Riddhima picked her phone, "I am calling the police right now."

"The police knows…I told them last night….Abhimanyu ke against complain maine likhwaayi thi!"

"She is a liar!" Abhimanyu barged in, "I promise Riddhima…Armaan," he glanced at his unconscious brother, "I would never want to hurt Armaan. He is my brother…even if I am jealous of him, I would never want to kill him. Agar mujhey maarna hota tho do saal pehle hi nahin maar deta Armaan ko? I had many opportunities!"

Riddhima's head was spinning in circles, "you are all driving me crazy…..please leave me alone…..just don't come near Armaan and me…please LEAVE! YOU ARE DISTURBING HIM!" The lines of tension on Armaan's face were deeper as his monitor beeped several times from the commotion in the room.

A nurse came and settled Armaan, gesturing everyone to leave the room.

Jiya stepped aside and held Abhimanyu's arm, "let's talk about this outside Abhimanyu."

"I don't want to talk to you anymore Jiya. We have talked about this all day. I told you I never sent anyone to kill Armaan." Abhimanyu walked off defiantly.

Riddhima followed the couple to confront them in the hallway.

"ABHIMANYU!" Jiya followed him, "did you take your medicine today?"


"So who were you threatening on the phone that night? I overheard you give an order to kill someone!" Jiya revealed. Riddhima froze in her feet on overhearing their conversation.

"Threaten?" Abhimanyu furrowed his eyebrows, "Oh my God! You overheard me talking about that sh**ty Jockey!"

"Jockey? Are you gambling on horses again?" Jiya asked.

Riddhima recalled Padma's statement about Abhimanyu's addiction to gambling.

Abhimanyu turned his gaze away, embarrassed to look her in the eye, "y-yeah…I am sorry Jiya…I tried my best to stay away, but couldn't."

"Why is your gun missing then?" She asked.

"I gave it to someone to get rid of the jockey," Abhimanyu replied softly.

Jiya stood still, confused and befuddled by Abhimanyu's story, "why didn't you tell me before? Oh God….maine tho police mein bhi report kar di tumhare khilaaf!"

Riddhima came forward, "so, is the jockey dead?"

Abhimanyu glanced up, embarrassed to face her under these circumstances, "no…the jockey is still alive."

"Where is your gun?" Riddhima asked.

"I gave it to a trusted employee of mine."

"Where is he?"

"I have no idea…I have spent the whole day tracking him down." Abhimanyu shut his eyes.

"Abhimanyu, I know you have never been trustworthy, but somehow I want to believe this odd and weird story of yours," Riddhima replied firmly, "can you do me a favor?"

Jiya was perplexed by the sudden turn of events. Riddhima, Abhimanyu's ex-wife, who had divorced him for breaking her trust, was asking him for a favor?

"Me…a favor?" Abhimanyu was puzzled himself.

She wrote down the names of some police stations in Nainital, "I know you have contacts everywhere. I want you to go to all these police stations and find some old records for me."

"What?" Abhimanyu furrowed his brow, confused by the request..

Riddhima wrote down a date: November 18th, 2007- around 4-5 am in the morning. "See if you can dig out any F.I.R on a missing person by the name of Riddhima Gupta. Make sure you find out who lodged the FIR, and what was done about it?"

"F.I.R? First Information Report? For Riddhima Gupta? Matlab tum? Do saal pehle?" Abhimanyu asked.

"Please Abhimanyu….I want to know what happened with this F.I.R? I will explain later."

"Okay…whatever….shouldn't we ask Yuvraaj, the police inspector?"

"He is not here right now. Get these reports Abhimanyu…chaahe tumhein police commissioner ko hi involve kyun na karna padhe!" Riddhima ordered.


After Abhimanyu left, Jiya gave Riddhima an incredulous look, "what was that about?"

"Jiya…come let's go inside Armaan's room. I can't leave him alone."

The two women went back to Armaan's room. He had settled down and was breathing peacefully again.

"Jiya, what was your relationship with Yuvraaj?"

Jiya turned pallid again, "why…why are you asking me? Iska is case se kya taaluk?"

"Did Yuvraaj love you?"

"Yes, he did," she lowered her eyes, "but I did not…not in that sense…he was more like a brother to me."

"Why did you leave Nainital?"

"Because I wanted to work in Mumbai."

"But you loved Nainital, didn't you? You wanted to serve the people of Nainital…haina?"

"Haan Riddhima," Jiya sighed, "I left because of Yuvraaj."

"Aisa kya hua tha Yuvraaj ke saath?"

"Kuch nahin…he never said anything to me. He was always nice to me…just like he is now, but I found out that he was crazy about me…to the point that one day, he burnt down the house of one of my admirers in high school."


"Haan Riddhima..Yuvraaj has this implosive anger inside him. He found that this other boy had sketched my pictures all over his house. In rage, Yuvraaj set his house on fire."

"Does Mrs. Saxena know about this?" Riddhima was aghast.

"Yes, she did. That's why she sent him to boarding in 12th grade. Yuvraaj is an orphan too. Mrs. Saxena is his bua- his only relative and custodian. She took the decision for his benefit."

"I finished my medical college in Nainital while Yuvraaj was in the Police Academy. Then I left for Mumbai. I had not seen Yuvraaj since he had moved to boarding. Kal jab mili tho mujhey pata chala ki Yuvraaj was thankfully over me….in fact, he is in love with someone else…that's why I behaved as normal as I could with him. Aakhir, wo mera achcha dost tho tha bachpan mein."

Jiya's narration sent a chill down Riddhima's spine. Everyone around her had a different tale to tell. She knew that Armaan and she had unknowingly been woven into a much larger game plan of deceit, betrayal and dishonesty.

Jiya and Yuvraaj had such different versions of each other- kaun sachcha hai aur kaun jhootha? Kaise pehchan paaungi mein yeh?

"Jiya….it's strange that Armaan's case has revealed so many different faces of everyone. I don't know who to believe and who not to."

"I can understand Riddhima. I feel bad that I blamed Abhimanyu for the crime, but if not Abhimanyu, then who?" Jiya asked.

"Main nahin jaanti Jiya," Riddhima kept a distance from Jiya, keeping a watchful eye on her as she stood next to Armaan's bed. To her relief, Jiya never tried to interfere with Armaan's lines, catheters or records.

"Riddhima…let me call Sister Lovely's house…she might have clues," Jiya left the room to fetch Sister Lovely's number.

Riddhima nodded and then felt a vibration on her phone, "TEXT MESSAGE?" She was about to open the text box when her phone rang. Promptly, she took the call, leaving the text message for later.

"HI RIDDHIMA! I HAVE GOOD NEWS AND BAD NEWS!" It was Yuvraaj on the other line.

"Hi Yuvraaj! What's the good news?"

"We have found the culprit!"

"Really?" Her heart fluttered, "and the bad news?"

"It's none other than your ex husband and Armaan's half brother, Abhimanyu!" Yuvraaj lowered his voice, "we just handcuffed him and are taking him to prison."

"So, that was his gun?"

"Yes…no doubt…we also found the gunman….he admitted that he was sent by Abhimanyu to kill Armaan." Yuvraaj sighed, "he thought he had gotten Armaan and tried to escape with the gun, but one of Aashirwaad's security guard chased him. That's when the scuffle happened in the bushes- the gun fell out of his hands but the gunman escaped. The security guard was found dead near the bushes too…with a knife though. Looks like Abhimanyu had sent someone else to take care of the gunman, but he killed the security guard instead. It's all complicated but no longer…huh….I can't believe a brother would do that to his own brother."

The phone almost fell off Riddhima's hand. Her head started spinning as she heard the details of the attempted murder. She kicked herself for trusting Abhimanyu again- he was never trustworthy, and still was not! He had duped Jiya and her into believing his bogus jockey story too.

"T-thanks Yuvraaj," Riddhima hung up, too choked to speak any more.

"RIDDHIMA? RIDDHIMA? ARE YOU OKAY?" Yuvraaj yelled into the phone but she had hung up.

Jiya came back to the room and found Riddhima flat on the floor.

"Oh my God!" Jiya summoned the hospital staff and carried her to another bed. After checking her out, it was determined that Riddhima had fainted from stress and lack of sleep.

"I have some news Riddhima," Jiya bent down as Riddhima lay in a daze on the bed.

"I have some news too Jiya." Riddhima murmured.

"Sister Lovely is dead!"

"Abhimanyu was the mastermind behind the murder attempt on Armaan. It was his gun. He is in jail now."

Both women were stunned on hearing each other's news. They stared at each other, disbelief written all over their faces.

They couldn't believe that the same man had deceived them…..this time both of them….


There is old saying, 'NEVER ASSUME THE OBVIOUS IS TRUE.'

What was the message on Riddhima's text message box?

………… be contd………………


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