Part 10

Recap: Payal sees Ayush and asks him to check on Kushi when he goes to Delhi… Kushi has withdrawal and drinks alcohol thinking it was water…. And faints…. Arnav is in Lucknow where he remembers his childhood friend titli….
Ab age…
Arnav sat in his study trying to get some work done… but his thoughts lingered in his flat only…. He dint know why those hazels beckoned him so much… tired of fighting, he decided to leave the study and came out…. This house had worst of his childhood and his best… his eyes fell on the rose garden and remembered seeing her there… that night after the function… the first night when he was attracted by any girl…. He had stayed clear of those species… but that girl had done something to him….. he was thinking of that time when…..
Rajaji… came a voice and he turned to look at the corridor where he saw his titli running with tears…..
Dhekiye na… humare hath me lag gaya…… she said pouting and showing him her thumb which had a small prick and a red dot of blood… Arnav took her young one’s finger and suck the blood off… she withdrew her hand from his hold and wiped her face… the dirt in her hand decorated her face making it dirty too…. along with the tears she wiped off the mucus from her nose using her top… (see I have hurt my hand)
Yese nahi karthe chided Arnav as he took his kerchief… he stretched it out only to find her gone…. He kept staring at the place where few seconds ago he had seen his titli….. He then remembered this was the same place where he and she had spent all those times in the past, before tat horrible day…. He walked through the corridor and then stopped on top of the stairs which led down to the hall….. (don’t do that)
Rajaji…. Came the voice again…. She wore a beautiful Red ghagra, the color of the dress highlighted her skin making her look like a princess… it was his 16th birthday…. His titli was 6 years old and was in her chirpy best…. She had wore this dress especially for her Rajaji… she knew he liked this color…. And what he liked, his titli will only do that…. He was a hero to her… her prince…. Her Rajaji… Arnav smiled as he remembered the number of times she would call Rajaji in one day….. her every sentence would have a Rajaji….. this red dress was something he had got her with his pocket money… he had told her to wear it on his birthday…. Op had made jelabies for her and she had taken few in her hand and was running to give it to him… that is when he saw it happening… Kamya stood behind his Titli when she was calling her Rajaji… and Kamya pushed the small 6 years old down the 15 flight of stairs…. Blood gushed down the young ones forehead… Arnav stood there reliving that day…. He saw his titli fall from the stairs and hit her head… the blood oozed down wetting the already red dress red…. He didn’t cry… he dint shout… all the young 16 old did was hold his titli closer to himself…… Arnav knelt down holding his imaginary titli crying…….
Kushi got up with an overwhelming headache… her vision blurred with the intensity of the pain and she staggered to the wash room hoping the water would give relief…… after almost fainting in the washroom she came out in one hour with the same pain… she moaned in pain as she moved or to say crawled towards the kitchen to get something to eat… she saw 5 slices of bread in the fridge and dint bother to see the date and ate it.. she washed it down with 2 glasses of milk and moved into the bedroom to get some sleep. If Kushi was in her senses she would have realized that the bread was stale and there was no more provisions in the house… the whole place looked like it was hit by a tornado with broken vases and shredded curtains… she turned and twisted in the bed trying to get a better position to sleep…. Her head was throbbing and her eyes watered unable to withstand the pain… today she wanted her jiji with her and the warmth of her arms…..
Chote Mallik called a voice that bought out Arnav from his past… he opened his eyes and got up with a jerk.. he couldn’t believe that he was reliving all those times…. He dint understand why he was remembering his Titli so much today…. It was not that he had forgotten her… he would never… but her memories were haunting him too much especially the once she was crying in…… he turned around to face the voice….
Chote Mallik wo… said the old servant Ramu who was the caretaker of this house….
What is it…? Arnav asked irritated…
Wo… 2 mahine Pehle kuch log Kumar sab ke bare me puch rahe they…… he said meekly… (some people were asking abt Kumar sir 2 months before)
Aur tum mujhe ab batha rahe ho?? He growled… he couldn’t believe the inefficiency of this man…(and you are telling me this now?)
Wo hume aaj he pata chala… humse koyi puchne nahi aya wo school me aye thy…. (I came to know only today.. they dint come here to ask they were asking in the school)
Hmmmm teek hai tum jao… saying Arnav turned around… (ok you leave) who was it… after so many years??? Was it his titli??? Was she alive??? How could it be??? He wondered…. He dint know what to think anymore… that time he was called in for food and he sat down on the break fast table….. that it when it stuck him… his flat dint have any food… what would happen to that girl… he took his phone and called his trusted security in charge…
Pritvi??
Yes sir…
Go to my flat with provision immediately.
Sir??
What??
Provisions???
Yes you have a problem???
Ok sir….
Call me after you reach there… and don’t let anyone know abt the place….
Sure sir….
Hmmm saying he cut the call and resumed having his breakfast….
Ayush was sweating badly…. He was out searching for the house from 7 am and it was nearly 3 hours now still he felt like he was going in circles…. He stopped near a duplex house and decided to try in that place… he rung the bell and waited… after 2 min an old lady opened the door and looked curiously at him…
Ma ji… aap ko inke bare me kuch pata hai? He asked showing Shyam’s and Kushi’s pic individually….(maam you know anything abt these two?)
Arreyy.. yeh dono… yeh tho uper rahte thy… she said recognizing them(these two? These two used to stay upstairs)
Rahtey they??? Ab kahan rahthey hai????(used to stay? Now where do they stay?)
Pata nahi beta…. Ek rath ko 2 gadi ayi aur phir kuch log aye… uske bath dono vapas nahi aye…. Do din hua hai…. Tum kon ho???/(don’t know son… one night 2 vehicles came then few people and then they left… dint come back later… it has been 2 days… who are you?)
Wo mai unka rishtheydar hu Ma ji… kya me unke ghar dekh sakthe hun??(I’m their relative… can I see the house?)
Han han kyu nahi… (why not)saying she went inside and got the spare keys and gave it to him… Ayush took the keys and entered the house… the fan was still running and so was the lights… it looked like they left in a hurry…. Kushi’s clothes were still in the cupboard and provisions were there in the cabinet….. all these things created fear in his mind… he called Payal immediately…
Hello Ayush ji???
Payal ji… kuch gadbad hai.. he said in a hurry…..(some thing is not right)
Kya bath hai… Kushi teek hai na????(what is the matter.. Kushi is alright no?)
Pata nahi… ghar tho khali hai…(don’t know the house is empty)
Kya?? Khali?? Par address tho yahi diya tha….(what? Empty? But this was the address given)
Wo log yahan nahi hai… saman tho yaha hai… par… fan aur light to on hi pada hai…. Ghar ke malik ne kaha ki do din se yahan nahi hai…. Kuch log aye they aur phir dono gayab….. he said in one go…(they are not here.. their things are here only.. the fan and lights are on too… the owner said few people came and these two disappeared from that time…)
Iska kya mathlab hua Ayush ji??? Hume bohot dar lag raha hai…. (what is the meaning of this Ayush ji? I’m getting very scared)
Aap shant rahiye… me puchta hun… aur khabar deta rahunga… (you stay calm… I’ll ask around… I’ll keep in touch)
Shukriya… saying Payal cut the call…. She moved toward Kushi’s room and touched the bed as tears flew down her cheeks… kahan ho Kushi… she whispered….she got up and moved towards the small hand made pic of Kushi and herself near the widow…. (where are you Kushi?)
Humne bohot bada paap kiya hai jiji… cried Garima as she held Madhu’s hand (we have done a big sin..)
Kya paap… kuch nahi…..(what sin.. nothing)
Wo shadi shuda hai… humne apni akho se dhekha…. Chandrika ji ke kisi rishtheydar ki shadhi pe aye they pure pariwar ke sath… she cried frantically…(he is married…. I saw it with my own eyes… he and his whole family had attended Chandrika ji’s relative wedding….)
Dekho Garima…. Kushi ke bare me bhool ja…. Ab hume Payalia ke bare me shochna chahiye… uskeliye accha rista aya hai aur 2 din me sagayi hai…. Said Madhi calmly….(see Garima forget abt Kushi.. now we have to see Payaliya… she has got a good proposal… and the engagement is in 2 days)
Hey bagwan….. hume Kushi ke zindaji tabha kardi… wo admi 13 sal bada hai… shadi shuda hai… aur Kushi bitia do Delhi jaisa shehar me le gaya hai…. Uske sath kuch….she cried…..(oh God…. I have destroyed Kushi’s life he is 13 years older than her…. Married also.. he has taken he to Delhi.. what if something…..)
Chup ho jao…. Konse Kushi tumari beti lagthi hai…. Bala tali sochke aghe dhekna seekho saying she pushed Garima out of the way and walked in… Garima fell on her knees crying for the safety of Kushi as the guilt got bigger in her….(shut up.. as if Kushi is your own daughter… think the curse is off our head and move on….)
Payal stood listening to all this from the window she was shocked…. Her amma and bua was into all this….they destroyed her life… but why…. She thought… Kushi was her bauji’s sister’s daughter…. That made Madhu buaji’s sis daughter too… then why had been buaji always behind her…. What had Kushi did to her that she had single handedly destroyed that poor girl’s life… Payal needed answers and she was gonna get it…it was decision time….
Precap: Kushi… under high fever…. Fainted… and turning pale
Madhu’s revenge……

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