Posted: 29 March 2010 at 3:12am
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Part 9: The Quake.
Prerna was shocked to see Kripa arguing so passionately. She soon became aware of the anger, specifically her daughter's. She went to the kitchen without being seen and called Kripa. "Kripa beta! Can you please come here? I need a little help?"
Hearing her mother's voice Kripa came back to reality. Her face turned red due to embarrassment. She was constantly looking at the ground. "O God! Why did I have to argue?" Kripa thought. Of course she knew why! She really wanted him to understand her, she felt like he needed to understand her!
She stood up from the sofa and took a deep breath. She looked at Angad. She looked towards the floor again. "Look! I'm sorry about being rude, and taunting your hobbies. I ... sorry." She came to the point, looked at him once again, when he nodded and smiled a little, she walked away, leaving Angad in a state of mixed emotions. Before she had said sorry, he was enjoying it. He liked getting to know her, and watching her cheeks flush with anger and her nose wrinkle in annoyance. But when she apologized, he was in storm of different emotions. He was happy about him being a little normal with Kripa. He couldn't deny him, but the argument had made them frank with each other and he felt like he could be express his emotions in front of her. He was impressed how she was full of self-respect but didn't have a bit of pride, and at the same time he was sad and angry at how they were so disconnected.
He turned his head in Kripa's direction. She had entered the kitchen. He decided to just calm down, leaning his head on the sofa and closing his eyes. He really needed to stay away from Kripa! He opened his eyes just in time to look at Prerna settle a cup of tea on the table. She smiled at him, he smiled back. Soon the others came and everyone got busy in their own things.
Kripa got up the next morning. She didn't remember when she fell asleep. She snoozed off the alarm thinking of this to be an ordinary day, what she didn't know was that this day would change her life forever.
The rain hadn't stopped. The streets lights were on even at 9:00 in the morning. Kripa went downstairs for breakfast and saw Prerna up and ready. "Hello" Kripa sang. Prerna looked at her daughter and smiled back. "What's this?" Kripa asked eyeing the file Prerna was holding. "Well, due to the rain, a couple of my patients couldn't make it to the hospital, so I asked one of the nurse to fax it to me. This way, I can call and check up on them." Prerna explained. "That's really thoughtful" Kripa said placing the bowl of cereal on the table and taking a seat beside Prerna, who smiled lovingly at her only daughter.
Fifteen minutes later, Armaan woke up and came downstairs, just as the telephone rang. Prerna picked it up.
"Hello. Good morning." Prerna voiced noticing the Gupta's land line number on the Caller's Id.
"Prerna Aunty?" Laksh spoke from the other end. Something in his voice made her anxious.
"Oh, Hello Laksh. How are you?" Prerna tried to sound a little normal.
"Aunty, you guys should come quick. Please." Laksh hurried.
"Why? Is everything ok? Laksh it's raining outside, it can be dangerous driving at this time."
There was a silence on the other end.
"Laksh? Are you there beta?" Prerna voiced. Her heart skipped a beat when she heard someone sniff from the other side.
"Yeah, I ma here. Aunty! Please you should really come! It's urgent!"
"Ok. We are coming. To Padma's house right?"
"Yes" Laksh agreed.
"Take care, bye" Prerna tried to lighten up a little.
"Bye" Laksh ended the conversation.
As soon as Laksh put the phone down, Prerna went up to Kripa and Armaan. "Who was it?" Armaan questioned. "Laksh." She paused before speaking again. "Both of you get ready, we have to go quickly." "Is everything ok?" Kripa asked. "I dont know. Just change quickly". With that the Sharma's went and changed.
Armaan, and Kripa got out of the car, shocked to see Laksh and Kavya crying in the garden. Prerna had prepared her herself for this on their way, but Kripa and Armann were clueless. Prerna and Kripa ran inside.
Armaan went upto Kavya. "Kavya! What's wrong man?!?! Is everything ok?" Armaan inquired. As soon as Kavya heard Armaan's voice he stood up and hugged him tightly, as if clinging to him for life. Armaan hugged him and consoled Kavya. "What's wrong bud?" Armaan asked again. Kavya moved away from him, and while trying to control his emotions, he replied. "Armaan. Naina Aunty and Dad..." his voiced trailed off. Kavya felt as if someone had set his heart on fire. "What? What's wrong with them?" Armaan asked again. When Kavya started crying again, the Gupta's servant, Birju Kaka, spoke. "Armaan ji wo kya hai.. " Before he could say further, they heard a heart breaking, frightening scream. It was Padma screaming! Armaan felt as if someone pulled the earth from beneath him. He looked around surprised that no one was either shocked or running inside to check on Padma. He, then alone, decided to go inside to check on her. When he went inside, the hair on his body stood up to see Padma sitting in white clothes with her head on his mother's chest, crying bitterly. Everything now made sense to Armaan. He walked backwards, again entering the garden. He looked at Kavya. He looked at Birju Kaka again. "Sahabji aur Nainaji, hume chor ke chale gaye" Birju Kaka explained. Armaan slowly walked upto Kavya, shocked, hurt, pained, and clueless. He put a hand on Kavya's shoulder, and sat down, joining Kavya in moarning for his dead father.
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