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Malini looked frightened…he was not there in the room last night, in fact I think he was …..she stopped, her face crumpled, Sapna ran out to see if Krishna was by chance sleeping in his mother's room…..
No he was not in the house…
Mr Shyamji Saxena was making his morning calls, taking favours, granting favours when his servant came and announced Mr Awasthi was here to see him…..ha I was expecting him, send him in and bring some tea….
Ahhh Principal sahab you did not waste much time I see….Saxena greeted him as soon as he entered
So he is here….
So he is indeed here…..I tell you Prof sahab you are very quick …..
Yes I am indebted to the family and his mother called….
He is a grown up man, not a child and definitely not a cry baby….
Exactly, I have come to say the very same thing to him, Mr Awasthi agreed with a smile…In fact couldn't agree with you more
He is resting I mean he had a tough time, tell me Prof when will India change…..
The time our system changes, I mean we all, our leaders should show us the way isn't it….
Saxena gritted his teeth, the man is too smart and cannot be ignored, he called his servant to call Krishnajit…..Principal sahab, what has happened has happened but then remember I am a father of a daughter too and she is my only child….
I agree with you Saxenaji, I am just here because his mother wants me to see if he is alright, she has faced troubled times recently hence I had to come….
Malini was sitting next to the pool, she was watching the water, she was numb, numb for any more feeling, numb for any more pain, nobody calls her that but she knows she is the cause of misery to her grandparents and now see what happened, he fled, what could have been more insulting than this ….the teary eyes of her grandparents said it all, Malini sat still…
Krishna was standing in the drawing room of Mr Saxena, Mr Awasthi just left, beta your mother called me, wanting to know your whereabouts, she told me everything, you want to have political career is what I know, if you want to be a leader be an example, for that burry everything, come out clean, people now are very knowledgeable do not allow them to dig your past out….I understand what has happened was not within your control, theek hai, before going ahead with your life, give it a clean ending and then start afresh….
Awasthi Sahab raised his brows …there is no other way my friend, mistakes happen, circumstances happen but then we should put it right, soch lo, the more time you buy more feelings will develop, more complicated it will become….
Saxenaji for a change could not but agree with the Principal, yes he is right and you have to consider Pratigya's position, you cannot marry her without divorcing your other wife…jaisa bhi ho, you are married to her now and I cannot allow Pratigya to marry you under those circumstances…
Papa…Pratigya cried out…
Beta paper work and it should be done, Krishnajit, I am by your side and we will deal with the girl, money, property not a question, even maybe I will try to put her in a job somewhere….just get the paperwork done….
After Awasthiji left and Mr Saxena went to get ready for the day, Pratigya came and hugged him, Papa is there with you, I trust you, get rid of her as soon as you can, jaida log janne ke pehle….
It was the first rain of the summer, a much awaited thunder shower, Sapna ran out to pick the clothes drying, her twins followed her, soon they started playing, Ma sat watching them, taking in deep breath she watched them lovingly, Sapna who always remains so worried was enjoying herself and the twins, their laughter rang through the house, as if the house was coming alive after the mourning, she remembered how her husband, whenever he returned first made a throat clearing noise to intimate her he is back and then called out for the twins, Riddhi Siddhi keya kar rahe ho beta.....
Riddhi Siddhi having fun in the rain, are you….a voice startled them, Krishna came in, smiling at his mother he dropped off the bag he was carrying joining the girls in the rain…..laughing with them and tickling them as they climbed on him…..
Sapna came and sat next to her…kitna maaja a rahe hai na, good that Krishna is back the house will now be filled……
Hmmm but where is Malini, see she must be taking her after lunch siesta, bola de usse, Krishna ko nasta pani de, Ma smiled, Sapna nodded excitedly yes of course…..she ran to call Malini, her husband was back….
She was not at home, kaha chali gayi, his mother had frowned, tujhe bolkar nehi gayi she asked Sapna, Krishna was playing with the girls, he immediately noticed their expressions….Kya huwa Ma….
Errr, beta she did not know you will be back, she must have gone to visit her grandparents….
Malini….you left suddenly, the poor girl ….I mean she understands …..
Mai dekhta hu, he asked Sapna for the keys of his bike, after a few kick he started it…..driving out of the house, he could feel his heart beating, what should he tell Malini and when should he tell her, as he was driving past her house he stopped, parking the bike he raised his hand to knock, but then had second thoughts, he waited for sometime, turning his back he restarted the bike again, no he somehow felt she will not be here, he drove towards to the pool.
Rudra lifted his eyes from the cards, his phone was vibrating again and again, what now he refused to answer it, good hand at last and he did not want to lose concentration, but the phone was keeping on ringing, answer it, Rudra babu his opponent said, I will wait what is the hurry,….
Kya hai…..He answered roughly, barking at Sapna…
Krishna is back she beamed, I think he went to inform his friends, it is so nice to have him back….
Ok now can I disconnect the phone and remember next time do not call me until you are dying…he disconnected the phone and looked at his friends, kya re Rudra, your mother brought her other son back, it seems they do not rely on you at home….
Errr….it is nothing…..
Rudra time you consolidate your position, according to our reports your brother is an ambitious man, very ambitious infact, if he stays which I doubt he will be staying for a motive or he has come to settle somethings maybe see his position or his portion of the property, dekh lo be alert…
He has just got married, I mean jaisa bhi ho shaadi shaadi hai, let him settle in his marriage first….
That is also doubtful, we doubt if that girl, Mr Saxena's daughter will let go of him easily…..
These people are damn well informed…Rudra thought….
As he parked the bike he thought how silly of me to run to the water-fall in this rain where will she sit there and why…taking off his waterproof he looked at his mother, I think she is with her grandparents, I did not want to disturb them and make them worried, she should be back in the evening in that case…
You change while I send something for you to eat….
With a bit of hesitation, Krishna went upto his room, standing outside he hesitated again only to find his mother watching him from below, scratching his head he went in, his room had changed, she was not in the room alright but then her presence was there, the pillow on the other direction, the dressing table already had bangles and other items on it, he noticed her payel lying also…she wore this before she got married to him, why has she opened it, he inspected it for any defects…dropping it back on the dressing table he went and stood near the window watching the rain falling when he looked up, in the terrace attached to his parents room Malini was sitting hurdled under the parapet to shield herself from the rain, Krishna looked down, she must have seen him arrive and all the things which followed, their eyes met, she turned her face away to look at the opposite direction.
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table he went and stood near the window watching the rain falling when he looked up, in the terrace attached to his parents room Malini was sitting hurdled under the parapet to shield herself from the rain, Krishna looked down, she must have seen him arrive and all the things which followed, their eyes met, she turned her face away to look at the opposite direction.
The noise of thunders woke Krishna up, he opened his eyes trying to get his orientation back in the darken room. Remembering he is back to his village and in his own room he quickly sat up, the zero power bulb lit the room, he blinked his eyes and looked around, Malini was lying on a mat on the floor, who told her to sleep on the floor, he did not…the girl is acting funny, of course Ma made her serve him his food and other things like holding his clothes as he bathed at the well and then sending her to his room for the night, he was already lying, Ma ensured that no more lying on the swing, whatever has happened has happened and Krishna wanted to speak to Malini, make her understand and for that he needed some quiet moment….
The girl was showing her temper to him, she went and sat on the window ledge looking at the darkness outside, what temper, going around with a such a long face, I married her and rescued her and look at her showing me tempers instead, I too need time to reconcile, I too need time to think, her attitude pissed him off, he had turned and closed his eyes…
Now sitting on his bed as the lightening flashed, he watched Malini sleep, her long hair over her pillow, the pallu of her sari shifted a bit, revealing the first two buttons of her blouse was open, what is it she upset about, that he left but hasn't he come back….
Nirupama disconnected the line, watching the telephone she sighed, her brother Krishna was back, now her mother could speak in detail with her, Rudra Bhaiya did not seem to be happy to have Krishna back and so is Malini, she is behaving strangely her mother complained. Being the younger daughter she was more close to their mother, they normally shared everything. Rudra went out as usual and Krishna too left for the godown, see the boy, taking so much interest but then Rudra does not seem to care, he knows things around here and with your babuji dead it would have been so much better if Rudra showed the fraction of interest shown by Krishna, being the eldest son, itna toh uska farz bhi hai aur haq bhi hai…..her mother had cried…but when a man is addicted what can a mother and wife do except for shading tears….
Ho gayi baath apni Ma se, kuch dhyan hume bhi dijiye ….a thick masculine voice broke into her thoughts, Niru sat up with a start, Oh apki puja ho gaye, Nirupama stood up hearing her husband Agasthya….
Ghari dekha aapne, he said sarcastically, Nirupama got up quickly, Agasthya was not known for his manners, he was a man with nasty temper and rude tone, he was very shrewd and doing well in business, Nirupama took out his clothes and laid them as Agasthya went for his bath, he will go out now and will only return in the evening in between she of course has to send his lunch. While he was in the house, nobody made any noise, not even the children, thankfully he followed routine and Nirupama knew it by heart, though Agasthya did not leave the house before late morning, Nirupama usually sat with her phone calls after that but then some days Ma does have a lot to share and gets impatient specially with babuji now gone, Nirupama tried to balance both the world but then she can still deal with her mother but not Agasthya, his word was law in the house at least and he demanded full attention when he was around.
As Nirupana watched Agasthya's car leaving the house, she gave a sigh of relief, sometime she will have for herself, as she watched the car fading from her view a thought struck her, why can't one of her brothers be somewhat like him, Agasthya at least takes very much interest in their source of income, he is always looking for methods to increase his business unlike Rudra who is only addicted to gambling and Krishna well, Krishna may have come back but for how long is the question….
After speaking to Sambhu Chacha, Krishna stood on the field where his father's body was found. The spot gave him a boost, a pump of adrenalin into his veins, he has to speak to Malini today, they cannot live in one room if he does not want to continue with the marriage, it is not ethical….his mobile rang, Sapna was on the line, Krishna Bhaiya, the police wants to speak regarding Babuji's murderer, can you go and meet the Inspector please…..they called the house…..
Sure I will definitely but where is Rudra Bhaiya, he should come along….
Well they did not get reply on his mobile….
Did you try bhabi too….
No…eerrr I mean he must be busy, you go ahead….
Krishna disconnected the phone, this busy that he will not answer his wife's mobile, this busy he will not take the call from the police…..Putting the mobile in his pocket he kicked and started the bike, have to get a new bike, it takes too long to start….what will I do with a new bike, I will not stay here, after Babuji's culprit is caught, Malini is settled I will leave the village and it is best that way and hopefully the inspecter will give me some clue or good news, in India anyway the could case will take years to deliver justice, justice delayed is justice denied…..Krishna thought as he drove away….
Malini came to her favourite spot running down the slope, flopping down she murmured he is back he is back, is he back for me? For me when her eyes fell on the man sitting in the form of her husband and watching her….
As he parked the bike and locked it he saw his brother-in-law Agasthya, in his trademark dhoti and red tikka coming out of the station, giving a brief wave he sat in his SUV and drove away….Krishna bit his lip, he was not too fond of Agasthya, the man was too snob and flashy for his taste and if his reports were correct he too was nurturing political ambitions but from the opposite camp. Agasthya remained aloof in general but Krishna did not like his throw of words or the way he treated his sister, with whom he was particularly close, after her marriage Chhoti didi somehow has lost her voice and vibrancy…
Namaste Inspector sahab, I believe you are looking for me…
Oh you are back, the Inspector looked up…..
Yes, eer I had received a call so had to leave urgently, Krishna stammered, why is he giving excuses, the inspector did not ask for it….
Mr Singh I must say we are disappointed with your attitude, your mother is not speaking much, she claims she does not know half the things, your brother most of the times does not answer our calls, even if he does, he in is in a hurry to disconnect, last but not the least, you get married suddenly and run away….
Krishna did not have any reply…have you found anyone he asked after sometime…
Yes and no….
What does that mean….
As we were suspecting all the time your father was killed by a hired killer, he was not fighting with anyone so it was not spur of the moment fight nor he had enemy as in enemy according to your family members, so who could have killed him….
So you think hired killers but what is the motive?
Motive you will tell me or rather your family will inform me….but being a police officer I can say it is either land or your brother's gambling debts…….
He knows about Rudra bhaiya….is it so spread already? Krishna narrowed his eyes…..
I am sure it is not a news to you that he is a big time gambler Mr Singh….
No no…eer Not really but my brother does not have any debts…..so what leads to your conclusion….
Well normally all murders around here is done by Baliya and his gang, Baliya is not around but he operates all right long distance, no problem with modern communication system but when your father was murdered our suspicion was more towards him, we started tracking them knowing fully well it would be little use if we do not get the name of the person who hired their services….
Unfortunately our sources tell us it is not Baliya, he is now busy curbing infightings amongst his members but some other fellow, someone new to the area, we are indeed after that person but losing trail often but the intention is not the person but the man behind that person, I had asked your brother to go through the papers/diaries of your father, have you done anything to that regard?
Err since I am back now, I will do it, I mean …but babuji did not maintain a diary ….
Maybe not a day to day diary but if it is accountancy book, that is diary enough, I wanted your brother to show it to me but then …..the Inspector raised his hands in despair…
After promising the all cooperation to the Inspector, Krishna got up when the Inspector asked, tell me something Mr Singh, have you heard that your brother-in-law Mr Garodia, Mr Agasthya Garodia is being threatened, receiving threats over phones….
Krishna stopped….no he did not know but then he waited for the Inspector to inform him in detail…err actually with our own issues you know one after another, I am sorry to say I have not been interacting with my sister and her family much…..
Did he come to register a FIR….
Yes and ask for police protection, good to see that people have faith on us still as more and more people are depending on private security agencies….
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