Joined: 14 January 2010
Sukirti called out as she made her way in the prayer house, "Maa?"
Naagrani rushed towards them, "Thank God you all are safe I was getting tensed."
Sukirti rolled her eyes and comment off on her mother, "What's new in that? Tension toh aapka dusra naam hai," saying so she goes and hugs Kirti.
Naagrani says sternly, "Chupkar," and hugs her daughter back. Than looking at Veer, "You all are okay?"
Veer said giving a big grin, "Yup, perfectly fine."
Getting in her leader ton on, Kirti said to Sapana and Armaan, "Thank God you both are safe and sound. We are so sorry for everything that happened."
Sapana and Armaan glanced at each other than at Sukirti feeling awkward with the situation they were in at the moment.
Sukirti smiles and introduces, "Oh yeah, this is my sweet Maa," She adds, "Official, and not to forget less Maa and more Naagrani."
Sapana formed an 'O' not sure what to say.
Veer said, "You can call her Naagrani - that's what she is known as."
Armaan repeated, "Naagrani," giving it a thought he said, "hmm nice name."
Veer yawns and says, "One more thing left to do."
Sukirti asked confused, "What?"
Veer mumbles to himself, "Again with her what..." he sighs and says a bit louder, "think of a reason to tell our parents where we have been since," he pauses and continued, "I will guess four days."
Naagrani confirms, "Oh yes...exactly four! Some good and strong reason," looking at all four, "but first all of you go to Sukirti's chamber and rest. I will be there in some time."
Sapana pauses to look around and asks not believing her eyes, "This is your room?"
Sukirti looks over her shoulder, "Yes," and flopping down on her bed she asked, "Why any doubt?"
Armaan breaths in the beautiful scent of the room and lets out, "Wow," as he goes and seat on a nearby soft couch.
Veer asked, "What's there to wow about?" and folded his hands across his chest.
Sukirti getting up in sitting position, "Exactly, what's there to 'wow' about?"
Sapana laughed at her friend's casualty. As she moves her eyes from the beautiful low stand bed with blooming peacock as its back stead and two beautiful swans curving and leaning over on either sides of the sleeping stage area, on the right she was awe-struck seeing the small indoor pond with round stone platforms in middle leading the way to the balcony facing the back side of the palace. She was about to comment on the early sunrise view outside when she was stopped by a voice behind her.
:? - "Hello Everyone!"
Everyone turned towards the room entrance to see whom the voice belonged to. No one spoke anything and just starred at the person. Moving in to the room, "Oh common, I am sure that I don't look like a ghost, so stop starring at me like that."
Sukirti and Veer burst out laughing, but Sapana and Armaan stayed quite as they didn't knew who the person was.
Sukirti got up as she asked, "What are you doing over here? And this is my room; you are not supposed to be in here."
"Oh blah blah, I just came to see how many injuries you got. I also have no interest in talking with you or coming in you room...get it."
Sapana interrupted the moment, "can we know who he is?"
Veer grinned, "Sure you can his name is Aum."
Aum said putting on a smile, "Hello!" and gives a little wave.
Sapana and Armaan: "Hi!" and than looked back from Veer to Sukirti.
Sukirti shook her head slightly seeing the duo's blank face, "Alright, he is my brother, real, but cousin in Insaan lok"
Sapana seconded, "Same here."
Aum said, "Okay in simple words - Naagrani is my real mother, but in Insaanlok my mother is Sukirit's masi."
Armaan said finding it hard to believe, "That means you are an Ichaadhari Naagin too."
Sukirti burst out laughing; Aum frowned and said, "Not Naagin - Ichaadhari Naag."
Armaan bit his lower lip, "Yeah sorry, that is what I meant."
Sapana cleared, "So you are Suku's brother and cousin both at the same time?"
Sukirti and Aum replied simultaneously, "Kinda...yea"
Sapana asked Sukirti, "Are there anymore brothers or sisters who are cousins too."
Sukirti said, "Nope...only two of us."
Veer stirred all of them on the point that they are supposed to be thinking of in the first place! The reason to tell at each individual's home where they have been since past four days!
Aum remembered, "Oh yea, Maa was telling me about it."
Veer asked, "Reminding of her, where is Naagrani right now?"
Aum replied matter of factly, "With Naagraj."
Sukirti said referring to Aum, "Isiliye yeh janab yahan pe hai," dropping back down on her bed.
Aum goes and sit on bed besides Sukirti and said, "Do you have any problem? jab dekho tab Maa se meri shikayat karti hai."
Sukirti pointed, "Correction, I don't say a word, tum hi koi aisa kaam karte ho aur usi waqt Maa wahan aa jaati hai aur tumhe dekh leti hai."
Aum gave a sad glare towards her and she patted his back sympathetically with a grin on her face.
Armaan said again, "As I said before too, thinking is not the thing I can do."
Aum said what was most annoying to him, "What yaar, you all disappear at night! Even if you disappeared during day time it might have helped a bit."
Veer agreed, "I know dude, but we had less options," he second thought himself, "heck did we have any options to start with."
Sapana and Sukirti glanced at each other and shook their head in disbelief.
Sukirti said the evident, "You know what you guys are doing?"
All three looked at her with blank faces, Sukirti continued, "Complain more and think less!"
Sapana said giving a stern smile, "Exactly."
Veer gaped, "You are talking like you got some idea."
Sukirti admitted, "No, but at least I don't complain like you non-stop."
Aum interrupted before Veer could give a throw back followed back from Sukirti and so on, "Please now you both don't get distracted."
Sukirti asked, "Wait," facing Sapana and Armaan, "Does your mom know about you and Armaan."
Sapana nodded, "Yeah, but..."
Sukirti smacked her lips, "Than just tell her that you were with Armaan," before Sapana could question back she thought herself and started, "wait does she has any..."
Sapana interrupted, "No she does not, but I was with him for four whole days...and didn't even call her once?"
Sukirti bit her lips and said sheepishly, "Well, that is true! You were with him for four whole days and you didn't call her once." The other four stared at her as if she was insane, she ignored there looks and continued, "the only part you will lie about is the place," which did the job of earning her a complete disappointed glare from all four.
Sukirti defended, "What? Has any one of you got anything better?"
Veer ignored her and continued as if she didn't spoke a word, "What will you say to your sister," he asked Armaan.
Armaan shrugged his shoulders, "I don't have to tell her anything and this is not the first time I have been away from home and before she has never asked me till now, than why would she now?"
Sukirti understood his point of view, she said, "You know she cares for you. True, she doesn't ask you, but asks us whenever she meets any of us in the hallways."
Sapana agreed, "That is true."
Armaan said, his voice a bare whisper, "Everything is just not the same without mom and dad."
Sukirti smiled sadly, "I know, even when only one is gone...everything changes." May be the other didn't hear her, but since Aum was sitting right beside her, he clearly made out her every single word. He turned towards her and looked at her quietly not sure how to console. This topic has always been the sensitive one for both of them.
Sapana sighed, "forget that, let's get back to what we are supposed to do," keeping a hand of Armaan's should she smiled an assuring one.
Armaan smiled back and said, "Yeah, let's get to popping ideas," sarcastically, as till now, they have barely came up with anything.
Veer said out loud, trying to make sense to himself, "You can say, you were with Sukirti and you guys were at - I don't know."
Other looked at him with 'I don't know' faces too.
Aum whined, "I just found out that we are this bad at coming up with ideas!"
Sukirti looked to her right, feeling his presence, "You were here all along? I thought you already left."
Aum said, "I will be leaving in an hour or so...it will be five by than."
Sukirti exclaimed, "FIVE! You kidding me? You know masi wakes up at like four."
Aum replied casually, "I know, but we all went to sleep late tonight so, I am sure mom will wake up a little late."
Sukirti asked, "Is that little one whole hour?" emphasizing on the word 'little'.
Aum smiled, "Yeah...if that is going to stop you from making me get out of this room."
Sukirti smiled and after few minutes she declared giving up, "How about we just go to my house, and then we will decide what to do."
Veer gave a long thought, "Hmmm" with the sound effect and looked over to Sapana and Armaan and asked, "but do you think Naagrani will let us get out of here."
Aum said evidently, "that - I don't think so...anyways Maa has been with Naagdev for long now. I wonder what they are talking about."
Sukirti shook her head from the thoughts that she was not getting that she was supposed to be getting. To think of something else, she asked, "I don't get it - does any one of you? What did Shivali meant?"
Veer replied, "I don't know," and voiced out, "lets just figure out one problem here and than think of that."
Sukirti dropped her shoulders, "I know, it's just too much to think, but the problem is out of all the time when I need my brain to think constant ' It is not!" turning to Aum, "I am telling you, you should be on your way now."
Aum complained, "Arey what yaar, jab dekho tab mujhe yahan se nikal ne ki hi baat karti hai, even when you know that it will only take two minutes."
Sapana came out of her zone hearing this and asked, "It will only take two minutes for you to get to your house from here?"
Aum grinned showing all his thirty-two, "Yeah, Cool huh!" to which Sapana and Armaan's eyes gets as huge as owl's making Veer and Sukirti laugh.
Armaan asked,"What are you both laughing at? And tell me he is joking."
Veer said honestly, "We are laughing at both of your expressions."
Sukirti added, "Yeah, and no, he is serious..." turning to Aum, "Now, are you going or not?"
Aum looked at her with annoyance, "Fine, I will go find Maa first than go."
Veer waved, "Bye bro, take care. See you soon or when ever next time we crash."
Aum nodded in acknowledgement, "Bye. You too take care," motions at Sukirti with his eyes delivering the unspoken message.
Veer smiled and nodded.
Veer announced, "Let's go, cause we are just wasting more time over here."
Armaan said, "I agree, as Sukirti said, we will just see what to do next when we reach Sukirti's house."
Right then Naagrani came in and asked, "Who is talking about going?"
Sukirti got up and started, "Maa, We were'" and trails off.
Naagrani shook her head negatively, "No, no one is going anywhere until you tell me what you are going to tell?"
All four of them bowed their heads down and looked on the floor.
After few minutes Veer said, "Naagrani, we are already away from home for so many days now, the more we stay away, the more we have to cover up so,"
Naagrani asked, "So?"
All four looked at each other, but no one dared to utter a single word.
Naagrani sighed, "Okay, you all can go, but Sukirti you will have to come back at night."
Sukirti asked, "Night? Why?"
Naagrani said, "There is something we have to talk about." Understanding that 'we' include Naagdev too, Sukirti nodded a small yes and all four friends made their way out.
All four of them are standing in front of Sukirti's house. The sun has not yet risen, but the first ray will spread soon.
Veer broke the early morning silence, "I will do it," and saying this he raised his hand slowly and pushed the door bell. It had only be few seconds and the door opened as the four saw Sukirti's mom looking at them one by one with totally confusion.
Shilpa exclaimed after good two minutes, "Sukirti! Where were you?"
Sukirti looked at Sapana not sure what to say and her friends gave a shrugged look back to her.
Shilpa said, "Come inside," as she moved to her side so that everyone can enter and they all went in the living room and sat down on the sofa. Silence followed yet again.
Shilpa asked, "I want to know everything that's been happening. Where were you? And what are you three doing over here? And don't you dare to lie to me."
All four looked at each other periodically with nervousness clearly visible lining their facial features. Not one was sure what to answer to those many questions that were directed towards them. It's like a test from whom they know the answers to but not know how to put each answer forward.
Shilpa sighed and asked, "Were you all together?"
Everyone nodded and whispered, "Yes" at the same time.
Shilpa asked the next question, "May I know where?"
No one spoke a single word. After about ten minutes Shilpa spoke up, "You know you guys have been away for four whole days. Goodness gracious and that too you leave home at midnight Sukirti...You know Priyanka came here the next day and she informed that you guys were talking on phone at midnight. I bet you were talking about that news. Am I right?"
Sukirti nodded, "Yes."
Shilpa looked at her daughter sternly, "What happened after that?"
Sukirti thought, 'Veer showed up on my window, that's precisely what happened after,' but clearly she didn't said that out loud.
Shilpa continued, "And you guys do know that going away from house at midnight is like eloping."
Sukirti gulped down a huge frog in throat, she didn't liked the word her mother used to describe her actions, though she knew that is exactly what one will refer to as.
Veer said with uncertainty, "But we were not running away; we came back."
Sukirti gave him a stern look. Shilpa agreed, "Yes...after four days...Not a single call, not telling where you are going...What was that important that you guys had to go? I am sure you guys are not working that your boss called at such time and you guys even go."
Sukirti hated to hide things from her mother, she could hear the hurt in her mother's voice. What made it worse was that it was her actions that made her mother hurt. "Maa woh..."
Shilpa raised her brows as Sukirti trailed off, "Yes. Go ahead" When no one spoke she continued, "What about you two?" turning to Armaan and Sapana, "Does your parents know?" They both shook their head a big not being to look up 'NO'.
Before they can speak anymore they all heard the same tune again they heard when they were on the way to palace from the village.
All four of them got up on their feet, like the switch had been pushed making them jump up. Now understanding what Shivali meant by "its time for them to know the truth." The tune was getting louder and louder just as it had the last night. All four of them looked at each other wide eyed not believing their own ears and before they can react to anything - Sukirti slowly fainted and fell down on the floor.
Shilpa jumped back as the scream escaped her lips, "Sukirti!" confused she asked, "What's going on?" and right than Veer also fainted and fell to ground. When all three; Shilpa, Sapana and Armaan looked down in place of Sukirti and Veer they saw two snakes.
Shilpa's eyes getting wide, turned to Armaan and Sapana. Who looked at each other not sure what to say or do now. They felt jammed in between some machine that had been turned on and their was no way for them to escape and save themselves.
After few minutes the tune fainted and Armaan spoke, "So Shivali was right of all she said."
Sapana said not believing it herself, "Guess so," she always thought that predictions, premonitions, and people acting to be physics was all just drama to earn their livings.
Shilpa asked finally finding her voice, "Where is Veer and Sukirti?"
Armaan and Sapana pointed down where the snakes were which have now disappeared.
Shilpa said getting more confused, "Snakes?" they both nodded. Shilpa asked, "What do you mean?" with a look that said, you are major retards if you think I believe you.
Just then Sukirti and Veer walked out from the kitchen so Shilpa forgot her question and instead asked, "How did you two get into the Kitchen?"
Veer and Sukirti glanced at each other then looked at Armaan and Sapana; all four scared and nervous since now they know that they cant hide the truth anymore.
Shilpa declared making her words clear, "I want to know every single detail, not a word here or there, more or less...Right Now!"
Truth Be Told!
Next Part: Chapter 20
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