"Is that all you have to say?" That you were born with this" Arpita asked more outraged than hurt.
Avdesh just looked at her unable to say anything. He had been telling all his past history. About his father and brother. About his sister-in-law Bauji who took up their legacy after their death.
"People have a choice…everyone has a choice….yes circumstances influence our decision…..but we are humans with intelligence, emotions, feelings…we can choose" Arpita said with firmness, moving a step closer to Avdesh.
Her eyes were glassy with tears that refused to fall. She had been battling with her own self for long time now. Her heart refused to let go of the love- the spell binding love- she had for Avdesh while her mind reasoned with her about loving a goon . Who was known as a ruthless killer in this area.
Arpita was grateful that she was saved from the hell Siddarth had trapped her in. But not at the cost of her trust. Siddarth did deserve all the thrashings he got and Avi did that under the impression that she was hurt. But to her Avi shooting to kill was incomprehensible.
To her the other important point was Siddarth words were proved true, Avdesh himself agreed to the fact that he was Bhaiyyaji, the famous good of this area. From what she had heard of the conversation between RV and Anu plus what she heard from Avdesh himself now, he didn't have a very glorious past. She was sure that his past would not have mattered to her. She would never ever let some one's past cloud her present judgement. But Avdesh had again proved how ruthless a goon he was.
Avi had not been able to reach on the night he promised he would come. He had come in a day later that too after creating another deep impact on their minds.
Unable to take the suffocation she felt Arpita had decided to take a walk in the city though she dreaded it. RV wouldn't allow her to do that alone so she had gone with RV and Anu.
Only she wished she hadn't
Arpita was blankly staring at her surroundings not really taking anything in. She was holding hands with Anu who was musing over something in silence.
RV walked to her left trying to get Avi on the line. Suddenly their progress was stopped by a crowd witnessing something in its centre.
RV craned his neck to see what was happening and soon his expression turned grim.
"Lets go" he said to the girls firmly taking Anu's hand.
"What is it RV?" Anu asked looking between him and the crowd.
"Trust me you don't want to know" RV said pulling Anu away.
Anu broke his grip off and pushed through the crowd. Something inside Arpita told her to follow Anu and she went in.
The site that met her eyes shocked her very soul.
"Humne tum logon ko pehle bhi bathaya hain…..Bauji ke khilaf koi awaaz nahin uthni chahiye" Avdesh threatened a bleeding man lying at his feet, pointing a gun to his head
"Hum…hum…hum maafi mangthe hain bhaiyyaji….humne jaan bhhochkar nahin kiya tha….Bauji ne humaari zameen cheeni huse….ee liyen hum" the man manged to sputter.
"Bauji ko gali bhi diyan…..aur ab un par jhootha ilzaam bhi lagaan rahe hon" Avdesh shouted, drowning the man's painful moans.
"Hum sach kah rahein hain bhaiyyaji….Bauji ne humsein" the man began again.
"Avdesh babu…who jhooth kah raha hain…..aap Bauji ko jaanthe hain na" PJ said from among the group of goons.
"Hum jaanath hain Pandit ji….ee liyen iski saaza isko milegi" Avdesh said in a deadly voice.
The man at his feet started shivering. Avdesh released the safety from his bullet as the man let out a terrified sob.
Avdesh's finger started closing around the finger slowly. The man at his feet was almost dead due to fear. The gun fired and bullet pierced his hand. The gun fired a second time piercing the screaming mans leg.
This time Arpita could only stare in evident shock. No sound came out of her mouth.
But Anu screamed.
Avdesh snapped his head up in shock to look at his sister and his love. Anu just shook her head in denial and moved away dragging Arpitha with her.
"There was not much choice for me Arpita…either I had to take up this legacy or I had to watch Bauji getting wounded carrying the jobs out….she means too much to me for me to allow that" Avdesh said looking at the river.
"Why would you want to carry on this bloody legacy Avdesh? You could have just abandoned it and moved to some other place" Arpita asked, evidently stricken now.
"You don't understand Arpita, there were and are other families like us here who wanted us dead….who wanted us gone….and we had to fight to stay alive….running away would have shown that we were cowards" Avdesh tried to explain.
"So you chose violence, lies and deceit to get over the same….Avdesh some times turning your back on the wrong things is not cowardice….it only shows that you are a good human being" Arpita said looking into Avdesh's eyes.
"It is not easy as you think" Avdesh said quietly.
"It may not be Avdesh….but giving up without trying is cowardice" Arpita said with finality.
"What about the police and the law force Arpita? They also indulge in such things right? How does what they do become good and what we do become a crime?" Avdesh asked in a challenging.
"They are recruited by us to protect us….to maintain law and order….what you do disrupts the law and order….even the police men….honest ones do not kill or beat up people just like that" Arpita replied "And most importantly I didn't fall in love with them…..I am in love with you and that is why your deeds matter to me" she finished with tears streaming down her eyes
Arpita gave Avdesh one last long look before walking away.