Joined: 08 February 2010
Joined: 08 February 2010
Does absence make heart grow fonder? Or is the case of out of sight out of mind?
Three months later……
They say you don't know persons worth until they are gone out of your life. No one knows this better than the great Ahem Modi.
It has been three months since Gopi disappeared from the train station on that fateful day.
No one has been able to trace her whereabouts. Everyone was questioned, but no one person gave the same answer. All the leads have been followed, until the trail grew cold.
Ahem walked up to his room slowly, he felt as though he has aged three years in the last three months.
He didn't know what to do anymore; he didn't know whom to turn to for support. He hired his friend's private detective agency to look for Gopi, and they are still working on it, but haven't unheralded any new clues.
He walked into his room and set his bag down, took off his jacket and sat in the chair, folding the sleeves of his shirt back.
His Kakiji walked into the room with his tea.
"Ahem dikra, here is your tea, how was your day?" His Kaki gave him a smile.
He looked up at her. "It was fine Kakiji. How is mom today?"
His kaki's smile faded the instant she heard him ask her about his mom.
His kaki put her hand on his shoulder, "It wasn't a good day today dikra, she didn't come out of her room at all, and I don't know why Kanaji is testing us like this."
His Kaki left the room, and Ahem was once again left alone with his thoughts.
How many time had he come up with a different scenario for that day, he could have stopped her from leaving, but no, him and his stupid ego couldn't utter that one word "stop" when she was leaving.
His mother had been devastated when they were unable to find Gopi and had gone into deep depression. She blamed herself for Gopi's disappearance. No matter how much everyone tried to absolve her of her guilt, she still blamed herself.
Ahem had just reached the office and put his bag down and walked to the conference room where everyone had been waiting for him, when his phone rang.
His father's frantic voice and panic had made him forget all about his meeting. He had rushed to Kakaji's cabin to find Jigar already there and informed them of what his father had said to him.
They all rushed to the train station to find totally devastated Parag, at first he hadn't made any sense, but finally his Kaka had clamed him down and asked him what happened.
They had searched the whole train station but were unable to find any trace of Gopi.
Finally they had gone to Police station to report her missing.
When they returned home and told the family, everyone was shocked. His mother had collapsed at that point and kept saying it was all her fault for trying to send her away. On that day Ahem had realized what Gopi meant to his mother. He was faced with Gopi ke na hone ka ehsaas.
His father was dealing with his own guilt for leaving Gopi by herself and loosing her when she was under his care.
And Ahem had his own guilt to deal with; he was in no position to console either one of his parents.
Ahem leaned his head on the back of the chair and closed his eyes. All he saw in his mind was Gopi's smiling face on Holi, he had a tiny smile on his face remembering her on that day, she had looked so cute that day, especially when she was sitting on the grass, giggling while his mom was yelling.
But most of all what she had said to him that day about not being able to live without him, kept playing in his mind over and over.
Then there was his, own statement to himself, that she heard him say out loud, two days before she left. That always made him flinch mentally, and pray to Kanaji that she didn't take that to heart and harm herself.
Ahem drank his tea and went in the bathroom to change clothes. He then went to his mom's room to check on her.
When he entered the room his mom was sitting on the bed reading Geeta.
He went and sat beside her. "Mom, how are you?"
Koki looked up to see her son sitting beside her. She didn't know how to respond to him, how was she? How can she be, when the child of her heart has been missing for three months? And it was her fault; she should have never agreed to let her vahu leave the house.
When his mom didn't reply, Ahem sighed and continued talking. "Mom I have to go to New Delhi for few days, Mr. Thakkral wants to talk to me about the project."
Koki finally replied, "Ok Ahem dikra, take care of yourself." She caressed his head gently and went back to reading.
Ahem sat there and watched her for a minute, but then got up and went back to his room.
He pulled out all his files for the project to make sure everything was in order.
Mr. Thakkral had acted weird when he visited Rajkot two months ago. He had asked lots of questions about Gopi. When Ahem had told him how Gopi went missing, he had gotten quiet and didn't ask any more questions. Then last week he called to invite Ahem to his home in Delhi to discuss the project.
Ahem didn't know what to make of that, but he had been giving the project his full attention, shifting his other work on Jigar's shoulders, who surprisingly was handling everything very well.
Ahem thought about the change in Modi Bhavan and its people since Gopi disappeared.
Jigar realized his responsibility towards the family. He stopped trying to please Rashi all the time, who had gotten ruder since his mom stopped yelling at her, and pointing out her bad behavior.
But on the other side, his kakiji had toughened up with Rashi, she stopped protecting Rashi and putting up with her rude behavior, and the whole family supported her.
Now days only thing Rashi can do is be mad or go sulk somewhere. She thought she was going to be the queen of Modi Bhavan, but she is not even considered the vahu of Modi Bhavan, but does this change her attitude? No she still remains the same greedy, selfish woman.
Ahem wished he had known about how Rashi and her mom had always treated Gopi; they would have never known any of it if Jigar hadn't heard Rashi talking to her mom on the phone about it and told the family, since that day everyone stopped catering to Rashi. Of course Rashi is unaware that the whole family knew the truth about her and her mom.
Ahem stared out the window and thought, Gopi, where are you? Please come back.
Ahem took his bag and stepped out of the doors at the Delhi airport, where he was met by the driver sent by Mr. Thakkral.
They drove straight to Mr. Thakkral's home.
When they reached their destination, Ahem, was met at the door by Mr. Thakkral himself.
Ahem was introduced to Mrs. Thakkral and also Mr. Thakkral's elderly mother, who reminded Ahem of his Nani. He greeted everyone with Jai Shree Krishana and both ladies were very impressed with his manners.
Ahem was pleasantly surprised by dinner, the food had tasted very familiar, and it had all been his favorite dishes.
What was more surprising was all his dinner companions were watching him very closely as if trying to figure him out. He was felt very strange about their behavior.
After dinner, Mr. Thakkral took Ahem out for a walk and showed him his guesthouse.
"Ahem, you are probably wondering why I asked you to come to my house, when I could have met you in Rajkot."
Ahem didn't know how to reply to that, so he just said, "Ji, Mr. Thakkral, I did wonder about it."
They stopped outside of the guesthouse. "I do want to talk to you about the project, but first I want you to meet someone very important related to this project."
Ahem was even more confused now, but waited for who ever was on the other side to open the door.
When the door opened he was shocked to see Gopi standing across from him starring straight at him with look of apprehension on her face. Ahem stood frozen starring back at her.
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