PART 10: UPDATED
Ahem went to the police station to report her missing and was ashamed to reveal the circumstances leading to her disappearance but the police informed him that he will have to wait until 48 hours to make it official if they do not find her but they will put a note regarding it and then he left and then thought of calling a friend for his help regarding certain matter and arranged to meet him later in the evening at their usual place. Ahem was so frustrated not finding Gopi that he was late in meeting Sanjay but he did call him earlier and informed him that a family matter keep him late but will be there soon. When he reached, he was led to an office and then Sanjay arrived minutes later and Ahem apologized and meeting commenced but Sanjay informed him that his fiancee will be joining then in the next meeting as she is an important part of the project and that she is the one that believed your company will be better suited for this project and Ahem agreed. After the meeting, he drove to bus garages to enquire about anyone seeing Gopi by showing them her picture, the one on their their wedding since it struct him that that's the only photo of her's he got. He also tried the rail stations close by and got the same response and after driving awhile he headed to the resturant and there he met with Ajay, he college friend a private detective and who is always willing to help him when in need as Ajay thinks he is indebted to Ahem as Ahem helped him financially during their college day but Ahem has told him not ever think that he has help him so that he will too do the same in future because whenever Ahem ask him to do some investigations for him, he make sure that Ajay is paid.
The two lads talked about college and then Ajay told Ahem that he is now married and has a child but Ahem looked lost and tears were dropping his cheeks and he tap on his shoulders and asked about his bhabi to which Ahem looked at him with eyes filled with tears and said " I don't know and I messed up big time and I think I have lost her forever. Ajay I have done the most dreadful thing to her and now I don't know where she is" he said sobbing. Ajay looked at his broken friend and said I told you last time when we met and you introduce her to me that you are so lucky to have such a wonderful wife but you just can't forget her illiteracy and now what have you done to her, murdered her. Ahem was stunned at his friend's suggestion and said 'don't ever say that even jokingly. Yes initially I hated her for being illiterate and acting nice all the time but these past weeks I've grown to admire and care for her so deeply and when I wanted to correct my previous mistakes I added more insults on her to the extend I drove her away from me. Ajay, Gopi has left me and it's all my fault and I want her back and tell her how much my life is incomplete without her, how much I love her and always loved her but was afraid to fall for a gawar" he tells Ajay everything and his friend just gasp and could not believe Ahem Modi behaving so inhumanly with his wife but knew that his friend has regretted everything he has done and promised to do all he can to find Gopi and left a devasted Ahem who decided to stay a little longer and took his laptop which he has not opened since the night Gopi went missing to some skech on the Sanjay project with hope of drifting his attention away from the thoughts of Gopi. As he opened it, a note dropped and he picked it up and recognised Gopi's hand writing and read it and was astonished with what was written. He understood the part of him hurting her with what he has done but his eyes kept stirring at the words Naani and grand children and wondered what has his Naani got to do with what happened and who told her anything about grand children and suddenly it hit him. When he went to find her at the kitchen terrace Gopi did ask about his Naani and he told her that she was unwell due to age. " Oh God I hope Gopi does not think I did that because of Naani. Am going crazy now, darn why would she think that I know i've hurt her but to do it for Naani. Please God help me here". I've to talk to mum and close his lap top and headed home driving crazily as he was getting confused now.
When he reach home, there was a huge commotion going on with Rashi. " When will this girl have common sense and know when to cause a rift especially when everyone is tense with the where about of Gopi" he said to himself but what stunned him was that this time it was not his mum shouting at her but Jigar and he stood and watched and wondered what has gotten into his brother. Rashi was saying to Jigar "but I did not do anything so why are you accusing me of anything I just called my mum and wondered whether Gopi was there..." With the name Gopi mentioned Ahem jumped at his position and then said "what is she at your mum's oh God why did I not think that..." Jigar interrupted him saying " bhai, bhabi is not there but Rashi may have and idea as to why she left, isn't it Rashi". Ahem was shocked once again and Rashi now has a new kalakari in mind and said " Jigarji the reason I did not want to tell you is because I made a promise to Gopi that I won't tell anyone but now that you are blaming me and thinking I wanted my little sister to leave here but the truth is that Gopi left because of Ahemjiju". now all eyes are on him questioning Rashi's accusation laid at him and when he was about to deny Rashi further said " Gopi said that... am disgusted to say it but she told me that Ahemjiju raped her and that the reason she wanted to leave but Kakiji I tried to tell Gopi to talk to you or Ahemjiju but she said that she thinks Ahemjiju has raped her because she was not ready and that he wanted Naaniji to see her great Grand children as Naaniji is not well and..." Rashi felt something hard on her face and her mouth bleeding due to the hard slap Ahem gave her listening to her lies and was about give her another one when Kokila held his hands both fuming fire. Ahem shouted Kokila how dare you slap a daughter in law of this house, is this how I raise you to behave with women especially and in front of elders. Now all the elders are hurt because their children were behaving like holligans, first Jigar claiming Rashi has something to do with Gopi leaving and now Gopi left due to Ahem's behaviour. Ahem tell us the truth,what is Rashi talking about, Kokila said. Ahem looked at the floor shamelessly and did not know for once what to say to his mum as there is some truth to what Rashi said cause he nearly forced himself on Gopi and only stopped when interrupted. He shut his eyes trying not to remember the incidence and decided to leave to his room in shame as he does not know what to say in his defence. What could he say " oh mum yes I nearly raped my wife when she was distroted and crying about the loss of her parents and instead of consoling her, i degraded her and killed her beautiful soul". Everyone was still at the turn around of events and worst affected were Kokila and Jigar. He still believe that he heard Rashi telling her mum that her kalakari worked and that Gopi is out of MM for good and also the night before when he woke up to get water and found Rashi missing from the room, he saw a shadow and realised it's Rashi who was listening in Ahem bhai's room and even knocked and that got him suspicious but with this new revelation of Ahem bhai's behaviour he does not know who is right but intended on finding the truth. Kokila on the other hand was so withdrawn she did not understand how her upbringing could go wrong on both her children.
Months passed and no news of Gopi and MM house was never the same after all the commotions and and things got worse for Ahem when on one of the meetings he had with Sanjay met his fiancee who was non other than Anita and Sanjay said both met in London and fell in love and decided to get married and he proposed and she accepted and will be getting married soon but Sanjay did not know the relationship between the two. Ahem liked Sanjay so much and the two became close and that when Ahem decided to tell him all about his and Anita's past but assured him that it was over between them on the day he married his mum's choice but did not go into details as he now does not talk to anyone regarding Gopi except Ajay. He wished both on their engagement and Sanjay looking at his new friend thought there is more that Ahem was not revealing to him but did not push.
As for Gopi, she was handling both household work and studies well and even passed her exams and thought Ahemji would have been proud of her or may be not as she did not get 100%. She also has started doing embroidery at a local tailor shop and people has liked the designs so much and now most of the neibours go there with their fabrics and get their dress made. Abdul supported Gopi and guided her and one day told her that he was going to remarry and that his mum is getting weaker and he hope one day Gopi too will go back to her family and that means his children needs someone around to look after them. Gopi was happy with the news but said she was not going back unless he does not want her there, and Abul told her that she can stay as long as she wants and also informed her that someone else came to the shrine with her photo and asking question about her and said I think your family has not given up on you but i'll support you as always and she huged him crying.
Few weeks later Abdul married a young girl from his town few years older than Gopi and every one was happy to meet her but after few days she started complaining about Gopi especially when she found out that she is not related to him and a non muslim as well. The children started to hate her as she would lie to their father about them and because she thought Abdul like Gopi more than her and that they might be having an affair because Abdul would not tell her about Gopi.
A year after Gopi left a frail looking Ahem always made work his only distraction and was becoming an agressive businessman and that's when Sanjay decided to step in and invite him to his place and to discuss further about the construction project and future projects. Ahem went home and as usual opens Gopi's wardrobe and sniff and smell her close just to feel her presence in the room as now he was missing beyond words, he now sleep on the floor on her bedding. His mum is not speaking to him and only Jigar seems to sympathise with his situation and even told him that he did not believe Rashi but has no prove but he could not tell Jigar anything as now as he himself is so lost that no amount of explaining would help his condition but thanked him and headed towards Sanjay's house trying hard to concentrate on the road.
Meanwhile Gopi is starting to have it tought at Abdul's house with the arrival of the new wife as she make sure that Gopi does all the chores and also make prep for dinner before she is allowed to go to the tailor's shop. Her designs are becoming popular but since most people are poor, the master pay her less but she does not complain as Abdul made sure she kept her money and not use it on family groceries but she always buys something for the kids and this day too she went to the market to get them something and was stopped by a man who was asking her information about herself and when he presented her photo with Ahem on their marriage, she froze and stirred unending at the picture and tears form and she did not even realised holding the photo and caressing Ahem's face and when the man cut through her and said do you know this man she dropped the photo and ran off leaving the man stunned and taught it strange but just picked up the photo and at the disappearing figure of Gopi. She was panting heavyly and grasping for breath when she reach home and rushed inside to her room which she share with gandma and crashed on the bed cried and all those hurtful moments she tried hard to bury came flooring down on her. She cried herself to sleep and when Abdul came she asked to speak to him and after meal, the went to the bench and Gopi said " Abdul papa I want to leave this place and go somewhere else where I cannot be found. A man met me at the market and showed me of a photo of Ahemji and me on our wedding and he was looking for me. Abdul papa if I stay here longer, they will find me and force me home but I don't want to do after all the hurt and humiliation I got". " Listen Gopi beti running won't solve anything and even if you leave what are the chances of not being found but if you insist then I can send you to my niece in Delhi and she is into fashion and might find you job there as you have immence talent and now you can write well and count but will need to learn English as it's a big city and life there is fast and complex but promise me Gopi that you will not mould yourself into their life style. So let me speak to her and I will tell you the out come". Once again Gopi hug him out of happiness.
Sanjay welcome Ahem into his house and he praise him for the nice decor and both men sat down whilst a very warm man came and serve them drink and left the two men talking. Ahem then asked whether Anita will be joining them and was shocked to hear that they broke off the engagement as his dadi did not approve of the relationship and thought that Anita is in it for the money. But Ahem said that she was a good person and cared a great deal. Sanjay then said " if that's the case then why did you not marry her but went with your mum's choice". Ahem replied he cared for his mum so much and he would have talked to his mum if Anita did not ask him to choose between her and his mum. " Well for the same reasons or more I broke off with her. She wanted me to put dadi in an old age home when we married and that I should make her an equal partner in the company. So you see Ahem we both made the right choices but unlike you am yet to find someone who will truely love me without my money being the factor. So how come you did not bring bhabi with you and do you realise that for past year that I've known you not once have you introduce her to me or even brought her to our campany's parties". Sanjay said and Ahem was once again was reminded of his loss and yern for her but was locking himself out of the world by not sharing his pain and trying to punish himself with her memory and was not ready to share. Sanjay sense the barrier Ahem has created around him at the mention of his wife and new nothing is well with his friend's marriage and lightly tap him to bring him out of his world. He suggested that they have something to eat and then discuss about business and they they will be free to tour the house. After their meal, they went to the garden to discuss business and Sanjay told Ahem in a couple of weeks he will be in Delhi as he was made a VIP guest at some fashion show by the organiser and that Ahem should come with him and meet more of the business associates and prospective clients as well. Ahem said as he is so busy at the moment and also due to attend a conference in Mumbai so he won't find time to go but might sent his brother instead but will let him know soon. After discussing on business further both decided to take a break and Ahem asked him about his family as he only saw his dadi so where are the rest. Sanjay looked at him with teary eyes and the look he gave him cut through his heart but he does not know why as he has on several occasion told Sanjay that he look so familiar especially when he makes faces. Sanjay started by saying " Ahem we both have past that we do not share with others but having said that as a friend I can tell you that my real parents and sister died in an accident when I was young and all I could remember after that was waking up in hospital and a couple then told me that they pick me up covered in blood in the woods as they were taking a stroll and do not know who my parents are and that they need to operate on my head but needed my parents consent and for that they told the hospital staff that they are my parents and that how I''ve been adopted by Surag and Suhana Singhania and they named me Sanjay. My real name is Vikram aka Viki to my old family. Anyway I got loved by this couple who were childless and raised me well by educating me to the highest standard and they became my world. You know what few years after the accident I went to look for my grandma and found she too passed away and our family wealth was shared amongst greedy relatives and then one day I visited our home and one of our neibour recognise me and gave me the most shocking but happy news that my little sister Renuka survive the accident and that some man took her into care somewhere in Rajkot but he does not know anything else and since I've been looking for her but failed but when I came to Rajkot to search to her, I met a woman who said she recognised the girl and that they used to be neibours but the whole family moved to Delhi and can you imagine my despair having been so close in finding her and loosing her again so I shifted to Delhi and posted posters of in the news paper, magazine even missing people plea on tv has been broad casted but nothing was yield. I still did not give up hope but it's being many years and she might be nineteen now and all grown up so the only picture of her I have was a sketch that I made of her and our parents". By now Sanjay was crying uncontrollable and Ahem was consoling him and saying all that hard work won't go to waste and that one day he might meet his sister. When he calmed down he asked Ahem to come and see the sketch and as he lived in Rajkot may have seen her before she left for Delhi. Ahem new that was not possible but inorder to con sole his friend he agreed. They went to his study and Sanjay brought out two portraits. One was a little girl with very two braid holding a doll and Ahem found himself drawn to the girl's eyes and was stirring so intently until Sanjay tap his shoulders and asked if he seen her but Ahem said no still confused as to why those eyes were hunting him and stabbing deep in his heart but brush it off and as both men were leaving the study Ahem stopped and turned round and there on the wall was huge portrait of a familiar couple and went towards it and stirred and asked who those people were and Sanjay said his parents in the accident. Ahem was not certain but if he was right then this is Gopi's brother " dear God it is Gopi's family, no wonder Sanjay looked familiar,that cute round face and those eyes'. He went back to the little girl's protrait and now can see his Gopi clearly in it and his heart clench and pained at the thought of the distraughted little girl who lost her parents at a young age and being raised by her Maami and then it struck him Gopi' said her parents died on her birthday and if that the case then she cannot be the little girl but the couple's sketch looks exactly as Gopi' parents. Now Sanjay was looking at him confused and wondered what he is up to and then Ahem said to him if he has smaller sketches of both his parents and that of the little girl as he wants to help him in his search and that he knows but asked him not put his hopes high and when Sanjay asked him why he needed his parents sketch, he said caused they are the only link to Go.. the little girl. May be the people who took her to Delhi came back and can only recognise her through her parents. Sanjay does not see the logic but decided to give them to him and with that Ahem left wasting no time.
My dear reader till next update so enjoy. I know it long tried to shorten it but could not help.