Joined: 21 January 2010
I woke up the next day, early in the morning. Though I didn't have anything to do. Amma, Bauji, Jiji and Buaji were at the market buying groceries. I was making myself some tea and breakfast when someone knocked. It was Shyamji. We sat in the kitchen and were chatting happily when the door bell rang again. I asked Shyamji to get the door and followed him after a few seconds. Whoever was at the door, had stupefied Shyamji. At least that was his reaction. I bent around him to see that it was Anjalliji. She was having the same reaction on her face too. Though she seemed much more confused, rather than shocked. She didn't even notice me!
She asked "Arre!! Aap yahaan. Now it was my turn to be shocked. I asked her, "Aap Shyamji ko jaante hai??! Yeh hamare ghar mein Paying Guest banker eh rahe hai."
She was still more confused and looked at Shyamji's face, which for reasons unknown to me, was filled with guilt. Anjaliji gasped at that moment, and held on to the wall, as if she couldn't stand anymore. I rushed to her and turned to ask Shyamji's help. He gave some excuse and practically ran away!! By this time, Anjaliji had become unconscious. I took her inside the house and sprinkled some water on her face, patting her face and calling her name. And when she didn't respond, I called for a rickshaw. With Happy bhaiyya's help, I put her in the rickshaw and took her to the nearest hospital. The doctor, on seeing her face, created a fiasco and took her to diagnose her. I didn't what to do next, when HE came to my mind. I went to the reception and called him.
He was either happy to hear my voice, or was already in a very good mood. I told him to come to the hospital in a calm manner, so that I didn't scare him. He was concerned, but came to the hospital within a half hour. By that time, the doctor had told me that they had shifted Anjaliji to ICU, that she was under a huge shock and that they had given her sedatives so that she could rest. I told him all this. He was shocked at this and ran in. I didn't want to interfere, so I was left outside.
When he came out, he had this "Don't-even-try-to-think-about-messing-with-me-right-now" look.
He asked what exactly happened? I told him everything, and at the end he asked "Shyam''. Jha?"
I thought Shyamji may be a very famous lawyer, because even Arnavji knew him. I happily answered "Arre haan.. Aap bhi jaante hai unko??!"
'No!! This can't be happening!! But Khushi??!! Didn't she know about Jiju!! Surely she had seen him during'''''''''''''.. No!! She had never seen him!!
That Son of a Bi*ch had taken care of this very well!! Aww.. shit!! What's happening? How do I handle this? What do I tell Di??!!'
I felt a someone tug at my arm and looked up to see Khushi staring at me with so much concern in her eyes. "He's my Jijaji." I told. 'Or at least "WAS"!!' I thought.
She was shell shocked, when she heard this. "Par yeh kaise ho sakta hai??!! Agar aisa hota tho humne pehchaanli''''' Nahin.. Humne tho kabhi bhi Anjaliji ke pati ko nahi dekha'.." she said. And as if she thought this would make me mad at her, she started to explain, "Arnav.. Hum yeh sab nahi jaante' Hamaara matlab hai ki' Arnav' Humaara yakeen kijiye.. Please'." Her eyes were glistening with tears by the end of her rambling. Her tears was the last thing I neede right now. I put my shoulders on her and said "Khushi' Sshhh' Main jaanta hoon ki isme tumhaara koi galti nahi hai. Par tum yeh batao. Woh kameena gaya kaha??"
"Woh.. Jab hum Anjaliji ko ghar ke andar la rahete, unhone kuch waja banaaya or vaha se nikal pade. Aur hum bhi yeh sab jaante nahi the, tho''. Hum rok nahi paaye unhe. Hume maaf kar dijiye. " she said.
I almost hugged her. "No Khushi.. Don't apologize.. Ab main yeh sab handle kar loonga. Main ghar mein bataata hoon. Jab tak sab log aaye, tum zara yahi rehna. Mujhe kuch phone calls karni hai. I'll be back."
She held on to my arm, not wanting to let me go. I took her to the nearest chair and sat her beside me. Firstly, I called Aakash and explained the situation. Next I called a detective agency, well known for their accuracy. She just sat next to me taking all this in, her hand still on my arm, as if she was soothing me in her own way.
My family arrived creating a hullaballoo. Surprisingly, the noise didn't bother me. I was strangely focused today. I wondered how could Khushi distract me and yet, keep my mind focused at the same time. She went to Nani and Aakash and tried to console them. She sat with them now, but we had our eyes on each other. We were silently taking strength from the other.
After a few minutes, she came to me and asked for my phone. I made a note to buy her a new cell phone and gave mine to her. She called her home and told her Jiji to get her some fresh set of clothes. When I understood that she was doing this because she wanted to stay here, with Di, I started to object. She just said, "Dekhiye, humaare liye Paayal Jiji alag nahi aur Anjaliji alag nahi. Please.. Na karke hume sharminda mat kijiye."
Khushi's family arrived and they all handled Nani very well. Khushi's father was very understanding. It didn't take me more than a minute to realize that he trusted Khushi with his life. And she completely deserved it, I thought. After sometime, I told all my family members that they should go home. After all Di wouldn't be conscious for at least 12 more hours. I stayed behind. We sat outside the ICU.
We had this comfortable silence between us. Talking when and what we wanted. Somewhere during midnight she started to doze off. I put her head on my shoulder. She snuggled more into me. And even though my Di was inside, still unconscious, I felt strangely at peace. I fell asleep too.
I woke up because of the prickly feeling of someone staring at me. I opened my eyes to see an old, most devilish face with the most evilish glint in his eyes. Arnav was next to me, asleep. I gasped, hid my face on his biceps and called his name. He opened his eyes and by the time I realized what was going on, I was standing behind him, and he was covering almost half of me. He had gone all tensed and his fists were clenched at the side. I didn't like this at all. The person standing in front of us had straightened. He was almost as tall as Arnav. And he had some facial features almost similar to my Arnav, though my Arnav would never have this glint in his eyes. He could never have this devilish glint in his eyes, even if he wanted.
'Yeah.. He is.. So what, now??'
'Oh just shut up!! You have much more important things to do now. Why has he become so tensed now? Who is this old man??'
I thought, putting my hand on his biceps, as if that would stop him''''''''''''
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