Credit for Cover: arshy4ever
Arshi and Navkush walked
back home from their school, which was nearby. Both were silent. Today...today
had been a bad day. They had to speak a few lines on the topic 'Father', but
they couldn't...How could they? How could they say anything about a father they
had never known, a father with whom the only communication they'd had was the
cards they recieved... Both were dejected as they walked into the house.
entered the house, the sad thoughts were gone. They couldn't understand why that
Frisbee-waale-Uncle was with them. Is that how people were thanked when frisbees
were returned, they wondered, by letting people visit their house. And there was
that sweet lady they had seen this morning before leaving for school. She was
old, and she had insisted that she be called Dadi. Nani had smiled and
encouraged them...And Mamma. *Sigh* Mamma hadn't said a word throughout.
"Arey, you're home!" they
heard their Nani ask.
Garima came and helped them
with their bags. "Nani, where is Frisbee-Waale-Uncle?" Arshi whispered.
Garima was confused for a
minute, and then laughed. "Beta, he Aakash Mausa's brother!"
Arshi's mouth formed an 'O'
and Garima smiled, as she could see her Khushi in her grand daughter...
After unpacking, Arshi and
Navkush went to their room. "Navi, have you seen my colors anywhere?" Arshi
"Nope!" Navi said, as he
flipped through a picture-book.
Arshi sighed, and went
about the house searching for her colors. Finally, she stopped feeling annoyed
at not finding them anywhere. Then she remembered something, and smiled
victoriously. "Mamma draws dresses! She will definitely have color pencils!"
Clapping her hands in glee,
she ran towards Khushi's room, glad that she had finally found an excuse to use
her Mom's best color pencils. She frowned as she realized that Mom must have
kept it somewhere beyond her reach...No matter. She would find it no matter
where it was hidden.
Khushi remained silent
throughout the journey, lost in thought. That song made her feel strange. The
car stopped suddenly, and almost impulsively, Khushi said, "No I won't get out!"
She cocked her head, shocked. Why on earth had she just said that?!
Arnav looked up and saw the
board 'Kapoor Law Firm' and he braked the car, making it screech and halt
abruptly. Then he heard Khushi say, "No I won't get out!" she said annoyedly,
He was surprised, because
there were innumerous times when he had stopped the car and asked her to get
out. He felt a relief, though very small, that she seemed to remember atleast
very very little. He smiled amusedly at her. "Fine, but whose gonna give your
Khushi peeped out and saw
the board. She blushed hard, and mumbling an apology fled. Arnav saw that she
had left the lunchbox on the dashboard. "Pagal."
He thought, and he parked the
car and headed towards the firm with the lunch box.
Arnav walked behind her,
ignoring everybody's looks which clearly expressed 'OMG! Arnav Singh Raizada!'
Khushi kept walking, taking stairs, leaving Arnav to wonder why she didn't just
use lifts... Well, his wife was crazy! He smirked.
Finally, they reached a
floor, which was nearly empty. A huge glass wall, overlooking the main road, and
a grey carpet. The room was a lounge, he supposed. There were black and white
funriture and bright green potted plants with abstract paintings. On one side
was a large black door, with the plaque: Advocate, Anand Rajwardhan Kapoor. He
saw Khushi's hand on the knob of the door, probably her brother's room and
called her. "Khushi!" she stopped immediately, and turned around
Arnav held up the lunch
box, and Khushi smiled sheepishly in return. "I-I forgot..."
"Yeah I can see that, "
She held out her hand for
the lunch box, and he obliged. He handed it back to her and walked away, hearing
the doorknob click as Khushi walked into her brother's room. Not a moment later,
he heard the sound of metal against floor, punctutated by a scream. Her scream.
He turned around, and at the same time a sobbing Khushi bumped into him. She
didn't stop and was too quick for him to catch. She just left.
After taking the lunchbox
from Arnav, Khushi walked into her brother's room. "Bhaiyya, I brought you-"
She stopped dead in her
tracks as she saw the man her brother was talking to. She froze as she felt
images whiz in her mind, and fear numbed her. The lunch box fell to the floor
with a clash. THAT MAN infront of her Bhaiyya, brought back sickening, painful
but still vahue memories...Memories her mind had most carefully locked
She could hear random
phrases in her mind
"Still doubts you"..."Doesn't trust you"..."Doesn't
She remembered staring at the rat poison in her hand before she threw it into her
mouth...Then she had staggered out, feeling sick of life and then sharp pain
shooting through her feet...
Disoriented by the sudden
flow of images, she shrieked and ran out, sobbing. She crashed into someone, but
did not bother to check who it was. She simply ran out. It had begun to rain,
and she stopped an auto and asked him to take her to Kapoor Mansion. She cried
all the way...
and confusion engulfing Arnav at the same moment, he turned around just in time
to see Anand walk out of the room, pale with anxiety and worried out of his
mind. It wasn't until a moment later that he noticed someone else standing
behind Anand. SHYAM MANOHAR JHA.