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The drive back is quiet. Ram and Priya are lost in their thoughts – beautiful thoughts of a superb afternoon and evening. Pihu and Kush are fast asleep, tired after all the excitement. Priya looks back and smiles as she watches Pihu and Kush asleep. She laughs as she hears Pihu snore and looks at Ram. Ram looks back at her and smiles too. He feels so good when he sees Pihu. She is a mirror image of him. Even though he did not know about her for the past 5 years, feels so good to see how close she is to him – his "mini me". He shoots sly glances at Priya and smiles shyly to himself.
They reach Priyas apartments and Ram heaves a huge sigh! Already home? The smile vanishes from his face. All the beautiful moments of the day have come to an end. Now each of us go our ways. Ram gets out of the car and opens the door for Priya. Priya gets down and both of them pick up the children and take them upstairs to her flat. They take them in and tuck them in bed. Ram straightens up and wipes the sweat off his forehead. He goes to the living room and Priya brings some water for him. Ram takes the glass from her and drinks the water.
Priya: Mr. Kapoor give me a half hour and I will make some dinner. I am sure the children will wake up soon.
Ram looks shyly at Priya and nods his head. He picks up a magazine from the table and pretends to read it, giving sly glances towards the kitchen. When Priya turns around and looks at him, he puts the book up as if he is engrossed in it. This goes on for a bit and Ram is getting bored. He scratches his forehead and puts the magazine down. He goes to the kitchen and says: Priya, can I help you?
Priya: It's okay Mr. Kapoor. I have everything ready. Just making some aloo parathas because I'm sure Pihu will ask for them when she wakes up and (in a low voice) I know you also like it. I made some palak paneer and dal this morning, so if Kush doesn't want the aloo parathas he can have it. I know he is not too fond of aloo parathas.
Ram: I'm so surprised at Kush sometimes. He reminds me more of you than of his mother or father. (to himself) Thank God for small mercies. He smiles at Priya and goes to the bedroom to check on the children.
Pihu and Kush are waking up and very happy to see Ram in the room. Pihu is trying to look out of the bedroom when Ram senses her insecurity.
Ram: Rockstar, mamma is making our favorite dinner. She is in the kitchen. While she is making dinner, why don't we go and get some kulfi? Lets not tell mamma though. I want it to be a surprise for her.
Pihu: Yipee!! I like that papa. She puts her arms around Ram's neck and gives him a peck on his cheek.
Ram blushes and they all go out of the bedroom.
Ram: Priya, can I take Pihu and Kush out for just a little while. We will be back by the time dinner is ready. We just want to go for a short drive.
Priya looks suspiciously at the three of them. Their smiles disappear and they are trying to keep a straight face. She frowns and is thinking: I am sure they are up to something. They cannot hide excitement very easily. She smiles and tells Ram: Okay. I will get dinner ready and give you a call. Please don't be late or dinner will be cold.
The three of them go out and return shortly with a bag.
Priya looks at the bag and puts her hands on her hips and starts off: what have you brought now? I told you I am making dinner. Mr. Kapoor, you are spoiling Pihu. I am sure she asked you to buy some burgers and chocolate. Please don't do this. Now all the dinner I have prepared will go to waste. She says this and starts walking to the kitchen.
Pihu and Kush put their hands on their mouths as if to stop a giggle. They walk behind her along with Ram.
Ram: Priya, this is for you. You have been working so hard in the kitchen so we have brought you a small gift. He hands over the bag to Priya.
She opens the bag and looks at the contents of the bag and smiles: Thank you Mr. Kapoor. Thank you bachche. I love you! She stops suddenly, shrugs her shoulders and bites her tongue. I hope he didn't hear the last part. Though it was meant for him too, I don't want him to flip now. She takes the kulfi and puts it in the freezer.
Ram looks very shyly and doesn't make eye contact with Priya. There is a small embarrassed smile forming at the corner of his mouth. He scratches his forehead with his left hand and turns away.
She asks Pihu and Kush to help her set the table and they all sit down to have dinner. After dinner they eat the kulfi too and are having a nice time around the dining table.
Priya: Mr. Kapoor, we have to go for Pihus admission next week. Schools reopen after a week, so if we are done with her admission before that she can go to school as soon as they reopen.
Ram: I'm a bit busy this coming week. Maybe we can do it the next week. It's okay if she misses a couple of days of school. I am sure she will make up. She is a smart kid. After all she is Ram Kapoor's daughter, he says very proudly straightening up and puffing his chest.
Priya smiles and nods her head. She is beginning to feel sad because it is time for Ram and Kush to leave. The end of a wonderful afternoon and a beautiful evening. She looks at Ram and says: Thank you very much for today Mr. Kapoor. It was a lovely day and I appreciate what you are doing for us. Her eyes well up as she is talking and Ram puts his index finger in front of her mouth (not touching her).
Ram: Na na na. Not at all. The pleasure is all mine. I enjoyed myself thoroughly and don't spoil the evening by being so formal.
Pihu: Papa, next time we should sleep there also. Please papa.
Ram: Yes Rockstar. We will do that sometime soon. Goodnight Rockstar, Bye Priya.
Priya goes back to the kitchen and clears up. Pihu is in the living room, drawing.
Pihu: Mamma, we had so much fun today na? Did you enjoy yourself?
Priya smiles at Pihu: Yes, bachcha. I had a good time. Before you were born, papa and I used to go to the beach. Initially your papa never liked getting his feet dirty and didn't really like the beach, but slowly he got used to going there because I liked it.
Pihu: Mamma, you look so pretty in those pictures in the beach house. Why don't you wear sarees any more? You must wear sarees mamma. I think papa also likes you in sarees.
Priya goes into FB mode. Remembers the famous "C" night, her honeymoon in Australia, the time she called him "Ram" for the very first time, the scene in the office when he gifts her the pharmaceutical company and so on. She smiles at Pihu and tells her that it is time for bed. Both of them go to the bedroom and Priya picks a book to read to Pihu. She remembers Kush saying no one reads to him at KM and feels sad. She picks up the phone and calls Ram.
Priya: Hello, Mr. Kapoor. This is Priya.
Ram: Ha, I know!
Priya: Just wanted a favor from you.
Ram sounding irritated: Now what?
Priya: Can you please read to Kush at night. He said no one reads to him and seemed to like it.
Ram immediately smiles and shakes his head: OK, I will try and read to him when I get the time.
Priya: Thank you Mr. Kapoor. Good night.
Ram is in his room all changed and ready for bed. He goes to Kush's room and finds him wandering aimlessly in his room. As soon as he hears his door open, he is startled and looks towards the door.
Ram: Kush, do you want me to read a story?
Kush very excitedly: Yes papa. I would love for you to read to me every night like Priya angel reads to Pihu.
Ram: Do you have a story book?
Kush: I have one book papa. It is a bedtime story book.
Ram settles down on the bed beside Kush and reads to him. Half way through the story he notices that Kush has fallen asleep. He looks down lovingly at him and runs his hand through his hair. He bends forward and plants a kiss on his forehead. Goodnight Champ. I love you. I will make everything alright for you too and I promise we will all be a happy family really soon. He covers Kush with a comforter and turns the light off and goes back to his room.
He sits on his bed with his eyes closed and has a very contented look on his face. He goes into FB mode remembering the day at the beach, his first KC and the latest one too, Pihu and him bonding and walking on the shore holding Priyas hand watching the sunset. He sighs and soon the room is filled with his snoring.
The next morning he wakes up and stretches in bed. He looks at the clock on his bedside and sees the picture of Priya and himself: Good morning Priya! He jumps out of bed as it is quite late. He continues to talk to himself: Oh no! I didn't realize how late it is. I cannot believe I overslept. I was hoping to talk to Ayesha briefly this morning before I left for work, but looks like that is going to have to wait. What a shame! The faster I want to get this over with the longer it is taking. He goes to the wash room and is soon out all ready to go to work. As he is walking down the stairs he sees Ayesha, Mamaji, KK and Dadi having breakfast. Kush is also at the table.
Ram: Good morning everyone! Sorry I'm late. Got to rush to work. I will get some breakfast at my office. Ayesha, what are you doing today? Will you be free to have lunch with me?
Everyone is shocked! Ram eating out? With Ayesha? Dadi and KK are not too happy. Mamajis and Ayeshas face light up.
Ayesha: Sure Ram. What time do you want to meet for lunch and where? If you tell me, then I can move my appointments around so I am there.
Ram: Good. I will go to the office and call you from there, giving you details of where and when. Bye.
He gets into the car and goes to work. As he enters the office, his secretary says that the Advocate is waiting to meet him. Ram tells her to send him to his room
Mr. Advocate: Good morning Mr. Kapoor.
Ram: Good morning. Have you got all the papers ready? Hope everything is going as we want it to? I want to get this over and done with really fast. I am going to meet with Ayesha for lunch today, so am hoping you will have everything ready by then.
Mr. Advocate: Yes, Mr. Kapoor. I have drawn up all the papers as you requested. I beg you to think all this over once again. Kapoor industries was not built overnight and I know how much of hard work has gone into it from your side. Do you really want to see it go down?
Ram: I do not have a choice at this time Mr. Advocate. Either I do this or lose Priya and Pihu forever. You know the second choice is not an option for me. I am banking on Ayesha being her stupid egocentric self and making the choice I want her to take.
Mr. Advocate: I also want to remind you that you had gifted Lalaji's Kothi to Krishnaji when she came back to live with you, Mr. Kapoor. That property is not yours to give away to anyone now. All the companies that were in Sidhants and Niharikajis names were transferred to your name and also the Pharmaceutical Company was in your name. I have drawn up the deeds for the PC in Priya madam's name as you had requested. All the transfers have been completed.
Ram: Good. Thank you very much Mr. Advocate. I appreciate all you have been doing at such a short notice. Please verify and let me know after you have gone through all the papers one more time, so everything is in order. I don't want any surprises later.
Mr. Advocate: Sure sir.
The advocate leaves and Ram calls Ayesha: Hi Ayesha. Please meet me at Mainland China at 1:30. I will be waiting there for you. Please don't be late as I have some important meetings this afternoon and cannot afford to miss them.
Ayesha: Yes, Ram. I will be there.
At KM, Ayesha announces to the servants (actually wants Dadi and KK to hear it): I have to leave for a date with Ram at Mainland China. Have to be there at 1:30 so please tell the driver to be ready. I don't want to delay Ram.
Dadi and KK are very upset. Dadi is sitting with her hand on her head: Sathya Naash! Krishna, I think Golu has gone mad. Why is he going out for dinner with Ayesha? He should be taking Priya out not her.
KK: I am also very sad Biji. I want Priya to come back to KM as our bahu and now what is all this? Nutz told me that Ram has been seeing Priya quite often, so I was hoping he would give us the good news soon.
Scene shifts to the restaurant. Ram enters and is taken to a private chamber with a table. He sits down and reads the menu. He is a bit restless, looks at his watch and back at the door. He is tapping his feet and wipes the sweat on his brow with his hanky. He is drumming on the table with the fingers on his left hand. He looks at the waiter.
Ram: I want my usual soup and noodles. Madam will place her order when she comes here. Please make sure that no one disturbs us once the food is served. Also, please get me my mineral water and a clean glass.
As he finishes placing his order, Ayesha comes in. She smiles at Ram.
Ayesha: Hi Ram. Hope you have not been waiting for too long. The traffic was terrible. Sorry for the delay.
Ram smiles at her and shrugs his shoulders: Ah! Its ok. Please order what you want quickly, so we are not disturbed after they bring in the food. I have already asked for my soup and noodles.
Ayesha orders her food and sits back. Soon the waiter brings in their food.
Ram: remember, we don't want to be disturbed.
Ayesha looks very pleased. An exclusive lunch date with Ram. Wow! I'm impressed.
Ram: Ayesha, I have something very important to discuss with you. This is serious stuff and I hope you will pay attention. There are a lot of changes going on the past few months ever since Priya and Pihu are here. I know it is all unexpected and am still digesting the fact that Priya is alive and we have a daughter. As you are aware, our so called marriage was just an arrangement, so Priya and her family will not have to face any shame or embarrassment after what Sid did to you. I have assured you in the past that you are going to remain Mrs. Ram Kapoor, but now the time has come for me to make some changes. I am sorry if this is going to upset you, but I am going to do my very best to compensate you for the inconvenience that you will be put through because of Priya's return. Technically if you look at the court of law, you don't stand a chance if Priya goes to court and files a case of Bigamy against me. The court states that a marriage is annulled only after 7 years and since it is only 5 years since Priya has been away, she is still considered my legal wife even though she has not been living with me physically. Saying this however, I do not want to throw you on the streets to fend for yourself. That will be very wrong on my part. I am doing the best I can Ayesha and in the future if there is anyone else you wish to get married to, we will do our very best to help you. Here are your options: All the companies that are in my name will be transferred to your name and so also will KM. In return for all that you will have to agree to annul our marriage. Failing this, I will give all this to Priya as she will need to take care of Pihu and herself. I cannot leave them stranded either. I will continue to be Pihu's father and will have to stand by Priya as and when she needs Pihu's dad. I cannot forget the fact that she is still my wife and also that you are indirectly to blame for the entire situation we are in. If you had not chosen to take Sid's side during the court hearing 5 years ago, Priya would not have been in jail and all that happened after that would not have taken place. Also, I will take sole custody of Kush. He will continue to be my son and will continue to live with me. You will not have any visitation rights over him. All the offices of KI, KM, furniture, jewellery, cars; everything will belong to you if you choose the first option. I will have nothing in my name.
Ayesha is stunned. She is looking at the food and cannot believe her ears. Wow! So this is why he wanted to meet me here. She is at a loss of words.
Ram: Ayesha, think about this and I will expect an answer from you by the end of the day. Think it over seriously. Remember, if you chose to live with me, you will have to give up all these comforts that you are enjoying now. Mr. Ram Kapoor will not have anything to his name other than Ram Kapoor. I will not be the industrialist any more. Think about it. Now, enjoy your lunch.
Both of them eat in silence. Ayesha is nibbling at her food and once they are done both of them get up and leave in their respective cars.
Ok friends, that's it for now. Let us leave Ayesha to think about what Ram has offered her and see what she decides. Hope you like this and looking forward to your comments until the next part. Good night
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