"Mumma , tell us what to do……I mean what should Aarti do now? She says she is scared to go to his office and apologize…."
Shobha smiled and looked lovingly at Aarti. She had been continuously fidgeting with her dupatta. It was a habit she indulged in whenever she was nervous.
"Aarti beta, there is nothing to be scared of. Yash won't eat you up if you apologize to him". Shobha had a naughty smile on her face.
"Aunty, please. I am already worried sick. Maansi told me how influential he is. And I have always heard about how rich Uncle's boss is, just never knew it was Yash Scindhia and his father……what if..what if he lodges a complaint in school?...what if I am sacked or asked to leave again?"
She looked like she could break into tears any moment. Shobha smiled. It was amazing how in spite of everything she had faced, the girl still retained her innocence. She was glad to note that Maansi had already placed her hands on Aarti's shoulder. The bond between the two was worth watching.
" Aarti, I already told you Yash ji would never do something like that. He isn't like the rest. ", Maansi reassured her. "Mumma, tell her about Yash Scindhia…..thats why I brought her here. "
"You are right Maansi. I believe Aarti's fears can be put to rest only if I tell her everything about Yash". She glanced at Aarti. She could see that she was getting her interested. " Aarti, your uncle and I have known Yash since he was born. In fact we knew the Scindhias even before that. Dubey ji is the oldest employee of the Scindhias. They have never treated us as staff though. We have always been like family. Well, you already know all that, don't you?
Now, about Yash. He is probably one of the most genuine human beings I know……along with you."
She could see Aarti blush. "I am serious, you know. There are many similarities between the two of you. Aarti, you need not worry about getting sacked again. I assure you Yash will never do anything of the kind. Maansi must have told you already, he is a widower…..has a hard time raising his girls…."
"Girls?", asked Aarti, a little surprised.
"Yes, he has two daughters. Palak and Payal. Payal stays here with him and Palak stays in India with the rest of the family."
"Oh, but why?"
"hmm…..whats the matter Aarti Madam…..getting all curious about Yash Scindhia…..?? Has he cast some spell over you in the first meeting itself?", winked Maansi.
"Shut up Maansi", exclaimed Aarti , genuinely shocked. "I was just wondering why his other daughter doesn't stay with him.."
" Well, because she doesn't want to, In fact he settled in London so that she didn't have to live in the same house with him"….replied Shobha.
"Aarti, you must be wondering how I know every minute detail. You see, it happened in front of us. Gayatri Ji, Yash's mother had just had a knee surgery. Dubey ji and I had gone to meet her. We were all gathered in the drawing room…..Yash was there as well, looking very depressed….more than usual. Suddenly Palak came there with tears in her eyes. We all got worried . Yash asked her what the matter was, and she…..she jerked her hand away from his ….and screamed that she had heard him telling Prateik that Arpita was dead because of him. I shall never forget the look on Yash's face. ………after what seemed like several minutes, he accepted her accusations. She looked at him with such disgust….and then she shouted that she hated him……..She even fell ill……Yash thought it was best to remove himself from her sight. That's the reason he came to London…"
Shobha had tears in her eyes. She always did, whenever she thought about what Aarti or Yash had faced. She could see Aarti was hugely affected by what she said.
"But aunty….Maansi told me how much Yash ji loves his wife…..I don't understand.. how is he responsible for her death?"
"That's another long story. You see….Arpita, Yash's wife had been witness to a murder…an eye witness. It was a risk. But both Yash and Arpita were too principled to keep quiet. Arpita wouldn't listen to anyone who tried to stop her…….and Yash never stopped her….He said he would protect her….. wouldn't let anything happen to her……but …..he couldn't. They killed her right in front of his eyes…..he couldn't save her. He has never forgiven himself for that.
But he did take revenge. He worked as hard as the police, probably more than them and brought those criminals to justice.It took him 2 years…..the murderers had fled…..but he found them out…..hired the best detectives for doing so, the police also were efficient because of Suraj saab's influence…..But he never forgave himself. And he still hasn't."
What followed was absolute silence. While wiping her tears, Shobha noticed Aarti's streaming eyes. Yash's tale must have brought back painful memories to her as well.
"Aunty, Please ask Uncle when it would be convenient for him to take me to Yash ji's office. I must apologize at the earliest. "
How proud Shobha always was of her. She might be impulsive, she might be too nave for her own good, but her Aarti was brave. She never shied away from accepting her mistakes, and that was her best quality.
Note : This is written by Ria Im posting on her behalf