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Joined: 15 July 2011
Another couple of weeks passed by. Sidhi continued to keep to herself. Kunal had won yet another case in the interim, though this was a relatively simpler one. He had tried finding out more about Abhay, but had found nothing yet he didn't know. He did find out Surekha, Abhay's mother had been in jail for 7 years on murder charges and had come out a little after Sidhi was convicted. He also found out that the papers for AC1's custody case were filed on Richa's behest, not Sidhi's. Still, he didn't say anything to Sidhi, or anyone else.
One evening, as Kunal was walking home, he saw Sidhi on the road, walking absentmindedly towards their home. Sidhi had strayed to the middle of the road without realizing and Kunal saw a car speeding straight towards her. He called her name and jumped, just in time to push her away. Both of them fell, though safely.
"Kya kar rahi ho? Kuch ho jata to."
Sidhi looked blankly at Kunal.
"Kya fark padta hai?"
Kunal saw that a few legal papers and some money fell out of Sidhi's purse, which she collected and walked back home, leaving Kunal stranded. Kunal was aghast at Sidhi's behavior. She really looked like she was hurting - Kunal knew that without doubt. Did that mean what she had been saying had been true all along...
When he got home, a full-fledged celebration was underway. A couple of days back, BA had won a national olympiad for maths - his skills being far beyond his age-group, and was selected to compete in the finals in Delhi in a week. And today, CA had come home with several sports medals in inter-zone school tournament. He had won a partial scholarship, as well as an opportunity to enrol in an ahtletic training center. The kids were ecstatic, and to celebrate, a family dinner was underway. Vikram and Raveena had also come. Sidhi and the kids were in their room, laughing and almost dancing around. Kunal watched them. Sidhi looked happy, almost a kid herself and not their mother. Veena called the kids to come and cut the cake they'd brought for both of them.
Kids dragged Sidhi out with them, when Veena spoke. "Happiness has returned to this family after long. Don't spoil it with your presence!"
Seema: Forget it ma, let's not spoil our mood. Ignore her.
Sidhi turned pale and stepped back. She watched from afar as the kids cut the cake. They fed Kunal, and Veena and Raj, and then looked for Sidhi. Only Kunal had noticed how sidhi has quietly slipped back and out of the home towards the terrace. Seema convinced the kids to keep some cake aside for Sidhi and give it to her later. As everyone got engrossed in the meal, Kunal went towards the terrace, looking for Sidhi.
He didn't see her and was about to turn back, when he heard a soft sound of crying. He then noticed, a small hidden corner, where Sidhi was sitting. She was crying to herself, holding a picture of Kunal and the kids in her hand that had been taken a few days back. For an instant he wanted to hold her and comfort her. Then he stopped himself and turned back to go inside again.
He found Vikram and Raveena sitting at a side while the kids ate. He went and talked to Vikram.
Kunal: Vikram, I need to know everything you know about Rohit's murder case.
Vikram started narrating the events from the time when Kunal took the blame on himself and was under custody. For the first time in all these years, Kunal was trying to objectively, emotionlessly trying to examine his past which had changed his life forever. He learnt the details of Sidhi's investigation and the dangers she had put herself in, even stuff she had shielded at that time. Raveena told Kunal about how Rohit was troubling her, and Sidhi was trying to save her, because of which she had threatened him. Once he knew everything uptil Rohit's death and Richa's threats to Sidhi after that, Kunal was shocked.
Kunal: Why have the two of you never told me this before? At that time, and in all these years after...I mean you went to sidhi for help, but neither she nor you told me the full details. Why?
Vikram: Bhaiya, woh Sidhi...and then she took money from Thakral and tried to trap you in the case. She even insulted all of us...
Kunal: How do you know she took any money? She "said" so. But nobody saw any money. And then magically Richa appeared to save me and Sidhi went to jail. My pregnant wife went to jail for a crime she did not commit.
Raveena: but she divorced you
Kunal: Yes. Richa brought me those signed divorce papers. But what if Richa took those from Sidhi under force. She insulted you once, in the court room, but for months before that day, she was helping you, saving you from Rohit and even lying to me for it. Do you not see a contradiction? Oh God.
Kunal was overwhelmed with the realization of what had likely transpired. His eyes were blood-shot, filled with an intense mix of guilt and anger at himself
"I can't believe for nine years I did not know this and did not figure this out. I can't believe for nine years I didn't go to prison to meet Sidhi. Maybe I could have done something sooner."
Seema, who had been listening to the last part of the conversation suddenly realized something -
"Bhaiya, I need to tell you something. Before that case hearing, Ma had begged Sidhi and made her promise that she would do everything in her power to bring her son back to him. Ma told her that because of Sidhi she'd already lost Anand, and at that time even Gaurav didn't live with us. Ma was in a bad condition and we were all very scared that you'd be jailed. Sidhi promised Ma that she would bring her son back, and because of Sidhi, one more innocent son of Ma wouldn't be separated from her."
Kunal was taken aback. He had reason to believe now that whatever Sidhi had said at the Karjat station about the past was definitely true. And already he knew that Richa had lied about Sidhi trying to kill their children. Did that mean what Sidhi had said about Abhay was true as well? But Sidhi had married Abhay. MARRIED. You can't undo that. And she had looked him into the eye and said she didn't love him. Kunal's pain intensified.
Just then, Richa came in. She had been invited by Veena, to join in the celebrations. Kunal's rage had finally found the right target. As he saw Veena hug Richa, he was filled with disgust.
"Richa! Tum yahan kya kar rahi ho?"
"Kunal" Veena started to say, but Kunal signaled her to stop with his hand. Looking at his anger, Veena got afraid and took a step back.
"Bas ma. Ek aur shabd nahi. Aap is Richa ki sachai nahi jaante. 9 saal maine ise is ghar mein aane diya, ye soch kar ki isne mere bete ki jaan bachai. But ye mere bete ko bachana nahi maarna chahti thi. Agar main wahan nahi pahuncha hota to mera bada beta kabhi zinda nahi bachta. Is aurat ne khud apne sage bhai ko maar dala, aur uske ilzaam mein Sidhi 9 saal jail mein akeli rahi. Is aurat ne meri zindagi, mera parivar, mere bachon ki zindagi barbaad kar di. Is aurat ki wajah se mere bachon ko aaj tak unki maa ka pyar nahi mila. Is aurat ki wajah se meri Sidhi mujhse hamesha hamesha ke liye door ho gayi"
"Kunal..."Richa started to say something.Kunal held her by the neck, in a fit of madness. The anger in his eyes scared Richa.
"Tumne aisa kiya ki nahi!
Everybody in the room was shocked, including the two kids. Sidhi had heard the commotion as well and came down, though she stood at a far corner, unnoticed.
Richa was frightened to the core. She had never seen Kunal like this.
"Haan haan. Maine kiya. Par maine jo kiya tumhare liye kiya. Tumhe paane ke liye kya nahi kiya maine Kunal. Khud apne ko bhai ko mera. Pichhle 9 saal se tumhare bete ko pyar kiya. Tumhari nafrat sahi. Kya nahi kiya maine Kunal. Kunal I love you."
The imprint of Kunal's hands was visible across Richa's face. The revelations had shocked every person in the room to their core. Veena wanted to sink in the ground, for trusting a woman for so many years who had tried to kill her grandsons, for trying everything in her power to make her marry Kunal. Raj, Seema, Gaurav, Vikram, Raveena - all stared at each other, as if to absorb the enormity of what they had just witnessed.
"Nikal jao yahan se is se pehle ki main tumhe apne haathon se maar daloon!" Kunal roared.
Richa had crossed her limits of craziness as well.
"I am going Kunal Chopra, but you will pay for this. I will make your entire family pay for this. You have insulted my love." She started leaving, when she suddenly spotted Sidhi by the door. She picked the knife near the cake and ran towards Sidhi.
"You! You B***h! Ye sab tumhari wajah se hua hai. Tumne meri zindagi barbaad kar di. Main tumhe nahi chhodoongi. Tumhe das saal pehle kidnap kiya tha, tumhe tabhi marwa dena chahiye tha!"
Richa was like a person possessed, running towards Sidhi to stab him. Her first stab missed and hit Sidhi on the side of her shoulder. It bruised, but had missed Richa's target by about 8 or 9 inches. As she raised her hand to stab again, Kunal stopped Richa and held her hand. In the ensuign struggle, Kunal ended up with a wound on his arm as well, but soon Gaurav and Vikram healed Kunal control Richa before more damage could be done.
"Kunal" Sidhi shrieked. Blood was oozing out of Kunal's arm, but tears were oozing out of Sidhi's eyes even faster than that. "Jaane dijiye. Ye khoon" Sidhi was crying so bitterly, oblivious of everything else around her. She dragged Kunal inside and started trying to stop the bleeding and dressing the wound. "Kunal chaliye abhi doctor ke paas."
Kunal put a finger on Sidhi's lips.
Sidhi looked up.
Kunal wiped her tears. Sidhi suddenly grew quiet.
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