As far as KD remembered, his father hadn't always been like this.There had been a time when he'd been a jovial man, proud of his clean track record, of the fact that he had been able to resist temptation unlike the rest of his Rolex-toting colleagues, some of who were Commissioners while he was still a Sub-Inspector. But he was proud of his middle-class lifestyle, proud of the values that differentiated him from a sea of insensitive, spineless cops.
Then one day, just like Atlantis went sinking down into the sea, his mother got cancer and never quite recovered. And just like that, something inside his father snapped. He became a rude workaholic who found it easier to cane his sons as a method of disciplining them because trying to explain what he felt took away too much energy. He found it easier to yell at them for their mistakes than to praise them for their achievements. Acknowledging that his sons had achieved something would make him see their mother in them. He found it easier to see himself in them- a failure who had been unable to save his wife.KD, at first, tried to behave like he was unaffected. He was the topper in his state-sponsored school, the teacher's pet. 'Acting out' wasn't his thing. But soon, the constant insults, his father's bipolar behaviour, the gaping void left behind by his mother-it triggered that inbuilt human instinct to defy the rules. By the time he hit puberty, every cell in his body wanted to rebel. Inspite of the fact that it made him unpopular with the teachers, inspite of the fact that it damaged his chances at a scholarship to Royal, the most exclusive school in the city, he started 'trading'. First it was just the normal: I'll do your homework for 50 bucks. From homework, he graduated to tuitions. The teachers were pleased. 'Such a resourceful boy,' they thought.Except that KD had realized one very damaging fact: Money was a huge source of power. Though he could never compromise on his values to help somebody cheat in an exam, he could certainly taunt a smart-aleck by reminding him that if it wasn't for Keshav Desai, he'd have failed in his assignments. In eighth-grade, he'd already begun picking fights with bullies, content in the knowledge that the bribes he offered to the peon would keep him safe.
KD never even realized how he'd started using money as a coping mechanism for the fact that his family had been too poor to pay for his mother's treatment. At some level, he blamed himself. If only he'd dropped out of school and taken up a job as a mechanic, like the rest of his friends, they could have afforded at least the basic medicines.
But now that she was dead, he was able to train his sights on Royal. And when he entered Royal, he realized another damaging fact: Affluent kids were as vulnerable to money as lower-middle class kids were. If the poor sought money to alleviate their social distress, rich kids used it as a method to escape their emotional distress.
Now, as he stood in front of Kiya Gujral, begging for her forgiveness, Keshav Desai realized the last and the most potent fact of all: That his whole life, he'd judged people by the amount of money he owned. That instead of looking at Kiya Gujral as an individual, he'd perceived her as an entire class of people whom he felt had wronged him. After all, all those businessmen and socialities could have gone to London and America to get themselves treated! Why did they need to take his mother's bed?
"Fall at my feet," she commanded. The sweet Kiya Gujral, who unlike KD, had looked past her prejudices and made him her Buddy was gone. She was back to being Chiclet: supercilious, her hands on her hips, her lips pursed, her eyes looking anywhere but at his face. "Rub your nose on the ground and beg for forgiveness. I'll consider forgiving you."
The words should have stung at him, cut his ego. How dare she talk like that? But KD knew better than to give her the stinging resort he might have at an earlier time. He knew that the situation demanded him to hang his head in shame, and that's what he did. He was supposed to be filled with remorse. He was supposed to be ready to jump off a cliff if that's what she expected him to do in order to win her friendship back.
But if Kiya Gujral thought he was going to rub his nose onto the ground, she was going to get a reality check.
"I'm sorry," he said, his back straight, trying to keep as much dignity as possible in front of a crowd of high-school students who were sure to heckle him. "But I can't. I'll do anything to win your trust back, but not at the cost of my self-respect."
Kiya took in a sharp breath, and he was confused as to whether her eyes were showing approval or disappointment. Either way, for a moment they went back to being the soft chocolate brown that they had been when they used to be friends. However, they quickly returned to a hard amber again.
"That's what I expected from you," she sniffed. "You've betrayed me in the worst way possible, but you still won't give up your middle class values. I hate you Keshav Desai."
KD nodded his head in acceptance. The moment he'd heard Kiya ask him to humiliate himself in front of the entire canteen, he knew that their friendship was over. If she still had even a little concern left for him, she would have given him a punishment that was harsh, but not at the cost of having him grovel. Kiya Gujral was in the mood for pure revenge, and nothing else.
"The apple doesn't fall far from the tree," she remarked.
KD cringed. Now, this was personal. Ever since childhood, his father had used him as a punching bag for his own supposed 'failure' as a husband. Even though Piddi and Bobby were scratching their heads at the cryptic statement, KD understood the statement well and clear: KD had used Kiya as a punching bag for his own frustration and mistrust in people.
"You're right," he said, in a guarded fashion, trying not to betray the fact that she'd hit where it hurt the most. "I'm a police officer's son," he said, trying not to choke on the lump gathering in his throat. "Honour is important for me. And my sense of honour tells me that it's useless trying to get you to forgive me when we both know you consider what I did unpardonable. So go ahead and hate me. I don't care. I don't think I'm even worth your enmity. I think it's just better you wipe me out from your memory."
Kiya froze. This was not what she'd been expecting. She'd expected him to behave like a loser and beg her to take her words back and give him a second chance. But something inside Keshav Desai had reverted too. When she looked into his eyes, she could see those familiar walls there, rebuilding themselves as he took in the impact of what he'd said.
KD walked away from the canteen, Piddi and Bobby anxiously hurrying behind him. Kiya looked at the people around here. All of them were whispering and pointing fingers at her. Samar and Juhi where standing by the food counter, and Kiya didn't need to look at them to know what they were thinking: You went too far.
She frowned. Whatever. That loser KD was too complicated. She had much better things to do.
Who am I kidding, she sighed. Isn't this what she'd always wanted? To be just like her mother and Anya Di, unlike KD, who'd never wanted to be anything like his father. Even though she despised the both of them, she'd always envied their talent for being such divas, for not giving a damn what the world said. They were mean, and people loved them for it. And she wanted to be just like them. Self-centered, with no concern for what anybody else thought.
I'm sorry KD, she thought. The reason she hadn't forgiven him was not because she was insanely mad about the fact that he'd betrayed her trust. If that had been the case, she'd have forgiven him the moment she'd seen him behaving like a lost puppy-dog.
The reason she didn't want Keshav Desai in her life anymore was because, for those few weeks she'd spent with him, she'd lost track of herself. From Kiya Gujral, Rockstar, she'd become Kiya Gujral, Ordinary Girl. She'd allowed herself to have middle-class delusions of a cozy life with the boy by her side.
And she didn't like it. Because if she wasn't a Rockstar, she wasn't anything. Her mom and her Di had made sure of it.
The apple doesn't fall far from the tree.
This is obviously inspired by forum members' reactions to the episode where Kiya challenges KD to fall at her feet. I didn't expect KD to actually fall at her feet. And CV's NEVER show any self-reflection on Kiya's part. They just show her making grumpy faces which really isn't a good indicator of her feelingsso yeah this is my take.
hope ya liked it!