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divan IF-Rockerz
divan
divan

Joined: 13 February 2007
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Posted: 24 April 2007 at 12:06pm | IP Logged

Ek hi Lamha

My first attempt at writing anything creatively. Forgive grammar and spelling mistakes etc. 
Just wanted to write my version of Bani's story from when she ends up in the asylum. This is how I feel about AD Angry at the moment. So feel free to comment good and bad.

zindagi bhar tujhse pyaar karta rahunga...
tu na kare toh kya,teri yadoin mein jeeta rahunga..
ab yeh na kehna ki yaad bhi na karuin tumko...
tab yeh sansein bhi lena bhul jaaunga (by Zindagi)

Ch. 1

The Aparajit Towers on the Canary Wharf area gleamed in the mid morning sunshine.  Tarun Sablok entered the cool interiors and walked up to the reception and informed that he had an appointment with Mr. Aparajit Dev. The receptionist informed him to take a seat and she will inform Mr. Dev of his arrival.

About ten minutes later Tarun is approached by a young woman, who informs him that she is Mr. Dev's PA and that she will take him to his office.  They take the elevator upto 10th floor which houses the personal offices of Mr. Aparajit Dev.  She knocks on the gleaming oak doors with an impressive brass name plate, "CEO, Mr. Aparajit Dev."  A few seconds later a voice asks them to enter.  The PA opens the door and announces that Tarun Sablok his appointment is here.

Tarun enters the spacious office and is impressed by the interior design of it.  The office has large windows that are tinted so that the glare of the sun is kept out but lets the light some in.  The antique dark oak furniture and the paintings on the wall complement each other.  Tarun extends his hand in greeting to the man sitting behind the desk.

Aparajit Dev stands up and shaking Tarun's hand and asks him to take a seat.  Tarun glanced at the impeccably dressed man sitting with his arms resting on the arms of his chair with a slight smile and asked him the why he had requested to meet him.

AD: "Tarun, I want to expand my business in India and one of by business associate suggested your name. I am looking for a legal firm that has offices located globally that can handle international corporate mergers and acquisitions for me."

TS: "My organization would be happy to work with you Mr. Dev.  We already have several multinational clients worldwide and can give you assurance that we employ the best and the brightest to ensure that our clients receive professional services no matter how big or small the project is."

AD: "I would like to introduce you to my executive team and also we can discuss the contract between our two organizations." 

AD stands up and opens the door to lead Tarun to the end of the long corridor where the conference room is situated.  This room too is furnished with stylised furniture.  There are a group of people sitting around.  AD introduces Tarun to the group and they launch into the meeting. Afer two hours the meeting ends and AD takes Tarun back to his office.

AD: "Tarun in two weeks time I will be going to India as my company is going to bid for a project in Kerala to develop eco-tourism.  The government there is trying to take steps to protect the tropical forests in hope of curbing of deforestation and killing of wildlife which threatening to destroy the biodiversity of this region."

TS: "Do you know who your main contenders are for this project? We have handled projects like this one before, but we like to know which other organizations are going to be your rival."

AD: "Two of our biggest competitors are Walia Group of Industries and Oman & Schuster."

TS: "I have dealt with both of these before and that is good news."

Picking up a file from his desk, AD hands it to Tarun telling him that it's a copy of all the required information on the Kerala project and informing that if he requires additional information he is would be happy to provide it.

AD: "Before you leave Tarun, can I ask you personal question?"

TS: "Sure."

AD: "I understand that you and Jai Walia were good friends but recently this friendship ended. Can I ask you why?"

TS: "Last year I came here and had consultation for a medical condition.  All I will say is that Mr. Walia came by some personal information that should have stayed confidential with my consultant.  He misunderstood and made a slanderous accusation.  I walked away as I did not want the media attention to harm the other party concerned."

AD: "I just want to assure myself that your personal grievances with Jai Walia will not undermine my project."

TS: "Mr. Dev, I do let my personal matters affect my business."

AD: "Great Tarun, shall we meet next week and go over the legal issues that come to light regarding this project.  Please see Lisa, my PA to book a convenient time for the meeting."


Ch. 2

Flight BA 902, land at The Chattrapathi Shivaji International at 2.00 AM and AD, TS and the project team walk out to their awaiting limousine to take them to Taj International.  Tarun takes his leave from there as he is staying at his house in Mumbai and tells AD he will come around 10 AM for the meeting.

Next morning Tarun wakes up and gets ready by 9AM and calls Pushkar.

TS: "Hi Pushkar, this is Tarun.  How are you?  Do you have any news of Bani?"

PS: "Tarun do you know that Bani was accused for Sahil's death and was sentenced to 5 years in a mental asylum. It been hell Tarun, nobody would take defense case for Bani and it ended up a one-sided affair.  What I don't get is why Jai inferred that Bani was mentally unstable and couldn't be held responsible for her actions. Tarun, Bani also gave birth to twins and they are with Jai now."

TS: "I read a brief news column on this in London.  As you know Jai has broken off relations with me and I do not want to talk with Rano and anyone else at the mansion to create further problems.  Listen Pushkar, I have a meeting at ten that I cannot cancel.  Can we meet for lunch at the Taj for noon."

PS: "That will be fine with me as I will also be done with my meeting before that."

Tarun puts the dials another number and waits for the call to be answered.

TS: "Hello, can I speak with inspector Ajit Chawla please."

AC: "Hello, Ajit Chawla speaking."

TS: "Hello Ajit, this is Tarun.  Ajit I want some information on the case against Bani Walia. Can we arrange a time when I can come an see you?"

AC: "Tarun how come you are interested in this case.  It's been closed.  Bani Walia was sentenced two weeks ago."

TS: "Ajit, I was away abroad on business for 4 weeks and just returned last night. I will tell you the reason when I see you."

AC: "Ok how about around 5PM today?  I have couple of cases that I need to attend this morning and afternoon."

TS: "Fine, I will see you at 5PM."

TS put his phone away and picks up his laptop and files and makes way to Taj for his meeting with AD. After the meeting AD asks TS if he would like to join him for lunch, but Tarun declines as he already has another lunch meeting. As they are walking towards the restaurant, Pushkar walks in.

TS: "Aparajit, I would like you meet Pushkar Shukla.  You will see him again as he works for Walia Industries."

AD looks at the young man walking towards him and recognizes him from couple of years back.

TS: "Pushkar, meet Mr. Aparajit Dev."
PS: "Hello sir, nice to meet you again."

TS: "You two know each other?"

PS: "Yes, I met sir in London two years back when I briefly worked for Barnali group."

TS: "Pushkar do you mind if Aparajit joins us for lunch?"

PS: "No, I don't mind. It would be great to talk with you sir before we meet at the conference for Kerala project."

The men make their way towards the restaurant and take seats on the patio outside. They order drinks and food and sit there chatting amicably and enjoying their lunch.

TS: "Have you been to see Bani yet?"

PS: "No I don't have the courage to face her.  What do I say Tarun? That every thing will be all right…  Do you know how badly she wanted a child and to have them taken away from her. She is completely devastated.  I hate Pia so much for what she has done to Jai and Bani."

AD: "Can I ask you guys who you are talking about?"

TS: "Bani Walia, Jai Walia's wife.  She recently got tried for the murder of his nephew and is sentenced to 5 years in mental asylum."

AD: "Interesting. But from your talk I gather that she is innocent. Are you related to her Pushkar?"

PS: "No I had the misfortune to be married to Bani's sister Pia.  She was originally engaged to Jai Walia but ran away with me on the day of her wedding and Bani ended up marrying Jai sir to save his reputation.  Things were fine until Pia decided that I did match up to Mr. Walia's standard and decided to divorce me."

TS: "I am going to go see my friend Ajit Chawla today to get information on the case. There is no way I will believe that Bani is capable of murder.  I am going to try and see Bani too."

AD: "Tarun if you don't mind I would like to come see Bani Walia too.  I intrigued by her.  You both seem to have high regards for her."

PS: "She is such a wonderful human being.  We went to school together in Mr.Abu and are best friends. Sometimes life in this big city of Mumbai corrupts people that they forget the human values that they were taught by their parents."

Pushkar takes their leave as he has to be back at office and promises TS that he will call him in the evening.  Tarun too, leaves Mr. Dev and makes his way back home. 

At 5PM Tarun is sitted in Ajit Chawla's office.  Ajit fills him in on the case and has a file ready for Tarun to take with him.  He tells him the name of the asylum where Bani is held and informs him to get in touch with him if he discovers any new information

Ch 3

Tere liye, ham hain jiye, honton ko siye
For your sake, I live with my lips sealed.

Tere liye, hum hain jiye, har aansoo piye
For your sake, I live, swallowing all my tears.

Dil mein magar, jalte rahe, chaahat ke diye
But in my heart, the lamp of love continues to burn

Tere liye, tere liye
for your sake, for your sake

Tere liye, ham hain jiye, har aansoo piye
For your sake, I live, swallowing all my tears.

Tere liye, ham hain jiye, honton ko siye
For your sake, I live with my lips sealed.

Dil mein magar, jalte rahe, chaahat ke diye
But in my heart, the lamp of love continues to burn

Tere liye, tere liye
for your sake, for your sake

Bani is sitting in a corner in the long dormitory where all the patients are housed.  She has not been sleeping or eating properly since the day she came.  The first few days she just sat and cried herself to exhaustion.  Now all she does is stare at the walls with a blank look in her eyes.  Rano comes and visits her but she finds it difficult to answer any of Bani's questions.  She constantly asks to see her children.  Rano told her that Jai had named the children Krishna and Jeevan and that maasi was taking good care of them.

Pia had also tried to see Bani, but the doctor had banned her as her visit agitated Bani to such an extent that she caused physical violence to herself.  Talking to Bani the doctor has realized that Pia is the reason for Bani being in the asylum.  From the brief study of her case the doctor assumes that it is for her own safety that her husband may have done what he did as the other alternative was the death sentence.

Tarun found Bani sitting in the corner as usual and persuades her to come with him outside. Bani, stands up and walk behind Tarun in utter silence.  He had asked prior to coming to the asylum if he is allowed to bring any items for personal use.  The staff had told him that he may bring her food to eat but nothing else as there was no guarantee of safe keeping of personal items.

He finds a shaded spot on verandah were there is bench for sitting.  He holds her hand and tries talking to her but gets no response from her except for tears falling slowly down her cheek.  He gently wipes them and promises to help her in whatever way he can. They sit in silence for a while and then Tarun brings her back inside.  As he turns around to leave…Bani calls out the name of her babies.  Tarun has no idea who she is calling but promises her that he will go and find them for her.

Rano, had a tiring day at home and office.  Varun had taken ill and she had hard time to get him to settle down before leaving him with the nanny that she had hired as maasi was busy with Bani's children and dadi had gone to Amritsar for few days.  Adi uncle had told her not to bother coming to the office but with Ranveer also away from the office and Jai also not fully able to give his attention to business, she knew that she had to support Adi uncle as much as possible.


Ch 4

Rano came home and made sure that Varun was ok.  She took a shower and changed her clothes before going to maasi's room to see Krishna and Jeevan.  The twins were sleeping peacefully and maasi was also taking rest.

Maasi: "Rano, how is Varun?  I didn't have time to go and see him beta."

Rano: "Don't worry Maasi, he is fine.  He doesn't have fever anymore. Maasi I want to go and see Banidi, is it ok with you?"

Maasi: "Go beta, I will be fine.  Jai should be coming home soon."

Rano: "Yes, Adi uncle told me that their meeting will be done by 5PM so they should be here soon."

Maasi: "Listen Rano, Pia came to see the babies today but I didn't let her.  I don't her near my little ones, I don't trust her.  I have to talk to Jai about not letting her come into the house.  God knows what hold she has over my Munna that he seems to just watch her walk all over us."

Rano: "Don't worry Maasi, we must pray to God that somehow we can get Banidi out of that hell hole so that she can take care of her children."

Rano leaves telling Tony to get dinner ready as Jai and Adi will be here soon.

As Rano is entering the asylum she notices Tarun leaving.  She parks her car and goes inside.  Dr. Shweta  is doing her rounds and Rano ask her if anyone  came to see Bani today.  She informs her about Tarun's visit and fills her in on the particular that he asked for.  Rano thanks her and says that if anyone can help her Banidi, its Tarun.  Rano walks over to where Bani is lying on her bed and asks her about Tarun visiting her.  As usual Bani just listens and does not reply.  Rano caresses her hair and tells her about Krishna, Jeevan and Varun.  Bani's eyes go alert when she hears Rano talk about the children.  Rano notices this and knows that inside her Di is still alive.  After about an hour, Rano hugs Bani and leaves.  As soon as Rano starts walking, tears start falling down Bani's cheek and she sobs gently in the pillow.

Ch  5

Next few days Tarun is busy with Aparajit with meetings and visiting Cochin to meet governmental officers.  They also visit few of the resorts and reserves to gain some understanding of issues involved if they are successful in getting the project. 

Tarun had also arranged couple of his staff members to look into Bani's case.  He advised them to find out as much as possible by tracing people, places and evidence involved in indicting Bani.  He told them start by tracing the agent that sold the Jannat apartment to Bani.  They were to get copies of signed agreement and how money was paid for the purchase.  Tarun also asked Ajit Chawla to look into fingerprints and DNA samples that could be helpful.

After returning to Mumbai from one his travel, Tarun called Rano and asked if he could see her.  Rano hesitated, as she did not want Jai to find out about seeing Tarun.  She told him that she would call him back.  Next day at around 1PM, Tarun got a call from Rano to say she would meet him for coffee at one of the caf near his house. 

Rano was waiting at the caf when Tarun walked in.  He smiled as he sat down and asked the waiter to bring them two coffee.

TS: "How are coping Rano?"

Rano: "It's ok, but its hard managing Varun, making sure the household is taken care. But it really hurts when I think of my Banidi in that place, away from Jai and the children."

TS: "Do you have pictures of the babies Rano?  I would like to see what they look like.  How is Jai coping? "

Rano: "Jiju is not keeping well, he hardly eats or sleep.  He tries to help masi with the babies, but cannot replace a mother."

TS: "Rano, I don't understand why Jai did not try to get somebody to defend Bani.  Remember when your Bani was trying to divorce him, he went to such great length to make sure that Bani had the best lawyer so she could succeed."

Rano: "We are all baffled Tarun, why jiju did what he did. I think he is being blackmailed by Pia.  She is using someone or something that will frame Banidi for life. Tarun, why did you tell jiju that you loved Bani."

TS: "Rano, I never told Jai that I loved Bani.  He happened to meet by doctor in London and somehow found out why I was seeing the doctor. He somehow got hold of confidential information that should have remained between the doctor and myself.  Rano I fell in love with Bani before I even knew she was married to Jai.  I first saw her outside my office.  She was waiting for someone. She was dressed in simple dress and had such sad look on her face.  I asked her if I could be of help and she smiled and told me she was waiting for someone.  It was next day when she came for the appointment that I found out that she was married to Jai.  I have never ever tried to come between Bani and Jai because I knew how much she loved Jai."

TS: "One more thing Rani, do you know where Pia is living?  I met Puskar few days ago and he told me that he and Pia are divorced."

Rano: "Tarun I don't have the address where she is staying because after Banidi got arrested, Adi uncle forced her to stay away from Walia mansion for the time being. I know Jigyasa goes to see her."

Rano looks at her watch and tells Tarun that she needs to go back to house and help Maasi out.  Tarun goes back to his office to catch up with team assigned to Bani's case to see if they have come with any leads.

Ch 6

Tarun is talking with Deven and Krish whom he had assigned to the case.  Deven told him that they had traced the purchase of the Jannat apartment.  After threatening the agent about possible arrest for withholding evidence, he told them Sahil Bali purchased the apartment 6 months ago.  He paid by cheque and he provided them with the bank that he cashed the cheque with.  He also gave them the papers signed by Sahil.  They were trying to get the cashed cheque from the bank as well.  Krish said he had sent one of the team members to talk to the people living in the Jannat building, especially people living on the same floor to see if they knew who lived in the apartment.  He said that Bani's photo was shown to them but not one person could identify having seen her in coming in or out of the building.  Couple of people said they had seen a guy and a woman going into and out of the apartment few times, but couldn't give them a proper description.  Krish asked if Tarun get photo of Sahil and they could see if anyone had seen him.
Tarun said he would get the photos as soon as possible. 

Tarun then paid a quick visit to Ajit Chawla's office.  He asked him if he had any other information with regards to fingerprints etc.  Ajit told him that some of the items found at the apartment had only Bani's fingerprints.  Tarun, told Ajit about they had traced the purchase of the apartment to Sahil and that they were trying to get the cheque that was given for the purchase of the apartment.  Tarun mentioned that wasn't it funny that the apartment wasn't furnished properly and they did not find other clothes, utensils and food item in the place. Why only one sari and bangles that belonged to Bani? If she was seeing someone else there than why not other items, fingerprints etc. He concluded, definitely looked like the items where planted there by someone, someone was trying to frame Bani.

TS: "Ajit can we file an appeal on the case or has the time lapsed?"

AC: "Let me see, yes you can still file an appeal there are still 6 more days left."

TS: "Ok, I will get the necessary paperwork ready tomorrow and hopefully file the appeal in the afternoon. Oh, one more thing Ajit, I need you to look into dealings of Pia Dixit, Bani's sister and Pushkar Shukla's ex-wife.  I have a feeling she is involved somehow."

AC: "I will get someone on investigate her right away."

TS: "Thanks Ajit.  I will see you tomorrow."

As Tarun reached home his cell phone rang.  It was Aparajit enquiring if Tarun could come over to see him at around 7PM.  Tarun said yes he will come over.  Tarun called Rano and asked if she could drop picture of Sahil and Pia at his office tomorrow. He told her not to tell anyone of this and explained about re-opening Bani's case. He told her about filing an appeal in the court tomorrow and he was going to do his best to get Bani out of the asylum and get the babies with her.

Tarun reached Taj hotel and was waiting in the lobby for Aparajit to arrive.  In few minutes Aparajit's PA approached him and informed him that Mr Deb was waiting for him in the meeting room on the first floor.  Tarun entered the meeting room and greeted Aparajit and his team.  They went briefly over the tender for the Kerala project, which was going to be filed tomorrow. Once Aparajit was satisfied he ended the meeting. 

AD: "Tarun, have you been to see Bani Walia?"

TS: "Yes, I went and saw her briefly the day after we came back to Mumbai.  Since we have been busy with this project and also I was looking into re-opening Bani's case, I haven't had the time to go and see her again.  By the way, I am filing an appeal tomorrow and hoping to get bail set and get her out of that hell hole."

AD: "Well if you need any assistance, monetary wise or else, just let me know."

TS: "Why don't you join me tomorrow afternoon when I file the appeal?"

AD: "I think I will because once the tender is filed tomorrow I won't have much else to do."

TS: "Let go and have dinner, I am starving as I missed lunch today."


Ch 7

Outside Mumbai court, Tarun and Aparajit are waiting for Ajit Chawla to arrive.  The time for their appeal is to be heard in less than 30 minutes.  Tarun dials Ajit's cell number and is told that he should be there in 10 minutes. 

The judge listens to Tarun's appeal statement and looks over at some of the documents provided.  He accept the appeal and sets the bail at 10 crore rupees. Tarun also ask for temporary custody order to get Bani's babies to her.  Aparajit informs Tarun that he will pay Bani's bail and any other legal cost.  It took over an hour to get all the legal documents they needed to get Bani out of the asylum and for the custody of the babies.  Ajit accompanies Tarun to the asylum where they show the bail documents to the warden and take her with them.  Next, they stop at Walia Mansion.  Ajit, Aparajit and Tarun take Bani inside the house.  Tony is overwhelmed to see Bani and cannot stop his eyes from becoming teary.  He has been praying at his church every day to for someone to help Bani madam.  Tarun asks Tony where the babies are. Tony says they are with Maasi. Tarun asks him to go bring masi down with babies and to inform Jai or Rano if they in the house to come and see them.  Soon Tony returns holding Krishna in his arm followed by masi holding Jeevan.  As Bani his hugging her babies, Rano runs down crying hugs Bani.  Maasi is holding back as she is not sure how Bani will respond to her.  She is remembering all the things she said in the court under oath. 

Bani asks Rano to hold the babies and she goes to masi and takes her ashirvad.  Maasi hugs Bani and asks her to forgive her and Jai for what they did.  Bani, simply tells Maasi that it is not in her hand to forgive them but in the hand of God.  She takes Krishna and Jeevan and walks out of the house.  Tarun asks her if she would mind staying at his house and Bani tells him that she is indebted to him and will stay with him until final hearing of the appeal.

Rano in the meantime calls Jai at his office and tells him that Tarun has managed to file an appeal for Bani and has got her out on the bail.  Aditya was also listening in on the call. When the call ended, Aditya told Jai that he understands that he does not trust Tarun but if anyone can help Bani it would be Tarun. He asks Jai not to do anything foolhardy and jeopardise Bani chance of getting acquitted.  He tells Jai that Saahil was my son but I will never believe that Bani killed him.  Jai asks Aditya to get in touch with Tarun and find out where Bani is staying and to go and see her.

Ch 8

At Tarun's house Bani settles Krishna and Jeevan in the bedroom.  She tells Tarun that she needs Rano to bring her clothes, diapers, milk etc for the babies, as well some clothes for her.  Tarun dials Rano's number and gives the phone to Bani.  Bani explain what she needs for herself and the babies to Rano and asks her if she can bring it over.  In the mean time downstairs Aditya has arrived and is talking to Tarun.  He asks him if he can see Bani.  Tarun says he will go and ask her and asks Aditya to take a seat in the living room. Tarun informs Bani that Aditya is here and wishes to see her.  Bani, makes sure the baby are sleeping and comes downstairs.  She takes ashirvad from Aditya and Aditya is just overcome to see her and just takes her in a hug.  His hand wipes away the tears that are falling down her cheeks and tell her that God never abandon the innocent.  He tells her that in his heart he will always believe that she is innocent.

They all sit in an uneasy silence not knowing what to say.  Bani mind is in turmoil, her heart wants to know how Jai is but her mind reminds her of his betrayal at her trial.  He never once came to see her in the jail or offered any help.  Her mind played over the scenario when he came took the babies away from her.  Where did she go wrong? Did she forgive him too easily for the earlier betrayal of him and Pia's.

Tarun couldn't take the silence any more and asked Aditya if he would like some tea or coffee.  Aditya declined saying he should go back as Jigyasa would be waiting to have dinner with him.  Aditya comes and hugs Bani and tells her that if she needs anything he will help her.

Bani walks upstairs and tells Tarun that she will have her meal upstairs. When Rano arrives, Tarun takes her to Bani's room. Rano helps Bani to organize the clothes and other necessities for the babies. She asks Tarun to go and get the cribs for the babies from her car.  Bani, asks Rano to look after the babies while she had shower and changed her clothes.  Bani, comes out ready from her shower and finds that the babies have awakened.  Rano tells Bani to have her dinner while she plays with them. Rano goes and makes milk bottles for the babies and brings them back.  Bani fed Krishna, while Rano gave bottle to Jeevan. She told Rano of how she had told Jai that she would breastfeed the babies when they were born and that she did not even get to do that as they were taken away from her as soon as they were born.  The pain she suffered during the birth had been nothing compared to the pain she felt when the babies where snatched from her arms.

Rano, comments on how Jeevan looks so much like Bani but has Jai's temperament too.  Bani asked Rano if she knew why Jai had named their son Jeevan. Rano replied Jai had said that so far in Bani's life she had seen nothing but pain and sadness caused by people she loved the most and at the time in her life when she should have had the most happiness it was once again snatched away from her because of him.  Bani remembered standing in the court, looking at guilt in his eyes and could not ask him why he did utter the word that he did?

Majburi kya thi unhone batayi to hoti,
judai ki Baat yu sunaayi na hoti..
apne kabar ki mitti bhi de dete unhe,
MERE MAUT ki khwaish jatayi to hoti..(by Raj Banti)

Rano asks Bani if she is comfortable staying with Tarun and Bani replies that in her time of need it is Tarun who helped her so why should she be afraid of staying with him.  Shortly Rano left informing Bani that she would drop masi at the house in the morning to help her out.  Bani protested but Rano told her that she also needed to look after herself so that she can take care of her children.   Due to sheer exhaustion, Bani fell asleep on the bed cuddling her babies.  Tarun on his way to his room noticed the light still on in Bani's room, peaked in and seeing them asleep dimmed the lights down and closed the door.

Ch 9

Next day, Tarun had called Bani to let her know that he was bringing guest to the house in the evening and to tell his staff to prepare dinner for them.  Masi had arrived in the morning and had found Bani struggling to feed the two babies.  After getting the babies settled she made sure Bani had her breakfast and took some rest because she knew that she probably was up half the night when the babies woke up hungry. 

Tarun and Aparajit walked in around 7.10PM.  Bani was upstairs with the babies. Tarun introduced Maasi to Aparajit and went upstairs to see if Bani would be able to come down.  Half an hour later Bani had settled the babies down and came downstairs.  Tarun introduced Bani to Aparajit and explained that Aparajit had paid her bail and was looking out for her legal cost.  All Bani could do was fold her hands in gratitude.  Aparajit took in her frail body, pale face and colourless lips, but he was fascinated by her eyes... deep pools of black that seem to drown you when you looked into them.  Bani hardly registered any of the conversation taking place between Tarun, Aparajit and Maasi.  After a while she became restless and went to the kitchen to get the staff to bring dinner out. She checked the table was set with dinner service and informed Tarun that dinner was ready.  She helped serve everyone before taking her seat.  Tarun noticed that Bani hardly ate much.  He made a mental note to call her doctor once Aparajit left.  After dinner Bani excused herself and went upstairs.  Aparajit left soon after and Tarun told Maasi that he was going to Dr. Shweta to come over as he had noticed that Bani looked quite pale and did hardly ate any dinner.

Dr Shweta checked Bani out and told Maasi and Tarun not to worry too much.  She explained that it will take a while for Bani to recover from events of last few weeks and asked them to make sure that she had plenty of rest and to keep her away from any kind of stress.  She asked Tarun if Bani would have to go to court again when her case is re-tried again as she felt that Bani may break down if she had to go through the turmoil again. She promised she would come back in couple of days to make sure Bani and the babies were doing fine.

Rano walked up to the study and knocked on the door before entering.  She found Jai sitting in a semi-dark room with his head resting on the back of the arm chair.  He opened his eyes and looked at Rano enquiringly.

Rano: "Jiju have you eaten today?  Shall I get Tony to bring you a tray here in the study?"

Jai: " Rano, I am hungry."

Rano: "Jiju not eating is not going to solve the problems.  If you become ill than what will happen to Banidi?"

Jai: "I don't think I can help Bani anymore. She doesn't need me anymore."

Rano: "How can you say that Jiju, I know my Banidi deep down still loves you?  She has been hurt badly, but when she realizes why you did what you did, I am sure she will forgive you and you will become family again."

Jai: "Rano, where is Maasi? I haven't seen her today."

Rano: "I dropped Maasi at Taru's place this morning as I didn't want Di to be by herself.  She needs someone to help her with Krishna and Jeevan. Do you have any issue with Maasi staying with Bani?"

Jai: "No. Rano I want to see Bani and the babies, do you think you can ask her to come here to see me?"

Rani: "I will ask Jiju, but I don't think she will. Tony will bring you something to eat, please make sure you eat something."

Jai sat staring at the picture of him and Bani that was taken on their first anniversary. They had gone to their farmhouse in Khandala as that was what Bani had wanted to do.  They had spent the weekend walking on the beach, talking and just enjoying each other's company.  On their last day there he had taken his camera with him to take pictures of her as they walked about in the garden.  She had asked him to take one of them together near the arbour that was heavy with the ivy and deep pink flowering hibiscus. The laughing carefree face that he saw in picture had turned to deep haunting pale shadow now.

Jabse tera saath hai mila aur kuch paane ki tamanna na rahi,
Pa liya jab rab ke roop mein tujhko ,to ab rab paane ki tamanna na rahi,
Bas dil mein armaan tha sirf tera ban ke rehna ka,
Ab kisi aur ko dekhne ki tamanna na rahi,
Khud se bhi zyada pyar karte hai tumhe,ab khud ko aaine mein dekhne ki tamanna na rahi,
Hum jaise bhi hai tere hai,ab tujh s kuch aur kehne ki tamnna na rahi.....(by Saahil)


Ch 10

Aparajit studied the woman that was hovering around Jai Walia and Aditya.  She was beautiful, her face was made up perfectly and body carried the designer outfit to perfection. Must be Jai Walia's PA he thought.

When Tarun walked in to the conference room, Aparajit asked him, "Tarun, who is that beautiful woman with Jai Walia?"

TS: "Pia Dixit, Bani's younger sister and Pushkar Shukla's ex-wife."

AD: "She is beautiful."

TS: "Yes, beautiful and deadly."

Aparajit raised his eyebrows and gave Tarun a questioning look.

TS: "It's because of her that Bani's marriage to Jai Walia has failed.  She was engaged to him and on the day of the wedding ran off with Pushkar.  Bani got two of them married taking brunt of Jai Walia's wrath in return.  Few months into the marriage trouble started between Pia and Pushkar, Pia couldn't wait for her big mansion, car and luxuries that she craved."

TS: "How come this sudden interest in her? I can make an introduction if you want."

AD: "Tarun can't a guy make a comment without it being taken out of context…I am not a womanizer…just a normal red-blooded male."

Pia too had been eyeing Aparajit as soon as he had walked in. He made an attractive picture....tall, black hair, sophisticated, suave and dressed impeccably in a black Saville Row suit. She glanced around the room and not that Aparajit's physical presence dominated others around him. She noticed Pushkar going and shaking hands with Aparajit and her wondered how he knew him.

Jai asked Aditya who Pushkar was talking with and Aditya told him that he owned AD Group, based in England and that he was expanding his business in South Asia countries. Kerala project would be his first in India if he was awarded the contract. Jai how Tarun and Pushkar knew him and Aditya informed him that Aparajit had hired Tarun firm as his legal team and apparently Pushkar had met him couple of years back when he worked for Barnali. A dark look flitted over Jai's face at mention of Barnali's name.  He had hated himself when he had fired Pushkar and later he had managed to obtain work with Barnali's company.  The fact that he had mentored Pushkar, he had definitely been impressed with Pushkar's natural aptitude for the business and it had irked Jai more than anything else that he worked for Barnali…Barnali had walked away with the Dubai contract right out his hand.  But he had later admitted that it was own doing by for not only firing Pushkar but making it impossible for him to obtain work in Mumbai.  When Barnali's company had got into legal trouble and Pushkar had left and returned to Mumbai, Jai had personally gone and asked him to come back to Walia Industries. Jai had realized that Aditya and Ranveer had been struggling with the projects in absence of Pushkar and when he himself had been unavailable as he had gone into depression during his and Bani's separation.  Presently when Ranveer was in London with Raashi for her medical treatment for leukemia, Pushkar had worked doubly hard to ensure that all their current assignments were on track.

Later in the day when the conference had concluded, Aditya informed Jai that it was to his advantage to meet Aparajit since he had established his head office already in Mumbai and Delhi and he would be his rival in future projects. The two men walked over to where Aparajit and his team where standing.  Jai greeted Aparajit cordially and gave a fleetlingly glanced at Tarun. Jai invited Aparajit and his team for drinks. Aparajit thanked and accepted the invitation. He and some of his executives went with Jai and Aditya whilst Tarun excused himself and left for his office.

Rano did not attend the conference with Jai and Aditya as she had wanted to take Varun to meet Bani. When Rano arrived at Tarun's house, Bani was in the kitchen helping to prepare dinner and Maasi was watching the babies.  Tarun had got an extra crib for downstairs to save Bani the trouble of having to go up and down the stairs. Rano left Varun with Maasi and made her way to the kitchen. She hugged Bani who had just finished making rotis.  The two sisters walked back to the living room and Bani picked up Varun and remarked how well he looked. Rano asked Bani if she wanted to take walk in the garden. She missed the times when Bani, Raashi and herself would sit for hours and talking. Sometimes Saahil or her Jai would come and break up there sojourn.

They walked silently for a while and then Rano told Bani that Jai wanted to come and see her. Bani told her that she did not want to see him but if he wanted to come and see the children she would not stop him.  Rano understood that at present no amount of persuading would get Bani to change her mind and she did not want to cause her sister undue stress.

Tarun returned to the house at around 10PM. He went to see if Bani was still up and found her sitting outside on the balcony. He knocked gently on the door to catch her attention and asked if she felt in the mood to talk.  Tarun had held back on discussing her statement to the police after her arrest. Bani motioned to Tarun to sit on the chair next to her. Tarun took out the copy of her statement and asked her to read it and confirm the whats written on the paper. After few minutes Bani hands the copy back to Tarun and saying from what she recalled it looked correct.

TS: "Bani why did you leave the party and go the apartment."
Bani: "Tarun I saw someone in a burkha at the party and followed him."

TS: "Why didn't Jai come with you?"

Bani: "He had got pretty upset when I had earlier mentioned to him that I saw someone with the burkha at the party."

TS: "What happened when you got to the apartment?"

Bani: "The door was unlocked, so I just stepped in and in few seconds the police had arrived."

TS: "You did not see anyone in the apartment?"

Bani: "No."

Tarun had noticed the slight hesitation before she answered and knew she was hiding something.

TS: "Bani, why do I feel that you are not telling me the truth?"

Bani: "Tarun there was no one else there."

TS: "What happened between you and Saahil? I thought everything was ok between Rano and Saahil?"

Bani: "I don't know why Saahil suddenly started to dislike me.  The rift between Rano and Saahil had started when Jai gave Rano laptop as a gift.  Saahil felt that he needed it most as Rano only worked part-time at the office. He didn't understand that Jai gave Rano the laptop so that she could work at home if she wanted. I think what bugged him the most was when Jai blasted him for mismanaging one of the projects and took it off him and gave to Rano to handle. I also overheard him and Jigyasa talking about Rano, how she was making him look incompetent."

TS: "Do you know if Jigyasa or Saahil would plan something to hurt you or Rano?"

Bani: "I don't know, but I feel they were responsible for Rano's early delivery. Saahil and Jigyasa were not happy with Varun's birth."

TS: "How did you feel about Saahil's death?"

Bani: "Tarun, I may not have liked Saahil much but that does not mean that I wished him dead. He was in a good mood the morning of his death.  He even played holi with Rano."

TS: "I heard that Raashi tried to get Ranveer to marry Rano?"

Bani: "Yes, but Rano put her foot down and told Raashi that she take Varun and leave Walia house if she forced her to marry."

TS: "Do you think there is anyone else who would be responsible for Saahil's murder, like Jigyasa or Pia"

Bani: "Why would Jigyasa want to kill her own son? Tarun, I have no idea what Pia is capable of any more. She has changed so much. She is no longer the carefree person she used to be.  She loved partying and wearing trendy clothes but when we were in Mt. Abu she never made any big issue about not having money. In fact she was the first one to earn some money in our house and she took Rano and me out shopping as she wanted to treat us with her first pay cheque. Her obsession for Jai is something that I cannot understand. She threw away Pushkar, who she was so mad about for what, nothing. I know Jai will never ever take her back in his life. "

TS: "Do you think Jai is being blackmailed? Why would he commit as being insane?"

Bani: "I don't have answer for that Tarun….I know something is not right….he cannot look me in the eyes. There is one thing Tarun, I found a camcorder in Saahil's room.  There was a tape in there but Rano and I couldn't get the tape out and tape wouldn't play.  I dropped in off at the electronic shop for repair but few days later the shop was broken into and the camcorder was stolen."

TS: "Bani if you there is anything else that you remember tell me.  I want to prove that you are not guilty of Saahil's murder…. I don't want you them to take you away from your children."

Tarun wished Bani goodnight and left.  Bani stood up and walked slowly back into the room and forced her self to lie.  Eventually sleep took over but it was a restless sleep, she would have nightmares about going back to the asylum…the screaming, laughing women would be surrounding her, pulling her hair and scratching her face.

Ch 11

Next day Tarun went to meet Ajit Chawla again to find out if he had any leads.

TS: "Ajit have you discovered anything new?"

AC: "No, we have been watching Pia, but so far nothing out of the ordinary. 

TS: "Ajit, I think Jai may be being blackmailed and that is why he testified against Bani. Is there any way we can tap into phones at his office and home."

AC: "Tarun, only way we can do this is if we plant bugs because it's hard to tap into cellular phones. I may also bug Pia's apartment too. Do you think you can find out if any of the family members was using camcorder at the party? If we watch the tape of the party and see if it captured the person in the burkha, it will prove Bani was telling the truth and was not making it up."

TS: "I will ask Rano about video tape of the party and bring it to you. I have to leave now as I have an appointment"

Tarun called Rano while driving back to his office and asked her if anyone had taken video off the party. Rano wasn't sure if anyone taped the party, but she said she would ask Nachiket as usually he was the one that would take pictures or use the camcorder.  Rano called back in half an hour and said that Nachiket had taped the party and he would drop the tapes off at Tarun's office.

Aparajit called Tarun's office but was informed that he was in a meeting and unable to take his call.  He wanted to go and see Bani and had called Tarun up to let him know that he was going over to his house.  Aparajit left the message with Tarun's PA and drove to Tarun's house.  Maasi was surprised to see Aparajit and told him that Tarun was not home.  Aparajit told Maasi that he had called Tarun at his office but he was in meeting and so had left a message to say he was going over to his house.  They sat and made small talk with Aparajit wondering where Bani was and thinking whether he should ask Maasi to go and get Bani.  Few minutes later Maasi got up and asked if he would like some tea and that she would go and ask Bani to come down.

Bani had just finished putting the babies to sleep when Maasi walked in.  She asked Bani to come down as Aparajit had come. Bani hesitated as she felt nervous and did not feel up to talking with anyone.  She followed Maasi down and greeted Aparajit. She sat silently, twisting the end of her duppatta. Aparajit watched and than he slowly took Bani's hand and said, "Bani, can we be friends?"

Bani looked up slowly and said, "Why do you want to make friends with a murderer?"

AD: "I don't believe that you are capable of hurting anyone Bani. You don't look like as if you took someone's life.  In fact your eyes look as if life was taken out of you."

Bani: "If people that you love and for whom you lived your life turn against you than you stop living.  If I am alive it is because I want to live just for my children. I don't want them to grow up without a mother because I know what it's like growing up without my mother."

AD: "Have you thought about how you will raise your children?  Are you going to ask Jai Walia for child support?"

Bani: "Mr Dev, I have my pride. Do you think I would go begging for money to look after my own children? I can work, I supported myself and my sisters before my marriage and I can do so again."

AD: "I admire your courage, there are few women in the world you would tread the path of hardship when they can take an easy road. If ever you want to make a life for yourself away from here let me know….I have set up offices in Delhi and can get you position there."

Bani looked up staring past him unable to say anything but just nod her head, why would a complete stranger want to help her.  Uneasy silence followed and for a few moments neither said anything. Finally Bani stood up and looked him in the eye and with a gentle smile on her face, extended her hand and said, "Thank you," and turned and walked upstairs.

Ch 12

Jai was in deep thoughts when he heard the knock on his office door. Pia opened the door and walked in, "Hi Jai. Thought I would pay you visit since you try to avoid to meeting at every opportunity."

Jai: "I am busy Pia and we don't have any business to discuss."

Pia: "How is Bani? You must be happy to have her back?"

Jai: "Don't pretend that you don't know that Bani is not Walia mansion; I am not stupid enough to jeopardize her position further by bringing her back to the house and you should know your sister my betrayal will stop her from coming back to me.  She is safe where she is and if I have to live my life without her to keep her and the children safe, than I am willing to sacrifice that. You don't learn do you Pia, you will never be able to take Bani's place."

Pia: "Wow Mr. Walia, you and Di are two of a kind, undying devotion to each other. She can still save herself by telling Tarun that she saw you at the apartment but she won't and you won't tell her about cd that I possess that would send your precious Bani to the gallows."

Jai controlling his anger shouts, "Pia, get out my office.  I did what you asked.  If things have not worked out the way you planned than that is your problem."

Pia with eyes full of hatred: "Remember Mr Walia, what Pia wants Pia gets, even if it means sacrificing her loved ones." She storms out of the office slamming the door behind her.

Jai stared at the closed door, his mind furiously working to figure out what she was up to.

Ajit Chawla put the earphones down as tape finished. He tapped the desk lightly; finally he would be able to tell Tarun that Jai Walia was being blackmailed by Pia. His thoughts wondered to what was on the cd that had forced Jai Walia to destroy his wife's life. He dials Tarun's number and left voicemail asking to call him asap.  Ajit knew that it would be easy to get search warrant for Pia's apartment but he didn't want to give Pia an opportunity to harm Bani because listening to the tape he gathered that Pia was capable of hurting Bani even going as far as killing her to reach her goal. Maybe he can bluff her to give him the cd.

Meanwhile at Walia Industries, Rano had finished urgent work that needed doing and thought may be she could take Bani out for lunch.  Her Di had been stuck in the house for several days now and it would be good change for her to go out.  As she was walking out, Jai saw her and called out to her.

Jai: "Are you going out for lunch?"

Rano: "Yes I am taking Di out for lunch."

Jai: "Can I come with Rano, I want to see Bani, Krishna and Jeevan?"

Rano: "Come if you want, but I can't promise that Bani will see you."

Jai tells his PA that he would be out of office for few hours and follows Rano to the car.

Rano and Jai walk into Tarun's house.  Maasi was sitting and talking on the phone with Dadi.  Rano hugs Maasi and tells her she is going upstairs.  Seeing Jai, Maasi ends her call and hugs, telling him she is happy to see him. Rano comes downstairs and asks Jai if he wants to see the babies. She takes him upstairs where the babies are sleeping. Jai caresses the children's face and drops soft kisses on their face. Jai asks Rano where Bani was and Rano points to the door and says she is in that room.  He walks and opens the door to the room and sees Bani standing next to the window, her back facing the door. He walks in slowly…Bani senses his walk and steels herself not to turn and look at him Jai stands close to her resisting temptation to put his hands on her shoulder and says, "Bani."

Bani without turning around, she says, "Why are you here Mr.Walia?"

Jai: "I wanted to see you and the children."

Bani: "Why do you want to see me, remember you told the whole world that your wife is mad?"

Jai: "Do know how much it hurt me say that? I am the one who is mad Bani, mad about the woman who I love so much that I did not want her to die. Woman who was carrying my children, who was framed for a crime that was punishable by death, how could I let her walk to her death?"

Bani: "It would have better for me to die than live knowing how the very people I love think that I am insane. Do you know how my heart ripped apart when you took my children away? I can never forgive you for what you have done."

Jai with a tortured look on his face, whispers: "Bani, I know how Saahil died."
Bani, in shock turns around, sees the pain in his eyes: "What do you mean Mr. Walia?

Bani hesitantly asked: "The police said Saahil was poisoned, is it true?'

Jai: "Yes!"

Bani: "How was Saahil poisoned? Did you see who gave him the poison?"

Jai: I saw Pia mix making couple of juice glasses. I walked over to take and before I reached there Saahil took one of the juices and drank. When Pia saw me walk over see grabbed Saahil's arm and took him away. I threw the other juice away and watched Pia rest of the day at the party. I think she got scared that I might have seen her mess about with the drink and that's why she left early from the party. I think the explosion was an accident."

Jai: "I am not sorry that he died, Saahil was planning to hurt you and Rano."

Bani: "What do you mean? What was he going to do to Rano?"

Jai: "I overheard him talking to Jigyasa about how he hated Rano and you for taking over the house, the business and the Walia money that should be his and Ranveer's. That he needed to take make sure that two were taken care of permanently."

Bani: "Just because he said that does not mean that he planned to hurt us. Jigyasa has always hated us for coming into your life Mr. Walia. It she who forced me to marry you…. she always thought that you would hate me so much that you would divorce me and when that didn't happen…. she tried using Ranveer and than Saahil to get rid of us."

Jai: "Maasi once told me to ask Jigyasa to move out to her own place. She told me that Jigyasa was too dominating and that if ever I married she would never let the marriage work because she would want to relinquish the hold on the house and my money. What Maasi said made sense but I didn't have the heart because I was so fond of Anu, Saahil and Ranveer.  To me they were all the family that had. "

Bani: "Saahil dying has not helped the situation has it Jai? Rano and I would have gladly left the house; we never have paid great attention to your wealth. We both understood that money is the root cause of pain and suffering. I have always been happy with what little money I had because the love people gave me made up my happiness."

Complete silence fell for a few moments, Bani throat felt dry…she found it hard to digest Jai's revelation. It stunned her to know how low Pia would stoop to harm her. Finally with tears gleaming in her eyes, she turned around and softly managed to say: "I think it's best if you go Jai and forget what you just said to me, what been done cannot be undone."

Jai understood the grief he had just caused her and left the room without another word.

Ch 13

Tarun glanced at his watch, it's was already past 6PM. He hadn't expected the meeting to go on for this long. He looked at the cell phones and saw he had few messages. He glanced through the list and noticed that Ajit had called him four times.  He immediately dialed his number.
Ajit: "Where were you Tarun, I called four times and just got through to your voice mail."

Tarun:"I was in a meeting that should have lasted only 2 hours not six. Anyways have you got some news for me?"

Ajit: "Can you come to the office now and we can talk."

Ajit Chawla and Tarun go to Pia's apartment.  They ring the doorbell and wait. After few moments they hear the door open and Pia has look of surprise when she sees Tarun at the door.

Tarun: "Pia, this is Ajit Chawla, he is with the Mumbai crime investigation unit. He needs to ask you some questions, can we come in?"

Pia moves aside to let them in and closes the door. She leads them to sofa and sits down.

AC: "Ms Dixit, I am going to play you a tape first," and he takes his tape player out and plays the conversation that was recorded between Jai and Pia.

Pia face goes pales as she listens, regrets that she did not meet Jai outside somewhere in public where they would not have been heard, starts thinking of how she can get out this hiccup. When the tape stops, she blurts out, "What kind of game is this? That's not me talking?"

AC: "Ms Dixit this conversation was recorded in Jai's office, his PA confirmed that you had come see him at the time this was recorded. I can get Jai Walia in for questioning and am sure he will confirm that you went to see him.  I want the cd that you have that implicates Bani for Saahil's murder. If you refuse, I have a search warrant."

Tarun: "It's in your interest to comply Pia, the evidence is not in your favour at the moment."

Pia gets up and goes and brings a cd out from a cabinet and gives it to Ajit, there was no point in resisting as they would use the search warrant to find it anyway.

AC: "I suggest that you do not try to leave the city Ms Dixit. You will be watched and arrested if required."

Tarun and Ajit leave the apartment. Tarun is worried about Bani and asks Ajit if Pia is going to be watched.  Ajit says he already has a team stationed outside who is going to follow Pia around.  If she goes anywhere near Tarun's house they have orders to let him know.  Tarun phones home and asks to speak to Bani but is told that she has gone out with Rano.  He speaks to Maasi and tells her to phone him as soon as Bani gets home.

Pia was fuming after the Ajit and Tarun left. How could she have been so careless? Why did not think about the places being bugged, for all she knows may be her apartment is too. She paced up and down furiously what she needs to do. She knows that Ajit meant what he said about being arrested if she tried to leave Mumbai. She thought about calling Jigyasa but knew it would be futile because Jigyasa would tell her that it's your problem and you resolve it.

At Ajit's office, Tarun and Ajit view the cd that they got from Pia's house. They were surprised that it was Saahil recording himself saying he was afraid of his life and that Bani was trying to kill him.  Ajit told Tarun that he was going to send it to the lab to see if the recording had been tampered with. He explained that it was easy to edit digital recording and with electronic equipment were sophisticated nowadays to pick up differences in speech and image alteration. Before they left, Ajit got a copy done at the lab to take with them.

Jai was surprised when his PA announced that Tarun and Ajit Chawla wanted to see him. He told her to send them in. Jai stood up when they walked in and asked them to take a seat.  Ajit explained to Jai that his office had been bugged and asked him to listen to the recording of his conversation with Pia. Jai was furious initially but when he heard the threats that Pia had made to him he calmed himself down. Ajit than asked he had seen the cd that Pia was using to black mail him. Jai said yes and Ajit told him that they had got the cd from Pia and wanted to confirm if this was the cd that he had seen. The cd was played on Jai's laptop and Jai told him that it was the right cd.

Jai expressed his concern for Bani saying now that Pia failed at this she could harm Bani and the children. Ajti explained to him that they had Pia under surveillance and that if she went anywhere near Bani his men had orders to stop her. Jai told Tarun that he was going right now to Tarun's house to make sure Bani was safe. Ajit warned him not to say anything to Bani as yet. Ajit and Tarun left and Jai called Aditya and told him he would not be able to come to the meeting and if he could take charge of it.


Ch 14

Jai reached Tarun's house shortly. Maasi, Bani and Rano where sitting downstairs. They had just walked in and were busy playing with the babies.  Seeing Jai, Maasi warmly greeted him and asked to sit down. Taking Krishna from Bani's arms she handed her to Jai. Maasi sat next to Bani holding her hand while they sat watching Jai and Krishna. After few minutes the doorbell rang and Maasi stood up to see who the visitor was. She expressed her surprise at seeing Pia. Pia with a smug look on her face walked up to where they were sitting and looking at Bani, "Di, I am so glad you and the babies are doing so well. You don't know how happy I am to see Jai here with you."

She looks at Jai, "Jai, doesn't Krishna look just like my Di? I know you must be so happy that you have got your family back."

Jai looks at her with narrowed eyes and asks, "What are you doing here Pia? I thought you wouldn't even come within ten feet of this house."

Pia: "Why shouldn't I come and see my Di, Jai? I love her as much as I love you."

Bani couldn't take Pia's talk any more. She calmly told Pia,"Pia, I have told you before don't call me Di, you are not my sister and you not welcome here, please leave."
Pia looked at Bani with rage in her eyes and spat, "What did you think Di that I would sit and watch you take away Jai from me. I tried to make you understand that Jai belongs to me but you refuse to listen to me. How dare you think that I would give up so easily.'

She looks at Jai and walks over to Bani and slowly pulls a gun out of her bag and holds against Bani's head. Jai, Maasi and Rano are shocked. Pia smiles evilly at them and says, "You all love Bani so much don't you? She is the perfect wife, perfect bahu and perfect sister. She can't do anything wrong. Well you are all wrong, she can do wrong. You see Di always gave me what I wanted before. She gave me Pushkar when I told her I liked him. She even agreed to let me marry you Jai. But when I ran away and she married you Jai, she like a typical wife cannot give you up."

She pushes the gun against Pia's head and tells Jai, "You are going to see your wife die right in front of your eyes and you cannot do anything about it."

Jai: "Pia, don't be stupid. I only came to see the babies and I didn't come to take Bani back. You are misunderstanding, Bani is still not a free and she is out on bail only."

Pia: "Do you think I am stupid? You think that I don't know that Ajit Chawla and Tarun haven't told you about the cd? They spoilt my little game Jai and now Bani is going to pay for it."
(Repto haters hope this makes you happy)
As Jai moves forward Pia presses on the trigger but before she can release the trigger, another gun shot is heard and Pia slowly falls to the floor. The stunned group looks and sees Ajit Chawla pointing the gun and behind him is Tarun with Ajit's backup. One of his man rushes to check on Pia. After feeling her pulse he announces that she is dead. As Tarun comes forward, Bani faints and Maasi lowers her gently on to the sofa.  Rano rushes to Bani's side while telling someone to get some water. Tarun phones Dr. Swathi and asks her to come to the house. Rano splashes some water on Bani and Bani stirs opening her eyes. Ajit tells them to take Bani and the babies upstairs.

Dr Swathi arrives few minutes later and checks Bani out. She assures Rano that Bani is fine, it was probably the shock of Pia being shot that she fainted.  Couple of hours later when Ajit and his team finally left, Tarun came up to see Bani.  Tarun smiled at her and sat next to her on the bed.

Tarun: "Bani, your case will be closed. With evidence that Ajit has been able to find and with Pia blackmailing Jai, the judge will free you. Jai is waiting outside, he wants to see you, can I send him in?"

Bani nods her head and Tarun walks to the door and asks Jai to go in. Jai looks at Bani with tenderness in her eyes. He just sits down and holds her hands without saying anything. After a while Jai, "Bani, please forgive me for all the pain that I have caused you."

Bani: "I should be the one that apologizes to you Jai; once again Pia has caused you so much suffering. Rano was right when she told me not to trust her."

Jai: "We all have been a victim of Pia's obsession. I would like you and the children to come home Bani."

Bani: "I am sure if I am ready to come back into your life Jai, I need time to think what is best for us."

Jai: "Bani, do you love Tarun?"

Bani: "How can ask me such question Jai? Tarun has always been a good friend. I have never loved anyone else beside you Jai, and it is because I love so much that I need time to understand what has happened in the last few weeks. Understand Pia's obsession for you …her insanity that has caused havoc in our life."

Placing a gentle kiss on Bani's forehead Jai left the room. Few minutes later Rano came to see Bani and found her asleep. She told Maasi Bani was asleep and to let her sleep and that she would come back later with Varun and stay the night.

Chp 15

Two days later Ajit informed Jai and Tarun that Bani's case had been closed and Bani was cleared of everything.  Maasi and Rano were very happy with the news that they decided to throw a little party and invited everyone from the Walia house to come over to Tarun's house that night. Maasi got the food organized and Rano with help from Anu decorated the place.

Ranveer and Raashi had also called from London and told Maasi that Raashi was well on her way to recovery. Maasi asked them how long before they can come home and Ranveer said that Raashi still had two more chemotherapy to go and after that she would be able to come home.  The news of Raashi's recovery made everyone happy especially Aditya as he had missed Raashi a lot, she had quietly taken care of the house with Bani and with both of them not being there it had lost its charm. Jigyasa still harped about everything and everybody and quietly Aditya had decided to move out of Walia house and get a place of his own. He wanted Ranveer and Raashi to stay with Jai as he would need their support because he knew that Bani would not return to the house so soon. He wanted his children to be free of Jigyasa's incessant jealousy for Jai's wealth.

By 8PM everyone was gathered at Tarun's house. Jai had come bearing flowers for Bani and gifts for the children. Tarun had also invited Aparajit to join them as he felt indebted to him for bringing him back to Mumbai. They sat around talking and playing with Varun, Krishna and Jeevan. Maasi looked at her family and prayed silently to God that to keep her family happy always.

Aparajit congratulated Bani and asked what she was going to do now. Bani told him that may be she will go away from Mumbai to some quiet place and take time to decide what she wanted for herself and her children. Aparajit told her that if she wants she can come to England, he had a place in the country where she could stay for as long as needed. Bani asked him why he wanted to do this for her. Aparajit smiled and said that he was one of the few fortunate people in the world who had the ability to help others, was it so wrong to be kind to another human being. He had a wonderful wife and children. He had brothers and sisters that had always supported him and never tried to back stab him the way Bani's sibling had done.

Two days later Bani informed Tarun that she was taking up Aparajit's offer of going to London and staying at one of his residence out in the country.  Tarun and Rano tried to persuade her not to go but she insisted that she needed to get away from here and heal herself.  Jai came to see her and the children before she left. He did not try to persuade her because he just wanted her to be happy with or without him.  In his heart he knew that she would one day come back to him and he was willing to wait.

Bani had spent last six months in the cottage away from the hustle and bustle of London. She had occasionally made trip to spend couple of days with Aaparjit and his family. Aparajit's wife Naina and his sons Preet and Angad had become friends with her and they loved Krishna and Jeevan. The children had kept Bani too busy to think of anything else. They were both now becoming quite a handful to manage by her self. When she looked at their son he reminded her so much of Jai. Jai had not made any contact with her but Tarun would call now and then to make sure she was all right. Rano had paid her quick visit when she had come over for business meeting. She filled Bani in on the happening at the house.  Raashi and Ranveer had come back a month after Bani left.  Raashi had completely recovered now but had to be monitored every 3 months just in case of reoccurrence of cancer.  Aditya and Jigyasa had moved into Jai's previous house. Aditya would come over everyday to see them, but Jigyasa refused to come over to Walia house.
(ok next bit is for all the JB despos, so not belans, joothas or gaalis)
After Rano's visit Bani started to become restless. She felt lonely with no one to talk to during the day. She missed cooking just for herself and remembered the times when she would get up early to make breakfast and help Tony to prepare lunches and dinner. At nighttime she would look at the photo of Jai beside her bed and tell him all about the babies, what they did and how they looked, but lately she craved to see him, feel him and wanted him to hold the children and her. One day she called up Rano and told her that she was coming back and that she would let her know when she had made the arrangement. Bani than called up Aparajit and informed him that she wanted to return to Mumbai and asked him if he could book tickets for her and the children as soon as possible.  Aparajit came down the next day and take her back to London. He had booked the flight for weekend, giving her couple of days to do shopping for gifts to take with her.

Bani's flight landed Sunday morning at 2AM. Tarun had actually come down so that he could help her with the children.  Luckily both of them had slept through most of the flight and so Bani had been able to relax.  Rano, Raashi and Ranveer had actually come to meet her at the airport. They all hugged Bani and Rano and Raashi took sleeping Krishna and Jeevan from her and Tarun and sat in the car. Tarun took left to go to his house in a taxi and Bani sat in the car with Rano and Raashi in the back. The drive to the Walia Hotel was short as there wasn't much traffic.  Rano told Bani that she hadn't told Maasi, Dadi or Jai about her coming back as she wanted it to be surprise and that they would spend the night in the hotel and go to the house in the morning.

Next morning the loud ringing of the phone awakened Bani. She picked it up and it was Rano asking her if she was up and if so she would come and see her. Few minutes later Rano knocked on Bani's door. She opened the door and was surprised to see Jai with Rano. She had been feeling nervous about seeing Jai and had not expected to see him without any warning. Rano hugged her and told her that she had asked Jai to come up and meet her before they went to the house. Rano made an excuse about seeing Krishna and left Jai and Bani alone.

Seeing that Bani was feeling awkward, Jai couldn't hold himself back and took Bani in a hug. She stiffened slightly but than gave way to her emotions and held him tightly while tears fell down her cheeks. After some time she managed to whisper, "Jai, I am so sorry."

Jai caressed her gently and told her, "Bani there is nothing for you to be sorry about, I just want you to come home. I want you and my children with me. I want to make you happy. I love you Bani."

THE END

The following 6 member(s) liked the above post:

Pareestatic_chaos23Pooja_frenamieealicia212Isa_de

anita&eijaz IF-Dazzler
anita&eijaz
anita&eijaz

Joined: 10 November 2006
Posts: 2502

Posted: 24 April 2007 at 12:08pm | IP Logged
wow nice ff it soo good
loka IF-Dazzler
loka
loka

Joined: 25 January 2006
Posts: 3379

Posted: 24 April 2007 at 12:13pm | IP Logged
awesome yaar Clap
loved the Pia's death part Tongue
I loved the endingEmbarrassed


Edited by loka - 24 April 2007 at 12:13pm
nema123 Goldie
nema123
nema123

Joined: 17 November 2006
Posts: 2179

Posted: 24 April 2007 at 12:38pm | IP Logged
Nice short FF..

Clap Clap Clap
ronitfan IF-Stunnerz
ronitfan
ronitfan

Joined: 23 October 2004
Posts: 35777

Posted: 24 April 2007 at 12:51pm | IP Logged
awwwwwwwwww that was just SO sweet !!!
Read it ALL !!
InTheZone123 Senior Member
InTheZone123
InTheZone123

Joined: 08 September 2006
Posts: 830

Posted: 24 April 2007 at 1:25pm | IP Logged
very nice ff, i had a great time reading it and if only pia's death was also real in ks then we would party but it was very good
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ree_views IF-Dazzler
ree_views
ree_views

Joined: 24 July 2006
Posts: 2643

Posted: 24 April 2007 at 1:31pm | IP Logged
wait for some lamha till i get a chance to read!!!!
ridizzz IF-Rockerz
ridizzz
ridizzz

Joined: 15 March 2006
Posts: 6925

Posted: 24 April 2007 at 2:05pm | IP Logged
Awesome short story.
loved it.
beautifully penned Clap Clap Clap

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