Leaving Sakku Bai to continue sweeping the floor, Rajvir hurried towards the jail section. As he walked, he thought furiously, "Iss Arohi ki vajah se sab mujhse, ACP Rajvir Singh Ahluwalia se sawaal kar rahe hain!! Iss ladki ne hume kahin ka nahi choda!!"
As Rajvir turned around the corner, first thing he noticed was that the curtain was half way open. He was surprised, happy and highly suspicious all at the same time.
Rajvir surveyed the scene more intently than he had ever surveyed any of his crime scenes. His eyes picked up all the details:
Arohi was flitting back and forth in the cell looking for something on the floor and Arjun was leaning on the open part of the rails, he had his back to Rajvir. His eyes zeroed in on the cell door and the sight of the padlock and combo lock made him angry. His ears were on high alert trying to catch any useful conversation, maybe the code to that impossible lock.
He started walking slowly towards them, trying to keep them ignorant about his presence for as long as possible. The closer he got to the cell, the more info his brain registered. Arohi had one hand on her ear and he could see that the other ear was missing its earring. And as she looked for the other ring, she picked up stray bangles from the floor and straightened the quilt lying haphazardly on the floor. As she spoke, she picked up her dupatta that was on the bench and threw it on her shoulder and continued her hunt. Seemed like they had just woken up.
Arohi: .. tumne dekhi?
Arjun: mein toh tumhe dekh raha tha..
Arohi: nikala toh tumne hi tha..
His head moved side to side as his eyes followed Arohi around the room.
Arjun: haan varna tumhe chubta na..
Arohi: toh rakkhe kahan?
Arjun: Mujhe kya pata, tum itni hot lag rahi thi, aur woh light bhi chali gayi thi. Kahin pada hoga. Accha woh chodo, aur yahan aao na..
Arohi: Nahi, pehle tum yahan aa ke meri help karo.
Arjun: I don't mind coming over.
Arohi puts her hand out and pushed him away.
Arohi: Never mind. Tum wahin thik ho. Mein dhund lungi.
Arjun caught hold of Arohi's wrist, turned her around and pulled her closer. Now both of them had their backs to the corridor and all Rajvir could see was Arjun's back.
Arjun 'seemed' to be whispering something in her ear; Rajvir imagined his mind's eye glaring at any umm.. unhealthy thoughts entering his mind. Rajvir stopped close enough to hear their conversation and he wished he were falling off some cliff.
Arohi: Arjun, kuch toh sharam karo!! Subah ho gayi hai, aur curtain bhi khula hai!!
Arjun: Toh band kar dete hai na!! By the way, tumhare chachu ke iss jail me toh aaj ek parinda bhi nahi. Come on Arohi, itni subah toh koi cleaner bhi nahi aaya. Tum bahane banana band karo.
Arohi moved away from him behind the curtain and Arjun leaned back on the rails once more.
Arjun: Vaise, hum jail me hain.. hume koi milne bhi nahi aayega.. tum tayyar kisliye ho rahi ho!!
Arohi reentered the visible part of the cell and noticed Rajvir, her face was glowing like the rising sun and chachu's was glowering like the setting sun.
Arohi: Jail me hai iska matlab ye nahi koi milne nahi aayega.. ye lo chachu aa gaye!!
She said all this very fast n scrambled to adjust her dupatta n hair, which unsuccessfully remain ruffled.
Arjun turned around to see Rajvir and he beamed as though he was looking at his acquittal orders!! Rajvir did not understand Arjun's expression but he did notice Arjun's shirt was unbuttoned exposing his bare chest. Obviously he had just woken up and thrown it on.
Arjun: Good morning chachu!! Aap yahan itni subah subah?!! I didn't expect you to be free so soon.
Rajvir's mind was still taking in the condition of the cell and so it worked extra hard to catch up with Arjun's greeting and then it clicked: that false alarm about Gauri!! Shit!!
Tumne mujhe gumraah kiya? Mein tumhe nahi chodunga! Pehle mein iss lock ko todunga, phir tumhe!!
Arjun: Relax chachu, lagta hai subah ki chai kuch zyada hi garam thi! Vaise, chachi kaisi hai?
Rajvir's cheek muscle flexed as he tried to control his temper. His irritation, frustration and anger just kept coming in waves. Pehle Gauri, phir Arvind bhaiyya, phir woh sakku bhai, ab ye Arjun Singhania!!
Seemed like god was taking his revenge.
Arjun noticing this continued, "Lagta hai, unhe aap se mil kar utni khushi nahi hui jitni mujhe hui! You know, aaj mein itna khush hun, ki dushmanon pe bhi pyar aa raha hai!!"
He said this and looked sideways at Arohi who avoided chachu's gaze and hurried away to the other side of the cell which was still hidden behind the curtain.
Rajvir continued with his nerve-flexing and confused dazed expressions. He ignored Arjun and started work on the lock. A thousand questions were banging the inside of his skull. He didn't like that smile on Arjun's face and why the hell was Arohi blushing so much? Ye dono akele, ek hi cell mein, parda laga hua tha, aur ab ye reactions.. kahin woh.. NO!! Rajvir retracted his mind from those nightmarish thoughts and forced it to focus on the task at hand. One at a time! Get the lock open, Get Arohi out of there and Get Arjun Singhania to that Nasik jail.
Arjun's happiness knew no bounds. He crossed his leg, with one hand on the bars and the other on his waist.
"Chachu, aap chahe toh mein aap ki madad karun? Nahi? Lagta hai, saari raat soye nahi. Internet pe iss lock ki research kar rahe the?" Rajvir's ear went red in reply and Arjun continued "But woh aapke kisi kaam ka nahi hoga. Kyunki iska code toh sirf mere paas hai. Maine ye specially Billu se kehkar mangvaya tha. I've used it many times before and I assure you, aap ko sahi combination guess karne me saalon lag jayenge.. But you are welcome to try. Tab tak hume bhi thodi shanti mil jaayegi!!"
Arohi who had given up her search, and seemed to have composed herself, came to stand near Arjun and elbowed him to stop. Arjun thoroughly enjoying chachu's bad mood threw his arm around Arohi's shoulder and continued
"Arohi dekho na, tumhare chachu hume dekh ke khush nahi hue!! Aur lagta hai mein inka concentration jam kar raha hun. Chalo phir se ye parda band kar dete hain. Mein nahi chahta ki inka mood bigde. Chachu aap don't worry, meine kaha na, aaj mein bohot khush hun, aur iss liye aap ko aur pareshan nahi karunga. By the way, kisi hawaldar se keh kar humare liye chai naashte ka intezaam karva dijiye na. Bohot bhook lagi hai!" Unnecessarily but very necessarily he added "Who said jails are boring. yahan toh action hi action hai!!" *wink* and curtains closed!!
**************** Bas Itni Mohabbat Hai ****************
p.s. I really wanted to add
emoticons after every line but it wouldn't suit the decor. So please assume!!!