As Khushi walked towards her doom she tried to catch the pundit’s eyes, but he refused to look in her direction and determinedly kept his eyes focused on the task at hand. Arnavji, where are you, she called silently out to him. She trembled alarmingly as fear and despair overwhelmed her. Khushi knew she couldn’t hold off any longer, her hour of reckoning was here.
It was do or die.
Her babuji’s plight, her Amma’s humiliation, an innocent baby’s death, a mother’s anguish flashed before her eyes and in an instant, a furious rage coursed through her veins. She swiftly bent down and in a single motion drew out a log of burning firewood from the havan kund and with eyes blazing, waved it like a flaming sword.
All four men jumped back in alarm.
“KHUSHIJI!” shouted Shyam, “Don’t be mad, drop that! You will hurt yourself.”
Khushi, still shaking, but with anger, “Yes, I have gone mad, I don’t care what happens to me and beware, your end is near Mr Shyam Manohar Jha, your end is near.” She rushed forward towards him while Shyam turned and skipped forward to avoid being lashed by the burning log, yelling to the others to help him, to stop her, do something.
All the other three men seemed to be frozen in time, staring at her visage in awe, wonder and dawning fear. Seeing her reckless behavior, none of them seemed inclined to risk their own safety and in fact moved back to a safe distance and watched in horrified fascination and Khushi chased Shyam around the havan kund.
The search party burst in upon them at this juncture. At this interruption, there was comical look of relief on Shyam’s face while Khushi seemed almost disappointed at being deprived of her rightful target. The policemen quickly arrested the three men standing by the side but before Raman could even move towards Shyam, ASR leapt forward with an angry roar and went for Shyam’s throat. Shyam’s feeling of relief vanished instantaneously as he was relentlessly and ruthlessly choked helplessly in ASR’s grip. Raman tried to detach him from Shyam but in vain. Raman kept exhorting him to release him, but ASR was beyond reason and would have choked the life out of Shyam if Khushi’s warning scream had not pierced his consciousness.
“Arnavji, leave him alone, varna…”
Startled, ASR loosened his hold on Shyam’s throat, “Varna!!?” and looked around at her and then quickly jumped back in alarm and surprise.
Khushi stood just behind him, still holding her flaming sword. “Move away or you will get hurt,” she bit out as she lunged towards Shyam.
The rest of the RMian gang joined the circus and each grabbed a ringside view of the unfolding drama, effectively cutting off Shyam’s escape.
“Khushiiii,” yelled ASR, “Pagal ho gayi ho kya? You will hurt yourself. Come away let the police do their job.”
“YES, I have gone mad,” yelled back Khushi. “When I tell you what this inhuman monster has done even you will go mad. Apart from being guilty of betraying Di and trying to kill you, do you know that he tried to kill Babuji as well, that he is responsible for this condition of his?”
There was a collective gasp of surprise from the gathered audience.
“And,” Khushi continued, “these are minor transgressions compared to what else he did, in fact he boasted that he planned the murder of his own unborn child, by first giving harmful medicines and then by ensuring Di tripped and fell, thereby losing her baby.”
This revelation was greeted with a shocked silence and Khushi taking advantage of the situation hit out at the cowering Shyam, leaving burn marks on his arms and thighs. Unfortunately the burnt end of the log of wood broke and fell down. Undeterred, Khushi kept bashing him while he pleaded for mercy.
Suddenly Khushi found herself joined by Di also carrying a burning piece of log. In a calm even tone she spoke to Khushi. “Move away Khushi, this is my pleasure.” Without waiting for any response, Di swung out to hit Shyam.
Anjali got in a couple of well aimed vicious strikes before she was quickly disarmed by Raman just as ASR coming out of his stupor, disarmed Khushi, while the police took a very compliant and willing Shyam into custody.
Her anger and fury spent, Anjali stood sobbing defeated and lost, her family gathered around her offering solace and support in her hour of distress and grief. ASR was unsuccessfully trying to calm down his still wildly struggling ladylove.
Raman caught ASR’s eye and mouthed, “Come to the police station later,” and quietly left the scene of the crime with his prisoners in tow.
The rapidly unfolding event of the past two days and its myriad and extreme shades of emotional roller coaster ride had left Khushi distraught and traumatized. The much awaited wedding, the joy the happiness, a song on her lips, a dance in her heart, Dadi’s accusation, her mother’s humiliation, dumped at the altar, kidnapping, horrific revelations topped by the just concluded drama all converged and something snapped within her.
She jerked herself free from Arnav embrace and yelled, “Get away from me, you are just as bad, you dumped me and left…”
Arnav was shocked. “Khushi, how can you say that, I didn’t dump you, I was upset, I came back…”
“Yeah right, came back, I bet you took your own sweet time in coming back.”
Arnav, guiltily, “Khushi….
“There! I can see it on your face!” She hotly accused him of having doubts, “You took your own sweet time didn’t you? And here I was kidnapped, what if I had been raped, murdered? But no, you were upset! That of course is more important and why did things reach this stage? You knew he was not a good guy yet you just sat on that information twiddling your thumbs. You could have got him investigated, saved us all the trauma.” She waved her hand her hair askew and still wearing the crazed look. “Look what havoc one man has brought to our lives. Babuji paralyzed, Di…Di’s baby murdered by her own father. Hey Devi Maiyya!” She sank down sobbing hard.
All of a sudden, her anger turning into intense grief and guilt. “All my fault! Why am I blaming you? All my fault!” She scrambled to her feet. “All my fault! I don’t deserve to live. I always bring bad luck to the people I love. My parents died in an accident, Babuji paralyzed, Amma humiliated, Di….betrayed……leave me Arnavji…leave me….” She ran off into the darkness.
Both Arnav and Payal started off behind her, but Aakash stopped Payal and shook his head.
Arnav caught up with her easily enough, but it was not so easy to calm her down as she was beyond reason, exhaustion excitement, hunger all taking their toll. She hit out at him so he entrapped her in his embrace. Unfazed, she lashed out at him with her verbal volleys, taunting, attacking and self-blaming by turn, refusing to simply listen to anything Arnav attempted to speak.
Finally Arnav swooped down and swallowed up her tirade. Peace and silence descended. After a while when they came up for air, Arnav tipped her head up by a finger under her chin and said, “I love you.” She swallowed and buried her face in his chest. “I love you too.” She breathed into his heart.
Arnav smiled exultantly as he crushed her closer, finally he had found his Brahmastra,
And that my dears was how Arnav bitwa found his Brahmastra 😉
Toh kaisan lagi ee katha?
Toh before I take your leave to go and tend to the season 2 wala khichdi, I thought I should tell you that I plan to begin posting from 15th July 2020 – aap log free honge na?
Aur ek baat, agar Alternate IPK achcha laga ho toh puraana aur bhi hai – agar interested ho toh kahiyega.
Waise kono zabardasti nahin hai, bas
aaj mausam hai suhana
time pass ka ek bahana hai
Aur aap logon ki company ki adat si ho gayi hai 🙂