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Aug 19

DOOMED TO DIE THE MOTHER OF MY SON (By Raani82) (Thanked: 49 times)



MUMBAI- 1983-2001

Arnav started packing his meagre belongings in an old duffle bag. 

"Don't go Arnav....please stay..."begged his mother.

"Why?"he asked, showing little concern. He could hear Mohd. Rafi's old Hindi classic on the small radio by the sewing machine, and his mother's extra care to look good wearing her best pink and purple sari. He wanted to get out as soon as possible. He wanted to be far away from his mother, his so called father, Lavanya... Everyone.

"Stay for dinner....your father is coming....we can talk about your college...."

"He is not my father......and I don't want his money..."he pulled the zip hard to close the bag.

"Now ...don't start on me...."warned his mother. Then she softened and said, "please Arnav.... He has done so much for us....he is spending so much for Akash's admission to IIT...."

"I don't care..."

"He will take care of your admission as well.....we can discuss about it tonight...just like a family..."she insisted.

"For god's sake amma.....can't you see....he doesn't care for me and I don't want him...."


Arnav turned to snatch the keys hanging from the nail, and saw his mother in tears. He could see the fear in her eyes. He was the invisible golden thread that held her to that man. And if Arnav left he sensed she was afraid that the thread would snap and nothing would hold that man responsible to come to her.  He felt sorry for her but he was determined it was the best for all if he just left.

He walked towards the door and was about to open when the door slammed open and the bane of their existence stood before them.....face red with fury, as he pushed Arnav back into the house, slammed the door shut and shouted, "Just who the hell do you think... You are?"

"Mano? What....why?" Arnav's mom rushed forward breathless.

"Your son has been hanging around with Manick's daughter and he had even had the audacity to meet my dare you!"

Arnav starred back at his father eye to eye for the first time with pure hatred.

"And you know what ? Manorama has gone to the best divorce lawyer in the you know what that means I'm done will be the end of me...."he shouted. "She would wipe me clean....I'd be left penniless, on the streets."

Simran till then who had a worried look on her face, suddenly looked all pleased and a smile lit up her face. "That's wonderful last we can be together.... Like one good big family..."she said excitedly. "We can get married..."

Mano looked at her as if she had just grown a third hand out of her head....or like she suddenly looked like an alien..."Are you crazy? Don't you have any brains in that beautiful head of yours? Marry you? And do what? Can't you ever understand? I can never marry you.....Manorama....will accept you and your long as he stays away from that family.....but she would not tolerate if he is thrown at her face....if he started meeting my kids....I don't care what he does with Manick's daughter....but he better stay away from mine..."

Simran's face fell, " said...."

"Oh stop it would always be my wh..ore and nothing else...when would you ever get that into your pea sized brain...." Arnav heard his mother gasp, "that you are just a wh***"

"Stop it..." Arnav growled between his clenched teeth.

"Come again...boy....what did you say?"asked  Mano.

"I said stop harassing my mother and get out of this house." Arnav said quietly.

"I...get out of this house?" he scoffed, "now let me get this straight.....this piece of dump you call house is mine..... I've paid for all the things you have here, for the food you two eat, for the clothes you wear and your mother wears....including her underwear....and it would not take a minute for me to throw you two out....your mother is lucky she got me....if I throw her out now...there would be no one to have her...."

" listen to me..." tears were pouring down his mother's face, too pained to see her lover and her son hate each other.

"In fact....I can even take away your mother's job and see that she doesn't get employment anywhere else....I can make your lives a  living hell." Manohar shouted angrily.

"It already is..."replied Arnav quietly.

"You ungrateful bast.ard....did you hear Simi.... You better ask your son to shut his mouth....otherwise I'll kick his ass..."

Arnav lunged at his father, having lost all control of his temper. But Mano was twice his size and stronger. He evaded him and hit hard on Arnav's stomach. Arnav felt as if the air got sucked out of his gullet. He fell to the ground, groaning in pain and the older man kept kicking his stomach and finally gave one kick on his groin. Arnav screamed as he clutched himself and rolled on the ground as excruciating pain shot threw his groin.

"Don't you get bas..tard....just remain there..."

Simi ran and stopped the man from hitting her son, "No...Mano...don't do this...he is your son....please.."

"That's you it is time I teach him how to respect elders and how to be grateful..."

By now Arnav still dazed , was on his feet and was ready when his father turned to face him. "And I'll break your balls..."'Ssssmmmackkkk...' He gave one hard blow right on the old man's nose. His nose broke and blood streamed down his nose and mouth.

"You....son of a bi..tch..." Mano screamed. "Come ....comeon....this is what you wanted isnt it? Come on hit me....hit me..." Arnav raised his hand for another blow but Mano was ready he ducked and caught hold of Arnav's jacket and slammed him backwards on the wall. Arnav lost focus and didn't see the old man's fist coming towards his face. Arnav's nose broke, next punch came on his face. His eyes and nose were swollen and bloodied, his lips were bleeding and purple in colour. He fell down, hardly conscious of his mother screaming at both of them to stop. By now the neighbours had heard the commotion and began to bang on the door. 

"Mrs. Raizada....? What is happening there? Are you all right?"came a booming voice of his neighbour, a bouncer in the local pub.

"I asked her to do away with you the day I came to know she was having you.....but she refused...saying devi matha's prasad and sin...and all that ****....see what a pain he has grown into.. If only you had listened to me then..."Mano was wiping away the  blood. Simran was beyond listening, she ran to her son, " your eyes....oh baby...please look at me....Arnav....."she was sobbing uncontrollably.

Mano grabbed her hand and pulled her up and away from the boy who lay bleeding on the floor. "I come here for one and only one thing.....and I want it now..."he dragged her towards the room. Simran sobbed loudly, " needs a doctor...Mano...I can't..."

"Simran what's happening there? Are you alright? Open the door!" Came her neighbour's voice from outside. The voices began to grow more louder outside. Unmindful Mano dragged her inside the room, "He is just out...he will be alright...I need you to take care of me ...."

"No...leave me...Arnav..."

Slap! A loud sound echoed, "I don't want to hear his name...when I'm here...take off your clothes..."

"No...I can't..." Again slap! Arnav twitched, as he heard his mother whimper in pain. 

"I have to go to him....he needs a doctor..." Again a loud thud, as she was pushed and fell on the floor.

"I said I don't want you to talk about get up and attend to me..."Mano growled. me go..."

"I hear no all the time in my house....I come here only to hear yes....yes..." Mano shouted as he once again slapped her hard. The door was not closed properly and Arnav could here the sound of ripping of materials and his mother crying loudly to let her go as he kept hitting her again and again.

Arnav couldn't bear it any longer. He crawled towards the chair where the coat that man was wearing was carelessly draped. He knew Manohar had a pistol in his coat. He carried it for self protection while on his night outs. Arnav caught hold of the chair leg and hauled himself up painfully. He took the pistol out from the pocket and staggered towards the room. He leaned on the door frame and opened the door.

There was more banging on the outside door as more voices called out, " the door....what is happening there? Simran? Simran are you all right? Open the door!"

He saw his half naked father on top of his mother,who was fighting wildly, " me.... Let me son is hurt...please...Mano...let..." she was sobbing loudly, and stopped mid sentence when she saw Arnav. Her eyes widened, as she whispered, "!"

"What...the dare..."Mano turned and his face paled the moment he saw the boy standing with the pistol in his hand, pointing right at him.

He rolled away and fell on the ground, his hands clutching his pants. "Simi.... Ask the boy to leave....tell go...Simi...."

His mother quickly grabbed a sheet to cover herself, and looked at him wide eyed. Arnav slowly raised the pistol and shot at the man his so called father.

Manohar ducked and fell flat on the floor. The bullet missed him. Arnav aimed again.

" Ask him to stop..."he yelled.

" the door...what is happening? Somebody call the police...quick..."outside voices were growing to a frenzy.

Arnav pulled the trigger again. This time Mano screamed as the bullet brushed past his bare skin, taking a slice away from his biceps. 

Arnav still dazed, could hardly open his eyes. Blood was still oozing down his eyes and nose. He couldn't stand still, his hands were shaking as he aimed again. His mother by now had come out of the shock and was screaming , ""

He heard the door being broken open as crowd began to pour in. "Call the the police..."he heard voices.

"****....oh ****....this is the last thing I Wanted...."groaned Manohar, still writhing in pain.

"Well! Well! What have we got here?"came the gruffy, bouncer's voice. He caught hold of Arnav's arm holding the pistol, "Easy boy... Easy! Give it to!"

"Simi.... Simi....are you..."a lady rushed forward and gasped looking at the scene in front of her. The bouncer asked her leave and closed the door. Sirens were heard outside.

The man quickly opened the cupboard and took out a salwar kameez and threw them at Simi. Get dressed. He said as he looked at the man lying on the floor.

"Well...well....look who we have here....a real up town visitor!"he mocked at Mano, clearly recognising who he was. He turned to Arnav and said, "You made a mistake should have shot that son of a **** right on his chest...."he said angrily, but when he saw the boy swaying, he immediately caught him in his arms and carried him to the sofa. "Bring some water!"he ordered.

By now the police had entered the house and the crowd was getting out of control. Couple of men along with the bouncer managed to push the crowd outside and closed the broken door.

The bouncer came forward and said that the man had entered and was attacking the woman, and the boy had tried to protect his mother. The SI was equally shocked to see Manohar inside the room and he quickly placed a call to his chief who in turn called Manick Chand Mallik.

Couple of hours later, when statements were heard from everyone, Arnav and Mano attended to by the doctor, Manickchand seated calmly on the only chair available, gave a load of cash to Simran and requested her not to register a complaint against Mano. The bouncer protested and said that she had to complain against the man who had attacked her. But soon his voice was also drowned by money, other witnesses bought, Manick now seething with anger left the slum quietly with Manohar.

Arnav who by now had come to his senses slowly took his bag in his hand and walked towards the door. 

His mother sat sobbing, her face covered with her hands. She now knew she could never stop him from leaving her. He knew she was disappointed in him for having hurt the man she loved and had sired him. What kind of love was this? That one allowed themselves to be abused and hurt and was able to bear the pain and even be alienated from her own son. He felt sorry for her and that was the last image of his mother he carried in his heart.

Aug 22

DOOMED TO DIE THE MOTHER OF MY SON (By Raani82) (Thanked: 47 times)



MUMBAI- 1983-2001

Arnav stopped near the open door and looked at his mother. "I'll call!"he said and waited. His mother looked away, tears still flowing from her eyes. She looked older and was slowly becoming heavy around her hips and legs. He saw the hurt in her eyes that her son tried to kill the man she loved. Arnav realised what a fool he had been. If he had killed his father he would have gone to jail and his mother would have been thrown on the streets. All their lives devastated in one single stupid action. The moment he took the pistol in his hand, he had transformed from an adolescent to an adult. Now he was on his own and responsible for each and every action he did. The picture of his father huddled and covering in the corner with his hands over his head, responding to Arnav's "Leave my mother alone.....I'd kill you if you lay your hands on her....leave her alone!", somehow brought a bad feeling in his mouth. He thanked the Gods for missing his shots. He dropped the bag, went near his mother, hugged her, kissed her on the forehead and said, "Take care! I'll surely call!" His mother did not respond. He sighed, got up , picked his bag and walked out with wooden legs.

How dare he! Arnav Singh Raizada, raise a pistol and shoot at a member of Mallik family. Unbelievable! In the silent halls of the Mallik mansion rumours were abound but nobody knew the exact details. The bas.tard had shot Manohar and got away with it. He was declared as a boy with a temperament. Unfortunate he was not sent to jail and put away for fifteen or twenty years. A good riddance, that would have been. But then, if that was the case then Manohar had to testify in court and the whole world would have come to know about his bast.ard son. This whiff of a boy, a nobody had the guts to embarrass, interfere and intrude into the lives of the mighty Malliks. 

Anyway he had disappeared and no one knew where he was. Probably gone far far away from Mumbai. Good! He would know better than to interfere with the Malliks.

For a week Arnav was roaming around Mumbai, from one bus shelter to another, eating one meal a day, dirty, hungry, cold and burning with fury and hatred for the man who had sired him. He was scared that the police might come after him and take him away. What did he even think of doing , raising a pistol and shooting a of the powerful men of Mumbai....a member of the Mallik family? He didn't meet his friends and moved himself far away from all the ones he knew. He wanted to hide himself for the next few days, lest the police go behind them. A couple of weeks later when he ran out of money, he went to the garage where he was working. The manager took him in. And soon he got the job as promised , in the petrol bunk. He got the accommodation above the petrol station and soon he became familiar with all the routine. A month later he got his twelfth certificate and he could hear the collective sighs of all the nuns that they would no longer had to deal with the likes of him. He managed to work seven hours a day in the garage and do night duty at the petrol station. Early in the morning he had to log in the passkey in the office computer and the locks of the petrol filling stations automatically unlocked. His work also included maintaining the log books of filling fuel in the underground tanks. After that, he handed over the keys to the morning shift supervisor then he went slept for four hours, after which he went to the garage. Sundays were holidays most of the time, unless an employee fell sick or was on leave. 

His life went on without hiccups for a couple of months, except for Lavanya. She followed him from the garage to his room above the bunk one day and knocked on the door and entered inside even before he could respond to her knock. 

"What are you doing here?"he asked angrily.

"To talk to you of course..." She came in pushed him aside and sat down beside him on the old mattress. Arnav shook his head in disbelief but finally had to give in to the stubbornness of the girl. She just wouldn't let him go. "Why do you look at me with so much distrust?"

"Take a guess! You have the Mallik name attached to your name."

"Aren't you glad to see me?"she asked smiling innocently. 

"I don't want to look like an animal in the side show on the middle of the road"he said dejectedly.

"I'm not here for passing my very well know that....and don't avoid me...I get  enough of all that in my home."she said as she pulled the huge bag she was carrying , towards her. Arnav looked at her. He knew she was intrigued by him, living his own life his own way, a sense of freedom that she could never taste in her life. And he had to agree it was two way. He tried to keep a stoic face whenever his friends made fun of him having an ardent admirer. He found her interesting and he was attracted to her. 

"This is not right you know."he said. She pulled out a wine bottle from her bag.

"I know...but who can stop me?"she smiled, showing the bottle to him. "Let's celebrate your freedom from your father, courtesy my father."she said as she looked around. 

"So this is not from your Uncle Mano by any chance?"he asked with a smirk.

"No...of course not...this is not from anybody...i just took it...Do you have glasses?"she asked. He starred at her, "Wine glasses at present are not in my priority list."he said, in a serious tone.

She shrugged, then ripped opened the foil on the top with her teeth and pulled out the cork and let the bubble flow down. 

"How are you going to replace it? Your father will surely miss it?"

"This cheap wine? I don't think so. This is not so important for him to miss. It will be replaced by the head chef. Here first."she said giving it to him. He looked at the bottle, then turned it around to look at the price. "Four hundred dollars? And he will not miss it?" Oh hell! He was tempted. He couldn't control his desire. He drank few gulps before reluctantly handing it over to her. She took few sips, smiled at him. "How is it?"she asked. 

"Okay...not bad!"he said 

"Okay? Just okay? It is so...oooo..good."she drank again. He pulled it back from her and drank allowing the smooth silky liquid to slide through his gullet. 

Lavanya laughing at his childishness, took out the tightly sealed boxes from her bag and laid them in front of him. Arnav looked curiously at her but knew what they were when his olfactory nerves opened up and took in the flavour that emanated from the boxes.

"Some important guests there for dinner. So I asked the cook to pack dinner for us. This is penne pasta, and I know you'll love this ...aalu parata and pickle."

Arnav was past caring he was already attacking the food with both the hands. He blocked her hand when they extended to take some. "Arre... Let me ..."

He blocked her hand again. "At least let me have the olives from the salad."

"No...."he was drinking and busy licking his hands. "You can always go back and have your food. There would still be enough to feed the town." He got busy again. He finished the food in ten minutes. Lavanya laughed as she pulled the bottle from him and took some gulps. "That's what I like about you never mince say exactly what you want to say."

"I bet all your friends just have to listen." Said Arnav cleaning up the pasta. 

"They say many things  not because I'm their friend, because I'm ManickChand Mallik's daughter."she said a bit sadness lased in her voice. She looked at the bottle and was disappointed that it was empty. 

"Well I guess all good things must come to an end."she stuck out her tongue and let the last drop fall on it. Arnav looked at her, huge rounded eyes, following the last drop from the bottle, her long neck curved backwards, hair flowing on her back. He couldn't take his eyes off her. God! What was he thinking! He shook his head as if to clear his thoughts.

"I've saved the best for the last..."she said, putting her hand inside the bag. "Promise me you will share with me." 

"No I can't!"he said stoically. 

She took out the box with extra care and opened it. Arnav eyed the pastry, with chocolate dripping on all sides. Lavanya carefully took out the already cut piece and handed it to him. Arnav took a bite, closed his eyes and savoured the taste as it melted down his throat. "Hmmmm... Heavenly!" It was unfair that just one percent of the entire population in the country should have access to all the best things in life. Is this how their day ended everyday? Never having to think about where the food was going to come from the next day? Really... Really unfair!  They finished the pastry as well silently.

"It's time to leave."she said getting up.

Both collected the empty boxes and put them in the bag along with the empty bottle.

"Drive carefully Lavanya! "He said with genuine concern.

"Don't worry! I have the driver waiting for me. Next time the treat is yours."she said smiling.

"Sure next time!" He came down with her and watched her as she left in her car that was waiting for her on the opposite side of the road. 

In spite of his inner voice warning him time and again that he better put a stop to her visits he let her come and go at her will. Probably more intrigued to know more about how people lived on the other side of the town. The curiosity, the desire to experience the best things in life won over him not knowing that it was going to turn their world upside down in a matter of few weeks.

Aug 27

DOOMED TO DIE THE MOTHER OF MY SON (By Raani82) (Thanked: 46 times)



MUMBAI- 1983-2001

Arnav kept twisting and turning in his sleep. Knowing what was in someone's mind was a pain in the butt. It just popped up sometimes, not that he could ever do anything about them. He could never build a future for himself with that ability. Like reading palm, or predicting someone's future. He tried hard to block those thoughts but of no use, so he ignored them as much as he could. He had gone to play carrom matches that evening, lost few games, enjoyed the birthday bash of his friend ,got drunk and had staggered into his room, late in the night, pealed off his shirt and jeans and dropped face down on the pillow and went off to sleep, in his boxers. Only to be disturbed by Lavanya's cries for help. She was reaching out to him. She was desperate and crying. He took the pillow and slammed it on the top of his head to wade away the noise that was hammering inside his head. He would have hardly slept when the pounding increased. The door was rattling and someone was hammering on his room door calling out to him. He half opened his eyes and checked his phone. It was 2.30 in the morning. The bolts and hinges were making a hell of a noise, that he was forced to wake up. "What ...the...?"

He got up and slowly stumbled across almost tripping on his bed sheets and reached the door and opened it. "Arnav......Arnav...."Lavanya's sobs echoed inside his room as she dashed inside his room and sat on his thin mattress, burying her head inside her folded knees. ""he was swaying.

"How can I be so stupid....stupid....? I'm an idiot....fool...stupid..."she was muttering.

Arnav closed the door. "Do you know what time it is? What ....azh... You...doing heezh?"

She was sobbing loudly. He sat next to her, unaware of his near nakedness. "Laaav...don't cry."he said touching her hand. He wanted her to stop, not because he was concerned but because his head was pounding and any slight noise was unbearable. Lavanya misunderstood. She cuddled next to him. "Hold me ....Arnav...please hold me..."

She was also drunk. He could smell her breath and his senses were still clear to recognize it. He shook his head. " here..." His body was reacting to her proximity.

"Arnav...let me stay here.. Please..."she tried to hug him.

" leave...go...." His head had still some ounce of sanity left. But his body was protesting. Her perfume, her soft silk dress, her glowing skin was wrenching his guts and he began to harden. 

She sobbed loudly, "If I leave here....I'll die...Arnav...I will not go to them...oh! How will I face them?"

It was all Greek and Latin to him. "Them?"he asked.

"My brother, Praneeth.... My cousins...I can't go back...I've made a fool of myself...oh God! Help me!"

"But you can't stay...heerzh..."he tried to remove her hands.

"I'll die Arnav...than go there..."

He threw an arm around her shoulders, "No...don't die..."he said.

"Can I sleep here then?"she asked, tears brimming in her huge eyes.

""he was mumbling, painfully aware of his hardening groin. 

"You are no different from all men are the don't care...."

"I care...Laaav.."he said. "It is very sleep heezh...I'll...sleep...thezh.."his hand pointed somewhere.

"You care...?" she asked. He nodded, with his half closed eyes. "Oh I love you Arnav...I know you are not like them."she began to kiss him. Her hands caressing his hairy chest. 

"What aaarzh you ...doing ?"he tried to push her away. His mind was still alert but body was betraying him. "You go to sleep.."he tried to get up.

"No...don't go...I want you near me...I want you to hold me, I want to kiss you..."she was already on him.

"This...this is sleep..." Arnav was already lost. He pushed her down and began to kiss her hard, drowning himself  in her passionate response. 

Arnav wanted to stop the music playing inside his head. It took him few minutes to realise that it was his phone that ringing. He muttered few choice curse words as his hands groped for his phone and looked at it with half closed eyes. "Hello?"

"You long I've been calling you...."

"Calling me? Who..?"still  he was floating and couldn't get a grip on what was happening. 

"Hey are wasted? Wake up you stupid...or I'll throw you out of there..."

"Yes...bhai...tell me.."finally he was awake.

"The tankers are waiting for your Lordship's arrival....get your ass down there and open the covers."he heard his boss screaming. Oh God! He had forgotten that the guy who had to come that day was on half day leave and he was in charge of the bunk that morning. He threw the phone down and tried to get up. But fell back groaning and clutching his head. "Oh God!" He tried to clear his head smiling to himself in spite of the hammering inside. What erotic dreams  he'd had that night. God! He rubbed his face, shaking his head and his eyes went wide as he looked at himself sitting naked on his thin mattress. "What the ...hell!" He turned his head and when he saw Lavanya lying, gloriously naked near him, his breath stopped in his chest, and felt the bile rise up in his gullet. He grabbed his phone, and his pants that was strewn across the room and rushed out of the room. He inserted his legs inside his pants as he stumbled down the stairs and ran to the back of the office to the bathroom. 

Loud wretches came from the bottom of his stomach as he vomited. 

"Stupid! Fool! What has he done? God! They were not dreams....oh how he wished they were only dreams. But no! He has had s.ex with Lavanya! Oh God! Of all the people in the world....he had made love to a Mallik. And it was not just one was a bloody s.ex marathon. 

Oh God! Oh God! What was he going to do ? How will he face her? What will he tell her? That it was a mistake...that he was drunk. Oh God! What will she think? That he was no better than his cousins. What a fool! What a stupid...stupid thing to do! To have even allowed her inside his room. He washed his face and ran quickly outside hearing the honking of the tanker lorry.

"Hey....boy! How long are you going to make me wait? You think I've no other job to do than wait here for you to wake up?"the middle aged driver shouted at him angrily.

"Sorry bhai..I'm so sorry just a minute please...just one minute."Arnav said apologetically. As he ran up the stairs opened the door and rushed to get the keys. Lavanya was still sleeping. "Thank God for that."he thought. He quickly went and covered her with a sheet and ran down and opened the underground tank covers. He took the clip board, browsed through the invoice and went about the routine, though his mind was in turmoil.  The driver meanwhile brought the big plastic hose and dropped it inside the tank, fixing the other end to his tank and opened the valve. The petrol gushed inside, while the first customer arrived. He ran inside, entered the password and the code and the digital monitor on the fuel meter lit up. He filled the car tank, took the cash and gave the bill to the man. 

He looked around  and found Lavanya's  bright metallic silver Porsche standing in the corner. "Nice car!"said the driver. Arnav nodded. "You and I can only dream of ever owning a car like that, or even knowing the owner." The driver said. 

Arnav thought about Lavanya, she was in a troubled state when she had come there. Obviously her brother and her cousins had humiliated her and she had come to him for solace but he had also taken advantage of her. By ten thirty in the morning he was relieved by the other guy and Arnav slowly walked upstairs to his room, wondering how on earth he was going to face Lavanya. Guilt was eating him and he knew he was damned for life.

Aug 30

DOOMED TO DIE THE MOTHER OF MY SON (By Raani82) (Thanked: 42 times)



MUMBAI- 1983-2001

Arnav opened the door and stepped inside. Lavanya was sitting up her hands hugging her folded legs. Thank God she had her clothes back on her. She looked up at him. He remained standing. "This shouldn't have happened!"she said tears welling up in her eyes. "I know!"

"It's not going to happen again."she said, covering her face between her knees.

"I know!"he said focusing on her face. 

"Hell! Arnav don't you have anything else to say?"

"I'm sorry! It's all my fault."he said. 

"Like hell...of course it's all your shouldn't have done this..."she began to cry. Arnav didn't say anything. It always needed two hands to clap. But he was not going to preach now. 

"Do you know what happened last night? Why I came here?"she asked in between sobs.

" didn't tell me."

"My father...had some business party at home. He has this kind of parties regularly at home...a drag party. But we took away some booze and food to the outhouse and after a long time had real fun. Sheetal and Anjali didn't drink. They were with us for sometime then left us. After so many years four of us were together again. You know we were awesome foursome! Always together! Playing pranks on elders and on Sheetal and Anjali. But they began to ignore and avoid me for the last few years."

Arnav of course understood why. They found a grown up Lavanya uncomfortable around them. 

"You know, I have a crush on Akash, since I was a kid."

Arnav was sick of hearing about the Mallik kids. "I don't want to know anything Lav.."he said.

"You better listen to me. I want you to understand why I behaved the way I did...yesterday.."

"It is not going to change anything...if you want.."

"I don't know what I want...that is the problem.."

"Praneeth was the apple of my father's eye. He always escaped punishment, and so was Mayank. Akash took all the blame to save me , many times he was belted and beaten by his father. For days he would not be able to walk or sit properly. All because of me." She wiped her eyes and said with a mirth, "They were so jealous of you know...that you really had the guts to point a gun at uncle Mano...which they couldn't...they still think you purposely missed the target."

Arnav remained quiet. Still feeling guilty, that he had lost her friendship. They had crossed the line, and they could never be friends again.

"We were all drunk. Then Praneeth got up and said he better go and check on their parents before they get suspicious and  sent the police to find them. Mayank followed him out. Akash poured me one more drink and sat next to me."

"Lavanya... I don't want..."Arnav turned away his head...not interested in listening to the details.

Lavanya continued as if she was never interrupted. She was no longer there. She looked lost.

"Akash said, you look so beautiful tonight, Lav.and he caressed my cheek and came close to me. I was so excited. He ...he ...kissed me...I hugged him and said I've always loved him. I kissed him back, and...we..went to the bedroom.."

"Spare me the details Lavanya.."Arnav said disgusted. 

"After few minutes...he became disinterested...looked distant...all that passion he showed earlier dissipated...I was confused....but thought that I could bring back that passion in him..but he pushed me away and stood up and said that it was not right...he went to pour himself a drink. I felt confused and I excused my self to use the wash room...not knowing how to deal with his aloofness. I came back to find the room empty. I slowly opened the door and walked towards the hall. I heard voices outside. I went closer and listened. The three of them were talking."tears started flowing down her cheek.

"I can't do it..bhai.."I heard Akash say.

"You idiot... After all the discussions we've had...I told you clearly what I want you to do....I want you to turn her attention towards you...make her forget going behind that bas.tard..Raizada.. Do something."he whispered.

"Why me?" Akash whispered back. 

"Because I know my sister....she has a crush on you since she was seven...and you like her also...remember all the beatings?" Praneeth said.

"I like her just like I like other girls...and you remember?"Akash asked back, "It was you who started all this..."

"He did..."Praneeth nodded towards Mayank.

"No...I just mentioned him to went a step further and brought him to our penthouse..." Mayank said in a  dismissal tone.

"Yeah...yeah...I f***ed up this time. I shouldn't have sent Lav to him. But Akash we've been through this before. I told you..."

"Well...why don't you or Mayank here do something ?" Akash protested..Mayank laughed. "She's our sister...Akash...we can't do anything.."

"She is my cousin my sister.."Akash said.

"And you prefer she be with your bast.ard brother..."asked Praneeth.

"It is better than you standing and watching over us.."said Akash. "Just... Stop..playing pimp for your own sister... "

"I couldn't stand there and hear anymore. I ran out of the back door and came here. How stupid I was not to realise that I  was set up by my own brother and cousins.."

Arnav felt like a cad. He was no better. All the people she had believed in had taken advantage of her. He went and sat next to her. "How will I ever face any of them Arnav...I'm a pathetic, stupid...fool! My own brother planned all this and he had been watching us....watching me entice Akash...oh God! That's why Akash became distant."

"Don't blame yourself was not your fact even I took advantage of you...I'm sorry...really sorry..."he said trying to comfort her.

"No Arnav come to think of it,  it was I who used you last night...I shouldn't have come here...God! What a mess!"

Arnav spoke to her, using as many words of comfort as possible to put her at ease. Saying she was a strong girl and she should put all this past her...forget all this ever happened and that it was all their fault and she was not to blame herself. 

She pushed him away, suddenly as if his proximity repelled her. She got up quickly and said, "I got to go..".

She wore her shoes, opened the door turned back to look  at him and said, "I'm sorry Arnav....sorry for everything..."

He heard her run down the stairs , her car door slam and zoom away. 

Arnav sat there for few minutes not knowing what to do. His gut feelings, warning him  that this was not the end of things to come. Something terrible was going to follow. He got up and began to clean the mess in the room. He collected his clothes and the sheets and went down to the bathroom and washed everything. The hour long work had some therapeutic effect on him he began to calm down, but still he was wary. He expected someone from the Mallik family to come calling. He then realised he hadn't eaten anything since morning and felt his stomach growling. He walked to his usual joint where he had his food, but he was jerky and looked behind his shoulders in fear as if somebody was watching him. He was surprised that everything was very calm...too calm for his comfort. His mother had stopped answering his calls long back. He went back to the usual place where Lavanya and he met during weekends. She was not there. He realised he had lost his friend  and his mother distanced herself from him. He began to walk towards the beach, mingling with the crowds, all the time looking behind his shoulder in fear. Surely somebody would come behind him to punish him for what he had done to the Mallik girl. Till nightfall he was at the beach and was surprised that everything seemed normal. He couldn't believe it. Then he went and played carrom matches and won nearly five hundred rupees and finally gathered some courage to walk back to his room. So making love to a Mallik girl was not end of the world after all he thought, ignoring his intuition that the day was not over and the time to face his retribution was nearing.

Sep 3

DOOMED TO DIE THE MOTHER OF MY SON (By Raani82) (Thanked: 39 times)



MUMBAI- 1983-2001

Arnav was slowly walking back through the narrow alleys, his hand in his left pocket possessively clutching the money he had won, carefully avoiding the trash bins and plastic covers strewn around it. The night was very sultry, an indication for coming rains. He was surprised the streets were nearly empty. Even the paanwallas and late night drinkers and pimps had decided  to stay at home that evening, he thought. He was almost near his home. He smiled to himself that he had been unnecessarily scared of the unknown. Everything seemed normal. But all that normalcy turned back at him and struck him with vengeance. A sleeping street dog, suddenly perked up and began a low growl, seeing Arnav walking towards it. Arnav smiled at the mutt, "It's okay boy."he said. But the mutt's growl grew fiercer. Arnav was surprised  at first seeing the barring teeth and perked up ears. It was then he saw the dog was looking and growling at something or someone behind him. The moment he realised the danger, he picked up his pace. He heard foot steps behind him. He began to run towards the end of the long narrow alley. 

"You are a dead man, Arnav Singh Raizada!"came the all too familiar, smooth cultured  voice. He stopped and turned.

Praneeth was walking towards him with an iron crowbar.  "You listen to me....leave her alone..." Before Arnav could even react,  with a speed of a striking snake Praneeth swung the crowbar. Arnav ducked but he was too late, it hit him on the face. Blood spurted from his mouth. Arnav fell down, his head reeling, his eyes loosing focus. The dog began to bark loudly.

"You stay away from her....did you hear...leave her alone... I'll kill you....and  break your bones and feed them to the dogs here..." he shouted as he raised the crowbar again. Arnav cuddled into a foetus position, his hands over his head trying to protect himself from another deadly blow. But the blow came on his hand and on his face. Blood spurted from his head and Arnav screamed in pain. The dog barking wildly. A guy opened the door of his house and shouted, "Hey what is happening there.... Go home...people are trying to sleep."

"You leave my sister dare you touch her....I'm going to kill you you bas..tard." Praneeth shouted and drew out a knife. "She trusted you lowlife.."

"Just like she trusted you..." Arnav said.

"I didn't screw bast..ard."

"Didn't you?"he asked.

"What nonsense! Of course I didn't." Praneeth shouted angrily.

"It need not be always physical...**** her mind is even pathetic pervert, at least I didn't do peeping tom on my own sister." Arnav said, gaining time from his assault.

Arnav took a second to clear his head, and he was ready this time when Praneeth poised to hit him, he raised his legs and hit Praneeth's legs, tripping him and making him fall flat on his back with a thud. The crowbar flew from his hand and fell few feet away. But he held on to his knife, which glistened in the street light.

Staggering to his feet, blood pouring from his face, Arnav picked up the crowbar, "Missed something.."he asked in venom. 

"Don't you dare...I'll make charges you'll never be able to get out..." Praneeth slashed the knife and it made a deep gash on his face.

Arnav hit him with the crowbar. Praneeth screamed as he clutched his stomach. Arnav hit twice. Bones cracked and Praneeth screamed, in pain and fury. The dog wouldn't stop barking. "Hey! Didn't you hear! Stop it....or I'll call the police!"shouted the man again.

Arnav threw the crowbar, pulled Praneeth up by his shirt collar.

"I'll not leave you....I'll make  a mince meat of your don't know with whom you are against..."said Praneeth, as he tried to strike with his glistening knife. Arnav jerked away, saying "Now stop it Praneeth....just go back home..."said Arnav, backing away.

Praneeth laughed, "So you don't have balls after all. Come on...if you are man enough come and get me." Praneeth took a wild sweep with the knife. Tearing his shirt the blade cut across Arnav's shoulder to stomach, making a deep gash. Blood began to ooze out. Praneeth laughed. "I'm going to spill this dirt road with your illegitimate bast.ard."

Arnav stopped and even before Praneeth could guess what he was about to do, his fist landed on his face. Praneeth lost his balance. Arnav caught hold of him and slammed his fist so hard once,  twice, thrice on his face. Blood poured out of his mouth and nose and Praneeth went limp. Arnav let him go, realising that he was too weak to fight back. 

Praneeth fell flat on the ground, eyes rolled up head to one side. Arnav's fury dissipated as soon as he saw the bloodied, battered face of the once aristocratic,handsome man. He stood aghast. 

"Oh God!" He quickly kept his fingers under his nose. Praneeth was breathing hard, but eyes were still rolled up, pupil hardly visible. 

"Praneeth... Praneeth.."he tried to wake him up, punching his chest lightly. No movement. Arnav looked around, the knife had fallen from his hand and he was lying askew on the corner of the road. Arnav ran. Ran for his life. He reached a PCO, hand shivering in pain and fear he managed to take out a coin and call the police. 

"There has been a fight...and there is a man hurt and lying on the road....come for the ambulance...he his bleeding.... Oh God! Come quick."

The voice on the other side asked for the location. Arnav forgot which street they had been fighting. "It is near the Shivaji Rao street....near the Boriville slum.." Arnav dropped the phone and ran to his room. He reached his room in few minutes, locked himself up and stood there getting back his breath. "God! Help me! What have I done! Will the police arrive in time and take him to the hospital?  I have to go back and report to the police that it was he who attacked me first,  for sleeping with his sister! God! I'm going crazy. Will he survive and tell the police that I beat him up?" He then went down to the bathroom to wash himself off all the blood. He stood looking at his face in the mirror. His face was swollen and was all blue and purple. His eyes just slits from all the swelling, blood oozing from his forehead. His bottom lip was cut and hanging, he could hardly close his mouth. Part of his ear lobe was sliced by the knife and was bleeding. His shirt was torn and  was soaked in blood. He removed it and looked at the long gash made by the knife. He wet his shirt and slowly cleaned the blood. Then he washed his face, cleaned all the mud and dirt off his body and slowly walked back to his room. He could no longer stay there in that city he thought. He had to leave the city and go else where. Malliks will not let him be. They will surely send the police after him. What if Praneeth is dead? That will be the end of him, he thought. His life will be over he thought. Not that he had a life now. No no..he was breathing when he had left him. He was hurt and was in shock. 

Where would he go? He can't go back to his mother. His mother preferred Manohar than her own son. He had lost Lavanya as a friend when he made her his lover. He had to leave the city. Probably he would go up north to Delhi? Or Punjab? Where there are lots of lands and he can get lost in villages. Yes he would go to Punjab he thought as he pulled out his duffle bag and began to stuff his clothes in it. He would forever leave everything behind this cursed city and start a new life. He thought about Lavanya, she would be better off without him. Her family never wanted him, and now after what had happened they are going to hate him forever. He would sever all ties with this city.

Few minutes into his packing he heard foot steps and the door crashed open. Two policemen were standing there looking at him sitting with a duffle bag all ready to leave. One of them was an old man, who looked really tired and another was a young enthusiastic guy who was rearing to go at him. 

"Is your name Arnav Singh Raizada, boy?"the old man asked.

Arnav nodded. "You have to come with us to the police station."

"What for?"asked Arnav tentatively.

"Hey...are you questioning our chief? Get up and walk out with us without a word...."the young man came charging near him, as if to beat him.

" man... Praneeth Mallik was beaten and bruised and died on his way to hospital ....the old man was saying but Arnav hardly heard. 

Arnav got up, "Praneeth dead? But how?"he asked. He was breathing when he had left him. He was half expecting this, but still he couldn't comprehend the idea that Praneeth was really dead.

Praneeth dead? The golden boy? The heir to the empire? He couldn't believe what he had just heard. He stood there stupefied, not even aware of the policemen slamming the handcuffs on him and dragging him out. Arnav Singh Raizada was Mumbai police' prime suspect number one for the murder of Praneeth Mallik.

Sep 8

DOOMED TO DIE THE MOTHER OF MY SON (By Raani82) (Thanked: 44 times)



PILANI - 2018.

"Stay away from him, Anish!" Kushi said sternly , as she was cutting the veggies, after Arnav had left. Anish nodded his head in automation.

"Did you hear me, Anish? You will not go anywhere near the house or near him!" She said again. "I won't amma..."Anish said.

"Hey Devi mayya! That man is a killer? That means he must have been in prison. Is he the man stalking Anish in his night mares? Is he the father of her son? And was it a coincidence that he has purchased the house and the lands right next to her? He was too near...too damn near for her comfort. She must talk to Payal about this. 

"What did you see Anish?"she asked. 

"Nothing amma..."

" said...."

"It was not a vision ...just a second....a feeling...that's all ...."he said stroking his dog, between it's ears. "It's difficult to explain."

"Anyway...stay away from that house and from that man, till we know more about him."she warned.

"But I had to feed that old Rascal..."he said.

"Anish....listen....I'm telling you stay away from him."she warned him.

"Don't be a paranoid will be okay....I will not go...but I had promised Dada also that I'll feed Rascal after he had gone." 

Kushi sighed, she was freaking out, big time " The dog can take care of itself.....and Mr. Raizada is also there to feed it."

"But amma....the old dog is already depressed after Dada passed away, he is so terrified he refuses to come out of that small niche he has created for himself. He comes out only when he sees me..."

Kushi looked exasperated. How can she ever make this boy understand? She walked to the kitchen and took her handset and dialled Payal's number. She didn't pick up the phone. She slammed it back and began to prepare dinner. Arnav Singh Raizada who is he? Her guts told her that apart from the good Samaritan act,  his farmer's accent and attire he is not the one as he seems to be, he is dangerous, he is not a man to be trusted. Why should he come all the way from a village near Jalandar to this remote  place in Rajasthan. He had come there for a reason.

Arnav Singh Raizada had been lying. Thought Anish, as he lay on his bed, bouncing the tennis ball on the wall and catching it. The moment he had touched his hand the vision was so clear but only for a second. Even the loud music faded away as he remembered vividly. He saw a man lying, beaten and bruised, with iron bar and knife around and blood everywhere. He felt the fear, agony, pain and fury that Arnav had felt all those years ago. He even felt the pain in his jaw as if his teeth were rattled and had the putrid taste of blood. He could feel the adrenalin rush that Arnav felt all those years before, course through him. What is it with that man? Why should he feel so connected to him? In the few minutes he was holding his hand, he saw everything. Why should he feel all that he had felt in the past? He knew it was not a simple fight as Arnav Singh Raizada had said. The man had been dead. There is something about Mr. Raizada. He had to find out. He can always go there at the pretext of feeding old Rascal.

The phone rang and Kushi picked it up and said smiling, " are you?" Hearing the one person whose voice she was so glad the hear and wished she was near her to drown away all her worries.

"Ohhh....jiji?" Laughed Payal.

"Listen Payal...I have something very important to tell you...and I need your help."said Kushi getting right to the point. 

"What a surprise? It's usually me who asks your the tables have turned..." Kushi smiled, thinking about the days when she used to protect her wayward sister from the keen eyes of her buaji.

"It is Anish..."said Kushi, quickly checking  and making sure Anish  was in his room, and out of hearing what his mother was saying. She heard the loud music that was coming from his room and was glad he wouldn't be able to hear anything.

"What is it?"asked Payal, her aunt instinct immediately taking charge. "Is it about his classmates calling him names.."she asked.

"No....that is always there... This time it is about his nightmares there any chance if we can find out about his birth records and who his biological parents were?"she asked.

"I thought you never wanted to find out about them."

"I don't want to..." Kushi told her about Anish and his nightmares. 

"But after all these is not going to be you have any idea about them, some names...anything at all?" Asked Payal.

"No...there must be some phony records  but probably if we can look into Saxena's old files..."

"Kushi it's been fifteen years..."

"I'm worried Payal..."  She was twisting her lock of hair in her fingers and walking up and down, peering at the huge house that stood beyond the thorny bushes.

"Now I have a new neighbour...Arnav Singh Raizada, I want you to find out about him too..... "

"Just because he moved next door into the Rat****'s estate?"

"No..Anish shook his hand and he started shouting that he had got into a fight and had  killed someone."

"Oh God! That's serious."said Payal.

"Raizada denied of course. He said he had fought with his cousin but had never killed anybody.

"And look at the timing Payal! He started getting those nightmares....and next thing this man Anish says is a killer moves in next door...He doesn't look like he has any connection with Mumbai but still...I want you to find out his criminal records and if he is in any way connected to Anish's birth." Kushi couldn't believe she was even discussing about  her neighbour with her sister, a possible killer, probably Anish's father. She became agitated. "Actually I can go to the SP here but...that guy would laugh at me...his son is the one who is troubling Anish..."Kushi's voice broke. 

"Calm down Kushi... Take a deep breath and tell me about him."said Payal reassuringly. 

"Okay.....okay..." Said Kushi telling herself that it was no use losing her wits. She had to keep control. 

"His name is Arnav Singh Raizada, he says he's from some place near Jalandar..."

"Jalandar? That's far away from Mumbai..."said Payal, frustrated.

"I know...and I did observe him, his accent is also like a Punjabi...dresses in Kurtas and pyjamas and drives a jeep with a number..."she looked at the paper she had scribbled earlier and read out to Payal. "He is around six feet tall... Might be couple of inches taller ... Fair, dark hair and chocolate brown eyes, has a beard, he's around thirty five years. He talks, dresses and behaves like a farmer...all that is there....but it is more than a coincidence that he came here."

"He dropped by to see you..."Payal asked doubtfully.

"He came to call from my the telephone company....they were delaying his connection."

"Oooohhh he sounds like a criminal to me..."Payal mocked.

"Previously he changed a tyre for me."

"Now I'm really worried." Payal laughed. Kushi sighed. Her twin had never been serious about anything and had often accused Kushi of being a drama queen.

"I am worried Payal...please do something." Payal was working in Mumbai in CM's office and had connections with various departments. And her husband Akash was a big businessman and his name carried weight. She did have any kids so she was very fond of Anish.

"You mean he is lying?"Payal asked.

"I don't know, he could be who he says he is... it is just the timing is all wrong." Kushi was furiously winding her hair around her finger and pulling it. She imagined Arnav as a killer, as a criminal, as a father of her son. It didn't fit. But still, his eyes held something...a deceit perhaps...or was it her imagination. Lately, Anish's fears, his defiance, his arguments were getting to her and she was losing her cool. She was not able to think and take decisions properly.

"I'll tell you what? Why don't you find out about him?"said Payal.

"What? How?"

"Talk to him. Be friendly with him instead of being suspicious. Is he single?" She asked.

" Dammit...Payal! I do not know...and I did not ask him, and I'm not interested to know." Kushi shot back

"I would have found out.  From the way you described him he  sounds interesting." 

"As interesting as a desert viper...I don't know anything about him...except that Anish thinks he is a killer." Shouted Kushi angrily. Payal had always been telling her to think about marrying and settling in life. But Kushi wanted to put everything straight now.

"That's the last thing I wanted to know about him. Even if he is the most eligible bachelor and the last man standing on the face of this Earth...I have no time for 

him. "said Kushi angrily.

"What's wrong? Have some life long are you going to be like this...?

For fifteen years you've been worrying yourself....but nothing happened..."said Payal. Kushi was exasperated. "I bet even NK would want that from you. How long are you going to carry the guilt with you...NK is've made buaji happy, you took care of are still young...just because you love someone else doesnt mean youve forgotten them. Aare you going to be a spinster throughout your life? Think of this new neighbour as a love interest instead of an enemy."

"I don't want..."

"Have you ever thought...what Anish wants? Can't you see, all of Anish's problems, all the fights you are having with him,  his adamancy...teen age problems...problems in school... has everything to do with you being alone Kushi..........he needs a need someone to take care of you..."

"And you think Raizada is the guy for me? You haven't even met him."

"Okay....okay...not your neighbour... This guy is bad news perhaps...but some other guy, Kushi?" 

As always Kushi ignored her. "Payal...for God's sake..what has that..."

"For God sake kushi now think about your self.  Youve dedicated your life for that boy. Even Anish would start thinking about his future and would soon leave few years..."

"I don't know..."she hated thinking of Anish leaving her, not for herself....but she was worried for him.

"Stop being such a saint Kushi and think about yourself for once...and live a little."

That had always been Payal's mantra. Kushi was methodical, always planned for her future, always looked over her shoulder, hoping the past wouldn't catch up with her, whereas Payal  believed in living for the moment unconcerned about the dark clouds in the horizon.. 

"I'm worried...why now Payal...just when Anish has been having nightmares this guy comes next door? 

"Anish has been wrong many times before."

"Yeah...but I can't help worrying...this guy bothers me."

"You have brought in all these worries..."she said. She had always called her worrying mom.

"Okay...okay...listen to this.. I've noticed something of his ear lobes ...I'm not sure which smaller than the other one."

Payal laughed aloud. "Kushi...come on! No man is perfect...these irregularities are common..."

"It looks like it has been sliced." Said Kushi hesitatingly. "Like cut with a knife."

"Was he dripping blood in your home?"


"For God's sake Kushi listen to yourself....this guy lost part of his what? He admitted he had a fight. It must have happened then... Remember our dad...he had a toe missing after his bike happens all the time."

"Not just an ordinary fight....a murder ..." Kushi shouted back 

"God! Kushi you've you've always been this way."

"That is?"

"Paranoid! Come on Kushi... a guy has just moved in next door that's all...stop worrying. And Anish has been wrong with his premonitions before ...right? So stop worrying...just listen to good a a comedy something that will take your mind off all these worries. I'll try to find out from the prison records. I bet I'm going to piss off many various departments. I'll get back to you soon. He has got an unusual name must be easy..."

"Hope it is his real one."said Kushi.

"Hope so. If it is not his real name then we are in for some trouble. But I'll do my best. Relax .Everything will be okay." Said Payal and cut the call.

"I really hope you are right Payal....God how I wish you were right." She said to herself. Though Kushi felt relaxed after talking to Payal, something inside her told her a big trouble was brewing and the man behind that trouble was none other than Arnav Singh Raizada.

Sep 11

DOOMED TO DIE THE MOTHER OF MY SON (By Raani82) (Thanked: 47 times)



PILANI - 2018.

After dinner Arnav went to his room with a beer in his hand, sat on the cheap rocking chair he had bought in the town . He pulled the side table nearer and took one of the files about Kushi. As soon as Lavanya had left giving him the details of Kushi Kumari Gupta, he had called his old acquaintance when he was in jail helping the authorities. 

SP Shivani Rajput was one of them. He had given Kushi's adhaar number and her car number  with Jaipur registeration which Lavanya had provided to him. She got back to him after couple of weeks with the news that Kushi had sold her car twice and she gave him the recent car number which had Pilani registration. She also gave him a contact in Jaipur. With that help he was able to locate many lands for sale around Pilani and luck would have it , right next to her house. He brought the horses and some cows and made an elaborate set up to convince her that he was a farmer. His experience over the years had taught him how to avoid lying and cheating but at the same time never to reveal the truth. He was going through all the copies of papers regarding her husband and the girl who had died in an accident and the birth certificate of the boy. He left Mumbai all those years ago never to look back. But it changes everything Anish being his son. What  and how on earth was he going to tell him the truth? And how was he going to deal with his mother? God what a mess!

Anish slowly slid through the opening in the fence and switched off his cell phone. He treaded carefully towards the house. What makes me come here again and again? He thought. He had come almost twice a week for the past month, ever since he suspected Arnav of murder. He used to sit with the dog and observe from far. Arnav was always busy cooking, then reading, then working on his laptop, on the phone, then with a couple of beers he would watch TV news sometimes some movie before going to bed. He seemed a normal sort of guy, he thought. He had been coming frequently when old Rat**** was alive. But that was different. He was like a grand father to him. Dada had told him many stories about his younger days,how poor they were and how he used to go to school, which had only twenty students and only two were in his class. Anish shared all his secrets with the old man. And the old man used to listen to his dreams and premonitions and never judged him as a freak. He even told him about his crush for Mayuri. The old man had chuckled, and said, "There is no fool as a fool for a woman..." Oh how he missed the old man! Wish he had been here to tell him about this Raizada man. But then he wouldn't be standing here trying to spy on him if the old man had been alive.

He stepped on a twig which made a light crushing sound and Rascal immediately responded, "woof!" and came out from under the stairs. "Here you go boy!" Anish gave him a couple of biscuits and walked towards the front of the house. Workers had been coming and going for the past month and the house had been freshly painted and got a new look . He read the gleaming name plate, "ASR." He then peered through the window, to check if Arnav was there. He couldn't see him. Then he went around the house to the back and peered through the kitchen window. Arnav was sitting at the dining table with lots of papers around him and the laptop in front of him. He was busy reading something and working on the laptop. Arnav then closed the laptop and went to the fridge in the kitchen, took out a beer. Anish bent low hiding himself. Then Arnav switched off the lights and went to the drawing room and not bothering to switch on the lights, sat in the dark and started to watch the TV. Anish slowly raised his head and peered in and saw Arnav sitting on the sofa with the beer in his hand. He saw the blue light from TV dancing on Arnav's face. Though Anish didn't believe in them, they made Arnav look like a ghost. Anish moved  away and walked further away from the house and went towards the stables. Slowly he opened the shed and went in. There they were. Magnificent, Anish thought as he looked at the chestnut brown colt. He was so tall and his skin was glistening  as his tail went swishing from side to side. The other two were ordinary ones, white and grey. Anish knew they were used for work, pulling carts etc., 

Anish took out the apple and pocket knife and cut the apple to pieces and held his hand out. The two ordinary ones immediately came and started to eat from his hand. The colt refused to come near him. "Come ....and get it....these greedy ones will eat everything....come..."he whispered. The colt snorted, shook his head and stepped back. 

"Come"he whispered.

The temperamental horse snorted, perked up his ears , stretched his neck to reach out. Anish moved back. The colt took two steps forward, snatched the apple with his mouth and moved back immediately. Anish smiled, looking at the horse. His friends grandfather had horses. And he went there with his friend to see them sometimes. He had been asking for a horse ever since. His mom refused, saying that he would soon get over it and will be asking for a bike very soon, then a car. That's true he thought. 

"His name is Guru." He heard a deep voice behind, from the dark. Anish's heart jumped out  of his skin, and shouted, "Oh God!" was caught, he thought, his heart was beating fast, as he looked at Arnav standing just ten feet from him, with his arms crossed against his chest, leaning casually on the door. "This is it." Anish thought.

"Do you like him?"Arnav asked. Anish could run away as fast as he could now that he is caught but ASR, he decided to call him by  that name, would call his mom. He would rather face ASR, than his mom.

"He's okay!" Anish answered , still shivering in fear of being caught in action. 

"Do you want to ride him."he asked.

"NO! No...I ...." How can he get out of there fast?

"Too bad...he could do with some exercise." What? Is this guy for real? He is supposed to be the enemy but still the guy seemed normal.

"What are you doing here anyway?"

  "I just come here to feed Rascal...Dada and I took care of him since he was a puppy." Arnav saw the dog sitting near the boy's leg his head on his sneakers. 

"No wonder he is so friendly towards you....and never allows me to come near him. He likes you more than me I guess."

"You weren't spying on me or something, were you?" Arnav asked, looking intently at the boy whose face he could see in the stable light, flushed pink.

" way." Anish protested. didn't he hear him coming? A breaking of a twig, opening or closing of the door...something... He was so engrossed with the horses , that he didn't hear him sneaking behind him all of a sudden like a ghost or something.

"Does your mother know you are here?". He asked.

Now he is going to say that it was his duty to tell his mother that he had been coming to his house in the night.

"No.....she wouldn't.. Let me.."

"Because you called me a murderer...."asked Arnav.

Anish was embarrassed. "She doesn't allow me to go out after dark you see..."

"She is right you is very dangerous to wander off in the dark."

" to go.."

"You've been here before?"Arnav asked accusingly.

"No....I didn't.." Anish said and looked up at Arnav who looked as if he didn't believe him. "Well...a couple of times I've been here to see them." He accepted seeing no point in lying. He wanted to make a dash to the fence and disappear, but Arnav was there standing in the way. He shivered wondering how he was going to get out of this trouble.

"Feeling cold. There is chillness in the want to come in?"

NO!" Said Anish quickly shaking his head vehemently. "I got to go.."

Then Arnav asked, "What about your stuff? Don't you want to take them?"

"No...I can't take them... My mother would kill me if she sees them." Anish said embarrassed.

"I don't think so...she cares for you and loves you .."

"But wouldn't buy a horse for me." Anish pouted and turned away, but was startled when he heard a loud laugh from the man, which echoed in the night.

"Your mother is a smart is not easy to look after a horse..."

"You think so?"

"I know so."

"But still you have them." Anish looked at him sceptically.

"Guess I must be a have them,  you have to feed them, exercise them, take them to a vet..keep them healthy, they could be a pain in the butt sometimes..." Arnav said still laughing. "But I like them."

"Next time you want to see them....better talk to me before you come here..."

"Okay."nodded Anish, very sure there wasn't going to be a next time.

"I got to go..."Anish walked towards the fence side stepping him as he passed Arnav. 

"Anish..." Arnav called. 

This is it. Thought Anish. This is where he tells that it was his moral obligation to call his mother and tell him about his night outs. "Yes?" Anish turned slowly, preparing himself for what was to come. 

"You are too young to drink you know...."

"Oh..." Anish looked down. 

"And smoking is not good for have to stop them..." Arnav said. Anish just stood there looking at him.

"Now get going before your mother finds out that you are here. I don't know about you but I am not in a mood for any's too late and I'm tired."he said and walked away, towards his house. Anish stood there starring at the man's back. 

He smiled, ASR was not that bad after all, he thought as he crossed the fence and carefully walked back to his home.

Sep 14

DOOMED TO DIE THE MOTHER OF MY SON (By Raani82) (Thanked: 42 times)


PILANI - 2018.

Kushi was sipping tea at Bannarilal Mittai while waiting for the samosas and jelebies, when Arnav sauntered in, in his, white salwar and dark blue Kurta, with sleeves rolled up till his elbow showing off his tough, muscled, slightly hairy forearms, dark brown hair combed back and a neatly trimmed beard . God he looked so handsome, and her heart fluttered looking at him. She must be a fool  she thought as she turned away avoiding to look at him. Of all the people in that small town, he was the last person she wanted to see and talk to. She hadn't heard yet from Payal with a devastating news that he was a  murderer, or that he was a serial killer, or a kidnapper, or a child molester, so why should she be so scared  but she must be wary, because he had admitted that he had had a fight with his cousin, who knows what had really happened she thought. Arnav as if sensing her presence turned and looked straight at her and smiled as if they had a secret to share and  walked straight to her table and sat opposite  her. "Hello...Mrs Gupta.."

"You can call me Kushi..."she gave a forced smile, he was too damned rugged...too damned male and she was feeling uncomfortable as heads turned and leaned forward to see who she was talking to. Already the people here thought her as someone odd, living alone with a boy who had strange premonitions. 

He ordered tea and two samosas for both of them without asking her. Kushi protested "I don't want anything..."she said in irritation.

"So how are you Kushi?"he asked smiling, "Small world."he said with a devilish grin as he stretched his long leg casually out almost touching the table on the other side. 

"Small town...or haven't you noticed."she said, looking for the kitchen door to open hoping Veer would come soon with her parcel.

"I always wanted it this way." Arnav said.

"Haven't you ever lived in a big city?" Kushi asked, surprised at herself for asking about him. What could she possibly get from him?

"No....I always preferred farms to concrete jungle....farming is in my blood I guess."

Same old farmer story, Kushi thought.


She tried to finish her tea in a hurry. Damn! It was so hot, she thought as she put her cup down. Just then SP Mehta walked in. A huge man with a pot belly, big square face, with narrow mean eyes, forever chewing paan, that when he smiled, the permanent red stains on his teeth scared the hell out of the people who he talked to. She stiffened, when he passed her table and went and sat at the other table. 

"Anybody you know?"asked Arnav seeing her reaction when she saw the inspector.

She nodded. "He is SP Mehta, his son Karan is in Anish's class. A bully, already half his father's size...who gets his delights by calling Anish names, making fun of him humiliating him and picking up fights with him, all the usual . Not that I would say Anish is always innocent, sometimes he asks for it..."

"Nobody asks to be humiliated." Arnav said, looking angrily at the big man. His jaw clamped in anger and Kushi thought she would never want to get on the wrong side of him. When she saw his eyes  she felt the same intuition, a sense of danger lurking behind them. 

Kushi surprised by his reaction said, "Guess you are right... now that he is grown up....I guess he has to learn to handle things himself, hopefully he is smart too.." She didn't have an inkling why she was saying all this to him.

"Is he simply picked  for no reason or is it because of this extra ordinary sight he has...these premonitions?" He asked.

Kushi looked at him exasperated. The boy left the two plates samosas and tea on their table and left. "Well?" Arnav asked again. He always seemed too restless, too male, too near for her comfort. She sipped the tea listening to other voices chattering, an old fan squeaking as it rotated slowly, dishes were being washed and stacked.

"Are you always this direct?"she asked.

"You started it."he reminded her.

"Yeah...guess I did.." Kushi sat straight, her elbows on the table her fingers clasped below her chin, her cool hazel eyes starring straight at his chocolate brown eyes, holding his attention on her. None of them moved when the boy kept the parcel and the bill on the table and went away. "The reason I did is because of the things that is being said to Anish, the cruel remarks, the vicious jokes, calling names...wound deeper matter who you are...young or old, jealous or wicked...these ugly words leave a scar ... And it hurts him.. And it hurts me to see him in pain, because I love him... so much..." All through her tirade Arnav couldn't help but stare at her hazel brown eyes, wrought with worry and concern. His lips thinned.

"Do you have any idea Mr. Raizada, what it is to be always made fun of, called names, that make you feel out of place, that you were not normal, you were different from others,  that you  are not good enough to fit in the group, not just names, names that were chiseled in your heart so deep it hurt.... It hurt every time  you remember them?"

"Guess I do have..."he said.

She saw Arnav close his eyes, for few seconds then when he opened them she could see a shadow of pain in them just for a fleeting moment then it was gone, and steely brown eyes began to focus on her. 

" Well that's why I become sensitive and over protective and my mamma bear claws comes out naturally and my protective instincts work  over time that it gets me  into trouble with my son all the time." Why on was she saying all this to him? He looked at her questioningly. "How so?"

"He thinks that I should stop interfering in his matters."

"Probably you should...

"He's only fifteen...

Well..probably that's a phase. A part of growing up I would say." Arnav said.  

"That shouldn't be the case you know..."

"I agree..."

"So what about his father? Where does he come in the picture?" Arnav asked.

"His father?" Kushi was startled and stopped her hand holding tea midway before reaching her lips. She was surprised he was asking about Anish's father. She slowly kept the cup down, and answered,  "He is dead, Mr. Raizada, many years ago. My girl was just a two year old, when they were killed in an accident. He died before Anish was born."

"Sorry...I didn't know that. You didn't try to remarry? There must have been many are smart, young, beautiful... good job.."

"No...I didn't... There was never any guy in my life...I mean...except NK." This was getting too personal. She had revealed more than she had told anybody about Anish. It is time to know about him she thought.

"What about you? Is there a Mrs. Raizada?"she turned the tables on him.

"No...never...I'm not that marrying type.." Arnav said.

"Me neither...of course there was NK after that my sister and bua tried many times but men  always considered Anish as an extra baggage... Can you imagine...and after they knew about his strange abilities, even my lady friends have  stopped coming to my house. "Anyway....that has worked out all well for us...Anish and I are just fine."

Enough, she said to herself. She has revealed more about herself and her son to this man more than she had told anyone. She took the parcel and went towards the counter. Arnav followed her and said from behind, "I'll pay." When he saw her taking out money from the purse.

"That's okay Mr.Raizada.... I can take care of myself...and I like it that way..."she paid and walked away, straight to her parked car.  Being with Raizada was unsettling her. He was too direct, too male..and too se.xy. His brown eyes, looked deep into you, his tough hands, slender fingers, broad shoulders ... Wide chest...stop it Kushi...she chided herself...she had never looked at a man so close before.  Calm down! She told her pounding heart. So what is there to be afraid of? After all he is just a man she thought.

As she was slowly gliding the car towards the road, she looked back at Arnav who stood at the doorway looking back st her. 

Though Payal had not called her to tell her about him, still she had to be wary of him. She had revealed to him more than she had intended to. Now it was her turn to know about him. She would call Payal as soon as she reached home  and know all about this so called farmer Arnav Singh Raizada, she thought as she was driving to her home.

Sep 20

DOOMED TO DIE THE MOTHER OF MY SON (By Raani82) (Thanked: 45 times)



PILANI - 2018.

"So what you're going to do now, Raizada, kidnap the boy?" Arnav kicked the dust under his feet in frustration as he was checking the fence  around the fields. He stared at the rusted wires cut and hanging loose in many places and some of the concrete pillars holding the steel wires were broken, Arnav cared less to what happened to these fields in this dusty town. He was sick of it all. 

From a distance  he looked at Kushi Kumari Gupta's huge house, which was  half hidden behind huge trees,  and the riot of colours of  dark pink , red and orange bougainvillea vines on the front of her house and  a small shed on the side probably the pump house. He saw the gap between their fences through which Anish made his way through. He smiled at the thought that the boy sneaking in every night, defying his mother. He knew he was being watched and went about his work long enough to earn the trust of the young boy , pretending as if he was just a normal lonely bachelor. Another lie. Pretending has become so easy for him recently. He had to win Kushi's trust somehow.  It had been a couple of weeks since he had met her at the mittai shop where she usually stops after college.  Changing her flat tyre, going to her house at the pretext of borrowing her phone, meeting at the tea shop.....damn! He was running out of ideas of these coincidental meetings. Now he had no other choice. He had to see her and tell her he wanted to talk to her. The fact was he might not be pretending. Kushi was getting to him. Pretty and complicated....though she was not his type. He had always kept a distance from complicated, intelligent, independent, sharp, smart women who were usually trouble. But Kushi was different, and she was the adoptive mother of his son. He thought about this and got a head ache. God what a mess!

He saw nearly half a kilometer away at a distance his horses gracing and running inside the pen. After his brief brush with the law, behind the bars for five years , he left Mumbai never to return again. His warden a good old man sent him to his relative with a recommendation.  He realised his interest in horses then  when he worked under this old farmer in Dhagri. A few years later the old man impressed with his hard work, decided to lease a portion of his land to Arnav. He helped him get loan from the bank and with his savings he was slowly able to pay back all his dues. When the first lease was over he bought the land from the old man's son. The first place he ever felt it was his home. He then slowly increased his income by buying cattle and horses. The colt was his prized possession. With the help of a few sincere hardworking men under him, they were able to tide over difficult times and he started doing well. And now he was standing here staring at a sorry piece of a fence wondering what to do about the boy ...his son. 

In other circumstances he would have  washed his hands off and just walked away  from it all, but then he thought about the Malliks and his mouth hardened into a thin line. He would never....never allow them to lay their pampered, rich, filthy hands on the boy....his boy.....Kushi's boy.

Who would have thought that he would be standing in the middle of the fields of a dusty town wondering how to approach a woman about giving up her son.

After meeting Lavanya at the coffee shop, he didn't believe that all her wild stories about a son would hold water. But ever since he had met Kushi the first time  outside the coffee shop, and with Anish telling her about his past, it was understandable that she is wary of him, that he might have murdered someone, so he had planned his moves carefully before meeting the mother and the son again.

He went about renovating the old Rat****'s house, building sheds, tending to the jet pumps in the fields, buying feeds for the animals. He needed more information about them. He felt guilty thinking how he was going to use her, make her trust him and then steal the boy from her. She would never trust a living soul again in her life. God! What a mess! That thought shouldn't have bothered him. After all didn't she bring away a child for money, by breaking all rules, without proper adoption? But it was obvious she loved the boy and had done a good job of him in spite of bringing him up all alone. The boy loved his mother as well. He was becoming soft he thought. But whatever be her past....whatever rules she had broken to bring away a child that didn't belong to her, he was sure she would turn the world upside down to protect her boy. What else a mother do? said aloud at the thought of gut wrenching pain he was going to bring in that beautiful hazel brown eyes that was only going to see tears for the rest of her life.

Ever since he sat at the tea shop, starring at her eyes, he never could remove her face from his mind

He had to talk to Kushi alone. Find out from her if she had really adopted the boy, though she had claimed that he was sired by her dead husband. He knew that she was born in Lucknow and her father was a small businessman and after her parent's death she and her twin sister Payal had moved to Mumbai with their bua. There she married her cousin at a very young age and was working as a clerk, in Saxena's office, while her sister was continuing her studies. After the accident, in which her child and husband had died, she moved to Jaipur, where she finished her studies, took professional degree for teaching and five years back moved to Pilani. As Kushi had said she never remarried.

He had gone through the papers in the files again and again, but all other information were false. If the dates in her husband's  and daughter's death certificate were right, then she must have had a gestational period of eleven months, before the boy was born, or she must have immediately had an affair with another man after her husband's death, or the last option....she must have adopted the boy, and the papers were phony. Lies...all lies.

As he walked  towards the house eyeing the fence , he scowled at the fields beyond it which were filled with weeds and thorny bushes. It was going to be a tough job cleaning them off the field for they looked to be one stubborn variety that would keep growing again and again.

It was obvious that Anish also did not have any idea that he was adopted. He didn't have any clue that a whole family was out their to get him. And Kushi had no clue either. He didn't have any idea how he was going to battle it out with the Malliks against their power, money and influence, but at least he was one up on them and was ready for a fight, but Kushi had no idea... nor a prayer about what would happen to them if the Mallik knew about the kid, he thought grimly.  He should tread very very carefully. 

Another thought entered his mind. If it was this easy for him to find out the whereabouts of Kushi, then it should be very easy for the Mallik as well. He was just a teenager when he had come face to face with the Malliks and they beat him every time. He would not allow them to take his son away from him. But this time he will win. Kushi Kumari Gupta would lose. That thought pained his heart, but he ignored it. She started it long time ago...and he was going to end it.

It was Lavanya's idea that he kidnap the boy and later they had discussed about this. The courts would not give him custody of the boy when they come to know what he had done. And what would he do with a half grown boy who had this strange ability to look into other's soul? He had often said to himself that if he ever made a mistake of marrying a woman or have a child, he had promised himself he would be part of that child's life. He never imagined that one night of s.ex with Lavanya would end up changing his life forever.

He just did not have any idea of how to tell her and what to tell her. Oh God! Oh God! What a mess!

Suddenly he heard the old Rascal barking loudly and his horses standing with perked up ears. He couldn't see clearly, he walked quickly further down and climbed a mound of mud to get a better view. 

He froze. "What the...?" He saw Anish with an ordinary rope in his hand trying to lasso around Guru, just like in western movies , rodeo style. The colt had taken off and Anish was running by it's side. Arnav didn't wait a second he ran as fast as his legs could carry him never removing his eyes from the  distant scene in front of him.

Sep 23

DOOMED TO DIE THE MOTHER OF MY SON (By Raani82) (Thanked: 46 times)



PILANI - 2018.

Arnav ran as if his heels were on fire. He saw Anish still managing to keep a**** of the colt which was bucking and  kicking its hind legs kicking up dust and the dog was madly barking outside running to and fro adding to the melee. Arnav was nearing the paddock, he saw Anish grinning and keeping a**** of the horse. That half brained boy  succeeded in throwing the rope in a  loop around the horse's  big neck and managed to mount the horse. "That fool...of a boy.....that idiot!" Without a saddle without a lead rope holding the reins, he was trying to ride a colt with a mere twine of a rope which was bent upon throwing the unwanted fifty kilo weight off  its back. Arnav grunted as he ran. This boy had some balls. He thought. After the scare he had given him the other night he never thought the boy would venture out to his house. He didn't want  to shout or call out , fearing the horse might get scared. He didn't slow down to open the gates but jumped over the railings, almost tripping and falling but managed to stand on his legs. He ran in front of the horse, calling out, "Hoawwww..owwwww...easy easy..." The horse didn't stop but raised its forelegs and thud!!!  Gave a kick on Arnav's elbow. Arnav cried out in pain but again said, "Easy...hoawwww....... calm down...hoawwwww..." The horse was still running fast kicking its hind legs and forelegs. By now Anish who  had slid down and was hanging on the  side was still managing to hold on to the horse's neck. For the first time he saw Arnav and his face went pale in fear and shock at being caught.

"Hold on Anish...."Arnav said as he finally caught the rope around the horse's neck. But the colt without stopping lifted its fore legs and threw off Anish from its back. 

"" Anish screamed as he fell down hard on his shoulders and rolled and lay flat on his back. Arnav let go of the horse which slowly sauntered off to the other side. 

Arnav ran to Anish's side, "Are you all right?"he bent down and asked him.

"Do I look like I'm all right?" Anish shouted back. Arnav looked at the boy. His aristocratic nose, thin lips, high cheek bones, clefted chin....was no doubt he was a Mallik boy, the steely brown eyes, was his eyes, staring at him. But fear and anger at being caught was evident in his voice.

"Well you look more like a fool  trying to ride that horse. What the hell were you trying to do? You could have got killed?" Arnav asks angrily, as he stood up, with hands on his hips. 

"Well I'm alive ...ain't I?" Anish shouted back.

"Here let me check..."he bent down.

"I'm fine..."shouted Anish, trying to get up.

"Don't get is not a good idea...let me check first..."

"I said I'm fine...leave me alone!" Anish turned away as tears welled up in his eyes as searing pain shot up his arms. 

"I would ...but the problem is you are in my property..." 

"Then book the police."

Arnav rubbed his painful elbow as he crouched near the younger man and said, "I can really book you , you know? Under trespassing."he said gritting his teeth.

"Then do asked me to come over to feed the old  dog...and I have my stuff here....."

Defiance, belligerence, bravado  and bluff, amidst fighting the pain, thought Arnav. He himself had fallen down from the horse a couple of times and he knew about the pain in every joints and muscles. He knew what the young man must be going through. 

"And you came for your stuff here?" Arnav  asked.

"You said I can ride the horse if I wanted to..."

"Under my supervision, you fool..... Not alone ...what if something had happened to you....and by the way  does your mother know you are here."he asked.  The boy's silence gave him the answer.

"I guessed as much..."

"How do you know?" The boy looked at him doubtfully as if they were all conspiring against him. " It doesn't matter she wouldn't let me ride a horse...she thinks it is too dangerous."

"And you've just proved to her she is correct...I'll take you back..."

"No..I can walk back alone..."

Arnav wanted to laugh, but kept starring at the stubborn defiance masking the pain on the young boy's face. The kid had a chip as big as Rajasthan on his shoulders. It reminded him of his younger days. But next second a pain wrenched his guts  a cold unfamiliar fear settled in his heart thinking about his past.

"Let me check if any bones are broken...let me help you.."

"I'm fine."Anish shouted as he sat up, trying very hard to gulp down the tears that were threatening to come any second.

Arnav checked his legs and hands and his ribs and sighed with relief. "No broken bones...if you wanted to ride you just have to ask..."he said, getting up.

"Would you have let me?"Anish murmured.

"No...definitely not on Guru....but initially the smaller ones and once you get the feel of the horse then I would have allowed you to ride Guru, but.... with only with me beside you...Let's go!" He said getting up and extending his hand which was ignored.

"I can manage on my own!" Anish said defiantly.

Arnav stood watching him as he clutched his shoulder with one hand, grimacing in pain, his face as pale as skimmed milk, as he slowly stood up. Anish swayed as his legs couldn't hold him.  If Arnav hadn't caught the boy to steady him, then he would have fallen flat on the ground and fainted. Anish knew better than to protest when Arnav bent put his arms under Anish's legs and carried him to his jeep and placed him on the passenger's seat. When He started the engine, he groaned when the vehicle bumped on the gravel path and drove towards Kushi's house. Anish closed his eyes and rested his head against the seat. Arnav looked at him and thought what if Kushi was not in the house. Should he take him to the doctor himself? Or should he go inside, administer some medicines and wait till she came? Great! He muttered to himself.

"Is your mother at home ?"he asked him.

"She is here..."

"At least if she sees me with you, she'll take out the anger on'll be spared."he said.

"You'll take the brunt for me?" Anish asked surprised. Arnav nodded. 

"What about all your stuff? Don't you want them?"

"No....I cannot take them to my is better she doesn't know about that....Are you going to tell Her?"he asked fear slowly creeping in his tone

"What ? All those nude pictures....cigarettes, beer bottles? I don't intend to..."

And when Anish looked at him distrustfully, "I didn't tell her about your nocturnal visits to my house...did I ?" Arnav asked  as the boy slowly nodded, relieved. And that moment, Arnav knew he had taken the first step towards earning the trust of his son. They reached Kushi's house and as soon as he switched off the engine, the door flung open and Kushi came out. Anish by then had opened the door and got out stumbling, Arnav too got out and went and stood by his side. Her eyes widened in surprise when she saw both of them.

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