DOOM TO DIE THE MOTHER OF MY SON

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Nov 9

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


DOOMED TO DIE- THE MOTHER OF MY SON

CHAPTER- 40

MUMBAI - 2018

Apart from the outside forces inflicting physical damages on her son, here was this man who was working magic on her son and on her.  Maybe he could be trusted...maybe he couldn't. Though Payal hadn't found anything incriminating against him and so far he has done nothing but only help and defend them still she wasn't convinced that she could trust him completely. Not yet.

"This is all going way too fast...I need time to think...I don't want you to change him into some ....kind of Rambo....like..."she said adamantly .

"Amma....please...." Anish was desperate.

"Shhhhh ....this is not how we live Anish... we are ordinary people living a normal life..we do not fight and wield guns because we are not survivalists..."she said.

"Maybe you should be ...."said Arnav seriously. Kushi felt her blood turning cold in fear.  "This..."he pointed to the ugly words on the wall, "won't end here...it is going to continue and probably become worse later.."he said.

"Hey Devi mayya..."she began to curl her locks in her finger. "How do you know?"

"Because I was also a kid once and I knew kids like Karan ..."he said his teeth grinding. Lips thinning, eyes narrowing in anger and looking distant as if in past. "All I'm saying is Anish should learn to defend himself."

"Fair enough....but no guns..."

"Oh ma...."Anish protested.

"Get inside.. Go wash yourself ...I'll prepare something for us to eat...it is almost lunch time."she said, "You haven't eaten anything since morning."

"Amma...? What is wrong if I learn to...?"

"I said go inside..."

And before he could open his mouth to protest she said  sternly, "NOW!" 

The anxiety about Toughy, the worries about Anish being assaulted, the fear of his nightmares, then her neighbour's sudden arrival and all the new frightening emotions that gripped  inside her when ever he is near was way too much for her to bear. Her patience was running thin. 

Anish, looked at her for a second, for once didn't argue with her, but put his head down and climbed up the steps and went inside,  disgruntled with himself, with all the people around him and with the world on the whole.

She turned and looked at Arnav who was silently witnessing the altercation between the mother and son.

"You know what...you are scaring me..."she told him irritated. 

"You should be scared."he said.

"Because of Karan or because of something else?"she asked, words tumbling one after the other. A cool breeze began to blow and she felt it touch her and she closed her eyes as a welcome relief.

Arnav sat down next to her and turned towards her. He starred at her long and hard as if weighing what he knew about her. Kushi caught her breath. His face was so close to her she could see the streaks on his brown eyes. For a moment she thought he was going to kiss her."God! Why is he sitting so close?" She wanted to move away from him, but she sat frozen, her chest heaving as she sat starring at him as his breath caressed her face.

"I'm just telling you to be careful Kushi. You can't be going around town believing everything will turn out fine....and be just like you wanted it to be.... World is not so simple as you believe it to be..."he said.

"I know...."

"Then give your boy a chance....cut the palloo and let him loose...let him learn to defend himself from any danger."he said softly. She swallowed hard. Unspoken words hung between them and the air around them was pulsating with restless energy. She finally managed to get up and move away from him.

"I ...I have to go prepare lunch...would you ..I mean you can...that is..hey devi mayya...."she pushed the locks away from her face, "All I want to say is....would you...that is...like to have lunch with us...that is if you do not have any other engagement..."

He looked at her as if contemplating what to respond to her invitation. Then he nodded curtly and said "Why not? I would love to." Turning away from the ugly paintings on the wall.

"Why not? A dozen reasons you idiot..."his mind scolded him. But he ignored his irritating inner voice. His son has been through a lot, and all he wanted was to make sure he is okay, and moreover the more he knew about Kushi and her deal with Saxena all those years ago the better...right?"he convinced himself. "Wrong!" The inner voice growled.

Till now Arnav was only treading on still water going nowhere. Time was running out and he had to make a decision as what he was going to do. He had few options.

He could tell Kushi the truth , warn her about the Malliks, admit to her that he is Anish's father. But if he did tell her that...she was never going to trust him again.

In the scheme of things that shouldn't matter at all, but the truth of the matter was it did matter. Like hell! It mattered a lot.

Karan Mehta's house was worse than he had expected. Arnav thought that Rat****'s place was a palace compared to the old dilapidated tiled house of the Mehtas. A scrawny cat jumped from the compound wall and ran off seeing him. The walls hadn't seen paint for centuries. Old torn wired chairs were just thrown outside. An old bulb was hanging from the tiled roof of his narrow porch throwing a dim light. The neighboring houses were so close that the TVs were screaming in different pitches in different households. Except for one dim light inside, the house was pitch dark. Arnav  felt sad for the boy for a moment. A mother who had left him, a drunkard father who was taking out his frustration on him, pathetic surroundings, which had all the similarities to Kusum Singh Raizada's sordid old apartment building in Mumbai. 

It was showdown time, thought Arnav and stopped his jeep and walked towards the house. He saw old tires, car batteries and rusted car parts strewn all over the front of the house. Long dried grass were grown around the steps that led up to his house. Arnav wanted to face this man ever since his son beat up Anish to pulp. Now or never, as he never trusted the police to take up the matter, he wasn't going to let matters just cool off. 

He rapped the knuckles hard on the door and waited for few minutes for the door to open. It was opened as expected by a huge man, over six feet and hundred and fifty kilos, with a dirty pant and vest on him. He was Karan Mehta's father all right, he recognized from the person he had seen at the mittai shop. But now he got a better look at the old man in a close up. His face had many scars and a nose that was crooked, probably broken during one of his drunken brawls, a huge belly that would put sumo wrestlers to shame. He smelt of cheap booze and was chewing tobacco, clumped to one side of his mouth, "Yeah! What is it?"Mehta asked.

"You are Karan's father?" Asked Arnav getting straight to the point, thinking no use of wasting time in preambles, as the man didn't look amiable.

"Who are you? Why are you asking?"he asked , fat arms crossing his chest.

"I am, Arnav Singh Raizada..." Arnav was about to extend his hand but thought the better of it. 

The huge man starred at him and spit a stream of tobacco juice on the over grown weeds, not taking his small mean eyes away from Arnav, "So you are the bas.tard who threw my son's keys away into a field full of dung?"

"Yes..that's me..."said Arnav not even reacting to the name he called, wondering if he even knew how close he was to the truth. And it didn't really matter. This was his son's battle and he was going to savour fighting it.

"What do you want?"he growled.

"I want you to tell your son not to pick on other boys and beat them...especially Anish Gupta...."

"Oh that piece of ...sh.it... one sick kid...a retard....should be kept in an asylum... He is not worth bothering about..."Mehta waved his hand as if swattng away a fly.

"Just ask Karan to keep his hands to himself..."

"Or what?"

"He would have to answer  to me next time..."said Arnav gritting his teeth and giving his cruel smile that had worried men many a times.

"What is it to you... What did you say your name was? Haan..Raizada? That's none of your business." Mehta asked.

"Anish is a friend of mine..."Arnav said.

" hnnn.."grunted the man, "you want me to believe that sh.it...."he guffawed, "you just want to get your hands between his mother's thighs...or her ass....just like most of the men in this town...but many of them say she is not worth it you know....if I were you I wouldn't waste my time on her..." Arnav ground his teeth, his lips thinned in anger, every muscle in his body tensed, fists clenched wanting to throw the first punch on his puckered face. Instead, he gave one mean cruel look as cold as ice and said, "If I were you I would be worried sick that a cold mean bast.ard...might be after my boy next time he makes trouble..." He spit on the weeds and looked at him. "All Mrs. Gupta wants is her son to be left alone...."

"Well then she shouldn't be  pampering a freak...God! He is really crazy... A no good who says he has premonitions and visions...and hears voices and freaks everyone out....and the worst part is he hasn't got the sense to shut his mouth...he keeps bothering Karan at school." Mehta said angrily.

"Oh...but that's not what I've heard..."said Arnav.

Mehta grinned showing off his tobacco stained teeth, "Then he is one lying son of a b.itch..."

"What's keeping you Jaan...."came a voice from inside, 

"I'm coming..."

"you know I don't have the who!e day..."

"I said I'm coming... In a minute..." Mehta said then turned to Arnav, "You have anything else to say.."

"I came here to warn you Mehta...tell your son to keep away from them"replied Arnav. 

"I wouldn't wait for the police to come next time , I would not just stop the fight and play hide and seek with the keys, but haul him straight to the police station myself and let the SP handle him. Probably call the media even and tell how this boy goes around town beating up younger kids just like his father who gets drunk and beats up his son...probably an institution or two would come up to take away your son ..."

"You...f****ing bast.ard get out of my land."the man screamed.

"Just make sure that Karan keeps away from Anish , his mother and his damned dog...I'm not joking Mehta...if your boy troubles anyone...anyone...then he would have to face me..."

The ugly mammoth's face became red, he spit the tobacco again and snarled at Arnav, "What is it to you....you piece of sh.it ..." Then he climbed two steps down and glared a Arnav, his breath stinking of tobacco and liquor. "Oh....now I get it..you've got the hots for that boy's mother..and you want to protect her son and play a hero in front of her....you are wasting your time ....she is one hard to get woman who keeps to herself...better men than you have tried Raizada....she never allows any man near her," he smiled showing his tobacco stained teeth, "in fact there is a bet going around the men....for five hundred rupees...for the one who...f***s her first.."

Arnav's fury was reaching it's apex and he rolled on his toes controlling himself from beating the living daylights out of that man. "Don't get worked up about that b.itch you cannot have and one retard son of her's. Leave the boys alone don't interfere in their problems..."

"No way..." Roared Arnav. Mehta poked one fat finger on Arnav's chest and said, "My son fights his own battles and gives one right back when there is trouble...only a little harder...for that's the way he was taught...unlike that tiny little cry baby Gupta boy...a wimp...now get out of here... "He climbed back the steps.

"Just so we understand each other Mehta....don't tell me later I didn't warn you..."

"Jaaan...what are you doing?"she stopped short seeing Arnav. She smiled, "oh...you've got company...." A woman with long hair around her once pretty face, with heavy make up and just with a cloth around her body stood leaning on the door inside.

"Go inside...I'm coming..."said Mehta turning angrily towards her.

"A friend of yours?

"I said to go inside....No he is not my friend and he is leaving...." 

The woman smiled and pouted looking at Arnav, "Too bad...I thought I can double my income here..."she stood starring at Arnav, "Are you interested honey?"

"Go back into the house you..."he snarled at the woman,"And you Raizada... Get the hell out here before I kill you..."the man said as he slammed the door shut on Arnav's face. Arnav turned and slowly walked away. 

Nov 13

DOOMED TO DIE THE MOTHER OF MY SON (By Raani82) (Thanked: 50 times)



DOOMED TO DIE- THE MOTHER OF MY SON



CHAPTER- 41



PILANI - 2018



He felt the cold sharp metal on his shoulder blade. A gun. He stiffened. He understood what that cold metal can do to him. "He is thinking of killing me" The man's thoughts were clearly transmitted trough the cold metal to him.

"Just kill the boy and do away with this..." 

"That's where you are wrong..." His voice was cool and calm, "kill me now....and you will never be done with it...you will pay for this for rest of your life..."Anish said.

"How do you ....? stop messing with my head...just shut up..."the man muttered angrily, still pressing the metal by his side, still thinking of pressing the trigger still thinking of ending it all.

He had run....till his lungs began to burn. His breath came out in short gasps, as sweat had poured, down his back mixing with the strong drizzle that was threatening to grow into a heavy rain.  The pathway venders were hurriedly packing up their wares and rushing away. He had joined the crowd which was running for cover. He entered a shop and went in and stood behind the row of shirts and dresses hanging from the stands. He peered through the glass windows and looked outside. He felt a strong hand clutch his shoulder. "It is beginning to rain...son...you cannot go anywhere without a rain coat."

He saw the reflection of the man, his face in shadows because of the hood covering his face standing behind him like a shadow. He was holding a rain coat for him, but Anish could also feel the hand under the man's coat holding a long metal that was poking into his side. 

"Take it..."the man said, "you cannot run around here without the rain coat...you will catch a cold and fall sick..."the man's voice oozed with paternal concern and care, performing for the passing people around him. He wanted to turn around and look at the man, but the metal was still there under the plastic wrapped under his arm, that can kill him any time, freezing the tears that were forming in his eyes and ready to fall any time. No running from a gun , no escape ....prison again.

Anish saw one or two women look at them and move away. They couldn't feel the panic , the desperation he was conveying to them. 

He was so close...so close to escaping from him....yet he was in the man's grip, with a gun at the back, in a trap again.

"Kill him now...."the man's thoughts seeped through the palm of the man on his shoulder. "Kill him now and collect the money..." 

"No....no...don't kill me ...no...."Anish tried to duck and get away from his grip, only to roll down and fall flat on his face on the floor of his room. "Ouch!!!" He opened his eyes. His room. "Damn!!!"he sat up, still feeling the trembling in his body, the thumping of his heart, the sweat on his face and the sheer terror of the dream. For the first time he had the glimpse of the motives of the man in his dreams. For the first time he had a long dream about the pursuer, though he was not sure if it was the right thing. After all the end sucked. Damn!!! A man with a gun to his back , thinking about killing him...for money? What was all that about? Ransom money? Why would anyone kidnap him for ransom money when his mother was struggling sometimes to even pay his school fees, let alone scramble this amount of money to pay off . He went and stood near the window seeing the moon outside, it's light through the creepers dancing in the breeze . He looked up at the inky blue skies as dark as his nightmares. Who was the man? His killer...his pursuer? Which place was that? Fully decorated with lights and music coming from loud speakers , crowds everywhere, people crowded around eateries on the pavements. A place with wide shiny roads, somewhere far faraway from Pilani. The location itself instilled an icy fear in him. The slight breeze swept the branches of the trees to one side and that is when he spotted it. A truck standing on the road. "Karan again? Were they back to cause more damages?" Anish's heart skipped a beat, but gave a huge sigh of relief when he realised it was a jeep. ASR's jeep. What was he doing there? Parking the vehicle in such a position? As if on guard duty? Was he guarding his house? He smiled. If ASR was trying  to help him fend off Karan Mehta, he didn't mind, he could use his help. But even big and strong guy like ASR had his limitations. No one...NO ONE can save him from his nightmares.



Wind was blowing stronger, sweeping off the fallen leaves and dust above a man's height. Arnav had parked the jeep at the end of his drive, having a clear view of Kushi's house. He had drawn the canvas over his jeep, and settled in for the night watch. He had slept in worse places in his life and had gone without sleep for nights together, grabbing a few winks during day time. This was nothing new to him. Whoever was terrorising Anish and Kushi were going to get caught red handed. He would see to it.

The lights in Anish's room was off. He could still see the lights in Kushi's room, and wondered what she was still doing so late in the night. What was her routine? Would she be listening to music? Watching TV  before going to bed? His mind began to wander thinking what she would wear for bed and better still how she would look without any dress. How her eyes would look at him without suspicion. He tried very hard to think of anything else but her, but he failed as his mind's eye began to see her. Her flowing hair on the pillow, half of it covering her shoulders and ample b.reasts. Her soft skin and long legs..God! How he ached to touch her, to kiss her, run his hands over her. Muttering under his breath, he scowled in that dark night. He shifted uncomfortably, his pants suddenly going tight. Hell! This was getting him no where. He has to think nothing of her except as an obstacle. But then why was he sitting there, in that dusty road, guarding her and her son, if she was an obstacle? Face it Arnav! His damn inner voice began talking. She was beginning to get to you. She was beginning to occupy your thoughts every waking moment of the day and nights in your sleep. Whether you admit or not you are beginning to like her. You want her. He took out a flask from the passenger seat and began to sip the whisky. It was going to be a long night.



"What's with you Mr.Raizada?" She asked, stepping over the puddles of water and  standing outside his window, with hands on her hips, starring at him. The night was still, after a brief shower that night. The sky was clear with million stars splashed over the dark sky. He was parked outside his gates , almost in front of her gates. He rolled down the window looked at her and gave one of his slow lop sided smile, that made her heart go thumping every time. "Is there any rule against parking on the road, and sitting here?"he asked.

"Not that I know of, but it looks a little crazy."she said, feeling foolish. After all this guy was in his car parked on his property.

"But I know you have been out here every night for the past week. Why?" She asked curious and anxious.

She had seen his jeep parked at the end of his drive almost in front of her house after that night their dog was drugged. But didn't think much about it, but wondered why he had parked it there as if guarding his place or her place. When she saw it night after night she became concerned and it began to rattle her. 

She knew Anish had started visiting him everyday after school and she couldn't do anything to stop her son from making a trip across the fence through the trees to the old Rat****'s place. He said Arnav had taught him some boxing moves and showed him how to throw some punches. He even taught him some wrestling moves, had taught him to saddle a horse. He was teaching him how to ride. He had showed him how to change tyres and change oil in his jeep. He would be back home before Kushi arrived. Clean and ready for some snacks and tea when she came back home. Sometimes he would be, playing with his dog, listening to music, sometimes doing his home work even. He started talking again like old times while sitting at the dining table doing home work while she was preparing dinner. Most of the time his conversation was about Arnav. ASR. this, ASR that. All his fear about a strange and foreboding man seems to have been forgotten. She tried to convince herself that it was all like it should be and that the biggest concern about her son's safety was not about a criminal father or an army man, hell bent on finding his son. No...her immediate worry was about saving her son from Karan Mehta's fists. So she allowed her son to develop a friendship with Arnav, who was hell bent on explaining to her that he was not a killer, the neighbour who fixed her tyre, who saved her son's life, who came to police station to  write an FIR against a police man's son. 

Arnav looked up and down the road and said, "I'm being a little cautious.... That's all...just making sure Karan got the message..."

"So you've appointed yourself as our personal security guard?"

"I have trouble sleeping any ways..."he said.

"Look I appreciate  your concern....what you are doing for us...but we can take care of ourselves..." 

He silenced her with one of his looks that clearly indicated that she was a fool. She shivered and rubbed her arms, remembering the cruel paintings on the wall, how her dog was shaved off and painted with hate words and Anish's bruised and battered body.

"Well I do agree we've had some trouble..."

"I want to put an end to it..."

"So do I ..."she said.

"You want to come and sit inside..."he moved and unlocked the passenger door. She came around and sat inside wondering if she ever had some brains and thinking power left in her, as their gaze fell on the flash of head lights of a car on the main road. She stiffened, and relaxed only when the car passed away without stopping, 

Arnav turned to her and asked, "Comfortable?"

"Yeah..."what was she doing there...for God's sake....? One part of her mind was screaming aloud inside her for dancing with the devil, taking a horrendous risk of being alone with him, the other part....the traitorous female part of her soul, that was seduced to being alone with him in the dark watching the empty dusty road in the middle of the night.  Another set of flash lights drenched their jeep with lights as it slowed down. Kushi stiffened as Arnav bent down to pick up something. The car passed them. Arnav relaxed. "God you making me jump at shadows..." She said irritated. 

"What have you got there?"she asked looking down,suspicious.

"A weapon....deadly and dangerous..."

"What? " She froze in fear, as he took out a car wrench from under his seat. She laughed  as he put it back. "Don't tell me you've got a gun in your glove compartment."

"No I won't..."he smiled. She felt his eyes on her. Her flawless soft skin on her face, her cheeks, her throbbing pulse on her throat.

She turned away. 

"How long are you going to keep up this vigil...or guard duty...or whatever you call it?"

"As long as it takes to convince me that nobody is ever going to trouble Anish again..."Arnav said with conviction.

"It is going to take a long while ...."

"I have time..."

She looked away and after few seconds of silence she turned back to looks at him.

"I don't know what I'm doing here..."she said softly.

"Don't you?" He asked quietly. Her eyes widened in surprise. "You want to know me better..."

"Excuse me?"

"Anish has been coming to my place...so you want to know how it is going?"

"May be..."

He nodded, "You wanted to know what makes me tick, what I am doing sitting here guarding the people I hardly know....you are worried that Anish is being friendly with me...and spending more time with me than he is with you and that makes you nervous....and you are more nervous sitting here in the dark with me.... Terribly nervous..."he lifted his hand and softly brushed the throbbing pulse at the base of her neck, to prove his point. She shuddered as his fingers brushed her skin. The air inside the jeep suddenly grew thick and she couldn't breathe except feel his closeness. 

"I...I just don't know how to take all this sudden interest you have in our family...in one of his recent premonitions ..."she paused, her fingers nervously twisting her hair lock.

"Well...?"

"Anish sees a man ... he has no idea who he is...searching for him...."

"What else has he said about this man and his dream?"he asked. She didn't know how much she could trust him.

"That's all there is to it...I don't know..."she said.

"You think I'm that guy?"Arnav asked.

She didn't answer, just remained silent. She could feel his change of mood and anger in his voice.

"You think there is some other guy after him?"

"I don't know..."she said.

"You are scared?"

"Yes I'm scared..."she said turning her head away. 

Arnav moved, he put his arm around her shoulders , turned her face towards him, his fingers slowly, brushing away the locks of hair from her face. "Don't be..." He said. "I'm here...."

"I know but..."

She looked at him nervously, "Trust me Kushi....I would not let anything happen to Anish..."

She looked at his eyes, as if searching for truth in his eyes. Something inside her broke. A dam that held back her emotions. She felt the rock hard fort she had built brick by brick to stay clear headed, to keep a distance, to keep herself away from any kind of relationship, slowly peal. Arnav Singh Raizada had found a way to make the cement on the wall around her heart to crack. 

"I'm telling you now.... I'm on your side Kushi....I would not let anything happen to Anish....or you..."

She felt a crack in his voice, an emotional catch as he said that. She swallowed hard, unable to control the new feelings spreading inside her. "Hey devi mayya...!"

His eyes wandered over her face and rested on her lips. She began to quiver in excitement her heart ready to jump out of her chest any second. 

"Kushi...oh God! Kushi..."he whispered as he bent low, pausing to watch her eyes just before whispering, "I want to kiss you.."his breath fanned her cheeks, "please...." He sounded desperate as he gathered her close. She didn't.. Couldn't protest, she let him lower his face as she sat mesmerised, frozen in the moment. Her hands wanting to  slowly move towards him accidentally rested on the door lock and it clicked, the sound breaking the magical moment she blinked as he straightened, "God....no..."he turned away. 

"I guess I can't do anything about it,  if you want to stay awake and play guard for us...I think I better go...."she said nervously, opening the door with her shaking fingers.

His strong fingers wrapped around her wrist as he leaned towards the passenger door, "Kushi....I'm ....I'm sorry...it is not like I wanted to take advantage ...it is not like...hell!... I can do better than this..."he scolded himself which made her smile.

"You can come anytime to my house...to check what Anish is doing...or learning there..."

"I'll remember that."she said jumping out and running to her house unmindful of the puddles of water splashing on her dress.

Nov 19

DOOMED TO DIE THE MOTHER OF MY SON (By Raani82) (Thanked: 51 times)

DOOMED TO DIE- THE MOTHER OF MY SON

CHAPTER- 42

MUMBAI - 2018

"What the hell .....have you gone out of your mind?" Shouted Mukund as he stomped inside Manickchand's office and plopped himself on the sofa chair opposite his brother's huge Rosewood table. Manohar who had walked in quietly behind Mukund stood their with a questioning look in his eyes. The secretary stood apologetically  near the open door, gesturing to Manick as if she tried to stop them but couldn't. 

Manick placed the file he was reading before Mukund barged in, on the table and looked at  the secretary and said, "It is okay Rose....you can go..." The young woman closed the door quietly and left.

"What is this all about ...you searching for a boy....La's child? After all these years....Oh God! Why?" Questioned Mukund angrily.

"I'm searching for my grandson....Lavanya's son..."the old man said. "He is my blood...you see"

"Hnnn big deal....... "he said.

"It is to me ..."said his elder brother.

"Why?"asked Manohar.

"You don't know what it is to lose a child....a grown up child..." He looked old and sad and broken.

"That boy is my blood... My grandson and I want him back..."

"So this is all about Praneeth... Isn't it?" Said Mukund frustrated that he had always have to play second fiddle to his elder brother. Manick felt the anger and animosity in his brother's face and felt the old sibling rivalry grow again, that Manick inherited everything and now he felt cheated again.

"There is nothing compared to death of a child...a son who was ...murdered..."he said little troubled to even mention that word. He starred at the file for a minute and then closed it and pushed it aside.

"You are going to let all this be controlled by a ba.stard? Don't you think this is too.." Started Manohar when Manick cut him off, "Your son did this..."

"He is not my son....I never accepted him as my son...that woman could have bedded other men and he could have been fathered by any one of them...."he said trying to protest in vain.

"Enough.....he is your son all right...that is for all of us to see the resemblance doesn't lie...and wily as a fox ...with all his premonitions and reading other's mind..." Manick said.

"Oh...so you seem to know more about him than me..."Mano looked at the old man as if contemplating what he was thinking about.

"I make it my business to know each and everything about every member of this family ...legitimate and illegitimate..."

"Except La's son..." Countered Mukund.

"Yes..."Manick stood up and went to the liquor cabinet and poured a peg of stiff drink in three glasses and handed each one a glass. "That was a mistake....I listened to your bhabi  and thought at that time that it was best for the family if the child disappeared."

"You were right..."said Mano.

"It is now... you are making a mistake..."said Mukund taking a sip from the glass and allowing the bitter hot liquid to glide through him.

"I know how to handle ba.stards..."said Mano.

"By raping their mothers and nearly getting shot by a bullet?" Manick asked with a smirk. "Where is he now?"

"Don't know...don't care....." Scowled Mano, "didn't you  just say you kept track of all the members remotely associated with the family ..." 

"He slipped through my fingers....doesn't his mother keep in touch...with him?"asked Manick.

"She denies...she could be lying through her teeth...anyways I...don't see her nowadays..after her son tried to kill me."said Mano shifting uncomfortably.

"He has shifted to greener pastures....some younger  ones I guess...." 

mocked Mukund.

"Haven't you any sense? Didn't I ask you to  not to cheat on my sister? Isn't it enough that your waywardness almost got you shot?"

Mano went red, "Nobody tells me what to do....no one..." 'Not even you two ...' Mano thought to himself, didn't let out the words though they were hanging in the air.

Manick felt the bitterness raising and with a sick feeling realised his brother and brother in law were getting out of control. Mano with his drinking and other associations was bringing I'll repute to the family, making it all the more necessary to bring some one else into the picture and train him to become the heir. Mukund was looking at the liquid in the glass, twirling it, "You know.....Mayank is really upset and furious that you have taken this decision. It means you have no faith on him or me...."

"I don't...."said Manick with determination.

"And you trust this fifteen year old ba.stard..."he shouted.

"That needs to be seen...only time will tell."

Mukund got up, "I warn you Manick..this is not a good idea...."

Mano didn't want to be left behind, after all it was his son's and his future that was in the line of fire. 

"You are playing with fire....bhai...be careful that you don't get burnt."

"I won't..."said Manick calmly. He was never afraid of the two standing in front of him.

He had known that their kids never had any feelings for each other. They were close for sometime and were slowly drifting apart before Praneeth was killed and now they never bothered about anyone else apart from themselves. This made him even more determined to do all he can to bring back his grandson.

PILANI 2018

"Everything was normal and quiet..."thought Kushi as she sat in her small cubical, twirling a pencil in her fingers, going through the English poem, "The ode to the west wind." "Too quiet ...for your comfort..."added her inner voice. 

It has been weeks since her dog was attacked, and since then life had been moving on in its quiet, same, slow, pace except that Arnav had entrenched his way into their life slowly. And Anish never seemed to have stopped talking about him, an indication that as each day passed Arnav was getting closer and closer to Anish. It was obvious he was becoming more important to Anish......"and to you." Her voice added. "Whether you admit or not Kushi...you cannot ignore the undercurrent and how charged the air around you two becomes whenever he is around you." Even though after what happened in the jeep she made it a point not to ever be alone with him, it was there slowly burning, a dark fascination for him one that shouldn't exist. She had begun to notice even small things about him like the stiffening of his jaw and thinning of his lips when he is angry, the way he runs his fingers of both his hands under his hair when he was frustrated, the furrowing of his brows flaring of his nose when he is working with concentration. The stretching of his shirt over his chest, that he  never bothered to iron his clothes before wearing them, sometimes she even noticed small holes in his kurtas. She had even noticed that he had always buckled on the third hole of his belt and he wore his pants low. He had a sense of humour that was always cynical and wished she could know more about him, that he would share his past with her. 

So he had made his sudden appearance when Anish started freaking out with his nightmares, and he found a way to get acquainted to them, so he was there when Anish got into trouble , so he had a fight with his cousin, so he claimed he never wanted to marry and have family.....so what. 

"Because you are beginning to fall for him Kushi Kumari Gupta...." Her fingers began to tremble. That was scary...so damned scary. She promised herself never to get involved with any man...not since Nanda died. Her thoughts went to that fateful evening , how she had argued with him forcing him to pick Anisha from the day care because she was doing over time. They needed the money. Nanda wanted to go out for a football game he and his friends played  in the nearby grounds. He had left in anger, she knew that, even though she was in her office. And while returning, his scooter skidded over the puddle that had formed in the overnight rain, had fallen on the road only to be hit by a speeding truck. Anisha had died when thrown off the vehicle and he survived the ambulance ride and lived for few more hours but had died even before Kushi could see him and say that she was sorry. Pain and guilt knotted inside her again. Tears ran down her cheeks. A student's soft voice brought her to the present, "Kushi mam..." She turned to see one of her students standing there with her assignment in her hand. "Is anything wrong....are you all right?" Asked the agitated student. Kushi quickly wiped the tears from her cheeks kicking herself in her mind of losing concentration and breaking down in the school.

"I'm fine...I'm fine...come in...what is it you want?" She listened to her student cleared her doubts and gave her some more time to complete her work. The student left. She wished her son's teachers were also so considerate and understanding when he came to them with his problems. She sighed as she packed her bags. It was just few minutes left before the last bell rang. It was Friday and that worried her more, for it was Friday that Anish often got into trouble. Not during weekdays. She looked forward for the weekend. A quiet time in her home with her son, and for some opportunity to meet Arnav....her voice said and that irritated her more. After that confrontation in the jeep that night she was finding it more difficult to nudge his image out of her mind. It seemed to haunt her night and day. "Oh get a grip on yourself Kushi! "She rebuked herself, "after all he is just another man..nothing more nothing less..."and yet her heart told her differently.

MUMBAI- 2018

"What do you mean that there is no one named Shauriya Dubey..." Shouted Manickchand Mallik in anger, looking as if he would collapse any moment.

"Just what I said....there has never been any army, navy or air force - from an ordinary Sargent to Admiral or Major, stationed here  fifteen years ago." Said Shyam, helping himself to a cigarette on the huge desk in front of him. He liked to see the old man rattled and worried."The old snob..."he thought.

"What do you mean...Lavanya said..."

"It means your daughter Lavanya has been lying all these years, sir."said Shyam coolly. "I've contacted all there is to be contacted, collected all records, went through all the files.....I can say this hundred times...there is no...Shauriya Dubey..."

"Then who is the boy's father...."asked the old man. Shyam noticed that the man looked even more pale and sick than he had seen him a couple of months ago.

"Good question... A very good question! Next time we meet I'll tell you for sure."he said, tapping his fingers on the crystal ash tray.

"How?"

"By talking to Lavanya and getting the truth from her."said Shyam. Mallik frowned and Shyam could see the disapproval on his face. "I don't think she is going to tell. If she has managed to keep this a secret for fifteen years why the hell would she tell this now." The old man said.

"Maybe she doesn't know who the father is.."said Shyam with a smirk, that sent the old man into a coughing fit. Shyam hurriedly handed a glass of water to him which he old man refused. His face red Mallik starred at Shyam, "Of course she knows who the father of her child is.."

"Then it is a damn well kept secret....for she had taken a hell of a risk coming up with a phony name...it would have only taken a couple of days to find out about that man back then if you had made that effort..."

"We...we were faced with so many problems at that time..."said the old man looking down. Shyam understood that the old man who prided himself to having control on everything involving his family , had just realised that he had been duped all these years by his own daughter.

"I can understand, you wanted to avoid a scandal and get rid of the evidence...but I have a feeling that Lavanya was protecting some one....someone she cared a lot about...wonder who that person could have been..."

"Who cares who that guy is...all I want is you to find the boy..."said Mallik in irritation.

"That will not be a problem. Once we locate who the guy is who made the mistake of fathering Lavanya's child then we can find the boy.."

"I don't care who the father is ...all I care is to get my grandson back..."shouted the old man in anger.

"Oh but I do...."thought Shyam as he adjusted himself on the plush sofa smiling to himself, looking around at the cool beautiful interiors of his magnificent office at his stately mansion, oozing with royalty and culture, and compared it with his own single room flat on the fifth floor in Bouriville. Not for long. He was going to strike it rich. Apart from the money he was going to milk from the old man, he was also interested in pocketing some extra cash by the side. For that, it was very much necessary to find out who the father is and unlock a few dirty secrets which will be worth much more than he could dream of.

"Don't worry Mr.Mallik... I would find him for you if that is the last thing I would do..."he said.

Nov 24

DOOMED TO DIE THE MOTHER OF MY SON (By Raani82) (Thanked: 56 times)

DOOMED TO DIE- THE MOTHER OF MY SON

CHAPTER- 43

PILANI - 2018

As Shyam was leaving the massive office building of the Mallik's, Kushi was slowly approaching the small shed Arnav had put up behind his house. With the sunlight fast receding she took tentative steps as she heard Arnav's voice. "Watch me carefully...On your toes...on your toes....jab right...move back...jab left ...move back....fast and always moving ...no stopping..like this."

Kushi just peaked in not exposing herself fully. There was a small bulb above lighting the ten by ten shed, smelling of hay and grass and fodder, dust and horses. He had hung an old punching bag from the sealing. All the sacks of fodder and instruments were pushed to the walls, giving them space to move around. Anish  with his back to her, was sitting on an empty tin and she could guess, was listening to Arnav intently. Both the boy and the man were bare chested and perspiring. Anish in his loose football shorts, lean but still with puppy fat. His bruises were healing nicely. His blackened eyes now had bluish colour under them. His lips had healed and he was looking more of himself now. She sighed with relief that it was Friday and another week had gone by without any trouble at school. He had grown closer to Arnav and followed him to his word. Arnav she noticed, on the other hand was all muscles. His shirt was thrown on a sack, and he was gleaming with perspiration. His hair was damp and sinewy muscles were hard and shiny even under that harsh light.  Quick as an attacking tiger he hit hard on the bag...thud...thug...thug...muscles straining, lips clamped in concentration, Arnav danced around the bag, always attacking. "See Anish...always moving, staying out of reach...then..."he threw a combination of quick punches. She stood there starring at him in fascination. His feet were bare as he moved around, thick black hair matted on his muscled chest, his light beard casting a black shadow on his hardened facial muscles as he glared at the punching bag as if it were his enemy."Now you try...this time..." 

Anish got up and wore the gloves  Arnav gave him and strapped it with the help of his teeth, then stretched them towards Arnav who tightened them for him. 

"Hmm.. Ready?"Arnav asked. Anish nodded and began to flail his arms wildly, as if a drowning man moving his arms, completely missing the bag. 

"Hey..wait a minute....slow down..."said Arnav.

"But you said...we should be fast..."

"Yes....but stay focussed...you can't punch like you are swatting away flies...."Arnav chuckled, and Anish laughed. It was an heart warming sight. "here let me help you..." Arnav then planting his feet wide leaned his shoulders on the bag, looked at him and said "Now go...show me what you've got..."

Anish started jumping on his toes his eyes narrowing in total concentration, mimicking Arnav in his movements. Kushi could sense that he was seeing Karan Mehta's face in front of him. He started punching the bag.... "That's it...you are doing great!" Arnav said with a pride in his voice. Kushi moved forward and leaned on the door, saw the scene in front of her. She couldn't move her eyes away from him. She stood starring at his lean abdomen, and the navel and the narrowing of the dark hair beneath it, closing her eyes and rebuking her mind to not to go beyond it. He wore his old jeans low and she couldn't stop starring at the male specimen in front her.

It was as if he too felt her gaze on him, he turned and looked at her eyeing him. At that moment they felt the raw s.exual  fire lit up between them. "Hey Devi mayya!" Her throat went dry and her lungs were gasping for air. She stepped backwards as if to move away from there, from the intensity of his gaze. She had carefully avoided him ever since that night in his jeep. But his thoughts pulled her towards him. "Kushi...."he called out. 

"Ma?" Anish turned frowning, "what are you doing here?"he asked.

"I..I..just came ....its late and..."Kushi stammered, her face red with embarrassment, wondered if she was caught starring at him. 

"I had left you a message."he said.

"I know that's why I'm here."she said.

"We are working."

"I can see..."

Arnav casually moved towards the cotton shirt that was hanging on a nail, took it and began wearing it, "What do you think of our boy here?"

"Our boy!" Kushi felt a shiver pass through her spine. A casual passing phrase that is so common, but not so common when it came from him. She had a fleeting image of them as a family, them together, doing simple things together, seeing their son grow.  "Don't go there Kushi..."her mind rebuked her. That's crazy, impossible, a silly fantasy.

"What I think? Well I'll be really scared to meet any of you alone in a dark street corner.."

"Oh come on ma.." Said Anish rolling his eyes.

"Yes...that's true ..I'll be a scared defenseless woman..." She said smiling.

"Amma...tomorrow is Saturday... I can stay here for a bit..."

"I guess so...I just came..."

"Now that you've come..... Let me show you my horses ...." He pocketed some carrots and turned to her.

"I don't know..."

"Oh come on Kushi...it would just take a few minutes..."Arnav said as he walked towards the door.

She looked at Anish who stood irritated at being interrupted. "Okay..just for few minutes... Then we have to go..."she said.

"May I stay here and practice for some more  time?"

"Yeah sure...come Kushi..."Arnav walked out. 

It sounded so intimate,  so close. His shirt still unbuttoned, shirt tails flying, sweat pouring down his torso, he smelled of sweat and male musk and with an invitation in his eyes she couldn't resist. Anish turned away and began punching away in earnest.

"I'm glad you came."he said. 

Kushi had called Payal a couple of times asking her if she had found something about him. Hoping that he was from Mumbai and not from a farm in Jalandar. But of no use. But all her worries disappeared when he took her arm and moved toward the small stable behind the barn. "Careful...there is hardly any light here..."he said guiding her carefully. She was wearing a short top and a long skirt. Holding his hand with one and the skirt with the other, as they found their way in the dark, Kushi felt she was sixteen again. There was some comfort in his firm grip over her arm and even after they reached the dimly lit stable he didn't let go. 

"This is Guru..."he said. 

She moved back instinctively. "He's so big.."she said softly, eyeing the huge chestnut brown horse with fear. 

"Oh yeah! But he is okay... This is Princess..."the horse turned her head away when Arnav went near her."okay...okay my dear...I promise I'll take you out tomorrow. A treat for my Princess, if you are a good girl." Arnav whispered softly. The horse nudged his face as if promising him she will be good. "I know... I know....drama queen...you know to get what you want..."he gave her a carrot and moved to the last one.

"This is Prithvi..."The grey horse immediately nudged his face up his  face as if greeting him. Arnav rubbed the horse's neck and head from between it's ears to the mouth, talking softly to it. "You have somebody special to visit you today."

"Look at his eyes ...they are so beautiful! I can see he adores you..."

"Yes....there was a bonding on the very first day we met....the day he was born...  As he fell out of the mare on this earth. I bought him from my friend on that very day. A couple of months later after weaning he came to me. He is a brother I've never had..."he said laying his head slightly on the horse's face. Kushi looked at them fascinated. She had only read in books about the bonding between a man and an animal, this was the first time she was seeing it for real. 

She slowly raised her hand to touch the horse. Arnav rubbed the horse between it's ears, and slowly rubbed below his eyes and moved his fingers towards the jaws and then under the neck.  Arnav nodded to Kushi. She smiled and imitated his movements.

The horse let out a breath as if sighing in pleasure. "There...he likes it...a typical male...I guess.." Arnav muttered. Kushi laughed. 

"Okay Prithvi...you want to show off.." The horse shook his head. Arnav laughed as he opened the gate. Kushi moved back as the horse stepped outside.

"Prithvi...this is  Ms. Kushi....our neighbour..." Touching her shoulders with his fingers.

The horse bent both his forelegs and bent it's head down as if bowing and welcoming her, then rested his head on her shoulder, rubbing her cheeks. Kushi's eyes widened in surprise. "Now aren't you adorable..."she said laughing, rubbing the side of his face.

Arnav enraptured in the beauty of the sparkling eyes, said without moving his eyes away from her face, "Snake dance..."

The horse lifted both his forelegs joined them and began to move them in clockwise.

"Back flip..."

He raised his hind legs and gave a kick, before landing on the ground. Kushi clapped amazed at his performance.

"Now your favourite.... Waltz...." Arnav said.

The horse with head raised, moved gracefully side to side, with his right foreleg and left hind leg up then the opposite legs dancing around them. Kushi clamped her fingers on her open mouth, eyes going wide in wonder. Then he stopped and bowed to his audience. 

She moved forward and hugged the horse, "Oh you are so adorable...so sweet...."

She kissed him and rubbed his face lovingly, then moved away. He slanted his face and half closed his eyes as if he was shy. Kushi laughed aloud, "Unbelievable! Are my eyes cheating me...or did he really look shy?"she asked. 

"He'll do anything to impress a woman..." Arnav said as he  handed over the carrots to her. She gave them to the horse. 

"Show time over..."he said. The horse stood it's ground, shaking his head.

"Okay... Okay...you can kiss the woman."he said pretending to be irritated.

The horse gently put his huge lips on her cheeks for a second before moving away.

"Oh my God! Thank you!" She said and kissed the horse on his forehead.

"Did you train him to do all this?"she asked still smiling in wonder.

"Most of it...but he is very intelligent... He learnt most of it from other horses."he said as he opened the stable gate for Prithvi to enter. But the horse didn't budge.

"What now....?" He went near the animal, Prithvi nudged him forward. "Stop it...you know I don't like it...don't do this to me again... "

Kushi moved forward confused, "What's wrong?"

"Oh he is just being silly..." Prithvi gave  Arnav one mighty push from behind that he lost his balance and if not for the stable pole which he held tightly, he would have fallen taking Kushi down with him. 

"Hey Devi mayya..."she let out a cry as Arnav came crashing on her. "Are you ...."the words got stuck in her throat as she starred straight into Arnav's eyes.

Nov 28

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

DOOMED TO DIE- THE MOTHER OF MY SON



CHAPTER- 44



PILANI - 2018



The hand holding her waist tightened as he slowly steadied himself and brought her straight along with him. He loosened his grip on the pole and brought his hand forward to remove the locks from her face. "Kushi...oh God!" He whispered , his gaze steady and bright locked with hers, as he slowly ran the back of his fingers on her satin smooth cheeks and down the base of her neck where her pulse was jumping erratically. 

"Don't... Kushi..don't.. Move away..don't stand there...don't allow this ..."her mind was screaming but her clay laden foot wouldn't budge. She didn't know what to expect, she didn't know what was to come, but she wanted it more than ever. Her lips began to tremble in fear and excitement. "Arnav..."she closed her eyes tight, couldn't protest, couldn't control her desire as it surged through her body. He wound his fingers in her hair and as he drew her closer, knowing her thoughts were dangerous still, she hoped he would never let her go. This was a man she didn't know, couldn't trust, but as his arms went around her, all her doubts disappeared from her consciousness. Her arms went around his neck holding him close, her body crushed into his. He moved his head away and regarded her with his misty eyes, "Kushi..."he said breathlessly, his breath as uneven as her own. She could feel his fingers on her waist shaking. He moved quickly away from her, placing both his hands on the wooden railings. "Damn...damn..."shaking his head, as if arguing with himself, "damn!" He shouted, kicking the wood so hard that it looked as if it would fall off any second. Then turning 

to her he said, "I...didn't.. mean..this to happen..."he was still breathing hard.

"Neither did I ."she said.

"Sh.it...sh.it..." When had he lost his self control? Was it the first time he had met her walking towards her car when he had deliberately punctured her tyre, or was it the day when he had looked into her eyes, looking at him with suspicion, when he went to her house on the pretext of needing to make a call from her phone? Or was it the day when his son had accused him of being a  murderer? Or was it that night in the jeep when he had tried to kiss her and later fantasised of making love to her? He raked his fingers inside his hair, knowing that he had made a mistake of irrevocable proportions when he had held her in his arms and touched her again. It was on an impulse...damn the horse..it had also a part in this, but the way she had responded,trusting him completely, tore at his heart, not just physically, but emotionally as well. 

"Look...maybe...I ...we ...better go..."she turned to go.

"No...."his voice loud, in agony stopped her. He then calmed himself, "stay...please!"his eyes begged her.

Starring beyond her, he tried to explain himself but couldn't. 

"Look...I didn't... I hadn't... any idea...how..."looking into her wide almond shaped eyes, he was lost, forever. He wanted her more than he ever wanted a woman, maybe he never wanted a woman like he wanted her.

She looked so delicate, so vulnerable. If it had been any other woman he wouldn't have waited. Time and place never deterred him from having or taking what he wanted. 

But she was different. Everything about her mattered. These new feelings were creating havoc within him. Why was he so attracted to her? Was it because she was a forbidden fruit? The woman who was the mother to his son. A woman he was doomed to destroy. He couldn't forget her.His fingers gripped the wooden rail so tight his knuckles became white, and the splinters began to cut his palm. He has to be cursed, this hot blooded attraction spelt his doom, but he couldn't do anything to fight it. He turned to her, reached for her and pulled her back to him. 

How can he being standing there and thinking about making love to her when he knew he was going to bring her misery? She was doomed to misery. She would die if she knew that he would one day take her son away from her. Yet the image of those laughing sparkling eyes just got nailed in his heart. For the first time , ever since he had met her he saw happiness in those eyes. The way her eyes brightened in joy with girlish abandon, made his heart do a somersault. He had never felt anything like this for any other woman before. He had absolute self control and promised himself that he would not let any one especially a woman make him lose that control he had on himself. But here he was losing all that control he had on himself. "Dammit Kushi....what are you doing to me?" He said huskily as he bent down to kiss the base of her neck the very spot where her pulse was racing. He pinned her on the stable door and began raining kisses on her face and neck , as if punishing her. She yielded. He held her hard. His finger tips grazing her smooth skin above her skirt belt and below her shirt. She shivered, letting out a gasp. "Arnav..." she whispered. His hand ran over a back. He became so hard, desire coursing through his body, blood pounding in his temples, she smelled of fresh summer flowers. He hugged her hard, as he saw the image of her drenched in sweat as he made love to her in a field surrounded by bright yellow flowers. "Oh God!" He whispered, leaning on her. Letting go, tearing himself away from her.

"Kushi...I.."

"Don't..."she kept a finger on his lips, "you don't have to say anything..."she said softly. Unable to resist the temptation, he began kissing her finger. His gaze dwelling deep into hers. She slowly pulled her finger away from his lips. 

"This cannot happen..."she said.

"I know...you are right"he said.

"There is Anish...to consider..."

"Yes..right .I know..."

"I ...cannot ..."

"Neither can I.."

He pulled her back to him, "But I don't want to let you go..." he whispered. Fire of passion caught between them as they drew close, searing through every rational thought they devised. "Oh God ...Kushi..."

"Arnav please!" She tried to steer herself away from him.

Arnav fought for his composure that rarely failed him all through his life. But with her, this one woman  that fierce, strong dependable self control seemed to slip through his fingers and suddenly he felt lost. All he wanted was her. That thought eroded whatever pride he had left in him. Then he released her, determined he wouldn't be weak to draw her into his arms again. He would never allow himself to do that mistake again. He stepped away from her. It was all he could do to keep his distance.

"I better go..." She said weakly. He nodded, shaken to the roots, not looking at her. For better part of his life he grew up convincing himself that no woman can touch him the way he had been touched. That no woman can ever make a dent in his emotions. But Kushi had just proved  him wrong, so very wrong. He watched her as she dashed towards the barn where Anish was. By the time they came out and  when Anish stopped to wave good bye,and saw them disappear into their side of the fence he had regained control. He then turned to his horse which had quietly gone inside the stable. "You will never ever do that to me again....and I'll never ever do the mistake of touching Kushi Kumari Gupta again."he told the horse angrily. The horse shook its head and made a snorting sound that only he understood it as a laugh, as if asking him, who was he trying to fool?



Dec 2

DOOMED TO DIE THE MOTHER OF MY SON (By Raani82) (Thanked: 37 times)

DOOMED TO DIE- THE MOTHER OF MY SON



CHAPTER- 45



MUMBAI - 2018



"Aren't you least bit worried?" Asked Mukund looking at his son exasperated at his indifference.

"If uncle Manick wants to locate La's child what can I do about it?" Asked Mayank looking out from the French windows of his apartment at the thirtieth floor, into the slashing waves of the far away beach. Mukund looked at his son leaning against the glass looking out, with his hands in his pockets of his Armani suit, his physique tall and lean and could pass off as any other model in any of those glossy magazines he had seen in Sheetal's room. He wondered what kind of a boy he had sired who had no gumption and fighting spirit in him like the Malliks that forced them to flee the horror of partition and survive poverty and starvation decades ago and come out winners. The fire in the belly like his ancestors had to  succeed in their endeavours , marching ever upwards and crushing any pathetic soul that came in their way. He had none of the Mallik's blood in him he had too much of his wife's family in him he thought. 

" I didn't even know La had a child..." Said Mayank.

"That's the point... None of us did...at that time Manick had some sense and gave away that boy so that, the kid never showed his face again, ensured that his shadow never fell at our door step, made sure that the boy never showed up to collect a paisa from us again, lay claim on his inheritance. But all that has changed. Manick thinks that his power will live on through this child. If he can find his heir, replace Praneeth..."

Mayank winced at the mention of the name and tried to hide it. Mukund didn't fail to notice it. He knew his son was very close to Praneeth and wondered what secrets they held between them when Praneeth had been alive. 

"I think that old man is turning crazy and needs to see a doctor..."

Mayank rubbed his forehead and upper lip as if wiping off some of the beads of perspiration that had settled on the skin.

"How old is the boy?"he asked slowly.

"Somewhere around fifteen I guess....a year after Praneeth's death. I think babhi was quite upset, first the death of her son and then the girl's unwanted pregnancy. I think that nearly killed her."

Mayank closed his eyes, trying to forget the past. "What about the father?"he asked tentatively.

"Don't know...long gone..a military man who doesn't even know he has a bas.tard son."

"Doesn't he have a name?"asked Mayank now interested.

"Even if he has..Manick is not telling us, in case he comes sniffing around."

"Oh God!" A baby? Who would have thought?" Said Mayank fear beginning to grip him.

"No one....until now ...and that's the way it should stay...we have to do something about it." As always Mukund thought he had to steer his son towards some thinking.

"Listen Mayank...if my brother finds his grandson we may as well kiss the fortune good bye..."

"What are you worried about? We still have ours. We have our mills and factories..."said Mayank.

"With ever increasing labour problems and unions and laws and regulations and international companies making headway here, I don't think we would ever stand a chance to break free from our debts...my brother holds the real wealth."

"I think we can still do good...we can get by.."

"For God's sake...show some gumption...and fight for your rights will you?" Mukund's anger rose, and he couldn't control his words. "I can't even imagine I have  a son who isn't half a man..."

"So you keep saying..."said Mayank, as if he gave a damn. Both the father and son starred at each other. Mukund looked helpless and desperate and he didn't know how to reach out and get through to his son, break his wall of indifference and make him see red. 

"Oh God! If Manick finds La's son , he would be with us by Ganesh  utsav..."

"So what do you want me to do?"asked Mayank . "worry?"

"For starters yes...then you can think about having a son of your own..."his father shouted.

"It will not work..."said Mayank softly.

"For God's sake...you've been married for four years....and you've been out of Mumbai more than half of that time...travelling half the time...inside the country or outside.."

"Doing business... You forgot ...I managed to get our factories running and reach maximum production...and boosted sales..."

"But still you should have had time for making a family....I thought you married Akansha because you liked her and I was expecting grand kids in a couple of years..."

"I married Akansha because you wanted me to marry her...because you wanted to square off some debts you owed her father...I stupidly agreed...if you want to know the truth dad....we've been separated for the past six months and we are planning to divorce."

Mukund felt a punch in his gut, "We don't talk about divorce in our family..."

"Bull****...Lavanya is divorced..."

"Lavanya is not my daughter... Thank god...always the wild one..."

"Why shouldn't I divorce? Do you have any secret deal with my father in law? Don't have any dreams dad...you are not going to get any grand kids from me....but then you have Vihan... Sheetal's prince...as you often call him...he should be enough for you...for the way she goes on as if he is the brightest, smartest kid on earth...and any kid I raise might not me as smart as he is....be satisfied that you have your next generation in Vihan.

Mukund looked at his son in disbelief. "Who was this man he had raised as a kid?" He'd thought.

"And any thing else?"his son asked as he slipped his arm inside his thousand dollar coat and reaching for the door. "There should be no divorce..."Mukund shouted, only to a slamming door and an empty room.

Mukund sat down hard on his chair. His hands on his head, waiting for his thudding heart to slow down.....waiting for his blood pressure to subside.

He can only see apathy everywhere. Ever since his childhood he was always looked down upon. Second not only by birth but by intelligence and smartness. His brother did not respect him and now his kids. His wife was another matter altogether. 

She hardly cared for him and later he had come to know that she had married him only for his money. And the distance between them widened once the kids were born. Mayank a spineless man who he never understood. He was right though what he said about Shetal's kid Vihan. He was smart and sometimes he reminded him of Praneeth... That smart ass of a boy who he hated. Now this new trouble.

Damn this kid wherever he is! He cursed. While his brother was going to search for his grandson, he would do everything to save his fortune and name. He decided to take matter in his hands and made sure that no **** of Lavanya was going to mess up his dreams.



"Now we have nothing else to do but sit and watch the old man bring Lavanya's kid and take over the empire..."said Manohar frustrated that his son was least bothered about the change of script about his future.

"So? Let him find out...what's that to us?"asked Akash, showing a straight face but his  guts doings flip flop inside him.

"Who is the father?" Akash asked slowly, his face draining of any colour.

"Who knows and who cares ...if only you'd shown some gumption and taken the lead  Manick bhai would have surely considered you....for I know he doesn't care for that eunuch  Mayank....…"

"We don't need uncle Manick's wealth... We have our own property and real estate business is really going well ...."

"Oh God! When will this boy ever learn...can't you see...with Praneeth out of the way.... You could have taken some effort to impress him ...should have shown ..you have the drive and guts to take the burden on your shoulders."said Mano exasperated that he had to spell out everything to his son. 

"Then you shouldn't have been in a hurry to send away your other son Arnav Singh Raizada.... "

"Oh just shut up....I have never considered him as my son...he might be dead for all I know..."

"You don't even know? You are pathetic ...papa..He has more guts than all of us put together...for who else has gumption to shoot Manohar Panicker..the son in law of the great Malliks....in fact he would have been the right person...probably..to become an heir to all this..."said Akash turning away from him. Who was this son who he brought to this earth and has now become a stranger? Now why is he running away every time I talk about Lavanya? He knew the kids were all close for some time before that snobbish brat Praneeth died? Now what were they hiding?

"If only you had listened to me...got married and had kids ...Manick bhai might have considered you ...as his heir ...now this Lavanya's **** is coming from nowhere..."

He stopped mid sentence, having realised that he was only talking to a an empty room. He threw the heavy paper weight in anger and frustration and it hit the closed door with a thud and fell down breaking into pieces. Mano just wished it had hit Akash's head instead.



"So how is your love life?" Asked Payal, laughing in the phone. 

"As if it's any of your business! " Kushi said as she curled herself on the sofa.

"It's the farmer next door isn't it?" Payal teased her.

"I wouldn't tell you anything even if he was." Kushi said, smiling to herself, and wished her sister was there next to her, share some local gossip and talk about family matters. Not that she had any family apart Payal and Anish. 

"It would be so nice if you could come for his birthday.."

"You know Anand has hardly any time let alone take a week off...I'll try to come by Ganesh chaturthi... We have holidays then..."

"You could take time off and come..."said Kushi.

"If I come there then who will do the snooping for you?"Payal asked laughing.

"Is that why you called?" Hey devi Mayya! Had she found out who Arnav is? Or has she news about Anish's parents? Or if Arnav was Anish's... ? No...Kushi don't even go there...they cannot be related...she had often thought about that...they don't resemble and the bond they had recently formed has nothing to do with genetics. And besides all talk about Anish's father in his dreams had vanished once he got associated with Arnav. 

"I'm still searching around. One Arnav Singh Raizada from Mumbai is in Lucknow now with his family and kids...so let's see."

"What about Anish's parents?"

"My friend is still checking the birth records. You know what, whoever gave birth to him made sure nobody found out about her. Too bad we cannot ask Akshay Saxena..." Payal mused aloud.

"I wish I could too...but he is dead..."

"Too bad..."

Whatever reason it may have been but Saxena had brought Anish to her life and for that Kushi would forever be indebted to him. The new baby had given her a reason to smile, to hope and think about her future. She heard the back door open and thudding of the huge footsteps, and saw Anish pounding in with Toughy behind his heals. The dog's fur had begun to grow and was slowly looking better. 

"What's for dinner?"he asked opening the cabinet doors searching for something to eat.

"Got to go...Anish the bottomless pit has come  and is hungry and nothing I do will be able to fill it...."

"Very funny..."scowled Anish. 

"I thought so."quipped Kushi

He heard Payal laugh.. Went near Kushi and said, "Hi Maasi ....love you..."

"Love you too baby..." Said Payal.

"Oh God! You too maasi..."he grimaced, turning away. He went to the fridge and opened the freezer and took out the frozen veggie parathas his mom had made for situation like these. He kept one in the micro wave oven and took out the butter.

"Try to make it for Anish's birthday...bye!"Kushi said cutting the call.

"You are calling her for my birthday?" asked Anish as he took out the hot paratha with his fingers and cried out, "ouch!"as he dropped them on his plate. 

"Yeah...but I don't think she will be able to make it."

"I guess it's going to be just you and me and couple of your friends and a cake this year." Said Kushi

"Then let's invite ASR..."said Anish biting into the parathas, as if he was not bothered one way or the other.

"What? That's impossible.. I mean...that may not be possible...he might not come...you see.."Kushi was searching for excuses. She shouldn't have been surprised. Anish was completely won over by Arnav after the initial few days of distrust. Hope it wouldn't lead to any disappointment. "What about you? Aren't you playing the same dangerous games with your  emotions?" Her mind voice began to whisper into her ears. Just thinking about their last meeting, when he tried to kiss her and how she didn't put up any resistance, how she wanted him to touch her and how she started dreaming of him making love to her, made her face turn pink. "I mean he might not be interested...may be have some other work..."

"Nothing like that ...surely he will come ...for my birthday..." Said Anish proudly.

Kushi shrugged….as she saw her son gobble up the food in hunger. 

"That's settled  then .... I'll call him ma..." Anish asked.

"Okay...it is not going to hurt to ask him I guess..."she said, as if she didn't care knowing very well she was feeling exactly the opposite.



Dec 6

DOOMED TO DIE THE MOTHER OF MY SON (By Raani82) (Thanked: 34 times)

DOOMED TO DIE- THE MOTHER OF MY SON

CHAPTER- 46

MUMBAI - 2018

Lavanya was a damn good liar and Shyam could always sense if anyone was straying from truth and Lavanya was straying all over the Earth and her demeanor was showing that she was anxious as hell. She was lighting one cigarette after another every few minutes, trying to avoid his eyes, tucking her feet up in her plush soft couch in her apartment on the twentieth floor. Shyam was also sitting on one of her soft Italian leather sofas, trying very hard to not to look at her shapely bre.asts and legs. 

When everything else failed, despite Mallik's disapproval, he came to talk to her about her son and his father. If Mallik wanted Shyam to find his grandson he had to let him work his own way. Lavanya was undone and nervous the moment he stepped inside her apartment. He took in immediately all the grandeur in her huge house. Soft carpets and beautifully painted grey and purple walls, which had well placed abstract paintings and ornamental hangings all around. The furniture was all in grey and black with not a spec of dust on them. She began to lie from the moment he started asking about her affair sixteen years ago. She stuck to her story that she had met Shauriya Dubey in a bar and it was a whirlwind affair for a couple of weeks. She never spied on him, checked who he was, whether he was really an army man or not. She had never thought that he could be lying and she had never bothered to check his wallet or cards. He  had said he was from Pune and was on leave and was going back to his post somewhere in a remote corner of the country, she hadn't even remembered the name of the place she said. She didn't bother to know whether he had a wife and a family back home, she was too young and naive and had just fallen for a smart army uniform. It had ended just as soon as it had started and he said he was going back to join his duty. It was only after a couple of months she realised she was pregnant.

All this Shyam realised was very neat and smooth. But soon found out that it was full of lies. It was obvious she was trying to protect someone. Even though she told him the story meeting him eye to eye, Shyam knew she was holding back the truth. He immediately recognized that Lavanya was one of a kind who adjusted the truth from time to time to suit herself. But he wasn't buying. She kept burning one cigarette after another the entire time as if the nicotine  was helping her calm her nerves, keeping her lies entangled as he grilled her. Never mind he thought, she can lie as much as want till her pretty little face turned blue , he would figure it out. 

He would start with checking her phone calls, her credit cards, her emails, her fax records, if she met with somebody suspicious. He had contacts in all places who could fish out information some legitimate some not so legitimate.

"Look Mr.Jha, I know dad wants you find out about my child, but I disagree, it is not fair to that child..."

"Nor to you..."

"Exactly....with my wedding coming up in few months I don't want my past dug up."

Shyam just shrugged, "It is just a job to me..."his lie matching hers, "your dad hired me and I intend to do the best I can  ...you know..I thought you would also be curious to know about your son."

"It's too late." She closed her eyes. 

"But he is still your flesh and blood..."he said.

Lavanya nodded, "True..there was a time when I wanted to find out about him, after the operations, when I knew I couldn't have children....but my life changed ....I went through divorce...and now....my fiance doesn't care about my past."

"But don't you think it's unreasonable? Isn't this necessary?"

"Not exactly....we want our future together, I want my marriage to work....look all this is none of your business... Is it?"she asked irritated.

"No...but I hate to think you are working against me....hiding information from me."he said. She laughed, which Shyam noticed never reached her eyes.

"The last time I laid my eyes on my son was the day he was born and his father doesn't even know he exists..."

"Doesn't he?"

"Yes...even if you find Shaurya and ask him he would laugh at you..for he doesn't know a son exists.... You are barking up the wrong tree Mr.Jha...he wouldn't even remember me..after all these years..."

Shyam laughed, learing at her from top to toe, his eyes resting on her shapely legs before moving to her face again. "I doubt any man could forget you Ms. Lavanya."

"Well! He did a fine job of disappearing from my life." Said Lavanya pretending to be disinterested.

"Is that so?"

"Yep! He never laid eyes on me ever again..."

"It's almost as if the guy never existed."said Shyam.

"If he had never existed how could I ever have a son?" She asked. Her bright eyes glistening like a velvet grapes, as if she was wearing coloured contact lens.

"Maybe you are protecting someone else?" Shyam asked.

"Someone else? And who would that be?"she asked, her hands covering her face to light the cigarette she was holding between. her lips.

"Don't know...you tell me....a popular man perhaps...one with a family, a very influential person, an underage boy perhaps, or a person of ill repute a thug or a criminal perhaps? Lot of possibilities."

"Well Mr. Jha you can go around trying to find out all you can. You can stretch this and nibble away as much as daddy's money as you can, you are wasting your time and my father's money..which I don't really care...but hell..you are wasting my time as well...now if you'll excuse me...I think this conversation is over." She stashed her cigarette on the ash tray on the polished brass table on the side , unfolded her long shapely legs, which went straight into her beautiful sandals and stood up her full length revealing before him. Shyam caught his breath, his eyes once again roaming her body and resting for a second more on the shapely calves before looking at her face again. She nodded towards the door. 

As Shyam was coming down the lift he wondered who Lavanya was protecting? He went through the timeline in his mind. At the time of her consumption, the Malliks were living together as a close family.  Mukund's and Manorama's kids Lavanya's cousins were all very close and kept to themselves. Lavanya had very few friends outside other than a girl called Zainab Arifa. Shyam decided he would find out about her whereabouts and then talk to her if she knew about Lavanya's friends. He would talk to her ex husband as well and ask him if he knew anything about her past. He then thought about her brother Praneeth. His death was shrouded in mystery, the killer still not been identified. And he remembered that her consumption coincided with his death. Was Praneeth the father of the kid? Is that why all this secrecy about? Shyam dismissed the idea. If that was the truth, then the old man would have never called him to find out about his grandson, or would he? The old man was weird, hell , in fact the whole family seemed weird to him. The old man talked about his son as if he was some devtha born on this Earth and he wouldn't be surprised if that crazy old fellow built a temple for his kid. 

He wore his raincoat as he stepped out of the building and wore his hood to protect himself from the drizzle. He walked towards the pub, that was couple of streets away to meet his silent partner. Whatever the truth was, Shyam was determined to find out all about the boy and his father, whoever it may be, where ever they were and sell the facts to the highest bidder.

Dec 11

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

DOOMED TO DIE- THE MOTHER OF MY SON

CHAPTER- 47

MUMBAI - 2018

"Just take the boy and disappear!"Lavanya shouted into the phone.

"What the...?" Arnav half awake looked at his phone screen.

"Arnav! Did you hear what I just said, I said....take that boy and just run away.."Lavanya's voice was so agitated almost in tears.

"WO..wow...wooow...calm down...Lavanya... "

"That man Shyam Manohar Jha...I bet he knows about us....I just know it....he would at any time find out about you and Anish...I want you..."

Arnav cut her, "If you think he knows about us....I don't think it is a good idea to even talk to me now..."

"Of course I'm aware of that, that's why I'm talking from an unlisted number, on my new phone, nobody knows about, and I don't like that Jha...he is a slimy little bas.tard..if ever there was one, and before he finds out where you are just pack up and leave with that boy..." Lavanya said sounding even more agitated.

"I am planning on that..."said Arnav, rubbing his eyes.

"For two months....for God's sake...Arnav...how long are you going to take to do something about this..."shouted Lavanya.

Arnav sat up, imagining the tension on her face the worrying in her eyes, "He even talked to Sid..."

"Who is that?"

"My ex....you idiot..."

Arnav sighed. "He called me yesterday and gave me a lecture on the penal code number...whatever... Telling me he will go to court...if that guy came again asking all sorts of questions about my past..... he is accusing me of disturbing his married life...he is acting as if it is my fault..."her voice was shaking.

"Lavanya! Get a hold on yourself!"

"Hold on myself... Are you nuts? For God's sake, don't you understand? That Shyam Manohar Jha is going to find you...."

"Not if I can help it..."

"Then just take that kid and pack off..."she shouted. As if it was all that simple.

"And get arrested for kidnapping?" Asked Arnav.

"You are the boy's father..." Lavanya sounded exasperated.

"Not legally La...calm down!"he said to her. But his heart was pounding with dread. It is time for the truth. Kushi deserved to know the truth about what was happening.

"Oh! Damn you Arnav! I can't calm down! I'm freezing in fear....I'm in hell here...and you ask me to calm down. Just do the job you were asked to do, take the boy and get out of Pilani..."

"Oh how simple La..."

Lavanya finally seemed to pause and take a breath. "It is not just Shyam, Arnav...it is my daddy as well. He is tightening the screws. They have found out that there was no Shaurya Dubey....he started asking questions...he wants to know the truth...not just about me...about everyone else in the family...and Shyam is questioning even my school and  girl friends..."

"And Sid..." Said Arnav drily. 

"This is not the end of it....And the worst part is.... Akash called and said he wanted to talk to me...and Mayank as well....he invited me to his house for dinner...do you know how long it's been since we had any conversation at all....years Arnav...it's been years.... Since I've talked to them...not since Praneeth was killed and you left Mumbai....they've always blamed me for all that had happened and now....now they want to talk to me....over dinner..."

"Oh just stop it!"said Arnav angrily, "you are getting all worked up over nothing..."he said. Though his stomach twisted into knots at the mention of his half brother and his cousin. The rich, handsome, intelligent...damn!

"Just slow down! Take a deep breath...."

"Don't patronise me Arnav....I've put up with this sh.it since childhood, from daddy, Praneeth, Mayank and others... And now I don't want to hear the same from you...okay??"Lavanya shouted. He gritted his teeth imagining how it would be to be in her position... Like a wounded animal, cornered on all sides nowhere to run and protect itself.

"I'll take care from my end..."

"You better do that...for if this blows up on my face I would hold you responsible for everything...did you hear that..." 

"I'll remember that!"Arnav said as he cut the call, running his hands through his hair.

Lavanya was furious, afraid and helpless. But she had a point. What was he doing hanging around there. Why not try to put an end to this? Because he didn't want to. The damnedest thing has happened. It's been weeks since Karan had beaten up Anish, and the boy had been coming over to his house. Not just for boxing lessons, but for learning horse riding, mending fences, oiling the motor, learning some mechanics. They had talked a lot. Even the old mutt , Rascal, had started showing his ugly face and wagging his scrawny tail whenever he showed up. No more growling from the dog, suspicious stares from the kid and the mother. Anish found Arnav so fascinating and  Arnav didn't want to  destroy this delicately woven relationship. 

From the way  Anish saw into the past, Arnav expected him to say more things about him. Arnav expected  that Anish would know about his ulterior motives about moving in next door.But as days went by all the talk about his suspicions stopped. Anish either didn't see anything about him or he kept to himself whatever he knew about Arnav. Just like Arnav had done in his childhood. But Lavanya was right. Sooner or later all this was going to blow sky high and it was time he figured out what he was going to do.

He started towards the barn, with Rascal tagging behind him. He filled water in the tubs and let the horses out, then fed them oats and lentils and untied the grass bundles he had bought from another farmer. He thought about his farms outside Jalandar. Wondered why he didn't miss the one  place which he called his home. He kept in touch regularly with his manager and friend about his fields and livestock. Only one pregnant cow had died, and others were all safe and he was taking care of everything. He should return back to his old life again, but he was beginning to believe that rest of his miserable life was tied to Kushi Kumar Gupta, her son....his son and that damned place Pilani.

Lavanya's call disturbed him. As long he was there, he was like a light house, a tower with a beacon of light, showing the place where Kushi and Anish lived. But on the other hand he was the only hope of protecting them both from the Malliks. He didn't know about that Jha, but the old man's plan was very clear. He would do anything to get his grandson back into his family. He didn't care about Kushi or her son. He also knew that Karan was not going to stop unless his father stepped in , but that fatso had made his intention clear. Damn! Damn! He kicked the bag of lentils that sent a rat scurrying from underneath the sack. Rascal barked and began to chase the rat.

He had no other choice but put his cards on the table and tell the truth to Kushi. She would be furious he knew and would curse him to go straight to hell, a place where he had visited many a time in his lifetime. But not seeing her again, being separated from his boy, drove a dagger into his heart. Legally he could get the custody of his child, and get the hell out of there, but she would hate him with such ferocity in her eyes that he would carry that to his grave. He kicked the bags in anger again and again till be became breathless. He heard the familiar sound of Kushi's car and went to the front of his house. He saw her getting down, and remembered their passionate encounter in the same place before. They made sure they never had such circumstances again and whenever they happen to come face to face they remained polite. On the surface everything was calm....but they could feel the simmering desire beneath. Ever since their nearly kiss the other night,  his imagination of making love to her, the feeling of her body in his hands had kept him awake at nights, he felt the raw ache in his soul , to have her beside him always.

She got out from the car and Arnav sucked in his breath. She was looking gorgeous in her peach colour sari with glittering sequence in the border and sleeveless blouse. She looked like a summer flower swaying in the breeze. His mind cleared when he saw her come stomping angrily towards him, hair flying around her face in the breeze as she swept them angrily away,  the gravel crunching under her heeled footwear. Her eyes blazing gold fire she asked, "Just who do you think you are?"

Arnav stood dumbfounded in shock. She knew? Somehow from someway she knew who he was and why he was there? But how? His heart nearly stopped.

Dec 17

DOOMED TO DIE THE MOTHER OF MY SON (By Raani82) (Thanked: 35 times)

DOOMED TO DIE- THE MOTHER OF MY SON

CHAPTER- 48

PILANI - 2018

She came near him, jabbed her finger on his chest and said angrily, "You have no right.... no right to bull doze your way into our life.... Into our business..."

"Hey...hey...slow down..."Arnav said ready to defend himself . Whether Kushi believed him or not, Anish was his son and he had all the right...in fact more right than her over him.

"I know You went over to policeman Mehta's house..."

Oh! so this is what  all this furious tirade is about? Arnav almost laughed with relief. But the look of consternation gripping her beautiful features stopped him, "Weeks ago..."

"Does it matter when all this happened?"

"I figured that Mehta must come to know what his son was up to.."

"So you thought it was your duty to tell him off...to keep his son away from Anish..."

"I just wanted him to know that he Can't let his son go around the town bullying other smaller kids?" Arnav said.

"But...that ...that is..."

Arnav lifted a  brow up curiously as if questioning her and watched her mouth clasp shut.

She threw up her arms in the air and turned away from him, as if standing in front of him and looking into his eyes was too much of a distraction to her.

"Anish...is...my...son...not yours..."she said  crossing her arms across here chest. "If only you know lady...."the thought ripped his heart.

"It is all my fault...I let him...come over here all the time and pester you..."

"He doesn't pester me...I enjoy having him around....."the honesty in his words made her shoulders stiffen. She let out a long sigh, as if calming herself. She turned to face him, "Look Arnav....I really appreciate all that you that you are doing for Anish...in fact I liked the way you handled him..it was nice to see all that..you did...like stay watch to protect us..I know Anish needs someone other than me...to look up to, to depend on for whatever you call it....but you had no right to go over to that policeman's house or anywhere else and threaten  oh!!!! What...."

Arnav's hand clamped on her wrist like a cuff and pulled her inside the house, "What are you doing?"

He closed the door shut and said to her, "Something has to be done Kushi...that inspector would simply sit warming his ass not doing any thing at all....we both know that...he would just keep quiet till everybody forgets about the situation. But that is not what kids like Karan are like..they would never stop."he said gritting his teeth.

"There has never been another trouble..."said Kushi defiantly.

"Don't you know why? 

"Huh?"

"Because Mehta knows I mean business ..."

"I should have been the one who should have gone there.. Anish is my son..my son...."she tried to pull back her hand,but he wouldn't let it go.

"And you wouldn't have made any impression on that son of a b.itch...like I did..."A wicked smile crossed Arnav's face, "He ....heard... me.."

"The whole  damn town heard you...everybody heard about it but me  and I ....heard it from one of my staff....try and imagine my surprise? what a fool I would have looked like...not knowing a thing about ....about all this..."

"It was between that Mehta and me...but how did your staff come to know..."

"Her neighbour's maid brought the news from someone else and ...."

Arnav remembered the woman who was standing behind he door. 

"This is a small town Arnav....it is not as if you don't know what happens in places like these... You shouldn't have gone there in the first place...having done that the least you could have done is tell me about that....for God's sake....it involves my son...do you have any... idea what those people out there are talking about me.." she was still struggling to get her hand loose from his grip, glaring at him all the while she was talking. He saw the gambit of emotions play across her features as if, she didn't know whether to hate him or love him. He just prayed that she would find some reason not to hate him. But his rational mind prompted him thinking that it would be better and easy for her if she hated him which was in all probability, than foolishly loving him which will only end in disaster.

"You had threatened him..." She said in frustration.

"Yes I did....within an inch of his life..."his teeth gritting his lips in thin line, his face bent, his nose almost touching her's, "that's the only language bullies will understand."he said angrily.

"So you had no other choice?"she demanded.

"No....I don't think so..."he met her eyes. God! She looked so beautiful! She smelled of roses and lily and that undid him. He saw her become aware of their proximity, the transformation in her eyes, which changed in an instant from dark fury to passion, a hollow yearning. 

"Oh!" Her lips parted. His response was quick and primal. 

"Oh hell!"he growled, as his hands wrapped around her and he captured her lips. She stood surprised, next instant she melted, holding on to him tightly as if that was the most natural thing to do. His heart beat matched the hammering echo of her heart, as he drew her closer, his lips teasing her's to open for him. All the feelings which he had kept locked all these years wanted release and he couldn't stop himself. Already his blood was on fire. His mind filled with images of him touching her satiny body. Damn! The sari was not helping him control himself either. One hand plowed into her hair gripping it and bending her head backwards while the other was venturing on her bare skin of her waist. Their joining would be in splendour....one  hot savage union, both spent and heaving, sweat dripping from their bodies. His fingers scaled her ribs. He rubbed his thumb in sensual circles under her blouse slowly moving towards the hooks of her blouse. He raised his head  a little waiting for her to open her lips so that he could taste her more. He saw her gasp and breathe heavily. He could feel her  heart thudding as she let his name come out of her lips in a moan. 

"Arnav...please stop...please...let me go...."she was trembling in his arms.  With all the willpower he could s****e together he released her.  He squeezed his eyes shut trying to rein in his emotions. He shifted uncomfortably.

He saw the fear and confusion in her eyes as they began to well up. She pushed him away opened the door and ran as if her heels were on fire. Her hair blazing behind her. She didn't take her car, but ran out of the gate then slowly walked fast towards her house. 

Arnav stood looking at her with a smile on his face. He couldn't understand whether to be sad or happy that he took this opportunity to kiss her. For it was at that moment he realised that she had never been kissed before. Kushi Kumari Gupta...what are you hiding from me? All this while,her trembling and breathlessness he thought was because of the unbridled passion they felt towards each other. Her innocence , the way she responded to his kiss, he understood that she had never been touched before by any other man let alone be married. 

Oh hell! He stood staring at the way she ran. He couldn't just let her get away with this. He had to find out more. He saw her car parked in front of Hus house. He walked towards it and found the keys still on it. He got in reversed it and reached her house in a couple of minutes. He slowly got out with the keys in his hand. 

The mesh door flew open and she stood there, cool and collected, her sari neat and adjusted and looked at him as if nothing had happened. He climbed the steps and held out the keys to her. 

"Thanks...you saved me from facing numerous questions from Anish as to why my car was standing there...I expect him any minute." She took it and turned to go.

"You can't pretend that nothing happened between us there..."

She turned back, "Yes Mr. Raizada.... Something did happen....whatever happened...I don't think I'm ready for that..."she said. The honesty in her voice pierced through his soul. He tried very hard to rein in his emotions attempting to bring out his common sense that always helped him in many complicated times in his life.

"Neither am I  ready..." He admitted.

"I don't know if I'll be ever ready at all..."she said looking down at the keys. She walked to the end of her porch and held the concrete pillar and looked far ahead gazing at nothing in particular. They remained quiet for few minutes before Arnav asked slowly.

"You...still love your husband?"he asked softly.

She stiffened but didn't turn. "It's been fifteen years.... Sometimes I find it hard to even remember his face...and I had to look at the pictures... Anisha...hey devi mayya! She would be in senior secondary now....soon to enter college...." He could sense the tears in her eyes. She wiped them away as she turned around to look at him, 

"But all that is in the past....isn't it? I have Anish now...." "But not for long." He thought with the sick feeling that tore at his heart of all his convictions. How could he tell her the truth? How could he take her son away from her? How could he not? Every day was one day closer to the truth. Whether it was from him, or from Mallik, one day she would know the truth, why he had come there and then she would hate him forever.

" I can't be thinking about the past forever.." 

Arnav realised that she didn't answer his question.

"Does he look like his father?"he asked suddenly and she froze, colour draining from her face.

"Pardon?"she asked tensely. Her voice shivering. "You said you found it hard to remember Nanda's face....does Anish resemble him? " Arnav said looking at her keenly.

"No not at all..."she said, her voice coming out as a gasp.

"He doesn't look like you."

"Oh! He takes after Nanda's family....his brother actually ...."

"Your husband's brother? Does he live nearby?"he asked, feigning innocence.

"No he lives in Lucknow now....with his family..."she lied. Her mind searching wildly. Why is he asking all this? Why now? Why? How could she be stupid to talk about Nanda and Anisha and start this conversation. "Oh we don't keep in touch ..." Hey devi mayya! She realised she was getting into a mess she could never get out of. She had vowed to Akshay that she would never talk about Anish and her past ties, but now she was confiding in this man. A stranger to her, the man she hardly knew , but heating her blood and charging her body with emotions with his proximity. She better put an end to this.

"I better go inside...I have to prepare dinner for Anish...make him eat something and do his homework before he gets any ideas to go there to your house."

"He is always welcome." He drawled, starring at her with his chocolate brown eyes that made her heart jump every time he saw her.

She quickly went in and closed the mesh door. She saw Arnav slowly turn and walk away towards the fence to go to his house. Her hands gripping the door handle was shivering, not because she was afraid that he asked few questions. She was not afraid for Anish, she was afraid for herself. She had never felt like this before. She did know that her body did react to other guys as well when they tried to get close to her. But she had never felt her losing her thinking power like this, she lost her senses whenever he touched her. She was afraid that she was giving away her heart to him. She was falling in love with Arnav Singh Raizada and that frightened her more than anything else ever could.

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