Innocent Soul16 mins 477 16 mins 477
Utkarsh Sanghvi was getting ready to go to work.
His 5-year-old boy Shivaansh was cranky that day. He didn't want him to go to work. His wife Ashika had an important presentation that day so she had left for work early.
Utkarsh tried to pacify him. But he wouldn't relent. He was a special child. He was suffering from down's syndrome.
He was the apple of their eyes and their world revolved around him until one day he was lost. He was nowhere to be found.
What happened to Shivaansh. Come and witness his emotional journey.
"Maa maa" he barely managed to speak those words.
He found himself hands tied down to a chair and he was unable to move.
"Do you think they would want him back. A child like him" gushed Ramcharan Yadav to his partner in crime Rafiq Ahmed.
They both had picked him up from the park where he went to play with his maid Nirmala Tai.
He kept shouting maa maa but his words fell on deaf ears.
"Where is my son" screamed Ashika on Utkarsh.
"The police are trying to find him" he answered.
"Police...what police..you know very well that he can't go alone anywhere. ..where was Nirmala Tai" she asked angrily.
Utkarsh tried to calm her down but she wasn't ready to listen.
Her piece of heart was stolen and she wanted it back.
She made frantic calls to the neighbours lest anyone would have seen him.
"Ashika calm down. I have checked everywhere but he's nowhere to be found" he told hugging her tightly.
"Utkarsh I can't stay without him. Please find him soon" she pleaded tears rolling down her eyes.
Just then Reshma, her best friend entered their house.
Seeing her Ashoka went and hugged her and started crying all the more.
"Calm down sweets, nothing would happen to our Shivaansh. Trust God" she told her.
The police came to their house and told - "We haven't found any clue yet. We shall check on your maid's house tomorrow" the officer informed.
"Sir he's just a five-year-old and not in a condition to even properly spell his name" she told teary-eyed.
Just then their landline phone rang.
"Hello" told Utkarsh
"Agar tu apne bete ko pana chahta hai to 10 lakh rupay le kar kal the great india Dhaba ke pass paise de jana" the voice told.
"Who are you" he yelled.
"Apna watsapp check kar le, video bheja hai" he told and disconnected the call.
Immediately Ashika took the mobile and saw the video which had her son being held captivated with both his hands and legs tied. His mouth gagged and he was blindfolded.
Ashika was in tears seeing her child in this condition.
"Do whatever it takes but please get back my child" she told folding her hands
The police suggested Utkarsh that his phone would be tapped and they advised him to not give the money to which Ashika snapped.
"For God's sake officer. He's our child. No money is more important than him" she hissed.
Utkarsh just hugged her and asked her to calm down and he requested the police officer to leave from there at that moment.
"Baa baa" cried little Shivaansh.
"Arre chup kar subah se bhed ki tarah baa baa kar raha hai" hissed the two.
They couldn't understand that he was thirsty and was asking for water.
They tried feeding him, giving him chocolates but he refused to stop crying.
"Arre itna to raha hai use pani do pila de bhai" shouted Rafiq on him.
As soon as he was given water, he drank like his thirst would never go and stopped crying.
"Oh lagta hai ise pyaas lagi thi" they both exclaimed at each other.
He just smiled at them and then sat quietly in his place.
Seeing him like this, they started feeling bad for him.
"Yaar Ramcharan uske hathon mei dard hota hoga. Chal khol dete hain rassi" Rafiq told him.
And then they untied his hands and legs. The little boy was happy to be free.
He jumped with joy and went ahead and hugged both of them. The two of them were flabbergasted. They never thought that he would love them so much.
Suddenly the phone beeped and the person on the line asked - "Bachcha kaisa hai".
"Ji thik hai wo madam" unhone jawab diya.
"Acha jo raqam tum dono ko mile wo le kar apne adde pe aa jana" the voice on the other end instructed and then the line went dead.
Ramcharan and Rafiq looked at one other and then at the kid who beamed at them.
They felt really sorry for the kid.
"Beta khana khayega" Rafiq asked him lovingly.
He nodded his head in yes and hogged on the food that he fed him.
Both Ramcharan and Rafiq were feeling guilty of having been a part of this crime.
They both vowed that they would not let any harm done to the kid.
The police went to Nirmala Tai's house only to find that she was bedridden with a fracture on her leg.
"Kya hua saab, aap yahan " she asked.
"Tum Utkarsh Sanghvi ke ghar pe kaam karti ho" he asked.
"Ji saab par kal hi mera pair toot gaya aur phone mei balance nahi tha isliye nahi gayi" she replied.
"Koi aur tumhari jagah pe gaya kya unke ghar" he asked her.
"Nahi saab. Kyun kya hua" she asked concerned.
"Unka beta kidnap ho gaya hai" he responded.
She was shocked listening to this.
"Shivaansh baba ke saath kaun aisa kar sakta hai. Wo to bhagwan ka vardaan hai saab" she replied teary eyed.
On the other hand, the goons had taken a liking for Shivaansh, "Pata nahi kaise mann kiya aise bache ko nuksaan pahuchane ka" they both were discussing when the phone rang.
"Aaj raat mei paise lene jana hai yaad hai na" the voice said.
"Yes madam. Hum pahunch jayenge" saying so they kept the phone.
The phone at the Sanghvi residence rang, it was already on tracking so the police were able to trace the call to someplace near the forest area in the outskirts of Panvel.
"Sir, I am going to give the cash and get my child back" he confessed to the police officer.
"Don't worry, we are with you. You take the cash and we would follow you. Trust me no harm would be done to your kid" the officer assured.
Shivaansh was awake from his sleep when he started crying.
"Maa, maa" he cried taking her name
"Beta chup ho ja aaj, tere papa paise de denge to hum tujhe unke paas chod denge" Rafiq pacified him.
He smiled at his kind gesture and immediately gave him a tight hug.
He was moved beyond words. Tears had filled up his eyes and he told -"I shall return him to his parents today".
"But we don't have orders yet from the boss".
"Hamein paap lagega paap agar aise bache ko durr rakha uske parivaar se to" saying so he turned and found her standing in front of him.
"Lagta hai bache se kuch zada ho hamdardi ho gayi hai tumhe. Lao bacha mujhe do "she told and went towards Shivaansh.
He looked at her and ran and hugged her. It was none other than his Reshma aunty.
"Anni anni" he lovingly called and hugged Reshma.
She made a face and hugged him not realising the warmth that she was receiving from that innocent soul.
"Shivu mamma papa ja ja. Anni aa aa" she tried to explain to him.
He got sad listening to this.
He retorted saying.
"Mamma papa aa aa".
"Shut up you good for nothing fellow. You are a burden on them. They should get rid of you" she yelled at him.
He started crying listening to her voice and went and hugged Rafiq.
He just picked him up in his arms and soothed his back.
Immediately he stopped crying and lay fast asleep on his shoulders.
"Aap kaisi aurat ho" Ramcharan exclaimed.
"Zubaan pe lagaam do samjhe tum aur ja kar paise lane ki taiyari karo "she instructed them.
Leaving the child behind with her, both of them set out to collect the money.
On the other hand, Utkarsh left his place with the bag full of money and reached the destination on time.
As soon as he reached, he got a call on his phone.
"Apne right pe dekh ek kachre ka dibba hai bus wahin rakh de bag aur chalta ban"
"Lekin mera beta" he asked.
"Wo tujhe sahi salamat tere ghar pe mil jayega" he told and disconnected the line.
Utkarsh did as instructed and there was the police team waiting for the culprits to come and take the bag.
As soon as they reached to pick the bag, the police pounced on them and took them in custody.
"Ab bolo bache ko uthaya kyun aur bacha kahan hai" the officer asked.
"Wo madam ke Kehne pe" Rafiq answered
"Kaun se madam ke" he questioned.
"Naam nahi maloom madam ka par unka beta unhe anni anni keh kar pukaar raha tha" they answered in unison.
Hearing this, Utkarsh just plopped on the chair. He could not believe that it was Reshma.
Utkarsh went home and told Ashika about how the police caught the two men behind the kidnapping and they told about Reshma being behind the kidnapping of Shivaansh.
"But why" she questioned teary-eyed and plopped on the sofa.
"I don't know really, I don't know. Even I want to ask her why did she do it" even he answered it with a choked throat.
"You gave them the money but the police caught them. Now what would she do. Shivu......... " she shouted and collapsed
"Ashika Ashika " Utkarsh ran towards her
He called the doctor immediately and doctor gave her some anti depressant and she went off to sleep.
Utkarsh was pacing up and down the room. There was no news of Shivaansh when his phone rang.
"Hello" he told.
"Hello" replied Reshma.
"Reshma how dare you kidnap my son" he shouted on her.
"The same way you decided to leave my daughter and she died. She was only six years old Utkarsh" she replied back.
"It was an accident for God's sake Reshma. We didn't do it purposely" he tried to explain.
"But the loss is mine na. Even she was mentally challenged. I remember the time we met in Asha Kiran school and she and Shivaansh hit it off immediately. It's been around a year that we have known each other. You guys could have been more responsible and not left her unattended in the car that you took for shopping. Since she was sleeping, you guys decided to lock her inside and go shopping. How could you guys even think doing that? " she told tears rolling down her cheeks.
"Anni anni" he heard Shivaansh speak.
"Shivu papa is here. Papa will get you" he shouted on the phone.
"Look your son is far more concerned than you guys, he's trying to wipe my tears seeing me cry" she told him angrily.
"Listen Reshma, whatever happened was an accident please forgive us and give back our Shivaansh".
"No way. Now you guys too feel the pain that I am feeling" she hissed and disconnected the call.
Utkarsh caught his head in his hand and slipped onto the bed remembering the fateful day when little Priyanshi had accompanied them for shopping.
It was a sunny Sunday morning. Shivaansh's first friend and his play date for the day, Priyanshi was about to come home that day.
They both used to study together at Asha Kiran school and were really fond of each other. They had hit it off instantly on the first day of school and had been inseparable since then.
Reshma had to run an urgent errand that day and since her hubby too was out of town, she decided to leave Priyanshi at the Sanghvi residence.
She came to drop her daughter and thanked the Sanghvis for agreeing to take care of Priyanshi and left from there.
After having played for sometime, they had lunch and along with Nirmala Tai, they left for the supermarket.
On the way, Priyanshi fell asleep. Once they reached there, Nirmala tai intended to wake up Priyanshi but Utkarsh asked her to not disturb her.
"Nirmala tai kuch hi der ka to kaam hai, is ko yahin chod dete hain. Aap bhi uske sath yahin ruko. Hum log 15 mins mei aate hain" saying so they proceeded towards the mall for shopping.
Nirmala tai too got a call on her phone and she stepped out of the car, unknowingly locking it from inside and getting down.
Once she was done with the call, she tried getting in but lo and behold the car was locked and she was stranded outside.
She tried calling up the Sanghvis but the phone was unreachable.
After a good 2 hours, the Sanghvis returned and were shocked to see that Nirmala was outside.
Hurriedly they opened the door only to find that Priyanshi was not in her senses. Immediately they rushed her into hospital where she was declared dead on arrival.
Utkarsh and Ashika were devastated.
"What would I tell reshma," said she hugging her husband tightly and tears rolling down her cheeks.
Utkarsh tried to pacify her and told.
"It was our mistake, we should not have left her there" saying so he also started crying.
Suddenly, he received a call from Reshma.
"Reshma, come to the city hospital" he barely managed to say that and kept the phone.
Reshma came hurriedly and enquired from the Sanghvis as to what happened.
They narrate the entire incident to her. She couldn't believe her ears.
She was numb with shock..
"You guys killed her..you guys killed her. I shall not leave you" she shouted and went to the morgue to see her child.
That day was etched in the memory of the Sanghvis. They still could not forget the way she cried helplessly.
She tried reaching her husband and his phone too was switched off. She didn't know what to do, where to go. She was in complete shock.
Ashika tried to pacify her but she just shouted on her and told, "Don't dare touch me, you are the murderers of my daughter. I shall not forgive you guys".
Suddenly her phone buzzed and the voice on the other end asked - "Is this Reshma Rajput?"
"Yes. May I know who is on the line" she questioned wiping her tears.
"Ma'am we are calling from city hospital, chandigarh. Your husband Mr. Karan Rajput has met with an accident here. He's in a critical condition" the administrator informed.
Her whole world had come crashing down.
"What happened Reshma. Tell something" asked Ashika watching her go numb.
"Karan karan" she just told and fell down unconscious.
Utkarsh grabbed the phone from her hand and dialled on the number from which she had received the call and was stunned to know about Karan.
He told Ashika that he was going to Chandigarh to see Karan.
"What about the last rites here" she questioned.
"We would need to wait till Karan is back" saying so he left for Chandigarh from Dehradun.
On reaching city hospital, he found that they had lost Karan too.
He was devastated. He didn't know how he would face Reshma.
She was left all alone in this world.
Gathering all his courage, he called up Ashika and gave this sad news to her.
She was also shocked beyond words and kept looking at Reshma who had not gained consciousness yet.
It was around 2 in the night when Reshma gained consciousness.
"Priyanshi........." she shouted.
"Calm down Reshma" told Ashika, trying to pacify her.
She just hugged her tight and cried her heart out.
"Reshma we have one more bad news for you" she told teary-eyed.
She looked up at her intently.
"Karan is no more. We lost him too" she told crying loudly.
She didn't react at all. She was just numb just like a lifeless doll.
Little Shivaansh was tired traveling all day.
As soon as the news of her aides being arrested reached Reshma, she fled from that place taking Shivaansh with her.
"Anni anni baa baa" he exclaimed.
"Shut up you dirty pig. You die with thirst" and she gave him one tight slap.
The innocent soul started crying and it caught the attention of a person who was sitting diagonally opposite to them in the bus.
He could make out that the child was being ill-treated, so he decided to inform the police.
He dialled 100 and immediately the police sprang in action.
The bus she was traveling in was stopped midway and seeing the police, Reshma got very scared.
"Oh madam kahan ja rahe ho aur ye bacha kiska hai" the lady constable asked.
"Mera....mera hai aur kiska hoga" she responded meekly.
"Chaliye utariye hamare saath aaye" saying so she led her down.
Little shivaansh had slept in her arms and was unaware of the whole hullabaloo around them.
It was late afternoon when he woke up from his slumber.
"Anni anni baa baa" he started crying.
"Beta kya chahiye aapko" the lady constable asked.
"Ji wo thoda mand Buddhi hai "she replied.
"Acha beta mumma kya bol rahe ho".
"Mumma mumma" saying so he started crying.
"Arre beta mumma to paas hi hai na to kyun rahe ho" the constable coaxed him.
"No.....no mumma. ....Anni anni " he started bawling out loudly.
"What does he mean" the lady constable asked seriously.
She kept quiet.
"I asked you what does he mean" she gave her one tight slap.
"He is not my son. I am his aunty" she revealed.
"Then where are his parents" she demanded.
"I brought him with me. They don't know about his whereabouts"
She was shocked listening to this.
"Where are you guys coming from" she questioned.
She gave the details of their address and they contacted the police of that area.
"Thanks for calling us. We have been searching for them since yesterday" saying so the police proceeded to arrest them.
The police informed the Sanghvis that they had traced Reshma along with the kid.
"Great officer. Could we too accompany you please" Utkarsh requested.
The officer gave the permission and they went along to get their son.
"Why did you get this kid with you without informing his parents" the officer demanded.
"Coz that is what they deserve. The pain that I have been through can't be understood by anyone" and she was transported back to that fateful day when her world had turned upside down.
The bodies of Karan and Priyanshi lay side by side.
Reshma was like a lifeless doll devoid of any emotions.
When finally the time had come to take their bodies for the final departure she went and hugged them violently refusing to let them go.
Ashika had a tough time trying to console her. Slowly and steadily, she started improving and found solace in the company of Shivaansh. She frequently visited the Sanghvi residence and they too allowed her to gel with Shivaansh thinking that it was their fault that she lost Priyanshi.
Finally, they reached the police station where Reshma was there.
The Sanghvis ran inside and as soon as Shivaansh saw them, he ran towards them saying "Mumma papa" and went and hugged them tight.
"Mumma anni is bad....bad touch" he said pointing towards his manhood.
Ashika was shocked. She couldn't believe that revenge could make someone stoop so low.
"What else beta" she asked with tears in her eyes.
"Bad anni....no baa...no baa......One slap" - he started rubbing his cheeks and continued.
"Anni told mumma papa no no anni yes yes .......but I say no.....Anni no no mumma papa yes yes" he told smiling.
Ashika couldn't control her tears and just hugged him tightly.
Reshma was watching everything stupified. Once she was done, she went and stood in front of her and told - "You were a friend Reshma... how could you do this to my child.?
In fact, you know the pain so well, the challenges of bringing up a special child. How could you stoop so low? She asked looking at her in the eyes.
"That's what even Priyanshi was a special child, how could you guys be so careless" she snapped back.
"I agree we should have been careful but it was not intentional but whatever you did was pre planned and intentional Reshma. You pretended to be a friend and you did this" she told angrily.
"I just wanted you too also feel the loss of child but this boy of yours is way too smart. He befriended his kidnappers and was able to catch others attention which lead you guys to us otherwise you guys couldn't have caught us" she challenged.
"Yes am proud of my son. He is as much intelligent as any normal child and he is capable enough to know right from wrong. He might be suffering from downs syndrome but no way is his intelligence any less. So am sorry it's your fault to have misunderstood him. I am proud of my son and shall always be" saying so she went and hugged Shivaansh hard.
The police pressed charges of child abuse and kidnapping on her and she was put behind bars.
Shivaansh told "bad anni in bars" and clapped his hands.
His parents were happy to have got back their child and hugged him really hard.
Every Child is special and the ones with special needs are all the more special cos god endows them special gifts. So the next time you see a special child forget to lend a sympathetic hand and be ready to lend an empathetic ear.
Hats off to all parents who bring up the children with special needs so well and instill the virtues of self-confidence and the ability to know right from wrong in them.